Open AccessCorrection
Correction: Ruiz, E. et al. Emerging Interaction Patterns in the Emiliania Huxleyi-EhV System. Viruses 2016, 9, 61
Viruses 2017, 9(4), 89; doi:10.3390/v9040089 -
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Open AccessArticle
Replication and Oncolytic Activity of an Avian Orthoreovirus in Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells
Viruses 2017, 9(4), 90; doi:10.3390/v9040090 -
Abstract
Oncolytic viruses are cancer therapeutics with promising outcomes in pre-clinical and clinical settings. Animal viruses have the possibility to avoid pre-existing immunity in humans, while being safe and immunostimulatory. We isolated an avian orthoreovirus (ARV-PB1), and tested it against a panel of hepatocellular
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Oncolytic viruses are cancer therapeutics with promising outcomes in pre-clinical and clinical settings. Animal viruses have the possibility to avoid pre-existing immunity in humans, while being safe and immunostimulatory. We isolated an avian orthoreovirus (ARV-PB1), and tested it against a panel of hepatocellular carcinoma cells. We found that ARV-PB1 replicated well and induced strong cytopathic effects. It was determined that one mechanism of cell death was through syncytia formation, resulting in apoptosis and induction of interferon stimulated genes (ISGs). As hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of hepatocellular carcinoma worldwide, we investigated the effect of ARV-PB1 against cells already infected with this virus. Both HCV replicon-containing and infected cells supported ARV-PB1 replication and underwent cytolysis. Finally, we generated in silico models to compare the structures of human reovirus- and ARV-PB1-derived S1 proteins, which are the primary targets of neutralizing antibodies. Tertiary alignments confirmed that ARV-PB1 differs from its human homolog, suggesting that immunity to human reoviruses would not be a barrier to its use. Therefore, ARV-PB1 can potentially expand the repertoire of oncolytic viruses for treatment of human hepatocellular carcinoma and other malignancies. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Dengue Virus Non-Structural Protein 5
Viruses 2017, 9(4), 91; doi:10.3390/v9040091 -
Abstract
The World Health Organization estimates that the yearly number of dengue cases averages 390 million. This mosquito-borne virus disease is endemic in over 100 countries and will probably continue spreading, given the observed trend in global warming. So far, there is no antiviral
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The World Health Organization estimates that the yearly number of dengue cases averages 390 million. This mosquito-borne virus disease is endemic in over 100 countries and will probably continue spreading, given the observed trend in global warming. So far, there is no antiviral drug available against dengue, but a vaccine has been recently marketed. Dengue virus also serves as a prototype for the study of other pathogenic flaviviruses that are emerging, like West Nile virus and Zika virus. Upon viral entry into the host cell and fusion of the viral lipid membrane with the endosomal membrane, the viral RNA is released and expressed as a polyprotein, that is then matured into three structural and seven non-structural (NS) proteins. The envelope, membrane and capsid proteins form the viral particle while NS1-NS2A-NS2B-NS3-NS4A-NS4B and NS5 assemble inside a cellular replication complex, which is embedded in endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-derived vesicles. In addition to their roles in RNA replication within the infected cell, NS proteins help the virus escape the host innate immunity and reshape the host-cell inner structure. This review focuses on recent progress in characterizing the structure and functions of NS5, a protein responsible for the replication and capping of viral RNA that represents a promising drug target. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Deep Sequencing Analysis of RNAs from Citrus Plants Grown in a Citrus Sudden Death-Affected Area Reveals Diverse Known and Putative Novel Viruses
Viruses 2017, 9(4), 92; doi:10.3390/v9040092 -
Abstract
Citrus sudden death (CSD) has caused the death of approximately four million orange trees in a very important citrus region in Brazil. Although its etiology is still not completely clear, symptoms and distribution of affected plants indicate a viral disease. In a search
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Citrus sudden death (CSD) has caused the death of approximately four million orange trees in a very important citrus region in Brazil. Although its etiology is still not completely clear, symptoms and distribution of affected plants indicate a viral disease. In a search for viruses associated with CSD, we have performed a comparative high-throughput sequencing analysis of the transcriptome and small RNAs from CSD-symptomatic and -asymptomatic plants using the Illumina platform. The data revealed mixed infections that included Citrus tristeza virus (CTV) as the most predominant virus, followed by the Citrus sudden death-associated virus (CSDaV), Citrus endogenous pararetrovirus (CitPRV) and two putative novel viruses tentatively named Citrus jingmen-like virus (CJLV), and Citrus virga-like virus (CVLV). The deep sequencing analyses were sensitive enough to differentiate two genotypes of both viruses previously associated with CSD-affected plants: CTV and CSDaV. Our data also showed a putative association of the CSD-symptomatic plants with a specific CSDaV genotype and a likely association with CitPRV as well, whereas the two putative novel viruses showed to be more associated with CSD-asymptomatic plants. This is the first high-throughput sequencing-based study of the viral sequences present in CSD-affected citrus plants, and generated valuable information for further CSD studies. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Chloroviruses Have a Sweet Tooth
Viruses 2017, 9(4), 88; doi:10.3390/v9040088 -
Abstract
Chloroviruses are large double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) viruses that infect certain isolates of chlorella-like green algae. They contain up to approximately 400 protein-encoding genes and 16 transfer RNA (tRNA) genes. This review summarizes the unexpected finding that many of the chlorovirus genes encode proteins
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Chloroviruses are large double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) viruses that infect certain isolates of chlorella-like green algae. They contain up to approximately 400 protein-encoding genes and 16 transfer RNA (tRNA) genes. This review summarizes the unexpected finding that many of the chlorovirus genes encode proteins involved in manipulating carbohydrates. These include enzymes involved in making extracellular polysaccharides, such as hyaluronan and chitin, enzymes that make nucleotide sugars, such as GDP-L-fucose and GDP-D-rhamnose and enzymes involved in the synthesis of glycans attached to the virus major capsid proteins. This latter process differs from that of all other glycoprotein containing viruses that traditionally use the host endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi machinery to synthesize and transfer the glycans. Full article
Open AccessConference Report
“French Phage Network”—Second Meeting Report
Viruses 2017, 9(4), 87; doi:10.3390/v9040087 -
Abstract
The study of bacteriophages (viruses of bacteria) includes a variety of approaches, such as structural biology, genetics, ecology, and evolution, with increasingly important implications for therapeutic and industrial uses. Researchers working with phages in France have recently established a network to facilitate the
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The study of bacteriophages (viruses of bacteria) includes a variety of approaches, such as structural biology, genetics, ecology, and evolution, with increasingly important implications for therapeutic and industrial uses. Researchers working with phages in France have recently established a network to facilitate the exchange on complementary approaches, but also to engage new collaborations. Here, we provide a summary of the topics presented during the second meeting of the French Phage Network that took place in Marseille in November 2016 Full article
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Open AccessReview
Classical Swine Fever—An Updated Review
Viruses 2017, 9(4), 86; doi:10.3390/v9040086 -
Abstract
Classical swine fever (CSF) remains one of the most important transboundary viral diseases of swine worldwide. The causative agent is CSF virus, a small, enveloped RNA virus of the genus Pestivirus. Based on partial sequences, three genotypes can be distinguished that do not,
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Classical swine fever (CSF) remains one of the most important transboundary viral diseases of swine worldwide. The causative agent is CSF virus, a small, enveloped RNA virus of the genus Pestivirus. Based on partial sequences, three genotypes can be distinguished that do not, however, directly correlate with virulence. Depending on both virus and host factors, a wide range of clinical syndromes can be observed and thus, laboratory confirmation is mandatory. To this means, both direct and indirect methods are utilized with an increasing degree of commercialization. Both infections in domestic pigs and wild boar are of great relevance; and wild boars are a reservoir host transmitting the virus sporadically also to pig farms. Control strategies for epidemic outbreaks in free countries are mainly based on classical intervention measures; i.e., quarantine and strict culling of affected herds. In these countries, vaccination is only an emergency option. However, live vaccines are used for controlling the disease in endemically infected regions in Asia, Eastern Europe, the Americas, and some African countries. Here, we will provide a concise, updated review on virus properties, clinical signs and pathology, epidemiology, pathogenesis and immune responses, diagnosis and vaccination possibilities. Full article
Open AccessReview
Porcine Circoviruses and Xenotransplantation
Viruses 2017, 9(4), 83; doi:10.3390/v9040083 -
Abstract
Allotransplantation and xenotransplantation may be associated with the transmission of pathogens from the donor to the recipient. Whereas in the case of allotransplantation the transmitted microorganisms and their pathogenic effect are well characterized, the possible influence of porcine microorganisms on humans is mostly
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Allotransplantation and xenotransplantation may be associated with the transmission of pathogens from the donor to the recipient. Whereas in the case of allotransplantation the transmitted microorganisms and their pathogenic effect are well characterized, the possible influence of porcine microorganisms on humans is mostly unknown. Porcine circoviruses (PCVs) are common in pig breeds and they belong to porcine microorganisms that still have not been fully addressed in terms of evaluating the potential risk of xenotransplantation using pig cells, tissues, and organs. Two types of PCVs are known: porcine circovirus (PCV) 1 and PCV2. Whereas PCV1 is apathogenic in pigs, PCV2 may induce severe pig diseases. Although most pigs are subclinically infected, we do not know whether this infection impairs pig transplant functionality, particularly because PCV2 is immunosuppressive. In addition, vaccination against PCV2 is able to prevent diseases, but in most cases not transmission of the virus. Therefore, PCV2 has to be eliminated to obtain xenotransplants from uninfected healthy animals. Although there is evidence that PCV2 does not infect—at least immunocompetent—humans, animals should be screened using sensitive methods to ensure virus elimination by selection, Cesarean delivery, vaccination, or embryo transfer. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Seasonal Dynamics of Haptophytes and dsDNA Algal Viruses Suggest Complex Virus-Host Relationship
Viruses 2017, 9(4), 84; doi:10.3390/v9040084 -
Abstract
Viruses influence the ecology and diversity of phytoplankton in the ocean. Most studies of phytoplankton host–virus interactions have focused on bloom-forming species like Emiliania huxleyi or Phaeocystis spp. The role of viruses infecting phytoplankton that do not form conspicuous blooms have received less
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Viruses influence the ecology and diversity of phytoplankton in the ocean. Most studies of phytoplankton host–virus interactions have focused on bloom-forming species like Emiliania huxleyi or Phaeocystis spp. The role of viruses infecting phytoplankton that do not form conspicuous blooms have received less attention. Here we explore the dynamics of phytoplankton and algal viruses over several sequential seasons, with a focus on the ubiquitous and diverse phytoplankton division Haptophyta, and their double-stranded DNA viruses, potentially with the capacity to infect the haptophytes. Viral and phytoplankton abundance and diversity showed recurrent seasonal changes, mainly explained by hydrographic conditions. By 454 tag-sequencing we revealed 93 unique haptophyte operational taxonomic units (OTUs), with seasonal changes in abundance. Sixty-one unique viral OTUs, representing Megaviridae and Phycodnaviridae, showed only distant relationship with currently isolated algal viruses. Haptophyte and virus community composition and diversity varied substantially throughout the year, but in an uncoordinated manner. A minority of the viral OTUs were highly abundant at specific time-points, indicating a boom-bust relationship with their host. Most of the viral OTUs were very persistent, which may represent viruses that coexist with their hosts, or able to exploit several host species. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Deciphering the Multifactorial Susceptibility of Mucosal Junction Cells to HPV Infection and Related Carcinogenesis
Viruses 2017, 9(4), 85; doi:10.3390/v9040085 -
Abstract
Human papillomavirus (HPV)-induced neoplasms have long been considered to originate from viral infection of the basal cell layer of the squamous mucosa. However, this paradigm has been recently undermined by accumulating data supporting the critical role of a discrete population of squamo-columnar (SC)
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Human papillomavirus (HPV)-induced neoplasms have long been considered to originate from viral infection of the basal cell layer of the squamous mucosa. However, this paradigm has been recently undermined by accumulating data supporting the critical role of a discrete population of squamo-columnar (SC) junction cells in the pathogenesis of cervical (pre)cancers. The present review summarizes the current knowledge on junctional cells, discusses their high vulnerability to HPV infection, and stresses the potential clinical/translational value of the novel dualistic model of HPV-related carcinogenesis. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Mechanisms of LTR‐Retroelement Transposition: Lessons from Drosophila melanogaster
Viruses 2017, 9(4), 81; doi:10.3390/v9040081 -
Abstract
Long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons occupy a special place among all mobile genetic element families. The structure of LTR retrotransposons that have three open reading frames is identical to DNA forms of retroviruses that are integrated into the host genome. Several lines of
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Long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons occupy a special place among all mobile genetic element families. The structure of LTR retrotransposons that have three open reading frames is identical to DNA forms of retroviruses that are integrated into the host genome. Several lines of evidence suggest that LTR retrotransposons share a common ancestry with retroviruses and thus are highly relevant to understanding mechanisms of transposition. Drosophila melanogaster is an exceptionally convenient model for studying the mechanisms of retrotransposon movement because many such elements in its genome are transpositionally active. Moreover, two LTRretrotransposons of D. melanogaster, gypsy and ZAM, have been found to have infectious properties and have been classified as errantiviruses. Despite numerous studies focusing on retroviral integration process, there is still no clear understanding of integration specificity in a target site. Most LTR retrotransposons non‐specifically integrate into a target site. Site‐specificity of integration at vertebrate retroviruses is rather relative. At the same time, sequence‐specific integration is the exclusive property of errantiviruses and their derivatives with two open reading frames. The possible basis for the errantivirus integration specificity is discussed in the present review. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Global Transmission Dynamics of Measles in the Measles Elimination Era
Viruses 2017, 9(4), 82; doi:10.3390/v9040082 -
Abstract
Although there have been many epidemiological reports of the inter-country transmission of measles, systematic analysis of the global transmission dynamics of the measles virus (MV) is limited. In this study, we applied phylogeographic analysis to characterize the global transmission dynamics of the MV
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Although there have been many epidemiological reports of the inter-country transmission of measles, systematic analysis of the global transmission dynamics of the measles virus (MV) is limited. In this study, we applied phylogeographic analysis to characterize the global transmission dynamics of the MV using large-scale genetic sequence data (obtained for 7456 sequences) from 115 countries between 1954 and 2015. These analyses reveal the spatial and temporal characteristics of global transmission of the virus, especially in Australia, China, India, Japan, the UK, and the USA in the period since 1990. The transmission is frequently observed, not only within the same region but also among distant and frequently visited areas. Frequencies of export from measles-endemic countries, such as China, India, and Japan are high but decreasing, while the frequencies from countries where measles is no longer endemic, such as Australia, the UK, and the USA, are low but slightly increasing. The world is heading toward measles eradication, but the disease is still transmitted regionally and globally. Our analysis reveals that countries wherein measles is endemic and those having eliminated the disease (apart from occasional outbreaks) both remain a source of global transmission in this measles elimination era. It is therefore crucial to maintain vigilance in efforts to monitor and eradicate measles globally. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Protein-Coding Genes’ Retrocopies and Their Functions
Viruses 2017, 9(4), 80; doi:10.3390/v9040080 -
Abstract
Transposable elements, often considered to be not important for survival, significantly contribute to the evolution of transcriptomes, promoters, and proteomes. Reverse transcriptase, encoded by some transposable elements, can be used in trans to produce a DNA copy of any RNA molecule in the
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Transposable elements, often considered to be not important for survival, significantly contribute to the evolution of transcriptomes, promoters, and proteomes. Reverse transcriptase, encoded by some transposable elements, can be used in trans to produce a DNA copy of any RNA molecule in the cell. The retrotransposition of protein-coding genes requires the presence of reverse transcriptase, which could be delivered by either non-long terminal repeat (non-LTR) or LTR transposons. The majority of these copies are in a state of “relaxed” selection and remain “dormant” because they are lacking regulatory regions; however, many become functional. In the course of evolution, they may undergo subfunctionalization, neofunctionalization, or replace their progenitors. Functional retrocopies (retrogenes) can encode proteins, novel or similar to those encoded by their progenitors, can be used as alternative exons or create chimeric transcripts, and can also be involved in transcriptional interference and participate in the epigenetic regulation of parental gene expression. They can also act in trans as natural antisense transcripts, microRNA (miRNA) sponges, or a source of various small RNAs. Moreover, many retrocopies of protein-coding genes are linked to human diseases, especially various types of cancer. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Study on the Antivirus Activity of Shuang–Huang–Lian Injectable Powder and Its Bioactive Compound Mixture against Human Adenovirus III In Vitro
Viruses 2017, 9(4), 79; doi:10.3390/v9040079 -
Abstract
Shuang–Huang–Lian injectable powder (SHL)—a classical purified herbal preparation extracted from Scutellaria baicalensis, Lonicera japonica, and Forsythia suspense—has been used against human adenovirus III (HAdV3) for many years. The combination herb and its major bioactive compounds, including chlorogenic acid,
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Shuang–Huang–Lian injectable powder (SHL)—a classical purified herbal preparation extracted from Scutellaria baicalensis, Lonicera japonica, and Forsythia suspense—has been used against human adenovirus III (HAdV3) for many years. The combination herb and its major bioactive compounds, including chlorogenic acid, baicalin, and forsythia glycosides A, are effective inhibitors of the virus. However, no comprehensive studies are available on the antiviral effects of SHL against HAdV3. Moreover, it remains unclear whether the mixture of chlorogenic acid, baicalin, and forsythia glycosides A (CBF) has enhanced antiviral activity compared with SHL. Therefore, a comparative study was performed to investigate the combination which is promising for further antiviral drug development. To evaluate their antivirus activity in parallel, the combination ratio and dose of CBF were controlled and consistent with SHL. First, the fingerprint and the ratio of CBF in SHL were determined by high performance liquid chromatography. Then, a plaque reduction assay, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR), real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were used to explore its therapeutic effects on viral infection and replication, respectively. The results showed that SHL and CBF inhibited dose- and time-dependently HAdV3-induced plaque formation in A549 and HEp-2 cells. SHL was more effective than CBF when supplemented prior to and after viral inoculation. SHL prevented viral attachment, internalization, and replication at high concentration and decreased viral levels within and out of cells at non-toxic concentrations in both cell types. Moreover, the expression of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1ß, and IL-6 was lower and the expression of interferon (IFN)-γ was higher in both cell types treated with SHL than with CBF. In conclusion, SHL is much more effective and slightly less toxic than CBF. Full article
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Open AccessReview
T Cell-Mediated Immunity towards Yellow Fever Virus and Useful Animal Models
Viruses 2017, 9(4), 77; doi:10.3390/v9040077 -
Abstract
The 17D line of yellow fever virus vaccines is among the most effective vaccines ever created. The humoral and cellular immunity elicited by 17D has been well characterized in humans. Neutralizing antibodies have long been known to provide protection against challenge with a
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The 17D line of yellow fever virus vaccines is among the most effective vaccines ever created. The humoral and cellular immunity elicited by 17D has been well characterized in humans. Neutralizing antibodies have long been known to provide protection against challenge with a wild-type virus. However, a well characterized T cell immune response that is robust, long-lived and polyfunctional is also elicited by 17D. It remains unclear whether this arm of immunity is protective following challenge with a wild-type virus. Here we introduce the 17D line of yellow fever virus vaccines, describe the current state of knowledge regarding the immunity directed towards the vaccines in humans and conclude with a discussion of animal models that are useful for evaluating T cell-mediated immune protection to yellow fever virus. Full article
Open AccessArticle
LTR-Retrotransposons from Bdelloid Rotifers Capture Additional ORFs Shared between Highly Diverse Retroelement Types
Viruses 2017, 9(4), 78; doi:10.3390/v9040078 -
Abstract
Rotifers of the class Bdelloidea, microscopic freshwater invertebrates, possess a highlydiversified repertoire of transposon families, which, however, occupy less than 4% of genomic DNA in the sequenced representative Adineta vaga. We performed a comprehensive analysis of A. vaga retroelements, and found that
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Rotifers of the class Bdelloidea, microscopic freshwater invertebrates, possess a highlydiversified repertoire of transposon families, which, however, occupy less than 4% of genomic DNA in the sequenced representative Adineta vaga. We performed a comprehensive analysis of A. vaga retroelements, and found that bdelloid long terminal repeat (LTR)retrotransposons, in addition to conserved open reading frame (ORF) 1 and ORF2 corresponding to gag and pol genes, code for an unusually high variety of ORF3 sequences. Retrovirus-like LTR families in A. vaga belong to four major lineages, three of which are rotiferspecific and encode a dUTPase domain. However only one lineage contains a canonical envlike fusion glycoprotein acquired from paramyxoviruses (non-segmented negative-strand RNA viruses), although smaller ORFs with transmembrane domains may perform similar roles. A different ORF3 type encodes a GDSL esterase/lipase, which was previously identified as ORF1 in several clades of non-LTR retrotransposons, and implicated in membrane targeting. Yet another ORF3 type appears in unrelated LTR-retrotransposon lineages, and displays strong homology to DEDDy-type exonucleases involved in 3′-end processing of RNA and single-stranded DNA. Unexpectedly, each of the enzymatic ORF3s is also associated with different subsets of Penelope-like Athena retroelement families. The unusual association of the same ORF types with retroelements from different classes reflects their modular structure with a high degree of flexibility, and points to gene sharing between different groups of retroelements. Full article
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Open AccessReview
HBV DNA Integration: Molecular Mechanisms and Clinical Implications
Viruses 2017, 9(4), 75; doi:10.3390/v9040075 -
Abstract
Chronic infection with the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) is a major cause of liver-related morbidity and mortality. One peculiar observation in cells infected with HBV (or with closely‑related animal hepadnaviruses) is the presence of viral DNA integration in the host cell genome, despite
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Chronic infection with the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) is a major cause of liver-related morbidity and mortality. One peculiar observation in cells infected with HBV (or with closely‑related animal hepadnaviruses) is the presence of viral DNA integration in the host cell genome, despite this form being a replicative dead-end for the virus. The frequent finding of somatic integration of viral DNA suggests an evolutionary benefit for the virus; however, the mechanism of integration, its functions, and the clinical implications remain unknown. Here we review the current body of knowledge of HBV DNA integration, with particular focus on the molecular mechanisms and its clinical implications (including the possible consequences of replication-independent antigen expression and its possible role in hepatocellular carcinoma). HBV DNA integration is likely to influence HBV replication, persistence, and pathogenesis, and so deserves greater attention in future studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Structure of Ty1 Internally Initiated RNA Influences Restriction Factor Expression
Viruses 2017, 9(4), 74; doi:10.3390/v9040074 -
Abstract
The long-terminal repeat retrotransposon Ty1 is the most abundant mobile genetic element in many Saccharomyces cerevisiae isolates. Ty1 retrotransposons contribute to the genetic diversity of host cells, but they can also act as an insertional mutagen and cause genetic instability. Interestingly, retrotransposition occurs
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The long-terminal repeat retrotransposon Ty1 is the most abundant mobile genetic element in many Saccharomyces cerevisiae isolates. Ty1 retrotransposons contribute to the genetic diversity of host cells, but they can also act as an insertional mutagen and cause genetic instability. Interestingly, retrotransposition occurs at a low level despite a high level of Ty1 RNA, even though S. cerevisiae lacks the intrinsic defense mechanisms that other eukaryotes use to prevent transposon movement. p22 is a recently discovered Ty1 protein that inhibits retrotransposition in a dose-dependent manner. p22 is a truncated form of Gag encoded by internally initiated Ty1i RNA that contains two closely-spaced AUG codons. Mutations of either AUG codon compromise p22 translation. We found that both AUG codons were utilized and that translation efficiency depended on the Ty1i RNA structure. Structural features that stimulated p22 translation were context dependent and present only in Ty1i RNA. Destabilization of the 5′ untranslated region (5′ UTR) of Ty1i RNA decreased the p22 level, both in vitro and in vivo. Our data suggest that protein factors such as Gag could contribute to the stability and translational activity of Ty1i RNA through specific interactions with structural motifs in the RNA. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Single-Round Infectious Particle Antiviral Screening Assays for the Japanese Encephalitis Virus
Viruses 2017, 9(4), 76; doi:10.3390/v9040076 -
Abstract
Japanese Encephalitis virus (JEV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus with a positive-sense single-stranded RNA genome that contains a big open reading frame (ORF) flanked by 5′- and 3′- untranslated regions (UTRs). Nearly 30,000 JE cases with 10,000 deaths are still annually reported in East
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Japanese Encephalitis virus (JEV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus with a positive-sense single-stranded RNA genome that contains a big open reading frame (ORF) flanked by 5′- and 3′- untranslated regions (UTRs). Nearly 30,000 JE cases with 10,000 deaths are still annually reported in East Asia. Although the JEV genotype III vaccine has been licensed, it elicits a lower protection against other genotypes. Moreover, no effective treatment for a JE case is developed. This study constructed a pBR322-based and cytomegaloviruses (CMV) promoter-driven JEV replicon for the production of JEV single-round infectious particles (SRIPs) in a packaging cell line expressing viral structural proteins. Genetic instability of JEV genome cDNA in the pBR322 plasmid was associated with the prokaryotic promoter at 5′ end of the JEV genome that triggers the expression of the structural proteins in E. coli. JEV structural proteins were toxic E. coli, thus the encoding region for structural proteins was replaced by a reporter gene (enhanced green fluorescent protein, EGFP) that was in-frame fused with the first eight amino acids of the C protein at N-terminus and the foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) 2A peptide at C-terminus in a pBR322-based JEV-EGFP replicon. JEV-EGFP SRIPs generated from JEV-EGFP replicon-transfected packaging cells displayed the infectivity with cytopathic effect induction, self-replication of viral genomes, and the expression of EGFP and viral proteins. Moreover, the combination of JEV-EGFP SRIP plus flow cytometry was used to determine the half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values of antiviral agents according to fluorescent intensity and positivity of SRIP-infected packaging cells post treatment. MJ-47, a quinazolinone derivative, significantly inhibited JEV-induced cytopathic effect, reducing the replication and expression of JEV-EGFP replicon in vitro. The IC50 value of 6.28 µM for MJ-47 against JEV was determined by the assay of JEV-EGFP SRIP infection in packaging cells plus flow cytometry that was more sensitive, effective, and efficient compared to the traditional plaque assay. Therefore, the system of JEV-EGFP SRIPs plus flow cytometry was a rapid and reliable platform for screening antiviral agents and evaluating antiviral potency. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Transmembrane Morphogenesis Protein gp1 of Filamentous Phages Contains Walker A and Walker B Motifs Essential for Phage Assembly
Viruses 2017, 9(4), 73; doi:10.3390/v9040073 -
Abstract
In contrast to lytic phages, filamentous phages are assembled in the inner membrane and secreted across the bacterial envelope without killing the host. For assembly and extrusion of the phage across the host cell wall, filamentous phages code for membrane-embedded morphogenesis proteins. In
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In contrast to lytic phages, filamentous phages are assembled in the inner membrane and secreted across the bacterial envelope without killing the host. For assembly and extrusion of the phage across the host cell wall, filamentous phages code for membrane-embedded morphogenesis proteins. In the outer membrane of Escherichia coli, the protein gp4 forms a pore-like structure, while gp1 and gp11 form a complex in the inner membrane of the host. By comparing sequences with other filamentous phages, we identified putative Walker A and B motifs in gp1 with a conserved lysine in the Walker A motif (K14), and a glutamic and aspartic acid in the Walker B motif (D88, E89). In this work we demonstrate that both, Walker A and Walker B, are essential for phage production. The crucial role of these key residues suggests that gp1 might be a molecular motor driving phage assembly. We further identified essential residues for the function of the assembly complex. Mutations in three out of six cysteine residues abolish phage production. Similarly, two out of six conserved glycine residues are crucial for gp1 function. We hypothesise that the residues represent molecular hinges allowing domain movement for nucleotide binding and phage assembly. Full article
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