Journal of virology

Foot-and-mouth disease virus modulates cellular vimentin for virus survival.

PMID 23576498


Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), the causative agent of foot-and-mouth disease, is an Aphthovirus within the Picornaviridae family. During infection with FMDV, several host cell membrane rearrangements occur to form sites of viral replication. FMDV protein 2C is part of the replication complex and thought to have multiple roles during virus replication. To better understand the role of 2C in the process of virus replication, we have been using a yeast two-hybrid approach to identify host proteins that interact with 2C. We recently reported that cellular Beclin1 is a natural ligand of 2C and that it is involved in the autophagy pathway, which was shown to be important for FMDV replication. Here, we report that cellular vimentin is also a specific host binding partner for 2C. The 2C-vimentin interaction was further confirmed by coimmunoprecipitation and immunofluorescence staining to occur in FMDV-infected cells. It was shown that upon infection a vimentin structure forms around 2C and that this structure is later resolved or disappears. Interestingly, overexpression of vimentin had no effect on virus replication; however, overexpression of a truncated dominant-negative form of vimentin resulted in a significant decrease in viral yield. Acrylamide, which causes disruption of vimentin filaments, also inhibited viral yield. Alanine scanning mutagenesis was used to map the specific amino acid residues in 2C critical for vimentin binding. Using reverse genetics, we identified 2C residues that are necessary for virus growth, suggesting that the interaction between FMDV 2C and cellular vimentin is essential for virus replication.