Positive-strand RNA viruses, including picornaviruses, utilize cellular machinery for genome replication. Previously, we reported that each of the 2B, 2BC, 2C, 3A, and 3AB proteins of Aichi virus (AiV), a picornavirus, forms a complex with the Golgi apparatus protein ACBD3 and phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase IIIβ (PI4KB) at viral RNA replication sites (replication organelles [ROs]), enhancing PI4KB-dependent phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PI4P) production. Here, we demonstrate AiV hijacking of the cellular cholesterol transport system involving oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP), a PI4P-binding cholesterol transfer protein. AiV RNA replication was inhibited by silencing cellular proteins known to be components of this pathway, OSBP, the ER membrane proteins VAPA and VAPB (VAP-A/B), the PI4P-phosphatase SAC1, and PItransfer protein β. OSBP, VAP-A/B, and SAC1 were present at RNA replication sites. We also found various previously unknown interactions among the AiV proteins (2B, 2BC, 2C, 3A, and 3AB), ACBD3, OSBP, VAP-A/B, and SAC1, and the interactions were suggested to be involved in recruiting the component proteins to AiV ROs. Importantly, the OSBP-2B interaction enabled PI4P-independent recruitment of OSBP to AiV ROs, indicating preferential recruitment of OSBP among PI4P-binding proteins. Protein-protein interaction-based OSBP recruitment has not been reported for other picornaviruses. Cholesterol was accumulated at AiV ROs, and inhibition of OSBPmediated cholesterol transfer impaired cholesterol accumulation and AiV RNA replication. Electron microscopy showed that AiV-induced vesicle-like structures were close to ER membranes. Altogether, we conclude that AiV directly recruits the cholesterol transport machinery through protein-protein interactions, resulting in formation of membrane contact sites between the ER and AiV ROs and cholesterol supply to the ROs.
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