Hu Y, Jiang L, Wang G, Song Y, Shan Z, Wang X, Den. M6PR interacts with the HA2 subunit of influenza A virus to facilitate the fusion of viral and endosomal membranes. Sci China Life Sci. 2023 Nov 22
Influenza A virus (IAV) commandeers numerous host cellular factors for successful replication. However, very few host factors have been revealed to be involved in the fusion of viral envelope and late endosomal membranes. In this study, we identified cation-dependent mannose-6-phosphate receptor (M6PR) as a crucial host factor for the replication of IAV. We found that siRNA knockdown of M6PR expression significantly reduced the growth titers of different subtypes of IAV, and that the inhibitory effect of M6PR siRNA treatment on IAV growth was overcome by the complement of exogenously expressed M6PR. When A549 cells were treated with siRNA targeting M6PR, the nuclear accumulation of viral nucleoprotein (NP) was dramatically inhibited at early timepoints post-infection, indicating that M6PR engages in the early stage of the IAV replication cycle. By investigating the role of M6PR in the individual entry and post-entry steps of IAV replication, we found that the downregulation of M6PR expression had no effect on attachment, internalization, early endosome trafficking, or late endosome acidification. However, we found that M6PR expression was critical for the fusion of viral envelope and late endosomal membranes. Of note, M6PR interacted with the hemagglutinin (HA) protein of IAV, and further studies showed that the lumenal domain of M6PR and the ectodomain of HA2 mediated the interaction and directly promoted the fusion of the viral and late endosomal membranes, thereby facilitating IAV replication. Together, our findings highlight the importance of the M6PR-HA interaction in the fusion of viral and late endosomal membranes during IAV replication.
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