Interaction of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus major envelope proteins GP5 and M with the cellular protein Snapin

Julie A. Hicks, Dongwan Yoo, Hsiao Ching Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) is characterized by abortions in pregnant sows and respiratory disease, particularly in young pigs. The causative agent is porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), a member of the arterivirus family. GP5 and M are the major envelope proteins encoded by PRRSV. To further characterize these two viral proteins, a yeast two-hybrid approach was utilized to identify interacting partners of PRRSV GP5 and M proteins. Methods: Interacting partners of PRRSV GP5 and M were identified using a porcine macrophage cDNA library yeast two-hybrid screen. Subsequently, the interactions between PRRSV GP5/M and the cellular protein Snapin were mapped using truncated versions of the GP5 and M proteins in a yeast two-hybrid assay to localize the interactions. The Snapin gene from the African green monkey kidney cell line MARC-145, which is permissive to PRRSV, was cloned and sequenced, and compared to porcine Snapin. Cellular Snapin expression was reduced in PRRSV-infected cells via Snapin-specific siRNA targeting. Results: Here we show that the cellular Snap-Associated Protein (Snapin), an accessory protein of the SNARE membrane fusion network and also a member of the BLOC-1 complex, specifically interacts with GP5 and M. Inhibition of Snapin expression via siRNA targeting of Snapin results in the reduction of PRRSV replication. Conclusions: The PRRSV GP5 and M proteins are known to form a heterodimeric complex which is important for viral structure and infectivity, and both PRRSV proteins can interact with cellular Snapin. Snapin knock-down suggests these interactions could be important in the PRRSV lifecycle. GP5 and M proteins may interact with Snapin to exploit its roles in intracellular transport and membrane fusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-92
Number of pages8
JournalVirus Research
StatePublished - Apr 2 2018


  • BLOC-1 complex
  • GP5
  • M
  • SNARE complex
  • Snapin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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