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EMC1-dependent stabilization drives membrane penetration of a partially destabilized non-enveloped virus.

eLife | Dec 24, 2016

Destabilization of a non-enveloped virus generates a membrane transport-competent viral particle. Here we probe polyomavirus SV40 endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-to-cytosol membrane transport, a decisive infection step where destabilization initiates this non-enveloped virus for membrane penetration. We find that a member of the ER membrane protein complex (EMC) called EMC1 promotes SV40 ER membrane transport and infection. Surprisingly, EMC1 does so by using its predicted transmembrane residue D961 to bind to and stabilize the membrane-embedded partially destabilized SV40, thereby preventing premature viral disassembly. EMC1-dependent stabilization enables SV40 to engage a cytosolic extraction complex that ejects the virus into the cytosol. Thus EMC1 acts as a molecular chaperone, bracing the destabilized SV40 in a transport-competent state. Our findings reveal the novel principle that coordinated destabilization-stabilization drives membrane transport of a non-enveloped virus.

Pubmed ID: 28012275 RIS Download

Mesh terms: Animals | Biological Transport | COS Cells | Endoplasmic Reticulum | HEK293 Cells | Humans | Proteins | Simian virus 40 | Virus Internalization

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MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

The MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) has long been, and remains, a world-class research laboratory. Our primary goal is to understand biological processes at the molecular level, through the application of methods drawn from physics, chemistry and genetics. This quest extends from structural studies of individual macromolecules, through their interactions and beyond to the functioning of subcellular systems, cells and multicellular systems in whole organisms, with the ultimate aim of using this knowledge to tackle specific problems in human health and disease. The LMB is one of the birthplaces of modern molecular biology. Many techniques were pioneered at the laboratory, most notably methods for determining the three-dimensional structure of proteins and DNA sequencing. Whole genome sequencing was initiated at the LMB. Another landmark discovery was the invention of monoclonal antibodies. Over the years, the work of LMB scientists has attracted 9 Nobel Prizes, shared between 13 LMB scientists, as well as numerous other prizes and scientific awards.

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