Next Issue
Volume 8, August
Previous Issue
Volume 8, June

Table of Contents

Viruses, Volume 8, Issue 7 (July 2016)

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:
Open AccessReview
Viral RNA Silencing Suppression: The Enigma of Bunyavirus NSs Proteins
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070208 - 23 Jul 2016
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3104
Abstract
The Bunyaviridae is a family of arboviruses including both plant- and vertebrate-infecting representatives. The Tospovirus genus accommodates plant-infecting bunyaviruses, which not only replicate in their plant host, but also in their insect thrips vector during persistent propagative transmission. For this reason, they are [...] Read more.
The Bunyaviridae is a family of arboviruses including both plant- and vertebrate-infecting representatives. The Tospovirus genus accommodates plant-infecting bunyaviruses, which not only replicate in their plant host, but also in their insect thrips vector during persistent propagative transmission. For this reason, they are generally assumed to encounter antiviral RNA silencing in plants and insects. Here we present an overview on how tospovirus nonstructural NSs protein counteracts antiviral RNA silencing in plants and what is known so far in insects. Like tospoviruses, members of the related vertebrate-infecting bunyaviruses classified in the genera Orthobunyavirus, Hantavirus and Phlebovirus also code for a NSs protein. However, for none of them RNA silencing suppressor activity has been unambiguously demonstrated in neither vertebrate host nor arthropod vector. The second part of this review will briefly describe the role of these NSs proteins in modulation of innate immune responses in mammals and elaborate on a hypothetical scenario to explain if and how NSs proteins from vertebrate-infecting bunyaviruses affect RNA silencing. If so, why this discovery has been hampered so far. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Plant Virus—Insect Vector Interactions)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Local Innate Responses to TLR Ligands in the Chicken Trachea
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070207 - 22 Jul 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1843
Abstract
The chicken upper respiratory tract is the portal of entry for respiratory pathogens, such as avian influenza virus (AIV). The presence of microorganisms is sensed by pathogen recognition receptors (such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs)) of the innate immune defenses. Innate responses are essential [...] Read more.
The chicken upper respiratory tract is the portal of entry for respiratory pathogens, such as avian influenza virus (AIV). The presence of microorganisms is sensed by pathogen recognition receptors (such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs)) of the innate immune defenses. Innate responses are essential for subsequent induction of potent adaptive immune responses, but little information is available about innate antiviral responses of the chicken trachea. We hypothesized that TLR ligands induce innate antiviral responses in the chicken trachea. Tracheal organ cultures (TOC) were used to investigate localized innate responses to TLR ligands. Expression of candidate genes, which play a role in antiviral responses, was quantified. To confirm the antiviral responses of stimulated TOC, chicken macrophages were treated with supernatants from stimulated TOC, prior to infection with AIV. The results demonstrated that TLR ligands induced the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, type I interferons and interferon stimulated genes in the chicken trachea. In conclusion, TLR ligands induce functional antiviral responses in the chicken trachea, which may act against some pathogens, such as AIV. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Whitefly Bemisia tabaci Knottin-1 Gene Is Implicated in Regulating the Quantity of Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus Ingested and Transmitted by the Insect
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070205 - 22 Jul 2016
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2139
Abstract
The whitefly Bemisia tabaci is a major pest to agricultural crops. It transmits begomoviruses, such as Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), in a circular, persistent fashion. Transcriptome analyses revealed that B. tabaci knottin genes were responsive to various stresses. Upon ingestion of [...] Read more.
The whitefly Bemisia tabaci is a major pest to agricultural crops. It transmits begomoviruses, such as Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), in a circular, persistent fashion. Transcriptome analyses revealed that B. tabaci knottin genes were responsive to various stresses. Upon ingestion of tomato begomoviruses, two of the four knottin genes were upregulated, knot-1 (with the highest expression) and knot-3. In this study, we examined the involvement of B. tabaci knottin genes in relation to TYLCV circulative transmission. Knottins were silenced by feeding whiteflies with knottin dsRNA via detached tomato leaves. Large amounts of knot-1 transcripts were present in the abdomen of whiteflies, an obligatory transit site of begomoviruses in their circulative transmission pathway; knot-1 silencing significantly depleted the abdomen from knot-1 transcripts. Knot-1 silencing led to an increase in the amounts of TYLCV ingested by the insects and transmitted to tomato test plants by several orders of magnitude. This effect was not observed following knot-3 silencing. Hence, knot-1 plays a role in restricting the quantity of virions an insect may acquire and transmit. We suggest that knot-1 protects B. tabaci against deleterious effects caused by TYLCV by limiting the amount of virus associated with the whitefly vector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Plant Virus—Insect Vector Interactions)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Inactivation of RNA Viruses by Gamma Irradiation: A Study on Mitigating Factors
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070204 - 22 Jul 2016
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1835
Abstract
Effective inactivation of biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) pathogens is vital in order to study these agents safely. Gamma irradiation is a commonly used method for the inactivation of BSL-4 viruses, which among other advantages, facilitates the study of inactivated yet morphologically intact virions. [...] Read more.
Effective inactivation of biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) pathogens is vital in order to study these agents safely. Gamma irradiation is a commonly used method for the inactivation of BSL-4 viruses, which among other advantages, facilitates the study of inactivated yet morphologically intact virions. The reported values for susceptibility of viruses to inactivation by gamma irradiation are sometimes inconsistent, likely due to differences in experimental protocols. We analyzed the effects of common sample attributes on the inactivation of a recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus expressing the Zaire ebolavirus glycoprotein and green fluorescent protein. Using this surrogate virus, we found that sample volume and protein content of the sample modulated viral inactivation by gamma irradiation but that air volume within the sample container and the addition of external disinfectant surrounding the sample did not. These data identify several factors which alter viral susceptibility to inactivation and highlight the usefulness of lower biosafety level surrogate viruses for such studies. Our results underscore the need to validate inactivation protocols of BSL-4 pathogens using “worst-case scenario” procedures to ensure complete sample inactivation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Ectromelia Virus Disease Characterization in the BALB/c Mouse: A Surrogate Model for Assessment of Smallpox Medical Countermeasures
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070203 - 22 Jul 2016
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1608
Abstract
In 2007, the United States– Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued guidance concerning animal models for testing the efficacy of medical countermeasures against variola virus (VARV), the etiologic agent for smallpox. Ectromelia virus (ECTV) is naturally-occurring and responsible for severe mortality and morbidity [...] Read more.
In 2007, the United States– Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued guidance concerning animal models for testing the efficacy of medical countermeasures against variola virus (VARV), the etiologic agent for smallpox. Ectromelia virus (ECTV) is naturally-occurring and responsible for severe mortality and morbidity as a result of mousepox disease in the murine model, displaying similarities to variola infection in humans. Due to the increased need of acceptable surrogate animal models for poxvirus disease, we have characterized ECTV infection in the BALB/c mouse. Mice were inoculated intranasally with a high lethal dose (125 PFU) of ECTV, resulting in complete mortality 10 days after infection. Decreases in weight and temperature from baseline were observed eight to nine days following infection. Viral titers via quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and plaque assay were first observed in the blood at 4.5 days post-infection and in tissue (spleen and liver) at 3.5 days post-infection. Adverse clinical signs of disease were first observed four and five days post-infection, with severe signs occurring on day 7. Pathological changes consistent with ECTV infection were first observed five days after infection. Examination of data obtained from these parameters suggests the ECTV BALB/c model is suitable for potential use in medical countermeasures (MCMs) development and efficacy testing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Antivirals & Vaccines)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
The Role of Phlebovirus Glycoproteins in Viral Entry, Assembly and Release
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 202; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070202 - 21 Jul 2016
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3463
Abstract
Bunyaviruses are enveloped viruses with a tripartite RNA genome that can pose a serious threat to animal and human health. Members of the Phlebovirus genus of the family Bunyaviridae are transmitted by mosquitos and ticks to humans and include highly pathogenic agents like [...] Read more.
Bunyaviruses are enveloped viruses with a tripartite RNA genome that can pose a serious threat to animal and human health. Members of the Phlebovirus genus of the family Bunyaviridae are transmitted by mosquitos and ticks to humans and include highly pathogenic agents like Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) and severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV) as well as viruses that do not cause disease in humans, like Uukuniemi virus (UUKV). Phleboviruses and other bunyaviruses use their envelope proteins, Gn and Gc, for entry into target cells and for assembly of progeny particles in infected cells. Thus, binding of Gn and Gc to cell surface factors promotes viral attachment and uptake into cells and exposure to endosomal low pH induces Gc-driven fusion of the viral and the vesicle membranes. Moreover, Gn and Gc facilitate virion incorporation of the viral genome via their intracellular domains and Gn and Gc interactions allow the formation of a highly ordered glycoprotein lattice on the virion surface. Studies conducted in the last decade provided important insights into the configuration of phlebovirus Gn and Gc proteins in the viral membrane, the cellular factors used by phleboviruses for entry and the mechanisms employed by phlebovirus Gc proteins for membrane fusion. Here, we will review our knowledge on the glycoprotein biogenesis and the role of Gn and Gc proteins in the phlebovirus replication cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Bunyavirus Research) Printed Edition available
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Infection Counter: Automated Quantification of in Vitro Virus Replication by Fluorescence Microscopy
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070201 - 21 Jul 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2394
Abstract
The ability to accurately and reliably quantify viral infection is essential to basic and translational virology research. Here, we describe a simple and robust automated method for using fluorescence microscopy to estimate the proportion of virally infected cells in a monolayer. We provide [...] Read more.
The ability to accurately and reliably quantify viral infection is essential to basic and translational virology research. Here, we describe a simple and robust automated method for using fluorescence microscopy to estimate the proportion of virally infected cells in a monolayer. We provide details of the automated analysis workflow along with a freely available open-source ImageJ plugin, Infection Counter, for performing image quantification. Using hepatitis C virus (HCV) as an example, we have experimentally verified our method, demonstrating that it is equivalent, if not better, than the established focus-forming assay. Finally, we used Infection Counter to assess the anti-HCV activity of SMBz-CsA, a non-immunosuppressive cyclosporine analogue. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
A Phylogenetic Survey on the Structure of the HIV-1 Leader RNA Domain That Encodes the Splice Donor Signal
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 200; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070200 - 21 Jul 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1635
Abstract
RNA splicing is a critical step in the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication cycle because it controls the expression of the complex viral proteome. The major 5′ splice site (5′ss) that is positioned in the untranslated leader of the HIV-1 RNA [...] Read more.
RNA splicing is a critical step in the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication cycle because it controls the expression of the complex viral proteome. The major 5′ splice site (5′ss) that is positioned in the untranslated leader of the HIV-1 RNA transcript is of particular interest because it is used for the production of the more than 40 differentially spliced subgenomic mRNAs. HIV-1 splicing needs to be balanced tightly to ensure the proper levels of all viral proteins, including the Gag-Pol proteins that are translated from the unspliced RNA. We previously presented evidence that the major 5′ss is regulated by a repressive local RNA structure, the splice donor (SD) hairpin, that masks the 11 nucleotides (nts) of the 5′ss signal for recognition by U1 small nuclear RNA (snRNA) of the spliceosome machinery. A strikingly different multiple-hairpin RNA conformation was recently proposed for this part of the HIV-1 leader RNA. We therefore inspected the sequence of natural HIV-1 isolates in search for support, in the form of base pair (bp) co-variations, for the different RNA conformations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Packaging)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
N-Terminal Domain of Feline Calicivirus (FCV) Proteinase-Polymerase Contributes to the Inhibition of Host Cell Transcription
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070199 - 20 Jul 2016
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1608
Abstract
Feline Calicivirus (FCV) infection results in the inhibition of host protein synthesis, known as “shut-off”. However, the precise mechanism of shut-off remains unknown. Here, we found that the FCV strain 2280 proteinase-polymerase (PP) protein can suppress luciferase reporter gene expression driven by endogenous [...] Read more.
Feline Calicivirus (FCV) infection results in the inhibition of host protein synthesis, known as “shut-off”. However, the precise mechanism of shut-off remains unknown. Here, we found that the FCV strain 2280 proteinase-polymerase (PP) protein can suppress luciferase reporter gene expression driven by endogenous and exogenous promoters. Furthermore, we found that the N-terminal 263 aa of PP (PPN-263) determined its shut-off activity using the expression of truncated proteins. However, the same domain of the FCV strain F9 PP protein failed to inhibit gene expression. A comparison between strains 2280 and F9 indicated that Val27, Ala96 and Ala98 were key sites for the inhibition of host gene expression by strain 2280 PPN-263, and PPN-263 exhibited the ability to shut off host gene expression as long as it contained any two of the three amino acids. Because the N-terminus of the PP protein is required for its proteinase and shut-off activities, we investigated the ability of norovirus 3C-like proteins (3CLP) from the GII.4-1987 and -2012 isolates to interfere with host gene expression. The results showed that 3CLP from both isolates was able to shut off host gene expression, but 3CLP from GII.4-2012 had a stronger inhibitory activity than that from GII.4-1987. Finally, we found that 2280 PP and 3CLP significantly repressed reporter gene transcription but did not affect mRNA translation. Our results provide new insight into the mechanism of the FCV-mediated inhibition of host gene expression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
KSHV-Mediated Angiogenesis in Tumor Progression
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 198; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070198 - 20 Jul 2016
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 2546
Abstract
Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8), also known as Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), is a malignant human oncovirus belonging to the gamma herpesvirus family. HHV-8 is closely linked to the pathogenesis of Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) and two other B-cell lymphoproliferative diseases: primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) [...] Read more.
Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8), also known as Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), is a malignant human oncovirus belonging to the gamma herpesvirus family. HHV-8 is closely linked to the pathogenesis of Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) and two other B-cell lymphoproliferative diseases: primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) and a plasmablastic variant of multicentric Castleman’s disease (MCD). KS is an invasive tumor of endothelial cells most commonly found in untreated HIV-AIDS or immuno-compromised individuals. KS tumors are highly vascularized and have abnormal, excessive neo-angiogenesis, inflammation, and proliferation of infected endothelial cells. KSHV directly induces angiogenesis in an autocrine and paracrine fashion through a complex interplay of various viral and cellular pro-angiogenic and inflammatory factors. KS is believed to originate due to a combination of KSHV’s efficient strategies for evading host immune systems and several pro-angiogenic and pro-inflammatory stimuli. In addition, KSHV infection of endothelial cells produces a wide array of viral oncoproteins with transforming capabilities that regulate multiple host-signaling pathways involved in the activation of angiogenesis. It is likely that the cellular-signaling pathways of angiogenesis and lymph-angiogenesis modulate the rate of tumorigenesis induction by KSHV. This review summarizes the current knowledge on regulating KSHV-mediated angiogenesis by integrating the findings reported thus far on the roles of host and viral genes in oncogenesis, recent developments in cell-culture/animal-model systems, and various anti-angiogenic therapies for treating KSHV-related lymphoproliferative disorders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Subversion of Stress Responses and Translational Control)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Reporter-Expressing, Replicating-Competent Recombinant Arenaviruses
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 197; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070197 - 20 Jul 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2429
Abstract
Several arenaviruses cause hemorrhagic fever (HF) disease in humans and pose an important public health problem in their endemic regions. To date, no Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-licensed vaccines are available to combat human arenavirus infections, and current anti-arenaviral drug therapy is limited [...] Read more.
Several arenaviruses cause hemorrhagic fever (HF) disease in humans and pose an important public health problem in their endemic regions. To date, no Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-licensed vaccines are available to combat human arenavirus infections, and current anti-arenaviral drug therapy is limited to an off-label use of ribavirin that is only partially effective. The development of arenavirus reverse genetic approaches has provided investigators with a novel and powerful approach for the study of arenavirus biology including virus–host interactions underlying arenavirus induced disease. The use of cell-based minigenome systems has allowed examining the cis- and trans-acting factors involved in arenavirus replication and transcription, as well as particle assembly and budding. Likewise, it is now feasible to rescue infectious arenaviruses containing predetermined mutations in their genomes to investigate virus-host interactions and mechanisms of pathogenesis. The use of reverse genetics approaches has also allowed the generation of recombinant arenaviruses expressing additional genes of interest. These advances in arenavirus molecular genetics have also facilitated the implementation of novel screens to identify anti-arenaviral drugs, and the development of novel strategies for the generation of arenavirus live-attenuated vaccines. In this review, we will summarize the current knowledge on reporter-expressing, replicating-competent arenaviruses harboring reporter genes in different locations of the viral genome and their use for studying and understanding arenavirus biology and the identification of anti-arenaviral drugs to combat these important human pathogens. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Molecular and Genetic Characterization of HIV-1 Tat Exon-1 Gene from Cameroon Shows Conserved Tat HLA-Binding Epitopes: Functional Implications
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 196; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070196 - 18 Jul 2016
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2069
Abstract
HIV-1 Tat plays a critical role in viral transactivation. Subtype-B Tat has potential use as a therapeutic vaccine. However, viral genetic diversity and population genetics would significantly impact the efficacy of such a vaccine. Over 70% of the 37-million HIV-infected individuals are in [...] Read more.
HIV-1 Tat plays a critical role in viral transactivation. Subtype-B Tat has potential use as a therapeutic vaccine. However, viral genetic diversity and population genetics would significantly impact the efficacy of such a vaccine. Over 70% of the 37-million HIV-infected individuals are in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and harbor non-subtype-B HIV-1. Using specimens from 100 HIV-infected Cameroonians, we analyzed the sequences of HIV-1 Tat exon-1, its functional domains, post-translational modifications (PTMs), and human leukocyte antigens (HLA)-binding epitopes. Molecular phylogeny revealed a high genetic diversity with nine subtypes, CRF22_01A1/CRF01_AE, and negative selection in all subtypes. Amino acid mutations in Tat functional domains included N24K (44%), N29K (58%), and N40K (30%) in CRF02_AG, and N24K in all G subtypes. Motifs and phosphorylation analyses showed conserved amidation, N-myristoylation, casein kinase-2 (CK2), serine and threonine phosphorylation sites. Analysis of HLA allelic frequencies showed that epitopes for HLAs A*0205, B*5301, Cw*0401, Cw*0602, and Cw*0702 were conserved in 58%–100% of samples, with B*5301 epitopes having binding affinity scores > 100 in all subtypes. This is the first report of N-myristoylation, amidation, and CK2 sites in Tat; these PTMs and mutations could affect Tat function. HLA epitopes identified could be useful for designing Tat-based vaccines for highly diverse HIV-1 populations, as in SSA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Antivirals & Vaccines)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Cross-Species Antiviral Activity of Goose Interferons against Duck Plague Virus Is Related to Its Positive Self-Feedback Regulation and Subsequent Interferon Stimulated Genes Induction
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070195 - 18 Jul 2016
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1646
Abstract
Interferons are a group of antiviral cytokines acting as the first line of defense in the antiviral immunity. Here, we describe the antiviral activity of goose type I interferon (IFNα) and type II interferon (IFNγ) against duck plague virus (DPV). Recombinant goose IFNα [...] Read more.
Interferons are a group of antiviral cytokines acting as the first line of defense in the antiviral immunity. Here, we describe the antiviral activity of goose type I interferon (IFNα) and type II interferon (IFNγ) against duck plague virus (DPV). Recombinant goose IFNα and IFNγ proteins of approximately 20 kDa and 18 kDa, respectively, were expressed. Following DPV-enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) infection of duck embryo fibroblast cells (DEFs) with IFNα and IFNγ pre-treatment, the number of viral gene copies decreased more than 100-fold, with viral titers dropping approximately 100-fold. Compared to the control, DPV-EGFP cell positivity was decreased by goose IFNα and IFNγ at 36 hpi (3.89%; 0.79%) and 48 hpi (17.05%; 5.58%). In accordance with interferon-stimulated genes being the “workhorse” of IFN activity, the expression of duck myxovirus resistance (Mx) and oligoadenylate synthetases-like (OASL) was significantly upregulated (p < 0.001) by IFN treatment for 24 h. Interestingly, duck cells and goose cells showed a similar trend of increased ISG expression after goose IFNα and IFNγ pretreatment. Another interesting observation is that the positive feedback regulation of type I IFN and type II IFN by goose IFNα and IFNγ was confirmed in waterfowl for the first time. These results suggest that the antiviral activities of goose IFNα and IFNγ can likely be attributed to the potency with which downstream genes are induced by interferon. These findings will contribute to our understanding of the functional significance of the interferon antiviral system in aquatic birds and to the development of interferon-based prophylactic and therapeutic approaches against viral disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Antivirals & Vaccines)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
RNA Encapsidation and Packaging in the Phleboviruses
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070194 - 15 Jul 2016
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2597
Abstract
The Bunyaviridae represents the largest family of segmented RNA viruses, which infect a staggering diversity of plants, animals, and insects. Within the family Bunyaviridae, the Phlebovirus genus includes several important human and animal pathogens, including Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), severe fever [...] Read more.
The Bunyaviridae represents the largest family of segmented RNA viruses, which infect a staggering diversity of plants, animals, and insects. Within the family Bunyaviridae, the Phlebovirus genus includes several important human and animal pathogens, including Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV), Uukuniemi virus (UUKV), and the sandfly fever viruses. The phleboviruses have small tripartite RNA genomes that encode a repertoire of 5–7 proteins. These few proteins accomplish the daunting task of recognizing and specifically packaging a tri-segment complement of viral genomic RNA in the midst of an abundance of host components. The critical nucleation events that eventually lead to virion production begin early on in the host cytoplasm as the first strands of nascent viral RNA (vRNA) are synthesized. The interaction between the vRNA and the viral nucleocapsid (N) protein effectively protects and masks the RNA from the host, and also forms the ribonucleoprotein (RNP) architecture that mediates downstream interactions and drives virion formation. Although the mechanism by which all three genomic counterparts are selectively co-packaged is not completely understood, we are beginning to understand the hierarchy of interactions that begins with N-RNA packaging and culminates in RNP packaging into new virus particles. In this review we focus on recent progress that highlights the molecular basis of RNA genome packaging in the phleboviruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Packaging)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Determinants of Genomic RNA Encapsidation in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Long Terminal Repeat Retrotransposons Ty1 and Ty3
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 193; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070193 - 14 Jul 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2594
Abstract
Long-terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons are transposable genetic elements that replicate intracellularly, and can be considered progenitors of retroviruses. Ty1 and Ty3 are the most extensively characterized LTR retrotransposons whose RNA genomes provide the template for both protein translation and genomic RNA that is [...] Read more.
Long-terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons are transposable genetic elements that replicate intracellularly, and can be considered progenitors of retroviruses. Ty1 and Ty3 are the most extensively characterized LTR retrotransposons whose RNA genomes provide the template for both protein translation and genomic RNA that is packaged into virus-like particles (VLPs) and reverse transcribed. Genomic RNAs are not divided into separate pools of translated and packaged RNAs, therefore their trafficking and packaging into VLPs requires an equilibrium between competing events. In this review, we focus on Ty1 and Ty3 genomic RNA trafficking and packaging as essential steps of retrotransposon propagation. We summarize the existing knowledge on genomic RNA sequences and structures essential to these processes, the role of Gag proteins in repression of genomic RNA translation, delivery to VLP assembly sites, and encapsidation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Packaging)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Coordination of Genomic RNA Packaging with Viral Assembly in HIV-1
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070192 - 14 Jul 2016
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4400
Abstract
The tremendous progress made in unraveling the complexities of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) replication has resulted in a library of drugs to target key aspects of the replication cycle of the virus. Yet, despite this accumulated wealth of knowledge, we still have much [...] Read more.
The tremendous progress made in unraveling the complexities of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) replication has resulted in a library of drugs to target key aspects of the replication cycle of the virus. Yet, despite this accumulated wealth of knowledge, we still have much to learn about certain viral processes. One of these is virus assembly, where the viral genome and proteins come together to form infectious progeny. Here we review this topic from the perspective of how the route to production of an infectious virion is orchestrated by the viral genome, and we compare and contrast aspects of the assembly mechanisms employed by HIV-1 with those of other RNA viruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue RNA Packaging)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Heat Shock Enhances the Expression of the Human T Cell Leukemia Virus Type-I (HTLV-I) Trans-Activator (Tax) Antigen in Human HTLV-I Infected Primary and Cultured T Cells
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070191 - 11 Jul 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1819
Abstract
The environmental factors that lead to the reactivation of human T cell leukemia virus type-1 (HTLV-I) in latently infected T cells in vivo remain unknown. It has been previously shown that heat shock (HS) is a potent inducer of HTLV-I viral protein expression [...] Read more.
The environmental factors that lead to the reactivation of human T cell leukemia virus type-1 (HTLV-I) in latently infected T cells in vivo remain unknown. It has been previously shown that heat shock (HS) is a potent inducer of HTLV-I viral protein expression in long-term cultured cell lines. However, the precise HTLV-I protein(s) and mechanisms by which HS induces its effect remain ill-defined. We initiated these studies by first monitoring the levels of the trans-activator (Tax) protein induced by exposure of the HTLV-I infected cell line to HS. HS treatment at 43 °C for 30 min for 24 h led to marked increases in the level of Tax antigen expression in all HTLV-I-infected T cell lines tested including a number of HTLV-I-naturally infected T cell lines. HS also increased the expression of functional HTLV-I envelope gp46 antigen, as shown by increased syncytium formation activity. Interestingly, the enhancing effect of HS was partially inhibited by the addition of the heat shock protein 70 (HSP70)-inhibitor pifithlin-μ (PFT). In contrast, the HSP 70-inducer zerumbone (ZER) enhanced Tax expression in the absence of HS. These data suggest that HSP 70 is at least partially involved in HS-mediated stimulation of Tax expression. As expected, HS resulted in enhanced expression of the Tax-inducible host antigens, such as CD83 and OX40. Finally, we confirmed that HS enhanced the levels of Tax and gp46 antigen expression in primary human CD4+ T cells isolated from HTLV-I-infected humanized NOD/SCID/γc null (NOG) mice and HTLV-I carriers. In summary, the data presented herein indicate that HS is one of the environmental factors involved in the reactivation of HTLV-I in vivo via enhanced Tax expression, which may favor HTLV-I expansion in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in HTLV Research 2015) Printed Edition available
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Properties of African Cassava Mosaic Virus Capsid Protein Expressed in Fission Yeast
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 190; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070190 - 08 Jul 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2093
Abstract
The capsid proteins (CPs) of geminiviruses combine multiple functions for packaging the single-stranded viral genome, insect transmission and shuttling between the nucleus and the cytoplasm. African cassava mosaic virus (ACMV) CP was expressed in fission yeast, and purified by SDS gel electrophoresis. After [...] Read more.
The capsid proteins (CPs) of geminiviruses combine multiple functions for packaging the single-stranded viral genome, insect transmission and shuttling between the nucleus and the cytoplasm. African cassava mosaic virus (ACMV) CP was expressed in fission yeast, and purified by SDS gel electrophoresis. After tryptic digestion of this protein, mass spectrometry covered 85% of the amino acid sequence and detected three N-terminal phosphorylation sites (threonine 12, serines 25 and 62). Differential centrifugation of cell extracts separated the CP into two fractions, the supernatant and pellet. Upon isopycnic centrifugation of the supernatant, most of the CP accumulated at densities typical for free proteins, whereas the CP in the pellet fraction showed a partial binding to nucleic acids. Size-exclusion chromatography of the supernatant CP indicated high order complexes. In DNA binding assays, supernatant CP accelerated the migration of ssDNA in agarose gels, which is a first hint for particle formation. Correspondingly, CP shifted ssDNA to the expected densities of virus particles upon isopycnic centrifugation. Nevertheless, electron microscopy did not reveal any twin particles, which are characteristic for geminiviruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viruses of Plants, Fungi and Protozoa)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
A Truncated Nef Peptide from SIVcpz Inhibits the Production of HIV-1 Infectious Progeny
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070189 - 07 Jul 2016
Viewed by 1767
Abstract
Nef proteins from all primate Lentiviruses, including the simian immunodeficiency virus of chimpanzees (SIVcpz), increase viral progeny infectivity. However, the function of Nef involved with the increase in viral infectivity is still not completely understood. Nonetheless, until now, studies investigating the functions of [...] Read more.
Nef proteins from all primate Lentiviruses, including the simian immunodeficiency virus of chimpanzees (SIVcpz), increase viral progeny infectivity. However, the function of Nef involved with the increase in viral infectivity is still not completely understood. Nonetheless, until now, studies investigating the functions of Nef from SIVcpz have been conducted in the context of the HIV-1 proviruses. In an attempt to investigate the role played by Nef during the replication cycle of an SIVcpz, a Nef-defective derivative was obtained from the SIVcpzWTGab2 clone by introducing a frame shift mutation at a unique restriction site within the nef sequence. This nef-deleted clone expresses an N-terminal 74-amino acid truncated peptide of Nef and was named SIVcpz-tNef. We found that the SIVcpz-tNef does not behave as a classic nef-deleted HIV-1 or simian immunodeficiency virus of macaques SIVmac. Markedly, SIVcpz-tNef progeny from both Hek-293T and Molt producer cells were completely non-infectious. Moreover, the loss in infectivity of SIVcpz-tNef correlated with the inhibition of Gag and GagPol processing. A marked accumulation of Gag and very low levels of reverse transcriptase were detected in viral lysates. Furthermore, these observations were reproduced once the tNef peptide was expressed in trans both in SIVcpzΔNef and HIV-1WT expressing cells, demonstrating that the truncated peptide is a dominant negative for viral processing and infectivity for both SIVcpz and HIV-1. We demonstrated that the truncated Nef peptide binds to GagPol outside the protease region and by doing so probably blocks processing of both GagPol and Gag precursors at a very early stage. This study demonstrates for the first time that naturally-occurring Nef peptides can potently block lentiviral processing and infectivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
A Sequence-Independent Strategy for Amplification and Characterisation of Episomal Badnavirus Sequences Reveals Three Previously Uncharacterised Yam Badnaviruses
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 188; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070188 - 07 Jul 2016
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2276
Abstract
Yam (Dioscorea spp.) plants are potentially hosts to a diverse range of badnavirus species (genus Badnavirus, family Caulimoviridae), but their detection is complicated by the existence of integrated badnavirus sequences in some yam genomes. To date, only two badnavirus genomes [...] Read more.
Yam (Dioscorea spp.) plants are potentially hosts to a diverse range of badnavirus species (genus Badnavirus, family Caulimoviridae), but their detection is complicated by the existence of integrated badnavirus sequences in some yam genomes. To date, only two badnavirus genomes have been characterised, namely, Dioscorea bacilliform AL virus (DBALV) and Dioscorea bacilliform SN virus (DBSNV). A further 10 tentative species in yam have been described based on their partial reverse transcriptase (RT)-ribonuclease H (RNaseH) sequences, generically referred to here as Dioscorea bacilliform viruses (DBVs). Further characterisation of DBV species is necessary to determine which represent episomal viruses and which are only present as integrated badnavirus sequences in some yam genomes. In this study, a sequence-independent multiply-primed rolling circle amplification (RCA) method was evaluated for selective amplification of episomal DBV genomes. This resulted in the identification and characterisation of nine complete genomic sequences (7.4–7.7 kbp) of existing and previously undescribed DBV phylogenetic groups from Dioscorea alata and Dioscorea rotundata accessions. These new yam badnavirus genomes expand our understanding of the diversity and genomic organisation of DBVs, and assist the development of improved diagnostic tools. Our findings also suggest that mixed badnavirus infections occur relatively often in West African yam germplasm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viruses of Plants, Fungi and Protozoa)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Effectiveness of Four Disinfectants against Ebola Virus on Different Materials
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070185 - 07 Jul 2016
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2297
Abstract
The West Africa Ebola virus (EBOV) outbreak has highlighted the need for effective disinfectants capable of reducing viral load in a range of sample types, equipment and settings. Although chlorine-based products are widely used, they can also be damaging to equipment or apparatus [...] Read more.
The West Africa Ebola virus (EBOV) outbreak has highlighted the need for effective disinfectants capable of reducing viral load in a range of sample types, equipment and settings. Although chlorine-based products are widely used, they can also be damaging to equipment or apparatus that needs continuous use such as aircraft use for transportation of infected people. Two aircraft cleaning solutions were assessed alongside two common laboratory disinfectants in a contact kill assay with EBOV on two aircraft relevant materials representative of a porous and non-porous surface. A decimal log reduction of viral titre of 4 is required for a disinfectant to be deemed effective and two of the disinfectants fulfilled this criteria under the conditions tested. One product, Ardrox 6092, was found to perform similarly to sodium hypochlorite, but as it does not have the corrosive properties of sodium hypochlorite, it could be an alternative disinfectant solution to be used for decontamination of EBOV on sensitive apparatus. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Advances in Ebolavirus, Marburgvirus, and Cuevavirus Research)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Recombinant Ranaviruses for Studying Evolution of Host–Pathogen Interactions in Ectothermic Vertebrates
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 187; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070187 - 06 Jul 2016
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1930
Abstract
Ranaviruses (Iridoviridae) are large DNA viruses that are causing emerging infectious diseases at an alarming rate in both wild and captive cold blood vertebrate species all over the world. Although the general biology of these viruses that presents some similarities with [...] Read more.
Ranaviruses (Iridoviridae) are large DNA viruses that are causing emerging infectious diseases at an alarming rate in both wild and captive cold blood vertebrate species all over the world. Although the general biology of these viruses that presents some similarities with poxvirus is characterized, many aspects of their replication cycles, host cell interactions and evolution still remain largely unclear, especially in vivo. Over several years, strategies to generate site-specific ranavirus recombinant, either expressing fluorescent reporter genes or deficient for particular viral genes, have been developed. We review here these strategies, the main ranavirus recombinants characterized and their usefulness for in vitro and in vivo studies. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Impaired Expression of Cytokines as a Result of Viral Infections with an Emphasis on Small Ruminant Lentivirus Infection in Goats
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070186 - 05 Jul 2016
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1556
Abstract
Knowing about the genes involved in immunity, and being able to identify the factors influencing their expressions, helps in gaining awareness of the immune processes. The qPCR method is a useful gene expression analysis tool, but studies on immune system genes are still [...] Read more.
Knowing about the genes involved in immunity, and being able to identify the factors influencing their expressions, helps in gaining awareness of the immune processes. The qPCR method is a useful gene expression analysis tool, but studies on immune system genes are still limited, especially on the caprine immune system. Caprine arthritis encephalitis, a disease caused by small ruminant lentivirus (SRLV), causes economic losses in goat breeding, and there is no therapy against SRLV. The results of studies on vaccines against other viruses are promising. Moreover, the Marker-Assisted Selection strategy against SRLV is possible, as has been shown in sheep breeding. However, there are still many gaps in our knowledge on the caprine immune response to infection. All types of cytokines play pivotal roles in immunity, and SRLV infection influences the expression of many cytokines in different types of cells. This information encouraged the authors to examine the results of studies conducted on SRLV and other viral infections, with an emphasis on the expression of cytokine genes. This review attempts to summarize the results of studies on the expression of cytokines in the context of the SRLV infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
Open AccessReview
Regulation of Stress Responses and Translational Control by Coronavirus
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070184 - 04 Jul 2016
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2510
Abstract
Similar to other viruses, coronavirus infection triggers cellular stress responses in infected host cells. The close association of coronavirus replication with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) results in the ER stress responses, which impose a challenge to the viruses. Viruses, in turn, have come [...] Read more.
Similar to other viruses, coronavirus infection triggers cellular stress responses in infected host cells. The close association of coronavirus replication with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) results in the ER stress responses, which impose a challenge to the viruses. Viruses, in turn, have come up with various mechanisms to block or subvert these responses. One of the ER stress responses is inhibition of the global protein synthesis to reduce the amount of unfolded proteins inside the ER lumen. Viruses have evolved the capacity to overcome the protein translation shutoff to ensure viral protein production. Here, we review the strategies exploited by coronavirus to modulate cellular stress response pathways. The involvement of coronavirus-induced stress responses and translational control in viral pathogenesis will also be briefly discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Subversion of Stress Responses and Translational Control)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Newcastle Disease Virus as a Vaccine Vector for Development of Human and Veterinary Vaccines
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070183 - 04 Jul 2016
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 3267
Abstract
Viral vaccine vectors have shown to be effective in inducing a robust immune response against the vaccine antigen. Newcastle disease virus (NDV), an avian paramyxovirus, is a promising vaccine vector against human and veterinary pathogens. Avirulent NDV strains LaSota and B1 have long [...] Read more.
Viral vaccine vectors have shown to be effective in inducing a robust immune response against the vaccine antigen. Newcastle disease virus (NDV), an avian paramyxovirus, is a promising vaccine vector against human and veterinary pathogens. Avirulent NDV strains LaSota and B1 have long track records of safety and efficacy. Therefore, use of these strains as vaccine vectors is highly safe in avian and non-avian species. NDV replicates efficiently in the respiratory track of the host and induces strong local and systemic immune responses against the foreign antigen. As a vaccine vector, NDV can accommodate foreign sequences with a good degree of stability and as a RNA virus, there is limited possibility for recombination with host cell DNA. Using NDV as a vaccine vector in humans offers several advantages over other viral vaccine vectors. NDV is safe in humans due to host range restriction and there is no pre-existing antibody to NDV in the human population. NDV is antigenically distinct from common human pathogens. NDV replicates to high titer in a cell line acceptable for human vaccine development. Therefore, NDV is an attractive vaccine vector for human pathogens for which vaccines are currently not available. NDV is also an attractive vaccine vector for animal pathogens. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessBrief Report
The p22 RNA Silencing Suppressor of the Crinivirus Tomato chlorosis virus is Dispensable for Local Viral Replication but Important for Counteracting an Antiviral RDR6-Mediated Response during Systemic Infection
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070182 - 28 Jun 2016
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1946
Abstract
Among the components of the RNA silencing pathway in plants, RNA-dependent RNA polymerases (RDRs) play fundamental roles in antiviral defence. Here, we demonstrate that the Nicotiana benthamiana RDR6 is involved in defence against the bipartite crinivirus (genus Crinivirus, family Closteroviridae) Tomato [...] Read more.
Among the components of the RNA silencing pathway in plants, RNA-dependent RNA polymerases (RDRs) play fundamental roles in antiviral defence. Here, we demonstrate that the Nicotiana benthamiana RDR6 is involved in defence against the bipartite crinivirus (genus Crinivirus, family Closteroviridae) Tomato chlorosis virus (ToCV). Additionally, by producing a p22-deficient ToCV infectious mutant clone (ToCVΔp22), we studied the role of this viral suppressor of RNA silencing in viral infection in both wild-type and RDR6-silenced N. benthamiana (NbRDR6i) plants. We demonstrate that p22 is dispensable for the replication of ToCV, where RDR6 appears not to have any effect. Furthermore, the finding that ToCV∆p22 systemic accumulation was impaired in wild-type N. benthamiana but not in NbRDR6i plants suggests a role for p22 in counteracting an RDR6-mediated antiviral response of the plant during systemic infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viruses of Plants, Fungi and Protozoa)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Development of Neutralization Assay Using an eGFP Chikungunya Virus
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 181; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070181 - 28 Jun 2016
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2744
Abstract
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), a member of the Alphavirus genus, is an important human emerging/re-emerging pathogen. Currently, there are no effective antiviral drugs or vaccines against CHIKV infection. Herein, we construct an infectious clone of CHIKV and an eGFP reporter CHIKV (eGFP-CHIKV) with an [...] Read more.
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), a member of the Alphavirus genus, is an important human emerging/re-emerging pathogen. Currently, there are no effective antiviral drugs or vaccines against CHIKV infection. Herein, we construct an infectious clone of CHIKV and an eGFP reporter CHIKV (eGFP-CHIKV) with an isolated strain (assigned to Asian lineage) from CHIKV-infected patients. The eGFP-CHIKV reporter virus allows for direct visualization of viral replication through the levels of eGFP expression. Using a known CHIKV inhibitor, ribavirin, we confirmed that the eGFP-CHIKV reporter virus could be used to identify inhibitors against CHIKV. Importantly, we developed a novel and reliable eGFP-CHIKV reporter virus-based neutralization assay that could be used for rapid screening neutralizing antibodies against CHIKV. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Who Regulates Whom? An Overview of RNA Granules and Viral Infections
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070180 - 28 Jun 2016
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 2924
Abstract
After viral infection, host cells respond by mounting an anti-viral stress response in order to create a hostile atmosphere for viral replication, leading to the shut-off of mRNA translation (protein synthesis) and the assembly of RNA granules. Two of these RNA granules have [...] Read more.
After viral infection, host cells respond by mounting an anti-viral stress response in order to create a hostile atmosphere for viral replication, leading to the shut-off of mRNA translation (protein synthesis) and the assembly of RNA granules. Two of these RNA granules have been well characterized in yeast and mammalian cells, stress granules (SGs), which are translationally silent sites of RNA triage and processing bodies (PBs), which are involved in mRNA degradation. This review discusses the role of these RNA granules in the evasion of anti-viral stress responses through virus-induced remodeling of cellular ribonucleoproteins (RNPs). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Subversion of Stress Responses and Translational Control)
Open AccessReview
Replication-Competent Influenza A Viruses Expressing Reporter Genes
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070179 - 23 Jun 2016
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2738
Abstract
Influenza A viruses (IAV) cause annual seasonal human respiratory disease epidemics. In addition, IAV have been implicated in occasional pandemics with inordinate health and economic consequences. Studying IAV, in vitro or in vivo, requires the use of laborious secondary methodologies to identify virus-infected [...] Read more.
Influenza A viruses (IAV) cause annual seasonal human respiratory disease epidemics. In addition, IAV have been implicated in occasional pandemics with inordinate health and economic consequences. Studying IAV, in vitro or in vivo, requires the use of laborious secondary methodologies to identify virus-infected cells. To circumvent this requirement, replication-competent IAV expressing an easily traceable reporter protein can be used. Here we discuss the development and applications of recombinant replication-competent IAV harboring diverse fluorescent or bioluminescent reporter genes in different locations of the viral genome. These viruses have been employed for in vitro and in vivo studies, such as the screening of neutralizing antibodies or antiviral compounds, the identification of host factors involved in viral replication, cell tropism, the development of vaccines, or the assessment of viral infection dynamics. In summary, reporter-expressing, replicating-competent IAV represent a powerful tool for the study of IAV both in vitro and in vivo. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Previous Issue
Next Issue
Back to TopTop