Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infections are associated with a significant mortality rate, and existing drugs show poor efficacy. Identifying novel targets/pathways required for MERS infectivity is therefore important for developing novel therapeutics. As an enveloped virus, translocation through the endolysosomal system provides one pathway for cellular entry of MERS-CoV. In this context, Ca2+-permeable channels within the endolysosomal system regulate both the luminal environment and trafficking events, meriting investigation of their role in regulating processing and trafficking of MERS-CoV. Knockdown of endogenous two-pore channels (TPCs), targets for the Ca2+ mobilizing second messenger NAADP, impaired infectivity in a MERS-CoV spike pseudovirus particle translocation assay. This effect was selective as knockdown of the lysosomal cation channel mucolipin-1 (TRPML1) was without effect. Pharmacological inhibition of NAADP-evoked Ca2+ release using several bisbenzylisoquinoline alkaloids also blocked MERS pseudovirus translocation. Knockdown of TPC1 (biased endosomally) or TPC2 (biased lysosomally) decreased the activity of furin, a protease which facilitates MERS fusion with cellular membranes. Pharmacological or genetic inhibition of TPC1 activity also inhibited endosomal motility impairing pseudovirus progression through the endolysosomal system. Overall, these data support a selective, spatially autonomous role for TPCs within acidic organelles to support MERS-CoV translocation.
- Ca signaling
- Infectious disease