The influenza fingerprints: NS1 and M1 proteins contribute to specific host cell ultrastructure signatures upon infection by different influenza A viruses

Virology. 2012 Oct 10;432(1):204-18. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2012.05.019. Epub 2012 Jul 6.


Influenza A are nuclear replicating viruses which hijack host machineries in order to achieve optimal infection. Numerous functional virus-host interactions have now been characterized, but little information has been gathered concerning their link to the virally induced remodeling of the host cellular architecture. In this study, we infected cells with several human and avian influenza viruses and we have analyzed their ultrastructural modifications by using electron and confocal microscopy. We discovered that infections lead to a major and systematic disruption of nucleoli and the formation of a large number of diverse viral structures showing specificity that depended on the subtype origin and genomic composition of viruses. We identified NS1 and M1 proteins as the main actors in the remodeling of the host ultra-structure and our results suggest that each influenza A virus strain could be associated with a specific cellular fingerprint, possibly correlated to the functional properties of their viral components.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cytoplasm / ultrastructure*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Influenza A virus / pathogenicity*
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Organelles / ultrastructure*
  • Viral Matrix Proteins / metabolism*
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins / metabolism*


  • INS1 protein, influenza virus
  • M1 protein, Influenza A virus
  • Viral Matrix Proteins
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins