Viruses2016, 8(6), 151; doi:10.3390/v8060151 - published 24 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) M-segment encodes the 78 kD, NSm, Gn, and Gc proteins. The 1st AUG generates the 78 kD-Gc precursor, the 2nd AUG generates the NSm-Gn-Gc precursor, and the 3rd AUG makes the NSm’-Gn-Gc precursor. To understand biological changes due to abolishment of the precursors, we quantitatively measured Gn secretion using a reporter assay, in which a Gaussia luciferase (gLuc) protein is fused to the RVFV M-segment pre-Gn region. Using the reporter assay, the relative expression of Gn/gLuc fusion proteins was analyzed among various AUG mutants. The reporter assay showed efficient secretion of Gn/gLuc protein from the precursor made from the 2nd AUG, while the removal of the untranslated region upstream of the 2nd AUG (AUG2-M) increased the secretion of the Gn/gLuc protein. Subsequently, recombinant MP-12 strains encoding mutations in the pre-Gn region were rescued, and virological phenotypes were characterized. Recombinant MP-12 encoding the AUG2-M mutation replicated slightly less efficiently than the control, indicating that viral replication is further influenced by the biological processes occurring after Gn expression, rather than the Gn abundance. This study showed that, not only the abolishment of AUG, but also the truncation of viral UTR, affects the expression of Gn protein by the RVFV M-segment.
Viruses2016, 8(6), 152; doi:10.3390/v8060152 - published 24 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a central regulator of gene expression, translation and various metabolic processes. Multiple extracellular (growth factors) and intracellular (energy status) molecular signals as well as a variety of stressors are integrated into the mTOR pathway. Viral infection is a significant stress that can activate, reduce or even suppress the mTOR signaling pathway. Consequently, viruses have evolved a plethora of different mechanisms to attack and co-opt the mTOR pathway in order to make the host cell a hospitable environment for replication. A more comprehensive knowledge of different viral interactions may provide fruitful targets for new antiviral drugs.
Viruses2016, 8(5), 143; doi:10.3390/v8050143 - published 24 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The Bunyaviridae is the largest family of RNA viruses, with over 350 members worldwide. Several of these viruses cause severe diseases in livestock and humans. With an increasing number and frequency of outbreaks, bunyaviruses represent a growing threat to public health and agricultural productivity globally. Yet, the receptors, cellular factors and endocytic pathways used by these emerging pathogens to infect cells remain largely uncharacterized. The focus of this review is on the early steps of bunyavirus infection, from virus binding to penetration from endosomes. We address current knowledge and advances for members from each genus in the Bunyaviridae family regarding virus receptors, uptake, intracellular trafficking and fusion.
Viruses2016, 8(5), 139; doi:10.3390/v8050139 - published 23 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: MVA is an attenuated vector that still retains immunomodulatory genes. We have previously reported its optimization after deleting the C12L gene, coding for the IL-18 binding-protein. Here, we analyzed the immunogenicity of MVA vectors harboring the simultaneous deletion of A44L, related to steroid synthesis and A46R, a TLR-signaling inhibitor (MVAΔA44L-A46R); or also including a deletion of C12L (MVAΔC12L/ΔA44L-A46R). The absence of biological activities of the deleted genes in the MVA vectors was demonstrated. Adaptive T-cell responses against VACV epitopes, evaluated in spleen and draining lymph-nodes of C57Bl/6 mice at acute/memory phases, were of higher magnitude in those animals that received deleted MVAs compared to MVAwt. MVAΔC12L/ΔA44L-A46R generated cellular specific memory responses of higher quality characterized by bifunctionality (CD107a/b+/IFN-γ+) and proliferation capacity. Deletion of selected genes from MVA generated innate immune responses with higher levels of determining cytokines related to T-cell response generation, such as IL-12, IFN-γ, as well as IL-1β and IFN-β. This study describes for the first time that simultaneous deletion of the A44L, A46R and C12L genes from MVA improved its immunogenicity by enhancing the host adaptive and innate immune responses, suggesting that this approach comprises an appropriate strategy to increase the MVA vaccine potential.
Viruses2016, 8(5), 148; doi:10.3390/v8050148 - published 23 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Filoviruses have become a worldwide public health concern because of their potential for introductions into non-endemic countries through international travel and the international transport of infected animals or animal products. Since it was first identified in 1976, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) and Sudan, the 2013–2015 western African Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak is the largest, both by number of cases and geographical extension, and deadliest, recorded so far in medical history. The source of ebolaviruses for human index case(s) in most outbreaks is presumptively associated with handling of bush meat or contact with fruit bats. Transmission among humans occurs easily when a person comes in contact with contaminated body fluids of patients, but our understanding of other transmission routes is still fragmentary. This review deals with the controversial issue of aerosol transmission of filoviruses.
Viruses2016, 8(5), 149; doi:10.3390/v8050149 - published 23 May 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Rift Valley fever is a mosquito-transmitted, zoonotic disease that infects humans and ruminants. Dendritic cell specific intercellular adhesion molecule 3 (ICAM-3) grabbing non-integrin (DC-SIGN) acts as a receptor for members of the phlebovirus genus. The Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) glycoproteins (Gn/Gc) encode five putative N-glycan sequons (asparagine (N)–any amino acid (X)–serine (S)/threonine (T)) at positions: N438 (Gn), and N794, N829, N1035, and N1077 (Gc). The N-glycosylation profile and significance in viral infection via DC-SIGN have not been elucidated. Gc N-glycosylation was first evaluated by using Gc asparagine (N) to glutamine (Q) mutants. Subsequently, we generated a series of recombinant RVFV MP-12 strain mutants, which encode N-to-Q mutations, and the infectivity of each mutant in Jurkat cells stably expressing DC-SIGN was evaluated. Results showed that Gc N794, N1035, and N1077 were N-glycosylated but N829 was not. Gc N1077 was heterogeneously N-glycosylated. RVFV Gc made two distinct N-glycoforms: “Gc-large” and “Gc-small”, and N1077 was responsible for “Gc-large” band. RVFV showed increased infection of cells expressing DC-SIGN compared to cells lacking DC-SIGN. Infection via DC-SIGN was increased in the presence of either Gn N438 or Gc N1077. Our study showed that N-glycans on the Gc and Gn surface glycoproteins redundantly support RVFV infection via DC-SIGN.