mRNA display with library of even-distribution reveals cellular interactors of influenza virus NS1

Nat Commun. 2020 May 15;11(1):2449. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-16140-9.


A comprehensive examination of protein-protein interactions (PPIs) is fundamental for the understanding of cellular machineries. However, limitations in current methodologies often prevent the detection of PPIs with low abundance proteins. To overcome this challenge, we develop a mRNA display with library of even-distribution (md-LED) method that facilitates the detection of low abundance binders with high specificity and sensitivity. As a proof-of-principle, we apply md-LED to IAV NS1 protein. Complementary to AP-MS, md-LED enables us to validate previously described PPIs as well as to identify novel NS1 interactors. We show that interacting with FASN allows NS1 to directly regulate the synthesis of cellular fatty acids. We also use md-LED to identify a mutant of NS1, D92Y, results in a loss of interaction with CPSF1. The use of high-throughput sequencing as the readout for md-LED enables sensitive quantification of interactions, ultimately enabling massively parallel experimentation for the investigation of PPIs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • A549 Cells
  • Fatty Acid Synthase, Type I / metabolism
  • Gene Library*
  • Gene Ontology
  • Humans
  • Influenza A virus / drug effects
  • Influenza A virus / metabolism*
  • Influenza A virus / physiology
  • Interferons / pharmacology
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Protein Binding / drug effects
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins / metabolism*
  • Virus Replication / drug effects
  • Virus Replication / physiology


  • INS1 protein, influenza virus
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins
  • Interferons
  • FASN protein, human
  • Fatty Acid Synthase, Type I