Yingyi Duan,Xinhui Wang,Kehui Sun,Yuezhi Lin,Xuefeng Wang,Kewei Chen,Guangpu Yang,Xiaojun Wang,Cheng Du
J Virol.2022 Oct 5;e0054922.doi: 10.1128/jvi.00549-22. Online ahead of print.
Equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) and HIV are both members of the Lentivirus genus and are similar in major virological characters. EIAV endangers the horse industry. In addition, EIAV can also be used as a model for HIV research. The maturation of the lentiviral Env protein, which is necessary for viral entry, requires Env to be folded in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). It is currently unclear how this process is regulated. Mitochondrion-associated endoplasmic reticulum membrane (MAM) is a specialized part of the close connection between the ER and mitochondria, and one of the main functions of MAM is to promote oxidative protein production in the ER. SYNJ2BP is one of the key proteins that make up the MAM, and we found that SYNJ2BP is essential for EIAV replication. We therefore constructed a SYNJ2BP knockout HEK293T cell line in which the number of MAMs is significantly reduced. Moreover, overexpression of SYNJ2BP could increase the number of MAMs. Our study demonstrates that SYNJ2BP can improve the infectivity of the EIAV virus with elevated production of the viral Env protein through increased MAM formation. Interestingly, SYNJ2BP was able to improve the production of not only EIAV Env but also HIV. Further investigation showed that MAMs can provide more ATP and calcium ions, which are essential factors for Env production, to the ER and can also reduce ER stress induced by HIV or EIAV Envs to increase the Env production level in cells. These results may help us to understand the key production mechanisms of lentiviral Env. IMPORTANCE Lentiviral Env proteins, which are rich in disulfide bonds, need to be fully folded in the ER; otherwise, misfolded Env proteins will induce ER stress and be degraded by ER-associated protein degradation (ERAD). To date, it is still unclear about Env production mechanism in the ER. MAM is the structure of closely connection between the ER and mitochondria. MAMs play important roles in the calcium steady state and oxidative stress, especially in the production of oxidative protein. For the first time, we found that SYNJ2BP can promote the production of lentiviral Env proteins by providing the ATP and calcium ions required for oxidative protein production in the ER and by reducing ER stress through facilitating formation of MAMs. These studies shed light on how MAMs improve lentiviral Env production, which will lay the foundation for the study of replication mechanisms in other lentiviruses from the perspective of the cellular organelle microenvironment.
Keywords: EIAV; HIV; SYNJ2BP; endoplasmic reticulum; envelope protein; lentivirus; mitochondria; mitochondrion-associated endoplasmic reticulum membrane.