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Nat Commun . Selective flexible packaging pathways of the segmented genome of influenza A virus

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  • Nat Commun . Selective flexible packaging pathways of the segmented genome of influenza A virus


    Nat Commun


    . 2020 Aug 28;11(1):4355.
    doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-18108-1.
    Selective flexible packaging pathways of the segmented genome of influenza A virus


    Ivan Haralampiev 1 2 , Simon Prisner 1 , Mor Nitzan 3 , Matthias Schade 1 , Fabian Jolmes 1 4 , Max Schreiber 5 , Maria Loidolt-Krüger 6 4 , Kalle Jongen 1 , Jasmine Chamiolo 7 , Niklaas Nilson 1 , Franziska Winter 6 8 , Nir Friedman 3 9 , Oliver Seitz 7 , Thorsten Wolff 10 , Andreas Herrmann 11



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    Abstract

    The genome of influenza A viruses (IAV) is encoded in eight distinct viral ribonucleoproteins (vRNPs) that consist of negative sense viral RNA (vRNA) covered by the IAV nucleoprotein. Previous studies strongly support a selective packaging model by which vRNP segments are bundling to an octameric complex, which is integrated into budding virions. However, the pathway(s) generating a complete genome bundle is not known. We here use a multiplexed FISH assay to monitor all eight vRNAs in parallel in human lung epithelial cells. Analysis of 3.9 × 105 spots of colocalizing vRNAs provides quantitative insights into segment composition of vRNP complexes and, thus, implications for bundling routes. The complexes rarely contain multiple copies of a specific segment. The data suggest a selective packaging mechanism with limited flexibility by which vRNPs assemble into a complete IAV genome. We surmise that this flexibility forms an essential basis for the development of reassortant viruses with pandemic potential.


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