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Herpes simplex virus protein kinases US3 and UL13 modulate VP11/12 phosphorylation, virion packaging, and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt signaling activity

Herpes simplex virus protein kinases US3 and UL13 modulate VP11/12 phosphorylation, virion packaging, and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt signaling activity

Journal of Virology 88(13): 7379-7388

The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling pathway plays key roles in diverse cellular activities and promotes cell growth and survival. It is therefore unsurprising that most viruses modify this pathway in order to facilitate their replication and spread. Previous work has suggested that the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) tegument proteins VP11/12 and US3 protein kinase modulate the PI3K/Akt pathway, albeit in opposing ways: VP11/12 binds and activates Src family kinases (SFKs), is tyrosine phosphorylated, recruits PI3K in an SFK-dependent fashion, and is required for HSV-induced phosphorylation of Akt on its activating residues; in contrast, US3 inhibits Akt activation and directly phosphorylates downstream Akt targets. We examined if US3 negatively regulates Akt by dampening the signaling activity of VP11/12. Consistent with this hypothesis, the enhanced Akt activation that occurs during US3-null infection requires VP11/12 and correlates with an increase in SFK-dependent VP11/12 tyrosine phosphorylation. In addition, deleting US3 leads to a striking increase in the relative abundances of several VP11/12 species that migrate with reduced mobility during SDS-PAGE. These forms arise through phosphorylation, strictly require the viral UL13 protein kinase, and are excluded from virions. Taken in combination, these data indicate that US3 dampens SFK-dependent tyrosine and UL13-dependent serine/threonine phosphorylation of VP11/12, thereby inhibiting VP11/12 signaling and promoting virion packaging of VP11/12. These results illustrate that protein phosphorylation events mediated by viral protein kinases serve to coordinate the roles of VP11/12 as a virion component and intracellular signaling molecule. Herpesvirus tegument proteins play dual roles during the viral life cycle, serving both as structural components of the virus particle and as modulators of cellular and viral functions in infected cells. How these two roles are coordinated during infection and virion assembly is a fundamental and largely unanswered question. Here we addressed this issue with herpes simplex virus VP11/12, a tegument protein that activates the cellular PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. We showed that protein phosphorylation mediated by the viral US3 and UL13 kinases serves to orchestrate its functions: UL13 appears to inhibit VP11/12 virion packaging, while US3 antagonizes UL13 action and independently dampens VP11/12 signaling activity.

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Accession: 053524394

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PMID: 24741093

DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00712-14

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