Marburg virus (MARV), a member of the Filoviridae family that also includes Ebola virus (EBOV), causes lethal hemorrhagic fever with case fatality rates that have exceeded 50% in some outbreaks. Within an infected cell, there are numerous host-viral interactions that contribute to the outcome of infection. Recent studies identified MARV protein 24 (mVP24) as a modulator of the host antioxidative responses, but the molecular mechanism remains unclear. Using a combination of biochemical and mass spectrometry studies, we show that mVP24 is a dimer in solution that directly binds to the Kelch domain of Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1) to regulate nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2). This interaction between Keap1 and mVP24 occurs through the Kelch interaction loop (K-Loop) of mVP24 leading to upregulation of antioxidant response element transcription, which is distinct from other Kelch binders that regulate Nrf2 activity. N-terminal truncations disrupt mVP24 dimerization, allowing monomeric mVP24 to bind Kelch with higher affinity and stimulate higher antioxidative stress response element (ARE) reporter activity. Mass spectrometry-based mapping of the interface revealed overlapping binding sites on Kelch for mVP24 and the Nrf2 proteins. Substitution of conserved cysteines, C209 and C210, to alanine in the mVP24 K-Loop abrogates Kelch binding and ARE activation. Our studies identify a shift in the monomer-dimer equilibrium of MARV VP24, driven by its interaction with Keap1 Kelch domain, as a critical determinant that modulates host responses to pathogenic Marburg viral infections.
- Marburg virus
- antioxidative stress
- hydrogen deuterium exchange mass spectrometry
- viral subversion