Nucleic acids research

Polypyrimidine tract-binding protein (PTB) and PTB-associated splicing factor in CVB3 infection: an ITAF for an ITAF.

PMID 28633417


The 5' UTR of Coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) contains internal ribosome entry site (IRES), which allows cap-independent translation of the viral RNA and a 5'-terminal cloverleaf structure that regulates viral replication, translation and stability. Here, we demonstrate that host protein PSF (PTB associated splicing factor) interacts with the cloverleaf RNA as well as the IRES element. PSF was found to be an important IRES trans acting factor (ITAF) for efficient translation of CVB3 RNA. Interestingly, cytoplasmic abundance of PSF protein increased during CVB3 infection and this is regulated by phosphorylation status at two different amino acid positions. Further, PSF protein was up-regulated in CVB3 infection. The expression of CVB3-2A protease alone could also induce increased PSF protein levels. Furthermore, we observed the presence of an IRES element in the 5'UTR of PSF mRNA, which is activated during CVB3 infection and might contribute to the elevated levels of PSF. It appears that PSF IRES is also positively regulated by PTB, which is known to regulate CVB3 IRES. Taken together, the results suggest for the first time a novel mechanism of regulations of ITAFs during viral infection, where an ITAF undergoes IRES mediated translation, sustaining its protein levels under condition of translation shut-off.