Amino acid residues critical for RNA-binding in the N-terminal domain of the nucleocapsid protein are essential determinants for the infectivity of coronavirus in cultured cells.
The N-terminal domain of the coronavirus nucleocapsid (N) protein adopts a fold resembling a right hand with a flexible, positively charged beta-hairpin and a hydrophobic palm. This domain was shown to interact with the genomic RNA for coronavirus infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Based on its 3D structure, we used site-directed mutagenesis to identify residues essential for the RNA-binding activity of the IBV N protein and viral infectivity. Alanine substitution of either Arg-76 or Tyr-94 in the N-terminal domain of IBV N protein led to a significant decrease in its RNA-binding activity and a total loss of the infectivity of the viral RNA to Vero cells. In contrast, mutation of amino acid Gln-74 to an alanine, which does not affect the binding activity of the N-terminal domain, showed minimal, if any, detrimental effect on the infectivity of IBV. This study thus identifies residues critical for RNA binding on the nucleocapsid surface, and presents biochemical and genetic evidence that directly links the RNA binding capacity of the coronavirus N protein to the viral infectivity in cultured cells. This information would be useful in development of preventive and treatment approaches against coronavirus infection. (+info)
An arginine-to-proline mutation in a domain with undefined functions within the helicase protein (Nsp13) is lethal to the coronavirus infectious bronchitis virus in cultured cells.
Genetic manipulation of the RNA genomes by reverse genetics is a powerful tool to study the molecular biology and pathogenesis of RNA viruses. During construction of an infectious clone from a Vero cell-adapted coronavirus infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), we found that a G-C point mutation at nucleotide position 15526, causing Arg-to-Pro mutation at amino acid position 132 of the helicase protein, is lethal to the infectivity of IBV on Vero cells. When the in vitro-synthesized full-length transcripts containing this mutation were introduced into Vero cells, no infectious virus was rescued. Upon correction of the mutation, infectious virus was recovered. Further characterization of the in vitro-synthesized full-length transcripts containing the G15526C mutation demonstrated that this mutation may block the transcription of subgenomic RNAs. Substitution mutation of the Arg132 residue to a positively charged amino acid Lys affected neither the infectivity of the in vitro-synthesized transcripts nor the growth properties of the rescued virus. However, mutation of the Arg132 residue to Leu, a conserved residue in other coronaviruses at the same position, reduced the recovery rate of the in vitro-synthesized transcripts. The recovered mutant virus showed much smaller-sized plaques. On the contrary, a G-C and a G-A point mutations at nucleotide positions 4330 and 9230, respectively, causing Glu-Gln and Gly-Glu mutations in or near the catalytic centers of the papain-like (Nsp3) and 3C-like (Nsp5) proteinases, did not show detectable detrimental effect on the rescue of infectious viruses and the infectivity of the rescued viruses. (+info)
S1 gene sequence analysis of a nephropathogenic strain of avian infectious bronchitis virus in Egypt.
BACKGROUND: Infectious bronchitis is highly contagious and constitutes one of the most common and difficult poultry diseases to control. IBV is endemic in probably all countries that raise chickens. It exists as dozens of serotypes/genotypes. Only a few amino acid differences in the S1 protein of vaccine and challenge strains of IBV may result in poor protection. Tropism of IBV includes the respiratory tract tissues, proventriculus and caecal tonsils of the alimentary tract, the oviduct and the kidney. RESULTS: Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) strain closely related to Massachusetts (Mass) serotype was isolated from broiler chickens suffering from severe renal and respiratory distresses. The isolate was serologically identified by Dot-ELISA and further characterized by RT-PCR then genotyped using S1 gene sequence analysis. Alignment of the S1 sequence of the isolate with 16 IBV strains revealed high homology to isolates related to Mass serotype. Inoculation with the strain reproduced the disease in experimental 1-day-old chickens and resulted in 20% mortality, severe renal and moderate respiratory distresses. Marked histopathological changes in both kidney and trachea were observed in experimentally infected chickens. A protection study using the H120 live attenuated vaccine showed low protection rate in spite of high S1 sequence homology (97%). Protection based criteria were: virus re-isolation attempts from trachea, tracheal and renal histopathology as well as IBV antigens detection by immunofluorescent antibody technique in kidney sections. CONCLUSION: Periodical evaluation of cross-protective capabilities of IBV vaccine(s) versus recently recovered field isolates should be performed to ensure optimum control of IBV. (+info)
Antigenic domains on the peplomer protein of avian infectious bronchitis virus: correlation with biological functions.
Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) directed against structural proteins of infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) were produced to analyse the antigenic structure of this virus. Competitive binding of enzyme-labelled and unlabelled MAbs to IBV peplomer protein was analysed in an antibody binding assay to test the relatedness of the epitopes defined by the MAbs. Based on the competition groups, eight epitope clusters were defined (S-A to S-H); six of these clusters (S1-A to S1-F) were located on the S1 subunit and two (S2-G and S2-H) on the S2 subunit of the peplomer protein. Epitope clusters S1-A and S1-B overlapped extensively. The biological activities of the MAbs were determined and correlated to the epitope clusters. Monoclonal antibodies directed against epitope clusters S1-A to S1-E and one MAb directed against cluster S2-G moderately to strongly neutralized IBV at titres higher than 2 log10, whereas the remaining MAbs, directed against S1 and S2, neutralized at titres lower than 2 log10. One MAb, directed against cluster S1-D, inhibited the agglutination of chicken erythrocytes. (+info)
Haemagglutination by avian infectious bronchitis virus-a coronavirus.
The haemagglutinating ability of three strains of IBV was investigated. It was shown that whereas strain Beaudette had no detectable haemagglutinin, both Connecticut and Massachusetts agglutinated red cells of various species. The haemagglutinin of Connecticut was detectable after sucrose gradient purification whereas that of Massachusetts required both the purification step and incubation with the enzyme phospholipase C to reveal it. The agglutination could be inhibited by specific antisera. Some studies on the nature of the red cell receptor, and the possible presence of a receptor destroying enzyme, are reported. (+info)
Characterisation of the RNA binding properties of the coronavirus infectious bronchitis virus nucleocapsid protein amino-terminal region.
The coronavirus nucleocapsid (N) protein binds viral RNA to form the ribonucleocapsid and regulate RNA synthesis. The interaction of N protein with viral RNA was investigated using circular dichroism and surface plasmon resonance. N protein underwent a conformational change upon binding viral RNA and the data indicated electrostatic interactions were involved in the binding of the protein to RNA. Kinetic analysis suggested the amino-terminal region facilitates long-range non-specific interactions between N protein and viral RNA, thus bringing the RNA into close proximity to N protein allowing specific contacts to form via a 'lure' and 'lock' mechanism. (+info)
Preliminary crystallographic analysis of avian infectious bronchitis virus main protease.
Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) is the prototype of the genus Coronavirus. It causes a highly contagious disease which affects the respiratory, reproductive, neurological and renal systems of chickens, resulting great economic losses in the poultry industry worldwide. The coronavirus (CoV) main protease (M(pro)), which plays a pivotal role in viral gene expression and replication through a highly complex cascade involving the proteolytic processing of replicase polyproteins, is an attractive target for antiviral drug design. In this study, IBV M(pro) was overexpressed in Escherichia coli. Crystals suitable for X-ray crystallography have been obtained using microseeding techniques and belong to space group P6(1)22. X-ray diffraction data were collected in-house to 2.7 A resolution from a single crystal. The unit-cell parameters were a = b = 119.1, c = 270.7 A, alpha = beta = 90, gamma = 120 degrees. Three molecules were predicted to be present in the asymmetric unit from a calculated self-rotation function. (+info)
Localization of a T-cell epitope within the nucleocapsid protein of avian coronavirus.
In a previous study, two murine T-cell hybridomas generated after immunization with infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) were shown to be responsive to the internally localized viral nucleocapsid protein. In the present study, the antigenic determinants were mapped using recombinant expression products and synthetic peptides. Both hybridomas recognized the region spanning amino acid residues 71 to 78 of the nucleocapsid protein. The experimentally determined epitope corresponded with predicted motifs. Both an I-Ed binding motif and a predicted cleavage site for the aspartyl protease cathepsin D were contained within the sequence. The epitope was shown to prime cellular immune responses to IBV in the chicken. (+info)