Liquid–liquid phase separation (LLPS) plays important roles in forming cellular membraneless organelles. However, how host factors regulate LLPS of viral proteins during negative-sense RNA (NSR) virus infections is largely unknown. Here, we used Barley yellow striate mosaic virus (BYSMV) as a model to demonstrate regulation of host casein kinase 1 in phase separation and infection of NSR viruses. We first found that the BYSMV phosphoprotein (P) formed spherical granules with liquid properties and recruited viral nucleotide (N) and polymerase (L) proteins in vivo. Moreover, the P-formed granules were tethered to the ER/actin network for trafficking and fusion. BYSMV P alone formed droplets and incorporated the N protein and genomic RNA in vitro. Interestingly, phase separation of BYSMV P was inhibited by host casein kinase 1 (CK1)-dependent phosphorylation of an intrinsically disordered P protein region. Genetic assays demonstrated that the unphosphorylated mutant of BYSMV P exhibited condensed phase, which promoted virus replication through concentrating the N, L proteins, and genome RNA into viroplasms. Whereas, the phosphorylation-mimic mutant existed in diffuse phase state leading to enhanced virus transcription. Collectively, our results demonstrate that host CK1 modulates phase separation of viral P protein and virus infection.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.11.16.468817