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Virology. 1993 Aug;195(2):596-607.

The matrix protein of Newcastle disease virus localizes to the nucleus via a bipartite nuclear localization signal.

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Department of Immunology/Microbiology, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois 60612.


The Newcastle disease virus matrix (M) protein expressed from a cDNA clone is observed in the nucleus of transfected cells, displaying a localization pattern identical to that observed in virus-infected cells. To identify the nuclear localization signal (NLS) in the M protein, M gene mutants encoding deletion and amino acid substitution proteins were constructed and expressed transiently in COS-1 cells. Protein products were examined for intracellular localization using indirect immunofluorescence. Two basic amino acid clusters in the M protein were found to be required for nuclear localization since deletion of these basic clusters or substitution with random amino acids resulted in cytoplasmic localization. Substitution of pairs of basic amino acids with non-basic residues revealed that components from both basic regions are required for nuclear localization. This interdependence between two basic clusters suggests that the NLS in the M protein belongs to the newly described class of "bipartite" NLSs. Unlike most NLSs, M protein sequences containing the critical basic amino acid clusters fused to two different cytoplasmic reporter proteins failed to transport these proteins to the nucleus.

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