Current biology : CB

Baculovirus Actin-Based Motility Drives Nuclear Envelope Disruption and Nuclear Egress.

PMID 30008331


Viruses that replicate in the host cell nucleus face challenges in usurping cellular pathways to enable passage through the nuclear envelope [1]. Baculoviruses are enveloped, double-stranded DNA viruses that infect lepidopteran insects and are tools for protein expression, cell transduction, and pest management [2-4]. The type species Autographa californica M nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) shares with other pathogens an ability to assemble host actin monomers (G-actin) into actin filaments (F-actin) to drive motility [5]. During early infection, actin-based motility in the cytoplasm speeds AcMNPV transit to the nucleus and passage through nuclear pores, enabling nuclear ingress [6, 7]. During late infection, AcMNPV assembles F-actin within the nucleus [8], which is essential for virus production [9, 10]. However, the function of nuclear F-actin is poorly understood [11], and its mechanistic role in AcMNPV infection was unknown. We show that AcMNPV mobilizes actin within the nucleus to promote egress. AcMNPV nucleocapsids exhibit intranuclear actin-based motility, mediated by the viral protein P78/83 and the host Arp2/3 complex. Viral motility drives transit to the nuclear periphery and is required for viruses to enter protrusions of the nuclear envelope. Moreover, actin polymerization is necessary for viral disruption of nuclear envelope integrity during egress. In the cytoplasm, viruses use actin-based motility to reach the plasma membrane to enable budding. Our results demonstrate that pathogens can harness actin polymerization to disrupt the nuclear envelope. Employing actin for nuclear envelope disruption may reflect viral appropriation of normal functions of nuclear actin in nuclear envelope integrity, stability, and remodeling.