Orsay δ protein is required for non-lytic viral egress
Tao, Yizhi J.
Nonenveloped gastrointestinal viruses, such as human rotavirus, can exit infected cells from the apical surface without cell lysis. The mechanism of such nonlytic exit is poorly understood. The nonenveloped Orsay virus is an RNA virus infecting the intestine cells of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans Dye staining results suggested that Orsay virus exits from the intestine of infected worms in a nonlytic manner. Therefore, the Orsay virus-C. elegans system provides an excellent in vivo model to study viral exit. The Orsay virus genome encodes three proteins: RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, capsid protein (CP), and a nonstructural protein, δ. δ can also be expressed as a structural CP-δ fusion. We generated an ATG-to-CTG mutant virus that had a normal CP-δ fusion but could not produce free δ due to the lack of the start codon. This mutant virus showed a viral exit defect without obvious phenotypes in other steps of viral infection, suggesting that δ is involved in viral exit. Ectopically expressed free δ localized near the apical membrane of intestine cells in C. elegans and colocalized with ACT-5, an intestine-specific actin that is a component of the terminal web. Orsay virus infection rearranged ACT-5 apical localization. Reduction of the ACT-5 level via RNA interference (RNAi) significantly exacerbated the viral exit defect of the δ mutant virus, suggesting that δ and ACT-5 functionally interact to promote Orsay virus exit. Together, these data support a model in which the viral δ protein interacts with the actin network at the apical side of host intestine cells to mediate the polarized, nonlytic egress of Orsay virus.IMPORTANCE: An important step of the viral life cycle is how viruses exit from host cells to spread to other cells. Certain nonenveloped viruses can exit cultured cells in nonlytic ways; however, such nonlytic exit has not been demonstrated in vivo In addition, it is not clear how such nonlytic exit is achieved mechanistically in vivo Orsay virus is a nonenveloped RNA virus that infects the intestine cells of the nematode C. elegans It is currently the only virus known to naturally infect C. elegans Using this in vivo model, we show that the δ protein encoded by Orsay virus facilitates the nonlytic exit of the virus, possibly by interacting with host actin on the apical side of worm intestine cells.
Caenorhabditis elegans; Orsay; viral egress