Viral DNA Binding Protein SUMOylation Promotes PML Nuclear Body Localization Next to Viral Replication Centers

Miona Stubbe, Julia Mai, Christina Paulus, Hans Christian Stubbe, Julia Berscheminski, Maryam Karimi, Samuel Hofmann, Elisabeth Weber, Kamyar Hadian, Ron Hay, Peter Groitl, Michael Nevels, Thomas Dobner, Sabrina Schreiner (Lead / Corresponding author)

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    19 Citations (Scopus)
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    Human adenoviruses (HAdVs) have developed mechanisms to manipulate cellular antiviral measures to ensure proper DNA replication, with detailed processes far from being understood. Host cells repress incoming viral genomes through a network of transcriptional regulators that normally control cellular homeostasis. The nuclear domains involved are promyelocytic leukemia protein nuclear bodies (PML-NBs), interferon-inducible, dot-like nuclear structures and hot spots of SUMO posttranslational modification (PTM). In HAdV-infected cells, such SUMO factories are found in close proximity to newly established viral replication centers (RCs) marked by the adenoviral DNA binding protein (DBP) E2A. Here, we show that E2A is a novel target of host SUMOylation, leading to PTMs supporting E2A function in promoting productive infection. Our data show that SUMOylated E2A interacts with PML. Decreasing SUMO-E2A protein levels by generating HAdV variants mutated in the three main SUMO conjugation motifs (SCMs) led to lower numbers of viral RCs and PML-NBs, and these two structures were no longer next to each other. Our data further indicate that SUMOylated E2A binds the host transcription factor Sp100A, promoting HAdV gene expression, and represents the molecular bridge between PML tracks and adjacent viral RCs. Consequently, E2A SCM mutations repressed late viral gene expression and progeny production. These data highlight a novel mechanism used by the virus to benefit from host antiviral responses by exploiting the cellular SUMO conjugation machinery.IMPORTANCE PML nuclear bodies (PML-NBs) are implicated in general antiviral defense based on recruiting host restriction factors; however, it is not understood so far why viruses would establish viral replication centers (RCs) juxtaposed to such "antiviral" compartments. To understand this enigma, we investigate the cross talk between PML-NB components and viral RCs to find the missing link connecting both compartments to promote efficient viral replication and gene expression. Taken together, the current concept is more intricate than originally believed, since viruses apparently take advantage of several specific PML-NB-associated proteins to promote productive infection. Simultaneously, they efficiently inhibit antiviral measures to maintain the viral infectious program. Our data provide evidence that SUMOylation of the viral RC marker protein E2A represents the basis of this virus-host interface and regulates various downstream events to support HAdV productive infection. These results are the basis of our current attempts to generate and screen for specific E2A SUMOylation inhibitors to constitute novel therapeutic approaches to limit and prevent HAdV-mediated diseases and mortality of immunosuppressed patients.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere00049-20
    Number of pages21
    Issue number2
    Early online date17 Mar 2020
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


    • DNA binding protein
    • E2A/DBP
    • HAdV
    • Human adenovirus
    • PML-NB
    • Replication centers
    • SUMO
    • Sp100
    • Transcription
    • Virus

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Microbiology
    • Virology


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