The nucleoporin Nup96 is required for proper expression of interferon-regulated proteins and functions.
Nup98 and Nup96 are components of the nuclear transport machinery and are induced by interferons (IFN). Nup98 is a constituent of an mRNA export pathway that is targeted by viruses and regulated by IFN. However, the role of Nup96 in IFN-related mechanisms has not been established. To investigate the function of Nup96 in vivo, we generated Nup96(+/-) mice that express low levels of Nup96, as Nup96(-/-) mice are lethal. The Nup96(+/-) mice presented selective alterations of the immune system, which resulted in downregulation and impaired IFN alpha- and gamma-mediated induction of MHC I and IFNgamma induction of MHC II, ICAM-1, and other proteins. Frequency of TCRalphabeta+ and CD4+ T cells, which depends on MHC function, is reduced in NUP96(+/-) mice. Upon immunization, Nup96(+/-) mice showed impaired antigen presentation and T cell proliferation. Nup96(+/-) cells and mice were highly susceptible to viral infection, demonstrating a role for Nup96 in innate and adaptive immunity.