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Open Access Research

The Rift Valley Fever virus protein NSm and putative cellular protein interactions

Cecilia Engdahl1, Jonas Näslund1, Lena Lindgren1, Clas Ahlm1 and Göran Bucht12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Clinical Microbiology, Umeå University, SE-90187, Umeå, Sweden

2 Swedish Defence Research Agency, SE-90182, Umeå, Sweden

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Virology Journal 2012, 9:139  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-9-139

Published: 28 July 2012

Abstract

Rift Valley Fever is an infectious viral disease and an emerging problem in many countries of Africa and on the Arabian Peninsula. The causative virus is predominantly transmitted by mosquitoes and high mortality and abortion rates characterize outbreaks in animals while symptoms ranging from mild to life-threatening encephalitis and hemorrhagic fever are noticed among infected humans. For a better prevention and treatment of the infection, an increased knowledge of the infectious process of the virus is required.

The focus of this work was to identify protein-protein interactions between the non-structural protein (NSm), encoded by the M-segment of the virus, and host cell proteins. This study was initiated by screening approximately 26 million cDNA clones of a mouse embryonic cDNA library for interactions with the NSm protein using a yeast two-hybrid system.

We have identified nine murine proteins that interact with NSm protein of Rift Valley Fever virus, and the putative protein-protein interactions were confirmed by growth selection procedures and β-gal activity measurements. Our results suggest that the cleavage and polyadenylation specificity factor subunit 2 (Cpsf2), the peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase (cyclophilin)-like 2 protein (Ppil2), and the synaptosome-associated protein of 25 kDa (SNAP-25) are the most promising targets for the NSm protein of the virus during an infection.

Keywords:
Rift Valley fever; NSm; Yeast two-hybrid; SNAP-25; Ppil2; Cpsf2