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J Virol. 2018 Nov 27;92(24). pii: e01418-18. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01418-18. Print 2018 Dec 15.

Dynamin Is Required for Efficient Cytomegalovirus Maturation and Envelopment.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi, USA.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi, USA


Cytomegalovirus secondary envelopment occurs in a virus-induced cytoplasmic assembly compartment (vAC) generated via a drastic reorganization of the membranes of the secretory and endocytic systems. Dynamin is a eukaryotic GTPase that is implicated in membrane remodeling and endocytic membrane fission events; however, the role of dynamin in cellular trafficking of viruses beyond virus entry is only partially understood. Mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEF) engineered to excise all three isoforms of dynamin were infected with mouse cytomegalovirus (MCMV-K181). Immediate-early (IE1; m123) viral protein was detected in these triple dynamin knockout (TKO) cells, as well as in mock-induced parental MEF, at early times postinfection, although levels were reduced in TKO cells, indicating that virus entry was affected but not eliminated. Levels of IE1 protein and another viral early protein (m04) were normalized by 48 h postinfection; however, late protein (m55; gB) expression was reduced in infected TKO cells compared to parental MEF. Ultrastructural analysis revealed intact stages of nuclear virus maturation in both cases with equivalent numbers of nucleocapsids containing packaged viral DNA (C-capsids), indicating successful viral DNA replication, capsid assembly, and genome packaging. Most importantly, severe defects in virus envelopment were visualized in TKO cells but not in parental cells. Dynamin inhibitor (dynasore)-treated MEF showed a phenotype similar to TKO cells upon mouse cytomegalovirus infection, confirming the role of dynamin in late maturation processes. In summary, dynamin-mediated endocytic pathways are critical for the completion of cytoplasmic stages of cytomegalovirus maturation.IMPORTANCE Viruses are known to exploit specific cellular functions at different stages of their life cycle in order to replicate, avoid immune recognition by the host and to establish a successful infection. Cytomegalovirus (CMV)-infected cells are characterized by a prominent cytoplasmic inclusion (virus assembly compartment [vAC]) that is the site of virus maturation and envelopment. While endocytic membranes are known to be the functional components of vAC, knowledge of specific endocytic pathways implicated in CMV maturation and envelopment is lacking. We show here that dynamin, which is an integral part of host endocytic machinery, is largely dispensable for early stages of CMV infection but is required at a late stage of CMV maturation. Studies on dynamin function in CMV infection will help us understand the host-virus interaction pathways amenable to targeting by conventional small molecules, as well as by newer generation nucleotide-based therapeutics (e.g., small interfering RNA, CRISPR/CAS gRNA, etc.).


CMV; capsids; cytomegalovirus; egress; endocytosis; endosomes; envelopment; herpes; herpesviruses; virus egress

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