Mapping of domains responsible for nucleocapsid protein-phosphoprotein interaction of Henipaviruses. (1/33)

Hendra virus (HeV) and Nipah virus (NiV) are members of a new genus, Henipavirus, in the family paramyxoviridae. Each virus encodes a phosphoprotein (P) that is significantly larger than its counterparts in other known paramyxoviruses. The interaction of this unusually large P with its nucleocapsid protein (N) was investigated in this study by using recombinant full-length and truncated proteins expressed in bacteria and a modified protein-blotting protein-overlay assay. Results from our group demonstrated that the N and P of both viruses were able to form not only homologous, but also heterologous, N-P complexes, i.e. HeV N was able to interact with NiV P and vice versa. Deletion analysis of the N and P revealed that there were at least two independent N-binding sites on P and they resided at the N and C termini, respectively. Similarly, more than one P-binding site was present on N and one of these was mapped to a 29 amino acid (aa) C-terminal region, which on its own was sufficient to interact with the extreme C-terminal 165 aa region of P.  (+info)

In silico identification of a putative new paramyxovirus related to the Henipavirus genus. (2/33)

A database search for genes encoding paramyxoviral proteins revealed sequences that were designated as human but presented strong evidence of being of viral origin. The two cDNA-derived sequences designated AngRem104 and AngRem52 were originally described as human gene products that were upregulated by angiotensin II in primary mesangial kidney cells. However, their high degree of sequence relatedness to known viral proteins suggests that they represent the P/C/V, M, and F genes of a putative new member of family Paramyxoviridae. Comparison of deduced amino acid sequences and nucleotide motifs suggests that this putative virus is a divergent relative of the Hendra and Nipah viruses; hence, we suggest henipa-like virus or HNLV as a provisional name. Compared to Nipah virus, the percentage of identical (similar) amino acids varied from 19% (42%) for the C protein to 51% (75%) for the M protein. The presence and conservation of presumptive viral transcription start and stop signals and an apparent P editing motif also indicate a relationship of this putative virus to the henipaviruses. Given the highly pathogenic nature of the henipaviruses, the origin of these sequences is enigmatic, and attempts to identify and isolate HNLV are warranted.  (+info)

Inhibition of Henipavirus fusion and infection by heptad-derived peptides of the Nipah virus fusion glycoprotein. (3/33)

BACKGROUND: The recent emergence of four new members of the paramyxovirus family has heightened the awareness of and re-energized research on new and emerging diseases. In particular, the high mortality and person to person transmission associated with the most recent Nipah virus outbreaks, as well as the very recent re-emergence of Hendra virus, has confirmed the importance of developing effective therapeutic interventions. We have previously shown that peptides corresponding to the C-terminal heptad repeat (HR-2) of the fusion envelope glycoprotein of Hendra virus and Nipah virus were potent inhibitors of both Hendra virus and Nipah virus-mediated membrane fusion using recombinant expression systems. In the current study, we have developed shorter, second generation HR-2 peptides which include a capped peptide via amidation and acetylation and two poly(ethylene glycol)-linked (PEGylated) peptides, one with the PEG moity at the C-terminus and the other at the N-terminus. Here, we have evaluated these peptides as well as the corresponding scrambled peptide controls in Nipah virus and Hendra virus-mediated membrane fusion and against infection by live virus in vitro. RESULTS: Unlike their predecessors, the second generation HR-2 peptides exhibited high solubility and improved synthesis yields. Importantly, both Nipah virus and Hendra virus-mediated fusion as well as live virus infection were potently inhibited by both capped and PEGylated peptides with IC50 concentrations similar to the original HR-2 peptides, whereas the scrambled modified peptides had no inhibitory effect. These data also indicate that these chemical modifications did not alter the functional properties of the peptides as inhibitors. CONCLUSION: Nipah virus and Hendra virus infection in vitro can be potently blocked by specific HR-2 peptides. The improved synthesis and solubility characteristics of the second generation HR-2 peptides will facilitate peptide synthesis for pre-clinical trial application in an animal model of Henipavirus infection. The applied chemical modifications are also predicted to increase the serum half-life in vivo and should increase the chance of success in the development of an effective antiviral therapy.  (+info)

Bats are natural reservoirs of SARS-like coronaviruses. (4/33)

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) emerged in 2002 to 2003 in southern China. The origin of its etiological agent, the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV), remains elusive. Here we report that species of bats are a natural host of coronaviruses closely related to those responsible for the SARS outbreak. These viruses, termed SARS-like coronaviruses (SL-CoVs), display greater genetic variation than SARS-CoV isolated from humans or from civets. The human and civet isolates of SARS-CoV nestle phylogenetically within the spectrum of SL-CoVs, indicating that the virus responsible for the SARS outbreak was a member of this coronavirus group.  (+info)

Molecular determinants of antiviral potency of paramyxovirus entry inhibitors. (5/33)

Hendra virus (HeV) and Nipah virus (NiV) constitute the Henipavirus genus of paramyxoviruses, both fatal in humans and with the potential for subversion as agents of bioterrorism. Binding of the HeV/NiV attachment protein (G) to its receptor triggers a series of conformational changes in the fusion protein (F), ultimately leading to formation of a postfusion six-helix bundle (6HB) structure and fusion of the viral and cellular membranes. The ectodomain of paramyxovirus F proteins contains two conserved heptad repeat regions, the first (the N-terminal heptad repeat [HRN]) adjacent to the fusion peptide and the second (the C-terminal heptad repeat [HRC]) immediately preceding the transmembrane domain. Peptides derived from the HRN and HRC regions of F are proposed to inhibit fusion by preventing activated F molecules from forming the 6HB structure that is required for fusion. We previously reported that a human parainfluenza virus 3 (HPIV3) F peptide effectively inhibits infection mediated by the HeV glycoproteins in pseudotyped-HeV entry assays more effectively than the comparable HeV-derived peptide, and we now show that this peptide inhibits live-HeV and -NiV infection. HPIV3 F peptides were also effective in inhibiting HeV pseudotype virus entry in a new assay that mimics multicycle replication. This anti-HeV/NiV efficacy can be correlated with the greater potential of the HPIV3 C peptide to interact with the HeV F N peptide coiled-coil trimer, as evaluated by thermal unfolding experiments. Furthermore, replacement of a buried glutamic acid (glutamic acid 459) in the C peptide with valine enhances antiviral potency and stabilizes the 6HB conformation. Our results strongly suggest that conserved interhelical packing interactions in the F protein fusion core are important determinants of C peptide inhibitory activity and offer a strategy for the development of more-potent analogs of F peptide inhibitors.  (+info)

Functional studies of host-specific ephrin-B ligands as Henipavirus receptors. (6/33)

Hendra virus (HeV) and Nipah virus (NiV) are closely related paramyxoviruses that infect and cause disease in a wide range of mammalian hosts. To determine whether host receptor molecules play a role in species-specific and/or virus-specific infection we have cloned and characterized ephrin-B2 and ephrin-B3 ligands from a range of species, including human, horse, pig, cat, dog, bats (Pteropus alecto and Pteropus vampyrus) and mouse. HeV and NiV were both able to infect cells expressing any of the ephrin-B2 and ephrin-B3 molecules. There did not appear to be significant differences in receptor function from different species or receptor usage by HeV and NiV. Soluble ephrin ligands, their receptors and G-specific human monoclonal antibodies differentially blocked henipavirus infections suggesting different receptor affinities, overlapping receptor binding domains of the henipavirus attachment glycoprotein (G) and that the functional domains of the ephrin ligands may be important for henipavirus binding.  (+info)

Henipavirus V protein association with Polo-like kinase reveals functional overlap with STAT1 binding and interferon evasion. (7/33)


Evidence of henipavirus infection in West African fruit bats. (8/33)