PloS one

BKV agnoprotein interacts with α-soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion attachment protein, and negatively influences transport of VSVG-EGFP.

PMID 21931730


The human polyomavirus BK (BKV) infects humans worldwide and establishes a persistent infection in the kidney. The BK virus genome encodes three regulatory proteins, large and small tumor-antigen and the agnoprotein, as well as the capsid proteins VP1 to VP3. Agnoprotein is conserved among BKV, JC virus (JCV) and SV40, and agnoprotein-deficient mutants reveal reduced viral propagation. Studies with JCV and SV40 indicate that their agnoproteins may be involved in transcription, replication and/or nuclear and cellular release of the virus. However, the exact function(s) of agnoprotein of BK virus remains elusive. As a strategy of exploring the functions of BKV agnoprotein, we decided to look for cellular interaction partners for the viral protein. Several partners were identified by yeast two-hybrid assay, among them α-SNAP which is involved in disassembly of vesicles during secretion. BKV agnoprotein and α-SNAP were found to partially co-localize in cells, and a complex consisting of agnoprotein and α-SNAP could be co-immunoprecipitated from cells ectopically expressing the proteins as well as from BKV-transfected cells. The N-terminal part of the agnoprotein was sufficient for the interaction with α-SNAP. Finally, we could show that BKV agnoprotein negatively interferes with secretion of VSVG-EGFP reporter suggesting that agnoprotein may modulate exocytosis. We have identified the first cellular interaction partner for BKV agnoprotein. The most N-terminal part of BKV agnoprotein is involved in the interaction with α-SNAP. Presence of BKV agnoprotein negatively interferes with secretion of VSVG-EGFP reporter.