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IUBMB Life. 2005 Feb;57(2):65-72.

Viral interactions with the nuclear transport machinery: discovering and disrupting pathways.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida 33136, USA.


Viruses have been invaluable tools for discovering key pathways of nucleocytoplasmic transport. Conversely, disruption of specific nuclear transport pathways, are crucial for the productive life cycle of some viruses. The major cellular mRNA export pathway, which uses TAP (NXF1)/p15(NXT) as receptor, was discovered as a result of TAP interaction with CTE-containing RNAs from Mason-Pfizer Monkey Virus. In addition, CRM1 or exportin 1, which is a transport receptor that mediates nuclear export of proteins, snRNAs, rRNAs and a small subset of mRNAs, was discovered as an interacting partner of the Rev protein of HIV1. Viruses may disrupt the nuclear transport machinery to prevent host antiviral response. VSV Matrix (M) protein inhibits mRNA export by forming a complex with the mRNA export factor Rae1 whereas poliovirus inhibits nuclear import of proteins by probably degrading Nup62 and Nup153. Hence, this review focuses on viruses as tools and as disruptors of nucleocytoplasmic trafficking.

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