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Journal of Virology
Journal Prestige (SJR): 2.853
Citation Impact (citeScore): 4
Number of Followers: 41  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 0022-538X - ISSN (Online) 1098-5514
Published by American Society for Microbiology Homepage  [17 journals]
  • Mucosal Priming with a Recombinant Influenza A Virus-Vectored Vaccine
           Elicits T-Cell and Antibody Responses to HIV-1 in Mice [Vaccines and
           Antiviral Agents]

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      Authors: Wang, J; Shu, T, Deng, W, Zheng, Y, Liao, M, Ye, X, Han, L, He, P, Zheng, X, Li, T, Feng, Y, Hu, F, Li, P, Sun, C, Chen, L, Li, F, Feng, L.
      Abstract: Recombinant influenza A viral (IAV) vectors are potential to stimulate systemic and mucosal immunity, but the packaging capacity is limited and only one or a few epitopes can be carried. Here, we report the generation of a replication-competent IAV vector that carries a full-length HIV-1 p24 gene linked to the 5'-terminal coding region of the neuraminidase segment via a protease cleavage sequence (IAV-p24). IAV-p24 was successfully rescued and stably propagated, and P24 protein was efficiently expressed in infected mammalian cells. In BALB/c mice, IAV-p24 showed attenuated pathogenicity compared to that of the parental A/PR/8/34 (H1N1) virus. An intranasal inoculation with IAV-p24 elicited moderate HIV-specific cell-mediated immune (CMI) responses in the airway and vaginal tracts and in the spleen, and an intranasal boost with a replication-incompetent adenovirus type 2 vector expressing the HIV-1 gag gene (Ad2-gag) greatly improved these responses. Importantly, compared to an Ad2-gag prime plus IAV-p24 boost regimen, the IAV-p24 prime plus Ad2-gag boost regimen had a greater efficacy in eliciting HIV-specific CMI responses. P24-specific CD8+ T cells and antibodies were robustly provoked both systemically and in mucosal sites and showed long-term durability, revealing that IAV-p24 may be used as a mucosa-targeted priming vaccine. Our results illustrate that IAV-p24 is able to prime systemic and mucosal immunity against HIV-1 and warrants further evaluation in nonhuman primates.IMPORTANCE An effective HIV-1 vaccine remains elusive despite nearly 40 years of research. CD8+ T cells and protective antibodies may both be desirable for preventing HIV-1 infection in susceptible mucosal sites. Recombinant influenza A virus (IAV) vector has the potential to stimulate these immune responses, but the packaging capacity is extremely limited. Here, we describe a replication-competent IAV vector expressing the HIV-1 p24 gene (IAV-p24). Unlike most other IAV vectors that carried one or several antigenic epitopes, IAV-p24 stably expressed the full-length P24 protein, which contains multiple epitopes and is highly conserved among all known HIV-1 sequences. Compared to the parental A/PR/8/34 (H1N1) virus, IAV-p24 showed an attenuated pathogenicity in BALB/c mice. When combined with an adenovirus vector expressing the HIV-1 gag gene, IAV-p24 was able to prime P24-specific systemic and mucosal immune responses. IAV-p24 as an alternative priming vaccine against HIV-1 warrants further evaluation in nonhuman primates.
      PubDate: 2021-05-24T08:00:40-07:00
      DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00059-21
      Issue No: Vol. 95, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Editorial Board [Masthead]

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      PubDate: 2021-05-24T08:00:40-07:00
      DOI: 10.1128/JVI.masthead.95-12
      Issue No: Vol. 95, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • In Vitro Identification and In Vivo Confirmation of Inhibitors for Sweet
           Potato Chlorotic Stunt Virus RNA Silencing Suppressor, a Viral RNase III
           [Vaccines and Antiviral Agents]

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      Authors: Wang, L; Poque, S, Laamanen, K, Saarela, J, Poso, A, Laitinen, T, Valkonen, J. P. T.
      Abstract: Sweet potato virus disease (SPVD), caused by synergistic infection of Sweet potato chlorotic stunt virus (SPCSV) and Sweet potato feathery mottle virus (SPFMV), is responsible for substantial yield losses all over the world. However, there are currently no approved treatments for this severe disease. The crucial role played by RNase III of SPCSV (CSR3) as an RNA silencing suppressor during the viruses’ synergistic interaction in sweetpotato makes it an ideal drug target for developing antiviral treatment. In this study, high-throughput screening (HTS) of small molecular libraries targeting CSR3 was initiated by a virtual screen using Glide docking, allowing the selection of 6,400 compounds out of 136,353. We subsequently developed and carried out kinetic-based HTS using fluorescence resonance energy transfer technology, which isolated 112 compounds. These compounds were validated with dose-response assays including kinetic-based HTS and binding affinity assays using surface plasmon resonance and microscale thermophoresis. Finally, the interference of the selected compounds with viral accumulation was verified in planta. In summary, we identified five compounds belonging to two structural classes that inhibited CSR3 activity and reduced viral accumulation in plants. These results provide the foundation for developing antiviral agents targeting CSR3 to provide new strategies for controlling sweetpotato virus diseases.IMPORTANCE We report here a high-throughput inhibitor identification method that targets a severe sweetpotato virus disease caused by coinfection with two viruses (SPCSV and SPFMV). The disease is responsible for up to 90% yield losses. Specifically, we targeted the RNase III enzyme encoded by SPCSV, which plays an important role in suppressing the RNA silencing defense system of sweetpotato plants. Based on virtual screening, laboratory assays, and confirmation in planta, we identified five compounds that could be used to develop antiviral drugs to combat the most severe sweetpotato virus disease.
      PubDate: 2021-05-24T08:00:40-07:00
      DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00107-21
      Issue No: Vol. 95, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Pre-existing T Cell Memory against Zika Virus [Cellular Response to
           Infection]

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      Authors: Schouest, B; Grifoni, A, Pham, J, Mateus, J, Sydney, J, Brien, J. D, De Silva, A. D, Balmaseda, A, Harris, E, Sette, A, Weiskopf, D.
      Abstract: The mosquito-borne Zika virus (ZIKV) has spread rapidly into regions where dengue virus (DENV) is endemic, and flavivirus cross-reactive T cell responses have been observed repeatedly in animal models and in humans. Preexisting cellular immunity to DENV is thought to contribute to protection in subsequent ZIKV infection, but the epitope targets of cross-reactive T cell responses have not been comprehensively identified. Using human blood samples from the regions of Nicaragua and Sri Lanka where DENV is endemic that were collected before the global spread of ZIKV in 2016, we employed an in vitro expansion strategy to map ZIKV T cell epitopes in ZIKV-unexposed, DENV-seropositive donors. We identified 93 epitopes across the ZIKV proteome, and we observed patterns of immunodominance that were dependent on antigen size and sequence identity to DENV. We confirmed the immunogenicity of these epitopes through a computational HLA binding analysis, and we showed that cross-reactive T cells specifically recognize ZIKV peptides homologous to DENV sequences. We also found that these CD4 responses were derived from the memory T cell compartment. These data have implications for understanding the dynamics of flavivirus-specific T cell immunity in areas of endemicity.IMPORTANCE Multiple flaviviruses, including Zika virus (ZIKV) and the four serotypes of dengue virus (DENV), are prevalent in the same large tropical and equatorial areas, which are inhabited by hundreds of millions of people. The interplay of DENV and ZIKV infection is especially relevant, as these two viruses are endemic in largely overlapping regions, have significant sequence similarity, and share the same arthropod vector. Here, we define the targets of preexisting immunity to ZIKV in unexposed subjects in areas where dengue is endemic. We demonstrate that preexisting immunity to DENV could shape ZIKV-specific responses, and DENV-ZIKV cross-reactive T cell populations can be expanded by stimulation with ZIKV peptides. The issue of potential ZIKV and DENV cross-reactivity is of relevance for understanding patterns of natural immunity, as well as for the development of diagnostic tests and vaccines.
      PubDate: 2021-05-24T08:00:40-07:00
      DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00132-21
      Issue No: Vol. 95, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • The Combination of Venetoclax and Ixazomib Selectively and Efficiently
           Kills HIV-Infected Cell Lines but Has Unacceptable Toxicity in Primary
           Cell Models [Vaccines and Antiviral Agents]

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      Authors: Alto, A; Natesampillai, S, Chandrasekar, A. P, Krogman, A, Misra, A, Shweta, F, VanLith, C, Yao, J. D, Cummins, N. W, Badley, A. D.
      Abstract: The antiapoptotic protein BCL2 inhibits death of HIV-infected cells. Previously, we showed that the BCL2 inhibitor venetoclax selectively kills acutely HIV-infected cells and reduces HIV DNA in latently infected CD4 T cells ex vivo after reactivation with anti-CD3/anti-CD28. However, there is a need to identify a combination therapy with venetoclax and a clinically relevant latency reversal agent. Ixazomib is an oral proteasome inhibitor which we have shown reactivates latent HIV and predisposes reactivated cells to cell death. Here, we determined that the combination of venetoclax and ixazomib kills more latently HIV-infected cells and leads to greater reduction in HIV replication than either treatment alone in vitro in a T cell model. However, combination treatment of ex vivo CD4 T cells from antiretroviral therapy (ART)-suppressed, HIV-positive participants resulted in unanticipated and unacceptable nonspecific toxicity in primary cells. Therefore, while we show proof of concept that multiple agents can enhance selective killing of HIV-infected cells, the combination of venetoclax and ixazomib has unacceptable toxicity in primary cells, and so further investigation is needed to identify a clinically relevant latency reversal agent to combine with venetoclax as a novel strategy to reduce the size of the HIV reservoir.IMPORTANCE A cure for HIV would require eliminating cells that contain the virus in a latent form from the body. Current antiretroviral medications are unable to rid the body of latently infected cells. Here, we show that a combination of investigational agents—ixazomib plus venetoclax—which reactivate latent virus and predispose infected cells to apoptosis may reduce latent virus in a T cell model, but at the expense of nonspecific toxicity in primary cells.
      PubDate: 2021-05-24T08:00:40-07:00
      DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00138-21
      Issue No: Vol. 95, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Elucidation of the Complicated Scenario of Primate APOBEC3 Gene Evolution
           [Virus-Cell Interactions]

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      Authors: Uriu, K; Kosugi, Y, Suzuki, N, Ito, J, Sato, K.
      Abstract: APOBEC3 proteins play pivotal roles in defenses against retroviruses, including HIV-1, as well as retrotransposons. Presumably due to the evolutionary arms race between the hosts and retroelements, APOBEC3 genes have rapidly evolved in primate lineages through sequence diversification, gene amplification and loss, and gene fusion. Consequently, modern primates possess a unique set or "repertoire" of APOBEC3 genes. The APOBEC3 gene repertoire of humans has been well investigated. There are three types of catalytic domains (Z domain; A3Z1, A3Z2, and A3Z3), 11 Z domains, and 7 independent genes, including 4 genes encoding double Z domains. However, the APOBEC3 gene repertoires of nonhuman primates remain largely unclear. Here, we characterize APOBEC3 gene repertoires among primates and investigated the evolutionary scenario of primate APOBEC3 genes using phylogenetic and comparative genomics approaches. In the 21 primate species investigated, we identified 145 APOBEC3 genes, including 69 double-domain type APOBEC3 genes. We further estimated the ages of the respective APOBEC3 genes and revealed that APOBEC3B, APOBEC3D, and APOBEC3F are the youngest in humans and were generated in the common ancestor of Catarrhini. Notably, invasion of the LINE1 retrotransposon peaked during the same period as the generation of these youngest APOBEC3 genes, implying that LINE1 invasion was one of the driving forces of the generation of these genes. Moreover, we found evidence suggesting that sequence diversification by gene conversions among APOBEC3 paralogs occurred in multiple primate lineages. Together, our analyses reveal the hidden diversity and the complicated evolutionary scenario of APOBEC3 genes in primates.IMPORTANCE In terms of virus-host interactions and coevolution, the APOBEC3 gene family is one of the most important subjects in the field of retrovirology. APOBEC3 genes are composed of a repertoire of subclasses based on sequence similarity, and a paper by LaRue et al. provides the standard guideline for the nomenclature and genomic architecture of APOBEC3 genes. However, it has been more than 10 years since this publication, and new information, including RefSeq, which we used in this study, is accumulating. Based on accumulating knowledge, APOBEC3 genes, particularly those of primates, should be refined and reannotated. This study updates knowledge of primate APOBEC3 genes and their genomic architectures. We further inferred the evolutionary scenario of primate APOBEC3 genes and the potential driving forces of APOBEC3 gene evolution. This study will be a landmark for the elucidation of the multiple aspects of APOBEC3 family genes in the future.
      PubDate: 2021-05-24T08:00:40-07:00
      DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00144-21
      Issue No: Vol. 95, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Rational Engraftment of Quaternary-Interactive Acidic Loops for Anti-HIV-1
           Antibody Improvement [Vaccines and Antiviral Agents]

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      Authors: Liu, Q; Zhang, P, Miao, H, Lin, Y, Kwon, Y. D, Kwong, P. D, Rikhtegaran-Tehrani, Z, Seaman, M. S, DeVico, A. L, Sajadi, M. M, Lusso, P.
      Abstract: Broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) are the focus of increasing interest for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) prevention and treatment. Although several bNAbs are already under clinical evaluation, the development of antibodies with even greater potency and breadth remains a priority. Recently, we reported a novel strategy for improving bNAbs against the CD4-binding site (CD4bs) of gp120 by engraftment of the elongated framework region 3 (FR3) from VRC03, which confers the ability to establish quaternary interactions with a second gp120 protomer. Here, we applied this strategy to a new series of anti-CD4bs bNAbs (N49 lineage) that already possess high potency and breadth. The resultant chimeric antibodies bound the HIV-1 envelope (Env) trimer with a higher affinity than their parental forms. Likewise, their neutralizing capacity against a global panel of HIV-1 Envs was also increased. The introduction of additional modifications further enhanced the neutralization potency. We also tried engrafting the elongated CDR1 of the heavy chain from bNAb 1-18, another highly potent quaternary-binding antibody, onto several VRC01-class bNAbs, but none of them was improved. These findings point to the highly selective requirements for the establishment of quaternary contact with the HIV-1 Env trimer. The improved anti-CD4bs antibodies reported here may provide a helpful complement to current antibody-based protocols for the therapy and prevention of HIV-1 infection.IMPORTANCE Monoclonal antibodies represent one of the most important recent innovations in the fight against infectious diseases. Although potent antibodies can be cloned from infected individuals, various strategies can be employed to improve their activity or pharmacological features. Here, we improved a lineage of very potent antibodies that target the receptor-binding site of HIV-1 by engineering chimeric molecules containing a fragment from a different monoclonal antibody. These engineered antibodies are promising candidates for development of therapeutic or preventive approaches against HIV/AIDS.
      PubDate: 2021-05-24T08:00:40-07:00
      DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00159-21
      Issue No: Vol. 95, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Phenotypic and Functional Characteristics of a Novel Influenza Virus
           Hemagglutinin-Specific Memory NK Cell [Cellular Response to Infection]

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      Authors: Zheng, J; Wen, L, Yen, H.-L, Liu, M, Liu, Y, Teng, O, Wu, W.-F, Ni, K, Lam, K.-T, Huang, C, Yang, J, Lau, Y.-L, Perlman, S, Peiris, M, Tu, W.
      Abstract: Immune memory represents the most efficient defense against invasion and transmission of infectious pathogens. In contrast to memory T and B cells, the roles of innate immunity in recall responses remain inconclusive. In this study, we identified a novel mouse spleen NK cell subset expressing NKp46 and NKG2A induced by intranasal influenza virus infection. These memory NK cells specifically recognize N-linked glycosylation sites on influenza hemagglutinin (HA) protein. Different from memory-like NK cells reported previously, these NKp46+ NKG2A+ memory NK cells exhibited HA-specific silence of cytotoxicity but increase of gamma interferon (IFN-) response against influenza virus-infected cells, which could be reversed by pifithrin-μ, a p53-heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) signaling inhibitor. During recall responses, splenic NKp46+ NKG2A+ NK cells were recruited to infected lung and modulated viral clearance of virus and CD8+ T cell distribution, resulting in improved clinical outcomes. This long-lived NK memory bridges innate and adaptive immune memory response and promotes the homeostasis of local environment during recall response.IMPORTANCE In this study, we demonstrate a novel hemagglutinin (HA)-specific NKp46+ NKG2A+ NK cell subset induced by influenza A virus infection. These memory NK cells show virus-specific decreased cytotoxicity and increased gamma interferon (IFN-) on reencountering the same influenza virus antigen. In addition, they modulate host recall responses and CD8 T cell distribution, thus bridging the innate immune and adaptive immune responses during influenza virus infection.
      PubDate: 2021-05-24T08:00:40-07:00
      DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00165-21
      Issue No: Vol. 95, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • TLR5-Mediated Reactivation of Quiescent Ranavirus FV3 in Xenopus
           Peritoneal Macrophages [Virus-Cell Interactions]

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      Authors: Samanta, M; Yim, J, De Jesus Andino, F, Paiola, M, Robert, J.
      Abstract: Ranaviruses such as frog virus 3 (FV3) are large double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) viruses causing emerging infectious diseases leading to extensive morbidity and mortality of amphibians and other ectothermic vertebrates worldwide. Among the hosts of FV3, some are highly susceptible, whereas others are resistant and asymptomatic carriers that can take part in disseminating the infectious virus. To date, the mechanisms involved in the processes of FV3 viral persistence associated with subclinical infection transitioning to lethal outbreaks remain unknown. Investigation in Xenopus laevis has revealed that in asymptomatic FV3 carrier animals, inflammation induced by heat-killed (HK) Escherichia coli stimulation can provoke the relapse of active infection. Since Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are critical for recognizing microbial molecular patterns, we investigated their possible involvement in inflammation-induced FV3 reactivation. Among the 10 different TLRs screened for changes in expression levels following FV3 infection and HK E. coli stimulation, only TLR5 and TLR22, both of which recognize bacterial products, showed differential expression, and only the TLR5 ligand flagellin was able to induce FV3 reactivation similarly to HK E. coli. Furthermore, only the TLR5 ligand flagellin induced FV3 reactivation in peritoneal macrophages both in vitro and in vivo. These data indicate that the TLR5 signaling pathway can trigger FV3 reactivation and suggest a role of secondary bacterial infections or microbiome alterations (stress or pollution) in initiating sudden deadly disease outbreaks in amphibian populations with detectable persistent asymptomatic ranavirus.IMPORTANCE This study in the amphibian Xenopus laevis provides new evidence of the critical role of macrophages in the persistence of ranaviruses in a quiescent state as well as in the reactivation of these pathogens into a virulent infection. Among the multiple microbial sensors expressed by macrophages, our data underscore the preponderant involvement of TLR5 stimulation in triggering the reactivation of quiescent FV3 in resident peritoneal macrophages, unveiling a mechanistic connection between the reactivation of persisting ranavirus infection and bacterial coinfection. This suggests a role for secondary bacterial infections or microbiome alterations (stress or pollution) in initiating sudden deadly disease outbreaks in amphibian populations with detectable persistent asymptomatic ranavirus.
      PubDate: 2021-05-24T08:00:40-07:00
      DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00215-21
      Issue No: Vol. 95, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Regulation of Hepatitis B Virus Replication by Cyclin Docking Motifs in
           Core Protein [Virus-Cell Interactions]

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      Authors: Liu, H; Xi, J, Hu, J.
      Abstract: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) capsid or core protein (HBc) consists of an N-terminal domain (NTD) and a C-terminal domain (CTD) connected by a short linker peptide. Dynamic phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of HBc regulate its multiple functions in capsid assembly and viral replication. The cellular cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) plays a major role in HBc phosphorylation and, furthermore, is incorporated into the viral capsid, accounting for most of the "endogenous kinase" activity associated with the capsid. The packaged CDK2 is thought to play a role in phosphorylating HBc to trigger nucleocapsid disassembly (uncoating), an essential step during viral infection. However, little is currently known on how CDK2 is recruited and packaged into the capsid. We have now identified three RXL motifs in the HBc NTD known as cyclin docking motifs (CDMs), which mediate the interactions of various CDK substrates/regulators with CDK/cyclin complexes. Mutations of the CDMs in the HBc NTD reduced CTD phosphorylation and diminished CDK2 packaging into the capsid. Also, the CDM mutations showed little effects on capsid assembly and pregenomic RNA (pgRNA) packaging but impaired the integrity of mature nucleocapsids. Furthermore, the CDM mutations blocked covalently closed circular DNA (CCC DNA) formation during infection while having no effect on or enhancing CCC DNA formation via intracellular amplification. These results indicate that the HBc NTD CDMs play a role in CDK2 recruitment and packaging, which, in turn, is important for productive infection.IMPORTANCE Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is an important global human pathogen and persistently infects hundreds of millions of people, who are at high risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer. HBV capsid packages a host cell protein kinase, the cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2), which is thought to be required to trigger disassembly of the viral nucleocapsid during infection by phosphorylating the capsid protein, a prerequisite for successful infection. We have identified docking sites on the capsid protein for recruiting CDK2, in complex with its cyclin partner, to facilitate capsid protein phosphorylation and CDK2 packaging. Mutations of these docking sites reduced capsid protein phosphorylation, impaired CDK2 packaging into HBV capsids, and blocked HBV infection. These results provide novel insights regarding CDK2 packaging into HBV capsids and the role of CDK2 in HBV infection and should facilitate the development of antiviral drugs that target the HBV capsid protein.
      PubDate: 2021-05-24T08:00:40-07:00
      DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00230-21
      Issue No: Vol. 95, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Comparative Antibody Responses to the Live-Attenuated and Recombinant
           Herpes Zoster Vaccines [Vaccines and Antiviral Agents]

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      Authors: Schmid, D. S; Miao, C, Leung, J, Johnson, M, Weinberg, A, Levin, M. J.
      Abstract: Two herpes zoster (HZ) vaccines licensed in the United States are recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP): (i) live-attenuated vaccine (ZVL) using vOka strain varicella-zoster virus (VZV) and (ii) recombinant adjuvanted vaccine (RZV) containing recombinant varicella-zoster virus (VZV) glycoprotein E (gE). Two phase 3 clinical trials of RZV led the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to recommend it with preferred status. VZV T cell-mediated immunity (CMI), but not humoral immunity, is considered essential for protection against HZ. Published studies of humoral immunity focused on VZV-specific IgG concentration. To complement reports comparing the CMI responses to these vaccines, we compared humoral responses in ZVL and RZV recipients, emphasizing functional qualities (avidity and neutralization). Baseline avidities to a VZV glycoprotein mixture (gp) were near the upper limit of detection, but avidity to gE was much lower. Small increases in gp avidity were observed for both RZV and ZVL vaccination (19 and 12 avidity index units [AIU], respectively). RZV boosted both gE avidity and VZV neutralizing antibody significantly more than ZVL (mean gE avidity boost, 47 AIU versus 22 AIU; mean neutralizing antibody boost, 22-fold versus 8-fold). Increases in neutralizing antibodies strongly correlated with gE avidity increases (r = 0.5) and moderately with gp avidity increases (r = 0.23). After 1 year, 81% of RZV recipients and only 18% of ZVL recipients retained>50% of their peak avidity boosts. These results are consistent with the CMI responses to these vaccines: RZV responses are skewed to long-term memory, whereas ZVL preferentially induces transient effector responses.IMPORTANCE These observations further distinguish the immunogenicity and duration of the immune response of the two vaccines. In addition, measurements of functional humoral immunity (IgG avidity and neutralizing antibody) in response to zoster immunization, alone or combined with other immune markers, might contribute to practical in vitro correlates of protection. Combined with previous observations of the cell-mediated response to these vaccines, this study suggests that vaccine development will benefit from more expansive and granular assessments of acquired immunity during early phase 1 immunogenicity trials.
      PubDate: 2021-05-24T08:00:40-07:00
      DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00240-21
      Issue No: Vol. 95, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • In Vivo Generation of BK and JC Polyomavirus Defective Viral Genomes in
           Human Urine Samples Associated with Higher Viral Loads [Genetic Diversity
           and Evolution]

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      Authors: Addetia, A; Phung, Q, Bradley, B. T, Lin, M. J, Zhu, H, Xie, H, Huang, M.-L, Greninger, A. L.
      Abstract: Defective viral genomes (DVGs) are parasitic viral sequences containing point mutations, deletions, or duplications that might interfere with replication. DVGs are often associated with viral passage at high multiplicities of infection in culture systems but have been increasingly reported in clinical specimens. To date however, only RNA viruses have been shown to contain DVGs in clinical specimens. Here, using direct deep sequencing with multiple library preparation strategies and confirmatory digital droplet PCR (ddPCR) of urine samples taken from immunosuppressed individuals, we show that clinical BK polyomavirus (BKPyV) and JC polyomavirus (JCPyV) strains contain widespread genomic rearrangements across multiple loci that likely interfere with viral replication. BKPyV DVGs were derived from BKPyV genotypes Ia, Ib-1, and Ic. The presence of DVGs was associated with specimens containing higher viral loads but never reached clonality, consistent with a model of parasitized replication. These DVGs persisted during clinical infection as evidenced in two separate pairs of samples containing BK virus collected from the same individual up to 302 days apart. In a separate individual, we observed the generation of DVGs after a 57.5-fold increase in viral load. In summary, by extending the presence of DVGs in clinical specimens to DNA viruses, we demonstrate the ubiquity of DVGs in clinical virology.IMPORTANCE Defective viral genomes (DVGs) can have a significant impact on the production of infectious virus particles. DVGs have only been identified in cultured viruses passaged at high multiplicities of infection and RNA viruses collected from clinical specimens; no DNA virus in the wild has been shown to contain DVGs. Here, we identified BK and JC polyomavirus DVGs in clinical urine specimens and demonstrated that these DVGs are more frequently identified in samples with higher viral loads. The strains containing DVGs had rearrangements throughout their genomes, with the majority affecting genes required for viral replication. Longitudinal analysis showed that these DVGs can persist during an infection but do not reach clonality within the chronically infected host. Our identification of polyomavirus DVGs suggests that these parasitic sequences exist across the many classes of viruses capable of causing human disease.
      PubDate: 2021-05-24T08:00:40-07:00
      DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00250-21
      Issue No: Vol. 95, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • FUS/TLS Suppresses Enterovirus Replication and Promotes Antiviral Innate
           Immune Responses [Virus-Cell Interactions]

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      Authors: Xue, Y. C; Ng, C. S, Mohamud, Y, Fung, G, Liu, H, Bahreyni, A, Zhang, J, Luo, H.
      Abstract: During viral infection, the dynamic virus-host relationship is constantly in play. Many cellular proteins, such as RNA-binding proteins (RBPs), have been shown to mediate antiviral responses during viral infection. Here, we report that the RBP FUS/TLS (fused in sarcoma/translocated in liposarcoma) acts as a host-restricting factor against infection with coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3). Mechanistically, we found that deletion of FUS leads to increased viral RNA transcription and enhanced internal ribosome entry site (IRES)-driven translation, with no apparent impact on viral RNA stability. We further demonstrated that FUS physically interacts with the viral genome, which may contribute to direct inhibition of viral RNA transcription/translation. Moreover, we identified a novel function for FUS in regulating host innate immune response. We show that in the absence of FUS, gene expression of type I interferons and proinflammatory cytokines elicited by viral or bacterial infection is significantly impaired. Emerging evidence suggests a role for stress granules (SGs) in antiviral innate immunity. We further reveal that knockout of FUS abolishes the ability to form SGs upon CVB3 infection or poly(I·C) treatment. Finally, we show that, to avoid FUS-mediated antiviral response and innate immunity, CVB3 infection results in cytoplasmic mislocalization and cleavage of FUS through the enzymatic activity of viral proteases. Together, our findings in this study identify FUS as a novel host antiviral factor which restricts CVB3 replication through direct inhibition of viral RNA transcription and protein translation and through regulation of host antiviral innate immunity.IMPORTANCE Enteroviruses are common human pathogens, including those that cause myocarditis (coxsackievirus B3 [CVB3]), poliomyelitis (poliovirus), and hand, foot, and mouth disease (enterovirus 71). Understanding the virus-host interaction is crucial for developing means of treating and preventing diseases caused by these pathogens. In this study, we explored the interplay between the host RNA-binding protein FUS/TLS and CVB3 and found that FUS/TLS restricts CVB3 replication through direct inhibition of viral RNA transcription/translation and through regulation of cellular antiviral innate immunity. To impede the antiviral role of FUS, CVB3 targets FUS for mislocalization and cleavage. Findings from this study provide novel insights into interactions between CVB3 and FUS, which may lead to novel therapeutic interventions against enterovirus-induced diseases.
      PubDate: 2021-05-24T08:00:40-07:00
      DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00304-21
      Issue No: Vol. 95, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Structural Glycoprotein E2 of Classical Swine Fever Virus Critically
           Interacts with Host Protein Torsin-1A during the Virus Infectious Cycle
           [Virus-Cell Interactions]

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      Authors: Vuono, E. A; Ramirez-Medina, E, Velazquez-Salinas, L, Berggren, K, Rai, A, Pruitt, S, Espinoza, N, Gladue, D. P, Borca, M. V.
      Abstract: The classical swine fever virus (CSFV) glycoprotein E2 is the major structural component of the virus particle. E2 is involved in several functions, such as virus adsorption to the cell, the elicitation of protective immune responses, and virus virulence in swine. Using a yeast two-hybrid system, we previously identified the swine host protein Torsin-1A, an ATPase protein residing in the endoplasmic reticulum and inner nucleus membrane of the cell, as a specific binding partner for E2. The interaction between Torsin-1A and E2 proteins was confirmed to occur in CSFV-infected swine cells using three independent methods: coimmunoprecipitation, confocal microscopy, and proximity ligation assay (PLA). Furthermore, the E2 residue critical to mediate the protein-protein interaction with Torsin-1A was identified by a reverse yeast two-hybrid assay using a randomly mutated E2 library. A recombinant CSFV E2 mutant protein with a Q316L substitution failed to bind swine Torsin-1A in the yeast two-hybrid model. In addition, a CSFV infectious clone harboring the E2 Q316L substitution, although expressing substantial levels of E2 protein, repetitively failed to produce virus progeny when the corresponding RNA was transfected into susceptible SK6 cells. Importantly, PLA analysis of the transfected cells demonstrated an abolishment of the interaction between E2 Q316L and Torsin-1A, indicating a critical role for that interaction during CSFV replication.IMPORTANCE Structural glycoprotein E2 is an important structural component of the CSFV particle. E2 is involved in several virus functions, particularly virus-host interactions. Here, we characterized the interaction between CSFV E2 and swine protein Torsin-1A during virus infection. The critical amino acid residue in E2 mediating the interaction with Torsin-1A was identified and the effect of disrupting the E2–Torsin-1A protein-protein interaction was studied using reverse genetics. It is shown that the amino acid substitution abrogating E2–Torsin-1A interaction constitutes a lethal mutation, demonstrating that this virus-host protein-protein interaction is a critical factor during CSFV replication. This highlights the potential importance of the E2–Torsin-1A protein-protein interaction during CSFV replication and provides a potential pathway toward blocking virus replication, an important step toward the potential development of novel virus countermeasures.
      PubDate: 2021-05-24T08:00:40-07:00
      DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00314-21
      Issue No: Vol. 95, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Oral Probiotic Vaccine Expressing Koi Herpesvirus (KHV) ORF81 Protein
           Delivered by Chitosan-Alginate Capsules Is a Promising Strategy for Mass
           Oral Vaccination of Carps against KHV Infection [Vaccines and Antiviral
           Agents]

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      Authors: Huang, X; Ma, Y, Wang, Y, Niu, C, Liu, Z, Yao, X, Jiang, X, Pan, R, Jia, S, Li, D, Guan, X, Wang, L, Xu, Y.
      Abstract: Koi herpesvirus (KHV) is highly contagious and lethal to cyprinid fish, causing significant economic losses to the carp aquaculture industry, particularly to koi carp breeders. Vaccines delivered through intramuscular needle injection or gene gun are not suitable for mass vaccination of carp. So, the development of cost-effective oral vaccines that are easily applicable at a farm level is highly desirable. In this study, we utilized chitosan-alginate capsules as an oral delivery system for a live probiotic (Lactobacillus rhamnosus) vaccine, pYG-KHV-ORF81/LR CIQ249, expressing KHV ORF81 protein. The tolerance of the encapsulated recombinant Lactobacillus to various digestive environments and the ability of the probiotic strain to colonize the intestine of carp was tested. The immunogenicity and the protective efficacy of the encapsulated probiotic vaccine was evaluated by determining IgM levels, lymphocyte proliferation, expression of immune-related genes, and viral challenge to vaccinated fish. It was clear that the chitosan-alginate capsules protected the probiotic vaccine effectively against extreme digestive environments, and a significant level (P < 0.01) of antigen-specific IgM with KHV-neutralizing activity was detected, which provided a protection rate of ca. 85% for koi carp against KHV challenge. The strategy of using chitosan-alginate capsules to deliver probiotic vaccines is easily applicable for mass oral vaccination of fish.IMPORTANCE An oral probiotic vaccine, pYG-KHV-ORF81/LR CIQ249, encapsulated by chitosan-alginate capsules as an oral delivery system was developed for koi carp against koi herpesvirus (KHV) infection. This encapsulated probiotic vaccine can be protected from various digestive environments and maintain effectively high viability, showing a good tolerance to digestive environments. This encapsulated probiotic vaccine has a good immunogenicity in koi carp via oral vaccination, and a significant level of antigen-specific IgM was effectively induced after oral vaccination, displaying effective KHV-neutralizing activity. This encapsulated probiotic vaccine can provide effective protection for koi carp against KHV challenge, which is handling-stress free for the fish, cost effective, and suitable for the mass oral vaccination of koi carp at a farm level, suggesting a promising vaccine strategy for fish.
      PubDate: 2021-05-24T08:00:40-07:00
      DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00415-21
      Issue No: Vol. 95, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • The Physiological TMPRSS2 Inhibitor HAI-2 Alleviates SARS-CoV-2 Infection
           [Letters to the Editor]

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      Authors: Tomita, Y; Matsuyama, S, Fukuhara, H, Maenaka, K, Kataoka, H, Hashiguchi, T, Takeda, M.
      PubDate: 2021-05-24T08:00:40-07:00
      DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00434-21
      Issue No: Vol. 95, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Activation of STING Signaling Pathway Effectively Blocks Human Coronavirus
           Infection [Virus-Cell Interactions]

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      Authors: Liu, W; Reyes, H. M, Yang, J. F, Li, Y, Stewart, K. M, Basil, M. C, Lin, S. M, Katzen, J, Morrisey, E. E, Weiss, S. R, You, J.
      Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic poses a serious global health threat. The rapid global spread of SARS-CoV-2 highlights an urgent need to develop effective therapeutics for blocking SARS-CoV-2 infection and spread. Stimulator of Interferon Genes (STING) is a chief element in host antiviral defense pathways. In this study, we examined the impact of the STING signaling pathway on coronavirus infection using the human coronavirus OC43 (HCoV-OC43) model. We found that HCoV-OC43 infection did not stimulate the STING signaling pathway, but the activation of STING signaling effectively inhibits HCoV-OC43 infection to a much greater extent than that of type I interferons (IFNs). We also discovered that IRF3, the key STING downstream innate immune effector, is essential for this anticoronavirus activity. In addition, we found that the amidobenzimidazole (ABZI)-based human STING agonist diABZI robustly blocks the infection of not only HCoV-OC43 but also SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, our study identifies the STING signaling pathway as a potential therapeutic target that could be exploited for developing broad-spectrum antiviral therapeutics against multiple coronavirus strains in order to face the challenge of future coronavirus outbreaks.IMPORTANCE The highly infectious and lethal SARS-CoV-2 is posing an unprecedented threat to public health. Other coronaviruses are likely to jump from a nonhuman animal to humans in the future. Novel broad-spectrum antiviral therapeutics are therefore needed to control known pathogenic coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV-2 and its newly mutated variants, as well as future coronavirus outbreaks. STING signaling is a well-established host defense pathway, but its role in coronavirus infection remains unclear. In the present study, we found that activation of the STING signaling pathway robustly inhibits infection of HCoV-OC43 and SARS-CoV-2. These results identified the STING pathway as a novel target for controlling the spread of known pathogenic coronaviruses, as well as emerging coronavirus outbreaks.
      PubDate: 2021-05-24T08:00:40-07:00
      DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00490-21
      Issue No: Vol. 95, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Development of a Genetically Stable Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine
           Strain Using an Engineered High-Fidelity Viral Polymerase [Vaccines and
           Antiviral Agents]

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      Authors: Mori, K; Ohniwa, R. L, Takizawa, N, Naito, T, Saito, M.
      Abstract: RNA viruses demonstrate a vast range of variants, called quasispecies, due to error-prone replication by viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. Although live attenuated vaccines are effective in preventing RNA virus infection, there is a risk of reversal to virulence after their administration. To test the hypothesis that high-fidelity viral polymerase reduces the diversity of influenza virus quasispecies, resulting in inhibition of reversal of the attenuated phenotype, we first screened for a high-fidelity viral polymerase using serial virus passages under selection with a guanosine analog ribavirin. Consequently, we identified a Leu66-to-Val single amino acid mutation in polymerase basic protein 1 (PB1). The high-fidelity phenotype of PB1-L66V was confirmed using next-generation sequencing analysis and biochemical assays with the purified influenza viral polymerase. As expected, PB1-L66V showed at least two-times-lower mutation rates and decreased misincorporation rates, compared to the wild type (WT). Therefore, we next generated an attenuated PB1-L66V virus with a temperature-sensitive (ts) phenotype based on FluMist, a live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) that can restrict virus propagation by ts mutations, and examined the genetic stability of the attenuated PB1-L66V virus using serial virus passages. The PB1-L66V mutation prevented reversion of the ts phenotype to the WT phenotype, suggesting that the high-fidelity viral polymerase could contribute to generating an LAIV with high genetic stability, which would not revert to the pathogenic virus.IMPORTANCE The LAIV currently in use is prescribed for actively immunizing individuals aged 2 to 49 years. However, it is not approved for infants and elderly individuals, who actually need it the most, because it might prolong virus propagation and cause an apparent infection in these individuals, due to their weak immune systems. Recently, reversion of the ts phenotype of the LAIV strain currently in use to a pathogenic virus was demonstrated in cultured cells. Thus, the generation of mutations associated with enhanced virulence in LAIV should be considered. In this study, we isolated a novel influenza virus strain with a Leu66-to-Val single amino acid mutation in PB1 that displayed a significantly higher fidelity than the WT. We generated a novel LAIV candidate strain harboring this mutation. This strain showed higher genetic stability and no ts phenotype reversion. Thus, our high-fidelity strain might be useful for the development of a safer LAIV.
      PubDate: 2021-05-24T08:00:40-07:00
      DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00493-21
      Issue No: Vol. 95, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Broadly Protective CD8+ T Cell Immunity to Highly Conserved Epitopes
           Elicited by Heat Shock Protein gp96-Adjuvanted Influenza Monovalent Split
           Vaccine [Vaccines and Antiviral Agents]

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      Authors: Zhang, H; Zheng, H, Guo, P, Hu, L, Wang, Z, Wang, J, Ju, Y, Meng, S.
      Abstract: Currently, immunization with inactivated influenza virus vaccines is the most prevalent method to prevent infections. However, licensed influenza vaccines provide only strain-specific protection and need to be updated and administered yearly; thus, new vaccines that provide broad protection against multiple influenza virus subtypes are required. In this study, we demonstrated that intradermal immunization with gp96-adjuvanted seasonal influenza monovalent H1N1 split vaccine could induce cross-protection against both group 1 and group 2 influenza A viruses in BALB/c mouse models. Vaccination in the presence of gp96 induced an apparently stronger antigen-specific T cell response than split vaccine alone. Immunization with the gp96-adjuvanted vaccine also elicited an apparent cross-reactive CD8+ T cell response that targeted the conserved epitopes across different influenza virus strains. These cross-reactive CD8+ T cells might be recalled from a pool of memory cells established after vaccination and recruited from extrapulmonary sites to facilitate viral clearance. Of note, six highly conserved CD8+ T epitopes from the viral structural proteins hemagglutinin (HA), M1, nucleoprotein (NP), and PB1 were identified to play a synergistic role in gp96-mediated cross-protection. Comparative analysis showed that most of conservative epitope-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) apparently induced by heterologous virus infection were also activated by gp96-adjuvanted vaccine, thus resulting in broader protective CD8+ T cell responses. Our results demonstrated the advantage of adding gp96 to an existing seasonal influenza vaccine to improve its ability to provide better cross-protection.IMPORTANCE Owing to continuous mutations in hemagglutinin (HA) or neuraminidase (NA) or recombination of the gene segments between different strains, influenza viruses can escape the immune responses developed by vaccination. Thus, new strategies aimed to efficiently activate immune response that targets to conserved regions among different influenza viruses are urgently needed in designing broad-spectrum influenza vaccine. Heat shock protein gp96 is currently the only natural T cell adjuvant with special ability to cross-present coupled antigen to major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) molecule and activate the downstream antigen-specific CTL response. In this study, we demonstrated the advantages of adding gp96 to monovalent split influenza virus vaccine to improve its ability to provide cross-protection in the BALB/c mouse model and proved that a gp96-activated cross-reactive CTL response is indispensable in our vaccine strategy. Due to its unique adjuvant properties, gp96 might be a promising adjuvant for designing new broad-spectrum influenza vaccines.
      PubDate: 2021-05-24T08:00:40-07:00
      DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00507-21
      Issue No: Vol. 95, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Articles of Significant Interest in This Issue [Spotlight]

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      PubDate: 2021-05-24T08:00:40-07:00
      DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00639-21
      Issue No: Vol. 95, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • HIF1{alpha}-Regulated Expression of the Fatty Acid Binding Protein Family
           Is Important for Hypoxic Reactivation of Kaposis Sarcoma-Associated
           Herpesvirus [Virus-Cell Interactions]

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      Authors: Singh, R. K; Bose, D, Robertson, E. S.
      Abstract: The hypoxic microenvironment and metabolic reprogramming are two major contributors to the phenotype of oncogenic virus-infected cells. Infection by Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) stabilizes hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF1α) and reprograms cellular metabolism. We investigated the comparative transcriptional regulation of all major genes involved in fatty acid and amino acid metabolism in KSHV-positive and -negative cells grown under normoxic or hypoxic conditions. We show a distinct regulation of genes involved in both fatty acid and amino acid metabolism in KSHV-positive cells grown in either normoxic or hypoxic conditions, with a particular focus on genes involved in the acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) pathway. The fatty acid binding protein (FABP) family of genes, specifically FABP1, FABP4, and FABP7, was also observed to be synergistically upregulated in hypoxia by KSHV. This pattern of FABP gene expression was also seen in naturally infected KSHV BC3 or BCBL1 cells when compared to KSHV-negative DG75 or BL41 cells. Two KSHV-encoded antigens, which positively regulate HIF1α, the viral G-protein coupled receptor (vGPCR), and the latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA) were shown to drive upregulation of the FABP gene transcripts. Suppression of FABPs by RNA interference resulted in an adverse effect on hypoxia-dependent viral reactivation. Overall, this study provides new evidence, which supports a rationale for the inhibition of FABPs in KSHV-positive cells as potential strategies, for the development of therapeutic approaches targeting KSHV-associated malignancies.IMPORTANCE Hypoxia is a detrimental stress to eukaryotes and inhibits several cellular processes, such as DNA replication, transcription, translation, and metabolism. Interestingly, the genome of Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is known to undergo productive replication in hypoxia. We investigated the comparative transcriptional regulation of all major genes involved in fatty acid and amino acid metabolism in KSHV-positive and -negative cells grown under normoxic or hypoxic conditions. Several metabolic pathways were observed differentially regulated by KSHV in hypoxia, specifically, the fatty acid binding protein (FABP) family genes (FABP1, FABP4, and FABP7). KSHV-encoded antigens, vGPCR and LANA, were shown to drive upregulation of the FABP transcripts. Suppression of FABPs by RNA interference resulted in an adverse effect on hypoxia-dependent viral reactivation. Overall, this study provides new evidence, which supports a rationale for the inhibition of FABPs in KSHV-positive cells as potential strategies, for the development of therapeutic approaches targeting KSHV-associated malignancies.
      PubDate: 2021-05-24T08:00:40-07:00
      DOI: 10.1128/JVI.02063-20
      Issue No: Vol. 95, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Switching Sides: How Endogenous Retroviruses Protect Us from Viral
           Infections [Gem]

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      Authors: Srinivasachar Badarinarayan, S; Sauter, D.
      Abstract: Long disregarded as junk DNA or genomic dark matter, endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) have turned out to represent important components of the antiviral immune response. These remnants of once-infectious retroviruses not only regulate cellular immune activation, but may even directly target invading viral pathogens. In this Gem, we summarize mechanisms by which retroviral fossils protect us from viral infections. One focus will be on recent advances in the role of ERVs as regulators of antiviral gene expression.
      PubDate: 2021-05-24T08:00:40-07:00
      DOI: 10.1128/JVI.02299-20
      Issue No: Vol. 95, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Antiviral Peptides Targeting the Helicase Activity of Enterovirus
           Nonstructural Protein 2C [Vaccines and Antiviral Agents]

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      Authors: Fang, Y; Wang, C, Wang, C, Yang, R, Bai, P, Zhang, X.-Y, Kong, J, Yin, L, Qiu, Y, Zhou, X.
      Abstract: Enteroviruses belong to the genus Enterovirus of the family Picornaviridae and include four human enterovirus groups (EV-A to -D): the epidemic of enteroviruses such as human enterovirus A71 (EV-A71) and coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16) is a threat to global public health. Enteroviral protein 2C is the most conserved nonstructural protein among all enteroviruses and possesses RNA helicase activity that plays pivotal roles during enteroviral life cycles, which makes 2C an attractive target for developing antienterovirus drugs. In this study, we designed a peptide, named 2CL, based on the structure of EV-A71 2C. This peptide effectively impaired the oligomerization of EV-A71 2C protein and inhibited the RNA helicase activities of 2C proteins encoded by EV-A71 and CVA16, both of which belong to EV-A, and showed potent antiviral efficacy against EV-A71 and CVA16 in cells. Moreover, the 2CL treatment elicited a strong in vivo protective efficacy against lethal EV-A71 challenge. In addition, the antiviral strategy of targeting the 2C helicase activity can be applied to inhibit the replication of EV-B. Either 2CL or B-2CL, the peptide redesigned based on the 2CL-corresponding sequence of EV-Bs, could exert effective antiviral activity against two important EV-Bs, coxsackievirus B3 and echovirus 11. Together, our findings demonstrated that targeting the helicase activity of 2C with a rationally designed peptide is an efficient antiviral strategy against enteroviruses, and 2CL and B-2CL show promising clinical potential to be further developed as broad-spectrum antienterovirus drugs.IMPORTANCE Enteroviruses are a large group of positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses and include numerous human pathogens, such as enterovirus A71 (EV-A71), coxsackieviruses, and echoviruses. However, no approved EV antiviral drugs are available. Enteroviral 2C is the most conserved nonstructural protein among all enteroviruses and contains the RNA helicase activity critical for the viral life cycle. Herein, according to the structure of EV-A71 2C, we designed a peptide that effectively inhibited the RNA helicase activities of EV-A71- and coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16)-encoded 2C proteins. Moreover, this peptide exerted potent antiviral effects against EV-A71 and CVA16 in cells and elicited therapeutic efficacy against lethal EV-A71 challenge in vivo. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the strategy of targeting the 2C helicase activity can be used for other relevant enteroviruses, including coxsackievirus B3 and echovirus 11. In summary, our findings provide compelling evidence that the designed peptides targeting the helicase activity of 2C could be broad-spectrum antivirals for enteroviruses.
      PubDate: 2021-05-24T08:00:40-07:00
      DOI: 10.1128/JVI.02324-20
      Issue No: Vol. 95, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Porcine Hemagglutinating Encephalomyelitis Virus Infection In Vivo and Ex
           Vivo [Pathogenesis and Immunity]

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      Authors: Mora-Diaz, J. C; Pineyro, P. E, Rauh, R, Nelson, W, Sankoh, Z, Gregg, E, Carrillo-Avila, J. A, Shen, H, Nelli, R. K, Zimmerman, J. J, Gimenez-Lirola, L. G.
      Abstract: Porcine hemagglutinating encephalomyelitis virus (PHEV) is a betacoronavirus that causes vomiting and wasting disease and/or encephalomyelitis in suckling pigs. This study characterized PHEV infection, pathogenesis, and immune response in cesarean-derived, colostrum-deprived (CDCD) neonatal pigs. Infected animals developed mild respiratory, enteric, and neurological clinical signs between 2 to 13 days postoronasal inoculation (dpi). PHEV did not produce viremia, but virus shedding was detected in nasal secretions (1 to 10 dpi) and feces (2 to 7 dpi) by reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). Viral RNA was detected in all tissues except liver, but the detection rate and RT-qPCR threshold cycle (CT) values decreased over time. The highest concentration of virus was detected in inoculated piglets necropsied at 5 dpi in turbinate and trachea, followed by tonsils, lungs, tracheobronchial lymph nodes, and stomach. The most representative microscopic lesions were gastritis lymphoplasmacytic, moderate, multifocal, with perivasculitis, and neuritis with ganglia degeneration. A moderate inflammatory response, characterized by increased levels of interferon alpha (IFN-α) in plasma (5 dpi) and infiltration of T lymphocytes and macrophages were also observed. Increased plasma levels of interleukin-8 (IL-8) were detected at 10 and 15 dpi, coinciding with the progressive resolution of the infection. Moreover, a robust antibody response was detected by 10 dpi. An ex vivo air-liquid CDCD-derived porcine respiratory cells culture (ALI-PRECs) system showed virus replication in ALI-PRECs and cytopathic changes and disruption of ciliated columnar epithelia, thereby confirming the tracheal epithelia as a primary site of infection for PHEV.IMPORTANCE Among the ~46 virus species in the family Coronaviridae, many of which are important pathogens of humans and 6 of which are commonly found in pigs, porcine hemagglutinating encephalomyelitis remains one of the least researched. The present study provided a comprehensive characterization of the PHEV infection process and immune responses using CDCD neonatal pigs. Moreover, we used an ex vivo ALI-PRECs system resembling the epithelial lining of the tracheobronchial region of the porcine respiratory tract to demonstrate that the upper respiratory tract is a primary site of PHEV infection. This study provides a platform for further multidisciplinary studies of coronavirus infections.
      PubDate: 2021-05-24T08:00:40-07:00
      DOI: 10.1128/JVI.02335-20
      Issue No: Vol. 95, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • Punctuated Loci on Chromosome IV Determine Natural Variation in Orsay
           Virus Susceptibility of Caenorhabditis elegans Strains Bristol N2 and
           Hawaiian CB4856 [Genetic Diversity and Evolution]

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      Authors: Sterken, M. G; van Sluijs, L, Wang, Y. A, Ritmahan, W, Gultom, M. L, Riksen, J. A. G, Volkers, R. J. M, Snoek, L. B, Pijlman, G. P, Kammenga, J. E.
      Abstract: Host-pathogen interactions play a major role in evolutionary selection and shape natural genetic variation. The genetically distinct Caenorhabditis elegans strains, Bristol N2 and Hawaiian CB4856, are differentially susceptible to the Orsay virus (OrV). Here, we report the dissection of the genetic architecture of susceptibility to OrV infection. We compare OrV infection in the relatively resistant wild-type CB4856 strain to the more susceptible canonical N2 strain. To gain insight into the genetic architecture of viral susceptibility, 52 fully sequenced recombinant inbred lines (CB4856 x N2 RILs) were exposed to OrV. This led to the identification of two loci on chromosome IV associated with OrV resistance. To verify the two loci and gain additional insight into the genetic architecture controlling virus infection, introgression lines (ILs) that together cover chromosome IV, were exposed to OrV. Of the 27 ILs used, 17 had an CB4856 introgression in an N2 background, and 10 had an N2 introgression in a CB4856 background. Infection of the ILs confirmed and fine-mapped the locus underlying variation in OrV susceptibility, and we found that a single nucleotide polymorphism in cul-6 may contribute to the difference in OrV susceptibility between N2 and CB4856. An allele swap experiment showed the strain CB4856 became as susceptible as the N2 strain by having an N2 cul-6 allele, although having the CB4856 cul-6 allele did not increase resistance in N2. In addition, we found that multiple strains with nonoverlapping introgressions showed a distinct infection phenotype from the parental strain, indicating that there are punctuated locations on chromosome IV determining OrV susceptibility. Thus, our findings reveal the genetic complexity of OrV susceptibility in C. elegans and suggest that viral susceptibility is governed by multiple genes.IMPORTANCE Genetic variation determines the viral susceptibility of hosts. Yet, pinpointing which genetic variants determine viral susceptibility remains challenging. Here, we have exploited the genetic tractability of the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans to dissect the genetic architecture of Orsay virus infection. Our results provide novel insight into natural determinants of Orsay virus infection.
      PubDate: 2021-05-24T08:00:40-07:00
      DOI: 10.1128/JVI.02430-20
      Issue No: Vol. 95, No. 12 (2021)
       
  • A Dengue Virus Serotype 1 mRNA-LNP Vaccine Elicits Protective Immune
           Responses [Vaccines and Antiviral Agents]

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      Authors: Wollner, C. J; Richner, M, Hassert, M. A, Pinto, A. K, Brien, J. D, Richner, J. M.
      Abstract: Dengue virus (DENV) is the most common vector-borne viral disease, with nearly 400 million worldwide infections each year concentrated in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Severe dengue complications are often associated with a secondary heterotypic infection of one of the four circulating serotypes. In this scenario, humoral immune responses targeting cross-reactive, poorly neutralizing epitopes can lead to increased infectivity of susceptible cells via antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). In this way, antibodies produced in response to infection or vaccination are capable of contributing to enhanced disease in subsequent infections. Currently, there are no available therapeutics to combat DENV disease, and there is an urgent need for a safe and efficacious vaccine. Here, we developed a nucleotide-modified mRNA vaccine encoding the membrane and envelope structural proteins from DENV serotype 1 encapsulated in lipid nanoparticles (prM/E mRNA-LNP). Vaccination of mice elicited robust antiviral immune responses comparable to viral infection, with high levels of neutralizing antibody titers and antiviral CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Immunocompromised AG129 mice vaccinated with the prM/E mRNA-LNP vaccine were protected from a lethal DENV challenge. Vaccination with either a wild-type vaccine or a vaccine with mutations in the immunodominant fusion loop epitope elicited equivalent humoral and cell-mediated immune responses. Neutralizing antibodies elicited by the vaccine were sufficient to protect against a lethal challenge. Both vaccine constructs demonstrated serotype-specific immunity with minimal serum cross-reactivity and reduced ADE in comparison to a live DENV1 viral infection.IMPORTANCE With 400 million worldwide infections each year, dengue is the most common vector-borne viral disease. Forty percent of the world's population is at risk, with dengue experiencing consistent geographic spread over the years. With no therapeutics available and vaccines performing suboptimally, the need for an effective dengue vaccine is urgent. Here, we develop and characterize a novel mRNA vaccine encoding the dengue serotype 1 envelope and premembrane structural proteins that is delivered via a lipid nanoparticle. Our DENV1 prM/E mRNA-LNP vaccine induces neutralizing antibody and cellular immune responses in immunocompetent mice and protects an immunocompromised mouse from a lethal DENV challenge. Existing antibodies against dengue can enhance subsequent infections via antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). Importantly our vaccine induced only serotype-specific immune responses and did not induce ADE.
      PubDate: 2021-05-24T08:00:40-07:00
      DOI: 10.1128/JVI.02482-20
      Issue No: Vol. 95, No. 12 (2021)
       
 
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