Viruses2015, 7(9), 4878-4898; doi:10.3390/v7092848 - published 28 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Poxviruses encode a broad array of proteins that serve to undermine host immune defenses. Structural analysis of four of these seemingly unrelated proteins revealed the recurrent use of a conserved beta-sandwich fold that has not been observed in any eukaryotic or prokaryotic protein. Herein we propose to call this unique structural scaffolding the PIE (Poxvirus Immune Evasion) domain. PIE domain containing proteins are abundant in chordopoxvirinae, with our analysis identifying 20 likely PIE subfamilies among 33 representative genomes spanning 7 genera. For example, cowpox strain Brighton Red appears to encode 10 different PIEs: vCCI, A41, C8, M2, T4 (CPVX203), and the SECRET proteins CrmB, CrmD, SCP-1, SCP-2, and SCP-3. Characterized PIE proteins all appear to be nonessential for virus replication, and all contain signal peptides for targeting to the secretory pathway. The PIE subfamilies differ primarily in the number, size, and location of structural embellishments to the beta-sandwich core that confer unique functional specificities. Reported ligands include chemokines, GM-CSF, IL-2, MHC class I, and glycosaminoglycans. We expect that the list of ligands and receptors engaged by the PIE domain will grow as we come to better understand how this versatile structural architecture can be tailored to manipulate host responses to infection.
Viruses2015, 7(9), 4854-4877; doi:10.3390/v7092849 - published 28 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Posttranslational modifications (PTMs) of proteins include enzymatic changes by covalent addition of cellular regulatory determinants such as ubiquitin (Ub) and small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) moieties. These modifications are widely used by eukaryotic cells to control the functional repertoire of proteins. Over the last decade, it became apparent that the repertoire of ubiquitiylation and SUMOylation regulating various biological functions is not restricted to eukaryotic cells, but is also a feature of human virus families, used to extensively exploit complex host-cell networks and homeostasis. Intriguingly, besides binding to host SUMO/Ub control proteins and interfering with the respective enzymatic cascade, many viral proteins mimic key regulatory factors to usurp this host machinery and promote efficient viral outcomes. Advanced detection methods and functional studies of ubiquitiylation and SUMOylation during virus-host interplay have revealed that human viruses have evolved a large arsenal of strategies to exploit these specific PTM processes. In this review, we highlight the known viral analogs orchestrating ubiquitin and SUMO conjugation events to subvert and utilize basic enzymatic pathways.
Viruses2015, 7(8), 4836-4853; doi:10.3390/v7082847 - published 24 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Two lytic phages, vB_SenM-PA13076 (PA13076) and vB_SenM-PC2184 (PC2184), were isolated from chicken sewage and characterized with host strains Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) ATCC13076 and CVCC2184, respectively. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that they belonged to the family Myoviridae. The lytic abilities of these two phages in liquid culture showed 104 multiplicity of infection (MOI) was the best in inhibiting bacteria, with PC2184 exhibiting more activity than PA13076. The two phages exhibited broad host range within the genus Salmonella. Phage PA13076 and PC2184 had a lytic effect on 222 (71.4%) and 298 (95.8%) of the 311 epidemic Salmonella isolates, respectively. We tested the effectiveness of phage PA13076 and PC2184 as well as a cocktail combination of both in three different foods (chicken breast, pasteurized whole milk and Chinese cabbage) contaminated with SE. Samples were spiked with 1 × 104 CFU individual SE or a mixture of strains (ATCC13076 and CVCC2184), then treated with 1 × 108 PFU individual phage or a two phage cocktail, and incubated at 4 °C or 25 °C for 5 h. In general, the inhibitory effect of phage and phage cocktail was better at 4 °C than that at 25 °C, whereas the opposite result was observed in Chinese cabbage, and phage cocktail was better than either single phage. A significant reduction in bacterial numbers (1.5–4 log CFU/sample, p < 0.05) was observed in all tested foods. The two phages on the three food samples were relatively stable, especially at 4 ºC, with the phages exhibiting the greatest stability in milk. Our research shows that our phages have potential effectiveness as a bio-control agent of Salmonella in foods.
Viruses2015, 7(8), 4826-4835; doi:10.3390/v7082846 - published 24 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Two copies of unspliced human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 genomic RNA (gRNA) are preferentially selected for packaging by the group-specific antigen (Gag) polyprotein into progeny virions as a dimer during the late stages of the viral lifecycle. Elucidating the RNA features responsible for selective recognition of the full-length gRNA in the presence of an abundance of other cellular RNAs and spliced viral RNAs remains an area of intense research. The recent nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) structure by Keane et al.  expands upon previous efforts to determine the conformation of the HIV-1 RNA packaging signal. The data support a secondary structure wherein sequences that constitute the major splice donor site are sequestered through base pairing, and a tertiary structure that adopts a tandem 3-way junction motif that exposes the dimerization initiation site and unpaired guanosines for specific recognition by Gag. While it remains to be established whether this structure is conserved in the context of larger RNA constructs or in the dimer, this study serves as the basis for characterizing large RNA structures using novel NMR techniques, and as a major advance toward understanding how the HIV-1 gRNA is selectively packaged.
Viruses2015, 7(8), 4800-4825; doi:10.3390/v7082844 - published 21 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: As all viruses rely on cellular factors throughout their replication cycle, to be successful they must evolve strategies to evade and/or manipulate the defence mechanisms employed by the host cell. In addition to their expression of a wide array of host modulatory factors, several recent studies have suggested that poxviruses may have evolved unique mechanisms to shunt or evade host detection. These potential mechanisms include mimicry of apoptotic bodies by mature virions (MVs), the use of viral sub-structures termed lateral bodies for the packaging and delivery of host modulators, and the formation of a second, “cloaked” form of infectious extracellular virus (EVs). Here we discuss these various strategies and how they may facilitate poxvirus immune evasion. Finally we propose a model for the exploitation of the cellular exosome pathway for the formation of EVs.
Viruses2015, 7(8), 4783-4799; doi:10.3390/v7082845 - published 20 August 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A specific humoral response to bacteriophages may follow phage application for medical purposes, and it may further determine the success or failure of the approach itself. We present a long-term study of antibody induction in mice by T4 phage applied per os: 100 days of phage treatment followed by 112 days without the phage, and subsequent second application of phage up to day 240. Serum and gut antibodies (IgM, IgG, secretory IgA) were analyzed in relation to microbiological status of the animals. T4 phage applied orally induced anti-phage antibodies when the exposure was long enough (IgG day 36, IgA day 79); the effect was related to high dosage. Termination of phage treatment resulted in a decrease of IgA again to insignificant levels. Second administration of phage induces secretory IgA sooner than that induced by the first administrations. Increased IgA level antagonized gut transit of active phage. Phage resistant E. coli dominated gut flora very late, on day 92. Thus, the immunological response emerges as a major factor determining phage survival in the gut. Phage proteins Hoc and gp12 were identified as highly immunogenic. A low response to exemplary foreign antigens (from Ebola virus) presented on Hoc was observed, which suggests that phage platforms can be used in oral vaccine design.