A history of infectious mononucleosis (IM), symptomatic primary infection with the Epstein Barr virus, is associated with the development of autoimmune diseases and increases the risk to develop multiple sclerosis. Here, we hypothesized that immune activation during IM triggers autoreactive immune responses. Antibody responses towards cellular antigens using a HEp-2 based indirect immunofluorescence assay and native myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) using a flow cytometry-based assay were determined in 35 patients with IM and in 23 control subjects. We detected frequent immunoglobulin M (IgM) reactivity to vimentin, a major constituent of the intermediate filament family of proteins, in IM patients (27/35; 77%) but rarely in control subjects (2/23; 9%). IgG autoantibodies binding to HEp-2 cells were absent in both groups. In contrast, IgG responses to native MOG, present in up to 40% of children with inflammatory demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system (CNS), were detectable in 7/35 (20%) patients with IM but not in control subjects. Normalization of anti-vimentin IgM levels to increased total IgM concentrations during IM resulted in loss of significant differences for anti-vimentin IgM titers. Anti-MOG specific IgG responses were still detectable in a subset of three out of 35 patients with IM (9%), even after normalization to increased total IgG levels. Vimentin-specific IgM and MOG-specific IgG responses decreased following clinical resolution of acute IM symptoms. We conclude from our data that MOG-specific memory B cells are activated in subset of patients with IM.
Herpesviruses are highly prevalent viruses associated with numerous pathologies both in animal and human populations. Until now, most of the strategies used to prevent or to cure these infections have been unsuccessful because these viruses have developed numerous immune evasion mechanisms. Therefore, a better understanding of their complex lifecycle is needed. In particular, while the genome of numerous herpesviruses has been sequenced, the exact composition of virions remains unknown for most of them. Mass spectrometry has recently emerged as a central method and has permitted fundamental discoveries in virology. Here, we review mass spectrometry-based approaches that have recently allowed a better understanding of the composition of the herpesvirus virion. In particular, we describe strategies commonly used for proper sample preparation and fractionation to allow protein localization inside the particle but also to avoid contamination by nonstructural proteins. A collection of other important data regarding post-translational modifications or the relative abundance of structural proteins is also described. This review also discusses the poorly studied importance of host proteins in herpesvirus structural proteins and the necessity to develop a quantitative workflow to better understand the dynamics of the structural proteome. In the future, we hope that this collaborative effort will assist in the development of new strategies to fight these infections.
A hybridization-based point-of-care (POC) assay for HIV-1 drug resistance would be useful in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where resistance testing is not routinely available. The major obstacle in developing such an assay is the extreme genetic variability of HIV-1. We analyzed 27,203 reverse transcriptase (RT) sequences from the Stanford HIV Drug Resistance Database originating from six LMIC regions. We characterized the variability in a 27-nucleotide window surrounding six clinically important drug resistance mutations (DRMs) at positions 65, 103, 106, 181, 184, and 190. The number of distinct codons at each DRM position ranged from four at position 184 to 11 at position 190. Depending on the mutation, between 11 and 15 of the 24 flanking nucleotide positions were variable. Nonetheless, most flanking sequences differed from a core set of 10 flanking sequences by just one or two nucleotides. Flanking sequence variability was also lower in each LMIC region compared with overall variability in all regions. We also describe an online program that we developed to perform similar analyses for mutations at any position in RT, protease, or integrase.
Dengue virus (DENV) infection causes one of the most widespread mosquito-borne diseases in the world. Despite the great need, effective vaccines and practical antiviral therapies are still under development. Intracellular lipid levels are regulated by sterol regulatory elements-binding proteins (SREBPs), which are activated by serine protease, site 1 protease (S1P). Small compound PF-429242 is known as a S1P inhibitor and the antivirus effects have been reported in some viruses. In this study, we examined the anti-DENV effects of PF-429242 using all four serotypes of DENV by several primate-derived cell lines. Moreover, emergence of drug-resistant DENV mutants was assessed by sequential passages with the drug. DENV dependency on intracellular lipids during their infection was also evaluated by adding extracellular lipids. The addition of PF-429242 showed suppression of viral propagation in all DENV serotypes. We showed that drug-resistant DENV mutants are unlikely to emerge after five times sequential passages through treatment with PF-429242. Although the levels of intracellular cholesterol and lipid droplets were reduced by PF-429242, viral propagations were not recovered by addition of exogenous cholesterol or fatty acids, indicating that the reduction of LD and cholesterol caused by PF-429242 treatment is not related to its mechanism of action against DENV propagation. Our results suggest that PF-429242 is a promising candidate for an anti-DENV agent.
The list of recently discovered gastrointestinal viruses is expanding rapidly. Whether these agents are actually involved in a disease such as diarrhea is the essential question, yet difficult to answer. In this review a summary of all viruses found in diarrhea is presented, together with the current knowledge about their connection to disease.
Evidence has emerged that RNA viruses utilize the host secretory pathway for processing and trafficking mature viral particles and for exiting the infected cells. Upon completing the complex assembly process, the viral particles take advantage of the cellular secretory trafficking machinery for their intracellular trafficking toward the Golgi organelle and budding or export of virions. In this study, we showed that Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV)-induced extracellular GRP78 contains no KDEL motif using an anti-KDEL-specific antibody. Overexpression of the KDEL-truncated GRP78 in the GPR78 knocked down cells significantly reduced JEV infectivity, suggesting that the KDEL motif is required for GRP78 function in the release of JE viral particles. In addition, we demonstrated the KDELR protein, an ER-Golgi retrieval system component, is associated with viral envelope proteins and is engaged in the subcellular localization of viral particles in Golgi. More importantly, accumulation of intracellular virions was observed in the KDELR knocked down cells, indicating that the KDELR protein mediated the intracellular trafficking of JE viral particles. Altogether, we demonstrated that intracellular trafficking of JE assembled viral particles was mediated by the host ER-Golgi retrieval system prior to exit by the secretory pathway.
Large-scale assays, such as microarrays, next-generation sequencing and various“omics” technologies, have explored multiple aspects of the immune response following virus infection, often from a public health perspective. Yet a lack of similar data exists for monitoring immune engagement during oncolytic virus immunotherapy (OVIT) in the cancer setting. Tracking immune signatures at the tumour site can create a snapshot or longitudinally analyse immune cell activation, infiltration and functionality within global populations or individual cells. Mapping immune changes over the course of oncolytic biotherapy—from initial infection to tumour stabilisation/regressionthrough to long-term cure or escape/relapse—has the potential to generate important therapeutic insights around virus-host interactions. Further, correlating such immune signatures with specific tumour outcomes has significant value for guiding the development of novel oncolytic virus immunotherapy strategies. Here, we provide insights for OVIT from large-scale analyses of immune populations in the infection, vaccination and immunotherapy setting. We analyse several approaches to manipulating immune engagement during OVIT. We further explore immunocentric changes in the tumour tissue following immunotherapy, and compile several immune signatures of therapeutic success. Ultimately, we highlight clinically relevant large-scale approaches with the potential to strengthen future oncolytic strategies to optimally engage the immune system.
Despite being intensely studied for more than 50 years, a complete understanding of the enterovirus replication cycle remains elusive. Specifically, only a handful of cellular proteins have been shown to be involved in the RNA replication cycle of these viruses. In an effort to isolate and identify additional cellular proteins that function in enteroviral RNA replication, we have generated multiple recombinant polioviruses containing RNA affinity tags within the 3′ or 5′ noncoding region of the genome. These recombinant viruses retained RNA affinity sequences within the genome while remaining viable and infectious over multiple passages in cell culture. Further characterization of these viruses demonstrated that viral protein production and growth kinetics were unchanged or only slightly altered relative to wild type poliovirus. However, attempts to isolate these genetically-tagged viral genomes from infected cells have been hindered by high levels of co-purification of nonspecific proteins and the limited matrix-binding efficiency of RNA affinitysequences. Regardless, these recombinant viruses represent a step toward more thorough characterization of enterovirus ribonucleoprotein complexes involved in RNA replication.
Over the past 1–2 decades we have witnessed a resurgence of efforts to therapeutically exploit the attributes of lytic viruses to infect and kill tumor cells while sparing normal cells. We now appreciate that the utility of viruses for treating cancer extends far beyond lytic cell death. Viruses are also capable of eliciting humoral and cellular innate and adaptive immune responses that may be directed not only at virus-infected cells but also at uninfected cancer cells. Here we review our current understanding of this bystander effect, and divide the mechanisms into lytic, cytokine, innate cellular, and adaptive phases. Knowing the key pathways and molecular players during virus infection in the context of the cancer microenvironment will be critical to devise strategies to maximize the therapeutic effects of oncolytic viroimmunotherapy.
Although the number of human T-cell leukemia virus type-I (HTLV-I)-infected individuals in the world has been estimated at over 10 million, no prophylaxis vaccines against HTLV-I infection are available. In this study, we took a new approach for establishing the basis of protective vaccines against HTLV-I. We show here the potential of a passively administered HTLV-I neutralizing monoclonal antibody of rat origin (LAT-27) that recognizes epitopes consisting of the HTLV-I gp46 amino acids 191–196. LAT-27 completely blocked HTLV-I infection in vitro at a minimum concentration of 5 μg/mL. Neonatal rats born to mother rats pre-infused with LAT-27 were shown to have acquired a large quantity of LAT-27, and these newborns showed complete resistance against intraperitoneal infection with HTLV-I. On the other hand, when humanized immunodeficient mice were pre-infused intravenously with humanized LAT-27 (hu-LAT-27), all the mice completely resisted HTLV-I infection. These results indicate that hu-LAT-27 may have a potential for passive immunization against both horizontal and mother-to-child vertical infection with HTLV-I.
Human T-cell Lymphotropic Virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is a human retrovirus that infects at least 5–10 million people worldwide, and is the etiological agent of a lymphoproliferative malignancy; Adult T-cell Leukemia/Lymphoma (ATLL); and a chronic neuromyelopathy, HTLV-1 Associated Myelopathy/Tropical Spastic Paraparesis (HAM/TSP), as well as other inflammatory diseases such as infective dermatitis and uveitis. Besides sexual intercourse and intravenous transmission, HTLV-1 can also be transmitted from infected mother to child during prolonged breastfeeding. Some characteristics that are linked to mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HTLV-1, such as the role of proviral load, antibody titer of the infected mother, and duration of breastfeeding, have been elucidated; however, most of the mechanisms underlying HTLV-1 transmission during breast feeding remain largely unknown, such as the sites of infection and cellular targets as well as the role of milk factors. The present review focuses on the latest findings and current opinions and perspectives on MTCT of HTLV-1.
Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) are prevalent worldwide, and share similar means of transmission. These infections may influence each other in evolution and outcome, including cancer or immunodeficiency. Many studies have reported the influence of genetic markers on the host immune response against different persistent viral infections, such as HTLV-1 infection, pointing to the importance of the individual genetic background on their outcomes. However, despite recent advances on the knowledge of the pathogenesis of HTLV-1 infection, gaps in the understanding of the role of the individual genetic background on the progress to disease clinically manifested still remain. In this scenario, much less is known regarding the influence of genetic factors in the context of dual or triple infections or their influence on the underlying mechanisms that lead to outcomes that differ from those observed in monoinfection. This review describes the main factors involved in the virus–host balance, especially for some particular human leukocyte antigen (HLA) haplotypes, and other important genetic markers in the development of HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) and other persistent viruses, such as HIV and HCV.
Influenza virus infection has a significant impact on public health, since it is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. It is not well-known whether influenza virus infection affects cell death and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 replication in HIV-1-infected patients. Using a lymphoma cell line, Jurkat, we examined the in vitro effects of pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus (pH1N1) infection on cell death and HIV-1 RNA production in infected cells. We found that pH1N1 infection increased apoptotic cell death through Fas and Bax-mediated pathways in HIV-1-infected Jurkat cells. Infection with pH1N1 virus could promote HIV-1 RNA production by activating host transcription factors including nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-ĸB), nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT) and activator protein 1 (AP-1) through mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) pathways and T-cell antigen receptor (TCR)-related pathways. The replication of HIV-1 latent infection could be reactivated by pH1N1 infection through TCR and apoptotic pathways. These data indicate that HIV-1 replication can be activated by pH1N1 virus in HIV-1-infected cells resulting in induction of cell death through apoptotic pathways.
The human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) replicates to high titers in primary human fibroblast cell cultures. A variety of primary human cells and some tumor-derived cell lines do also support permissive HCMV replication, yet at low levels. Cell lines established by transfection of the transforming functions of adenoviruses have been notoriously resistant to HCMV replication and progeny production. Here, we provide first-time evidence that a permanent cell line immortalized by adenovirus type 5 E1A and E1B (CAP) is supporting the full HCMV replication cycle and is releasing infectious progeny. The CAP cell line had previously been established from amniotic fluid cells which were likely derived from membranes of the developing fetus. These cells can be grown under serum-free conditions. HCMV efficiently penetrated CAP cells, expressed its immediate-early proteins and dispersed restrictive PML-bodies. Viral DNA replication was initiated and viral progeny became detectable by electron microscopy in CAP cells. Furthermore, infectious virus was released from CAP cells, yet to lower levels compared to fibroblasts. Subviral dense bodies were also secreted from CAP cells. The results show that E1A/E1B expression in transformed cells is not generally repressive to HCMV replication and that CAP cells may be a good substrate for dense body based vaccine production.
Monopartite begomoviruses (Geminiviridae), which are whitefly-transmitted single-stranded DNA viruses known for causing devastating crop diseases, are often associated with satellite DNAs. Since begomovirus acquisition or exchange of satellite DNAs may lead to adaptation to new plant hosts and emergence of new disease complexes, it is important to investigate the diversity and distribution of these molecules. This study reports begomovirus-associated satellite DNAs identified during a vector-enabled metagenomic (VEM) survey of begomoviruses using whiteflies collected in various locations (California (USA), Guatemala, Israel, Puerto Rico, and Spain). Protein-encoding satellite DNAs, including alphasatellites and betasatellites, were identified in Israel, Puerto Rico, and Guatemala. Novel alphasatellites were detected in samples from Guatemala and Puerto Rico, resulting in the description of a phylogenetic clade (DNA-3-type alphasatellites) dominated by New World sequences. In addition, a diversity of small (~640–750 nucleotides) satellite DNAs similar to satellites associated with begomoviruses infecting Ipomoea spp. were detected in Puerto Rico and Spain. A third class of satellite molecules, named gammasatellites, is proposed to encompass the increasing number of reported small (aamp;amp;lt;1 kilobase), non-coding begomovirus-associated satellite DNAs. This VEM-based survey indicates that, although recently recovered begomovirus genomes are variations of known genetic themes, satellite DNAs hold unexplored genetic diversity.
Viruses are the most abundant biological entities in the oceans, and encompass a significant reservoir of genetic diversity. However, little is known about their biodiversity in estuary environments, which represent a highly dynamic and potentially more diverse habitat. Here, we report a metagenomic analysis of the dsDNA viral community from the Jiulong River Estuary (JRE), China, and provide a comparative analysis with other closely related environments. The results showed that the majority of JRE virome did not show any significant similarity to the database. For the major viral group (Caudovirales) detected in the sample, Podoviridae (44.88%) were the most abundant family, followed by Siphoviridae (32.98%) and Myoviridae (17.32%). The two most abundant viruses identified in the virome were phages HTVC010P and HMO-2011, which infect bacteria belonging to marine SAR11 and SAR116 clades, respectively. Two contigs larger than 20 kb, which show similar overall genome architectures to Celeribacter phage P12053L and Thalosomonas phage BA3, respectively, were generated during assembly. Comparative analysis showed that the JRE virome was more similar to marine viromes than to freshwater viromes, and shared a relative coarse-grain genetic overlap (averaging 14.14%± 1.68%) with other coastal viromes. Our study indicated that the diversity and community structure of the virioplankton found in JRE were mainly affected by marine waters, with less influence from freshwater discharge.
Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) causes adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) and chronic inflammatory diseases. HTLV-1 bZIP factor (HBZ) is transcribed as an antisense transcript of the HTLV-1 provirus. Among the HTLV-1-encoded viral genes, HBZ is the only gene that is constitutively expressed in all ATL cases. Recent studies have demonstrated that HBZ plays an essential role in oncogenesis by regulating viral transcription and modulating multiple host factors, as well as cellular signaling pathways, that contribute to the development and continued growth of cancer. In this article, I summarize the current knowledge of the oncogenic function of HBZ in cell proliferation, apoptosis, T-cell differentiation, immune escape, and HTLV-1 pathogenesis.
The Enterovirus genus of the Picornaviridae family comprises many important human pathogens, including polioviruses, rhinovirus, enterovirus A71, and enterovirus D68. They cause a wide variety of diseases, ranging from mild to severe life-threatening diseases. Currently, no effective vaccine is available against enteroviruses except for poliovirus. Enteroviruses subvert the autophagic machinery to benefit their assembly, maturation, and exit from host. Some enteroviruses spread between cells via a process described as autophagosome-mediated exit without lysis (AWOL). The early and late phases of autophagy are regulated through various lipids and their metabolizing enzymes. Some of these lipids and enzymes are specifically regulated by enteroviruses. In the present review, we summarize the current understanding of the regulation of autophagic machinery by enteroviruses, and provide updates on recent developments in this field.
Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) was the first human retrovirus discovered. Studies on HTLV-1 have been instrumental for our understanding of the molecular pathology of virus-induced cancers. HTLV-1 is the etiological agent of an adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) and can lead to a variety of neurological pathologies, including HTLV-1-associated-myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). The ability to treat the aggressive ATL subtypes remains inadequate. HTLV-1 replicates by (1) an infectious cycle involving virus budding and infection of new permissive target cells and (2) mitotic division of cells harboring an integrated provirus. Virus replication initiates host antiviral immunity and the checkpoint control of cell proliferation, but HTLV-1 has evolved elegant strategies to counteract these host defense mechanisms to allow for virus persistence. The study of the molecular biology of HTLV-1 replication has provided crucial information for understanding HTLV-1 replication as well as aspects of viral replication that are shared between HTLV-1 and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Here in this review, we discuss the various stages of the virus replication cycle—both foundational knowledge as well as current updates of ongoing research that is important for understanding HTLV-1 molecular pathogenesis as well as in developing novel therapeutic strategies.
Despite a relatively long search for the origin of ebolaviruses, their reservoirs remain elusive. Researchers might have to consider testing alternative hypotheses about how these viruses persist and emerge to advance ebolavirus research. This article aims to encourage researchers to bring forward such hypotheses, to discuss them scientifically and to open alternative research avenues regarding the origin and ecology of ebolaviruses.
Multiple-type human papillomaviruses (HPV) infection presents a greater risk for persistence in asymptomatic individuals and may accelerate cancer development. To extend the scope of HPV types defined by probe-based assays, multiplexing deep sequencing of HPV L1, coupled with an HPV-QUEST genotyping server and a bioinformatic pipeline, was established and applied to survey the diversity of HPV genotypes among a subset of healthy men from the HPV in Men (HIM) Multinational Study. Twenty-one HPV genotypes (12 high-risk and 9 low-risk) were detected in the genital area from 18 asymptomatic individuals. A single HPV type, either HPV16, HPV6b or HPV83, was detected in 7 individuals, while coinfection by 2 to 5 high-risk and/or low-risk genotypes was identified in the other 11 participants. In two individuals studied for over one year, HPV16 persisted, while fluctuations of coinfecting genotypes occurred. HPV L1 regions were generally identical between query and reference sequences, although nonsynonymous and synonymous nucleotide polymorphisms of HPV16, 18, 31, 35h, 59, 70, 73, cand85, 6b, 62, 81, 83, cand89 or JEB2 L1 genotypes, mostly unidentified by linear array, were evident. Deep sequencing coupled with HPV-QUEST provides efficient and unambiguous classification of HPV genotypes in multiple-type HPV infection in host ecosystems.
Colonized Egyptian fruit bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus), originating in South Africa, were inoculated subcutaneously with Ebola virus (EBOV). No overt signs of morbidity, mortality, or gross lesions were noted. Bats seroconverted by Day 10–16 post inoculation (p.i.), with the highest mean anti-EBOV IgG level on Day 28 p.i. EBOV RNA was detected in blood from one bat. In 16 other tissues tested, viral RNA distribution was limited and at very low levels. No seroconversion could be demonstrated in any of the control bats up to 28 days after in-contact exposure to subcutaneously-inoculated bats. The control bats were subsequently inoculated intraperitoneally, and intramuscularly with the same dose of EBOV. No mortality, morbidity or gross pathology was observed in these bats. Kinetics of immune response was similar to that in subcutaneously-inoculated bats. Viral RNA was more widely disseminated to multiple tissues and detectable in a higher proportion of individuals, but consistently at very low levels. Irrespective of the route of inoculation, no virus was isolated from tissues which tested positive for EBOV RNA. Viral RNA was not detected in oral, nasal, ocular, vaginal, penile and rectal swabs from any of the experimental groups.
The editors of Viruses would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2015. [...]
The T5-like siphoviruses DT57C and DT571/2, isolated from horse feces, are very closely related to each other, and most of their structural proteins are also nearly identical to T5 phage. Their LTFs (L-shaped tail fibers), however, are composed of two proteins, LtfA and LtfB, instead of the single Ltf of bacteriophage T5. In silico and mutant analysis suggests a possible branched structure of DT57C and DT571/2 LTFs, where the LtfB protein is connected to the phage tail via the LtfA protein and with both proteins carrying receptor recognition domains. Such adhesin arrangement has not been previously recognized in siphoviruses. The LtfA proteins of our phages are found to recognize different host O-antigen types: E. coli O22-like for DT57C phage and E. coli O87 for DT571/2. LtfB proteins are identical in both phages and recognize another host receptor, most probably lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of E. coli O81 type. In these two bacteriophages, LTF function is essential to penetrate the shield of the host’s O-antigens. We also demonstrate that LTF-mediated adsorption becomes superfluous when the non-specific cell protection by O-antigen is missing, allowing the phages to bind directly to their common secondary receptor, the outer membrane protein BtuB. The LTF independent adsorption was also demonstrated on an O22-like host mutant missing O-antigen O-acetylation, thus showing the biological value of this O-antigen modification for cell protection against phages.
Internal ribosome entry is a key mechanism for viral protein synthesis in a subset of RNA viruses. Cricket paralysis virus (CrPV), a member of Dicistroviridae, has a positive-sense single strand RNA genome that contains two internal ribosome entry sites (IRES), a 5′untranslated region (5′UTR) and intergenic region (IGR) IRES, that direct translation of open reading frames (ORF) encoding the viral non-structural and structural proteins, respectively. The regulation of and the significance of the CrPV IRESs during infection are not fully understood. In this study, using a series of biochemical assays including radioactive-pulse labelling, reporter RNA assays and ribosome profiling, we demonstrate that while 5′UTR IRES translational activity is constant throughout infection, IGR IRES translation is delayed and then stimulated two to three hours postinfection. The delay in IGR IRES translation is not affected by inhibiting global translation prematurely via treatment with Pateamine A. Using a CrPV replicon that uncouples viral translation and replication, we show that the increase in IGR IRES translation is dependent on expression of non-structural proteins and is greatly stimulated when replication is active. Temporal regulation by distinct IRESs within the CrPV genome is an effective viral strategy to ensure optimal timing and expression of viral proteins to facilitate infection.
Since its emergence in the 1990s, White Spot Disease (WSD) has had major economic and societal impact in the crustacean aquaculture sector. Over the years shrimp farming alone has experienced billion dollar losses through WSD. The disease is caused by the White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV), a large dsDNA virus and the only member of the Nimaviridae family. Susceptibility to WSSV in a wide range of crustacean hosts makes it a major risk factor in the translocation of live animals and in commodity products. Currently there are no effective treatments for this disease. Understanding the molecular basis of disease processes has contributed significantly to the treatment of many human and animal pathogens, and with a similar aim considerable efforts have been directed towards understanding host–pathogen molecular interactions for WSD. Work on the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis in aquatic crustaceans has been restricted by a lack of sequenced and annotated genomes for host species. Nevertheless, some of the key host–pathogen interactions have been established: between viral envelope proteins and host cell receptors at initiation of infection, involvement of various immune system pathways in response to WSSV, and the roles of various host and virus miRNAs in mitigation or progression of disease. Despite these advances, many fundamental knowledge gaps remain; for example, the roles of the majority of WSSV proteins are still unknown. In this review we assess current knowledge of how WSSV infects and replicates in its host, and critique strategies for WSD treatment.
Human herpesvirus-6A and B (HHV-6A, HHV-6B) have recently defined endogenous genomes, resulting from integration into the germline: chromosomally-integrated“CiHHV-6A/B”. These affect approximately 1.0% of human populations, giving potential for virus gene expression in every cell. We previously showed that CiHHV-6A was more divergent than CiHHV-6B by examining four genes in 44 European CiHHV-6A/B cardiac/haematology patients. There was evidence for gene expression/reactivation, implying functional non-defective genomes. To further define the relationship between HHV-6A and CiHHV-6A we used next-generation sequencing to characterize genomes from three CiHHV-6A cardiac patients. Comparisons to known exogenous HHV-6A showed CiHHV-6A genomes formed a separate clade; including all 85 non-interrupted genes and necessary cis-acting signals for reactivation as infectious virus. Greater single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) density was defined in 16 genes and the direct repeats (DR) terminal regions. Using these SNPs, deep sequencing analyses demonstrated superinfection with exogenous HHV-6A in two of the CiHHV-6A patients with recurrent cardiac disease. Characterisation of the integration sites in twelve patients identified the human chromosome 17p subtelomere as a prevalent site, which had specific repeat structures and phylogenetically related CiHHV-6A coding sequences indicating common ancestral origins. Overall CiHHV-6A genomes were similar, but distinct from known exogenous HHV-6A virus, and have the capacity to reactivate as emerging virus infections.
Enterovirus genus includes multiple important human pathogens, such as poliovirus, coxsackievirus, enterovirus (EV) A71, EV-D68 and rhinovirus. Infection with EVs can cause numerous clinical conditions including poliomyelitis, meningitis and encephalitis, hand-foot-and-mouth disease, acute flaccid paralysis, diarrhea, myocarditis and respiratory illness. EVs, which are positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses, trigger activation of the host antiviral innate immune responses through pathogen recognition receptors such as retinoic acid-inducible gene (RIG-I)-likeand Toll-like receptors. In turn, EVs have developed sophisticated strategies to evade host antiviral responses. In this review, we discuss the interplay between the host innate immune responses and EV infection, with a primary focus on host immune detection and protection against EV infection and viral strategies to evade these antiviral immune responses.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a small DNA virus that infects the liver. Current anti-HBV drugs efficiently suppress viral replication but do not eradicate the virus due to the persistence of its episomal DNA. Efforts to develop reliable in vitro systems to model HBV infection, an imperative tool for studying HBV biology and its interactions with the host, have been hampered by major limitations at the level of the virus, the host and infection readouts. This review summarizes major milestones in the development of in vitro systems to study HBV. Recent advances in our understanding of HBV biology, such as the discovery of the bile-acid pump sodium-taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide (NTCP) as a receptor for HBV, enabled the establishment of NTCP expressing hepatoma cell lines permissive for HBV infection. Furthermore, advanced tissue engineering techniques facilitate now the establishment of HBV infection systems based on primary human hepatocytes that maintain their phenotype and permissiveness for infection over time. The ability to differentiate inducible pluripotent stem cells into hepatocyte-like cells opens the door for studying HBV in a more isogenic background, as well. Thus, the recent advances in in vitro models for HBV infection holds promise for a better understanding of virus-host interactions and for future development of more definitive anti-viral drugs.
Oncolytic abilities of vaccinia virus (VACV) served as a basis for the development of various recombinants for treating cancer; however,“natural” oncolytic properties of the virus are not examined in detail. Our study was conducted to know how the genetically unmodified L-IVP strain of VACV produces its antitumor effect. Human A431 carcinoma xenografts in nude mice and murine Ehrlich carcinoma in C57Bl mice were used as targetsfor VACV, which was injected intratumorally. A set of virological methods, immunohistochemistry, light and electron microscopy was used in the study. We found that in mice bearing A431 carcinoma, the L-IVP strain was observed in visceral organs within two weeks, but rapidly disappeared from the blood. The L-IVP strain caused decrease of sizes in both tumors, however, in different ways. Direct cell destruction by replicating virus plays a main role in regression of A431 carcinoma xenografts, while in Ehrlich carcinoma, which poorly supported VACV replication, the virus induced decrease of mitoses by pushing tumor cells into S-phase of cell cycle. Our study showed that genetically unmodified VACV possesses at least two mechanisms of antitumor effect: direct destruction of tumor cells and suppression of mitoses in tumor cells.
Enteroviruses are a group of over 250 naked icosahedral virus serotypes that have been associated with clinical conditions that range from intrauterine enterovirus transmission withfataloutcome through encephalitis and meningitis, to paralysis. Classically, enterovirus detection was done by assaying for the development of the classic enterovirus-specific cytopathic effect in cell culture. Subsequently, the isolates were historically identified by a neutralization assay. More recently, identification has been done by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). However, in recent times, there is a move towards direct detection and identification of enteroviruses from clinical samples using the cell culture-independent RT semi-nested PCR (RT-snPCR) assay. This RT-snPCR procedure amplifies the VP1 gene, which is then sequenced and used for identification. However, while cell culture-based strategies tend to show a preponderance of certain enterovirus species depending on the cell lines included in the isolation protocol, the RT-snPCR strategies tilt in a different direction. Consequently, it is becoming apparent that the diversity observed in certain enterovirus species, e.g., enterovirus species B(EV-B), might not be because they are the most evolutionarily successful. Rather, it might stem from cell line-specific bias accumulated over several years of use of the cell culture-dependent isolation protocols. Furthermore, it might also be a reflection of the impact of the relative genome concentration on the result of pan-enterovirus VP1 RT-snPCR screens used during the identification of cell culture isolates. This review highlights the impact of these two processes on the current diversity landscape of enteroviruses and the need to re-assess enterovirus detection and identification algorithms in a bid to better balance our understanding of the enterovirus diversity landscape.
Recently, a large number of new technologies have been developed that exploit the unique properties of bacteriophage receptor binding proteins (RBPs). These include their use in diagnostic applications that selectively capture bacteria and as therapeutics that reduce bacterial colonization in vivo. RBPs exhibit comparable, and in many cases superior, stability, receptor specificity, and affinity to other carbohydrate binding proteins such as antibodies or lectins. In order to further exploit the use of RBPs, we have developed an assay for discovering RBPs using phage genome expression libraries and protein screens to identify binding partners that recognize the host bacterium. When phage P22 was screened using this assay, Gp9 was the only RBP discovered, confirming previous predictions that this is the sole RBP encoded by this phage. We then examined the Escherichia coli O157:H7 typing phage 1 in our assay and identified a previously undescribed RBP. This general approach has the potential to assist in the identification of RBPs from other bacteriophages.
Rhinoviruses (RVs) and respiratory enteroviruses (EVs) are leading causes of upper respiratory tract infections and among the most frequent infectious agents in humans worldwide. Both are classified in the Enterovirus genus within the Picornaviridae family and they have been assigned to seven distinct species, RV-A, B, C and EV-A, B, C, D. As viral infections of public health significance, they represent an important financial burden on health systems worldwide. However, the lack of efficient antiviral treatment or vaccines against these highly prevalent pathogens prevents an effective management of RV-related diseases. Current advances in molecular diagnostic techniques have revealed the presence of RV in the lower respiratory tract and its role in lower airway diseases is increasingly reported. In addition to an established etiological role in the common cold, these viruses demonstrate an unexpected capacity to spread to other body sites under certain conditions. Some of these viruses have received particular attention recently, such as EV-D68 that caused a large outbreak of respiratory illness in 2014, respiratory EVs from species C, or viruses within the newly-discovered RV-C species. This review provides an update of the latest findings on clinical and fundamental aspects of RV and respiratory EV, including a summary of basic knowledge of their biology.
The fusion glycoproteins that decorate the surface of enveloped viruses undergo dramatic conformational changes in the course of engaging with target cells through receptor interactions and during cell entry. These refolding events ultimately drive the fusion of viral and cellular membranes leading to delivery of the genetic cargo. While well-established methods for structure determination such as X-ray crystallography have provided detailed structures of fusion proteins in the pre- and post-fusion fusion states, to understand mechanistically how these fusion glycoproteins perform their structural calisthenics and drive membrane fusion requires new analytical approaches that enable dynamic intermediate states to be probed. Methods including structural mass spectrometry, small-angle X-ray scattering, and electron microscopy have begun to provide new insight into pathways of conformational change and fusion protein function. In combination, the approaches provide a significantly richer portrait of viral fusion glycoprotein structural variation and fusion activation as well as inhibition by neutralizing agents. Here recent studies that highlight the utility of these complementary approaches will be reviewed with a focus on the well-characterized influenza virus hemagglutinin fusion glycoprotein system.
Highly pathogenic H5N1 infections are often accompanied by excessive pro-inflammatory response, high viral titer, and apoptosis; as such, the efficient control of these infections poses a great challenge. The pathogenesis of influenza virus infection is also related to oxidative stress. However, the role of endogenic genes with antioxidant effect in the control of influenza viruses, especially H5N1 viruses, should be further investigated. In this study, the H5N1 infection in lung epithelial cells decreased Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) expression at mRNA and protein levels. Forced SOD1 expression significantly inhibited the H5N1-induced increase in reactive oxygen species, decreased pro-inflammatory response, prevented p65 and p38 phosphorylation, and impeded viral ribonucleoprotein nuclear export and viral replication. The SOD1 overexpression also rescued H5N1-induced cellular apoptosis and alleviated H5N1-caused mitochondrial dysfunction. Therefore, this study described the role of SOD1 in the replication of H5N1 influenza virus and emphasized the relevance of this enzyme in the control of H5N1 replication in epithelial cells. Pharmacological modulation or targeting SOD1 may open a new way to fight H5N1 influenza virus.
Viral communities of two different salt pans located in the Namib Desert, Hosabes and Eisfeld, were investigated using a combination of multiple displacement amplification of metaviromic DNA and deep sequencing, and provided comprehensive sequence data on both ssDNA and dsDNA viral community structures. Read and contig annotations through online pipelines showed that the salt pans harbored largely unknown viral communities. Through network analysis, we were able to assign a large portion of the unknown reads to a diverse group of ssDNA viruses. Contigs belonging to the subfamily Gokushovirinae were common in both environmental datasets. Analysis of haloarchaeal virus contigs revealed the presence of three contigs distantly related with His1, indicating a possible new lineage of salterproviruses in the Hosabes playa. Based on viral richness and read mapping analyses, the salt pan metaviromes were novel and most closely related to each other while showing a low degree of overlap with other environmental viromes.
Genetic analyses play a central role in infectious disease research. Massively parallelized“mechanical cloning” and sequencing technologies were quickly adopted by HIV researchers in order to broaden the understanding of the clinical importance of minor drug-resistant variants. These efforts have, however, remained largely limited to small genomic regions. The growing need to monitormultiple genome regions for drug resistance testing, as well as the obvious benefit for studying evolutionary and epidemic processes makes complete genome sequencing an important goal in viral research. In addition, a major drawback for NGS applications to RNA viruses is the need for large quantities of input DNA. Here, we use a generic overlapping amplicon-based near full-genome amplification protocol to compare low-input enzymatic fragmentation (Nextera™) with conventional mechanical shearing for Roche 454 sequencing. We find that the fragmentation method has only a modest impact on the characterization of the population composition and that for reliable results, the variation introduced at all steps of the procedure—from nucleic acid extraction to sequencing—should be taken into account, a finding that is also relevant for NGS technologies that are now more commonly used. Furthermore, by applying our protocol to deep sequence a number of pre-therapy plasma and PBMC samples, we illustrate the potential benefits of a near complete genome sequencing approach in routine genotyping.
Enteroviruses, the most common human viral pathogens worldwide, have been associated with serous meningitis, encephalitis, syndrome of acute flaccid paralysis, myocarditis and the onset of diabetes type 1. In the future, the rapid identification of the etiological agent would allow to adjust the therapy promptly and thereby improve the course of the disease and prognosis. We developed RT-nested PCR amplification of the genomic region coding viral structural protein VP1 for direct identification of enteroviruses in clinical specimens and compared it with the existing analogs. One-hundred-fifty-nine cerebrospinal fluids (CSF) from patients with suspected meningitis were studied. The amplification of VP1 genomic region using the new method was achieved for 86 (54.1%) patients compared with 75 (47.2%), 53 (33.3%) and 31 (19.5%) achieved with previously published methods. We identified 11 serotypes of the Enterovirus species B in 2012, including relatively rare echovirus 14 (E-14), E-15 and E-32, and eight serotypes of species B and 5 enteroviruses A71 (EV-A71) in 2013. The developed method can be useful for direct identification of enteroviruses in clinical material with the low virus loads such as CSF.
Oncolytic viruses (OVs) target and destroy cancer cells while sparing their normal counterparts. These viruses have been evaluated in numerous studies at both pre-clinical and clinical levels and the recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of an oncolytic herpesvirus-based treatment raises optimism that OVs will become a therapeutic option for cancer patients. However, to improve clinical outcome, there is a need to increase OV efficacy. In addition to killing cancer cells directly through lysis, OVs can stimulate the induction of anti-tumour immune responses. The host immune system thus represents a“double-edged sword” for oncolytic virotherapy: on the one hand, a robust anti-viral response will limit OV replication and spread; on the other hand, the immune-mediated component of OV therapy may be its most important anti-cancer mechanism. Although the relative contribution of direct viral oncolysis and indirect, immune-mediated oncosuppression to overall OV efficacy is unclear, it is likely that an initial period of vigorous OV multiplication and lytic activity will most optimally set the stage for subsequent adaptive anti-tumour immunity. In this review, we consider the use of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors as a means of boosting virus replication and lessening the negative impact of innate immunity on the direct oncolytic effect. We also discuss an alternative approach, aimed at potentiating OV-elicited anti-tumour immunity through the blockade of immune checkpoints. We conclude by proposing a two-phase combinatorial strategy in which initial OV replication and spread is maximised through transient HDAC inhibition, with anti-tumour immune responses subsequently enhanced by immune checkpoint blockade.
There are no currently available specific antiviral therapies for non-polio Enterovirus infections. Although several vaccines have entered clinical trials, the efficacy requires further evaluation, particularly for cross-strain protective activity. Curing patients with viral infections is a public health problem due to antigen alterations and drug resistance caused by the high genomic mutation rate. To conquer these limits in the development of anti-Enterovirus treatments, a comprehensive understanding of the interactions between Enterovirus and host cells is urgently needed. MicroRNA (miRNA) constitutes the biggest family of gene regulators in mammalian cells and regulates almost a half of all human genes. The roles of miRNAs in Enterovirus pathogenesis have recently begun to be noted. In this review, we shed light on recent advances in the understanding of Enterovirus infection-modulated miRNAs. The impacts of altered host miRNAs on cellular processes, including immune escape, apoptosis, signal transduction, shutdown of host protein synthesis and viral replication, are discussed. Finally, miRNA-based medication provides a promising strategy for the development of antiviral therapy.
Human T-cell leukemia virus type-1 (HTLV-1) is a tumorigenic retrovirus responsible for development of adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL). This disease manifests after a long clinical latency period of up to 2–3 decades. Two viral gene products, Tax and HBZ, have transforming properties and play a role in the pathogenic process. Genetic and epigenetic cellular changes also occur in HTLV-1-infected cells, which contribute to transformation and disease development. However, the role of cellular factors in transformation is not completely understood. Herein, we examined the role of protein arginine methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5) on HTLV-1-mediated cellular transformation and viral gene expression. We found PRMT5 expression was upregulated during HTLV-1-mediated T-cell transformation, as well as in established lymphocytic leukemia/lymphoma cell lines and ATLL patient PBMCs. shRNA-mediated reduction in PRMT5 protein levels or its inhibition by a small molecule inhibitor (PRMT5i) in HTLV-1-infected lymphocytes resulted in increased viral gene expression and decreased cellular proliferation. PRMT5i also had selective toxicity in HTLV-1-transformed T-cells. Finally, we demonstrated that PRMT5 and the HTLV-1 p30 protein had an additive inhibitory effect on HTLV-1 gene expression. Our study provides evidence for PRMT5 as a host cell factor important in HTLV-1-mediated T-cell transformation, and apotential target for ATLL treatment.
The hand, foot and mouth disease is caused by a group of Enteroviruses such as Enterovirus 71 (EV-A71) and Coxsackievirus CV-A5, CV-A8, and CV-A16. Mild symptoms of EV-A71 infection in children range from high fever, vomiting, rashes and ulcers in mouth but can produce more severe symptoms such as brainstem and cerebellar encephalitis, leading up to cardiopulmonary failure and death. The lack of vaccines and antiviral drugs against EV-A71 highlights the urgency of developing preventive and treatment agents against EV-A71 to prevent further fatalities. Research groups have developed experimental inactivated vaccines, recombinant Viral Protein 1 (VP1) vaccine and virus-like particles (VLPs). The inactivated EV-A71 vaccine is considered the safest viral vaccine, as there will be no reversion to the infectious wild type strain. The recombinant VP1 vaccine is a cost-effective immunogen, while VLPs contain an arrangement of epitopes that can elicit neutralizing antibodies against the virus. As each type of vaccine has its advantages and disadvantages, increased studies are required in the development of such vaccines, whereby high efficacy, long-lasting immunity, minimal risk to those vaccinated, safe and easy production, low cost, dispensing the need for refrigeration and convenient delivery are the major goals in their design.
Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) was reported to downregulate the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. Induction of Axin1, the negative regulator of the Wnt pathway, has been reported as an important mechanism for inhibition of β-catenin. Since Tankyrase (TNKS) negatively regulates Axin1, we investigated the effect of HCMV on TNKS expression and poly-ADP ribose polymerase (PARsylation) activity, during virus replication. Starting at 24 h post infection, HCMV stabilized the expression of TNKS and reduced its PARsylation activity, resulting in accumulation of Axin1 and reduction in its PARsylation as well. General PARsylation was not changed in HCMV-infected cells, suggesting specific inhibition of TNKS PARsylation. Similarly, treatment with XAV939, a chemical inhibitor of TNKS’ activity, resulted in the accumulation of TNKS in both non-infected and HCMV-infected cell lines. Reduction of TNKS activity or knockdown of TNKS was beneficial for HCMV, evidenced by its improved growth in fibroblasts. Our results suggest that HCMV modulates the activity of TNKS to induce Axin1, resulting in inhibition of the β-catenin pathway. Since HCMV replication is facilitated by TNKS knockdown or inhibition of its activity, TNKS may serve as an important virus target for controlof a variety of cellular processes.
Influenza A viruses (IAVs) cause seasonal pandemics and epidemics with high morbidity and mortality, which calls for effective anti-IAV agents. The glycoprotein hemagglutinin of influenza virus plays a crucial role in the initial stage of virus infection, making it a potential target for anti-influenza therapeutics development. Here we found that quercetin inhibited influenza infection with a wide spectrum of strains, including A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (H1N1), A/FM-1/47/1 (H1N1), and A/Aichi/2/68 (H3N2) with half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 7.756± 1.097, 6.225 ± 0.467, and 2.738 ± 1.931 μg/mL, respectively. Mechanism studies identified that quercetin showed interaction with the HA2 subunit. Moreover, quercetin could inhibit the entry of the H5N1 virus using the pseudovirus-based drug screening system. This study indicates that quercetin showing inhibitory activity in the early stage of influenza infection provides a future therapeutic option to develop effective, safe and affordable natural products for the treatment and prophylaxis of IAV infections.
Reoviruses are non-enveloped viruses with a segmented double stranded RNA genome. In humans, they are not associated with serious disease. Human reoviruses exhibit an inherent preference to replicate in tumor cells, which makes them ideally suited for use in oncolytic virotherapies. Their use as anti-cancer agent has been evaluated in several clinical trials, which revealed that intra-tumoral and systemic delivery of reoviruses are well tolerated. Despite evidence of anti-tumor effects, the efficacy of reovirus in anti-cancer monotherapy needs to be further enhanced. The opportunity to treat both the primary tumor as well as metastases makes systemic delivery a preferred administration route. Several pre-clinical studies have been conducted to address the various hurdles connected to systemic delivery of reoviruses. The majority of those studies have been done in tumor-bearing immune-deficient murine models. This thwarts studies on the impact of the contribution of the immune system to the tumor cell eradication. This review focuses on key aspects of the reovirus/host-cell interactions and the methods that are available to modify the virus to alter these interactions. These aspects are discussed with a focus on improving the reovirus’ antitumor efficacy.
Human T-lymphotropic virus type-1 (HTLV-1) infection is associated with adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL). Tropical spastic paraparesis/HTLV-1-associated myelopathy (PET/HAM) is involved in the development of autoimmune diseases including Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), and Sjögren’s Syndrome (SS). The development of HTLV-1-driven autoimmunity is hypothesized to rely on molecular mimicry, because virus-like particles can trigger an inflammatory response. However, HTLV-1 modifies the behavior of CD4+ T cells on infection and alters their cytokine production. A previous study showed that in patients infected with HTLV-1, the activity of regulatory CD4+ T cells and their consequent expression of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines are altered. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms underlying changes in cytokine release leading to the loss of toleranceand development of autoimmunity.
The promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML) is the main structural component of the nuclear matrix structures termed nuclear domain 10 (ND10) or PML nuclear bodies (PML-NBs). PML and ND10 structures have been shown to mediate an intrinsic immune response against a variety of different viruses. Their role during retroviral replication, however, is still controversially discussed. In this study, we analyzed the role of PML and the ND10 components Daxx and Sp100 during retroviral replication in different cell types. Using cell lines exhibiting a shRNA-mediated knockdown, we found that PML, but not Daxx or Sp100, inhibits HIV and other retroviruses in a cell type-dependent manner. The PML-mediated block to retroviral infection was active in primary human fibroblasts and murine embryonic fibroblasts but absent from T cells and myeloid cell lines. Quantitative PCR analysis of HIV cDNA in infected cells revealed that PML restricts infection at the level of reverse transcription. Our findings shed light on the controversial role of PML during retroviral infection and show that PML contributes to the intrinsic restriction of retroviral infections in a cell type-dependent manner.
Research on oncolytic viruses has mostly been directed towards the treatment of solid tumors, which has yielded limited information regarding their activity in hematological cancer. It has also been directed towards the treatment of humans, yet veterinary medicine may also benefit. Several strains of the Newcastle disease virus (NDV) have been used as oncolytics in vitro and in a number of in vivo experiments. We studied the cytolytic effect of NDV-MLS, a low virulence attenuated lentogenic strain, on a human large B-cell lymphoma cell line (SU-DHL-4), as well as on primary canine-derived B-cell lymphoma cells, and compared them to healthy peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from both humans and dogs. NDV-MLS reduced cell survival in both human (42%± 5%) and dog (34% ± 12%) lymphoma cells as compared to untreated controls. No significant effect on PBMC was seen. Cell death involved apoptosis as documented by flow-cytometry. NDV-MLS infections of malignant lymphoma tumors in vivo in dogs were confirmed by electron microscopy. Early (24 h) biodistribution of intravenous injection of 1 × 1012 TCID50 (tissue culture infective dose) in a dog with T-cell lymphoma showed viral localization only in the kidney, the salivary gland, the lung and the stomach by immunohistochemistry and/or endpoint PCR. We conclude that NDV-MLS may be a promisingagent for the treatment of lymphomas. Future research is needed to elucidate the optimal therapeutic regimen and establish appropriate biosafety measures.
Recent experimentation with the variants of the Ebola virus that differ in the glycoprotein’s poly-uridine site, which dictates the form of glycoprotein produced through a transcriptional stutter, has resulted in questions regarding the pathogenicity and lethality of the stocks used to develop products currently undergoing human clinical trials to combat the disease. In order to address these concerns and prevent the delay of these critical research programs, we designed an experiment that permitted us to intramuscularly challenge statistically significant numbers of naïve and vaccinated cynomolgus macaques with either a 7U or 8U variant of the Ebola virus, Kikwit isolate. In naïve animals, no difference in survivorship was observed; however, there was a significant delay in the disease course between the two groups. Significant differences were also observed in time-of-fever, serum chemistry, and hematology. In vaccinated animals, there was no statistical difference in survivorship between either challenge groups, with two succumbing in the 7U group compared to 1 in the 8U challenge group. In summary, survivorship was not affected, but the Ebola virus disease course in nonhuman primates is temporally influenced by glycoprotein poly-U editing site populations.
The Nef protein is an accessory gene product encoded by human immunodeficiency virus types 1 and 2 (HIV-1/-2) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) that boosts virus replication in the infected host and accelerates disease progression. Unlike the HIV-1 accessory proteins Vif, Vpr and Vpu, Nef was, until recently, not known to antagonize the antiviral activity of a host cell restriction factor. Two recent reports now describe the host cell proteins serine incorporator 3 and 5 (SERINC3 and SERINC5) as potent inhibitors of HIV-1 particle infectivity and demonstrate that Nef counteracts these effects. These findings establish SERINC3/5 as restrictions to HIV replication in human cells and define a novel activity for the HIV pathogenesis factor Nef.
There has been a remarkable transformation in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C in recent years with the development of direct acting antiviral agents targeting virus encoded proteins important for viral replication including NS3/4A, NS5A and NS5B. These agents have shown high sustained viral response (SVR) rates of more than 90% in phase 2 and phase 3 clinical trials; however, this is slightly lower in real-life cohorts. Hepatitis C virus resistant variants are seen in most patients who do not achieve SVR due to selection and outgrowth of resistant hepatitis C virus variants within a given host. These resistance associated mutations depend on the class of direct-acting antiviral drugs used and also vary between hepatitis C virus genotypes and subtypes. The understanding of these mutations has a clear clinical implication in terms of choice and combination of drugs used. In this review, we describe mechanism of action of currently available drugs and summarize clinically relevant resistance data.
Exosomes are small nanovesicles of about 100 nm in diameter that act as intercellular messengers because they can shuttle RNA, proteins and lipids between different cells. Many studies have found that exosomes also play various roles in viral pathogenesis. Hepatitis A virus (HAV; a picornavirus) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV; a flavivirus) two single strand plus-sense RNA viruses, in particular, have been found to use exosomes for viral transmission thus evading antibody-mediated immune responses. Paradoxically, both viral exosomes can also be detected by plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) leading to innate immune activation and type I interferon production. This article will review recent findings regarding these two viruses and outline how exosomes are involved in their transmission and immune sensing.
Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD)-deficient cells are highly susceptible to viral infection. This study examined the mechanism underlying this phenomenon by measuring the expression of antiviral genes—tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and GTPase myxovirus resistance 1 (MX1)—in G6PD-knockdown cells upon human coronavirus 229E (HCoV-229E) and enterovirus 71 (EV71) infection. Molecular analysis revealed that the promoter activities of TNF-α and MX1 were downregulated in G6PD-knockdown cells, and that the IκB degradation and DNA binding activity of NF-κB were decreased. The HSCARG protein, a nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) sensor and negative regulator of NF-κB, was upregulated in G6PD-knockdown cells with decreased NADPH/NADP+ ratio. Treatment of G6PD-knockdowncells with siRNA against HSCARG enhanced the DNA binding activity of NF-κB and the expression of TNF-α and MX1, but suppressed the expression of viral genes; however, the overexpression of HSCARG inhibited the antiviral response. Exogenous G6PD or IDH1 expression inhibited the expression of HSCARG, resulting in increased expression of TNF-α and MX1 and reduced viral gene expression upon virus infection. Our findings suggest that the increased susceptibility of the G6PD-knockdown cells to viral infection was due to impaired NF-κB signaling and antiviral response mediated by HSCARG.
Live biotherapeutic products (LBPs), commonly referred to as probiotics, are typically preparations of live bacteria, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species that are considered normal human commensals. Popular interest in probiotics has been increasing with general health benefits being attributed to their consumption, but there is also growing interest in evaluating such products for treatment of specific diseases. While over-the-counter probiotics are generally viewed as very safe, at least in healthy individuals, it must be remembered that clinical studies to assess these products may be done in individuals whose defenses are compromised, such as through a disease process, immunosuppressive clinical treatment, or an immature or aging immune system. One of the major safety criteria for LBPs used in clinical studies is microbial purity, i.e., the absence of extraneous, undesirable microorganisms. The main goal of this project is to develop recombinant phage lysins as reagents for improved purity assays for LBPs. Phage lysins are hydrolytic enzymes containing a cell binding domain that provides specificity and a catalytic domain responsible for lysis and killing. Our approach is to use recombinant phage lysins to selectively kill target product bacteria, which when used for purity assays will allow for outgrowth of potential contaminants under non-selective conditions, thus allowing an unbiased assessment of the presence of contaminants. To develop our approach, we used LysA2, a phage lysin with reported activity against a broad range of Lactobacillus species. We report the lytic profile of a non-tagged recombinant LysA2 against Lactobacillus strains in our collection. We also present a proof-of-concept experiment, showing that addition of partially purified LysA2 to a culture of Lactobacillus jensenii (L. jensenii) spiked with low numbers of Escherichia coli (E. coli) or Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus ) effectively eliminates or knocks down L. jensenii, allowing for clear detection of the contaminating strains. With continued identification and characterization of phage lysins, we hope that the use of recombinant phage lysins in purity assays for products containing live microbials may offer additional tools to help advance product development of LBPs.
We previously characterized a carbohydrate binding protein, Gp047, derived from lytic Campylobacter phage NCTC 12673, as a promising diagnostic tool for the identification of Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli. We also demonstrated that this protein binds specifically to acetamidino-modified pseudaminic acid residues on host flagella, but the role of this protein in the phage lifecycle remains unknown. Here, we report that Gp047 is capable of inhibiting C. jejuni growth both on solid and liquid media, an activity, which we found to be bacteriostatic. The Gp047 domain responsible for bacterial growth inhibition is localized to the C-terminal quarter of the protein, and this activity is both contact- and dose-dependent. Gp047 gene homologues are present in all Campylobacter phages sequenced to date, and the resulting protein is not part of the phage particle. Therefore, these results suggest that either phages of this pathogen have evolved an effector protein capable of host-specific growth inhibition, or that Campylobacter cells have developed a mechanism of regulating their growth upon sensing an impending phage threat.
Human coronaviruses represent a significant disease burden; however, there is currently no antiviral strategy to combat infection. The outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003 and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) less than 10 years later demonstrates the potential of coronaviruses to cross species boundaries and further highlights the importance of identifying novel lead compounds with broad spectrum activity. The coronavirus 3CLpro provides a highly validated drug target and as there is a high degree of sequence homology and conservation in main chain architecture the design of broad spectrum inhibitors is viable. The ZINC drugs-now library was screened in a consensus high-throughput pharmacophore modeling and molecular docking approach by Vina, Glide, GOLD and MM-GBSA. Molecular dynamics further confirmed results obtained from structure-based techniques. A highly defined hit-list of 19 compounds was identified by the structure-based drug design methodologies. As these compounds were extensively validated by a consensus approach and by molecular dynamics, the likelihood that at least one of these compounds is bioactive is excellent. Additionally, the compounds segregate into 15 significantly dissimilar (p aamp;amp;lt; 0.05) clusters based on shape and features, which represent valuable scaffolds that can be used as a basis for future anti-coronaviral inhibitor discovery experiments. Importantly though, the enriched subset of 19 compounds identified from the larger library has to be validated experimentally.
A rapid Listeria detection method was developed utilizing A511 bacteriophage amplification combined with surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) and lateral flow immunochromatography (LFI). Anti-A511 antibodies were covalently linked to SERS nanoparticles and printed onto nitrocellulose membranes. Antibody-conjugated SERS nanoparticles were used as quantifiable reporters. In the presence of A511, phage-SERS nanoparticle complexes were arrested and concentrated as a visible test line, which was interrogated quantitatively by Raman spectroscopy. An increase in SERS intensity correlated to an increase in captured phage-reporter complexes. SERS limit of detection was 6× 106 pfu·mL−1, offering detection below that obtainable by the naked eye (LOD 6 × 107 pfu·mL−1). Phage amplification experiments were carried out at a multiplicity of infection (MOI) of 0.1 with 4 different starting phage concentrations monitored over time using SERS-LFI and validated by spot titer assay. Detection of L. monocytogenes concentrations of 1 × 107 colony forming units (cfu)·mL−1, 5 × 106 cfu·mL−1, 5 × 105 cfu·mL−1 and 5 × 104 cfu·mL−1 was achieved in 2, 2, 6, and 8 h, respectively. Similar experiments were conducted at a constant starting phage concentration (5 × 105 pfu·mL−1) with MOIs of 1, 2.5, and 5 and were detected in 2, 4, and 5 h, respectively.
Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is a major infectious disease affecting millions of people worldwide and it is the main etiological agent for outbreaks of hand foot and mouth disease (HFMD). Infection is often associated with severe gastroenterological, pulmonary, and neurological diseases that are most prevalent in children. Currently, no effective vaccine or antiviral drugs exist against EV71 infection. A lack of knowledge on the molecular mechanisms of EV71 infection in the host and the virus-host interactions is a major constraint to developing specific antiviral strategies against this infection. Previous studies have identified and characterized the function of several viral proteins produced by EV71 that interact with the host innate immune proteins, including type I interferon signaling and microRNAs. These interactions eventually promote efficient viral replication and increased susceptibility to the disease. In this review we discuss the functions of EV71 viral proteins in the modulation of host innate immune responses to facilitate viral replication.
Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL) is a peripheral T-cell lymphoma caused by human T-cell leukemia/lymphoma virus type 1 (HTLV-1). ATLL occurs in approximately 3%–5% of HTLV-1 carriers during their lifetime and follows a heterogeneous clinical course. The Shimoyama classification has been frequently used for treatment decisions in ATLL patients, and antiviral therapy has been reportedly promising, particularly in patients with indolent type ATLL; however,the prognosis continues to be dismal for patients with aggressive-type ATLL. Recent efforts to improve treatment outcomes have been focused on the development of prognostic stratification and improved dosage, timing, and combination of therapeutic modalities, such as antiviral therapy, chemotherapy, allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and molecular targeted therapy.
HIV-1 Env mediates fusion of viral and target cell membranes, but it can also mediate fusion of infected (producer) and target cells, thus triggering the formation of multinucleated cells, so-called syncytia. Large, round, immobile syncytia are readily observable in cultures of HIV-1-infected T cells, but these fast growing“fusion sinks” are largely regarded as cell culture artifacts. In contrast, small HIV-1-induced syncytia were seen in the paracortex of peripheral lymph nodes and other secondary lymphoid tissue of HIV-1-positive individuals. Further, recent intravital imaging of lymph nodes in humanized mice early after their infection with HIV-1 demonstrated that a significant fraction of infected cells were highly mobile, small syncytia, suggesting that these entities contribute to virus dissemination. Here, we report that the formation of small, migratory syncytia, for which we provide further quantification in humanized mice, can be recapitulated in vitro if HIV-1-infected T cells are placed into 3D extracellular matrix (ECM) hydrogels rather than being kept in traditional suspension culture systems. Intriguingly, live-cell imaging in hydrogels revealed that these syncytia, similar to individual infected cells, can transiently interact with uninfected cells, leading to rapid virus transfer without cell-cell fusion. Infected cells were also observed to deposit large amounts of viral particles into the extracellular space. Altogether, these observations suggest the need to further evaluate the biological significance of small, T cell-based syncytia and to consider the possibility that these entities do indeed contribute to virus spread and pathogenesis.
Phage therapy, a practice widespread in Eastern Europe, has untapped potential in the combat against antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. However, technology transfer to Western medicine is proving challenging. Bioinformatics analysis could help to facilitate this endeavor. In the present study, the Intesti phage cocktail, a key commercial product of the Eliava Institute, Georgia, has been tested on a selection of bacterial strains, sequenced as a metagenomic sample, de novo assembled and analyzed by bioinformatics methods. Furthermore, eight bacterial host strains were infected with the cocktail and the resulting lysates sequenced and compared to the unamplified cocktail. The analysis identified 23 major phage clusters in different abundances in the cocktail, among those clusters related to the ICTV genera T4likevirus, T5likevirus, T7likevirus, Chilikevirus and Twortlikevirus, as well as a cluster that was quite distant to the database sequences and a novel Proteus phage cluster. Examination of the depth of coverage showed the clusters to have different abundances within the cocktail. The cocktail was found to be composed primarily of Myoviridae (35%) and Siphoviridae (32%), with Podoviridae being a minority (15%). No undesirable genes were found.
Enveloped viruses employ a class of proteins known as fusogens to orchestrate the merger of their surrounding envelope and a target cell membrane. Most fusogens accomplish this task alone, by binding cellular receptors and subsequently catalyzing the membrane fusion process. Surprisingly, in herpesviruses, these functions are distributed among multiple proteins: the conserved fusogen gB, the conserved gH/gL heterodimer of poorly defined function, and various non-conserved receptor-binding proteins. We summarize what is currently known about gB from two closely related herpesviruses, HSV-1 and HSV-2, with emphasis on the structure of the largely uncharted membrane interacting regions of this fusogen. We propose that the unusual mechanism of herpesvirus fusion could be linked to the unique architecture of gB.
Subgroup J avian leukosis virus (ALV-J) causes a neoplastic disease in infected chickens. Differential expression patterns of microRNAs (miRNAs) are closely related to the formation and growth of tumors. (1) Background: This study was undertaken to understand how miRNAs might be related to tumor growth during ALV-J infection. We chose to characterize the effects of miR-221 and miR-222 on cell proliferation, migration, and apoptosis based on previous microarray data. (2) Methods: In vivo, the expression levels of miR-221 and miR-222 were significantly increased in the liver of ALV-J infected chickens (p aamp;amp;lt; 0.01). Over-expression of gga-miR-221 and gga-miR-222 promoted the proliferation, migration, and growth of DF-1 cells, and decreased the expression of BCL-2 modifying factor (BMF) making cells more resistant to apoptosis. (3) Results: Our results suggest that gga-miR-221 and gga-miR-222 may be tumour formation relevant gene in chicken that promote proliferation, migration, and growth of cancer cells, and inhibit apoptosis. BMF expression was significantly reduced in vivo 70 days after ALV-J infection. They may also play a pivotal role in tumorigenesis during ALV-J infection.
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The cellular actin cytoskeleton presents a barrier that must be overcome by many viruses, and it has become increasingly apparent many viral species have developed a diverse repertoire of mechanisms to hijack cellular actin-regulating signalling pathways as part of their cell entry processes. The Rho family GTPase Cdc42 is appreciated as a key moderator of cellular actin dynamics, and the development of specific Cdc42-inhibiting agents has given us an unprecedented ability to investigate its individual role in signalling pathways. However, investigative use of said agents, and the subsequent characterisation of the role Cdc42 plays in viral entry processes has been lacking. Here, we describe the current literature on the role of Cdc42 in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 cell entry, which represents the most investigated instance of Cdc42 function in viral cell entry processes, and also review evidence of Cdc42 use in other RNA virus cell entries, demonstrating prime areas for more extensive research using similar techniques.
Dendritic cells (DCs) are specialized antigen-presenting cells that have a notable role in the initiation and regulation of innate and adaptive immune responses. In the context of cancer, appropriately activated DCs can induce anti-tumor immunity by activating innate immune cells and tumor-specific lymphocytes that target cancer cells. However, the tumor microenvironment (TME) imposes different mechanisms that facilitate the impairment of DC functions, such as inefficient antigen presentation or polarization into immunosuppressive DCs. These tumor-associated DCs thus fail to initiate tumor-specific immunity, and indirectly support tumor progression. Hence, there is increasing interest in identifying interventions that can overturn DC impairment within the TME. Many reports thus far have studied oncolytic viruses (OVs), viruses that preferentially target and kill cancer cells, for their capacity to enhance DC-mediated anti-tumor effects. Herein, we describe the general characteristics of DCs, focusing on their role in innate and adaptive immunity in the context of the TME. We also examine how DC-OV interaction affects DC recruitment, OV delivery, and anti-tumor immunity activation. Understanding these roles of DCs in the TME and OV infection is critical in devising strategies to further harness the anti-tumor effects of both DCs and OVs, ultimately enhancing the efficacy of OV-based oncotherapy.
More than thirty years have passed since human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) was described as the first retrovirus to be the causative agent of a human cancer, adult T-cell leukemia (ATL), but the precise mechanism behind HTLV-1 pathogenesis still remains elusive. For more than two decades, the transforming ability of HTLV-1 has been exclusively associated to the viral transactivator Tax. Thirteen year ago, we first reported that the minus strand of HTLV-1 encoded for a basic Zip factor factor (HBZ), and since then several teams have underscored the importance of this antisense viral protein for the maintenance of a chronic infection and the proliferation of infected cells. More recently, we as well as others have demonstrated that HBZ has the potential to transform cells both in vitro and in vivo. In this review, we focus on the latest progress in our understanding of HBZ functions in chronicity and cellular transformation. We will discuss the involvement of this paradigm shift of HTLV-1 research on new therapeutic approaches to treat HTLV-1-related human diseases.
The development of commercially available transfection reagents for gene transfer applications has revolutionized the field of molecular biology and scientific research. However, the challenge remains in ensuring that they are efficient, safe, reproducible and cost effective. Bacteriophage (phage)-based viral vectors have the potential to be utilized for general gene transfer applications within research and industry. Yet, they require adaptations in order to enable them to efficiently enter cells and overcome mammalian cellular barriers, as they infect bacteria only; furthermore, limited progress has been made at increasing their efficiency. The production of a novel hybrid nanocomplex system consisting of two different nanomaterial systems, phage vectors and conventional transfection reagents, could overcome these limitations. Here we demonstrate that the combination of cationic lipids, cationic polymers or calcium phosphate with M13 bacteriophage-derived vectors, engineered to carry a mammalian transgene cassette, resulted in increased cellular attachment, entry and improved transgene expression in human cells. Moreover, addition of a targeting ligand into the nanocomplex system, through genetic engineering of the phage capsid further increased gene expression and was effective in a stable cell line generation application. Overall, this new hybrid nanocomplex system (i) provides enhanced phage-mediated gene transfer; (ii) is applicable for laboratory transfection processes and (iii) shows promise within industry for large-scale gene transfer applications.
Recruitment of the matrix protein M1 to the assembly site of the influenza virus is thought to be mediated by interactions with the cytoplasmic tail of hemagglutinin (HA). Based on a comprehensive sequence comparison of all sequences present in the database, we analyzed the effect of mutating conserved residues in the cytosol-facing part of the transmembrane region and cytoplasmic tail of HA (A/WSN/33 (H1N1) strain) on virus replication and morphology of virions. Removal of the two cytoplasmic acylation sites and substitution of a neighboring isoleucine by glutamine prevented rescue of infectious virions. In contrast, a conservative exchange of the same isoleucine, non-conservative exchanges of glycine and glutamine, deletion of the acylation site at the end of the transmembrane region and shifting it into the tail did not affect virus morphology and had only subtle effects on virus growth and on the incorporation of M1 and Ribo-Nucleoprotein Particles (RNPs). Thus, assuming that essential amino acids are conserved between HA subtypes we suggest that, besides the two cytoplasmic acylation sites (including adjacent hydrophobic residues), no other amino acids in the cytoplasmic tail of HA are indispensable for virus assembly and budding.
Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is a group of viruses that belongs to the Picornaviridae family, which also includes viruses such as polioviruses. EV71, together with coxsackieviruses, is widely known for its association with Hand Foot Mouth Disease (HFMD), which generally affects children age five and below. Besides HFMD, EV71 can also trigger more severe and life-threatening neurological conditions such as encephalitis. Considering the lack of a vaccine and antiviral drug against EV71, together with the increasing spread of these viruses, the development of such drugs and vaccines becomes the top priority in protecting our younger generations. This article, hence, reviews some of the recent progress in the formulations of anti-therapeutics and vaccine generation for EV71, covering (i) inactivated vaccines; (ii) baculovirus-expressed vaccines against EV71; (iii) human intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) treatment; and (iv) the use of monoclonal antibody therapy as a prevention and treatment for EV71 infections.
Bacteriophage T5, a Siphovirus belonging to the order Caudovirales, has a flexible, three-fold symmetric tail, to which three L-shaped fibres are attached. These fibres recognize oligo-mannose units on the bacterial cell surface prior to infection and are composed of homotrimers of the pb1 protein. Pb1 has 1396 amino acids, of which the carboxy-terminal 133 residues form a trimeric intra-molecular chaperone that is auto-proteolyzed after correct folding. The structure of a trimer of residues 970–1263 was determined by single anomalous dispersion phasing using incorporated selenomethionine residues and refined at 2.3 Å resolution using crystals grown from native, methionine-containing, protein. The protein inhibits phage infection by competition. The phage-distal receptor-binding domainresembles a bullet, with the walls formed by partially intertwined beta-sheets, conferring stability to the structure. The fold of the domain is novel and the topology unique to the pb1 structure. A site-directed mutant (Ser1264 to Ala), in which auto-proteolysis is impeded, was also produced, crystallized and its 2.5 Å structure solved by molecular replacement. The additional chaperone domain (residues 1263–1396) consists of a central trimeric alpha-helical coiled-coil flanked by a mixed alpha-beta domain. Three long beta-hairpin tentacles, one from each chaperone monomer, extend into long curved grooves of the bullet-shaped domain. The chaperone-containing mutant did not inhibit infection by competition.
Human rhinoviruses (HRVs) and enteroviruses (HEVs) belong to the Enterovirus genus and are the most frequent cause of infection worldwide, but data on their molecular epidemiology in Africa are scarce. To understand HRV and HEV molecular epidemiology in this setting, we enrolled febrile pediatric patients participating in a large prospective cohort assessing the causes of fever in Tanzanian children. Naso/oropharyngeal swabs were systematically collected and tested by real-time RT-PCR for HRV and HEV. Viruses from positive samples were sequenced and phylogenetic analyses were then applied to highlight the HRV and HEV types as well as recombinant or divergent strains. Thirty-eight percent (378/1005) of the enrolled children harboured an HRV or HEV infection. Although some types were predominant, many distinct types were co-circulating, including a vaccinal poliovirus, HEV-A71 and HEV-D68. Three HRV-A recombinants were identified: HRV-A36/HRV-A67, HRV-A12/HRV-A67 and HRV-A96/HRV-A61. Four divergent HRV strains were also identified: one HRV-B strain and three HRV-C strains. This is the first prospective study focused on HRV and HEV molecular epidemiology in sub-Saharan Africa. This systematic and thorough large screening with careful clinical data management confirms the wide genomic diversity of these viruses, brings new insights about their evolution and provides data about associated symptoms.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD), which has led to millions of attacks and several outbreaks across the world and become more predominant in Asia-Pacific Region, especially in Mainland China, is caused by several Human Enteroviruses including new enterovirus, coxsakievirus and echovirus. In recent years, much research has focused on the epidemiological characteristics of HFMD. In this article, multiple characteristics of HFMD such as basic epidemiology, etiology and molecular epidemiology; influencing factors; detection; and surveillance are reviewed, as these can be help protect high risks groups, prevalence prediction and policy making for disease prevention.
Enterovirus B species (EV-B) are responsible for a vast number of mild and serious acute infections. They are also suspected of remaining in the body, where they cause persistent infections contributing to chronic diseases such as type I diabetes. Recent studies of the infectious entry pathway of these viruses revealed remarkable similarities, including non-clathrin entry of large endosomes originating from the plasma membrane invaginations. Many cellular factors regulating the efficient entry have recently been associated with macropinocytic uptake, such as Rac1, serine/threonine p21-activated kinase (Pak1), actin, Na/H exchanger, phospholipace C (PLC) and protein kinase Cα (PKCα). Another characteristic feature is the entry of these viruses to neutral endosomes, independence of endosomal acidification and low association with acidic lysosomes. The biogenesis of neutral multivesicular bodies is crucial for their infection, at least for echovirus 1 (E1) and coxsackievirus A9 (CVA9). These pathways are triggered by the virus binding to their receptors on the plasma membrane, and they are not efficiently recycled like other cellular pathways used by circulating receptors. Therefore, the best “markers” of these pathways may be the viruses and often their receptors. A deeper understanding of this pathway and associated endosomes is crucial in elucidating the mechanisms of enterovirus uncoating and genome release from the endosomes to start efficient replication.
The first discovered human retrovirus, Human T-Lymphotropic Virus type 1 (HTLV-1), is responsible for an aggressive form of T cell leukemia/lymphoma. Mouse models recapitulating the leukemogenesis process have been helpful for understanding the mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of this retroviral-induced disease. This review will focus on the recent advances in the generation of immunodeficient and human hemato-lymphoid system mice with a particular emphasis on the development of mouse models for HTLV-1-mediated pathogenesis, their present limitations and the challenges yet to be addressed.
At Week 96 of the Single-Tablet Regimen (STaR) study, more treatment-naïve subjects that received rilpivirine/emtricitabine/tenofovir DF (RPV/FTC/TDF) developed resistance mutations compared to those treated with efavirenz (EFV)/FTC/TDF by population sequencing. Furthermore, more RPV/FTC/TDF-treated subjects with baseline HIV-1 RNA aamp;amp;gt;100,000 copies/mL developed resistance compared to subjects with baseline HIV-1 RNA ≤100,000 copies/mL. Here, deep sequencing was utilized to assess the presence of pre-existing low-frequency variants in subjects with and without resistance development in the STaR study. Deep sequencing (Illumina MiSeq) was performed onbaseline and virologic failure samples for all subjects analyzed for resistance by population sequencing during the clinical study (n = 33), as well as baseline samples from control subjects with virologic response (n = 118). Primary NRTI or NNRTI drug resistance mutations present at low frequency (≥2% to 20%) were detected in 6.6% of baseline samples by deep sequencing, all of which occurred in control subjects. Deep sequencing results were generally consistent with population sequencing but detected additional primary NNRTI and NRTI resistance mutations at virologic failure in seven samples. HIV-1 drug resistance mutations emerging while on RPV/FTC/TDF or EFV/FTC/TDF treatment were not present at low frequency at baseline in the STaR study.
Recent advances in molecular biology have led to the development of new antiviral drugs that target specific steps of the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) lifecycle. These drugs, collectively termed direct-acting antivirals (DAAs), include non-structural (NS) HCV protein inhibitors, NS3/4A protease inhibitors, NS5B RNA-dependent RNA polymerase inhibitors (nucleotide analogues and non-nucleoside inhibitors), and NS5A inhibitors. Due to the high genetic variability of HCV, the outcome of DAA-based therapies may be altered by the selection of amino-acid substitutions located within the targeted proteins, which affect viral susceptibility to the administered compounds. At the drug developmental stage, preclinical and clinical characterization of HCV resistance to new drugs in development is mandatory. In the clinical setting, accurate diagnostic tools have become available to monitor drug resistance in patients who receive treatment with DAAs. In this review, we describe tools available to investigate drug resistance in preclinical studies, clinical trials and clinical practice.
As obligate intracellular parasites, viruses need to hijack their cellular hosts and reprogram their machineries in order to replicate their genomes and produce new virions. For the direct visualization of the different steps of a viral life cycle (attachment, entry, replication, assembly and egress) electron microscopy (EM) methods are extremely helpful. While conventional EM has given important information about virus-host cell interactions, the development of three-dimensional EM (3D-EM) approaches provides unprecedented insights into how viruses remodel the intracellular architecture of the host cell. During the last years several 3D-EM methods have been developed. Here we will provide a description of the main approaches and examples of innovative applications.
In our article“Progressive Adaptation of a CpGV Isolate to Codling Moth Populations Resistant to CpGV-M.” (Viruses 2014, 6, 5135–5144; doi:10.3390/v6125135)  we obtained resistance values of the codling moth, Cydia pomonella, RGV laboratory colony , when challenged with Cydia pomonella Granulovirus, Mexican Isolate (CpGV-M), that were lower than those previously published . Careful analysis of both the RGV colony and the CpGV-M virus stock used led to the realization that a low level contamination of this virus stock with CpGV-R5 occurred. We have made new tests with a verified stock, and the results are now in agreement with those previously published.
The last few years have seen an increased interest in immunotherapy in the treatment of malignant disease. In particular, there has been significant enthusiasm for oncolytic virotherapy, with a large amount of pre-clinical data showing promise in animal models in a wide range of tumour types. How do we move forward into the clinical setting and translate something which has such potential into meaningful clinical outcomes? Here, we review how the field of oncolytic virotherapy has developed thus far and what the future may hold.
Bats are a reservoir for a diverse range of viruses, including coronaviruses (CoVs). To determine the presence of CoVs in French bats, fecal samples were collected between July and August of 2014 from four bat species in seven different locations around the city of Bourges in France. We present for the first time the presence of alpha-CoVs in French Pipistrellus pipistrellus bat species with an estimated prevalence of 4.2%. Based on the analysis of a fragment of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) gene, phylogenetic analyses show that alpha-CoVs sequences detected in French bats are closely related to other European bat alpha-CoVs. Phylogeographic analyses of RdRp sequences show that several CoVs strains circulate in European bats: (i) old strains detected that have probably diverged a long time ago and are detected in different bat subspecies; (ii) strains detected in Myotis and Pipistrellus bat species that have more recently diverged. Our findings support previous observations describing the complexity of the detected CoVs in bats worldwide.
Viruses that specifically replicate in tumor over normal cells offer promising cancer therapies. Oncolytic viruses (OV) not only kill the tumor cells directly; they also promote anti-tumor immunotherapeutic responses. Other major advantages of OVs are that they dose-escalate in tumors and can be genetically engineered to enhance potency and specificity. Unmodified wild type reovirus is a propitious OV currently in phase I–III clinical trials. This review summarizes modifications to reovirus that may improve potency and/or specificity during oncolysis. Classical genetics approaches have revealed reovirus variants with improved adaptation towards tumors or with enhanced ability to establish specific steps of virus replication and cell killing among transformed cells. The recent emergence of a reverse genetics system for reovirus has provided novel strategies to fine-tune reovirus proteins or introduce exogenous genes that could promote oncolytic activity. Over the next decade, these findings are likely to generate better-optimized second-generation reovirus vectors and improve the efficacy of oncolytic reotherapy.
Papaya leaf distortion mosaic virus (PLDMV) is becoming a threat to papaya and transgenic papaya resistant to the related pathogen, papaya ringspot virus (PRSV). The generation of infectious viral clones is an essential step for reverse-genetics studies of viral gene function and cross-protection. In this study, a sequence- and ligation-independent cloning system, the In-Fusion® Cloning Kit (Clontech, Mountain View, CA, USA), was used to construct intron-less or intron-containing full-length cDNA clones of the isolate PLDMV-DF, with the simultaneous scarless assembly of multiple viral and intron fragments into a plasmid vector in a single reaction. The intron-containingfull-length cDNA clone of PLDMV-DF was stably propagated in Escherichia coli. In vitro intron-containing transcripts were processed and spliced into biologically active intron-less transcripts following mechanical inoculation and then initiated systemic infections in Carica papaya L. seedlings, which developed similar symptoms to those caused by the wild-type virus. However, no infectivity was detected when the plants were inoculated with RNA transcripts from the intron-less construct because the instability of the viral cDNA clone in bacterial cells caused a non-sense or deletion mutation ofthe genomic sequence of PLDMV-DF. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the construction of an infectious full-length cDNA clone of PLDMV and the splicing of intron-containing transcripts following mechanical inoculation. In-Fusion cloning shortens the construction time from months to days.Therefore, it is a faster, more flexible, and more efficient method than the traditional multistep restriction enzyme-mediated subcloning procedure.
The current outbreak of Ebola virus (EBOV) in West Africa has claimed the lives of more than 15,000 people and highlights an urgent need for therapeutics capable of preventing virus replication. In this study we screened known nucleoside analogues for their ability to interfere with EBOV replication. Among them, the cytidine analogueβ-d-N4-hydroxycytidine (NHC) demonstrated potent inhibitory activities against EBOV replication and spread at non-cytotoxic concentrations. Thus, NHC constitutes an interesting candidate for the development of a suitable drug treatment against EBOV.
Chronic viral infections like those caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cause disease that establishes an ongoing state of chronic inflammation. While there have been tremendous improvements towards curing HCV with directly acting antiviral agents (DAA) and keeping HIV viral loads below detection with antiretroviral therapy (ART), there is still a need to control inflammation in these diseases. Recent studies indicate that many natural products like curcumin, resveratrol and silymarin alter cellular metabolism and signal transduction pathways via enzymes such as adenosine monophosphate kinase (AMPK) and mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), and these pathways directly influence cellular inflammatory status (such as NF-κB) and immune function. Natural products represent a vast toolkit to dissect and define how cellular metabolism controls cellular immune and inflammatory function.
Oncolytic virotherapy for cancer is an innovative therapeutic option where the ability of a virus to promote cell lysis is harnessed and reprogrammed to selectively destroy cancer cells. Such treatment modalities exhibited antitumor activity in preclinical and clinical settings and appear to be well tolerated when tested in clinical trials. However, the clinical success of oncolytic virotherapy has been significantly hampered due to the inability to target systematic metastasis. This is partly due to the inability of the therapeutic virus to survive in the patient circulation, in order to target tumors at distant sites. An early study from various laboratories demonstrated that cells infected with oncolytic virus can protect the therapeutic payload form the host immune system as well as function as factories for virus production and enhance the therapeutic efficacy of oncolytic virus. While a variety of cell lineages possessed potential as cell carriers, copious investigation has established stem cells as a very attractive cell carrier system in oncolytic virotherapy. The ideal cell carrier desire to be susceptible to viral infection as well as support viral infection, maintain immunosuppressive properties to shield the loaded viruses from the host immune system, and most importantly possess an intrinsic tumor homing ability to deliver loaded viruses directly to the site of the metastasis—all qualities stem cells exhibit. In this review, we summarize the recent work in the development of stem cell-based carrier for oncolytic virotherapy, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a variety of cell carriers, especially focusing on why stem cells have emerged as the leading candidate, and finally propose a future direction for stem cell-based targeted oncolytic virotherapy that involves its establishment as a viable treatment option for cancer patients in the clinical setting.
Sindbis virus (SINV) is an enveloped, mosquito-borne alphavirus. Here we generated and characterized a fluorescent protein-tagged (FP-tagged) SINV and found that the presence of the FP-tag (mCherry) affected glycoprotein transport to the plasma membrane whereas the specific infectivity of the virus was not affected. We examined the virions by transmission electron cryo-microscopy and determined the arrangement of the FP-tag on the surface of the virion. The fluorescent proteins are arranged icosahedrally on the virus surface in a stable manner that did not adversely affect receptor binding or fusion functions of E2 and E1, respectively. The delay in surface expression of the viral glycoproteins, as demonstrated by flow cytometry analysis, contributed to a 10-fold reduction in mCherry-E2 virus titer. There is a 1:1 ratio of mCherry to E2 incorporated into the virion, which leads to a strong fluorescence signal and thus facilitates single-particle tracking experiments. We used the FP-tagged virus for high-resolution live-cell imaging to study the spatial and temporal aspects of alphavirus assembly and budding from mammalian cells. These processes were further analyzed by thin section microscopy. The results demonstrate that SINV buds from the plasma membrane of infected cells and is dispersed into the surrounding media or spread to neighboring cells facilitated by its close association with filopodial extensions.
Bacteriophages represent a valuable source for studying the mechanisms underlying virus-host interactions. A better understanding of the host-specificity of viruses at the molecular level can promote various phage applications, including bacterial diagnostics, antimicrobial therapeutics, and improve methods in molecular biology. In this study, we describe the isolation and characterization of a novel coliphage, vB_EcoM_VpaE1, which has different host specificity than its relatives. Morphology studies, coupled with the results of genomic and proteomic analyses, indicate that vB_EcoM_VpaE1 belongs to the newly proposed genus Felix01likevirus in the family Myoviridae. The genus Felix01likevirus comprises a group of highly similar phages that infect O-antigen-expressing Salmonella and Escherichia coli (E. coli) strains. Phage vB_EcoM_VpaE1 differs from the rest of Felix01-like viruses, since it infects O-antigen-deficient E. coli strains with an incomplete core lipopolysaccharide (LPS). We show that vB_EcoM_VpaE1 can infect mutants of E. coli that contain various truncations in their LPS, and can even recognize LPS that is truncated down to the inner-core oligosaccharide, showing potential for the control of rough E. coli strains, which usually emerge as resistant mutants upon infection by O-Ag-specific phages. Furthermore, VpaE1 can replicate in a wide temperature range from 9 to 49°C, suggesting that this virus is well adapted to harsh environmental conditions. Since the structural proteins of such phages tend to be rather robust, the receptor-recognizing proteins of VpaE1 are an attractive tool for application in glycan analysis, bacterial diagnostics and antimicrobial therapeutics.
Retroviral protease inhibitors (PIs) are fundamental pillars in the treatment of HIV infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Currently used PIs are designed against HIV-1, and their effect on HIV-2 is understudied. Using a modular HIV-2 protease cassette system, inhibition profiling assays were carried out for protease inhibitors both in enzymatic and cell culture assays. Moreover, the treatment-associated resistance mutations (I54M, L90M) were introduced into the modular system, and comparative inhibition assays were performed to determine their effect on the susceptibility of the protease. Our results indicate that darunavir, saquinavir, indinavir and lopinavir were very effective HIV-2 protease inhibitors, while tipranavir, nelfinavir and amprenavir showed a decreased efficacy. I54M, L90M double mutation resulted in a significant reduction in the susceptibility to most of the inhibitors with the exception of tipranavir. To our knowledge, this modular system constitutes a novel approach in the field of HIV-2 protease characterization and susceptibility testing.
Mitochondria- as well as p53-based signaling pathways are central for the execution of the intrinsic apoptotic cascade. Their contribution to rubella virus (RV)-induced apoptosis was addressed through time-specific evaluation of characteristic parameters such as permeabilization of the mitochondrial membrane and subsequent release of the pro-apoptotic proteins apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) and cytochrome c from mitochondria. Additionally, expression and localization pattern of p53 and selected members of the multifunctional and stress-inducible cyclophilin family were examined. The application of pifithrinμ as an inhibitor of p53 shuttling to mitochondria reduced RV-induced cell death to an extent similar to that of the broad spectrum caspase inhibitor z-VAD-fmk (benzyloxycarbonyl-V-A-D-(OMe)-fmk). However, RV progeny generation was not altered. This indicates that, despite an increased survival rate of its cellular host, induction of apoptosis neither supports nor restricts RV replication. Moreover, some of the examined apoptotic markers were affected in a strain-specific manner and differed between the cell culture-adapted strains: Therien and the HPV77 vaccine on the one hand, and a clinical isolate on the other. In summary, the results presented indicate that the transcription-independent mitochondrial p53 program contributes to RV-induced apoptosis.
Germin-like proteins (GLPs) are encoded by a family of genes found in all plants, and in terms of function, the GLPs are implicated in the response of plants to biotic and abiotic stresses. CchGLP is a gene encoding a GLP identified in a geminivirus-resistant Capsicum chinense Jacq accession named BG-3821, and it is important in geminivirus resistance when transferred to susceptible tobacco in transgenic experiments. To characterize the role of this GLP in geminivirus resistance in the original accession from which this gene was identified, this work aimed at demonstrating the possible role of CchGLP in resistance to geminiviruses in Capsicum chinense Jacq. BG-3821. Virus-induced gene silencing studies using a geminiviral vector based in PHYVV component A, displaying that silencing of CchGLP in accession BG-3821, increased susceptibility to geminivirus single and mixed infections. These results suggested that CchGLP is an important factor for geminivirus resistance in C. chinense BG-3821 accession.
We have previously shown that poliovirus (PV) infection induces stress granule (SG) formation early in infection and then inhibits the formation of SG and disperses processing bodies (PBs) by the mid-phase of infection. Loss of SG was linked to cleavage of G3BP1 by viral 3C proteinase (3Cpro), however dispersal of PBs was not strongly linked to cleavage of specific factors by viral proteinases, suggesting other viral proteins may play roles in inhibition of SG or PB formation. Here we have screened all viral proteins for roles in inducing or inhibiting the formation of RNA granules by creating fusions with mCherry and expressing them individually in cells. Expression of viral proteins separately revealed that the capsid region P1, 2Apro, 3A, 3Cpro, the protease precursor 3CD and 3D polymerase all affect RNA granules to varying extents, whereas 2BC does not. 2Apro, which cleaves eIF4GI, induced SGs as expected, and entered novel foci containing the SG nucleating protein G3BP1. Of the two forms of G3BP, only G3BP1 is cleaved by a virus proteinase, 3Cpro, whereas G3BP2 is not cleaved by 3Cpro or 2Apro. Surprisingly, 3CD, which contains proteinase activity, differentially repressed PBs but not SGs. Further, both 2Apro and 3Cpro expression dispersed PBs, however molecular targets were different since PB dispersal due to 2Apro and heat shock protein (Hsp)90 inhibition but not 3Cpro, could be rescued by application of oxidative stress to cells. The data indicate that PV repression of SGs and PBs is multifactorial, though protease function is dominant.
Transcriptome analysis of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) tissues identified sequences with similarity to Porcine Endogenous Retroviruses (PERV). Based on these sequences, four proviral copies and 15 solo long terminal repeats (LTRs) of a newly described endogenous retrovirus were characterized from the polar bear draft genome sequence. Closely related sequences were identified by PCR analysis of brown bear (Ursus arctos) and black bear (Ursus americanus) but were absent in non-Ursinae bear species. The virus was therefore designated UrsusERV. Two distinct groups of LTRs were observed including a recombinant ERV that contained one LTR belonging to each group indicating that genomic invasions by at least two UrsusERV variants have recently occurred. Age estimates based on proviral LTR divergence and conservation of integration sites among ursids suggest the viral group is only a few million years old. The youngest provirus was polar bear specific, had intact open reading frames (ORFs) and could potentially encode functional proteins. Phylogenetic analyses of UrsusERV consensus protein sequences suggest that it is part of a pig, gibbon and koala retrovirus clade. The young age estimates and lineage specificity of the virus suggests UrsusERV is a recent cross species transmission from an unknown reservoir and places the viral group among the youngest of ERVs identified in mammals.
Different animal models have been proposed to investigate the mechanisms of Human T-lymphotropic Virus (HTLV)-induced pathogenesis: rats, transgenic and NOD-SCID/γcnull (NOG) mice, rabbits, squirrel monkeys, baboons and macaques. These systems indeed provide useful information but have intrinsic limitations such as lack of disease relevance, species specificity or inadequate immune response. Another strategy based on a comparative virology approach is to characterize a related pathogen and to speculate on possible shared mechanisms. In this perspective, bovine leukemia virus (BLV), another member of the deltaretrovirus genus, is evolutionary related to HTLV-1. BLV induces lymphoproliferative disorders in ruminants providing useful information on the mechanisms of viral persistence, genetic determinants of pathogenesis and potential novel therapies.
Beyond acute infections, group B coxsackieviruses (CVB) are also reported to play a role in the development of chronic diseases, like type 1 diabetes. The viral pathogenesis mainly relies on the interplay between the viruses and innate immune response in genetically-susceptible individuals. We investigated the interaction between CVB4 and macrophages considered as major players in immune response. Monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) generated with either M-CSF or GM-CSF were inoculated with CVB4, and infection, inflammation, viral replication and persistence were assessed. M-CSF-induced MDM, but not GM-CSF-induced MDM, can be infected by CVB4. In addition, enhancing serum was not needed to infect MDM in contrast with parental monocytes. The expression of viral receptor (CAR) mRNA was similar in both M-CSF and GM-CSF MDM. CVB4 induced high levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TNFα) in both MDM populations. CVB4 effectively replicated and persisted in M-CSF MDM, but IFNα was produced in the early phase of infection only. Our results demonstrate that CVB4 can replicate and persist in MDM. Further investigations are required to determine whether the interaction between the virus and MDM plays a role in the pathogenesis of CVB-induced chronic diseases.
Enteroviruses are a group of positive-sense single stranded viruses that belong to the Picornaviridae family. Most enteroviruses infect humans from the gastrointestinal tract and cause mild symptoms. However, several enteroviruses can invade the central nervous system (CNS) and result in various neurological symptoms that are correlated to mortality associated with enteroviral infections. In recent years, large outbreaks of enteroviruses occurred worldwide. Therefore, these neurotropic enteroviruses have been deemed as re-emerging pathogens. Although these viruses are becoming large threats to public health, our understanding of these viruses, especially for non-polio enteroviruses, is limited. In this article, we review recent advances in the trafficking of these pathogens from the peripheral to the central nervous system, compare their cell tropism, and discuss the effects of viral infections in their host neuronal cells.
First described in 1962 in children hospitalized for pneumonia and bronchiolitis, the Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is an emergent viral pathogen. Since its discovery, during the long period of surveillance up to 2005, EV-D68 was reported only as a cause of sporadic outbreaks. In recent years, many reports from different countries have described an increasing number of patients with respiratory diseases due to EV-D68 associated with relevant clinical severity. In particular, an unexpectedly high number of children have been hospitalized for severe respiratory disease due to EV-D68, requiring intensive care such as intubation and mechanical ventilation. Moreover, EV-D68 has been associated with acute flaccid paralysis and cranial nerve dysfunction in children, which has caused concerns in the community. As no specific antiviral therapy is available, treatment is mainly supportive. Moreover, because no vaccines are available, conventional infection control measures (i.e., standard, for contacts and droplets) in both community and healthcare settings are recommended. However, further studies are required to fully understand the real importance of this virus. Prompt diagnosis and continued surveillance of EV-D68 infections are essential to managing and preventing new outbreaks. Moreover, if the association between EV-D68 and severe diseases will be confirmed, the development of adequate preventive and therapeutic approaches are a priority.
Adenoviruses (Ad) are commonly used both experimentally and clinically, including oncolytic virotherapy applications. In the clinical area, efficacy is frequently hampered by the high rates of neutralizing immunity, estimated as high as 90% in some populations that promote vector clearance and limit bioavailability for tumor targeting following systemic delivery. Active tumor targeting is also hampered by the ubiquitous nature of the Ad5 receptor, hCAR, as well as the lack of highly tumor-selective targeting ligands and suitable targeting strategies. Furthermore, significant off-target interactions between the viral vector and cellular and proteinaceous components of the bloodstream have been documented that promote uptake into non-target cells and determine dose-limiting toxicities. Novel strategies are therefore needed to overcome the obstacles that prevent efficacious Ad deployment for wider clinical applications. The use of less seroprevalent Ad serotypes, non-human serotypes, capsid pseudotyping, chemical shielding and genetic masking by heterologous peptide incorporation are all potential strategies to achieve efficient vector escape from humoral immune recognition. Conversely, selective vector arming with immunostimulatory agents can be utilized to enhance their oncolytic potential by activation of cancer-specific immune responses against the malignant tissues. This review presents recent advantages and pitfalls occurring in the field of adenoviral oncolytic therapies.
The family Bunyaviridae has more than 530 members that are distributed among five genera or remain to be classified. The genus Orthobunyavirus is the most diverse bunyaviral genus with more than 220 viruses that have been assigned to more than 18 serogroups based on serological cross-reactions and limited molecular-biological characterization. Sequence information for all three orthobunyaviral genome segments is only available for viruses belonging to the Bunyamwera, Bwamba/Pongola, California encephalitis, Gamboa, Group C, Mapputta, Nyando, and Simbu serogroups. Here we present coding-complete sequences for all three genome segments of 15 orthobunyaviruses belonging to the Anopheles A, Capim, Guamá, Kongool, Tete, and Turlock serogroups, and of two unclassified bunyaviruses previously not known to be orthobunyaviruses (Tataguine and Witwatersrand viruses). Using those sequence data, we established the most comprehensive phylogeny of the Orthobunyavirus genus to date, now covering 15 serogroups. Our results emphasize the high genetic diversity of orthobunyaviruses and reveal that the presence of the small nonstructural protein (NSs)-encoding open reading frame is not as common in orthobunyavirus genomes as previously thought.
The genomes of RNA viruses are relatively small. To overcome the small-size limitation, RNA viruses assign distinct functions to the processed viral proteins and their precursors. This is exemplified by poliovirus 3CD protein. 3C protein is a protease and RNA-binding protein. 3D protein is an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). 3CD exhibits unique protease and RNA-binding activities relative to 3C and is devoid of RdRp activity. The origin of these differences is unclear, since crystal structure of 3CD revealed“beads-on-a-string” structure with no significant structural differences compared to the fully processed proteins. We performed molecular dynamics (MD) simulations on 3CD to investigate its conformational dynamics. A compact conformation of 3CD was observed that was substantially different fromthat shown crystallographically. This new conformation explained the unique properties of 3CD relative to the individual proteins. Interestingly, simulations of mutant 3CD showed altered interface. Additionally, accelerated MD simulations uncovered a conformational ensemble of 3CD. When we elucidated the 3CD conformations in solution using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) experiments a range of conformations from extended to compact was revealed, validating the MD simulations. The existence of conformational ensemble of 3CD could be viewed as a way to expand the poliovirus proteome, an observation that may extend to other viruses.