Crystal structures of two H-2Db/glycopeptide complexes suggest a molecular basis for CTL cross-reactivity.
Two synthetic O-GlcNAc-bearing peptides that elicit H-2Db-restricted glycopeptide-specific cytotoxic T cells (CTL) have been shown to display nonreciprocal patterns of cross-reactivity. Here, we present the crystal structures of the H-2Db glycopeptide complexes to 2.85 A resolution or better. In both cases, the glycan is solvent exposed and available for direct recognition by the T cell receptor (TCR). We have modeled the complex formed between the MHC-glycopeptide complexes and their respective TCRs, showing that a single saccharide residue can be accommodated in the standard TCR-MHC geometry. The models also reveal a possible molecular basis for the observed cross-reactivity patterns of the CTL clones, which appear to be influenced by the length of the CDR3 loop and the nature of the immunizing ligand. (+info)
Interferon-induced human MxA GTPase blocks nuclear import of Thogoto virus nucleocapsids.
Interferon-induced human MxA protein belongs to the dynamin superfamily of large GTPases. It exhibits antiviral activity against a variety of RNA viruses, including Thogoto virus, an influenza virus-like orthomyxovirus transmitted by ticks. Here, we report that MxA blocks the transport of Thogoto virus nucleocapsids into the nucleus, thereby preventing transcription of the viral genome. This interaction can be abolished by a mAb that neutralizes the antiviral activity of MxA. Our results reveal an antiviral mechanism whereby an interferon-induced protein traps the incoming virus and interferes with proper transport of the viral genome to its ultimate target compartment within the infected cell. (+info)
DNA vaccination with hantavirus M segment elicits neutralizing antibodies and protects against seoul virus infection.
Seoul virus (SEOV) is one of four known hantaviruses causing hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS). Candidate naked DNA vaccines for HFRS were constructed by subcloning cDNA representing the medium (M; encoding the G1 and G2 glycoproteins) or small (S; encoding the nucleocapsid protein) genome segment of SEOV into the DNA expression vector pWRG7077. We vaccinated BALB/c mice with three doses of the M or S DNA vaccine at 4-week intervals by either gene gun inoculation of the epidermis or needle inoculation into the gastrocnemius muscle. Both routes of vaccination resulted in antibody responses as measured by ELISA; however, gene gun inoculation elicited a higher frequency of seroconversion and higher levels of antibodies in individual mice. We vaccinated Syrian hamsters with the M or S construct using the gene gun and found hantavirus-specific antibodies in five of five and four of five hamsters, respectively. Animals vaccinated with the M construct developed a neutralizing antibody response that was greatly enhanced in the presence of guinea pig complement. Immunized hamsters were challenged with SEOV and, after 28 days, were monitored for evidence of infection. Hamsters vaccinated with M were protected from infection, but hamsters vaccinated with S were not protected. (+info)
The effect of template RNA structure on elongation by HIV-1 reverse transcriptase.
Reverse transcription of the RNA genome of retroviruses has to proceed through some highly structured regions of the template. The RNA genome of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) contains two hairpin structures within the repeat (R) region at the 5' end of the viral RNA (Fig. 1Fig. 1Template RNA structure of the HIV-1 R region and the position of reverse transcription pause sites. The HIV-1 R region (nucleotides +1/97) encodes two stable RNA structures, the TAR and polyA hairpins . The latter hairpin contains the AAUAAA hexamer motif (marked by a box) that is involved in polyadenylation. The lower panel shows the predicted structures of the wild-type and two mutant forms of the polyA hairpin that were used in this study. Nucleotide substitutions are boxed, deletions are indicated by black triangle. The thermodynamic stability (free energy or DeltaG, in kcal/mol) was calculated according to the Zucker algorithm . The TAR hairpin has a DeltaG of -24.8 kcal/mol. Minus-strand DNA synthesis on these templates was initiated by a DNA primer annealed to the downstream PBS. The position of reverse transcription pause sites observed in this study are summarized. All numbers refer to nucleotide positions on the wild-type HIV-1 transcript. Filled arrows represent stops observed on the wild-type template, and open arrows mark the pause sites that are specific for the structured A-mutant template. The sizes of the arrows correspond to the relative frequency of pausing. Little pausing was observed on the B-mutant template with the destabilized polyA hairpin.). These structures, the TAR and polyA hairpins, fulfil important functions in the viral life cycle. We analyzed the in vitro elongation properties of the HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) enzyme on the wild-type RNA template and mutants thereof with either a stabilized or a destabilized polyA hairpin. Stable RNA structure was found to interfere with efficient elongation of the RT enzyme, as judged by the appearance of pause cDNA products. A direct relation was measured between the stability of template RNA structure and the extent of RT pausing. However, the position of structure-induced pause sites is rather diverse, with significant stops at a position approximately 6 nt ahead of the basepaired stem of the TAR and polyA hairpins. This suggests that the RT enzyme is stalled when its most forward domain contacts the RNA duplex. Addition of the viral nucleocapsid protein (NC) to the in vitro assay was found to overcome such structure-induced RT stops. These results indicate that the RT polymerase has problems penetrating regions of the template with stable RNA structure. This effect was more pronounced at high Mg2+ concentrations, which is known to stabilize RNA secondary structure. Such a structure-induced defect was not apparent in reverse transcription assays performed in virus-infected cells, which is either caused by the NC protein or other components of the virion particle. Thus, retroviruses can use relatively stable RNA structures to control different steps in the viral life cycle without interfering with the process of reverse transcription. (+info)
The nucleocapsid protein of murine hepatitis virus type 3 induces transcription of the novel fgl2 prothrombinase gene.
Using a set of parental and recombinant murine hepatitis virus strains, we demonstrate that the nucleocapsid protein induces transcription of the novel fgl2 prothrombinase gene and elevated procoagulant activity in those strains that produce fulminant hepatitis. Chinese hamster ovary cells cotransfected with a construct expressing nucleocapsid protein from susceptible strains and with a luciferase reporter construct containing the fgl2 promoter showed a 6-fold increase in luciferase activity compared with nontransfected cells or cells cotransfected with a construct expressing nucleocapsid protein from resistant strains. Two deletions found at coding sites 111-123 and 1143-1145 of structural domains I and III, respectively, of the nucleocapsid gene may account for the differences between pathogenic and nonpathogenic strains. Preliminary mapping of the fgl2 promoter has defined a region from -372 to -306 upstream from the ATG translation initiation site to be responsive to nucleocapsid protein. Hence, mapping of genetic determinants in parental and recombinant strains demonstrates that the nucleocapsid protein of strains that induce fulminant hepatitis is responsible for transcription of the fgl2 prothrombinase gene. These studies provide new insights into the role of the nucleocapsid gene in the pathogenesis of viral hepatitis. (+info)
Comparative analysis of evolutionary mechanisms of the hemagglutinin and three internal protein genes of influenza B virus: multiple cocirculating lineages and frequent reassortment of the NP, M, and NS genes.
Phylogenetic profiles of the genes coding for the hemagglutinin (HA) protein, nucleoprotein (NP), matrix (M) protein, and nonstructural (NS) proteins of influenza B viruses isolated from 1940 to 1998 were analyzed in a parallel manner in order to understand the evolutionary mechanisms of these viruses. Unlike human influenza A (H3N2) viruses, the evolutionary pathways of all four genes of recent influenza B viruses revealed similar patterns of genetic divergence into two major lineages. Although evolutionary rates of the HA, NP, M, and NS genes of influenza B viruses were estimated to be generally lower than those of human influenza A viruses, genes of influenza B viruses demonstrated complex phylogenetic patterns, indicating alternative mechanisms for generation of virus variability. Topologies of the evolutionary trees of each gene were determined to be quite distinct from one another, showing that these genes were evolving in an independent manner. Furthermore, variable topologies were apparently the result of frequent genetic exchange among cocirculating epidemic viruses. Evolutionary analysis done in the present study provided further evidence for cocirculation of multiple lineages as well as sequestering and reemergence of phylogenetic lineages of the internal genes. In addition, comparison of deduced amino acid sequences revealed a novel amino acid deletion in the HA1 domain of the HA protein of recent isolates from 1998 belonging to the B/Yamagata/16/88-like lineage. It thus became apparent that, despite lower evolutionary rates, influenza B viruses were able to generate genetic diversity among circulating viruses through a combination of evolutionary mechanisms involving cocirculating lineages and genetic reassortment by which new variants with distinct gene constellations emerged. (+info)
Production, characterization, and uses of monoclonal antibodies against recombinant nucleoprotein of elk coronavirus.
This is the first report of the production of monoclonal antibodies against elk coronavirus. The nucleoprotein gene of elk coronavirus was amplified by PCR and was cloned and expressed in a prokaryotic expression vector. Recombinant nucleocapsid protein was used to immunize mice for the production of hybridomas. Twelve hybridomas that produced monoclonal antibodies against the nucleocapsid protein of elk coronavirus were selected by an indirect fluorescent-antibody test, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and a Western blot assay. Ten of the monoclonal antibodies were of the immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) isotype, one was IgG2a, and one was IgM. All had kappa light chains. By immunohistochemistry four monoclonal antibodies detected bovine coronavirus and elk coronavirus in formalin-fixed intestinal tissues. Antinucleoprotein monoclonal antibodies were found to be better at ruminant coronavirus detection than the anti-spike protein monoclonal antibodies. Because nucleoprotein is a more abundant antigen than spike protein in infected cells, this was not an unexpected finding. (+info)
Recognition of an MHC class I-restricted antigenic peptide can be modulated by para-substitution of its buried tyrosine residues in a TCR-specific manner.
Conformational dependence of TCR contact residues of the H-2Kb molecule on the two buried tyrosine side chains of the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-8 peptide was investigated by systematic substitutions of the tyrosines with phenylalanine, p-fluorophenylalanine (pFF), or p-bromophenylalanine (pBrF). The results of peptide competition CTL assays revealed that all of the peptide variants, except for the pBrF analogues, had near-native binding to the H-2Kb molecule. Epitope-mapped anti-H-2Kb mAbs detected conformational differences among H-2Kb molecules stabilized with these VSV-8 variants on RMA-S cells. Selective recognition of the VSV-8 analogues was displayed by a panel of three H-2Kb-restricted, anti-VSV-8 TCRs. Thus, these substitutions result in an antigenically significant conformational change of the MHC molecular surface structure at both C and D pockets, and the effect of this change on cognate T cell recognition is dependent on the TCR structure. Our results confirm that the structure of buried peptide side chains can determine the surface conformation of the MHC molecule and demonstrate that even a very subtle structural nuance of the buried side chain can be incorporated into the surface conformation of the MHC molecule. The ability of buried residues to modulate this molecular surface augments the number of residues on the MHC-peptide complex that can be recognized as "foreign" by the CD8+ T cell repertoire and allows for a higher level of antigenic discrimination. This may be an important mechanism to expand the total number of TCR specificities that can respond to a single peptide determinant. (+info)