Modulation of proteolytic polyprotein processing by coxsackievirus mutants resistant to inhibitors targeting phosphatidylinositol-4-kinase IIIβ or oxysterol binding protein

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Abstract

Enteroviruses (e.g. poliovirus, coxsackievirus, and rhinovirus) require several host factors for genome replication. Among these host factors are phosphatidylinositol-4-kinase IIIβ (PI4KB) and oxysterol binding protein (OSBP). Enterovirus mutants resistant to inhibitors of PI4KB and OSBP were previously isolated, which demonstrated a role of single substitutions in the non-structural 3A protein in conferring resistance. Besides the 3A substitutions (i.e., 3A-I54F and 3A-H57Y) in coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3), substitution N2D in 2C was identified in each of the PI4KB-inhibitor resistant CVB3 pools, but its possible benefit has not been investigated yet. In this study, we set out to investigate the possible role of 2C-N2D in the resistance to PI4KB and OSBP inhibition. We show that 2C-N2D by itself did not confer any resistance to inhibitors of PI4KB and OSBP. However, the double mutant (i.e., 2C-N2D/3A-H57Y) showed better replication than the 3A-H57Y single mutant in the presence of inhibitors. Growing evidence suggests that alterations in lipid homeostasis affect the proteolytic processing of the poliovirus polyprotein. Therefore, we studied the effect of PI4KB or OSBP inhibition on proteolytic processing of the CVB3 polyprotein during infection as well as in a replication-independent system. We show that both PI4KB and OSBP inhibitors specifically affected the cleavage at the 3A-3B junction, and that mutation 3A-H57Y recovered impaired proteolytic processing at this junction. Although 2C-N2D enhanced replication of the 3A-H57Y single mutant, we did not detect additional effects of this substitution on polyprotein processing, which leaves the mechanism of how 2C-N2D contributes to the resistance to be revealed.

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