2008-11-05Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1128/JVI.01858-08
Analysis of influenza B virus NS1 protein trafficking reveals a novel interaction with nuclear speckle domains
Many proteins that function in the transcription, maturation, and export of metazoan mRNAs are concentrated in nuclear speckle domains, indicating that the compartment is important for gene expression. Here, we show that the NS1 protein of influenza B virus (B/NS1) accumulates in nuclear speckles and causes rounding and morphological changes of the domains, indicating a disturbance in their normal functions. This property was located within the N-terminal 90 amino acids of the B/NS1 protein and was shown to be independent of any other viral gene product. Within this protein domain, we identified a monopartite importin α binding nuclear localization signal. Reverse-genetic analysis of this motif indicated that nuclear import and speckle association of the B/NS1 protein are required for the full replication capacity of the virus. In the late phase of virus infection, the B/NS1 protein relocated to the cytoplasm, which occurred in a CRM1-independent manner. The interaction of the B/NS1 protein with nuclear speckles may reflect a recruitment function to promote viral-gene expression. To our knowledge, this is the first functional description of a speckle-associated protein that is encoded by a negative-strand RNA virus.
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