Maf/ham1-like pyrophosphatases, host-specific partners of viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerases [article]

Adrian Alejandro Valli, Rafael Garcia Lopez, Maria Ribaya, Francisco Javier Martinez, Diego Garcia Gomez, Beatriz Garcia, Irene Gonzalo, Alfonso Gonzalez, Fabio Pasin, Inmaculada Montanuy, Encarnacion Rodriguez-Gonzalo, Juan Antonio Garcia
2021 bioRxiv   pre-print
Cassava brown streak disease (CBSD), dubbed the Ebola of plants, is a serious threat for food security in Africa caused by two viruses of the family Potyviridae: cassava brown streak virus (CBSV) and Ugandan (U)CBSV. Intriguingly, U/CBSV, along with another member of this family and one secoviridae, are the only known RNA viruses in nature encoding a protein of the Maf/ham1-like family, a group of widespread pyrophosphatase of non-canonical nucleotides (ITPase) expressed by all living
more » ... Despite the socio-economic impact of CDSD, the relevance and role of this atypical viral factor has not been yet established. Here, using an infectious cDNA clone and reverse genetics, we demonstrate that UCBSV requires the ITPase activity in cassava, but not in the model plant Nicotiana benthamiana. HPLC-MS/MS experiments show that, quite likely, this host-specific constraint is due to an unexpected high concentration of non-canonical nucleotides in cassava. Finally, protein analyses and experimental evolution of mutant viruses indicate that keeping a fraction of the yielded UCBSV ITPase covalently bound to the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP) optimizes viral fitness, and this seems to be a feature shared by the other members of the Potyviridae family expressing Maf/ham1-like proteins. All in all, our work (i) reveals that the over-accumulation of non-canonical nucleotides in the host might have a key role in antiviral defense, and (ii) provides the first example of an RdRP-ITPase partnership, reinforcing the idea that RNA viruses are incredibly inventive at adaptation to different host setups.
doi:10.1101/2021.05.18.444600 fatcat:rf4m3f4xgbg7nklp55cx4xlc6y