Host mTORC1 signaling regulates andes virus replication

McNulty S, Flint M, Nichol ST, Spiropoulou CF.
Source: J Virol
Publication Date: (2013)
Issue: 87(2): 912-22
Research Area:
Basic Research
Cells used in publication:
Endothelial, MV lung, human (HMVEC-L)
Species: human
Tissue Origin: lung
Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a severe respiratory disease characterized by pulmonary edema, with fatality rates of 35 to 45%. Disease occurs following infection with pathogenic New World hantaviruses, such as Andes virus (ANDV), which targets lung microvascular endothelial cells. During replication, the virus scavenges 5'-m(7)G caps from cellular mRNA to ensure efficient translation of viral proteins by the host cell cap-dependent translation machinery. In cells, the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) regulates the activity of host cap-dependent translation by integrating amino acid, energy, and oxygen availability signals. Since there is no approved pharmacological treatment for HPS, we investigated whether inhibitors of the mTOR pathway could reduce hantavirus infection. Here, we demonstrate that treatment with the FDA-approved rapamycin analogue temsirolimus (CCI-779) blocks ANDV protein expression and virion release but not entry into primary human microvascular endothelial cells. This effect was specific to viral proteins, as temsirolimus treatment did not block host protein synthesis. We confirmed that temsirolimus targeted host mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) and not a viral protein, as knockdown of mTORC1 and mTORC1 activators but not mTOR complex 2 components reduced ANDV replication. Additionally, primary fibroblasts from a patient with tuberous sclerosis exhibited increased mTORC1 activity and increased ANDV protein expression, which were blocked following temsirolimus treatment. Finally, we show that ANDV glycoprotein Gn colocalized with mTOR and lysosomes in infected cells. Together, these data demonstrate that mTORC1 signaling regulates ANDV replication and suggest that the hantavirus Gn protein may modulate mTOR and lysosomal signaling during infection, thus bypassing the cellular regulation of translation.