Adenovirus-mediated ubiquitination alters protein–RNA binding and aids viral RNA processing

Christin Herrmann, Joseph M. Dybas, Jennifer C. Liddle, Alexander M. Price, Katharina E. Hayer, Richard Lauman, Caitlin E. Purman, Matthew Charman, Eui Tae Kim, Benjamin A. Garcia, Matthew D. Weitzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Viruses promote infection by hijacking the ubiquitin machinery of the host to counteract or redirect cellular processes. Adenovirus encodes two early proteins, E1B55K and E4orf6, that together co-opt a cellular ubiquitin ligase complex to overcome host defences and promote virus production. Adenovirus mutants lacking E1B55K or E4orf6 display defects in viral RNA processing and protein production, but previously identified substrates of the redirected ligase do not explain these phenotypes. Here, we used a quantitative proteomics approach to identify substrates of E1B55K/E4orf6-mediated ubiquitination that facilitate RNA processing. While all currently known cellular substrates of E1B55K and E4orf6 are degraded by the proteasome, we uncovered RNA-binding proteins as high-confidence substrates that are not decreased in overall abundance. We focused on two RNA-binding proteins, RALY and hnRNP-C, which we confirm are ubiquitinated without degradation. Knockdown of RALY and hnRNP-C increased levels of viral RNA splicing, protein abundance and progeny production during infection with E1B55K-deleted virus. Furthermore, infection with E1B55K-deleted virus resulted in an increased interaction of hnRNP-C with viral RNA and attenuation of viral RNA processing. These data suggest that viral-mediated ubiquitination of RALY and hnRNP-C relieves a restriction on viral RNA processing and reveal an unexpected role for non-degradative ubiquitination in the manipulation of cellular processes during virus infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1217-1231
Number of pages15
JournalNature microbiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


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