Viruses2014, 6(8), 3228-3249; doi:10.3390/v6083228 - published 20 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The cellular bromodomain protein Brd4 functions in multiple processes of the papillomavirus life cycle, including viral replication, genome maintenance, and gene transcription through its interaction with the viral protein, E2. However, the mechanisms by which E2 and Brd4 activate viral transcription are still not completely understood. In this study, we show that recruitment of positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb), a functional interaction partner of Brd4 in transcription activation, is important for E2’s transcription activation activity. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analyses demonstrate that P-TEFb is recruited to the actual papillomavirus episomes. We also show that E2’s interaction with cellular chromatin through Brd4 correlates with its papillomavirus transcription activation function since JQ1(+), a bromodomain inhibitor that efficiently dissociates E2-Brd4 complexes from chromatin, potently reduces papillomavirus transcription. Our study identifies a specific function of Brd4 in papillomavirus gene transcription and highlights the potential use of bromodomain inhibitors as a method to disrupt the human papillomavirus (HPV) life cycle.
Viruses2014, 6(8), 3181-3227; doi:10.3390/v6083181 - published 19 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: HIV has posed a significant challenge due to the ability of the virus to both impair and evade the host’s immune system. One of the most important mechanisms it has employed to do so is the modulation of the host’s native apoptotic pathways and mechanisms. Viral proteins alter normal apoptotic signaling resulting in increased viral load and the formation of viral reservoirs which ultimately increase infectivity. Both the host’s pro- and anti-apoptotic responses are regulated by the interactions of viral proteins with cell surface receptors or apoptotic pathway components. This dynamic has led to the development of therapies aimed at altering the ability of the virus to modulate apoptotic pathways. These therapies are aimed at preventing or inhibiting viral infection, or treating viral associated pathologies. These drugs target both the viral proteins and the apoptotic pathways of the host. This review will examine the cell types targeted by HIV, the surface receptors exploited by the virus and the mechanisms whereby HIV encoded proteins influence the apoptotic pathways. The viral manipulation of the hosts’ cell type to evade the immune system, establish viral reservoirs and enhance viral proliferation will be reviewed. The pathologies associated with the ability of HIV to alter apoptotic signaling and the drugs and therapies currently under development that target the ability of apoptotic signaling within HIV infection will also be discussed.
Viruses2014, 6(8), 3159-3180; doi:10.3390/v6083159 - published 18 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Since the discovery of antibodies specific to a highly conserved stalk region of the influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA), eliciting such antibodies has been considered the key to developing a universal influenza vaccine that confers broad-spectrum protection against various influenza subtypes. To achieve this goal, a prime/boost immunization strategy has been heralded to redirect host immune responses from the variable globular head domain to the conserved stalk domain of HA. While this approach has been successful in eliciting cross-reactive antibodies against the HA stalk domain, protective efficacy remains relatively poor due to the low immunogenicity of the domain, and the cross-reactivity was only within the same group, rather than among different groups. Additionally, concerns are raised on the possibility of vaccine-associated enhancement of viral infection and whether multiple boost immunization protocols would be considered practical from a clinical standpoint. Live attenuated vaccine hitherto remains unexplored, but is expected to serve as an alternative approach, considering its superior cross-reactivity. This review summarizes recent advancements in the HA stalk-based universal influenza vaccines, discusses the pros and cons of these approaches with respect to the potentially beneficial and harmful effects of neutralizing and non-neutralizing antibodies, and suggests future guidelines towards the design of a truly protective universal influenza vaccine.
Viruses2014, 6(8), 3129-3158; doi:10.3390/v6083129 - published 15 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: An efficacious HIV vaccine is urgently needed to curb the AIDS pandemic. The modest protection elicited in the phase III clinical vaccine trial in Thailand provided hope that this goal might be achieved. However, new approaches are necessary for further advances. As HIV is transmitted primarily across mucosal surfaces, development of immunity at these sites is critical, but few clinical vaccine trials have targeted these sites or assessed vaccine-elicited mucosal immune responses. Pre-clinical studies in non-human primate models have facilitated progress in mucosal vaccine development by evaluating candidate vaccine approaches, developing methodologies for collecting and assessing mucosal samples, and providing clues to immune correlates of protective immunity for further investigation. In this review we have focused on non-human primate studies which have provided important information for future design of vaccine strategies, targeting of mucosal inductive sites, and assessment of mucosal immunity. Knowledge gained in these studies will inform mucosal vaccine design and evaluation in human clinical trials.
Viruses2014, 6(8), 3110-3128; doi:10.3390/v6083110 - published 13 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Bats are being increasingly recognized as reservoir hosts of highly pathogenic and zoonotic emerging viruses (Marburg virus, Nipah virus, Hendra virus, Rabies virus, and coronaviruses). While numerous studies have focused on the mentioned highly human-pathogenic bat viruses in tropical regions, little is known on similar human-pathogenic viruses that may be present in European bats. Although novel viruses are being detected, their zoonotic potential remains unclear unless further studies are conducted. At present, it is assumed that the risk posed by bats to the general public is rather low. In this review, selected viruses detected and isolated in Europe are discussed from our point of view in regard to their human-pathogenic potential. All European bat species and their roosts are legally protected and some European species are even endangered. Nevertheless, the increasing public fear of bats and their viruses is an obstacle to their protection. Educating the public regarding bat lyssaviruses might result in reduced threats to both the public and the bats.
Viruses2014, 6(8), 3097-3109; doi:10.3390/v6083097 - published 13 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Hantavirus causes two important rodent-borne viral zoonoses, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in Eurasia and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in North and South America. Twenty-four species that represent sero- and genotypes have been registered within the genus Hantavirus by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). Among the viral proteins, nucleocapsid (N) protein possesses an immunodominant antigen. The antigenicitiy of N protein is conserved compared with that of envelope glycoproteins. Therefore, N protein has been used for serological diagnoses and seroepidemiological studies. An understanding of the antigenic properties of N protein is important for the interpretation of results from serological tests using N antigen. N protein consists of about 430 amino acids and possesses various epitopes. The N-terminal quarter of N protein bears linear and immunodominant epitopes. However, a serotype-specific and multimerization-dependent antigenic site was found in the C-terminal half of N protein. In this paper, the structure, function, and antigenicity of N protein are reviewed.