HCMV US2 co-opts TRC8 to degrade the endoplasmic reticulum-resident protein LMAN2L

J Gen Virol. 2024 Apr;105(4):001980. doi: 10.1099/jgv.0.001980.


The human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) pUS2 glycoprotein exploits the host's endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated degradation (ERAD) pathway to degrade major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) and prevent antigen presentation. Beyond MHC-I, pUS2 has been shown to target a range of cellular proteins for degradation, preventing their cell surface expression. Here we have identified a novel pUS2 target, ER-resident protein lectin mannose binding 2 like (LMAN2L). pUS2 expression was both necessary and sufficient for the downregulation of LMAN2L, which was dependent on the cellular E3 ligase TRC8. Given the hypothesized role of LMAN2L in the trafficking of glycoproteins, we employed proteomic plasma membrane profiling to measure LMAN2L-dependent changes at the cell surface. A known pUS2 target, integrin alpha-6 (ITGA6), was downregulated from the surface of LMAN2L-deficient cells, but not other integrins. Overall, these results suggest a novel strategy of pUS2-mediated protein degradation whereby pUS2 targets LMAN2L to impair trafficking of ITGA6. Given that pUS2 can directly target other integrins, we propose that this single viral protein may exhibit both direct and indirect mechanisms to downregulate key cell surface molecules.

Keywords: cytomegalovirus; plasma membrane; protein degradation; protein trafficking; proteomics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / virology
  • Cytomegalovirus* / genetics
  • Cytomegalovirus* / metabolism
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum* / metabolism
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum* / virology
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum-Associated Degradation
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Mannose-Binding Lectins / genetics
  • Mannose-Binding Lectins / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Proteolysis
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / genetics
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / metabolism
  • Viral Envelope Proteins*
  • Viral Proteins* / genetics
  • Viral Proteins* / metabolism


  • Viral Proteins
  • US2 protein, Varicellovirus
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Mannose-Binding Lectins
  • Viral Envelope Proteins