Flavivirus membrane fusion.
ABSTRACT Flavivirus membrane fusion is mediated by a class II viral fusion protein, the major envelope protein E, and the fusion process is extremely fast and efficient. Understanding of the underlying mechanisms has been advanced significantly by the determination of E protein structures in their pre- and post-fusion conformations and by the elucidation of the quarternary organization of E proteins in the viral envelope. In this review, these structural data are discussed in the context of functional and biochemical analyses of the flavivirus fusion mechanism and its characteristics are compared with those of other class II- and class I-driven fusion processes.
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ABSTRACT: Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) is a zoonotic agent that causes acute central nervous system (CNS) disease in humans. We previously suggested that immune response in addition to CNS infection contribute to mouse mortality following TBEV infection. However, we did not examine the influence of virus variants in the previous study. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the biological and pathologic potentials of the variant clones in the TBEV Oshima strain. We isolated eight variant clones from the stock virus of the Oshima 5-10. These variants exhibited different plaque morphologies in BHK cells and pathogenic potentials in mice. Full sequences of viral genomes revealed that each of the variant clones except one had specific combinations of nucleotide and amino acid changes at certain positions different from the parent strain. We also showed that an amino acid substitution of Glu122→Gly in the E protein could have affected virus infection and replication in vivo, as well as the attenuated pathogenicity in mice. These data confirm the presence of virus variants or quasispecies from the parent strain. Further elucidation of the effect of each variant clone on immune responses such as the T-cell response is an important priority in the development of an effective vaccine and treatment strategies for tick-borne encephalitis.Tropical Medicine and Health 03/2014; 42(1):15-23.
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ABSTRACT: West Nile virus (WNV) is one of flaviviruses and has emerged recently in the United States as a significant cause of viral encephalitis. Although cellular entry of WNV is important for viral pathogenesis, its mechanisms have not been elucidated fully. To explore the entry mechanisms, a virus-particle tracking system in live cells by using fluorescently labeled subviral particles (SVPs) and time-lapse epifluorescence microscopy was established. This study revealed that, following cellular entry, SVP movements could be divided into two phases: early (slow movement) and late (fast movement) phase. Moreover, fast viral particle movements at the late phase correlated with SVP-microtubule association.Journal of virological methods 10/2013; · 2.13 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Nanotechnology is an expanding area of study with potentially pivotal applications in a discipline as medicine where new biomedical active molecules or strategies are continuously developing. One of the principal drawbacks for the application of new therapies is the difficulty to cross membranes that represent the main physiological barrier in our body and in all living cells. Membranes are selectively permeable and allow the selective internalization of substances; generally, they form a highly impermeable barrier to most polar and charged molecules, and represent an obstacle for drug delivery, limiting absorption to specific routes and mechanisms. Viruses provide attracting suggestions for the development of targeted drug carriers as they have evolved naturally to deliver their genomes to host cells with high fidelity.A detailed understanding of virus structure and their mechanisms of entry into mammalian cells will facilitate the development and analysis of virus-based materials for medical applications. Copyright © 2014 European Peptide Society and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.Journal of Peptide Science 05/2014; · 2.07 Impact Factor