[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The advent of publicly available databases containing system-wide phenotypic data of the host response to both drugs and pathogens, in conjunction with bioinformatics and computational methods now allows for in silico predictions of FDA-approved drugs as treatments against infection diseases. This systems biology approach captures the complexity of both the pathogen and drug host response in the form of expression patterns or molecular interaction networks without having to understand the underlying mechanisms of action. These drug repurposing techniques have been successful in identifying new drug candidates for several types of cancers and were recently used to identify potential therapeutics against influenza, the newly discovered Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus and several parasitic diseases. These new approaches have the potential to significantly reduce both the time and cost for infectious diseases drug discovery.
Current opinion in immunology 09/2013; · 10.88 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High-throughput molecular profiling and computational biology are changing the face of virology, providing a new appreciation of the importance of the host in viral pathogenesis and offering unprecedented opportunities for better diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines. Here, we provide a snapshot of the evolution of systems virology, from global gene expression profiling and signatures of disease outcome, to geometry-based computational methods that promise to yield novel therapeutic targets, personalized medicine and a deeper understanding of how viruses cause disease. To realize these goals, pipettes and Petri dishes need to join forces with the powers of mathematics and computational biology.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nonhuman primate (NHP) biomedical models are critical to our understanding of human health and disease, yet we are still in the early stages of developing sufficient tools to support primate genomic research that allow us to better understand the basis of phenotypic traits in NHP models of disease. A mere 7 years ago, the limited NHP transcriptome profiling that was being performed was done using complementary DNA arrays based on human genome sequences, and the lack of NHP genomic information and immunologic reagents precluded the use of NHPs in functional genomic studies. Since then, significant strides have been made in developing genomics capabilities for NHP research, from the rhesus macaque genome sequencing project to the construction of the first macaque-specific high-density oligonucleotide microarray, paving the way for further resource development and additional primate sequencing projects. Complete published draft genome sequences are now available for the chimpanzee ( Chimpanzee Sequencing Analysis Consortium 2005), bonobo ( Prufer et al. 2012), gorilla ( Scally et al. 2012), and baboon ( Ensembl.org 2013), along with the recently completed draft genomes for the cynomolgus macaque and Chinese rhesus macaque. Against this backdrop of both expanding sequence data and the early application of sequence-derived DNA microarrays tools, we will contextualize the development of these community resources and their application to infectious disease research through a literature review of NHP models of acquired immune deficiency syndrome and models of respiratory virus infection. In particular, we will review the use of -omics approaches in studies of simian immunodeficiency virus and respiratory virus pathogenesis and vaccine development, emphasizing the acute and innate responses and the relationship of these to the course of disease and to the evolution of adaptive immunity.
ILAR journal / National Research Council, Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources 01/2013; 54(2):166-80. · 1.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Influenza virus research has recently undergone a shift from a virus-centric perspective to one that embraces the full spectrum of virus-host interactions and cellular signaling events that determine disease outcome. This change has been brought about by the increasing use and expanding scope of high-throughput molecular profiling and computational biology, which together fuel discovery in systems biology. In this review, we show how these approaches have revealed an uncontrolled inflammatory response as a contributor to the extreme virulence of the 1918 pandemic and avian H5N1 viruses, and how this response differs from that induced by the 2009 H1N1 viruses responsible for the most recent influenza pandemic. We also discuss how new animal models, such as the Collaborative Cross mouse systems genetics platform, are key to the necessary systematic investigation of the impact of host genetics on infection outcome, how genome-wide RNAi screens have identified hundreds of cellular factors involved in viral replication, and how systems biology approaches are making possible the rational design of new drugs and vaccines against an ever-evolving respiratory virus.
Seminars in Immunology 12/2012; · 5.93 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus/human immunodeficiency virus (HCV/HIV) coinfected patients demonstrate accelerated progression to severe liver injury in comparison to HCV monoinfected patients, although the underlying mechanisms are unclear owing to infection of separate tissue compartments with two distinct viral pathogens. Microarray analysis of paired liver biopsy and peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) specimens from HCV/HIV coinfected and HCV monoinfected patients identified a gene expression signature associated with increased inflammation and immune activation that was present only in liver and PBMC samples from coinfected patients. We also identified in these samples liver- and PBMC-specific signatures enriched with fibrogenic/hepatic stellate activation and proinflammatory genes, respectively. Finally, Bayesian networks were constructed by assimilating these data with existing data from liver and PBMC samples from other cohorts, augmenting enrichment of biologically important pathways and further indicating that chronic immune activation in HCV/HIV coinfection may exacerbate liver disease progression in coinfected patients.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) depends upon host-encoded proteins to facilitate its replication while at the same time inhibiting critical components of innate and/or intrinsic immune response pathways. To characterize the host cell response on protein levels in CD4+ lymphoblastoid SUP-T1 cells after infection with HIV-1 strain LAI, we used mass spectrometry (MS)-based global quantitation with iTRAQ (isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantification). We found 266, 60 and 22 proteins differentially expressed (DE) (P-value ≤ 0.05) at 4, 8, and 20 hours post-infection (hpi), respectively, compared to time-matched mock-infected samples. The majority of changes in protein abundance occurred at an early stage of infection well before the de novo production of viral proteins. Functional analyses of these DE proteins showed enrichment in several biological pathways including protein synthesis, cell proliferation, and T-cell activation. Importantly, these early changes before the time of robust viral production have not been described before.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cytokine storm has captured the attention of the public and the scientific community alike, and while the general notion of an excessive or uncontrolled release of proinflammatory cytokines is well known, the concept of a cytokine storm and the biological consequences of cytokine overproduction are not clearly defined. Cytokine storms are associated with a wide variety of infectious and noninfectious diseases. The term was popularized largely in the context of avian H5N1 influenza virus infection, bringing the term into popular media. In this review, we focus on the cytokine storm in the context of virus infection, and we highlight how high-throughput genomic methods are revealing the importance of the kinetics of cytokine gene expression and the remarkable degree of redundancy and overlap in cytokine signaling. We also address evidence for and against the role of the cytokine storm in the pathology of clinical and infectious disease and discuss why it has been so difficult to use knowledge of the cytokine storm and immunomodulatory therapies to improve the clinical outcomes for patients with severe acute infections.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Liver failure resulting from chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major cause for liver transplantation worldwide. Recurrent infection of the graft is universal in HCV patients after transplant and results in a rapid progression to severe fibrosis and end-stage liver disease in one third of all patients. No single clinical variable, or combination thereof, has, so far, proven accurate in identifying patients at risk of hepatic decompensation in the transplant setting. A combination of longitudinal, dimensionality reduction and categorical analysis of the transcriptome from 111 liver biopsy specimens taken from 57 HCV-infected patients over time identified a molecular signature of gene expression of patients at risk of developing severe fibrosis. Significantly, alterations in gene expression occur before histologic evidence of liver disease progression, suggesting that events that occur during the acute phase of infection influence patient outcome. Additionally, a common precursor state for different severe clinical outcomes was identified. CONCLUSION: Based on this patient cohort, incidence of severe liver disease is a process initiated early during HCV infection of the donor organ. The probable cellular network at the basis of the initial transition to severe liver disease was identified and characterized.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Understanding the role of host factors during lethal influenza virus infection is critical to deciphering the events that determine the fate of the host. One such factor is encoded by the Mx1 gene, which confers resistance to influenza virus infection. Here, we compared pathology and global gene expression profiles in lung tissue from BALB/c (Mx1(-)) and BALB · A2G-Mx1 mice (Mx1(+/+)) infected with the fully reconstructed 1918 pandemic influenza virus. Mx1(+/+) mice showed less tissue damage than Mx(-) animals, and pathology and mortality were further reduced by treating the mice with interferon prior to infection. Using global transcriptional profiling, we identified distinct molecular signatures associated with partial protection, complete protection, and the contribution of interferon to the host response. In the absence of interferon treatment, partial protection was characterized by the generation of an acute response with the upregulation of genes associated with apoptosis, reactive oxygen species, and cell migration. Complete protection was characterized by the downregulation of cytokine and chemokine genes previously associated with influenza virus pathogenesis. The contribution of interferon treatment to total protection in virus-infected Mx1(+/+) mice was characterized by the altered regulation of cell cycle genes. These genes were upregulated in Mx1(+/+) mice treated with interferon but downregulated in the absence of interferon treatment. Our results suggest that Mx1(+/+) mice generate a protective antiviral response by controlling the expression of key modulator molecules associated with influenza virus lethality.
Journal of Virology 12/2011; 86(5):2437-46. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously employed systems biology approaches to identify the mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation enzyme dodecenoyl coenzyme A delta isomerase (DCI) as a bottleneck protein controlling host metabolic reprogramming during hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Here we present the results of studies confirming the importance of DCI to HCV pathogenesis. Computational models incorporating proteomic data from HCV patient liver biopsy specimens recapitulated our original predictions regarding DCI and link HCV-associated alterations in cellular metabolism and liver disease progression. HCV growth and RNA replication in hepatoma cell lines stably expressing DCI-targeting short hairpin RNA (shRNA) were abrogated, indicating that DCI is required for productive infection. Pharmacologic inhibition of fatty acid oxidation also blocked HCV replication. Production of infectious HCV was restored by overexpression of an shRNA-resistant DCI allele. These findings demonstrate the utility of systems biology approaches to gain novel insight into the biology of HCV infection and identify novel, translationally relevant therapeutic targets.
Journal of Virology 09/2011; 85(22):11646-54. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ebola virus is the etiologic agent of a lethal hemorrhagic fever in humans and nonhuman primates with mortality rates of up to 90%. Previous studies with Zaire Ebola virus (ZEBOV), mouse-adapted virus (MA-ZEBOV), and mutant viruses (ZEBOV-NP(ma), ZEBOV-VP24(ma), and ZEBOV-NP/VP24(ma)) allowed us to identify the mutations in viral protein 24 (VP24) and nucleoprotein (NP) responsible for acquisition of high virulence in mice. To elucidate specific molecular signatures associated with lethality, we compared global gene expression profiles in spleen samples from mice infected with these viruses and performed an extensive functional analysis. Our analysis showed that the lethal viruses (MA-ZEBOV and ZEBOV-NP/VP24(ma)) elicited a strong expression of genes 72 h after infection. In addition, we found that although the host transcriptional response to ZEBOV-VP24(ma) was nearly the same as that to ZEBOV-NP/VP24(ma), the contribution of a mutation in the NP gene was required for a lethal phenotype. Further analysis indicated that one of the most relevant biological functions differentially regulated by the lethal viruses was the inflammatory response, as was the induction of specific metalloproteinases, which were present in our newly identify functional network that was associated with Ebola virus lethality. Our results suggest that this dysregulated proinflammatory response increased the severity of disease. Consequently, the newly discovered molecular signature could be used as the starting point for the development of new drugs and therapeutics. To our knowledge, this is the first study that clearly defines unique molecular signatures associated with Ebola virus lethality.
Journal of Virology 09/2011; 85(17):9060-8. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The NS1 protein of influenza virus counters host antiviral defences primarily by antagonizing the type I interferon (IFN) response. Both the N-terminal dsRNA-binding domain and the C-terminal effector domain are required for optimal suppression of host responses during infection. To better understand the regulatory role of the NS1 effector domain, we used an NS1-truncated mutant virus derived from human H1N1 influenza isolate A/Texas/36/91 (Tx/91) and assessed global transcriptional profiles from two independent human lung cell-culture models. Relative to the wild-type Tx/91-induced gene expression, the NS1 mutant virus induced enhanced expression of innate immune genes, specifically NF-κB signalling-pathway genes and IFN-α and -β target genes. We queried an experimentally derived IFN gene set to gauge the proportion of IFN-responsive genes that are suppressed specifically by NS1. We show that the C-terminally truncated NS1 mutant virus is less efficient at suppressing IFN-regulated gene expression associated with activation of antigen-presentation and immune-proteasome pathways. This is the first report integrating genomic analysis from two independent human culture systems, including primary lung cells, using genetically similar H1N1 influenza viruses that differ only in the length of the NS1 protein.
Journal of General Virology 05/2011; 92(Pt 9):2093-104. · 3.13 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously reported widespread differential expression of long non-protein-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) in response to virus infection. Here, we expanded the study through small RNA transcriptome sequencing analysis of the host response to both severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and influenza virus infections across four founder mouse strains of the Collaborative Cross, a recombinant inbred mouse resource for mapping complex traits. We observed differential expression of over 200 small RNAs of diverse classes during infection. A majority of identified microRNAs (miRNAs) showed divergent changes in expression across mouse strains with respect to SARS-CoV and influenza virus infections and responded differently to a highly pathogenic reconstructed 1918 virus compared to a minimally pathogenic seasonal influenza virus isolate. Novel insights into miRNA expression changes, including the association with pathogenic outcomes and large differences between in vivo and in vitro experimental systems, were further elucidated by a survey of selected miRNAs across diverse virus infections. The small RNAs identified also included many non-miRNA small RNAs, such as small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs), in addition to nonannotated small RNAs. An integrative sequencing analysis of both small RNAs and long transcripts from the same samples showed that the results revealing differential expression of miRNAs during infection were largely due to transcriptional regulation and that the predicted miRNA-mRNA network could modulate global host responses to virus infection in a combinatorial fashion. These findings represent the first integrated sequencing analysis of the response of host small RNAs to virus infection and show that small RNAs are an integrated component of complex networks involved in regulating the host response to infection. IMPORTANCE: Most studies examining the host transcriptional response to infection focus only on protein-coding genes. However, mammalian genomes transcribe many short and long non-protein-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). With the advent of deep-sequencing technologies, systematic transcriptome analysis of the host response, including analysis of ncRNAs of different sizes, is now possible. Using this approach, we recently discovered widespread differential expression of host long (>200 nucleotide [nt]) ncRNAs in response to virus infection. Here, the samples described in the previous report were again used, but we sequenced another fraction of the transcriptome to study very short (about 20 to 30 nt) ncRNAs. We demonstrated that virus infection also altered expression of many short ncRNAs of diverse classes. Putting the results of the two studies together, we show that small RNAs may also play an important role in regulating the host response to virus infection.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The twentieth century was marked by extraordinary advances in our understanding of microbes and infectious disease, but pandemics remain, food and waterborne illnesses are frequent, multidrug-resistant microbes are on the rise, and the needed drugs and vaccines have not been developed. The scientific approaches of the past-including the intense focus on individual genes and proteins typical of molecular biology-have not been sufficient to address these challenges. The first decade of the twenty-first century has seen remarkable innovations in technology and computational methods. These new tools provide nearly comprehensive views of complex biological systems and can provide a correspondingly deeper understanding of pathogen-host interactions. To take full advantage of these innovations, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases recently initiated the Systems Biology Program for Infectious Disease Research. As participants of the Systems Biology Program, we think that the time is at hand to redefine the pathogen-host research paradigm.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) infection can cause the development of severe end-stage lung disease characterized by acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and pulmonary fibrosis. The mechanisms by which pulmonary lesions and fibrosis are generated during SARS-CoV infection are not known. Using high-throughput mRNA profiling, we examined the transcriptional response of wild-type (WT), type I interferon receptor knockout (IFNAR1-/-), and STAT1 knockout (STAT1-/-) mice infected with a recombinant mouse-adapted SARS-CoV (rMA15) to better understand the contribution of specific gene expression changes to disease progression. Despite a deletion of the type I interferon receptor, strong expression of interferon-stimulated genes was observed in the lungs of IFNAR1-/- mice, contributing to clearance of the virus. In contrast, STAT1-/- mice exhibited a defect in the expression of interferon-stimulated genes and were unable to clear the infection, resulting in a lethal outcome. STAT1-/- mice exhibited dysregulation of T-cell and macrophage differentiation, leading to a TH2-biased immune response and the development of alternatively activated macrophages that mediate a profibrotic environment within the lung. We propose that a combination of impaired viral clearance and T-cell/macrophage dysregulation causes the formation of prefibrotic lesions in the lungs of rMA15-infected STAT1-/- mice.
Journal of Virology 11/2010; 84(21):11297-309. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The first influenza pandemic of the new millennium was caused by a newly emerged swine-origin influenza virus (SOIV) (H1N1). This new virus is characterized by a previously unknown constellation of gene segments derived from North American and Eurasian swine lineages and the absence of common markers predictive of human adaptation. Overall, human infections appeared to be mild, but an alarming number of young individuals presented with symptoms atypical for seasonal influenza. The new SOIV also showed a sustained human-to-human transmissibility and higher reproduction ratio than common seasonal viruses, altogether indicating a higher pathogenic potential for this newly emerged virus. To study the virulence of the SOIV, we used a recently established cynomolgus macaque model and compared parameters of clinical disease, virology, host responses, and pathology/histopathology with a current seasonal H1N1 virus. We here show that infection of macaques with two genetically similar but clinically distinct SOIV isolates from the early stage of the pandemic (A/Mexico/4108/2009 and A/Mexico/InDRE4487/2009) resulted in upper and lower respiratory tract infections and clinical disease ranging from mild to severe pneumonia that was clearly advanced over the mild infection caused by A/Kawasaki/UTK-4/2009, a current seasonal strain. Unexpectedly, we observed heterogeneity among the two SOIV isolates in virus replication, host transcriptional and cytokine responses, and disease progression, demonstrating a higher pathogenic potential for A/Mexico/InDRE4487/2009. Differences in virulence may explain more severe disease, as was seen with certain individuals infected with the emerged pandemic influenza virus. Thus, the nonhuman primate model closely mimics influenza in humans.
Journal of Virology 11/2010; 85(3):1214-23. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have employed global transcriptional profiling of whole blood to identify biologically relevant changes in cellular gene expression in response to alternative AIDS vaccine strategies with subsequent viral challenge in a rhesus macaque vaccine model. Samples were taken at day 0 (prechallenge), day 14 (peak viremia), and week 12 (set point) from animals immunized with replicating adenovirus type 5 host range (Ad5hr) recombinant viruses expressing human immunodeficiency virus HIV(env)(89.6P), simian immunodeficiency virus SIV(gag)(239), or SIV(nef)(239) alone or in combination with two intramuscular boosts with HIV(89.6P)gp140ΔCFI protein (L. J. Patterson et al., Virology 374:322-337, 2008), and each treatment resulted in significant control of viremia following simian-human immunodeficiency virus SHIV(89.6P) challenge (six animals per group plus six controls). At day 0, 8 weeks after the last treatment, the microarray profiles revealed significant prechallenge differences between treatment groups; data from the best-protected animals led to identification of a network of genes related to B cell development and lymphocyte survival. At peak viremia, expression profiles of the immunized groups were extremely similar, and comparisons to control animals reflected immunological differences other than effector T cell functions. Suggested protective mechanisms for vaccinated animals included upregulation of interleukin-27, a cytokine known to inhibit lentivirus replication, and increased expression of complement components, which may synergize with vaccine-induced antibodies. Divergent expression profiles at set point for the immunized groups implied distinct immunological responses despite phenotypic similarities in viral load and CD4(+) T cell levels. Data for the gp140-boosted group provided evidence for antibody-dependent, cell-mediated viral control, whereas animals immunized with only the replicating Ad5hr recombinants exhibited a different evolution of the B cell compartment even at 3 months postchallenge. This study demonstrates the sensitivity and discrimination of gene expression profiling of whole blood as an analytical tool in AIDS vaccine trials, providing unique insights into in vivo mechanisms and potential correlates of protection.
Journal of Virology 11/2010; 85(2):1099-116. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The influenza pandemic of 1918 to 1919 was one of the worst global pandemics in recent history. The highly pathogenic nature of the 1918 virus is thought to be mediated in part by a dysregulation of the host response, including an exacerbated proinflammatory cytokine response. In the present study, we compared the host transcriptional response to infection with the reconstructed 1918 virus in wild-type, tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor-1 knockout (TNFRKO), and interleukin-1 (IL-1) receptor-1 knockout (IL1RKO) mice as a means of further understanding the role of proinflammatory cytokine signaling during the acute response to infection. Despite reported redundancy in the functions of IL-1β and TNF-α, we observed that reducing the signaling capacity of each of these molecules by genetic disruption of their key receptor genes had very different effects on the host response to infection. In TNFRKO mice, we found delayed or decreased expression of genes associated with antiviral and innate immune signaling, complement, coagulation, and negative acute-phase response. In contrast, in IL1RKO mice numerous genes were differentially expressed at 1 day postinoculation, including an increase in the expression of genes that contribute to dendritic and natural killer cell processes and cellular movement, and gene expression profiles remained relatively constant at later time points. We also observed a compensatory increase in TNF-α expression in virus-infected IL1RKO mice. Our data suggest that signaling through the IL-1 receptor is protective, whereas signaling through the TNF-α receptor increases the severity of 1918 virus infection. These findings suggest that manipulation of these pathways may have therapeutic benefit.
Journal of Virology 10/2010; 84(24):12576-88. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Periodic outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian H5N1 influenza viruses and the current H1N1 pandemic highlight the need for a more detailed understanding of influenza virus pathogenesis. To investigate the host transcriptional response induced by pathogenic influenza viruses, we used a functional-genomics approach to compare gene expression profiles in lungs from 129S6/SvEv mice infected with either the fully reconstructed H1N1 1918 pandemic virus (1918) or the highly pathogenic avian H5N1 virus Vietnam/1203/04 (VN/1203). Although the viruses reached similar titers in the lung and caused lethal infections, the mean time of death was 6 days for VN/1203-infected animals and 9 days for mice infected with the 1918 virus. VN/1203-infected animals also exhibited an earlier and more potent inflammatory response. This response included induction of genes encoding components of the inflammasome. VN/1203 was also able to disseminate to multiple organs, including the brain, which correlated with changes in the expression of genes associated with hematological functions and lipoxin biogenesis and signaling. Both viruses elicited expression of type I interferon (IFN)-regulated genes in wild-type mice and to a lesser extent in mice lacking the type I IFN receptor, suggesting alternative or redundant pathways for IFN signaling. Our findings suggest that VN/1203 is more pathogenic in mice as a consequence of several factors, including the early and sustained induction of the inflammatory response, the additive or synergistic effects of upregulated components of the immune response, and inhibition of lipoxin-mediated anti-inflammatory responses, which correlated with the ability of VN/1203 to disseminate to extrapulmonary organs.
Journal of Virology 08/2010; 84(15):7613-24. · 5.08 Impact Factor