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In vivo pair correlation microscopy reveals dengue virus capsid protein nucleocytoplasmic bidirectional movement in mammalian infected cells.

  • Sallaberry, Ignacio
  • Luszczak, Alexis
  • Philipp, Natalia
  • Navarro, Guadalupe S Costa
  • Gabriel, Manuela V
  • Gratton, Enrico
  • Gamarnik, Andrea V
  • Estrada, Laura C
Publication Date
Dec 24, 2021
eScholarship - University of California
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Flaviviruses are major human disease-causing pathogens, including dengue virus (DENV), Zika virus, yellow fever virus and others. DENV infects hundreds of millions of people per year around the world, causing a tremendous social and economic burden. DENV capsid (C) protein plays an essential role during genome encapsidation and viral particle formation. It has been previously shown that DENV C enters the nucleus in infected cells. However, whether DENV C protein exhibits nuclear export remains unclear. By spatially cross-correlating different regions of the cell, we investigated DENV C movement across the nuclear envelope during the infection cycle. We observed that transport takes place in both directions and with similar translocation times (in the ms time scale) suggesting a bidirectional movement of both C protein import and export.Furthermore, from the pair cross-correlation functions in cytoplasmic or nuclear regions we found two populations of C molecules in each compartment with fast and slow mobilities. While in the cytoplasm the correlation times were in the 2-6 and 40-110 ms range for the fast and slow mobility populations respectively, in the cell nucleus they were 1-10 and 25-140 ms range, respectively. The fast mobility of DENV C in cytoplasmic and nuclear regions agreed with the diffusion coefficients from Brownian motion previously reported from correlation analysis. These studies provide the first evidence of DENV C shuttling from and to the nucleus in infected cells, opening new venues for antiviral interventions.

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