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mBio ; 12(2)2021 04 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1183285


RNA viruses that replicate in the cytoplasm often disrupt nucleocytoplasmic transport to preferentially translate their own transcripts and prevent host antiviral responses. The Sarbecovirus accessory protein ORF6 has previously been shown to be a major inhibitor of interferon production in both severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Here, we show SARS-CoV-2-infected cells display an elevated level of nuclear mRNA accumulation compared to mock-infected cells. We demonstrate that ORF6 is responsible for this nuclear imprisonment of host mRNA, and using a cotransfected reporter assay, we show this nuclear retention of mRNA blocks expression of newly transcribed mRNAs. ORF6's nuclear entrapment of host mRNA is associated with its ability to copurify with the mRNA export factors, Rae1 and Nup98. These protein-protein interactions map to the C terminus of ORF6 and can be abolished by a single amino acid mutation in Met58. Overexpression of Rae1 restores reporter expression in the presence of SARS-CoV-2 ORF6. SARS-CoV ORF6 also interacts with Rae1 and Nup98. However, SARS-CoV-2 ORF6 more strongly copurifies with Rae1 and Nup98 and results in significantly reduced expression of reporter proteins compared to SARS-CoV ORF6, a potential mechanism for the delayed symptom onset and presymptomatic transmission uniquely associated with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. We also show that both SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 ORF6 block nuclear import of a broad range of host proteins. Together, these data support a model in which ORF6 clogs the nuclear pore through its interactions with Rae1 and Nup98 to prevent both nuclear import and export, rendering host cells incapable of responding to SARS-CoV-2 infection.IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is an RNA virus with a large genome that encodes multiple accessory proteins. While these accessory proteins are not required for growth in vitro, they can contribute to the pathogenicity of the virus. We demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2-infected cells accumulate poly(A) mRNA in the nucleus, which is attributed to the accessory protein ORF6. Nuclear entrapment of mRNA and reduced expression of newly transcribed reporter proteins are associated with ORF6's interactions with the mRNA export proteins Rae1 and Nup98. SARS-CoV ORF6 also shows the same interactions with Rae1 and Nup98. However, SARS-CoV-2 ORF6 more strongly represses reporter expression and copurifies with Rae1 and Nup98 compared to SARS-CoV ORF6. Both SARS-CoV ORF6 and SARS-CoV-2 ORF6 block nuclear import of a wide range of host factors through interactions with Rae1 and Nup98. Together, our results suggest ORF6's disruption of nucleocytoplasmic transport prevents infected cells from responding to the invading virus.

Cell Nucleus/metabolism , Nuclear Matrix-Associated Proteins/metabolism , Nuclear Pore Complex Proteins/metabolism , Nucleocytoplasmic Transport Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Active Transport, Cell Nucleus , Binding Sites , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Mutation , Nuclear Matrix-Associated Proteins/genetics , Nuclear Pore Complex Proteins/genetics , Nucleocytoplasmic Transport Proteins/genetics , Protein Binding , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/genetics
J Clin Virol ; 128: 104438, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-245433


BACKGROUND: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused considerable disruption across the world, resulting in more than 235,000 deaths since December 2019. SARS-CoV-2 has a wide tropism and detection of the virus has been described in multiple specimen types, including various respiratory secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, and stool. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the accuracy and sensitivity of a laboratory modified CDCbased SARS-CoV-2 N1 and N2 assay across a range of sample types. Study Design We compared the matrix effect on the analytical sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 detection by qRT-PCR in nasal swabs collected in viral transport medium (VTM), bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), sputum, plasma, cerebral spinal fluid (CSF), stool, VTM, phosphate buffered saline (PBS), and Hanks' Balanced Salt Solution (HBSS). Initial limits of detection (LoD) were subsequently narrowed to confirm an LoD for each specimen type and target gene. RESULTS: LoDs were established using a modified CDC-based laboratory developed test and ranged from a mean CT cut-off of 33.8-35.7 (10-20 copies/reaction) for the N1 gene target, and 34.0-36.2 (1-10 copies/reaction) for N2. Alternatives to VTM such as PBS and HBSS had comparable LoDs. The N2 gene target was found to be most sensitive in CSF. CONCLUSION: A modified CDC-based laboratory developed test is able to detect SARSCoV- 2 accurately with similar sensitivity across all sample types tested.

Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Feces/virology , Humans , Pandemics , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity , Sputum/virology