WDR5 facilitates human cytomegalovirus replication by promoting capsid nuclear egress

Academic Article


  • WD repeat-containing protein 5 (WDR5) is essential for assembling the VISA-associated complex to induce a type I interferon antiviral response to Sendai virus infection. However, the roles of WDR5 in DNA virus infections are not well described. Here, we report that human cytomegalovirus exploits WDR5 to facilitate capsid nuclear egress. Overexpression of WDR5 in fibroblasts slightly enhanced the infectious virus yield. However, WDR5 knockdown dramatically reduced infectious virus titers with only a small decrease in viral genome replication or gene expression. Further investigation of late steps of viral replication found that WDR5 knockdown significantly impaired formation of the viral nuclear egress complex and induced substantially fewer infoldings of the inner nuclear membrane. In addition, fewer capsids were associated with these infoldings, and there were fewer capsids in the cytoplasm. Restoration of WDR5 partially reversed these effects. These results suggest that WDR5 knockdown impairs the nuclear egress of capsids, which in turn decreases virus titers. These findings reveal an important role for a host factor whose function(s) is usurped by a viral pathogen to promote efficient replication. Thus, WDR5 represents an interesting regulatory mechanism and a potential antiviral target.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Yang B; Liu XJ; Yao Y; Jiang X; Wang XZ; Yang H; Sun JY; Miao Y; Wang W; Huang ZL
  • Volume

  • 92
  • Issue

  • 9