Proteomic Identification of Potential Target Proteins of Cathepsin W for Its Development as a Drug Target for Influenza

Sira C. Günther, Carles Martínez-Romero, Milagros Sempere Borau, Christine T.N. Pham, Adolfo García-Sastre, Silke Stertz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Influenza A virus (IAV) coopts numerous host factors for efficient replication. The cysteine protease cathepsin W (CTSW) has been identified as one host factor required for IAV entry, specifically for the escape of IAVs from late endosomes. However, the substrate specificity of CTSW and the proviral mechanism are thus far unknown. Here, we show that intracellular but not secreted CTSW promotes viral entry. We reveal 79 potential direct and 31 potential indirect cellular target proteins of CTSW using the high-throughput proteomic approach terminal amine isotopic labeling of substrates (TAILS) and determine the cleavage motif shared by the substrates of CTSW. Subsequent integration with data from RNA interference (RNAi) screens for IAV host factors uncovers first insights into the proviral function of CTSW. Notably, CTSW-deficient mice display a 25% increase in survival and a delay in mortality compared to wild-type mice upon IAV infection. Altogether, these findings support the development of drugs targeting CTSW as novel host-directed antiviral therapies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMicrobiology spectrum
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Keywords

  • CTSW
  • EPN2
  • TAILS
  • cathepsin W
  • cysteine protease cathepsin W
  • epsin 2
  • host-directed antivirals
  • influenza A virus
  • influenza virus
  • terminal amine isotopic labeling of substrates
  • virus entry

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