Resistance is futile: Assimilation of cellular machinery by HIV-1
ABSTRACT HIV-1 budding appears to require Vps4 and Tsg101-two proteins that have links to endosomal sorting machinery. A picture emerges wherein divergent viruses recruit endosomal proteins like Tsg101 to gain access to ubiquitin processes that play a crucial role during viral budding.
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ABSTRACT: LTR retrotransposons are major components of plant genomes playing important roles in the evolution of their host genomes, for example, generating new genes or providing new promoters to existing genes. The Grande family of retrotransposons is present in Zea species and is characterized by an unusually long internal region due to the presence of a 7-kbp region between the gag-pol coding region and the 3'LTR. We demonstrate here that such unusual sequence is present in the great majority of Grande copies in maize genome. This region contains a gene, gene23, which is transcribed from its own promoter in antisense orientation to the gag-pol genes. The expression of gene23 is ubiquitous, and its promoter contains all the putative consensus sequences typical of eukaryotic promoters, being able to direct GUS expression in different plant species and organs. The coding region of gene23 is conserved in most Grande copies and encodes a protein rich in glycine, serine, and acidic amino acids that shows no significant similarity with any protein of known function. Nevertheless, the C- and N-terminal parts are rich in basic amino acids, and these are interspersed with other amino acids in its C-terminus, compatible with a putative DNA-binding function. It contains a nuclear localization signal KRKR motif in the N-terminus. Fusions to GFP demonstrate that this protein localizes in the nucleus. We discuss the possible origin of gene23 and the potential function of its encoded protein.Plant Molecular Biology 02/2013; DOI:10.1007/s11103-013-0019-2 · 4.07 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The treatment of viral diseases remains an intractable problem facing the medical community. Conventional antivirals focus upon selective targeting of virus-encoded targets. However, the plasticity of viral nucleic acid mutation, coupled with the large number of progeny that can emerge from a single infected cells, often conspire to render conventional antivirals ineffective as resistant variants emerge. Compounding this, new viral pathogens are increasingly recognized and it is highly improbable that conventional approaches could address emerging pathogens in a timely manner. Our laboratories have adopted an orthogonal approach to combat viral disease: Target the host to deny the pathogen the ability to cause disease. The advantages of this novel approach are many-fold, including the potential to identify host pathways that are applicable to a broad-spectrum of pathogens. The acquisition of drug resistance might also be minimized since selective pressure is not directly placed upon the viral pathogen. Herein, we utilized this strategy of host-oriented therapeutics to screen small molecules for their abilities to block infection by multiple, unrelated virus types and identified FGI-104. FGI-104 demonstrates broad-spectrum inhibition of multiple blood-borne pathogens (HCV, HBV, HIV) as well as emerging biothreats (Ebola, VEE, Cowpox, PRRSV infection). We also demonstrate that FGI-104 displays an ability to prevent lethality from Ebola in vivo. Altogether, these findings reinforce the concept of host-oriented therapeutics and present a much-needed opportunity to identify antiviral drugs that are broad-spectrum and durable in their application.American Journal of Translational Research 05/2009; 1(1):87-98. DOI:10.1016/j.antiviral.2009.02.082 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Expression of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Gag protein in insect cells using baculovirus vectors leads to the abundant production of virus-like particles (VLPs) that represent the immature form of the virus. When Gag-Pol is included, however, VLP production is abolished, a result attributed to premature protease activation degrading the intracellular pool of Gag precursor before particle assembly can occur. As large-scale synthesis of mature noninfectious VLPs would be useful, we have sought to control HIV protease activity in insect cells to give a balance of Gag and Gag-Pol that is compatible with mature particle formation. We show here that intermediate levels of protease activity in insect cells can be attained through site-directed mutagenesis of the protease and through antiprotease drug treatment. However, despite Gag cleavage patterns that mimicked those seen in mammalian cells, VLP synthesis exhibited an essentially all-or-none response in which VLP synthesis occurred but was immature or failed completely. Our data are consistent with a requirement for specific cellular factors in addition to the correct ratio of Gag and Gag-Pol for assembly of mature retrovirus particles in heterologous cell types.Virology 04/2003; 308(1):157-65. DOI:10.1016/S0042-6822(02)00141-1 · 3.28 Impact Factor