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J Virol. 2007 Nov;81(22):12543-53. Epub 2007 Sep 5.

Modification of cellular autophagy protein LC3 by poliovirus.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


Poliovirus infection remodels intracellular membranes, creating a large number of membranous vesicles on which viral RNA replication occurs. Poliovirus-induced vesicles display hallmarks of cellular autophagosomes, including delimiting double membranes surrounding the cytosolic lumen, acquisition of the endosomal marker LAMP-1, and recruitment of the 18-kDa host protein LC3. Autophagy results in the covalent lipidation of LC3, conferring the property of membrane association to this previously microtubule-associated protein and providing a biochemical marker for the induction of autophagy. Here, we report that a similar modification of LC3 occurs both during poliovirus infection and following expression of a single viral protein, a stable precursor termed 2BC. Therefore, one of the early steps in cellular autophagy, LC3 modification, can be genetically separated from the induction of double-membraned vesicles that contain the modified LC3, which requires both viral proteins 2BC and 3A. The existence of viral inducers that promote a distinct aspect of the formation of autophagosome-like membranes both facilitates the dissection of this cellular process and supports the hypothesis that this branch of the innate immune response is directly subverted by poliovirus.

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