The protein regions involved in the nuclear translocation of the influenza virus PA polymerase subunit have been identified by deletion analysis of the protein expressed from a recombinant simian virus 40. Two regions seem to play a role in the process: region I (amino acids 124 to 139) and region II (amino acids 186 to 247). A nucleoplasmin-like nuclear translocation signal (NLS) has been identified in region I and an additional NLS appears to be present in region II, although no consensus targeting sequence can be detected. Alteration in any of the regions identified by short deletions completely prevented nuclear transport, whereas elimination of the regions I or II by large amino- or carboxy-terminal deletions did not prevent nuclear targeting of the truncated protein. In addition, a point mutation at position 154 completely eliminated nuclear transport. A β-galactosidase fusion protein containing the 280 amino acid terminal region of the PA protein was partially transported to the nucleus and mutant PA proteins with a cytoplasmic phenotype could not be rescued by superinfection with influenza virus. These results suggest that the PA protein contains a functional nuclear targeting region which is required in influenza virus infection, with two independent NLSs, one in region I and the other in region II.


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