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Sci Rep. 2016 May 16;6:26028. doi: 10.1038/srep26028.

Peroxisomes are platforms for cytomegalovirus' evasion from the cellular immune response.

Author information

Institute for Research in Biomedicine - iBiMED, Department of Medical Sciences &Department of Biology, University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal.
Neuroanatomy, Center for Biomedicine and Medical Technology Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.
Infections and Immunity Laboratory, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, Oeiras, Portugal.
College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Biosciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, Devon, UK.
Division of Gastroenterology, Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


The human cytomegalovirus developed distinct evasion mechanisms from the cellular antiviral response involving vMIA, a virally-encoded protein that is not only able to prevent cellular apoptosis but also to inhibit signalling downstream from mitochondrial MAVS. vMIA has been shown to localize at mitochondria and to trigger their fragmentation, a phenomenon proven to be essential for the signalling inhibition. Here, we demonstrate that vMIA is also localized at peroxisomes, induces their fragmentation and inhibits the peroxisomal-dependent antiviral signalling pathway. Importantly, we demonstrate that peroxisomal fragmentation is not essential for vMIA to specifically inhibit signalling downstream the peroxisomal MAVS. We also show that vMIA interacts with the cytoplasmic chaperone Pex19, suggesting that the virus has developed a strategy to highjack the peroxisomal membrane proteins' transport machinery. Furthermore, we show that vMIA is able to specifically interact with the peroxisomal MAVS. Our results demonstrate that peroxisomes constitute a platform for evasion of the cellular antiviral response and that the human cytomegalovirus has developed a mechanism by which it is able to specifically evade the peroxisomal MAVS-dependent antiviral signalling.

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