NTPDASE4 gene products cooperate with the adenovirus E4orf4 protein through PP2A-dependent and -independent mechanisms and contribute to induction of cell death

J Virol. 2014 Jun;88(11):6318-28. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00381-14. Epub 2014 Mar 26.


The adenovirus E4orf4 protein induces nonclassical apoptosis in mammalian cells through at least two complementing pathways regulated by the interactions of E4orf4 with protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) and Src kinases. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells, which do not express Src, E4orf4 induces PP2A-dependent toxicity. The yeast Golgi apyrase Ynd1 was found to contribute to E4orf4-mediated toxicity and to interact with the PP2A-B55α regulatory subunit. In addition, a mammalian Ynd1 orthologue, the NTPDASE4 gene product Golgi UDPase, was shown to physically interact with E4orf4. Here we report that knockdown of NTPDASE4 suppressed E4orf4-induced cell death. Conversely, overexpression of the NTPDASE4 gene products Golgi UDPase and LALP70 enhanced E4orf4-induced cell killing. We found that similarly to results obtained in yeast, the apyrase activity of mammalian UDPase was not required for its contribution to E4orf4-induced toxicity. The interaction between E4orf4 and UDPase had two consequences: a PP2A-dependent one, resulting in increased UDPase levels, and a PP2A-independent outcome that led to dissociation of large UDPase-containing protein complexes. The present report extends our findings in yeast to E4orf4-mediated death of mammalian cells, and combined with previous results, it suggests that the E4orf4-NTPDase4 pathway, partly in association with PP2A, may provide an alternative mechanism for the E4orf4-Src pathway to contribute to the cytoplasmic death function of E4orf4.

Importance: The adenovirus E4orf4 protein contributes to regulation of the progression of virus infection from the early to the late phase, and when expressed alone, it induces a unique caspase-independent programmed cell death which is more efficient in cancer cells than in normal cells. The interactions of E4orf4 with cellular proteins that mediate its functions, such as PP2A and Src kinases, are highly conserved in evolution. The results presented here reveal that the NTPDASE4 gene product Golgi UDPase, first discovered to contribute to E4orf4 toxicity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, associates with E4orf4 and plays a role in induction of cell death in mammalian cells. Details of the functional interaction between E4orf4, PP2A, and the UDPase are described. Identification of the evolutionarily conserved mechanisms underlying E4orf4 activity will increase our understanding of the interactions between the virus and the host cell and will contribute to our grasp of the unique mode of E4orf4-induced cell death.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / genetics*
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Apyrase / metabolism*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Chromatography, Gel
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • Golgi Apparatus / metabolism
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Nucleoside-Triphosphatase / metabolism*
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Protein Phosphatase 2 / metabolism*
  • Pyrophosphatases / genetics
  • Pyrophosphatases / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism*
  • Viral Proteins / metabolism*
  • Viral Proteins / toxicity


  • DNA Primers
  • E4orf4 protein, adenovirus
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Viral Proteins
  • Glutathione Transferase
  • Protein Phosphatase 2
  • Pyrophosphatases
  • uridine diphosphatase
  • Nucleoside-Triphosphatase
  • Apyrase
  • Ynd1 protein, S cerevisiae