Latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA) is a conserved, multifunctional protein encoded by members of the rhadinovirus subfamily of gammaherpesviruses, including Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) and murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV68). We previously demonstrated that MHV68 LANA (mLANA) is required for efficient lytic replication. However, mechanisms by which mLANA facilitates viral replication, including interactions with cellular and viral proteins, are not known. Thus, we performed a mass spectrometry-based interaction screen that defined an mLANA protein-protein interaction network for lytic viral replication consisting of 15 viral proteins and 191 cellular proteins, including 19 interactions previously reported in KSHV LANA interaction studies. We also employed a stable-isotope labeling technique to illuminate high-priority mLANA-interacting host proteins. Among the top prioritized mLANA-binding proteins was a cellular chaperone, heat shock cognate protein 70 (Hsc70). We independently validated the mLANA-Hsc70 interaction through coimmunoprecipitation and in vitro glutathione S-transferase (GST) pulldown assays. Immunofluorescence and cellular fractionation analyses comparing wild-type (WT) to mLANA-null MHV68 infections demonstrated mLANA-dependent recruitment of Hsc70 to nuclei of productively infected cells. Pharmacologic inhibition and small hairpin RNA (shRNA)-mediated knockdown of Hsc70 impaired MHV68 lytic replication, which functionally correlated with impaired viral protein expression, reduced viral DNA replication, and failure to form viral replication complexes. Replication of mLANA-null MHV68 was less affected than that of WT virus by Hsc70 inhibition, which strongly suggests that Hsc70 function in MHV68 lytic replication is at least partially mediated by its interaction with mLANA. Together these experiments identify proteins engaged by mLANA during the MHV68 lytic replication cycle and define a previously unknown role for Hsc70 in facilitating MHV68 lytic replication.
Importance: Latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA) is a conserved gamma-2-herpesvirus protein important for latency maintenance and pathogenesis. For MHV68, this includes regulating lytic replication and reactivation. While previous studies of KSHV LANA defined interactions with host cell proteins that impact latency, interactions that facilitate productive viral replication are not known. Thus, we performed a differential proteomics analysis to identify and prioritize cellular and viral proteins that interact with the MHV68 LANA homolog during lytic infection. Among the proteins identified was heat shock cognate protein 70 (Hsc70), which we determined is recruited to host cell nuclei in an mLANA-dependent process. Moreover, Hsc70 facilitates MHV68 protein expression and DNA replication, thus contributing to efficient MHV68 lytic replication. These experiments expand the known LANA-binding proteins to include MHV68 lytic replication and demonstrate a previously unappreciated role for Hsc70 in regulating viral replication.
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