[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) particles assemble along the very low density lipoprotein pathway and are released from hepatocytes as entities varying in their degree of lipid and apolipoprotein (apo) association as well as buoyant densities. Little is known about the cell entry pathway of these different HCV particle subpopulations, which likely occurs by regulated spatiotemporal processes involving several cell surface molecules. One of these molecules is the scavenger receptor BI (SR-BI), a receptor for high density lipoprotein that can bind to the HCV glycoprotein E2. By studying the entry properties of infectious virus subpopulations differing in their buoyant densities, we show that these HCV particles utilize SR-BI in a manifold manner. First, SR-BI mediates primary attachment of HCV particles of intermediate density to cells. These initial interactions involve apolipoproteins, such as apolipoprotein E, present on the surface of HCV particles, but not the E2 glycoprotein, suggesting that lipoprotein components in the virion act as host-derived ligands for important entry factors such as SR-BI. Second, we found that in contrast to this initial attachment, SR-BI mediates entry of HCV particles independent of their buoyant density. This function of SR-BI does not depend on E2/SR-BI interaction but relies on the lipid transfer activity of SR-BI, probably by facilitating entry steps along with other HCV entry co-factors. Finally, our results underscore a third function of SR-BI governed by specific residues in hypervariable region 1 of E2 leading to enhanced cell entry and depending on SR-BI ability to bind to E2.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/2012; 287(37):31242-57. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, with its cohort of life-threatening complications, affects more than 200 million persons worldwide and has a prevalence of more than 10% in certain countries. Preventive and therapeutic vaccines against HCV are thus much needed. Neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) are the foundation for successful disease prevention for most established vaccines. However, for viruses that cause chronic infection such as HIV or HCV, induction of broad NAbs from recombinant vaccines has remained elusive. We developed a vaccine platform specifically aimed at inducing NAbs based on pseudotyped virus-like particles (VLPs) made with retroviral Gag. We report that VLPs pseudotyped with E2 and/or E1 HCV envelope glycoproteins induced high-titer anti-E2 and/or anti-E1 antibodies, as well as NAbs, in both mouse and macaque. The NAbs, which were raised against HCV 1a, cross-neutralized the five other genotypes tested (1b, 2a, 2b, 4, and 5). Thus, the described VLP platform, which can be pseudotyped with a vast array of virus envelope glycoproteins, represents a new approach to viral vaccine development.
Science translational medicine 08/2011; 3(94):94ra71. · 10.76 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The LIM homeodomain transcription factor 1b (Lmx1b) is a key factor in the specification of the serotonergic neurotransmitter phenotype. Here, we explored the capacity of Lmx1b to direct differentiation of mouse embryonic stem (mES) cells into serotonergic neurons. mES cells stably expressing human Lmx1b were generated by lentiviral vector infection. Clones expressing Lmx1b at a low level showed increased neurogenesis and elevated production of neurons expressing serotonin, serotonin transporter, tryptophan hydroxylase 2, and transcription factor Pet1, the landmarks of serotonergic differentiation. To explore the role of Lmx1b in the specification of the serotonin neurotransmission phenotype further, a conditional system making use of a floxed inducible vector targeted into the ROSA26 locus and a hormone-dependent Cre recombinase was engineered. This novel strategy was tested with the reporter gene encoding human placental alkaline phosphatase, and demonstrated its capacity to drive transgene expression in nestin(+) neural progenitors (NPs) and in Tuj1(+) neurons. When it was applied to inducible expression of human Lmx1b, it resulted in elevated expression of serotonergic markers. Treatment of neural precursors with the floor plate signal Sonic hedgehog further enhanced differentiation of Lmx1b-overexpressing NPs into neurons expressing 5-HT, serotonin transporter, tryptophan hydroxylase 2, and Pet1, when compared with Lmx1b-nonexpressing progenitors. Together, our results demonstrate the capacity of Lmx1b to specify a serotonin neurotransmitter phenotype when overexpressed in mES cell-derived NPs.
Stem cells and development 02/2011; 20(2):301-11. · 4.15 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: pim-1 and pim-3 encode serine/threonine kinases involved in the regulation of cell proliferation and apoptosis in response to cytokine stimulation. We analyzed the regulation of pim-1 and pim-3 by the leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF)/gp130/signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT3) pathway and the role of Pim-1 and Pim-3 kinases in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cell self-renewal. Making use of ES cells expressing a granulocyte colony-stimulating factor:gp130 chimeric receptor and a hormone-dependent signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 estrogen receptor (STAT3-ER(T2)), we showed that expression of pim-1 and pim-3 was upregulated by LIF/gp130-dependent signaling and the STAT3 transcription factor. ES cells overexpressing pim-1 and pim-3 had a greater capacity to self-renew and displayed a greater resistance to LIF starvation based on a clonal assay. In contrast, knockdown of pim-1 and pim-3 increased the rate of spontaneous differentiation in a self-renewal assay. Knockdown of pim-1 and pim-3 was also detrimental to the growth of undifferentiated ES cell colonies and increased the rate of apoptosis. These findings provide a novel role of Pim-1 and Pim-3 kinases in the control of self-renewal of ES cells. Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have developed a universally applicable system for conditional gene expression in embryonic stem (ES) cells that relies on tamoxifen-dependent Cre recombinase-loxP site-mediated recombination and bicistronic gene-trap expression vectors that allow transgene expression from endogenous cellular promoters. Two vectors were introduced into the genome of recipient ES cells, successively: (i) a bicistronic gene-trap vector encoding the beta-galactosidase/neo(R) fusion protein and the Cre-ER(T2) (Cre recombinase fused to a mutated ligand-binding domain of the human estrogen receptor) and (ii) a bicistronic gene-trap vector encoding the hygro(R) protein and the human alkaline phosphatase (hAP), the expression of which is prevented by tandemly repeated stop-of-transcription sequences flanked by loxP sites. In selected clones, hAP expression was shown to be regulated accurately by 4'hydroxy-tamoxifen. Strict hormone-dependent expression of hAP was achieved (i) in vitro in undifferentiated ES cells and embryoid bodies, (ii) in vivo in virtually all the tissues of the 10-day-old chimeric fetus (after injection of 4'hydroxy-tamoxifen to foster mothers), and (iii) ex vivo in primary embryonic fibroblasts isolated from chimeric fetuses. Therefore, this approach can be applied to drive conditional expression of virtually any transgene in a large variety of cell types, both in vitro and in vivo.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2001; 98(5):2467-72. · 9.74 Impact Factor