Three of the eight RNA segments encoded by the influenza A virus (IAV) undergo alternative splicing to generate distinct proteins. Previously, we found that host proteins hnRNP K and NS1-BP regulate IAV M segment splicing, but the mechanistic details were unknown. Here we show NS1-BP and hnRNP K bind M mRNA downstream of the M2 5′ splice site (5′ss). NS1-BP binds most proximal to the 5′ss, partially overlapping the U1 snRNP binding site, while hnRNP K binds further downstream and promotes U1 snRNP recruitment. Mutation of either or both the hnRNP K and NS1-BP-binding sites results in M segment mis-splicing and attenuated IAV replication. Additionally, we show that hnRNP K and NS1-BP regulate host splicing events and that viral infection causes mis-splicing of some of these transcripts. Therefore, our proposed mechanism of hnRNP K/NS1-BP mediated IAV M splicing provides potential targets of antiviral intervention and reveals novel host functions for these proteins.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)