A leucine residue in the C terminus of human parainfluenza virus type 3 matrix protein is essential for efficient virus-like particle and virion release

Zhang, G.; Zhang, S.; Ding, B.; Yang, X.; Chen, L.; Yan, Q.; Jiang, Y.; Zhong, Y.; Chen, M.

Journal of Virology 88(22): 13173-13188


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-538X
PMID: 25187547
DOI: 10.1128/jvi.01485-14
Accession: 051151092

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Paramyxovirus particles, like other enveloped virus particles, are formed by budding from membranes of infected cells, and matrix (M) proteins are critical for this process. To identify the M protein important for this process, we have characterized the budding of the human parainfluenza virus type 3 (HPIV3) M protein. Our results showed that expression of the HPIV3 M protein alone is sufficient to initiate the release of virus-like particles (VLPs). Electron microscopy analysis confirmed that VLPs are morphologically similar to HPIV3 virions. We identified a leucine (L302) residue within the C terminus of the HPIV3 M protein that is critical for M protein-mediated VLP production by regulating the ubiquitination of the M protein. When L302 was mutated into A302, ubiquitination of M protein was defective, the release of VLPs was abolished, and the membrane binding and budding abilities of M protein were greatly weakened, but the ML302A mutant retained oligomerization activity and had a dominant negative effect on M protein-mediated VLP production. Furthermore, treatment with a proteasome inhibitor also inhibited M protein-mediated VLP production and viral budding. Finally, recombinant HPIV3 containing the M(L302A) mutant could not be rescued. These results suggest that L302 acts as a critical regulating signal for the ubiquitination of the HPIV3 M protein and virion release. Human parainfluenza virus type 3 (HPIV3) is an enveloped virus with a nonsegmented negative-strand RNA genome. It can cause severe respiratory tract diseases, such as bronchiolitis, pneumonia, and croup in infants and young children. However, no valid antiviral therapy or vaccine is currently available. Thus, further elucidation of its assembly and budding will be helpful in the development of novel therapeutic approaches. Here, we show that a leucine residue (L302) located at the C terminus of the HPIV3 M protein is essential for efficient production of virus-like particles (VLPs). Furthermore, we found L302 regulated M protein-mediated VLP production via regulation of M protein ubiquitination. Recombinant HPIV3 containing the M(L302A) mutant is growth defective. These findings provide new insight into the critical role of M protein-mediated VLP production and virion release of a residue that does not belong to L domain and may advance our understanding of HPIV3 viral assembly and budding.