The M2 integral membrane protein encoded by influenza A virus possesses an ion channel activity that is required for efficient virus entry into host cells. The role of the M2 protein cytoplasmic tail in virus replication was examined by generating influenza A viruses encoding M 2 proteins with truncated C termini. Deletion of 28 amino acids (M2Stop70) resulted in a virus that produced fourfold-fewer particles but >1,000-fold-fewer infectious particles than wild-type virus. Expression of the fall-length M2 protein in trans restored the replication of the M2 truncated virus. Although the M2Stop70 virus particles were similar to wild-type virus in morphology, the M2Stop70 virions contained reduced amounts of viral nucleoprotein and genomic RNA, indicating a defect in vRNP packaging. The data presented indicate the M 2 cytoplasmic tail plays a role in infectious virus production by coordinating the effecient packaging of genome segments into influenza virus particles.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science