Dynein Regulators Are Important for Ecotropic Murine Leukemia Virus Infection
Goff, Stephen P.
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During the early steps of infection, retroviruses must direct the movement of the viral genome into the nucleus to complete their replication cycle. This process is mediated by cellular proteins that interact first with the reverse transcription complex and later with the preintegration complex (PIC), allowing it to reach and enter the nucleus. For simple retroviruses, such as murine leukemia virus (MLV), the identities of the cellular proteins involved in trafficking of the PIC in infection are unknown. To identify cellular proteins that interact with the MLV PIC, we developed a replication-competent MLV in which the integrase protein was tagged with a FLAG epitope. Using a combination of immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry, we established that the microtubule motor dynein regulator DCTN2/p50/dynamitin interacts with the MLV preintegration complex early in infection, suggesting a direct interaction between the incoming viral particles and the dynein complex regulators. Further experiments showed that RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated silencing of either DCTN2/p50/dynamitin or another dynein regulator, NudEL, profoundly reduced the efficiency of infection by ecotropic, but not amphotropic, MLV reporters. We propose that the cytoplasmic dynein regulators are a critical component of the host machinery needed for infection by the retroviruses entering the cell via the ecotropic envelope pathway. IMPORTANCE Retroviruses must access the chromatin of host cells to integrate the viral DNA, but before this crucial event, they must reach the nucleus. The movement through the cytoplasm-a crowded environment where diffusion is slow-is thought to utilize retrograde transport along the microtubule network by the dynein complex. Different viruses use different components of this multi-subunit complex. We found that the preintegration complex of murine leukemia virus (MLV) interacts with the dynein complex and that regulators of this complex are essential for infection. Our study provides the first insight into the requirements for retrograde transport of the MLV preintegration complex.