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Viruses 2017, 9(10), 306;

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

The Roslin Institute, The University of Edinburgh, Midlothian EH25 9RG, UK
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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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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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 (CC BY 4.0).

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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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