[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Poxviruses encode a repertoire of immunomodulatory proteins to thwart the host immune system. One among this array is a homolog of the host complement regulatory proteins that is conserved in various poxviruses including vaccinia (VACV) and variola. The vaccinia virus complement control protein (VCP), which inhibits complement by decaying the classical pathway C3-convertase (decay-accelerating activity), and by supporting inactivation of C3b and C4b by serine protease factor I (cofactor activity), was shown to play a role in viral pathogenesis. However, the role its individual complement regulatory activities impart in pathogenesis, have not yet been elucidated. Here, we have generated monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that block the VCP functions and utilized them to evaluate the relative contribution of complement regulatory activities of VCP in viral pathogenesis by employing a rabbit intradermal model for VACV infection. Targeting VCP by mAbs that inhibited the decay-accelerating activity as well as cofactor activity of VCP or primarily the cofactor activity of VCP, by injecting them at the site of infection, significantly reduced VACV lesion size. This reduction however was not pronounced when VCP was targeted by a mAb that inhibited only the decay-accelerating activity. Further, the reduction in lesion size by mAbs was reversed when host complement was depleted by injecting cobra venom factor. Thus, our results suggest that targeting VCP by antibodies reduces VACV pathogenicity and that principally the cofactor activity of VCP appears to contribute to the virulence.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vaccinia virus encodes a structural and functional homolog of human complement regulators named vaccinia virus complement control protein (VCP). This four-complement control protein domain containing secretory protein is known to inhibit complement activation by supporting the factor I-mediated inactivation of complement proteins, proteolytically cleaved form of C3 (C3b) and proteolytically cleaved form of C4 (C4b) (termed cofactor activity), and by accelerating the irreversible decay of the classical and to a limited extent of the alternative pathway C3 convertases (termed decay-accelerating activity [DAA]). In this study, we have mapped the VCP domains important for its cofactor activity and DAA by swapping its individual domains with those of human decay-accelerating factor (CD55) and membrane cofactor protein (MCP; CD46). Our data indicate the following: 1) swapping of VCP domain 2 or 3, but not 1, with homologous domains of decay-accelerating factor results in loss in its C3b and C4b cofactor activities; 2) swapping of VCP domain 1, but not 2, 3, or 4 with corresponding domains of MCP results in abrogation in its classical pathway DAA; and 3) swapping of VCP domain 1, 2, or 3, but not 4, with homologous MCP domains have marked effect on its alternative pathway DAA. These functional data together with binding studies with C3b and C4b suggest that in VCP, domains 2 and 3 provide binding surface for factor I interaction, whereas domain 1 mediates dissociation of C2a and Bb from the classical and alternative pathway C3 convertases, respectively.
The Journal of Immunology 10/2010; 185(10):6128-37. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Herpesvirus saimiri encodes a functional homolog of human regulator-of-complement-activation proteins named CCPH that inactivates complement by accelerating the decay of C3 convertases and by serving as a cofactor in factor I-mediated inactivation of their subunits C3b and C4b. Here, we map the functional domains of CCPH. We demonstrate that short consensus repeat 2 (SCR2) is the minimum domain essential for classical/lectin pathway C3 convertase decay-accelerating activity as well as for factor I cofactor activity for C3b and C4b. Thus, CCPH is the first example wherein a single SCR domain has been shown to display complement regulatory functions.
Journal of Virology 08/2009; 83(19):10299-304. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Variola virus, the causative agent of smallpox, encodes a soluble complement regulator named SPICE. Previously, SPICE has been shown to be much more potent in inactivating human complement than the vaccinia virus complement control protein (VCP), although they differ only in 11 amino acid residues. In the present study, we have expressed SPICE, VCP, and mutants of VCP by substituting each or more of the 11 non-variant VCP residues with the corresponding residue of SPICE to identify hot spots that impart functional advantage to SPICE over VCP. Our data indicate that (i) SPICE is approximately 90-fold more potent than VCP in inactivating human C3b, and the residues Y98, Y103, K108 and K120 are predominantly responsible for its enhanced activity; (ii) SPICE is 5.4-fold more potent in inactivating human C4b, and residues Y98, Y103, K108, K120 and L193 mainly dictate this increase; (iii) the classical pathway decay-accelerating activity of activity is only twofold higher than that of VCP, and the 11 mutations in SPICE do not significantly affect this activity; (iv) SPICE possesses significantly greater binding ability to human C3b compared to VCP, although its binding to human C4b is lower than that of VCP; (v) residue N144 is largely responsible for the increased binding of SPICE to human C3b; and (vi) the human specificity of SPICE is dictated primarily by residues Y98, Y103, K108, and K120 since these are enough to formulate VCP as potent as SPICE. Together, these results suggest that principally 4 of the 11 residues that differ between SPICE and VCP partake in its enhanced function against human complement.
Journal of Virology 05/2008; 82(7):3283-94. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The complement system is a principal bastion of innate immunity designed to combat a myriad of existing as well as newly emerging pathogens. Since viruses are obligatory intracellular parasites, they are continuously exposed to host complement assault and, therefore, have imbibed various strategies to subvert it. One of them is molecular mimicry of the host complement regulators. Large DNA viruses such as pox and herpesviruses encode proteins that are structurally and functionally similar to human regulators of complement activation (RCA), a family of proteins that regulate complement. In this review, we have presented the structural and functional aspects of virally encoded RCA homologs (vRCA), in particular two highly studied vRCAs, vaccinia virus complement control protein (VCP) and Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus complement regulator (kaposica). Importance of these evasion molecules in viral pathogenesis and their role beyond complement regulation are also discussed.
Indian journal of biochemistry & biophysics 11/2007; 44(5):331-43. · 1.03 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Herpesvirus saimiri (HVS) is a lymphotropic virus that causes T-cell lymphomas in New World primates. It encodes a structural homolog of complement control proteins named complement control protein homolog (CCPH). Previously, CCPH has been shown to inhibit C3d deposition on target cells exposed to complement. Here we have studied the mechanism by which it inactivates complement. We have expressed the soluble form of CCPH in Escherichia coli, purified to homogeneity and compared its activity to vaccinia virus complement control protein (VCP) and human complement regulators factor H and soluble complement receptor 1. The expressed soluble form of CCPH bound to C3b (KD = 19.2 microm) as well as to C4b (KD = 0.8 microm) and accelerated the decay of the classical/lectin as well as alternative pathway C3-convertases. In addition, it also served as factor I cofactor and supported factor I-mediated inactivation of both C3b and C4b. Time course analysis indicated that although its rate of inactivation of C4b is comparable with VCP, it is 14-fold more potent than VCP in inactivating C3b. Site-directed mutagenesis revealed that Arg-118, which corresponds to Lys-120 of variola virus complement regulator SPICE (a residue critical for its enhanced C3b cofactor activity), contributes significantly in enhancing this activity. Thus, our data indicate that HVS encodes a potent complement inhibitor that allows HVS to evade the host complement attack.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2006; 281(32):23119-28. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vaccinia virus encodes a homolog of the human complement regulators named vaccinia virus complement control protein (VCP). It is composed of four contiguous complement control protein (CCP) domains. Previously, VCP has been shown to bind to C3b and C4b and to inactivate the classical and alternative pathway C3 convertases by accelerating the decay of the classical pathway C3 convertase and (to a limited extent) the alternative pathway C3 convertase, as well as by supporting the factor I-mediated inactivation of C3b and C4b (the subunits of C3 convertases). In this study, we have mapped the CCP domains of VCP important for its cofactor activities, decay-accelerating activities, and binding to the target proteins by utilizing a series of deletion mutants. Our data indicate the following. (i) CCPs 1 to 3 are essential for cofactor activity for C3b and C4b; however, CCP 4 also contributes to the optimal activity. (ii) CCPs 1 to 2 are enough to mediate the classical pathway decay-accelerating activity but show very minimal activity, and all the four CCPs are necessary for its efficient activity. (iii) CCPs 2 to 4 mediate the alternative pathway decay-accelerating activity. (iv) CCPs 1 to 3 are required for binding to C3b and C4b, but the presence of CCP 4 enhances the affinity for both the target proteins. These results together demonstrate that the entire length of the protein is required for VCP's various functional activities and suggests why the four-domain structure of viral CCP is conserved in poxviruses.
Journal of Virology 11/2005; 79(19):12382-93. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recently it has been shown that kaposica, an immune evasion protein of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus, inactivates complement by acting on C3-convertases by accelerating their decay as well as by acting as a cofactor in factor I-mediated inactivation of their subunits C3b and C4b. Here, we have mapped the functional domains of kaposica. We show that SCRs 1 and 2 (SCRs 1-2) and 1-4 are essential for the classical and alternative pathway C3-convertase decay-accelerating activity (DAA), respectively, while the SCRs 2-3 are required for factor I cofactor activity (CFA) for C3b and C4b. SCR 3 and SCRs 1 and 4, however, contribute to optimal classical pathway DAA and C3b CFA, respectively. Binding data show that SCRs 1-4 and SCRs 1-2 are the smallest structural units required for measuring detectable binding to C3b and C4b, respectively. The heparin-binding site maps to SCR 1.
Journal of Virology 06/2005; 79(9):5850-6. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The vaccinia virus complement control protein (VCP) is an immune evasion protein of vaccinia virus. Previously, VCP has been shown to bind and support inactivation of host complement proteins C3b and C4b and to protect the vaccinia virions from antibody-dependent complement-enhanced neutralization. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in the interaction of VCP with its target proteins C3b and C4b have not yet been elucidated. We have utilized surface plasmon resonance technology to study the interaction of VCP with C3b and C4b. We measured the kinetics of binding of the viral protein to its target proteins and compared it with human complement regulators factor H and sCR1, assessed the influence of immobilization of ligand on the binding kinetics, examined the effect of ionic contacts on these interactions, and sublocalized the binding site on C3b and C4b. Our results indicate that (i) the orientation of the ligand is important for accurate determination of the binding constants, as well as the mechanism of binding; (ii) in contrast to factor H and sCR1, the binding of VCP to C3b and C4b follows a simple 1:1 binding model and does not involve multiple-site interactions as predicted earlier; (iii) VCP has a 4.6-fold higher affinity for C4b than that for C3b, which is also reflected in its factor I cofactor activity; (iv) ionic interactions are important for VCP-C3b and VCP-C4b complex formation; (v) VCP does not bind simultaneously to C3b and C4b; and (vi) the binding site of VCP on C3b and C4b is located in the C3dg and C4c regions, respectively.
Journal of Virology 10/2004; 78(17):9446-57. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The complement system is an integral participant in the innate mechanisms of immunity and thus has the burden of performing surveillance in the host. The complement system achieves this effectively by covalently attaching C3b, the activated form of complement protein C3, to the surface of foreign pathogens and labeling them as non-self. Although viruses are small and have relatively simple structure, both acute and latent viruses can be efficiently recognized and neutralized by the complement system. However, to combat the complement system of the host and succeed as pathogens, viruses have developed principles to avoid being ‘labeled’ as non-self by complement and thus are considered as self by the complement system.
Trends in Immunology 10/2003; 24(9):500-7. · 9.49 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The complement system is a potent innate immune mechanism consisting of cascades of proteins which are designed to fight against and annul intrusion of all the foreign pathogens. Although viruses are smaller in size and have relatively simple structure, they are not immune to complement attack. Thus, activation of the complement system can lead to neutralization of cell-free viruses, phagocytosis of C3b-coated viral particles, lysis of virus-infected cells, and generation of inflammatory and specific immune responses. However, to combat host responses and succeed as pathogens, viruses not only have developed/adopted mechanisms to control complement, but also have turned these interactions to their own advantage. Important examples include poxviruses, herpesviruses, retroviruses, paramyxoviruses and picornaviruses. In this review, we provide information on the various complement evasion strategies that viruses have developed to thwart the complement attack of the host. A special emphasis is given on the interactions between the viral proteins that are involved in molecular mimicry and the complement system.
Journal of Biosciences 05/2003; 28(3):249-64. · 1.76 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The genome analysis of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) has revealed the presence of an open reading frame (ORF 4) with sequence homology to complement control proteins. To assign a function to this protein, we have now expressed this ORF using the Pichia expression system and shown that the purified protein inhibited human complement-mediated lysis of erythrocytes, blocked cell surface deposition of C3b (the proteolytically activated form of C3), and served as a cofactor for factor I-mediated inactivation of complement proteins C3b and C4b (the subunits of C3 convertases). Thus, our data indicate that this KSHV inhibitor of complement activation (kaposica) provides a mechanism by which KSHV can subvert complement attack by the host.
Journal of Virology 04/2003; 77(6):3878-81. · 5.08 Impact Factor