Cell cycle arrest mediated by hepatitis delta antigen.
Hepatitis delta antigen (HDAg) is the only viral-encoded protein of the hepatitis delta virus (HDV). This protein has been extensively characterized with respect to its biochemical and functional properties. However, the molecular mechanism responsible for persistent HDV infection is not yet clear. Previously, we reported that overexpression of HDAg protects insect cells from baculovirus-induced cytolysis [Hwang, S.B. Park, K.-J. and Kim, Y.S. (1998) Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 244, 652-658]. Here we report that HDAg mediates cell cycle arrest when overexpressed in recombinant baculovirus-infected insect cells. Flow cytometry analysis has shown that HDAg expression in Spodoptera frugiperda cells causes an accumulation of substantial amounts of polyploid DNA in the absence of cell division. This phenomenon may be partly responsible for the persistent infection of chronic HDV patients. (+info)
Unique properties of the large antigen of hepatitis delta virus.
The large form of the hepatitis delta virus (HDV) protein (L) can be isoprenylated near its C terminus, and this modification is considered essential for particle assembly. Using gel electrophoresis, we separated L into two species of similar mobilities. The slower species could be labeled by the incorporation of [(14)C]mevalonolactone and is interpreted to be isoprenylated L (L(i)). In serum particles, infected liver, transfected cells, and assembled particles, 25 to 85% of L was isoprenylated. Isoprenylation was also demonstrated by (14)C incorporation in vitro with a rabbit reticulocyte coupled transcription-translation system. However, the species obtained migrated even slower than that detected by labeling in vivo. Next, in studies of HDV particle assembly in the presence of the surface proteins of human hepatitis B virus, we observed the following. (i) Relative to L, L(i) was preferentially assembled into virus-like particles. (ii) L(i) could coassemble the unmodified L and the small delta protein, S. (iii) In contrast, a form of L with a deletion in the dimerization domain was both isoprenylated and assembled, but it could not support the coassembly of S. Finally, to test the expectation that the isoprenylation of L would increase its hydrophobicity, we applied a phase separation strategy based on micelle formation with the nonionic detergent Triton X-114. We showed the following. (i) The unique C-terminal 19 amino acids present on L relative to S caused a significant increase in the hydrophobicity. (ii) This increase was independent of isoprenylation. (iii) In contrast, other, artificial modifications at either the N or C terminus of S did not increase the hydrophobicity. (iv) The increased hydrophobicity was not sufficient for particle assembly; nevertheless, we speculate that it might facilitate virion assembly. (+info)
Characterization of the phosphorylated forms and the phosphorylated residues of hepatitis delta virus delta antigens.
Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) replication requires both the cellular RNA polymerase and one virus-encoded protein, small delta antigen (S-HDAg). S-HDAg has been shown to be a phosphoprotein, but its phosphorylation status is not yet clear. In this study, we employed three methods to address this question. A special two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, namely, nonequilibrium pH gradient electrophoresis, was used to separate the very basic S-HDAg. By carefully adjusting the pH of solubilization solution, the ampholyte composition, and the appropriate electrophoresis time periods, we were able to clearly resolve S-HDAg into two phosphorylated isoforms and one unphosphorylated form. In contrast, the viral large delta antigen (L-HDAg) can only be separated into one phosphorylated and one unphosphorylated form. By metabolic (32)P labeling, both immunoprecipitated S-HDAg and L-HDAg were found to incorporate radioactive phosphate. The extent of S-HDAg phosphorylation was increased upon 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate treatment, while that of L-HDAg was not affected. Finally, phosphoamino acid analysis identified serine and threonine as the phospho residues in the labeled S-HDAg and only serine in the L-HDAg. Therefore, HDV S- and L-HDAgs differ in their phosphorylation patterns, which may account for their distinct biological functions. (+info)
Hepatitis delta virus replication generates complexes of large hepatitis delta antigen and antigenomic RNA that affiliate with and alter nuclear domain 10.
Hepatitis delta virus (HDV), a single-stranded RNA virus, bears a single coding region whose product, the hepatitis delta antigen (HDAg), is expressed in two isoforms, small (S-HDAg) and large (L-HDAg). S-HDAg is required for replication of HDV, while L-HDAg inhibits viral replication and is required for the envelopment of the HDV genomic RNA by hepatitis B virus proteins. Here we have examined the spatial distribution of HDV RNA and proteins in infected nuclei, with particular reference to specific nuclear domains. We found that L-HDAg was aggregated in specific nuclear domains and that over half of these domains were localized beside nuclear domain 10 (ND10). At later times, ND10-associated proteins like PML were found in larger HDAg complexes that had developed into apparently hollow spheres. In these larger complexes, PML was found chiefly in the rims of the spheres, while the known ND10 components Sp100, Daxx, and NDP55 were found in the centers of the spheres. Thus, ND10 proteins that normally are closely linked separate within HDAg-associated complexes. Viral RNA of antigenomic polarity, whether expressed from genomic RNA or directly from introduced plasmids, colocalizes with L-HDAg and the transcriptional repressor PML. In contrast, HDV genomic RNA was distributed more uniformly throughout the nucleus. These results suggest that different host protein complexes may assemble on viral RNA strands of different polarities, and they also suggest that this RNA virus, like DNA viruses, can alter the distribution of ND10-associated proteins. The fact that viral components specifically linked to repression of replication can associate with one of the ND10-associated proteins (PML) raises the possibility that this host protein may play a role in the regulation of HDV RNA synthesis. (+info)
Interactions between hepatitis delta virus proteins.
The 195- and 214-amino-acid (aa) forms of the delta protein (deltaAg-S and deltaAg-L, respectively) of hepatitis delta virus (HDV) differ only in the 19-aa C-terminal extension unique to deltaAg-L. deltaAg-S is needed for genome replication, while deltaAg-L is needed for particle assembly. These proteins share a region at aa 12 to 60, which mediates protein-protein interactions essential for HDV replication. H. Zuccola et al. (Structure 6:821-830, 1998) reported a crystal structure for a peptide spanning this region which demonstrates an antiparallel coiled-coil dimer interaction with the potential to form tetramers of dimers. Our studies tested whether predictions based on this structure could be extrapolated to conditions where the peptide was replaced by full-length deltaAg-S or deltaAg-L, and when the assays were not in vitro but in vivo. Nine amino acids that are conserved between several isolates of HDV and predicted to be important in multimerization were mutated to alanine on both deltaAg-S and deltaAg-L. We found that the predicted hierarchy of importance of these nine mutations correlated to a significant extent with the observed in vivo effects on the ability of these proteins to (i) support in trans the replication of the HDV genome when expressed on deltaAg-S and (ii) act as dominant-negative inhibitors of replication when expressed on deltaAg-L. We thus infer that these biological activities of deltaAg depend on ordered protein-protein interactions. (+info)
The large delta antigen of hepatitis delta virus potently inhibits genomic but not antigenomic RNA synthesis: a mechanism enabling initiation of viral replication.
Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) contains two types of hepatitis delta antigens (HDAg) in the virion. The small form (S-HDAg) is required for HDV RNA replication, whereas the large form (L-HDAg) potently inhibits it by a dominant-negative inhibitory mechanism. The sequential appearance of these two forms in the infected cells regulates HDV RNA synthesis during the viral life cycle. However, the presence of almost equal amounts of S-HDAg and L-HDAg in the virion raised a puzzling question concerning how HDV can escape the inhibitory effects of L-HDAg and initiate RNA replication after infection. In this study, we examined the inhibitory effects of L-HDAg on the synthesis of various HDV RNA species. Using an HDV RNA-based transfection approach devoid of any artificial DNA intermediates, we showed that a small amount of L-HDAg is sufficient to inhibit HDV genomic RNA synthesis from the antigenomic RNA template. However, the synthesis of antigenomic RNA, including both the 1.7-kb HDV RNA and the 0.8-kb HDAg mRNA, from the genomic-sense RNA was surprisingly resistant to inhibition by L-HDAg. The synthesis of these RNAs was inhibited only when L-HDAg was in vast excess over S-HDAg. These results explain why HDV genomic RNA can initiate replication after infection even though the incoming viral genome is complexed with equal amounts of L-HDAg and S-HDAg. These results also suggest that the mechanisms of synthesis of genomic versus antigenomic RNA are different. This study thus resolves a puzzling question about the early events of the HDV life cycle. (+info)
A novel chromosome region maintenance 1-independent nuclear export signal of the large form of hepatitis delta antigen that is required for the viral assembly.
Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) is a satellite virus of hepatitis B virus, as it requires hepatitis B virus for virion production and transmission. We have previously demonstrated that sequences within the C-terminal 19-amino acid domain flanking the isoprenylation motif of the large hepatitis delta antigen (HDAg-L) are important for virion assembly. In this study, site-directed mutagenesis and immunofluorescence staining demonstrated that in the absence of hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg), the wild-type HDAg-L was localized in the nuclei of transfected COS7 cells. Nevertheless, in the presence of HBsAg, the HDAg-L became both nuclei- and cytoplasm-distributed in about half of the cells. An HDAg-L mutant with a substitution of Pro-205 to alanine could neither form HDV-like particles nor shift the subcellular localization in the presence of HBsAg. In addition, nuclear trafficking of HDAg-L in heterokaryons indicated that HDAg-L is a nucleocytoplasmic shuttling protein. A proline-rich HDAg peptide spanning amino acid residues 198 to 210, designated NES(HDAg-L), can function as a nuclear export signal (NES) in Xenopus oocytes. Pro-205 is critical for the NES function. Furthermore, assembly of HDV is insensitive to leptomycin B, indicating that the NES(HDAg-L) directs nuclear export of HDAg-L to the cytoplasm via a chromosome region maintenance 1-independent pathway. (+info)
Recombinant hepatitis delta antigen from E. coli promotes hepatitis delta virus RNA replication only from the genomic strand but not the antigenomic strand.
Hepatitis delta antigen (HDAg) of hepatitis delta virus (HDV) typically consists of two related protein species. The small HDAg (S-HDAg) is a 24-kDa protein of 195 amino acids and the large HDAg (L-HDAg) is a 27-kDa protein with an additional 19 amino acids at its C-terminus. These two proteins have distinct functions in the HDV life cycle. We have developed conditions for expressing S-HDAg and L-HDAg in E. coli as soluble proteins to facilitate large-scale purification. These proteins were purified to homogeneity and shown to be biologically active. Transfection of the purified recombinant S-HDAg together with HDV genomic RNA resulted in viral RNA replication. Surprisingly, the purified S-HDAg could not initiate replication from the antigenomic-sense HDV RNA, even though the latter led to RNA replication when transfected with an mRNA encoding the S-HDAg. These results suggest that initiation of HDV RNA synthesis from the antigenomic RNA may require a form of HDAg that is modified in mammalian cells; in contrast, RNA synthesis from the genomic RNA could be initiated by the recombinant S-HDAg from E. coli. Interestingly, the purified L-HDAg appeared as multiple protein species, including one corresponding to S-HDAg, probably as a result of degradation. The partially proteolyzed L-HDAg also initiated HDV RNA replication under the same conditions. These results add to the mounting evidence that genomic- and antigenomic-strand HDV RNA syntheses are carried out by different mechanisms. (+info)