One mechanism of immune evasion utilized by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) envelope glycoproteins is the presence of a dense carbohydrate shield. Accumulating evidence from in vitro and in vivo experiments suggests that alterations in N-linked glycosylation of SIV gp120 can enhance host humoral immune responses that may be involved in immune control. The present study was designed to determine the ability of glycosylation mutant viruses to redirect antibody responses to shielded envelope epitopes. The influence of glycosylation on the maturation and specificity of antibody responses elicited by glycosylation mutant viruses containing mutations of specific N-linked sites in and near the V1 and V2 regions of SIVmac239 gp120 was determined. Results from these studies demonstrated a remarkably similar maturation of antibody responses to native, fully glycosylated envelope proteins. However, analyses of antibodies to defined envelope domains revealed that mutation of glycosylation sites in V1 resulted in increased antibody recognition to epitopes in V1. In addition, we demonstrated for the first time that mutation of glycosylation sites in V1 resulted in a redirection of antibody responses to the V3 loop. Taken together, these results demonstrate that N-linked glycosylation is a determinant of SIV envelope B-cell immunogenicity in addition to in vitro antigenicity. In addition, our results demonstrate that the absence of N-linked carbohydrates at specific sites can influence the exposure of epitopes quite distant in the linear sequence.
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) pandemic is amongst the most important current worldwide public health threats. While much research has been focused on AIDS vaccines that target the surface viral envelope (Env) protein, including gp120 and the gp41 ectodomain, the C-terminal tail (CTT) of gp41 has received relatively little attention. Despite early studies highlighting the immunogenicity of a particular CTT sequence, the CTT has been classically portrayed as a type I membrane protein limited to functioning in Env trafficking and virion incorporation. Recent studies demonstrate, however, that the Env CTT has other important functions. The CTT has been shown to additionally modulate Env ectodomain structure on the cell and virion surface, affect Env reactivity and viral sensitivity to conformation-dependent neutralizing antibodies, and alter cell–cell and virus–cell fusogenicity of Env. This review provides an overview of the Env structure and function with a particular emphasis on the CTT and recent studies that highlight its functionally rich nature.
Retroviruses are a family of viruses that cause a broad range of pathologies in animals and humans, from the apparently harmless, long-term genomic insertion of endogenous retroviruses, to tumors induced by the oncogenic retroviruses and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) resulting from human immunodeficiency virus infection. Disease can be the result of diverse mechanisms, including tumorigenesis induced by viral oncogenes or immune destruction, leading to the gradual loss of CD4 T-cells. Of the virally encoded proteins common to all retroviruses, the envelope (Env) displays perhaps the most diverse functionality. Env is primarily responsible for binding the cellular receptor and for effecting the fusion process, with these functions mediated by protein domains localized to the exterior of the virus. The remaining C-terminal domain may have the most variable functionality of all retroviral proteins. The C-terminal domains from three prototypical retroviruses are discussed, focusing on the different structures and functions, which include fusion activation, tumorigenesis and viral assembly and lifecycle influences. Despite these genetic and functional differences, however, the C-terminal domains of these viruses share a common feature in the modulation of Env ectodomain conformation. Despite their differences, perhaps each system still has information to share with the others.
retroviruses; HIV; MuLV; JSRV; cytoplasmic domain; C-terminal tail
The emergence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogens underscores the need for new antimicrobial agents to overcome the resistance mechanisms of these organisms. Cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAPs) provide a potential source of new antimicrobial therapeutics. We previously characterized a lytic base unit (LBU) series of engineered CAPs (eCAPs) of 12 to 48 residues demonstrating maximum antibacterial selectivity at 24 residues. Further, Trp substitution in LBU sequences increased activity against both P. aeruginosa and S. aureus under challenging conditions (e.g., saline, divalent cations, and serum). Based on these findings, we hypothesized that the optimal length and, therefore, the cost for maximum eCAP activity under physiologically relevant conditions could be significantly reduced using only Arg and Trp arranged to form idealized amphipathic helices. Hence, we developed a novel peptide series, composed only of Arg and Trp, in a sequence predicted and verified by circular dichroism to fold into optimized amphipathic helices. The most effective antimicrobial activity was achieved at 12 residues in length (WR12) against a panel of both Gram-negative and Gram-positive clinical isolates, including extensively drug-resistant strains, in saline and broth culture and at various pH values. The results demonstrate that the rational design of CAPs can lead to a significant reduction in the length and the number of amino acids used in peptide design to achieve optimal potency and selectivity against specific pathogens.
Equine infectious anemia (EIA), identified in 1843  as an infectious disease of horses and as a viral infection in 1904, remains a concern in veterinary medicine today. Equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) has served as an animal model of HIV-1/AIDS research since the original identification of HIV. Similar to other lentiviruses, EIAV has a high propensity for genomic sequence and antigenic variation, principally in its envelope (Env) proteins. However, EIAV possesses a unique and dynamic disease presentation that has facilitated comprehensive analyses of the interactions between the evolving virus population, progressive host immune responses, and the definition of viral and host correlates of immune control and vaccine efficacy. Summarized here are key findings in EIAV that have provided important lessons toward understanding long term immune control of lentivirus infections and the parameters for development of an enduring broadly protective AIDS vaccine.
EIAV; lentivirus; pathogenesis; envelope diversity; vaccine development; immune maturation
A faster semi-automated 96-well microtiter plate assay to determine viral infectivity titers, or viral focal units (vfu), of equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) stocks is described. Optimization of the existing method modernizes a classic virological technique for viral titer determination by quantitating EIAV in experimentally infected cells via a cell-based ELISA. To allow for automation, multiple parameters of the current assay procedures were modified resulting in an assay that required only one quarter the original amount of virus and/or serum for infectivity or neutralization assays, respectively. Equivalent reductions in the required volumes of tissue culture, cell processing, and protein detection reagents were also achieved. Additionally, the new assay decreased the time required from start to finish from 10 days to 6 days (viral titer) or 7 days (viral neutralization), while increasing the number of samples that can be processed concurrently by transition to a 96-well microtiter plate format and by automated counting.
Infectious Center Assay; viral titer; neutralization
Substantial controversy surrounds the membrane topology of the HIV-1 gp41 C-terminal tail (CTT). While few studies have been designed to directly address the topology of the CTT, results from envelope (Env) protein trafficking studies suggest that the CTT sequence is cytoplasmically localized, as interactions with intracellular binding partners are required for proper Env targeting. However, previous studies from our lab demonstrate the exposure of a short CTT sequence, the Kennedy epitope, at the plasma membrane of intact Env-expressing cells, the exposure of which is not observed on viral particles. To address the topology of the entire CTT sequence, we serially replaced CTT sequences with a VSV-G epitope tag sequence and examined reactivity of cell- and virion-surface Env to an anti-VSV-G monoclonal antibody. Our results demonstrate that the majority of the CTT sequence is accessible to antibody binding on the surface of Env expressing cells, and that the CTT-exposed Env constitutes 20–50% of the cell-surface Env. Cell surface CTT exposure was also apparent in virus-infected cells. Passive transfer of Env through cell culture media to Env negative (non-transfected) cells was not responsible for the apparent cell surface CTT exposure. In contrast to the cell surface results, CTT-exposed Env was not detected on infectious pseudoviral particles containing VSV-G-substituted Env. Finally, a monoclonal antibody directed to the Kennedy epitope neutralized virus in a temperature-dependent manner in a post-attachment neutralization assay. Collectively, these results suggest that the membrane topology of the HIV gp41 CTT is more complex than the widely accepted intracytoplasmic model.
We previously reported that selected mutations of highly conserved arginine residues within the LLP regions of HIV-1ME46 gp41 had diverse effects on Env function. In the current study, we sought to test if the observed LLP mutant phenotypes would be similar in HIV-189.6. The results of the current studies revealed that the LLP-1 mutations conferred reduced Env incorporation, infectivity, and replication phenotypes in both viruses, while homologous LLP-2 mutations had differential phenotypical effects between the two strains. In particular, several of the 89.6 LLP-2 mutant viruses were replication defective in CEMX174 cells despite having increased levels of Env incorporation, and with both strains, there were differential effects on infectivity. This comparison of homologous point mutations in two different strains of HIV supports the role of LLPs as determinants of Env function, but reveals for the first time the influence of virus strain on LLP mutant phenotypes.
Site-directed mutagenesis; Cell fusion; HIV envelope protein gp41; HIV; Viral infectivity; Virus Replication; HIV envelope incorporation and biosynthesis
Background: Host-derived (LL-37) and synthetic (WLBU-2) cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAPs) are known for their membrane-active bactericidal properties. LL-37 is an important mediator for immunomodulation, while the mechanism of action of WLBU-2 remains unclear.
Objective: To determine if WLBU-2 induces an early proinflammatory response that facilitates bacterial clearance in cystic fibrosis (CF).
Methods: C57BL6 mice were given intranasal or intraperitoneal 1×10
Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) and observed for 2h, followed by instillation of LL-37 or WLBU-2 (2-4mg/kg) with subsequent tissue collection at 24h for determination of bacterial colony counts and quantitative RT-PCR measurement of cytokine transcripts. CF airway epithelial cells (IB3-1, ΔF508/W1282X) were cultured in appropriate media with supplements. WLBU-2 (25μM) was added to the media with RT-PCR measurement of TNF-α and IL-1β transcripts after 20, 30, and 60min. Flow cytometry was used to determine if WLBU-2 assists in cellular uptake of Alexa 488-labeled LPS.
Results: In murine lung exposed to intranasal or intraperitoneal WLBU-2, there was a reduction in the number of surviving PA colonies compared to controls. Murine lung exposed to intraperitoneal WLBU-2 showed fewer PA colonies compared to LL-37. After 24h WLBU-2 exposure, PA-induced IL-1β transcripts from lungs showed a twofold decrease (p<0.05), while TNF-α levels were unchanged. LL-37 did not significantly change transcript levels. In IB3-1 cells, WLBU-2 exposure resulted in increased TNF-α and IL-1β transcripts that decreased by 60min. WLBU-2 treatment of IB3-1 cells displayed increased LPS uptake, suggesting a potential role for CAPs in inducing protective proinflammatory responses. Taken together, the cytokine response, LPS uptake, and established antimicrobial activity of WLBU-2 demonstrate its ability to modulate proinflammatory signaling as a protective mechanism to clear infection.
Conclusions: The immunomodulatory properties of WLBU-2 reveal a potential mechanism of its broad-spectrum antibacterial activity and warrant further preclinical evaluation to study bacterial clearance and rescue of chronic inflammation.
We recently reported that human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) carrying PTAP and LYPXnL L domains ceased budding when the nucleocapsid (NC) domain was mutated, suggesting a role for NC in HIV-1 release. Here we investigated whether NC involvement in virus release is a property specific to HIV-1 or a general requirement of retroviruses. Specifically, we examined a possible role for NC in the budding of retroviruses relying on divergent L domains and structurally homologous NC domains that harbor diverse protein sequences. We found that NC is critical for the release of viruses utilizing the PTAP motif whether it functions within its native Gag in simian immunodeficiency virus cpzGAB2 (SIVcpzGAB2) or SIVsmmE543 or when it is transplanted into the heterologous Gag protein of equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV). In both cases, virus release was severely diminished even though NC mutant Gag proteins retained the ability to assemble spherical particles. Moreover, budding-defective NC mutants, which displayed particles tethered to the plasma membrane, were triggered to release virus when access to the cell endocytic sorting complex required for transport pathway was restored (i.e., in trans expression of Nedd4.2s). We also examined the role of NC in the budding of EIAV, a retrovirus relying exclusively on the (L)YPXnL-type L domain. We found that EIAV late budding defects were rescued by overexpression of the isolated Alix Bro1 domain (Bro1). Bro1-mediated rescue of EIAV release required the wild-type NC. EIAV NC mutants lost interactions with Bro1 and failed to produce viruses despite retaining the ability to self-assemble. Together, our studies establish a role for NC in the budding of retroviruses harboring divergent L domains and evolutionarily diverse NC sequences, suggesting the utilization of a common conserved mechanism and/or cellular factor rather than a specific motif.
Factors explaining why human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) enhances the risk of reactivated tuberculosis (TB) are poorly understood. Unfortunately, experimental models of HIV-induced reactivated TB are lacking. We examined whether cynomolgus macaques, which accurately model latent TB in humans, could be used to model pathogenesis of HIV infection in the lungs and associated lymph nodes. These experiments precede studies modeling the effects of HIV infection on latent TB. We infected two groups of macaques with chimeric simian–human immunodeficiency viruses (SHIV-89.6P and SHIV-KU2) and followed viral titers and immunologic parameters including lymphocytes numbers and phenotype in the blood, bronchoalveolar lavage cells, and lymph nodes over the course of infection. Tissues from the lungs, liver, kidney, spleen, and lymph nodes were similarly examined at necropsy. Both strains produced dramatic CD4+ T cell depletion. Plasma titers were not different between viruses, but we found more SHIV-89.6P in the lungs. Both viruses induced similar patterns of cell activation markers. SHIV-89.6P induced more IFN-γ expression than SHIV-KU2. These results indicate SHIV-89.6P and SHIV-KU2 infect cynomolgus macaques and may be used to accurately model effects of HIV infection on latent TB.
Although there are different strains of HIV-1 in a chronically infected individual, only one or limited virus strains are successfully transmitted to a new individual. The reason for this “transmission bottleneck” is as yet unknown.
A human cervical explant model was used to measure HIV-1 transmission efficiency of viral strains from chronic infections, and transmitter/founder variants. We also evaluated the genetic characteristics of HIV-1 variants in the inoculums compared to those transmitted across the cervical mucosa. Eight different HIV-1 isolates were used in this study, six chronic isolates and two transmitter/founder viruses. The transmission efficiency of the chronic and transmitter/founder virus isolates and the viral diversity of chronic isolates before and after viral transmission were assessed. The results indicate that transmitter/founder viruses did not display higher transmission efficiency than chronic HIV-1 isolates. Furthermore, no evidence for a difference in diversity was found between the inoculums and transmitted virus strains. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the sequences of variants in the inoculums and those present in transmitted virus intermingled irrespective of co-receptor usage. In addition, the inoculum and transmitted variants had a similar pairwise distance distribution.
There was no selection of a single or limited number of viral variants during HIV-1 transmission across the cervical mucosa in the organ culture model, indicating that the cervical mucosa alone may not produce the transmission bottleneck of HIV-1 infection observed in vivo.
We recently reported an attenuated EIAV vaccine study that directly examined the effect of lentiviral envelope sequence variation on vaccine efficacy. The study  demonstrated for the first time the failure of an ancestral vaccine to protect and revealed a significant, inverse, linear relationship between envelope divergence and protection from disease. In the current study we examine in detail the evolution of the attenuated vaccine strain utilized in this previous study. We demonstrate here that the attenuated strain progressively evolved during the six-month pre-challenge period and that the observed protection from disease was significantly associated with divergence from the original vaccine strain.
EIAV; Vaccine; Attenuated
HIV-infected patients are at increased risk for development of pulmonary complications, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Inflammation associated with sub-clinical infection has been postulated to promote COPD. Persistence of Pneumocystis (Pc) is associated with HIV and COPD, although a causal relationship has not been established. We used a simian/human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) model of HIV infection to study pulmonary effects of Pc colonization. SHIV-infected/Pc-colonized monkeys developed progressive obstructive pulmonary disease characterized by increased emphysematous tissue and bronchial-associated lymphoid tissue. Elevated Th2 cytokines and pro-inflammatory mediators in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid coincided with Pc colonization and pulmonary function decline. These results support the concept that an infectious agent contributes to development of HIV-associated lung disease and suggests that Pc colonization may be a risk factor for the development of HIV-associated COPD. Furthermore, this model allows examination of early host responses important to disease progression thus identifying potential therapeutic targets for COPD.
Pneumocystis; COPD; SHIV; AIDS; HIV
Pulmonary colonization by the opportunistic pathogen Pneumocystis jiroveci is common in HIV+ subjects and has been associated with development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Host and environmental factors associated with colonization susceptibility are undefined. Using a simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) model of HIV infection, the immunologic parameters associated with natural Pneumocystis jiroveci transmission were evaluated. SHIV-infected macaques were exposed to P. jiroveci by cohousing with immunosuppressed, P. jiroveci-colonized macaques in two independent experiments. Serial plasma and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid samples were examined for changes in antibody titers to recombinant Pneumocystis-kexin protein (KEX1) and evidence of Pneumocystis colonization by nested PCR of BAL fluid. In experiment 1, 10 of 14 monkeys became Pneumocystis colonized (Pc+) by 8 weeks post-SHIV infection, while 4 animals remained Pneumocystis colonization negative (Pc−) throughout the study. In experiment 2, 11 of 17 animals became Pneumocystis colonized by 16 weeks post-SHIV infection, while 6 monkeys remained Pc−. Baseline plasma KEX1-IgG titers were significantly higher in monkeys that remained Pc−, compared to Pc+ monkeys, in experiments 1 (P = 0.013) and 2 (P = 0.022). Pc− monkeys had greater percentages of Pneumocystis-specific memory B cells after SHIV infection compared to Pc+ monkeys (P = 0.037). After SHIV infection, Pc+ monkeys developed progressive obstructive pulmonary disease, whereas Pc− monkeys maintained normal lung function throughout the study. These results demonstrate a correlation between the KEX1 humoral response and the prevention of Pneumocystis colonization and obstructive lung disease in the SHIV model. In addition, these results indicate that an effective Pneumocystis-specific memory B-cell response is maintained despite progressive loss of CD4+ T cells during SHIV infection.
The C-terminal tail (CTT) of the HIV-1 gp41 envelope (Env) protein is increasingly recognized as an important determinant of Env structure and functional properties, including fusogenicity and antigenicity. While the CTT has been commonly referred to as the “intracytoplasmic domain” based on the assumption of an exclusive localization inside the membrane lipid bilayer, early antigenicity studies and recent biochemical analyses have produced a credible case for surface exposure of specific CTT sequences, including the classical “Kennedy epitope” (KE) of gp41, leading to an alternative model of gp41 topology with multiple membrane-spanning domains. The current study was designed to test these conflicting models of CTT topology by characterizing the exposure of native CTT sequences and substituted VSV-G epitope tags in cell- and virion-associated Env to reference monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). Surface staining and FACS analysis of intact, Env-expressing cells demonstrated that the KE is accessible to binding by MAbs directed to both an inserted VSV-G epitope tag and the native KE sequence. Importantly, the VSV-G tag was only reactive when inserted into the KE; no reactivity was observed in cells expressing Env with the VSV-G tag inserted into the LLP2 domain. In contrast to cell-surface expressed Env, no binding of KE-directed MAbs was observed to Env on the surface of intact virions using either immune precipitation or surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. These data indicate apparently distinct CTT topologies for virion- and cell-associated Env species and add to the case for a reconsideration of CTT topology that is more complex than currently envisioned.
The matrix protein (M1) of influenza A virus is generally viewed as a key orchestrator in the release of influenza virions from the plasma membrane during infection. In contrast to this model, recent studies have indicated that influenza virus requires expression of the envelope proteins for budding of intracellular M1 into virus particles. Here we explored the mechanisms that control M1 budding. Similarly to previous studies, we found that M1 by itself fails to form virus-like-particles (VLPs). We further demonstrated that M1, in the absence of other viral proteins, was preferentially targeted to the nucleus/perinuclear region rather than to the plasma membrane, where influenza virions bud. Remarkably, we showed that a 10-residue membrane targeting peptide from either the Fyn or Lck oncoprotein appended to M1 at the N terminus redirected M1 to the plasma membrane and allowed M1 particle budding without additional viral envelope proteins. To further identify a functional link between plasma membrane targeting and VLP formation, we took advantage of the fact that M1 can interact with M2, unless the cytoplasmic tail is absent. Notably, native M2 but not mutant M2 effectively targeted M1 to the plasma membrane and produced extracellular M1 VLPs. Our results suggest that influenza virus M1 may not possess an inherent membrane targeting signal. Thus, the lack of efficient plasma membrane targeting is responsible for the failure of M1 in budding. This study highlights the fact that interactions of M1 with viral envelope proteins are essential to direct M1 to the plasma membrane for influenza virus particle release.
EIAV is a monocyte/macrophage tropic virus. To date, even though EIAV has been under investigation for numerous years, very few details have been elucidated about EIAV/macrophage interactions. This is largely due to the absence of an equine macrophage cell line that would support viral replication. Herein we describe the spontaneous immortalization and generation of a clonal equine macrophage-like (EML) cell line with the functional and immunophenotype characteristics of differentiated equine monocyte derived macrophage(s) (eMDM(s)). These cells possess strong non-specific esterase (NSE) activity, are able to phagocytose fluorescent bioparticles, and produce nitrites in response to LPS. The EML-3C cell line expresses the EIAV receptor for cellular entry (ELR1) and supports replication of the virulent EIAVPV biological clone. Thus, EML-3C cells provide a useful cell line possessing equine macrophage related properties for the growth and study of EIAV infection as well as of other equine macrophage tropic viruses.
equine cells; Macrophage; lentivirus; equine infectious anemia virus; macrophage cell lines; equine viruses
HIV-infected individuals with latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection are at significantly greater risk of reactivation tuberculosis (TB) than HIV-negative individuals with latent TB, even while CD4 T cell numbers are well preserved. Factors underlying high rates of reactivation are poorly understood and investigative tools are limited. We used cynomolgus macaques with latent TB co-infected with SIVmac251 to develop the first animal model of reactivated TB in HIV-infected humans to better explore these factors. All latent animals developed reactivated TB following SIV infection, with a variable time to reactivation (up to 11 months post-SIV). Reactivation was independent of virus load but correlated with depletion of peripheral T cells during acute SIV infection. Animals experiencing reactivation early after SIV infection (<17 weeks) had fewer CD4 T cells in the periphery and airways than animals reactivating in later phases of SIV infection. Co-infected animals had fewer T cells in involved lungs than SIV-negative animals with active TB despite similar T cell numbers in draining lymph nodes. Granulomas from these animals demonstrated histopathologic characteristics consistent with a chronically active disease process. These results suggest initial T cell depletion may strongly influence outcomes of HIV-Mtb co-infection.
Equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV), a lentivirus that infects horses, has been utilized as an animal model for the study of HIV. Furthermore, the disease associated with the equine lentivirus poses a significant challenge to veterinary medicine around the world. As with all lentiviruses, EIAV has been shown to have a high propensity for genomic sequence and antigenic variation, especially in its envelope (Env) proteins. Recent studies have demonstrated Env variation to be a major determinant of vaccine efficacy, emphasizing the importance of defining natural variation among field isolates of EIAV. To date, however, published EIAV sequences have been reported only for cell-adapted strains of virus, predominantly derived from a single primary virus isolate, EIAVWyoming (EIAVWY).
We present here the first characterization of the Env protein of a natural primary isolate from Pennsylvania (EIAVPA) since the widely utilized and referenced EIAVWY strain. The data demonstrated that the level of EIAVPA Env amino acid sequence variation, approximately 40% as compared to EIAVWY, is much greater than current perceptions or published reports of natural EIAV variation between field isolates. This variation did not appear to give rise to changes in the predicted secondary structure of the proteins. While the EIAVPA Env was serologically cross reactive with the Env proteins of the cell-adapted reference strain, EIAVPV (derivative of EIAVWY), the two variant Envs were shown to lack any cross neutralization by immune serum from horses infected with the respective virus strains.
Taking into account the significance of serum neutralization to universal vaccine efficacy, these findings are crucial considerations towards successful EIAV vaccine development and the potential inclusion of field isolate Envs in vaccine candidates.
Retroviral Gag polyproteins are necessary and sufficient for virus budding. Productive HIV-1 Gag assembly takes place at the plasma membrane. However, little is known about the mechanisms by which thousands of Gag molecules are targeted to the plasma membrane. Using a bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) assay, we recently reported that the cellular sites and efficiency of HIV-1 Gag assembly depend on the precise pathway of Gag mRNA export from the nucleus, known to be mediated by Rev. Here we describe an assembly deficiency in human cells for HIV Gag whose expression depends on hepatitis B virus (HBV) post-transcriptional regulatory element (PRE) mediated-mRNA nuclear export. PRE-dependent HIV Gag expressed well in human cells, but assembled with slower kinetics, accumulated intracellularly, and failed to associate with a lipid raft compartment where the wild-type Rev-dependent HIV-1 Gag efficiently assembles. Surprisingly, assembly and budding of PRE-dependent HIV Gag in human cells could be rescued in trans by co-expression of Rev-dependent Gag that provides correct membrane targeting signals, or in cis by replacing HIV matrix (MA) with other membrane targeting domains. Taken together, our results demonstrate deficient membrane targeting of PRE-dependent HIV-1 Gag and suggest that HIV MA function is regulated by the trafficking pathway of the encoding mRNA.
We employed the equine lentivirus equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) to investigate the cellular restrictions for lentivirus replication in murine NIH 3T3 cells. The results of these studies demonstrate that NIH 3T3 cells expressing the EIAV receptor ELR1 and equine cyclin T1 supported productive replication of EIAV and produced infectious virions at levels similar to those found in a reference permissive equine cell line. The studies presented here demonstrate, for the first time, differential levels of restriction for EIAV and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication in murine cells and suggest that these differences can be exploited to reveal critical virus-cell interactions required for HIV-1 assembly and budding of lentivirus particles.
Wild-type strains of equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) prevent superinfection of previously infected cells. A variant strain of virus that spontaneously arose during passage, EIAVvMA-1c, can circumvent this mechanism in some cells, such as equine dermis (ED) cells, but not in others, such as equine endothelial cells. EIAVvMA-1c superinfection of ED cells results in a buildup of unintegrated viral DNA and rapid killing of the cell monolayer. Here, we examined the mechanism of resistance that is used by EIAV to prevent superinfection and explored the means by which EIAVvMA-1c overcomes this restriction. We found that the cellular receptor used by EIAV, equine lentivirus receptor 1 (ELR1), remains on the surface of cells chronically infected with EIAV, suggesting that wild-type EIAV interferes with superinfection by masking ELR1. The addition of soluble wild-type SU protein to the medium during infection blocked infection by wild-type strains of virus, implicating SU as the viral protein responsible for interfering with virion entry into previously infected cells. Additionally, interference of wild-type EIAV binding to ELR1 by the addition of either anti-ELR1 antibodies or the ELR1 ectodomain prevented entry of the wild-type strains of EIAV into two permissive cell populations. Many of these same interference treatments prevented EIAVvMA-1c infection of endothelial cells but only modestly affected the ability of EIAVvMA-1c to enter and kill previously infected ED cells. These findings indicate that EIAVvMA-1c retains the ability to use ELR1 for entry and suggest that this virus can interact with an additional, unidentified receptor to superinfect ED cells.
We describe the antimicrobial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa of the de novo-derived antimicrobial peptide WLBU2 in an animal model of infection.
For this study, an intravenous (iv) model of P. aeruginosa infection was established. The minimum lethal murine dose of P. aeruginosa strain PA01 was determined to be 3 × 107 cfu when bacteria were administered iv. Increasing concentrations of WLBU2 were instilled either prior to or following PA01 septic exposure.
For the mice given peptide post-bacterial infection, in the 1 mg/kg group, nine of nine animals died because of Pseudomonas sepsis; in the 3 mg/kg group, only one of nine succumbed to infection and in the 4 mg/kg group, all mice were protected (P < 0.0001). Similar results were obtained when WLBU2 was given 1 h prior to Pseudomonas infection.
Although the therapeutic window in this model is narrow, the results nonetheless provide encouraging evidence for WLBU2 as a potential prophylactic or treatment of bacterial infection.
antimicrobial peptide; WLBU2; sepsis