The NS1 protein of influenza viruses is a major virulence factor and exerts its function through interacting with viral/cellular RNAs and proteins. In this study, we identified heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A2/B1 (hnRNP A2/B1) as an interacting partner of NS1 proteins by a proteomic method. Knockdown of hnRNP A2/B1 by small interfering RNA (siRNA) resulted in higher levels of NS vRNA, NS1 mRNA, and NS1 protein in the virus-infected cells. In addition, we demonstrated that hnRNP A2/B1 proteins are associated with NS1 and NS2 mRNAs and that knockdown of hnRNP A2/B1 promotes transport of NS1 mRNA from the nucleus to the cytoplasm in the infected cells. Lastly, we showed that knockdown of hnRNP A2/B1 leads to enhanced virus replication. Our results suggest that hnRNP A2/B1 plays an inhibitory role in the replication of influenza A virus in host cells potentially through suppressing NS1 RNA/protein levels and NS1 mRNA nucleocytoplasmic translocation. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.
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