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Journal of Virology

Year: 2008  |  Volume: 82  |  Issue: 24  |  Page No.: 12487 - 12497

Borna Disease Virus P Protein Affects Neural Transmission through Interactions with Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid Receptor-Associated Protein

Guiqing Peng, Yan Yan, Chengliang Zhu, Shiqun Wang, Xiaohong Yan, Lili Lu, Wei Li, Jing Hu, Wei Wei, Yongxin Mu, Yanni Chen, Yong Feng, Rui Gong, Kailang Wu, Fengmin Zhang, Xiaolian Zhang, Ying Zhu and Jianguo Wu

Abstract

Borna disease virus (BDV) is one of the infectious agents that causes diseases of the central nervous system in a wide range of vertebrate species and, perhaps, in humans. The phosphoprotein (P) of BDV, an essential cofactor of virus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, is required for virus replication. In this study, we identified the gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor-associated protein (GABARAP) with functions in neurobiology as one of the viral P protein-interacting cellular factors by using an approach of phage display-based protein-protein interaction analysis. Direct binding between GABARAP and P protein was confirmed by coimmunoprecipitation, protein pull-down, and mammalian two-hybrid analyses. GABARAP originally was identified as a linker between the gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor (GABAR) and the microtubule to regulate receptor trafficking and plays important roles in the regulation of the inhibitory neural transmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). We showed that GABARAP colocalizes with P protein in the cells infected with BDV or transfected with the P gene, which resulted in shifting the localization of GABARAP from the cytosol to the nucleus. We further demonstrated that P protein blocks the trafficking of GABAR, a principal GABA-gated ion channel that plays important roles in neural transmission, to the surface of cells infected with BDV or transfected with the P gene. We proposed that during BDV infection, P protein binds to GABARAP, shifts the distribution of GABARAP from the cytoplasm to the nucleus, and disrupts the trafficking of GABARs to the cell membranes, which may result in the inhibition of GABA-induced currents and in the enhancement of hyperactivity and anxiety.

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