The Zika virus infection remodels the expression of the synaptotagmin-9 secretory protein

Biol Chem. 2023 Sep 8. doi: 10.1515/hsz-2023-0165. Online ahead of print.


The exact mechanisms involved in flaviviruses virions' release and the specific secretion of viral proteins, such as the Non Structural protein-1 (NS1), are still unclear. While these processes might involve vesicular transport to the cell membrane, NS1 from some flaviviruses was shown to participate in viral assembly and release. Here, we assessed the effect of the Zika virus (ZIKV) NS1 expression on the cellular proteome to identify trafficking-related targets that may be altered in the presence of the viral protein. We detected an increase in the synaptotagmin-9 (SYT9) secretory protein, which participates in the intracellular transport of protein-laden vesicles. We confirmed the effect of NS1 on SYT9 levels by transfection models while also detecting a significant subcellular redistribution of SYT9. We found that ZIKV prM-Env proteins, required for the viral particle release, also increased SYT9 levels and changed its localization. Finally, we demonstrated that ZIKV cellular infection raises SYT9 levels and promotes changes in its subcellular localization, together with a co-distribution with both Env and NS1. Altogether, the data suggest SYT9's implication in the vesicular transport of viral proteins or virions during ZIKV infection, showing for the first time the association of synaptotagmins with the flavivirus' life cycle.

Keywords: flavivirus; proteomic analysis; secretion machinery; viral release.