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J Virol. 2017 Jul 27;91(16). pii: e00307-17. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00307-17. Print 2017 Aug 15.

Vimentin Modulates Infectious Internalization of Human Papillomavirus 16 Pseudovirions.

Author information

1
Division of Medical Biochemistry and Structural Biology, Department of Integrative Biomedical Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa georgia.schafer@uct.ac.za.
2
Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.
3
UCT Receptor Biology Research Unit, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.
4
SA-MRC Gynecology Cancer Research Centre, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.
5
Division of Medical Biochemistry and Structural Biology, Department of Integrative Biomedical Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.
6
Division of Physiological Sciences, Department of Human Biology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.
7
Laboratory for Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Nova Gorica, Nova Gorica, Slovenia.

Abstract

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the most common viral infection of the reproductive tract, with virtually all cases of cervical cancer being attributable to infection by oncogenic HPVs. However, the exact mechanism and receptors used by HPV to infect epithelial cells are controversial. The current entry model suggests that HPV initially attaches to heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) at the cell surface, followed by conformational changes, cleavage by furin convertase, and subsequent transfer of the virus to an as-yet-unidentified high-affinity receptor. In line with this model, we established an in vitro infection system using the HSPG-deficient cell line pgsD677 together with HPV16 pseudovirions (HPV16-PsVs). While pgsD677 cells were nonpermissive for untreated HPV16-PsVs, furin cleavage of the particles led to a substantial increase in infection. Biochemical pulldown assays followed by mass spectrometry analysis showed that furin-precleaved HPV16-PsVs specifically interacted with surface-expressed vimentin on pgsD677 cells. We further demonstrated that both furin-precleaved and uncleaved HPV16-PsVs colocalized with surface-expressed vimentin on pgsD677, HeLa, HaCaT, and NIKS cells, while binding of incoming viral particles to soluble vimentin protein before infection led to a substantial decrease in viral uptake. Interestingly, decreasing cell surface vimentin by small interfering RNA (siRNA) knockdown in HeLa and NIKS cells significantly increased HPV16-PsV infectious internalization, while overexpression of vimentin had the opposite effect. The identification of vimentin as an HPV restriction factor enhances our understanding of the initial steps of HPV-host interaction and may lay the basis for the design of novel antiviral drugs preventing HPV internalization into epithelial cells.IMPORTANCE Despite HPV being a highly prevalent sexually transmitted virus causing significant disease burden worldwide, particularly cancer of the cervix, cell surface events preceding oncogenic HPV internalization are poorly understood. We herein describe the identification of surface-expressed vimentin as a novel molecule not previously implicated in the infectious internalization of HPV16. Contrary to our expectations, vimentin was found to act not as a receptor but rather as a restriction factor dampening the initial steps of HPV16 infection. These results importantly contribute to our current understanding of the molecular events during the infectious internalization of HPV16 and open a new direction in the development of alternative drugs to prevent HPV infection.

KEYWORDS:

HPV16; infectious internalization; pseudovirions; vimentin

PMID:
28566373
PMCID:
PMC5533935
DOI:
10.1128/JVI.00307-17
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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