Open AccessArticle
Neurotropism In Vitro and Mouse Models of Severe and Mild Infection with Clinical Strains of Enterovirus 71
Viruses 2017, 9(11), 351; doi:10.3390/v9110351 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is a common etiological agent of hand, foot, and mouth disease and fatal neurological diseases in children. The neuropathogenicity of severe EV71 infection has been documented, but studies comparing mouse models of severe and mild EV71 infection are lacking. The
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Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is a common etiological agent of hand, foot, and mouth disease and fatal neurological diseases in children. The neuropathogenicity of severe EV71 infection has been documented, but studies comparing mouse models of severe and mild EV71 infection are lacking. The aim of the study was to investigate the neurovirulence of EV71 strains and the differences in serum cytokine and chemokine levels in mouse models of severe and mild EV71 infection. Nine EV71 isolates belonging to the C4 subgenogroup (proposed as genotype D) displayed infectivity in human neuroblastoma SK-N-SH cells; moreover, ultrastructural observation confirmed viral particle replication. The survival rate of the severe model was 71.43% (5/7), and 60% (3/5) of the surviving severe model mice displayed sequelae of paralysis, whereas the only symptom in mild model mice was ruffled fur. Dynamic detection of serum cytokine and chemokine levels demonstrated that interleukin (IL)-5, IL-13, IL-6, monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP-1), and chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 5 (also called Regulated upon Activation, Normal T-cell Expressed, and Secreted (CCL5/RANTES) were significantly up-regulated at the early period of infection, indicating that these factors might herald a severe outcome. Our findings suggest that elevated cytokines and chemokines may have potential value as prognostic markers in mouse models. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Epidemiological Investigations of Four Cowpox Virus Outbreaks in Alpaca Herds, Germany
Viruses 2017, 9(11), 344; doi:10.3390/v9110344 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Four cowpox virus (CPXV) outbreaks occurred in unrelated alpaca herds in Eastern Germany during 2012–2017. All incidents were initially noticed due to severe, generalized, and finally lethal CPXV infections, which were confirmed by testing of tissue and serum samples. As CPXV-infection has been
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Four cowpox virus (CPXV) outbreaks occurred in unrelated alpaca herds in Eastern Germany during 2012–2017. All incidents were initially noticed due to severe, generalized, and finally lethal CPXV infections, which were confirmed by testing of tissue and serum samples. As CPXV-infection has been described in South American camelids (SACs) only three times, all four herds were investigated to gain a deeper understanding of CPXV epidemiology in alpacas. The different herds were investigated twice, and various samples (serum, swab samples, and crusts of suspicious pox lesions, feces) were taken to identify additionally infected animals. Serum was used to detect CPXV-specific antibodies by performing an indirect immunofluorescence assay (iIFA); swab samples, crusts, and feces were used for detection of CPXV-specific DNA in a real-time PCR. In total, 28 out of 107 animals could be identified as affected by CPXV, by iIFA and/or PCR. Herd seroprevalence ranged from 16.1% to 81.2%. To investigate the potential source of infection, wild small mammals were trapped around all alpaca herds. In two herds, CPXV-specific antibodies were found in the local rodent population. In the third herd, CPXV could be isolated from a common vole (Microtus arvalis) found drowned in a water bucket used to water the alpacas. Full genome sequencing and comparison with the genome of a CPXV from an alpaca from the same herd reveal 99.997% identity, providing further evidence that the common vole is a reservoir host and infection source of CPXV. Only in the remaining fourth herd, none of the trapped rodents were found to be CPXV-infected. Rodents, as ubiquitous reservoir hosts, in combination with increasingly popular alpacas, as susceptible species, suggest an enhanced risk of future zoonotic infections. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Diversity of dsDNA Viruses in a South African Hot Spring Assessed by Metagenomics and Microscopy
Viruses 2017, 9(11), 348; doi:10.3390/v9110348 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The current view of virus diversity in terrestrial hot springs is limited to a few sampling sites. To expand our current understanding of hot spring viral community diversity, this study aimed to investigate the first African hot spring (Brandvlei hot spring; 60 °C,
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The current view of virus diversity in terrestrial hot springs is limited to a few sampling sites. To expand our current understanding of hot spring viral community diversity, this study aimed to investigate the first African hot spring (Brandvlei hot spring; 60 °C, pH 5.7) by means of electron microscopy and sequencing of the virus fraction. Microscopy analysis revealed a mixture of regular- and ‘jumbo’-sized tailed morphotypes (Caudovirales), lemon-shaped virions (Fuselloviridae-like; salterprovirus-like) and pleiomorphic virus-like particles. Metavirome analysis corroborated the presence of His1-like viruses and has expanded the current clade of salterproviruses using a polymerase B gene phylogeny. The most represented viral contig was to a cyanophage genome fragment, which may underline basic ecosystem functioning provided by these viruses. Furthermore, a putative Gemmata-related phage was assembled with high coverage, a previously undocumented phage-host association. This study demonstrated that a moderately thermophilic spring environment contained a highly novel pool of viruses and should encourage future characterization of a wider temperature range of hot springs throughout the world. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Role of Infected Cell Proliferation in the Clearance of Acute HBV Infection in Humans
Viruses 2017, 9(11), 350; doi:10.3390/v9110350 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Around 90–95% of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infected adults do not progress to the chronic phase and, instead, recover naturally. The strengths of the cytolytic and non-cytolytic immune responses are key players that decide the fate of acute HBV infection. In addition, it
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Around 90–95% of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infected adults do not progress to the chronic phase and, instead, recover naturally. The strengths of the cytolytic and non-cytolytic immune responses are key players that decide the fate of acute HBV infection. In addition, it has been hypothesized that proliferation of infected cells resulting in uninfected progeny and/or cytokine-mediated degradation of covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) leading to the cure of infected cells are two major mechanisms assisting the adaptive immune response in the clearance of acute HBV infection in humans. We employed fitting of mathematical models to human acute infection data together with physiological constraints to investigate the role of these hypothesized mechanisms in the clearance of infection. Results suggest that cellular proliferation of infected cells resulting in two uninfected cells is required to minimize the destruction of the liver during the clearance of acute HBV infection. In contrast, we find that a cytokine-mediated cure of infected cells alone is insufficient to clear acute HBV infection. In conclusion, our modeling indicates that HBV clearance without lethal loss of liver mass is associated with the production of two uninfected cells upon proliferation of an infected cell. Full article
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Open AccessReview
New Paradigms for the Study of Ocular Alphaherpesvirus Infections: Insights into the Use of Non-Traditional Host Model Systems
Viruses 2017, 9(11), 349; doi:10.3390/v9110349 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Ocular herpesviruses, most notably human alphaherpesvirus 1 (HSV-1), canid alphaherpesvirus 1 (CHV-1) and felid alphaherpesvirus 1 (FHV-1), infect and cause severe disease that may lead to blindness. CHV-1 and FHV-1 have a pathogenesis and induce clinical disease in their hosts that is similar
[...] Read more.
Ocular herpesviruses, most notably human alphaherpesvirus 1 (HSV-1), canid alphaherpesvirus 1 (CHV-1) and felid alphaherpesvirus 1 (FHV-1), infect and cause severe disease that may lead to blindness. CHV-1 and FHV-1 have a pathogenesis and induce clinical disease in their hosts that is similar to HSV-1 ocular infections in humans, suggesting that infection of dogs and cats with CHV-1 and FHV-1, respectively, can be used as a comparative natural host model of herpesvirus-induced ocular disease. In this review, we discuss both strengths and limitations of the various available model systems to study ocular herpesvirus infection, with a focus on the use of these non-traditional virus-natural host models. Recent work has demonstrated the robustness and reproducibility of experimental ocular herpesvirus infections in dogs and cats, and, therefore, these non-traditional models can provide additional insights into the pathogenesis of ocular herpesvirus infections. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Ovine A3Z1 Restriction Properties against Small Ruminant Lentiviruses (SRLVs)
Viruses 2017, 9(11), 345; doi:10.3390/v9110345 -
Abstract
Intrinsic factors of the innate immune system include the apolipoprotein B editing enzyme catalytic polypeptide-like 3 (APOBEC3) protein family. APOBEC3 inhibits replication of different virus families by cytosine deamination of viral DNA and a not fully characterized cytosine deamination-independent mechanism. Sheep are susceptible
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Intrinsic factors of the innate immune system include the apolipoprotein B editing enzyme catalytic polypeptide-like 3 (APOBEC3) protein family. APOBEC3 inhibits replication of different virus families by cytosine deamination of viral DNA and a not fully characterized cytosine deamination-independent mechanism. Sheep are susceptible to small ruminant lentivirus (SRLVs) infection and contain three APOBEC3 genes encoding four proteins (A3Z1, Z2, Z3 and Z2-Z3) with yet not deeply described antiviral properties. Using sheep blood monocytes and in vitro-derived macrophages, we found that A3Z1 expression is associated with lower viral replication in this cellular type. A3Z1 transcripts may also contain spliced variants (A3Z1Tr) lacking the cytidine deaminase motif. A3Z1 exogenous expression in fully permissive fibroblast-like cells restricted SRLVs infection while A3Z1Tr allowed infection. A3Z1Tr was induced after SRLVs infection or stimulation of blood-derived macrophages with interferon gamma (IFN-γ). Interaction between truncated isoform and native A3Z1 protein was detected as well as incorporation of both proteins into virions. A3Z1 and A3Z1Tr interacted with SRLVs Vif, but this interaction was not associated with degradative properties. Similar A3Z1 truncated isoforms were also present in human and monkey cells suggesting a conserved alternative splicing regulation in primates. A3Z1-mediated retroviral restriction could be constrained by different means, including gene expression and specific alternative splicing regulation, leading to truncated protein isoforms lacking a cytidine-deaminase motif. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Epigenetic Regulation of Viral Biological Processes
Viruses 2017, 9(11), 346; doi:10.3390/v9110346 -
Abstract
It is increasingly clear that DNA viruses exploit cellular epigenetic processes to control their life cycles during infection. This review will address epigenetic regulation in members of the polyomaviruses, adenoviruses, human papillomaviruses, hepatitis B, and herpes viruses. For each type of virus, what
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It is increasingly clear that DNA viruses exploit cellular epigenetic processes to control their life cycles during infection. This review will address epigenetic regulation in members of the polyomaviruses, adenoviruses, human papillomaviruses, hepatitis B, and herpes viruses. For each type of virus, what is known about the roles of DNA methylation, histone modifications, nucleosome positioning, and regulatory RNA in epigenetic regulation of the virus infection will be discussed. The mechanisms used by certain viruses to dysregulate the host cell through manipulation of epigenetic processes and the role of cellular cofactors such as BRD4 that are known to be involved in epigenetic regulation of host cell pathways will also be covered. Specifically, this review will focus on the role of epigenetic regulation in maintaining viral episomes through the generation of chromatin, temporally controlling transcription from viral genes during the course of an infection, regulating latency and the switch to a lytic infection, and global dysregulation of cellular function. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
RNA Virus Evolution via a Quasispecies-Based Model Reveals a Drug Target with a High Barrier to Resistance
Viruses 2017, 9(11), 347; doi:10.3390/v9110347 -
Abstract
The rapid occurrence of therapy-resistant mutant strains provides a challenge for anti-viral therapy. An ideal drug target would be a highly conserved molecular feature in the viral life cycle, such as the packaging signals in the genomes of RNA viruses that encode an
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The rapid occurrence of therapy-resistant mutant strains provides a challenge for anti-viral therapy. An ideal drug target would be a highly conserved molecular feature in the viral life cycle, such as the packaging signals in the genomes of RNA viruses that encode an instruction manual for their efficient assembly. The ubiquity of this assembly code in RNA viruses, including major human pathogens, suggests that it confers selective advantages. However, their impact on viral evolution cannot be assessed in current models of viral infection that lack molecular details of virus assembly. We introduce here a quasispecies-based model of a viral infection that incorporates structural and mechanistic knowledge of packaging signal function in assembly to construct a phenotype-fitness map, capturing the impact of this RNA code on assembly yield and efficiency. Details of viral replication and assembly inside an infected host cell are coupled with a population model of a viral infection, allowing the occurrence of therapy resistance to be assessed in response to drugs inhibiting packaging signal recognition. Stochastic simulations of viral quasispecies evolution in chronic HCV infection under drug action and/or immune clearance reveal that drugs targeting all RNA signals in the assembly code collectively have a high barrier to drug resistance, even though each packaging signal in isolation has a lower barrier than conventional drugs. This suggests that drugs targeting the RNA signals in the assembly code could be promising routes for exploitation in anti-viral drug design. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Ms6 Mycolyl-Arabinogalactan Esterase LysB is Essential for an Efficient Mycobacteriophage-Induced Lysis
Viruses 2017, 9(11), 343; doi:10.3390/v9110343 -
Abstract
All dsDNA phages encode two proteins involved in host lysis, an endolysin and a holin that target the peptidoglycan and cytoplasmic membrane, respectively. Bacteriophages that infect Gram-negative bacteria encode additional proteins, the spanins, involved in disruption of the outer membrane. Recently, a gene
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All dsDNA phages encode two proteins involved in host lysis, an endolysin and a holin that target the peptidoglycan and cytoplasmic membrane, respectively. Bacteriophages that infect Gram-negative bacteria encode additional proteins, the spanins, involved in disruption of the outer membrane. Recently, a gene located in the lytic cassette was identified in the genomes of mycobacteriophages, which encodes a protein (LysB) with mycolyl-arabinogalactan esterase activity. Taking in consideration the complex mycobacterial cell envelope that mycobacteriophages encounter during their life cycle, it is valuable to evaluate the role of these proteins in lysis. In the present work, we constructed an Ms6 mutant defective on lysB and showed that Ms6 LysB has an important role in lysis. In the absence of LysB, lysis still occurs but the newly synthesized phage particles are deficiently released to the environment. Using cryo-electron microscopy and tomography to register the changes in the lysis phenotype, we show that at 150 min post-adsorption, mycobacteria cells are incompletely lysed and phage particles are retained inside the cell, while cells infected with Ms6wt are completely lysed. Our results confirm that Ms6 LysB is necessary for an efficient lysis of Mycobacterium smegmatis, acting, similarly to spanins, in the third step of the lysis process. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Non-Homologous End Joining Protein PAXX Acts to Restrict HSV-1 Infection
Viruses 2017, 9(11), 342; doi:10.3390/v9110342 -
Abstract
Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) has extensive interactions with the host DNA damage response (DDR) machinery that can be either detrimental or beneficial to the virus. Proteins in the homologous recombination pathway are known to be required for efficient replication of the viral
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Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) has extensive interactions with the host DNA damage response (DDR) machinery that can be either detrimental or beneficial to the virus. Proteins in the homologous recombination pathway are known to be required for efficient replication of the viral genome, while different members of the classical non-homologous end-joining (c-NHEJ) pathway have opposing effects on HSV-1 infection. Here, we have investigated the role of the recently-discovered c-NHEJ component, PAXX (Paralogue of XRCC4 and XLF), which we found to be excluded from the nucleus during HSV-1 infection. We have established that cells lacking PAXX have an intact innate immune response to HSV-1 but show a defect in viral genome replication efficiency. Counterintuitively, PAXX−/− cells were able to produce greater numbers of infectious virions, indicating that PAXX acts to restrict HSV-1 infection in a manner that is different from other c-NHEJ factors. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Epstein–Barr Virus Hijacks DNA Damage Response Transducers to Orchestrate Its Life Cycle
Viruses 2017, 9(11), 341; doi:10.3390/v9110341 -
Abstract
The Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous virus that infects most of the human population. EBV infection is associated with multiple human cancers, including Burkitt’s lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a subset of gastric carcinomas, and almost all undifferentiated non-keratinizing nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Intensive research has
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The Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous virus that infects most of the human population. EBV infection is associated with multiple human cancers, including Burkitt’s lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a subset of gastric carcinomas, and almost all undifferentiated non-keratinizing nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Intensive research has shown that EBV triggers a DNA damage response (DDR) during primary infection and lytic reactivation. The EBV-encoded viral proteins have been implicated in deregulating the DDR signaling pathways. The consequences of DDR inactivation lead to genomic instability and promote cellular transformation. This review summarizes the current understanding of the relationship between EBV infection and the DDR transducers, including ATM (ataxia telangiectasia mutated), ATR (ATM and Rad3-related), and DNA-PK (DNA-dependent protein kinase), and discusses how EBV manipulates the DDR signaling pathways to complete the replication process of viral DNA during lytic reactivation. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Vaccinia Virus Natural Infections in Brazil: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Viruses 2017, 9(11), 340; doi:10.3390/v9110340 -
Abstract
The orthopoxviruses (OPV) comprise several emerging viruses with great importance to human and veterinary medicine, including vaccinia virus (VACV), which causes outbreaks of bovine vaccinia (BV) in South America. Historically, VACV is the most comprehensively studied virus, however, its origin and natural hosts
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The orthopoxviruses (OPV) comprise several emerging viruses with great importance to human and veterinary medicine, including vaccinia virus (VACV), which causes outbreaks of bovine vaccinia (BV) in South America. Historically, VACV is the most comprehensively studied virus, however, its origin and natural hosts remain unknown. VACV was the primary component of the smallpox vaccine, largely used during the smallpox eradication campaign. After smallpox was declared eradicated, the vaccination that conferred immunity to OPV was discontinued, favoring a new contingent of susceptible individuals to OPV. VACV infections occur naturally after direct contact with infected dairy cattle, in recently vaccinated individuals, or through alternative routes of exposure. In Brazil, VACV outbreaks are frequently reported in rural areas, affecting mainly farm animals and humans. Recent studies have shown the role of wildlife in the VACV transmission chain, exploring the role of wild rodents as reservoirs that facilitate VACV spread throughout rural areas. Furthermore, VACV circulation in urban environments and the significance of this with respect to public health, have also been explored. In this review, we discuss the history, epidemiological, ecological and clinical aspects of natural VACV infections in Brazil, also highlighting alternative routes of VACV transmission, the factors involved in susceptibility to infection, and the natural history of the disease in humans and animals, and the potential for dissemination to urban environments. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Structures and Functions of the Envelope Glycoprotein in Flavivirus Infections
Viruses 2017, 9(11), 338; doi:10.3390/v9110338 -
Abstract
Flaviviruses are enveloped, single-stranded RNA viruses that widely infect many animal species. The envelope protein, a structural protein of flavivirus, plays an important role in host cell viral infections. It is composed of three separate structural envelope domains I, II, and III (EDI,
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Flaviviruses are enveloped, single-stranded RNA viruses that widely infect many animal species. The envelope protein, a structural protein of flavivirus, plays an important role in host cell viral infections. It is composed of three separate structural envelope domains I, II, and III (EDI, EDII, and EDIII). EDI is a structurally central domain of the envelope protein which stabilizes the overall orientation of the protein, and the glycosylation sites in EDI are related to virus production, pH sensitivity, and neuroinvasiveness. EDII plays an important role in membrane fusion because of the immunodominance of the fusion loop epitope and the envelope dimer epitope. Additionally, EDIII is the major target of neutralization antibodies. The envelope protein is an important target for research to develop vaccine candidates and antiviral therapeutics. This review summarizes the structures and functions of ED I/II/III, and provides practical applications for the three domains, with the ultimate goal of implementing strategies to utilize the envelope protein against flavivirus infections, thus achieving better diagnostics and developing potential flavivirus therapeutics and vaccines. Full article
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Open AccessReview
EBV and Apoptosis: The Viral Master Regulator of Cell Fate?
Viruses 2017, 9(11), 339; doi:10.3390/v9110339 -
Abstract
Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) was first discovered in cells from a patient with Burkitt lymphoma (BL), and is now known to be a contributory factor in 1–2% of all cancers, for which there are as yet, no EBV-targeted therapies available. Like other herpesviruses, EBV
[...] Read more.
Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) was first discovered in cells from a patient with Burkitt lymphoma (BL), and is now known to be a contributory factor in 1–2% of all cancers, for which there are as yet, no EBV-targeted therapies available. Like other herpesviruses, EBV adopts a persistent latent infection in vivo and only rarely reactivates into replicative lytic cycle. Although latency is associated with restricted patterns of gene expression, genes are never expressed in isolation; always in groups. Here, we discuss (1) the ways in which the latent genes of EBV are known to modulate cell death, (2) how these mechanisms relate to growth transformation and lymphomagenesis, and (3) how EBV genes cooperate to coordinately regulate key cell death pathways in BL and lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs). Since manipulation of the cell death machinery is critical in EBV pathogenesis, understanding the mechanisms that underpin EBV regulation of apoptosis therefore provides opportunities for novel therapeutic interventions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Combined Proteomics/Genomics Approach Reveals Proteomic Changes of Mature Virions as a Novel Poxvirus Adaptation Mechanism
Viruses 2017, 9(11), 337; doi:10.3390/v9110337 -
Abstract
DNA viruses, like poxviruses, possess a highly stable genome, suggesting that adaptation of virus particles to specific cell types is not restricted to genomic changes. Cowpox viruses are zoonotic poxviruses with an extraordinarily broad host range, demonstrating their adaptive potential in vivo. To
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DNA viruses, like poxviruses, possess a highly stable genome, suggesting that adaptation of virus particles to specific cell types is not restricted to genomic changes. Cowpox viruses are zoonotic poxviruses with an extraordinarily broad host range, demonstrating their adaptive potential in vivo. To elucidate adaptation mechanisms of poxviruses, we isolated cowpox virus particles from a rat and passaged them five times in a human and a rat cell line. Subsequently, we analyzed the proteome and genome of the non-passaged virions and each passage. While the overall viral genome sequence was stable during passaging, proteomics revealed multiple changes in the virion composition. Interestingly, an increased viral fitness in human cells was observed in the presence of increased immunomodulatory protein amounts. As the only minor variant with increasing frequency during passaging was located in a viral RNA polymerase subunit and, moreover, most minor variants were found in transcription-associated genes, protein amounts were presumably regulated at transcription level. This study is the first comparative proteome analysis of virus particles before and after cell culture propagation, revealing proteomic changes as a novel poxvirus adaptation mechanism. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Antibody Competition Reveals Surface Location of HPV L2 Minor Capsid Protein Residues 17–36
Viruses 2017, 9(11), 336; doi:10.3390/v9110336 -
Abstract
The currently available nonavalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine exploits the highly antigenic L1 major capsid protein to promote high-titer neutralizing antibodies, but is limited to the HPV types included in the vaccine since the responses are highly type-specific. The limited cross-protection offered by
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The currently available nonavalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine exploits the highly antigenic L1 major capsid protein to promote high-titer neutralizing antibodies, but is limited to the HPV types included in the vaccine since the responses are highly type-specific. The limited cross-protection offered by the L1 virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine warrants further investigation into cross-protective L2 epitopes. The L2 proteins are yet to be fully characterized as to their precise placement in the virion. Adding to the difficulties in localizing L2, studies have suggested that L2 epitopes are not well exposed on the surface of the mature capsid prior to cellular engagement. Using a series of competition assays between previously mapped anti-L1 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) (H16.V5, H16.U4 and H16.7E) and novel anti-L2 mAbs, we probed the capsid surface for the location of an L2 epitope (aa17–36). The previously characterized L1 epitopes together with our competition data is consistent with a proposed L2 epitope within the canyons of pentavalent capsomers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Crystal Structure of the Full-Length Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Capsid Protein Shows an N-Terminal β-Hairpin in the Absence of N-Terminal Proline
Viruses 2017, 9(11), 335; doi:10.3390/v9110335 -
Abstract
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a member of the Retroviridae family. It is the causative agent of an acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in cats and wild felines. Its capsid protein (CA) drives the assembly of the viral particle, which is a critical step
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Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a member of the Retroviridae family. It is the causative agent of an acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in cats and wild felines. Its capsid protein (CA) drives the assembly of the viral particle, which is a critical step in the viral replication cycle. Here, the first atomic structure of full-length FIV CA to 1.67 Å resolution is determined. The crystallized protein exhibits an original tetrameric assembly, composed of dimers which are stabilized by an intermolecular disulfide bridge induced by the crystallogenesis conditions. The FIV CA displays a standard α-helical CA topology with two domains, separated by a linker shorter than other retroviral CAs. The β-hairpin motif at its amino terminal end, which interacts with nucleotides in HIV-1, is unusually long in FIV CA. Interestingly, this functional β-motif is formed in this construct in the absence of the conserved N-terminal proline. The FIV CA exhibits a cis Arg–Pro bond in the CypA-binding loop, which is absent in known structures of lentiviral CAs. This structure represents the first tri-dimensional structure of a functional, full-length FIV CA. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Begomoviral Movement Protein Effects in Human and Plant Cells: Towards New Potential Interaction Partners
Viruses 2017, 9(11), 334; doi:10.3390/v9110334 -
Abstract
Geminiviral single-stranded circular DNA genomes replicate in nuclei so that the progeny DNA has to cross both the nuclear envelope and the plasmodesmata for systemic spread within plant tissues. For intra- and intercellular transport, two proteins are required: a nuclear shuttle protein (NSP)
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Geminiviral single-stranded circular DNA genomes replicate in nuclei so that the progeny DNA has to cross both the nuclear envelope and the plasmodesmata for systemic spread within plant tissues. For intra- and intercellular transport, two proteins are required: a nuclear shuttle protein (NSP) and a movement protein (MP). New characteristics of ectopically produced Abutilon mosaic virus (AbMV) MP (MPAbMV), either authentically expressed or fused to a yellow fluorescent protein or epitope tags, respectively, were determined by localization studies in mammalian cell lines in comparison to plant cells. Wild-type MPAbMV and the distinct MPAbMV: reporter protein fusions appeared as curled threads throughout mammalian cells. Co-staining with cytoskeleton markers for actin, intermediate filaments, or microtubules identified these threads as re-organized microtubules. These were, however, not stabilized by the viral MP, as demonstrated by nocodazole treatment. The MP of a related bipartite New World begomovirus, Cleome leaf crumple virus (ClLCrV), resulted in the same intensified microtubule bundling, whereas that of a nanovirus did not. The C-terminal section of MPAbMV, i.e., the protein’s oligomerization domain, was dispensable for the effect. However, MP expression in plant cells did not affect the microtubules network. Since plant epidermal cells are quiescent whilst mammalian cells are proliferating, the replication-associated protein RepAbMV protein was then co-expressed with MPAbMV to induce cell progression into S-phase, thereby inducing distinct microtubule bundling without MP recruitment to the newly formed threads. Co-immunoprecipitation of MPAbMV in the presence of RepAbMV, followed by mass spectrometry identified potential novel MPAbMV-host interaction partners: the peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase NIMA-interacting 4 (Pin4) and stomatal cytokinesis defective 2 (SCD2) proteins. Possible roles of these putative interaction partners in the begomoviral life cycle and cytoskeletal association modes are discussed. Full article
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Open AccessConference Report
The 17th Rocky Mountain Virology Association Meeting
Viruses 2017, 9(11), 333; doi:10.3390/v9110333 -
Abstract
Since 2000, scientists and students from the greater Rocky Mountain region, along with invited speakers, both national and international, have gathered at the Mountain Campus of Colorado State University to discuss their area of study, present recent findings, establish or strengthen collaborations, and
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Since 2000, scientists and students from the greater Rocky Mountain region, along with invited speakers, both national and international, have gathered at the Mountain Campus of Colorado State University to discuss their area of study, present recent findings, establish or strengthen collaborations, and mentor the next generation of virologists and prionologists through formal presentations and informal discussions concerning science, grantsmanship and network development. This year, approximately 100 people attended the 17th annual Rocky Mountain Virology Association meeting, that began with a keynote presentation, and featured 29 oral and 35 poster presentations covering RNA and DNA viruses, prions, virus-host interactions and guides to successful mentorship. Since the keynote address focused on the structure and function of Zika and related flaviviruses, a special session was held to discuss RNA control. The secluded meeting at the foot of the Colorado Rocky Mountains gave ample time for in-depth discussions amid the peak of fall colors in the aspen groves while the random bear provided excitement. On behalf of the Rocky Mountain Virology Association, this report summarizes the >50 reports. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor-Associated Mutations in the RNase H Region of HIV-1 Subtype C Infected Individuals
Viruses 2017, 9(11), 330; doi:10.3390/v9110330 -
Abstract
The South African national treatment programme includes nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) in both first and second line highly active antiretroviral therapy regimens. Mutations in the RNase H domain have been associated with resistance to NRTIs but primarily in HIV-1 subtype B studies.
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The South African national treatment programme includes nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) in both first and second line highly active antiretroviral therapy regimens. Mutations in the RNase H domain have been associated with resistance to NRTIs but primarily in HIV-1 subtype B studies. Here, we investigated the prevalence and association of RNase H mutations with NRTI resistance in sequences from HIV-1 subtype C infected individuals. RNase H sequences from 112 NRTI treated but virologically failing individuals and 28 antiretroviral therapy (ART)-naive individuals were generated and analysed. In addition, sequences from 359 subtype C ART-naive sequences were downloaded from Los Alamos database to give a total of 387 sequences from ART-naive individuals for the analysis. Fisher’s exact test was used to identify mutations and Bayesian network learning was applied to identify novel NRTI resistance mutation pathways in RNase H domain. The mutations A435L, S468A, T470S, L484I, A508S, Q509L, L517I, Q524E and E529D were more prevalent in sequences from treatment-experienced compared to antiretroviral treatment naive individuals, however, only the E529D mutation remained significant after correction for multiple comparison. Our findings suggest a potential interaction between E529D and NRTI-treatment; however, site-directed mutagenesis is needed to understand the impact of this RNase H mutation. Full article
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