Visualization of microtubule-mediated transport of influenza viral progeny ribonucleoprotein

Microbes Infect. 2007 Oct;9(12-13):1422-33. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2007.07.007. Epub 2007 Jul 21.


We developed a unique monoclonal antibody, mAb61A5, using the nucleoprotein (NP) of influenza virus A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (PR8) strain. Truncation and alanine substitution experiments showed that mAb61A5 recognized the NP fragment with residues 17 to 123 in which a conformational epitope formed by the beta1 sheet and the linker region between the alpha1 and alpha2 helices. Variations in the epitope or nearby can partly account for the poor mAb61A5 reactivity with the NP of A/Aichi/2/68 or A/duck/Pennsylvania/10128/84 strains. Interestingly, immunoprecipitation analysis revealed that mAb61A5 preferentially interacted with viral ribonucleoprotein complexes, composed of RNA polymerase, negative/positive sense RNA and NP, rather than exogenously added NP. Immunofluorescence microscopy using mAb61A5 showed a punctate staining in the cytoplasm during the late phase of infection. The punctate NPs accumulated at the microtubule organizing center and co-localized with microtubules. The treatment with leptomycin B to block a CRM1-dependent nuclear export failed to produce the punctate NP. The treatment with nocodazole, a microtubule-depolymerizing agent, showed random distribution of the punctate NP in the cytoplasm. These results suggest that microtubule networks, although were not required for the formation of punctate structures, were responsible for the polarized distribution of the punctate NP antigens, most likely viral progeny ribonucleoprotein complexes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Amino Acid Substitution
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology*
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Cell Line
  • Epitope Mapping
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Influenza A virus / genetics
  • Influenza A virus / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Microtubules / metabolism*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nocodazole / pharmacology
  • Nucleocapsid Proteins
  • Nucleoproteins / chemistry
  • Nucleoproteins / genetics
  • Nucleoproteins / immunology*
  • Nucleoproteins / metabolism
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / immunology*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Ribonucleoproteins / metabolism*
  • Viral Core Proteins / chemistry
  • Viral Core Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Core Proteins / immunology*
  • Viral Core Proteins / metabolism


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • NP protein, Influenza A virus
  • Nucleocapsid Proteins
  • Nucleoproteins
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Ribonucleoproteins
  • Viral Core Proteins
  • Nocodazole