ABSTRACT: Influenza A virus RNA genome exists as eight-segmented ribonucleoprotein complexes containing viral RNA polymerase and nucleoprotein (vRNPs). Packaging of vRNPs and virus budding take place at the apical plasma membrane (APM). However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms of apical transport of newly synthesized vRNP. Transfection of fluorescent-labeled antibody and subsequent live cell imaging revealed that punctate vRNP signals moved along microtubules rapidly but intermittently in both directions, suggestive of vesicle trafficking. Using a series of Rab family protein, we demonstrated that progeny vRNP localized to recycling endosome (RE) in an active/GTP-bound Rab11-dependent manner. The vRNP interacted with Rab11 through viral RNA polymerase. The localization of vRNP to RE and subsequent accumulation to the APM were impaired by overexpression of Rab binding domains (RBD) of Rab11 family interacting proteins (Rab11-FIPs). Similarly, no APM accumulation was observed by overexpression of class II Rab11-FIP mutants lacking RBD. These results suggest that the progeny vRNP makes use of Rab11-dependent RE machinery for APM trafficking.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(6):e21123. · 4.09 Impact Factor