Molecular mechanisms of the formation of viral replication organelle from ‘ER response zone’.
Many pathogens persistently infect host cells and dramatically rearrange the intracellular membranes to produce unusual organelle-like structures called ‘replication organelle’. In positive-strand RNA virus infected cells, the membrane structures appear near the endoplasmic reticulum. Therefore, it can be said that these structures are generated from the ‘ER response zone’. These structures likely serve as a scaffold for the assembly of the replication machinery by providing an environment facilitating viral propagation. These structures are also known to serve as shells that protect the viruses against various cellular stress responses and allow persistent viral replication in the cytoplasm. In this process, the replication organelle creates a ‘communication zone’ with the surrounding mitochondria that possess sensors and mediate innate immune receptor signaling. In this study, our group will focus on the molecular mechanism of the formation of the ‘ER response zone’ and the ‘replication organelle-mitochondria communication zone’ by identifying the dynamic state of viral and/or host factors during the viral propagation cycle.
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