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Journal of Virology

American Society for Microbiology


ISSN: 0022-538X (1070-6321, 1098-5514)
Virology - Insect Science - Microbiology - Immunology - Virology
APC costs unknown

Recent articles

1 show abstract
Despite very low sequence homology, the major capsid proteins of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) bacteriophages, some archaeal viruses, and the herpesviruses share a structural motif, the HK97 fold. Bacteriophage P22, a paradigm for this class of viruses, belongs to a phage gene cluster that contains three homology groups: P22-like, CUS-3-like, and Sf6-like. The coat protein of each phage has an inserted domain (I-domain) that is more conserved than the rest of the coat protein. In P22, loops in the I-domain are critical for stabilizing intra- and intersubunit contacts that guide proper capsid assembly. The nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) structures of the P22, CUS-3, and Sf6 I-domains reveal that they are all six-stranded, anti-parallel β-barrels. Nevertheless, significant structural differences occur in loops connecting the β-strands, in surface electrostatics used to dock the I-domains with their respective coat protein core partners, and in sequence motifs displayed on the capsid surfaces. Our data highlight the structural diversity of I-domains that could lead to variations in capsid assembly mechanisms and capsid surfaces adapted for specific phage functions.

IMPORTANCE Comparative studies of protein structures often provide insights into their evolution. The HK97 fold is a structural motif used to form the coat protein shells that encapsidate the genomes of many dsDNA phages and viruses. The structure and function of coat proteins based on the HK97 fold are often embellished by the incorporation of I-domains. In the present work we compare I-domains from three phages representative of highly divergent P22-like homology groups. While the three I-domains share a six-stranded β-barrel skeleton, there are differences (i) in structure elements at the periphery of the conserved fold, (ii) in the locations of disordered loops important in capsid assembly and conformational transitions, (iii) in surfaces charges, and (iv) in sequence motifs that are potential ligand-binding sites. These structural modifications on the rudimentary I-domain fold suggest that considerable structural adaptability was needed to fulfill the versatile range of functional requirements for distinct phages.
2 show abstract

Article URL: http://jvi.asm.org/cgi/content/short/93/9/masthead-93-9?rss=1
Citation: Vol 93 No. 9 (2019) pp masthead-9 masthead-9
Publication Date: 2019-04-17T08:02:11-07:00
Journal: Journal of Virology
3 show abstract
Alveolar macrophages (AM) play pivotal roles in modulating host defense, pulmonary inflammation, and tissue injury following respiratory viral infections. However, the transcriptional regulation of AM function during respiratory viral infections is still largely undefined. Here we have screened the expression of 84 transcription factors in AM in response to influenza A virus (IAV) infection. We found that the transcription factor PPAR- was downregulated following IAV infection in AM through type I interferon (IFN)-dependent signaling. PPAR- expression in AM was critical for the suppression of exaggerated antiviral and inflammatory responses of AM following IAV and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections. Myeloid PPAR- deficiency resulted in enhanced host morbidity and increased pulmonary inflammation following both IAV and RSV infections, suggesting that macrophage PPAR- is vital for restricting severe host disease development. Using approaches to selectively deplete recruiting monocytes, we demonstrate that PPAR- expression in resident AM is likely important in regulating host disease development. Furthermore, we show that PPAR- was critical for the expression of wound healing genes in AM. As such, myeloid PPAR- deficiency resulted in impaired inflammation resolution and defective tissue repair following IAV infection. Our data suggest a critical role of PPAR- expression in lung macrophages in the modulation of pulmonary inflammation, the development of acute host diseases, and the proper restoration of tissue homeostasis following respiratory viral infections.

IMPORTANCE Respiratory viral infections, like IAV and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections, impose great challenges to public health. Alveolar macrophages (AM) are lung-resident immune cells that play important roles in protecting the host against IAV and RSV infections. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms by which AM modulate host inflammation, disease development, and tissue recovery are not very well understood. Here we identify that PPAR- expression in AM is crucial to suppress pulmonary inflammation and diseases and to promote fast host recovery from IAV and RSV infections. Our data suggest that targeting macrophage PPAR- may be a promising therapeutic option in the future to suppress acute inflammation and simultaneously promote recovery from severe diseases associated with respiratory viral infections.
4 show abstract
Vicriviroc (VCV) is a CCR5 antagonist that blocks the viral entry of CCR5-tropic (R5) virions by binding to and inducing a conformational change in the chemokine receptor. Clinical resistance to CCR5 antagonists occurs in two phases, competitive and noncompetitive stages. In this study, we analyzed two subjects, from a phase 2b VCV clinical trial, whose quasispecies contained R5 and dual-mixed virions at the earliest recorded time of virological failure (VF). Genotypic analysis of R5-tropic patient-derived envelope genes revealed significant changes in the V1/V2 coding domain and convergence toward a more homogenous sequence under VCV therapy. Additionally, a small population of baseline clones sharing similar V1/V2 and V3 domains with the predominant VF isolate was observed. These clones were denoted preresistant based on their genotype. Preresistant clones and chimeric clones containing V1/V2 regions isolated during VF displayed high 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) values relative to those at baseline, consistent with early competitive resistance. Genotypic analysis of the dual-tropic clones also showed significant changes in the V1/V2 region, different from the resistant R5-tropic viruses. Our findings suggest that the V1/V2 domain plays a key role in the initial step of development of drug resistance.

IMPORTANCE It is believed that each CCR5 antagonist-resistant isolate will develop its own unique set of mutations, making it difficult to identify a signature mutation that can effectively predict CCR5 antagonist resistance. This may explain why we do not observe shared mutations among clinical studies. The present study examined the earliest events in the development of drug resistance with viral quasispecies that continued the use of CCR5 for entry. Genotypic and phenotypic assays demonstrated a distinct role of the variable domain V1/V2 in competitive resistance to CCR5 antagonist therapy. Thus, future studies analyzing the development of clinical resistance should focus on the relationship between the V1/V2 and V3 domains.
5 show abstract
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 subtype C (HIV-1C) has a natural deletion of a YPxL motif in its Gag-p6 late domain. This domain mediates the binding of Gag to host cell protein ALIX and subsequently facilitates viral budding. In a subset of HIV-1C-infected individuals, the tetrapeptide insertion PYxE has been identified at the deleted YPxL motif site. Here, we report the consequences of PYxE insertion on the interaction with ALIX and the relevance regarding replication fitness and drug sensitivity. In our three HIV-1C cohorts, PYKE and PYQE were most prevalent among PYxE variants. Through in silico predictions and in vitro experiments, we showed that HIV-1C Gag has an increased binding to ALIX when the PYxE motif is present. To go more into the clinical relevance of the PYxE insertion, we obtained patient-derived gag-pol sequences from HIV-1CPYxEi viruses and inserted them in a reference HIV-1 sequence. Viral growth was increased, and the sensitivity to the protease inhibitor (PI) lopinavir (LPV) and nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) was decreased for some of the HIV-1C PYxE variants compared to that of wild-type variants. Our data suggest that PYxE insertion in Gag restores the ability of Gag to bind ALIX and correlates with enhanced viral fitness in the absence or presence of LPV and TAF. The high prevalence and increased replication fitness of the HIV-1C virus with PYxE insertion indicates the clinical importance of these viral variants.

IMPORTANCE Genomic differences within HIV-1 subtypes is associated with various degrees of viral spread, disease progression, and clinical outcome. Viral budding is essential in the HIV-1 life cycle and mainly mediated through the interaction of Gag with host proteins. Two motifs within Gag-p6 mediate binding of host cell proteins and facilitate budding. HIV-1C has a natural deletion of one of these two motifs, resulting in an inability to bind to host cell protein ALIX. Previously, we have identified a tetrapeptide (PYxE) insertion at this deleted motif site in a subset of HIV-1C patients. Here, we report the incidence of PYxE insertions in three different HIV-1C cohorts, and the insertion restores the binding of Gag to ALIX. It also increases viral growth even in the presence of the antiretroviral drugs lopinavir and tenofovir alafenamide. Hence, PYxE insertion in HIV-1C might be biologically relevant for viruses and clinically significant among patients.
6 show abstract
Most individuals are infected with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) by age two, but infection does not result in long-term protective immunity to subsequent infections. Previous RSV infection may, however, impact responses to an RSV vaccine. The goal of these studies was to explore the effect of previous RSV infection on murine antibody responses to RSV F and G protein-containing virus-like particles (VLP), comparing responses to those resulting from VLP immunization of RSV-naive animals. These studies showed that after RSV infection, immunization with a single dose of VLPs containing a conformation-stabilized prefusion F protein stimulated high titers of neutralizing antibodies (NA), while an immunization with post-F-containing VLPs or a second RSV infection only weakly stimulated NA, even though total anti-F protein IgG antibody levels in both VLP-immunized animals were similar. Furthermore, single pre-F or post-F VLP immunization of animals previously infected (primed) with RSV resulted in total anti-F antibody titers that were 10- to 12-fold higher than titers after a VLP prime and boost of RSV-naive animals or after two consecutive RSV infections. The avidities of serum antibodies as well as numbers of splenic B cells and bone marrow cells after different immunization protocols were also assessed. The combined results show that RSV infection can quite effectively prime animals for the production of protective antibodies that can be efficiently activated by a pre-F VLP boost but not by a post-F VLP boost or a second RSV infection.

IMPORTANCE Humans may experience repeated infections caused by the same serotype of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), in contrast to infections with most other viruses, indicating that immune memory responses to RSV are defective. However, the effects of any residual but nonprotective immunity on responses to RSV vaccines are not clear. This study demonstrates that a VLP vaccine candidate containing a stabilized prefusion F protein can robustly stimulate protective immunity in animals previously infected with RSV, while a second RSV infection or a postfusion F-containing VLP cannot. This result shows that a properly constructed immunogen can be an effective vaccine in animals previously infected with RSV. The results also suggest that the defect in RSV memory is not in the induction of that memory but rather in its activation by a subsequent RSV infection.
7 show abstract
Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) establishes latency in both peripheral nerve ganglia and the central nervous system (CNS). The outcomes of acute and latent infections in these different anatomic sites appear to be distinct. It is becoming clear that many of the existing culture models using animal primary neurons to investigate HSV-1 infection of the CNS are limited and not ideal, and most do not recapitulate features of CNS neurons. Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) and neurons derived from them are documented as tools to study aspects of neuropathogenesis, but few have focused on modeling infections of the CNS. Here, we characterize functional two-dimensional (2D) CNS-like neuron cultures and three-dimensional (3D) brain organoids made from hiPSCs to model HSV-1–human–CNS interactions. Our results show that (i) hiPSC-derived CNS neurons are permissive for HSV-1 infection; (ii) a quiescent state exhibiting key landmarks of HSV-1 latency described in animal models can be established in hiPSC-derived CNS neurons; (iii) the complex laminar structure of the organoids can be efficiently infected with HSV, with virus being transported from the periphery to the central layers of the organoid; and (iv) the organoids support reactivation of HSV-1, albeit less efficiently than 2D cultures. Collectively, our results indicate that hiPSC-derived neuronal platforms, especially 3D organoids, offer an extraordinary opportunity for modeling the interaction of HSV-1 with the complex cellular and architectural structure of the human CNS.

IMPORTANCE This study employed human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) to model acute and latent HSV-1 infections in two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) CNS neuronal cultures. We successfully established acute HSV-1 infections and infections showing features of latency. HSV-1 infection of the 3D organoids was able to spread from the outer surface of the organoid and was transported to the interior lamina, providing a model to study HSV-1 trafficking through complex neuronal tissue structures. HSV-1 could be reactivated in both culture systems; though, in contrast to 2D cultures, it appeared to be more difficult to reactivate HSV-1 in 3D cultures, potentially paralleling the low efficiency of HSV-1 reactivation in the CNS of animal models. The reactivation events were accompanied by dramatic neuronal morphological changes and cell-cell fusion. Together, our results provide substantive evidence of the suitability of hiPSC-based neuronal platforms to model HSV-1–CNS interactions in a human context.
8 show abstract
Tailed double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) bacteriophages, herpesviruses, and adenoviruses package their genetic material into a precursor capsid through a dodecameric ring complex called the portal protein, which is located at a unique 5-fold vertex. In several phages and viruses, including T4, 29, and herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), the portal forms a nucleation complex with scaffolding proteins (SPs) to initiate procapsid (PC) assembly, thereby ensuring incorporation of only one portal ring per capsid. However, for bacteriophage P22, the role of its portal protein in initiation of procapsid assembly is unclear. We have developed an in vitro P22 assembly assay where portal protein is coassembled into procapsid-like particles (PLPs). Scaffolding protein also catalyzes oligomerization of monomeric portal protein into dodecameric rings, possibly forming a scaffolding protein-portal protein nucleation complex that results in one portal ring per P22 procapsid. Here, we present evidence substantiating that the P22 portal protein, similarly to those of other dsDNA viruses, can act as an assembly nucleator. The presence of the P22 portal protein is shown to increase the rate of particle assembly and contribute to proper morphology of the assembled particles. Our results highlight a key function of portal protein as an assembly initiator, a feature that is likely conserved among these classes of dsDNA viruses.

IMPORTANCE The existence of a single portal ring is essential to the formation of infectious virions in the tailed double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) phages, herpesviruses, and adenoviruses and, as such, is a viable antiviral therapeutic target. How only one portal is selectively incorporated at a unique vertex is unclear. In many dsDNA viruses and phages, the portal protein acts as an assembly nucleator. However, early work on phage P22 assembly in vivo indicated that the portal protein did not function as a nucleator for procapsid (PC) assembly, leading to the suggestion that P22 uses a unique mechanism for portal incorporation. Here, we show that portal protein nucleates assembly of P22 procapsid-like particles (PLPs). Addition of portal rings to an assembly reaction increases the rate of formation and yield of particles and corrects improper particle morphology. Our data suggest that procapsid assembly may universally initiate with a nucleation complex composed minimally of portal and scaffolding proteins (SPs).
9 show abstract
The ability of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) to transduce nondividing cells is key to infecting terminally differentiated macrophages, which can serve as a long-term reservoir of HIV-1 infection. The mutation N57A in the viral CA protein renders HIV-1 cell cycle dependent, allowing examination of HIV-1 infection of nondividing cells. Here, we show that the N57A mutation confers a postentry infectivity defect that significantly differs in magnitude between the common lab-adapted molecular clones HIV-1NL4-3 (>10-fold) and HIV-1LAI (2- to 5-fold) in multiple human cell lines and primary CD4+ T cells. Capsid permeabilization and reverse transcription are altered when N57A is incorporated into HIV-1NL4-3 but not HIV-1LAI. The N57A infectivity defect is significantly exacerbated in both virus strains in the presence of cyclosporine (CsA), indicating that N57A infectivity is dependent upon CA interacting with host factor cyclophilin A (CypA). Adaptation of N57A HIV-1LAI selected for a second CA mutation, G94D, which rescued the N57A infectivity defect in HIV-1LAI but not HIV-1NL4-3. The rescue of N57A by G94D in HIV-1LAI is abrogated by CsA treatment in some cell types, demonstrating that this rescue is CypA dependent. An examination of over 40,000 HIV-1 CA sequences revealed that the four amino acids that differ between HIV-1NL4-3 and HIV-1LAI CA are polymorphic, and the residues at these positions in the two strains are widely prevalent in clinical isolates. Overall, a few polymorphic amino acid differences between two closely related HIV-1 molecular clones affect the phenotype of capsid mutants in different cell types.

IMPORTANCE The specific mechanisms by which HIV-1 infects nondividing cells are unclear. A mutation in the HIV-1 capsid protein abolishes the ability of the virus to infect nondividing cells, serving as a tool to examine cell cycle dependence of HIV-1 infection. We have shown that two widely used HIV-1 molecular clones exhibit significantly different N57A infectivity phenotypes due to fewer than a handful of CA amino acid differences and that these clones are both represented in HIV-infected individuals. As such minor differences in closely related HIV-1 strains may impart significant infectivity differences, careful consideration should be given to drawing conclusions from one particular HIV-1 clone. This study highlights the potential for significant variation in results with the use of multiple strains and possible unanticipated effects of natural polymorphisms.
10 show abstract
The environment represents a significant barrier to infection. Physical stressors (heat) or chemical agents (ethanol) can render virions noninfectious. As such, discrete proteins are necessary to stabilize the dual-layered structure of mammalian orthoreovirus (reovirus). The outer capsid participates in cell entry: (i) 3 is degraded to generate the infectious subviral particle, and (ii) μ1 facilitates membrane penetration and subsequent core delivery. μ1-3 interactions also prevent inactivation; however, this activity is not fully characterized. Using forward and reverse genetic approaches, we identified two mutations (μ1 M258I and 3 S344P) within heat-resistant strains. 3 S344P was sufficient to enhance capsid integrity and to reduce protease sensitivity. Moreover, these changes impaired replicative fitness in a reassortant background. This work reveals new details regarding the determinants of reovirus stability.

IMPORTANCE Nonenveloped viruses rely on protein-protein interactions to shield their genomes from the environment. The capsid, or protective shell, must also disassemble during cell entry. In this work, we identified a determinant within mammalian orthoreovirus that regulates heat resistance, disassembly kinetics, and replicative fitness. Together, these findings show capsid function is balanced for optimal replication and for spread to a new host.
11 show abstract

Article URL: http://jvi.asm.org/cgi/content/short/93/9/e00414-19?rss=1
Citation: Vol 93 No. 9 (2019) pp e00414-19 e00414-19
Publication Date: 2019-04-17T08:02:11-07:00
Journal: Journal of Virology
12 show abstract
Natural killer (NK) cells during chronic viral infection have been well studied in the past. We performed an unbiased next-generation RNA-sequencing approach to identify commonalities or differences of the effect of HIV, HCV, and HBV viremia on NK cell transcriptomes. Using cell sorting, we obtained CD3– CD56+ NK cells from blood of 6 HIV-, 8 HCV-, and 32 HBV-infected patients without treatment. After library preparation and sequencing, we used an in-house analytic pipeline to compare expression levels with matched healthy controls. In NK cells from HIV-, HCV-, and HBV-infected patients, transcriptome analysis identified 272, 53, and 56 differentially expressed genes, respectively (fold change,>1.5; q-value, 0.2). Interferon-stimulated genes were induced in NK cells from HIV/HCV patients, but not during HBV infection. HIV viremia downregulated ribosome assembly genes in NK cells. In HBV-infected patients, viral load and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) variation had little effect on genes related to NK effector function. In conclusion, we compare, for the first time, NK cell transcripts of viremic HIV, HCV, and HBV patients. We clearly demonstrate distinctive NK cell gene signatures in three different populations, suggestive for a different degree of functional alterations of the NK cell compartment compared to healthy individuals.

IMPORTANCE Three viruses exist that can result in persistently high viral loads in immunocompetent humans: human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C virus, and hepatitis B virus. In the last decades, by using flow cytometry and in vitro assays on NK cells from patients with these types of infections, several impairments have been established, particularly during and possibly contributing to HIV viremia. However, the background of NK cell impairments in viremic patients is not well understood. In this study, we describe the NK cell transcriptomes of patients with high viral loads of different etiologies. We clearly demonstrate distinctive NK cell gene signatures with regard to interferon-stimulated gene induction and the expression of genes coding for activation markers or proteins involved in cytotoxic action, as well immunological genes. This study provides important details necessary to uncover the origin of functional and phenotypical differences between viremic patients and healthy subjects and provides many leads that can be confirmed using future in vitro manipulation experiments.
13 show abstract
This summer marks the 51st anniversary of the DNA tumor virus meetings. Scientists from around the world will gather in Trieste, Italy, to report their latest results and to agree or disagree on the current concepts that define our understanding of this diverse class of viruses. This article offers a brief history of the impact the study of these viruses has had on molecular and cancer biology and discusses obstacles and opportunities for future progress.
14 show abstract
Parvovirus B19, one of the most common human pathogens, is a small DNA virus that belongs to the Parvoviridae. As a result of previous infections, antibodies to B19 are present in most adults. B19 has a strong tropism to erythroid progenitor cells and is able to cause a series of medical conditions, including fifth disease, arthritis, myocarditis, hydrops fetalis, and aplastic crisis. No approved vaccine is currently available for B19, and there is a lack of structural characterization of any B19 epitopes. Here we present the first cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structure of a B19 virus-like particle (VLP) complexed with the antigen-binding fragment (Fab) of a human neutralizing antibody, 860-55D. A model was built into the 3.2-Å-resolution map, and the antigenic residues on the surface of the B19 capsid were identified. Antibody 860-55D bridges the capsid of B19 by binding to a quaternary structure epitope formed by residues from three neighboring VP2 capsid proteins.

IMPORTANCE Parvovirus B19 is a common human pathogen and a particular threat to children, pregnant women, and patients with sickle cell disease or AIDS. Currently, neutralizing antibody is the most efficient treatment for acute B19 infections. Research on the antigenic properties of B19 will guide the usage of these antibodies and facilitate vaccine development. We have determined and report here the high-resolution structure of B19 virus-like particles (VLPs) complexed with the Fab of a human neutralizing antibody. The structure shows a quaternary structure epitope formed by three VP2 proteins and provides details on host recognition of human B19 virus.
15 show abstract
Plants are frequently infected with cytoplasmic RNA viruses that persist for many generations through nearly 100% vertical transmission without producing any symptoms. Movement between plant cells and horizontal transmission have not been observed with these viruses; instead, they are distributed to all host cells through host cell division. Jalapeño peppers (Capsicum annuum) are all infected with Pepper cryptic virus 1 (PCV-1; family Partitiviridae). We compared the effect of odor cues from PCV-1-infected (J+) and virus-free (J–) jalapeño peppers on the aphid Myzus persicae, a common vector of acute plant viruses. Pairwise preference experiments showed a stark contrast to insect-plant interactions in acute virus infections—that is, the virus-infected plants deterred aphids. The acute plant virus Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) manipulates its host's volatile emissions to attract aphid vectors and facilitate its transmission. We inoculated J+ and J– plants with CMV. Volatiles of J+ and J– CMV-infected plants were more attractive to aphids than those of J+ and J– mock-inoculated plants. However, in pairwise preference experiments with J+ CMV- and J– CMV-infected plants, aphids preferred the J– CMV volatile blend. Aphid reproduction on J+ and J– plants was measured as an indicator of the effect of PCV-1 on host quality for aphids. Aphid reproduction on J+ plants was more than 2-fold lower than that on J– plants.

IMPORTANCE This study demonstrates that a persistent plant virus can manipulate aphid behavior. This manipulation is in stark contrast to previously described effects of acute viruses on their hosts that facilitate their transmission. This study demonstrates a positive relationship between Pepper cryptic virus 1 and jalapeño pepper (Capsicum annuum) plants wherein the virus protects the plants from the vector of acute viruses and reduces aphid herbivory. This work reveals an important implication of persistent plant viruses for pest and pathogen management in agriculture.
16 show abstract
Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV)-induced activation of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is essential for both the expression of viral genes (latency) and modulation of the host antioxidant machinery. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are also regulated by the ubiquitously expressed HACE1 protein (HECT domain and ankyrin repeat containing E3 ubiquitin protein ligase 1), which targets the Rac1 protein for proteasomal degradation, and this blocks the generation of ROS by Rac1-dependent NADPH oxidases. In this study, we examined the role of HACE1 in KSHV infection. Elevated levels of HACE1 expression were observed in de novo KSHV-infected endothelial cells, KSHV latently infected TIVE-LTC and PEL cells, and Kaposi’s sarcoma skin lesion cells. The increased HACE1 expression in the infected cells was mediated by KSHV latent protein kaposin A. HACE1 knockdown resulted in high Rac1 and Nox 1 (NADPH oxidase 1) activity, increased ROS (oxidative stress), increased cell death, and decreased KSHV gene expression. Loss of HACE1 impaired KSHV infection-induced phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3-K), protein kinase C- (PKC-), extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), NF-B, and Nrf2 activation and nuclear translocation of Nrf2, and it reduced the expression of Nrf2 target genes responsible for balancing the oxidative stress. In the absence of HACE1, glutamine uptake increased in the cells to cope with the KSHV-induced oxidative stress. These findings reveal for the first time that HACE1 plays roles during viral infection-induced oxidative stress and demonstrate that HACE1 facilitates resistance to KSHV infection-induced oxidative stress by promoting Nrf2 activity. Our studies suggest that HACE1 could be a potential target to induce cell death in KSHV-infected cells and to manage KSHV infections.

IMPORTANCE ROS play important roles in several cellular processes, and increased ROS cause several adverse effects. KSHV infection of endothelial cells induces ROS, which facilitate virus entry by amplifying the infection-induced host cell signaling cascade, which, in turn, induces the nuclear translocation of phospho-Nrf2 protein to regulate the expression of antioxidative genes and viral genes. The present study demonstrates that KSHV infection induces the E3 ligase HACE1 protein to regulate KSHV-induced oxidative stress by promoting the activation of Nrf2 and nuclear translocation. Absence of HACE1 results in increased ROS and cellular death and reduced nuclear Nrf2, antioxidant, and viral gene expression. Together, these studies suggest that HACE1 can be a potential target to induce cell death in KSHV-infected cells.
17 show abstract
Cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV; family Caulimoviridae) responds to the presence of aphid vectors on infected plants by forming specific transmission morphs. This phenomenon, coined transmission activation (TA), controls plant-to-plant propagation of CaMV. A fundamental question is whether other viruses rely on TA. Here, we demonstrate that transmission of the unrelated turnip mosaic virus (TuMV; family Potyviridae) is activated by the reactive oxygen species H2O2 and inhibited by the calcium channel blocker LaCl3. H2O2-triggered TA manifested itself by the induction of intermolecular cysteine bonds between viral helper component protease (HC-Pro) molecules and by the formation of viral transmission complexes, composed of TuMV particles and HC-Pro that mediates vector binding. Consistently, LaCl3 inhibited intermolecular HC-Pro cysteine bonds and HC-Pro interaction with viral particles. These results show that TuMV is a second virus using TA for transmission but using an entirely different mechanism than CaMV. We propose that TuMV TA requires reactive oxygen species (ROS) and calcium signaling and that it is operated by a redox switch.

IMPORTANCE Transmission activation, i.e., a viral response to the presence of vectors on infected hosts that regulates virus acquisition and thus transmission, is an only recently described phenomenon. It implies that viruses contribute actively to their transmission, something that has been shown before for many other pathogens but not for viruses. However, transmission activation has been described so far for only one virus, and it was unknown whether other viruses also rely on transmission activation. Here we present evidence that a second virus uses transmission activation, suggesting that it is a general transmission strategy.
18 show abstract
Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a ubiquitous herpesvirus that causes disease in immunosuppressed populations. HCMV has a complex relationship with innate immune signaling pathways. Specifically, HCMV has been found to block some aspects of inflammatory signaling while benefiting from others. Through analysis of knockout cell lines targeting the NF-B regulatory kinases IB kinase α (IKKα) and IKKβ, we find that the IKKs are host restriction factors that contribute to cytokine-mediated resistance to viral infection, limit the initiation of HCMV infection, and attenuate viral cell-to-cell spread. The HCMV UL26 protein is a viral immune modulator important for HCMV infection that has been shown to inhibit host cell NF-B signaling, yet it has remained unclear how UL26-mediated NF-B modulation contributes to infection. Here, we find that UL26 modulation of NF-B signaling is separable from its contribution to high-titer viral replication. However, we find that IKKβ is required for the induction of cytokine expression associated with UL26 infection. Collectively, our data indicate that the IKKs restrict infection but HCMV targets their signaling to modulate the cellular inflammatory environment.

IMPORTANCE Innate immune signaling is a critical defense against viral infection and represents a central host-virus interaction that frequently determines the outcomes of infections. NF-B signaling is an essential component of innate immunity that is extensively modulated by HCMV, a significant cause of morbidity in neonates and immunosuppressed individuals. However, the roles that various facets of NF-B signaling play during HCMV infection have remained elusive. We find that the two major regulatory kinases in this pathway, IKKα and IKKβ, limit the initiation of infection, viral replication, and cell-to-cell spread. In addition, our results indicate that these kinases contribute differently to the host cell response to infection in the absence of a virally encoded NF-B inhibitor, UL26. Given the importance of NF-B in viral infection, elucidating the contributions of various NF-B constituents to infection is an essential first step toward the possibility of targeting this pathway therapeutically.
19 show abstract
Covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) forms the basis for replication and persistence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in the chronically infected liver. We have previously shown that viral transcription is subject to regulation by posttranslational modifications (PTMs) of histone proteins bound to cccDNA through analysis of de novo HBV-infected cell lines. We now report the successful adaptation of this chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIPseq) approach for analysis of fine-needle patient liver biopsy specimens to investigate the role of histone PTMs in chronically HBV-infected patients. Using 18 specimens from patients in different stages of chronic HBV infection, our work shows that the profile of histone PTMs in chronic infection is more nuanced than previously observed in in vitro models of acute infection. In line with our previous findings, we find that the majority of HBV-derived sequences are associated with the activating histone PTM H3K4me3. However, we show a striking interpatient variability of its deposition in this patient cohort correlated with viral transcription and patient HBV early antigen (HBeAg) status. Unexpectedly, we detected deposition of the classical inhibitory histone PTM H3K9me3 on HBV-DNA in around half of the patient biopsy specimens, which could not be linked to reduced levels of viral transcripts. Our results show that current in vitro models are unable to fully recapitulate the complex epigenetic landscape of chronic HBV infection observed in vivo and demonstrate that fine-needle liver biopsy specimens can provide sufficient material to further investigate the interaction of viral and host proteins on HBV-DNA.

IMPORTANCE Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a major global health concern, chronically infecting millions of patients and contributing to a rising burden of liver disease. The viral genome forms the basis for chronic infection and has been shown to be subject to regulation by epigenetic mechanisms, such as posttranslational modification of histone proteins. Here, we confirm and expand on previous results by adapting a high-resolution technique for analysis of histone modifications for use with patient-derived fine-needle liver biopsy specimens. Our work highlights that the situation in vivo is more complex than predicted by current in vitro models, for example, by suggesting a novel, noncanonical role of the histone modification H3K9me3 in the HBV life cycle. Importantly, enabling the use of fine-needle liver biopsy specimens for such high-resolution analyses may facilitate further research into the epigenetic regulation of the HBV genome.
20 show abstract
The influenza C virus (ICV) is a human-pathogenic agent, and the infections are frequently identified in children. Compared to influenza A and B viruses, the nucleoprotein of ICV (NPC) has an extended C-terminal region of which the functional significance is ill defined. We observed that the nuclear localization signals (NLSs) found on the nucleoproteins of influenza A and B virus subtypes are absent at corresponding positions on ICV. Instead, we found that a long bipartite nuclear localization signal resides at the extended C-terminal region, spanning from R513 to K549. Our experimental data determined that the KKMK motif within this region plays important roles in both nuclear import and polymerase activity. Similar to the influenza A viruses, NPC also binds to multiple human importin α isoforms. Taken together, our results enhance the understanding of the virus-host interaction of the influenza C virus.

IMPORTANCE As a member of the Orthomyxoviridae family, the polymerase complex of the influenza C virus structurally resembles its influenza A and influenza B virus counterparts, but the nucleoprotein differs by possessing an extra C-terminal region. We have characterized this region in view of nuclear import and interaction with the importin α protein family. Our results demonstrate the functional significance of a previously uncharacterized region on Orthomyxoviridae nucleoprotein (NP). Based on this work, we propose that importin α binding to influenza C virus NP is regulated by a long bipartite nuclear localization signal. Since the sequence of influenza D virus NP shares high homology to that of the influenza C virus, this work will also shed light on how influenza D virus NP functions.
21 show abstract
Satellite tobacco necrosis virus 1 (STNV-1) is a model system for in vitro RNA encapsidation studies (N. Patel, E. C. Dykeman, R. H. A. Coutts, G. P. Lomonossoff, et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 112:2227–2232, 2015, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1420812112; N. Patel, E. Wroblewski, G. Leonov, S. E. V. Phillips, et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 114:12255–12260, 2017, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1706951114), leading to the identification of degenerate packaging signals (PSs) proposed to be involved in the recognition of its genome by the capsid protein (CP). The aim of the present work was to investigate whether these putative PSs can confer selective packaging of STNV-1 RNA in vivo and to assess the prospects of using decoy RNAs in antiviral therapy. We have developed an in planta packaging assay based on the transient expression of STNV-1 CP and have assessed the ability of the resulting virus-like particles (VLPs) to encapsidate mutant STNV-1 RNAs expected to have different encapsidation potential based on in vitro studies. The results revealed that>90% of the encapsidated RNAs are host derived, although there is some selectivity of packaging for STNV-1 RNA and certain host RNAs. Comparison of the packaging efficiencies of mutant STNV-1 RNAs showed that they are encapsidated mainly according to their abundance within the cells, rather than the presence or absence of the putative PSs previously identified from in vitro studies. In contrast, subsequent infection experiments demonstrated that host RNAs represent only
22 show abstract
Chromatin-based modifications of herpesviral genomes play a crucial role in dictating the outcome of infection. Consistent with this, host cell multiprotein complexes, such as polycomb repressive complexes (PRCs), were proposed to act as epigenetic regulators of herpesviral latency. In particular, PRC2 has recently been shown to contribute to the silencing of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) genomes. Here, we identify a novel proviral role of PRC1 and PRC2, the two main polycomb repressive complexes, during productive HCMV infection. Western blot analyses revealed strong HCMV-mediated upregulation of RING finger protein 1B (RING1B) and B lymphoma Moloney murine leukemia virus insertion region 1 homolog (BMI1) as well as of enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), suppressor of zeste 12 (SUZ12), and embryonic ectoderm development (EED), which constitute the core components of PRC1 and PRC2, respectively. Furthermore, we observed a relocalization of PRC components to viral replication compartments, whereas histone modifications conferred by the respective PRCs were specifically excluded from these sites. Depletion of individual PRC1/PRC2 proteins by RNA interference resulted in a significant reduction of newly synthesized viral genomes and, in consequence, a decreased release of viral particles. Furthermore, accelerated native isolation of protein on nascent DNA (aniPOND) revealed a physical association of EZH2 and BMI1 with nascent HCMV DNA, suggesting a direct contribution of PRC proteins to viral DNA replication. Strikingly, substances solely inhibiting the enzymatic activity of PRC1/2 did not exert antiviral effects, while drugs affecting the abundance of PRC core components strongly compromised HCMV genome synthesis and particle release. Taken together, our data reveal an enzymatically independent, noncanonical function of both PRC1 and PRC2 during HCMV DNA replication, which may serve as a novel cellular target for antiviral therapy.

IMPORTANCE Polycomb group (PcG) proteins are primarily known as transcriptional repressors that modify chromatin and contribute to the establishment and maintenance of cell fates. Furthermore, emerging evidence indicates that overexpression of PcG proteins in various types of cancers contributes to the dysregulation of cellular proliferation. Consequently, several inhibitors targeting PcG proteins are presently undergoing preclinical and clinical evaluation. Here, we show that infection with human cytomegalovirus also induces a strong upregulation of several PcG proteins. Our data suggest that viral DNA replication depends on a noncanonical function of polycomb repressor complexes which is independent of the so-far-described enzymatic activities of individual PcG factors. Importantly, we observe that a subclass of inhibitory drugs that affect the abundance of PcG proteins strongly interferes with viral replication. This principle may serve as a novel promising target for antiviral treatment.
23 show abstract
Among the numerous immunological abnormalities observed in chronically human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals, perturbations in memory CD4 T cells are thought to contribute specifically to disease pathogenesis. Among these, functional imbalances in the frequencies of T regulatory cells (Tregs) and interleukin 17 (IL-17)/IL-22-producing Th cells (Th17/Th22) from mucosal sites and T follicular helper (Tfh) cells in lymph nodes are thought to facilitate specific aspects of disease pathogenesis. However, while preferential infection of Tfh cells is widely thought to create an important viral reservoir in an immunologically privileged site in vivo, whether immunological perturbations among memory CD4 T cell populations are attributable to their relative infectivity by the virus in vivo is unclear. Here we studied peripheral blood and lymphoid tissues from antiretroviral (ARV)-treated and ARV-naive Asian macaques and isolated functionally defined populations of memory CD4 T cells. We then assessed the degree to which these populations were infected by simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) in vivo, to determine whether particular functionally identified populations of memory CD4 T cells were preferentially infected by the virus. We found that SIV did not preferentially infect Th17 cells, compared to Th1 cells, Th2 cells, or Tregs. Moreover, Th17 cells contributed proportionately to the total pool of infected cells. Taken together, our data suggest that, although Tfh cells are more prone to harbor viral DNA, other functionally polarized cells are equally infected by the virus in vivo and Th17 cells are not preferentially infected.

IMPORTANCE Functional perturbations of memory CD4 T cells have been suggested to underlie important aspects of HIV disease progression. However, the mechanisms underlying these perturbations remain unclear. Using a nonhuman primate model of HIV, we show that SIV infects functionally defined populations of memory CD4 T cells equally in different anatomic sites. Thus, preferential infection by the virus is unlikely to cause functional perturbations.
24 show abstract
Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) cycles between phases of latency in sensory neurons and replication in mucosal sites. HSV-1 encodes two key proteins that antagonize the shutdown of host translation, US11 through preventing PKR activation and ICP34.5 through mediating dephosphorylation of the α subunit of eukaryotic initiation factor 2 (eIF2α). While profound attenuation of ICP34.5 deletion mutants has been repeatedly demonstrated, a role for US11 in HSV-1 pathogenesis remains unclear. We therefore generated an HSV-1 strain 17 US11-null virus and examined its properties in vitro and in vivo. In U373 glioblastoma cells, US11 cooperated with ICP34.5 to prevent eIF2α phosphorylation late in infection. However, the effect was muted in human corneal epithelial cells (HCLEs), which did not accumulate phosphorylated eIF2α unless both US11 and ICP34.5 were absent. Low levels of phosphorylated eIF2α correlated with continued protein synthesis and with the ability of virus lacking US11 to overcome antiviral immunity in HCLE and U373 cells. Neurovirulence following intracerebral inoculation of mice was not affected by the deletion of US11. In contrast, the time to endpoint criteria following corneal infection was greater for the US11-null virus than for the wild-type virus. Replication in trigeminal ganglia and periocular tissue was promoted by US11, as was periocular disease. The establishment of latency and the frequency of virus reactivation from trigeminal ganglia were unaffected by US11 deletion, although emergence of the US11-null virus occurred with slowed kinetics. Considered together, the data indicate that US11 facilitates the countering of antiviral response of infected cells and promotes the efficient emergence of virus following reactivation.

IMPORTANCE Alphaherpesviruses are ubiquitous DNA viruses and include the human pathogens herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and HSV-2 and are significant causes of ulcerative mucosal sores, infectious blindness, encephalitis, and devastating neonatal disease. Successful primary infection and persistent coexistence with host immune defenses are dependent on the ability of these viruses to counter the antiviral response. HSV-1 and HSV-2 and other primate viruses within the Simplexvirus genus encode US11, an immune antagonist that promotes virus production by preventing shutdown of protein translation. Here we investigated the impact of US11 deletion on HSV-1 growth in vitro and pathogenesis in vivo. This work supports a role for US11 in pathogenesis and emergence from latency, elucidating immunomodulation by this medically important cohort of viruses.
25 show abstract
Simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) infection in rhesus macaques (RMs) resembles human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection in humans and serves as a tool to evaluate candidate AIDS vaccines. HIV-1 clade A (HIV-A) predominates in parts of Africa. We constructed an R5 clade A SHIV (SHIV-A; strain SHIV-KNH1144) carrying env from a Kenyan HIV-A. SHIV-A underwent rapid serial passage through six RMs. To allow unbridled replication without adaptive immunity, we simultaneously ablated CD8+ and B cells with cytotoxic monoclonal antibodies in the next RM, resulting in extremely high viremia and CD4+ T-cell loss. Infected blood was then transferred into two non-immune-depleted RMs, where progeny SHIV-A showed increased replicative capacity and caused AIDS. We reisolated SHIV-KNH1144p4, which was replication competent in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of all RMs tested. Next-generation sequencing of early- and late-passage SHIV-A strains identified mutations that arose due to "fitness" virus optimization in the former and mutations exhibiting signatures typical for adaptive host immunity in the latter. "Fitness" mutations are best described as mutations that allow for better fit of the HIV-A Env with SIV-derived virion building blocks or host proteins and mutations in noncoding regions that accelerate virus replication, all of which result in the outgrowth of virus variants in the absence of adaptive T-cell and antibody-mediated host immunity.

IMPORTANCE In this study, we constructed a simian-human immunodeficiency virus carrying an R5 Kenyan HIV-1 clade A env (SHIV-A). To bypass host immunity, SHIV-A was rapidly passaged in naive macaques or animals depleted of both CD8+ and B cells. Next-generation sequencing identified different mutations that resulted from optimization of viral replicative fitness either in the absence of adaptive immunity or due to pressure from adaptive immune responses.
26 show abstract
The complete genome sequence of an RNA virus was assembled from RNA sequencing of virus particles purified from threespine stickleback intestine tissue samples. This new virus is most closely related to the Eel picornavirus and can be assigned to the genus Potamipivirus in the family Picornaviridae. Its unique genetic properties are enough to establish a new species, dubbed the Threespine Stickleback picornavirus (TSPV). Due to their broad geographic distribution throughout the Northern Hemisphere and parallel adaptation to freshwater, threespine sticklebacks have become a model in evolutionary ecology. Further analysis using diagnostic PCRs revealed that TSPV is highly prevalent in both anadromous and freshwater populations of threespine sticklebacks, infects almost all fish tissues, and is transmitted vertically to offspring obtained from in vitro fertilization in laboratory settings. Finally, TSPV was found in Sequence Reads Archives of transcriptome of Gasterosteus aculeatus, further demonstrating its wide distribution and unsought prevalence in samples. It is thus necessary to test the impact of TSPV on the biology of threespine sticklebacks, as this widespread virus could interfere with the behavioral, physiological, or immunological studies that employ this fish as a model system.

IMPORTANCE The threespine stickleback species complex is an important model system in ecological and evolutionary studies because of the large number of isolated divergent populations that are experimentally tractable. For similar reasons, its coevolution with the cestode parasite Schistocephalus solidus, its interaction with gut microbes, and the evolution of its immune system are of growing interest. Herein we describe the discovery of an RNA virus that infects both freshwater and anadromous populations of sticklebacks. We show that the virus is transmitted vertically in laboratory settings and found it in Sequence Reads Archives, suggesting that experiments using sticklebacks were conducted in the presence of the virus. This discovery can serve as a reminder that the presence of viruses in wild-caught animals is possible, even when animals appear healthy. Regarding threespine sticklebacks, the impact of Threespine Stickleback picornavirus (TSPV) on the fish biology should be investigated further to ensure that it does not interfere with experimental results.
27 show abstract
Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection results in varicella mostly in children. Reactivation of the virus causes herpes zoster (HZ), mostly in adults. A live attenuated vaccine (vOka-Biken) was originally derived from the parental strain pOka. Several live attenuated vaccines based on the Oka strain are currently available worldwide. In China, varicella vaccines have been licensed by four manufacturers. In this study, we analyze the whole-genome sequence (WGS) of vOka-BK produced by Changchun BCHT Biotechnology also known as Baike. vOka-BK WGS was compared against the genomic sequences of four other Oka strains: pOka, vOka-Biken, vOka-Varilrix from GlaxoSmithKline, and vOka-Varivax from Merck & Co. A previous study identified 137 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) shared by all vOkas. The current analysis used these data as a reference to compare with vOka-BK WGS and focused on 54 SNPs located in the unique regions of the genome. Twenty-eight nonsynonymous substitutions were identified, ORF62 and ORF55 featuring the most amino acid changes with 9 and 3, respectively. Among the 54 SNPs, 10 had a different mutation profile in vOka-BK compared to the other three vaccines. A comparison with the clade 3 strain Ellen, known to be attenuated, identified three shared amino acid changes: *130R in ORF0 and R958G and S628G in ORF62. This analysis provides the first comparison of a Chinese varicella vaccine to the other vaccines available worldwide and identifies sites potentially critical for VZV vaccine efficacy.

IMPORTANCE Varicella, also known as chickenpox, is a highly contagious disease, caused by varicella-zoster virus (VZV). Varicella is a common childhood disease that can be prevented by a live attenuated vaccine. The first available vaccine was derived from the parental Oka strain in Japan in 1974. Several live attenuated vaccines based on the Oka strain are currently available worldwide. Among the four vaccines produced in China, the vaccine manufactured by Changchun BCHT Biotechnology, also known as Baike, has been reported to be very efficacious. Comparative genomic analysis of the Baike vaccine with other Oka vaccine strains identified sites that might be involved in vaccine efficacy, as well as important for the biology of the virus.
28 show abstract
Oncogenic virus replication often leads to genomic instability, causing DNA damage and inducing the DNA damage response (DDR) pathway. The DDR pathway is a cellular pathway that senses DNA damage and regulates the cell cycle to maintain genomic stability. Therefore, the DDR pathway is critical for the viral lifecycle and tumorigenesis. Marek’s disease virus (MDV), an alphaherpesvirus that causes lymphoma in chickens, has been shown to induce DNA damage in infected cells. However, the interaction between MDV and the host DDR is unclear. In this study, we observed that MDV infection causes DNA strand breakage in chicken fibroblast (CEF) cells along with an increase in the DNA damage markers p53 and p21. Interestingly, we showed that phosphorylation of STAT3 was increased during MDV infection, concomitantly with a decrease of Chk1 phosphorylation. In addition, we found that MDV infection was enhanced by VE-821, an ATR-specific inhibitor, but attenuated by hydroxyurea, an ATR activator. Moreover, inhibition of STAT3 phosphorylation by Stattic eliminates the ability of MDV to inhibit Chk1 phosphorylation. Finally, we showed that MDV replication was decreased by Stattic treatment. Taken together, these results suggest that MDV disables the ATR-Chk1 pathway through STAT3 activation to benefit its replication.

IMPORTANCE MDV is used as a biomedical model to study virus-induced lymphoma due to the similar genomic structures and physiological characteristics of MDV and human herpesviruses. Upon infection, MDV induces DNA damage, which may activate the DDR pathway. The DDR pathway has a dual impact on viruses because it manipulates repair and recombination factors to facilitate viral replication and also initiates antiviral action by regulating other signaling pathways. Many DNA viruses evolve to manipulate the DDR pathway to promote virus replication. In this study, we identified a mechanism used by MDV to inhibit ATR-Chk1 pathways. ATR is a cellular kinase that responds to broken single-stranded DNA, which has been less studied in MDV infection. Our results suggest that MDV infection activates STAT3 to disable the ATR-Chk1 pathway, which is conducive to viral replication. This finding provides new insight into the role of STAT3 in interrupting the ATR-Chk1 pathway during MDV replication.
29 show abstract
Reactivation of herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) from latency causes viral shedding that develops into recurrent genital lesions. The immune mechanisms of protection against recurrent genital herpes remain to be fully elucidated. In this preclinical study, we investigated the protective therapeutic efficacy, in the guinea pig model of recurrent genital herpes, of subunit vaccine candidates that were based on eight recombinantly expressed HSV-2 envelope and tegument proteins. These viral protein antigens (Ags) were rationally selected for their ability to recall strong CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses from naturally "protected" asymptomatic individuals, who, despite being infected, never develop any recurrent herpetic disease. Out of the eight HSV-2 proteins, the envelope glycoprotein D (gD), the tegument protein VP22 (encoded by the UL49 gene), and ribonucleotide reductase subunit 2 protein (RR2; encoded by the UL40 gene) produced significant protection against recurrent genital herpes. The RR2 protein, delivered either intramuscularly or intravaginally with CpG and alum adjuvants, (i) boosted the highest neutralizing antibodies, which appear to cross-react with both gB and gD, and (ii) enhanced the numbers of functional gamma interferon (IFN-)-producing CRTAM+ CFSE+ CD4+ and CRTAM+ CFSE+ CD8+ TRM cells, which express low levels of PD-1 and TIM-3 exhaustion markers and were localized to healed sites of the vaginal mucocutaneous (VM) tissues. The strong B- and T-cell immunogenicity of the RR2 protein was associated with a significant decrease in virus shedding and a reduction in both the severity and frequency of recurrent genital herpes lesions. In vivo depletion of either CD4+ or CD8+ T cells significantly abrogated the protection. Taken together, these preclinical results provide new insights into the immune mechanisms of protection against recurrent genital herpes and promote the tegument RR2 protein as a viable candidate Ag to be incorporated in future genital herpes therapeutic mucosal vaccines.

IMPORTANCE Recurrent genital herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, with a global prevalence of HSV-2 infection predicted to be over 536 million worldwide. Despite the availability of many intervention strategies, such as sexual behavior education, barrier methods, and the costly antiviral drug treatments, eliminating or at least reducing recurrent genital herpes remains a challenge. Currently, no FDA-approved therapeutic vaccines are available. In this preclinical study, we investigated the immunogenicity and protective efficacy, in the guinea pig model of recurrent genital herpes, of subunit vaccine candidates that were based on eight recombinantly expressed herpes envelope and tegument proteins. We discovered that similar to the dl5-29 vaccine, based on a replication-defective HSV-2 mutant virus, which has been recently tested in clinical trials, the RR2 protein-based subunit vaccine elicited a significant reduction in virus shedding and a decrease in both the severity and frequency of recurrent genital herpes sores. This protection correlated with an increase in numbers of functional tissue-resident IFN-+ CRTAM+ CFSE+ CD4+ and IFN-+ CRTAM+ CFSE+ CD8+ TRM cells that infiltrate healed sites of the vaginal tissues. Our study sheds new light on the role of TRM cells in protection against recurrent genital herpes and promotes the RR2-based subunit therapeutic vaccine to be tested in the clinic.
30 show abstract
Enterovirus 71 (EV-A71) is a human pathogen that causes hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) and fatal neurological diseases, and no effective treatment is available. Characterization of key host factors is important for understanding its pathogenesis and developing antiviral drugs. Here we report that Hsp27 is one of the most upregulated proteins in response to EV-A71 infection, as revealed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis-based proteomics studies. Depletion of Hsp27 by small interfering RNA or CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knockout significantly inhibited viral replication, protein expression, and reproduction, while restoration of Hsp27 restored such virus activities. Furthermore, we show that Hsp27 plays a crucial role in regulating viral internal ribosome entry site (IRES) activities by two different mechanisms. Hsp27 markedly promoted 2Apro-mediated eukaryotic initiation factor 4G cleavage, an important process for selecting and initiating IRES-mediated translation. hnRNP A1 is a key IRES trans-acting factor (ITAF) for enhancing IRES-mediated translation. Surprisingly, knockout of Hsp27 differentially blocked hnRNP A1 but not FBP1 translocation from the nucleus to the cytoplasm and therefore abolished the hnRNP A1 interaction with IRES. Most importantly, the Hsp27 inhibitor 1,3,5-trihydroxy-13,13-dimethyl-2H-pyran [7,6-b] xanthone (TDP), a compound isolated from a traditional Chinese herb, significantly protected against cytopathic effects and inhibited EV-A71 infection. Collectively, our results demonstrate new functions of Hsp27 in facilitating virus infection and provide novel options for combating EV-A71 infection by targeting Hsp27.

IMPORTANCE Outbreaks of infections with EV-A71, which causes hand, foot, and mouth disease, severe neurological disorders, and even death, have been repeatedly reported worldwide in recent decades and are a great public health problem for which no approved treatments are available. We show that Hsp27, a heat shock protein, supports EV-A71 infection in two distinct ways to promote viral IRES-dependent translation. A small-molecule Hsp27 inhibitor isolated from a traditional Chinese medicinal herb effectively reduces virus yields. Together, our findings demonstrate that Hsp27 plays an important role in EV-A71 infection and may serve as an antiviral target.

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Journal Citation Reports (2017)

Impact factor: 4.368
Q1 (Virology (8/35))

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SJR: 2.853
SNIP: 1.096
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CiteScore rank: 2 out of 135
Cited by WUR staff: 992 times. (2014-2016)

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