Viruses2015, 7(10), 5243-5256; doi:10.3390/v7102871 - published 5 October 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16) causes a range of cancers including cervical and head and neck cancers. HPV E6 oncoprotein binds the cell polarity regulator hDlg (human homologue of Drosophila Discs Large). Previously we showed in vitro, and now in vivo, that hDlg also binds Connexin 43 (Cx43), a major component of gap junctions that mediate intercellular transfer of small molecules. In HPV16-positive non-tumour cervical epithelial cells (W12G) Cx43 localised to the plasma membrane, while in W12T tumour cells derived from these, it relocated with hDlg into the cytoplasm. We now provide evidence that E6 regulates this cytoplasmic pool of Cx43. E6 siRNA depletion in W12T cells resulted in restoration of Cx43 and hDlg trafficking to the cell membrane. In C33a HPV-negative cervical tumour cells expressing HPV16 or 18 E6, Cx43 was located primarily in the cytoplasm, but mutation of the 18E6 C-terminal hDlg binding motif resulted in redistribution of Cx43 to the membrane. The data indicate for the first time that increased cytoplasmic E6 levels associated with malignant progression alter Cx43 trafficking and recycling to the membrane and the E6/hDlg interaction may be involved. This suggests a novel E6-associated mechanism for changes in Cx43 trafficking in cervical tumour cells.
Viruses2015, 7(10), 5225-5242; doi:10.3390/v7102870 - published 1 October 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A novel bacteriophage that infects S. aureus, SA97, was isolated and characterized. The phage SA97 belongs to the Siphoviridae family, and the cell wall teichoic acid (WTA) was found to be a host receptor of the phage SA97. Genome analysis revealed that SA97 contains 40,592 bp of DNA encoding 54 predicted open reading frames (ORFs), and none of these genes were related to virulence or drug resistance. Although a few genes associated with lysogen formation were detected in the phage SA97 genome, the phage SA97 produced neither lysogen nor transductant in S. aureus. These results suggest that the phage SA97 may be a promising candidate for controlling S. aureus.
Viruses2015, 7(10), 5206-5224; doi:10.3390/v7102868 - published 29 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a pandemic human pathogen posing a substantial health and economic burden in both developing and developed countries. Controlling the spread of HCV through behavioural prevention strategies has met with limited success and vaccine development remains slow. The development of antiviral therapeutic agents has also been challenging, primarily due to the lack of efficient cell culture and animal models for all HCV genotypes, as well as the large genetic diversity between HCV strains. On the other hand, the use of interferon-α-based treatments in combination with the guanosine analogue, ribavirin, achieved limited success, and widespread use of these therapies has been hampered by prevalent side effects. For more than a decade, the HCV RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) has been targeted for antiviral development, and direct-acting antivirals (DAA) have been identified which bind to one of at least six RdRp inhibitor-binding sites, and are now becoming a mainstay of highly effective and well tolerated antiviral treatment for HCV infection. Here we review the different classes of RdRp inhibitors and their mode of action against HCV. Furthermore, the mechanism of antiviral resistance to each class is described, including naturally occurring resistance-associated variants (RAVs) in different viral strains and genotypes. Finally, we review the impact of these RAVs on treatment outcomes with the newly developed regimens.
Viruses2015, 7(10), 5191-5205; doi:10.3390/v7102869 - published 29 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Not all pseudogenes are transcriptionally silent as previously thought. Pseudogene transcripts, although not translated, contribute to the non-coding RNA pool of the cell that regulates the expression of other genes. Pseudogene transcripts can also directly compete with the parent gene transcripts for mRNA stability and other cell factors, modulating their expression levels. Tissue-specific and cancer-specific differential expression of these “functional” pseudogenes has been reported. To ascertain potential pseudogene:gene interactions in HIV-1 infection, we analyzed transcriptomes from infected and uninfected T-cells and found that 21 pseudogenes are differentially expressed in HIV-1 infection. This is interesting because parent genes of one-third of these differentially-expressed pseudogenes are implicated in HIV-1 life cycle, and parent genes of half of these pseudogenes are involved in different viral infections. Our bioinformatics analysis identifies candidate pseudogene:gene interactions that may be of significance in HIV-1 infection. Experimental validation of these interactions would establish that retroviruses exploit this newly-discovered layer of host gene expression regulation for their own benefit.
Viruses2015, 7(10), 5172-5190; doi:10.3390/v7102867 - published 29 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The family Filoviridae contains several of the most deadly pathogens known to date and the current Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in Western Africa, due to Ebola virus (EBOV) infection, highlights the need for active and broad research into filovirus pathogenesis. However, in comparison, the seven other known filovirus family members are significantly understudied. Many of these, including Marburgviruses and Ebolaviruses other than EBOV, are also highly virulent and fully capable of causing widespread epidemics. This review places the focus on these non-EBOV filoviruses, including known immunological and pathological data. The available animal models, research tools and currently available therapeutics will also be discussed along with an emphasis in the large number of current gaps in knowledge of these less highlighted filoviruses. It is evident that much research is yet to be done in order to bring the non-EBOV filovirus field to the forefront of current research and, importantly, to the development of more effective vaccines and therapeutics to combat potential future outbreaks.
Viruses2015, 7(10), 5169-5171; doi:10.3390/v7102866 - published 29 September 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Viroporins represent an interesting group of viral proteins that exhibit two sets of functions. First, they participate in several viral processes that are necessary for efficient production of virus progeny. [...]