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(1/4894) Cu(II) inhibition of the proton translocation machinery of the influenza A virus M2 protein.

The homotetrameric M2 integral membrane protein of influenza virus forms a proton-selective ion channel. An essential histidine residue (His-37) in the M2 transmembrane domain is believed to play an important role in the conduction mechanism of this channel. Also, this residue is believed to form hydrogen-bonded interactions with the ammonium group of the anti-viral compound, amantadine. A molecular model of this channel suggests that the imidazole side chains of His-37 from symmetry-related monomers of the homotetrameric pore converge to form a coordination site for transition metals. Thus, membrane currents of oocytes of Xenopus laevis expressing the M2 protein were recorded when the solution bathing the oocytes contained various transition metals. Membrane currents were strongly and reversibly inhibited by Cu2+ with biphasic reaction kinetics. The biphasic inhibition curves may be explained by a two-site model involving a fast-binding peripheral site with low specificity for divalent metal ions, as well as a high affinity site (Kdiss approximately 2 microM) that lies deep within the pore and shows rather slow-binding kinetics (kon = 18.6 +/- 0.9 M-1 s-1). The pH dependence of the interaction with the high affinity Cu2+-binding site parallels the pH dependence of inhibition by amantadine, which has previously been ascribed to protonation of His-37. The voltage dependence of the inhibition at the high affinity site indicates that the binding site lies within the transmembrane region of the pore. Furthermore, the inhibition by Cu2+ could be prevented by prior application of the reversible blocker of M2 channel activity, BL-1743, providing further support for the location of the site within the pore region of M2. Finally, substitutions of His-37 by alanine or glycine eliminated the high affinity site and resulted in membrane currents that were only partially inhibited at millimolar concentrations of Cu2+. Binding of Cu2+ to the high affinity site resulted in an approximately equal inhibition of both inward and outward currents. The wild-type protein showed very high specificity for Cu2+ and was only partially inhibited by 1 mM Ni2+, Pt2+, and Zn2+. These data are discussed in terms of the functional role of His-37 in the mechanism of proton translocation through the channel.  (+info)

(2/4894) 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)

(3/4894) Innate and acquired humoral immunities to influenza virus are mediated by distinct arms of the immune system.

"Natural" Igs, mainly IgM, comprise part of the innate immune system present in healthy individuals, including antigen-free mice. These Igs are thought to delay pathogenicity of infecting agents until antigen-induced high affinity Igs of all isotypes are produced. Previous studies suggested that the acquired humoral response arises directly from the innate response, i.e., that B cells expressing natural IgM, upon antigen encounter, differentiate to give rise both to cells that secrete high amounts of IgM and to cells that undergo affinity maturation and isotype switching. However, by using a murine model of influenza virus infection, we demonstrate here that the B cells that produce natural antiviral IgM neither increase their IgM production nor undergo isotype switching to IgG2a in response to the infection. These cells are distinct from the B cells that produce the antiviral response after encounter with the pathogen. Our data therefore demonstrate that the innate and the acquired humoral immunities to influenza virus are separate effector arms of the immune system and that antigen exposure per se is not sufficient to increase natural antibody production.  (+info)

(4/4894) Cytotoxic T-cell responses in mice infected with influenza and vaccinia viruses vary in magnitude with H-2 genotype.

Secondary effector T-cell populations generated by cross-priming with heterologous influenza A viruses operate only in H-2K or H-2D compatible situations, when assayed on SV40-transformed target cells infected with a range of influenza A viruses. The H2-Kb allele is associated with a total failure in the generation of influenza-immune cytotoxic T cells, though this is not seen for the primary response to vaccinia virus. In both influenza and vaccinia development of effector T cells operating at H-2Db is greatly depressed in B10.A(2R) (kkkddb) and B10.A(4R) (kkbbbb), but not in B10 (bbbbbb), mice. However, there is no defect in viral antigen expression at either H-2Kk or H-2Db in B10.A(2R) target cells. This apparently reflects some inadequacy in the stimulator environment, as (A/J X B6) F1 T cells can be induced to respond at H-2Db when exposed to vaccinia virus in an irradiated B6 but not in a B10.A(4R) recipient. The present report, together with the accompanying paper by Zinkernagel and colleagues, records the first rigorous demonstration of both a nonresponder situation and a probable Ir-gene effect for conventional infectious viruses. Possible implications for the evolution of H-2 polymorphism and mechanisms of Ir gene function are discussed.  (+info)

(5/4894) Evaluation of clinical case definitions of influenza: detailed investigation of patients during the 1995-1996 epidemic in France.

Using clinical predictors, we evaluated clinical case definitions of influenza during the 1995-1996 outbreak in France. Thirty-five general practitioners collected virological specimens and clinical data. Predictors of influenza virus infection were selected with logistic regression models. The results varied with the influenza virus subtype: temperature of >38.2 degrees C, stiffness or myalgia, rhinorrhea, and cough were predictive of influenza A/H3N2, whereas fatigue, lacrimation or conjunctival injection, and the absence of stiffness or myalgia were predictive of influenza A/H1N1. On the basis of this analysis and data from the literature, 12 clinical case definitions were evaluated for their abilities to diagnose influenza virus infection. They were associated with positive predictive values of 27% to 40% and negative predictive values of 80% to 91%. We conclude that focused studies evaluating clinical case definitions of influenza with use of subsets of patients should accompany population-based disease surveillance for optimal estimates of the disease burden associated with influenza epidemics.  (+info)

(6/4894) Protection against influenza virus infection of mice fed Bifidobacterium breve YIT4064.

Mice fed Bifidobacterium breve YIT4064 and immunized orally with influenza virus were more strongly protected against influenza virus infection of the lower respiratory tract than ones immunized with influenza virus only. The number of mice with enhanced anti-influenza virus immunoglobulin G (IgG) in serum upon oral administration of B. breve YIT4064 and oral immunization with influenza virus was significantly greater than that upon oral immunization with influenza virus only. These findings demonstrated that the oral administration of B. breve YIT4064 increased anti-influenza virus IgG antibodies in serum and protected against influenza virus infection. The oral administration of B. breve YIT4064 may enhance antigen-specific IgG against various pathogenic antigens taken orally and induce protection against various virus infections.  (+info)

(7/4894) Biological heterogeneity, including systemic replication in mice, of H5N1 influenza A virus isolates from humans in Hong Kong.

An H5N1 avian influenza A virus was transmitted to humans in Hong Kong in 1997. Although the virus causes systemic infection and is highly lethal in chickens because of the susceptibility of the hemagglutinin to furin and PC6 proteases, it is not known whether it also causes systemic infection in humans. The clinical outcomes of infection in Hong Kong residents ranged widely, from mild respiratory disease to multiple organ failure leading to death. Therefore, to understand the pathogenesis of influenza due to these H5N1 isolates, we investigated their virulence in mice. The results identified two distinct groups of viruses: group 1, for which the dose lethal for 50% of mice (MLD50) was between 0.3 and 11 PFU, and group 2, for which the MLD50 was more than 10(3) PFU. One day after intranasal inoculation of mice with 100 PFU of group 1 viruses, the virus titer in lungs was 10(7) PFU/g or 3 log units higher than that for group 2 viruses. Both types of viruses had replicated to high titers (>10(6) PFU/g) in the lungs by day 3 and maintained these titers through day 6. More importantly, only the group 1 viruses caused systemic infection, replicating in nonrespiratory organs, including the brain. Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated the replication of a group 1 virus in brain neurons and glial cells and in cardiac myofibers. Phylogenetic analysis of all viral genes showed that both groups of Hong Kong H5N1 viruses had formed a lineage distinct from those of other viruses and that genetic reassortment between H5N1 and H1 or H3 human viruses had not occurred. Since mice and humans harbor both the furin and the PC6 proteases, we suggest that the virulence mechanism responsible for the lethality of influenza viruses in birds also operates in mammalian hosts. The failure of some H5N1 viruses to produce systemic infection in our model indicates that multiple, still-to-be-identified, factors contribute to the severity of H5N1 infection in mammals. In addition, the ability of these viruses to produce systemic infection in mice and the clear differences in pathogenicity among the isolates studied here indicate that this system provides a useful model for studying the pathogenesis of avian influenza virus infection in mammals.  (+info)

(8/4894) Rapid evolution of H5N1 influenza viruses in chickens in Hong Kong.

The H5N1 avian influenza virus that killed 6 of 18 persons infected in Hong Kong in 1997 was transmitted directly from poultry to humans. Viral isolates from this outbreak may provide molecular clues to zoonotic transfer. Here we demonstrate that the H5N1 viruses circulating in poultry comprised two distinguishable phylogenetic lineages in all genes that were in very rapid evolution. When introduced into new hosts, influenza viruses usually undergo rapid alteration of their surface glycoproteins, especially in the hemagglutinin (HA). Surprisingly, these H5N1 isolates had a large proportion of amino acid changes in all gene products except in the HA. These viruses maybe reassortants each of whose HA gene is well adapted to domestic poultry while the rest of the genome arises from a different source. The consensus amino acid sequences of "internal" virion proteins reveal amino acids previously found in human strains. These human-specific amino acids may be important factors in zoonotic transmission.  (+info)