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The invariant arginine within the chromatin-binding motif regulates both nucleolar localization and chromatin binding of Foamy virus Gag

Abstract : Background: Nuclear localization of Gag is a property shared by many retroviruses and retrotransposons. The importance of this stage for retroviral replication is still unknown, but studies on the Rous Sarcoma virus indicate that Gag might select the viral RNA genome for packaging in the nucleus. In the case of Foamy viruses, genome encapsidation is mediated by Gag C-terminal domain (CTD), which harbors three clusters of glycine and arginine residues named GR boxes (GRI-III). In this study we investigated how PFV Gag subnuclear distribution might be regulated. Results: We show that the isolated GRI and GRIII boxes act as nucleolar localization signals. In contrast, both the entire Gag CTD and the isolated GRII box, which contains the chromatin-binding motif, target the nucleolus exclusively upon mutation of the evolutionary conserved arginine residue at position 540 (R540), which is a key determinant of FV Gag chromatin tethering. We also provide evidence that Gag localizes in the nucleolus during FV replica-tion and uncovered that the viral protein interacts with and is methylated by Protein Arginine Methyltransferase 1 (PRMT1) in a manner that depends on the R540 residue. Finally, we show that PRMT1 depletion by RNA interference induces the concentration of Gag C-terminus in nucleoli. Conclusion: Altogether, our findings suggest that methylation by PRMT1 might finely tune the subnuclear distribution of Gag depending on the stage of the FV replication cycle. The role of this step for viral replication remains an open question.
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Submitted on : Friday, October 11, 2019 - 12:40:43 PM
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Joris Paris, Joelle Tobaly-Tapiero, Marie-Lou Giron, Julien Burlaud-Gaillard, Florence Buseyne, et al.. The invariant arginine within the chromatin-binding motif regulates both nucleolar localization and chromatin binding of Foamy virus Gag. Retrovirology, BioMed Central, 2018, 15 (1), pp.48. ⟨10.1186/s12977-018-0428-z⟩. ⟨pasteur-02313503⟩

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