Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus (HRSV) is a leading cause of bronchopneumonia in infants and the elderly. To date, knowledge of viral and host protein interactions within HRSV is limited and are critical areas of research. Here, we show that HRSV Matrix (M) protein interacts with the cellular adaptor protein complex 3 specifically via its medium subunit (AP-3Mu3A). This novel protein-protein interaction was first detected via yeast-two hybrid screen and was further confirmed in a mammalian system by immunofluorescence colocalization and co-immunoprecipitation. This novel interaction is further substantiated by the presence of a known tyrosine-based adaptor protein MU subunit sorting signal sequence, YXXФ: where Ф is a bulky hydrophobic residue, which is conserved across the related RSV M proteins. Analysis of point-mutated HRSV M derivatives indicated that AP-3Mu3A- mediated trafficking is contingent on the presence of the tyrosine residue within the YXXL sorting sequence at amino acids 197–200 of the M protein. AP-3Mu3A is up regulated at 24 hours post-infection in infected cells versus mock-infected HEp2 cells. Together, our data suggests that the AP-3 complex plays a critical role in the trafficking of HRSV proteins specifically matrix in epithelial cells. The results of this study add new insights and targets that may lead to the development of potential antivirals and attenuating mutations suitable for candidate vaccines in the future.
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© 2017 Ward et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.