UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Coxsackievirus Protease 2A Targets Host Protease ATG4A to Impair Autophagy Fan, Yiyun Michelle; Zhang, Yizhuo Lyanne; Bahreyni, Amirhossein; Luo, Honglin; Mohamud, Yasir


Enteroviruses (EVs) are medically important RNA viruses that cause a broad spectrum of human illnesses for which limited therapy exists. Although EVs have been shown to usurp the cellular recycling process of autophagy for pro-viral functions, the precise manner by which this is accomplished remains to be elucidated. In the current manuscript, we sought to address the mechanism by which EVs subvert the autophagy pathway using Coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) as a model. We showed that CVB3 infection selectively degrades the autophagy cysteine protease ATG4A but not other isoforms. Exogenous expression of an N-terminally Flag-labeled ATG4A demonstrated the emergence of a 43-kDa cleavage fragment following CVB3 infection. Furthermore, bioinformatics analysis coupled with site-directed mutagenesis and in vitro cleavage assays revealed that CVB3 protease 2A cleaves ATG4A before glycine 374. Using a combination of genetic silencing and overexpression studies, we demonstrated a novel pro-viral function for the autophagy protease ATG4A. Additionally, cleavage of ATG4A was associated with a loss of autophagy function of the truncated cleavage fragment. Collectively, our study identified ATG4A as a novel substrate of CVB3 protease, leading to disrupted host cellular function and sheds further light on viral mechanisms of autophagy dysregulation.

Item Citations and Data


CC BY 4.0