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See detailBovine Herpesvirus 4 Modulates Its beta-1,6-N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferase Activity through Alternative Splicing.
Lété, Céline ULg; Markine-Goriaynoff, Nicolas; Machiels, Bénédicte ULg et al

in Journal of virology (2016), 90(4), 2039-51

Carbohydrates play major roles in host-virus interactions. It is therefore not surprising that, during coevolution with their hosts, viruses have developed sophisticated mechanisms to hijack for their ... [more ▼]

Carbohydrates play major roles in host-virus interactions. It is therefore not surprising that, during coevolution with their hosts, viruses have developed sophisticated mechanisms to hijack for their profit different pathways of glycan synthesis. Thus, the Bo17 gene of Bovine herpesvirus 4 (BoHV-4) encodes a homologue of the cellular core 2 protein beta-1,6-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase-mucin type (C2GnT-M), which is a key player for the synthesis of complex O-glycans. Surprisingly, we show in this study that, as opposed to what is observed for the cellular enzyme, two different mRNAs are encoded by the Bo17 gene of all available BoHV-4 strains. While the first one corresponds to the entire coding sequence of the Bo17 gene, the second results from the splicing of a 138-bp intron encoding critical residues of the enzyme. Antibodies generated against the Bo17 C terminus showed that the two forms of Bo17 are expressed in BoHV-4 infected cells, but enzymatic assays revealed that the spliced form is not active. In order to reveal the function of these two forms, we then generated recombinant strains expressing only the long or the short form of Bo17. Although we did not highlight replication differences between these strains, glycomic analyses and lectin neutralization assays confirmed that the splicing of the Bo17 gene gives the potential to BoHV-4 to fine-tune the global level of core 2 branching activity in the infected cell. Altogether, these results suggest the existence of new mechanisms to regulate the activity of glycosyltransferases from the Golgi apparatus. IMPORTANCE: Viruses are masters of adaptation that hijack cellular pathways to allow their growth. Glycans play a central role in many biological processes, and several studies have highlighted mechanisms by which viruses can affect glycosylation. Glycan synthesis is a nontemplate process regulated by the availability of key glycosyltransferases. Interestingly, bovine herpesvirus 4 encodes one such enzyme which is a key enzyme for the synthesis of complex O-glycans. In this study, we show that, in contrast to cellular homologues, this virus has evolved to alternatively express two proteins from this gene. While the first one is enzymatically active, the second results from the alternative splicing of the region encoding the catalytic site of the enzyme. We postulate that this regulatory mechanism could allow the virus to modulate the synthesis of some particular glycans for function at the location and/or the moment of infection. [less ▲]

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See detailThe core 2 beta-1,6-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase-M encoded by bovine herpesvirus 4 is not essential for virus replication despite contributing to post-translational modifications of structural proteins.
Markine-Goriaynoff, Nicolas; Gillet, Laurent ULg; Karlsen, Odd A et al

in Journal of General Virology (The) (2004), 85(Pt 2), 355-67

The Bo17 gene of bovine herpesvirus 4 (BoHV-4) is the only virus gene known to date that encodes a homologue of the cellular core 2 beta-1,6-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase-mucine type (C2GnT-M). Recently ... [more ▼]

The Bo17 gene of bovine herpesvirus 4 (BoHV-4) is the only virus gene known to date that encodes a homologue of the cellular core 2 beta-1,6-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase-mucine type (C2GnT-M). Recently, our phylogenetic study revealed that the Bo17 gene has been acquired from an ancestor of the African buffalo around 1.5 million years ago. Despite this recent origin, the Bo17 sequence has spread to fixation in the virus population possibly by natural selection. Supporting the latter hypothesis, it has been shown by our group for the V. test strain that Bo17 is expressed during BoHV-4 replication in vitro, and that Bo17 expression product (pBo17) has all three enzymic activities exhibited by cellular C2GnT-M, i.e. core 2, core 4 and I branching activities. In the present study, firstly it was investigated whether encoding a functional C2GnT-M is a general property of BoHV-4 strains. Analysis of nine representative strains of the BoHV-4 species revealed that all of them express the Bo17 gene and the associated core 2 branching activity during virus replication in vitro. Secondly, in order to investigate the roles of Bo17, its kinetic class of expression was analysed and a deleted recombinant strain was produced. These experiments revealed that Bo17 is expressed as an early gene which is not essential for virus replication in vitro. However, comparison of the structural proteins, produced by the wild-type, the revertant and the deleted viruses, by 2D gels demonstrated that pBo17 contributes to the post-translational modifications of structural proteins. Possible roles of Bo17 in vivo are discussed. [less ▲]

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