[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HeLa cells are used to study the life cycles of many different viruses, including the human rhinoviruses (HRV) in the family Picornaviridae. Although the natural targets of HRV are human bronchial epithelial cells (hBE), it is generally more difficult to obtain and maintain the relevant primary cell cultures, relative to HeLa cells. Given that the HRV are now identified as a major cause of human asthma exacerbations, it becomes important to document how much of the virus biology learned from HeLa cells is common also to natural primary cells. When compared directly in matched infections using A01a virus, the kinetics of RNA replication, the synthesis and processing of viral proteins and the general subcellular localization of key non-structural proteins were resembled in hBE and HeLa cells. Viral-induced shutoff of host cell processes (e.g. nucleo-cytoplasmic trafficking) was also comparable.
Journal of General Virology 07/2011; 92(Pt 11):2549-57. · 3.13 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interferons induced by viral infections can have powerful immuno- modulatory effects, and several epidemiologic studies have found an association between certain viral infections and reduced prevalence of allergy. We hypothesized that allergenic proteins could be synthesized by a replicating virus, and this construct could be useful as an immunomodulator. To test this hypothesis, we cloned an allergenic protein (ovomucoid [OVM]) into a murine picornavirus (Mengo virus) vector. This plasmid has a multicloning site surrounded by auto-catalytic sequences so that a foreign protein will be cleaved from viral proteins during replication. OVM sequences were cloned in the context of full-length viral genome cDNA, T7 RNA transcripts of this plasmid were transfected into HeLa cells, and recombinant virus plaques appeared on the second passage. Sequence analysis of recombinant viruses derived from individual plaques demonstrated that three viral isolates contained up to 2/3 of the OVM coding sequence, which was retained by the viruses after 5 additional passages in HeLa cells. The experiments verify the stable expression of immunoreactive OVM subunits by replicating viruses. These virus/allergen constructs could provide a tool to evaluate whether intracellular presentation of allergenic proteins in the context of a viral infection could prevent allergic sensitization upon re-challenge.
Archives of Virology 11/2006; 151(10):1933-46. · 2.03 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human rhinovirus (HRV) 3C protease (3Cpro) plays several important roles in the virus replication cycle. This enzyme cleaves the viral polyprotein at discrete sites to produce mature viral proteins and also inhibits cellular RNA transcription. It is not clear, however, whether the observed transcriptional shutoff activities are due to 3Cpro itself or to 3Cpro-containing precursors, and where 3Cpro exerts its effects within infected cells. To address these questions HeLa cells were infected with HRV-16, stained with polyclonal antibodies directed against 3Cpro and then analysed by laser confocal microscopy. Proteins containing 3Cpro accumulated in nuclei 2-4 h post-infection, and progressively increased in the cytoplasm. Analyses of subcellular extracts demonstrated that 3CD', a minor component among 3Cpro precursors, gave rise to the earliest 3Cpro nuclear signals. Mature 3Cpro and another 3Cpro precursor, 3CD, were also detected in the nucleus, cytoplasm and perinuclear membrane fractions 4 h post-infection. Transfecting cells with 3Cpro, 3CD precursor and 3CD(Delta371) (with deletion of 371 aa at the carboxyl terminus of 3D) demonstrated that the nucleolar localization signal was near the amino terminus of 3D. In addition, 3Cpro precursors were found to co-localize in nuclei with the transcription factor OCT-1 and the nucleolar chaperone B23. Finally, it was demonstrated that HRV-16 3Cpro, 3CD and 3CD(Delta371) could cleave OCT-1. Collectively, these findings suggest that HRV 3CD' and/or 3CD are specifically localized to the nucleoli of infected cells during the early stage of infection, and contribute to the inhibition of cellular RNA transcription via a proteolytic mechanism.
Journal of General Virology 11/2004; 85(Pt 10):2969-79. · 3.13 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Short poly(C)-tract Mengoviruses have proven vaccine efficacy in many species of animals. A novel vector for the delivery of foreign proteins was created by insertion of a second autoproteolytic primary cleavage cassette linked to a multiple cloning site (MCS) into an attenuated variant of Mengo. Nineteen cDNAs from foreign sequences that ranged from 39 to 1653 bases were cloned into the MCS. The viral reading frame was maintained and translation resulted in dual, autocatalytic excision of the foreign peptides without disruption of any Mengo proteins. All cDNAs except those with the largest insertions produced viable virus. Active proteins such as GFP, CAT, and SIV p27 were expressed within infected cells. Relative to parental Mengo, the growth kinetics and genetic stability of each vector was inversely proportional to the size of the inserted sequence. While segments up to 1000 bases could be carried, inserts greater than 500-600 bases were usually reduced in size during serial passage. The limit on carrying capacity was probably due to difficulties in virion assembly or particle stability. Yet for inserts less than 500-600 bases, the Mengo vectors provided an effective system for the delivery of foreign epitopes into cells and mice.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) is the prototype member of the cardiovirus genus of picornaviruses. For cardioviruses and the related aphthoviruses, the first protein segment translated from the plus-strand RNA genome is the Leader protein. The aphthovirus Leader (173-201 amino acids) is an autocatalytic papain-like protease that cleaves translation factor eIF-4G to shut off cap-dependent host protein synthesis during infection. The less characterized cardioviral Leader is a shorter protein (67-76 amino acids) and does not contain recognizable proteolytic motifs. Instead, these Leaders have sequences consistent with N-terminal zinc-binding motifs, centrally located tyrosine kinase phosphorylation sites, and C-terminal, acid-rich domains. Deletion mutations, removing the zinc motif, the acid domain, or both domains, were engineered into EMCV cDNAs. In all cases, the mutations gave rise to viable viruses, but the plaque phenotypes in HeLa cells were significantly smaller than for wild-type virus. RNA transcripts containing the Leader deletions had reduced capacity to direct protein synthesis in cell-free extracts and the products with deletions in the acid-rich domains were less effective substrates at the L/P1 site, for viral proteinase 3Cpro. Recombinant EMCV Leader (rL) was expressed in bacteria and purified to homogeneity. This protein bound zinc stoichiometrically, whereas protein with a deletion in the zinc motif was inactive. Polyclonal mouse sera, raised against rL, immunoprecipitated Leader-containing precursors from infected HeLa cell extracts, but did not detect significant pools of the mature Leader. However, additional reactions with antiphosphotyrosine antibodies show that the mature Leader, but not its precursors, is phosphorylated during viral infection. The data suggest the natural Leader may play a role in regulation of viral genome translation, perhaps through a triggering phosphorylation event.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cotranslational, primary self-cleavage reaction of cardiovirus polyprotein relies on a highly conserved, short segment of amino acids at the 2A-2B protein boundary. The amino terminus of the required element for encephalomyocarditis virus has now been mapped to include Tyr(126) of the 2A protein, the 18th amino acid before the cleavage site.
Journal of Virology 09/2001; 75(15):7215-8. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An alignment of cardiovirus sequences led to the prediction of three conserved stem-loops in the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of mengovirus. Deletions of each stem were engineered in mengovirus cDNAs and also in mengovirus replicons, in which part of the viral capsid sequences were replaced with the firefly luciferase gene. The effect of deletion on RNA infectivity and plaque phenotype was evaluated after transfection of viral transcripts into HeLa cells or by luciferase assays of cellular extracts after transfection with RNA replicons. Stem I (mengovirus bases 7666 to 7687) was found to be dispensable for viral growth or exponential luciferase expression. Deletion of stem III (bases 7711 to 7721) was lethal to the virus, and the replicons were incapable of RNA synthesis. Deletion of stem II (DeltaII; bases 7692 to 7705) produced an intermediate phenotype, in that replicons had marginal RNA synthesis activity but transfection with genomic RNA usually failed to produce plaques after normal incubation times (31 h, 37 degrees C). In a few of the DeltaII transfections, however, plaques were observed after long incubation, especially if the cells received large amounts of RNA (3 microg per 3 x 10(6) cells). Viruses from two DeltaII-derived plaques were isolated and amplified. Their RNAs were converted into cDNA, sequenced, and mapped for genotype. Each maintained the DeltaII deletion and, in addition, had one or two reversion mutations, which were characterized by reverse genetics as responsible for the phenotypes. One reversion caused an amino acid change in the polymerase (3D(pol)), and the other was localized to the 3' UTR, upstream of stem I.
Journal of Virology 05/2001; 75(7):3111-20. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many virulent aphthoviruses and cardioviruses have long homopolymeric poly(C) tracts in the 5' untranslated regions of their RNA genomes. A panel of genetically engineered mengo-type cardioviruses has been described which contain a variety of different poly(C) tract lengths. Studies of these viruses have shown the poly(C) tract to be dispensable for growth in HeLa cells, although the relative murine virulence of the viruses correlates directly and positively with tract length. Compared with wild-type mengovirus strain M, mutants with shortened poly(C) tracts grow poorly in mice and protectively immunize rather than kill recipient animals. In the present study, several murine cell populations were tested to determine whether, unlike HeLa cells, they allowed a differential amplification of viruses with long or short poly(C) tracts. Replication and cytopathic studies with four hematopoietically derived cell lines (CH2B, RAW 264.7, A20.J, and P815) and two murine fibroblast cell lines [L929 and L(Y)] demonstrated that several of these cell types indeed allowed differential virus replication as a function of viral poly(C) tract length. Among the most discerning of these cells, RAW 264.7 macrophages supported vigorous lytic growth of a long-tract virus, vMwt (C(44)UC(10)), but supported only substantially diminished and virtually nonlytic growth of vMC(24) (C(13)UC(10)) and vMC(0) short-tract viruses. The viral growth differences evident in all cell lines were apparent early and continuously during every cycle of virus amplification. The data suggest that poly(C) tract-dependent attenuation of mengovirus may be due in part to a viral replication defect manifest in similar hematopoietic-type cells shortly after murine infection. The characterized cultures should provide excellent tools for molecular study of poly(C) tract-mediated virulence.
Journal of Virology 05/2000; 74(7):3074-81. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have shown that genetically engineered mengoviruses containing artificially shortened 5' noncoding poly(C) tracts (e.g., C0 or C13UC10) are dramatically attenuated in adult Swiss/ICR mice when compared to wild-type virus or to a genetically engineered virus containing a wild-type length poly(C) tract (C44UC10). To explore further the relationship between poly(C) tracts and virulence, we have conducted more extensive characterizations of several engineered viruses in the murine model. Both short and long poly(C) tract viruses were highly virulent in newborn mice, underscoring the importance of age in poly(C)-mediated attenuation. Virus vMC24, with a tract sequence of C13UC10, was as attenuated in 4-week-old BALB/c, C.C3-H2k/LiMcdJ, and DBA/2 mice as in Swiss/ICR mice. But it was more pathogenic for C57BL/6 mice, and highly virulent for C3H/Hej and C3H/Hen mice, demonstrating the importance of murine genotype. As expected from its virulence in all mouse strains, vMwt, with a poly(C) of C44UC10, induced higher levels of viremia than vMC24. The vMwt also induced higher levels of circulating interferon and had reduced pathogenicity in chemically immunosuppressed Swiss/ICR mice. Similar immunosuppression did not increase the virulence of vMC24. Collectively, the data suggest that endogenous immune components and the immune competence of the host play significant roles in determining the susceptibility of mice to mengovirus infection.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Measurement of an antigenic response to the aphthovirus infection-associated antigen (VIA), the viral RNA polymerase 3D(pol), is frequently used as a discriminating assay for the extent of viral replication in animals. In practice, animals seropositive for VIA are assumed to have been exposed to live virus, although in fact it is suspected that endogenous 3D(pol) in commercial inactivated vaccines may occasionally stimulate analogous responses and result in false-positive tests for virus exposure. Cardiovirus infections in mice produce similar anti-VIA antibodies, and in view of recently developed attenuated Mengo vaccines and live Mengo vectors, these VIA responses are also under investigation as potential correlates of vaccine efficacy. We have purified recombinant Mengo 3D(pol), developed monoclonal antibodies to the protein, and used these reagents in highly sensitive Western blot assays to quantify the levels of endogenous 3D(pol) in Mengo and encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) preparations. The presence of 3D(pol) was detected at all stages of standard vaccine purification procedures, including materials purified by CsCl. Clarified suspensions of Mengo- or encephalomyocarditis virus-infected HeLa cells were found to contain very high quantities of 3D(pol), averaging approximately 1.2-1.5 micrograms of protein/micrograms of virus. Pelleting through 30% sucrose or purification by CsCl removed much of this material, but even these samples retained approximately 0.2-0.4 ng of 3D(pol)/micrograms virus. These ratios represent approximately 1 3D(pol) molecule/20 virus particles in the most highly purified materials and probably indicate that 3D(pol) is a contaminant on the particle surface rather than an intrinsically packaged molecule. In clarified cell lysates, which are commonly used as vaccine inocula, the protein to virus ratio was approximately 210:1, a level that could represent serious contamination problems for future VIA detection if such inocula are used without further purification.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV), has caused the deaths of many species of animals in zoological parks and research institutions. The Audubon Park Zoo, (New Orleans, Louisiana, USA) attempted vaccination of several species with a killed EMCV vaccine with mixed results. This paper reports an attempt at vaccination against EMCV using a genetically engineered, live attenuated Mengo virus (vMC0) at the Audubon Park Zoo and Miami Metro Zoo, (Miami, Florida, USA) from December 1996 to June 1997. Several species of animals were vaccinated with vMC0, which is serologically indistinguishable from the field strain of EMCV. Serum samples were taken at the time of vaccination and again 21 days later, then submitted for serum neutralization titers against EMCV. The vaccinate species included red capped mangebey (Cercocebus torquatus), colobus (Colobus guereza), angolan colobus (Colobus angolensis), ruffed lemur (Lemur variegatus ruber and Lemur variegatus variegatus), back lemur (Lemur macaco), ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta), siamang (Hylobates syndactylus), diana guenon (Cercopithicus diana), spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi), common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus), talapoin monkey (Cercopithecus talapoin), Brazilian tapir (Tapirus terrestris), Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii), Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus), dromedary camel (Camelus dromedarius), bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus), gerenuk (Litocranius walleri), guanaco (Lama glama guanicoe), black duiker (Cephalophus niger), Vietnamese potbellied pig (Sus scrofa), babirusa (Babyrousa babyrussa), collard peccary (Tayass tajacu), and African crested porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis). The vaccine response was variable, with high virus neutralizing antibody titer responses in some primate species and mixed to poor responses for other species. No ill effects were seen with vaccination.
Journal of wildlife diseases 05/1999; 35(2):384-7. · 1.27 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The RNA genomes from the cardioviruses, hepatoviruses, and aphthoviruses encode two to five tandem pseudoknots within their 5' untranslated regions. These pseudoknots lie adjacent to a pyrimidine-rich sequence, which in cardio- and aphthoviruses takes the form of a homopolymeric poly(C) tract. Seven deletion mutations within mengovirus pseudoknots PK(B) and PK(C) were created and characterized. tested in tissue culture, mengovirus genomes with alterations in PK(C) were viable but had small plaque phenotypes. Larger plaque revertants were isolated and partially characterized, and each proved to be a second-site pseudorevertant with (unmapped) changes elsewhere in the genome. The infectious PK(C) mutant viruses were highly lethal to mice, and deletions in this motif did not affect mengovirus virulence in the same manner as deletions in the adjacent poly(C) tract. In contrast, deletions in PK(B), or deletions which spanned PK(B) + PK(C), produced nonviable genomes. Cell-free translations directed by any of the altered PK sequences gave normal polyprotein amounts relative to wild-type mengovirus. But viral RNA accumulation during HeLa cell infection was dramatically impaired, even with the least disruptive of the PK(C) changes, suggesting the pseudoknots play an essential though undefined role in RNA synthesis and moreover that an intact PK(B) structure is critical to this function.
Journal of Virology 12/1996; 70(11):8182-6. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sixteen substitution mutations of the conserved DvExNPGP sequence, implicated in cardiovirus and aphthovirus primary polyprotein cleavage, were created in encephalomyocarditis virus cDNA, expressed, and characterized for processing activity. Nearly all the mutations severely decreased the efficiency of the primary cleavage reaction during cell-free synthesis of viral precursors, indicating a stringent requirement for the natural sequence in this processing event. When representative mutations were tested in full-length genomic contexts, they were lethal and no revertants were observed. Not only were the primary cleavage reactions deficient in these polyproteins, but subsequent cleavage of P1 by endogenous or exogenous 3C pro was also impaired. This indicates that primary cleavage has a role in the proper processing of the viral capsid precursor.
Journal of Virology 11/1996; 70(10):6870-5. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have shown previously that genetically engineered Mengo viruses with artificial deletions in their 5' noncoding polyribocytidylic acid (poly(C)) tracts are highly attenuated for the natural murine host and also for other animals such as baboons, macaques, and domestic pigs. The present report further characterizes select short poly(C) tract Mengo viruses in the natural murine host. A positive correlation was found between the length of the poly(C) tract and murine virulence, as measured by virus brain titers and brain lesion scores after infection. Histological examination of brain tissue collected from infected animals clearly showed that the short poly(C) tract viruses did not induce the devastating pathological effects characteristic of animals inoculated with wild-type virus. Instead, the short-tract Mengo viruses proved excellent immunological agents. A dose of only 100 plaque-forming units of vMC24 (poly(C) tract: C13UC10), injected subcutaneously, protected 80% of recipient animals against a normally lethal dose of encephalomyocarditis virus. The protection was long-lived, and animals similarly immunized with vMCo virus (poly(C) tract: Co) still had protective neutralizing antibody titers up to 16 months after inoculation. In addition, the short-tract viruses proved genetically stable, in that the vMC24 virus did not yield detectable pathogenic revertants even after multiple, forced passages in 4-week-old mice. These studies suggest that Mengo viruses containing deletions in their poly(C) tracts are biologically safe and potent immunogens and imply that they may have uses as cardiovirus vaccines.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The internal ribosomal entry site (IRES) of picornaviruses consists of various sequence and structural elements that collectively impart translational function to the genome. By engineering substitution and deletion mutations into the J-K elements of the encephalomyocarditis virus IRES, translationally defective viruses with small-plaque phenotypes were generated. From these, 60 larger-plaque revertant viruses were isolated and characterized, and their sequences were compared with a structural model of the IRES. The data provide confirming evidence for the existence of helix J3 within stem J but suggest that helix J1 is 3 bp longer than previously estimated. They also suggest that previously modeled stems L and M should be replaced by an alternative structure. One reversion mutation was mapped to the leader protein coding region. This change of leader amino acid 20 from Pro to Ser increased the viral plaque size dramatically but did not alter the cell-free translational activity of the mutated, parental IRES.
Journal of Virology 10/1996; 70(9):6425-30. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Site-specific mutations within the proteinase 3C-dependent P3 region cleavage sequences of encephalomyocarditis virus have been constructed. The mutations altered the normal QG cleavage site dipeptide pairs of the 2C/3A, 3A/3B, 3B/3C, and 3C/3D junctions into QV, QC, QF, QY, and RG sequences. When translated in vitro in the context of full-length viral polyproteins, all mutations blocked endogenous 3C-mediated processing at their engineered sites and produced stable forms of the expected viral P3 precursors that were also resistant to cleavage by exogenously added recombinant 3C. Relative to wild-type viral sequences, each mutant form of P3 had a somewhat different ability to mediate overall polyprotein processing. Mutations at the 2C/3A, 3A/3B, and 3B/3C sites, for example, were generally less impaired than 3C/3D mutations, when the cleavage reactions were quantitated with cotranslated L-P1-2A precursors. A notable exception was mutant 3B3C(QG-->RG), which proved far less active than sibling mutants 3B3C(QG-->QF) and 3B3C(QG-->QV), a finding that possibly implicates this segment in the proper folding of an active 3C. When transfected into HeLa cells, all mutant sequences were lethal, presumably because of the reduced L-P1-2A processing levels or reduced RNA synthesis capacity. However, when specifically tested for the latter activity, all mutations except those at the 3C/3D cleavage site were indeed able to initiate and perpetuate viral RNA replication in transfected cells, albeit to RNA accumulation levels lower than those produced by wild-type sequences. The transfection effects could be mimicked with cell-free synthesized proteins, in that translation samples containing locked 3CD polymerase precursors were catalytically inactive in poly(A)-oligo(U)-dependent assays, while all other mutant processing samples initiated detectable RNA synthesis. Surprisingly, not only did the 3B/3C mutant sequences prove capable of directing RNA synthesis, but the viral RNA thus synthesized could be immunolabeled and precipitated with 3C-specific monoclonal antibody reagents, indicating an unexpected covalent attachment of the proteinase to the RNA product whenever this cleavage site was blocked.
Journal of Virology 10/1996; 70(9):5954-61. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previously, we described three mengovirus mutants derived from cDNA plasmids, containing shortened poly(C) tracts (C8, C12, and C13UC10), that exhibited strong attenuation for virulence in mice yet grew like wild-type virus in HeLa cells. Thirteen additional mutants hav now been constructed and characterized. Five of these differ only in poly(C) length, including one with a precise deletion of the tract. The other mutants bear deletions into the regions juxtaposing poly(C). Studies with HeLa cells confirm the essential dispensability of mengovirus's poly(C) tract but reveal a subtle, measurable correlation between poly(C) length and plaque diameter. Virulence studies with mice also revealed a strong correlation between poly(C) length and virulence. For the poly(C)-flanking mutations, the 15 bases directly 5' of the tract proved dispensable for virus viability, whereas the 20 to 30 bases 3' of poly(C) were critical for growth, thus implicating this region in the basal replication of the virus.
Journal of Virology 04/1996; 70(3):2027-31. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetically engineered Mengo viruses with artificial deletions in the 5' noncoding poly(C) tracts are highly attenuated for pathogenicity when introduced as live vaccines into the natural murine host. Inoculation produces lifelong protective immunity without disease or viral persistence. This report extends the vaccination studies to non-murine hosts, including baboons, macaques and domestic pigs, all of which are susceptible to severe cardiovirus epizootics. All animals of these species that were inoculated with vMC24, an engineered strain of Mengo, seroconverted. When the immunized animals were challenged, they were protected against lethal doses of encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) derived from currently circulating epizootic strains. In baboons, the neutralizing antibody titers induced by vMC24 were significantly higher than from an inactivated EMCV vaccine. Moreover, terminal histopathology on baboons (inoculated intramuscularly), macaques (inoculated intracerebrally), and pigs (inoculated intramuscularly) showed few, if any, gross lesions characteristic of EMCV-like disease, in the vMC24 vaccinates. We suggest that genetically engineered, short poly(C) Mengo viruses may be universally potent attenuated vaccines for many types of animals and can possibly provide safe, efficacious protection against all cardioviruses of the EMCV serotype.