Viruses2016, 8(9), 243; doi:10.3390/v8090243 (registering DOI) - published 30 August 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
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. 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.
Viruses2016, 8(9), 241; doi:10.3390/v8090241 (registering DOI) - published 30 August 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The lower female reproductive tract (FRT) is comprised of the cervix and vagina, surfaces that are continuously exposed to a variety of commensal and pathogenic organisms. Sexually transmitted viruses, such as herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), have to traverse the mucosal epithelial lining of the FRT to establish infection. The majority of current culture systems that model the host-pathogen interactions in the mucosal epithelium have limitations in simulating physiological conditions as they employ a liquid-liquid interface (LLI), in which both apical and basolateral surfaces are submerged in growth medium. We designed the current study to simulate in vivo conditions by growing an immortalized vaginal epithelial cell line (Vk2/E6E7) in culture with an air-liquid interface (ALI) and examined the effects of female sex hormones on their growth, differentiation, and susceptibility to HSV-2 under these conditions, in comparison to LLI cultures. ALI conditions induced Vk2/E6E7 cells to grow into multi-layered cultures compared to the monolayers present in LLI conditions. Vk2 cells in ALI showed higher production of cytokeratin in the presence of estradiol (E2), compared to cells grown in progesterone (P4). Cells grown under ALI conditions were exposed to HSV-2-green fluorescent protein (GFP) and the highest infection and replication was observed in the presence of P4. Altogether, this study suggests that ALI cultures more closely simulate the in vivo conditions of the FRT compared to the conventional LLI cultures. Furthermore, under these conditions P4 was found to confer higher susceptibility to HSV-2 infection in vaginal cells. The vaginal ALI culture system offers a better alternative to study host-pathogen interactions.
Viruses2016, 8(9), 242; doi:10.3390/v8090242 - published 29 August 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: To infect cells, polyomavirus (PyV) traffics from the cell surface to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) where it hijacks elements of the ER-associated degradation (ERAD) machinery to penetrate the ER membrane and reach the cytosol. From the cytosol, the virus transports to the nucleus, enabling transcription and replication of the viral genome that leads to lytic infection or cellular transformation. How PyV exploits the ERAD machinery to cross the ER membrane and access the cytosol, a decisive infection step, remains enigmatic. However, recent studies have slowly unraveled many aspects of this process. These emerging insights should advance our efforts to develop more effective therapies against PyV-induced human diseases.
Viruses2016, 8(8), 239; doi:10.3390/v8080239 - published 22 August 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In cells, positive strand RNA viruses, such as Retroviridae, must selectively recognize their full-length RNA genome among abundant cellular RNAs to assemble and release particles. How viruses coordinate the intracellular trafficking of both RNA and protein components to the assembly sites of infectious particles at the cell surface remains a long-standing question. The mechanisms ensuring packaging of genomic RNA are essential for viral infectivity. Since RNA packaging impacts on several essential functions of retroviral replication such as RNA dimerization, translation and recombination events, there are many studies that require the determination of RNA packaging efficiency and/or RNA packaging ability. Studies of RNA encapsidation rely upon techniques for the identification and quantification of RNA species packaged by the virus. This review focuses on the different approaches available to monitor RNA packaging: Northern blot analysis, ribonuclease protection assay and quantitative reverse transcriptase-coupled polymerase chain reaction as well as the most recent RNA imaging and sequencing technologies. Advantages, disadvantages and limitations of these approaches will be discussed in order to help the investigator to choose the most appropriate technique. Although the review was written with the prototypic simple murine leukemia virus (MLV) and complex human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in mind, the techniques were described in order to benefit to a larger community.
Viruses2016, 8(8), 237; doi:10.3390/v8080237 - published 22 August 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Defective interfering (DI) viruses arise during the replication of influenza A virus and contain a non-infective version of the genome that is able to interfere with the production of infectious virus. In this study we hypothesise that a cloned DI influenza A virus RNA may prevent infection of human respiratory epithelial cells with infection by influenza A. The DI RNA (244/PR8) was derived by a natural deletion process from segment 1 of influenza A/PR/8/34 (H1N1); it comprises 395 nucleotides and is packaged in the DI virion in place of a full-length genome segment 1. Given intranasally, 244/PR8 DI virus protects mice and ferrets from clinical influenza caused by a number of different influenza A subtypes and interferes with production of infectious influenza A virus in cells in culture. However, evidence that DI influenza viruses are active in cells of the human respiratory tract is lacking. Here we show that 244/PR8 DI RNA is replicated by an influenza A challenge virus in human lung diploid fibroblasts, bronchial epithelial cells, and primary nasal basal cells, and that the yield of challenge virus is significantly reduced in a dose-dependent manner indicating that DI influenza virus has potential as a human antiviral.
Viruses2016, 8(8), 232; doi:10.3390/v8080232 - published 22 August 2016 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Diagnosis of hepatitis E virus (HEV) is usually determined serologically by detection of the presence of immunoglobulin (Ig)M antibodies or rising anti-HEV IgG titers. However, serological assays have demonstrated a significant variation in their sensitivities and specificities. In this study, we present the systematic comparison of different immunological anti-HEV assays using complete seroconversion panels of 10 virologically confirmed HEV genotype 3 infected individuals. Assay sensitivities were further evaluated by testing serially diluted World Health Organization (WHO) reference reagent for hepatitis E virus antibody and one patient sample infected with HEV genotype 3. Anti-HEV IgM and IgG antibody presence was determined using the immunological assays Wantai HEV IgM/IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) (Sanbio, Uden, The Netherlands), recomWell HEV IgM/IgG (Mikrogen, Neuried, Germany), HEV IgM ELISA 3.0, HEV ELISA, HEV ELISA 4.0, Assure HEV IgM Rapid Test (all MP Biomedicals Europe, Illkirch Cedex, France) and Anti-HEV ELISA (IgM/IgG, Euroimmun, Lübeck, Germany). The assays showed differences regarding their analytical and diagnostic sensitivities, with anti-HEV IgM assays (n = 5) being more divergent compared to anti-HEV IgG (n = 4) assays in this study. Considerable variations were observed particularly for the detection period of IgM antibodies. This is the first study systematically characterizing serologic assays on the basis of seroconversion panels, providing sample conformity for a conclusive comparison. Future studies should include the assay comparison covering the four different genotypes.