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J Virol. 2000 Sep;74(18):8709-19.

Influenza virus assembly: effect of influenza virus glycoproteins on the membrane association of M1 protein.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, Molecular Biology Institute, Johnsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California 90095-1747, USA.


Influenza virus matrix protein (M1), a critical protein required for virus assembly and budding, is presumed to interact with viral glycoproteins on the outer side and viral ribonucleoprotein on the inner side. However, because of the inherent membrane-binding ability of M1 protein, it has been difficult to demonstrate the specific interaction of M1 protein with hemagglutinin (HA) or neuraminidase (NA), the influenza virus envelope glycoproteins. Using Triton X-100 (TX-100) detergent treatment of membrane fractions and floatation in sucrose gradients, we observed that the membrane-bound M1 protein expressed alone or coexpressed with heterologous Sendai virus F was totally TX-100 soluble but the membrane-bound M1 protein expressed in the presence of HA and NA was predominantly detergent resistant and floated to the top of the density gradient. Furthermore, both the cytoplasmic tail and the transmembrane domain of HA facilitated binding of M1 to detergent-resistant membranes. Analysis of the membrane association of M1 in the early and late phases of the influenza virus infectious cycle revealed that the interaction of M1 with mature glycoproteins which associated with the detergent-resistant lipid rafts was responsible for the detergent resistance of membrane-bound M1. Immunofluorescence analysis by confocal microscopy also demonstrated that, in influenza virus-infected cells, a fraction of M1 protein colocalized with HA and associated with the HA in transit to the plasma membrane via the exocytic pathway. Similar results for colocalization were obtained when M1 and HA were coexpressed and HA transport was blocked by monensin treatment. These studies indicate that both HA and NA interact with influenza virus M1 and that HA associates with M1 via its cytoplasmic tail and transmembrane domain.

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