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1.  Evaluation of a Field-Portable DNA Microarray Platform and Nucleic Acid Amplification Strategies for the Detection of Arboviruses, Arthropods, and Bloodmeals 
Highly multiplexed assays, such as microarrays, can benefit arbovirus surveillance by allowing researchers to screen for hundreds of targets at once. We evaluated amplification strategies and the practicality of a portable DNA microarray platform to analyze virus-infected mosquitoes. The prototype microarray design used here targeted the non-structural protein 5, ribosomal RNA, and cytochrome b genes for the detection of flaviviruses, mosquitoes, and bloodmeals, respectively. We identified 13 of 14 flaviviruses from virus inoculated mosquitoes and cultured cells. Additionally, we differentiated between four mosquito genera and eight whole blood samples. The microarray platform was field evaluated in Thailand and successfully identified flaviviruses (Culex flavivirus, dengue-3, and Japanese encephalitis viruses), differentiated between mosquito genera (Aedes, Armigeres, Culex, and Mansonia), and detected mammalian bloodmeals (human and dog). We showed that the microarray platform and amplification strategies described here can be used to discern specific information on a wide variety of viruses and their vectors.
PMCID: PMC3583313  PMID: 23249687
2.  Plasmodium-Specific Molecular Assays Produce Uninterpretable Results and Non-Plasmodium spp. Sequences in Field-Collected Anopheles Vectors 
The Malaria Research and Reference Reagent Resource–recommended PLF/UNR/VIR polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to detect Plasmodium vivax in Anopheles spp. mosquitoes collected in South Korea. Samples that were amplified were sequenced and compared with known Plasmodium spp. by using the Basic Local Alignment Search Tool/n and the National Center for Biotechnology Information Basic Local Alignment Search Tool/n tools. Results show that the primers PLF/UNR/VIR used in this PCR can produce uninterpretable results and non-specific sequences in field-collected mosquitoes. Three additional PCRs (PLU/VIV, specific for 18S small subunit ribosomal DNA; Pvr47, specific for a nuclear repeat; and GDCW/PLAS, specific for the mitochondrial marker, cytB) were then used to find a more accurate and interpretable assay. Samples that were amplified were again sequenced. The PLU/VIV and Pvr47 assays showed cross-reactivity with non-Plasmodium spp. and an arthropod fungus (Zoophthora lanceolata). The GDCW/PLAS assay amplified only Plasmodium spp. but also amplified the non-human specific parasite P. berghei from an Anopheles belenrae mosquito. Detection of P. berghei in South Korea is a new finding.
PMCID: PMC3854888  PMID: 24189365
3.  Antibody to the E3 Glycoprotein Protects Mice against Lethal Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus Infection▿  
Journal of Virology  2010;84(24):12683-12690.
Six monoclonal antibodies were isolated that exhibited specificity for a furin cleavage site deletion mutant (V3526) of Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV). These antibodies comprise a single competition group and bound the E3 glycoprotein of VEEV subtype I viruses but failed to bind the E3 glycoprotein of other alphaviruses. These antibodies neutralized V3526 virus infectivity but did not neutralize the parental strain of Trinidad donkey (TrD) VEEV. However, the E3-specific antibodies did inhibit the production of virus from VEEV TrD-infected cells. In addition, passive immunization of mice demonstrated that antibody to the E3 glycoprotein provided protection against lethal VEEV TrD challenge. This is the first recognition of a protective epitope in the E3 glycoprotein. Furthermore, these results indicate that E3 plays a critical role late in the morphogenesis of progeny virus after E3 appears on the surfaces of infected cells.
PMCID: PMC3004303  PMID: 20926570
4.  Glycoprotein interactions in paramyxovirus fusion 
Future virology  2009;4(4):335-351.
The Paramyxoviridae are enveloped, negative-stranded RNA viruses, some of which recognize sialic acid-containing receptors, while others recognize specific proteinaceous receptors. The major cytopathic effect of paramyxovirus infection is membrane fusion-induced syncytium formation. Paramyxoviruses are unusual in that the receptor-binding and fusion-promoting activities reside on two different spike structures, the attachment and fusion glycoproteins, respectively. For most paramyxoviruses, this distribution of functions requires a mechanism by which the two processes can be linked for the promotion of fusion. This is accomplished by a virus-specific interaction between the two proteins. An increasing body of evidence supports the notion that members of this family of viruses utilize this glycoprotein interaction in different ways in order to mediate the regulation of the fusion protein activation, depending on the type of receptor utilized by the virus.
PMCID: PMC2743013  PMID: 20161127
attachment protein; fusion protein; glycoprotein interaction; membrane fusion; paramyxovirus; receptor binding
5.  Addition of N-Glycans in the Stalk of the Newcastle Disease Virus HN Protein Blocks Its Interaction with the F Protein and Prevents Fusion 
Journal of Virology  2006;80(2):623-633.
Most paramyxovirus fusion (F) proteins require the coexpression of the homologous attachment (HN) protein to promote membrane fusion, consistent with the existence of a virus-specific interaction between the two proteins. Analysis of the fusion activities of chimeric HN proteins indicates that the stalk region of the HN spike determines its F protein specificity, and analysis of a panel of site-directed mutants indicates that the F-interactive site resides in this region. Here, we use the addition of oligosaccharides to further explore the role of the HN stalk in the interaction with F. N-glycans were individually added at several positions in the stalk to determine their effects on the activities of HN, as well as its structure. N-glycan addition at positions 69 and 77 in the stalk specifically blocks fusion and the HN-F interaction without affecting either HN structure or its other activities. N-glycans added at other positions in the stalk modulate activities that reside in the globular head of HN. This correlates with an alteration of the tetrameric structure of the protein, as indicated by sucrose gradient sedimentation analyses. Finally, N-glycan addition in another region of HN (residues 124 to 152), predicted by a peptide-based analysis to mediate the interaction with F, does not significantly reduce the level of fusion, arguing strongly against this site being part of the F-interactive domain in HN. Our data support the idea that the F-interactive site on HN is defined by the stalk region of the protein.
PMCID: PMC1346869  PMID: 16378965
6.  Decreased Dependence on Receptor Recognition for the Fusion Promotion Activity of L289A-Mutated Newcastle Disease Virus Fusion Protein Correlates with a Monoclonal Antibody-Detected Conformational Change 
Journal of Virology  2005;79(2):1180-1190.
It has been shown that the L289A-mutated Newcastle disease virus (NDV) fusion (F) protein gains the ability to promote fusion of Cos-7 cells independent of the viral hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) protein and exhibits a 50% enhancement in HN-dependent fusion over wild-type (wt) F protein. Here, we show that HN-independent fusion by L289A-F is not exhibited in BHK cells or in several other cell lines. However, similar to the results in Cos-7 cells, the mutated protein plus HN does promote 50 to 70% more fusion above wt levels in all of the cell lines tested. L289A-F protein exhibits the same specificity as the wt F protein for the homologous HN protein, as well as NDV-human parainfluenza virus 3 HN chimeras. The mutated F protein promotes fusion more effectively than the wt when it is coexpressed with either the chimeras or HN proteins deficient in receptor recognition activity. In addition, its fusogenic activity is significantly more resistant to removal of sialic acid on target cells. These findings are consistent with the demonstration that L289A-F interacts more efficiently with wt and mutated HN proteins than does wt F by a cell surface coimmunoprecipitation assay. Taken together, these findings indicate that L289A-F promotes fusion by a mechanism analogous to that of the wt protein with respect to the HN-F interaction but is less dependent on the attachment activity of HN. The phenotype of the mutated F protein correlates with a conformational change in the protein detectable by two different monoclonal antibodies. This conformational change may reflect a destabilization of F structure induced by the L289A substitution, which may in turn indicate a lower energy requirement for fusion activation.
PMCID: PMC538552  PMID: 15613345
7.  Amino Acid Substitutions in the F-Specific Domain in the Stalk of the Newcastle Disease Virus HN Protein Modulate Fusion and Interfere with Its Interaction with the F Protein 
Journal of Virology  2004;78(23):13053-13061.
The hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) protein of Newcastle disease virus mediates attachment to sialic acid receptors, as well as cleavage of the same moiety. HN also interacts with the other viral glycoprotein, the fusion (F) protein, to promote membrane fusion. The ectodomain of the HN spike consists of a stalk and a terminal globular head. The most conserved part of the stalk consists of two heptad repeats separated by a nonhelical intervening region (residues 89 to 95). Several amino acid substitutions for a completely conserved proline residue in this region not only impair fusion and the HN-F interaction but also decrease neuraminidase activity in the globular domain, suggesting that the substitutions may alter HN structure. Substitutions for L94 also interfere with fusion and the HN-F interaction but have no significant effect on any other HN function. Amino acid substitutions at other positions in the intervening region also modulate only fusion. In all cases, diminished fusion correlates with a decreased ability of the mutated HN protein to interact with F at the cell surface. These findings indicate that the intervening region is critical to the role of HN in the promotion of fusion and may be directly involved in its interaction with the homologous F protein.
PMCID: PMC525001  PMID: 15542657

Results 1-7 (7)