Nigel Bourne

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, Texas, United States

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Publications (89)357.95 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Dengue (DEN) is the most important mosquito-borne viral disease, with a major impact on global health and economics, caused by four serologically and distinct viruses termed DENV-1 to DENV-4. Currently, there is no licensed vaccine to prevent DEN. We have developed a live attenuated tetravalent DENV vaccine candidate (TDV) (formally known as DENVax) that has shown promise in preclinical and clinical studies and elicits neutralizing antibody responses to all four DENVs. As these responses are lowest to DENV-4 we have used the AG129 mouse model to investigate the immunogenicity of monovalent TDV-4 or tetravalent TDV vaccines, and their efficacy against lethal DENV-4 challenge. Since the common backbone of TDV is based on an attenuated DENV-2 strain (TDV-2) we also tested the efficacy of TDV-2 against DENV-4 challenge. Single doses of the tetravalent or monovalent vaccines elicited neutralizing antibodies, anti-NS1 antibodies, and cellular responses to both envelope and nonstructural proteins. All vaccinated animals were protected against challenge at 60 days post-immunization, whereas all control animals died. Investigation of DENV-4 viremias post-challenge showed that only the control animals had high viremias on day 3 post-challenge, whereas vaccinated mice had no detectable viremia. Overall, these data highlight the excellent immunogenicity and efficacy profile of our candidate dengue vaccine in AG129 mice.
    Vaccine. 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Persistent infection is a key feature of hepatitis C virus (HCV). However, chimpanzee infections with cell culture-derived viruses (JFH or related chimeric viruses that replicate efficiently in cell culture) have been limited to acute-transient infections with no pathogenicity. Here, we report persistent infection with chronic hepatitis in a chimpanzee challenged with cell culture-derived genotype 1a virus (H77S.2) containing 6 cell culture-adaptive mutations. Following acute-transient infection with a chimeric H77/JFH1 virus (HJ3-5), i.v. challenge with 10(6) FFU H77S.2 virus resulted in immediate seroconversion and, following an unusual 4-6 week delay, persistent viremia accompanied by ALT elevation, intrahepatic innate immune responses, and diffuse hepatopathy. This first persistent infection with cell culture-produced HCV provided a unique opportunity to assess evolution of cell culture-adapted virus in vivo. Synonymous and nonsynonymous nucleotide substitution rates were greatest during the first 8 weeks of infection. Of 6 cell culture-adaptive mutations in H77S.2, Q1067R (NS3) had reverted to Q1067 and S2204I (NS5A) was replaced by T2204 within 8 weeks of infection. By 62 weeks, 4 of 6 mutations had reverted to wild-type sequence, and all reverted to the wild-type sequence by 194 weeks. The data suggest H77S.2 virus has greater potential for persistence and pathogenicity than JFH1, and demonstrate both the capacity of a non-fit virus to persist for weeks in the liver in the absence of detectable viremia as well as strong selective pressure against cell culture-adaptive mutations in vivo.
    Journal of Virology 01/2014; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Macrophages encounter flaviviruses early after injection by arthropod vectors. Using in vivo imaging of mice inoculated with firefly luciferase-expressing single-cycle flavivirus particles (FLUC-SCFV), we examined the initial dissemination of virus particles in the presence or absence of lymph node (LN)-resident macrophages. Higher luciferase activity, indicating higher SCFV gene expression, was detected in the footpad of macrophage-depleted mice after 24 h post infection (hpi). Moreover, FLUC-SCFV particles disseminated to the spleen within 14 hpi in macrophage-depleted, but not control mice. Although macrophages presented SCFV to naïve T cells in vitro, depletion of subcapsular sinus (SCS) macrophages did not alter the magnitude or effector function of the WNV-specific CD8+ T cell response. Together, these results indicate that SCS macrophages play a role in limiting the dissemination of SCFV early in infection but are not required for the generation of a polyfunctional WNV-specific CD8+ T cell response in the draining LN.
    Virology 01/2014; s 450–451:278–289. · 3.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Successful development of topical rectal microbicides requires preclinical evaluation in suitable large animal models. Our previous studies have demonstrated the benefits of high-resolution optical coherence tomography (OCT) to visualize subclinical microbicide toxicity in the sheep vagina. In the current study, we evaluated the potential application of colonoscopy and OCT to visualize and quantify the effects of topical products on sheep colorectal tissue, as assessed by advanced imaging techniques. Yearling virginal female sheep were treated rectally with a single 8-mL dose of 0.2% benzalkonium chloride (BZK) solution or phosphate-buffered saline control. Imaging was performed before and 30 minutes after treatment. Colonoscopy findings were evaluated based on mucosal disruption. Optical coherence tomography images were graded based on the integrity of the mucosal layer. Biopsies collected after treatment were evaluated by histology for validation of OCT scoring. Mucosal disruption was observed by colonoscopy in BZK-treated animals, whereas none was present in controls. In contrast to colonoscopy, high-resolution in-depth OCT imaging provided visualization of the morphology of the mucosal layer and underlying muscularis, thus enabling detection of microscopic abnormalities. Noninvasive quantification of drug-induced injury after validation of the scoring system (categories 1, 2, 3) showed increased scores after treatment with BZK (P < 0.001), indicating mucosal injury. High-resolution OCT can be used as highly sensitive tool to evaluate rectal microbicide effects. Because the sheep rectum has both gross and microscopic similarities to the human, this model is a useful addition to current methods of rectal product toxicity.
    Sexually transmitted diseases 11/2013; 40(11):854-859. · 2.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The FGF14 protein controls biophysical properties and subcellular distribution of neuronal Nav channels through direct binding to the channel C-terminus. To gain insights into the dynamic regulation of this protein-protein interaction complex, we employed the split-luciferase complementation assay (LCA) to screen a small molecule library of kinase inhibitors against the FGF14/Nav1.6 channel complex and identified inhibitors of GSK3 as hits. Through a combination of a luminescence-based counter screening, co-immunoprecipitation, patch-clamp electrophysiology, and quantitative confocal immunofluorescence, we demonstrate that inhibition of GSK3 reduces the assembly of the FGF14/Nav channel complex, modifies FGF14-dependent regulation of Na+ currents, and induces dissociation, and subcellular redistribution of the native FGF14/Nav channel complex in hippocampal neurons. These results further emphasize the role of FGF14 as a critical component of the Nav channel macromolecular complex, providing evidence for a novel GSK3-dependent signaling pathway that might control excitability through specific protein-protein interactions.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/2013; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sensitive imaging techniques for small animals are needed to assess drug toxicity in preclinical studies. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) provides a noninvasive tool for high-resolution, depth-resolved visualization of drug-induced changes in tissue morphology. In a mouse model, we utilize OCT to assess vaginal tissue integrity following the application of topical microbicides (drugs used to prevent infection). Mice are challenged with herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) to determine the correlation of tissue damage as quantified by OCT to increased susceptibility. The microbicide benzalkonium chloride (BZK) (0.02, 0.2, or 2%) or phosphate buffered saline control is administered intravaginally. In vivo OCT imaging and collection of tissue samples are performed after treatment. A quantitative OCT scoring system is applied to assess epithelial damage, and the results are compared with those of histology. A separate group of mice are treated similarly then challenged with HSV-2. Epithelial morphology quantified noninvasively by OCT and histology are dose-dependent (p<0.0001). The OCT scoring system detected a significant increase in epithelial damage with increasing BZK concentration (p<0.0001). These results paralleled an increase in HSV-2 susceptibility (p<0.005). OCT can be used as a noninvasive tool to assess topical drug toxicity in a small animal model with potential to predict increased susceptibility to vaginal infection.
    Journal of Biomedical Optics 04/2013; 18(4):46010. · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: High-resolution optical coherence tomography (OCT), can be used noninvasively to evaluate vaginal morphologic features, including epithelial thickness, to assess this protective barrier in transmission of sexually transmitted infections and to monitor tissue response to topical medications and hormonal fluctuations. We examined the utility of OCT to measure epithelial thickness noninvasively before and after topical treatment with a drug that causes epithelial thinning. STUDY DESIGN: Twelve female sheep were treated with intravaginal placebo (n=4) or nonoxynol-9 (n=8). Vaginal OCT images were obtained before and 24 hours after treatment. Four sheep in the nonoxynol-9 group were also examined on days 3 and 7. Vaginal biopsies were obtained on the last exam day. Epithelial thickness was measured in OCT images and in H&E-stained histological sections from biopsies. Statistical analysis was performed using ANOVA (significance p<0.05). RESULTS: Baseline OCT epithelial thickness measurements were similar (85±19 μm placebo, 78±20 μm nonoxynol-9; p=0.52). Epithelial thinning was significant after nonoxynol-9 (32±22 μm) compared to placebo (80±15 μm) 24 hours after treatment (p<0.0001). In the four nonoxynol-9-treated sheep followed for 7 days, epithelial thickness returned to baseline by day 3, and increased significantly on day 7. Epithelial thickness measurements from histology were not significantly different than OCT (p=0.98 N-9, p=0.93 HEC). CONCLUSION: Drug-induced changes in the epithelium were clearly detectable using OCT imaging. OCT and histology epithelial thickness measurements were similar, validating OCT as a noninvasive method for epithelial thickness measurement, providing an important tool for quantitative and longitudinal monitoring of vaginal epithelial changes.
    American journal of obstetrics and gynecology 01/2013; · 3.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Both the guinea pig and mouse are important animal models for the study of genital herpes. The murine model has been used extensively to evaluate vaccines and antiviral agents by measuring the incidence of infection and the magnitude of viral replication; however, this model is limited with regard to distinguishing between candidate vaccines or treatments. In contrast, the guinea pig closely mimics human infection and provides an excellent model of both primary and recurrent genital herpes disease. This animal model is especially important in the study of viral transmission through the evaluation of latent viral reactivation and virus shedding into the genital tract.Here, we describe methodologies to determine viral infection, severity of primary disease, and quantification of primary viral replication in the genital tract for both the guinea pig and murine models of genital herpes. Additionally, we detail the evaluation of the onset of primary disease and progression to the day of death in the mouse model. Further, we summarize methods to assess the frequency of recurrences, frequency and magnitude of virus shedding, and latent viral load in the sensory nerve ganglia of the guinea pig.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2013; 1030:315-326. · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Here we describe studies in the guinea pig model of genital herpes to evaluate a novel plasmid DNA (pDNA) vaccine encoding the HSV-2 glycoprotein D and UL46 and UL47 genes encoding tegument proteins VP11/12 and VP 13/14 (gD2/UL46/UL47), formulated with a cationic lipid-based adjuvant Vaxfectin(®). Prophylactic immunization with Vaxfectin(®)-gD2/UL46/UL47 significantly reduced viral replication in the genital tract, provided complete protection against both primary and recurrent genital skin disease following intravaginal HSV-2 challenge, and significantly reduced latent HSV-2 DNA in the dorsal root ganglia compared to controls. We also examined the impact of therapeutic immunization of HSV-2 infected animals. Here, Vaxfectin(®)-gD2/UL46/UL47 immunization significantly reduced both the frequency of recurrent disease and viral shedding into the genital tract compared to controls. This novel adjuvanted pDNA vaccine has demonstrated both prophylactic and therapeutic efficacy in the guinea pig model of genital herpes and warrants further development.
    Vaccine 10/2012; · 3.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Use of the stimulant methamphetamine (METH) is increasingly common, with >35 million users worldwide. There is a known association between stimulant use and an increased incidence of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). METH is known to have immune modulatory properties. However, the impact of METH on normal immune responses and disease pathogenesis with STIs has not been fully examined. We used a well-characterized murine model to investigate the impact of METH use on genital herpes simplex virus type 2 infection. Plaque assay and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction were used to measure viral replication. Cytokine bead array and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay were used to determine levels of cytokines during host innate immune response. METH treatment altered behavior, onset of clinical signs, and disease progression. METH-treated mice also had a thinned vaginal epithelium and an increase in virus present in the sensory ganglia. In addition, METH produced a local dysregulation of cytokine secretion that contrasts with its minimal impact on systemic cytokine secretion. Results suggest that the METH alterations of the host immune response partially contribute to enhanced genital herpes disease progression. These findings will improve understanding of METH use on host immune responses and susceptibility to disease.
    Sexually transmitted diseases 09/2012; 39(9):720-5. · 2.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protein–protein interactions are critical molecular determinants of ion channel function and emerging targets for pharmacological interventions. Yet, current methodologies for the rapid detection of ion channel macromolecular complexes are still lacking. In this study we have adapted a split-luciferase complementation assay (LCA) for detecting the assembly of the voltage-gated Na+ (Nav) channel C-tail and the intracellular fibroblast growth factor 14 (FGF14), a functionally relevant component of the Nav channelosome that controls gating and targeting of Nav channels through direct interaction with the channel C-tail. In the LCA, two complementary N-terminus and C-terminus fragments of the firefly luciferase were fused, respectively, to a chimera of the CD4 transmembrane segment and the C-tail of Nav1.6 channel (CD4-Nav1.6-NLuc) or FGF14 (CLuc-FGF14). Co-expression of CLuc-FGF14 and CD4-Nav1.6-NLuc in live cells led to a robust assembly of the FGF14:Nav1.6 C-tail complex, which was attenuated by introducing single-point mutations at the predicted FGF14:Nav channel interface. To evaluate the dynamic regulation of the FGF14:Nav1.6 C-tail complex by signaling pathways, we investigated the effect of kinase inhibitors on the complex formation. Through a platform of counter screenings, we show that the p38/MAPK inhibitor, PD169316, and the IκB kinase inhibitor, BAY 11-7082, reduce the FGF14:Nav1.6 C-tail complementation, highlighting a potential role of the p38MAPK and the IκB/NFκB pathways in controlling neuronal excitability through protein–protein interactions. We envision the methodology presented here as a new valuable tool to allow functional evaluations of protein–channel complexes toward probe development and drug discovery targeting ion channels implicated in human disorders.
    Assay and Drug Development Technologies 04/2012; 10(2):148-60. · 1.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The development of safe topical microbicides that can preserve the integrity of cervicovaginal tract epithelial barrier is of great interest as this may minimize the potential for increased susceptibility to STI infections. High resolution imaging to assess epithelial integrity in a noninvasive manner could be a valuable tool for preclinical testing of candidate topical agents. A quantitative approach using confocal fluorescence microendoscopy (CFM) for assessment of microbicide-induced injury to the vaginal epithelium was developed. Sheep were treated intravaginally with one of five agents in solution (PBS; 0.02% benzalkonium chloride (BZK); 0.2% BZK) or gel formulation (hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC); Gynol II nonoxynol-9 gel (N-9)). After 24 hours the vaginal tract was removed, labeled with propidium iodide (PI), imaged, then fixed for histology. An automated image scoring algorithm was developed for quantitative assessment of injury and applied to the data set. Image-based findings were validated with histological visual gradings that describe degree of injury and measurement of epithelial thickness. Distinct differences in PI staining were detected following BZK and N-9 treatment. Images from controls had uniformly distributed nuclei with defined borders, while those after BZK or N-9 showed heavily stained and disrupted nuclei, which increased in proportion to injury detected on histology. The confocal scoring system revealed statistically significant scores for each agent versus PBS controls with the exception of HEC and were consistent with histology scores of injury. Confocal microendoscopy provides a sensitive, objective, and quantitative approach for non-invasive assessment of vaginal epithelial integrity and could serve as a tool for real-time safety evaluation of emerging intravaginal topical agents.
    BMC Infectious Diseases 02/2012; 12:48. · 3.03 Impact Factor
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Protein-protein interactions are critical molecular determinants of ion channel function and emerging targets for pharmacological interventions. Yet, current methodologies for the rapid detection of ion channel macromolecular complexes are still lacking. In this study we have adapted a split-luciferase complementation assay (LCA) for detecting the assembly of the voltage-gated Na+ (Nav) channel C-tail and the intracellular fibroblast growth factor 14 (FGF14), a functionally relevant component of the Nav channelosome that controls gating and targeting of Nav channels through direct interaction with the channel C-tail. In the LCA, two complementary N-terminus and C-terminus fragments of the firefly luciferase were fused, respectively, to a chimera of the CD4 transmembrane segment and the C-tail of Nav1.6 channel (CD4-Nav1.6-NLuc) or FGF14 (CLuc-FGF14). Co-expression of CLuc-FGF14 and CD4-Nav1.6-NLuc in live cells led to a robust assembly of the FGF14:Nav1.6 C-tail complex, which was attenuated by introducing single-point mutations at the predicted FGF14:Nav channel interface. To evaluate the dynamic regulation of the FGF14:Nav1.6 C-tail complex by signaling pathways, we investigated the effect of kinase inhibitors on the complex formation. Through a platform of counter screenings, we show that the p38/MAPK inhibitor, PD169316, and the IκB kinase inhibitor, BAY 11-7082, reduce the FGF14:Nav1.6 C-tail complementation, highlighting a potential role of the p38MAPK and the IκB/NFκB pathways in controlling neuronal excitability through protein-protein interactions. We envision the methodology presented here as a new valuable tool to allow functional evaluations of protein-channel complexes toward probe development and drug discovery targeting ion channels implicated in human disorders.
    Assay and Drug Development Technologies 02/2012; 10(2):148-60. · 1.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Type I interferons (IFNs) are critical for controlling pathogenic virus infections and can enhance immune responses. Hence their impact on the effectiveness of live-attenuated vaccines involves a balance between limiting viral antigen expression and enhancing the development of adaptive immune responses. We examined the influence of type I IFNs on these parameters following immunization with RepliVAX WN, a single-cycle flavivirus vaccine (SCFV) against West Nile virus (WNV) disease. RepliVAX WN-immunized mice produced IFN-α and displayed increased IFN-stimulated gene transcription in draining lymph nodes (LN). SCFV gene expression was over 100 fold-higher on days 1-3 post-infection in type I IFN receptor knockout mice (IFNAR(-/-)) compared to wild-type (wt) mice indicating a profound IFN-mediated suppression of SCFV gene expression in the wt animals. IFNAR(-/-) mice produced nearly equivalent levels of WNV-specific serum IgG and WNV-specific CD4(+) T cell responses compared to wt mice. However, significantly higher numbers of WNV-specific CD8(+) T cells were produced by IFNAR(-/-) mice and a significantly greater percentage of these T cells from IFNAR(-/-) mice produced only IFN-γ following antigen-specific re-stimulation. This altered cytokine expression was not associated with increased antigen load suggesting the loss of type I IFN receptor signaling was responsible for the altered quality of the CD8(+) effector T cell response. Together, these results indicate that although type I IFN is not essential for the intrinsic adjuvanting of RepliVAX WN, it plays a role in shaping the cytokine secretion profiles of CD8(+) effector T cells elicited by this SCFV.
    Vaccine 02/2012; 30(8):1465-75. · 3.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recently, we demonstrated that a single-cycle West Nile virus (WNV) named RepliVAX WN could be used to produce a chimeric Japanese encephalitis (JE) vaccine (RepliVAX JE) by replacing the WNV prM/E genes with those of JEV. Here, we tested if replacement of WNV NS1 gene in RepliVAX JE with that of JEV (producing TripliVAX JE) could produce a superior vaccine. TripliVAX JE elicited higher anti-E immunity and displayed better efficacy in mice than RepliVAX JE. Furthermore, TripliVAX JE displayed reduced immune interference caused by pre-existing anti-NS1 immunity. Thus, we propose prM/E/NS1 chimerization as a new strategy for flavivirus vaccine development.
    Vaccine 07/2011; 29(43):7444-55. · 3.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PSI-353661, a phosphoramidate prodrug of 2'-deoxy-2'-fluoro-2'-C-methylguanosine-5'-monophosphate, is a highly active inhibitor of genotype 1a, 1b, and 2a HCV RNA replication in the replicon assay and of genotype 1a and 2a infectious virus replication. PSI-353661 is active against replicons harboring the NS5B S282T or S96T/N142T amino acid alterations that confer decreased susceptibility to nucleoside/tide analogs as well as mutations that confer resistance to non-nucleoside inhibitors of NS5B. Replicon clearance studies show that PSI-353661 was able to clear cells of HCV replicon RNA and prevent a rebound in replicon RNA. PSI-353661 showed no toxicity toward bone marrow stem cells or mitochondrial toxicity. The metabolism to the active 5'-triphosphate involves hydrolysis of the carboxyl ester by cathepsin A (Cat A) and carboxylesterase 1 (CES1) followed by a putative nucleophilic attack on the phosphorus by the carboxyl group resulting in the elimination of phenol and the alaninyl phosphate metabolite, PSI-353131. Histidine triad nucleotide-binding protein 1 (Hint 1) then removes the amino acid moiety, which is followed by hydrolysis of the methoxyl group at the O(6)-position of the guanine base by adenosine deaminase-like protein 1 (ADAL1) to give 2'-deoxy-2'-fluoro-2'-C-methylguanosine-5'-monophosphate. The monophosphate is phosphorylated to the diphosphate by guanylate kinase. Nucleoside diphosphate kinase is the primary enzyme involved in phosphorylation of the diphosphate to the active triphosphate, PSI-352666. PSI-352666 is equally active against wild-type NS5B and NS5B containing the S282T amino acid alteration.
    Antiviral research 05/2011; 91(2):120-32. · 3.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PSI-352938 is a novel cyclic phosphate prodrug of β-D-2'-deoxy-2'-α-fluoro-2'-β-C-methylguanosine 5'-monophosphate that has potent activity against hepatitis C virus (HCV) in vitro. The studies described here characterize the in vitro anti-HCV activity of PSI-352938, alone and in combination with other inhibitors of HCV, and the cross-resistance profile of PSI-352938. The effective concentration required to achieve 50% inhibition for PSI-352938, determined using genotype 1a-, 1b-, and 2a-derived replicons stably expressed in the Lunet cell line, were 0.20, 0.13, and 0.14 μM, respectively. The active 5'-triphosphate metabolite, PSI-352666, inhibited recombinant NS5B polymerase from genotypes 1 to 4 with comparable 50% inhibitory concentrations. In contrast, PSI-352938 did not inhibit the replication of hepatitis B virus or human immunodeficiency virus in vitro. PSI-352666 did not significantly affect the activity of human DNA and RNA polymerases. PSI-352938 and its cyclic phosphate metabolites did not affect the cyclic GMP-mediated activation of protein kinase G. Clearance studies using replicon cells demonstrated that PSI-352938 cleared cells of HCV replicon RNA and prevented replicon rebound. An additive to synergistic effect was observed when PSI-352938 was combined with other classes of HCV inhibitors, including alpha interferon, ribavirin, NS3/4A inhibitors, an NS5A inhibitor, and nucleoside/nucleotide and nonnucleoside inhibitors. Cross-resistance studies showed that PSI-352938 remained fully active against replicons containing the S282T or the S96T/N142T amino acid alteration. Replicons that contain mutations conferring resistance to various classes of nonnucleoside inhibitors also remained sensitive to inhibition by PSI-352938. PSI-352938 is currently being evaluated in a phase I clinical study in genotype 1-infected individuals.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 03/2011; 55(6):2566-75. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We recently reported that immunization with RepliVAX WN, a single-cycle West Nile virus (WNV) vaccine, protected mice against WNV challenge. We have extended these studies by characterizing the RepliVAX WN-elicited antibody and T cell responses. WNV-specific IgG antibody responses comprised predominantly of IgG(2c) and IgG(2b) subclasses were detected 8 months after immunization. Vigorous WNV-specific CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell responses directed at both structural and nonstructural WNV proteins were detected which were characterized by cytolytic activity and secretion of IFN-γ and TNF-α. Importantly, RepliVAX WN immunization resulted in vigorous CD8(+) memory T cell responses detected at 8 months after immunization.
    Vaccine 11/2010; 29(2):174-82. · 3.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: miR-122 is an abundant, liver-specific microRNA that is required for efficient amplification of hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA. Recent studies with a miR-122-specific locked nucleic acid antagomir have shown it to be an important host target for therapeutic intervention. However, considerable controversy exists concerning the mechanisms underlying the dependence of HCV replication on miR-122. We studied the impact of miR-122 on the rate of [(32)P]-incorporation into positive-strand viral RNA by membrane-bound replicase complexes isolated from cells containing HCV RNA replicons. [(32)P]-incorporation in this cell-free system represents primarily the elongation phase of RNA synthesis, with little or no de novo initiation, and was not affected by the addition of either excess miR-122 or a miR-122-specific antisense oligonucleotide that suppresses replication in vivo. We also found no evidence that detectable quantities of miR-122 are specifically associated with replicase complexes in vivo. These results are consistent with miR-122 acting at an alternative step in the viral life cycle, promoting cap-independent viral translation, enhancing viral RNA stability, or facilitating de novo initiation of viral RNA synthesis.
    Antiviral research 10/2010; 88(1):119-23. · 3.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Colposcopy is widely used in clinical microbicide safety testing but not in preclinical small animal studies. Endoscopic colposcopy could be employed in small animals allowing colposcopy to be used as one component in a multifactorial safety testing paradigm. We conducted dose-response studies in mice using 2%, 0.2%, or 0.02% benzalkonium chloride (BZK) as the test compound, and using multiple safety end points that included endoscopic colposcopy, susceptibility to vaginal HSV-2 infection, histology, and entry of inflammatory cells into the vagina. Animals treated with 0.2% or higher BZK experienced vaginal toxicities detectable by all tests used including colposcopy. In contrast, 0.02% BZK produced no significant changes except by histology in which a significant thinning of the vaginal epithelium was seen. Endoscopic colposcopy detected microbicide-elicited changes in the mouse vagina with similar sensitivity to the other endpoints used in these studies and would appear to be useful as part of a multifactorial microbicide safety testing paradigm in mice.
    Sexually transmitted diseases 09/2010; 37(9):579-84. · 2.58 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
357.95 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2002–2014
    • University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
      • • Sealy Center for Vaccine Development
      • • Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
      • • Department of Pathology
      • • Department of Microbiology and Immunology
      • • Department of Pediatrics
      • • Center for Hepatitis Research
      Galveston, Texas, United States
  • 2010
    • University of Chile
      • Instituto de Ciencias Biomédicas (ICBM)
      Santiago, Region Metropolitana de Santiago, Chile
    • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
      Livermore, California, United States
    • Utah State University
      Logan, Ohio, United States
  • 2009
    • Drexel University College of Medicine
      • Department of Microbiology & Immunology
      Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 2006
    • Drexel University
      • Drexel Institute for Biotechnology and Virology Research
      Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 1992–2004
    • Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
      • • Division of Infectious Diseases
      • • Department of Pediatrics
      Cincinnati, OH, United States
  • 1996
    • U.S. Food and Drug Administration
      • Division of Viral Products
      Washington, D. C., DC, United States