The human cytomegalovirus protein TRS1 inhibits autophagy via its interaction with Beclin 1.

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Chaumorcel M, Lussignol M, Mouna L, Cavignac Y, Fahie K, Cotte-Laffitte J, Geballe A, Brune W, Beau I, Codogno P, Esclatine A

The human cytomegalovirus protein TRS1 inhibits autophagy via its interaction with Beclin 1.

J Virol. 2012 Mar;86(5):2571-84. doi: 10.1128/JVI.05746-11. Epub 2011 Dec 28.

PubMed ID
22205736 [ View in PubMed

Human cytomegalovirus modulates macroautophagy in two opposite directions. First, HCMV stimulates autophagy during the early stages of infection, as evident by an increase in the number of autophagosomes and a rise in the autophagic flux. This stimulation occurs independently of de novo viral protein synthesis since UV-inactivated HCMV recapitulates the stimulatory effect on macroautophagy. At later time points of infection, HCMV blocks autophagy (M. Chaumorcel, S. Souquere, G. Pierron, P. Codogno, and A. Esclatine, Autophagy 4:1-8, 2008) by a mechanism that requires de novo viral protein expression. Exploration of the mechanisms used by HCMV to block autophagy unveiled a robust increase of the cellular form of Bcl-2 expression. Although this protein has an anti-autophagy effect via its interaction with Beclin 1, it is not responsible for the inhibition induced by HCMV, probably because of its phosphorylation by c-Jun N-terminal kinase. Here we showed that the HCMV TRS1 protein blocks autophagosome biogenesis and that a TRS1 deletion mutant is defective in autophagy inhibition. TRS1 has previously been shown to neutralize the PKR antiviral effector molecule. Although phosphorylation of eIF2alpha by PKR has been described as a stimulatory signal to induce autophagy, the PKR-binding domain of TRS1 is dispensable to its inhibitory effect. Our results show that TRS1 interacts with Beclin 1 to inhibit autophagy. We mapped the interaction with Beclin 1 to the N-terminal region of TRS1, and we demonstrated that the Beclin 1-binding domain of TRS1 is essential to inhibit autophagy.

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