Orsay virus is the only known natural virus pathogen of Caenorhabditis elegans, and its discovery has enabled virus-host interaction studies in this model organism. Host genes required for viral infection remain understudied. We previously established a forward genetic screen based on a virus-inducible green fluorescent protein transcriptional reporter to identify novel host factors essential for virus infection. Here, we report the essential role in Orsay virus infection of the dietary restriction-like (drl-1) gene, which encodes a serine/threonine kinase similar to the mammalian MEKK3 kinase. Ablation of drl-1 led to a10,000-fold reduction in Orsay virus RNA levels, which could be rescued by ectopic expression of DRL-1. DRL-1 was dispensable for Orsay replication from an endogenous transgene replicon, suggesting that DRL-1 affects a prereplication stage of the Orsay life cycle. Thus, this study demonstrates the power of C. elegans as a model to identify novel virus-host interactions essential for virus infection.
- Caenorhabditis elegans
- Orsay virus