Successful viral infection requires viruses to redirect host biochemistry to replicate the viral genome, and produce and assemble progeny virions. Cellular heat-shock responses, which are characterized as elevation and relocalization of heat-shock proteins, occur during replication of many viruses. Such responses might be host reactions to the synthesis of foreign protein, or might be irrelevant consequences of the viral need to activate transcription. Alternatively, as heat-shock proteins can facilitate protein folding, activating a heat-shock response might be a specific virus function ensuring proper synthesis of viral proteins and virions. It is not possible to determine whether heat-shock response is essential for virus replication, because the implicated viral genes (such as Ad5 E1A, ref. 10) also control other essential replication steps. Here we report that expression of Gam1, a protein encoded by the avian virus CELO (ref. 11), elevates and relocalizes hsp70 and hsp40. Gam1-negative CELO is replication-defective; however, Gam1 function can be partially replaced by either heat shock or forced hsp40 expression. Thus, an essential function of Gam1 during virus replication is to activate host heat-shock responses with hsp40 as a primary target.
ASJC Scopus subject areas