Protective immunity against murine hepatitis virus (MHV) induced by intranasal or subcutaneous administration of hybrids of tobacco mosaic virus that carries an MHV epitope.
Hybrids of tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) were constructed with the use of fusion to the coat protein peptides of 10 or 15 amino acids, containing the 5B19 epitope from the spike protein of murine hepatitis virus (MHV) and giving rise to TMV-5B19 and TMV-5B19L, respectively. The TMV hybrids were propagated in tobacco plants, and the virus particles were purified. Immunogold labeling, with the use of the monoclonal MAb5B19 antibody, showed specific decoration of hybrid TMV particles, confirming the expression and display of the MHV epitope on the surface of the TMV. Mice were immunized with purified hybrid viruses after several regimens of immunization. Mice that received TMV-5B19L intranasally developed serum IgG and IgA specific for the 5B19 epitope and for the TMV coat protein. Hybrid TMV-5B19, administered by subcutaneous injections, elicited high titers of serum IgG that was specific for the 5B19 epitope and for coat protein, but IgA that was specific against 5B19 was not observed. Mice that were immunized with hybrid virus by subcutaneous or intranasal routes of administration survived challenge with a lethal dose (10 x LD50) of MHV strain JHM, whereas mice administered wild-type TMV died 10 d post challenge. Furthermore, there was a positive correlation between the dose of administered immunogen and protection against MHV infection. These studies show that TMV can be an effective vaccine delivery vehicle for parenteral and mucosal immunization and for protection from challenge with viral infection. (+info)
Mapping of the coronavirus membrane protein domains involved in interaction with the spike protein.
The coronavirus membrane (M) protein is the key player in virion assembly. One of its functions is to mediate the incorporation of the spikes into the viral envelope. Heterotypic interactions between M and the spike (S) protein can be demonstrated by coimmunoprecipitation and by immunofluorescence colocalization, after coexpression of their genes in eukaryotic cells. Using these assays in a mutagenetic approach, we have mapped the domains in the M protein that are involved in complex formation between M and S. It appeared that the 25-residue luminally exposed amino-terminal domain of the M protein is not important for M-S interaction. A 15-residue deletion, the insertion of a His tag, and replacement of the ectodomain by that of another coronavirus M protein did not affect the ability of the M protein to associate with the S protein. However, complex formation was sensitive to changes in the transmembrane domains of this triple-spanning protein. Deletion of either the first two or the last two transmembrane domains, known not to affect the topology of the protein, led to a considerable decrease in complex formation, but association was not completely abrogated. Various effects of changes in the part of the M protein that is located at the cytoplasmic face of the membrane were observed. Deletions of the extreme carboxy-terminal tail appeared not to interfere with M-S complex formation. However, deletions in the amphipathic domain severely affected M-S interaction. Interestingly, changes in the amino-terminal and extreme carboxy-terminal domains of M, which did not disrupt the interaction with S, are known to be fatal to the ability of the protein to engage in virus particle formation (C. A. M. de Haan, L. Kuo, P. S. Masters, H. Vennema, and P. J. M. Rottier, J. Virol. 72:6838-6850, 1998). Apparently, the structural requirements of the M protein for virus particle assembly differ from the requirements for the formation of M-S complexes. (+info)
Pathogenesis of chimeric MHV4/MHV-A59 recombinant viruses: the murine coronavirus spike protein is a major determinant of neurovirulence.
The mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) spike glycoprotein, S, has been implicated as a major determinant of viral pathogenesis. In the absence of a full-length molecular clone, however, it has been difficult to address the role of individual viral genes in pathogenesis. By using targeted RNA recombination to introduce the S gene of MHV4, a highly neurovirulent strain, into the genome of MHV-A59, a mildly neurovirulent strain, we have been able to directly address the role of the S gene in neurovirulence. In cell culture, the recombinants containing the MHV4 S gene, S4R22 and S4R21, exhibited a small-plaque phenotype and replicated to low levels, similar to wild-type MHV4. Intracranial inoculation of C57BL/6 mice with S4R22 and S4R21 revealed a marked alteration in pathogenesis. Relative to wild-type control recombinant viruses (wtR13 and wtR9), containing the MHV-A59 S gene, the MHV4 S gene recombinants exhibited a dramatic increase in virulence and an increase in both viral antigen staining and inflammation in the central nervous system. There was not, however, an increase in the level of viral replication in the brain. These studies demonstrate that the MHV4 S gene alone is sufficient to confer a highly neurovirulent phenotype to a recombinant virus deriving the remainder of its genome from a mildly neurovirulent virus, MHV-A59. This definitively confirms previous findings, suggesting that the spike is a major determinant of pathogenesis. (+info)
A 12-amino acid stretch in the hypervariable region of the spike protein S1 subunit is critical for cell fusion activity of mouse hepatitis virus.
The spike (S) glycoprotein of mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) plays a major role in the viral pathogenesis. It is often processed into the N-terminal S1 and the C-terminal S2 subunits that were evidently important for binding to cell receptor and inducing cell-cell fusion, respectively. As a consequence of cell-cell fusion, most of the naturally occurring infections of MHV are associated with syncytia formation. So far, only MHV-2 was identified to be fusion-negative. In this study, the S gene of MHV-2 was molecularly cloned, and the nucleotide sequence was determined. The MHV-2 S protein lacks a 12-amino acid stretch in the S1 hypervariable region from amino acid residue 446 to 457 when compared with the fusion-positive strain MHV-JHM. In addition, there are three amino acid substitutions in the S2 subunit, Tyr-1144 to Asp, Glu-1165 to Asp, and Arg-1209 to Lys. The cloned MHV-2 S protein exhibited the fusion-negative property in DBT cells as the intrinsic viral protein. Furthermore, similar to the fusion-positive MHV-JHM strain, proteolytic cleavage activity was detected both in DBT cells infected with the fusion-negative MHV-2 and in the transfected cells that expressed the cloned MHV-2 S protein. Domain swapping experiments demonstrated that the 12-amino acid stretch missing in the MHV-2 S1 subunit, but not the proteolytic cleavage site, was critical for the cell-fusion activity of MHV. (+info)
Amino acid substitutions within the leucine zipper domain of the murine coronavirus spike protein cause defects in oligomerization and the ability to induce cell-to-cell fusion.
The murine coronavirus spike (S) protein contains a leucine zipper domain which is highly conserved among coronaviruses. To assess the role of this leucine zipper domain in S-induced cell-to-cell fusion, the six heptadic leucine and isoleucine residues were replaced with alanine by site-directed mutagenesis. The mutant S proteins were analyzed for cell-to-cell membrane fusion activity as well as for progress through the glycoprotein maturation process, including intracellular glycosylation, oligomerization, and cell surface expression. Single-alanine-substitution mutations had minimal, if any, effects on S-induced cell-to-cell fusion. Significant reduction in fusion activity was observed, however, when two of the four middle heptadic leucine or isoleucine residues were replaced with alanine. Double alanine substitutions that involved either of the two end heptadic leucine residues did not significantly affect fusion. All double-substitution mutant S proteins displayed levels of endoglycosidase H resistance and cell surface expression similar to those of the wild-type S. However, fusion-defective double-alanine-substitution mutants exhibited defects in S oligomerization. These results indicate that the leucine zipper domain plays a role in S-induced cell-to-cell fusion and that the ability of S to induce fusion may be dependent on the oligomeric structure of S. (+info)
Selection of antigenic variants of the S glycoprotein of feline infectious peritonitis virus and analysis of antigenic sites involved in neutralization.
The type II feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV) epitopes for neutralizing and enhancing antibodies are present on large spike glycoprotein (S) protein. In this study, we established monoclonal antibody-resistant mutant viruses resistant to three different monoclonal antibodies with neutralizing activity in Felis catus whole fetus cells and enhancing activity in feline macrophages, recognizing distinct epitopes on type II FIPV S protein. By comparing the nucleotide sequences of these mutant viruses with that of wild-type virus, we attempted to identify the neutralizing epitopes. The mutations were localized in the region of amino acid residues from 480 to 649 from the N terminal of the S protein. (+info)
Mouse hepatitis virus strain JHM infects a human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line.
Mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) strain JHM is a coronavirus that causes encephalitis and demyelination in susceptible rodents. The known receptors for MHV are all members of the carcinoembryonic antigen family. Although human forms of the MHV receptor can function as MHV receptors in some assays, no human cell line has been identified that can support wild-type MHV infection. Here we describe the infection of a human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line, HuH-7, with MHV. HuH-7 cells were susceptible to strains JHM-DL and JHM-DS, yielding virus titers nearly identical to those seen in mouse DBT cells. In contrast, HuH-7 cells were only marginally susceptible or completely resistant to infection by other MHV strains, including A59. JHM produced a strong cytopathic effect in HuH-7 cells with the formation of round plaques. Studies of various recombinant viruses between JHM and A59 strains suggested that the ability of JHM to infect HuH-7 cells was determined by multiple viral genetic elements. Blocking the viral spike (S) protein with a neutralizing antibody or a soluble form of the MHV receptor inhibited infection of HuH-7 cells, suggesting that infection is mediated through the S protein. Transfection with the prototype mouse receptor, biliary glycoprotein, rendered HuH-7 cells susceptible to infection by other MHV strains as well, suggesting that JHM uses a receptor distinct from the classical MHV receptor to infect HuH-7 cells. Possible implications for human disease are discussed. (+info)
Selection of CTL escape mutants in mice infected with a neurotropic coronavirus: quantitative estimate of TCR diversity in the infected central nervous system.
Variant viruses mutated in the immunodominant cytotoxic T cell epitope surface (S) glycoprotein S-510-518 are selected in mice chronically infected with mouse hepatitis virus, strain JHM. We determined whether this selection occurred in the presence of an oligoclonal or polyclonal T cell response using soluble MHC/peptide tetramers in direct ex vivo analyses of CNS-derived lymphocytes. A total of 42% (range, 29-60%) of CD8 T cells in the CNS of mice with acute encephalitis recognized epitope S-510-518. A total of 34% (range, 18-62%) of cells from mice with hind limb paralysis (and chronic demyelination) were also epitope specific, even though only virus expressing mutated epitope is detected in these animals. Sequence analysis of the beta-chain CDR3 of 487 tetramer S-510-518-positive cDNA clones from nine mice showed that a majority of clonotypes were identified in more than one mouse. From these analyses, we estimated that 300-500 different CD8 T cell clonotypes responsive to epitope S-510-518 were present in each acutely infected brain, while 100-900 were present in the CNS of each mouse with chronic disease. In conclusion, a polyclonal CD8 T cell response to an epitope does not preclude the selection of T cell escape mutants, and epitope-specific T cells are still present at high levels even after RNA-encoding wild-type sequence is no longer detectable. (+info)