Diverse bacterial and viral pathogens induce actin polymerization in the cytoplasm of host cells to facilitate infection. Here, we describe a pathogenic mechanism for promoting dynamic actin assembly in the nucleus to enable viral replication. The baculovirus Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus induced nuclear actin polymerization by translocating the host actin-nucleating Arp2/3 complex into the nucleus, where it was activated by p78/83, a viral Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP)-like protein. Nuclear actin assembly by p78/83 and Arp2/3 complex was essential for viral progeny production. Recompartmentalizing dynamic host actin may represent a conserved mode of pathogenesis and reflect viral manipulation of normal functions of nuclear actin.
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