The Herpesvirus Nuclear Egress Complex Component, UL31, is Recruited to Sites of DNA Damage Through Poly(ADP-RIBOSE) Binding
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The herpes simplex virus (HSV) UL31 gene encodes a conserved member of the herpesvirus nuclear egress complex that not only functions in the egress of DNA-containing capsids from the nucleus, but is also required for optimal viral genome expression, replication and packaging into capsids. Here, we report that the UL31 protein from HSV-2 and the orthologous protein, ORF69, from Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) are recruited to sites of DNA damage. Recruitment of UL31 to sites of DNA damage occurred in HSV-2 infected cells, but did not require other viral proteins. The N-terminus of UL31 contains sequences resembling a poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) binding motif. As protein poly-ADP ribosylation (PARylation) is a hallmark of the DNA damage response we examined the relationship between PARylation and UL31 recruitment to DNA damage. While the PAR polymerase (PARP)1/2 inhibitor, olaparib, prevented UL31 recruitment to damaged DNA, KU55933 inhibition of signaling through the ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) DNA damage response pathway had no effect. These findings were further supported by experiments demonstrating direct and specific interaction between HSV-2 UL31 and PAR using purified components. Co-transfection with the viral kinase Us3, known to phosphorylate UL31, inhibited UL31 recruitment to DNA damage but also prevented the recruitment of other proteins recruited to DNA damage sites. The viral E3 ubiquitin ligase ICP0 was observed to co-localize with UL31 in transfected cells in a manner that is independent of the PAR-binding ability of UL31. However, inhibition of PARP1/2/3 did not reduce the ability of HSV-2 to replicate and we observed reduced PAR levels in the nuclei of infected cells. This study reveals a previously unrecognized function for UL31 orthologs and may suggest that the recognition of PAR by UL31 is coupled to the nuclear egress of herpesvirus capsids, influences viral DNA replication and packaging, or possibly modulates the DNA damage response mounted by virally infected cells.