Publications by authors named "Yongqiang Gou"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Unconventional p97/VCP-Mediated ER to Endosomal Trafficking of a Retroviral Protein.

J Virol 2021 May 5. Epub 2021 May 5.

Department of Molecular Biosciences, Center for Infectious Disease, and Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

Mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) encodes a Rem precursor protein that specifies both regulatory and accessory functions. Rem is cleaved at the ER membrane into a functional N-terminal signal peptide (SP) and the C-terminus (Rem-CT). Rem-CT lacks a membrane-spanning domain and a known ER retention signal, yet was not detectably secreted into cell supernatants. Inhibition of intracellular trafficking by the drug Brefeldin A (BFA), which interferes with the ER to Golgi secretory pathway, resulted in dramatically reduced intracellular Rem-CT levels that were not rescued by proteasomal or lysosomal inhibitors. A Rem mutant lacking glycosylation was cleaved into SP and Rem-CT, but was insensitive to BFA, suggesting that unglycosylated Rem-CT does not reach this BFA-dependent compartment. Treatment with Endoglycosidase H indicated that Rem-CT does not traffic through the Golgi. Analysis of wild-type Rem-CT and its glycosylation mutant by confocal microscopy revealed that both were primarily localized to the ER lumen. A small fraction of wild-type Rem-CT, but not the unglycosylated mutant, was co-localized with Rab5+ early endosomes. Expression of a dominant-negative (DN) form of ADP ribosylation factor 1 (Arf1) (T31N) mimicked the effects of BFA by reducing Rem-CT levels and increased Rem-CT association with early and late endosomes. Inhibition of the AAA ATPase, p97/VCP, rescued Rem-CT in the presence of BFA or DN Arf1 and prevented localization to Rab5+ endosomes. Thus, Rem-CT uses an unconventional p97-mediated scheme for trafficking to early endosomes.Mouse mammary tumor virus is a complex retrovirus that encodes a regulatory/accessory protein, Rem. Rem is a precursor protein that is processed at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane by signal peptidase. The N-terminal SP uses the p97/VCP ATPase to elude ER-associated degradation to traffic to the nucleus and serve a human immunodeficiency virus Rev-like function. In contrast, the function of the C-terminal glycosylated cleavage product (Rem-CT) is unknown. Since localization is critical for protein function, we used mutants, inhibitors, and confocal microscopy to localize Rem-CT. Surprisingly, Rem-CT, which lacks a transmembrane domain or an ER retention signal, was detected primarily within the ER and required glycosylation and the p97 ATPase for early endosome trafficking without passage through the Golgi. Thus, Rem-CT uses a novel intracellular trafficking pathway, potentially impacting host anti-viral immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00531-21DOI Listing
May 2021

Retroviral vectors elevate coexpressed protein levels in trans through cap-dependent translation.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2015 Mar 3;112(11):3505-10. Epub 2015 Mar 3.

Department of Molecular Biosciences, Center for Infectious Disease, and Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712-1191

Retroviruses cause immunodeficiency and cancer but also are used as vectors for the expression of heterologous genes. Nevertheless, optimal translation of introduced genes often is not achieved. Here we show that transfection into mammalian cells of lentiviral or gammaretroviral vectors, including those with specific shRNAs, increased expression of a cotransfected gene relative to standard plasmid vectors. Levels of most endogenous cellular proteins were unchanged. Transfer of lentiviral vector sequences into a standard plasmid conferred the ability to give increased expression of cotransfected genes (superinduction). Superinduction by the retroviral vector was not dependent on the cell type or species, the type of reporter gene, or the method of transfection. No differences were detected in the IFN, unfolded protein, or stress responses in the presence of retroviral vectors. RT-PCRs revealed that RNA levels of cotransfected genes were unchanged during superinduction, yet Western blotting, pulse labeling, and the use of bicistronic vectors showed increased cap-dependent translation of cointroduced genes. Expression of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) kinase target 4E-BP1, but not the mTOR inhibitor Torin 1, preferentially inhibited superinduction relative to basal protein expression. Furthermore, transcription of lentiviral vector sequences from a doxycycline-inducible promoter eliminated superinduction, consistent with a DNA-triggered event. Thus, retroviral DNA increased translation of cointroduced genes in trans by an mTOR-independent signaling mechanism. Our experiments have broad applications for the design of retroviral vectors for transfections, DNA vaccines, and gene therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1420477112DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4371913PMC
March 2015

ERAD and how viruses exploit it.

Front Microbiol 2014 3;5:330. Epub 2014 Jul 3.

Department of Molecular Biosciences, Center for Infectious Diseases and Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology, The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX, USA.

Endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated degradation (ERAD) is a universally important process among eukaryotic cells. ERAD is necessary to preserve cell integrity since the accumulation of defective proteins results in diseases associated with neurological dysfunction, cancer, and infections. This process involves recognition of misfolded or misassembled proteins that have been translated in association with ER membranes. Recognition of ERAD substrates leads to their extraction through the ER membrane (retrotranslocation or dislocation), ubiquitination, and destruction by cytosolic proteasomes. This review focuses on ERAD and its components as well as how viruses use this process to promote their replication and to avoid the immune response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2014.00330DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4080680PMC
July 2014

Requirements for mouse mammary tumor virus Rem signal peptide processing and function.

J Virol 2012 Jan 9;86(1):214-25. Epub 2011 Nov 9.

Section of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and Institute for Cellular and Molecular Biology, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712, USA.

Mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) encodes a Rev-like protein, Rem, which is involved in the nuclear export and expression of viral RNA. Previous data have shown that all Rev-like functions are localized to the 98-amino-acid signal peptide (SP) at the N terminus of MMTV Rem or envelope proteins. MMTV-SP uses endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD) for protein trafficking. Rem cleavage by signal peptidase in the ER is necessary for MMTV-SP function in a reporter assay, but many requirements for trafficking are not known. To allow detection and localization of both MMTV-SP and the C-terminal cleavage product, we prepared plasmids expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) tags. N-terminal Rem tagging led to protein accumulation relative to untagged Rem and allowed signal peptidase cleavage but reduced its specific activity. C-terminal tagging also led to Rem accumulation yet dramatically reduced cleavage, GFP fluorescence, and activity relative to N-terminally tagged Rem (GFPRem). Substitutions of an invariant leucine at position 71 between the known RNA-binding and nuclear export sequences interfered with GFPRem accumulation and activity but not cleavage. Similarly, deletion of 100 or 150 C-terminal amino acids from GFPRem dramatically reduced both Rem and MMTV-SP levels and function. Removal of the entire C terminus (203 amino acids) restored both protein levels and activity of MMTV-SP. Only C-terminal GFP tagging, and not other modifications, appeared to trap Rem in the ER membrane. Thus, Rem conformation in both the ER lumen and cytoplasm determines cleavage, retrotranslocation, and MMTV-SP function. These mutants further characterize intermediates in Rem trafficking and have implications for all proteins affected by ERAD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.06197-11DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3255906PMC
January 2012