RNAi screening reveals proteasome- and Cullin3-dependent stages in vaccinia virus infection

Jason Mercer, Berend Snijder, Raphael Sacher, Christine Burkard, Christopher Karl Ernst Bleck, Henning Stahlberg, Lucas Pelkmans, Ari Helenius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

A two-step, automated, high-throughput RNAi silencing screen was used to identify host cell factors required during vaccinia virus infection. Validation and analysis of clustered hits revealed previously unknown processes during virus entry, including a mechanism for genome uncoating. Viral core proteins were found to be already ubiquitinated during virus assembly. After entering the cytosol of an uninfected cell, the viral DNA was released from the core through the activity of the cell's proteasomes. Next, a Cullin3-based ubiquitin ligase mediated a further round of ubiquitination and proteasome action. This was needed in order to initiate viral DNA replication. The results accentuate the value of large-scale RNAi screens in providing directions for detailed cell biological investigation of complex pathways. The list of cell functions required during poxvirus infection will, moreover, provide a resource for future virus-host cell interaction studies and for the discovery of antivirals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1036-47
Number of pages12
JournalCell Reports
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2012

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Computational Biology
  • Cullin Proteins
  • DNA Replication
  • DNA, Viral
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex
  • RNA Interference
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Ubiquitination
  • Vaccinia
  • Vaccinia virus


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