Vesicular stomatitis virus matrix protein inhibits host cell gene expression by targeting the nucleoporin Nup98.
Vesicular stomatitis virus matrix protein (VSV M) has been shown to inhibit both transcription and nucleocytoplasmic transport. We have isolated a mutant form of M, termed M(D), lacking both inhibitory activities. HeLa cells expressing M, but not M(D), accumulate polyadenylated RNAs within the nucleus. Concomitantly, a fraction of M, but not of the M(D) mutant, localizes at the nuclear rim. Additionally, the nucleoporin Nup98 specifically interacts with M but not with M(D). In Nup98(-/-) cells, both the levels of M at the nuclear envelope and its inhibitory effects on host cell-directed expression of reporter genes were significantly reduced. Together, our data demonstrate that VSV M inhibits host cell gene expression by targeting a nucleoporin and primarily blocking nuclear export.