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J Virol. 2012 Oct;86(20):11209-22. Epub 2012 Aug 8.

Herpes simplex virus 1 ubiquitin ligase ICP0 interacts with PML isoform I and induces its SUMO-independent degradation.

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  • 1MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.


Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) immediate-early protein ICP0 localizes to cellular structures known as promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML) nuclear bodies or ND10 and disrupts their integrity by inducing the degradation of PML. There are six PML isoforms with different C-terminal regions in ND10, of which PML isoform I (PML.I) is the most abundant. Depletion of all PML isoforms increases the plaque formation efficiency of ICP0-null mutant HSV-1, and reconstitution of expression of PML.I and PML.II partially reverses this improved replication. ICP0 also induces widespread degradation of SUMO-conjugated proteins during HSV-1 infection, and this activity is linked to its ability to counteract cellular intrinsic antiviral resistance. All PML isoforms are highly SUMO modified, and all such modified forms are sensitive to ICP0-mediated degradation. However, in contrast to the situation with the other isoforms, ICP0 also targets PML.I that is not modified by SUMO, and PML in general is degraded more rapidly than the bulk of other SUMO-modified proteins. We report here that ICP0 interacts with PML.I in both yeast two-hybrid and coimmunoprecipitation assays. This interaction is dependent on PML.I isoform-specific sequences and the N-terminal half of ICP0 and is required for SUMO-modification-independent degradation of PML.I by ICP0. Degradation of the other PML isoforms by ICP0 was less efficient in cells specifically depleted of PML.I. Therefore, ICP0 has two distinct mechanisms of targeting PML: one dependent on SUMO modification and the other via SUMO-independent interaction with PML.I. We conclude that the ICP0-PML.I interaction reflects a countermeasure to PML-related antiviral restriction.

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