Proliferating cell nuclear antigen inhibitors block distinct stages of herpes simplex virus infection



Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Publication Title

PLoS Pathogens








Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) forms a homotrimer that encircles replicating DNA and is bound by DNA polymerases to add processivity to cellular DNA synthesis. In addition, PCNA acts as a scaffold to recruit DNA repair and chromatin remodeling proteins to replicating DNA via its interdomain connecting loop (IDCL). Despite encoding a DNA polymerase processivity factor UL42, it was previously found that PCNA associates with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) replication forks and is necessary for productive HSV-1 infection. To define the role that PCNA plays during viral DNA replication or a replication-coupled process, we investigated the effects that two mechanistically distinct PCNA inhibitors, PCNA-I1 and T2AA, have on the HSV-1 infectious cycle. PCNA-I1 binds at the interface between PCNA monomers, stabilizes the homotrimer, and may interfere with protein-protein interactions. T2AA inhibits select protein-protein interactions within the PCNA IDCL. Here we demonstrate that PCNA-I1 treatment results in reduced HSV-1 DNA replication, late gene expression, and virus production, while T2AA treatment results in reduced late viral gene expression and infectious virus production. To pinpoint the mechanisms by which PCNA inhibitors affect viral processes and protein recruitment to replicated viral DNA, we performed accelerated native isolation of proteins on nascent DNA (aniPOND). Results indicate that T2AA inhibits recruitment of the viral uracil glycosylase UL2 and transcription regulatory factors to viral DNA, likely leading to a defect in viral base excision repair and the observed defect in late viral gene expression and infectious virus production. In addition, PCNA-I1 treatment results in decreased association of the viral DNA polymerase UL30 and known PCNA-interacting proteins with viral DNA, consistent with the observed block in viral DNA replication and subsequent processes. Together, we conclude that inhibitors of cellular PCNA block recruitment of key viral and cellular factors to viral DNA to inhibit viral DNA synthesis and coupled processes.

Open Access