Influenza A viral nucleoprotein interacts with cytoskeleton scaffolding protein α‐actinin‐4 for viral replication
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Influenza A viral nucleoprotein interacts with cytoskeleton scaffolding protein α‐actinin‐4 for viral replication

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    • Alternative Title:
      FEBS J
    • Description:
      Influenza A virus (IAV), similar to other viruses, exploits the machinery of human host cells for its survival and replication. We identified α‐actinin‐4, a host cytoskeletal protein, as an interacting partner of IAV nucleoprotein (NP). We confirmed this interaction using co‐immunoprecipitation studies, first in a coupled in vitro transcription‐translation assay and then in cells either transiently co‐expressing the two proteins or infected with whole IAV. Importantly, the NP–actinin‐4 interaction was observed in several IAV subtypes, including the 2009 H1N1 pandemic virus. Moreover, immunofluorescence studies revealed that both NP and actinin‐4 co‐localized largely around the nucleus and also in the cytoplasmic region of virus‐infected A549 cells. Silencing of actinin‐4 expression resulted in not only a significant decrease in NP, M2 and NS1 viral protein expression, but also a reduction of both NP mRNA and viral RNA levels, as well as viral titers, 24 h post‐infection with IAV, suggesting that actinin‐4 was critical for viral replication. Furthermore, actinin‐4 depletion reduced the amount of NP localized in the nucleus. Treatment of infected cells with wortmannin, a known inhibitor of actinin‐4, led to a decrease in NP mRNA levels and also caused the nuclear retention of NP, further strengthening our previous observations. Taken together, the results of the present study indicate that actinin‐4, a novel interacting partner of IAV NP, plays a crucial role in viral replication and this interaction may participate in nuclear localization of NP and/or viral ribonucleoproteins.

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