Forced association of SARS-CoV-2 proteins with the yeast proteome perturb vesicle trafficking
journal contributionposted on 13.01.2022, 13:37 by Cinzia Klemm, Henry Wood, Grace Heredge Thomas, Guðjón Ólafsson, Mara Teixeira Torres, Peter H Thorpe
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of the highly infectious coronavirus disease COVID-19. Extensive research has been performed in recent months to better understand how SARS-CoV-2 infects and manipulates its host to identify potential drug targets and support patient recovery from COVID-19. However, the function of many SARS-CoV-2 proteins remains uncharacterised. Here we used the Synthetic Physical Interactions (SPI) method to recruit SARS-CoV-2 proteins to most of the budding yeast proteome to identify conserved pathways which are affected by SARS-CoV-2 proteins. The set of yeast proteins that result in growth defects when associated with the viral proteins have homologous functions that overlap those identified in studies performed in mammalian cells. Specifically, we were able to show that recruiting the SARS-CoV-2 NSP1 protein to HOPS, a vesicle-docking complex, is sufficient to perturb membrane trafficking in yeast consistent with the hijacking of the endoplasmic-reticulum–Golgi intermediate compartment trafficking pathway during viral infection of mammalian cells. These data demonstrate that the yeast SPI method is a rapid way to identify potential functions of ectopic viral proteins.