ESCRT-II functions by linking to ESCRT-I in human immunodeficiency virus-1 budding

Bo Meng*, Natasha C.Y. Ip, Truus E.M. Abbink, Julia C. Kenyon, Andrew M.L. Lever

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) uses the ESCRT (endosomal sorting complexes required for transport) protein pathway to bud from infected cells. Despite the roles of ESCRT-I and -III in HIV budding being firmly established, participation of ESCRT-II in this process has been controversial. EAP45 is a critical component of ESCRT-II. Previously, we utilised a CRISPR-Cas9 EAP45 knockout cell line to assess the involvement of ESCRT-II in HIV replication. We demonstrated that the absence of ESCRT-II impairs HIV budding. Here, we show that virus spread is also defective in physiologically relevant CRISPR/Cas9 EAP45 knockout T cells. We further show reappearance of efficient budding by re-introduction of EAP45 expression into EAP45 knockout cells. Using expression of selected mutants of EAP45, we dissect the domain requirement responsible for this function. Our data show at the steady state that rescue of budding is only observed in the context of a Gag/Pol, but not a Gag expressor, indicating that the size of cargo determines the usage of ESCRT-II. EAP45 acts through the YPXL-ALIX pathway as partial rescue is achieved in a PTAP but not a YPXL mutant virus. Our study clarifies the role of ESCRT-II in the late stages of HIV replication and reinforces the notion that ESCRT-II plays an integral part during this process as it does in sorting ubiquitinated cargos and in cytokinesis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13161
JournalCellular Microbiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020

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