Gene silencing: plants and viruses fight it out.
Plants can become 'immune' to attack by viruses by degrading specific viral RNA, but some plant viruses have evolved the general capacity to suppress this resistance mechanism. (+info)
The molecular basis of multiple vector insertion by gene targeting in mammalian cells.
Gene targeting using sequence insertion vectors generally results in integration of one copy of the targeting vector generating a tandem duplication of the cognate chromosomal region of homology. However, occasionally the target locus is found to contain >1 copy of the integrated vector. The mechanism by which the latter recombinants arise is not known. In the present study, we investigated the molecular basis by which multiple vectors become integrated at the chromosomal immunoglobulin mu locus in a murine hybridoma. To accomplish this, specially designed insertion vectors were constructed that included six diagnostic restriction enzyme markers in the Cmu region of homology to the target chromosomal mu locus. This enabled contributions by the vector-borne and chromosomal Cmu sequences at the recombinant locus to be ascertained. Targeted recombinants were isolated and analyzed to determine the number of vector copies integrated at the chromosomal immunoglobulin mu locus. Targeted recombinants identified as bearing >1 copy of the integrated vector resulted from a Cmu triplication formed by two vector copies in tandem. Examination of the fate of the Cmu region markers suggested that this class of recombinant was generated predominantly, if not exclusively, by two targeted vector integration events, each involving insertion of a single copy of the vector. Both vector insertion events into the chromosomal mu locus were consistent with the double-strand-break repair mechanism of homologous recombination. We interpret our results, taken together, to mean that a proportion of recipient cells is in a predetermined state that is amenable to targeted but not random vector integration. (+info)
Adventitial delivery minimizes the proinflammatory effects of adenoviral vectors.
PURPOSE: Adenovirus-mediated arterial gene transfer is a promising tool in the study of vascular biology and the development of vascular gene therapy. However, intraluminal delivery of adenoviral vectors causes vascular inflammation and neointimal formation. Whether these complications could be avoided and gene transfer efficiency maintained by means of delivering adenoviral vectors via the adventitia was studied. METHODS: Replication-defective adenoviral vectors encoding a beta-galactosidase (beta-gal) gene (AdRSVnLacZ) or without a recombinant gene (AdNull) were infused into the lumen or the adventitia of rabbit carotid arteries. Two days after infusion of either AdRSVnLacZ (n = 8 adventitial, n = 8 luminal) or AdNull (n = 4 luminal), recombinant gene expression was quantitated by histochemistry (performed on tissue sections) and with a beta-gal activity assay (performed on vessel extracts). Inflammation caused by adenovirus infusion was assessed 14 days after infusion of either AdNull (n = 6) or vehicle (n = 6) into the carotid adventitia. Inflammation was assessed by means of examination of histologic sections for the presence of neointimal formation and infiltrating T cells and for the expression of markers of vascular cell activation (ICAM-1 and VCAM-1). To measure the systemic immune response to adventitial infusion of adenovirus, plasma samples (n = 3) were drawn 14 days after infusion of AdNull and assayed for neutralizing antibodies. RESULTS: Two days after luminal infusion of AdRSVnLacZ, approximately 30% of luminal endothelial cells expressed beta-gal. Similarly, 2 days after infusion of AdRSVnLacZ to the adventitia, approximately 30% of adventitial cells expressed beta-gal. beta-gal expression was present in the carotid adventitia, the internal jugular vein adventitia, and the vagus nerve perineurium. Elevated beta-gal activity (50- to 80-fold more than background; P <.05) was detected in extracts made from all AdRSVnLacZ-transduced arteries. The amount of recombinant protein expression per vessel did not differ significantly between vessels transduced via the adventitia (17.1 mU/mg total protein [range, 8.1 to 71.5]) and those transduced via a luminal approach (10.0 mU/mg total protein [range, 3.9 to 42.6]). Notably, adventitial delivery of AdNull did not cause neointimal formation. In addition, vascular inflammation in arteries transduced via the adventitia (ie, T-cell infiltrates and ICAM-1 expression) was confined to the adventitia, sparing both the intima and media. Antiadenoviral neutralizing antibodies were present in all rabbits after adventitial delivery of AdNull. CONCLUSION: Infusion of adenoviral vectors into the carotid artery adventitia achieves recombinant gene expression at a level equivalent to that achieved by means of intraluminal vector infusion. Because adventitial gene transfer can be performed by means of direct application during open surgical procedures, this technically simple procedure may be more clinically applicable than intraluminal delivery. Moreover, despite the generation of a systemic immune response, adventitial infusion had no detectable pathologic effects on the vascular intima or media. For these reasons, adventitial gene delivery may be a particularly useful experimental and clinical tool. (+info)
Excess of high activity monoamine oxidase A gene promoter alleles in female patients with panic disorder.
A genetic contribution to the pathogenesis of panic disorder has been demonstrated by clinical genetic studies. Molecular genetic studies have focused on candidate genes suggested by the molecular mechanisms implied in the action of drugs utilized for therapy or in challenge tests. One class of drugs effective in the treatment of panic disorder is represented by monoamine oxidase A inhibitors. Therefore, the monoamine oxidase A gene on chromosome X is a prime candidate gene. In the present study we investigated a novel repeat polymorphism in the promoter of the monoamine oxidase A gene for association with panic disorder in two independent samples (German sample, n = 80; Italian sample, n = 129). Two alleles (3 and 4 repeats) were most common and constituted >97% of the observed alleles. Functional characterization in a luciferase assay demonstrated that the longer alleles (3a, 4 and 5) were more active than allele 3. Among females of both the German and the Italian samples of panic disorder patients (combined, n = 209) the longer alleles (3a, 4 and 5) were significantly more frequent than among females of the corresponding control samples (combined, n = 190, chi2 = 10.27, df = 1, P = 0.001). Together with the observation that inhibition of monoamine oxidase A is clinically effective in the treatment of panic disorder these findings suggest that increased monoamine oxidase A activity is a risk factor for panic disorder in female patients. (+info)
Mapping the genetic determinants of pathogenicity and plaque phenotype in swine vesicular disease virus.
A series of recombinant viruses were constructed using infectious cDNA clones of the virulent J1'73 (large plaque phenotype) and the avirulent H/3'76 (small plaque phenotype) strains of swine vesicular disease virus to identify the genetic determinants of pathogenicity and plaque phenotype. Both traits could be mapped to the region between nucleotides (nt) 2233 and 3368 corresponding to the C terminus of VP3, the whole of VP1, and the N terminus of 2A. In this region, there are eight nucleotide differences leading to amino acid changes between the J1'73 and the H/3'76 strains. Site-directed mutagenesis of individual nucleotides from the virulent to the avirulent genotype and vice versa indicated that A at nt 2832, encoding glycine at VP1-132, and G at nt 3355, encoding arginine at 2APRO-20, correlated with a large-plaque phenotype and virulence in pigs, irrespective of the origin of the remainder of the genome. Of these two sites, 2APRO-20 appeared to be the dominant determinant for the large-plaque phenotype but further studies are required to elucidate their relative importance for virulence in pigs. (+info)
Intranasal delivery of recombinant parvovirus-like particles elicits cytotoxic T-cell and neutralizing antibody responses.
We previously demonstrated that chimeric porcine parvovirus-like particles (PPV:VLP) carrying heterologous epitopes, when injected intraperitoneally into mice without adjuvant, activate strong CD4(+) and CD8(+) T-cell responses specific for the foreign epitopes. In the present study, we investigated the immunogenicity of PPV:VLP carrying a CD8(+) T-cell epitope from the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) administered by mucosal routes. Mice immunized intranasally with recombinant PPV:VLP, in the absence of adjuvant, developed high levels of PPV-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) and/or IgA in their serum, as well as in mucosal sites such as the bronchoalveolar and intestinal fluids. Antibodies in sera from mice immunized parenterally or intranasally with PPV:VLP were strongly neutralizing in vitro. Intranasal immunization with PPV:VLP carrying the LCMV CD8(+) T-cell epitope also elicited a strong peptide-specific cytotoxic-T-cell (CTL) response. In contrast, mice orally immunized with recombinant PPV:VLP did not develop any antibody or CTL responses. We also showed that mice primed with PPV:VLP are still able to develop strong CTL responses after subsequent immunization with chimeric PPV:VLP carrying a foreign CD8(+) T-cell epitope. These results highlight the attractive potential of PPV:VLP as a safe, nonreplicating antigen carrier to stimulate systemic and mucosal immunity after nasal administration. (+info)
Detection and induction of equine infectious anemia virus-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte responses by use of recombinant retroviral vectors.
Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) appear to be critical in resolving or reducing the severity of lentivirus infections. Retroviral vectors expressing the Gag/Pr or SU protein of the lentivirus equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) were constructed and used to evaluate EIAV-specific CTL responses in horses. Three promoters, cytomegalovirus, simian virus SV40, and Moloney murine sarcoma virus (MoMSV) long terminal repeat (LTR), were used, and there was considerable variation in their ability to direct expression of Gag/Pr and SU. Vectors expressing EIAV proteins under the direction of MoMSV LTR and using the gibbon ape leukemia virus (GALV) Env for internalization were efficient at transducing equine kidney (EK) target cells and were effective targets for EIAV-specific CTL lysis. CTL from EIAV-infected horses caused lysis of retroviral vector-transduced EK cells expressing either Gag/Pr or SU in an ELA-A-restricted manner. In contrast, lysis of recombinant vaccinia virus-infected EK cells expressing Gag/Pr and SU/TM was often non-LA-A restricted. Five horses were immunized by direct intramuscular injection with a mixture of retroviral vectors expressing Gag/Pr or SU, and one responded with EIAV-specific CTL. This result indicates that retroviral vector stimulation of CTL in horses needs to be optimized, perhaps by inclusion of appropriate cytokine genes in the constructs. However, the studies demonstrated that retroviral vector-transduced target cells were very effective for in vitro dissection of EIAV-specific CTL responses. (+info)
Reovirus virion-like particles obtained by recoating infectious subvirion particles with baculovirus-expressed sigma3 protein: an approach for analyzing sigma3 functions during virus entry.
Structure-function studies with mammalian reoviruses have been limited by the lack of a reverse-genetic system for engineering mutations into the viral genome. To circumvent this limitation in a partial way for the major outer-capsid protein sigma3, we obtained in vitro assembly of large numbers of virion-like particles by binding baculovirus-expressed sigma3 protein to infectious subvirion particles (ISVPs) that lack sigma3. A level of sigma3 binding approaching 100% of that in native virions was routinely achieved. The sigma3 coat in these recoated ISVPs (rcISVPs) appeared very similar to that in virions by electron microscopy and three-dimensional image reconstruction. rcISVPs retained full infectivity in murine L cells, allowing their use to study sigma3 functions in virus entry. Upon infection, rcISVPs behaved identically to virions in showing an extended lag phase prior to exponential growth and in being inhibited from entering cells by either the weak base NH4Cl or the cysteine proteinase inhibitor E-64. rcISVPs also mimicked virions in being incapable of in vitro activation to mediate lysis of erythrocytes and transcription of the viral mRNAs. Last, rcISVPs behaved like virions in showing minor loss of infectivity at 52 degrees C. Since rcISVPs contain virion-like levels of sigma3 but contain outer-capsid protein mu1/mu1C mostly cleaved at the delta-phi junction as in ISVPs, the fact that rcISVPs behaved like virions (and not ISVPs) in all of the assays that we performed suggests that sigma3, and not the delta-phi cleavage of mu1/mu1C, determines the observed differences in behavior between virions and ISVPs. To demonstrate the applicability of rcISVPs for genetic studies of protein functions in reovirus entry (an approach that we call recoating genetics), we used chimeric sigma3 proteins to localize the primary determinants of a strain-dependent difference in sigma3 cleavage rate to a carboxy-terminal region of the ISVP-bound protein. (+info)