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Viruses, Volume 9, Issue 5 (May 2017)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Targeting Y84 in IAV NS1 Enables an IFN Antiviral Response.This article provides evidence that a [...] Read more.
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Open AccessReview A Role for the Host DNA Damage Response in Hepatitis B Virus cccDNA Formation—and Beyond?
Viruses 2017, 9(5), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/v9050125
Received: 10 March 2017 / Revised: 16 May 2017 / Accepted: 18 May 2017 / Published: 22 May 2017
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (3705 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection puts more than 250 million people at a greatly increased risk to develop end-stage liver disease. Like all hepadnaviruses, HBV replicates via protein-primed reverse transcription of a pregenomic (pg) RNA, yielding an unusually structured, viral polymerase-linked relaxed-circular
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Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection puts more than 250 million people at a greatly increased risk to develop end-stage liver disease. Like all hepadnaviruses, HBV replicates via protein-primed reverse transcription of a pregenomic (pg) RNA, yielding an unusually structured, viral polymerase-linked relaxed-circular (RC) DNA as genome in infectious particles. Upon infection, RC-DNA is converted into nuclear covalently closed circular (ccc) DNA. Associating with cellular proteins into an episomal minichromosome, cccDNA acts as template for new viral RNAs, ensuring formation of progeny virions. Hence, cccDNA represents the viral persistence reservoir that is not directly targeted by current anti-HBV therapeutics. Eliminating cccDNA will thus be at the heart of a cure for chronic hepatitis B. The low production of HBV cccDNA in most experimental models and the associated problems in reliable cccDNA quantitation have long hampered a deeper understanding of cccDNA molecular biology. Recent advancements including cccDNA-dependent cell culture systems have begun to identify select host DNA repair enzymes that HBV usurps for RC-DNA to cccDNA conversion. While this list is bound to grow, it may represent just one facet of a broader interaction with the cellular DNA damage response (DDR), a network of pathways that sense and repair aberrant DNA structures and in the process profoundly affect the cell cycle, up to inducing cell death if repair fails. Given the divergent interactions between other viruses and the DDR it will be intriguing to see how HBV copes with this multipronged host system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Hepatitis B Virus Research)
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Open AccessArticle A Japanese Encephalitis Virus Vaccine Inducing Antibodies Strongly Enhancing In Vitro Infection Is Protective in Pigs
Viruses 2017, 9(5), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/v9050124
Received: 5 April 2017 / Revised: 12 May 2017 / Accepted: 18 May 2017 / Published: 22 May 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2601 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is responsible for zoonotic severe viral encephalitis transmitted by Culex mosquitoes. Although birds are reservoirs, pigs play a role as amplifying hosts, and are affected in particular through reproductive failure. Here, we show that a lentiviral JEV vector,
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The Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is responsible for zoonotic severe viral encephalitis transmitted by Culex mosquitoes. Although birds are reservoirs, pigs play a role as amplifying hosts, and are affected in particular through reproductive failure. Here, we show that a lentiviral JEV vector, expressing JEV prM and E proteins (TRIP/JEV.prME), but not JEV infection induces strong antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) activities for infection of macrophages. Such antibodies strongly promoted infection via Fc receptors. ADE was found at both neutralizing and non-neutralizing serum dilutions. Nevertheless, in vivo JEV challenge of pigs demonstrated comparable protection induced by the TRIP/JEV.prME vaccine or heterologous JEV infection. Thus, either ADE antibodies cause no harm in the presence of neutralizing antibodies or may even have protective effects in vivo in pigs. Additionally, we found that both pre-infected and vaccinated pigs were not fully protected as low levels of viral RNA were found in lymphoid and nervous system tissue in some animals. Strikingly, the virus from the pre-infection persisted in the tonsils throughout the experiment. Finally, despite the vaccination challenge, viral RNA was detected in the oronasal swabs in all vaccinated pigs. These latter data are relevant when JEV vaccination is employed in pigs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Porcine Viruses) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Distinct Contributions of Autophagy Receptors in Measles Virus Replication
Viruses 2017, 9(5), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/v9050123
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 13 May 2017 / Accepted: 18 May 2017 / Published: 22 May 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2867 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Autophagy is a potent cell autonomous defense mechanism that engages the lysosomal pathway to fight intracellular pathogens. Several autophagy receptors can recognize invading pathogens in order to target them towards autophagy for their degradation after the fusion of pathogen-containing autophagosomes with lysosomes. However,
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Autophagy is a potent cell autonomous defense mechanism that engages the lysosomal pathway to fight intracellular pathogens. Several autophagy receptors can recognize invading pathogens in order to target them towards autophagy for their degradation after the fusion of pathogen-containing autophagosomes with lysosomes. However, numerous intracellular pathogens can avoid or exploit autophagy, among which is measles virus (MeV). This virus induces a complete autophagy flux, which is required to improve viral replication. We therefore asked how measles virus interferes with autophagy receptors during the course of infection. We report that in addition to NDP52/CALCOCO2 and OPTINEURIN/OPTN, another autophagy receptor, namely T6BP/TAXIBP1, also regulates the maturation of autophagosomes by promoting their fusion with lysosomes, independently of any infection. Surprisingly, only two of these receptors, NDP52 and T6BP, impacted measles virus replication, although independently, and possibly through physical interaction with MeV proteins. Thus, our results suggest that a restricted set of autophagosomes is selectively exploited by measles virus to replicate in the course of infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses and Autophagy)
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Open AccessArticle Stumbling across the Same Phage: Comparative Genomics of Widespread Temperate Phages Infecting the Fish Pathogen Vibrio anguillarum
Viruses 2017, 9(5), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/v9050122
Received: 1 March 2017 / Revised: 12 May 2017 / Accepted: 12 May 2017 / Published: 20 May 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2622 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Nineteen Vibrio anguillarum-specific temperate bacteriophages isolated across Europe and Chile from aquaculture and environmental sites were genome sequenced and analyzed for host range, morphology and life cycle characteristics. The phages were classified as Siphoviridae with genome sizes between 46,006 and 54,201 bp.
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Nineteen Vibrio anguillarum-specific temperate bacteriophages isolated across Europe and Chile from aquaculture and environmental sites were genome sequenced and analyzed for host range, morphology and life cycle characteristics. The phages were classified as Siphoviridae with genome sizes between 46,006 and 54,201 bp. All 19 phages showed high genetic similarity, and 13 phages were genetically identical. Apart from sporadically distributed single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), genetic diversifications were located in three variable regions (VR1, VR2 and VR3) in six of the phage genomes. Identification of specific genes, such as N6-adenine methyltransferase and lambda like repressor, as well as the presence of a tRNAArg, suggested a both mutualistic and parasitic interaction between phages and hosts. During short term phage exposure experiments, 28% of a V. anguillarum host population was lysogenized by the temperate phages and a genomic analysis of a collection of 31 virulent V. anguillarum showed that the isolated phages were present as prophages in >50% of the strains covering large geographical distances. Further, phage sequences were widely distributed among CRISPR-Cas arrays of publicly available sequenced Vibrios. The observed distribution of these specific temperate Vibriophages across large geographical scales may be explained by efficient dispersal of phages and bacteria in the marine environment combined with a mutualistic interaction between temperate phages and their hosts which selects for co-existence rather than arms race dynamics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Viruses 2016) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation and Comparison of the Pathogenicity and Host Immune Responses Induced by a G2b Taiwan Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (Strain Pintung 52) and Its Highly Cell-Culture Passaged Strain in Conventional 5-Week-Old Pigs
Viruses 2017, 9(5), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/v9050121
Received: 25 January 2017 / Revised: 4 May 2017 / Accepted: 15 May 2017 / Published: 19 May 2017
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Abstract
A genogroup 2b (G2b) porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) Taiwan Pintung 52 (PEDVPT) strain was isolated in 2014. The pathogenicity and host antibody responses elicited by low-passage (passage 5; PEDVPT-P5) and high-passage (passage 96; PEDVPT-P96) PEDVPT strains were compared in post-weaning PEDV-seronegative pigs
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A genogroup 2b (G2b) porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) Taiwan Pintung 52 (PEDVPT) strain was isolated in 2014. The pathogenicity and host antibody responses elicited by low-passage (passage 5; PEDVPT-P5) and high-passage (passage 96; PEDVPT-P96) PEDVPT strains were compared in post-weaning PEDV-seronegative pigs by oral inoculation. PEDVPT-P5-inoculation induced typical diarrhea during 1–9 days post inoculation with fecal viral shedding persisting for 26 days. Compared to PEDVPT-P5, PEDVPT-P96 inoculation induced none-to-mild diarrhea and lower, delayed fecal viral shedding. Although PEDVPT-P96 elicited slightly lower neutralizing antibodies and PEDV-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) and immunoglobulin A (IgA) titers, a reduction in pathogenicity and viral shedding of the subsequent challenge with PEDVPT-P5 were noted in both PEDVPT-P5- and PEDVPT-P96-inoculated pigs. Alignment and comparison of full-length sequences of PEDVPT-P5 and PEDVPT-P96 revealed 23 nucleotide changes and resultant 19 amino acid substitutions in non-structure proteins 2, 3, 4, 9, 14, 15, spike, open reading frame 3 (ORF3), and membrane proteins with no detectable deletion or insertion. The present study confirmed the pathogenicity of the PEDVPT isolate in conventional post-weaning pigs. Moreover, data regarding viral attenuation and potency of induced antibodies against PEDVPT-P5 identified PEDVPT-P96 as a potential live-attenuated vaccine candidate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Porcine Viruses) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Differentiation and Structure in Sulfolobus islandicus Rod-Shaped Virus Populations
Viruses 2017, 9(5), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/v9050120
Received: 17 March 2017 / Revised: 4 May 2017 / Accepted: 10 May 2017 / Published: 19 May 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3099 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In the past decade, molecular surveys of viral diversity have revealed that viruses are the most diverse and abundant biological entities on Earth. In culture, however, most viral isolates that infect microbes are represented by a few variants isolated on type strains, limiting
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In the past decade, molecular surveys of viral diversity have revealed that viruses are the most diverse and abundant biological entities on Earth. In culture, however, most viral isolates that infect microbes are represented by a few variants isolated on type strains, limiting our ability to study how natural variation affects virus-host interactions in the laboratory. We screened a set of 137 hot spring samples for viruses that infect a geographically diverse panel of the hyperthemophilic crenarchaeon Sulfolobus islandicus. We isolated and characterized eight SIRVs (Sulfolobus islandicus rod-shaped viruses) from two different regions within Yellowstone National Park (USA). Comparative genomics revealed that all SIRV sequenced isolates share 30 core genes that represent 50–60% of the genome. The core genome phylogeny, as well as the distribution of variable genes (shared by some but not all SIRVs) and the signatures of host-virus interactions recorded on the CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) repeat-spacer arrays of S. islandicus hosts, identify different SIRV lineages, each associated with a different geographic location. Moreover, our studies reveal that SIRV core genes do not appear to be under diversifying selection and thus we predict that the abundant and diverse variable genes govern the coevolutionary arms race between SIRVs and their hosts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses of Microbes)
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Open AccessArticle ATP-Driven Contraction of Phage T3 Capsids with DNA Incompletely Packaged In Vivo
Viruses 2017, 9(5), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/v9050119
Received: 6 March 2017 / Revised: 1 May 2017 / Accepted: 10 May 2017 / Published: 19 May 2017
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Abstract
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) cleavage powers packaging of a double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) molecule in a pre-assembled capsid of phages that include T3. Several observations constitute a challenge to the conventional view that the shell of the capsid is energetically inert during packaging. Here, we
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Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) cleavage powers packaging of a double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) molecule in a pre-assembled capsid of phages that include T3. Several observations constitute a challenge to the conventional view that the shell of the capsid is energetically inert during packaging. Here, we test this challenge by analyzing the in vitro effects of ATP on the shells of capsids generated by DNA packaging in vivo. These capsids retain incompletely packaged DNA (ipDNA) and are called ipDNA-capsids; the ipDNA-capsids are assumed to be products of premature genome maturation-cleavage. They were isolated via preparative Nycodenz buoyant density centrifugation. For some ipDNA-capsids, Nycodenz impermeability increases hydration and generates density so low that shell hyper-expansion must exist to accommodate associated water. Electron microscopy (EM) confirmed hyper-expansion and low permeability and revealed that 3.0 mM magnesium ATP (physiological concentration) causes contraction of hyper-expanded, lowpermeability ipDNA-capsids to less than mature size; 5.0 mM magnesium ATP (border of supraphysiological concentration) or more disrupts them. Additionally, excess sodium ADP reverses 3.0 mM magnesium ATP-induced contraction and re-generates hyper-expansion. The Nycodenz impermeability implies assembly perfection that suggests selection for function in DNA packaging. These findings support the above challenge and can be explained via the assumption that T3 DNA packaging includes a back-up cycle of ATP-driven capsid contraction and hyper-expansion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Viruses)
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Open AccessArticle Manipulation of Viral MicroRNAs as a Potential Antiviral Strategy for the Treatment of Cytomegalovirus Infection
Viruses 2017, 9(5), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/v9050118
Received: 1 March 2017 / Revised: 14 May 2017 / Accepted: 16 May 2017 / Published: 19 May 2017
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Abstract
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection leads to notable morbidity and mortality in immunosuppressed patients. Current antiviral drugs are effective but seriously limited in their long-term use due to their relatively high toxicity. In the present study, we characterized the expression of murine CMV microRNAs (MCMV
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Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection leads to notable morbidity and mortality in immunosuppressed patients. Current antiviral drugs are effective but seriously limited in their long-term use due to their relatively high toxicity. In the present study, we characterized the expression of murine CMV microRNAs (MCMV miRNAs) both in vitro and in vivo. Although 29 miRNAs were detectable during in vitro infection, only 11 miRNAs (classified as Group 1) were detectable during in vivo infection, and as many as 18 viral miRNAs (classified as Group 2) were less detectable (<50% of animals) in both the liver and lungs. In addition, viral miRNA profiles in the blood revealed unstable and reduced expression. We next explored the in vitro effects of viral miRNAs on MCMV replication. The inhibition of Group 1 viral miRNAs had little effect on virus production, but transfected cells overexpressing miR-m01-3-5p, miR-M23-1-5p, miR-M55-1, and miR-m107-1-5p in Group 2 showed statistically lower viral loads than those transfected with control miRNA (29%, 29%, 39%, and 43%, respectively, versus control). Finally, we performed hydrodynamic injection of viral miRNA agomirs and observed lower levels of MCMV recurrence in the livers of animals overexpressing the miR-m01-3-5p or mcmv-miR-M23-1-5p agomirs compared with those of animals transfected with control agomir, confirming the antiviral effects of viral miRNA manipulation in vivo. Therefore, the manipulation of viral miRNA expression shows great therapeutic potential and represents a novel antiviral strategy for the miRNA-based treatment of cytomegalovirus infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Antivirals & Vaccines)
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Open AccessArticle Understanding the Complex Patterns Observed during Hepatitis B Virus Therapy
Viruses 2017, 9(5), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/v9050117
Received: 17 February 2017 / Revised: 21 April 2017 / Accepted: 2 May 2017 / Published: 19 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (18247 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Data from human clinical trials have shown that the hepatitis B virus (HBV) follows complex profiles, such as bi-phasic, tri-phasic, stepwise decay and rebound. We utilized a deterministic model of HBV kinetics following antiviral therapy to uncover the mechanistic interactions behind HBV dynamics.
[...] Read more.
Data from human clinical trials have shown that the hepatitis B virus (HBV) follows complex profiles, such as bi-phasic, tri-phasic, stepwise decay and rebound. We utilized a deterministic model of HBV kinetics following antiviral therapy to uncover the mechanistic interactions behind HBV dynamics. Analytical investigation of the model was used to separate the parameter space describing virus decay and rebound. Monte Carlo sampling of the parameter space was used to determine the virological, pharmacological and immunological factors that separate the bi-phasic and tri-phasic virus profiles. We found that the level of liver infection at the start of therapy best separates the decay patterns. Moreover, drug efficacy, ratio between division of uninfected and infected cells, and the strength of cytotoxic immune response are important in assessing the amount of liver damage experienced over time and in quantifying the duration of therapy leading to virus resolution in each of the observed profiles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mathematical Modeling of Viral Infections)
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Open AccessArticle Variation in the Genetic Repertoire of Viruses Infecting Micromonas pusilla Reflects Horizontal Gene Transfer and Links to Their Environmental Distribution
Viruses 2017, 9(5), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/v9050116
Received: 4 April 2017 / Revised: 8 May 2017 / Accepted: 10 May 2017 / Published: 19 May 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2246 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Prasinophytes, a group of eukaryotic phytoplankton, has a global distribution and is infected by large double-stranded DNA viruses (prasinoviruses) in the family Phycodnaviridae. This study examines the genetic repertoire, phylogeny, and environmental distribution of phycodnaviruses infecting Micromonas pusilla, other prasinophytes and
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Prasinophytes, a group of eukaryotic phytoplankton, has a global distribution and is infected by large double-stranded DNA viruses (prasinoviruses) in the family Phycodnaviridae. This study examines the genetic repertoire, phylogeny, and environmental distribution of phycodnaviruses infecting Micromonas pusilla, other prasinophytes and chlorophytes. Based on comparisons among the genomes of viruses infecting M. pusilla and other phycodnaviruses, as well as the genome from a host isolate of M. pusilla, viruses infecting M. pusilla (MpVs) share a limited set of core genes, but vary strongly in their flexible pan-genome that includes numerous metabolic genes, such as those associated with amino acid synthesis and sugar manipulation. Surprisingly, few of these presumably host-derived genes are shared with M. pusilla, but rather have their closest non-viral homologue in bacteria and other eukaryotes, indicating horizontal gene transfer. A comparative analysis of full-length DNA polymerase (DNApol) genes from prasinoviruses with their overall gene content, demonstrated that the phylogeny of DNApol gene fragments reflects the gene content of the viruses; hence, environmental DNApol gene sequences from prasinoviruses can be used to infer their overall genetic repertoire. Thus, the distribution of virus ecotypes across environmental samples based on DNApol sequences implies substantial underlying differences in gene content that reflect local environmental conditions. Moreover, the high diversity observed in the genetic repertoire of prasinoviruses has been driven by horizontal gene transfer throughout their evolutionary history, resulting in a broad suite of functional capabilities and a high diversity of prasinovirus ecotypes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses of Microbes)
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Open AccessArticle Label-Free Quantitative Proteomic Analysis of Chitosan Oligosaccharide-Treated Rice Infected with Southern Rice Black-Streaked Dwarf Virus
Viruses 2017, 9(5), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/v9050115
Received: 19 April 2017 / Revised: 10 May 2017 / Accepted: 12 May 2017 / Published: 18 May 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4093 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Southern rice black-streaked dwarf virus (SRBSDV) has spread from thesouth of China to the north of Vietnam in the past few years and severelyinfluenced rice production. Its long incubation period and early symptoms are not evident; thus, controlling it is difficult. Chitosan oligosaccharide
[...] Read more.
Southern rice black-streaked dwarf virus (SRBSDV) has spread from thesouth of China to the north of Vietnam in the past few years and severelyinfluenced rice production. Its long incubation period and early symptoms are not evident; thus, controlling it is difficult. Chitosan oligosaccharide (COS) is a green plant immunomodulator. Early studies showed that preventing and controlling SRBSDV have a certain effect and reduce disease infection rate, but its underlying controlling and preventing mechanism is unclear. In this study, label-free proteomics was used to analyze differentially expressed proteins in rice after COS treatment. The results showed that COS can up-regulate the plant defense-related proteins and down-regulate the protein expression levels of SRBSDV. Meanwhile, quantitative real-time PCR test results showed that COS can improve defense gene expression in rice. Moreover, COS can enhance the defense enzymatic activities of peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and catalase through mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling cascade pathway, and enhance the rice disease resistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Viruses of Plants, Fungi and Protozoa)
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Open AccessArticle TMPRSS2 and MSPL Facilitate Trypsin-Independent Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus Replication in Vero Cells
Viruses 2017, 9(5), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/v9050114
Received: 17 March 2017 / Revised: 12 May 2017 / Accepted: 15 May 2017 / Published: 18 May 2017
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Abstract
Type II transmembrane serine proteases (TTSPs) facilitate the spread and replication of viruses such as influenza and human coronaviruses, although it remains unclear whether TTSPs play a role in the progression of animal coronavirus infections, such as that by porcine epidemic diarrhea virus
[...] Read more.
Type II transmembrane serine proteases (TTSPs) facilitate the spread and replication of viruses such as influenza and human coronaviruses, although it remains unclear whether TTSPs play a role in the progression of animal coronavirus infections, such as that by porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV). In this study, TTSPs including TMPRSS2, HAT, DESC1, and MSPL were tested for their ability to facilitate PEDV replication in Vero cells. Our results showed that TMPRSS2 and MSPL played significant roles in the stages of cell–cell fusion and virus–cell fusion, whereas HAT and DESC1 exhibited weaker effects. This activation may be involved in the interaction between TTSPs and the PEDV S protein, as the S protein extensively co-localized with TMPRSS2 and MSPL and could be cleaved by co-expression with TMPRSS2 or MSPL. Moreover, the use of Vero cells expressing TMPRSS2 and MSPL facilitated PEDV replication in the absence of exogenous trypsin. In sum, we identified two host proteases, TMPRSS2 and MSPL, which may provide insights and a novel method for enhancing viral titers, expanding virus production, and improving the adaptability of PEDV isolates in vitro. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Porcine Viruses) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle Antigenic and Biological Characterization of ORF2–6 Variants at Early Times Following PRRSV Infection
Viruses 2017, 9(5), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/v9050113
Received: 8 March 2017 / Revised: 18 April 2017 / Accepted: 24 April 2017 / Published: 16 May 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2308 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Genetic diversity of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) challenges efforts to develop effective and broadly acting vaccines. Although genetic variation in PRRSV has been extensively documented, the effects of this variation on virus phenotype are less well understood. In the present
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Genetic diversity of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) challenges efforts to develop effective and broadly acting vaccines. Although genetic variation in PRRSV has been extensively documented, the effects of this variation on virus phenotype are less well understood. In the present study, PRRSV open reading frame (ORF)2–6 variants predominant during the first six weeks following experimental infection were characterized for antigenic and replication phenotype. There was limited genetic variation during these early times after infection; however, distinct ORF2–6 haplotypes that differed from the NVSL97-7895 inoculum were identified in each of the five pigs examined. Chimeric viruses containing all or part of predominant ORF2–6 haplotypes were constructed and tested in virus neutralization and in vitro replication assays. In two pigs, genetic variation in ORF2–6 resulted in increased resistance to neutralization by autologous sera. Mapping studies indicated that variation in either ORF2–4 or ORF5–6 could confer increased neutralization resistance, but there was no single amino acid substitution that was predictive of neutralization phenotype. Detailed analyses of the early steps in PRRSV replication in the presence and absence of neutralizing antibody revealed both significant inhibition of virion attachment and, independently, a significant delay in the appearance of newly synthesized viral RNA. In all pigs, genetic variation in ORF2–6 also resulted in significant reduction in infectivity on MARC-145 cells, suggesting variation in ORF2–6 may also be important for virus replication in vivo. Together, these data reveal that variation appearing early after infection, though limited, alters important virus phenotypes and contributes to antigenic and biologic diversity of PRRSV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Porcine Viruses) Printed Edition available
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Open AccessArticle In Silico Analysis of Epitope-Based Vaccine Candidates against Hepatitis B Virus Polymerase Protein
Viruses 2017, 9(5), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/v9050112
Received: 12 February 2017 / Revised: 6 May 2017 / Accepted: 10 May 2017 / Published: 16 May 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2455 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection has persisted as a major public health problem due to the lack of an effective treatment for those chronically infected. Therapeutic vaccination holds promise, and targeting HBV polymerase is pivotal for viral eradication. In this research, a computational
[...] Read more.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection has persisted as a major public health problem due to the lack of an effective treatment for those chronically infected. Therapeutic vaccination holds promise, and targeting HBV polymerase is pivotal for viral eradication. In this research, a computational approach was employed to predict suitable HBV polymerase targeting multi-peptides for vaccine candidate selection. We then performed in-depth computational analysis to evaluate the predicted epitopes’ immunogenicity, conservation, population coverage, and toxicity. Lastly, molecular docking and MHC-peptide complex stabilization assay were utilized to determine the binding energy and affinity of epitopes to the HLA-A0201 molecule. Criteria-based analysis provided four predicted epitopes, RVTGGVFLV, VSIPWTHKV, YMDDVVLGA and HLYSHPIIL. Assay results indicated the lowest binding energy and high affinity to the HLA-A0201 molecule for epitopes VSIPWTHKV and YMDDVVLGA and epitopes RVTGGVFLV and VSIPWTHKV, respectively. Regions 307 to 320 and 377 to 387 were considered to have the highest probability to be involved in B cell epitopes. The T cell and B cell epitopes identified in this study are promising targets for an epitope-focused, peptide-based HBV vaccine, and provide insight into HBV-induced immune response. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Antivirals & Vaccines)
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Open AccessArticle Human Beta Defensin 2 Selectively Inhibits HIV-1 in Highly Permissive CCR6+CD4+ T Cells
Viruses 2017, 9(5), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/v9050111
Received: 14 March 2017 / Revised: 9 May 2017 / Accepted: 10 May 2017 / Published: 16 May 2017
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Abstract
Chemokine receptor type 6 (CCR6)+CD4+ T cells are preferentially infected and depleted during HIV disease progression, but are preserved in non-progressors. CCR6 is expressed on a heterogeneous population of memory CD4+ T cells that are critical to mucosal immunity.
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Chemokine receptor type 6 (CCR6)+CD4+ T cells are preferentially infected and depleted during HIV disease progression, but are preserved in non-progressors. CCR6 is expressed on a heterogeneous population of memory CD4+ T cells that are critical to mucosal immunity. Preferential infection of these cells is associated, in part, with high surface expression of CCR5, CXCR4, and α4β7. In addition, CCR6+CD4+ T cells harbor elevated levels of integrated viral DNA and high levels of proliferation markers. We have previously shown that the CCR6 ligands MIP-3α and human beta defensins inhibit HIV replication. The inhibition required CCR6 and the induction of APOBEC3G. Here, we further characterize the induction of apolipoprotein B mRNA editing enzyme (APOBEC3G) by human beta defensin 2. Human beta defensin 2 rapidly induces transcriptional induction of APOBEC3G that involves extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) activation and the transcription factors NFATc2, NFATc1, and IRF4. We demonstrate that human beta defensin 2 selectively protects primary CCR6+CD4+ T cells infected with HIV-1. The selective protection of CCR6+CD4+ T cell subsets may be critical in maintaining mucosal immune function and preventing disease progression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Defensins)
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