The first line of defense protecting rhesus macaques from HIV-1 is the restriction factor rhTRIM5α, which recognizes the capsid core of the virus early after entry and normally blocks infection prior to reverse transcription. Cytoplasmic bodies containing rhTRIM5α have been implicated in the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, but the specific roles these structures play remain uncharacterized. Here, we examine the ubiquitination status of cytoplasmic body proteins. Using antibodies specific for different forms of ubiquitin, we show that ubiquitinated proteins are present in cytoplasmic bodies, and that this localization is altered after proteasome inhibition. A decrease in polyubiquitinated proteins localizing to cytoplasmic bodies was apparent after 1 h of proteasome inhibition, and greater differences were seen after extended proteasome inhibition. The decrease in polyubiquitin conjugates within cytoplasmic bodies was also observed when deubiquitinating enzymes were inhibited, suggesting that the removal of ubiquitin moieties from polyubiquitinated cytoplasmic body proteins after extended proteasome inhibition is not responsible for this phenomenon. Superresolution structured illumination microscopy revealed finer details of rhTRIM5α cytoplasmic bodies and the polyubiquitin conjugates that localize to these structures. Finally, linkage-specific polyubiquitin antibodies revealed that K48-linked ubiquitin chains localize to rhTRIM5α cytoplasmic bodies, implicating these structures in proteasomal degradation. Differential staining of cytoplasmic bodies seen with different polyubiquitin antibodies suggests that structural changes occur during proteasome inhibition that alter epitope availability. Taken together, it is likely that rhTRIM5α cytoplasmic bodies are involved in recruiting components of the ubiquitin-proteasome system to coordinate proteasomal destruction of a viral or cellular protein(s) during restriction of HIV-1.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases