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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology