Peptide domains involved in the localization of the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus nucleocapsid protein to the nucleolus

Raymond R.R. Rowland, Paula Schneider, Ying Fang, Sarah Wootton, Dongwan Yoo, David A. Benfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The nucleocapsid (N) protein of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is the principal component of the viral nucleocapsid and localizes to the nucleolus. Peptide sequence analysis of the N protein of several North American isolates identified two potential nuclear localization signal (NLS) sequences located at amino acids 10-13 and 41-42, which were labeled NLS-1 and NLS-2, respectively. Peptides containing NLS-1 or NLS-2 were sufficient to accumulate enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) in the nucleus. The inactivation of NLS-1 by site-directed mutagenesis or the deletion of the first 14 amino acids did not affect N protein localization to the nucleolus. The substitution of key lysine residues with uncharged amino acids in NLS-2 blocked nuclear/nucleolar localization. Site-directed mutagenesis within NLS-2 identified the sequence, KKNKK, as forming the core localization domain within NLS-2. Using an in vitro pull-down assay, the N protein was able to bind importin-α, importin-β nuclear transport proteins. The localization pattern of N-EGFP fusion peptides represented by a series of deletions from the C- and N-terminal ends of the N protein identified a region covering amino acids 41-72, which contained a nucleolar localization signal (NoLS) sequence. The 41-72 N peptide when fused to EGFP mimicked the nucleolar-cytoplasmic distribution of native N. These results identify a single NLS involved in the transport of N from the cytoplasm and into nucleus. An additional peptide sequence, overlapping NLS-2, is involved in the further targeting of N to the nucleolus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-145
Number of pages11
JournalVirology
Volume316
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 10 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Nuclear localization signal (NLS)
  • Nucleocapsid (N) protein
  • Nucleolar localization signal (NoLS)
  • Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

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