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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010 May 7;395(3):312-7. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2010.03.166. Epub 2010 Apr 1.

Characterization of the interaction of influenza virus NS1 with Akt.

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Division of Cancer Biology, Institute for Genetic Medicine, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan.


Avian influenza viruses belong to the genus influenza A virus of the family Orthomyxoviridae. The influenza virus consists of eight segmented minus stranded RNA that encode 11 known proteins. Among the 11 viral proteins, NS1 (non-structural protein 1, encoded on segment 8) has been implicated in the regulation of several important intra-cellular functions. In this report, we investigated the functional interaction of NS1 with serine threonine kinase Akt, a core intra-cellular survival regulator. In co-immunoprecipitation assays and GST pull-down assays, NS1 directly interacted with Akt. The interaction was mediated primarily through the Akt-PH (Pleckstrin Homology) domain and the RNA-binding domain of NS1. NS1 preferentially interacted with phosphorylated Akt, but not with non-phosphorylated Akt. Functionally, the NS1-Akt interaction enhanced Akt activity both in the intra-cellular context and in in vitro Akt kinase assays. Confocal microscopic analysis revealed that phosphorylated Akt interacted with NS1 during the interphase of the cell cycle predominantly within the nucleus. Finally, mass spectrometric analysis demonstrated the position at Thr215 of NS1 protein is primary phosphorylation target site through Akt activation. The results together supported the functional importance of influenza virus NS1 with Akt, a core intra-cellular survival regulator.

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