Human genome-wide RNAi screen reveals a role for nuclear pore proteins in poxvirus morphogenesis
Poxviruses are considered less dependent on host functions than other DNA viruses because of their cytoplasmic site of replication and large genomes, which encode enzymes for DNA and mRNA synthesis. Nevertheless, RNAi screens with two independent human genome-scale libraries have identified more than 500 candidate genes that significantly inhibited and a similar number that enhanced replication and spread of infectious vaccinia virus (VACV). Translational, ubiquitin-proteosome, and endoplasmic reticulum-to-Golgi transport functions, known to be important for VACV, were enriched in the siRNA-inhibiting group, and RNA polymerase II and associated functions were enriched in the siRNA-enhancing group. Additional findings, notably the inhibition of VACV spread by siRNAs to several nuclear pore genes, were unanticipated. Knockdown of nucleoporin 62 strongly inhibited viral morphogenesis, with only a modest effect on viral gene expression, recapitulating and providing insight into previous studies with enucleated cells.