Open AccessArticle
Mechanistic Study of Common Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor-Resistant Mutations with K103N and Y181C Substitutions
Viruses 2016, 8(10), 263; doi:10.3390/v8100263 -
Abstract
Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) are a mainstay of therapy for human immunodeficiency type 1 virus (HIV-1) infections. However, their effectiveness can be hampered by the emergence of resistant mutations. To aid in designing effective NNRTIs against the resistant mutants, it is [...] Read more.
Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) are a mainstay of therapy for human immunodeficiency type 1 virus (HIV-1) infections. However, their effectiveness can be hampered by the emergence of resistant mutations. To aid in designing effective NNRTIs against the resistant mutants, it is important to understand the resistance mechanism of the mutations. Here, we investigate the mechanism of the two most prevalent NNRTI-associated mutations with K103N or Y181C substitution. Virus and reverse transcriptase (RT) with K103N/Y188F, K103A, or K103E substitutions and with Y181F, Y188F, or Y181F/Y188F substitutions were employed to study the resistance mechanism of the K103N and Y181C mutants, respectively. Results showed that the virus and RT with K103N/Y188F substitutions displayed similar resistance levels to the virus and RT with K103N substitution versus NNRTIs. Virus and RT containing Y181F, Y188F, or Y181F/Y188F substitution exhibited either enhanced or similar susceptibility to NNRTIs compared with the wild type (WT) virus. These results suggest that the hydrogen bond between N103 and Y188 may not play an important role in the resistance of the K103N variant to NNRTIs. Furthermore, the results from the studies with the Y181 or Y188 variant provide the direct evidence that aromatic π–π stacking plays a crucial role in the binding of NNRTIs to RT. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Capsid-Targeted Viral Inactivation: A Novel Tactic for Inhibiting Replication in Viral Infections
Viruses 2016, 8(9), 258; doi:10.3390/v8090258 -
Abstract
Capsid-targeted viral inactivation (CTVI), a conceptually powerful new antiviral strategy, is attracting increasing attention from researchers. Specifically, this strategy is based on fusion between the capsid protein of a virus and a crucial effector molecule, such as a nuclease (e.g., staphylococcal nuclease, [...] Read more.
Capsid-targeted viral inactivation (CTVI), a conceptually powerful new antiviral strategy, is attracting increasing attention from researchers. Specifically, this strategy is based on fusion between the capsid protein of a virus and a crucial effector molecule, such as a nuclease (e.g., staphylococcal nuclease, Barrase, RNase HI), lipase, protease, or single-chain antibody (scAb). In general, capsid proteins have a major role in viral integration and assembly, and the effector molecule used in CTVI functions to degrade viral DNA/RNA or interfere with proper folding of viral key proteins, thereby affecting the infectivity of progeny viruses. Interestingly, such a capsid–enzyme fusion protein is incorporated into virions during packaging. CTVI is more efficient compared to other antiviral methods, and this approach is promising for antiviral prophylaxis and therapy. This review summarizes the mechanism and utility of CTVI and provides some successful applications of this strategy, with the ultimate goal of widely implementing CTVI in antiviral research. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Host Cell Receptors for Measles Virus and Their Interaction with the Viral Hemagglutinin (H) Protein
Viruses 2016, 8(9), 250; doi:10.3390/v8090250 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
The hemagglutinin (H) protein of measles virus (MeV) interacts with a cellular receptor which constitutes the initial stage of infection. Binding of H to this host cell receptor subsequently triggers the F protein to activate fusion between virus and host plasma membranes. [...] Read more.
The hemagglutinin (H) protein of measles virus (MeV) interacts with a cellular receptor which constitutes the initial stage of infection. Binding of H to this host cell receptor subsequently triggers the F protein to activate fusion between virus and host plasma membranes. The search for MeV receptors began with vaccine/laboratory virus strains and evolved to more relevant receptors used by wild-type MeV. Vaccine or laboratory strains of measles virus have been adapted to grow in common cell lines such as Vero and HeLa cells, and were found to use membrane cofactor protein (CD46) as a receptor. CD46 is a regulator that normally prevents cells from complement-mediated self-destruction, and is found on the surface of all human cells, with the exception of erythrocytes. Mutations in the H protein, which occur during adaptation and allow the virus to use CD46 as a receptor, have been identified. Wild-type isolates of measles virus cannot use the CD46 receptor. However, both vaccine/laboratory and wild-type strains can use an immune cell receptor called signaling lymphocyte activation molecule family member 1 (SLAMF1; also called CD150) and a recently discovered epithelial receptor known as Nectin-4. SLAMF1 is found on activated B, T, dendritic, and monocyte cells, and is the initial target for infections by measles virus. Nectin-4 is an adherens junction protein found at the basal surfaces of many polarized epithelial cells, including those of the airways. It is also over-expressed on the apical and basal surfaces of many adenocarcinomas, and is a cancer marker for metastasis and tumor survival. Nectin-4 is a secondary exit receptor which allows measles virus to replicate and amplify in the airways, where the virus is expelled from the body in aerosol droplets. The amino acid residues of H protein that are involved in binding to each of the receptors have been identified through X-ray crystallography and site-specific mutagenesis. Recombinant measles “blind” to each of these receptors have been constructed, allowing the virus to selectively infect receptor specific cell lines. Finally, the observations that SLAMF1 is found on lymphomas and that Nectin-4 is expressed on the cell surfaces of many adenocarcinomas highlight the potential of measles virus for oncolytic therapy. Although CD46 is also upregulated on many tumors, it is less useful as a target for cancer therapy, since normal human cells express this protein on their surfaces. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Orchestrating the Selection and Packaging of Genomic RNA by Retroviruses: An Ensemble of Viral and Host Factors
Viruses 2016, 8(9), 257; doi:10.3390/v8090257 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Infectious retrovirus particles contain two copies of unspliced viral RNA that serve as the viral genome. Unspliced retroviral RNA is transcribed in the nucleus by the host RNA polymerase II and has three potential fates: (1) it can be spliced into subgenomic [...] Read more.
Infectious retrovirus particles contain two copies of unspliced viral RNA that serve as the viral genome. Unspliced retroviral RNA is transcribed in the nucleus by the host RNA polymerase II and has three potential fates: (1) it can be spliced into subgenomic messenger RNAs (mRNAs) for the translation of viral proteins; or it can remain unspliced to serve as either (2) the mRNA for the translation of Gag and Gag–Pol; or (3) the genomic RNA (gRNA) that is packaged into virions. The Gag structural protein recognizes and binds the unspliced viral RNA to select it as a genome, which is selected in preference to spliced viral RNAs and cellular RNAs. In this review, we summarize the current state of understanding about how retroviral packaging is orchestrated within the cell and explore potential new mechanisms based on recent discoveries in the field. We discuss the cis-acting elements in the unspliced viral RNA and the properties of the Gag protein that are required for their interaction. In addition, we discuss the role of host factors in influencing the fate of the newly transcribed viral RNA, current models for how retroviruses distinguish unspliced viral mRNA from viral genomic RNA, and the possible subcellular sites of genomic RNA dimerization and selection by Gag. Although this review centers primarily on the wealth of data available for the alpharetrovirus Rous sarcoma virus, in which a discrete RNA packaging sequence has been identified, we have also summarized the cis- and trans-acting factors as well as the mechanisms governing gRNA packaging of other retroviruses for comparison. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Cell Culture Models for the Investigation of Hepatitis B and D Virus Infection
Viruses 2016, 8(9), 261; doi:10.3390/v8090261 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis D virus (HDV) infections are major causes of liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma worldwide. Despite the presence of an efficient preventive vaccine, more than 250 million patients are chronically infected with HBV. Current antivirals effectively [...] Read more.
Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis D virus (HDV) infections are major causes of liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma worldwide. Despite the presence of an efficient preventive vaccine, more than 250 million patients are chronically infected with HBV. Current antivirals effectively control but only rarely cure chronic infection. While the molecular biology of the two viruses has been characterized in great detail, the absence of robust cell culture models for HBV and/or HDV infection has limited the investigation of virus-host interactions. Native hepatoma cell lines do not allow viral infection, and the culture of primary hepatocytes, the natural host cell for the viruses, implies a series of constraints restricting the possibilities of analyzing virus-host interactions. Recently, the discovery of the sodium taurocholate co-transporting polypeptide (NTCP) as a key HBV/HDV cell entry factor has opened the door to a new era of investigation, as NTCP-overexpressing hepatoma cells acquire susceptibility to HBV and HDV infections. In this review, we summarize the major cell culture models for HBV and HDV infection, discuss their advantages and limitations and highlight perspectives for future developments. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Transmission of Hepatitis E Virus in Developing Countries
Viruses 2016, 8(9), 253; doi:10.3390/v8090253 -
Abstract
Hepatitis E virus (HEV), an RNA virus of the Hepeviridae family, has marked heterogeneity. While all five HEV genotypes can cause human infections, genotypes HEV-1 and -2 infect humans alone, genotypes HEV-3 and -4 primarily infect pigs, boars and deer, and genotype [...] Read more.
Hepatitis E virus (HEV), an RNA virus of the Hepeviridae family, has marked heterogeneity. While all five HEV genotypes can cause human infections, genotypes HEV-1 and -2 infect humans alone, genotypes HEV-3 and -4 primarily infect pigs, boars and deer, and genotype HEV-7 primarily infects dromedaries. The global distribution of HEV has distinct epidemiological patterns based on ecology and socioeconomic factors. In resource-poor countries, disease presents as large-scale waterborne epidemics, and few epidemics have spread through person-to-person contact; however, endemic diseases within these countries can potentially spread through person-to-person contact or fecally contaminated water and foods. Vertical transmission of HEV from infected mother to fetus causes high fetal and perinatal mortality. Other means of transmission, such as zoonotic transmission, can fluctuate depending upon the region and strain of the virus. For instance, zoonotic transmission can sometimes play an insignificant role in human infections, such as in India, where human and pig HEV infections are unrelated. However, recently China and Southeast Asia have experienced a zoonotic spread of HEV-4 from pigs to humans and this has become the dominant mode of transmission of hepatitis E in eastern China. Zoonotic HEV infections in humans occur by eating undercooked pig flesh, raw liver, and sausages; through vocational contact; or via pig slurry, which leads to environmental contamination of agricultural products and seafood. Lastly, blood transfusion-associated HEV infections occur in many countries and screening of donors for HEV RNA is currently under serious consideration. To summarize, HEV genotypes 1 and 2 cause epidemic and endemic diseases in resource poor countries, primarily spreading through contaminated drinking water. HEV genotypes 3 and 4 on the other hand, cause autochthonous infections in developed, and many developing countries, by means of a unique zoonotic food-borne transmission. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Zebra Alphaherpesviruses (EHV-1 and EHV-9): Genetic Diversity, Latency and Co-Infections
Viruses 2016, 8(9), 262; doi:10.3390/v8090262 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Alphaherpesviruses are highly prevalent in equine populations and co-infections with more than one of these viruses’ strains frequently diagnosed. Lytic replication and latency with subsequent reactivation, along with new episodes of disease, can be influenced by genetic diversity generated by spontaneous mutation [...] Read more.
Alphaherpesviruses are highly prevalent in equine populations and co-infections with more than one of these viruses’ strains frequently diagnosed. Lytic replication and latency with subsequent reactivation, along with new episodes of disease, can be influenced by genetic diversity generated by spontaneous mutation and recombination. Latency enhances virus survival by providing an epidemiological strategy for long-term maintenance of divergent strains in animal populations. The alphaherpesviruses equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1) and 9 (EHV-9) have recently been shown to cross species barriers, including a recombinant EHV-1 observed in fatal infections of a polar bear and Asian rhinoceros. Little is known about the latency and genetic diversity of EHV-1 and EHV-9, especially among zoo and wild equids. Here, we report evidence of limited genetic diversity in EHV-9 in zebras, whereas there is substantial genetic variability in EHV-1. We demonstrate that zebras can be lytically and latently infected with both viruses concurrently. Such a co-occurrence of infection in zebras suggests that even relatively slow-evolving viruses such as equine herpesviruses have the potential to diversify rapidly by recombination. This has potential consequences for the diagnosis of these viruses and their management in wild and captive equid populations. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Arms Race between Enveloped Viruses and the Host ERAD Machinery
Viruses 2016, 8(9), 255; doi:10.3390/v8090255 -
Abstract
Enveloped viruses represent a significant category of pathogens that cause serious diseases in animals. These viruses express envelope glycoproteins that are singularly important during the infection of host cells by mediating fusion between the viral envelope and host cell membranes. Despite low [...] Read more.
Enveloped viruses represent a significant category of pathogens that cause serious diseases in animals. These viruses express envelope glycoproteins that are singularly important during the infection of host cells by mediating fusion between the viral envelope and host cell membranes. Despite low homology at protein levels, three classes of viral fusion proteins have, as of yet, been identified based on structural similarities. Their incorporation into viral particles is dependent upon their proper sub-cellular localization after being expressed and folded properly in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). However, viral protein expression can cause stress in the ER, and host cells respond to alleviate the ER stress in the form of the unfolded protein response (UPR); the effects of which have been observed to potentiate or inhibit viral infection. One important arm of UPR is to elevate the capacity of the ER-associated protein degradation (ERAD) pathway, which is comprised of host quality control machinery that ensures proper protein folding. In this review, we provide relevant details regarding viral envelope glycoproteins, UPR, ERAD, and their interactions in host cells. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Functional Equivalence of Retroviral MA Domains in Facilitating Psi RNA Binding Specificity by Gag
Viruses 2016, 8(9), 256; doi:10.3390/v8090256 -
Abstract
Retroviruses specifically package full-length, dimeric genomic RNA (gRNA) even in the presence of a vast excess of cellular RNA. The “psi” (Ψ) element within the 5′-untranslated region (5′UTR) of gRNA is critical for packaging through interaction with the nucleocapsid (NC) domain of [...] Read more.
Retroviruses specifically package full-length, dimeric genomic RNA (gRNA) even in the presence of a vast excess of cellular RNA. The “psi” (Ψ) element within the 5′-untranslated region (5′UTR) of gRNA is critical for packaging through interaction with the nucleocapsid (NC) domain of Gag. However, in vitro Gag binding affinity for Ψ versus non-Ψ RNAs is not significantly different. Previous salt-titration binding assays revealed that human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Gag bound to Ψ RNA with high specificity and relatively few charge interactions, whereas binding to non-Ψ RNA was less specific and involved more electrostatic interactions. The NC domain was critical for specific Ψ binding, but surprisingly, a Gag mutant lacking the matrix (MA) domain was less effective at discriminating Ψ from non-Ψ RNA. We now find that Rous sarcoma virus (RSV) Gag also effectively discriminates RSV Ψ from non-Ψ RNA in a MA-dependent manner. Interestingly, Gag chimeras, wherein the HIV-1 and RSV MA domains were swapped, maintained high binding specificity to cognate Ψ RNAs. Using Ψ RNA mutant constructs, determinants responsible for promoting high Gag binding specificity were identified in both systems. Taken together, these studies reveal the functional equivalence of HIV-1 and RSV MA domains in facilitating Ψ RNA selectivity by Gag, as well as Ψ elements that promote this selectivity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Markers for Ongoing or Previous Hepatitis E Virus Infection Are as Common in Wild Ungulates as in Humans in Sweden
Viruses 2016, 8(9), 259; doi:10.3390/v8090259 -
Abstract
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a human pathogen with zoonotic spread, infecting both domestic and wild animals. About 17% of the Swedish population is immune to HEV, but few cases are reported annually, indicating that most infections are subclinical. However, clinical hepatitis [...] Read more.
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a human pathogen with zoonotic spread, infecting both domestic and wild animals. About 17% of the Swedish population is immune to HEV, but few cases are reported annually, indicating that most infections are subclinical. However, clinical hepatitis E may also be overlooked. For identified cases, the source of infection is mostly unknown. In order to identify whether HEV may be spread from wild game, the prevalence of markers for past and/or ongoing infection was investigated in sera and stool samples collected from 260 hunted Swedish wild ungulates. HEV markers were found in 43 (17%) of the animals. The most commonly infected animal was moose (Alces alces) with 19 out of 69 animals (28%) showing HEV markers, followed by wild boar (Sus scrofa) with 21 out of 139 animals (15%), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) with 2 out of 30 animals, red deer (Cervus elaphus) with 1 out of 15 animals, and fallow deer (Dama dama) 0 out of 7 animals. Partial open reading frame 1 (ORF1) of the viral genomes from the animals were sequenced and compared with those from 14 endemic human cases. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that three humans were infected with HEV strains similar to those from wild boar. These results indicate that wild animals may be a source of transmission to humans and could be an unrecognized public health concern. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Quantification of Lyssavirus-Neutralizing Antibodies Using Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Pseudotype Particles
Viruses 2016, 8(9), 254; doi:10.3390/v8090254 -
Abstract
Rabies is a highly fatal zoonotic disease which is primarily caused by rabies virus (RABV) although other members of the genus Lyssavirus can cause rabies as well. As yet, 14 serologically and genetically diverse lyssaviruses have been identified, mostly in bats. To [...] Read more.
Rabies is a highly fatal zoonotic disease which is primarily caused by rabies virus (RABV) although other members of the genus Lyssavirus can cause rabies as well. As yet, 14 serologically and genetically diverse lyssaviruses have been identified, mostly in bats. To assess the quality of rabies vaccines and immunoglobulin preparations, virus neutralization tests with live RABV are performed in accordance with enhanced biosafety standards. In the present work, a novel neutralization test is presented which takes advantage of a modified vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) from which the glycoprotein G gene has been deleted and replaced by reporter genes. This single-cycle virus was trans-complemented with RABV envelope glycoprotein. Neutralization of this pseudotype virus with RABV reference serum or immune sera from vaccinated mice showed a strong correlation with the rapid fluorescent focus inhibition test (RFFIT). Importantly, pseudotype viruses containing the envelope glycoproteins of other lyssaviruses were neutralized by reference serum to a significantly lesser extent or were not neutralized at all. Taken together, a pseudotype virus system has been successfully developed which allows the safe, fast, and sensitive detection of neutralizing antibodies directed against different lyssaviruses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Binding of RNA by the Nucleoproteins of Influenza Viruses A and B
Viruses 2016, 8(9), 247; doi:10.3390/v8090247 -
Abstract
This paper describes a biochemical study for making complexes between the nucleoprotein of influenza viruses A and B (A/NP and B/NP) and small RNAs (polyUC RNAs from 5 to 24 nucleotides (nt)), starting from monomeric proteins. We used negative stain electron microscopy, [...] Read more.
This paper describes a biochemical study for making complexes between the nucleoprotein of influenza viruses A and B (A/NP and B/NP) and small RNAs (polyUC RNAs from 5 to 24 nucleotides (nt)), starting from monomeric proteins. We used negative stain electron microscopy, size exclusion chromatography-multi-angle laser light scattering (SEC-MALLS) analysis, and fluorescence anisotropy measurements to show how the NP-RNA complexes evolve. Both proteins make small oligomers with 24-nt RNAs, trimers for A/NP, and dimers, tetramers, and larger complexes for B/NP. With shorter RNAs, the affinities of NP are all in the same range at 50 mM NaCl, showing that the RNAs bind on the same site. The affinity of B/NP for a 24-nt RNA does not change with salt. However, the affinity of A/NP for a 24-nt RNA is lower at 150 and 300 mM NaCl, suggesting that the RNA binds to another site, either on the same protomer or on a neighbour protomer. For our fluorescence anisotropy experiments, we used 6-fluorescein amidite (FAM)-labelled RNAs. By using a (UC)6-FAM3′ RNA with 150 mM NaCl, we observed an interesting phenomenon that gives macromolecular complexes similar to the ribonucleoprotein particles purified from the viruses. Full article
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Open AccessReview
On the Selective Packaging of Genomic RNA by HIV-1
Viruses 2016, 8(9), 246; doi:10.3390/v8090246 -
Abstract
Like other retroviruses, human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) selectively packages genomic RNA (gRNA) during virus assembly. However, in the absence of the gRNA, cellular messenger RNAs (mRNAs) are packaged. While the gRNA is selected because of its cis-acting packaging signal, [...] Read more.
Like other retroviruses, human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) selectively packages genomic RNA (gRNA) during virus assembly. However, in the absence of the gRNA, cellular messenger RNAs (mRNAs) are packaged. While the gRNA is selected because of its cis-acting packaging signal, the mechanism of this selection is not understood. The affinity of Gag (the viral structural protein) for cellular RNAs at physiological ionic strength is not much higher than that for the gRNA. However, binding to the gRNA is more salt-resistant, implying that it has a higher non-electrostatic component. We have previously studied the spacer 1 (SP1) region of Gag and showed that it can undergo a concentration-dependent conformational transition. We proposed that this transition represents the first step in assembly, i.e., the conversion of Gag to an assembly-ready state. To explain selective packaging of gRNA, we suggest here that binding of Gag to gRNA, with its high non-electrostatic component, triggers this conversion more readily than binding to other RNAs; thus we predict that a Gag–gRNA complex will nucleate particle assembly more efficiently than other Gag–RNA complexes. New data shows that among cellular mRNAs, those with long 3′-untranslated regions (UTR) are selectively packaged. It seems plausible that the 3′-UTR, a stretch of RNA not occupied by ribosomes, offers a favorable binding site for Gag. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Analysis of the Langat Virus Genome in Persistent Infection of an Ixodes scapularis Cell Line
Viruses 2016, 8(9), 252; doi:10.3390/v8090252 -
Abstract
Tick-borne flaviviruses (TBFVs) cause a broad spectrum of disease manifestations ranging from asymptomatic to mild febrile illness and life threatening encephalitis. These single-stranded positive-sense (ss(+)) RNA viruses are naturally maintained in a persistent infection of ixodid ticks and small-medium sized mammals. The [...] Read more.
Tick-borne flaviviruses (TBFVs) cause a broad spectrum of disease manifestations ranging from asymptomatic to mild febrile illness and life threatening encephalitis. These single-stranded positive-sense (ss(+)) RNA viruses are naturally maintained in a persistent infection of ixodid ticks and small-medium sized mammals. The development of cell lines from the ixodid ticks has provided a valuable surrogate system for studying the biology of TBFVs in vitro. When we infected ISE6 cells, an Ixodes scapularis embryonic cell line, with Langat virus (LGTV) we observed that the infection proceeded directly into persistence without any cytopathic effect. Analysis of the viral genome at selected time points showed that no defective genomes were generated during LGTV persistence by 10 weeks of cell passage. This was in contrast to LGTV persistence in 293T cells in which defective viral genomes are detectable by five weeks of serial cell passage. We identified two synonymous nucleotide changes i.e., 1893A→C (29% of 5978 reads at 12 h post infection (hpi)) and 2284T→A (34% of 4191 reads at 12 hpi) in the region encoding for the viral protein E. These results suggested that the mechanisms supporting LGTV persistence are different between tick and mammalian cells. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Influenza A Virus Hemagglutinin is Required for the Assembly of Viral Components Including Bundled vRNPs at the Lipid Raft
Viruses 2016, 8(9), 249; doi:10.3390/v8090249 -
Abstract
The influenza glycoproteins, hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA), which are associated with the lipid raft, have the potential to initiate virion budding. However, the role of these viral proteins in infectious virion assembly is still unclear. In addition, it is not known [...] Read more.
The influenza glycoproteins, hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA), which are associated with the lipid raft, have the potential to initiate virion budding. However, the role of these viral proteins in infectious virion assembly is still unclear. In addition, it is not known how the viral ribonucleoprotein complex (vRNP) is tethered to the budding site. Here, we show that HA is necessary for the efficient progeny virion production and vRNP packaging in the virion. We also found that the level of HA does not affect the bundling of the eight vRNP segments, despite reduced virion production. Detergent solubilization and a subsequent membrane flotation analysis indicated that the accumulation of nucleoprotein, viral polymerases, NA, and matrix protein 1 (M1) in the lipid raft fraction was delayed without HA. Based on our results, we inferred that HA plays a role in the accumulation of viral components, including bundled vRNPs, at the lipid raft. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Life-Cycle of the HIV-1 Gag–RNA Complex
Viruses 2016, 8(9), 248; doi:10.3390/v8090248 -
Abstract
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication is a highly regulated process requiring the recruitment of viral and cellular components to the plasma membrane for assembly into infectious particles. This review highlights the recent process of understanding the selection of the genomic [...] Read more.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication is a highly regulated process requiring the recruitment of viral and cellular components to the plasma membrane for assembly into infectious particles. This review highlights the recent process of understanding the selection of the genomic RNA (gRNA) by the viral Pr55Gag precursor polyprotein, and the processes leading to its incorporation into viral particles. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Organization, Function, and Therapeutic Targeting of the Morbillivirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase Complex
Viruses 2016, 8(9), 251; doi:10.3390/v8090251 -
Abstract
The morbillivirus genus comprises major human and animal pathogens, including the highly contagious measles virus. Morbilliviruses feature single stranded negative sense RNA genomes that are wrapped by a plasma membrane-derived lipid envelope. Genomes are encapsidated by the viral nucleocapsid protein forming ribonucleoprotein [...] Read more.
The morbillivirus genus comprises major human and animal pathogens, including the highly contagious measles virus. Morbilliviruses feature single stranded negative sense RNA genomes that are wrapped by a plasma membrane-derived lipid envelope. Genomes are encapsidated by the viral nucleocapsid protein forming ribonucleoprotein complexes, and only the encapsidated RNA is transcribed and replicated by the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). In this review, we discuss recent breakthroughs towards the structural and functional understanding of the morbillivirus polymerase complex. Considering the clinical burden imposed by members of the morbillivirus genus, the development of novel antiviral therapeutics is urgently needed. The viral polymerase complex presents unique structural and enzymatic properties that can serve as attractive candidates for druggable targets. We evaluate distinct strategies for therapeutic intervention and examine how high-resolution insight into the organization of the polymerase complex may pave the path towards the structure-based design and optimization of next-generation RdRp inhibitors. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of the Prevalence of HTLV-1 Proviral DNA in Cervical Smears and Carcinomas from HIV Positive and Negative Kenyan Women
Viruses 2016, 8(9), 245; doi:10.3390/v8090245 -
Abstract
The oncogenic retrovirus human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is endemic in some countries although its prevalence and relationship with other sexually transmitted infections in Sub-Saharan Africa is largely unknown. A novel endpoint PCR method was used to analyse the prevalence [...] Read more.
The oncogenic retrovirus human T-cell lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is endemic in some countries although its prevalence and relationship with other sexually transmitted infections in Sub-Saharan Africa is largely unknown. A novel endpoint PCR method was used to analyse the prevalence of HTLV-1 proviral DNA in genomic DNA extracted from liquid based cytology (LBC) cervical smears and invasive cervical carcinomas (ICCs) obtained from human immunodeficiency virus-positive (HIV+ve) and HIV-negative (HIV−ve) Kenyan women. Patient sociodemographic details were recorded by structured questionnaire and these data analysed with respect to HIV status, human papillomavirus (HPV) type (Papilocheck®) and cytology. This showed 22/113 (19.5%) of LBC’s from HIV+ve patients were positive for HTLV-1 compared to 4/111 (3.6%) of those from HIV−ve women (p = 0.0002; odds ratio (OR) = 6.42 (2.07–26.56)). Only 1/37 (2.7%) of HIV+ve and none of the 44 HIV−ve ICC samples were positive for HTLV-1. There was also a significant correlation between HTLV-1 infection, numbers of sexual partners (p < 0.05) and smoking (p < 0.01). Using this unique method, these data suggest an unexpectedly high prevalence of HTLV-1 DNA in HIV+ve women in this geographical location. However, the low level of HTLV-1 detected in HIV+ve ICC samples was unexpected and the reasons for this are unclear. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Decrease in Temperature and Humidity Precedes Human Rhinovirus Infections in a Cold Climate
Viruses 2016, 8(9), 244; doi:10.3390/v8090244 -
Abstract
Both temperature and humidity may independently or jointly contribute to the risk of human rhinovirus (HRV) infections, either through altered survival and spread of viruses in the environment or due to changes in host susceptibility. This study examined the relationship between short-term [...] Read more.
Both temperature and humidity may independently or jointly contribute to the risk of human rhinovirus (HRV) infections, either through altered survival and spread of viruses in the environment or due to changes in host susceptibility. This study examined the relationship between short-term variations in temperature and humidity and the risk of HRV infections in a subarctic climate. We conducted a case-crossover study among conscripts (n = 892) seeking medical attention due to respiratory symptoms during their military training and identified 147 HRV cases by real-time PCR. An average temperature, a decline in daily ambient temperature and absolute humidity (AH) during the three preceding days of the onset (hazard period) and two reference periods (a week prior and after the onset) were obtained. The average daily temperature preceding HRV infections was −9.9 ± 4.9 °C and the average AH was 2.2 ± 0.9 g/m3. An average (odds ratios (OR) 1.07 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.00–1.15)) and maximal (OR 1.08 (1.01–1.17)) change in temperature increased the risk of HRV infections by 8% per 1 °C decrease. An average (OR 1.20 (CI 1.03–1.40)) and maximal decrease (OR 1.13 (CI 0.96–1.34)) in AH increased the risk of HRV infection by 13% and 20% per 0.5 g/m3 decrease. A higher average temperature during the three preceding days was positively associated with HRV infections (OR 1.07 (CI 1.00–1.15)). A decrease rather than low temperature and humidity per se during the preceding few days increases the risk of HRV infections in a cold climate. The information is applicable to populations residing in cold climates for appropriate personal protection and prevention of adverse health effects. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Foamy Virus Protein—Nucleic Acid Interactions during Particle Morphogenesis
Viruses 2016, 8(9), 243; doi:10.3390/v8090243 -
Abstract
Compared with orthoretroviruses, our understanding of the molecular and cellular replication mechanism of foamy viruses (FVs), a subfamily of retroviruses, is less advanced. The FV replication cycle differs in several key aspects from orthoretroviruses, which leaves established retroviral models debatable for FVs. [...] Read more.
Compared with orthoretroviruses, our understanding of the molecular and cellular replication mechanism of foamy viruses (FVs), a subfamily of retroviruses, is less advanced. The FV replication cycle differs in several key aspects from orthoretroviruses, which leaves established retroviral models debatable for FVs. Here, we review the general aspect of the FV protein-nucleic acid interactions during virus morphogenesis. We provide a summary of the current knowledge of the FV genome structure and essential sequence motifs required for RNA encapsidation as well as Gag and Pol binding in combination with details about the Gag and Pol biosynthesis. This leads us to address open questions in FV RNA engagement, binding and packaging. Based on recent findings, we propose to shift the point of view from individual glycine-arginine-rich motifs having functions in RNA interactions towards envisioning the FV Gag C-terminus as a general RNA binding protein module. We encourage further investigating a potential new retroviral RNA packaging mechanism, which seems more complex in terms of the components that need to be gathered to form an infectious particle. Additional molecular insights into retroviral protein-nucleic acid interactions help us to develop safer, more specific and more efficient vectors in an era of booming genome engineering and gene therapy approaches. Full article
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