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1.  Visualizing the autophagy pathway in avian cells and its application to studying infectious bronchitis virus 
Autophagy  2013;9(4):496-509.
Autophagy is a highly conserved cellular response to starvation that leads to the degradation of organelles and long-lived proteins in lysosomes and is important for cellular homeostasis, tissue development and as a defense against aggregated proteins, damaged organelles and infectious agents. Although autophagy has been studied in many animal species, reagents to study autophagy in avian systems are lacking. Microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (MAP1LC3/LC3) is an important marker for autophagy and is used to follow autophagosome formation. Here we report the cloning of avian LC3 paralogs A, B and C from the domestic chicken, Gallus gallus domesticus, and the production of replication-deficient, recombinant adenovirus vectors expressing these avian LC3s tagged with EGFP and FLAG-mCherry. An additional recombinant adenovirus expressing EGFP-tagged LC3B containing a G120A mutation was also generated. These vectors can be used as tools to visualize autophagosome formation and fusion with endosomes/lysosomes in avian cells and provide a valuable resource for studying autophagy in avian cells. We have used them to study autophagy during replication of infectious bronchitis virus (IBV). IBV induced autophagic signaling in mammalian Vero cells but not primary avian chick kidney cells or the avian DF1 cell line. Furthermore, induction or inhibition of autophagy did not affect IBV replication, suggesting that classical autophagy may not be important for virus replication. However, expression of IBV nonstructural protein 6 alone did induce autophagic signaling in avian cells, as seen previously in mammalian cells. This may suggest that IBV can inhibit or control autophagy in avian cells, although IBV did not appear to inhibit autophagy induced by starvation or rapamycin treatment.
doi:10.4161/auto.23465
PMCID: PMC3627666  PMID: 23328491
chicken; avian; GFP-LC3; autophagy; primary cells; recombinant adenovirus; coronavirus; infectious bronchitis virus; LC3A; LC3B; LC3C
2.  Infectious Bronchitis Virus Generates Spherules from Zippered Endoplasmic Reticulum Membranes 
mBio  2013;4(5):e00801-13.
ABSTRACT
Replication of positive-sense RNA viruses is associated with the rearrangement of cellular membranes. Previous work on the infection of tissue culture cell lines with the betacoronaviruses mouse hepatitis virus and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) showed that they generate double-membrane vesicles (DMVs) and convoluted membranes as part of a reticular membrane network. Here we describe a detailed study of the membrane rearrangements induced by the avian gammacoronavirus infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) in a mammalian cell line but also in primary avian cells and in epithelial cells of ex vivo tracheal organ cultures. In all cell types, structures novel to IBV infection were identified that we have termed zippered endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and spherules. Zippered ER lacked luminal space, suggesting zippering of ER cisternae, while spherules appeared as uniform invaginations of zippered ER. Electron tomography showed that IBV-induced spherules are tethered to the zippered ER and that there is a channel connecting the interior of the spherule with the cytoplasm, a feature thought to be necessary for sites of RNA synthesis but not seen previously for membrane rearrangements induced by coronaviruses. We also identified DMVs in IBV-infected cells that were observed as single individual DMVs or were connected to the ER via their outer membrane but not to the zippered ER. Interestingly, IBV-induced spherules strongly resemble confirmed sites of RNA synthesis for alphaviruses, nodaviruses, and bromoviruses, which may indicate similar strategies of IBV and these diverse viruses for the assembly of RNA replication complexes.
IMPORTANCE All positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses induce rearranged cellular membranes, providing a platform for viral replication complex assembly and protecting viral RNA from cellular defenses. We have studied the membrane rearrangements induced by an important poultry pathogen, the gammacoronavirus infectious bronchitis virus (IBV). Previous work studying closely related betacoronaviruses identified double-membrane vesicles (DMVs) and convoluted membranes (CMs) derived from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in infected cells. However, the role of DMVs and CMs in viral RNA synthesis remains unclear because these sealed vesicles lack a means of delivering viral RNA to the cytoplasm. Here, we characterized structures novel to IBV infection: zippered ER and small vesicles tethered to the zippered ER termed spherules. Significantly, spherules contain a channel connecting their interior to the cytoplasm and strongly resemble confirmed sites of RNA synthesis for other positive-sense RNA viruses, making them ideal candidates for the site of IBV RNA synthesis.
IMPORTANCE
All positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses induce rearranged cellular membranes, providing a platform for viral replication complex assembly and protecting viral RNA from cellular defenses. We have studied the membrane rearrangements induced by an important poultry pathogen, the gammacoronavirus infectious bronchitis virus (IBV). Previous work studying closely related betacoronaviruses identified double-membrane vesicles (DMVs) and convoluted membranes (CMs) derived from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in infected cells. However, the role of DMVs and CMs in viral RNA synthesis remains unclear because these sealed vesicles lack a means of delivering viral RNA to the cytoplasm. Here, we characterized structures novel to IBV infection: zippered ER and small vesicles tethered to the zippered ER termed spherules. Significantly, spherules contain a channel connecting their interior to the cytoplasm and strongly resemble confirmed sites of RNA synthesis for other positive-sense RNA viruses, making them ideal candidates for the site of IBV RNA synthesis.
doi:10.1128/mBio.00801-13
PMCID: PMC3812713  PMID: 24149513
3.  Coronavirus nsp6 proteins generate autophagosomes from the endoplasmic reticulum via an omegasome intermediate 
Autophagy  2011;7(11):1335-1347.
Autophagy is a cellular response to starvation which generates autophagosomes to carry cellular organelles and long-lived proteins to lysosomes for degradation. Degradation through autophagy can provide an innate defense against virus infection, or conversely autophagosomes can promote infection by facilitating assembly of replicase proteins. We demonstrate that the avian coronavirus, infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), activates autophagy. A screen of individual IBV nonstructural proteins (nsps) showed that autophagy was activated by IBV nsp6. This property was shared with nsp6 of mammalian coronaviruses mouse hepatitis virus, and severe acute respiratory syndrome virus, and the equivalent nsp5–7 of the arterivirus porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus. These multiple-spanning transmembrane proteins located to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) where they generated Atg5 and LC3II -positive vesicles, and vesicle formation was dependent on Atg5 and class III PI3 kinase. The vesicles recruited double-FYVE-domain containing protein (DFCP) indicating localized concentration of phosphatidylinositol 3 phosphate, and therefore shared many features with omegasomes formed from the ER in response to starvation. Omegasomes induced by viral nsp6 matured into autophagosomes that delivered LC3 to lysosomes and therefore recruited and recycled the proteins needed for autophagosome nucleation, expansion, cellular trafficking and delivery of cargo to lysosomes. The coronavirus nsp6 proteins activated omegasome and autophagosome formation independently of starvation, but activation did not involve direct inhibition of mTOR signaling, activation of sirtuin 1 or induction of ER stress.
doi:10.4161/auto.7.11.16642
PMCID: PMC3242798  PMID: 21799305
autophagy; omegasome; endoplasmic reticulum; coronavirus; nonstructural proteins
4.  Crohn disease 
Autophagy  2011;7(4):355-374.
Crohn disease (CD) is a chronic and debilitating inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract.1 Prevalence in western populations is 100–150/100,000 and somewhat higher in Ashkenazi Jews. Peak incidence is in early adult life, although any age can be affected and a majority of affected individuals progress to relapsing and chronic disease. Medical treatments rely significantly on empirical corticosteroid therapy and immunosuppression, and intestinal resectional surgery is frequently required. Thus, 80% of patients with CD come to surgery for refractory disease or complications. It is hoped that an improved understanding of pathogenic mechanisms, for example by studying the genetic basis of CD and other forms of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), will lead to improved therapies and possibly preventative strategies in individuals identified as being at risk.
doi:10.4161/auto.7.4.13074
PMCID: PMC3842289  PMID: 20729636
Atg16L1; dendritic cells; gastrointestinal; genome-wide association; gut microbiota; inflammatory bowel diseases; IRGM; Paneth cell; ulcerative colitis

Results 1-4 (4)