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The Endocytic Recycling Compartment Serves as a Viral Factory for Hepatitis E Virus

Abstract : Background & Aims : Although Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is the major leading cause of enterically transmitted viral hepatitis worldwide, many gaps remain in the understanding of the HEV lifecycle. Notably, viral factories induced by HEV have not been documented yet and it is currently unknown whether HEV infection leads to cellular membrane modelling as many positive-strand RNA viruses. HEV genome encodes three proteins, the ORF1 replicase, the ORF2 capsid protein and the ORF3 protein involved in virion egress. Previously, we demonstrated that HEV produces different ORF2 isoforms including the virion-associated ORF2i form. Here, we aimed to probe infectious particles and viral factories in HEV-producing cells, using antibodies directed against the different ORF2 isoforms. Methods : We generated monoclonal antibodies that specifically recognize the particle-associated ORF2i form, and antibodies that recognize the different ORF2 isoforms. We used them in confocal and electron microscopy approaches to probe viral factories in HEV-producing cells. We performed an extensive colocalization study of viral proteins with subcellular markers. We analyzed the impact of silencing Rab11, a central player of the endocytic recycling compartment (ERC). Results : One of the antibodies, named P1H1 and targeting the N-terminus of ORF2i, recognized delipidated HEV particles. Confocal and ultrastructural microscopy analyses of HEV-producing cells revealed an unprecedented HEV-induced membrane network containing tubular and vesicular structures. These subcellular structures were enriched in ORF2 and ORF3 proteins, and were dependent on the ORF3 expression and ORF2i capsid protein assembly. Colocalization and silencing analyses revealed that these structures are derived from the ERC. Conclusions : Our study reveals that HEV hijacks the ERC and forms a membrane network of vesicular and tubular structures that might be the hallmark of HEV infection. Lay summary : Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is the leading cause of acute hepatitis worldwide but many steps of its lifecycle are still elusive. Thanks to the development of new antibodies that recognize the different forms of the HEV capsid protein, we were able to visualize vesicular and tubular structures that were established by the virus in the host cell. In addition, extensive efforts to identify these structures led us to conclude that HEV hijacks the endocytic recycling compartment of the cell to form this network of vesicles and tubules, which might be the hallmark of HEV infection.
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Preprints, Working Papers, ...
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Contributor : Laurence Cocquerel Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, October 22, 2021 - 12:23:09 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, March 23, 2022 - 3:51:30 PM

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Cyrine Bentaleb, Kévin Hervouet, Claire Montpellier, Charline Camuzet, Julien Burlaud-Gaillard, et al.. The Endocytic Recycling Compartment Serves as a Viral Factory for Hepatitis E Virus. 2021. ⟨hal-03395202⟩



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