Vaccinia virus proteins A36 and F12/E2 show strong preferences for different kinesin light chain isoforms

05 Aug 2017

Vaccinia virus (VACV) utilizes microtubule-mediated trafficking at several stages of its life cycle, of which virus egress is the most intensely studied. During egress VACV proteins A36, F12 and E2 are involved in kinesin-1 interactions; however, the roles of these proteins remain poorly understood. A36 forms a direct link between virions and kinesin-1, yet in its absence VACV egress still occurs on microtubules. During a co-immunoprecipitation screen to seek an alternative link between virions and kinesin, A36 was found to bind isoform KLC1 rather than KLC2. The F12/E2 complex associates preferentially with the C-terminal tail of KLC2, to a region that overlaps the binding site of cellular 14-3-3 proteins. F12/E2 displaces 14-3-3 from KLC and, unlike 14-3-3, does not require phosphorylation of KLC for its binding. The region determining the KLC1 specificity of A36 was mapped to the KLC N-terminal heptad repeat region that is responsible for its association with kinesin heavy chain. Despite these differing binding properties F12/E2 can co-operatively enhance A36 association with KLC, particularly when using a KLC1-KLC2 chimaera that resembles several KLC1 spliceforms and can bind A36 and F12/E2 efficiently. This is the first example of a pathogen encoding multiple proteins that co-operatively associate with kinesin-1.