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)
Identification of additional genes that influence baculovirus late gene expression.
We were unable to confirm transient late gene expression using constructs of 18 genes that had been reported to support Autographa californica multinucleocapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) late gene expression when transfected into Spodoptera frugiperda cells [Lu, A., and Miller, L. K. (1995). J. Virol. 69, 975-982]. Three genes (orf66, orf68, and orf41) were included, all or in part, in the constructs used in that study, but they had not been independently tested. Therefore we investigated these and neighboring orfs for their influence on late gene expression. We found that orf41 was required for late gene expression and that sequences within orf45 appeared to be required for the expression of orf41. Although orf66 and orf68 did not appear to affect late gene expression, orf69 stimulated expression. orf69 was found to have high homology to recent entries in GenBank from a variety of organisms. In addition, it was found that orf121, which was shown to be involved in early gene expression, and the viral homolog of pcna did not influence late gene expression. (+info)
Activation of target-tissue immune-recognition molecules by double-stranded polynucleotides.
Abnormal expression of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and class II in various tissues is associated with autoimmune disease. Autoimmune responses can be triggered by viral infections or tissue injuries. We show that the ability of a virus or a tissue injury to increase MHC gene expression is duplicated by any fragment of double-stranded (ds) DNA or dsRNA introduced into the cytoplasm of nonimmune cells. Activation is sequence-independent, is induced by ds polynucleotides as small as 25 bp in length, and is not duplicated by single-stranded polynucleotides. In addition to causing abnormal MHC expression, the ds nucleic acids increase the expression of genes necessary for antigen processing and presentation: proteasome proteins (e.g., LMP2), transporters of antigen peptides; invariant chain, HLA-DM, and the costimulatory molecule B7.1. The mechanism is different from and additive to that of gamma-interferon (gammaIFN), i.e., ds polynucleotides increase class I much more than class II, whereas gammaIFN increases class II more than class I. The ds nucleic acids also induce or activate Stat1, Stat3, mitogen-activated protein kinase, NF-kappaB, the class II transactivator, RFX5, and the IFN regulatory factor 1 differently from gammaIFN. CpG residues are not responsible for this effect, and the action of the ds polynucleotides could be shown in a variety of cell types in addition to thyrocytes. We suggest that this phenomenon is a plausible mechanism that might explain how viral infection of tissues or tissue injury triggers autoimmune disease; it is potentially relevant to host immune responses induced during gene therapy. (+info)
Human herpesviruses in chronic fatigue syndrome.
We have conducted a double-blind study to assess the possible involvement of the human herpesviruses (HHVs) HHV6, HHV7, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and cytomegalovirus in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients compared to age-, race-, and gender-matched controls. The CFS patient population was composed of rigorously screened civilian and Persian Gulf War veterans meeting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's CFS case definition criteria. Healthy control civilian and veteran populations had no evidence of CFS or any other exclusionary medical or psychiatric condition. Patient peripheral blood mononuclear cells were analyzed by PCR for the presence of these HHVs. Using two-tailed Fisher's exact test analyses, we were unable to ascertain any statistically significant differences between the CFS patient and control populations in terms of the detection of one or more of these viruses. This observation was upheld when the CFS populations were further stratified with regard to the presence or absence of major axis I psychopathology and patient self-reported gradual versus acute onset of disease. In tandem, we performed serological analyses of serum anti-EBV and anti-HHV6 antibody titers and found no significant differences between the CFS and control patients. (+info)
The molecular epidemiology and evolution of Epstein-Barr virus: sequence variation and genetic recombination in the latent membrane protein-1 gene.
The phylogeny and evolution of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) genetic variation are poorly understood. EBV latent membrane protein-1 (LMP-1) gene sequences are especially heterogeneous and may be useful as a tool for EBV genotype identification. Therefore, LMP-1 sequences obtained directly from EBV-infected human tissues were examined by PCR amplification and cloning. EBV genotypes were defined as "strains" from among 22 identified LMP-1 sequence patterns. Three molecular mechanisms were identified by which genetic diversity arises in the LMP-1 gene: point mutation, sequence deletion or duplication, and homologous recombination. The rate of LMP-1 gene evolution was found to be accelerated by coinfection with multiple EBV strains. The results of this study refine our understanding of LMP-1 sequence variation and enable accurate discrimination between independent EBV infection events and the consequence of intrahost EBV evolution. Thus, this LMP-1 sequence-based approach to EBV molecular epidemiology will facilitate the study of intrahost EBV infection, coinfection, and persistence. (+info)
The EBV transforming protein, latent membrane protein 1, mimics and cooperates with CD40 signaling in B lymphocytes.
Latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) is required for EBV-induced immortalization of human B cells, and expression of the protein in the absence of other viral proteins leads to an activated phenotype in B cells. It has been well documented that LMP1 causes B cells to up-regulate adhesion molecules, such as LFA-1 and ICAM-1, and coactivation molecules, such as B7-1 and CD23, as well as to activate NF-kappaB. Ligation of the endogenous B cell CD40 molecule also induces these and other activated phenotypic changes. Here, we report that expression of LMP1 also activates B cells to secrete Ig and IL-6 and rescues them from B cell receptor-mediated growth arrest analogous to CD40 signaling. Furthermore, an HLA-A2LMP1 chimeric construct demonstrates that the oligomerization of the carboxyl-terminal 200 amino acids of LMP1 is sufficient for B cell signaling. Finally, we demonstrate that LMP1 and CD40 signaling pathways interact cooperatively in inducing B cell effector functions. (+info)
Opposing effects of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 matrix mutations support a myristyl switch model of gag membrane targeting.
Targeting of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Gag precursor Pr55(gag) to the plasma membrane, the site of virus assembly, is primarily mediated by the N-terminal matrix (MA) domain. N-myristylation of MA is essential for the stable association of Pr55(gag) with membranes and for virus assembly. We now show that single amino acid substitutions near the N terminus of MA can dramatically impair assembly without compromising myristylation. Subcellular fractionation demonstrated that Gag membrane binding was compromised to a similar extent as in the absence of the myristyl acceptor site, indicating that the myristyl group was not available for membrane insertion. Remarkably, the effects of the N-terminal modifications could be completely suppressed by second-site mutations in the globular core of MA. The compensatory mutations enhanced Gag membrane binding and increased viral particle yields above wild-type levels, consistent with an increase in the exposure of the myristyl group. Our results support a model in which the compact globular core of MA sequesters the myristyl group to prevent aberrant binding to intracellular membranes, while the N terminus is critical to allow the controlled exposure of the myristyl group for insertion into the plasma membrane. (+info)
A proline-rich motif within the matrix protein of vesicular stomatitis virus and rabies virus interacts with WW domains of cellular proteins: implications for viral budding.
The matrix (M) protein of rhabdoviruses has been shown to play a key role in virus assembly and budding; however, the precise mechanism by which M mediates these processes remains unclear. We have associated a highly conserved, proline-rich motif (PPxY or PY motif, where P denotes proline, Y represents tyrosine, and x denotes any amino acid) of rhabdoviral M proteins with a possible role in budding mediated by the M protein. Point mutations that disrupt the PY motif of the M protein of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) have no obvious effect on membrane localization of M but instead lead to a decrease in the amount of M protein released from cells in a functional budding assay. Interestingly, the PPxY sequence within rhabdoviral M proteins is identical to that of the ligand which interacts with WW domains of cellular proteins. Indeed, results from two in vitro binding assays demonstrate that amino acids 17 through 33 and 29 through 44, which contain the PY motifs of VSV and rabies virus M proteins, respectively, mediate interactions with WW domains of specific cellular proteins. Point mutations that disrupt the consensus PY motif of VSV or rabies virus M protein result in a significant decrease in their ability to interact with the WW domains. These properties of the PY motif of rhabdovirus M proteins are strikingly analogous to those of the late (L) budding domain identified in the gag-specific protein p2b of Rous sarcoma virus. Thus, it is possible that rhabdoviruses may usurp host proteins to facilitate the budding process and that late stages in the budding process of rhabdoviruses and retroviruses may have features in common. (+info)