Virus Imaging

Select by virus name
About Images
Art Gallery
Covers Gallery
ICTV 8th Color Plates
PS10 Screen Saver   

Virus Structure Tutorials

Triangulation Number
Topography Maps 3D

Virology Links

In the News

- News -
- Video -
- Blogs -
 * Virology Highlights
- Flu & H1N1 - (CDC|WHO)

Journal Contents

Nature Structural & Molecular Biology

Structure & Assembly (J.Virol)
Journal of Virology
J. General Virology
Virology Journal
Virus Genes

Educational Resouces

Video Lectures  NEW 
TextBook  NEW 
Educational Links
Educational Kids


Archived Web Papers

Jean-Yves Sgro
Inst. for Mol.Virology
731B Bock Labs
1525 Linden Drive Madison, WI 53706

Table of Contents for this page:

  • Current Issue
  • Current Issue of Retrovirology

    Retrovirology - Latest Articles

  • Osteopontin-integrin interaction as a novel molecular target for antibody-mediated immunotherapy in adult T-cell leukemia

  • Background: Adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) is a CD4 + T-cell neoplasm with a poor prognosis. A previous study has shown that there is a strong correlation between the secreted matricellular protein osteopontin (OPN) level and disease severity in ATL patients. Here, we investigated the role of OPN in ATL pathogenesis and the possible application of anti-OPN monoclonal antibody (mAb) for ATL immunotherapy in NOD/Shi-scid,IL-2Rg null (NOG) mice. Results: Subcutaneous inoculation of ATL cell lines into NOG mice increased the plasma level of OPN, which significantly correlated with metastasis of the inoculated cells and survival time. Administration of an SVVYGLR motif-recognizing anti-OPN mAb resulted in inhibition not only of tumor growth but also of tumor invasion and metastasis. The number of fibroblast activating protein-positive fibroblasts was also reduced by this mAb. We then co-inoculated mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) isolated from wild-type (WT) or OPN knockout mice together with ATL-derived TL-OmI cells into the NOG mice. The mice co-inoculated with WT MEFs displayed a significant decrease in survival relative to those injected with TL-OmI cells alone and the absence of OPN in MEFs markedly improved the survival rate of TL-OmI-inoculated mice. In addition, tumor volume and metastasis were also reduced in the absence of OPN. Conclusion: We showed that the xenograft NOG mice model can be a useful system for assessment of the physiological role of OPN in ATL pathogenesis. Using this xenograft model, we found that fibroblast-derived OPN was involved in tumor growth and metastasis, and that this tumor growth and metastasis was significantly suppressed by administration of the anti-OPN mAbs. Our findings will lead to a novel mAb-mediated immunotherapeutic strategy targeting against the interaction of OPN with integrins on the tumor of ATL patients.

  • Lack of a significant impact of Gag-Protease-mediated HIV-1 replication capacity on clinical parameters in treatment-naive Japanese individuals

  • Background: HLA class I-associated escape mutations in HIV-1 Gag can reduce viral replication, suggesting that associated fitness costs could impact HIV-1 disease progression. Previous studies in North American and African cohorts have reported reduced Gag-Protease mediated viral replication capacity (Gag-Pro RC) in individuals expressing protective HLA class I alleles including HLA-B*57:01, B*27:05, and B*81:01. These studies also reported significant positive associations between Gag-Pro RCs and plasma viral load (pVL). However, these HLA alleles are virtually absent in Japan, and the importance of Gag as an immune target is not clearly defined in this population. Results: We generated chimeric NL4-3 viruses carrying patient-derived Gag-Protease from 306 treatment-naive Japanese individuals chronically infected with HIV-1 subtype B. We analyzed associations between Gag-Pro RC and clinical markers of HIV-1 infection and host HLA expression. We observed no significant correlation between Gag-Pro RC and pVL in Japan in the overall cohort. However, upon exclusion of individuals expressing Japanese protective alleles HLA-B*52:01 and B*67:01, Gag-Pro RC correlated positively with pVL and negatively with CD4 T-cell count. Our results thus contrast with studies from other global cohorts reporting significantly lower Gag-Pro RC among persons expressing protective HLA alleles, and positive relationships between Gag-Pro RC and pVL in the overall study populations. We also identified five amino acids in Gag-Protease significantly associated with Gag-Pro RC, whose effects on RC were confirmed by site-directed mutagenesis. However, of the four mutations that decreased Gag-Pro RC, none were associated with reductions in pVL in Japan though two were associated with lower pVL in North America. Conclusions: These data indicate that Gag fitness does not affect clinical outcomes in subjects with protective HLA class I alleles as well as the whole Japanese population. Moreover, the impact of Gag fitness costs on HIV-1 clinical parameters in chronic infection is likely low in Japan compared to other global populations.

  • ATP generation in a host cell in early-phase infection is increased by upregulation of cytochrome c oxidase activity via the p2 peptide from human immunodeficiency virus type 1 Gag

  • Background: Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) must take advantage of its own proteins with two or more functions to successfully replicate. Although many attempts have been made to determine the function of viral proteins encoded in the HIV-1 genome, the role of the p2 peptide, a spacer between the capsid and the nucleocapsid in HIV-1 Gag in early-phase HIV infection still remains unclarified. Results: In this study, we show that the p2 peptide enhances HIV-1 acute infection by increasing intracellular ATP production via the activation of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase (MT-CO) involved in the respiratory chain. We found that cell-permeable p2-peptide-treated cells were more effectively infected by HIV-1 than control cells. To characterize the effect of the p2 peptide on HIV-1 replication in MAGIC-5 cells, various HIV-1 cDNA products were measured by quantitative real-time PCR. The levels of the late (R/gag), 2-LTR circular (2-LTR), and integrated (Alu) forms of viral cDNAs increased in the presence of the p2 peptide. Interestingly, yeast two-hybrid analysis revealed a novel interaction between the p2 peptide and the mitochondrial intermembrane space domain (N 214–F 235 ) of MT-CO subunit I (MT-CO1). Mutational analysis indicated that Gln 6 in the p2 peptide is important for the interaction with MT-CO1. The p2 peptide activated MT-CO1 in vitro in a concentration-dependent manner, and fluorescence-microscopy analysis demonstrated that the p2 peptide had a significant effect on mitochondrial targeting. Furthermore, the analysis of HIV-1 lacking a functional p2 peptide demonstrated the inhibition of intracellular ATP production in MT-4 cells and monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) and a decrease in reverse transcription efficiency following infection of MT-4 cells and MDMs. Conclusions: These findings provide evidence that the p2 peptide is a viral positive allosteric modulator of MT-CO and the increased intracellular ATP production after HIV infection in a p2-peptide-dependent manner is essential for efficient reverse transcription in early-phase HIV-1 infection.

  • Recombination elevates the effective evolutionary rate and facilitates the establishment of HIV-1 infection in infants after mother-to-child transmission

  • Background: Previous studies have demonstrated that single HIV-1 genotypes are commonly transmitted from mother to child, but such analyses primarily used single samples from mother and child. It is possible that in a single sample, obtained early after infection, only the most replication competent virus is detected even when other forms may have been transmitted. Such forms may have advantages later in infection, and may thus be detected in follow-up samples. Because HIV-1 frequently recombines, phylogenetic analyses that ignore recombination may miss transmission of multiple forms if they recombine after transmission. Moreover, recombination may facilitate adaptation, thus providing an advantage in establishing infection. The effect of recombination on viral evolution in HIV-1 infected children has not been well defined. Results: We analyzed full-length env sequences after single genome amplification from the plasma of four subtype B HIV-1 infected women (11–67 env clones from 1 time point within a month prior to delivery) and their non-breastfed, intrapartum-infected children (3–6 longitudinal time points per child starting at the time of HIV-1 diagnosis). To address the potential beneficial or detrimental effects of recombination, we used a recently developed hierarchical recombination detection method based on the pairwise homoplasy index (PHI)-test. Recombination was observed in 9–67 % of the maternal sequences and in 25–60 % of the child sequences. In the child, recombination only occurred between variants that had evolved after transmission; taking recombination into account, we identified transmission of only 1 or 2 phylogenetic lineages from mother to child. Effective HIV-1 evolutionary rates of HIV-1 were initially high in the child and slowed over time (after 1000 days). Recombination was associated with elevated evolutionary rates. Conclusions: Our results confirm that 1–2 variants are typically transmitted from mothers to their newborns. They also demonstrate that early abundant recombination elevates the effective evolutionary rate, suggesting that recombination increases the rate of adaptation in HIV-1 evolution.

  • Dynamics and restriction of murine leukemia virus cores in mitotic and interphase cells

  • Background: Murine leukemia viruses (MLVs) naturally infect unsynchronized T and B lymphocytes, thus, the incoming virus encounters both interphase and mitotic cells. While it is well accepted that MLV requires cell division to complete its replication cycle, it is not known if ab initio infection of mitotic cells can result in productive infection. This question is highly relevant since the milieu of mitotic cells is markedly different from this of interphase cells; e.g. lacking radial microtubule network and intact nuclear envelope. To follow MLV infection in mitotic and interphase cells in real-time, we employed our recently developed infectious MLV particles with labeled cores, cellular models expressing fluorescence markers of different intracellular compartments and protocols for reversible mitotic arrest of MLV-susceptible cells. Results: Multi-wavelength live cell imaging was employed to simultaneously visualize GFP-labeled MLV cores, DiD-labeled viral or cellular membranes, and fluorescently-labeled microtubules or chromosomes. Cells were imaged either at interphase or upon mitotic arrest with microtubule poisons. Analysis of virus localization and trajectories revealed entry by endocytosis at interphase and mitosis, and correlation between viral mobility parameters and presence or absence of polymerized interphase microtubules. The success of infection of viruses that entered cells in mitosis was evidenced by their ability to reverse transcribe, their targeting to condensed chromosomes in the absence of radial microtubule network, and gene expression upon exit from mitosis. Comparison of infection by N, B or NB -tropic viruses in interphase and mitotic human cells revealed reduced restriction of the N-tropic virus, for infection initiated in mitosis. Conclusions: The milieu of the mitotic cells supports all necessary requirements for early stages of MLV infection. Such milieu is suboptimal for restriction of N-tropic viruses, most likely by TRIM5α.

  • An expanded search for simian foamy viruses (SFV) in Brazilian New World primates identifies novel SFV lineages and host age-related infections

  • Background: While simian foamy viruses have co-evolved with their primate hosts for millennia, most scientific studies have focused on understanding infection in Old World primates with little knowledge available on the epidemiology and natural history of SFV infection in New World primates (NWPs). To better understand the geographic and species distribution and evolutionary history of SFV in NWPs we extend our previous studies in Brazil by screening 15 genera consisting of 29 NWP species (140 monkeys total), including five genera (Brachyteles, Cacajao, Callimico, Mico, and Pithecia) not previously analyzed. Monkey blood specimens were tested using a combination of both serology and PCR to more accurately estimate prevalence and investigate transmission patterns. Sequences were phylogenetically analyzed to infer SFV and host evolutionary histories. Results: The overall serologic and molecular prevalences were 42.8 and 33.6 %, respectively, with a combined assay prevalence of 55.8 %. Discordant serology and PCR results were observed for 28.5 % of the samples, indicating that both methods are currently necessary for estimating NWP SFV prevalence. SFV prevalence in sexually mature NWPs with a positive result in any of the WB or PCR assays was 51/107 (47.7 %) compared to 20/33 (61 %) for immature animals. Epidemiological analyses revealed an increase in SFV prevalence with age in captive Cebus monkeys. Phylogenetic analysis identified novel SFVs in Cacajao, Leontopithecus, and Chiropotes species that had 6–37 % nucleotide divergence to other NWP SFV. Comparison of host and SFV phylogenies showed an overall cospeciation evolutionary history with rare ancient and contemporaneous host-switching for Saimiri and Leontopithecus and Cebus xanthosternos, respectively. Conclusions: We identified novel SFV in four neotropical monkey genera in Brazil and demonstrate that SFV prevalence increases with age in Cebus monkeys. Importantly, our test results suggest that both molecular and serological screening are currently required to accurately determine infection with NWP SFV. Our study significantly expands knowledge of the epidemiology and natural history of NWP SFVs. The tools and information provided in our study will facilitate further investigation of SFV in NWPs and the potential for zoonotic infection with these viruses.

  • Well-mixed plasma and tissue viral populations in RT-SHIV-infected macaques implies a lack of viral replication in the tissues during antiretroviral therapy

  • Background: Determining the anatomic compartments that contribute to plasma HIV-1 is critical to understanding the sources of residual viremia during combination antiretroviral therapy (ART). We analyzed viral DNA and RNA populations in the plasma and tissues from macaques infected with SIV containing HIV-1 RT (RT-SHIV) to identify possible sources of persistent viremia and to investigate the effect of ART on viral replication in tissues. Tissues were collected at necropsy from four pigtailed macaques infected for 30 weeks with a diverse population of RT-SHIV. Two animals (6760 and 8232) were untreated and two animals (8030 and 8272) were treated with efavirenz, tenofovir, and emtricitabine for 20 weeks. Results: A total of 1800 single-genome RT-SHIV pol and env DNA and RNA sequences were analyzed from the plasma, PBMCs, axillary and mesenteric lymph nodes, spleen, thymus, small intestine, bone marrow, lung, and brain. Analyses of intracellular DNA and RNA populations revealed that the majority of proviruses in tissues from untreated animal 8232 were not expressed, whereas a greater proportion of proviruses in tissues were expressed from 6760. Few intracellular RNA sequences were detected in treated animals and most contained inactivating mutations, such as frame shifts or large deletions. Phylogenetics showed that RT-SHIV DNA populations in tissues were not different from virus in contemporary plasma samples in the treated or untreated animals, demonstrating a lack of anatomic compartmentalization and suggesting that plasma viremia is derived from multiple tissue sources. No sequence divergence was detected in the plasma or between tissues in the treated animals after 20 weeks of ART indicating a lack of ongoing replication in tissues during treatment. Conclusions: Virus populations in plasma and tissues did not differ significantly in either treated or untreated macaques, suggesting frequent exchange of virus or infected cells between tissues and plasma, consistent with non-compartmentalized and widely disseminated infection. There was no genetic evidence of ongoing replication in tissues during suppressive ART.

  • Increased BST2 expression during simian immunodeficiency virus infection is not a determinant of disease progression in rhesus monkeys

  • Background: Bone marrow stromal cell antigen 2 (BST2), also known as tetherin, HM1.24 or CD317 represents a type 2 integral membrane protein, which has been described to restrict the production of some enveloped viruses by inhibiting the virus release from the cell surface. This innate antiviral mechanism is counteracted by the HIV-1 viral factor Vpu, targeting BST2 for cellular degradation. Since antiviral BST2 activity has been mainly confirmed by in vitro data, we investigated its role in vivo on the disease progression using the SIV/macaque model for AIDS. We determined BST2 expression in PBMC and leukocyte subsets of uninfected and SIV-infected rhesus macaques by real-time PCR and flow cytometry and correlated it with disease progression and viral load. Results: Compared to pre-infection levels, we found increased BST2 expression in PBMC, purified CD4 + lymphocytes and CD14 + monocytes of SIV-infected animals, which correlated with viral load. Highest BST2 levels were found in progressors and lowest levels comparable to uninfected macaques were observed in long-term non-progressors (LTNPs). During acute viremia, BST2 mRNA increased in parallel with MX1, a prototype interferon-stimulated gene. This association was maintained during the whole disease course. Conclusion: The detected relationship between BST2 expression and viral load as well as with MX1 indicate a common regulation by the interferon response and suggest rather limited influence of BST2 in vivo on the disease outcome.

  • HTLV-1 drives vigorous clonal expansion of infected CD8 llt;supggt;+llt;/supggt; T cells in natural infection

  • Background: Human T-lymphotropic Virus Type I (HTLV-1) is a retrovirus that persistently infects 5–10 million individuals worldwide and causes disabling or fatal inflammatory and malignant diseases. The majority of the HTLV-1 proviral load is found in CD4 + T cells, and the phenotype of adult T cell leukemia (ATL) is typically CD4 + . HTLV-1 also infects CD8 + cells in vivo, but the relative abundance and clonal composition of the two infected subpopulations have not been studied. We used a high-throughput DNA sequencing protocol to map and quantify HTLV-1 proviral integration sites in separated populations of CD4 + cells, CD8 + cells and unsorted peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 12 HTLV-1-infected individuals. Results: We show that the infected CD8 + cells constitute a median of 5 % of the HTLV-1 proviral load. However, HTLV-1-infected CD8 + clones undergo much greater oligoclonal proliferation than the infected CD4 + clones in infected individuals, regardless of disease manifestation. The CD8 + clones are over-represented among the most abundant clones in the blood and are redetected even after several years. Conclusions: We conclude that although they make up only 5 % of the proviral load, the HTLV-1-infected CD8 + T-cells make a major impact on the clonal composition of HTLV-1-infected cells in the blood. The greater degree of oligoclonal expansion observed in the infected CD8 + T cells, contrasts with the CD4 + phenotype of ATL; cases of CD8 + adult T-cell leukaemia/lymphoma are rare. This work is consistent with growing evidence that oligoclonal expansion of HTLV-1-infected cells is not sufficient for malignant transformation.

  • Identification and characterization of a new type of inhibitor against the human immunodeficiency virus type-1 nucleocapsid protein

  • Background: The human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) nucleocapsid protein (NC) is an essential and multifunctional protein involved in multiple stages of the viral life cycle such as reverse transcription, integration of proviral DNA, and especially genome RNA packaging. For this reason, it has been considered as an attractive target for the development of new anti-HIV drugs. Although a number of inhibitors of NC have been reported thus far, the search for NC-specific and functional inhibitor(s) with a good antiviral activity continues. Results: In this study, we report the identification of A1752, a small molecule with inhibitory action against HIV-1 NC, which shows a strong antiviral efficacy and an IC 50 around 1 μM. A1752 binds directly to HIV-1 NC, thereby inhibiting specific chaperone functions of NC including Psi RNA dimerization and complementary trans-activation response element (cTAR) DNA destabilization, and it also disrupts the proper Gag processing. Further analysis of the mechanisms of action of A1752 also showed that it generates noninfectious viral particles with defects in uncoating and reverse transcription in the infected cells. Conclusions: These results demonstrate that A1752 is a specific and functional inhibitor of NC with a novel mode of action and good antiviral efficacy. Thus, this agent provides a new type of anti-HIV NC inhibitor candidate for further drug development.
    Return To Top of the Page