A Genome-Wide Haploid Genetic Screen Identifies Heparan Sulfate-Associated Genes and the Macropinocytosis Modulator TMED10 as Factors Supporting Vaccinia Virus Infection

J Virol. 2019 Jun 14;93(13):e02160-18. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02160-18. Print 2019 Jul 1.


Vaccinia virus is a promising viral vaccine and gene delivery candidate and has historically been used as a model to study poxvirus-host cell interactions. We employed a genome-wide insertional mutagenesis approach in human haploid cells to identify host factors crucial for vaccinia virus infection. A library of mutagenized HAP1 cells was exposed to modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA). Deep-sequencing analysis of virus-resistant cells identified host factors involved in heparan sulfate synthesis, Golgi organization, and vesicular protein trafficking. We validated EXT1, TM9SF2, and TMED10 (TMP21/p23/p24δ) as important host factors for vaccinia virus infection. The critical roles of EXT1 in heparan sulfate synthesis and vaccinia virus infection were confirmed. TM9SF2 was validated as a player mediating heparan sulfate expression, explaining its contribution to vaccinia virus infection. In addition, TMED10 was found to be crucial for virus-induced plasma membrane blebbing and phosphatidylserine-induced macropinocytosis, presumably by regulating the cell surface expression of the TAM receptor Axl.IMPORTANCE Poxviruses are large DNA viruses that can infect a wide range of host species. A number of these viruses are clinically important to humans, including variola virus (smallpox) and vaccinia virus. Since the eradication of smallpox, zoonotic infections with monkeypox virus and cowpox virus are emerging. Additionally, poxviruses can be engineered to specifically target cancer cells and are used as a vaccine vector against tuberculosis, influenza, and coronaviruses. Poxviruses rely on host factors for most stages of their life cycle, including attachment to the cell and entry. These host factors are crucial for virus infectivity and host cell tropism. We used a genome-wide knockout library of host cells to identify host factors necessary for vaccinia virus infection. We confirm a dominant role for heparin sulfate in mediating virus attachment. Additionally, we show that TMED10, previously not implicated in virus infections, facilitates virus uptake by modulating the cellular response to phosphatidylserine.

Keywords: TMED10; genome-wide screen; heparan sulfate; macropinocytosis; phosphatidylserine; poxvirus; vaccinia virus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • CRISPR-Cas Systems
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cowpox virus / genetics
  • DNA Viruses
  • Gene Knockout Techniques
  • Genetic Testing
  • Golgi Apparatus
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Haploidy*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Heparitin Sulfate / genetics*
  • Heparitin Sulfate / isolation & purification*
  • Heparitin Sulfate / metabolism
  • Host Specificity
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Monkeypox virus / genetics
  • N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases
  • Phosphatidylserines / metabolism
  • Pinocytosis / physiology*
  • Poxviridae / genetics
  • Vaccinia / virology*
  • Vaccinia virus / genetics*
  • Vaccinia virus / metabolism*
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Virus Attachment


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Phosphatidylserines
  • TM9SF2 protein, human
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins
  • Heparitin Sulfate
  • N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases
  • exostosin-1