In mammalian cells, proteins involved in mRNA silencing and degradation localize to discrete cytoplasmic foci called processing or P-bodies. Here we show that microscopically visible P-bodies are greatly diminished following West Nile viral infection, but the component proteins are not depleted. On the other hand, many P-body components including LSM1, GW182, DDX3, DDX6 and XRN1, but not others like DCP1a and EDC4 are recruited to the viral replication sites, as evidenced by their colocalization at perinuclear region with viral NS3. Kinetic studies suggest that the component proteins are first released from P-bodies in response to WNV infection within 12. h post-infection, followed by recruitment to the viral replication sites by 24-36 h post-infection. Silencing of the recruited proteins individually with siRNA interfered with viral replication to varying extents suggesting that the recruited proteins are required for efficient viral replication. Thus, the P-body proteins might provide novel drug targets for inhibiting viral infection.
- West Nile virus
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