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1.  A comprehensive analysis of recruitment and transactivation potential of K-Rta and K-bZIP during reactivation of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus 
Virology  2009;387(1):76-88.
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is the etiologic agent of Kaposi's sarcoma. K-Rta and K-bZIP are two major viral transcription factors that control reactivation of this virus. Here we report a genome-wide analysis of transcriptional capacity by evaluation of a comprehensive library of 83 putative KSHV promoters. In reporter assays, 34 viral promoters were activated by K-Rta, whereas K-bZIP activated 21 promoters. When K-Rta and K-bZIP were combined, 3 K-Rta responsive promoters were repressed by K-bZIP. The occupancy of K-Rta and K-bZIP across KSHV promoters was analyzed by chromatin immunoprecipitation with a viral promoter-chip in BCBL-1 cells. In addition, acetylation of local histones was examined to determine accessibility of promoters during latency and reactivation. Finally, 10 promoters were selected to study the dynamics of transcription factor recruitment. This study provides a comprehensive overview of the responsiveness of KSHV promoters to K-Rta and K-bZIP, and describes key chromatin changes during viral reactivation.
PMCID: PMC4327937  PMID: 19269659
Kaposi's sarcoma; KSHV; HHV-8; Transcription; Chromatin immunoprecipitation; Gene expression; K-Rta/ORF50; K-bZIP/K8; Microarray; Chromatin
2.  Sequence Variability in Viral Genome Non-coding Regions Likely Contribute to Observed Differences in Viral Replication Amongst MARV Strains 
Virology  2013;440(1):51-63.
The Marburg viruses Musoke (MARV-Mus) and Angola (MARV-Ang) have highly similar genomic sequences. Analysis of viral replication using various assays consistently identified MARV-Ang as the faster replicating virus. Non-coding genomic regions of negative sense RNA viruses are known to play a role in viral gene expression. A comparison of the six non-coding regions using bicistronic minigenomes revealed that the first two non-coding regions (NP / VP35 and VP35 / VP40) differed significantly in their transcriptional regulation. Deletion mutation analysis of the MARV-Mus NP / VP35 region further revealed that the MARV polymerase (L) is able to initiate production of the downstream gene without the presence of highly conserved regulatory signals. Bicistronic minigenome assays also identified the VP30 mRNA 5′ untranslated region as an rZAP-targeted RNA motif. Overall, our studies indicate that the high variation of MARV non-coding regions may play a significant role in observed differences in transcription and/or replication.
PMCID: PMC4325986  PMID: 23510675
3.  Rose spring dwarf-associated virus has RNA structural and gene-expression features like those of Barley yellow dwarf virus 
Virology  2008;375(2):354-360.
We determined the complete nucleotide sequence of the Rose spring dwarf-associated virus (RSDaV) genomic RNA (GenBank accession no. EU024678) and compared its predicted RNA structural characteristics affecting gene expression. A cDNA library was derived from RSDaV double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) purified from infected tissue. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the cloned cDNAs, plus for clones generated by 5′- and 3′-RACE showed the RSDaV genomic RNA to be 5,808 nucleotides. The genomic RNA contains five major open reading frames (ORFs), and three small ORFs in the 3′-terminal 800 nucleotides, typical for viruses of genus Luteovirus in the family Luteoviridae. Northern blot hybridization analysis revealed the genomic RNA and two prominent subgenomic RNAs of approximately 3 kb and 1 kb. Putative 5′ ends of the sgRNAs were predicted by identification of conserved sequences and secondary structures which resembled the Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) genomic RNA 5′ end and subgenomic RNA promoter sequences. Secondary structures of the BYDV-like ribosomal frameshift elements and cap-independent translation elements, including long-distance base pairing spanning four kb were identified. These contain similarities but also informative differences with the BYDV structures, including a strikingly different structure predicted for the 3′ cap-independent translation element. These analyses of the RSDaV genomic RNA show more complexity for the RNA structural elements for members of the Luteoviridae.
PMCID: PMC4324725  PMID: 18329064
Rose spring dwarf; Luteoviridae; Luteovirus; BYDV
4.  Sphingosine kinase 1 regulates measles virus replication 
Virology  2013;0:55-63.
Measles virus (MV) manipulates host factors to facilitate virus replication. Sphingosine kinase (SK) is an enzyme catalyzing the formation of sphingosine 1-phosphate and modulates multiple cellular processes including the host defense system. Here, we determined the role of SK1 in MV replication. Overexpression of SK1 enhanced MV replication. In contrast, inhibition of SK impaired viral protein expression and infectious virus production from cells expressing MV receptor, SLAM or Nectin-4. The inhibition of virus replication was observed when the cells were infected by vaccine strain or wild type MV or V/C gene-deficient MV. Importantly, SK inhibition suppressed MV-induced activation of NF-κB. The inhibitors specific to NF-κB signal pathway repressed the synthesis of MV proteins, revealing the importance of NF-κB activation for efficient MV replication. Therefore, SK inhibition restricts MV replication and modulates the NF-κB signal pathway, demonstrating that SK is a cellular factor critical for MV replication.
PMCID: PMC3918136  PMID: 24503067
Measles virus; Sphingosine kinase; NF-κB
5.  The differential interferon responses of two strains of Stat1-deficient mice do not alter susceptibility to HSV-1 and VSV in vivo 
Virology  2014;0:350-354.
Stat1 is a pivotal transcription factor for generation of the interferon (IFN)-dependent antiviral response. Two Stat1 knockout mouse lines have been previously generated, one deleted the N-terminal domain (DNTD) and one in the DNA-binding domain (DDBD). These widely-used strains are assumed interchangeable, and both are highly susceptible to various pathogens. In this study, primary cells derived from DNTD mice were shown to be significantly more responsive to IFN, and established an antiviral state with greater efficiency than cells derived from DDBD mice, following infection with vesicular stomatitis virus and herpes simplex virus type-1. Also, while mice from both strains succumbed rapidly and equally to virus infection, DDBD mice supported significantly higher replication in brains and spleens than DNTD mice. Endpoint-type experimental comparisons of these mouse strains are therefore misleading in failing to indicate important differences in virus replication and innate response.
PMCID: PMC3922067  PMID: 24503098
Innate immunity; Stat1; vesicular stomatitis virus; herpes simplex virus
6.  Avian oncogenesis induced by lymphoproliferative disease virus: a neglected or emerging retroviral pathogen? 
Virology  2013;0:2-12.
Lymphoproliferative disease virus (LPDV) is an exogenous oncogenic retrovirus that induces lymphoid tumors in some galliform species of birds. Historically, outbreaks of LPDV have been reported from Europe and Israel. Although the virus has previously never been detected in North America, herein we describe the widespread distribution, genetic diversity, pathogenesis, and evolution of LPDV in the United States. Characterization of the provirus genome of the index LPDV case from North America demonstrated an 88% nucleotide identity to the Israeli prototype strain. Although phylogenetic analysis indicated that the majority of viruses fell into a single North American lineage, a small subset of viruses from South Carolina were most closely related to the Israeli prototype. These results suggest that LPDV was transferred between continents to initiate outbreaks of disease. However, the direction (New World to Old World or vice versa), mechanism, and time frame of the transcontinental spread currently remain unknown.
PMCID: PMC3925403  PMID: 24503062
Lymphoproliferative disease virus (LPDV); alpharetrovirus; avian tumor viruses; exogenous retrovirus; oncogenesis; Order Galliformes
7.  The small splice variant of HPV16 E6, E6*, reduces tumor formation in cervical carcinoma xenografts HPV16 E6* reduces tumor formation 
Virology  2014;0:153-164.
High-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV) cause nearly all cases of cervical cancer. The E6 oncoprotein is produced as a full-length variant (E6) as well as several shorter isoforms (E6*). E6* inhibits certain oncogenic activities of E6, suggesting that it might play an anti-oncogenic role in vivo. To test this, we created E6*-expressing SiHa (HPV+) and C33A (HPV−) cells, then examined the ability of both the parental and E6*-expressing cells to form tumors in nude mice. We found that over-expression of E6* indeed decreased the growth of tumors derived from both SiHa and C33A cells, with the reduction greatest in tumors derived from E6*-expressing SiHa cells. These findings point to multiple anti-oncogenic characteristics of E6*, some of which likely involve down-regulation of the full-length isoform, and others that are independent of HPV. These data represent the first demonstration of biologically-relevant E6* activities distinct from those of the full-length isoform in vivo.
PMCID: PMC3932372  PMID: 24503078
HPV 16; E6; cervical cancer; tumor; E6*; in vivo
8.  Catalytic Activity of APOBEC3F Is Required for Efficient Restriction of Vif-deficient Human Immunodeficiency Virus 
Virology  2013;0:49-54.
APOBEC3 proteins are DNA cytosine deaminases that restrict the replication of human immunodeficiency virus deficient in the counterdefense protein Vif. Here, we address the capacity of APOBEC3F to restrict via deaminase-dependent and -independent mechanisms by monitoring spreading infections in diverse T cell lines. Our data indicate that only a deaminase-proficient protein is capable of long-term restriction of Vif-deficient HIV in T cells, analogous to prior reports for APOBEC3G. This indicates that the principal mechanism of APOBEC3F restriction is deaminase-dependent.
PMCID: PMC3932626  PMID: 24503066
APOBEC3F; APOBEC3G; deaminase; HIV restriction; Vif
9.  Subcapsular sinus macrophages limit dissemination of West Nile virus particles after inoculation but are not essential for the development of West Nile virus-specific T cell responses 
Virology  2014;0:278-289.
Macrophages encounter flaviviruses early after injection by arthropod vectors. Using in vivo imaging of mice inoculated with firefly luciferase-expressing single-cycle flavivirus particles (FLUC-SCFV), we examined the initial dissemination of virus particles in the presence or absence of lymph node (LN) -resident macrophages. Higher luciferase activity, indicating higher SCFV gene expression, was detected in the footpad of macrophage-depleted mice after 24 hours post infection (hpi). Moreover, FLUC-SCFV particles disseminated to the spleen within 14 hpi in macrophage-depleted, but not control mice. Although macrophages presented SCFV to naïve T cells in vitro, depletion of subcapsular sinus (SCS) macrophages did not alter the magnitude or effector function of the WNV-specific CD8+ T cell response. Together, these results indicate that SCS macrophages play a role in limiting the dissemination of SCFV early in infection but are not required for the generation of a polyfunctional WNV-specific CD8+ T cell response in the draining LN.
PMCID: PMC3939857  PMID: 24503091
West Nile virus; single-cycle flavivirus; RepliVAX; subcapsular sinus macrophages; CD8+ T cell
10.  Genomic Sequences of a Low Passage Herpes Simplex Virus 2 Clinical Isolate and its Plaque-purified Derivative Strain 
Virology  2013;0:140-145.
Herpes simplex virus 2 is an important human pathogen as the causative agent of genital herpes, neonatal herpes, and increased risk of HIV acquisition and transmission. Nevertheless, the only genomic sequence that has been completed is the attenuated HSV-2 HG52 laboratory strain. In this study we defined the genomic sequence of the HSV-2 SD90e low passage clinical isolate and a plaque-purified derivative, SD90-3P. We found minimal sequence differences between SD90e and SD90-3P. However, in comparisons with the HSV-2 HG52 reference genome sequence, the SD90e genome ORFs contained numerous point mutations, 13 insertions/delections (indels), and 9 short compensatory frameshifts. The indels were true sequence differences, but the compensatory frameshifts were likely sequence errors in the original HG52 sequence. Because HG52 virus is less virulent than other HSV-2 strains and may not be representative of wildtype HSV-2 strains, we propose that the HSV-2 SD90e genome serve as the new HSV-2 reference genome.
PMCID: PMC3955984  PMID: 24503076
11.  MERS-CoV papain-like protease has deISGylating and deubiquitinating activities 
Virology  2013;0:64-70.
Coronaviruses encode papain-like proteases (PLpro) that are often multifunctional enzymes with protease activity to process the viral replicase polyprotein and deubiquitinating (DUB)/deISGylating activity, which is hypothesized to modify the innate immune response to infection. Here, we investigate the predicted DUB activity of the PLpro domain of the recently described Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). We found that expression of MERS-CoV PLpro reduces the levels of ubiquitinated and ISGylated host cell proteins; consistent with multifunctional PLpro activity. Further, we compared the ability of MERS-CoV PLpro and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) PLpro to block innate immune signaling of proinflammatory cytokines. We show that expression of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV PLpros blocks upregulation of cytokines CCL5, IFN-β and CXCL10 in stimulated cells. Overall these results indicate that the PLpro domains of MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV have the potential to modify the innate immune response to viral infection and contribute to viral pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3957432  PMID: 24503068
MERS-CoV; PLpro; DUB activity; Ubiquitin; deISGylating activity; ISG15
12.  The Roles of Hemagglutinin Phe-95 in Receptor Binding and Pathogenicity of Influenza B Virus 
Virology  2013;0:71-83.
Diverged ~4,000 years ago, influenza B virus has several important differences from influenza A virus, including lower receptor-binding affinity and highly restricted host range. Based on our prior structural studies, we hypothesized that a single-residue difference in the receptor-binding site of hemagglutinin (HA), Phe-95 in influenza B virus versus Tyr-98 in influenza A/H1~H15, is possibly a key determinant for the low receptor-binding affinity. Here we demonstrate that the mutation Phe95→Tyr in influenza B virus HA restores all three hydrogen bonds made by Tyr-98 in influenza A/H3 HA and has the potential to enhance receptor binding. However, the full realization of this potential is influenced by the local environment into which the mutation is introduced. The binding and replication of the recombinant viruses correlate well with the receptor-binding capabilities of HA. These results are discussed in relation to the roles of Phe-95 in receptor binding and pathogenicity of influenza B virus.
PMCID: PMC4002292  PMID: 24503069
hemagglutinin; host range; influenza virus; pathogenicity; receptor-binding affinity
13.  Protection of Non-Human Primates against Rabies with an Adenovirus Recombinant Vaccine 
Virology  2014;0:243-249.
Rabies remains a major neglected global zoonosis. New vaccine strategies are needed for human rabies prophylaxis. A single intramuscular immunization with a moderate dose of an experimental chimpanzee adenovirus (Ad) vector serotype SAd-V24, also termed AdC68, expressing the rabies virus glycoprotein, resulted in sustained titers of rabies virus neutralizing antibodies and protection against a lethal rabies virus challenge infection in a non-human primate model. Taken together, these data demonstrate the safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy of the recombinant Ad-rabies vector for further consideration in human clinical trials.
PMCID: PMC4038128  PMID: 24503087
adenoviral vaccine; NHP; rabies virus; VNA
14.  The impact of viral evolution and frequency of variant epitopes on primary and memory human immunodeficiency virus type 1-specific CD8+ T cell responses 
Virology  2013;0:34-48.
It is unclear if HIV-1 variants lose the ability to prime naïve CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) during progressive, untreated infection. We conducted a comprehensive longitudinal analysis of viral evolution and its impact on primary and memory CD8+ T cell responses pre-seroconversion (SC), post-SC, and during combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). Memory T cell responses targeting autologous virus variants reached a nadir by 8 yr post-SC with development of AIDS, followed by a transient enhancement of anti-HIV-1 CTL responses upon initiation of cART. We show broad and high magnitude primary T cell responses to late variants in pre-SC T cells, comparable to primary anti-HIV-1 responses induced in T cells from uninfected persons. Despite evolutionary changes, CD8+ T cells could still be primed to HIV-1 variants. Hence, vaccination against late, mutated epitopes could be successful in enhancing primary reactivity of T cells for control of the residual reservoir of HIV-1 during cART.
PMCID: PMC4110927  PMID: 24503065
HIV-1; autologous viral variants; memory T cell responses; primary T cell responses; cART
15.  Characterization of intracellular dynamics of inoculated PrP-res and newly generated PrPSc during early stage prion infection in Neuro2a cells 
Virology  2014;0:324-335.
To clarify the cellular mechanisms for the establishment of prion infection, we analyzed the intracellular dynamics of inoculated and newly generated abnormal isoform of prion protein (PrPSc) in Neuro2a cells. Within 24 h after inoculation, the newly generated PrPSc was evident at the plasma membrane, in early endosomes, and in late endosomes, but this PrPSc was barely evident in lysosomes; in contrast, the majority of the inoculated PrPSc was evident in late endosomes and lysosomes. However, during the subsequent 48 h, the newly generated PrPSc increased remarkably in early endosomes and recycling endosomes. Overexpression of wild-type and mutant Rab proteins showed that membrane trafficking along not only the endocytic-recycling pathway but also the endo-lysosomal pathway is involved in de novo PrPSc generation. These results suggest that the trafficking of exogenously introduced PrPSc from the endo-lysosomal pathway to the endocytic-recycling pathway is important for the establishment of prion infection.
PMCID: PMC4167762  PMID: 24503096
prions; membrane trafficking; endosomes; neurodegenerative diseases; Rab proteins
16.  Differential cleavage of IRES trans-acting factors (ITAFs) in cells infected by human rhinovirus 
Virology  2013;449:35-44.
Human rhinovirus (HRV) is a major causative agent of the common cold, and thus has several important health implications. As a member of the picornavirus family, HRV has a small genomic RNA that utilizes several host cell proteins for RNA replication. Host proteins poly(rC) binding protein 2 (PCBP2) and polypyrimidine tract binding protein (PTB) are cleaved by a viral proteinase during the course of infection by the related picornavirus, poliovirus. The cleavage of PCBP2 and PTB inhibits poliovirus translation and has been proposed to mediate a switch in poliovirus template usage from translation to RNA replication. HRV RNA replication also requires a switch in template usage from translation to RNA replication; however, the mechanism is not yet known. We demonstrate that PCBP2 and PTB are differentially cleaved during HRV infection in different cell lines, suggesting that HRV utilizes a mechanism distinct from PCBP2 or PTB cleavage to mediate a switch in template usage.
PMCID: PMC3894579  PMID: 24418535
human rhinovirus; host cell protein cleavage; PCBP2; PTB; coxsackievirus; poliovirus; picornavirus; viral proteinases
17.  T cell mediated suppression of neurotropic coronavirus replication in neural precursor cells 
Virology  2013;449:235-243.
Neural precursor cells (NPCs) are the subject of intense investigation for their potential to treat neurodegenerative disorders, yet the consequences of neuroinvasive virus infection of NPCs remain unclear. This study demonstrates that NPCs support replication following infection by the neurotropic JHM strain of mouse hepatitis virus (JHMV). JHMV infection leads to increased cell death and dampens IFN-γ-induced MHC class II expression. Importantly, cytokines secreted by CD4+ T cells inhibit JHMV replication in NPCs, and CD8+ T cells specifically target viral peptide-pulsed NPCs for lysis. Furthermore, treatment with IFN-γ inhibits JHMV replication in a dose-dependent manner. Together, these findings suggest that T cells play a critical role in controlling replication of a neurotropic virus in NPCs, a finding which has important implications when considering immune modulation for NPC-based therapies for treatment of human neurologic diseases.
PMCID: PMC3894587  PMID: 24418558
Neural precursor cells; virus; T cells; host response
18.  Nuclear import of cutaneous beta genus HPV8 E7 oncoprotein is mediated by hydrophobic interactions between its zinc-binding domain and FG nucleoporins 
Virology  2013;449:150-162.
We have previously discovered and characterized the nuclear import pathways for the E7 oncoproteins of mucosal alpha genus HPVs, type 16 and 11. Here we investigated the nuclear import of cutaneous beta genus HPV8 E7 protein using confocal microscopy after transfections of HeLa cells with EGFP-8E7 and mutant plasmids and nuclear import assays in digitonin-permeabilized HeLa cells. We determined that HPV8 E7 contains a nuclear localization signal (NLS) within its zinc-binding domain that mediates its nuclear import. Furthermore, we discovered that a mostly hydrophobic patch 65LRLFV69 within the zinc-binding domain is essential for the nuclear import and localization of HPV8 E7 via hydrophobic interactions with the FG nucleoporins Nup62 and Nup153. Substitution of the hydrophobic residues within the 65LRLFV69 patch to alanines, and not R66A mutation, disrupt the interactions between the 8E7 zinc-binding domain and Nup62 and Nup153 and consequently inhibit nuclear import of HPV8 E7.
PMCID: PMC3894589  PMID: 24418548
19.  A Case Cluster Demonstrating the Relationship between HLA Concordance and Virologic and Disease Outcomes in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection 
Virology  2013;449:104-108.
We present a detailed analysis of sexual HIV transmission from one source partner to two recipients. The HLA haplotypes between the source partner and one recipient were very similar with 7 out of 8 HLA alleles from four loci (HLA A, B C and DRB) shared, while the other recipient shared only one allele. The immunologic outcomes between the two recipients differed dramatically, despite the absence of apparent virologic differences in their inoculums. We suggest that non-viral factors, which might be related to differences in the HLA profile, played a role in determining different CD4+ T-cells dynamics for these two recipients.
PMCID: PMC3895440  PMID: 24418543
human immunodeficiency virus; cellular immunity; HLA; evolution; transmission; disease progression; concordance
20.  Cellular Transcription Factor YY1 Mediates the Varicella-Zoster Virus (VZV) IE62 Transcriptional Activation 
Virology  2013;449:244-253.
Several cellular transcription factors have been shown to be involved in IE62-mediated activation. The YY1 cellular transcription factor has activating and repressive effects on gene transcription. Analysis of the VZV genome revealed 19 postulated YY1 binding sites located within putative promoters of 16 VZV genes. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA) confirmed the binding of YY1 to ORF10, ORF28/29 and gI promoters and the mutation of these binding sites inhibited YY1 binding and the promoter activation by IE62 alone or following VZV infection. Mutation of the ORF28/29 YY1 site in the VZV genome displayed insignificant influence on virus growth in melanoma cells; but it inhibited the virus replication significantly at day 5 and 6 post infection in HELF cells. This work suggests a novel role for the cellular factor YY1 in VZV replication through the mediation of IE62 activation of viral gene expression.
PMCID: PMC3901949  PMID: 24418559
IE62; VZV; YY1; ORF10; ORF28/29; gI; Transcription; promoters
21.  Susceptibility of the wild-derived inbred CAST/Ei mouse to infection by orthopoxviruses analyzed by live bioluminescence imaging 
Virology  2013;449:120-132.
Classical inbred mice are extensively used for virus research. However, we recently found that some wild-derived inbred mouse strains are more susceptible than classical strains to monkeypox virus. Experiments described here indicated that the 50% lethal dose of vaccinia virus (VACV) and cowpox virus (CPXV) were two logs lower in wild-derived inbred CAST/Ei mice than classical inbred BALB/c mice, whereas there was little difference in the susceptibility of the mouse strains to herpes simplex virus. Live bioluminescence imaging was used to follow spread of pathogenic and attenuated VACV strains and CPXV virus from nasal passages to organs in the chest and abdomen of CAST/Ei mice. Luminescence increased first in the head and then simultaneously in the chest and abdomen in a dose-dependent manner. The spreading kinetics was more rapid with VACV than CPXV although the peak photon flux was similar. These data suggest advantages of CAST/Ei mice for orthopoxvirus studies.
PMCID: PMC3902144  PMID: 24418545
Poxvirus pathogenesis; Vaccinia virus pathogenesis; Cowpox virus pathogenesis; Wild-derived inbred mice
22.  The Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Nonstructural proteins mediate RSV suppression of glucocorticoid receptor transactivation 
Virology  2013;449:62-69.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-induced bronchiolitis in infants is not responsive to glucocorticoids. We have shown that RSV infection impairs glucocorticoid receptor (GR) function. In this study, we have investigated the mechanism by which RSV impairs GR function. We have shown that RSV repression of GR-induced transactivation is not mediated through a soluble autocrine factor. Knock-down of mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein (MAVS), but not retinoic acid-inducible gene 1 (RIG-I) or myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (MyD88), impairs GR-mediated gene activation even in mock-infected cells. Over-expression of the RSV nonstructural protein NS1, but not NS2, impairs glucocorticoid-induced transactivation and viruses deleted in NS1 and/or NS2 are unable to repress glucocorticoid-induction of the known GR regulated gene glucocorticoid-inducible leucine zipper (GILZ). These data suggest that the RSV nonstructural proteins mediate RSV repression of GR-induced transactivation and that inhibition of the nonstructural proteins may be a viable target for therapy against RSV-related disease.
PMCID: PMC3904736  PMID: 24418538
23.  Biodistribution, pharmacokinetics, and blood compatibility of native and PEGylated tobacco mosaic virus nano-rods and -spheres in mice 
Virology  2013;449:163-173.
Understanding the pharmacokinetics, blood compatibility, biodistribution and clearance properties of nanoparticles is of great importance to their translation to clinical application. In this paper we report the biodistribution and pharmacokinetic properties of tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) in the forms of 300×18 nm rods and 54 nm-sized spheres. The availability of rods and spheres made of the same protein provides a unique scaffold to study the effect of nanoparticle shape on in vivo fate. For enhanced biocompatibility, we also considered a PEGylated formulation. Overall, the versions of nanoparticles exhibited comparable in vivo profiles; a few differences were noted: data indicate that rods circulate longer than spheres, illustrating the effect that shape plays on circulation. Also, PEGylation increased circulation times. We found that macrophages in the liver and spleen cleared the TMV rods and spheres from circulation. In the spleen, the viral nanoparticles trafficked through the marginal zone before eventually co-localizing in B-cell follicles. TMV rods and spheres were cleared from the liver and spleen within days with no apparent changes in histology, it was noted that spheres are more rapidly cleared from tissues compared to rods. Further, blood biocompatibility was supported, as none of the formulations induced clotting or hemolysis. This work lays the foundation for further application and tailoring of TMV for biomedical applications.
PMCID: PMC3906584  PMID: 24418549
viral nanoparticle; tobacco mosaic virus; PEGylation; nanoparticle shape; biodistribution; blood compatibility; pharmacokinetics
24.  Turnip crinkle virus coat protein inhibits the basal immune response to virus invasion in Arabidopsis by binding to the NAC transcription factor TIP 
Virology  2013;449:207-214.
Turnip crinkle virus (TCV) has been shown to interact with a NAC transcription factor, TIP, of Arabidopsis thaliana, via its coat protein (CP). This interaction correlates with the resistance response manifested in TCV-resistant Arabidopsis ecotype Di-17. We report that failure of a mutated CP to interact with TIP triggered the corresponding TCV mutant (R6A) to cause more severe symptoms in the TCV-susceptible ecotype Col-0. We hypothesized that TCV regulates antiviral basal immunity through TIP-CP interaction. Consistent with this hypothesis, we found that the rate of accumulation of R6A was measurably slower than wild-type TCV over the course of an infection. Notably, R6A was able to accumulate at similar rates as wild-type TCV in mutant plants with defects in salicylic acid (SA) signaling. Finally, plants with altered TIP expression provided evidence R6A's inability to evade the basal resistance response was likely associated with loss of ability for CP to bind TIP.
PMCID: PMC3906646  PMID: 24418554
Turnip crinkle virus; Arabidopsis; TIP; Coat protein; Resistance; Salicylic Acid; Basal Immunity; Defense signaling
25.  Inhibition of HIV by Legalon-SIL is independent of its effect on cellular metabolism 
Virology  2013;449:96-103.
In this report, we further characterized the effects of silibinin (SbN), derived from milk thistle extract, and Legalon-SIL (SIL), a water-soluble derivative of SbN, on T cell metabolism and HIV infection. We assessed the effects of SbN and SIL on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and CEM-T4 cells in terms of cellular growth, ATP content, metabolism, and HIV infection. SIL and SbN caused a rapid and reversible (upon removal) decrease in cellular ATP levels, which was associated with suppression of mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis. SbN, but not SIL inhibited glucose uptake. Exposure of T cells to SIL (but not SbN or metabolic inhibitors) during virus adsorption blocked HIV infection. Thus, both SbN and SIL rapidly perturb T cell metabolism in vitro, which may account for its anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative effects that arise with prolonged exposure of cells. However, the metabolic effects are not involved in SIL’s unique ability to block HIV entry.
PMCID: PMC3909448  PMID: 24418542
silymarin; silibinin; T cell; HIV; metabolism

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