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1.  Throughput and Efficiency of a Mass Spectrometry-Based Screening Assay for Protein-Ligand Binding Detection 
An H/D exchange- and MALDI mass spectrometry-based screening assay was applied to search for novel ligands that bind to cyclophilin A, a potential therapeutic and diagnostic target in lung cancer. The assay is based on SUPREX (stability of unpurified proteins from rates of H/D exchange), which exploits the H/D exchange properties of amide protons to measure the increase in a protein's thermodynamic stability upon ligand binding in solution. The current study evaluates the throughput and efficiency with which 880 potential ligands from the Prestwick Chemical Library could be screened for binding to cyclophilin A. Screening was performed at a rate of 3 min/ligand using a conventional MALDI mass spectrometer. False positive and false negative rates, based on a set of control data, were as low as 0% and 9%, respectively. Based on the 880-member library screening, a false positive rate of 0% was observed when a 2-tier selection strategy was implemented. Although novel ligands for cyclophilin A were not discovered, cyclosporin A, a known ligand to CypA and a blind control in the library, was identified as a hit. We also describe a new strategy to eliminate some of the complications related to back exchange that can arise in screening applications of SUPREX.
PMCID: PMC2563801  PMID: 18653356
2.  An H/D Exchange- and Protease Digestion-Based Screening Assay for Protein-Ligand Binding Detection 
Analytical chemistry  2009;81(16):6860-6867.
A protease digestion strategy was incorporated into single-point SUPREX (stability of unpurified proteins from rates of H/D exchange), which is an H/D exchange- and mass spectrometry-based assay for the detection of protein-ligand binding. Single-point SUPREX is an abbreviated form of SUPREX in which protein-ligand binding interactions are detected by measuring the increase in a protein’s thermodynamic stability upon ligand binding. The new protease digestion protocol provides a noteworthy increase in the efficiency of single-point SUPREX because peptide masses can be determined with greater precision than intact protein masses in the MALDI readout of single-point SUPREX. The protocol was evaluated in test screens on two model protein systems, including cyclophilin A (CypA) and the minor allele variant of human alanine:glyoxylate aminotransferase (AGTmi). The test screening results obtained on both proteins revealed that the peptide readout of the single-point SUPREX-protease digestion protocol was more efficient than the intact protein readout of the original single-point SUPREX protocol at discriminating hits and non-hits. In addition to this improvement in screening efficiency, the protease digestion strategy described here is expected to significantly increase the generality of the single-point SUPREX assay.
PMCID: PMC2858457  PMID: 20337380
3.  Cyclophilin A Associates with Enterovirus-71 Virus Capsid and Plays an Essential Role in Viral Infection as an Uncoating Regulator 
PLoS Pathogens  2014;10(10):e1004422.
Viruses utilize host factors for their efficient proliferation. By evaluating the inhibitory effects of compounds in our library, we identified inhibitors of cyclophilin A (CypA), a known immunosuppressor with peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase activity, can significantly attenuate EV71 proliferation. We demonstrated that CypA played an essential role in EV71 entry and that the RNA interference-mediated reduction of endogenous CypA expression led to decreased EV71 multiplication. We further revealed that CypA directly interacted with and modified the conformation of H-I loop of the VP1 protein in EV71 capsid, and thus regulated the uncoating process of EV71 entry step in a pH-dependent manner. Our results aid in the understanding of how host factors influence EV71 life cycle and provide new potential targets for developing antiviral agents against EV71 infection.
Author Summary
Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is the major causative agent of hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) in Asia-Pacific region and caused over one million infection cases and nine hundred deaths in the year of 2010 in China mainland. EV71 is known to infect the young children for the sake of their undeveloped immune system. Unlike other Enterovirus (e.g. coxsackievirus), EV71 could cause severe aseptic meningitis, encephalitis, myocarditis, and acute flaccid paralysis, thus leading to high fatality rates. There is no clinically applied therapeutics. In this work, we used CypA inhibitors as bioprobes to show that CypA played an essential role in EV71 proliferation. We also elucidated the mechanism by which CypA interacted with the EV71 VP1 H-I loop and functioned as an uncoating regulator in EV71 entry step. Since there are several non-immunosuppressive CypA inhibitors, e.g. NIM-811 and Debio-025, have been reported to show antiviral potency, our results provide a potential way to discover clinical therapeutics against EV71 infection.
PMCID: PMC4183573  PMID: 25275585
4.  Evolution of a TRIM5-CypA Splice Isoform in Old World Monkeys 
PLoS Pathogens  2008;4(2):e1000003.
The TRIM family proteins share a conserved arrangement of three adjacent domains, an N-terminal RING domain, followed by one or two B-boxes and a coiled-coil, which constitutes the tripartite-motif for which the family is named. However, the C-termini of TRIM proteins vary, and include at least nine evolutionarily distinct, unrelated protein domains. Antiviral restriction factor TRIM5α has a C-terminal B30.2/SPRY domain, which is the major determinant of viral target specificity. Here, we describe the evolution of a cyclophilin-A encoding exon downstream of the TRIM5 locus of Asian macaques. Alternative splicing gives rise to chimeric transcripts encoding the TRIM motif fused to a C-terminal CypA domain (TRIM5-CypA). We detected TRIM5-CypA chimeric transcripts in primary lymphocytes from two macaque species. These were derived in part from a CypA pseudogene in the TRIM5 locus, which is distinct from the previously described CypA insertion in TRIM5 of owl monkeys. The CypA insertion is linked to a mutation in the 3′ splice site upstream of exon 7, which may prevent or reduce expression of the α-isoform. All pig-tailed macaques (M. nemestrina) screened were homozygous for the CypA insertion. In contrast, the CypA-containing allele was present in 17% (17/101) of rhesus macaques (M. mulatta). The block to HIV-1 infection in lymphocytes from animals bearing the TRIM5-CypA allele was weaker than that in cells from wild type animals. HIV-1 infectivity remained significantly lower than SIV infectivity, but was not rescued by treatment with cyclosporine A. Thus, unlike owl monkey TRIMCyp, expression of the macaque TRIM5-CypA isoform does not result in increased restriction of HIV-1. Despite its distinct evolutionary origin, Macaca TRIM5-CypA has a similar domain arrangement and shares ∼80% amino-acid identity with the TRIMCyp protein of owl monkeys. The independent appearance of TRIM5-CypA chimeras in two primate lineages constitutes a remarkable example of convergent evolution. Based on the presence of the CypA insertion in separate macaque lineages, and its absence from sooty mangabeys, we estimate that the Macaca TRIM5-CypA variant appeared 5–10 million years ago in a common ancestor of the Asian macaques. Whether the formation of novel genes through alternative splicing has played a wider role in the evolution of the TRIM family remains to be investigated.
Author Summary
The TRIM5 gene encodes TRIM5α, a protein that blocks infection of the cell by retroviruses. We previously found that the TRIM5α protein of old world monkeys was highly polymorphic. Here, we describe a substitution in a highly conserved, non-coding element normally required for correct splicing of TRIM5α messenger RNA. While it is difficult to prove positive selection for a non-coding change, the frequency of this mutation in two different species of Asian monkeys (Macaca sp) raised the possibility that the mutation was once evolutionarily advantageous. As it turns out, monkeys carrying this substitution also carry a nearby cyclophilin-A (CypA) pseudogene, and these individuals express chimeric mRNA encoding a fusion between the TRIM5 and CypA sequences. Thus, the mutation, which interferes with expression of the normal TRIM5α protein, instead contributes to expression of a novel protein. Remarkably, this is the second example of the appearance of a TRIM5/CypA chimera during primate evolution, the other having occurred in a new world monkey lineage (Aotus sp). Cellular CypA binds to the capsid proteins of several lentiviruses, and we believe that TRIM5-CypA proteins were at one time selected for the ability to block infection by retroviral pathogens, possibly related to modern lentiviruses.
PMCID: PMC2279257  PMID: 18389077
5.  The Cyclophilin Inhibitor SCY-635 Disrupts Hepatitis C Virus NS5A-Cyclophilin A Complexes 
The nonimmunosuppressive cyclophilin (Cyp) inhibitor SCY-635 blocks hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication both in vitro and in vivo and represents a novel potent anti-HCV agent. However, its mechanism of action remains to be fully elucidated. A growing body of evidence suggests that cyclophilin A (CypA) is absolutely necessary for HCV replication and that the HCV nonstructural 5A (NS5A) protein serves as a main viral ligand for CypA. In this study, we examined the effect of SCY-635 on HCV replication. Specifically, we asked whether SCY-635 blocks HCV replication by targeting CypA-NS5A interactions. We also investigated the possibility that HCV can escape SCY-635 selection pressure and whether this resistance influences either CypA-NS5A interactions or the dependence of HCV on CypA. We found not only that SCY-635 efficiently inhibits HCV replication, but it is sufficient alone to clear HCV replicon-containing cells. We found that SCY-635 prevents CypA-NS5A interactions in a dose-dependent manner. SCY-635 prevents the contact between CypA and NS5A derived from genotypes 1 to 3. Together, these data suggest that NS5A-CypA interactions control HCV replication and that SCY-635 blocks viral replication by preventing the formation of these complexes. We also found that NS5A mutant proteins found in SCY-635-resistant HCV replicons behave similarly to wild-type NS5A in terms of both CypA binding and SCY-635-mediated dissociation and inhibition of CypA binding. However, the NS5A mutations found in SCY-635-resistant HCV replicons rescued viral replication in CypA-knockdown cells, suggesting that the NS5A mutations, which arose in vitro under SCY-635 selection, do not alter the binding affinity of CypA for NS5A. These specific mutations in NS5A eliminate the dependence of HCV RNA replication on the expression of host CypA
PMCID: PMC3393457  PMID: 22585215
6.  A Major Determinant of Cyclophilin Dependence and Cyclosporine Susceptibility of Hepatitis C Virus Identified by a Genetic Approach 
PLoS Pathogens  2010;6(9):e1001118.
Since the advent of genome-wide small interfering RNA screening, large numbers of cellular cofactors important for viral infection have been discovered at a rapid pace, but the viral targets and the mechanism of action for many of these cofactors remain undefined. One such cofactor is cyclophilin A (CyPA), upon which hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication critically depends. Here we report a new genetic selection scheme that identified a major viral determinant of HCV's dependence on CyPA and susceptibility to cyclosporine A. We selected mutant viruses that were able to infect CyPA-knockdown cells which were refractory to infection by wild-type HCV produced in cell culture. Five independent selections revealed related mutations in a single dipeptide motif (D316 and Y317) located in a proline-rich region of NS5A domain II, which has been implicated in CyPA binding. Engineering the mutations into wild-type HCV fully recapitulated the CyPA-independent and CsA-resistant phenotype and four putative proline substrates of CyPA were mapped to the vicinity of the DY motif. Circular dichroism analysis of wild-type and mutant NS5A peptides indicated that the D316E/Y317N mutations (DEYN) induced a conformational change at a major CyPA-binding site. Furthermore, nuclear magnetic resonance experiments suggested that NS5A with DEYN mutations adopts a more extended, functional conformation in the putative CyPA substrate site in domain II. Finally, the importance of this major CsA-sensitivity determinant was confirmed in additional genotypes (GT) other than GT 2a. This study describes a new genetic approach to identifying viral targets of cellular cofactors and identifies a major regulator of HCV's susceptibility to CsA and its derivatives that are currently in clinical trials.
Author Summary
Identification of cellular cofactors and their mechanisms of action is a fundamental aspect of virus-host interaction research. Screening of genome-wide small interfering RNA libraries has become an efficient way of systematically discovering cellular cofactors essential for various aspects of viral life cycle. We and others have recently demonstrated that cyclophilin A (CyPA) is an essential cofactor for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and serves as the direct target of a new class of clinical anti-HCV compounds, cyclosporine A (CsA) and its derivatives, that are devoid of immunosuppressive function. Here we report the identification of a key regulator of HCV's dependence on CyPA and susceptibility to CsA using a novel genetic screening approach that can potentially be applied to additional cellular cofactors and other viruses. The effectiveness of this approach, termed cofactor-independent mutant (CoFIM) screening, was further supported by results obtained with a parallel CsA-based selection using additional genotypes of HCV. This paper reports a new technology with which we discover and characterize the major determinant of HCV's sensitivity to CyPA inhibitors, which are currently being tested in clinical trials.
PMCID: PMC2944805  PMID: 20886100
7.  HCV NS5A and IRF9 Compete For CypA Binding 
Journal of hepatology  2012;58(1):16-23.
Cyclophilin A (CypA) is vital for HCV replication. Cyp inhibitors successfully decrease viral loads in HCV-infected patients. However, their mechanisms of action remain unknown. Since interferon (IFN) can also suppress HCV replication, we asked whether a link between CypA and the IFN response exists.
We used cellular and recombinant pulldown approaches to investigate the possibility of a specific association of CypA with host ligands.
We found for the first time that CypA binds to a major component of the IFN response – the IFN regulatory factor 9 (IRF9). IRF9 is the DNA-binding component of the transcriptional IFN-stimulated gene factor 3 (ISGF3). CypA binds directly IRF9 via its peptidyl-prolyl isomerase (PPIase) pocket. Cyp inhibitors such as cyclosporine A (CsA) or non-immunosuppressive derivates such as alisporivir and SCY-635, prevent IRF9-CypA complex formation. CypA binds to the C-terminal IRF-association-domain (IAD), but not to the DNA-binding or linker domains of IRF9. Remarkably, CypA associates with the multimeric ISGF3 complex. We also obtained evidence that CypA neutralization enhances IFN-induced transcription. Interestingly, the hepatitis C virus (HCV) nonstructural 5A (NS5A) protein, which is known to modulate the IFN response, competes with IRF9 for CypA binding and can prevent the formation of IRF9-CypA complexes.
This study demonstrates for the first time that CypA binds specifically to a component of the Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK/STAT) pathway - IRF9. This study also reveals a novel opportunity of HCV to modulate the IFN response via NS5A.
PMCID: PMC3527675  PMID: 22902549
8.  The intriguing Cyclophilin A-HIV-1 Vpr interaction: prolyl cis/trans isomerisation catalysis and specific binding 
Cyclophilin A (CypA) represents a potential target for antiretroviral therapy since inhibition of CypA suppresses human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication, although the mechanism through which CypA modulates HIV-1 infectivity still remains unclear. The interaction of HIV-1 viral protein R (Vpr) with the human peptidyl prolyl isomerase CypA is known to occur in vitro and in vivo. However, the nature of the interaction of CypA with Pro-35 of N-terminal Vpr has remained undefined.
Characterization of the interactions of human CypA with N-terminal peptides of HIV-1 Vpr has been achieved using a combination of nuclear magnetic resonace (NMR) exchange spectroscopy and surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy (SPR). NMR data at atomic resolution indicate prolyl cis/trans isomerisation of the highly conserved proline residues Pro-5, -10, -14 and -35 of Vpr are catalyzed by human CypA and require only very low concentrations of the isomerase relative to that of the peptide substrates. Of the N-terminal peptides of Vpr only those containing Pro-35 bind to CypA in a biosensor assay. SPR studies of specific N-terminal peptides with decreasing numbers of residues revealed that a seven-residue motif centred at Pro-35 consisting of RHFPRIW, which under membrane-like solution conditions comprises the loop region connecting helix 1 and 2 of Vpr and the two terminal residues of helix 1, is sufficient to maintain strong specific binding.
Only N-terminal peptides of Vpr containing Pro-35, which appears to be vital for manifold functions of Vpr, bind to CypA in a biosensor assay. This indicates that Pro-35 is essential for a specific CypA-Vpr binding interaction, in contrast to the general prolyl cis/trans isomerisation observed for all proline residues of Vpr, which only involve transient enzyme-substrate interactions. Previously suggested models depicting CypA as a chaperone that plays a role in HIV-1 virulence are now supported by our data. In detail the SPR data of this interaction were compatible with a two-state binding interaction model that involves a conformational change during binding. This is in accord with the structural changes observed by NMR suggesting CypA catalyzes the prolyl cis/trans interconversion during binding to the RHFP35RIW motif of N-terminal Vpr.
PMCID: PMC2959089  PMID: 20920334
9.  Inhibition of synovitis and joint destruction by a new single domain antibody specific for cyclophilin A in two different mouse models of rheumatoid arthritis 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2013;15(6):R208.
Cyclophilin A (CypA) is implicated in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) pathogenesis. We studied whether a novel anti-CypA single domain antibody (sdAb) treatment would modulate the severity of the disease in two different animal models of RA.
A novel sdAb, named sdAbA1, was screened from an immunized camel sdAb library and found to have a high binding affinity (KD = 6.9 × 10-9 M) for CypA. The SCID-HuRAg model and the collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) in mice were used to evaluate the effects of sdAbA1 treatment on inflammation and joint destruction. For in vitro analysis, monocytes/macrophages were purified from synovial fluid and peripheral blood of patients with RA and were tested for the effect of anti-CypA sdAb on metalloproteinase (MMP) production. Human monocyte cell line THP-1 cells were selected and western blot analyses were performed to examine the potential signaling pathways.
In the CIA model of RA, the sdAbA1 treatment resulted in a significant decrease in clinical symptoms as well as of joint damage (P <0.05). In the SCID-HuRAg model, treatment with anti-CypA antibody sdAbA1 significantly reduced cartilage erosion, inflammatory cell numbers and MMP-9 production in the implanted tissues (P <0.05). It also significantly reduced the levels of human inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-8 in mouse serum (P <0.05). No toxic effects were observed in the two animal models. In vitro results showed that sdAbA1 could counteract CypA-dependent MMP-9 secretion and IL-8 production by interfering with the ERK-NF-κB pathway.
Blockade of CypA significantly inhibited synovitis and cartilage/bone erosion in the two tested animal models of RA. Our findings provide evidence that sdAbA1 may be a potential therapeutic agent for RA.
PMCID: PMC3978695  PMID: 24314202
10.  Cyclophilin A enhances cell proliferation and tumor growth of liver fluke-associated cholangiocarcinoma 
Molecular Cancer  2011;10:102.
Cyclophilin A (CypA) expression is associated with malignant phenotypes in many cancers. However, the role and mechanisms of CypA in liver fluke-associated cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) are not presently known. In this study, we investigated the expression of CypA in CCA tumor tissues and CCA cell lines as well as regulation mechanisms of CypA in tumor growth using CCA cell lines.
CypA expression was determined by real time RT-PCR, Western blot or immunohistochemistry. CypA silence or overexpression in CCA cells was achieved using gene delivery techniques. Cell proliferation was assessed using MTS assay or Ki-67 staining. The effect of silencing CypA on CCA tumor growth was determined in nude mice. The effect of CypA knockdown on ERK1/2 activation was assessed by Western blot.
CypA was upregulated in 68% of CCA tumor tissues. Silencing CypA significantly suppressed cell proliferation in several CCA cell lines. Likewise, inhibition of CypA peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase (PPIase) activity using cyclosporin A (CsA) decreased cell proliferation. In contrast, overexpression of CypA resulted in 30% to 35% increases in proliferation of CCA cell lines. Interestingly, neither silence nor overexpression of CypA affected cell proliferation of a non-tumor human cholangiocyte cell line, MMNK1. Suppression of CypA expression attenuated ERK1/2 activity in CCA M139 cells by using both transient and stable knockdown methods. In the in vivo study, there was a 43% reduction in weight of tumors derived from CypA-silenced CCA cell lines compared with control vector CCA tumors in mice; these tumors with stable CypA silencing showed a reduced cell proliferation.
CypA is upregulated in majority of CCA patients' tissues and confers a significant growth advantage in CCA cells. Suppression of CypA expression decreases proliferation of CCA cell lines in vitro and reduces tumor growth in the nude mouse model. Inhibition of CypA activity also reduces CCA cell proliferation. The ERK1/2 pathway may be involved in the CypA-mediated CCA cell proliferation. Thus, CypA may represent an important new therapeutic target for liver fluke-associated CCA.
PMCID: PMC3173387  PMID: 21871105
cyclophilin A; cholangiocarcinoma; cell proliferation; cyclosporin A; peptidyprolyl cis-trans isomerase; ERK1/2 pathway; CD147
11.  Redistribution of Cyclophilin A to Viral Factories during Vaccinia Virus Infection and Its Incorporation into Mature Particles 
Journal of Virology  2003;77(16):9052-9068.
Cyclophilins are peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerases involved in catalyzing conformational changes and accelerating the rate of protein folding and refolding in several cellular systems. In the present study, we analyzed the expression pattern and intracellular distribution of the cellular isomerase cyclophilin A (CypA) during vaccinia virus (VV) infection. An impressive increase in CypA stability was observed, leading to a practically unchanged accumulation of CypA during infection, although its synthesis was completely inhibited at late times. By confocal microscopy, we observed that CypA went through an intense reorganization in the cell cytoplasm and colocalized with the virosomes late in infection. CypA relocation to viral factories required the synthesis of viral postreplicative proteins, and treatment of infected cells with cyclosporine (CsA) prevented CypA relocation, clearly excluding the virosomes from CypA staining. Immunoelectron microscopy of VV-infected cells showed that CypA was incorporated into VV particles during morphogenesis. Biochemical and electron microscopic assays with purified virions confirmed that CypA was encapsidated within the virus particle and localized specifically in the core. This work suggests that CypA may develop an important role in VV replication.
PMCID: PMC167230  PMID: 12885921
12.  Molecular characterization of cyclophilin A-like protein from Piriformospora indica for its potential role to abiotic stress tolerance in E. coli 
BMC Research Notes  2013;6:555.
Cyclophilins (CyP), conserved in all genera, are known to have regulatory responses of various cellular processes including stress tolerance. Interestingly, CyP has a crucial role as peptidyl-prolyl cis–trans isomerases (PPIases). Our earlier in silico based approach resulted into the identification of cyclophilin family from rice, Arabidopsis and yeast. In our recent report, we discovered a new OsCYP-25 from rice. Here, we identified a novel cyclophylin A-like protein (PiCyP) from Piriformospora indica which is responsible for abiotic stress tolerance in E. coli.
Cyclophylin A-like protein (CyPA) (accession number GQ214003) was selected from cDNA library. The genomic organization CyPA revealed a 1304 bp of CyPA in P. indica genome, showing 10 exons and 9 introns. Further, CyPA was evident in PCR with gDNA and cDNA and Southern blot analysis. The phylogenetic examination of CyPA of P. indica showed that it is closed to human cyclophilin. The uniqueness of PiCyPA protein was apparent in western blot study. Kinetics of purified PiCyPA protein for its PPIas activity was determined via first order rate constant (0.104 s-1) in the presence of 1 μg of PiCyPA, with increasing PiCyPA concentration, in the presence of cyclosporin A (CsA) and the inhibition constant (4.435 nM) of CsA for inhibition of PiCyPA. The differential response of E. coli harbouring pET28a-PiCypA was observed for their different degree of tolerance to different abiotic stresses as compared to empty pET28a vector.
Overexpression of PiCyPA protein E. coli cells confer enhanced tolerance to wide range of abiotic stresses. Thus, this study provides the significance of PiCypA as a molecular chaperone which advanced cellular stress responses of E. coli cells under adverse conditions, and it, furthermore, confirms the mounting the sustainability of E. coli for exploitation in recombinant proteins production. Additionally, the PiCyPA gene cooperates substantial functions in cellular network of stress tolerance mechanism, essentially required for various developmental stages, and might be a potential paramount candidate for crop improvement and its sustainable production under adverse conditions.
PMCID: PMC3878271  PMID: 24365575
13.  Target Cell Cyclophilin A Modulates Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Infectivity 
Journal of Virology  2004;78(23):12800-12808.
The peptidyl-prolyl isomerase cyclophilin A (CypA) increases the kinetics by which human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) spreads in tissue culture. This was conclusively demonstrated by gene targeting in human CD4+ T cells, but the role of CypA in HIV-1 replication remains unknown. Though CypA binds to mature HIV-1 capsid protein (CA), it is also incorporated into nascent HIV-1 virions via interaction with the CA domain of the Gag polyprotein. These findings raised the possibility that CypA might act at multiple steps of the retroviral life cycle. Disruption of the CA-CypA interaction, either by the competitive inhibitor cyclosporine (CsA) or by mutation of CA residue G89 or P90, suggested that producer cell CypA was required for full virion infectivity. However, recent studies indicate that CypA within the target cell regulates HIV-1 infectivity by modulating Ref1- or Lv1-mediated restriction. To examine the relative contribution to HIV-1 replication of producer cell CypA and target cell CypA, we exploited multiple tools that disrupt the HIV-1 CA-CypA interaction. These tools included the drugs CsA, MeIle4-CsA, and Sanglifehrin; CA mutants exhibiting decreased affinity for CypA or altered CypA dependence; HeLa cells with CypA knockdown by RNA interference; and Jurkat T cells homozygous for a deletion of the gene encoding CypA. Our results clearly demonstrate that target cell CypA, and not producer cell CypA, is important for HIV-1 CA-mediated function. Inhibition of HIV-1 infectivity resulting from virion production in the presence of CsA occurs independently of the CA-CypA interaction or even of CypA.
PMCID: PMC524981  PMID: 15542632
14.  The Host-Pathogen interaction of human cyclophilin A and HIV-1 Vpr requires specific N-terminal and novel C-terminal domains 
Cyclophilin A (CypA) represents a potential key molecule in future antiretroviral therapy since inhibition of CypA suppresses human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication. CypA interacts with the virus proteins Capsid (CA) and Vpr, however, the mechanism through which CypA influences HIV-1 infectivity still remains unclear.
Here the interaction of full-length HIV-1 Vpr with the host cellular factor CypA has been characterized and quantified by surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. A C-terminal region of Vpr, comprising the 16 residues 75GCRHSRIGVTRQRRAR90, with high binding affinity for CypA has been identified. This region of Vpr does not contain any proline residues but binds much more strongly to CypA than the previously characterized N-terminal binding domain of Vpr, and is thus the first protein binding domain to CypA described involving no proline residues. The fact that the mutant peptide Vpr75-90 R80A binds more weakly to CypA than the wild-type peptide confirms that Arg-80 is a key residue in the C-terminal binding domain. The N- and C-terminal binding regions of full-length Vpr bind cooperatively to CypA and have allowed a model of the complex to be created. The dissociation constant of full-length Vpr to CypA was determined to be approximately 320 nM, indicating that the binding may be stronger than that of the well characterized interaction of HIV-1 CA with CypA.
For the first time the interaction of full-length Vpr and CypA has been characterized and quantified. A non-proline-containing 16-residue region of C-terminal Vpr which binds specifically to CypA with similar high affinity as full-length Vpr has been identified. The fact that this is the first non-proline containing binding motif of any protein found to bind to CypA, changes the view on how CypA is able to interact with other proteins. It is interesting to note that several previously reported key functions of HIV-1 Vpr are associated with the identified N- and C-terminal binding domains of the protein to CypA.
PMCID: PMC3269379  PMID: 22185200
15.  The V86M mutation in HIV-1 capsid confers resistance to TRIM5α by abrogation of cyclophilin A-dependent restriction and enhancement of viral nuclear import 
Retrovirology  2013;10:25.
HIV-1 is inhibited early after entry into cells expressing some simian orthologues of the tripartite motif protein family member TRIM5α. Mutants of the human orthologue (TRIM5αhu) can also provide protection against HIV-1. The host protein cyclophilin A (CypA) binds incoming HIV-1 capsid (CA) proteins and enhances early stages of HIV-1 replication by unknown mechanisms. On the other hand, the CA-CypA interaction is known to increase HIV-1 susceptibility to restriction by TRIM5α. Previously, the mutation V86M in the CypA-binding loop of HIV-1 CA was found to be selected upon serial passaging of HIV-1 in cells expressing Rhesus macaque TRIM5α (TRIM5αrh). The objectives of this study were (i) to analyze whether V86M CA allows HIV-1 to escape mutants of TRIM5αhu, and (ii) to characterize the role of CypA in the resistance to TRIM5α conferred by V86M.
We find that in single-cycle HIV-1 vector transduction experiments, V86M confers partial resistance against R332G-R335G TRIM5αhu and other TRIM5αhu variable 1 region mutants previously isolated in mutagenic screens. However, V86M HIV-1 does not seem to be resistant to R332G-R335G TRIM5αhu in a spreading infection context. Strikingly, restriction of V86M HIV-1 vectors by TRIM5αhu mutants is mostly insensitive to the presence of CypA in infected cells. NMR experiments reveal that V86M alters CypA interactions with, and isomerisation of CA. On the other hand, V86M does not affect the CypA-mediated enhancement of HIV-1 replication in permissive human cells. Finally, qPCR experiments show that V86M increases HIV-1 transport to the nucleus of cells expressing restrictive TRIM5α.
Our study shows that V86M de-couples the two functions associated with CA-CypA binding, i.e. the enhancement of restriction by TRIM5α and the enhancement of HIV-1 replication in permissive human cells. V86M enhances the early stages of HIV-1 replication in restrictive cells by improving nuclear import. In summary, our data suggest that HIV-1 escapes restriction by TRIM5α through the selective disruption of CypA-dependent, TRIM5α-mediated inhibition of nuclear import. However, V86M does not seem to relieve restriction of a spreading HIV-1 infection by TRIM5αhu mutants, underscoring context-specific restriction mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC3598646  PMID: 23448277
16.  Essential Role of Cyclophilin A for Hepatitis C Virus Replication and Virus Production and Possible Link to Polyprotein Cleavage Kinetics 
PLoS Pathogens  2009;5(8):e1000546.
Viruses are obligate intracellular parasites and therefore their replication completely depends on host cell factors. In case of the hepatitis C virus (HCV), a positive-strand RNA virus that in the majority of infections establishes persistence, cyclophilins are considered to play an important role in RNA replication. Subsequent to the observation that cyclosporines, known to sequester cyclophilins by direct binding, profoundly block HCV replication in cultured human hepatoma cells, conflicting results were obtained as to the particular cyclophilin (Cyp) required for viral RNA replication and the underlying possible mode of action. By using a set of cell lines with stable knock-down of CypA or CypB, we demonstrate in the present work that replication of subgenomic HCV replicons of different genotypes is reduced by CypA depletion up to 1,000-fold whereas knock-down of CypB had no effect. Inhibition of replication was rescued by over-expression of wild type CypA, but not by a mutant lacking isomerase activity. Replication of JFH1-derived full length genomes was even more sensitive to CypA depletion as compared to subgenomic replicons and virus production was completely blocked. These results argue that CypA may target an additional viral factor outside of the minimal replicase contributing to RNA amplification and assembly, presumably nonstructural protein 2. By selecting for resistance against the cyclosporine analogue DEBIO-025 that targets CypA in a dose-dependent manner, we identified two mutations (V2440A and V2440L) close to the cleavage site between nonstructural protein 5A and the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase in nonstructural protein 5B that slow down cleavage kinetics at this site and reduce CypA dependence of viral replication. Further amino acid substitutions at the same cleavage site accelerating processing increase CypA dependence. Our results thus identify an unexpected correlation between HCV polyprotein processing and CypA dependence of HCV replication.
Author Summary
Owing to limited genetic information, viruses have to exploit host cells to achieve efficient production of virus progeny. Host cell factors and pathways therefore play an important role for virus replication and thus represent a possible target for antiviral therapy. In case of the hepatitis C virus (HCV), an RNA virus infecting liver cells and causing chronic liver disease, host cell cyclophilins were shown to play an important role in replication. Pharmacological inhibition of cyclophilins, which are catalysts of protein folding, causes profound inhibition of HCV replication, but neither the underlying mechanism by which cyclophilins contribute to viral replication, nor the exact nature of the cyclophilin are known. In this study we demonstrate that HCV replication and presumably also virus particle assembly requires cyclophilin A (CypA), which can be blocked by the cyclosporine analogue DEBIO-025. We identify mutations affecting proteolytic cleavage of the viral polyprotein that render HCV replication less dependent on CypA and thus cause DEBIO-025 resistance. Studies with additional mutants reveal a correlation between polyprotein cleavage kinetics and CypA dependence. Our results support a model by which CypA activates the viral replicase in a manner that depends on the kinetics with which the viral polyprotein is cleaved.
PMCID: PMC2718831  PMID: 19680534
17.  trans-Complementation Rescue of Cyclophilin A-Deficient Viruses Reveals that the Requirement for Cyclophilin A in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Replication Is Independent of Its Isomerase Activity† 
Journal of Virology  2002;76(5):2255-2262.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) requires the incorporation of cyclophilin A (CypA) for replication. CypA is packaged by binding to the capsid (CA) region of Gag. This interaction is disrupted by cyclosporine (CsA). Preventing CypA incorporation, either by mutations in the binding region of CA or by the presence of CsA, abrogates virus infectivity. Given that CypA possesses an isomerase activity, it has been proposed that CypA acts as an uncoating factor by destabilizing the shell of CA that surrounds the viral genome. However, because the same domain of CypA is responsible for both its isomerase activity and its capacity to be packaged, it has been challenging to determine if isomerase activity is required for HIV-1 replication. To address this issue, we fused CypA to viral protein R (Vpr), creating a Vpr-CypA chimera. Because Vpr is packaged via the p6 region of Gag, this approach bypasses the interaction with CA and allows CypA incorporation even in the presence of CsA. Using this system, we found that Vpr-CypA rescues the infectivity of viruses lacking CypA, either produced in the presence of CsA or mutated in the CypA packaging signal of CA. Furthermore, a Vpr-CypA mutant which has no isomerase activity and no capacity to bind to CA also rescues HIV-1 replication. Thus, this study demonstrates that the isomerase activity of CypA is not required for HIV-1 replication and suggests that the interaction of the catalytic site of CypA with CA serves no other function than to incorporate CypA into viruses.
PMCID: PMC135933  PMID: 11836403
18.  Cyclophilin A Binds to the Viral RNA and Replication Proteins, Resulting in Inhibition of Tombusviral Replicase Assembly 
Journal of Virology  2013;87(24):13330-13342.
Replication of plus-stranded RNA viruses is greatly affected by numerous host-encoded proteins that act as restriction factors. Cyclophilins, which are a large family of cellular prolyl isomerases, have been found to inhibit Tomato bushy stunt tombusvirus (TBSV) replication in a Saccharomyces cerevisiae model based on genome-wide screens and global proteomics approaches. In this report, we further characterize single-domain cyclophilins, including the mammalian cyclophilin A and plant Roc1 and Roc2, which are orthologs of the yeast Cpr1p cyclophilin, a known inhibitor of TBSV replication in yeast. We found that recombinant CypA, Roc1, and Roc2 strongly inhibited TBSV replication in a cell-free replication assay. Additional in vitro studies revealed that CypA, Roc1, and Roc2 cyclophilins bound to the viral replication proteins, and CypA and Roc1 also bound to the viral RNA. These interactions led to inhibition of viral RNA recruitment, the assembly of the viral replicase complex, and viral RNA synthesis. A catalytically inactive mutant of CypA was also able to inhibit TBSV replication in vitro due to binding to the replication proteins and the viral RNA. Overexpression of CypA and its mutant in yeast or plant leaves led to inhibition of tombusvirus replication, confirming that CypA is a restriction factor for TBSV. Overall, the current work has revealed a regulatory role for the cytosolic single-domain Cpr1-like cyclophilins in RNA virus replication.
PMCID: PMC3838255  PMID: 24089553
Journal of hepatology  2010;53(1):50-56.
Background & Aims
The cyclophilin (Cyp) inhihibitors - cyclosporine A (CsA), NIM811, Debio 025 and SCY 635 - block HCV replication both in vitro and in vivo, and represent a novel class of potent anti-HCV agents. We and others showed that HCV relies on cyclophilin A (CypA) to replicate. We demonstrated that the hydrophobic pocket of CypA, where Cyp inhibitors bind, and which controls the isomerase activity of CypA, is critical for HCV replication. Recent studies showed that under Cyp inhibitor selection, mutations arose in the HCV nonstructural 5A (NS5A) protein. This led us to postulate that CypA assists HCV by acting on NS5A.
We tested this hypothesis by developing several interaction assays including GST pulldown assays, ELISA and two-hybrid mammalian binding assays.
We demonstrated that full-length NS5A and CypA form a stable complex. Remarkably, CsA prevents the CypA-NS5A interaction in a dose-dependent manner. Importantly, the CypA-NS5A interaction is conserved among genotypes and is interrupted by CsA. Surprisingly, the NS5A mutant protein, which arose in CsA-resistant HCV variants, behaves similarly to wild-type NS5A in terms of both CypA-binding and CsA-mediated release from CypA. This latter finding suggests that HCV resistance to CsA does not correlate with a resistance of the CypA-NS5A interaction to Cyp inhibitors. Moreover, we found that CypA, devoid of its isomerase activity, fails to bind NS5A.
Altogether these data suggest that CypA, via its isomerase pocket, binds directly to NS5A, and most importantly, that disrupting this interaction stops HCV replication.
PMCID: PMC2884070  PMID: 20451281
20.  Knockdown of CypA inhibits interleukin-8 (IL-8) and IL-8-mediated proliferation and tumor growth of glioblastoma cells through down-regulated NF-κB 
Journal of Neuro-Oncology  2010;101(1):1-14.
Although cyclophilin A (CypA) has been reported to be over-expressed in cancer cells and solid tumors, its expression and role in glioblastomas have not been studied. Herein, we show that expression of CypA in human glioblastoma cell lines and tissues is significantly higher than in normal human astrocytes and normal counterparts of brain tissue. To determine the role of over-expressed CypA in glioblastoma, stable RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated knockdown of CypA (CypA KD) was performed in gliobastoma cell line U87vIII (U87MG · ΔEGFR). CypA KD stable single clones decrease proliferation, infiltration, migration, and anchorage-independent growth in vitro and with slower growth in vivo as xenografts in immunodeficient nude mice. We have also observed that knockdown of CypA inhibits expression of interleukin-8 (IL-8), a tumorigenic and proangiogenic cytokine. Conversely, enforced expression of CypA in the CypA KD cell line, Ud-12, markedly enhanced IL-8 transcripts and restored Ud-12 proliferation, suggesting that CypA-mediated IL-8 production provides a growth advantage to glioblastoma cells. CypA knockdown-mediated inhibition of IL-8 is due to reduced activity of NF-κB, which is one of the major transcription factors regulating IL-8 expression. These results not only establish the relevance of CypA to glioblastoma growth in vitro and in vivo, but also suggest that small interfering RNA-based CypA knockdown could be an effective therapeutic approach against glioblastomas.
PMCID: PMC2995866  PMID: 20454998
Cyclophilin A; IL-8; Glioblastoma; RNA interference; Tumor growth
21.  Downregulation of Cyclophilin A by siRNA diminishes non-small cell lung cancer cell growth and metastasis via the regulation of matrix metallopeptidase 9 
BMC Cancer  2012;12:442.
Cyclophilin A (CypA) is a cytosolic protein possessing peptidyl-prolyl isomerase activity that was recently reported to be overexpressed in several cancers. Here, we explored the biology and molecular mechanism of CypA in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
The expression of CypA in human NSCLC cell lines was detected by real-time reverse transcription PCR. The RNA interference-mediated knockdown of CypA was established in two NSCLC cell lines (95C and A549). 239836 CypA inhibitor was also used to suppress CypA activity. Tumorigenesis was assessed based on cellular proliferation, colony formation assays, and anchorage-independent growth assays; metastasis was assessed based on wound healing and transwell assays.
Suppression of CypA expression inhibited the cell growth and colony formation of A549 and 95C cells. CypA knockdown resulted in the inhibition of cell motility and invasion. Significantly, we show for the first time that CypA increased NSCLC cell invasion by regulating the activity of secreted matrix metallopeptidase 9 (MMP9). Likewise, suppression of CypA with 239836 CypA inhibitor decreased cell proliferation and MMP9 activity.
The suppression of CypA expression was correlated with decreased NSCLC cell tumorigenesis and metastasis.
PMCID: PMC3518206  PMID: 23031673
Cyclophilin A; Non-small cell lung cancer; Proliferation; Metastasis; Matrix metallopeptidase 9
22.  Cyclophilin A (CypA) Interacts with NF-κB Subunit, p65/RelA, and Contributes to NF-κB Activation Signaling 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e96211.
Peptidyl-prolyl isomerase cyclophilin A (CypA) plays important roles in signaling, protein translocation, inflammation, and cancer formation. However, little is known about the mechanisms by which CypA exerts its effects. C57BL/6 Ppia (encoding CypA)-deficient embryonic fibroblasts show reduced activation of the nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB), the p65/RelA subunit, suggesting that CypA may mediate modulation of NF-κB activity to exert its biological effects.
Western blotting and qRT-PCR analyses were used to evaluate the association of CypA deficiency with reduced activation of NF-κB/p65 at the protein level. GST pull-down and co-immunoprecipitation were used to examine interactions between CypA and p65/RelA. Truncation mutants and site-directed mutagenesis were used to determine the sequences of p65/RelA required for interactions with CypA. Enhancement of p65/RelA nuclear translocation by CypA was assessed by co-transfection and immunofluorescent imaging. Treatment of cells with cycloheximide that were harvested at various time points for Western blot analyses was carried out to evaluate p65/RelA protein stability. The functional activity of NF-κB was assessed by electrophoretic mobility-shift assays (EMSA), luciferase assays, and changes in expression levels of target genes.
GST pull-down assays in vitro and co-immunoprecipitation analyses in vivo provided evidence for protein-protein interactions. These interactions were further supported by identification of a CypA-binding consensus-like sequence within NF-κB subunit p65 at the N-terminal 170–176 amino acid residues. Significantly, CypA provided stability for NF-κB p65 and promoted NF-κB p65 nuclear translocation, resulting in increased nuclear accumulation and enhanced NF-κB activity.
Our findings revealed important mechanisms that regulate NF-κB activation, and offer new insights into the role of CypA in aberrant activation of NF-κB-mediated signaling for altered expression of its target genes, resulting in pathological effects in various diseases.
PMCID: PMC4130471  PMID: 25119989
23.  Cyclophilin Interactions with Incoming Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Capsids with Opposing Effects on Infectivity in Human Cells 
Journal of Virology  2005;79(1):176-183.
Cyclophilin A (CypA) is a peptidyl-prolyl isomerase that binds to the capsid protein (CA) of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and by doing so facilitates HIV-1 replication. Although CypA is incorporated into HIV-1 virions by virtue of CypA-Gag interactions that occur during virion assembly, in this study we show that the CypA-CA interaction that occurs following the entry of the viral capsid into target cells is the major determinant of CypA's effects on HIV-1 replication. Specifically, by using normal and CypA-deficient Jurkat cells, we demonstrate that the presence of CypA in the target and not the virus-producing cell enhances HIV-1 infectivity. Moreover, disruption of the CypA-CA interaction with cyclosporine A (CsA) inhibits HIV-1 infectivity only if the target cell expresses CypA. The effect of CsA on HIV-1 infection of human cells varies according to which particular cell line is used as a target, and CA mutations that confer CsA resistance and dependence exert their effects only if target cells, and not if virus-producing cells, are treated with CsA. The differential effects of CsA on HIV-1 infection in different human cells appear not to be caused by polymorphisms in the recently described retrovirus restriction factor TRIM5α. We speculate that CypA and/or CypA-related proteins affect the fate of incoming HIV-1 capsid either directly or by modulating interactions with unidentified host cell factors.
PMCID: PMC538701  PMID: 15596813
24.  Induction of G2 Arrest and Binding to Cyclophilin A Are Independent Phenotypes of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Vpr 
Journal of Virology  2006;80(8):3694-3700.
Cyclophilin A (CypA) is a member of a family of cellular proteins that share a peptidyl prolyl cis-trans isomerase (PPIase) activity. CypA was previously reported to be required for the biochemical stability and function (specifically, induction of G2 arrest) of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) protein R (Vpr). In the present study, we examine the role of the Vpr-CypA interaction on Vpr-induced G2 arrest. We find that Vpr coimmunoprecipitates with CypA and that this interaction is disrupted by substitution of proline-35 of Vpr as well as incubation with the CypA inhibitor cyclosporine A (CsA). Surprisingly, the presence of CypA or its binding to Vpr is dispensable for the ability of Vpr to induce G2 arrest. Vpr expression in CypA−/− cells leads to induction of G2 arrest in a manner that is indistinguishable from that in CypA+ cells. CsA abolished CypA-Vpr binding but had no effect on induction of G2 arrest or Vpr steady-state levels. In view of these results, we propose that the interaction with CypA is independent of the ability of Vpr to induce cell cycle arrest. The interaction between Vpr and CypA is intriguing, and further studies should examine its potential effects on other functions of Vpr.
PMCID: PMC1440437  PMID: 16571786
25.  Cyclophilin A and TRIM5α Independently Regulate Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Infectivity in Human Cells 
Journal of Virology  2006;80(6):2855-2862.
Cyclophilin A (CypA), a cytoplasmic, human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) CA-binding protein, acts after virion membrane fusion with human cells to increase HIV-1 infectivity. HIV-1 CA is similarly greeted by CypA soon after entry into rhesus macaque or African green monkey cells, where, paradoxically, the interaction decreases HIV-1 infectivity by facilitating TRIM5α-mediated restriction. These observations conjure a model in which CA recognition by the human TRIM5α orthologue is precluded by CypA. Consistent with the model, selection of a human cell line for decreased restriction of the TRIM5α-sensitive, N-tropic murine leukemia virus (N-MLV) rendered HIV-1 transduction of these cells independent of CypA. Additionally, HIV-1 virus-like particles (VLPs) saturate N-MLV restriction activity, particularly when the CA-CypA interaction is disrupted. Here the effects of CypA and TRIM5α on HIV-1 restriction were examined directly. RNA interference was used to show that endogenous human TRIM5α does indeed restrict HIV-1, but the magnitude of this antiviral activity was not altered by disruption of the CA-CypA interaction or by elimination of CypA protein. Conversely, the stimulatory effect of CypA on HIV-1 infectivity was completely independent of human TRIM5α. Together with previous reports, these data suggest that CypA protects HIV-1 from an unknown antiviral activity in human cells. Additionally, target cell permissivity increased after loading with heterologous VLPs, consistent with a common saturable target that is epistatic to both TRIM5α and the putative CypA-regulated restriction factor.
PMCID: PMC1395419  PMID: 16501094

Results 1-25 (474455)