Primary cells are often used to study viral replication and host-virus interactions as their antiviral pathways have not been altered or inactivated; however, their use is restricted by their short lifespan. Conventional methods to extend the life of primary cultures typically utilize viral oncogenes. Many of these oncogenes, however, perturb or inactivate cellular antiviral pathways, including the interferon (IFN) response. It has been previously shown that expression of the telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) gene extends the life of certain cell types. The effect that TERT expression has on the innate antiviral response to RNA- and DNA-containing viruses has not been examined. In the current study, we introduced the human TERT (hTERT) gene into a primary human embryonic lung (HEL-299) cell strain, which is known to respond to the type I IFN, IFN-β. We show that the resulting HEL-TERT cell line is capable of replicating beyond 100 population doublings without exhibiting signs of senescence. Treatment with IFN-β resulted in the upregulation of four model IFN stimulated genes (ISGs) in HEL-299 and HEL-TERT cells. Both cell lines supported the replication of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) and impaired the replication of both viruses upon IFN-β pretreatment. Introduction of the viral oncoprotein, simian virus 40 (SV40) large T-antigen, which is frequently used to immortalize cells, largely negated this effect. Taken together, our data indicate that expression of hTERT does not alter type 1 IFN signaling and/or the growth of two viruses, making this cell line a useful reagent for studying viral replication and virus-cell interactions.
Presently there is limited research to suggest efficacious interventions for infants at-risk for autism. Pivotal response treatment (PRT) has empirical support for use with preschool children with autism, but there are no reports in the literature utilizing this approach with infants. In the current study, a developmental adaptation of PRT was piloted via a brief parent training model with three infants at-risk for autism. Utilizing a multiple baseline design, the data suggest that the introduction of PRT resulted in increases in the infants’ frequency of functional communication and parents’ fidelity of implementation of PRT procedures. Results provide preliminary support for the feasibility and utility of PRT for very young children at-risk for autism.
Early intervention; Pivotal response treatment; Parent education; Infant siblings
The innate immune response plays a critical role in the host defense against invading pathogens, and TLR2, a member of the Toll-like receptor (TLR) family, has been implicated in the immune response and initiation of inflammatory cytokine secretion against several human viruses. Previous studies have demonstrated that infectious and ultraviolet-inactivated herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) virions lead to the activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and secretion of proinflammatory cytokines via TLR2. However, except for the envelope glycoprotein gH and gL, whether there are other determinants of HSV-1 responsible for TLR2 mediated biological effects is not known yet. Here, we demonstrated that the HSV-1-encoded envelope glycoprotein gB displays as molecular target recognized by TLR2. gB coimmunoprecipitated with TLR2, TLR1 and TLR6 in transfected and infected human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293T cells. Treatment of TLR2-transfected HEK293T (HEK293T-TLR2) cells with purified gB results in the activation of NF-κB reporter, and this activation requires the recruitment of the adaptor molecules myeloid differentiation primary-response protein 88 (MyD88) and tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6) but not CD14. Furthermore, activation of NF-κB was abrogated by anti-gB and anti-TLR2 blocking antibodies. In addition, the expression of interleukin-8 induced by gB was abrogated by the treatment of the human monocytic cell line THP-1 with anti-TLR2 blocking antibody or by the incubation of gB with anti-gB antibody. Taken together, these results indicate the importance and potency of HSV-1 gB as one of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) molecule recognized by TLR2 with immediate kinetics.
It is becoming increasingly clear that many diseases are the result of infection from multiple genetically distinct strains of a pathogen. Such multi-strain infections have the capacity to alter both disease and pathogen dynamics. Infection with multiple strains of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is common and has been linked to enhanced disease. Suggestions that disease enhancement in multi-strain infected patients is due to complementation have been supported by trans-complementation studies in mice during co-infection of wild type and gene knockout strains of murine CMV (MCMV). Complementation between naturally circulating strains of CMV has, however, not been assessed. In addition, many models of multi-strain infection predict that co-infecting strains will compete with each other and that this competition may contribute to selective transmission of more virulent pathogen strains. To assess the outcome of multi-strain infection, C57BL/6 mice were infected with up to four naturally circulating strains of MCMV. In this study, profound within-host competition was observed between co-infecting strains of MCMV. This competition was MCMV strain specific and resulted in the complete exclusion of certain strains of MCMV from the salivary glands of multi-strain infected mice. Competition was dependent on Ly49H+ natural killer (NK) cells as well as the expression of the ligand for Ly49H, the MCMV encoded product, m157. Strains of MCMV which expressed an m157 gene product capable of ligating Ly49H were outcompeted by strains of MCMV expressing variant m157 genes. Importantly, within-host competition prevented the shedding of the less virulent strains of MCMV, those recognized by Ly49H, into the saliva of multi-strain infected mice. These data demonstrate that NK cells have the strain specific recognition capacity required to meditate within-host competition between strains of MCMV. Furthermore, this within-host competition has the capacity to shape the dynamics of viral shedding and potentially select for the transmission of more virulent virus strains.
Infection of the host with multiple strains of a pathogen is common and occurs with the herpesvirus, human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). However the effects of multi-strain infection on the host and the pathogen remain poorly studied. Here we show, in a mouse model, that infection of C57BL/6 mice with multiple strains of murine CMV (MCMV) results in profound within-host competition. Competition between the strains of MCMV is dependent on Ly49H+ natural killer (NK) cells. The NK cell activation receptor Ly49H receptor targets certain genotypes of the viral protein, m157. During multi-strain infection, strains of MCMV encoding an m157 capable of binding Ly49H are excluded from the salivary gland and the saliva of C57BL/6 mice, allowing for the shedding of only non-Ly49H binding strains of MCMV in the saliva. This within-host competition could therefore have significant impacts on the circulation of MCMV strains, as only the most virulent MCMV strains were present in the saliva.
Viruses are strictly dependent on cells to propagate and many incorporate host proteins in their viral particles, but the significance of this incorporation is poorly understood. Recently, we performed the first comprehensive characterization of the mature herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) in which up to 49 distinct cellular proteins were identified by mass spectrometry. In the present study, we sought to identify if these cellular factors are relevant for the HSV-1 life cycle. To this end, we performed a small interfering RNA functional screen and found that 15 of these host proteins altered HSV-1 proliferation in cell culture, without any significant effect on cell viability. Moreover, the siRNA used had no negative consequences for Adenovirus type 5 propagation (with one exception) indicating that the modulation was specific for HSV-1 and not merely due to unhealthy cells. The positive host proteins include several Rab GTPases and other intracellular transport components as well as proteins involved in signal transduction, gene regulation and immunity. Remarkably, in most cases when virions were depleted for one of the above proteins, they replicated more poorly in subsequent infections in wild type cells. This highlights for the first time that both the cellular and virion-associated pools of many of these proteins actively contribute to viral propagation. Altogether, these findings underscore the power and biological relevance of combining proteomics and RNA interference to identify novel host-pathogen interactions.
After HSV infection, some trigeminal ganglion neurons support productive cycle gene expression, while in other neurons the virus establishes a latent infection. We previously demonstrated that HSV-1 and HSV-2 preferentially establish latent infection in A5+ and KH10+ sensory neurons, respectively, and that exchanging the latency-associated transcript (LAT) between HSV-1 and HSV-2 also exchanges the neuronal preference. Since many viral genes besides the LAT are functionally interchangeable between HSV-1 and HSV-2, we co-infected HSV-1 and HSV-2, both in vivo and in vitro, to determine if trans-acting viral factors regulate whether HSV infection follows a productive or latent pattern of gene expression in sensory neurons. The pattern of HSV-1 and HSV-2 latent infection in trigeminal neurons was no different following co-infection than with either virus alone, consistent with the hypothesis that a trans-acting viral factor is not responsible for the different patterns of latent infection of HSV-1 and HSV-2 in A5+ and KH10+ neurons. Since exchanging the LAT regions between the viruses also exchanges neuronal preferences, we infected transgenic mice that constitutively express 2.8 kb of the LAT region with the heterologous viral serotype. Endogenous expression of LAT did not alter the pattern of latent infection after inoculation with the heterologous serotype virus, demonstrating that the LAT region does not act in trans to direct preferential establishment of latency of HSV-1 and HSV-2. Using HSV1-RFP and HSV2-GFP in adult trigeminal ganglion neurons in vitro, we determined that HSV-1 and HSV-2 do not exert trans-acting effects during acute infection to regulate neuron specificity. Although some neurons were productively infected with both HSV-1 and HSV-2, no A5+ or KH10+ neurons were productively infected with both viruses. Thus, trans-acting viral factors do not regulate preferential permissiveness of A5+ and KH10+ neurons for productive HSV infection and preferential establishment of latent infection.
We hypothesized that normal human mesothelial cells acquire resistance to asbestos-induced toxicity via induction of one or more epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)–linked survival pathways (phosphoinositol-3-kinase/AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin and extracellular signal–regulated kinase [ERK] 1/2) during simian virus 40 (SV40) transformation and carcinogenesis. Both isolated HKNM-2 mesothelial cells and a telomerase-immortalized mesothelial line (LP9/TERT-1) were more sensitive to crocidolite asbestos toxicity than an SV40 Tag-immortalized mesothelial line (MET5A) and malignant mesothelioma cell lines (HMESO and PPM Mill). Whereas increases in phosphorylation of AKT (pAKT) were observed in MET5A cells in response to asbestos, LP9/TERT-1 cells exhibited dose-related decreases in pAKT levels. Pretreatment with an EGFR phosphorylation or mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 1/2 inhibitor abrogated asbestos-induced phosphorylated ERK (pERK) 1/2 levels in both LP9/TERT-1 and MET5A cells as well as increases in pAKT levels in MET5A cells. Transient transfection of small interfering RNAs targeting ERK1, ERK2, or AKT revealed that ERK1/2 pathways were involved in cell death by asbestos in both cell lines. Asbestos-resistant HMESO or PPM Mill cells with high endogenous levels of ERKs or AKT did not show dose-responsive increases in pERK1/ERK1, pERK2/ERK2, or pAKT/AKT levels by asbestos. However, small hairpin ERK2 stable cell lines created from both malignant mesothelioma lines were more sensitive to asbestos toxicity than shERK1 and shControl lines, and exhibited unique, tumor-specific changes in endogenous cell death–related gene expression. Our results suggest that EGFR phosphorylation is causally linked to pERK and pAKT activation by asbestos in normal and SV40 Tag–immortalized human mesothelial cells. They also indicate that ERK2 plays a role in modulating asbestos toxicity by regulating genes critical to cell injury and survival that are differentially expressed in human mesotheliomas.
mesothelioma; asbestos; toxicity; epidermal growth factor receptor; protein kinase B/AKT
Viral infections are detected in most cases by the host innate immune system through pattern-recognition receptors (PRR), the sensors for pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), which induce the production of cytokines, such as type I interferons (IFN). Recent identification in mammalian and teleost fish of cytoplasmic viral RNA sensors, RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs), and their mitochondrial adaptor: the mitochondrial antiviral signaling (MAVS) protein, also called IPS-1, highlight their important role in the induction of IFN at the early stage of a virus infection. More recently, an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) adaptor: the stimulator of interferon genes (STING) protein, also called MITA, ERIS and MPYS, has been shown to play a pivotal role in response to both non-self-cytosolic RNA and dsDNA. In this study, we cloned STING cDNAs from zebrafish and showed that it was an ortholog to mammalian STING. We demonstrated that overexpression of this ER protein in fish cells led to a constitutive induction of IFN and interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs). STING-overexpressing cells were almost fully protected against RNA virus infection with a strong inhibition of both DNA and RNA virus replication. In addition, we found that together with MAVS, STING was an important player in the RIG-I IFN-inducing pathway. This report provides the demonstration that teleost fish possess a functional RLR pathway in which MAVS and STING are downstream signaling molecules of RIG-I. The Sequences presented in this article have been submitted to GenBank under accession numbers: Zebrafish STING (HE856619); EPC STING (HE856620); EPC IRF3 (HE856621); EPC IFN promoter (HE856618).
Bacterial infections following rhinovirus (RV), a common cold virus, are well documented, but pathogenic mechanisms are poorly understood. We developed animal and cell culture models to examine the effects of RV on subsequent infection with non-typeable Hemophilus influenzae (NTHi). We focused on NTHI-induced neutrophil chemoattractants expression that is essential for bacterial clearance. Mice infected with RV1B were superinfected with NTHi and lung bacterial density, chemokines and neutrophil counts determined. Human bronchial epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) or mouse alveolar macrophages (MH-S) were infected with RV and challenged with NHTi, TLR2 or TLR5 agonists. Chemokine levels were measured by ELISA and expression of IRAK-1, a component of MyD88-dependent TLR signaling, assessed by immunoblotting. While sham-infected mice cleared all NTHi from the lungs, RV-infected mice showed bacteria up to 72 h post-infection. However, animals in RV/NTHi cleared bacteria by day 7. Delayed bacterial clearance in RV/NTHi animals was associated with suppressed chemokine levels and neutrophil recruitment. RV-infected BEAS-2B and MH-S cells showed attenuated chemokine production after challenge with either NTHi or TLR agonists. Attenuated chemokine responses were associated with IRAK-1 protein degradation. Inhibition of RV-induced IRAK-1 degradation restored NTHi-stimulated IL-8 expression. Knockdown of TLR2, but not other MyD88-dependent TLRs, also restored IRAK-1, suggesting that TLR2 is required for RV-induced IRAK-1 degradation.
In conclusion, we demonstrate for the first time that RV infection delays bacterial clearance in vivo and suppresses NTHi-stimulated chemokine responses via degradation of IRAK-1. Based on these observations, we speculate that modulation of TLR-dependent innate immune responses by RV may predispose the host to secondary bacterial infection, particularly in patients with underlying chronic respiratory disorders.
Rhinovirus (RV) is responsible for the majority of common colds. RV infection is also associated with hospitalizations for lower respiratory tract illness, a significant proportion of which are accompanied by bacterial infections including acute otitis media, sinusitis and pneumonia. However, the mechanisms by which RV increases susceptibility to secondary bacterial infections are not understood. In this report, we demonstrate for the first time that RV infection promotes bacterial persistence of non-typeable Hemophilus influenzae (NTHi) in vivo, which was associated with reduced expression of neutrophil-attracting chemokines and neutrophil infiltration into the lungs. Further, RV infection attenuated NTHi or TLR2 or −5 agonist-stimulated chemokine responses in cultured bronchial epithelial cells and alveolar macrophages, suggesting that RV interferes with TLR-related innate immune responses. Next, we found that RV infection caused rapid degradation of IRAK-1, a key adaptor protein in the MyD88-dependent signaling. Inhibition of IRAK-1 degradation restored NTHi-stimulated chemokine responses in RV-infected bronchial epithelial cells. Finally, reductions in IRAK-1 were dependent on TLR2. Together, our results suggest that RV may increase the risk of acquiring secondary bacterial infection by attenuating TLR-dependent innate immune responses.
The interferon (IFN)-mediated antiviral response is a major defense of the host immune system. In order to complete their life cycle, viruses must modulate host IFN-mediated immune responses. Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) is a large DNA virus containing more than 80 genes, many of which encode proteins that are involved in virus-host interactions and show immune modulatory capabilities. In this study, we demonstrate that the US11 protein, an RNA binding tegument protein of HSV-1, is a novel antagonist of the beta IFN (IFN-β) pathway. US11 significantly inhibited Sendai virus (SeV)-induced IFN-β production, and its double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) binding domain was indispensable for this inhibition activity. Additionally, wild-type HSV-1 coinfection showed stronger inhibition than US11 mutant HSV-1 in SeV-induced IFN-β production. Coimmunoprecipitation analysis demonstrated that the US11 protein in HSV-1-infected cells interacts with endogenous RIG-I and MDA-5 through its C-terminal RNA-binding domain, which was RNA independent. Expression of US11 in both transfected and HSV-1-infected cells interferes with the interaction between MAVS and RIG-I or MDA-5. Finally, US11 dampens SeV-mediated IRF3 activation. Taken together, the combined data indicate that HSV-1 US11 binds to RIG-I and MDA-5 and inhibits their downstream signaling pathway, preventing the production of IFN-β, which may contribute to the pathogenesis of HSV-1 infection.
Japanese encephalitis is a severe central nervous system (CNS) inflammatory disease caused by the mosquito-borne flavivirus, Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV). In the current study we have investigated the immune responses against JEV in mice lacking expression of the chemokine receptor CCR5, which functions in activation and chemotaxis of leukocytes during infection. We show that CCR5 serves as a host antiviral factor against Japanese encephalitis, with CCR5 deficiency markedly increasing mortality, and viral burden in the CNS. Humoral immune responses, which are essential in recovery from JEV infection, were of similar magnitude in CCR5 sufficient and deficient mice. However, absence of CCR5 resulted in a multifaceted deficiency of cellular immune responses characterized by reduced natural killer and CD8+ T cell activity, low splenic cellularity, and impaired trafficking of leukocytes to the brain. Interestingly, adoptive transfer of immune spleen cells, depleted of B lymphocytes, increased resistance of CCR5-deficient recipient mice against JEV regardless of whether the cells were obtained from CCR5-deficient or wild-type donor mice, and only when transferred at one but not at three days post-challenge. This result is consistent with a mechanism by which CCR5 expression enhances lymphocyte activation and thereby promotes host survival in Japanese encephalitis.
The viral E3 ubiquitin ligase ICP0 protein has the unique property to temporarily localize at interphase and mitotic centromeres early after infection of cells by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). As a consequence ICP0 induces the proteasomal degradation of several centromeric proteins (CENPs), namely CENP-A, the centromeric histone H3 variant, CENP-B and CENP-C. Following ICP0-induced centromere modification cells trigger a specific response to centromeres called interphase Centromere Damage Response (iCDR). The biological significance of the iCDR is unknown; so is the degree of centromere structural damage induced by ICP0. Interphase centromeres are complex structures made of proximal and distal protein layers closely associated to CENP-A-containing centromeric chromatin. Using several cell lines constitutively expressing GFP-tagged CENPs, we investigated the extent of the centromere destabilization induced by ICP0. We show that ICP0 provokes the disappearance from centromeres, and the proteasomal degradation of several CENPs from the NAC (CENP-A nucleosome associated) and CAD (CENP-A Distal) complexes. We then investigated the nucleosomal occupancy of the centromeric chromatin in ICP0-expressing cells by micrococcal nuclease (MNase) digestion analysis. ICP0 expression either following infection or in cell lines constitutively expressing ICP0 provokes significant modifications of the centromeric chromatin structure resulting in higher MNase accessibility. Finally, using human artificial chromosomes (HACs), we established that ICP0-induced iCDR could also target exogenous centromeres. These results demonstrate that, in addition to the protein complexes, ICP0 also destabilizes the centromeric chromatin resulting in the complete breakdown of the centromere architecture, which consequently induces iCDR.
Prominent immune alterations associated with aging include the loss of naïve T-cell numbers, diversity and function. While genetic contributors and mechanistic details in the aging process have been addressed in multiple studies, the role of environmental agents in immune aging remains incompletely understood. From the standpoint of environmental infectious agents, latent cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection has been associated with an immune risk profile in the elderly humans, yet the cause-effect relationship of this association remains unclear. Here we present direct experimental evidence that mouse CMV (MCMV) infection results in select T-cell subset changes associated with immune aging, namely the increase of relative and absolute counts of CD8 T-cells in the blood, with a decreased representation of the naïve and the increased representation of the effector memory blood CD8 T-cells. Moreover, MCMV infection resulted in significantly weaker CD8 responses to superinfection with Influenza, Human Herpes Virus I or West-Nile-Virus, even 16 months following MCMV infection. These irreversible losses in T-cell function could not be observed in uninfected or in vaccinia virus-infected controls and were not due to the immune-evasive action of MCMV genes. Rather, the CD8 activation in draining lymph nodes upon viral challenge was decreased in MCMV infected mice and the immune response correlated directly to the frequency of the naïve and inversely to that of the effector cells in the blood CD8 pool. Therefore, latent MCMV infection resulted in pronounced changes of the T-cell compartment consistent with impaired naïve T-cell function.
The cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a widespread virus of the herpesvirus family, which latently infects the majority of the adult human population worldwide. While CMV causes severe disease in AIDS patients, in recipients of organ transplants, or when infection occurs during pregnancy, this virus is considered apathogenic for the general population. Several reports indicated that CMV infection may be associated with poor immune function, and even survival, in older adults, yet it remained unclear whether CMV infection may have the potential to impair the immune function. Here we test this possibility in a mouse model of CMV (MCMV) infection. We found that mice carrying latent MCMV exhibit significant changes in CD8+ lymphocytes, which are crucial in the recognition of, and protection against viruses. These changes were similar to changes observed in aging and resulted in poor cytotoxic T-lymphocyte response to infection with unrelated viruses, such as the West Nile virus or the influenza virus. Our study provides the first experimental demonstration that latent CMV infection may impair the immune defense of the host.
Scavenger receptors and Toll-like receptors (TLRs) cooperate in response to danger signals to adjust the host immune response. The TLR3 agonist double stranded (ds)RNA is an efficient activator of innate signalling in bronchial epithelial cells. In this study, we aimed at defining the role played by scavenger receptors expressed by bronchial epithelial cells in the control of the innate response to dsRNA both in vitro and in vivo. Expression of several scavenger receptor involved in pathogen recognition was first evaluated in human bronchial epithelial cells in steady-state and inflammatory conditions. Their implication in the uptake of dsRNA and the subsequent cell activation was evaluated in vitro by competition with ligand of scavenger receptors including maleylated ovalbumin and by RNA silencing. The capacity of maleylated ovalbumin to modulate lung inflammation induced by dsRNA was also investigated in mice. Exposure to tumor necrosis factor-α increased expression of the scavenger receptors LOX-1 and CXCL16 and the capacity to internalize maleylated ovalbumin, whereas activation by TLR ligands did not. In contrast, the expression of SR-B1 was not modulated in these conditions. Interestingly, supplementation with maleylated ovalbumin limited dsRNA uptake and inhibited subsequent activation of bronchial epithelial cells. RNA silencing of LOX-1 and SR-B1 strongly blocked the dsRNA-induced cytokine production. Finally, administration of maleylated ovalbumin in mice inhibited the dsRNA-induced infiltration and activation of inflammatory cells in bronchoalveolar spaces and lung draining lymph nodes. Together, our data characterize the function of SR-B1 and LOX-1 in bronchial epithelial cells and their implication in dsRNA-induced responses, a finding that might be relevant during respiratory viral infections.
Viral infection of mammalian cells triggers the innate immune response through non-self recognition of pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) in viral nucleic acid. Accurate PAMP discrimination is essential to avoid self recognition that can generate autoimmunity, and therefore should be facilitated by the presence of multiple motifs in a PAMP that mark it as non-self. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA is recognized as non-self by RIG-I through the presence of a 5′-triphosphate (5′-ppp) on the viral RNA in association with a 3′ poly-U/UC tract. Here we define the HCV PAMP and the criteria for RIG-I non-self discrimination of HCV by examining the RNA structure-function attributes that impart PAMP function to the poly-U/UC tract. We found that the 34 nucleotide poly-uridine “core” of this sequence tract was essential for RIG-I activation, and that interspersed ribocytosine nucleotides between poly-U sequences in the RNA were required to achieve optimal RIG-I signal induction. 5′-ppp poly-U/UC RNA variants that stimulated strong RIG-I activation efficiently bound purified RIG-I protein in vitro, and RNA interaction with both the repressor domain and helicase domain of RIG-I was required to activate signaling. When appended to 5′-ppp RNA that lacks PAMP activity, the poly-U/UC U-core sequence conferred non-self recognition of the RNA and innate immune signaling by RIG-I. Importantly, HCV poly-U/UC RNA variants that strongly activated RIG-I signaling triggered potent anti-HCV responses in vitro and hepatic innate immune responses in vivo using a mouse model of PAMP signaling. These studies define a multi-motif PAMP signature of non-self recognition by RIG-I that incorporates a 5′-ppp with poly-uridine sequence composition and length. This HCV PAMP motif drives potent RIG-I signaling to induce the innate immune response to infection. Our studies define a basis of non-self discrimination by RIG-I and offer insights into the antiviral therapeutic potential of targeted RIG-I signaling activation.
Pathogen recognition receptors (PRRs) are critical components of the innate immune response to viral pathogens, and function in the host to recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) in viral proteins or nucleic acids. Retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) is a cytoplasmic PRR that senses viral RNA inside an infected cell. RIG-I recognizes hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA as non-self through the presence of both a 5′-triphosphate (5′-ppp) and a 3′ poly-U/UC tract within the viral RNA. Here we examined the RNA structure-function attributes that define the HCV poly-U/UC tract as non-self to RIG-I, including nucleotide composition. We found that the 34 nucleotide poly-uridine “core” (U-core) within the HCV poly-U/UC tract RNA was required for non-self recognition by RIG-I, and interspersed ribocytosine nucleotides were also important to induce optimal RIG-I signaling. RIG-I/RNA binding studies revealed that RIG-I formed weaker interactions with HCV RNAs lacking poly-U sequences, and RNA interaction with multiple domains of RIG-I was required to activate signaling. Finally, RIG-I recognition of the U-core within the poly-U/UC tract activated anti-HCV responses in vitro and hepatic innate immune responses in vivo. Our studies identify long poly-uridine sequences with interspersed ribocytosines as an HCV PAMP motif that drives optimal RIG-I signaling.
The anaphase-promoting complex (APC) is an E3 ubiquitin ligase which controls ubiquitination and degradation of multiple cell cycle regulatory proteins. During infection, human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), a widespread pathogen, not only phosphorylates the APC coactivator Cdh1 via the multifunctional viral kinase pUL97, it also promotes degradation of APC subunits via an unknown mechanism. Using a proteomics approach, we found that a recently identified HCMV protein, pUL21a, interacted with the APC. Importantly, we determined that expression of pUL21a was necessary and sufficient for proteasome-dependent degradation of APC subunits APC4 and APC5. This resulted in APC disruption and required pUL21a binding to the APC. We have identified the proline-arginine amino acid pair at residues 109–110 in pUL21a to be critical for its ability to bind and regulate the APC. A point mutant virus in which proline-arginine were mutated to alanines (PR-AA) grew at wild-type levels. However, a double mutant virus in which the viral ability to regulate the APC was abrogated by both PR-AA point mutation and UL97 deletion was markedly more attenuated compared to the UL97 deletion virus alone. This suggests that these mutations are synthetically lethal, and that HCMV exploits two viral factors to ensure successful disruption of the APC to overcome its restriction on virus infection. This study reveals the HCMV protein pUL21a as a novel APC regulator and uncovers a unique viral mechanism to subvert APC activity.
In this study, we report an intriguing mechanism used by human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) to regulate a cellular E3 ubiquitin ligase, the anaphase promoting complex (APC). The ability to hijack the ubiquitin-proteasome system for regulating protein degradation and to manipulate the cell cycle for viral genome synthesis is critical in many viral infections. The APC is a master cell cycle modulator that targets a number of regulatory proteins for proteasomal degradation. It can prevent cells from entry into S-phase, thus creating a hindrance for viruses needing to coerce cells into a cellular environment favorable for viral DNA synthesis. We have identified an HCMV protein, pUL21a, which uses a seemingly counterintuitive mechanism to regulate the APC. It interacts with the APC to target the subunits of this ubiquitin ligase for proteasomal degradation. This causes disruption of the complex and reduces its activity. Furthermore, a virus lacking pUL21a and pUL97, which is another HCMV-encoded APC regulator, was highly attenuated when compared to loss of UL97 alone, suggesting that HCMV uses two proteins to fully disarm the APC. This study identifies a herpesviral protein that uses a unique, proteasome-dependent mechanism to regulate the activity of this prominent cellular E3 ubiquitin ligase.
New and effective treatment strategies are desperately needed for malignant mesothelioma (MM), an aggressive cancer with a poor prognosis. We have shown previously that acid-prepared mesoporous microspheres (APMS) are nontoxic after intrapleural or intraperitoneal (IP) administration to rodents. The purpose here was to evaluate the utility of APMS in delivering chemotherapeutic drugs to human MM cells in vitro and in two mouse xenograft models of MM. Uptake and release of doxorubicin (DOX) alone or loaded in APMS (APMS-DOX) were evaluated in MM cells. MM cell death and gene expression linked to DNA damage/repair were also measured in vitro. In two SCID mouse xenograft models, mice received saline, APMS, DOX, or APMS-DOX injected directly into subcutaneous (SC) MM tumors or injected IP after development of human MMs peritoneally. Other mice received DOX intravenously (IV) via tail vein injections. In comparison to DOX alone, APMS-DOX enhanced intracellular uptake of DOX, MM death, and expression of GADD34 and TP73. In the SC MM model, 3X weekly SC injections of APMS-DOX or DOX alone significantly inhibited tumor volumes, and systemic DOX administration was lethal. In mice developing IP MMs, significant (p<0.05) inhibition of mesenteric tumor numbers, weight, and volume was achieved using IP administration of APMS-DOX at one-third the DOX concentration required after IP injections of DOX alone. These results suggest APMS are efficacious for the localized delivery of lower effective DOX concentrations in MM, and represent a novel means of treating intracavitary tumors.
Microparticles; Mesoporous silica; Mesothelioma; Doxorubicin; Intracavitary tumors
Thiostrepton (TS) is a thiazole antibiotic that inhibits expression of FOXM1, an oncogenic transcription factor required for cell cycle progression and resistance to oncogene-induced oxidative stress. The mechanism of action of TS is unclear and strategies that enhance TS activity will improve its therapeutic potential. Analysis of human tumor specimens showed FOXM1 is broadly expressed in malignant mesothelioma (MM), an intractable tumor associated with asbestos exposure. The mechanism of action of TS was investigated in a cell culture model of human MM. As for other tumor cell types, TS inhibited expression of FOXM1 in MM cells in a dose-dependent manner. Suppression of FOXM1 expression and coincidental activation of ERK1/2 by TS were abrogated by pre-incubation of cells with the antioxidant N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), indicating its mechanism of action in MM cells is redox-dependent. Examination of the mitochondrial thioredoxin reductase 2 (TR2)-thioredoxin 2 (TRX2)-peroxiredoxin 3 (PRX3) antioxidant network revealed that TS modifies the electrophoretic mobility of PRX3. Incubation of recombinant human PRX3 with TS in vitro also resulted in PRX3 with altered electrophoretic mobility. The cellular and recombinant species of modified PRX3 were resistant to dithiothreitol and SDS and suppressed by NAC, indicating that TS covalently adducts cysteine residues in PRX3. Reduction of endogenous mitochondrial TRX2 levels by the cationic triphenylmethane gentian violet (GV) promoted modification of PRX3 by TS and significantly enhanced its cytotoxic activity. Our results indicate TS covalently adducts PRX3, thereby disabling a major mitochondrial antioxidant network that counters chronic mitochondrial oxidative stress. Redox-active compounds like GV that modify the TR2/TRX2 network may significantly enhance the efficacy of TS, thereby providing a combinatorial approach for exploiting redox-dependent perturbations in mitochondrial function as a therapeutic approach in mesothelioma.
The syndrome of cerebellar ataxia with bilateral vestibulopathy was delineated in 2004. Sensory neuropathy was mentioned in 3 of the 4 patients described. We aimed to characterize and estimate the frequency of neuropathy in this condition, and determine its typical MRI features.
Retrospective review of 18 subjects (including 4 from the original description) who met the criteria for bilateral vestibulopathy with cerebellar ataxia.
The reported age at onset range was 39–71 years, and symptom duration was 3–38 years. The syndrome was identified in one sibling pair, suggesting that this may be a late-onset recessive disorder, although the other 16 cases were apparently sporadic. All 18 had sensory neuropathy with absent sensory nerve action potentials, although this was not apparent clinically in 2, and the presence of neuropathy was not a selection criterion. In 5, the loss of pinprick sensation was virtually global, mimicking a neuronopathy. However, findings in the other 11 with clinically manifest neuropathy suggested a length-dependent neuropathy. MRI scans showed cerebellar atrophy in 16, involving anterior and dorsal vermis, and hemispheric crus I, while 2 were normal. The inferior vermis and brainstem were spared.
Sensory neuropathy is an integral component of this syndrome. It may result in severe sensory loss, which contributes significantly to the disability. The MRI changes are nonspecific, but, coupled with loss of sensory nerve action potentials, may aid diagnosis. We propose a new name for the condition: cerebellar ataxia with neuropathy and bilateral vestibular areflexia syndrome (CANVAS). Neurology® 2011;76:1903–1910
Immunological checkpoints, such as the inhibitory CD200 receptor (CD200R), play a dual role in balancing the immune system during microbial infection. On the one hand these inhibitory signals prevent excessive immune mediated pathology but on the other hand they may impair clearance of the pathogen. We studied the influence of the inhibitory CD200-CD200R axis on clearance and pathology in two different virus infection models. We find that lack of CD200R signaling strongly enhances type I interferon (IFN) production and viral clearance and improves the outcome of mouse hepatitis corona virus (MHV) infection, particularly in female mice. MHV clearance is known to be dependent on Toll like receptor 7 (TLR7)-mediated type I IFN production and sex differences in TLR7 responses previously have been reported for humans. We therefore hypothesize that CD200R ligation suppresses TLR7 responses and that release of this inhibition enlarges sex differences in TLR7 signaling. This hypothesis is supported by our findings that in vivo administration of synthetic TLR7 ligand leads to enhanced type I IFN production, particularly in female Cd200−/− mice and that CD200R ligation inhibits TLR7 signaling in vitro. In influenza A virus infection we show that viral clearance is determined by sex but not by CD200R signaling. However, absence of CD200R in influenza A virus infection results in enhanced lung neutrophil influx and pathology in females. Thus, CD200-CD200R and sex are host factors that together determine the outcome of viral infection. Our data predict a sex bias in both beneficial and pathological immune responses to virus infection upon therapeutic targeting of CD200-CD200R.
Immune responses need to be carefully orchestrated to prevent disease due to an overactive immune system. Immunological checkpoints are provided by immune inhibitory receptors, which set a threshold for activation and dampen the immune system. In the case of a viral infection, this prevents pathology induced by the immune system, but on the other hand may prevent adequate removal of the virus. In this paper, we show that removal of such an immunological checkpoint in mice leads to rapid removal of corona virus, but also to more immune-induced disease symptoms in case of influenza virus infection. We observe this predominantly in female mice. We demonstrate that this particular checkpoint inhibits anti-viral responses that are naturally stronger in females. Release of this checkpoint enlarges these sex differences. Our findings have major implications for therapeutic use of blockers of this pathway, which are currently in clinical trials for the treatment of cancer, as we predict that female patients will have a stronger response to such therapeutics.
Following productive, lytic infection in epithelia, herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) establishes a lifelong latent infection in sensory neurons that is interrupted by episodes of reactivation. In order to better understand what triggers this lytic/latent decision in neurons, we set up an organotypic model based on chicken embryonic trigeminal ganglia explants (TGEs) in a double chamber system. Adding HSV-1 to the ganglion compartment (GC) resulted in a productive infection in the explants. By contrast, selective application of the virus to distal axons led to a largely nonproductive infection that was characterized by the poor expression of lytic genes and the presence of high levels of the 2.0-kb major latency-associated transcript (LAT) RNA. Treatment of the explants with the immediate-early (IE) gene transcriptional inducer hexamethylene bisacetamide, and simultaneous co-infection of the GC with HSV-1, herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) or pseudorabies virus (PrV) helper virus significantly enhanced the ability of HSV-1 to productively infect sensory neurons upon axonal entry. Helper-virus-induced transactivation of HSV-1 IE gene expression in axonally-infected TGEs in the absence of de novo protein synthesis was dependent on the presence of functional tegument protein VP16 in HSV-1 helper virus particles. After the establishment of a LAT-positive silent infection in TGEs, HSV-1 was refractory to transactivation by superinfection of the GC with HSV-1 but not with HSV-2 and PrV helper virus. In conclusion, the site of entry appears to be a critical determinant in the lytic/latent decision in sensory neurons. HSV-1 entry into distal axons results in an insufficient transactivation of IE gene expression and favors the establishment of a nonproductive, silent infection in trigeminal neurons.
Upon primary infection of the oronasal mucosa, herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) rapidly reaches the ganglia of the peripheral nervous system via axonal transport and establishes lifelong latency in surviving neurons. Central to the establishment of latency is the ability of HSV-1 to reliably switch from productive, lytic spread in epithelia to nonproductive, latent infection in sensory neurons. It is not fully understood what specifically disposes incoming particles of a highly cytopathogenic, fast-replicating alphaherpesvirus to nonproductive, latent infection in sensory neurons. The present study shows that selective entry of HSV-1 into the distal axons of trigeminal neurons strongly favors the establishment of a nonproductive, latent infection, whereas nonselective infection of neurons still enables HSV-1 to induce lytic gene expression. Our data support a model of latency establishment in which the site of entry is an important determinant of the lytic/latent decision in the infected neuron. Productive infection of the neuron ensues if particles enter the soma of the neuron directly. In contrast, previous retrograde axonal transport of incoming viral particles creates a distinct scenario that abrogates VP16-dependent transactivation of immediate-early gene expression and precludes the expression of lytic genes to an extent sufficient to prevent the initiation of massive productive infection of trigeminal neurons.
Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection of differentiated cells within the host and establishment of latency likely requires evasion of innate immunity and limits secretion of antiviral cytokines. Here we report that its immediate-early protein ORF61 antagonizes the beta interferon (IFN-β) pathway. VZV infection down-modulated the Sendai virus (SeV)-activated IFN-β pathway, including mRNA of IFN-β and its downstream interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs), ISG54 and ISG56. Through a primary screening of VZV genes, we found that ORF61 inhibited SeV-mediated activation of IFN-β and ISRE (IFN-stimulated response element) promoter activities but only slightly affected NF-κB promoter activity, implying that the IFN-β pathway may be blocked in the IRF3 branch. An indirect immunofluorescence assay demonstrated that ectopic expression of ORF61 abrogated the detection of IRF3 in SeV-infected cells; however, it did not affect endogenous dormant IRF3 in noninfected cells. Additionally, ORF61 was shown to be partially colocalized with activated IRF3 in the nucleus upon treatment with MG132, an inhibitor of proteasomes, and the direct interaction between ORF61 and activated IRF3 was confirmed by a coimmunoprecipitation assay. Furthermore, Western blot analysis demonstrated that activated IRF3 was ubiquitinated in the presence of ORF61, suggesting that ORF61 degraded phosphorylated IRF3 via a ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Semiquantitative reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) analysis demonstrated that the level of ISG54 and ISG56 mRNAs was also downregulated by ORF61. Taken together, our results convincingly demonstrate that ORF61 down-modulates the IRF3-mediated IFN-β pathway by degradation of activated IRF3 via direct interaction, which may contribute to the pathogenesis of VZV infection.
We previously found that enveloped virus binding and penetration are necessary to initiate an interferon-independent, IRF3-mediated antiviral response. To investigate whether membrane perturbations that accompany membrane fusion-dependent enveloped-virus entry are necessary and sufficient for antiviral-state induction, we utilized a reovirus fusion-associated small transmembrane (FAST) protein. Membrane disturbances during FAST protein-mediated fusion, in the absence of additional innate immune response triggers, are sufficient to elicit interferon-stimulated gene induction and establishment of an antiviral state. Using sensors of membrane disruption to activate an IRF3-dependent, interferon-independent antiviral state may provide cells with a rapid, broad-spectrum innate immune response to enveloped-virus infections.
Dengue virus-host cell interaction initiates when the virus binds to the attachment receptors followed by endocytic internalization of the virus particle. Successful entry into the cell is necessary for infection initiation. Currently, there is no protective vaccine or antiviral treatment for dengue infection. Targeting the viral entry pathway has become an attractive therapeutic strategy to block infection. This study aimed to investigate the effect of silencing the GRP78 and clathrin-mediated endocytosis on dengue virus entry and multiplication into HepG2 cells.
HepG2 cells were transfected using specific siRNAs to silence the cellular surface receptor (GRP78) and clathrin-mediated endocytosis pathway. Gene expression analysis showed a marked down-regulation of the targeted genes (87.2%, 90.3%, and 87.8% for GRP78, CLTC, and DNM2 respectively) in transfected HepG2 cells when measured by RT-qPCR. Intracellular and extracellular viral RNA loads were quantified by RT-qPCR to investigate the effect of silencing the attachment receptor and clathrin-mediated endocytosis on dengue virus entry. Silenced cells showed a significant reduction of intracellular (92.4%) and extracellular viral RNA load (71.4%) compared to non-silenced cells. Flow cytometry analysis showed a marked reduction of infected cells (89.7%) in silenced HepG2 cells compared to non-silenced cells. Furthermore, the ability to generate infectious virions using the plaque assay was reduced 1.07 log in silenced HepG2 cells.
Silencing the attachment receptor and clathrin-mediated endocytosis using siRNA could inhibit dengue virus entry and multiplication into HepG2 cells. This leads to reduction of infected cells as well as the viral load, which might function as a unique and promising therapeutic agent for attenuating dengue infection and prevent the development of dengue fever to the severe life-threatening DHF or DSS. Furthermore, a decrease of viremia in humans can result in the reduction of infected vectors and thus, halt of the transmission cycle.
The host response to the low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) H5N2, H5N3 and H9N2 viruses were examined in A549, MDCK, and CEF cells using a systems-based approach. The H5N2 and H5N3 viruses replicated efficiently in A549 and MDCK cells, while the H9N2 virus replicated least efficiently in these cell types. However, all LPAI viruses exhibited similar and higher replication efficiencies in CEF cells. A comparison of the host responses of these viruses and the H1N1/WSN virus and low passage pH1N1 clinical isolates was performed in A549 cells. The H9N2 and H5N2 virus subtypes exhibited a robust induction of Type I and Type III interferon (IFN) expression, sustained STAT1 activation from between 3 and 6 hpi, which correlated with large increases in IFN-stimulated gene (ISG) expression by 10 hpi. In contrast, cells infected with the pH1N1 or H1N1/WSN virus showed only small increases in Type III IFN signalling, low levels of ISG expression, and down-regulated expression of the IFN type I receptor. JNK activation and increased expression of the pro-apoptotic XAF1 protein was observed in A549 cells infected with all viruses except the H1N1/WSN virus, while MAPK p38 activation was only observed in cells infected with the pH1N1 and the H5 virus subtypes. No IFN expression and low ISG expression levels were generally observed in CEF cells infected with either AIV, while increased IFN and ISG expression was observed in response to the H1N1/WSN infection. These data suggest differences in the replication characteristics and antivirus signalling responses both among the different LPAI viruses, and between these viruses and the H1N1 viruses examined. These virus-specific differences in host cell signalling highlight the importance of examining the host response to avian influenza viruses that have not been extensively adapted to mammalian tissue culture.