Protein-protein interactions suggest novel activities of human cytomegalovirus tegument protein pUL103

Daniel A. Ortiz, James E. Glassbrook, Philip E. Pellett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is an enveloped double-stranded DNA virus that causes severe disease in newborns and immunocompromised patients. During infection, the host cell endosecretory system is remodeled to form the cytoplasmic virion assembly complex (cVAC). We and others previously identified the conserved, multifunctional HCMV virion tegument protein pUL103 as important for cVAC biogenesis and efficient secondary envelopment. To help define its mechanisms of action and predict additional functions, we used two complementary methods, coimmunoprecipitation (co-IP) and proximity biotinylation (BioID), to identify viral and cellular proteins that interact with pUL103. By using the two methods in parallel and applying stringent selection criteria, we identified potentially high-value interactions of pUL103 with 13 HCMV and 18 cellular proteins. Detection of the previously identified pUL103-pUL71 interaction, as well as verification of several interactions by reverse co-IP, supports the specificity of our screening process. As might be expected for a tegument protein, interactions were identified that suggest distinct roles for pUL103 across the arc of lytic infection, including interactions with proteins involved in cellular antiviral responses, nuclear activities, and biogenesis and transport of cytoplasmic vesicles. Further analysis of some of these interactions expands our understanding of the multifunctional repertoire of pUL103: we detected HCMV pUL103 in nuclei of infected cells and identified an ALIX-binding domain within the pUL103 sequence. IMPORTANCE: Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is able to reconfigure the host cell machinery to establish a virion production factory, the cytoplasmic virion assembly complex (cVAC). cVAC biogenesis and operation represent targets for development of novel HCMV antivirals. We previously showed that the HCMV tegument protein pUL103 is required for cVAC biogenesis. Using pUL103 as bait, we investigated viral and cellular protein-protein interactions to identify and understand the range of pUL103 functions. We found that pUL103 interacts with cellular antiviral defense systems and proteins involved in organelle biogenesis and transport of cytoplasmic vesicles and is present in infected cell nuclei. These results expand our understanding of the functional repertoire of pUL103 to include activities that extend from the earliest stages of infection through virion assembly and egress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7798-7810
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number17
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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