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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Influenza B virus BM2 protein is transported through the trans-Golgi network as an integral membrane protein.

A bicistronic mRNA transcribed from the influenza B virus RNA segment 7 encodes two viral proteins, matrix protein M1 and uncharacterized small protein BM2. In the present study, we focused on the cytoplasmic transport and cellular membrane association of BM2. Immunofluorescence studies of virus-infected cells indicated that BM2 accumulated at the Golgi apparatus immediately after synthesis and then was transported to the plasma membrane through the trans-Golgi network. Localization of a set of BM2 deletion mutants revealed that the N-terminal half of BM2 (residues 2 to 50) was crucial for its transport; in particular, the deletion of residues 2 to 23, deduced to be a transmembrane domain, resulted in diffused distribution of the protein throughout the entire cell. Sucrose gradient flotation and biochemical analyses of the membrane showed that BM2 was tightly associated with cellular membranes as an integral membrane protein. Oligomerization of BM2 was demonstrated by coprecipitation of differentially epitope-tagged BM2 proteins. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that BM2 is integrated into the plasma membrane at the N-terminal hydrophobic domain as fourth membrane protein, in addition to hemagglutinin, neuraminidase, and NB, of the influenza B virus.[1]


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