Like most viruses that replicate in the cytoplasm, mammalian reoviruses assemble membranous neo-organelles called inclusions that serve as sites of viral genome replication and particle morphogenesis. Viral inclusion formation is essential for viral infection, but how these organelles form is not well understood. We investigated the biogenesis of reovirus inclusions. Correlative light and electron microscopy showed that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membranes are in contact with nascent inclusions, which form by collections of membranous tubules and vesicles as revealed by electron tomography. ER markers and newly synthesized viral RNA are detected in inclusion internal membranes. Live-cell imaging showed that early in infection, the ER is transformed into thin cisternae that fragment into small tubules and vesicles. We discovered that ER tubulation and vesiculation are mediated by the reovirus σNS and μNS proteins, respectively. Our results enhance an understanding of how viruses remodel cellular compartments to build functional replication organelles.IMPORTANCE Viruses modify cellular structures to build replication organelles. These organelles serve as sites of viral genome replication and particle morphogenesis and are essential for viral infection. However, how these organelles are constructed is not well understood. We found that the replication organelles of mammalian reoviruses are formed by collections of membranous tubules and vesicles derived from extensive remodeling of the peripheral endoplasmic reticulum (ER). We also observed that ER tubulation and vesiculation are triggered by the reovirus σNS and μNS proteins, respectively. Our results enhance an understanding of how viruses remodel cellular compartments to build functional replication organelles and provide functions for two enigmatic reovirus replication proteins. Most importantly, this research uncovers a new mechanism by which viruses form factories for particle assembly.
Keywords: endoplasmic reticulum; membrane remodeling; reovirus; virus factory biogenesis.
Copyright © 2018 Tenorio et al.