Tracking and elucidating Alphavirus-host protein interactions

Ileana M. Cristea, John William N. Carroll, Michael P. Rout, Charles M. Rice, Brian T. Chait, Margaret R. MacDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

158 Scopus citations


Viral infections cause profound alterations in host cells. Here, we explore the interactions between proteins of the Alphavirus Sindbis and host factors during the course of mammalian cell infection. Using a mutant virus expressing the viral nsP3 protein tagged with green fluorescent protein (GFP) we directly observed nsP3 localization and isolated nsP3-interacting proteins at various times after infection. These results revealed that host factor recruitment to nsP3-containing complexes was time dependent, with a specific early and persistent recruitment of G3BP and a later recruitment of 14-3-3 proteins. Expression of GFP-tagged G3BP allowed reciprocal isolation of nsP3 in Sindbis infected cells, as well as the identification of novel G3BP-interacting proteins in both uninfected and infected cells. Noteworthy interactions include nuclear pore complex components whose interactions with G3BP were reduced upon Sindbis infection. This suggests that G3BP is a nuclear transport factor, as hypothesized previously, and that viral infection may alter RNA transport. Immunoelectron microscopy showed that a portion of Sindbis nsP3 is localized at the nuclear envelope, suggesting a possible site of G3BP recruitment to nsP3-containing complexes. Our results demonstrate the utility of using a standard GFP tag to both track viral protein localization and elucidate specific viral-host interactions over time in infected mammalian cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30269-30278
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number40
StatePublished - Oct 6 2006
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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