(1/1515) Characterization of a new genotype of measles virus detected in China and England.

We report the co-circulation of a new lineage of measles virus (MV) and an Edmonston-like (Ed-like) genotype of MV in China during 1995-7. Sequence analysis of 25 strains was performed on a 282 nucleotides (nt) region of the nucleoprotein (N) gene, a 450-nt region of the haemagglutinin (H) gene and a 152-nt region of the matrix (M) gene by direct sequencing of RT-PCR amplicons obtained from clinical specimens. The entire H gene was sequenced from two strains. The results showed that 24/25 Chinese strains belonged to a new genogroup and were distinct from the vaccine strains used in China and the UK, and also from MV strains previously described in Europe, Africa and the USA. The remaining strain was Ed-like. Two strains of the new genotype (IV) and one of the Ed-like genotype were also detected in the UK in 1996.  (+info)

(2/1515) Immunoglobulin-specific radioimmunoprecipitation assays for quantitation of nasal secretory antibodies to hemagglutinin of type A influenza viruses.

Radioimmunoprecipitation (RIP) assays were developed to selectively quantitate class-specific antibodies to purified hemagglutinins (HA) of type A influenza virus in nasal secretions. Rabbit anti-human secretory piece of immunoglobulin A (IgA) and rabbit anti-human IgG were used as second antibodies. A third antibody, goat anti-rabbit IgG, was incorporated into the system to separate immune complexes formed between iodinated HA, nasal wash test specimen, and second antibody. The utilization of this reagent avoided the need for large quantities of IgA and IgG antibody-negative carrier secretions. Nasal was specimens obtained from 14 adults immunized with an inactivated type A influenza virus vaccine were evaluated by RIP and viral neutralization assays. Significant homologous postvaccination secretory IgA and IgG antibody levels were demonstrable in 13 (93%) of individuals by RIP, whereas only 5 (36%) exhibited rises by viral neutralization tests. Moreover, the geometric mean IgA and IgG antibody levels were at least 20- and 37-fold greater than the neutralizing antibody titer. The pattern of heterologous immunoglobulin-specific antibody responses tended to be similar to those observed with the homologous HA subunit.  (+info)

(3/1515) The cytoplasmic tail of the influenza C virus glycoprotein HEF negatively affects transport to the cell surface.

The surface glycoprotein, HEF, of influenza C virus (C/Johannesburg/1/66) has been shown to undergo a post-translation conformational change that is evident in a dramatic change of electrophoretic mobility. If the corresponding gene is expressed in the absence of other viral proteins, this folding process does not occur at all or only very inefficiently. A chimaeric protein, HEF-HA(Tail), in which the short cytoplasmic tail (Arg-Thr-Lys) of HEF was replaced by the cytoplasmic tail of the haemagglutinin of an influenza A virus (fowl plague virus) was constructed. In contrast to the wild-type protein, the chimaeric protein was detected on the cell surface. No further improvement of the surface expression was observed when both the transmembrane domain and the cytoplasmic tail were replaced by the corresponding domains of either the influenza A haemagglutinin or gp40, an endogenous protein of MDCK cells. For the HEF-HA(Tail) construct this study shows that a substantial amount of the protein is converted to the 100 kDa mature form that is observed in virus-infected cells. The HEF-HA expressed on the cell surface reacted positively in esterase and haemadsorption assays, indicating that it was present in a biologically active form. The results show that the short cytoplasmic tail of HEF has a negative effect on the folding and surface transport of this protein. How this effect may be prevented during a virus infection is discussed.  (+info)

(4/1515) Structural and functional studies of the measles virus hemagglutinin: identification of a novel site required for CD46 interaction.

The entry of measles virus (MV) into human cells is mediated by the initial attachment of the viral hemagglutinin (HA) to the complement regulatory protein CD46. Two subdomains, one each within CD46 short consensus repeats (SCRs) 1 and 2, are responsible for this interaction. However, little is known about the regions within MV HA needed for a high-affinity CD46 interaction. To better define the HA-CD46 interaction, we took three approaches: chimeric domain swapping, peptide scanning, and alanine scanning mutagenesis. Chimeras of MV HA and the closely related rinderpest virus (RPV) HA were generated and tested for cell surface expression and the ability to hemadsorb CD46+ red blood cells (RBC). Exchanges with the N terminus of RPV were tolerated as MV HA could be replaced with RPV HA up to amino-acid position 154. However, both larger swaps with RPV and a small RPV HA replacement at the C terminus aborted cell-surface expression. Peptide scanning with 51 overlapping peptides derived from three MV HA regions showed one peptide, corresponding to MV HA amino acids 468-487, blocked hemagglutination of African green monkey (AGM) RBCs and inhibited MV infection of Chinese hamster ovary cells (CHO) expressing human CD46. Alanine scanning mutants mapped sites on the MV HA that were not required for trafficking to the cell surface or function in hemagglutination as well as a novel site required for CD46 interaction, amino acids 473-477.  (+info)

(5/1515) Protection of mice against a lethal influenza virus challenge after immunization with yeast-derived secreted influenza virus hemagglutinin.

The A/Victoria/3/75 (H3N2-subtype) hemagglutinin (HA) gene was engineered for expression in Pichia pastoris as a soluble secreted molecule. The HA cDNA lacking the C-terminal transmembrane anchor-coding sequence was fused to the Saccharomyces cerevisiae alpha-mating factor secretion signal and placed under control of the methanol-inducible P. pastoris alcohol oxidase 1 (AOX1) promoter. Growth of transformants on methanol-containing medium resulted in the secretion of recombinant non-cleaved soluble hemagglutinin (HA0s). Remarkably, the pH of the induction medium had an important effect on the expression level, the highest level being obtained at pH 8.0. The gel filtration profile and the reactivity against a panel of different HA-conformation specific monoclonal antibodies indicated that HA0s was monomeric. Analysis of the N-linked glycans revealed a typical P. pastoris type of glycosylation, consisting of glycans with 10-12 glycosyl residues. Mice immunized with purified soluble hemagglutinin (HA0s) showed complete protection against a challenge with 10 LD50 of mouse-adapted homologous virus (X47), whereas all control mice succumbed. Heterologous challenge with X31 virus [A/Aichi/2/68 (H3N2-subtype)], resulted in significantly higher survival rates in the immunized group compared with the control group. These results, together with the safety, reliability and economic potential of P. pastoris, as well as the flexibility and fast adaptation of the expression system may allow development of an effective recombinant influenza vaccine.  (+info)

(6/1515) Sodium dodecyl sulfate stability of HLA-DR1 complexes correlates with burial of hydrophobic residues in pocket 1.

Certain class II MHC-peptide complexes are resistant to SDS-induced dissociation. This property, which has been used as an in vivo as well as an in vitro peptide binding assay, is not understood at the molecular level. Here we have investigated the mechanistic basis of SDS stability of HLA-DR1 complexes by using a biosensor-based assay and SDS-PAGE with a combination of wild-type and mutant HLA-DR1 and variants of hemagglutinin peptide HA306-318. Experiments with wild-type DR1 along with previously published results establish that the SDS-stable complexes are formed only when the hydrophobic pocket 1 (P1) is occupied by a bulky aromatic (Trp, Phe, Tyr) or an aliphatic residue (Met, Ile, Val, Leu). To further explore whether the SDS sensitivity is primarily due to the exposed hydrophobic regions, we mutated residue beta Gly86 at the bottom of P1 to tyrosine, presumably reducing the depth of the pocket and the exposure of hydrophobic residues and increasing the contacts between subunits. In direct contrast to wild-type DR1, the peptide-free mutant DR1 exists as an alpha/beta heterodimer in SDS. Moreover, the presence of a smaller hydrophobic residue, such as alanine, as P1 anchor with no contribution from any other anchor is sufficient to enhance the SDS stability of the mutant complexes, demonstrating that the basis of SDS resistance may be localized to P1 interactions. The good correlation between SDS sensitivity and the exposure of hydrophobic residues provides a biochemical rationale for the use of this assay to investigate the maturation of class II molecules and the longevity of the complexes.  (+info)

(7/1515) The genome nucleotide sequence of a contemporary wild strain of measles virus and its comparison with the classical Edmonston strain genome.

The only complete genome nucleotide sequences of measles virus (MeV) reported to date have been for the Edmonston (Ed) strain and derivatives, which were isolated decades ago, passaged extensively under laboratory conditions, and appeared to be nonpathogenic. Partial sequencing of many other strains has identified >/=15 genotypes. Most recent isolates, including those typically pathogenic, belong to genotypes distinct from the Edmonston type. Therefore, the sequence of Ed and related strains may not be representative of those of pathological measles circulating at that or any time in human populations. Taking into account these issues as well as the fact that so many studies have been based upon Ed-related strains, we have sequenced the entire genome of a recently isolated pathogenic strain, 9301B. Between this recent isolate and the classical Ed strain, there were 465 nucleotide differences (2.93%) and 114 amino acid differences (2.19%). Computation of nonsynonymous and synonymous substitutions in open reading frames as well as direct comparisons of noncoding regions of each gene and extracistronic regulatory regions clearly revealed the regions where changes have been permissible and nonpermissible. Notably, considerable nonsynonymous substitutions appeared to be permissible for the P frame to maintain a high degree of sequence conservation for the overlapping C frame. However, the cause and the effect were largely unclear for any substitution, indicating that there is a considerable gap between the two strains that cannot be filled. The sequence reported here would be useful as a reference of contemporary wild-type MeV.  (+info)

(8/1515) Identification of a coronavirus hemagglutinin-esterase with a substrate specificity different from those of influenza C virus and bovine coronavirus.

We have characterized the hemagglutinin-esterase (HE) of puffinosis virus (PV), a coronavirus closely related to mouse hepatitis virus (MHV). Analysis of the cloned gene revealed approximately 85% sequence identity to HE proteins of MHV and approximately 60% identity to the corresponding esterase of bovine coronavirus. The HE protein exhibited acetylesterase activity with synthetic substrates p-nitrophenyl acetate, alpha-naphthyl acetate, and 4-methylumbelliferyl acetate. In contrast to other viral esterases, no activity was detectable with natural substrates containing 9-O-acetylated sialic acids. Furthermore, PV esterase was unable to remove influenza C virus receptors from human erythrocytes, indicating a substrate specificity different from HEs of influenza C virus and bovine coronavirus. Solid-phase binding assays revealed that purified PV was unable to bind to sialic acid-containing glycoconjugates like bovine submaxillary mucin, mouse alpha1 macroglobulin or bovine brain extract. Because of the close relationship to MHV, possible implications on the substrate specificity of MHV esterases are suggested.  (+info)