Nucleocapsid protein from Fig mosaic virus forms cytoplasmic agglomerates that are hauled by endoplasmic reticulum streaming

Kazuya Ishikawa, Chihiro Miura, Kensaku Maejima, Ken Komatsu, Masayoshi Hashimoto, Tatsuya Tomomitsu, Misato Fukuoka, Akira Yusa, Yasuyuki Yamaji, Shigetou Namba

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Although many studies have demonstrated intracellular movement of viral proteins or viral replication complexes, little is known about the mechanisms of their motility. In this study, we analyzed the localization and motility of the nucleocapsid protein (NP) of Fig mosaic virus (FMV), a negative-strand RNA virus belonging to the recently established genus Emaravirus. Electron microscopy of FMV-infected cells using immunogold labeling showed that NPs formed cytoplasmic agglomerates that were predominantly enveloped by the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane, while nonenveloped NP agglomerates also localized along the ER. Likewise, transiently expressed NPs formed agglomerates, designated NP bodies (NBs), in close proximity to the ER, as was the case in FMV-infected cells. Subcellular fractionation and electron microscopic analyses of NP-expressing cells revealed that NBs localized in the cytoplasm. Furthermore, we found that NBs moved rapidly with the streaming of the ER in an actomyosin-dependent manner. Brefeldin A treatment at a high concentration to disturb the ER network configuration induced aberrant accumulation of NBs in the perinuclear region, indicating that the ER network configuration is related to NB localization. Dominant negative inhibition of the class XI myosins, XI-1, XI-2, and XI-K, affected both ER streaming and NB movement in a similar pattern. Taken together, these results showed that NBs localize in the cytoplasm but in close proximity to the ER membrane to form enveloped particles and that this causes passive movements of cytoplasmic NBs by ER streaming.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)480-491
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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