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Abstract

Many viruses use their host’s cellular machinery to regulate the functions of viral proteins. The phosphorylation of viral proteins is known to play a role in genome transcription and replication in paramyxoviruses. The paramyxovirus nucleoprotein (N), the most abundant protein in infected cells, is a component of the N–RNA complex and supports the transcription and replication of virus mRNA and genomic RNA. Recently, we reported that the phosphorylation of measles virus N is involved in the regulation of viral RNA synthesis. In this study, we report a rapid turnover of phosphorylation in the Nipah virus N (NiV-N). The phosphorylated NiV-N was hardly detectable in steady-state cells, but was detected after inhibition of cellular protein phosphatases. We identified a phosphorylated serine residue at Ser451 of NiV-N by peptide mass fingerprinting by electrospray ionization–quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry. In the NiV minigenome assay, using luciferase as a reporter gene, the substitution of Ser451 for alanine in NiV-N resulted in a reduction in luciferase activity of approximately 45 % compared with the wild-type protein. Furthermore, the substitution of Ser451 for glutamic acid, which mimics a phosphoserine, led to a more significant decrease in luciferase activity – approximately 81 %. Northern blot analysis showed that both virus transcription and replication were reduced by these mutations. These results suggest that a rapid turnover of the phosphorylation of NiV-N plays an important role in virus transcription and replication.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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2011-09-01
2022-05-25
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