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Characterization of the Human Herpesvirus 6 U69 Gene Product and Identification of Its Nuclear Localization Signal▿

By Yuji Isegawa, Yoichi Miyamoto, Yoshinari Yasuda, Katsunori Semi, Kenji Tsujimura, Rikiro Fukunaga, Atsushi Ohshima, Yasuhiro Horiguchi, Yoshihiro Yoneda and Nakaba Sugimoto


To elucidate the function of the U69 protein kinase of human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) in vivo, we first analyzed its subcellular localization in HHV-6-infected Molt 3 cells by using polyclonal antibodies against the U69 protein. Immunofluorescence studies showed that the U69 signal localized to the nucleus in a mesh-like pattern in both HHV-6-infected and HHV6-transfected cells. A computer program predicted two overlapping classic nuclear localization signals (NLSs) in the N-terminal region of the protein; this NLS motif is highly conserved in the N-terminal region of most of the herpesvirus protein kinases examined to date. An N-terminal deletion mutant form of the protein failed to enter the nucleus, whereas a fusion protein of green fluorescent protein (GFP) and/or glutathione S-transferase (GST) and the U69 N-terminal region was transported into the nucleus, demonstrating that the predicted N-terminal NLSs of the protein actually function as NLSs. The nuclear transport of the GST-GFP fusion protein containing the N-terminal NLS of U69 was inhibited by wheat germ agglutinin and by the Q69L Ran-GTP mutant, indicating that the U69 protein is transported into the nucleus from the cytoplasm via classic nuclear transport machinery. A cell-free import assay showed that the nuclear transport of the U69 protein was mediated by importin α/β in conjunction with the small GTPase Ran. When the import assay was performed with a low concentration of each importin-α subtype, NPI2/importin-α7 elicited more efficient transport activity than did Rch1/importin-α1 or Qip1/importin-α3. These results suggest a relationship between the localization of NPI2/importin-α7 and the cell tropism of HHV-6

Topics: Virus-Cell Interactions
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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