The Promyelocytic Leukemia Protein facilitates human herpesvirus 6B chromosomal integration, immediate-early 1 protein multiSUMOylation and its localization at telomeres

Vanessa Collin, Annie Gravel, Benedikt B Kaufer, Louis Flamand
PLoS Pathogens 2020 July 13, 16 (7): e1008683
Human herpesvirus 6B (HHV-6B) is a betaherpesvirus capable of integrating its genome into the telomeres of host chromosomes. Until now, the cellular and/or viral proteins facilitating HHV-6B integration have remained elusive. Here we show that a cellular protein, the promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML) that forms nuclear bodies (PML-NBs), associates with the HHV-6B immediate early 1 (IE1) protein at telomeres. We report enhanced levels of SUMOylated IE1 in the presence of PML and have identified a putative SUMO Interacting Motif (SIM) within IE1, essential for its nuclear distribution, overall SUMOylation and association with PML to nuclear bodies. Furthermore, using PML knockout cell lines we made the original observation that PML is required for efficient HHV-6B integration into host chromosomes. Taken together, we could demonstrate that PML-NBs are important for IE1 multiSUMOylation and that PML plays an important role in HHV-6B integration into chromosomes, a strategy developed by this virus to maintain its genome in its host over long periods of time.

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