The paramyxovirus matrix (M) protein is a molecular scaffold required for viral morphogenesis and budding at the plasma membrane. Transient nuclear residence of some M proteins hints at non-structural roles. However, little is known regarding the mechanisms that regulate the nuclear sojourn. Previously, we found that the nuclear-cytoplasmic trafficking of Nipah virus M (NiV-M) is a prerequisite for budding, and is regulated by a bipartite nuclear localization signal (NLSbp), a leucine-rich nuclear export signal (NES), and monoubiquitination of the K258 residue within the NLSbp itself (NLSbp-lysine). To define whether the sequence determinants of nuclear trafficking identified in NiV-M are common among other Paramyxovirinae M proteins, we generated the homologous NES and NLSbp-lysine mutations in M proteins from the five major Paramyxovirinae genera. Using quantitative 3D confocal microscopy, we determined that the NES and NLSbp-lysine are required for the efficient nuclear export of the M proteins of Nipah virus, Hendra virus, Sendai virus, and Mumps virus. Pharmacological depletion of free ubiquitin or mutation of the conserved NLSbp-lysine to an arginine, which inhibits M ubiquitination, also results in nuclear and nucleolar retention of these M proteins. Recombinant Sendai virus (rSeV-eGFP) bearing the NES or NLSbp-lysine M mutants rescued at similar efficiencies to wild type. However, foci of cells expressing the M mutants displayed marked fusogenicity in contrast to wild type, and infection did not spread. Recombinant Mumps virus (rMuV-eGFP) bearing the homologous mutations showed similar defects in viral morphogenesis. Finally, shotgun proteomics experiments indicated that the interactomes of Paramyxovirinae M proteins are significantly enriched for components of the nuclear pore complex, nuclear transport receptors, and nucleolar proteins. We then synthesize our functional and proteomics data to propose a working model for the ubiquitin-regulated nuclear-cytoplasmic trafficking of cognate paramyxovirus M proteins that show a consistent nuclear trafficking phenotype.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology