Autophagy induction by the pathogen receptor NECTIN4 and sustained autophagy contribute to peste des petits ruminants virus infectivity

Macroautophagy/autophagy is an essential cellular response in the fight against intracellular pathogens. Although some viruses can escape from or utilize autophagy to ensure their own replication, the responses of autophagy pathways to viral invasion remain poorly documented. Here, we show that peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV) infection induces successive autophagic signalling in host cells via distinct and uncoupled molecular pathways. Immediately upon invasion, PPRV induced a first transient wave of autophagy via a mechanism involving the cellular pathogen receptor NECTIN4 and an AKT-MTOR-dependent pathway. Autophagic detection showed that early PPRV infection not only increased the amounts of autophagosomes and LC3-II but also downregulated the phosphorylation of AKT-MTOR. Subsequently, we found that the binding of viral protein H to NECTIN4 ultimately induced a wave of autophagy and inactivated the AKT-MTOR pathway, which is a critical step for the control of infection. Soon after infection, new autophagic signalling was initiated that required viral replication and protein expression. Interestingly, expression of IRGM and HSPA1A was significantly upregulated following PPRV replication. Strikingly, knockdown of IRGM and HSPA1A expression using small interfering RNAs impaired the PPRV-induced second autophagic wave and viral particle production. Moreover, IRGM-interacting PPRV-C and HSPA1A-interacting PPRV-N expression was sufficient to induce autophagy through an IRGM-HSPA1A-dependent pathway. Importantly, syncytia formation could facilitate sustained autophagy and the replication of PPRV. Overall, our work reveals distinct molecular pathways underlying the induction of self-beneficial sustained autophagy by attenuated PPRV, which will contribute to improving the use of vaccines for therapy.

Abbreviations: ACTB: actin beta; ANOVA: analysis of variance; ATG: autophagy-related; BECN1: beclin 1; CDV: canine distemper virus; Co-IP: coimmunoprecipitation; FIP: fusion inhibitory peptide; GFP: green fluorescent protein; GST: glutathione S-transferase; HMOX1: heme oxygenase 1; hpi: hours post infection; HSPA1A: heat shock protein family A (Hsp70) member 1A; HSP90AA1: heat shock protein 90 kDa alpha (cytosolic), class A member 1; IFN: interferon; IgG: immunoglobulin G; INS: insulin; IRGM: immunity related GTPase M; MAP1LC3/LC3: microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3; MeV: measles virus; MOI: multiplicity of infection; MTOR: mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase; PI3K: phosphoinositide-3 kinase; PIK3C3: phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase catalytic subunit type 3; SDS: sodium dodecyl sulfate; siRNA: small interfering RNA; SQSTM1/p62: sequestosome 1; UV: ultraviolet.