Endosomal sorting maintains cellular homeostasis by recycling transmembrane proteins and associated proteins and lipids (termed "cargoes") from the endosomal network to multiple subcellular destinations, including retrograde traffic to the trans-Golgi network (TGN). Viral and bacterial pathogens subvert retrograde trafficking machinery to facilitate infectivity. Here, we develop a proteomic screen to identify retrograde cargo proteins of the endosomal SNX-BAR sorting complex promoting exit 1 (ESCPE-1). Using this methodology, we identify Neuropilin-1 (NRP1), a recently characterized host factor for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, as a cargo directly bound and trafficked by ESCPE-1. ESCPE-1 mediates retrograde trafficking of engineered nanoparticles functionalized with the NRP1-interacting peptide of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein. CRISPR-Cas9 deletion of ESCPE-1 subunits reduces SARS-CoV-2 infection levels in cell culture. ESCPE-1 sorting of NRP1 may therefore play a role in the intracellular membrane trafficking of NRP1-interacting viruses such as SARS-CoV-2.
Keywords: COVID-19; Neuropilin-1; SARS-CoV-2; endosome; sorting nexin.