Interactome analysis of the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus nucleoprotein in infected cells reveals ATPase Na+/K+ transporting subunit Alpha 1 and prohibitin as host-cell factors involved in the life cycle of mammarenaviruses

PLoS Pathog. 2018 Feb 20;14(2):e1006892. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006892. eCollection 2018 Feb.


Several mammalian arenaviruses (mammarenaviruses) cause hemorrhagic fevers in humans and pose serious public health concerns in their endemic regions. Additionally, mounting evidence indicates that the worldwide-distributed, prototypic mammarenavirus, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), is a neglected human pathogen of clinical significance. Concerns about human-pathogenic mammarenaviruses are exacerbated by of the lack of licensed vaccines, and current anti-mammarenavirus therapy is limited to off-label use of ribavirin that is only partially effective. Detailed understanding of virus/host-cell interactions may facilitate the development of novel anti-mammarenavirus strategies by targeting components of the host-cell machinery that are required for efficient virus multiplication. Here we document the generation of a recombinant LCMV encoding a nucleoprotein (NP) containing an affinity tag (rLCMV/Strep-NP) and its use to capture the NP-interactome in infected cells. Our proteomic approach combined with genetics and pharmacological validation assays identified ATPase Na+/K+ transporting subunit alpha 1 (ATP1A1) and prohibitin (PHB) as pro-viral factors. Cell-based assays revealed that ATP1A1 and PHB are involved in different steps of the virus life cycle. Accordingly, we observed a synergistic inhibitory effect on LCMV multiplication with a combination of ATP1A1 and PHB inhibitors. We show that ATP1A1 inhibitors suppress multiplication of Lassa virus and Candid#1, a live-attenuated vaccine strain of Junín virus, suggesting that the requirement of ATP1A1 in virus multiplication is conserved among genetically distantly related mammarenaviruses. Our findings suggest that clinically approved inhibitors of ATP1A1, like digoxin, could be repurposed to treat infections by mammarenaviruses pathogenic for humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • A549 Cells
  • Animals
  • Arenaviridae / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Cricetinae
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis / metabolism*
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis / virology
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus / metabolism*
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus / physiology
  • Mice
  • Nucleoproteins / metabolism*
  • Prohibitins
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Interaction Maps*
  • Proteome / analysis*
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Repressor Proteins / physiology*
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / metabolism
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / physiology*
  • Vero Cells


  • Nucleoproteins
  • PHB protein, human
  • Prohibitins
  • Proteome
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase