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Post-Doctoral Research Associate
Yuan Su and Robert V. Stahelin
Viruses, eISSN: 19994915, Published: August 2020 MDPI AG
Viral protein 24 (VP24) from Ebola virus (EBOV) was first recognized as a minor matrix protein that associates with cellular membranes. However, more recent studies shed light on its roles in inhibiting viral genome transcription and replication, facilitating nucleocapsid assembly and transport, and interfering with immune responses in host cells through downregulation of interferon (IFN)-activated genes. Thus, whether VP24 is a peripheral protein with lipid-binding ability for matrix layer recruitment has not been explored. Here, we examined the lipid-binding ability of VP24 with a number of lipid-binding assays. The results indicated that VP24 lacked the ability to associate with lipids tested regardless of VP24 posttranslational modifications. We further demonstrate that the presence of the EBOV major matrix protein VP40 did not promote VP24 membrane association in vitro or in cells. Further, no protein–protein interactions between VP24 and VP40 were detected by co-immunoprecipitation. Confocal imaging and cellular membrane fractionation analyses in human cells suggested VP24 did not specifically localize at the plasma membrane inner leaflet. Overall, we provide evidence that EBOV VP24 is not a lipid-binding protein and its presence in the viral matrix layer is likely not dependent on direct lipid interactions.