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VP2 of chicken anemia virus (CAV) is a dual-specificity phosphatase required for virus infection, assembly and replication. The functions of the nuclear localization signal (NLS) and nuclear export signal (NES) of VP2 in the cell, however, are poorly understood. Our study identified the presence of a NLS in VP2 and showed that the protein interacted significantly with mini-chromosome maintenance protein 3 (MCM3) in the cell.
An arginine-lysine rich NLS could be predicted by software and spanned from amino acids 133 to 138 of VP2. The critical amino acids residues between positions 136 and 138, and either residue 133 or 134 are important for nuclear import in mammalian cells based on systematic mutagenesis. A NES is also predicted in VP2; however the results suggest that no functional NES is present and that this protein is CRM1 independent. It was also shown that VP2 is a chromatin binding protein and, notably, using a co-immunoprecipitation assay, it was found that VP2 association with MCM3 and that this interaction does not require DSP activity.
VP2 contains a NLS that span from amino acids 133 to 138. VP2 is a CRM1 independent protein during nuclear export and associates with MCM3 in cells.