Special Issue "Voyages through the Multiple Scales of Virus Biology"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2021) | Viewed by 4344

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Fasséli Coulibaly
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Infection & Immunity program, Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Interests: structural virology; insect viruses; poxviruses; nanotechnology; vaccines

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Viruses are only truly active when they interact with and infect a cell. As a consequence, a key pursuit of Molecular and Structural Virology has been to provide a molecular understanding of viral processes in the context of the cellular environment. Exciting methodological developments have made significant headway in this direction allowing the in situ analysis of native viral components with high spatiotemporal resolution.

To reflect these advances, the journal Viruses has designed a special issue accepting contributions with an emphasis on biophysics, imaging and structural biology, and their integration to provide a view of the virus world at multiple scales.

Not unlike J. Swift’s character Gulliver, we invite contributions that feature viruses either as giant molecular machines achieving biochemical wonders or as masterful dwarfs in the vast environment of the cell, and perhaps both at the same time.

Dr. Fasséli Coulibaly
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Viruses is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

Structural Virology; In situ analysis; Multiscale analysis; High-resolution and live imaging; X-ray crystallography; Cryo-electron microscopy; Tomography; Biophysics; Mathematical modelling; Giant viruses; Methods

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Article
Structural Investigation of Orf Virus Bcl-2 Homolog ORFV125 Interactions with BH3-Motifs from BH3-Only Proteins Puma and Hrk
Viruses 2021, 13(7), 1374; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13071374 - 15 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1137
Abstract
Numerous viruses have evolved sophisticated countermeasures to hijack the early programmed cell death of host cells in response to infection, including the use of proteins homologous in sequence or structure to Bcl-2. Orf virus, a member of the parapoxviridae, encodes for the [...] Read more.
Numerous viruses have evolved sophisticated countermeasures to hijack the early programmed cell death of host cells in response to infection, including the use of proteins homologous in sequence or structure to Bcl-2. Orf virus, a member of the parapoxviridae, encodes for the Bcl-2 homolog ORFV125, a potent inhibitor of Bcl-2-mediated apoptosis in the host. ORFV125 acts by directly engaging host proapoptotic Bcl-2 proteins including Bak and Bax as well as the BH3-only proteins Hrk and Puma. Here, we determined the crystal structures of ORFV125 bound to the BH3 motif of proapoptotic proteins Puma and Hrk. The structures reveal that ORFV125 engages proapoptotic BH3 motif peptides using the canonical ligand binding groove. An Arg located in the structurally equivalent BH1 region of ORFV125 forms an ionic interaction with the conserved Asp in the BH3 motif in a manner that mimics the canonical ionic interaction seen in host Bcl-2:BH3 motif complexes. These findings provide a structural basis for Orf virus-mediated inhibition of host cell apoptosis and reveal the flexibility of virus encoded Bcl-2 proteins to mimic key interactions from endogenous host signalling pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Voyages through the Multiple Scales of Virus Biology)
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Article
Light Sheet Microscopy-Assisted 3D Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in the Respiratory Tract of the Ferret Model
Viruses 2021, 13(3), 529; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13030529 - 23 Mar 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1911
Abstract
The visualization of viral pathogens in infected tissues is an invaluable tool to understand spatial virus distribution, localization, and cell tropism in vivo. Commonly, virus-infected tissues are analyzed using conventional immunohistochemistry in paraffin-embedded thin sections. Here, we demonstrate the utility of volumetric three-dimensional [...] Read more.
The visualization of viral pathogens in infected tissues is an invaluable tool to understand spatial virus distribution, localization, and cell tropism in vivo. Commonly, virus-infected tissues are analyzed using conventional immunohistochemistry in paraffin-embedded thin sections. Here, we demonstrate the utility of volumetric three-dimensional (3D) immunofluorescence imaging using tissue optical clearing and light sheet microscopy to investigate host–pathogen interactions of pandemic SARS-CoV-2 in ferrets at a mesoscopic scale. The superior spatial context of large, intact samples (>150 mm3) allowed detailed quantification of interrelated parameters like focus-to-focus distance or SARS-CoV-2-infected area, facilitating an in-depth description of SARS-CoV-2 infection foci. Accordingly, we could confirm a preferential infection of the ferret upper respiratory tract by SARS-CoV-2 and suggest clustering of infection foci in close proximity. Conclusively, we present a proof-of-concept study for investigating critically important respiratory pathogens in their spatial tissue morphology and demonstrate the first specific 3D visualization of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Voyages through the Multiple Scales of Virus Biology)
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Review

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Review
Imaging of Virus-Infected Cells with Soft X-ray Tomography
Viruses 2021, 13(11), 2109; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13112109 - 20 Oct 2021
Viewed by 765
Abstract
Viruses are obligate parasites that depend on a host cell for replication and survival. Consequently, to fully understand the viral processes involved in infection and replication, it is fundamental to study them in the cellular context. Often, viral infections induce significant changes in [...] Read more.
Viruses are obligate parasites that depend on a host cell for replication and survival. Consequently, to fully understand the viral processes involved in infection and replication, it is fundamental to study them in the cellular context. Often, viral infections induce significant changes in the subcellular organization of the host cell due to the formation of viral factories, alteration of cell cytoskeleton and/or budding of newly formed particles. Accurate 3D mapping of organelle reorganization in infected cells can thus provide valuable information for both basic virus research and antiviral drug development. Among the available techniques for 3D cell imaging, cryo–soft X-ray tomography stands out for its large depth of view (allowing for 10 µm thick biological samples to be imaged without further thinning), its resolution (about 50 nm for tomographies, sufficient to detect viral particles), the minimal requirements for sample manipulation (can be used on frozen, unfixed and unstained whole cells) and the potential to be combined with other techniques (i.e., correlative fluorescence microscopy). In this review we describe the fundamentals of cryo–soft X-ray tomography, its sample requirements, its advantages and its limitations. To highlight the potential of this technique, examples of virus research performed at BL09-MISTRAL beamline in ALBA synchrotron are also presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Voyages through the Multiple Scales of Virus Biology)
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