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Proteomic Identification of Potential Target Proteins of Cathepsin W for Its Development as a Drug Target for Influenza


Günther, Sira C; Martínez-Romero, Carles; Sempere Borau, Milagros; Pham, Christine T N; García-Sastre, Adolfo; Stertz, Silke (2022). Proteomic Identification of Potential Target Proteins of Cathepsin W for Its Development as a Drug Target for Influenza. Microbiology Spectrum, 10(4):e0092122.

Abstract

Influenza A virus (IAV) coopts numerous host factors for efficient replication. The cysteine protease cathepsin W (CTSW) has been identified as one host factor required for IAV entry, specifically for the escape of IAVs from late endosomes. However, the substrate specificity of CTSW and the proviral mechanism are thus far unknown. Here, we show that intracellular but not secreted CTSW promotes viral entry. We reveal 79 potential direct and 31 potential indirect cellular target proteins of CTSW using the high-throughput proteomic approach terminal amine isotopic labeling of substrates (TAILS) and determine the cleavage motif shared by the substrates of CTSW. Subsequent integration with data from RNA interference (RNAi) screens for IAV host factors uncovers first insights into the proviral function of CTSW. Notably, CTSW-deficient mice display a 25% increase in survival and a delay in mortality compared to wild-type mice upon IAV infection. Altogether, these findings support the development of drugs targeting CTSW as novel host-directed antiviral therapies. IMPORTANCE Influenza viruses are respiratory pathogens and pose a constant threat to human health. Although antiviral drugs are available for influenza, the emergence and spread of drug-resistant viruses is cause for concern. Therefore, the development of new antivirals with lower chances of their target viruses acquiring resistance is urgently needed to reduce the high morbidity and mortality caused by influenza. Promising alternatives to drugs targeting viral proteins are those directed against host factors required for viral replication. The cysteine protease cathepsin W (CTSW) is an important host factor for IAV replication, and its proteolytic activity is required for fusion of viral and endosomal membranes. In this work, we identify a number of hitherto unknown CTSW substrates, providing new insights into virus-host interactions, and reveal that CTSW might also play a proviral role in an in vivo model. These results support the development of CTSW as a drug target for next-generation antivirals against influenza.

Abstract

Influenza A virus (IAV) coopts numerous host factors for efficient replication. The cysteine protease cathepsin W (CTSW) has been identified as one host factor required for IAV entry, specifically for the escape of IAVs from late endosomes. However, the substrate specificity of CTSW and the proviral mechanism are thus far unknown. Here, we show that intracellular but not secreted CTSW promotes viral entry. We reveal 79 potential direct and 31 potential indirect cellular target proteins of CTSW using the high-throughput proteomic approach terminal amine isotopic labeling of substrates (TAILS) and determine the cleavage motif shared by the substrates of CTSW. Subsequent integration with data from RNA interference (RNAi) screens for IAV host factors uncovers first insights into the proviral function of CTSW. Notably, CTSW-deficient mice display a 25% increase in survival and a delay in mortality compared to wild-type mice upon IAV infection. Altogether, these findings support the development of drugs targeting CTSW as novel host-directed antiviral therapies. IMPORTANCE Influenza viruses are respiratory pathogens and pose a constant threat to human health. Although antiviral drugs are available for influenza, the emergence and spread of drug-resistant viruses is cause for concern. Therefore, the development of new antivirals with lower chances of their target viruses acquiring resistance is urgently needed to reduce the high morbidity and mortality caused by influenza. Promising alternatives to drugs targeting viral proteins are those directed against host factors required for viral replication. The cysteine protease cathepsin W (CTSW) is an important host factor for IAV replication, and its proteolytic activity is required for fusion of viral and endosomal membranes. In this work, we identify a number of hitherto unknown CTSW substrates, providing new insights into virus-host interactions, and reveal that CTSW might also play a proviral role in an in vivo model. These results support the development of CTSW as a drug target for next-generation antivirals against influenza.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Medical Virology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Physiology
Physical Sciences > Ecology
Life Sciences > General Immunology and Microbiology
Life Sciences > Genetics
Health Sciences > Microbiology (medical)
Life Sciences > Cell Biology
Health Sciences > Infectious Diseases
Language:English
Date:31 August 2022
Deposited On:17 Jan 2023 16:53
Last Modified:28 Jun 2024 01:39
Publisher:American Society for Microbiology
ISSN:2165-0497
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1128/spectrum.00921-22
PubMed ID:35867415
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)