Murine leukemia virus glycosylated Gag reduces murine SERINC5 protein expression at steady-state levels via endosome/lysosome pathway to counteract the SERINC5 antiretroviral activity.
Li S , Ahmad I , Shi J , Wang B , Yu C , Zhang L , Zheng YH .
J Virol. 2018 Oct 24. pii: JVI.01651-18. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01651-18
Glycosylated Gag (glycoGag) is an accessory protein expressed by most gamma-retroviruses including murine leukemia virus (MLV). MLV glycoGag not only enhances MLV replication and disease progression but also increases human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infectivity as Nef does. Recently, SERINC5 (Ser5) was identified as the target for Nef, and the glycoGag Nef-like activity has been attributed to the Ser5 antagonism. Here, we investigated how glycoGag antagonizes Ser5 using MLV glycoMA and murine Ser5 proteins. We confirm previous observations that glycoMA re-localizes Ser5 from plasma membrane to perinuclear punctated compartments and the important role of its Y36XXL39 motif in this process. We find that glycoMA decreases Ser5 expression at steady-state levels, and identify two other glycoGag crucial residues P31 and R63 for the Ser5 downregulation. The glycoMA and Ser5 interaction is detected in live cells using a bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) assay. Ser5 is internalized via receptor-mediated endocytosis, and re-localized to Rab5+ early, Rab7+ late, and Rab11+ recycling endosomes by glycoMA. Although glycoMA is not polyubiquitinated, the Ser5 downregulation requires Ser5 polyubiquitination via the K48- and K63-linkage, resulting in Ser5 destruction in lysosomes. Although P31, Y36, L39, and R63 are not required for glycoMA interaction with Ser5, they are required for Ser5 re-localization to lysosomes for destruction. In addition, although murine Ser1, Ser2, and Ser3 exhibit very poor antiviral activity, they are also targeted by glycoMA for lysosomal destruction. We conclude that glycoGag has a broad activity to downregulate SERINC proteins via the cellular endosome/lysosome pathway, which promotes viral replication.IMPORTANCE MLV glycoGag not only enhances MLV replication but also increases HIV-1 infectivity similarly as Nef. Recent studies have discovered that both glycoGag and Nef antagonize a novel host restriction factor Ser5 and promote viral replication. Compared to Nef, the glycoGag antagonism of Ser5 is still poorly understood. MLV glycoGag is a transmembrane version of the structural Gag protein with an extra 88-amino-acid leader region that determines its activity. We now show that glycoGag interacts with Ser5 in live cells, and internalizes Ser5 via receptor-mediated endocytosis. Ser5 is polyubiquitinated and re-localized to endosomes and lysosomes for massive destruction. In addition to the previously identified tyrosine-based sorting signal, we find two more important residues for Ser5 re-localization and downregulation. We also find that the Ser5-sensitivity to glycoGag is conserved in SERINC family. Together, our findings highlight the important role of endosome/lysosome pathway in the enhancement of viral replication by viral proteins.