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author:("torso, Noël")
1.  Genetic Relatedness of Dolphin Rhabdovirus with Fish Rhabdoviruses 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2014;20(6):1081-1082.
PMCID: PMC4036773  PMID: 24857764
rhabdovirus; viruses; dolphin; fish; marine mammal; genetic relatedness; genome organization; phylogenetic analysis
2.  The Nonstructural Protein NSs Induces a Variable Antibody Response in Domestic Ruminants Naturally Infected with Rift Valley Fever Virus 
Rift Valley fever (RVF) is an emerging zoonosis in Africa which has spread to Egypt, the Arabian Peninsula, Madagascar, and Comoros. RVF virus (RVFV) (Bunyaviridae family, Phlebovirus genus) causes a wide range of symptoms in humans, from benign fever to fatal hemorrhagic fever. Ruminants are severely affected by the disease, which leads to a high rate of mortality in young animals and to abortions and teratogenesis in pregnant females. Diagnostic tests include virus isolation and genome or antibody detection. During RVFV infection, the nucleoprotein encapsidating the tripartite RNA genome is expressed in large amounts and raises a robust antibody response, while the envelope glycoproteins elicit neutralizing antibodies which play a major role in protection. Much less is known about the antigenicity/immunogenicity of the nonstructural protein NSs, which is a major virulence factor. Here we have developed a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) enabling detection of low levels of NSs-specific antibodies in naturally infected or vaccinated ruminants. Detection of the NSs antibodies was validated by Western blotting. Altogether, our data showed that the NSs antibodies were detected in only 55% of animals naturally infected by RVFV, indicating that NSs does not induce a consistently high immune response. These results are discussed in light of differentiation between infected and vaccinated animals (DIVA) tests distinguishing naturally infected animals and those vaccinated with NSs-defective vaccines.
PMCID: PMC3255954  PMID: 22072723
3.  Human Dendritic Cells Infected with the Nonpathogenic Mopeia Virus Induce Stronger T-Cell Responses than Those Infected with Lassa Virus ▿  
Journal of Virology  2011;85(16):8293-8306.
The events leading to death in severe cases of Lassa fever (LF) are unknown. Fatality seems to be linked to high viremia and immunosuppression, and cellular immunity, rather than neutralizing antibodies, appears to be essential for survival. We previously compared Lassa virus (LV) with its genetically close but nonpathogenic homolog Mopeia virus (MV), which was used to model nonfatal LF. We showed that strong and early activation of antigen-presenting cells (APC) may play a crucial role in controlling infection. Here we developed an in vitro model of dendritic-cell (DC)-T-cell coculture in order to characterize human T-cell responses induced by MV- or LV-infected DCs. Our results show very different responses to infection with LV and MV. MV strongly and durably stimulated CD8+ and CD4+ T cells, showing early and high activation, a strong proliferative response, and acquisition of effector and memory phenotypes. Furthermore, robust and functional CD4+ and CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) were generated. LV, however, induced only weak memory responses. Thus, this study allows an improved understanding of the pathogenesis and immune mechanisms involved in the control of human LV.
PMCID: PMC3147965  PMID: 21632749
4.  Foreword 
Veterinary Research  2010;41(6):69.
PMCID: PMC2939695  PMID: 21188838
5.  Report of the First Meeting of the Middle East and Eastern Europe Rabies Expert Bureau, Istanbul, Turkey (June 8-9, 2010) 
Rabies is a threat in all parts of the world where animal reservoirs persists, including Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Rabies experts from seven Middle East and Eastern European countries (Croatia, Egypt, Georgia, Iran, Serbia, Turkey, and Ukraine) met for two days in Istanbul, Turkey (June 8-9, 2010), to exchange information on the epidemiological situation concerning human and animal rabies in their respective countries and to discuss strategies for rabies elimination and control. They decided to establish a regional network, the Middle East and Eastern Europe Rabies Expert Bureau (MEEREB), a regional network of experts, to increase collaboration in rabies prevention and control at the local, regional, and global levels.
PMCID: PMC3173715  PMID: 21991443
6.  Renewed Global Partnerships and Redesigned Roadmaps for Rabies Prevention and Control 
Canine rabies, responsible for most human rabies deaths, is a serious global public health concern. This zoonosis is entirely preventable, but by focusing solely upon rabies prevention in humans, this “incurable wound” persists at high costs. Although preventing human deaths through canine rabies elimination is feasible, dog rabies control is often neglected, because dogs are not considered typical economic commodities by the animal health sector. Here, we demonstrate that the responsibility of managing rabies falls upon multiple sectors, that a truly integrated approach is the key to rabies elimination, and that considerable progress has been made to this effect. Achievements include the construction of global rabies networks and organizational partnerships; development of road maps, operational toolkits, and a blueprint for rabies prevention and control; and opportunities for scaling up and replication of successful programs. Progress must continue towards overcoming the remaining challenges preventing the ultimate goal of rabies elimination.
PMCID: PMC3135331  PMID: 21776359
7.  Peptides That Mimic the Amino-Terminal End of the Rabies Virus Phosphoprotein Have Antiviral Activity▿  
Journal of Virology  2009;83(20):10808-10820.
We wanted to develop a therapeutic approach against rabies disease by targeting the lyssavirus transcription/replication complex. Because this complex (nucleoprotein N-RNA template processed by the L polymerase and its cofactor, the phosphoprotein P) is similar to that of other negative-strand RNA viruses, we aimed to design broad-spectrum antiviral drugs that could be used as a complement to postexposure vaccination and immunotherapy. Recent progress in understanding the structure/function of the rabies virus P, N, and L proteins predicts that the amino-terminal end of P is an excellent target for destabilizing the replication complex because it interacts with both L (for positioning onto the N-RNA template) and N (for keeping N soluble, as needed for viral RNA encapsidation). Thus, peptides mimicking various lengths of the amino-terminal end of P have been evaluated, as follows: (i) for binding properties to the N-P-L partners by the two-hybrid method; (ii) for their capacity to inhibit the transcription/replication of a rabies virus minigenome encoding luciferase in BHK-21-T7 cells; and (iii) for their capacity to inhibit rabies virus infection of BHK-21-T7 cells and of two derivatives of the neuronal SK-N-SH cell line. Peptides P60 and P57 (the first 60 and first 57 NH2 residues of P, respectively) exhibited a rapid, strong, and long-lasting inhibitory potential on luciferase expression (>95% from 24 h to 55 h). P42 was less efficient in its inhibition level (75% for 18 to 30 h) and duration (40% after 48 h). The most promising peptides were synthesized in tandem with the Tat sequence, allowing cell penetration. Their inhibitory effects were observed on BHK-21-T7 cells infected with rabies virus and Lagos bat virus but not with vesicular stomatitis virus. In neuronal cells, a significant inhibition of both nucleocapsid inclusions and rabies virus release was observed.
PMCID: PMC2753138  PMID: 19706704
8.  Experimental Infection of Squirrel Monkeys with Nipah Virus 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2010;16(3):507-510.
We infected squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) with Nipah virus to determine the monkeys’ suitability for use as primate models in preclinical testing of preventive and therapeutic treatments. Infection of squirrel monkeys through intravenous injection was followed by high death rates associated with acute neurologic and respiratory illness and viral RNA and antigen production.
PMCID: PMC3322034  PMID: 20202432
Nipah virus; emergent infection; primates; pathogenesis; squirrel monkey; Saimiri sciureus; ELISA; immunohistology; RT-PCR; encephalitis; viruses; zoonoses; dispatch
9.  Early and Strong Immune Responses Are Associated with Control of Viral Replication and Recovery in Lassa Virus-Infected Cynomolgus Monkeys▿  
Journal of Virology  2009;83(11):5890-5903.
Lassa virus causes a hemorrhagic fever endemic in West Africa. The pathogenesis and the immune responses associated with the disease are poorly understood, and no vaccine is available. We followed virological, pathological, and immunological markers associated with fatal and nonfatal Lassa virus infection of cynomolgus monkeys. The clinical picture was characterized by fever, weight loss, depression, and acute respiratory syndrome. Transient thrombocytopenia and lymphopenia, lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly, infiltration of mononuclear cells, and alterations of the liver, lungs, and endothelia were observed. Survivors exhibited fewer lesions and a lower viral load than nonsurvivors. Although all animals developed strong humoral responses, antibodies appeared more rapidly in survivors and were directed against GP1, GP2, and NP. Type I interferons were detected early after infection in survivors but only during the terminal stages in fatalities. The mRNAs for CXCL10 (IP-10) and CXCL11 (I-TAC) were abundant in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and lymph nodes from infected animals, but plasma interleukin-6 was detected only in fatalities. In survivors, high activated-monocyte counts were followed by a rise in the total number of circulating monocytes. Activated T lymphocytes circulated in survivors, whereas T-cell activation was low and delayed in fatalities. In vitro stimulation with inactivated Lassa virus induced activation of T lymphocytes from all infected monkeys, but only lymphocytes from survivors proliferated. Thus, early and strong immune responses and control of viral replication were associated with recovery, whereas fatal infection was characterized by major alterations of the blood formula and, in organs, weak immune responses and uncontrolled viral replication.
PMCID: PMC2681932  PMID: 19297492
11.  Development of a Mouse Monoclonal Antibody Cocktail for Post-exposure Rabies Prophylaxis in Humans 
As the demand for rabies post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) treatments has increased exponentially in recent years, the limited supply of human and equine rabies immunoglobulin (HRIG and ERIG) has failed to provide the required passive immune component in PEP in countries where canine rabies is endemic. Replacement of HRIG and ERIG with a potentially cheaper and efficacious alternative biological for treatment of rabies in humans, therefore, remains a high priority. In this study, we set out to assess a mouse monoclonal antibody (MoMAb) cocktail with the ultimate goal to develop a product at the lowest possible cost that can be used in developing countries as a replacement for RIG in PEP. Five MoMAbs, E559.9.14, 1112-1, 62-71-3, M727-5-1, and M777-16-3, were selected from available panels based on stringent criteria, such as biological activity, neutralizing potency, binding specificity, spectrum of neutralization of lyssaviruses, and history of each hybridoma. Four of these MoMAbs recognize epitopes in antigenic site II and one recognizes an epitope in antigenic site III on the rabies virus (RABV) glycoprotein, as determined by nucleotide sequence analysis of the glycoprotein gene of unique MoMAb neutralization-escape mutants. The MoMAbs were produced under Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) conditions. Unique combinations (cocktails) were prepared, using different concentrations of the MoMAbs that were capable of targeting non-overlapping epitopes of antigenic sites II and III. Blind in vitro efficacy studies showed the MoMab cocktails neutralized a broad spectrum of lyssaviruses except for lyssaviruses belonging to phylogroups II and III. In vivo, MoMAb cocktails resulted in protection as a component of PEP that was comparable to HRIG. In conclusion, all three novel combinations of MoMAbs were shown to have equal efficacy to HRIG and therefore could be considered a potentially less expensive alternative biological agent for use in PEP and prevention of rabies in humans.
Author Summary
Human mortality from endemic canine rabies is estimated to be 55,000 deaths per year in Africa and Asia, yet rabies remains a neglected disease throughout most of these countries. More than 99% of human rabies cases are caused by infections resulting from a dog-bite injury. In the vast majority of human exposures to rabies, patients require post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), which includes both passive (rabies immunoglobulin, RIG) and active immunization (rabies vaccine). The number of victims requiring PEP has increased exponentially in recent years, and human and equine RIG (HRIG and ERIG) were not sufficiently available in countries where canine rabies is endemic. Rabies virus-neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) of mouse (Mo) origin have been identified as promising alternatives to HRIG and ERIG. We have developed and assessed both in vitro and in vivo unique mouse monoclonal antibody (MoMAb) cocktails, which are highly efficacious. Three novel combinations were shown to have an equal or superior efficacy to HRIG and therefore could be considered a potentially less expensive alternative for passive prophylactic use to prevent the development of rabies in humans, particularly where needed most in developing countries.
PMCID: PMC2765635  PMID: 19888334
12.  Comparative analysis of HIV-1-based lentiviral vectors bearing lyssavirus glycoproteins for neuronal gene transfer 
The delivery of therapeutic genes to the central nervous system (CNS) using viral vectors represents an appealing strategy for the treatment of nerve injury and disorders of the CNS. Important factors determining CNS targeting include tropism of the viral vectors and retrograde transport of the vector particles. Retrograde transport of equine anemia virus (EIAV)-based lentiviral vectors pseudotyped with the glycoprotein derived from the Rabies virus RabERA strain from peripheral muscle to spinal motor neurons (MNs) was previously reported. Despite therapeutic effects achieved in mouse models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the efficiency of this approach needs to be improved for clinical translation. To date there has not been a quantitative assessment of pseudotyped HIV-1-based lentiviral vectors to transduce MNs. Here, we describe quantitative tests to analyze the retrograde transport capacity of HIV-1 vectors pseudotyped with the G glycoprotein derived from Rabies and Rabies-related viruses (Lyssaviruses).
With a view toward optimizing the retrograde transport properties of HIV-1-based lentiviral vectors, we compared the glycoproteins from different enveloped viruses belonging to the Rhabdoviridae family, genus Lyssavirus, and evaluated their ability to transduce specific cell populations and promote retrograde axonal transport. We first tested the transduction performance of these pseudotypes in vitro in SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells, NSC-34 neuroblastoma-spinal cord hybrid cells, and primary mixed spinal cord and pure astrocyte cultures. We then analyzed the uptake and retrograde transport of these pseudotyped vectors in vitro, using Campenot chambers. Finally, intraneural injections were performed to evaluate the in vivo retrograde axonal transport of these pseudotypes.
Both the in vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated that lentiviral vectors pseudotyped with the glycoprotein derived from the Rabies virus PV strain possessed the best performance and neuronal tropism among the vectors tested.
Our results indicate that HIV-1-based lentiviral vectors pseudotyped with the Rabies PV glycoprotein might provide important vehicles for CNS targeting by peripheral injection in the treatment of motor neuron diseases (MND), pain, and neuropathy.
PMCID: PMC2639530  PMID: 19144125
13.  Rabies virus matrix protein interplay with eIF3, new insights into rabies virus pathogenesis 
Nucleic Acids Research  2007;35(5):1522-1532.
Viral proteins are frequently multifunctional to accommodate the high density of information encoded in viral genomes. Matrix (M) protein of negative-stranded RNA viruses such as Rhabdoviridae is one such example. Its primary function is virus assembly/budding but it is also involved in the switch from viral transcription to replication and the concomitant down regulation of host gene expression. In this study we undertook a search for potential rabies virus (RV) M protein's cellular partners. In a yeast two-hybrid screen the eIF3h subunit was identified as an M-interacting cellular factor, and the interaction was validated by co-immunoprecipitation and surface plasmon resonance assays. Upon expression in mammalian cell cultures, RV M protein was localized in early small ribosomal subunit fractions. Further, M protein added in trans inhibited in vitro translation on mRNA encompassing classical (Kozak-like) 5′-UTRs. Interestingly, translation of hepatitis C virus IRES-containing mRNA, which recruits eIF3 via a different noncanonical mechanism, was unaffected. Together, the data suggest that, as a complement to its functions in virus assembly/budding and regulation of viral transcription, RV M protein plays a role in inhibiting translation in virus-infected cells through a protein–protein interaction with the cellular translation machinery.
PMCID: PMC1865048  PMID: 17287294
14.  Antiviral Drug Discovery Strategy Using Combinatorial Libraries of Structurally Constrained Peptides 
Journal of Virology  2004;78(14):7410-7417.
We have developed a new strategy for antiviral peptide discovery by using lyssaviruses (rabies virus and rabies-related viruses) as models. Based on the mimicry of natural bioactive peptides, two genetically encoded combinatorial peptide libraries composed of intrinsically constrained peptides (coactamers) were designed. Proteomic knowledge concerning the functional network of interactions in the lyssavirus transcription-replication complex highlights the phosphoprotein (P) as a prime target for inhibitors of viral replication. We present an integrated, sequential drug discovery process for selection of peptides with antiviral activity directed against the P. Our approach combines (i) an exhaustive two-hybrid selection of peptides binding two phylogenetically divergent lyssavirus P's, (ii) a functional analysis of protein interaction inhibition in a viral reverse genetic assay, coupled with a physical analysis of viral nucleoprotein-P complex by protein chip mass spectrometry, and (iii) an assay for inhibition of lyssavirus infection in mammalian cells. The validity of this strategy was demonstrated by the identification of four peptides exhibiting an efficient antiviral activity. Our work highlights the importance of P as a target in anti-rabies virus drug discovery. Furthermore, the screening strategy and the coactamer libraries presented in this report could be considered, respectively, a general target validation strategy and a potential source of biologically active peptides which could also help to design pharmacologically active peptide-mimicking molecules. The strategy described here is easily applicable to other pathogens.
PMCID: PMC434122  PMID: 15220414
15.  A Novel Expression Cassette of Lyssavirus Shows that the Distantly Related Mokola Virus Can Rescue a Defective Rabies Virus Genome 
Journal of Virology  2002;76(4):2024-2027.
By comparing three expression vectors for the rabies virus (Rv) minigenome, we show that the characteristic of the Rv RNA is important for efficient rescue despite its not being crucial for replication. Moreover, we show that the coexpression of the viral proteins from helper Rv and Mokola virus could rescue the Rv minigenome while Rv-related European bat lyssavirus 1 could not, suggesting that the signals controlling transcription and replication are conserved in the distantly related Rv and Mokola virus.
PMCID: PMC135871  PMID: 11799201
16.  Functional Interaction Map of Lyssavirus Phosphoprotein: Identification of the Minimal Transcription Domains 
Journal of Virology  2001;75(20):9613-9622.
Lyssaviruses, the causative agents of rabies encephalitis, are distributed in seven genotypes. The phylogenetically distant rabies virus (PV strain, genotype 1) and Mokola virus (genotype 3) were used to develop a strategy to identify functional homologous interactive domains from two proteins (P and N) which participate in the viral ribonucleoprotein (RNP) transcription-replication complex. This strategy combined two-hybrid and green fluorescent protein–reverse two-hybrid assays in Saccharomyces cerevisiae to analyze protein-protein interactions and a reverse genetic assay in mammalian cells to study the transcriptional activity of the reconstituted RNP complex. Lyssavirus P proteins contain two N-binding domains (N-BDs), a strong one encompassing amino acid (aa) 176 to the C terminus and a weak one in the 189 N-terminal aa. The N-terminal portion of P (aa 52 to 189) also contains a homomultimerization site. Here we demonstrate that N-P interactions, although weaker, are maintained between proteins of the different genotypes. A minimal transcriptional module of the P protein was obtained by fusing the first 60 N-terminal aa containing the L protein binding site to the C-terminal strong N-BD. Random mutation of the strong N-BD on P protein identified three highly conserved K residues crucial for N-P interaction. Their mutagenesis in full-length P induced a transcriptionally defective RNP. The analysis of homologous interactive domains presented here and previously reported dissections of the P protein allowed us to propose a model of the functional interaction network of the lyssavirus P protein. This model underscores the central role of P at the interface between L protein and N-RNA template.
PMCID: PMC114532  PMID: 11559793
17.  Host Switching in Lyssavirus History from the Chiroptera to the Carnivora Orders 
Journal of Virology  2001;75(17):8096-8104.
Lyssaviruses are unsegmented RNA viruses causing rabies. Their vectors belong to the Carnivora and Chiroptera orders. We studied 36 carnivoran and 17 chiropteran lyssaviruses representing the main genotypes and variants. We compared their genes encoding the surface glycoprotein, which is responsible for receptor recognition and membrane fusion. The glycoprotein is the main protecting antigen and bears virulence determinants. Point mutation is the main force in lyssavirus evolution, as Sawyer's test and phylogenetic analysis showed no evidence of recombination. Tests of neutrality indicated a neutral model of evolution, also supported by globally high ratios of synonymous substitutions (dS) to nonsynonymous substitutions (dN) (>7). Relative-rate tests suggested similar rates of evolution for all lyssavirus lineages. Therefore, the absence of recombination and similar evolutionary rates make phylogeny-based conclusions reliable. Phylogenetic reconstruction strongly supported the hypothesis that host switching occurred in the history of lyssaviruses. Indeed, lyssaviruses evolved in chiropters long before the emergence of carnivoran rabies, very likely following spillovers from bats. Using dated isolates, the average rate of evolution was estimated to be roughly 4.3 × 10−4 dS/site/year. Consequently, the emergence of carnivoran rabies from chiropteran lyssaviruses was determined to have occurred 888 to 1,459 years ago. Glycoprotein segments accumulating more dN than dS were distinctly detected in carnivoran and chiropteran lyssaviruses. They may have contributed to the adaptation of the virus to the two distinct mammal orders. In carnivoran lyssaviruses they overlapped the main antigenic sites, II and III, whereas in chiropteran lyssaviruses they were located in regions of unknown functions.
PMCID: PMC115054  PMID: 11483755
18.  Evidence of Two Lyssavirus Phylogroups with Distinct Pathogenicity and Immunogenicity 
Journal of Virology  2001;75(7):3268-3276.
The genetic diversity of representative members of the Lyssavirus genus (rabies and rabies-related viruses) was evaluated using the gene encoding the transmembrane glycoprotein involved in the virus-host interaction, immunogenicity, and pathogenicity. Phylogenetic analysis distinguished seven genotypes, which could be divided into two major phylogroups having the highest bootstrap values. Phylogroup I comprises the worldwide genotype 1 (classic Rabies virus), the European bat lyssavirus (EBL) genotypes 5 (EBL1) and 6 (EBL2), the African genotype 4 (Duvenhage virus), and the Australian bat lyssavirus genotype 7. Phylogroup II comprises the divergent African genotypes 2 (Lagos bat virus) and 3 (Mokola virus). We studied immunogenic and pathogenic properties to investigate the biological significance of this phylogenetic grouping. Viruses from phylogroup I (Rabies virus and EBL1) were found to be pathogenic for mice when injected by the intracerebral or the intramuscular route, whereas viruses from phylogroup II (Mokola and Lagos bat viruses) were only pathogenic by the intracerebral route. We showed that the glycoprotein R333 residue essential for virulence was naturally replaced by a D333 in the phylogroup II viruses, likely resulting in their attenuated pathogenicity. Moreover, cross-neutralization distinguished the same phylogroups. Within each phylogroup, the amino acid sequence of the glycoprotein ectodomain was at least 74% identical, and antiglycoprotein virus-neutralizing antibodies displayed cross-neutralization. Between phylogroups, the identity was less than 64.5% and the cross-neutralization was absent, explaining why the classical rabies vaccines (phylogroup I) cannot protect against lyssaviruses from phylogroup II. Our tree-axial analysis divided lyssaviruses into two phylogroups that more closely reflect their biological characteristics than previous serotypes and genotypes.
PMCID: PMC114120  PMID: 11238853
19.  Cytoplasmic Dynein LC8 Interacts with Lyssavirus Phosphoprotein 
Journal of Virology  2000;74(21):10217-10222.
Using a yeast two-hybrid human brain cDNA library screen, the cytoplasmic dynein light chain (LC8), a 10-kDa protein, was found to interact strongly with the phosphoprotein (P) of two lyssaviruses: rabies virus (genotype 1) and Mokola virus (genotype 3). The high degree of sequence divergence between these P proteins (only 46% amino acid identity) favors the hypothesis that this interaction is a common property shared by all lyssaviruses. The P protein-dynein LC8 interaction was confirmed by colocalization with laser confocal microscopy in infected cells and by coimmunoprecipitation. The dynein-interacting P protein domain was mapped to the 186 amino acid residues of the N-terminal half of the protein. Dynein LC8 is a component of both cytoplasmic dynein and myosin V, which are involved in a wide range of intracellular motile events, such as microtubule minus-end directed organelle transport in axon “retrograde transport” and actin-based vesicle transport, respectively. Our results provide support for a model of viral nucleocapsid axoplasmic transport. Furthermore, the role of LC8 in cellular mechanisms other than transport, e.g., inhibition of neuronal nitric oxide synthase, suggests that the P protein interactions could be involved in physiopathological mechanisms of rabies virus-induced pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC102062  PMID: 11024152
20.  Chimeric Lyssavirus Glycoproteins with Increased Immunological Potential 
Journal of Virology  1999;73(1):225-233.
The rabies virus glycoprotein molecule (G) can be divided into two parts separated by a flexible hinge: the NH2 half (site II part) containing antigenic site II up to the linear region (amino acids [aa] 253 to 275 encompassing epitope VI [aa 264]) and the COOH half (site III part) containing antigenic site III and the transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains. The structural and immunological roles of each part were investigated by cell transfection and mouse DNA-based immunization with homogeneous and chimeric G genes formed by fusion of the site II part of one genotype (GT) with the site III part of the same or another GT. Various site II-site III combinations between G genes of PV (Pasteur virus strain) rabies (GT1), Mokola (GT3), and EBL1 (European bat lyssavirus 1 [GT5]) viruses were tested. Plasmids pGPV-PV, pGMok-Mok, pGMok-PV, and pGEBL1-PV induced transient expression of correctly transported and folded antigens in neuroblastoma cells and virus-neutralizing antibodies against parental viruses in mice, whereas, pG-PVIII (site III part only) and pGPV-Mok did not. The site III part of PV (GT1) was a strong inducer of T helper cells and was very effective at presenting the site II part of various GTs. Both parts are required for correct folding and transport of chimeric G proteins which have a strong potential value for immunological studies and development of multivalent vaccines. Chimeric plasmid pGEBL1-PV broadens the spectrum of protection against European lyssavirus genotypes (GT1, GT5, and GT6).
PMCID: PMC103826  PMID: 9847325

Results 1-20 (20)