Editor's Choice Articles

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of MDPI journals from around the world. Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to authors, or important in this field. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.

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Article
Microglial HIV-1 Expression: Role in HIV-1 Associated Neurocognitive Disorders
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 924; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13050924 - 17 May 2021
Abstract
The persistence of HIV-1 viral reservoirs in the brain, despite treatment with combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), remains a critical roadblock for the development of a novel cure strategy for HIV-1. To enhance our understanding of viral reservoirs, two complementary studies were conducted to [...] Read more.
The persistence of HIV-1 viral reservoirs in the brain, despite treatment with combination antiretroviral therapy (cART), remains a critical roadblock for the development of a novel cure strategy for HIV-1. To enhance our understanding of viral reservoirs, two complementary studies were conducted to (1) evaluate the HIV-1 mRNA distribution pattern and major cell type expressing HIV-1 mRNA in the HIV-1 transgenic (Tg) rat, and (2) validate our findings by developing and critically testing a novel biological system to model active HIV-1 infection in the rat. First, a restricted, region-specific HIV-1 mRNA distribution pattern was observed in the HIV-1 Tg rat. Microglia were the predominant cell type expressing HIV-1 mRNA in the HIV-1 Tg rat. Second, we developed and critically tested a novel biological system to model key aspects of HIV-1 by infusing F344/N control rats with chimeric HIV (EcoHIV). In vitro, primary cultured microglia were treated with EcoHIV revealing prominent expression within 24 h of infection. In vivo, EcoHIV expression was observed seven days after stereotaxic injections. Following EcoHIV infection, microglia were the major cell type expressing HIV-1 mRNA, results that are consistent with observations in the HIV-1 Tg rat. Within eight weeks of infection, EcoHIV rats exhibited neurocognitive impairments and synaptic dysfunction, which may result from activation of the NogoA-NgR3/PirB-RhoA signaling pathway and/or neuroinflammation. Collectively, these studies enhance our understanding of HIV-1 viral reservoirs in the brain and offer a novel biological system to model HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders and associated comorbidities (i.e., drug abuse) in rats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Neurovirology)
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Article
Global Metabolic Profiling of Baculovirus Infection in Silkworm Hemolymph Shows the Importance of Amino-Acid Metabolism
Viruses 2021, 13(5), 841; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13050841 - 06 May 2021
Abstract
Viruses rely on host cell metabolism to provide the necessary energy and biosynthetic precursors for successful viral replication. Infection of the silkworm, Bombyx mori, by Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV), has been studied extensively in the past to unravel interactions between baculoviruses and [...] Read more.
Viruses rely on host cell metabolism to provide the necessary energy and biosynthetic precursors for successful viral replication. Infection of the silkworm, Bombyx mori, by Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV), has been studied extensively in the past to unravel interactions between baculoviruses and their lepidopteran hosts. To understand the interaction between the host metabolic responses and BmNPV infection, we analyzed global metabolic changes associated with BmNPV infection in silkworm hemolymph. Our metabolic profiling data suggests that amino acid metabolism is strikingly altered during a time course of BmNPV infection. Amino acid consumption is increased during BmNPV infection at 24 h post infection (hpi), but their abundance recovered at 72 hpi. Central carbon metabolism, on the other hand, particularly glycolysis and glutaminolysis, did not show obvious changes during BmNPV infection. Pharmacologically inhibiting the glycolytic pathway and glutaminolysis also failed to reduce BmNPV replication, revealing that glycolysis and glutaminolysis are not essential during BmNPV infection. This study reveals a unique amino acid utilization process that is implemented during BmNPV infection. Our metabolomic analysis of BmNPV-infected silkworm provides insights as to how baculoviruses induce alterations in host metabolism during systemic infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Viruses)
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Article
Semipersistently Transmitted, Phloem Limited Plant Viruses Are Inoculated during the First Subphase of Intracellular Stylet Penetrations in Phloem Cells
Viruses 2021, 13(1), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13010137 - 19 Jan 2021
Cited by 1
Abstract
The green peach aphid Myzus persicae Sulzer is the main vector of the semipersistently transmitted and phloem-limited Beet yellows virus (BYV, Closterovirus). Studies monitoring the M. persicae probing behavior by using the Electrical penetration graphs (EPG) technique revealed that inoculation of BYV [...] Read more.
The green peach aphid Myzus persicae Sulzer is the main vector of the semipersistently transmitted and phloem-limited Beet yellows virus (BYV, Closterovirus). Studies monitoring the M. persicae probing behavior by using the Electrical penetration graphs (EPG) technique revealed that inoculation of BYV occurs during unique brief intracellular punctures (phloem-pds) produced in companion and/or sieve element cells. Intracellular stylet punctures (or pds) are subdivided in three subphases (II-1, II-2 and II-3), which have been related to the delivery or uptake of non-phloem limited viruses transmitted in a non-persistent or semipersistent manner. As opposed to non-phloem limited viruses, the specific pd subphase(s) involved in the successful delivery of phloem limited viruses by aphids remain unknown. Therefore, we monitored the feeding process of BYV-carrying M. persicae individuals in sugar beet plants by the EPG technique and the feeding process was artificially terminated at each phloem-pd subphase. Results revealed that aphids that only performed the subphase II-1 of the phloem-pd transmitted BYV at similar efficiency than those allowed to perform subphase II-2 or the complete phloem-pd. This result suggests that BYV inoculation occurs during the first subphase of the phloem-pd. The specific transmission mechanisms involved in BYV delivery in phloem cells are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Closteroviridae)
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Communication
The Anticoagulant Nafamostat Potently Inhibits SARS-CoV-2 S Protein-Mediated Fusion in a Cell Fusion Assay System and Viral Infection In Vitro in a Cell-Type-Dependent Manner
Viruses 2020, 12(6), 629; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12060629 - 10 Jun 2020
Cited by 65
Abstract
Although infection by SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of coronavirus pneumonia disease (COVID-19), is spreading rapidly worldwide, no drug has been shown to be sufficiently effective for treating COVID-19. We previously found that nafamostat mesylate, an existing drug used for disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), [...] Read more.
Although infection by SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of coronavirus pneumonia disease (COVID-19), is spreading rapidly worldwide, no drug has been shown to be sufficiently effective for treating COVID-19. We previously found that nafamostat mesylate, an existing drug used for disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), effectively blocked Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) S protein-mediated cell fusion by targeting transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2), and inhibited MERS-CoV infection of human lung epithelium-derived Calu-3 cells. Here we established a quantitative fusion assay dependent on severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) S protein, angiotensin I converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and TMPRSS2, and found that nafamostat mesylate potently inhibited the fusion while camostat mesylate was about 10-fold less active. Furthermore, nafamostat mesylate blocked SARS-CoV-2 infection of Calu-3 cells with an effective concentration (EC)50 around 10 nM, which is below its average blood concentration after intravenous administration through continuous infusion. On the other hand, a significantly higher dose (EC50 around 30 μM) was required for VeroE6/TMPRSS2 cells, where the TMPRSS2-independent but cathepsin-dependent endosomal infection pathway likely predominates. Together, our study shows that nafamostat mesylate potently inhibits SARS-CoV-2 S protein-mediated fusion in a cell fusion assay system and also inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro in a cell-type-dependent manner. These findings, together with accumulated clinical data regarding nafamostat’s safety, make it a likely candidate drug to treat COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis of Human and Animal Coronaviruses)
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