Endosomal Phosphatidylinositol-3-Phosphate-Associated Functions Are Dispensable for Establishment of the Cytomegalovirus Pre-Assembly Compartment but Essential for the Virus Growth

Life (Basel). 2021 Aug 22;11(8):859. doi: 10.3390/life11080859.


Murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) initiates the stepwise establishment of the pre-assembly compartment (pre-AC) in the early phase of infection by the expansion of the early endosome (EE)/endosomal recycling compartment (ERC) interface and relocation of the Golgi complex. We depleted Vps34-derived phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate (PI(3)P) at EEs by VPS34-IN1 and inhibited PI(3)P-associated functions by overexpression of 2xFYVE- and p40PX PI(3)P-binding modules to assess the role of PI(3)P-dependent EE domains in the pre-AC biogenesis. We monitored the accumulation of Rab10 and Evectin-2 in the inner pre-AC and the relocation of GM130-positive cis-Golgi organelles to the outer pre-AC by confocal microscopy. Although PI(3)P- and Vps34-positive endosomes build a substantial part of pre-AC, the PI(3)P depletion and the inhibition of PI(3)P-associated functions did not prevent the establishment of infection and progression through the early phase. The PI(3)P depletion in uninfected and MCMV-infected cells rapidly dispersed PI(3)P-bond proteins and reorganized EEs, including ablation of EE-to-ERC transport and relocation of Rab11 endosomes. The PI(3)P depletion one hour before pre-AC initiation and overexpression of 2xFYVE and p40PX domains neither prevented Rab10- and Evectin-2 accumulation, nor Golgi unlinking and relocation. These data demonstrate that PI(3)P-dependent functions, including the Rab11-dependent EE-to-ERC route, are dispensable for pre-AC initiation. Nevertheless, the virus growth was drastically reduced in PI(3)P-depleted cells, indicating that PI(3)P-associated functions are essential for the late phase of infection.

Keywords: Evectin-2; Rab10; VPS34-IN1; Vps34; assembly compartment; cytomegalovirus; early endosomes; endosomal recycling compartment; phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate.