Binding of Herpes Simplex Virus 1 UL20 to GODZ (DHHC3) Affects Its Palmitoylation and Is Essential for Infectivity and Proper Targeting and Localization of UL20 and Glycoprotein K

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Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) UL20 plays a crucial role in the envelopment of the cytoplasmic virion and its egress. It is a nonglycosylated envelope protein that is regulated as a γ1 gene. Two-hybrid and pulldown assays demonstrated that UL20, but no other HSV-1 gene-encoded proteins, binds specifically to GODZ (also known as DHHC3), a cellular Golgi apparatus-specific Asp-His-His-Cys (DHHC) zinc finger protein. A catalytically inactive dominant-negative GODZ construct significantly reduced HSV-1 replication and affected the localization of UL20 and glycoprotein K (gK) and their interactions but not glycoprotein C (gC). GODZ is involved in palmitoylation, and we found that UL20 is palmitoylated by GODZ using a GODZ dominant-negative plasmid. Blocking of palmitoylation using 2-bromopalmitate (2-BP) affected the virus titer and the interaction of UL20 and gK but did not affect the levels of these proteins. In conclusion, we have shown that binding of UL20 to GODZ in the Golgi apparatus regulates trafficking of UL20 and its subsequent effects on gK localization and virus replication. We also have demonstrated that GODZ-mediated UL20 palmitoylation is critical for UL20 membrane targeting and thus gK cell surface expression, providing new mechanistic insights into how UL20 palmitoylation regulates HSV-1 infectivity. HSV-1 UL20 is a nonglycosylated essential envelope protein that is highly conserved among herpesviruses. In this study, we show that (i) HSV-1 UL20 binds to GODZ (also known as DHHC3), a Golgi apparatus-specific Asp-His-His-Cys (DHHC) zinc finger protein; (ii) a GODZ dominant-negative mutant and an inhibitor of palmitoylation reduced HSV-1 titers and altered the localization of UL20 and glycoprotein K; and (iii) UL20 is palmitoylated by GODZ, and this UL20 palmitoylation is required for HSV-1 infectivity. Thus, blocking of the interaction of UL20 with GODZ, using a GODZ dominant-negative mutant or possibly GODZ shRNA, should be considered a potential alternative therapy in not only HSV-1 but also other conditions in which GODZ processing is an integral component of pathogenesis.

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Journal of virology

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