Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) is a T cell-tropic betaherpesvirus. HHV-6 can be classified into two variants, HHV-6A and HHV-6B, based on differences in their genetic, antigenic, and growth characteristics and cell tropisms. The function of HHV-6B should be analyzed more in its life cycle, as more than 90% of people have the antibodies for HHV-6B but not HHV-6A. It has been shown that the cellular receptor for HHV-6A is human CD46 and that the viral ligand for CD46 is the envelope glycoprotein complex gH/gL/gQ1/gQ2; however, the receptor-ligand pair used by HHV-6B is still unknown. In this study, to identify the glycoprotein(s) important for HHV-6B entry, we generated monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) that inhibit infection by HHV-6B. Most of these MAbs were found to recognize gQ1, indicating that HHV-6B gQ1 is critical for virus entry. Interestingly, the recognition of gQ1 by the neutralizing MAb was enhanced by coexpression with gQ2. Moreover, gQ1 deletion or point mutants that are not recognized by the MAb could nonetheless associate with gQ2, indicating that although the MAb recognized the conformational epitope of gQ1 exposed by the gQ2 interaction, this epitope was not related to the gQ2 binding domain. Our study shows that HHV-6B gQ1 is likely a ligand for the HHV-6B receptor, and the recognition site for this MAb will be a promising target for antiviral agents.
Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) is a lymphotropic betaherpesvirus that productively infects T cells and monocytes. HHV-6 isolates can be differentiated into two groups, variants A and B (HHV-6A and HHV-6B). Here, we show a functional difference between HHV-6A and -6B in that HHV-6A induced syncytium formation of diverse human cells but HHV-6B did not. The syncytium formation induced by HHV-6A was observed 2 h after infection; moreover, it was found in the presence of cycloheximide, indicating that HHV-6A induced fusion from without (FFWO) in the target cells. Furthermore, the fusion event was dependent on the expression of the HHV-6 entry receptor, CD46, on the target cell membrane. In addition, we determined that short consensus repeat 2 (SCR2), -3, and -4 of the CD46 ectodomain were essential for the formation of the virus-induced syncytia. Monoclonal antibodies against glycoproteins B and H of HHV-6A inhibited the fusion event, indicating that the syncytium formation induced by HHV-6A required glycoproteins H and B. These findings suggest that FFWO, which HHV-6A induced in a variety of cell lines, may play an important role in the pathogenesis of HHV-6A, not only in lymphocytes but also in various tissues, because CD46 is expressed ubiquitously in human tissues.
Human herpesvirus 6 variant A (HHV-6A) and human herpesvirus 6 variant B (HHV-6B) are two closely related yet distinct viruses. These visuses belong to the Roseolovirus genus of the betaherpesvirus subfamily; they are most closely related to human herpesvirus 7 and then to human cytomegalovirus. Over 95% of people older than 2 years of age are seropositive for either or both HHV-6 variants, and current serologic methods are incapable of discriminating infection with one variant from infection with the other. HHV-6A has not been etiologically linked to any human disease, but such an association will probably be found soon. HHV-6B is the etiologic agent of the common childhood illness exanthem subitum (roseola infantum or sixth disease) and related febrile illnesses. These viruses are frequently active and associated with illness in immunocompromised patients and may play a role in the etiology of Hodgkin's disease and other malignancies. HHV-6 is a commensal inhabitant of brains; various neurologic manifestations, including convulsions and encephalitis, can occur during primary HHV-6 infection or in immunocompromised patients. HHV-6 and distribution in the central nervous system are altered in patients with multiple sclerosis; the significance of this is under investigation.
A quantitative PCR assay for the detection of human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) (variants A and B) and HHV-7 DNAs in clinical samples was developed. The assay uses a nonhomologous internal standard (IS) for each virus that is coamplified with the wild-type target sequence in the same vial and with the same pair of primers. This method allows for a correction of the variability of efficiency of the PCR technique. A standard curve is constructed for each experiment by coamplification of known quantities of the cloned HHV-6 or HHV-7 target templates with the respective IS. Absolute quantitation of the test samples is then achieved by determining the viral target/IS ratio of the hybridization signals of the amplification products and plotting this value against the standard curve. Using this assay, we quantitated the amount of HHV-6 or HHV-7 DNA in infected cell cultures and demonstrated an inhibitory effect of phosphonoformic acid on the replication of HHV-6 and HHV-7 in vitro. As the first clinical application of this procedure, we performed preliminary measurements of the loads of HHV-6 and HHV-7 in lymph nodes from patients with Hodgkin's disease and AIDS. Application of this quantitative PCR method should be helpful for elucidating the pathogenic roles of HHV-6 and HHV-7.
Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a well-known opportunistic agent that reactivates in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-seropositive subjects. Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) and HHV-7 were discovered recently and, like HCMV, belong to the Betaherpesvirinae subfamily. We looked for the presence of HCMV, HHV-6, and HHV-7 by PCR with saliva and urine samples from 125 HIV-seropositive patients at different stages of HIV infection and with saliva and urine samples from 29 HIV-seronegative subjects. All three viruses were frequently detected in the saliva (overall rates of detection, 61, 43, and 63% for HCMV, HHV-6, and HHV-7, respectively) with no correlation with the stage of immune deficiency. In contrast, HCMV was detected in urine much more frequently than the two other herpesviruses (overall rates of detection, 37, 2, and 6.5% for HCMV, HHV-6, and HHV-7, respectively) and was associated with immune deficiency. This suggests that these three genetically related viruses differ from each other with regard to replication in the urinary tract.
Human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7) is a T-lymphotropic virus which utilizes the CD4 receptor as its main receptor to enter the target cells. Hence, HHV-7 can interfere with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection in CD4+ T cells. It was recently suggested that the CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4), which was found to be a crucial coreceptor for T-tropic HIV-1 strains, may also play a role in the HHV-7 infection process. However, the results presented here demonstrate that CXCR4 is not involved in HHV-7 infection. The natural ligand of CXCR4, SDF-1α, was not able to inhibit HHV-7 infection in SupT1 cells or in CD8+ T-cell-depleted peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Also, AMD3100, a specific CXCR4 antagonist with potent antiviral activity against T-tropic HIV strains (50% inhibitory concentration [IC50], 1 to 10 ng/ml), completely failed to inhibit HHV-7 infection (IC50, >250 μg/ml). Thus, two different agents known to specifically interact with CXCR4 were not able to inhibit HHV-7 infection. Other T-lymphoid cell lines, expressing both CD4 and CXCR4 (e.g., HUT-78 and MT-4) could not be infected by HHV-7. In addition, the CD4-transfected cell lines HOS.CD4 and U87.CD4 and the CD4/CXCR4 double-transfected cell lines HOS.CD4.CXCR4 and U87.CD4.CXCR4 were not infectable with HHV-7. Also, we found no down-regulation of surface-bound or intracellular CXCR4 in HHV-7-infected CD4+ T cells. As compared to uninfected SupT1 cells, stromal cell-derived factor 1α (SDF-1α)/CXCR4-mediated intracellular calcium flux was unchanged in SupT1 cells that were acutely or persistently infected with HHV-7. All these data argue against CXCR4 as a receptor involved in the HHV-7 infection process.
Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) is a T-cell-tropic betaherpesvirus. HHV-6 can be classified into two variants, HHV-6 variant A (HHV-6A) and HHV-6B, based on genetic, antigenic, and cell tropisms, although the homology of their entire genomic sequences is nearly 90%. The HHV-6A glycoprotein complex gH/gL/gQ1/gQ2 is a viral ligand that binds to the cellular receptor human CD46. Because gH has 94.3% amino acid identity between the variants, here we examined whether gH from one variant could complement its loss in the other. Recently, we successfully reconstituted HHV-6A from its cloned genome in a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) (rHHV-6ABAC). Using this system, we constructed HHV-6ABAC DNA containing the HHV-6B gH (BgH) gene instead of the HHV-6A gH (AgH) gene in Escherichia coli. Recombinant HHV-6ABAC expressing BgH (rHHV-6ABAC-BgH) was successfully reconstituted. In addition, a monoclonal antibody that blocks HHV-6B but not HHV-6A infection neutralized rHHV-6ABAC-BgH but not rHHV-6ABAC. These results indicate that HHV-6B gH can complement the function of HHV-6A gH in the viral infectious cycle.
Human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7) DNA sequences colinear with the HHV-6 lytic-phase origin of DNA replication (oriLyt) were amplified by PCR. Plasmid constructs containing these sequences were replicated in HHV-7-infected cord blood mononuclear cells but not in HHV-6-infected cells. In contrast, plasmids bearing HHV-6 oriLyt were replicated in both HHV-6- and HHV-7-infected cells. Finally, the minimal HHV-7 DNA element necessary for replicator activity was mapped to a 600-bp region which contains two sites with high homology to the consensus binding site for the HHV-6 origin binding protein. At least one of these binding sites was shown to be essential for replicator function of HHV-7 oriLyt.
METHODS—A total of 43 children with
neurological signs and symptoms were enrolled in the study. All
children were suspected of having meningitis, and lumbar punctures were
performed. Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) and HHV-7 DNA was detected in
cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC)
by nested polymerase chain reaction.
RESULTS—Most patients had
detectable serum antibody to both HHV6 and 7. HHV6 DNA was detected in
PBMC of 15 patients and in CSF cell pellet of seven. Corresponding
figures for HHV7 were 28 and 6.2/7, and 5/6 with CSF viral DNA also had
it in PBMC, respectively. No viral DNA was detected in CSF
supernatants. The seven HHV6 CSF viruses were all variant B.
CONCLUSION—These data suggest that
HHV-7 may invade the CNS.
Professional antigen presenting cells (APC), i.e., dendritic cells (DC), monocytes/macrophages, and B lymphocytes, are critically important in the recognition of an invading pathogen and presentation of antigens to the T cell-mediated arm of immunity. Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) is one of the few human viruses that primarily targets these APC for infection, altering their cytokine profiles, manipulating their surface expression of MHC molecules, and altering their ability to activate HHV-8-specific T cells. This could be why T cell responses to HHV-8 antigens are not very robust. Of these APC, only B cells support complete, lytic HHV-8 infection. However, both complete and abortive virus replication cycles in APC could directly affect viral pathogenesis and progression to Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) and HHV-8-associated B cell cancers. In this review, we discuss the effects of HHV-8 infection on professional APC and their relationship to the development of KS and B cell lymphomas.
human herpesvirus 8; Kaposi's sarcoma; multicentric Castleman's disease; primary effusion lymphoma; dendritic cells; monocytes/macrophages; B lymphocytes; CD4 and CD8 T lymphocytes
Human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) is a beta-herpesvirus. HHV-6 infects and replicates in T cells. The HHV-6-encoded major immediate early gene (MIE) is expressed at the immediate-early infection phase. Human cytomegalovirus major immediate early promoter (CMV MIEp) is commercially available for the expression of various heterologous genes. Here we identified the HHV-6 MIE promoter (MIEp) and compared its activity with that of CMV MIEp in various cell lines.
The HHV-6 MIEp and some HHV-6 MIEp variants were amplified by PCR from HHV-6B strain HST. These fragments and CMV MIEp were subcloned into the pGL-3 luciferase reporter plasmid and subjected to luciferase reporter assay. In addition, to investigate whether the HHV-6 MIEp could be used as the promoter for expression of foreign genes in a recombinant varicella-zoster virus, we inserted HHV-6 MIEp-DsRed expression casette into the varicella-zoster virus genome.
HHV-6 MIEp showed strong activity in T cells compared with CMV MIEp, and the presence of intron 1 of the MIE gene increased its activity. The NF-κB-binding site, which lies within the R3 repeat, was critical for this activity. Moreover, the HHV-6 MIEp drove heterologous gene expression in recombinant varicella-zoster virus-infected cells.
These data suggest that HHV-6 MIEp functions more strongly than CMV MIEp in various T-cell lines.
Though first described as a lymphotropic virus, human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) is highly neuropathogenic. Two viral variants are known: HHV-6A and HHV-6B. Both variants can infect glial cells and have been differentially associated with central nervous system diseases, suggesting an HHV-6 variant-specific tropism for glial cell subtypes. We have performed infections with both viral variants in human progenitor-derived astrocytes (HPDA) and monitored infected cell cultures for cytopathic effect (CPE), intra- and extracellular viral DNA load, the presence of viral particles by electronic microscopy, mRNA transcription, and viral protein expression. HHV-6A established a productive infection with CPE, visible intracellular virions, and high virus DNA loads. HHV-6B-infected HPDA showed no morphological changes, intracellular viral particles, and decreasing intra- and extracellular viral DNA over time. After long-term passage, HHV-6B-infected HPDA had stable but low levels of intracellular viral DNA load with no detectable viral mRNA. Our results demonstrate that HHV-6A and HHV-6B have differential tropisms and patterns of infection for HPDA in vitro, where HHV-6A results in a productive lytic infection. In contrast, HHV-6B was associated with a nonproductive infection. These findings suggest that HHV-6 variants might be responsible for specific infection patterns in glial cells in vivo. Astrocytes may be an important reservoir for this virus in which differential tropism of HHV-6A and HHV-6B may be associated with different disease outcomes.
Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) is a potentially immunosuppressive agent that has been suggested to act as a cofactor in the progression of human immunodeficiency virus disease. However, the lack of suitable experimental models has hampered the elucidation of the mechanisms of HHV-6-mediated immune suppression. Here, we used ex vivo lymphoid tissue to investigate the cellular tropism and pathogenic mechanisms of HHV-6. Viral strains belonging to both HHV-6 subgroups (A and B) were able to productively infect human tonsil tissue fragments in the absence of exogenous stimulation. The majority of viral antigen-expressing cells were CD4+ T lymphocytes expressing a nonnaive phenotype, while CD8+ T cells were efficiently infected only with HHV-6A. Accordingly, HHV-6A infection resulted in the depletion of both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, whereas in HHV-6B-infected tissue CD4+ T cells were predominantly depleted. The expression of different cellular antigens was dramatically altered in HHV-6-infected tissues: whereas CD4 was upregulated, both CD46, which serves as a cellular receptor for HHV-6, and CD3 were downmodulated. However, CD3 downmodulation was restricted to infected cells, while the loss of CD46 expression was generalized. Moreover, HHV-6 infection markedly enhanced the production of the CC chemokine RANTES, whereas other cytokines and chemokines were only marginally affected. These results provide the first evidence, in a physiologically relevant study model, that HHV-6 can severely affect the physiology of secondary lymphoid organs through direct infection of T lymphocytes and modulation of key membrane receptors and chemokines.
Kaposi's sarcoma (KS)-associated herpesvirus or human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) DNA and transcripts have been detected in the B cells, macrophages, keratinocytes, and endothelial and epithelial cells of KS patients. In vitro, HHV-8 infects human B, endothelial, epithelial, and fibroblast cells, as well as animal cells, and the infection is characterized by (i) absence of lytic replication by the input virus and (ii) latent infection. For its initial binding to target cells, HHV-8 uses ubiquitous heparan sulfate molecules via its envelope-associated glycoproteins gB and gpK8.1A. HHV-8 also interacts with the α3β1 integrin via its glycoprotein gB, and virus binding studies suggest that α3β1 is one of the HHV-8 entry receptors (S. M. Akula, N. P. Pramod, F. Z. Wang, and B. Chandran, Cell 108:407-419, 2002). In this study, morphological and biochemical techniques were used to examine the entry of HHV-8 into human foreskin fibroblasts (HFF). HHV-8 was detected in coated vesicles and in large, smooth-surfaced endocytic vesicles. Fusion of viral envelope with the vesicle wall was also observed. In immune electron microscopy, anti-HHV-8 gB antibodies colocalized with virus-containing endocytic vesicles. In fluorescence microscopic analyses, transferrin was colocalized with HHV-8. HHV-8 infection was significantly inhibited by preincubation of cells with chlorpromazine HCl, which blocks endocytosis via clathrin-coated pits, but not by nystatin and cholera toxin B, which blocks endocytosis via caveolae and induces the dissociation of lipid rafts, respectively. Infection was also inhibited by blocking the acidification of endosomes by NH4Cl and bafilomycin A. Inhibition of HHV-8 open reading frame 73 gene expression by chlorpromazine HCl, bafilomycin A, and NH4Cl demonstrated that the virions in the vesicles could proceed to cause an infection. Taken together, these findings suggest that for its infectious entry into HFF, HHV-8 uses clathrin-mediated endocytosis and a low-pH intracellular environment.
Infections with human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), a beta-herpesvirus of which two variant groups (A and B) are recognized, is very common, approaching 100% in seroprevalence. Primary infection with HHV-6B causes roseola infantum or exanthem subitum, a common childhood disease that resolves spontaneously. After primary infection, the virus replicates in the salivary glands and is shed in saliva, the recognized route of transmission for variant B strains; it remains latent in lymphocytes and monocytes and persists at low levels in cells and tissues. Not usually associated with disease in the immunocompetent, HHV-6 infection is a major cause of opportunistic viral infections in the immunosuppressed, typically AIDS patients and transplant recipients, in whom HHV-6 infection/reactivation may culminate in rejection of transplanted organs and death. Other opportunistic viruses, human cytomegalovirus and HHV-7, also infect or reactivate in persons at risk. Another disease whose pathogenesis may be correlated with HHV-6 is multiple sclerosis. Data in favor of and against the correlation are discussed.
The recent isolation of human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7) from activated CD4+ T lymphocytes of a healthy individual raises questions regarding the prevalence of this virus in humans and its immunological relationship to previously characterized human herpesviruses. We report that HHV-7 is a ubiquitous virus which is immunologically distinct from the highly prevalent T-lymphotropic HHV-6. Thus, (i) only two of six monoclonal antibodies to HHV-6 cross-reacted with HHV-7-infected cells, (ii) Western immunoblot analyses of viral proteins revealed different patterns for HHV-6- and HHV-7-infected cells, (iii) tests of sequential serum samples from children revealed seroconversion to HHV-6 without concomitant seroconversion to HHV-7, and (iv) in some instances HHV-7 infection occurred in the presence of high titers of HHV-6 antibodies, suggesting the lack of apparent protection of children seropositive for HHV-6 against subsequent infection with HHV-7. On the basis of the analyses of sera from children and adults it can be concluded that HHV-7 is a prevalent human herpesvirus which, like other human herpesviruses, infects during childhood. The age of infection appears to be somewhat later than the very early age documented for HHV-6.
Roseolovirus, or human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), is a ubiquitous human pathogen infecting over 95% of the population by the age of 2 years. As with other herpesviruses, reactivation of HHV-6 can present with severe complications in immunocompromised individuals. Recent studies have highlighted the importance of herpesvirus-derived microRNAs (miRNAs) in modulating both cellular and viral gene expression. An initial report which computed the likelihood of various viruses to encode miRNAs did not predict HHV-6 miRNAs. To experimentally screen for small HHV-6-encoded RNAs, we conducted large-scale sequencing of Sup-T-1 cells lytically infected with a laboratory strain of HHV-6B. This revealed an abundant, 60- to 65-nucleotide RNA of unknown function derived from the lytic origin of replication (OriLyt) that gave rise to smaller RNA species of 18 or 19 nucleotides. In addition, we identified four pre-miRNAs whose mature forms accumulated in Argonaute 2. In contrast to the case for other betaherpesviruses, HHV-6B miRNAs are expressed from direct repeat regions (DRL and DRR) located at either side of the genome. All miRNAs are conserved in the closely related HHV-6A variant, and one of them is a seed ortholog of the human miRNA miR-582-5p. Similar to alphaherpesvirus miRNAs, they are expressed in antisense orientation relative to immediate-early open reading frames (ORFs) and thus have the potential to regulate key viral genes.
Human herpesvirus (HHV)-6A and HHV-6B are two enveloped DNA viruses of β-herpesvirus family, infecting over 90% of the population and associated with several diseases, including exanthema subitum (for HHV-6B), multiple sclerosis and encephalitis, particularly in immunosuppressed patients. Animal models are highly important to better understand the pathogenesis of viral infections. Naturally developed neutralizing antibodies to HHV-6 or a related virus were found in different species of monkeys, suggesting their susceptibility to HHV-6 infection. Both HHV-6 DNA and infectious virus were detected in experimentally infected Cynomolgus and African green monkeys, although most animals remained clinically asymptomatic. Furthermore, HHV-6A infection was shown to accelerate the progression of AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) in macaques and to lead to the development of neurological symptoms in the marmoset model. Humanized SCID (severe combined immunodeficiency) mice efficiently replicated HHV-6 and were also susceptible to coinfection with HHV-6 and HIV-1 (human immunodeficiency virus 1). As CD46 was identified as a receptor for HHV-6, transgenic mice expressing human CD46 may present a potentially interesting model for study certain aspects of HHV-6 infection and neuroinflammation.
HHV-6; animal model; mouse; monkey; HIV; AIDS; neuroinflammation; CD46
Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), which belongs to the betaherpesvirus subfamily and infects mainly T cells in vitro, causes acute and latent infections. Two variants of HHV-6 have been distinguished on the basis of differences in several properties. We have determined the complete DNA sequence of HHV-6 variant B (HHV-6B) strain HST, the causative agent of exanthem subitum, and compared the sequence with that of variant A strain U1102. A total of 115 potential open reading frames (ORFs) were identified within the 161,573-bp contiguous sequence of the entire HHV-6 genome, including some genes with remarkable differences in amino acid identity. All genes with <70% identity between the two variants were found to contain deleted regions when ORFs that could not be expressed were excluded from the comparison. Except in the case of U47, these differences were found in immediate-early/regulatory genes, DR2, DR7, U86/90, U89/90, and U95, which may represent characteristic differences of variants A and B. Also, we have successfully typed 14 different strains belonging to variant A or B by PCR using variant-specific primers; the results suggest that the remarkable differences observed were conserved evolutionarily as variant-specific divergence.
Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) is a lymphotropic betaherpesvirus which productively infects human CD4+ T cells and monocytes. HHV-6 is the etiologic agent for exanthem subitum (roseola), and it is well-known that central nervous system complications occur frequently during the course of HHV-6-associated disease. In addition, HHV-6 has been associated with encephalitis or encephalopathy. However, very little is known about its tropism for neural cells. There are reports that HHV-6 may infect some glial cell lines, but whether it can infect any primary neural cells is not known. Our studies show that both HHV-6A (GS) and HHV-6B (Z-29) can infect highly purified primary fetal astrocytes in vitro. Infected cells showed cytopathic effects, forming giant syncytia. In dual immunofluorescence assays, the infected cells were detected by antibodies against the HHV-6 p41 nuclear antigen and glial fibrillary acidic protein, indicating that the infected cells are indeed astrocytes. PCR and Northern (RNA) blot analyses also confirmed that the astrocytes are infected by HHV-6. The progeny virus did not alter its host range and could reinfect T cells as well as primary astrocytes. These findings suggest that infection of primary human astrocytes may play a role in the neuropathogenesis of HHV-6.
Herpesvirus entry into cells and herpesvirus-induced cell fusion are related processes in that virus penetration proceeds by fusion of the viral envelope and cell membrane. To characterize the human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) glycoproteins that can mediate cell fusion, a luciferase reporter gene activation assay was used. Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells expressing the HHV-8 glycoproteins of interest along with a luciferase reporter gene under the control of the T7 promoter were cocultivated with human cells transfected with T7 RNA polymerase. Because HHV-8 glycoprotein B (gB) expressed in CHO cells localizes to the perinuclear region, a truncated form of gB (designated gBMUT) that lacks putative endocytosis signals was constructed by deletion of the distal 58 amino acids of the cytoplasmic tail. HHV-8 gBMUT was expressed efficiently on the surface of CHO cells. HHV-8 gB, gH, and gL could mediate the fusion of CHO cells with two different human cell types, embryonic kidney cells and B lymphocytes. Substituting gBMUT for gB significantly enhanced the fusion of CHO cells with human embryonic kidney cells but not B lymphocytes. Thus, two human cell types known to be susceptible to HHV-8 entry were also suitable targets for cell fusion induced by HHV-8 gB, gH, and gL. For human embryonic kidney cells and B cells at least, optimal fusion was noted with the expression of all three HHV-8 glycoproteins.
Human herpesvirus 6 variants A and B (HHV-6A and HHV-6B) are closely related viruses that can be readily distinguished by comparison of restriction endonuclease profiles and nucleotide sequences. The viruses are similar with respect to genomic and genetic organization, and their genomes cross-hybridize extensively, but they differ in biological and epidemiologic features. Differences include infectivity of T-cell lines, patterns of reactivity with monoclonal antibodies, and disease associations. Here we report the complete genome sequence of HHV-6B strain Z29 [HHV-6B(Z29)], describe its genetic content, and present an analysis of the relationships between HHV-6A and HHV-6B. As sequenced, the HHV-6B(Z29) genome is 162,114 bp long and is composed of a 144,528-bp unique segment (U) bracketed by 8,793-bp direct repeats (DR). The genomic sequence allows prediction of a total of 119 unique open reading frames (ORFs), 9 of which are present only in HHV-6B. Splicing is predicted in 11 genes, resulting in the 119 ORFs composing 97 unique genes. The overall nucleotide sequence identity between HHV-6A and HHV-6B is 90%. The most divergent regions are DR and the right end of U, spanning ORFs U86 to U100. These regions have 85 and 72% nucleotide sequence identity, respectively. The amino acid sequences of 13 of the 17 ORFs at the right end of U differ by more than 10%, with the notable exception of U94, the adeno-associated virus type 2 rep homolog, which differs by only 2.4%. This region also includes putative cis-acting sequences that are likely to be involved in transcriptional regulation of the major immediate-early locus. The catalog of variant-specific genetic differences resulting from our comparison of the genome sequences adds support to previous data indicating that HHV-6A and HHV-6B are distinct herpesvirus species.
Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) is implicated in the pathogenesis of Kaposi's sarcoma. HHV-8 envelope glycoprotein B (gB) possesses the RGD motif known to interact with integrin molecules, and HHV-8 infectivity was inhibited by RGD peptides, by antibodies against α3 and β1 integrins, and by soluble α3β1 integrin (S. M. Akula, N. P. Pramod, F.-Z. Wang, and B. Chandran, Cell 108:407-419, 2002). Anti-gB antibodies immunoprecipitated the virus α3 and β1 complexes, and virus-binding studies suggest a role for α3β1 in HHV-8 entry. HHV-8 infection induced the integrin-mediated activation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK), implicating a role for integrin and the associated signaling pathways in HHV-8 entry into the target cells. Immediately after infection, target cells exhibited morphological changes and cytoskeletal rearrangements, suggesting the induction of signal pathways. As early as 5 min postinfection, HHV-8 activated the MEK-ERK1/2 pathway. The focal adhesion components phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) and protein kinase C-ζ (PKC-ζ) were recruited as upstream mediators of the HHV-8-induced ERK pathway. Anti-HHV-8 gB-neutralizing antibodies and soluble α3β1 integrin inhibited the virus-induced signaling pathways. Early kinetics of the cellular signaling pathway and its activation by UV-inactivated HHV-8 suggest a role for virus binding and/or entry but not viral gene expression in this induction. Studies with human α3 integrin-transfected Chinese hamster ovary cells and FAK-negative mouse DU3 cells suggest that the α3β1 integrin and FAK play roles in the HHV-8 mediated signal induction. Inhibitors specific for PI 3-kinase, PKC-ζ, MEK, and ERK significantly reduced the virus infectivity without affecting virus binding to the target cells. Examination of viral DNA entry suggests a role for PI 3-kinase in HHV-8 entry into the target cells and a role for PKC-ζ, MEK, and ERK at a post-viral entry stage of infection. These findings implicate a critical role for integrin-associated mitogenic signaling in HHV-8's infection of target cells and suggest that, by orchestrating the signal cascade, HHV-8 may create an appropriate intracellular environment to facilitate the infection.
A human herpesvirus 7 (HHV-7) indirect immunofluorescence antibody avidity test was developed and used with an existing human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) antibody avidity test to detect and distinguish low-avidity antibodies to HHV-6 and HHV-7 and hence the respective primary infections. With sera from 269 British children aged 0 to 179 weeks, the tests showed that most (10 of 98 serum samples [13%]) HHV-6 low-avidity antibody was found in the first year of life, whereas for HHV-7, most (18 of 101 serum samples [20%]) HHV-7 low-avidity antibody was found in the second year of life. Five children had low-avidity antibodies to both viruses. Of nine Japanese children with previously serologically proven primary HHV-6 or HHV-7 infections, eight had low-avidity antibody only to the relevant virus, but one child had low-avidity antibodies to HHV-6 and HHV-7. The avidity tests were applied to five British children and further proof of viral infection was sought by the detection of specific DNA in serum or plasma, and saliva or cerebrospinal fluid. In two children who had low-avidity antibody to HHV-7 but who were seronegative for HHV-6, only HHV-7 was found. Both viruses were detected in one child with low-avidity HHV-7 antibody and high-avidity HHV-6 antibody. In two children with low-avidity antibodies to both viruses, HHV-6 and HHV-7 DNAs were found, confirming dual primary infections and excluding antibody cross-reactivity.
Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) is the etiological agent of Kaposi's sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma, and some forms of multicentric Castleman's disease. Although latent HHV-8 DNA can be detected in B cells from persons with these cancers, there is little information on the replication of HHV-8 in B cells. Indeed, B cells are relatively resistant to HHV-8 infection in vitro. We have recently shown that DC-SIGN, a C-type lectin first identified on dendritic cells (DC), is an entry receptor for HHV-8 on DC and macrophages. We have also demonstrated previously that B lymphocytes from peripheral blood and tonsils express DC-SIGN and that this expression increases after B-cell activation. Here we show that activated blood and tonsillar B cells can be productively infected with HHV-8, as measured by an increase in viral DNA, the expression of viral lytic and latency proteins, and the production of infectious virus. The infection of B cells with HHV-8 was blocked by the pretreatment of the cells with antibody specific for DC-SIGN or with mannan but not antibody specific for xCT, a cystine/glutamate exchange transporter that has been implicated in HHV-8 fusion to cells. The infection of B cells with HHV-8 resulted in increased expression of DC-SIGN and a decrease in the expression of CD20 and major histocompatibility complex class I. HHV-8 could also infect and replicate in B-cell lines transduced to express full-length DC-SIGN but not in B-cell lines transduced to express DC-SIGN lacking the transmembrane domain, demonstrating that the entry of HHV-8 into B cells is related to DC-SIGN-mediated endocytosis. The role of endocytosis in viral entry into activated B cells was confirmed by blocking HHV-8 infection with endocytic pathway inhibitors. Thus, the expression of DC-SIGN is essential for productive HHV-8 infection of and replication in B cells.