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Real-time dissection of dynamic uncoating of individual influenza viruses

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  • Real-time dissection of dynamic uncoating of individual influenza viruses

    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Jan 9. pii: 201812632. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1812632116. [Epub ahead of print]
    Real-time dissection of dynamic uncoating of individual influenza viruses.

    Qin C1,2, Li W1, Li Q1, Yin W1,2, Zhang X1, Zhang Z1, Zhang XE3, Cui Z4.
    Author information


    Uncoating is an obligatory step in the virus life cycle that serves as an antiviral target. Unfortunately, it is challenging to study viral uncoating due to methodology limitations for detecting this transient and dynamic event. The uncoating of influenza A virus (IAV), which contains an unusual genome of eight segmented RNAs, is particularly poorly understood. Here, by encapsulating quantum dot (QD)-conjugated viral ribonucleoprotein complexes (vRNPs) within infectious IAV virions and applying single-particle imaging, we tracked the uncoating process of individual IAV virions. Approximately 30% of IAV particles were found to undergo uncoating through fusion with late endosomes in the "around-nucleus" region at 30 to 90 minutes postinfection. Inhibition of viral M2 proton channels and cellular endosome acidification prevented IAV uncoating. IAV vRNPs are released separately into the cytosol after virus uncoating. Then, individual vRNPs undergo a three-stage movement to the cell nucleus and display two diffusion patterns when inside the nucleus. These findings reveal IAV uncoating and vRNP trafficking mechanisms, filling a critical gap in knowledge about influenza viral infection.
    Copyright 2019 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.


    influenza virus; quantum dots; single-particle tracking; uncoating; vRNP dynamics

    PMID: 30626642 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1812632116