The paramyxovirus phospho- (P) and nucleocapsid (NP) proteins are involved in transcription and replication of the viral genome. To study the interaction between NP and P proteins, we established HeLa cell lines that constitutively expressed the NP and/or P proteins of human parainfluenza virus type 2 (hPIV-2). Co-immunoprecipitation assays revealed that the NP and P proteins can form complexes in HeLa cells expressing both proteins (HeLa-NP + P cells) and in mixed cell lysates of HeLa-NP and HeLa-P cells. Deletion mutant analysis of the P protein was performed to identify the regions of P protein that interact with NP protein. The results indicate that two independent NP-binding sites exist on P protein: one is located in the N-terminal part of the protein, aa 1–47, and the other in the C-terminal part, aa 357–395. In addition, cells co-expressing NP and P proteins with N-terminal deletions showed immunofluorescence staining patterns (granular pattern) similar to those found in hPIV-2-infected cells. However, cells co-expressing NP and P proteins with C-terminal deletions showed a different immunofluorescence staining pattern (diffuse pattern), indicating that the C-terminal region is required for granule formation.


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