Influenza A Virus NS1 Protein Binds as a Dimer to RNA-Free PABP1 but Not to the PABP1·Poly(A) RNA Complex
journal contributionposted on 11.11.2020, 03:03 by Cyrus M. de Rozières, Simpson Joseph
Influenza A virus (IAV) is a highly contagious human pathogen that is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths each year. Non-structural protein 1 (NS1) is a crucial protein expressed by IAV to evade the host immune system. Additionally, NS1 has been proposed to stimulate translation because of its ability to bind poly(A) binding protein 1 (PABP1) and eukaryotic initiation factor 4G. We analyzed the interaction of NS1 with PABP1 using quantitative techniques. Our studies show that NS1 binds as a homodimer to PABP1, and this interaction is conserved across different IAV strains. Unexpectedly, NS1 does not bind to PABP1 that is bound to poly(A) RNA. Instead, NS1 binds only to PABP1 free of RNA, suggesting that stimulation of translation does not occur by NS1 interacting with the PABP1 molecule attached to the mRNA 3′-poly(A) tail. These results suggest that the function of the NS1·PABP1 complex appears to be distinct from the classical role of PABP1 in translation initiation, when it is bound to the 3′-poly(A) tail of mRNA.