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Viruses 2017, 9(10), 306; doi:10.3390/v9100306

Mutation of a Conserved Nuclear Export Sequence in Chikungunya Virus Capsid Protein Disrupts Host Cell Nuclear Import

1
The Roslin Institute, The University of Edinburgh, Midlothian EH25 9RG, UK
2
Institute for Glycomics, Gold Coast Campus, Griffith University, Nathan, QLD 4212, Australia
Susan C. Jacobs and Adam Taylor contributed equally to this work.
Current address: Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010, Australia.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 August 2017 / Revised: 17 October 2017 / Accepted: 17 October 2017 / Published: 20 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Alphavirus Research)
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Abstract

Transmitted by mosquitoes; chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is responsible for frequent outbreaks of arthritic disease in humans. CHIKV is an arthritogenic alphavirus of the Togaviridae family. Capsid protein, a structural protein encoded by the CHIKV RNA genome, is able to translocate to the host cell nucleus. In encephalitic alphaviruses nuclear translocation induces host cell shut off; however, the role of capsid protein nuclear localisation in arthritogenic alphaviruses remains unclear. Using replicon systems, we investigated a nuclear export sequence (NES) in the N-terminal region of capsid protein; analogous to that found in encephalitic alphavirus capsid but uncharacterised in CHIKV. The chromosomal maintenance 1 (CRM1) export adaptor protein mediated CHIKV capsid protein export from the nucleus and a region within the N-terminal part of CHIKV capsid protein was required for active nuclear targeting. In contrast to encephalitic alphaviruses, CHIKV capsid protein did not inhibit host nuclear import; however, mutating the NES of capsid protein (∆NES) blocked host protein access to the nucleus. Interactions between capsid protein and the nucleus warrant further investigation. View Full-Text
Keywords: alphavirus; chikungunya virus; capsid protein; nuclear export alphavirus; chikungunya virus; capsid protein; nuclear export
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Jacobs, S.C.; Taylor, A.; Herrero, L.J.; Mahalingam, S.; Fazakerley, J.K. Mutation of a Conserved Nuclear Export Sequence in Chikungunya Virus Capsid Protein Disrupts Host Cell Nuclear Import. Viruses 2017, 9, 306.

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