RNA viruses co-opt a large number of cellular proteins that affect virus replication and, in some cases, viral genetic recombination. RNA recombination helps viruses in an evolutionary arms race with the host's antiviral responses and adaptation of viruses to new hosts. Tombusviruses and a yeast model host are used to identify cellular factors affecting RNA virus replication and RNA recombination. In this study, we have examined the role of the conserved Rpn11p metalloprotease subunit of the proteasome, which couples deubiquitination and degradation of proteasome substrates, in tombusvirus replication and recombination in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and plants. Depletion or mutations of Rpn11p lead to the rapid formation of viral RNA recombinants in combination with reduced levels of viral RNA replication in yeast or in vitro based on cell extracts. Rpn11p interacts with the viral replication proteins and is recruited to the viral replicase complex (VRC). Analysis of the multifunctional Rpn11p has revealed that the primary role of Rpn11p is to act as a "matchmaker" that brings the viral p92pol replication protein and the DDX3-like Ded1p/RH20 DEAD box helicases into VRCs. Overexpression of Ded1p can complement the defect observed in rpn11 mutant yeast by reducing TBSV recombination. This suggests that Rpn11p can suppress tombusvirus recombination via facilitating the recruitment of the cellular Ded1p helicase, which is a strong suppressor of viral recombination, into VRCs. Overall, this work demonstrates that the co-opted Rpn11p, which is involved in the assembly of the functional proteasome, also functions in the proper assembly of the tombusvirus VRCs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science