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Upon Infection, Cellular WD Repeat-Containing Protein 5 (WDR5) Localizes to Cytoplasmic Inclusion Bodies and Enhances Measles Virus Replication


Replication of negative-strand RNA viruses occurs in association with discrete cytoplasmic foci called inclusion bodies. Whereas inclusion bodies represent a prominent subcellular structure induced by viral infection, our knowledge of the cellular protein components involved in inclusion body formation and function is limited. Using measles virus-infected HeLa cells, we found that the WD repeat-containing protein 5 (WDR5), a subunit of histone H3 lysine 4 methyltransferases, was selectively recruited to virus-induced inclusion bodies. Furthermore, WDR5 was found in complexes containing viral proteins associated with RNA replication. WDR5 was not detected with mitochondria, stress granules, or other known secretory or endocytic compartments of infected cells. WDR5 deficiency decreased both viral protein production and infectious virus yields. Interferon production was modestly increased in WDR5-deficient cells. Thus, our study identifies WDR5 as a novel viral inclusion body-associated cellular protein and suggests a role for WDR5 in promoting viral replication.IMPORTANCE Measles virus is a human pathogen that remains a global concern, with more than 100,000 measles-related deaths annually despite the availability of an effective vaccine. As measles continues to cause significant morbidity and mortality, understanding the virus-host interactions at the molecular level that affect virus replication efficiency is important for development and optimization of treatment procedures. Measles virus is an RNA virus that encodes six genes and replicates in the cytoplasm of infected cells in discrete cytoplasmic replication bodies, though little is known of the biochemical nature of these structures. Here, we show that the cellular protein WDR5 is enriched in the cytoplasmic viral replication factories and enhances virus growth. WDR5-containing protein complex includes viral proteins responsible for viral RNA replication. Thus, we have identified WDR5 as a host factor that enhances the replication of measles virus.

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