Zika virus (ZIKV), a recently emerged member of the flavivirus family, forms replication compartments at the ER during its lifecycle. The proteins that are responsible for the biogenesis of replication compartments are not well defined. Here, we show that Zika nonstructural protein 1 (NS1)–induced ER remodeling is essential for viral replication. NS1 expressed in the ER lumen induced ER perinuclear aggregation with an ultrastructure resembling that of the replication compartment. Data from model membrane system indicated that the membrane-binding and membrane-remodeling properties of NS1 depend on its hydrophobic insertion into the membrane. These findings demonstrate that NS1 plays a crucial role in flavivirus replication compartment formation by remodeling the ER structure.

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