The human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) major immediate-early protein IE2 is a nuclear phosphoprotein that is believed to be a key regulator in both lytic and latent infections. Using yeast two-hybrid screening, small ubiquitin-like modifiers (SUMO-1, SUMO-2, and SUMO-3) and a SUMO-conjugating enzyme (Ubc9) were isolated as IE2-interacting proteins. In vitro binding assays with glutathione S-transferase (GST) fusion proteins provided evidence for direct protein-protein interaction. Mapping data showed that the C-terminal end of SUMO-1 is critical for interaction with IE2 in both yeast and in vitro binding assays. IE2 was efficiently modified by SUMO-1 or SUMO-2 in cotransfected cells and in cells infected with a recombinant adenovirus expressing HCMV IE2, although the level of modification was much lower in HCMV-infected cells. Two lysine residues at positions 175 and 180 were mapped as major alternative SUMO-1 conjugation sites in both cotransfected cells and an in vitro sumoylation assay and could be conjugated by SUMO-1 simultaneously. Although mutations of these lysine residues did not interfere with the POD (or ND10) targeting of IE2, overexpression of SUMO-1 enhanced IE2-mediated transactivation in a promoter-dependent manner in reporter assays. Interestingly, many other cellular proteins identified as IE2 interaction partners in yeast two-hybrid assays also interact with SUMO-1, suggesting that either directly bound or covalently conjugated SUMO moieties may act as a bridge for interactions between IE2 and other SUMO-1-modified or SUMO-1interacting proteins. When we investigated the intracellular localization of SUMO-1 in HCMV-infected cells, the pattern changed from nuclear punctate to predominantly nuclear diffuse in an IE1-dependent manner at very early times after infection, but with some SUMO-1 protein now associated with IE2 punctate domains. However, at late times after infection, SUMO-1 was predominantly detected within viral DNA replication compartments containing IE2. Taken together, these results show that HCMV infection causes the redistribution of SUMO-1 and that IE2 both physically binds to and is covalently modified by SUMO moieties, suggesting possible modulation of both the function of SUMO-1 and protein-protein interactions of IE2 during HCMV infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science