TAP translocates virus-derived peptides from the cytosol into the endoplasmic reticulum, where the peptides are loaded onto MHC class I molecules. This process is crucial for the detection of virus-infected cells by CTL that recognize the MHC class I-peptide complexes at the cell surface. The varicellovirus bovine herpesvirus 1 encodes a protein, UL49.5, that acts as a potent inhibitor of TAP. UL49.5 acts in two ways, as follows: 1) by blocking conformational changes of TAP required for the translocation of peptides into the endoplasmic reticulum, and 2) by targeting TAP1 and TAP2 for proteasomal degradation. At present, it is unknown whether UL49.5 interacts with TAP1, TAP2, or both. The contribution of other members of the peptide-loading complex has not been established. Using TAP-deficient cells reconstituted with wild-type and recombinant forms of TAP1 and TAP2, TAP was defined as the prime target of UL49.5 within the peptide-loading complex. The presence of TAP1 and TAP2 was required for efficient interaction with UL49.5. Using deletion mutants of TAP1 and TAP2, the 6+6 transmembrane core complex of TAP was shown to be sufficient for UL49.5 to interact with TAP and block its function. However, UL49.5-induced inhibition of peptide transport was most efficient in cells expressing full-length TAP1 and TAP2. Inhibition of TAP by UL49.5 appeared to be independent of the presence of other peptide-loading complex components, including tapasin. These results demonstrate that UL49.5 acts directly on the 6+6 transmembrane TAP core complex of TAP by blocking essential conformational transitions required for peptide transport.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy