Recent insights into HIV-1 Vif.
ABSTRACT The lentiviruses, including HIV-1 (but excluding equine infectious anemia virus), encode a viral infectivity factor (Vif) protein. Circumstantial evidence suggested that Vif acts to neutralize an inhibitory host defense mechanism, but progress in the field was limited because the identity of the cellular target was unknown. The recent identification of the elusive host cell factor let loose a flood of advances. These findings have revealed a novel innate defense mechanism against retroviruses. In infected cells, the cellular cytidine deaminase APOBEC3G, a relative of the activation-induced deaminase (AID), is encapsidated into assembling virions. The enzyme lies in the virion, waiting to wreak havoc on the viral genome in the next round of virus replication--unless it is first caught by Vif.
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ABSTRACT: Vaccine-induced protection is generally mediated by long-lived antigen-specific B cell responses. Most licensed vaccines target pathogens that display relatively low variability, but for highly variable pathogens, such as HIV-1, vaccine development is more challenging. This thesis is focused on understanding vaccine-induced B cell responses against the HIV-1 envelope glycoproteins (Env), a critical vaccine target. Information about the immunogenic properties of candidate Env immunogens remains limited and so far the elicitation of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) were not reported for any vaccine regimen tested in primates. Thus, there is a need to investigate vaccine-induced B cell responses against Env in more detail and to identify means to improve upon current Env-based vaccine strategies. Here, I investigate B cell responses in nonhuman primates immunized with soluble HIV-1 Env trimers to address these questions, as well as to gain an enhanced understanding about B cell responses to complex protein antigens in general. In paper I we established several assays for the evaluation of B cell responses in macaques. Following immunization with soluble trimeric Env, we comprehensively analyzed the B cell responses in the periphery, bone marrow, and mucosal compartments and further evaluated the elicited Abs for neutralization activity and protection in a SHIV challenge model. We observed high levels of Env-specific B cell responses following immunizations, improved breadth of neutralization compared to responses elicited by a monomeric Env vaccine tested in humans and delayed acquisition of SHIV infection compared to in control immunized animals. In paper II we evaluated longitudinal B cell responses following immunization with soluble trimeric Env and influenza HA protein, the latter included for comparative purposes. We found that peripheral B cell responses declined rapidly following boost, while antigen-specific long-lived plasma cells were stable for >6 months following immunization, for both antigens. In paper III we established a system for high-resolution evaluation of B cell responses in nonhuman primates. We first characterized the rhesus immunoglobulin loci to allow analyses of Ab gene usage and somatic hypermutation. We next isolated monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) targeting the HIV-1 primary receptor binding site (CD4bs) on Env and we examined the binding specificities of these Abs compared to infection-induced MAbs to unravel limitations of current vaccine-induced responses. In paper IV we optimized the RT-PCR method used in paper III for isolation of Ab V(D)J sequences from rhesus macaque B cells to facilitate future use of the macaque model for B cell studies. In conclusion, this thesis establishes several methods for the evaluation of B cell responses in nonhuman primates and it demonstrates that the soluble HIV-1 Env trimers induce potent, but relatively short-lived peripheral B cell responses. Additionally, we describe, for the first time, a set of vaccine-induced CD4bs-directed MAbs and we characterize their binding and neutralizing properties and discuss the implications of these results for improved Env vaccine design.11/2012, Degree: PhD in Medical Sciences, Supervisor: Gunilla Karlsson Hedestasm
Article: Distinct determinants in HIV-1 Vif and human APOBEC3 proteins are required for the suppression of diverse host anti-viral proteins.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: APOBEC3G (A3G) and related cytidine deaminases of the APOBEC3 family of proteins are potent inhibitors of many retroviruses, including HIV-1. Formation of infectious HIV-1 requires the suppression of multiple cytidine deaminases by Vif. HIV-1 Vif suppresses various APOBEC3 proteins through the common mechanism of recruiting the Cullin5-ElonginB-ElonginC E3 ubiquitin ligase to induce target protein polyubiquitination and proteasome-mediated degradation. The domains in Vif and various APOBEC3 proteins required for APOBEC3 recognition and degradation have not been fully characterized. In the present study, we have demonstrated that the regions of APOBEC3F (A3F) that are required for its HIV-1-mediated binding and degradation are distinct from those reported for A3G. We found that the C-terminal cytidine deaminase domain (C-CDD) of A3F alone is sufficient for its interaction with HIV-1 Vif and its Vif-mediated degradation. We also observed that the domains of HIV-1 Vif that are uniquely required for its functional interaction with full-length A3F are also required for the degradation of the C-CDD of A3F; in contrast, those Vif domains that are uniquely required for functional interaction with A3G are not required for the degradation of the C-CDD of A3F. Interestingly, the HIV-1 Vif domains required for the degradation of A3F are also required for the degradation of A3C and A3DE. On the other hand, the Vif domains uniquely required for the degradation of A3G are dispensable for the degradation of cytidine deaminases A3C and A3DE. Our data suggest that distinct regions of A3F and A3G are targeted by HIV-1 Vif molecules. However, HIV-1 Vif suppresses A3F, A3C, and A3DE through similar recognition determinants, which are conserved among Vif molecules from diverse HIV-1 strains. Mapping these determinants may be useful for the design of novel anti-HIV inhibitors.PLoS ONE 02/2008; 3(12):e3963. · 4.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: It has been shown that porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV) can infect human cells, indicating that PERV transmission poses a serious concern in pig-to-human xenotransplantation. A number of recent studies have reported on retrovirus interference by antiviral proteins. The most potent antiviral proteins are members of the APOBEC family of cytidine deaminases, which are involved in defense against retroviral attack. These proteins are present in the cytoplasm of mammalian cells and inhibit retroviral replication. To evaluate the inhibition of PERV transmission by human APOBEC3 proteins, we co-transfected 293T cells with a PERV molecular clone and human APOBEC3F or APOBEC3G expression vectors, and monitored PERV replication competency using a quantitative analysis of PERV pol genes. The replication of PERVs in cells co-expressing human APOBEC3s was reduced by 60-90% compared with PERV-only control. These results suggest that human APOBEC3G and APOBEC3F might serve a potential barrier function against PERV transmission in xenotransplantation.Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 03/2011; 407(1):266-70. · 2.48 Impact Factor