Interference with nucleocytoplasmic transport is a strategy employed by certain viruses to compromise host cellular function. While it has been shown that the matrix (M) protein of the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) inhibits nuclear export of host cell mRNAs, the underlying mechanism has not been fully established. Here we show that VSV M protein binds the mRNA export factor Rae1/mrnp41. A mutant of M protein defective in Rae1 binding is unable to inhibit mRNA nuclear export. We further show that increased expression of Rae1 fully reverts the inhibition of mRNA export induced by M protein or following virus infection. We found that Rae1 is induced by interferon-γ, a cytokine that plays a critical role in the immune response to viruses, such as VSV. Thus, these results demonstrate that VSV M protein blocks mRNA export by disrupting Rae1 function, which can be reverted by induction of Rae1 expression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology