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1.  Identification of the Human Herpesvirus 6A gQ1 Domain Essential for Its Functional Conformation 
Journal of Virology  2013;87(12):7054-7063.
Human herpesvirus 6 is a T lymphotropic herpesvirus, long classified into variants A and B (HHV-6A and HHV-6B) based on differences in sequence and pathogenicity. Recently, however, HHV-6A and HHV-6B were reclassified as different species. Here, we isolated a neutralizing monoclonal antibody (Mab) named AgQ 1-1 that was specific for HHV-6A glycoprotein Q1 (AgQ1), and we showed that amino acid residues 494 to 497 of AgQ1 were critical for its recognition by this Mab. This region was also essential for AgQ1's complex formation with gH, gL, and gQ2, which might be important for viral binding to the cellular receptor, CD46. In addition, amino acid residues 494 to 497 are essential for viral replication. Interestingly, this sequence corresponds to the domain on HHV-6B gQ1 that is critical for recognition by an HHV-6B-specific neutralizing Mab. Within this domain, only Q at position 496 of HHV-6A is distinct from the HHV-6B sequence; however, the mutant AgQ1(Q496E) was still clearly recognized by the Mab AgQ 1-1. Surprisingly, replacement of the adjacent amino acid, in mutant AgQ1(C495A), resulted in poor recognition by Mab AgQ 1-1, and AgQ1(C495A) could not form the gH/gL/gQ1/gQ2 complex. Furthermore, the binding ability of mutant AgQ1(L494A) with CD46 decreased, although it could form the gH/gL/gQ1/gQ2 complex and it showed clear reactivity to Mab AgQ 1-1. These data indicated that amino acid residues 494 to 497 of AgQ1 were critical for the recognition by Mab AgQ 1-1 and essential for AgQ1's functional conformation.
PMCID: PMC3676137  PMID: 23596294
2.  Features of Human Herpesvirus-6A and -6B Entry 
Advances in Virology  2012;2012:384069.
Human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) is a T lymphotropic herpesvirus belonging to the Betaherpesvirinae subfamily. HHV-6 was long classified into variants A and B (HHV-6A and HHV-6B); however, recently, HHV-6A and HHV-6B were reclassified as different species. The process of herpesvirus entry into target cells is complicated, and in the case of HHV-6A and HHV-6B, the detailed mechanism remains to be elucidated, although both viruses are known to enter cells via endocytosis. In this paper, (1) findings about the cellular receptor and its ligand for HHV-6A and HHV-6B are summarized, and (2) a schematic model of HHV-6A's replication cycle, including its entry, is presented. In addition, (3) reports showing the importance of lipids in both the HHV-6A envelope and target-cell membrane for viral entry are reviewed, and (4) glycoproteins involved in cell fusion are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3485865  PMID: 23133452
3.  Analysis of a Neutralizing Antibody for Human Herpesvirus 6B Reveals a Role for Glycoprotein Q1 in Viral Entry ▿  
Journal of Virology  2011;85(24):12962-12971.
Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) is a T cell-tropic betaherpesvirus. HHV-6 can be classified into two variants, HHV-6A and HHV-6B, based on differences in their genetic, antigenic, and growth characteristics and cell tropisms. The function of HHV-6B should be analyzed more in its life cycle, as more than 90% of people have the antibodies for HHV-6B but not HHV-6A. It has been shown that the cellular receptor for HHV-6A is human CD46 and that the viral ligand for CD46 is the envelope glycoprotein complex gH/gL/gQ1/gQ2; however, the receptor-ligand pair used by HHV-6B is still unknown. In this study, to identify the glycoprotein(s) important for HHV-6B entry, we generated monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) that inhibit infection by HHV-6B. Most of these MAbs were found to recognize gQ1, indicating that HHV-6B gQ1 is critical for virus entry. Interestingly, the recognition of gQ1 by the neutralizing MAb was enhanced by coexpression with gQ2. Moreover, gQ1 deletion or point mutants that are not recognized by the MAb could nonetheless associate with gQ2, indicating that although the MAb recognized the conformational epitope of gQ1 exposed by the gQ2 interaction, this epitope was not related to the gQ2 binding domain. Our study shows that HHV-6B gQ1 is likely a ligand for the HHV-6B receptor, and the recognition site for this MAb will be a promising target for antiviral agents.
PMCID: PMC3233151  PMID: 21957287
4.  Human Herpesvirus 6 Glycoprotein Complex Formation Is Required for Folding and Trafficking of the gH/gL/gQ1/gQ2 Complex and Its Cellular Receptor Binding ▿  
Journal of Virology  2011;85(21):11121-11130.
Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) is a T-cell-tropic betaherpesvirus. A glycoprotein (g) complex that is unique to HHV-6, gH/gL/gQ1/gQ2, is a viral ligand for its cellular receptor, human CD46. However, whether complex formation or one component of the complex is required for CD46 binding and how the complex is transported in cells are open questions. Furthermore, in HHV-6-infected cells the gQ1 protein modified with N-linked glycans is expressed in two forms with different molecular masses: an 80-kDa form (gQ1-80K) and a 74-kDa form (gQ1-74K). Only gQ1-80K, but not gQ1-74K, forms the complex with gQ2, gH, and gL, and this four-component complex is incorporated into mature virions. Here, we characterized the molecular context leading to the maturation of gQ1 by expressing combinations of the individual gH/gL/gQ1/gQ2 components in 293T cells. Surprisingly, only when all four molecules were expressed was a substantial amount of gQ1-80K detected, indicating that all three of the other molecules (gQ2, gH, and gL) were necessary and sufficient for gQ1 maturation. We also found that only the tetrameric complex, and not its subsets, binds to CD46. Finally, a gQ2-null virus constructed in the BAC (bacterial artificial chromosome) system could not be reconstituted, indicating that gQ2 is essential for virus growth. These results show that gH, gL, gQ1, and gQ2 are all essential for the trafficking and proper folding of the gH/gL/gQ1/gQ2 complex and, thus, for HHV-6 infection.
PMCID: PMC3194968  PMID: 21849437

Results 1-4 (4)