Bam35 Tectivirus Intraviral Interaction Map Unveils New Function and Localization of Phage ORFan Proteins

J Virol. 2017 Sep 12;91(19):e00870-17. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00870-17. Print 2017 Oct 1.


The family Tectiviridae comprises a group of tailless, icosahedral, membrane-containing bacteriophages that can be divided into two groups by their hosts, either Gram-negative or Gram-positive bacteria. While the first group is composed of PRD1 and nearly identical well-characterized lytic viruses, the second one includes more variable temperate phages, like GIL16 or Bam35, whose hosts are Bacillus cereus and related Gram-positive bacteria. In the genome of Bam35, nearly half of the 32 annotated open reading frames (ORFs) have no homologs in databases (ORFans), being putative proteins of unknown function, which hinders the understanding of their biology. With the aim of increasing knowledge about the viral proteome, we carried out a comprehensive yeast two-hybrid analysis of all the putative proteins encoded by the Bam35 genome. The resulting protein interactome comprised 76 unique interactions among 24 proteins, of which 12 have an unknown function. These results suggest that the P17 protein is the minor capsid protein of Bam35 and P24 is the penton protein, with the latter finding also being supported by iterative threading protein modeling. Moreover, the inner membrane transglycosylase protein P26 could have an additional structural role. We also detected interactions involving nonstructural proteins, such as the DNA-binding protein P1 and the genome terminal protein (P4), which was confirmed by coimmunoprecipitation of recombinant proteins. Altogether, our results provide a functional view of the Bam35 viral proteome, with a focus on the composition and organization of the viral particle.IMPORTANCE Tailless viruses of the family Tectiviridae can infect commensal and pathogenic Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Moreover, they have been proposed to be at the evolutionary origin of several groups of large eukaryotic DNA viruses and self-replicating plasmids. However, due to their ancient origin and complex diversity, many tectiviral proteins are ORFans of unknown function. Comprehensive protein-protein interaction (PPI) analysis of viral proteins can eventually disclose biological mechanisms and thus provide new insights into protein function unattainable by studying proteins one by one. Here we comprehensively describe intraviral PPIs among tectivirus Bam35 proteins determined using multivector yeast two-hybrid screening, and these PPIs were further supported by the results of coimmunoprecipitation assays and protein structural models. This approach allowed us to propose new functions for known proteins and hypothesize about the biological role of the localization of some viral ORFan proteins within the viral particle that will be helpful for understanding the biology of tectiviruses infecting Gram-positive bacteria.

Keywords: Bam35; ORFan; PPIs; intraviral interactome; protein-protein interactions; tectivirus; yeast two-hybrid.