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J Virol. 2004 May;78(10):5358-67.

Identification of the nuclear export signal and STAT-binding domains of the Nipah virus V protein reveals mechanisms underlying interferon evasion.

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Immunobiology Center, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 1 Gustave L. Levy Place, New York, NY 10029, USA.


The V proteins of Nipah virus and Hendra virus have been demonstrated to bind to cellular STAT1 and STAT2 proteins to form high-molecular-weight complexes that inhibit interferon (IFN)-induced antiviral transcription by preventing STAT nuclear accumulation. Analysis of the Nipah virus V protein has revealed a region between amino acids 174 and 192 that functions as a CRM1-dependent nuclear export signal (NES). This peptide is sufficient to complement an export-defective human immunodeficiency virus Rev protein, and deletion and substitution mutagenesis revealed that this peptide is necessary for both V protein shuttling and cytoplasmic retention of STAT1 and STAT2 proteins. However, the NES is not required for V-dependent IFN signaling inhibition. IFN signaling is blocked primarily by interaction between Nipah virus V residues 100 to 160 and STAT1 residues 509 to 712. Interaction with STAT2 requires a larger Nipah virus V segment between amino acids 100 and 300, but deletion of residues 230 to 237 greatly reduced STAT2 coprecipitation. Further, V protein interactions with cellular STAT1 is a prerequisite for STAT2 binding, and sequential immunoprecipitations demonstrate that V, STAT1, and STAT2 can form a tripartite complex. These findings characterize essential regions for Henipavirus V proteins that represent potential targets for therapeutic intervention.

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