TMEM41B is a pan-flavivirus host factor
William M. Schneider,
Linde A Miles,
Charles M. Rudin,
Margaret R. MacDonald,
Laura K McMullan,
John T Poirier,
Posted 10 Oct 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.10.09.334128
Posted 10 Oct 2020
Flaviviruses pose a constant threat to human health. These RNA viruses are transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes and ticks and regularly cause outbreaks. To identify host factors required for flavivirus infection we performed full-genome loss of function CRISPR-Cas9 screens. Based on these results we focused our efforts on characterizing the roles that TMEM41B and VMP1 play in the virus replication cycle. Our mechanistic studies on TMEM41B revealed that all members of the Flaviviridae family that we tested require TMEM41B. We tested 12 additional virus families and found that SARS-CoV-2 of the Coronaviridae also required TMEM41B for infection. Remarkably, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) present at nearly twenty percent in East Asian populations reduce flavivirus infection. Based on our mechanistic studies we hypothesize that TMEM41B is recruited to flavivirus RNA replication complexes to facilitate membrane curvature, which creates a protected environment for viral genome replication. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
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