Colocalization of Different Influenza Viral RNA Segments in the Cytoplasm before Viral Budding | Viruses, Immunology & Bioinformatics from |

Influenza A viruses cause one of the major respiratory infection diseases in humans. The viruses possess a genome consists of eight different RNA segments and the incorporation of all the eight RNA segments is required for the generation of an infectious virus particle. The precise process of how these eight viral RNA segments are co-packaged into progeny virus particles remains undefined due to the limitations of methodology to determine the locations of different vRNA segments in infected cells with single-molecule resolution. In this study, we established an experimental system to examine the localization of different viral RNA segments in an infected cell with high spatial precision. We found that viral RNA belonging to different segments gather together in the cytoplasm which is facilitated by cellular recycling endosomal protein Rab11. Our results supported the idea that eight different viral RNAs likely form a super-complex as they travel to the site for virion incorporation. These findings extend our knowledge on the process of influenza virus genome packaging and suggest a mechanism by which the genome assembly of different viral RNA segments is regulated.