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Hale, B. G.
During infection, the influenza A virus non-structural protein 1 (NS1) interacts with a diverse range of viral and cellular factors to antagonize host antiviral defences and promote viral replication. Here, I review the structural basis for some of these functions and discuss the emerging view that NS1 cannot simply be regarded as a ‘static’ protein with a single structure. Rather, the dynamic property of NS1 to adopt various quaternary conformations is critical for its multiple activities. Understanding NS1 plasticity, and the mechanisms governing this plasticity, will be essential for assessing both fundamental protein function and the consequences of strain-dependent polymorphisms in this important virulence factor.
Berges, B. K., Tanner, A.
The human herpesviruses (HHVs) are remarkably successful human pathogens, with some members of the family successfully establishing infection in the vast majority of humans worldwide. Although many HHV infections result in asymptomatic infection or mild disease, there are rare cases of severe disease and death found with nearly every HHV. Many of the pathogenic mechanisms of these viruses are poorly understood, and in many cases, effective antiviral drugs are lacking. Only a single vaccine exists for the HHVs and researchers have been unable to develop treatments to cure the persistent infections associated with HHVs. A major hindrance to HHV research has been the lack of suitable animal models, with the notable exception of the herpes simplex viruses. One promising area for HHV research is the use of humanized mouse models, in which human cells or tissues are transplanted into immunodeficient mice. Current humanized mouse models mostly transplant human haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), resulting in the production of a variety of human immune cells. Although all HHVs are thought to infect human immune cells, the beta- and gammaherpesviruses extensively infect and establish latency in these cells. Thus, mice humanized with HSCs hold great promise to study these herpesviruses. In this review, we provide a historical perspective on the use of both older and newer humanized mouse models to study HHV infections. The focus is on current developments in using humanized mice to study mechanisms of HHV-induced pathogenesis, human immune responses to HHVs and effectiveness of antiviral drugs.
ANIMAL: RNA VIRUSES
Kang, H.-M., Lee, E.-K., Song, B.-M., Jeong, J., Kim, H.-R., Choi, E.-J., Shin, Y.-K., Lee, H.-S., Lee, Y.-J.
This study examined the potential for cross-species transmission of influenza viruses by comparing the genetic and pathogenic characteristics of H1 avian influenza viruses (AIVs) with different host origins in Korea. Antigenic and phylogenetic analyses of H1 AIVs circulating in Korea provided evidence of genetic similarity between viruses that infect domestic ducks and those that infect wild birds, although there was no relationship between avian and swine viruses. However, there were some relationships between swine and human viral genes. The replication and pathogenicity of the H1 viruses was assessed in chickens, domestic ducks and mice. Viral shedding in chickens was relatively high. Virus was recovered from both oropharyngeal and cloacal swabs up to 5–10 days post-inoculation. The titres of domestic duck viruses in chickens were much higher than those of wild-bird viruses. Both domestic duck and wild-bird viruses replicated poorly in domestic ducks. None of the swine viruses replicated in chickens or domestic ducks; however, six viruses showed relatively high titres in mice, regardless of host origin, and induced clinical signs such as ruffled fur, squatting and weight loss. Thus, although the phylogenetic and antigenic analyses showed no evidence of interspecies transmission between birds and swine, the results suggest that Korean H1 viruses have the potential to cause disease in mammals. Therefore, we should intensify continuous monitoring of avian H1 viruses in mammals and seek to prevent interspecies transmission.
ANIMAL: RNA VIRUSES
Huang, S. S. H., Banner, D., Paquette, S. G., Leon, A. J., Kelvin, A. A., Kelvin, D. J.
Influenza B viruses have become increasingly more prominent during influenza seasons. Influenza B infection is typically considered a mild disease and receives less attention than influenza A, but has been causing 20 to 50 % of the total influenza incidence in several regions around the world. Although there is increasing evidence of mid to lower respiratory tract diseases such as bronchitis and pneumonia in influenza B patients, little is known about the pathogenesis of recent influenza B viruses. Here we investigated the clinical and pathological profiles of infection with strains representing the two current co-circulating B lineages (B/Yamagata and B/Victoria) in the ferret model. Specifically, we studied two B/Victoria (B/Brisbane/60/2008 and B/Bolivia/1526/2010) and two B/Yamagata (B/Florida/04/2006 and B/Wisconsin/01/2010) strain infections in ferrets and observed strain-specific but not lineage-specific pathogenicity. We found B/Brisbane/60/2008 caused the most severe clinical illness and B/Brisbane/60/2008 and the B/Yamagata strains instigated pathology in the middle to lower respiratory tract. Importantly, B/Brisbane/60/2008 established efficient lower respiratory tract infection with high viral burden. Our phylogenetic analyses demonstrate profound reassortment among recent influenza B viruses, which indicates the genetic make-up of B/Brisbane/60/2008 differs from the other strains. This may explain the pathogenicity difference post-infection in ferrets.
ANIMAL: RNA VIRUSES
Garcia-Barreno, B., Delgado, T., Benito, S., Casas, I., Pozo, F., Melero, J. A.
Alternative methods to the standard haemagglutination inhibition (HI) and neutralization tests to probe the antigenic properties of the influenza virus haemagglutinin (HA) were developed in this study. Vaccinia virus recombinants expressing reference HAs were used to immunize rabbits from which polyclonal antibodies were obtained. These antibodies were subtype specific but showed limited intra-subtype strain specificity in ELISA. The discriminatory capacity of these antibodies was, however, markedly increased after adsorption to cells infected with heterologous influenza viruses, revealing antigenic differences that were otherwise undistinguishable by standard HI and neutralization tests. Furthermore, the unadsorbed antibodies could be used to select escape mutants of the reference strain, which after sequencing unveiled amino acid changes responsible of the noted antigenic differences. These procedures therefore provide alternative methods for the antigenic characterization of influenza HA and might be useful in studies of HA antigenic evolution.
ANIMAL: RNA VIRUSES
Herrero, L. J., Lidbury, B. A., Bettadapura, J., Jian, P., Herring, B. L., Hey-Cunningham, W. J., Sheng, K.-C., Zakhary, A., Mahalingam, S.
Alphaviruses including Barmah Forest virus (BFV) and Ross River virus (RRV) cause arthritis, arthralgia and myalgia in humans. The rheumatic symptoms in human BFV infection are very similar to those of RRV. Although RRV disease has been studied extensively, little is known about the pathogenesis of BFV infection. We sought to establish a mouse model for BFV to facilitate our understanding of BFV infectivity, tropism and pathogenesis, and to identify key pathological and immunological mechanisms of BFV infection that may distinguish between infections with BFV and RRV. Here, to the best of our knowledge, we report the first study assessing the virulence and replication of several BFV isolates in a mouse model. We infected newborn Swiss outbred mice with BFV and established that the BFV2193 prototype was the most virulent strain. BFV2193 infection resulted in the highest mortality among all BFV variant isolates, comparable to that of RRV. In comparison with RRV, C57BL/6 mice infected with BFV showed delayed onset, moderate disease scores and early recovery of the disease. BFV replicated poorly in muscle and did not cause the severe myositis seen in RRV-infected mice. The mRNAs for the inflammatory mediators TNF-α, IL-6, CCL2 and arginase-1 were highly upregulated in RRV- but not BFV-infected muscle. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a mouse model of BFV infection, which we have used to demonstrate differences between BFV and RRV infections and to further understand disease pathogenesis. With an increasing number of BFV cases occurring annually, a better understanding of the disease mechanisms is essential for future therapeutic development.
ANIMAL: RNA VIRUSES
Lai, P.-Y., Hsu, C.-T., Wang, S.-H., Lee, J.-C., Tseng, M.-J., Hwang, J., Ji, W.-T., Chen, H.-R.
Dengue virus (DENV; genus Flavivirus) contains a positive-stranded RNA genome. Binding of DENV to host cells is mediated through domain III of the viral envelope protein. Many therapeutic mAbs against domain III have been generated and characterized because of its high antigenicity. We have previously established a novel PCR method named the linear array epitope (LAE) technique for producing monoclone-like polyclonal antibodies. To prove this method could be utilized to produce antibody against epitopes with low antigenicity, a region of 10 aa (V365NIEAEPPFG374) from domain III of the envelope protein in DENV serotype 2 (DENV2) was selected to design the primers for the LAE technique. A DNA fragment encoding 10 directed repeats of these 10 aa for producing the tandem-repeated peptides was obtained and fused with glutathione S-transferase (GST)-containing vector. This fusion protein (GST-Den EIII10-His6) was purified from Escherichia coli and used as antigen for immunizing rabbits to obtain the polyclonal antibody. Furthermore, the EIII antibody could recognize envelope proteins either ectopically overexpressed or synthesized by DENV2 infection using Western blot and immunofluorescence assays. Most importantly, this antibody was also able to detect DENV2 virions by ELISA, and could block viral entry into BHK-21 cells as shown by immunofluorescence and quantitative real-time PCR assays. Taken together, the LAE technique could be applied successfully for the production of antibodies against antigens with low antigenicity, and shows high potential to produce antibodies with good quality for academic research, diagnosis and even therapeutic applications in the future.
ANIMAL: RNA VIRUSES
Nagashima, S., Jirintai, S., Takahashi, M., Kobayashi, T., Tanggis, , Nishizawa, T., Kouki, T., Yashiro, T., Okamoto, H.
Our previous studies indicated that hepatitis E virus (HEV) forms membrane-associated particles in the cytoplasm, most likely by budding into intracellular vesicles, and requires the multivesicular body (MVB) pathway to release virus particles, and the released HEV particles with a lipid membrane retain the trans-Golgi network protein 2 on their surface. To examine whether HEV utilizes the exosomal pathway to release the virus particles, we analysed whether the virion release from PLC/PRF/5 cells infected with genotype 3 HEV (strain JE03-1760F) is affected by treatment with bafilomycin A1 or GW4869, or by the introduction of a small interfering RNA (siRNA) against Rab27A or Hrs. The extracellular HEV RNA titre was increased by treatment with bafilomycin A1, but was decreased by treatment with GW4869. The relative levels of virus particles released from cells depleted of Rab27A or Hrs were decreased to 16.1 and 11.5 %, respectively, of that released from cells transfected with negative control siRNA. Electron microscopic observations revealed the presence of membrane-associated virus-like particles with a diameter of approximately 50 nm within the MVB, which possessed internal vesicles in infected cells. Immunoelectron microscopy showed positive immunogold staining for the HEV ORF2 protein on the intraluminal vesicles within the MVB. Additionally, immunofluorescence analysis indicated the triple co-localization of the ORF2, ORF3 and CD63 proteins in the cytoplasm, as specific loculated signals, supporting the presence of membrane-associated HEV particles within the MVB. These findings indicate that membrane-associated HEV particles are released together with internal vesicles through MVBs by the cellular exosomal pathway.
ANIMAL: RNA VIRUSES
Roby, J. A., Bielefeldt-Ohmann, H., Prow, N. A., Chang, D. C., Hall, R. A., Khromykh, A. A.
West Nile virus (WNV; genus Flavivirus, family Flaviviridae) is an emerging pathogenic arbovirus responsible for outbreaks of encephalitis around the world. Whilst no vaccines are currently available to prevent WNV infection of humans, the use of cDNA copies of flavivirus RNA genomes with large internal deletions within the capsid (C) appears promising. C-deleted vaccines are able to replicate and secrete large amounts of non-infectious immunogenic subviral particles (SVPs) from transfected cells. We have previously generated a WNV DNA vaccine candidate pKUNdC/C where C-deleted WNV cDNA was placed under the control of one copy of the cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter and the C gene was placed under the control of a second copy of the CMV promoter in the same plasmid DNA. This DNA was shown to generate single-round infectious particles (SRIPs) capable of delivering self-replicating C-deleted RNA producing SVPs to surrounding cells, thus enhancing the vaccine potential. However, the amounts of both SRIPs and SVPs produced from pKUNdC/C DNA were relatively low. In this investigation, we aimed at increasing SRIP production by optimizing trans-C expression via incorporating different forms of C and the use of a more powerful promoter. The construct containing an elongation factor EF1α promoter encoding an extended form of C was demonstrated to produce the highest titres of SRIPs and was immunogenic in mice. Additionally, SRIP and SVP titres were further improved via incorporation of a glycosylation motif in the envelope protein. The optimized DNA yielded ~100-fold greater titres of SRIPs than the original construct, thus providing a promising candidate for further vaccine evaluation.
ANIMAL: RNA VIRUSES
Lan, Y., Zhao, K., Zhao, J., Lv, X., Wang, G., Lu, H., Tang, B., Li, Z., Chang, L., Jin, Z., He, W., Gao, F.
Porcine haemagglutinating encephalomyelitis virus (PHEV) is the main causative agent of porcine coronavirus-associated disease, which is characterized by encephalomyelitis and involves the central nervous system. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms of brain injury caused by PHEV. To gain insight into the interaction between the virus and host cells, changes in global gene expression in the cerebral cortex of PHEV- or mock-infected mice were investigated using DNA microarray analysis and quantitative real-time PCR. The results of the microarray analysis showed that 365 genes on day 3 post-infection (p.i.) and 781 genes on day 5 p.i. were differentially expressed in response to PHEV infection in the cerebral cortex. The upregulated genes were mainly involved in immune system processes, antigen processing and presentation, the Jak–STAT signalling pathway, the RIG-I-like receptor signalling pathway, Toll-like receptor signalling and apoptosis-related proteases. Significantly downregulated genes were mainly involved in nervous-system development, synaptic transmission, neuron-projection development, the transmission of nerve impulses and negative regulation of glial cell differentiation. The differential expression of these genes suggests a strong antiviral host response, but may also contribute to the pathogenesis of PHEV resulting in encephalomyelitis.
ANIMAL: RNA VIRUSES
Lim, E. J., El Khobar, K., Chin, R., Earnest-Silveira, L., Angus, P. W., Bock, C.- T., Nachbur, U., Silke, J., Torresi, J.
Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection results in progressive liver fibrosis leading to cirrhosis and liver cancer. The mechanism for this remains unclear but hepatocyte apoptosis is thought to play a major role. Hepatocyte apoptosis in human liver tissue was determined by immunohistochemistry for cytokeratin 18 (M30 CytoDEATH) and cleaved poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). In vitro studies were performed with replication-defective recombinant adenoviruses expressing HCV proteins (rAdHCV) to study the effects of HCV on cell death in Huh7 cells, primary mouse hepatocytes (PMoHs) and primary human hepatocytes (PHHs). Cell viability and apoptosis were studied using crystal violet assays and Western blots probed for cleaved caspase-3 and cleaved PARP, with and without treatment with the pan-caspase inhibitor Q-VD-OPh and necrostatin-1. Liver tissue of HCV-infected patients expressed elevated levels of apoptotic markers compared with HCV-negative patients. rAdHCV infection reduced cell viability compared with uninfected controls and cells infected with control virus (rAdGFP). Huh7, PMoHs and PHHs infected with rAdHCV showed significantly increased levels of apoptotic markers compared with uninfected controls and rAdGFP-infected cells. In rAdHCV-infected Huh7, treatment with Q-VD-OPh and necrostatin-1 both improved cell viability. Q-VD-Oph also reduced cleaved PARP in rAdHCV-infected Huh7 and PMoHs. Hepatocyte apoptosis is known to be increased in the livers of HCV-infected patients. HCV promoted cell death in primary and immortalized hepatocytes, and this was inhibited by Q-VD-OPh and necrostatin-1. These findings indicate that HCV-induced cell death occurs by both apoptosis and necroptosis, and provide new insights into the mechanisms of HCV-induced liver injury.
ANIMAL: RNA VIRUSES
Richter, M., Reimann, I., Schirrmeier, H., Kirkland, P. D., Beer, M.
Bungowannah virus is the most divergent pestivirus, and both origin and reservoir host have not been identified so far. We therefore performed in vitro tropism studies, which showed that Bungowannah virus differs remarkably from other pestiviruses. Interestingly, cell lines of vervet monkey, mouse, human and even of bat origin were susceptible. This broad in vitro tropism was not observed for a chimeric bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) expressing all structural proteins of Bungowannah virus. The viral envelope was not sufficient to completely transfer the cell tropism of Bungowannah virus to another pestivirus, and viral RNA replication was either markedly reduced or not detectable in a number of different cell lines for the tested BVDV strain and the chimera. We therefore suggest that the replication machinery together with the viral envelope is responsible for the unique broad cell tropism of Bungowannah virus.
ANIMAL: RNA VIRUSES
Smith, D. B., Simmonds, P., members of the International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses Hepeviridae Study Group, Jameel, S., Emerson, S. U., Harrison, T. J., Meng, X.-J., Okamoto, H., Van der Poel, W. H. M., Purdy, M. A.
The family Hepeviridae consists of positive-stranded RNA viruses that infect a wide range of mammalian species, as well as chickens and trout. A subset of these viruses infects humans and can cause a self-limiting acute hepatitis that may become chronic in immunosuppressed individuals. Current published descriptions of the taxonomical divisions within the family Hepeviridae are contradictory in relation to the assignment of species and genotypes. Through analysis of existing sequence information, we propose a taxonomic scheme in which the family is divided into the genera Orthohepevirus (all mammalian and avian hepatitis E virus (HEV) isolates) and Piscihepevirus (cutthroat trout virus). Species within the genus Orthohepevirus are designated Orthohepevirus A (isolates from human, pig, wild boar, deer, mongoose, rabbit and camel), Orthohepevirus B (isolates from chicken), Orthohepevirus C (isolates from rat, greater bandicoot, Asian musk shrew, ferret and mink) and Orthohepevirus D (isolates from bat). Proposals are also made for the designation of genotypes within the human and rat HEVs. This hierarchical system is congruent with hepevirus phylogeny, and the three classification levels (genus, species and genotype) are consistent with, and reflect discontinuities in the ranges of pairwise distances between amino acid sequences. Adoption of this system would include the avoidance of host names in taxonomic identifiers and provide a logical framework for the assignment of novel variants.
ANIMAL: RNA VIRUSES
Banyai, K., Potgieter, C., Gellert, A., Ganesh, B., Tempesta, M., Lorusso, E., Buonavoglia, C., Martella, V.
The full-length genome sequence of a porcine picobirnavirus (PBV) detected in Italy in 2004 was determined. The smaller (S) genome segment was 1730 nt, coding for a putative RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. Two distinct subpopulations of larger (L) genome segment (LA and LB) were identified in the sample, with the sizes ranging from 2351 to 2666 nt. The ORF1, coding for a protein of unknown function, contained a variable number of repetitions of the ExxRxNxxxE motif. The capsid protein-coding ORF2 spanned nt 810–2447 in the LB variants and started at nt 734 in the LA variants. However, a termination codon was present only in one of all the LA segment variants. Three-dimensional modelling of the porcine PBV capsids suggested structural differences in the protruding domain, tentatively involved as antigens in the humoral immune response. Altogether, these findings suggest the simultaneous presence of two different PBV strains sharing the same S segment but displaying genetically diverse L segments. In addition, the sample probably contained a mixture of PBVs with aberrant RNA replication products. Altered structure in the L segments could be tolerated and retained in the presence of functionally integer-cognate genes and represents a mechanism of virus diversification.
ANIMAL: RNA VIRUSES
Burkhardt, C., Sung, P.-Y., Celma, C. C., Roy, P.
The mechanism used by bluetongue virus (BTV) to ensure the sorting and packaging of its 10 genomic segments is still poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the packaging constraints for two BTV genomic segments from two different serotypes. Segment 4 (S4) of BTV serotype 9 was mutated sequentially and packaging of mutant ssRNAs was investigated by two newly developed RNA packaging assay systems, one in vivo and the other in vitro. Modelling of the mutated ssRNA followed by biochemical data analysis suggested that a conformational motif formed by interaction of the 5' and 3' ends of the molecule was necessary and sufficient for packaging. A similar structural signal was also identified in S8 of BTV serotype 1. Furthermore, the same conformational analysis of secondary structures for positive-sense ssRNAs was used to generate a chimeric segment that maintained the putative packaging motif but contained unrelated internal sequences. This chimeric segment was packaged successfully, confirming that the motif identified directs the correct packaging of the segment.
ANIMAL: RNA VIRUSES
Silva, S. P., Dilcher, M., Weber, F., Hufert, F. T., Weidmann, M., Cardoso, J. F., Carvalho, V. L., Chiang, J. O., Martins, L. C., Lima, C. P. S., Da Silva, D. E. A., Vianez-Junior, J. L. S. G., Popov, V. L., Travassos da Rosa, A. P. A., Tesh, R. B., Vasconcelos, P. F. C., Nunes, M. R. T.
The genus Orbivirus of the family Reoviridae comprises 22 virus species including the Changuinola virus (CGLV) serogroup. The complete genome sequences of 13 CGLV serotypes isolated between 1961 and 1988 from distinct geographical areas of the Brazilian Amazon region were obtained. All viral sequences were obtained from single-passaged CGLV strains grown in Vero cells. CGLVs are the only orbiviruses known to be transmitted by phlebotomine sandflies. Ultrastructure and molecular analysis by electron microscopy and gel electrophoresis, respectively, revealed viral particles with typical orbivirus size and morphology, as well as the presence of a segmented genome with 10 segments. Full-length nucleotide sequencing of each of the ten RNA segments of the 13 CGLV serotypes provided basic information regarding the genome organization, encoded proteins and genetic traits. Segment 2 (encoding VP2) of the CGLV is uncommonly larger in comparison to those found in other orbiviruses and shows varying sizes even among different CGLV serotypes. Phylogenetic analysis support previous serological findings, which indicate that CGLV constitutes a separate serogroup within the genus Orbivirus. In addition, six out of 13 analysed CGLV serotypes showed reassortment of their genome segments.
ANIMAL: DNA VIRUSES
Glover, T. E., Kew, V. G., Reeves, M. B.
Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection and reactivation are a major cause of morbidity in immune-suppressed patients. Interestingly, epidemiological studies have shown that patients administered the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor, sirolimus (rapamycin), exhibit more favourable outcomes, suggestive of activity against HCMV in vivo. Given its relative lack of activity against lytic infection, it is postulated that rapamycin inhibits HCMV reactivation. Here, we showed that rapamycin administered acutely or chronically has little impact on induction of immediate early (IE) gene expression in experimentally latent dendritic cells or cells from naturally latent individuals. Furthermore, we extended these observations to include other inhibitors of mTORC1 and mTORC 2, which similarly have minimal effects on induction of IE gene expression from latency. Taken together, these data suggest that favourable outcomes associated with sirolimus are attributable to indirect effects that influence HCMV reactivation, rather than a direct mechanistic action against HCMV itself.
Burgers, W. A., Ginbot, Z., Shen, Y.-J., Chege, G. K., Soares, A. P., Muller, T. L., Bunjun, R., Kiravu, A., Munyanduki, H., Douglass, N., Williamson, A.-L.
Poxvirus vectors represent promising human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) vaccine candidates and were a component of the only successful HIV vaccine efficacy trial to date. We tested the immunogenicity of a novel recombinant capripoxvirus vector, lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV), in combination with modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA), both expressing genes from HIV-1. Here, we demonstrated that the combination regimen was immunogenic in rhesus macaques, inducing high-magnitude, broad and balanced CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses, and transient activation of the immune response. These studies support further development of LSDV as a vaccine vector.
Sopper, S., Matz-Rensing, K., Muhl, T., Heeney, J., Stahl-Hennig, C., Sauermann, U.
Infection of macaques with live attenuated simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) usually results in long-lasting efficient protection against infection with pathogenic immunodeficiency viruses. However, attenuation by deletion of regulatory genes such as nef is not complete, leading to a high viral load and fatal disease in some animals. To characterize immunological parameters and polymorphic host factors, we studied 17 rhesus macaques infected with attenuated SIVmac239NU. Eight animals were able to control viral replication, whereas the remaining animals (non-controllers) displayed variable set-point viral loads. Peak viral load at 2 weeks post-infection (p.i.) correlated significantly with set-point viral load (P<0.0001). CD4+ T-cell frequencies differed significantly soon after infection between controllers and non-controllers. Abnormal B-cell activation previously ascribed to Nef function could already be observed in non-controllers 8 weeks after infection despite the absence of Nef. Two non-controllers developed an AIDS-like disease within 102 weeks p.i. Virus from these animals transmitted to naïve animals replicated at low levels and the recipients did not develop immunodeficiency. This suggested that host factors determined differential viral load and subsequent disease course. Known Mhc class I alleles associated with disease progression in SIV WT infection only marginally influenced the viral load in nef-infected animals. Protection from SIVmac251 was associated with homozygosity for MHC class II in conjunction with a TLR7 polymorphism and showed a trend with initial viral replication. We speculated that host factors whose effects were usually masked by Nef were responsible for the different disease courses in individual animals upon infection with nef-deleted viruses.
ANIMAL: RNA VIRUSES
Carrillo-Tripp, J., Krueger, E. N., Harrison, R. L., Toth, A. L., Miller, W. A., Bonning, B. C.
The cell line IPLB-LD-652Y, derived from the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar L.), is routinely used to study interactions between viruses and insect hosts. Here we report the full genome sequence and biological characteristics of a small RNA virus, designated Lymantria dispar iflavirus 1 (LdIV1), that was discovered to persistently infect IPLB-LD-652Y. LdIV1 belongs to the genus Iflavirus. LdIV1 formed icosahedral particles of approx. 30 nm in diameter and contained a 10 044 nt polyadenylated, positive-sense RNA genome encoding a predicted polyprotein of 2980 aa. LdIV1 was induced by a viral suppressor of RNA silencing, suggesting that acute infection is restricted by RNA interference (RNAi). We detected LdIV1 in all tested tissues of gypsy-moth larvae and adults, but the virus was absent from other L. dispar-derived cell lines. We confirmed LdIV1 infectivity in two of these cell lines (IPLB-LD-652 and IPLB-LdFB). Our results provide a novel system to explore persistent infections in lepidopterans and a new model for the study of iflaviruses, a rapidly expanding group of viruses, many of which covertly infect their hosts.
ANIMAL: DNA VIRUSES
Theze, J., Cabodevilla, O., Palma, L., Williams, T., Caballero, P., Herniou, E. A.
Key virus traits such as virulence and transmission strategies rely on genetic variation that results in functional changes in the interactions between hosts and viruses. Here, comparative genomic analyses of seven isolates of Spodoptera exigua multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (SeMNPV) with differing phenotypes were employed to pinpoint candidate genes that may be involved in host–virus interactions. These isolates obtained after vertical or horizontal transmission of infection in insects differed in virulence. Apart from one genome containing a piggyBac transposon, all European SeMNPV isolates had a similar genome size and content. Complete genome analyses of single nucleotide polymorphisms and insertions/deletions identified mutations in 48 ORFs that could result in functional changes. Among these, 13 ORFs could be correlated with particular phenotypic characteristics of SeMNPV isolates. Mutations were found in all gene functional classes and most of the changes we highlighted could potentially be associated with differences in transmission. The regulation of DNA replication (helicase, lef-7) and transcription (lef-9, p47) might be important for the establishment of sublethal infection prior to and following vertical transmission. Virus–host cell interactions also appear instrumental in the modulation of viral transmission as significant mutations were detected in virion proteins involved in primary (AC150) or secondary infections (ME35) and in apoptosis inhibition (IAP2, AC134). Baculovirus populations naturally harbour high genomic variation located in genes involved at different levels of the complex interactions between virus and host during the course of an infection. The comparative analyses performed here suggest that the differences in baculovirus virulence and transmission phenotypes involve multiple molecular pathways.
ANIMAL: DNA VIRUSES
Deng, Z., Huang, Z., Yuan, M., Yang, K., Pang, Y.
Several baculoviruses can induce host cell aggregation during infection; however, the molecular basis remains unknown. The Rho family of small GTPases, including Rho1, Racs and Cdc42, plays important roles in cell migration and cell–cell contact. Activated GTPases target actin polymerization to discrete sites on the plasma membrane, thereby inducing membrane protrusions. In this study, we demonstrated that Spodoptera litura nucleopolyhedrovirus (SpltNPV) infection induced the amoeboid movement and aggregation of SpLi-221 cells in vitro. The amount of Rho1-GTP increased in the infected cells, which suggested that Rho1 was activated upon infection. RNA interference and superinfection of dominant-negative recombinants revealed that the SpltNPV-induced SpLi-221 cell aggregation was dependent on the Rho1, but not Racs or Cdc42, signalling pathway. Inhibition of Rho-associated protein kinase (Rok) activity by the inhibitor Y-27632 significantly reduced SpLi-221 cell aggregation. Silencing Rho1 expression with RNA interference decreased SpltNPV propagation by approximately 40 % in vitro, when SpLi-221 cells were infected at a low, but not high, m.o.i., suggesting that the SpltNPV-induced cell aggregation may benefit SpltNPV spread.
ANIMAL: RNA VIRUSES
Cilia, M., Johnson, R., Sweeney, M., DeBlasio, S. L., Bruce, J. E., MacCoss, M. J., Gray, S. M.
Virions of the RPV strain of Cereal yellow dwarf virus-RPV were purified from infected oat tissue and analysed by MS. Two conserved residues, K147 and K181, in the virus coat protein, were confidently identified to contain epsilon-N-acetyl groups. While no functional data are available for K147, K181 lies within an interfacial region critical for virion assembly and stability. The signature immonium ion at m/z 126.0919 demonstrated the presence of N-acetyllysine, and the sequence fragment ions enabled an unambiguous assignment of the epsilon-N-acetyl modification on K181. We hypothesize that selection favours acetylation of K181 in a fraction of coat protein monomers to stabilize the capsid by promoting intermonomer salt bridge formation.
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