Conserved Cysteine-Rich Domain of Paramyxovirus Simian Virus 5 V Protein Plays an Important Role in Blocking Apoptosis

Minghao Sun, Terri A. Rothermel, Laurie Shuman, Jason A. Aligo, Shibo Xu, Yuan Lin, Robert A. Lamb, Biao He*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The paramyxovirus family includes many well-known human and animal pathogens as well as emerging viruses such as Hendra virus and Nipah virus. The V protein of simian virus 5 (SV5), a prototype of the paramyxoviruses, contains a cysteine-rich C-terminal domain which is conserved among all paramyxovirus V proteins. The V protein can block both interferon (IFN) signaling by causing degradation of STAT1 and IFN production by blocking IRF-3 nuclear import. Previously, it was reported that recombinant SV5 lacking the C terminus of the V protein (rSV5VΔC) induces a severe cytopathic effect (CPE) in tissue culture whereas wild-type (wt) SV5 infection does not induce CPE. In this study, the nature of the CPE and the mechanism of the induction of CPE were investigated. Through the use of DNA fragmentation, terminal deoxynucleotidyl-transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling, and propidium iodide staining assays, it was shown that rSV5VΔC induced apoptosis. Expression of wt V protein prevented apoptosis induced by rSV5VΔC, suggesting that the V protein has an antiapoptotic function. Interestingly, rSV5VΔC induced apoptosis in U3A cells (a STAT1-deficient cell line) and in the presence of neutralizing antibody against IFN, suggesting that the induction of apoptosis by rSV5VΔC was independent of IFN and IFN-signaling pathways. Apoptosis induced by rSV5VΔC was blocked by a general caspase inhibitor, Z-VAD-FMK, but not by specific inhibitors against caspases 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 13, suggesting that rSV5VΔC-induced apoptosis can occur in a caspase 12-dependent manner. Endoplasmic reticulum stress can lead to activation of caspase 12; compared to the results seen with mock and wt SV5 infection, rSV5VΔC infection induced ER stress, as demonstrated by increased expression levels of known ER stress indicators GRP 78, GRP 94, and GADD153. These data suggest that rSV5VΔC can trigger cell death by inducing ER stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5068-5078
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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