Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of microRNA Expression in Patients with Herpes Zoster
Viruses 2016, 8(12), 326; doi:10.3390/v8120326 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Reactivated varicella-zoster virus (VZV), which lies latent in the dorsal root ganglions and cranial nerves before its reactivation, is capable of causing herpes zoster (HZ), but the specific mechanism of virus reactivation and latency remains unknown. It was proposed that circulating microRNAs (miRNAs)
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Reactivated varicella-zoster virus (VZV), which lies latent in the dorsal root ganglions and cranial nerves before its reactivation, is capable of causing herpes zoster (HZ), but the specific mechanism of virus reactivation and latency remains unknown. It was proposed that circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) in body fluids could potentially indicate infection. However, the connection between herpes zoster and circulating miRNAs has not been demonstrated. In this study, 41 HZ patients without superinfection were selected. The serum miRNA levels were analyzed by TaqMan low density array (TLDA) and confirmed individually by quantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR) analysis. Thirty-five age-matched subjects without any infectious diseases or inflammation were selected as controls. The results showed that the serum miRNA expression profiles in 41 HZ patients were different from those of control subjects. Specifically, 18 miRNAs were up-regulated and 126 were down-regulated more than two-fold in HZ patients compared with controls. The subsequent confirmation of these results by qRT-PCR, as well as receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, revealed that six kinds of miRNAs, including miR-190b, miR-571, miR-1276, miR-1303, miR-943, and miR-661, exhibited statistically significant enhanced expression levels (more than four-fold) in HZ patients, compared with those of healthy controls and herpes simplex virus (HSV) patients. Subsequently, it is proposed that these circulating miRNAs are capable of regulating numerous pathways and some may even participate in the inflammatory response or nervous system activity. This study has initially demonstrated that the serum miRNA expression profiles in HZ patients were different from those of uninfected individuals. Additionally, these findings also suggest that six of the altered miRNA could be potentially used as biomarkers to test for latent HZ infection. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Ion Channel Activity of Vpu Proteins Is Conserved throughout Evolution of HIV-1 and SIV
Viruses 2016, 8(12), 325; doi:10.3390/v8120325 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) protein Vpu is encoded exclusively by HIV-1 and related simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs). The transmembrane domain of the protein has dual functions: it counteracts the human restriction factor tetherin and forms a cation channel. Since these
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The human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) protein Vpu is encoded exclusively by HIV-1 and related simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs). The transmembrane domain of the protein has dual functions: it counteracts the human restriction factor tetherin and forms a cation channel. Since these two functions are causally unrelated it remains unclear whether the channel activity has any relevance for viral release and replication. Here we examine structure and function correlates of different Vpu homologs from HIV-1 and SIV to understand if ion channel activity is an evolutionary conserved property of Vpu proteins. An electrophysiological testing of Vpus from different HIV-1 groups (N and P) and SIVs from chimpanzees (SIVcpz), and greater spot-nosed monkeys (SIVgsn) showed that they all generate channel activity in HEK293T cells. This implies a robust and evolutionary conserved channel activity and suggests that cation conductance may also have a conserved functional significance. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Capsule-Targeting Depolymerase, Derived from Klebsiella KP36 Phage, as a Tool for the Development of Anti-Virulent Strategy
Viruses 2016, 8(12), 324; doi:10.3390/v8120324 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The rise of antibiotic-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae, a leading nosocomial pathogen, prompts the need for alternative therapies. We have identified and characterized a novel depolymerase enzyme encoded by Klebsiella phage KP36 (depoKP36), from the Siphoviridae family. To gain insights into the catalytic and
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The rise of antibiotic-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae, a leading nosocomial pathogen, prompts the need for alternative therapies. We have identified and characterized a novel depolymerase enzyme encoded by Klebsiella phage KP36 (depoKP36), from the Siphoviridae family. To gain insights into the catalytic and structural features of depoKP36, we have recombinantly produced this protein of 93.4 kDa and showed that it is able to hydrolyze a crude exopolysaccharide of a K. pneumoniae host. Using in vitro and in vivo assays, we found that depoKP36 was also effective against a native capsule of clinical K. pneumoniae strains, representing the K63 type, and significantly inhibited Klebsiella-induced mortality of Galleria mellonella larvae in a time-dependent manner. DepoKP36 did not affect the antibiotic susceptibility of Klebsiella strains. The activity of this enzyme was retained in a broad range of pH values (4.0–7.0) and temperatures (up to 45 °C). Consistently, the circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy revealed a highly stability with melting transition temperature (Tm) = 65 °C. In contrast to other phage tailspike proteins, this enzyme was susceptible to sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) denaturation and proteolytic cleavage. The structural studies in solution showed a trimeric arrangement with a high β-sheet content. Our findings identify depoKP36 as a suitable candidate for the development of new treatments for K. pneumoniae infections. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Proteome Analysis of Porcine Jejunum Tissues in Response to a Virulent Strain of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus and Its Attenuated Strain
Viruses 2016, 8(12), 323; doi:10.3390/v8120323 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), a predominant cause of acute enteric infection, leads to severe dehydrating diarrhea and mortality in piglets all over the world. A virulent PEDV YN13 strain, isolated in our laboratory, was attenuated to yield an attenuated PEDV strain YN144.
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Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), a predominant cause of acute enteric infection, leads to severe dehydrating diarrhea and mortality in piglets all over the world. A virulent PEDV YN13 strain, isolated in our laboratory, was attenuated to yield an attenuated PEDV strain YN144. To better understand the pathogenesis mechanism and the virus-host interaction during infection with both PEDV YN13 and YN144 strains, a comparative proteomic analysis was carried out to investigate the proteomic changes produced in the primary target organ, using isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) labeling, followed by liquid chromatography tandem-mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). A total of 269 and 301 differently expressed proteins (DEPs) were identified in the jejunum tissues of the piglets inoculated with YN13 and YN144, respectively. Bioinformatics analysis revealed that these proteins were involved in stress responses, signal transduction, and the immune system. All of these involved interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs) which were up-regulated in jejunums by both of the PEDV-infected groups. Based on the comparative analysis, we proposed that different changes induced by YN13 and YN144 in heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1 (hnRNPA1), eukaryotic initiation factor 4G1 (eIF4G1), and some members in the heat shock protein (HSP) family, may be responsible for differences in their pathogenicity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Chloroquine, an Endocytosis Blocking Agent, Inhibits Zika Virus Infection in Different Cell Models
Viruses 2016, 8(12), 322; doi:10.3390/v8120322 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Zika virus (ZIKV) infection in utero might lead to microcephaly and other congenital defects. Since no specific therapy is available thus far, there is an urgent need for the discovery of agents capable of inhibiting its viral replication and deleterious effects. Chloroquine is
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Zika virus (ZIKV) infection in utero might lead to microcephaly and other congenital defects. Since no specific therapy is available thus far, there is an urgent need for the discovery of agents capable of inhibiting its viral replication and deleterious effects. Chloroquine is widely used as an antimalarial drug, anti-inflammatory agent, and it also shows antiviral activity against several viruses. Here we show that chloroquine exhibits antiviral activity against ZIKV in Vero cells, human brain microvascular endothelial cells, human neural stem cells, and mouse neurospheres. We demonstrate that chloroquine reduces the number of ZIKV-infected cells in vitro, and inhibits virus production and cell death promoted by ZIKV infection without cytotoxic effects. In addition, chloroquine treatment partially reveres morphological changes induced by ZIKV infection in mouse neurospheres. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Analyses of Evolutionary Characteristics of the Hemagglutinin-Esterase Gene of Influenza C Virus during a Period of 68 Years Reveals Evolutionary Patterns Different from Influenza A and B Viruses
Viruses 2016, 8(12), 321; doi:10.3390/v8120321 -
Abstract
Infections with the influenza C virus causing respiratory symptoms are common, particularly among children. Since isolation and detection of the virus are rarely performed, compared with influenza A and B viruses, the small number of available sequences of the virus makes it difficult
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Infections with the influenza C virus causing respiratory symptoms are common, particularly among children. Since isolation and detection of the virus are rarely performed, compared with influenza A and B viruses, the small number of available sequences of the virus makes it difficult to analyze its evolutionary dynamics. Recently, we reported the full genome sequence of 102 strains of the virus. Here, we exploited the data to elucidate the evolutionary characteristics and phylodynamics of the virus compared with influenza A and B viruses. Along with our data, we obtained public sequence data of the hemagglutinin-esterase gene of the virus; the dataset consists of 218 unique sequences of the virus collected from 14 countries between 1947 and 2014. Informatics analyses revealed that (1) multiple lineages have been circulating globally; (2) there have been weak and infrequent selective bottlenecks; (3) the evolutionary rate is low because of weak positive selection and a low capability to induce mutations; and (4) there is no significant positive selection although a few mutations affecting its antigenicity have been induced. The unique evolutionary dynamics of the influenza C virus must be shaped by multiple factors, including virological, immunological, and epidemiological characteristics. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Interactions between the HIV-1 Unspliced mRNA and Host mRNA Decay Machineries
Viruses 2016, 8(11), 320; doi:10.3390/v8110320 -
Abstract
The human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) unspliced transcript is used both as mRNA for the synthesis of structural proteins and as the packaged genome. Given the presence of retained introns and instability AU-rich sequences, this viral transcript is normally retained and degraded in
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The human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) unspliced transcript is used both as mRNA for the synthesis of structural proteins and as the packaged genome. Given the presence of retained introns and instability AU-rich sequences, this viral transcript is normally retained and degraded in the nucleus of host cells unless the viral protein REV is present. As such, the stability of the HIV-1 unspliced mRNA must be particularly controlled in the nucleus and the cytoplasm in order to ensure proper levels of this viral mRNA for translation and viral particle formation. During its journey, the HIV-1 unspliced mRNA assembles into highly specific messenger ribonucleoproteins (mRNPs) containing many different host proteins, amongst which are well-known regulators of cytoplasmic mRNA decay pathways such as up-frameshift suppressor 1 homolog (UPF1), Staufen double-stranded RNA binding protein 1/2 (STAU1/2), or components of miRNA-induced silencing complex (miRISC) and processing bodies (PBs). More recently, the HIV-1 unspliced mRNA was shown to contain N6-methyladenosine (m6A), allowing the recruitment of YTH N6-methyladenosine RNA binding protein 2 (YTHDF2), an m6A reader host protein involved in mRNA decay. Interestingly, these host proteins involved in mRNA decay were shown to play positive roles in viral gene expression and viral particle assembly, suggesting that HIV-1 interacts with mRNA decay components to successfully accomplish viral replication. This review summarizes the state of the art in terms of the interactions between HIV-1 unspliced mRNA and components of different host mRNA decay machineries. Full article
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Open AccessConference Report
Eleventh International Foamy Virus Conference—Meeting Report
Viruses 2016, 8(11), 318; doi:10.3390/v8110318 -
Abstract
The Eleventh International Foamy Virus Conference took place on 9–10 June 2016 at the Institut Pasteur, Paris, France. The meeting reviewed progress on foamy virus (FV) research, as well as related current topics in retrovirology. FVs are complex retroviruses that are widespread in
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The Eleventh International Foamy Virus Conference took place on 9–10 June 2016 at the Institut Pasteur, Paris, France. The meeting reviewed progress on foamy virus (FV) research, as well as related current topics in retrovirology. FVs are complex retroviruses that are widespread in several animal species. Several research topics on these viruses are relevant to human health: cross-species transmission and viral emergence, vectors for gene therapy, development of antiretroviral drugs, retroviral evolution and its influence on the human genome. In this article, we review the conference presentations on these viruses and highlight the major questions to be answered. Full article
Open AccessReview
The Expanding Family of Virophages
Viruses 2016, 8(11), 317; doi:10.3390/v8110317 -
Abstract
Virophages replicate with giant viruses in the same eukaryotic cells. They are a major component of the specific mobilome of mimiviruses. Since their discovery in 2008, five other representatives have been isolated, 18 new genomes have been described, two of which being nearly
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Virophages replicate with giant viruses in the same eukaryotic cells. They are a major component of the specific mobilome of mimiviruses. Since their discovery in 2008, five other representatives have been isolated, 18 new genomes have been described, two of which being nearly completely sequenced, and they have been classified in a new viral family, Lavidaviridae. Virophages are small viruses with approximately 35–74 nm large icosahedral capsids and 17–29 kbp large double-stranded DNA genomes with 16–34 genes, among which a very small set is shared with giant viruses. Virophages have been isolated or detected in various locations and in a broad range of habitats worldwide, including the deep ocean and inland. Humans, therefore, could be commonly exposed to virophages, although currently limited evidence exists of their presence in humans based on serology and metagenomics. The distribution of virophages, the consequences of their infection and the interactions with their giant viral hosts within eukaryotic cells deserve further research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Pathogens Inactivated by Low-Energy-Electron Irradiation Maintain Antigenic Properties and Induce Protective Immune Responses
Viruses 2016, 8(11), 319; doi:10.3390/v8110319 -
Abstract
Inactivated vaccines are commonly produced by incubating pathogens with chemicals such as formaldehyde or β-propiolactone. This is a time-consuming process, the inactivation efficiency displays high variability and extensive downstream procedures are often required. Moreover, application of chemicals alters the antigenic components of the
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Inactivated vaccines are commonly produced by incubating pathogens with chemicals such as formaldehyde or β-propiolactone. This is a time-consuming process, the inactivation efficiency displays high variability and extensive downstream procedures are often required. Moreover, application of chemicals alters the antigenic components of the viruses or bacteria, resulting in reduced antibody specificity and therefore stimulation of a less effective immune response. An alternative method for inactivation of pathogens is ionizing radiation. It acts very fast and predominantly damages nucleic acids, conserving most of the antigenic structures. However, currently used irradiation technologies (mostly gamma-rays and high energy electrons) require large and complex shielding constructions to protect the environment from radioactivity or X-rays generated during the process. This excludes them from direct integration into biological production facilities. Here, low-energy electron irradiation (LEEI) is presented as an alternative inactivation method for pathogens in liquid solutions. LEEI can be used in normal laboratories, including good manufacturing practice (GMP)- or high biosafety level (BSL)-environments, as only minor shielding is necessary. We show that LEEI efficiently inactivates different viruses (influenza A (H3N8), porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1)) and bacteria (Escherichia coli) and maintains their antigenicity. Moreover, LEEI-inactivated influenza A viruses elicit protective immune responses in animals, as analyzed by virus neutralization assays and viral load determination upon challenge. These results have implications for novel ways of developing and manufacturing inactivated vaccines with improved efficacy. Full article
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Open AccessErratum
Erratum: Tahara, M., et al. Measles Virus Hemagglutinin Protein Epitopes: The Basis of Antigenic Stability. Viruses 2016, 8, 216
Viruses 2016, 8(11), 313; doi:10.3390/v8110313 -
Abstract The authors wish to make the following change to their paper [1].[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Aphis Glycines Virus 2, a Novel Insect Virus with a Unique Genome Structure
Viruses 2016, 8(11), 315; doi:10.3390/v8110315 -
Abstract
The invasive soybean aphid, Aphis glycines, is a major pest in soybeans, resulting in substantial economic loss. We analyzed the A. glycines transcriptome to identify sequences derived from viruses of A. glycines. We identified sequences derived from a novel virus named
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The invasive soybean aphid, Aphis glycines, is a major pest in soybeans, resulting in substantial economic loss. We analyzed the A. glycines transcriptome to identify sequences derived from viruses of A. glycines. We identified sequences derived from a novel virus named Aphis glycines virus 2 (ApGlV2). The assembled virus genome sequence was confirmed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Sanger sequencing, conserved domains were characterized, and distribution, and transmission examined. This virus has a positive sense, single-stranded RNA genome of ~4850 nt that encodes three proteins. The RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) of ApGlV2 is a permuted RdRp similar to those of some tetraviruses, while the capsid protein is structurally similar to the capsid proteins of plant sobemoviruses. ApGlV2 also encodes a larger minor capsid protein, which is translated by a readthrough mechanism. ApGlV2 appears to be widespread in A. glycines populations and to persistently infect aphids with a 100% vertical transmission rate. ApGlV2 is susceptible to the antiviral RNA interference (RNAi) pathway. This virus, with its unique genome structure with both plant- and insect-virus characteristics, is of particular interest from an evolutionary standpoint. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Plant Virus Infection and the Ubiquitin Proteasome Machinery: Arms Race along the Endoplasmic Reticulum
Viruses 2016, 8(11), 314; doi:10.3390/v8110314 -
Abstract
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is central to plant virus replication, translation, maturation, and egress. Ubiquitin modification of ER associated cellular and viral proteins, alongside the actions of the 26S proteasome, are vital for the regulation of infection. Viruses can arrogate ER associated ubiquitination
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The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is central to plant virus replication, translation, maturation, and egress. Ubiquitin modification of ER associated cellular and viral proteins, alongside the actions of the 26S proteasome, are vital for the regulation of infection. Viruses can arrogate ER associated ubiquitination as well as cytosolic ubiquitin ligases with the purpose of directing the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) to new targets. Such targets include necessary modification of viral proteins which may stabilize certain complexes, or modification of Argonaute to suppress gene silencing. The UPS machinery also contributes to the regulation of effector triggered immunity pattern recognition receptor immunity. Combining the results of unrelated studies, many positive strand RNA plant viruses appear to interact with cytosolic Ub-ligases to provide novel avenues for controlling the deleterious consequences of disease. Viral interactions with the UPS serve to regulate virus infection in a manner that promotes replication and movement, but also modulates the levels of RNA accumulation to ensure successful biotrophic interactions. In other instances, the UPS plays a central role in cellular immunity. These opposing roles are made evident by contrasting studies where knockout mutations in the UPS can either hamper viruses or lead to more aggressive diseases. Understanding how viruses manipulate ER associated post-translational machineries to better manage virus–host interactions will provide new targets for crop improvement. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Analysis of RNAi-Based Methods to Down-Regulate Expression of Two Genes Expressed at Different Levels in Myzus persicae
Viruses 2016, 8(11), 316; doi:10.3390/v8110316 -
Abstract
With the increasing availability of aphid genomic data, it is necessary to develop robust functional validation methods to evaluate the role of specific aphid genes. This work represents the first study in which five different techniques, all based on RNA interference and on
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With the increasing availability of aphid genomic data, it is necessary to develop robust functional validation methods to evaluate the role of specific aphid genes. This work represents the first study in which five different techniques, all based on RNA interference and on oral acquisition of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), were developed to silence two genes, ALY and Eph, potentially involved in polerovirus transmission by aphids. Efficient silencing of only Eph transcripts, which are less abundant than those of ALY, could be achieved by feeding aphids on transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana expressing an RNA hairpin targeting Eph, on Nicotiana benthamiana infected with a Tobacco rattle virus (TRV)-Eph recombinant virus, or on in vitro-synthesized Eph-targeting dsRNA. These experiments showed that the silencing efficiency may differ greatly between genes and that aphid gut cells seem to be preferentially affected by the silencing mechanism after oral acquisition of dsRNA. In addition, the use of plants infected with recombinant TRV proved to be a promising technique to silence aphid genes as it does not require plant transformation. This work highlights the need to pursue development of innovative strategies to reproducibly achieve reduction of expression of aphid genes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Role of Pea Enation Mosaic Virus Coat Protein in the Host Plant and Aphid Vector
Viruses 2016, 8(11), 312; doi:10.3390/v8110312 -
Abstract
Understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in plant virus–vector interactions is essential for the development of effective control measures for aphid-vectored epidemic plant diseases. The coat proteins (CP) are the main component of the viral capsids, and they are implicated in practically every stage
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Understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in plant virus–vector interactions is essential for the development of effective control measures for aphid-vectored epidemic plant diseases. The coat proteins (CP) are the main component of the viral capsids, and they are implicated in practically every stage of the viral infection cycle. Pea enation mosaic virus 1 (PEMV1, Enamovirus, Luteoviridae) and Pea enation mosaic virus 2 (PEMV2, Umbravirus, Tombusviridae) are two RNA viruses in an obligate symbiosis causing the pea enation mosaic disease. Sixteen mutant viruses were generated with mutations in different domains of the CP to evaluate the role of specific amino acids in viral replication, virion assembly, long-distance movement in Pisum sativum, and aphid transmission. Twelve mutant viruses were unable to assemble but were able to replicate in inoculated leaves, move long-distance, and express the CP in newly infected leaves. Four mutant viruses produced virions, but three were not transmissible by the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum. Three-dimensional modeling of the PEMV CP, combined with biological assays for virion assembly and aphid transmission, allowed for a model of the assembly of PEMV coat protein subunits. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Studies in a Murine Model Confirm the Safety of Griffithsin and Advocate Its Further Development as a Microbicide Targeting HIV-1 and Other Enveloped Viruses
Viruses 2016, 8(11), 311; doi:10.3390/v8110311 -
Abstract
Griffithsin (GRFT), a lectin from Griffithsia species, inhibits human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) replication at sub-nanomolar concentrations, with limited cellular toxicity. However, in vivo safety of GRFT is not fully understood, especially following parenteral administration. We first assessed GRFT’s effects in vitro, on mouse peripheral
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Griffithsin (GRFT), a lectin from Griffithsia species, inhibits human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) replication at sub-nanomolar concentrations, with limited cellular toxicity. However, in vivo safety of GRFT is not fully understood, especially following parenteral administration. We first assessed GRFT’s effects in vitro, on mouse peripheral blood mononuclear cell (mPBMC) viability, mitogenicity, and activation using flow-cytometry, as well as cytokine secretion through enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Toxicological properties of GRFT were determined after a single subcutaneous administration of 50 mg/kg or 14 daily doses of 10 mg/kg in BALB/c mice. In the context of microbicide development, toxicity of GRFT at 2 mg/kg was determined after subcutaneous, intravaginal, and intraperitoneal administrations, respectively. Interestingly, GRFT caused no significant cell death, mitogenicity, activation, or cytokine release in mPBMCs, validating the usefulness of a mouse model. An excellent safety profile for GRFT was obtained in vivo: no overt changes were observed in animal fitness, blood chemistry or CBC parameters. Following GRFT treatment, reversible splenomegaly was observed with activation of certain spleen B and T cells. However, spleen tissues were not pathologically altered by GRFT (either with a single high dose or chronic doses). Finally, no detectable toxicity was found after mucosal or systemic treatment with 2 mg/kg GRFT, which should be further developed as a microbicide for HIV prevention. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Host–Pathogen Interactions in Measles Virus Replication and Anti-Viral Immunity
Viruses 2016, 8(11), 308; doi:10.3390/v8110308 -
Abstract
The measles virus (MeV) is a contagious pathogenic RNA virus of the family Paramyxoviridae, genus Morbillivirus, that can cause serious symptoms and even fetal complications. Here, we summarize current molecular advances in MeV research, and emphasize the connection between host cells
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The measles virus (MeV) is a contagious pathogenic RNA virus of the family Paramyxoviridae, genus Morbillivirus, that can cause serious symptoms and even fetal complications. Here, we summarize current molecular advances in MeV research, and emphasize the connection between host cells and MeV replication. Although measles has reemerged recently, the potential for its eradication is promising with significant progress in our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of its replication and host-pathogen interactions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Two Novel Myoviruses from the North of Iraq Reveal Insights into Clostridium difficile Phage Diversity and Biology
Viruses 2016, 8(11), 310; doi:10.3390/v8110310 -
Abstract
Bacteriophages (phages) are increasingly being explored as therapeutic agents to combat bacterial diseases, including Clostridium difficile infections. Therapeutic phages need to be able to efficiently target and kill a wide range of clinically relevant strains. While many phage groups have yet to be
[...] Read more.
Bacteriophages (phages) are increasingly being explored as therapeutic agents to combat bacterial diseases, including Clostridium difficile infections. Therapeutic phages need to be able to efficiently target and kill a wide range of clinically relevant strains. While many phage groups have yet to be investigated in detail, those with new and useful properties can potentially be identified when phages from newly studied geographies are characterised. Here, we report the isolation of C. difficile phages from soil samples from the north of Iraq. Two myoviruses, CDKM15 and CDKM9, were selected for detailed sequence analysis on the basis of their broad and potentially useful host range. CDKM9 infects 25/80 strains from 12/20 C. difficile ribotypes, and CDKM15 infects 20/80 strains from 9/20 ribotypes. Both phages can infect the clinically relevant ribotypes R027 and R001. Phylogenetic analysis based on whole genome sequencing revealed that the phages are genetically distinct from each other but closely related to other long-tailed myoviruses. A comparative genomic analysis revealed key differences in the genes predicted to encode for proteins involved in bacterial infection. Notably, CDKM15 carries a clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) array with spacers that are homologous to sequences in the CDKM9 genome and of phages from diverse localities. The findings presented suggest a possible shared evolutionary past for these phages and provides evidence of their widespread dispersal. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The E3 Ubiquitin Ligase TMEM129 Is a Tri-Spanning Transmembrane Protein
Viruses 2016, 8(11), 309; doi:10.3390/v8110309 -
Abstract
Misfolded proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) are transported back into the cytosol for degradation via the ubiquitin-proteasome system. The human cytomegalovirus protein US11 hijacks this ER-associated protein degradation (ERAD) pathway to downregulate human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I molecules in virus-infected cells,
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Misfolded proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) are transported back into the cytosol for degradation via the ubiquitin-proteasome system. The human cytomegalovirus protein US11 hijacks this ER-associated protein degradation (ERAD) pathway to downregulate human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I molecules in virus-infected cells, thereby evading elimination by cytotoxic T-lymphocytes. Recently, we identified the E3 ubiquitin ligase transmembrane protein 129 (TMEM129) as a key player in this process, where interference with TMEM129 activity in human cells completely abrogates US11-mediated class I degradation. Here, we set out to further characterize TMEM129. We show that TMEM129 is a non-glycosylated protein containing a non-cleaved signal anchor sequence. By glycosylation scanning mutagenesis, we show that TMEM129 is a tri-spanning ER-membrane protein that adopts an Nexo–Ccyto orientation. This insertion in the ER membrane positions the C-terminal really interesting new gene (RING) domain of TMEM129 in the cytosol, making it available to catalyze ubiquitination reactions that are required for cytosolic degradation of secretory proteins. Full article
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Open AccessReview
KSHV Entry and Trafficking in Target Cells—Hijacking of Cell Signal Pathways, Actin and Membrane Dynamics
Viruses 2016, 8(11), 305; doi:10.3390/v8110305 -
Abstract
Kaposi’s sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is etiologically associated with human endothelial cell hyperplastic Kaposi’s sarcoma and B-cell primary effusion lymphoma. KSHV infection of adherent endothelial and fibroblast cells are used as in vitro models for infection and KSHV enters these cells by host
[...] Read more.
Kaposi’s sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is etiologically associated with human endothelial cell hyperplastic Kaposi’s sarcoma and B-cell primary effusion lymphoma. KSHV infection of adherent endothelial and fibroblast cells are used as in vitro models for infection and KSHV enters these cells by host membrane bleb and actin mediated macropinocytosis or clathrin endocytosis pathways, respectively. Infection in endothelial and fibroblast cells is initiated by the interactions between multiple viral envelope glycoproteins and cell surface associated heparan sulfate (HS), integrins (α3β1, αVβ3 and αVβ5), and EphA2 receptor tyrosine kinase (EphA2R). This review summarizes the accumulated studies demonstrating that KSHV manipulates the host signal pathways to enter and traffic in the cytoplasm of the target cells, to deliver the viral genome into the nucleus, and initiate viral gene expression. KSHV interactions with the cell surface receptors is the key platform for the manipulations of host signal pathways which results in the simultaneous induction of FAK, Src, PI3-K, Rho-GTPase, ROS, Dia-2, PKC ζ, c-Cbl, CIB1, Crk, p130Cas and GEF-C3G signal and adaptor molecules that play critical roles in the modulation of membrane and actin dynamics, and in the various steps of the early stages of infection such as entry and trafficking towards the nucleus. The Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport (ESCRT) proteins are also recruited to assist in viral entry and trafficking. In addition, KSHV interactions with the cell surface receptors also induces the host transcription factors NF-κB, ERK1/2, and Nrf2 early during infection to initiate and modulate viral and host gene expression. Nuclear delivery of the viral dsDNA genome is immediately followed by the host innate responses such as the DNA damage response (DDR), inflammasome and interferon responses. Overall, these studies form the initial framework for further studies of simultaneous targeting of KSHV glycoproteins, host receptor, signal molecules and trafficking machinery that would lead into novel therapeutic methods to prevent KSHV infection of target cells and consequently the associated malignancies. Full article
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