Emerging influenza D viruses (IDVs), the newest member in the genus Orthomyxovirus
family, which can infect and transmit in multiple mammalian species as its relatives the influenza A viruses (IAVs). Additional studies of biological characteristics of IDVs are needed; here, we studied the characteristics of IDV nonstructural protein 2 (NS2), which shares the lowest homology to known influenza proteins. First, we generated reassortant viruses via reverse genetics to analyze the segment compatibility and gene interchangeability between IAVs and IDVs. Next, we investigated the locations and exact sequences of nuclear export signals (NESs) of the IDV NS2 protein. Surprisingly, three separate NES regions were found to contribute to the nuclear export of an eGFP fusion protein. Alanine scanning mutagenesis identified critical amino acid residues within each NES, and co-immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrated that their nuclear export activities depend on the CRM1-mediated pathway, particularly for the third NES (136-146aa) of IDV NS2. Interestingly, the third NES was important for the interaction of NS2 protein with CRM1. The findings in this study contribute to the understanding of IDV NS2 protein’s role during nucleocytoplasmic transport of influenza viral ribonucleoprotein complexes (vRNPs) and will also facilitate the development of novel anti-influenza drugs targeting nuclear export signals of IDV NS2 protein.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited