Inhibition of Henipavirus fusion and infection by heptad-derived peptides of the Nipah virus fusion glycoprotein. (1/1806)

BACKGROUND: The recent emergence of four new members of the paramyxovirus family has heightened the awareness of and re-energized research on new and emerging diseases. In particular, the high mortality and person to person transmission associated with the most recent Nipah virus outbreaks, as well as the very recent re-emergence of Hendra virus, has confirmed the importance of developing effective therapeutic interventions. We have previously shown that peptides corresponding to the C-terminal heptad repeat (HR-2) of the fusion envelope glycoprotein of Hendra virus and Nipah virus were potent inhibitors of both Hendra virus and Nipah virus-mediated membrane fusion using recombinant expression systems. In the current study, we have developed shorter, second generation HR-2 peptides which include a capped peptide via amidation and acetylation and two poly(ethylene glycol)-linked (PEGylated) peptides, one with the PEG moity at the C-terminus and the other at the N-terminus. Here, we have evaluated these peptides as well as the corresponding scrambled peptide controls in Nipah virus and Hendra virus-mediated membrane fusion and against infection by live virus in vitro. RESULTS: Unlike their predecessors, the second generation HR-2 peptides exhibited high solubility and improved synthesis yields. Importantly, both Nipah virus and Hendra virus-mediated fusion as well as live virus infection were potently inhibited by both capped and PEGylated peptides with IC50 concentrations similar to the original HR-2 peptides, whereas the scrambled modified peptides had no inhibitory effect. These data also indicate that these chemical modifications did not alter the functional properties of the peptides as inhibitors. CONCLUSION: Nipah virus and Hendra virus infection in vitro can be potently blocked by specific HR-2 peptides. The improved synthesis and solubility characteristics of the second generation HR-2 peptides will facilitate peptide synthesis for pre-clinical trial application in an animal model of Henipavirus infection. The applied chemical modifications are also predicted to increase the serum half-life in vivo and should increase the chance of success in the development of an effective antiviral therapy.  (+info)

Calcium-dependent viral internalization is required for adenovirus type 7 induction of IL-8 protein. (2/1806)

The host response to adenovirus (Ad) infection involves induction of cytokines in lung epithelia. We have demonstrated induction of the lung neutrophil chemokine interleukin-8 (IL-8) by Ad7, a major lung pathogen, in A549 lung epithelial cells and lung tissue through activation of the Erk signaling pathway. However, the mechanism of IL-8 induction is still unclear. In this paper, we first showed that Ad7 viral gene expression is not essential for IL-8 induction as psoralen-UV inactivation of Ad7 did not affect IL-8 mRNA induction or IL-8 protein induction in A549 cells. We then inhibited internalization of Ad7 by treatment of A549 cells with EGTA in calcium-free medium during exposure to Ad7. We verified that this treatment inhibited Ad internalization by confocal microscopy, FACS analysis and Ad E1A and fiber mRNA expression. Preventing internalization by calcium depletion did not inhibit Erk activation by Ad7. However, calcium-dependent internalization was required for IL-8 protein production in Ad7 exposed cells. This is not likely due to an effect of calcium depletion on downstream Erk signaling or IL-8 protein production since calcium depletion did not block IL-8 protein production stimulated by PMA, and because addition of EGTA subsequent to Ad7 internalization also did not prevent Ad induction of IL-8. These studies indicate that Ad7 internalization is calcium-dependent and is required for IL-8 protein induction upon Ad7 infection. Ad7 induction of Erk is independent of calcium and does not require virus internalization.  (+info)

The small envelope protein of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus possesses ion channel protein-like properties. (3/1806)

The small envelope (E) protein of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is a hydrophobic 73 amino acid protein encoded in the internal open reading frame (ORF) of the bicistronic mRNA2. As a first step towards understanding the biological role of E protein during PRRSV replication, E gene expression was blocked in a full-length infectious clone by mutating the ATG translational initiation to GTG, such that the full-length mutant genomic clone was unable to synthesize the E protein. DNA transfection of PRRSV-susceptible cells with the E gene knocked-out genomic clone showed the absence of virus infectivity. P129-DeltaE-transfected cells however produced virion particles in the culture supernatant, and these particles contained viral genomic RNA, demonstrating that the E protein is essential for PRRSV infection but dispensable for virion assembly. Electron microscopy suggests that the P129-DeltaE virions assembled in the absence of E had a similar appearance to the wild-type particles. Strand-specific RT-PCR demonstrated that the E protein-negative, non-infectious P129-DeltaE virus particles were able to enter cells but further steps of replication were interrupted. The entry of PRRSV has been suggested to be via receptor-mediated endocytosis, and lysomotropic basic compounds and known ion-channel blocking agents both inhibited PRRSV replication effectively during the uncoating process. The expression of E protein in Escherichia coli-mediated cell growth arrests and increased the membrane permeability. Cross-linking experiments in cells infected with PRRSV or transfected with E gene showed that the E protein was able to form homo-oligomers. Taken together, our data suggest that the PRRSV E protein is likely an ion-channel protein embedded in the viral envelope and facilitates uncoating of virus and release of the genome in the cytoplasm.  (+info)

Induction of transcription factor Egr-1 gene expression in astrocytoma cells by Murine coronavirus infection. (4/1806)

Mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) causes encephalitis and demyelination in the central nervous system (CNS) of susceptible rodents. Astrocytes are one of the major targets for MHV infection in the CNS, and respond to MHV infection by expressing diverse molecules that may contribute to CNS pathogenesis. Here we characterized the activation of an immediate-early transcription factor Egr-1 by MHV infection in an astrocytoma cell line. We found that the expression of Egr-1 was dramatically increased following virus infection. Using various inhibitors of mitogen-activated protein kinases, we identified that the extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 were involved in the activation of Egr-1 transcription by MHV infection. Experiments with ultraviolet light-inactivated virus revealed that the induction of Egr-1 did not require virus replication and was likely mediated during cell entry. We further found that over-expression of Egr-1 suppressed the expression of BNip3, a pro-apoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family. This finding may provide an explanation for our previously observed down-regulation of BNip3 by MHV infection in astrocytoma cells (Cai, Liu, Yu, and Zhang, Virology 316:104-115, 2003). Furthermore, knockdown of Egr-1 by an siRNA inhibited MHV propagation, suggesting the biological relevance of Egr-1 induction to virus replication. In addition, the persistence/demylinating-positive strains (JHM and A59) induced Egr-1 expression, whereas the persistence/demylinating-negative strain (MHV-2) did not. These results indicate a correlation between the ability of MHVs to induce Egr-1 expression and their ability to cause demyelination in the CNS, which may suggest a potential role for the induction of Egr-1 in viral pathogenesis.  (+info)

Paramyxovirus fusion: real-time measurement of parainfluenza virus 5 virus-cell fusion. (5/1806)

Although cell-cell fusion assays are useful surrogate methods for studying virus fusion, differences between cell-cell and virus-cell fusion exist. To examine paramyxovirus fusion in real time, we labeled viruses with fluorescent lipid probes and monitored virus-cell fusion by fluorimetry. Two parainfluenza virus 5 (PIV5) isolates (W3A and SER) and PIV5 containing mutations within the fusion protein (F) were studied. Fusion was specific and temperature-dependent. Compared to many low pH-dependent viruses, the kinetics of PIV5 fusion was slow, approaching completion within several minutes. As predicted from cell-cell fusion assays, virus containing an F protein with an extended cytoplasmic tail (rSV5 F551) had reduced fusion compared to wild-type virus (W3A). In contrast, virus-cell fusion for SER occurred at near wild-type levels, despite the fact that this isolate exhibits a severely reduced cell-cell fusion phenotype. These results support the notion that virus-cell and cell-cell fusion have significant differences.  (+info)

Identification and characterization of a novel gene encoding an RGD-containing protein in large yellow croaker iridovirus. (6/1806)

Many virus-encoded RGD-containing proteins have been reported to play important roles in virus attachment and entry. Here we report the identification and functional characterization of a gene encoding an RGD-containing protein (037L) from large yellow croaker iridovirus (LYCIV), a causative agent of epizootics among large yellow croaker, Pseudosciaena crocea. The 037L gene is 1347 bp long and encodes a protein of 449 amino acids containing a biologically active RGD tri-peptide predicted with SURFC and STRIDE software. Temporal analysis of 037L gene transcription showed that this gene was a late gene. Subcellular localization of 037L in insect Hi5 cells using baculovirus vector system indicated that 037L might be a membrane-tropistic protein and functionally associated with the cytoplasma-membrane. The recombinant 037L expressed in E. coli could effectively induce the morphological changes of BF-2 cells and promote cellular aggregation, demonstrating that it can bind with surface molecules of BF-2 cells. The neutralization assay showed that LYCIV infection of BF-2 cells was significantly inhibited by anti-037L IgG, as determined by a real-time PCR of viral concentrations in the culture supernatants of LYCIV-infected cells, suggesting that it might have an important role in virus infectivity. This is the first report of the functional gene involved in virus infection and virus-host interaction in Megalocytivirus.  (+info)

Diverse CD81 proteins support hepatitis C virus infection. (7/1806)

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) entry is dependent on CD81. To investigate whether the CD81 sequence is a determinant of HCV host range, we expressed a panel of diverse CD81 proteins and tested their ability to interact with HCV. CD81 large extracellular loop (LEL) sequences were expressed as recombinant proteins; the human and, to a low level, the African green monkey sequences bound soluble HCV E2 (sE2) and inhibited infection by retrovirus pseudotype particles bearing HCV glycoproteins (HCVpp). In contrast, mouse or rat CD81 proteins failed to bind sE2 or to inhibit HCVpp infection. However, CD81 proteins from all species, when expressed in HepG2 cells, conferred susceptibility to infection by HCVpp and cell culture-grown HCV to various levels, with the rat sequence being the least efficient. Recombinant human CD81 LEL inhibited HCVpp infectivity only if present during the virus-cell incubation, consistent with a role for CD81 after virus attachment. Amino acid changes that abrogate sE2 binding (I182F, N184Y, and F186S, alone or in combination) were introduced into human CD81. All three amino acid changes in human CD81 resulted in a molecule that still supported HCVpp infection, albeit with reduced efficiency. In summary, there is a remarkable plasticity in the range of CD81 sequences that can support HCV entry, suggesting that CD81 polymorphism may contribute to, but alone does not define, the HCV susceptibility of a species. In addition, the capacity to support viral entry is only partially reflected by assays measuring sE2 interaction with recombinant or full-length CD81 proteins.  (+info)

Persistent hepatitis C virus infection in vitro: coevolution of virus and host. (8/1806)

The virological and cellular consequences of persistent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection have been elusive due to the absence of the requisite experimental systems. Here, we report the establishment and the characteristics of persistent in vitro infection of human hepatoma-derived cells by a recently described HCV genotype 2a infectious molecular clone. Persistent in vitro infection was characterized by the selection of viral variants that displayed accelerated expansion kinetics, higher peak titers, and increased buoyant densities. Sequencing analysis revealed the selection of a single adaptive mutation in the HCV E2 envelope protein that was largely responsible for the variant phenotype. In parallel, as the virus became more aggressive, cells that were resistant to infection emerged, displaying escape mechanisms operative at the level of viral entry, HCV RNA replication, or both. Collectively, these results reveal the existence of coevolutionary events during persistent HCV infection that favor survival of both virus and host.  (+info)