Human topoisomerase I promotes initiation of simian virus 40 DNA replication in vitro.
Addition of purified human topoisomerase I (topo I) to simian virus 40 T antigen-driven in vitro DNA replication reactions performed with topo I-deficient extracts results in a greater than 10-fold stimulation of completed molecules as well as a more than 3-fold enhancement of overall DNA replication. To further characterize this stimulation, we first demonstrate that bovine topo I but not Escherichia coli topo I can also enhance DNA replication. By using several human topo I mutants, we show that a catalytically active form of topo I is required. To delineate whether topo I influences the initiation or the elongation step of replication, we performed delayed pulse, pulse-chase, and delayed pulse-chase experiments. The results illustrate that topo I cannot promote the completion of partially replicated molecules but is needed from the beginning of the reaction to initiate replication. Competitive inhibition experiments with the topo I binding T antigen fragment 1-246T and a catalytically inactive topo I mutant suggest that part of topo I's stimulation of replication is mediated through a direct interaction with T antigen. Collectively, our data indicate that topo I enhances the synthesis of fully replicated DNA molecules by forming essential interactions with T antigen and stimulating initiation. (+info
High level inhibition of HIV replication with combination RNA decoys expressed from an HIV-Tat inducible vector.
Intracellular immunization, an antiviral gene therapy approach based on the introduction of DNA into cells to stably express molecules for the inhibition of viral gene expression and replication, has been suggested for inhibition of HIV infection. Since the Tat and Rev proteins play a critical role in HIV regulation, RNA decoys and ribozymes of these sequences have potential as therapeutic molecular inhibitors. In the present study, we have generated several anti-HIV molecules; a tat-ribozyme, RRE, RWZ6 and TAR decoys and combinations of decoys, and tested them for inhibition of HIV-1 replication in vitro. We used T cell specific CD2 gene elements and regulatory the HIV inducible promoter to direct high level expression and a 3' UTR sequence for mRNA stabilization. We show that HIV replication was most strongly inhibited with the combination TAR + RRE decoy when compared with the single decoys or the tat-ribozyme. We also show that the Tat-inducible HIV promoter directs a higher level of steady-state transcription of decoys and inhibitors and that higher levels of expression directly relate to increased levels of inhibition of HIV infection. Furthermore, a stabilization of the 3' end of TAR + RRE inhibitor transcripts using a beta-globin 3' UTR sequence leads to an additional 15-fold increase in steady-state RNA levels. This cassette when used to express the best combination decoy inhibitor TAR + RRE, yields high level HIV inhibition for greater than 3 weeks. Taken together, both optimization for high level expression of molecular inhibitors and use of combinations of inhibitors suggest better therapeutic application in limiting the spread of HIV. (+info
Enteroviral RNA replication in the myocardium of patients with left ventricular dysfunction and clinically suspected myocarditis.
BACKGROUND: Previous studies dealing with the detection of enteroviral RNA in human endomyocardial biopsies have not differentiated between latent persistence of the enteroviral genome and active viral replication. Enteroviruses that are considered important factors for the development of myocarditis have a single-strand RNA genome of positive polarity that is transcribed by a virus-encoded RNA polymerase into a minus-strand mRNA during active viral replication. The synthesis of multiple copies of minus-strand enteroviral RNA therefore occurs only at sites of active viral replication but not in tissues with mere persistence of the viral genome. METHODS AND RESULTS: We investigated enteroviral RNA replication versus enteroviral RNA persistence in endomyocardial biopsies of 45 patients with left ventricular dysfunction and clinically suspected myocarditis. Using reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction in conjunction with Southern blot hybridization, we established a highly sensitive assay to specifically detect plus-strand versus minus-strand enteroviral RNA in the biopsies. Plus-strand enteroviral RNA was detected in endomyocardial biopsies of 18 (40%) of 45 patients, whereas minus-strand RNA as an indication of active enteroviral RNA replication was detected in only 10 (56%) of these 18 plus-strand-positive patients. Enteroviral RNA was not found in biopsies of the control group (n=26). CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate that a significant fraction of patients with left ventricular dysfunction and clinically suspected myocarditis had active enteroviral RNA replication in their myocardium (22%). Differentiation between patients with active viral replication and latent viral persistence should be particularly important in future studies evaluating different therapeutic strategies. In addition, molecular genetic detection of enteroviral genome and differentiation between replicating versus persistent viruses is possible in a single endomyocardial biopsy. (+info
Microtubule-dependent plus- and minus end-directed motilities are competing processes for nuclear targeting of adenovirus.
Adenovirus (Ad) enters target cells by receptor-mediated endocytosis, escapes to the cytosol, and then delivers its DNA genome into the nucleus. Here we analyzed the trafficking of fluorophore-tagged viruses in HeLa and TC7 cells by time-lapse microscopy. Our results show that native or taxol-stabilized microtubules (MTs) support alternating minus- and plus end-directed movements of cytosolic virus with elementary speeds up to 2.6 micrometer/s. No directed movement was observed in nocodazole-treated cells. Switching between plus- and minus end-directed elementary speeds at frequencies up to 1 Hz was observed in the periphery and near the MT organizing center (MTOC) after recovery from nocodazole treatment. MT-dependent motilities allowed virus accumulation near the MTOC at population speeds of 1-10 micrometer/min, depending on the cell type. Overexpression of p50/dynamitin, which is known to affect dynein-dependent minus end-directed vesicular transport, significantly reduced the extent and the frequency of minus end-directed migration of cytosolic virus, and increased the frequency, but not the extent of plus end-directed motility. The data imply that a single cytosolic Ad particle engages with two types of MT-dependent motor activities, the minus end- directed cytoplasmic dynein and an unknown plus end- directed activity. (+info
Preclinical safety evaluation of human gene therapy products.
Human gene therapy products include naked DNA and viral as well as non-viral vectors containing nucleic acids. There is limited experience on the preclinical toxicity studies necessary for the safety evaluation of these products, which have been outlined in several recently released guidelines. Requirements for the preclinical safety evaluation of human gene therapy products are both specific and non-specific. All key preclinical studies should be performed in compliance with Good Laboratory Practices. Non-specific requirements are in fact common to all pharmaceutical products. Critical specific issues to be addressed are: the safety evaluation of the vector and the toxicity of the expressed protein(s), which are the two components of gene therapy products, the quality of the test article, the selection of animal species, and the verification that the administration method successfully transports the gene of interest, with the vector, to the target site(s). The treatment schedule should mimic the intended human therapeutic design. The host's immune response against the gene therapy product has to be evaluated to detect possible adverse effects and immune neutralization by antibodies. The biodistribution of the gene of interest is also essential and can be evaluated by molecular biology techniques, such as PCR. Specific confinement is required for the safe manipulation of viral vectors. (+info
Inhibition of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 replication by combination of transcription inhibitor K-12 and other antiretroviral agents in acutely and chronically infected cells.
8-Difluoromethoxy-1-ethyl-6-fluoro-1,4-dihydro-7-[4-(2-methoxyp hen yl)-1- piperazinyl]-4-oxoquinoline-3-carboxylic acid (K-12) has recently been identified as a potent and selective inhibitor of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) transcription. In this study, we examined several combinations of K-12 and other antiretroviral agents for their inhibitory effects on HIV-1 replication in acutely and chronically infected cell cultures. Combinations of K-12 and a reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitor, either zidovudine, lamivudine, or nevirapine, synergistically inhibited HIV-1 replication in acutely infected MT-4 cells. The combination of K-12 and the protease inhibitor nelfinavir (NFV) also synergistically inhibited HIV-1, whereas the synergism of this combination was weaker than that of the combinations with the RT inhibitors. K-12 did not enhance the cytotoxicities of RT and protease inhibitors. Synergism of the combinations was also observed in acutely infected peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The combination of K-12 and cepharanthine, a nuclear factor kappa B inhibitor, synergistically inhibited HIV-1 production in tumor necrosis factor alpha-stimulated U1 cells, a promonocytic cell line chronically infected with the virus. In contrast, additive inhibition was observed for the combination of K-12 and NFV. These results indicate that the combinations of K-12 and clinically available antiretroviral agents may have potential as chemotherapeutic modalities for the treatment of HIV-1 infection. (+info
Comparative study of the anti-human cytomegalovirus activities and toxicities of a tetrahydrofuran phosphonate analogue of guanosine and cidofovir.
Cidofovir is the first nucleoside monophosphate analogue currently being used for the treatment of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) retinitis in individuals with AIDS. Unfortunately, the period of therapy with the use of this compound may be limited due to the possible emergence of serious irreversible nephrotoxic effects. New drugs with improved toxicity profiles are needed. The goal of this study was to investigate the anticytomegaloviral properties and drug-induced toxicity of a novel phosphonate analogue, namely, (-)-2-(R)-dihydroxyphosphinoyl-5-(S)-(guanin-9'-yl-methyl) tetrahydrofuran (compound 1), in comparison with those of cidofovir. The inhibitory activities of both compounds on HCMV propagation in vitro were similar against the AD 169 and Towne strains, with 50% inhibitory concentrations ranging from 0.02 to 0.17 microgram/ml for cidofovir and < 0.05 to 0.09 microgram/ml for compound 1. A clinical HCMV isolate that was resistant to ganciclovir and that had a known mutation within the UL54 DNA polymerase gene and a cidofovir-resistant laboratory strain derived from strain AD 169 remained sensitive to compound 1, whereas their susceptibilities to ganciclovir and cidofovir were reduced by 33- and 10-fold, respectively. Both compound 1 and cidofovir exhibited equal potencies in an experimentally induced murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) infection in mice, with a prevention or prolongation of mean day to death at dosages of 1.0, 3.2, and 10.0 mg/kg of body weight/day. In cytotoxicity experiments, compound 1 was found to be generally more toxic than cidofovir in cell lines Hs68, HFF, and 3T3-L1 (which are permissive for HCMV or MCMV replication) but less toxic than cidofovir in MRC-5 cells (which are permissive for HCMV replication). Drug-induced toxic side effects were noticed for both compounds in rats and guinea pigs in a 5-day repeated-dose study. In guinea pigs, a greater weight loss was noticed with cidofovir than with compound 1 at dosages of 3.0 and 10.0 mg/kg/day. An opposite effect was detected in rats, which were treated with the compounds at relatively high dosages (up to 100 mg/kg/day). Compound 1 and cidofovir were nephrotoxic in both rats and guinea pigs, with the epithelium lining the proximal convoluted tubules in the renal cortex being the primary target site. The incidence and the severity of the lesions were found to be dose dependent. The lesions observed were characterized by cytoplasm degeneration and nuclear modifications such as karyomegaly, the presence of pseudoinclusions, apoptosis, and degenerative changes. In the guinea pig model, a greater incidence and severity of lesions were observed for cidofovir than for compound 1 (P < 0.001) with a drug regimen of 10 mg/kg/day. (+info
Rubella virus-induced apoptosis varies among cell lines and is modulated by Bcl-XL and caspase inhibitors.
Rubella virus (RV) causes multisystem birth defects in the fetuses of infected women. To investigate the cellular basis of this pathology, we examined the cytopathic effect of RV in three permissive cell lines: Vero 76, RK13, and BHK21. Electron microscopy and the TUNEL assay showed that the cytopathic effect resulted from RV-induced programmed cell death (apoptosis) in all three cell lines, but the extent of apoptosis varied among these cells. At 48 h postinfection, the RK13 cell line showed the greatest number of apoptotic cells, the Vero 76 cell line was approximately 3-fold less, and BHK21 had very few. An increased multiplicity of infection and longer time postinfection were required for the BHK21 cell line to reach the level of apoptotic cells in Vero 76 at 48 h. Purified RV induced apoptosis in a dose-dependent fashion, but not UV-inactivated RV or virus-depleted culture supernatant. Specific inhibitors of the apoptosis-specific proteases caspases reduced RV-induced apoptosis and led to higher levels of RV components in infected cells. To address the role of regulatory proteins in RV-induced apoptosis, the antiapoptotic gene Bcl-2 or Bcl-XL was transfected into RK13 cells. Although a high level of Bcl-2 family proteins was expressed, no protection was observed from apoptosis induced by RV, Sindbis virus, or staurosporine in RK13 cells. In BHK21 cells, however, increased expression of Bcl-XL protected cells from apoptosis. The observed variability in apoptotic response to RV of these cell lines demonstrates that programmed cell death is dependent on the unique properties of each cell and may be indicative of how selective organ damage occurs in a congenital rubella syndrome fetus. (+info