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J Interferon Cytokine Res. 1998 Sep;18(9):757-66.

Biochemical and genetic evidence for complex formation between the influenza A virus NS1 protein and the interferon-induced PKR protein kinase.

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Department of Microbiology School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle 98195, USA.


The interferon (IFN)-induced protein kinase (PKR) functions as a gatekeeper of mRNA translation initiation and is, therefore, a key mediator of the host IFN-induced antiviral defense system. Many viruses have invested countermeasures against PKR. Some apparently use more than one mechanism. The influenza virus can repress PKR activity through the use of at least two factors, the cellular P58IPK protein and the viral NS1 protein. The exact mode of action of the latter has not been established. Here, using a coprecipitation assay, we found that PKR could form a complex with NS1 in crude cell extracts prepared from influenza virus-infected HeLa cells. The NS1-PKR interaction was verified by using the yeast two-hybrid system and an in vitro binding assay. Deletion analysis mapped the NS1 binding site to the N-terminal 98 residues of PKR regulatory region. Furthermore, an NS1 mutant, which lacks PKR inhibitory activity, did not bind PKR. Finally, the functional role of NS1 in PKR inhibition was substantiated using an in vivo assay for PKR activity. These results support the role of NS1 in PKR modulation during viral infection that is mediated through a complex formation between the two proteins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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