BGLF4 kinase, the only Ser/Thr protein kinase encoded by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) genome, phosphorylates multiple viral and cellular substrates to optimize the cellular environment for viral DNA replication and the nuclear egress of nucleocapsids. Previously, we found that nuclear targeting of BGLF4 is through direct interaction with the FG repeat-containing nucleoporins (FG-Nups) Nup62 and Nup153 independently of cytosolic transport factors. Here, we investigated the regulatory effects of BGLF4 on the structure and biological functions of the nuclear pore complex (NPC). In EBV-positive NA cells, the distribution of FG-Nups was modified during EBV reactivation. In transfected cells, BGLF4 changed the staining pattern of Nup62 and Nup153 in a kinase activity-dependent manner. Detection with anti-phospho-Ser/Thr-Pro MPM-2 antibody demonstrated that BGLF4 induced the phosphorylation of Nup62 and Nup153. The nuclear targeting of importin ß was attenuated in the presence of BGLF4, leading to inhibition of canonical nuclear localization signal (NLS)-mediated nuclear import. An in vitro nuclear import assay revealed that BGLF4 induced the nuclear import of larger molecules. Notably, we found that BGLF4 promoted the nuclear import of several non-NLS-containing EBV proteins, including the viral DNA-replicating enzymes BSLF1, BBLF2/3, and BBLF4 and the major capsid protein (VCA), in cotransfected cells. The data presented here suggest that BGLF4 interferes with the normal functions of Nup62 and Nup153 and preferentially helps the nuclear import of viral proteins for viral DNA replication and assembly. In addition, the nuclear import-promoting activity was found in cells expressing the BGLF4 homologs of another two gammaherpesviruses but not those from alpha- and betaherpesviruses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science