Accumulation of substrates of the anaphase-promoting complex (APC) during human cytomegalovirus infection is associated with the phosphorylation of Cdh1 and the dissociation and relocalization of APC subunits.
Cell cycle dysregulation upon human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection of human fibroblasts is associated with the inactivation of the anaphase-promoting complex (APC), a multisubunit E3 ubiquitin ligase, and accumulation of its substrates. Here, we have further elucidated the mechanism(s) by which HCMV-induced inactivation of the APC occurs. Our results show that Cdh1 accumulates in a phosphorylated form that may prevent its association with and activation of the APC. The accumulation of Cdh1, but not its phosphorylation, appears to be cyclin-dependent kinase dependent. The lack of an association of exogenously added Cdh1 with the APC from infected cells indicates that the core APC also may be impaired. This is further supported by an examination of the localization and composition of the APC. Coimmunoprecipitation studies show that both Cdh1 and the subunit APC1 become dissociated from the complex. In addition, immunofluorescence analysis demonstrates that as the infection progresses, several subunits redistribute to the cytoplasm, while APC1 remains nuclear. Dissociation of the core complex itself would account for not only the observed inactivity but also its inability to bind to Cdh1. Taken together, these results illustrate that HCMV has adopted multiple mechanisms to inactivate the APC, which underscores its importance for a productive infection.