Many novel reassortant influenza viruses of the H9N2 genotype have emerged in aquatic birds in southern China since their initial isolation in this region in 1994. However, the genesis and evolution of H9N2 viruses in poultry in eastern China have not been investigated systematically. In the current study, H9N2 influenza viruses isolated from poultry in eastern China during the past 10 years were characterized genetically and antigenically. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that these H9N2 viruses have undergone extensive reassortment to generate multiple novel genotypes, including four genotypes (J, F, K, and L) that have never been recognized before. The major H9N2 influenza viruses represented by A/Chicken/Beijing/1/1994 (Ck/BJ/1/94)-like viruses circulating in poultry in eastern China before 1998 have been gradually replaced by A/Chicken/Shanghai/F/1998 (Ck/SH/F/98)-like viruses, which have a genotype different from that of viruses isolated in southern China. The similarity of the internal genes of these H9N2 viruses to those of the H5N1 influenza viruses isolated from 2001 onwards suggests that the Ck/SH/F/98-like virus may have been the donor of internal genes of human and poultry H5N1 influenza viruses circulating in Eurasia. Experimental studies showed that some of these H9N2 viruses could be efficiently transmitted by the respiratory tract in chicken flocks. Our study provides new insight into the genesis and evolution of H9N2 influenza viruses and supports the notion that some of these viruses may have been the donors of internal genes found in H5N1 viruses.
Infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) is an important fish pathogen that infects both wild and cultured salmonids. As a species of the genus Novirhabdovirus, IHNV is a valuable model system for exploring the host entry mechanisms of rhabdoviruses. In this study, quantum dots (QDs) were used as fluorescent labels for sensitive, long-term tracking of IHNV entry. Using live-cell fluorescence microscopy, we found that IHNV is internalized through clathrin-coated pits after the virus binds to host cell membranes. Pretreatment of host cells with chlorpromazine, a drug that blocks clathrin-mediated endocytosis, and clathrin light chain (LCa) depletion using RNA interference both resulted in a marked reduction in viral entry. We also visualized transport of the virus via the cytoskeleton (i.e., actin filaments and microtubules) in real time. Actin polymerization is involved in the transport of endocytic vesicles into the cytosol, whereas microtubules are required for the trafficking of clathrin-coated vesicles to early endosomes, late endosomes, and lysosomes. Disrupting the host cell cytoskeleton with cytochalasin D or nocodazole significantly impaired IHNV infectivity. Furthermore, infection was significantly affected by pretreating the host cells with bafilomycin A1, a compound that inhibits the acidification of endosomes and lysosomes. Strong colocalizations of IHNV with endosomes indicated that the virus is internalized into these membrane-bound compartments. This is the first report in which QD labeling is used to visualize the dynamic interactions between viruses and endocytic structures; the results presented demonstrate that IHNV enters host cells via clathrin-mediated endocytic, cytoskeleton-dependent, and low-pH-dependent pathways.
Autophagy is a conserved eukaryotic mechanism that mediates the removal of long-lived cytoplasmic macromolecules and damaged organelles via a lysosomal degradative pathway. Recently, a multitude of studies have reported that viral infections may have complex interconnections with the autophagic process. The findings reported here demonstrate that hepatitis B virus (HBV) can enhance the autophagic process in hepatoma cells without promoting protein degradation by the lysosome. Mutation analysis showed that HBV small surface protein (SHBs) was required for HBV to induce autophagy. The overexpression of SHBs was sufficient to induce autophagy. Furthermore, SHBs could trigger unfolded protein responses (UPR), and the blockage of UPR signaling pathways abrogated the SHB-induced lipidation of LC3-I. Meanwhile, the role of the autophagosome in HBV replication was examined. The inhibition of autophagosome formation by the autophagy inhibitor 3-methyladenine (3-MA) or small interfering RNA duplexes targeting the genes critical for autophagosome formation (Beclin1 and ATG5 genes) markedly inhibited HBV production, and the induction of autophagy by rapamycin or starvation greatly contributed to HBV production. Furthermore, evidence was provided to suggest that the autophagy machinery was required for HBV envelopment but not for the efficiency of HBV release. Finally, SHBs partially colocalized and interacted with autophagy protein LC3. Taken together, these results suggest that the host's autophagy machinery is activated during HBV infection to enhance HBV replication.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was caused by a novel virus now known as SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV). The discovery of SARS-CoV-like viruses in masked palm civets (Paguma larvata) raises the possibility that civets play a role in SARS-CoV transmission. To test the susceptibility of civets to experimental infection by different SARS-CoV isolates, 10 civets were inoculated with two human isolates of SARS-CoV, BJ01 (with a 29-nucleotide deletion) and GZ01 (without the 29-nucleotide deletion). All inoculated animals displayed clinical symptoms, such as fever, lethargy, and loss of aggressiveness, and the infection was confirmed by virus isolation, detection of viral genomic RNA, and serum-neutralizing antibodies. Our data show that civets were equally susceptible to SARS-CoV isolates GZ01 and BJ01.
Virus persistence in chronic hepatitis B patients is due to the sustaining level of covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) within the nuclei of infected hepatocytes. In this study, we used a modified 1.3-fold hepatitis B virus (HBV) genome, with a BclI genetic marker embedded in the redundancy region, to examine the transcriptional activity of cccDNA and the effect of the HBx protein on transcriptional regulation. After harvesting total RNA from transfected cells or stable lines, we specifically identified and monitored the transcripts from cccDNA by using reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) combined with the restriction enzyme digestion method. In this approach, we have found that (i) RT-PCR combined with detection of the BclI marker is a highly specific method for distinguishing cccDNA-derived transcripts from the original integrated viral genome, (ii) the transcriptional ability of cccDNA was less efficient than that from the integrated viral genome, and (iii) the transcriptional activity of cccDNA was significantly regulated by the HBx protein, a potential transcription activator. In conclusion, we provided a tool with which to elucidate the transcriptional regulation of cccDNA and clarified the transcriptional regulation mechanism of HBx on cccDNA. The results obtained may be helpful in the development of a clinical intervention for patients with chronic HBV infections.
In silico screening of metazoan genome data identified multiple endogenous hepadnaviral elements in the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) genome, most notably two elements comprising about 1.3× and 1.0× the full-length genome. Phylogenetic and molecular dating analyses show that endogenous budgerigar hepatitis B viruses (eBHBV) share an ancestor with extant avihepadnaviruses and infiltrated the budgerigar genome millions of years ago. Identification of full-length genomes with preserved key features like ε signals could enable resurrection of ancient BHBV.
We isolated a bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) from commercial fetal bovine serum and designated it HLJ-10. The complete genome is 12,284 nucleotides (nt); the open reading frame is 11,694 nt, coding 3,898 amino acids. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that this strain belongs to BVDV group 2.
The distal portion of rotavirus (RV) VP4 spike protein (VP8*) is implicated in binding to cellular receptors, thereby facilitating viral attachment and entry. While VP8* of some animal RVs engage sialic acid, human RVs often attach to and enter cells in a sialic acid-independent manner. A recent study demonstrated that the major human RVs (P, P, and P) recognize human histo-blood group antigens (HBGAs). In this study, we performed a phylogenetic analysis of RVs and showed further variations of RV interaction with HBGAs. On the basis of the VP8* sequences, RVs are grouped into five P genogroups (P[I] to P[V]), of which P[I], P[IV], and P[V] mainly infect animals, P[II] infects humans, and P[III] infects both animals and humans. The sialic acid-dependent RVs (P, P, P, and P) form a subcluster within P[I], while all three major P genotypes of human RVs (P, P, and P) are clustered in P[II]. We then characterized three human RVs (P, P, and P) in P[III] and observed a new pattern of binding to the type A antigen which is distinct from that of the P[II] RVs. The binding was demonstrated by hemagglutination and saliva binding assay using recombinant VP8* and native RVs. Homology modeling and mutagenesis study showed that the locations of the carbohydrate binding interfaces are shared with the sialic acid-dependent RVs, although different amino acids are involved. The P[III] VP8* proteins also bind the A antigens of the porcine and bovine mucins, suggesting the A antigen as a possible factor for cross-species transmission of RVs. Our study suggests that HBGAs play an important role in RV infection and evolution.
The influenza A virus matrix 1 protein (M1) shuttles between the cytoplasm and the nucleus during the viral life cycle and plays an important role in the replication, assembly, and budding of viruses. Here, a leucine-rich nuclear export signal (NES) was identified specifically for the nuclear export of the M1 protein. The predicted NES, designated the Flu-A-M1 NES, is highly conserved among all sequences from the influenza A virus subtype, but no similar NES motifs are found in the M1 sequences of influenza B or C viruses. The biological function of the Flu-A-M1 NES was demonstrated by its ability to translocate an enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-NES fusion protein from the nucleus to the cytoplasm in transfected cells, compared to the even nuclear and cytoplasmic distribution of EGFP. The translocation of EGFP-NES from the nucleus to the cytoplasm was not inhibited by leptomycin B. NES mutations in M1 caused a nuclear retention of the protein and an increased nuclear accumulation of NEP during transfection. Indeed, as shown by rescued recombinant viruses, the mutation of the NES impaired the nuclear export of M1 and significantly reduced the virus titer compared to titers of wild-type viruses. The NES-defective M1 protein was retained in the nucleus during infection, accompanied by a lowered efficiency of the nuclear export of viral RNPs (vRNPs). In conclusion, M1 nuclear export was specifically dependent on the Flu-A-M1 NES and critical for influenza A virus replication.
The nuclear export of the influenza A virus ribonucleoprotein (vRNP) is crucial for virus replication. As a major component of the vRNP, nucleoprotein (NP) alone can also be shuttled out of the nucleus by interacting with chromosome region maintenance 1 (CRM1) and is therefore hypothesized to promote the nuclear export of the vRNP. In the present study, three novel nuclear export signals (NESs) of the NP—NES1, NES2, and NES3—were identified as being responsible for mediating its nuclear export. The nuclear export of NES3 was CRM1 dependent, whereas that of NES1 or NES2 was CRM1 independent. Inactivation of these NESs led to an overall nuclear accumulation of NP. Mutation of all three NP-NESs significantly impaired viral replication. Based on structures of influenza virus NP oligomers, these three hydrophobic NESs are found present on the surface of oligomeric NPs. Functional studies indicated that oligomerization is also required for nuclear export of NP. Together, these results suggest that the nuclear export of NP is important for virus replication and relies on its NESs and oligomerization.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most important cause of lower respiratory tract disease in young children. In the 1960s, infants vaccinated with formalin-inactivated RSV developed a more severe disease characterized by excessive inflammatory immunopathology in lungs upon natural RSV infection. The fear of causing the vaccine-enhanced disease (VED) is an important obstacle for development of safe and effective RSV vaccines. The recombinant vaccine candidate G1F/M2 immunization also led to VED. It has been proved that cellular memory induced by RSV vaccines contributed to VED. Interleukin-27 (IL-27) and IL-23 regulate Th1, Th17, and/or Th2 cellular immune responses. In this study, mice coimmunized with pcDNA3–IL-27 and G1F/M2 were fully protected and, importantly, did not develop vaccine-enhanced inflammatory responses and immunopathology in lungs after RSV challenge, which was correlated with moderate Th1-, suppressed Th2-, and Th17-like memory responses activated by RSV. In contrast, G1F/M2- or pcDNA3–IL-23+G1F/M2-immunized mice, in which robust Th2- and Th17-like memory responses were induced, developed enhanced pulmonary inflammation and severe immunopathology. Mice coimmunized with G1F/M2 and the two cytokine plasmids exhibited mild inflammatory responses as well as remarkable Th1-, suppressed Th2-, and Th17-like memory responses. These results suggested that Th1-, Th2-, and Th17-like memory responses and, in particular, excessive Th2- and Th17-like memory responses were closely associated with VED; IL-27 may inhibit VED following respiratory syncytial virus infection by regulating cellular memory responses.
We report here the complete genomic sequence of the Chinese duck flavivirus TA strain. This work is the first to document the complete genomic sequence of this previously unknown duck flavivirus strain. The sequence will help further relevant epidemiological studies and extend our general knowledge of flaviviruses.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of chronic liver diseases worldwide, often leading to the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Constitutive activation of the Ras/Raf/MEK pathway is responsible for approximately 30% of cancers. Here we attempted to address the correlation between activation of this pathway and HCV replication. We showed that knockdown of Raf1 inhibits HCV replication, while activation of the Ras/Raf/MEK pathway by V12, a constitutively active form of Ras, stimulates HCV replication. We further demonstrated that this effect is regulated through attenuation of the interferon (IFN)-JAK-STAT pathway. Activation of the Ras/Raf/MEK pathway downregulates the expression of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs), attenuates the phosphorylation of STAT1/2, and inhibits the expression of interferon (alpha, beta, and omega) receptors 1 and 2 (IFNAR1/2). Furthermore, we observed that HCV infection activates the Ras/Raf/MEK pathway. Thus, we propose that during HCV infection, the Ras/Raf/MEK pathway is activated, which in turn attenuates the IFN-JAK-STAT pathway, resulting in stimulation of HCV replication.
The double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-dependent protein kinase (PKR) inhibits protein synthesis by phosphorylating eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α (eIF2α). In fish species, in addition to PKR, there exists a PKR-like protein kinase containing Z-DNA binding domains (PKZ). However, the antiviral role of fish PKZ and the functional relationship between fish PKZ and PKR remain unknown. Here we confirmed the coexpression of fish PKZ and PKR proteins in Carassius auratus blastula embryonic (CAB) cells and identified them as two typical interferon (IFN)-inducible eIF2α kinases, both of which displayed an ability to inhibit virus replication. Strikingly, fish IFN or all kinds of IFN stimuli activated PKZ and PKR to phosphorylated eIF2α. Overexpression of both fish kinases together conferred much more significant inhibition of virus replication than overexpression of either protein, whereas morpholino knockdown of both made fish cells more vulnerable to virus infection than knockdown of either. The antiviral ability of fish PKZ was weaker than fish PKR, which correlated with its lower ability to phosphorylate eIF2α than PKR. Moreover, the independent association of fish PKZ or PKR reveals that each of them formed homodimers and that fish PKZ phosphorylated eIF2α independently on fish PKR and vice versa. These results suggest that fish PKZ and PKR play a nonredundant but cooperative role in IFN antiviral response.
Many plant and animal viruses counteract RNA silencing-mediated defense by encoding diverse RNA silencing suppressors. We characterized HVT063, a multifunctional protein encoded by turkey herpesvirus (HVT), as a silencing suppressor in coinfiltration assays with green fluorescent protein transgenic Nicotiana benthamiana line 16c. Our results indicated that HVT063 could strongly suppress both local and systemic RNA silencing induced by either sense RNA or double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). HVT063 could reverse local silencing, but not systemic silencing, in newly emerging leaves. The local silencing suppression activity of HVT063 was also verified using the heterologous vector PVX. Further, single alanine substitution of arginine or lysine residues of the HVT063 protein showed that each selected single amino acid contributed to the suppression activity of HVT063 and region 1 (residues 138 to 141) was more important, because three of four single amino acid mutations in this region could abolish the silencing suppressor activity of HVT063. Moreover, HVT063 seemed to induce a cell death phenotype in the infiltrated leaf region, and the HVT063 dilutions could decrease the silencing suppressor activity and alleviate the cell death phenotype. Collectively, these results suggest that HVT063 functions as a viral suppressor of RNA silencing that targets a downstream step of the dsRNA formation in the RNA silencing process. Positively charged amino acids in HVT063, such as arginine and lysine, might contribute to the suppressor activity by boosting the interaction between HVT063 and RNA, since HVT063 has been demonstrated to be an RNA binding protein.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-encoded molecules have been detected in the tumor tissues of several cancers, including nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), suggesting that EBV plays an important role in tumorigenesis. However, the nature of EBV with respect to genome width in vivo and whether EBV undergoes clonal expansion in the tumor tissues are still poorly understood. In this study, next-generation sequencing (NGS) was used to sequence DNA extracted directly from the tumor tissue of a patient with NPC. Apart from the human sequences, a clinically isolated EBV genome 164.7 kb in size was successfully assembled and named GD2 (GenBank accession number HQ020558). Sequence and phylogenetic analyses showed that GD2 was closely related to GD1, a previously assembled variant derived from a patient with NPC. GD2 contains the most prevalent EBV variants reported in Cantonese patients with NPC, suggesting that it might be the prevalent strain in this population. Furthermore, GD2 could be grouped into a single subtype according to common classification criteria and contains only 6 heterozygous point mutations, suggesting the monoclonal expansion of GD2 in NPC. This study represents the first genome-wide analysis of a clinical isolate of EBV directly extracted from NPC tissue. Our study reveals that NGS allows the characterization of genome-wide variations of EBV in clinical tumors and provides evidence of monoclonal expansion of EBV in vivo. The pipeline could also be applied to the study of other pathogen-related malignancies. With additional NGS studies of NPC, it might be possible to uncover the potential causative EBV variant involved in NPC.
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), a mosquito-borne zoonotic pathogen, is one of the major causes of viral encephalitis worldwide. Previous phylogenetic studies based on the envelope protein indicated that there are four genotypes, and surveillance data suggest that genotype I is gradually replacing genotype III as the dominant strain. Here we report an evolutionary analysis based on 98 full-length genome sequences of JEV, including 67 new samples isolated from humans, pigs, mosquitoes, midges. and bats in affected areas. To investigate the relationships between the genotypes and the significance of genotype I in recent epidemics, we estimated evolutionary rates, ages of common ancestors, and population demographics. Our results indicate that the genotypes diverged in the order IV, III, II, and I and that the genetic diversity of genotype III has decreased rapidly while that of genotype I has increased gradually, consistent with its emergence as the dominant genotype.
Tiger frog virus (TFV), in the genus Ranavirus of the family Iridoviridae, causes high mortality of cultured tiger frog tadpoles in China. To explore the cellular entry mechanism of TFV, HepG2 cells were treated with drugs that inhibit the main endocytic pathways. We observed that TFV entry was inhibited by NH4Cl, chloroquine, and bafilomycin, which can all elevate the pH of acidic organelles. In contrast, TFV entry was not influenced by chlorpromazine or overexpression of a dominant-negative form of Esp15, which inhibit the assembly of clathrin-coated pits. These results suggested that TFV entry was not associated with clathrin-mediated endocytosis, but was related to the pH of acidic organelles. Subsequently, we found that endocytosis of TFV was dependent on membrane cholesterol and was inhibited by the caveolin-1 scaffolding domain peptide. Dynamin and actin were also required for TFV entry. In addition, TFV virions colocalized with the cholera toxin subunit B, indicating that TFV enters as caveola-internalized cargo into the Golgi complex. Taken together, our results demonstrated that TFV entry occurs by caveola-mediated endocytosis with a pH-dependent step. This atypical caveola-mediated endocytosis is different from the clathrin-mediated endocytosis of frog virus 3 (FV3) by BHK cells, which has been recognized as a model for iridoviruses. Thus, our work may help further the understanding of the initial steps of iridovirus infection in lower vertebrates.
Major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC I)-restricted CD8+ T-cell responses play a pivotal role in anti-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) immunity and the control of viremia. The rhesus macaque is an important animal model for HIV-related research. Among the MHC I alleles of the rhesus macaque, Mamu-A*02 is prevalent, presenting in ≥20% of macaques. In this study, we determined the crystal structure of Mamu-A*02, the second structure-determined MHC I from the rhesus macaque after Mamu-A*01. The peptide presentation characteristics of Mamu-A*02 are exhibited in complex structures with two typical Mamu-A*02-restricted CD8+ T-cell epitopes, YY9 (Nef159 to -167; YTSGPGIRY) and GY9 (Gag71 to -79; GSENLKSLY), derived from simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). These two peptides utilize similar primary anchor residues (Ser or Thr) at position 2 and Tyr at position 9. However, the central region of YY9 is different from that of GY9, a difference that may correlate with the immunogenic variance of these peptides. Further analysis indicated that the distinct conformations of these two peptides are modulated by four flexible residues in the Mamu-A*02 peptide-binding groove. The rare combination of these four residues in Mamu-A*02 leads to a variant presentation for peptides with different residues in their central regions. Additionally, in the two structures of the Mamu-A*02 complex, we compared the binding of rhesus and human β2 microglobulin (β2m) to Mamu-A*02. We found that the peptide presentation of Mamu-A*02 is not affected by the interspecies interaction with human β2m. Our work broadens the understanding of CD8+ T-cell-specific immunity against SIV in the rhesus macaque.
The tripartite motif (TRIM) protein family comprises more than 60 members that have diverse functions in various biological processes. Although a small number of TRIM proteins have been shown to regulate innate immunity, much remains to be learned about the functions of the majority of the TRIM proteins. Here we identify TRIM56 as a cellular protein associated with the N-terminal protease (Npro) of bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), a pestiviral interferon antagonist which degrades interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) through the proteasome. We found that TRIM56 was constitutively expressed in most tissues, and its abundance was further upregulated moderately by interferon or virus. The manipulation of TRIM56 abundance did not affect the protein turnover of Npro and IRF3. Rather, ectopic expression of TRIM56 substantially impaired, while knockdown of TRIM56 expression greatly enhanced, BVDV replication in cell culture. The antiviral activity of TRIM56 depended on its E3 ubiquitin ligase activity as well as the integrity of its C-terminal region but was not attributed to a general augmentation of the interferon antiviral response. Overexpression of TRIM56 did not inhibit the replication of vesicular stomatitis virus or hepatitis C virus, a virus closely related to BVDV. Together, our data demonstrate that TRIM56 is a novel antiviral host factor that restricts pestivirus infection.
PG9 and PG16 are two recently isolated quaternary-specific human monoclonal antibodies that neutralize 70 to 80% of circulating HIV-1 isolates. The crystal structure of PG16 shows that it contains an exceptionally long CDR H3 that forms a unique stable subdomain that towers above the antibody surface to confer fine specificity. To determine whether this unique architecture of CDR H3 itself is sufficient for epitope recognition and neutralization, we cloned CDR H3 subdomains derived from human monoclonal antibodies PG16, PG9, b12, E51, and AVF and genetically linked them to a glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol (GPI) attachment signal. Each fusion gene construct is expressed and targeted to lipid rafts of plasma membranes through a GPI anchor. Moreover, GPI-CDR H3(PG16, PG9, and E51), but not GPI-CDR H3(b12 and AVF), specifically neutralized multiple clades of HIV-1 isolates with a great degree of potency when expressed on the surface of transduced TZM-bl cells. Furthermore, GPI-anchored CDR H3(PG16), but not GPI-anchored CDR H3(AVF), specifically confers resistance to HIV-1 infection when expressed on the surface of transduced human CD4+ T cells. Finally, the CDR H3 mutations (Y100HF, D100IA, and G7) that were previously shown to compromise the neutralization activity of antibody PG16 also abolished the neutralization activity of GPI-CDR H3(PG16). Thus, we conclude that the CDR H3 subdomain of PG16 neutralizes HIV-1 when targeted to the lipid raft of the plasma membrane of HIV-1-susceptible cells and that GPI-CDR H3 can be an alternative approach for determining whether the CDR H3 of certain antibodies alone can exert epitope recognition and neutralization.
Nonstructural protein 1 (NS1) is one of the major factors resulting in the efficient infection rate and high level of virulence of influenza A virus. Although consisting of only approximately 230 amino acids, NS1 has the ability to interfere with several systems of the host viral defense. In the present study, we demonstrate that NS1 of the highly pathogenic avian influenza A/Duck/Hubei/L-1/2004 (H5N1) virus interacts with human Ubc9, which is the E2 conjugating enzyme for sumoylation, and we show that SUMO1 is conjugated to H5N1 NS1 in both transfected and infected cells. Furthermore, two lysine residues in the C terminus of NS1 were identified as SUMO1 acceptor sites. When the SUMO1 acceptor sites were removed by mutation, NS1 underwent rapid degradation. Studies of different influenza A virus strains of human and avian origin showed that the majority of viruses possess an NS1 protein that is modified by SUMO1, except for the recently emerged swine-origin influenza A virus (S-OIV) (H1N1). Interestingly, growth of a sumoylation-deficient WSN virus mutant was retarded compared to that of wild-type virus. Together, these results indicate that sumoylation enhances NS1 stability and thus promotes rapid growth of influenza A virus.
The fusogenic human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) gp41 core structure is a stable six-helix bundle formed by its N- and C-terminal heptad repeat sequences. Notably, the negatively charged residue Asp632 located at the pocket-binding motif in the C-terminal heptad repeat interacts with the positively charged residue Lys574 in the pocket formation region of the N-terminal heptad repeat to form a salt bridge. We previously demonstrated that the residue Lys574 plays an essential role in six-helix bundle formation and virus infectivity and is a key determinant of the target for anti-HIV fusion inhibitors. In this study, the functionality of residue Asp632 has been specifically characterized by mutational analysis and biophysical approaches. We show that Asp632 substitutions with positively charged residues (D632K and D632R) or a hydrophobic residue (D632V) could completely abolish Env-mediated viral entry, while a protein with a conserved substitution (D632E) retained its activity. Similar to the Lys574 mutations, nonconserved substitutions of Asp632 also severely impaired the α-helicity, stability, and conformation of six-helix bundles as shown by N36 and C34 peptides as a model system. Furthermore, nonconserved substitutions of Asp632 significantly reduced the potency of C34 to sequestrate six-helix bundle formation and to inhibit HIV-1-mediated cell-cell fusion and infection, suggesting its importance for designing antiviral fusion inhibitors. Taken together, these data suggest that the salt bridge between the N- and C-terminal heptad repeat regions of the fusion-active HIV-1 gp41 core structure is critical for viral entry and inhibition.
Infection by the human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is thought to cause dysregulated T-cell proliferation, which in turn leads to adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma. Early cellular changes after HTLV-1 infection have been difficult to study due to the poorly infectious nature of HTLV-1 and the need for cell-to-cell contact for HTLV-1 transmission. Using a series of reporter systems, we show that HeLa cells cease proliferation within one or two division cycles after infection by HTLV-1 or transduction of the HTLV-1 tax gene. HTLV-1-infected HeLa cells, like their tax-transduced counterparts, expressed high levels of p21CIP1/WAF1 and p27KIP1, developed mitotic abnormalities, and became arrested in G1 in senescence. In contrast, cells of a human osteosarcoma lineage (HOS) continued to divide after HTLV-1 infection or Tax expression, albeit at a reduced growth rate and with mitotic aberrations. Unique to HOS cells is the dramatic reduction of p21CIP1/WAF1 and p27KIP1 expression, which is in part associated with the constitutive activation of the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)-protein kinase B (Akt) pathway. The loss of p21CIP1/WAF1 and p27KIP1 in HOS cells apparently allows HTLV-1- and Tax-induced G1 arrest to be bypassed. Finally, HTLV-1 infection and Tax expression also cause human SupT1 T cells to arrest in the G1 phase of the cell cycle. These results suggest that productive HTLV-1 infection ordinarily leads to Tax-mediated G1 arrest. However, T cells containing somatic mutations that inactivate p21CIP1/WAF1 and p27KIP1 may continue to proliferate after HTLV-1 infection and Tax expression. These infected cells can expand clonally, accumulate additional chromosomal abnormalities, and progress to cancer.