Importin α/β-dependent nuclear transport of human parvovirus B19 nonstructural protein 1 is essential for viral replication

Gualtiero Alvisi, Elisabetta Manaresi, Emily M. Cross, Mikayla Hoad, Nasim Akbari, Silvia Pavan, Daryl Ariawan, Gloria Bua, Gayle F. Petersen, Jade Forwood, Giorgio Gallinella

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Human parvovirus B19 (B19V) is a major human pathogen causing a variety of diseases, characterized by a selective tropism to human progenitor cells in bone marrow. In similar fashion to all Parvoviridae members, the B19V ssDNA genome is replicated within the nucleus of infected cells through a process which involves both cellular and viral proteins. Among the latter, a crucial role is played by non-structural protein (NS)1, a multifunctional protein involved in genome replication and transcription, as well as modulation of host gene expression and function. Despite the localization of NS1 within the host cell nucleus during infection, little is known regarding the mechanism of its nuclear transport pathway. In this study we undertake structural, biophysical, and cellular approaches to characterize this process. Quantitative confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), gel mobility shift, fluorescence polarization and crystallographic analysis identified a short sequence of amino acids (GACHAKKPRIT-182) as the classical nuclear localization signal (cNLS) responsible for nuclear import, mediated in an energy and importin (IMP) α/β-dependent fashion. Structure-guided mutagenesis of key residue K177 strongly impaired IMPα binding, nuclear import, and viral gene expression in a minigenome system. Further, treatment with ivermectin, an antiparasitic drug interfering with the IMPα/β dependent nuclear import pathway, inhibited NS1 nuclear accumulation and viral replication in infected UT7/Epo-S1 cells. Thus, NS1 nuclear transport is a potential target of therapeutic intervention against B19V induced disease.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105588
Number of pages17
JournalAntiviral Research
Early online date28 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


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