Special Issue "Epigenetics and Viral Infection"

A special issue of Viruses (ISSN 1999-4915). This special issue belongs to the section "General Virology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Italo Tempera
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Gene Expression and Regulation, The Wistar Institute, 3601 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
Interests: epigenetic regulation of herpesviruses infection

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is well known that to support infection, viruses co-opt cellular mechanisms that control transcription. Chromatin composition and chromatin structure are important regulators of gene expression. In the past years, the role of chromatin and chromatin-modifying enzymes has been explored in the context of virus-host interaction demonstrating the importance of viral infection on the host epigenome and the role of epigenetics in controlling viral replication. The goal of this Special Issue is to provide a collection of the most significant advances in the field of epigenetics and viral infection. We expect to receive manuscripts outlining how viruses and their host each attempt to use epigenetics to gain control of the other’s transcription to achieve their own ends.

Dr. Italo Tempera
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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Keywords

  • epigenetics
  • chromatin
  • gene regulation
  • viral infection
  • chromatin structure
  • virus-host interactions

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Article
Synergistic Chromatin-Modifying Treatments Reactivate Latent HIV and Decrease Migration of Multiple Host-Cell Types
Viruses 2021, 13(6), 1097; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13061097 - 08 Jun 2021
Viewed by 847
Abstract
Upon infection of its host cell, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) establishes a quiescent and non-productive state capable of spontaneous reactivation. Diverse cell types harboring the provirus form a latent reservoir, constituting a major obstacle to curing HIV. Here, we investigate the effects of [...] Read more.
Upon infection of its host cell, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) establishes a quiescent and non-productive state capable of spontaneous reactivation. Diverse cell types harboring the provirus form a latent reservoir, constituting a major obstacle to curing HIV. Here, we investigate the effects of latency reversal agents (LRAs) in an HIV-infected THP-1 monocyte cell line in vitro. We demonstrate that leading drug treatments synergize activation of the HIV long terminal repeat (LTR) promoter. We establish a latency model in THP-1 monocytes using a replication incompetent HIV reporter vector with functional Tat, and show that chromatin modifiers synergize with a potent transcriptional activator to enhance HIV reactivation, similar to T-cells. Furthermore, leading reactivation cocktails are shown to differentially affect latency reactivation and surface expression of chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4), leading to altered host cell migration. This study investigates the effect of chromatin-modifying LRA treatments on HIV latent reactivation and cell migration in monocytes. As previously reported in T-cells, epigenetic mechanisms in monocytes contribute to controlling the relationship between latent reactivation and cell migration. Ultimately, advanced “Shock and Kill” therapy needs to successfully target and account for all host cell types represented in a complex and composite latency milieu. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epigenetics and Viral Infection)
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Article
Mapping Influenza-Induced Posttranslational Modifications on Histones from CD8+ T Cells
Viruses 2020, 12(12), 1409; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12121409 - 08 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 541
Abstract
T cell function is determined by transcriptional networks that are regulated by epigenetic programming via posttranslational modifications (PTMs) to histone proteins and DNA. Bottom-up mass spectrometry (MS) can identify histone PTMs, whereas intact protein analysis by MS can detect species missed by bottom-up [...] Read more.
T cell function is determined by transcriptional networks that are regulated by epigenetic programming via posttranslational modifications (PTMs) to histone proteins and DNA. Bottom-up mass spectrometry (MS) can identify histone PTMs, whereas intact protein analysis by MS can detect species missed by bottom-up approaches. We used a novel approach of online two-dimensional liquid chromatography-tandem MS with high-resolution reversed-phase liquid chromatography (RPLC), alternating electron transfer dissociation (ETD) and collision-induced dissociation (CID) on precursor ions to maximize fragmentation of uniquely modified species. The first online RPLC separation sorted histone families, then RPLC or weak cation exchange hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (WCX-HILIC) separated species heavily clad in PTMs. Tentative identifications were assigned by matching proteoform masses to predicted theoretical masses that were verified with tandem MS. We used this innovative approach for histone-intact protein PTM mapping (HiPTMap) to identify and quantify proteoforms purified from CD8 T cells after in vivo influenza infection. Activation significantly altered PTMs following influenza infection, histone maps changed as T cells migrated to the site of infection, and T cells responding to secondary infections had significantly more transcription enhancing modifications. Thus, HiPTMap identified and quantified proteoforms and determined changes in CD8 T cell histone PTMs over the course of infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epigenetics and Viral Infection)
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Article
Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection Induces Chromatin Remodeling to Activate Growth Factor and Extracellular Matrix Secretion Pathways
Viruses 2020, 12(8), 804; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12080804 - 26 Jul 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 907
Abstract
Lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is associated with reduced lung function through unclear mechanisms. In this study, we test the hypothesis that RSV infection induces genomic reprogramming of extracellular matrix remodeling pathways. For this purpose, we sought to [...] Read more.
Lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is associated with reduced lung function through unclear mechanisms. In this study, we test the hypothesis that RSV infection induces genomic reprogramming of extracellular matrix remodeling pathways. For this purpose, we sought to identify transcriptionally active open chromatin domains using assay for transposase-accessible-next generation sequencing (ATAC-Seq) in highly differentiated lower airway epithelial cells. High confidence nucleosome-free regions were those predicted independently using two peak-calling algorithms. In uninfected cells, ~12,650 high-confidence open chromatin regions were identified. These mapped to ~8700 gene bodies, whose genes functionally controlled organelle synthesis and Th2 pathways (IL6, TSLP). These latter cytokines are preferentially secreted by RSV-infected bronchiolar cells and linked to mucous production, obstruction, and atopy. By contrast, in RSV infection, we identify ~1700 high confidence open chromatin domains formed in 1120 genes, primarily in introns. These induced chromatin modifications are associated with complex gene expression profiles controlling tyrosine kinase growth factor signaling and extracellular matrix (ECM) secretory pathways. Of these, RSV induces formation of nucleosome-free regions on TGFB1/JUNB//FN1/MMP9 genes and the rate limiting enzyme in the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway (HBP), Glutamine-Fructose-6-Phosphate Transaminase 2 (GFPT2). RSV-induced open chromatin domains are highly enriched in AP1 binding motifs and overlap experimentally determined JUN peaks in GEO ChIP-Seq data sets. Our results provide a topographical map of chromatin accessibility and suggest a growth factor and AP1-dependent mechanism for upregulation of the HBP and ECM remodeling in lower epithelial cells that may be linked to long-term airway remodeling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epigenetics and Viral Infection)
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Review

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Review
Are BET Inhibitors yet Promising Latency-Reversing Agents for HIV-1 Reactivation in AIDS Therapy?
Viruses 2021, 13(6), 1026; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13061026 - 29 May 2021
Viewed by 887
Abstract
AIDS first emerged decades ago; however, its cure, i.e., eliminating all virus sources, is still unachievable. A critical burden of AIDS therapy is the evasive nature of HIV-1 in face of host immune responses, the so-called “latency.” Recently, a promising approach, the “Shock [...] Read more.
AIDS first emerged decades ago; however, its cure, i.e., eliminating all virus sources, is still unachievable. A critical burden of AIDS therapy is the evasive nature of HIV-1 in face of host immune responses, the so-called “latency.” Recently, a promising approach, the “Shock and Kill” strategy, was proposed to eliminate latently HIV-1-infected cell reservoirs. The “Shock and Kill” concept involves two crucial steps: HIV-1 reactivation from its latency stage using a latency-reversing agent (LRA) followed by host immune responses to destroy HIV-1-infected cells in combination with reinforced antiretroviral therapy to kill the progeny virus. Hence, a key challenge is to search for optimal LRAs. Looking at epigenetics of HIV-1 infection, researchers proved that some bromodomains and extra-terminal motif protein inhibitors (BETis) are able to reactivate HIV-1 from latency. However, to date, only a few BETis have shown HIV-1-reactivating functions, and none of them have yet been approved for clinical trial. In this review, we aim to demonstrate the epigenetic roles of BETis in HIV-1 infection and HIV-1-related immune responses. Possible future applications of BETis and their HIV-1-reactivating properties are summarized and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epigenetics and Viral Infection)
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Review
Clinical Manifestations and Epigenetic Regulation of Oral Herpesvirus Infections
Viruses 2021, 13(4), 681; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13040681 - 15 Apr 2021
Viewed by 501
Abstract
The oral cavity is often the first site where viruses interact with the human body. The oral epithelium is a major site of viral entry, replication and spread to other cell types, where chronic infection can be established. In addition, saliva has been [...] Read more.
The oral cavity is often the first site where viruses interact with the human body. The oral epithelium is a major site of viral entry, replication and spread to other cell types, where chronic infection can be established. In addition, saliva has been shown as a primary route of person-to-person transmission for many viruses. From a clinical perspective, viral infection can lead to several oral manifestations, ranging from common intraoral lesions to tumors. Despite the clinical and biological relevance of initial oral infection, little is known about the mechanism of regulation of the viral life cycle in the oral cavity. Several viruses utilize host epigenetic machinery to promote their own life cycle. Importantly, viral hijacking of host chromatin-modifying enzymes can also lead to the dysregulation of host factors and in the case of oncogenic viruses may ultimately play a role in promoting tumorigenesis. Given the known roles of epigenetic regulation of viral infection, epigenetic-targeted antiviral therapy has been recently explored as a therapeutic option for chronic viral infection. In this review, we highlight three herpesviruses with known roles in oral infection, including herpes simplex virus type 1, Epstein–Barr virus and Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus. We focus on the respective oral clinical manifestations of these viruses and their epigenetic regulation, with a specific emphasis on the viral life cycle in the oral epithelium. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epigenetics and Viral Infection)
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Review
The Crosstalk of Epigenetics and Metabolism in Herpesvirus Infection
Viruses 2020, 12(12), 1377; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12121377 - 01 Dec 2020
Viewed by 702
Abstract
Epigenetics is a versatile player in manipulating viral infection and a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of viral-induced diseases. Both epigenetics and metabolism are crucial in establishing a highly specific transcriptional network, which may promote or suppress virus infection. Human herpesvirus infection [...] Read more.
Epigenetics is a versatile player in manipulating viral infection and a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of viral-induced diseases. Both epigenetics and metabolism are crucial in establishing a highly specific transcriptional network, which may promote or suppress virus infection. Human herpesvirus infection can induce a broad range of human malignancies and is largely dependent on the status of cellular epigenetics as well as its related metabolism. However, the crosstalk between epigenetics and metabolism during herpesvirus infection has not been fully explored. Here, we describe how epigenetic regulation of cellular metabolism affects herpesvirus infection and induces viral diseases. This further highlights the importance of epigenetics and metabolism during viral infection and provides novel insights into the development of targeted therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epigenetics and Viral Infection)
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Review
The Role of EBV-Induced Hypermethylation in Gastric Cancer Tumorigenesis
Viruses 2020, 12(11), 1222; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12111222 - 28 Oct 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 822
Abstract
Epstein–Barr-virus-associated Gastric Cancer (EBVaGC) comprises approximately 10% of global gastric cancers and is known to be the most hypermethylated of all tumor types. EBV infection has been shown to directly induce the hypermethylation of both the host and viral genome following initial infection [...] Read more.
Epstein–Barr-virus-associated Gastric Cancer (EBVaGC) comprises approximately 10% of global gastric cancers and is known to be the most hypermethylated of all tumor types. EBV infection has been shown to directly induce the hypermethylation of both the host and viral genome following initial infection of gastric epithelial cells. Many studies have been completed in an attempt to identify genes that frequently become hypermethylated and therefore significant pathways that become silenced to promote tumorigenesis. It is clear that EBV-induced hypermethylation silences key tumor suppressor genes, cell cycle genes and cellular differentiation factors to promote a highly proliferative and poorly differentiated cell population. EBV infection has been shown to induce methylation in additional malignancies including Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma and Burkitt’s Lymphoma though not to the same level as in EBVaGC. Lastly, some genes silenced in EBVaGC are common to other heavily methylated tumors such as colorectal and breast tumors; however, some genes are unique to EBVaGC and can provide insights into the major pathways involved in tumorigenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epigenetics and Viral Infection)
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Review
Regulation of the Human Papillomavirus Life Cycle by DNA Damage Repair Pathways and Epigenetic Factors
Viruses 2020, 12(7), 744; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12070744 - 10 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 974
Abstract
Human papillomaviruses are the causative agents of cervical and other anogenital cancers along with approximately 60% of oropharyngeal cancers. These small double-stranded DNA viruses infect stratified epithelia and link their productive life cycles to differentiation. HPV proteins target cellular factors, such as those [...] Read more.
Human papillomaviruses are the causative agents of cervical and other anogenital cancers along with approximately 60% of oropharyngeal cancers. These small double-stranded DNA viruses infect stratified epithelia and link their productive life cycles to differentiation. HPV proteins target cellular factors, such as those involved in DNA damage repair, as well as epigenetic control of host and viral transcription to regulate the productive life cycle. HPVs constitutively activate the ATM and ATR DNA repair pathways and preferentially recruit these proteins to viral genomes to facilitate productive viral replication. In addition, the sirtuin deacetylases along with histone acetyltransferases, including Tip60, are targeted in HPV infections to regulate viral transcription and replication. These pathways provide potential targets for drug therapy to treat HPV-induced disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epigenetics and Viral Infection)
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