Plays critical roles in virus replication, from virus entry and uncoating to assembly and budding of the virus particle. M1 binding to ribonucleocapsids (RNPs) in nucleus seems to inhibit viral transcription. Interaction of viral NEP with M1-RNP is thought to promote nuclear export of the complex, which is targeted to the virion assembly site at the apical plasma membrane in polarized epithelial cells. Interactions with NA and HA may bring M1, a non-raft-associated protein, into lipid rafts. Forms a continuous shell on the inner side of the lipid bilayer in virion, where it binds the RNP. During virus entry into cell, the M2 ion channel acidifies the internal virion core, inducing M1 dissociation from the RNP. M1-free RNPs are transported to the nucleus, where viral transcription and replication can take place.
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