Zhaoyang Jing, Hongyan Shi, Jianfei Chen, Da Shi, Jianbo Liu, Longjun Guo, Jin Tian, Yang Wu, Hui Dong, Zhaoyang Ji, Jiyu Zhang, Liaoyuan Zhang, Xin Zhang, Li Feng
J Virol.2021 Aug 11;JVI0124621.doi: 10.1128/JVI.01246-21. Online ahead of print.
Rotaviruses are the causative agents of severe and dehydrating gastroenteritis in children, piglets, and many other young animals. They replicate their genomes and assemble double-layered particles in cytoplasmic electron-dense inclusion bodies called 'viroplasms'. The formation of viroplasms is reportedly associated with the stability of microtubules. Although material transport is an important function of microtubules, whether and how microtubule-based transport influences the formation of viroplasms is still unclear. Here, we demonstrate that the small viroplasms move and fuse in living cells. We show that microtubule-based dynein transport affects rotavirus infection, viroplasm formation, and the assembly of transient enveloped particles (TEPs) and triple-layered particles (TLPs). The dynein intermediate chain (DIC) is shown to localize in the viroplasm and to interact directly with non-structural protein 2 (NSP2), indicating that DIC is responsible for connecting the viroplasm to dynein. The WD40 repeat domain of DIC regulates the interaction between DIC and NSP2, and the knockdown of DIC inhibited rotaviral infection, viroplasm formation, and the assembly of TEPs and TLPs. Our findings show that rotavirus viroplasms hijack dynein transport for fusion events, required for maximal assembly of infectious viral progeny. This study provides novel insights into the intracellular transport of viroplasms, which is involved in their biogenesis. Importance Because the viroplasm is the viral factory for rotavirus replication, viroplasm formation undoubtedly determines the effective production of progeny rotavirus. Therefore, understanding the virus-host interactions involved in the biogenesis of the viroplasm is critical for the future development of prophylactic and therapeutic strategies. Previous studies have reported that the formation of viroplasms is associated with the stability of microtubules, whereas little is known about its specific mechanism. Here, we demonstrate that rotavirus viroplasm formation takes advantage of microtubule-based dynein transport mediated by an interaction between NSP2 and DIC. These findings provide new insight into the intracellular transport of viroplasms.