Late Maturation Steps Preceding Selective Nuclear Export and Egress of Progeny Parvovirus

Wolfisberg, Raphael; Kempf, Christoph; Ros, Carlos (2016). Late Maturation Steps Preceding Selective Nuclear Export and Egress of Progeny Parvovirus. Journal of virology, 90(11), pp. 5462-5474. American Society for Microbiology 10.1128/JVI.02967-15

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Although the mechanism is not well understood, growing evidence indicates that the nonenveloped parvovirus minute virus of mice (MVM) may actively egress before passive release through cell lysis. We have dissected the late maturation steps of the intranuclear progeny with the aims of confirming the existence of active prelytic egress and identifying critical capsid rearrangements required to initiate the process. By performing anion-exchange chromatography (AEX), we separated intranuclear progeny particles by their net surface charges. Apart from empty capsids (EC), two distinct populations of full capsids (FC) arose in the nuclei of infected cells. The earliest population of FC to appear was infectious but, like EC, could not be actively exported from the nucleus. Further maturation of this early population, involving the phosphorylation of surface residues, gave rise to a second, late population with nuclear export potential. While capsid surface phosphorylation was strictly associated with nuclear export capacity, mutational analysis revealed that the phosphoserine-rich N terminus of VP2 (N-VP2) was dispensable, although it contributed to passive release. The reverse situation was observed for the incoming particles, which were dephosphorylated in the endosomes. Our results confirm the existence of active prelytic egress and reveal a late phosphorylation event occurring in the nucleus as a selective factor for initiating the process. IMPORTANCE: In general, the process of egress of enveloped viruses is active and involves host cell membranes. However, the release of nonenveloped viruses seems to rely more on cell lysis. At least for some nonenveloped viruses, an active process before passive release by cell lysis has been reported, although the underlying mechanism remains poorly understood. By using the nonenveloped model parvovirus minute virus of mice, we could confirm the existence of an active process of nuclear export and further characterize the associated capsid maturation steps. Following DNA packaging in the nucleus, capsids required further modifications, involving the phosphorylation of surface residues, to acquire nuclear export potential. Inversely, those surface residues were dephosphorylated on entering capsids. These spatially controlled phosphorylation-dephosphorylation events concurred with the nuclear export-import potential required to complete the infectious cycle.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Departement of Chemistry and Biochemistry

UniBE Contributor:

Wolfisberg, Raphael; Kempf, Christoph and Ros, Carlos


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry




American Society for Microbiology




Christoph Kempf

Date Deposited:

19 Jan 2017 16:33

Last Modified:

16 Feb 2018 12:17

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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