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Tetherin antagonism by SARS-CoV-2 ORF3a and Spike protein enhances virus release

Accepted version
Peer-reviewed

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Article

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Abstract

The antiviral restriction factor, tetherin, blocks the release of several different families of enveloped viruses, including the Coronaviridae. Tetherin is an interferon‐induced protein that forms parallel homodimers between the host cell and viral particles, linking viruses to the surface of infected cells and inhibiting their release. We demonstrate that SARS‐CoV‐2 infection causes tetherin downregulation and that tetherin depletion from cells enhances SARS‐CoV‐2 viral titres. We investigate the potential viral proteins involved in abrogating tetherin function and find that SARS‐CoV‐2 ORF3a reduces tetherin localisation within biosynthetic organelles where Coronaviruses bud, and increases tetherin localisation to late endocytic organelles via reduced retrograde recycling. We also find that expression of Spike protein causes a reduction in cellular tetherin levels. Our results confirm that tetherin acts as a host restriction factor for SARS‐CoV‐2 and highlight the multiple distinct mechanisms by which SARS‐CoV‐2 subverts tetherin function.

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Journal Title

EMBO Reports

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

1469-221X

Volume Title

Publisher

Wiley
Sponsorship
Wellcome Trust (216370/Z/19/Z)
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