Influenza A virus (flu) is a respiratory tract pathogen causing high morbidity and mortality among the human population. Nitric oxide (NO) is a cellular mediator involved in tissue damage due to apoptosis of target cells and resulting enhancement of local inflammation. Inducible nitric oxide (iNOS) is involved in the production of NO following infection. Although NO is a key player in the development of exaggerated lung disease during flu infection, the underlying mechanism including the role of NO in apoptosis during infection has not been reported. Similarly, the mechanism of iNOS gene induction during flu infection is not well defined in terms of host trans-activator(s) required for iNOS gene expression. In the current study we have identified kruppel-like factor 6 (KLF6) as a critical transcription factor essential for iNOS gene expression during flu infection. We have also underscored the requirement of iNOS in inducing apoptosis during infection. KLF6 gene silencing in human lung epithelial cells resulted in drastic loss of NO production, iNOS-promoter specific luciferase activity and expression of iNOS mRNA following flu infection. Chromatin immuno-precipitation assay revealed a direct interaction of KLF6 with iNOS promoter during both in vitro and in vivo flu infection of human lung cells and mouse respiratory tract, respectively. Significant reduction in flu mediated apoptosis was noted in KLF6 silenced cells, cells treated with iNOS inhibitor and in primary murine macrophages derived from iNOS knock-out (KO) mice. A similar reduction in apoptosis was noted in the lungs following intra-tracheal flu infection of iNOS KO mice.
Cholesterol and sphingolipid enriched lipid raft micro-domains in the plasma membrane play an important role in life-cycle of numerous enveloped viruses. Although human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) proteins associate with the raft domains of infected cells and rafts are incorporated in RSV virion particles, the functional role of raft during RSV infection was unknown. In the current study we have identified rafts as an essential component of host cell that is required for RSV infection. Treatment of human lung epithelial cells with raft disrupting agent methyl-beta-cyclodextrin (MBCD) led to drastic loss of RSV infectivity due to diminished release of infectious progeny RSV virion particles from raft disrupted cells. RSV infection of raft deficient Niemann-Pick syndrome type C human fibroblasts and normal human embryonic lung fibroblasts revealed that during productive RSV infection, raft is required for release of infectious RSV particles.
Respiratory syncytial virus; cholesterol; lipid rafts; virus release
Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) O157:H7 is a major foodborne pathogen causing hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic-uremic syndrome. The role of EHEC O157:H7-enterohemolysin (Ehx) in the pathogenesis of infections remains poorly defined. In this study, we used gene deletion and complement methods to confirm its putative functions. Results demonstrated that, in THP-1 cells, EHEC O157:H7-Ehx is associated with greater production of extracellular interleukin (IL)-1β than other cytokines. The data also showed that EHEC O157:H7-Ehx contributed to cytotoxicity in THP-1 cells, causing the release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). Although we observed a positive correlation between IL-1β production and cytotoxicity in THP-1 cells infected with different EHEC O157:H7 strains, our immunoblot results showed that the majority of IL-1β in the supernatant was mature IL-1β and not the pro-IL-1β that can be released after cell death. However, EHEC O157:H7-Ehx had no detectable effect on biologically inactive pro-IL-1β at the mRNA or protein synthesis levels. Neither did it affect the expression of apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD (ASC), caspase-1, or NOD-like receptor family pyrin domain containing 3 (NLRP3). RNA interference experiments showed that EHEC O157:H7-induced IL-1β production required the involvement of ASC, caspase-1, and NLRP3 expression in THP-1 cells. Our results demonstrate that Ehx plays a crucial role in EHEC O157:H7-induced IL-1β production and its cytotoxicity to THP-1 cells. NLRP3 inflammasome activation is also involved in EHEC O157:H7-stimulated IL-1β release.
Poxviruses express highly active inhibitors, including serine proteinase inhibitors (serpins), designed to target host immune defense pathways. Recent work has demonstrated clinical efficacy for a secreted, myxomaviral serpin, Serp-1, which targets the thrombotic and thrombolytic proteases, suggesting that other viral serpins may have therapeutic application. Serp-2 and CrmA are intracellular cross-class poxviral serpins, with entirely distinct functions from the Serp-1 protein. Serp-2 and CrmA block the serine protease granzyme B (GzmB) and cysteine proteases, caspases 1 and 8, in apoptotic pathways, but have not been examined for extracellular anti-inflammatory activity. We examined the ability of these cross-class serpins to inhibit plaque growth after arterial damage or transplant and to reduce leukocyte apoptosis. We observed that purified Serp-2, but not CrmA, given as a systemic infusion after angioplasty, transplant, or cuff-compression injury markedly reduced plaque growth in mouse and rat models in vivo. Plaque growth was inhibited both locally at sites of surgical trauma, angioplasty or transplant, and systemically at non-injured sites in ApoE-deficient hyperlipidemic mice. With analysis in vitro of human cells in culture, Serp-2 selectively inhibited T cell caspase activity and blocked cytotoxic T cell (CTL) mediated killing of T lymphocytes (termed fratricide). Conversely, both Serp-2 and CrmA inhibited monocyte apoptosis. Serp-2 inhibitory activity was significantly compromised either in vitro with GzmB antibody or in vivo in ApoE/GzmB double knockout mice. Conclusions The viral cross-class serpin, Serp-2, that targets both apoptotic and inflammatory pathways, reduces vascular inflammation in a GzmB-dependent fashion in vivo, and inhibits human T cell apoptosis in vitro. These findings indicate that therapies targeting Granzyme B and/or T cell apoptosis may be used to inhibit T lymphocyte apoptosis and inflammation in response to arterial injury.
Yersinia enterocolitica is a food-borne pathogen that preferentially infects the Peyer's patches and mesenteric lymph nodes, causing an acute inflammatory reaction. Even though Y. enterocolitica induces a robust inflammatory response during infection, the bacterium has evolved a number of virulence factors to limit the extent of this response. We previously demonstrated that interleukin-1α (IL-1α) was critical for the induction of gut inflammation characteristic of Y. enterocolitica infection. More recently, the known actions of IL-1α are becoming more complex because IL-1α can function both as a proinflammatory cytokine and as a nuclear factor. In this study, we tested the ability of Y. enterocolitica to modulate intracellular IL-1α-dependent IL-8 production in epithelial cells. Nuclear translocation of pre-IL-1α protein and IL-1α-dependent secretion of IL-8 into the culture supernatant were increased during infection with a strain lacking the 70-kDa virulence plasmid compared to the case during infection with the wild type, suggesting that Yersinia outer proteins (Yops) might be involved in modulating intracellular IL-1α signaling. Infection of HeLa cells with a strain lacking the yopP gene resulted in increased nuclear translocation of pre-IL-1α and IL-1α-dependent secretion of IL-8 similar to what is observed with bacteria lacking the virulence plasmid. YopP is a protein acetylase that inhibits mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAP kinase)- and NF-κB-dependent signal transduction pathways. Nuclear translocation of pre-IL-1α and IL-1α-dependent secretion of IL-8 in response to Yersinia enterocolitica infection were dependent on extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and p38 MAP kinase signaling but independent of NF-κB. These data suggest that Y. enterocolitica inhibits intracellular pre-IL-1α signaling and subsequent proinflammatory responses through inhibition of MAP kinase pathways.
Interferon β (IFNβ) is an antiviral cytokine secreted in response to pathogenic exposure that creates a restrictive intracellular environment through the action of downstream interferon-stimulated genes (ISG). The objective of this study was to examine the expression of IFNβ and ISG in both human uterine epithelial cells (UEC) and the ECC-1 uterine epithelial cell line and determine if expression changes with TLR stimulation and hormone exposure. Stimulation of primary uterine epithelial cells and ECC-1 cells with the TLR3 agonist poly (I∶C) induced the mRNA expression of IFNβ, MxA, OAS2 and PKR. Other TLR agonists including imiquimod and CpG had no effect on either IFNβ or ISG expression. In contrast to ECC-1 cell responses which were slower, maximal IFNβ upregulation in UEC occurred 3 hours post-stimulation and preceded the ISG response which peaked approximately 12 hours after poly (I∶C) exposure. Unexpectedly, estradiol, either alone or prior to treatment with poly (I∶C), had no effect on IFNβ or ISG expression. Blockade of the IFN receptor abrogated the upregulation of MxA, OAS2 and PKR. Furthermore, neutralizing antibodies against IFNβ partially inhibited the upregulation of all three ISG. Estradiol, directly and in the presence of poly (I∶C) had no effect on IFNβ and ISG expression. These results indicate that uterine epithelial cells are important sentinels of the innate immune system and demonstrate that uterine epithelial cells are capable of mounting a rapid IFN-mediated antiviral response that is independent of estradiol and is therefore potentially sustained throughout the menstrual cycle to aid in the defense of the uterus against potential pathogens.
Human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) constitute highly pathogenic virus that cause severe respiratory diseases in newborn, children, elderly and immuno-compromised individuals. Airway inflammation is a critical regulator of disease outcome in RSV infected hosts. Although “controlled” inflammation is required for virus clearance, aberrant and exaggerated inflammation during RSV infection results in development of inflammatory diseases like pneumonia and bronchiolitis. Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) plays an important role in inflammation by orchestrating the pro-inflammatory response. IL-1β is synthesized as an immature pro-IL-1β form. It is cleaved by activated caspase-1 to yield mature IL-1β that is secreted extracellularly. Activation of caspase-1 is mediated by a multi-protein complex known as the inflammasome. Although RSV infection results in IL-1β release, the mechanism is unknown. Here in, we have characterized the mechanism of IL-1β secretion following RSV infection. Our study revealed that NLRP3/ASC inflammasome activation is crucial for IL-1β production during RSV infection. Further studies illustrated that prior to inflammasome formation; the “first signal” constitutes activation of toll-like receptor-2 (TLR2)/MyD88/NF-κB pathway. TLR2/MyD88/NF-κB signaling is required for pro-IL-1β and NLRP3 gene expression during RSV infection. Following expression of these genes, two “second signals” are essential for triggering inflammasome activation. Intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and potassium (K+) efflux due to stimulation of ATP-sensitive ion channel promote inflammasome activation following RSV infection. Thus, our studies have underscored the requirement of TLR2/MyD88/NF-κB pathway (first signal) and ROS/potassium efflux (second signal) for NLRP3/ASC inflammasome formation, leading to caspase-1 activation and subsequent IL-1β release during RSV infection.
We used two-dimensional quantitative trait locus analysis to identify interacting genetic loci that contribute to the native airway constrictor hyperresponsiveness to methacholine that characterizes A/J mice, relative to C57BL/6J mice. We quantified airway responsiveness to intravenous methacholine boluses in eighty-eight (C57BL/6J X A/J) F2 and twenty-seven (A/J X C57BL/6J) F2 mice as well as ten A/J mice and six C57BL/6J mice; all studies were performed in male mice. Mice were genotyped at 384 SNP markers, and from these data two-QTL analyses disclosed one pair of interacting loci on chromosomes 11 and 18; the homozygous A/J genotype at each locus constituted the genetic interaction linked to the hyperresponsive A/J phenotype. Bioinformatic network analysis of potential interactions among proteins encoded by genes in the linked regions disclosed two high priority subnetworks - Myl7, Rock1, Limk2; and Npc1, Npc1l1. Evidence in the literature supports the possibility that either or both networks could contribute to the regulation of airway constrictor responsiveness. Together, these results should stimulate evaluation of the genetic contribution of these networks in the regulation of airway responsiveness in humans.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that causes both acute pneumonitis in immunocompromised patients and chronic lung infections in individuals with cystic fibrosis and other bronchiectasis. Over 75% of clinical isolates of P. aeruginosa secrete elastase B (LasB), an elastolytic metalloproteinase that is encoded by the lasB gene. Previously, in vitro studies have demonstrated that LasB degrades a number of components in both the innate and adaptive immune systems. These include surfactant proteins, antibacterial peptides, cytokines, chemokines and immunoglobulins. However, the contribution of LasB to lung infection by P. aeruginosa and to inactivation of pulmonary innate immunity in vivo needs more clarification. In this study, we examined the mechanisms underlying enhanced clearance of the ΔlasB mutant in mouse lungs. The ΔlasB mutant was attenuated in virulence when compared to the wild-type strain PAO1 during lung infection in SP-A+/+ mice. However, the ΔlasB mutant was as virulent as PAO1 in the lungs of SP-A-/- mice. Detailed analysis showed that the ΔlasB mutant was more susceptible to SP-A-mediated opsonization but not membrane permeabilization. In vitro and in vivo phagocytosis experiments revealed that SP-A augmented the phagocytosis of ΔlasB mutant bacteria more efficiently than the isogenic wild-type PAO1. The ΔlasB mutant was found to have a severely reduced ability to degrade SP-A, consequently making it unable to evade opsonization by the collectin during phagocytosis. These results suggest that P. aeruginosa LasB protects against SP-A-mediated opsonization by degrading the collectin.
Human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection is associated with airway remodeling and subsequent asthma development. Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF) plays a crucial role in asthma development. The mechanism regulating TGF gene expression during RSV infection is not known. Kruppel-like factor family of transcription factors are critical regulators of cellular/tissue homeostasis. Previous studies have shown that Kruppel-like factor 6 (KLF6) could function as a trans-activator of TGF gene; however, whether KLF members play a role during infection is unknown. In the current study we have evaluated the role of KLF6 during TGF expression in RSV infected cells.
Silencing KLF6 expression by shRNA led to drastic inhibition in TGF production during RSV infection, as assessed by ELISA analysis of medium supernatants. RT-PCR analysis revealed loss of TGF expression in KLF6 silenced cells. Chromatin-immunoprecipitation assay conducted with RSV infected cells showed binding of KLF6 protein to the TGF promoter during RSV infection. We further observed reduced RSV infectivity in KLF6 silenced cells and in cells incubated with TGF neutralizing antibody. In contrast, enhanced RSV infection was noted in cells incubated with purified TGF.
We have identified KLF6 as a key transcription factor required for trans-activation of TGF gene during RSV infection. Moreover, TGF production is required for efficient RSV infection and thus, KLF6 is also required for efficient RSV infection by virtue of KLF6 dependent TGF production during infection.
Krüppel-like factor 6; human respiratory syncytial virus; transforming growth factor-β; gene expression; transcription factor
Oncolytic virotherapy for cancer treatment utilizes viruses for selective infection and death of cancer cells without any adverse effect on normal cells. We previously reported that the human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a novel oncolytic virus against androgen-independent PC-3 human prostate cancer cells. The present study extends the result to androgen-dependent prostate cancer, and explores the underlying mechanism that triggers RSV-induced oncolysis of prostate cancer cells.
The oncolytic effect of RSV on androgen-sensitive LNCaP human prostate cancer cells and on androgen-independent RM1 murine prostate cancer cells was studied in vitro in culture and in vivo in a xenograft or allograft tumor model. In vitro, cell viability, infectivity and apoptosis were monitored by MTT assay, viral plaque assay and annexin V staining, respectively. In vivo studies involved virus administration to prostate tumors grown in immune compromised nude mice and in syngeneic immune competent C57BL/6J mice. Anti-tumorogenic oncolytic activity was monitored by measuring tumor volume, imaging bioluminescent tumors in live animals and performing histopathological analysis and TUNEL assay with tumors
We show that RSV imposes a potent oncolytic effect on LNCaP prostate cancer cells. RSV infectivity was markedly higher in LNCaP cells compared to the non-tumorigenic RWPE-1 human prostate cells. The enhanced viral burden led to LNCaP cell apoptosis and growth inhibition of LNCaP xenograft tumors in nude mice. A functional host immune response did not interfere with RSV-induced oncolysis, since growth of xenograft tumors in syngeneic C57BL/6J mice from murine RM1 cells was inhibited upon RSV administration. LNCaP cells failed to activate the type-I interferon (IFNα/β)-induced transcription factor STAT-1, which is required for antiviral gene expression, although these cells could produce IFN in response to RSV infection. The essential role of IFN in restricting infection was further borne out by our finding that neutralizing IFN activity resulted in enhanced RSV infection in non-tumorigenic RWPE-1 prostate cells.
We demonstrated that RSV is potentially a useful therapeutic tool in the treatment of androgen-sensitive and androgen-independent prostate cancer. Moreover, impaired IFN-mediated antiviral response is the likely cause of higher viral burden and resulting oncolysis of androgen-sensitive prostate cancer cells.
Pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) including Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and RIG like helicase (RLH) receptors are involved in innate immune antiviral responses. Here we show that nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain 2 (NOD2) can also function as a cytoplasmic viral PRR by triggering activation of interferon regulatory factor-3 (IRF3) and production of interferon-β (IFN). Following recognition of viral ssRNA genome, NOD2 utilized the adaptor protein MAVS (mitochondrial antiviral signaling) to activate IRF3. NOD2-deficient mice failed to produce IFN efficiently and exhibited enhanced susceptibility to virus-induced pathogenesis. Thus, the function of NOD2 as a viral PRR highlights the important role of NOD2 in host antiviral defense mechanisms.
Human parainfluenza virus type 3 (HPIV3) is a respiratory paramyxovirus that infects lung epithelial cells to cause high morbidity among infants and children. To date, no effective vaccine or antiviral therapy exists for HPIV3 and therefore, it is important to study innate immune antiviral response induced by this virus in infected cells. Type-I interferons (IFN, interferon-α/β) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα activated by NFκB) are potent antiviral cytokines that play an important role during innate immune antiviral response. A wide-spectrum of viruses utilizes pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) like toll-like receptors (TLRs) and RLH (RIG like helicases) receptors such as RIGI (retinoic acid inducible gene -I) and Mda5 to induce innate antiviral response. Previously it was shown that both TNFα and IFNβ are produced from HPIV3 infected cells. However, the mechanism by which infected cells activated innate response following HPIV3 infection was not known. In the current study, we demonstrated that RIGI serves as a PRR in HPIV3 infected cells to induce innate antiviral response by expressing IFNβ (via activation of interferon regulatory factor-3 or IRF3) and TNFα (via activation of NF-κB).
Phospholipid scramblase 1 (PLSCR1) is an interferon (IFN)- and growth factor-inducible, calcium-binding protein that either inserts into the plasma membrane or binds DNA in the nucleus depending on its state of palmyitoylation. In certain hematopoietic cells, PLSCR1 is required for normal maturation and terminal differentiation from progenitor cells as regulated by select growth factors, where it promotes recruitment and activation of Src kinases. PLSCR1 is a substrate of Src (and Abl) kinases, and transcription of the PLSCR1 gene is regulated by the same growth factor receptor pathways in which PLSCR1 potentiates afferent signaling. The marked transcriptional upregulation of PLSCR1 by IFNs led us to explore whether PLSCR1 plays an analogous role in cellular responses to IFN, with specific focus on antiviral activities. Accordingly, human cells in which PLSCR1 expression was decreased with short interfering RNA were rendered relatively insensitive to the antiviral activity of IFNs, resulting in higher titers of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) and encephalomyocarditis virus. Similarly, VSV replicated to higher titers in mouse PLSCR1−/− embryonic fibroblasts than in identical cells transduced to express PLSCR1. PLSCR1 inhibited accumulation of primary VSV transcripts, similar to the effects of IFN against VSV. The antiviral effect of PLSCR1 correlated with increased expression of a subset of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs), including ISG15, ISG54, p56, and guanylate binding proteins. Our results suggest that PLSCR1, which is itself an ISG-encoded protein, provides a mechanism for amplifying and enhancing the IFN response through increased expression of a select subset of potent antiviral genes.
Human parainfluenza virus type 3 (HPIV-3) is an airborne pathogen that infects human lung epithelial cells from the apical (luminal) plasma membrane domain. In the present study, we have identified cell surface-expressed nucleolin as a cellular cofactor required for the efficient cellular entry of HPIV-3 into human lung epithelial A549 cells. Nucleolin was enriched on the apical cell surface domain of A549 cells, and HPIV-3 interacted with nucleolin during entry. The importance of nucleolin during HPIV-3 replication was borne out by the observation that HPIV-3 replication was significantly inhibited following (i) pretreatment of cells with antinucleolin antibodies and (ii) preincubation of HPIV-3 with purified nucleolin prior to its addition to the cells. Moreover, HPIV-3 cellular internalization and attachment assays performed in the presence of antinucleolin antibodies and purified nucleolin revealed the requirement of nucleolin during HPIV-3 internalization but not during attachment. Thus, these results suggest that nucleolin expressed on the surfaces of human lung epithelial A549 cells plays an important role during HPIV-3 cellular entry.
Human parainfluenza virus type 3 (HPIV-3) is an airborne pathogen that infects the epithelial cells of the respiratory tract. In the present study we investigated the interaction of HPIV-3 with the type II alveolar human lung polarized epithelial A549 cells. Although HPIV-3 entry and budding were bidirectional from both the apical and the basolateral domains, HPIV-3 exhibited preferential entry and release from the apical pole. While disruption of the cellular actin microfilament and microtubule by cytochalasin D and nocodazole, respectively, had no effect on virus entry, disruption of the microtubule but not the microfilament inhibited HPIV-3 release.