As their names imply, parvoviruses of the genus Dependovirus rely for their efficient replication on the concurrent presence of a helpervirus, such as herpesvirus, adenovirus, or papilloma virus. Adeno-associated virus 2 (AAV2) is such an example, which in turn can efficiently inhibit the replication of each helpervirus by distinct mechanisms. In a previous study we have shown that expression of the AAV2 rep gene is not compatible with efficient replication of herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1). In particular, the combined DNA-binding and ATPase/helicase activities of the Rep68/78 proteins have been shown to exert opposite effects on the replication of AAV2 and HSV-1. While essential for AAV2 DNA replication these protein activities account for the Rep-mediated inhibition of HSV-1 replication. Here, we describe a novel Rep mutant (Rep-D371Y), which displayed an unexpected phenotype. Rep-D371Y did not block HSV-1 replication, but still supported efficient AAV2 replication, at least when a double-stranded AAV2 genome template was used. We also found that the capacity of Rep-D371Y to induce apoptosis and a Rep-specific DNA damage response was significantly reduced compared to wild-type Rep. These findings suggest that AAV2 Rep-helicase subdomains exert diverging activities, which contribute to distinct steps of the AAV2 life cycle. More important, the novel AAV2 mutant Rep-D371Y may allow deciphering yet unsolved activities of the AAV2 Rep proteins such as DNA second-strand synthesis, genomic integration or packaging, which all involve the Rep-helicase activity.
Type of Publication:
Journal article published