[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The human genome contains a large number of endogenous retroviruses (HERVs). Their reactivation has frequently been observed in patients with cancer. Considering their role in the carcinogenesis process, we aimed to study the possible relationship between HERVs gene expression and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). We focused on two viral genes: gag and np9, the latter presumably an oncogene. We found that the transcriptional activity of HERV-K np9 gene was greater in CLL patients than in healthy donors. However, gag expression was not significantly increased.
These findings suggest a noteworthy relationship between CLL disease and HERV-K np9 expression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is widely accepted that the majority of cancers result from multiple cellular events leading to malignancy after a prolonged period of clinical latency, and that the immune system plays a critical role in the control of cancer progression. Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) is an oncogenic member of the Retroviridae family. Complete genomic sequences of BLV strains isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from cattle have been previously reported. However, a detailed characterization of the complete genome of BLV strains directly isolated from bovine tumors is much needed in order to contribute to the understanding of the mechanisms of leukemogenesis induced by BLV in cattle. In this study, we performed a molecular characterization of BLV complete genomes from bovine B-cell lymphosarcoma isolates. A nucleotide substitution was found in the glucocorticoid response element (GRE) site of the 5[prime] long terminal repeat (5[prime]LTR) of the BLV isolates. All amino acid substitutions in Tax previously found to be related to stimulate high transcriptional activity of 5[prime]LTR were not found in these studies. Amino acid substitutions were found in the nucleocapsid, gp51 and G4 proteins. Premature stop-codons in R3 were observed. Few mutations or amino acid substitutions may be needed to allow BLV provirus to achieve silencing. Substitutions that favor suppression of viral expression in malignant B cells might be a strategy to circumvent effective immune attack.
Veterinary Research 03/2013; 44(1):19. · 3.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: West Nile virus (WNV) is a member of the family Flaviviridae and its genome consists of an 11-kb single-stranded, positive-sense RNA. WNV is maintained in an enzootic cycle between mosquitoes and birds, but can also infect and cause disease in horses and humans, which serve as incidental dead-end hosts. Understanding the extent and causes of biases in codon usage is essential to the comprehension of viral evolution. In this study, we performed a comprehensive analysis of 449 WNV strains, for which complete genome sequences are available. Effective number of codons (ENC) indicates that the overall codon usage among WNV strains is only slightly biased. Codon adaptation index (CAI) values found for WNV genes are different from the CAI values found for human genes. The relative synonymous codon usage among WNV strains isolated from birds, equines, humans and mosquitoes are roughly similar and are influenced by the relative dinucleotide frequencies. Taking together, the results of this work suggest that WNV genomic biases are the result of the evolution of genome composition, the need to escape the antiviral cell responses and a dynamic process of mutation and selection to re-adapt its codon usage to different environments.
Infection, genetics and evolution: journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases 01/2013; · 3.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Influenza A virus (IAV) is a member of the family Orthomyxoviridae and contains eight segments of a single-stranded RNA genome with negative polarity. The first influenza pandemic of this century was declared in April of 2009, with the emergence of a novel H1N1 IAV strain (H1N1pdm) in Mexico and USA. Understanding the extent and causes of biases in codon usage is essential to the understanding of viral evolution. A comprehensive study to investigate the effect of selection pressure imposed by the human host on the codon usage of an emerging, pandemic IAV strain and the trends in viral codon usage involved over the pandemic time period is much needed. RESULTS: We performed a comprehensive codon usage analysis of 310 IAV strains from the pandemic of 2009. Highly biased codon usage for Ala, Arg, Pro, Thr and Ser were found. Codon usage is strongly influenced by underlying biases in base composition. When correspondence analysis (COA) on relative synonymous codon usage (RSCU) is applied, the distribution of IAV ORFs in the plane defined by the first two major dimensional factors showed that different strains are located at different places, suggesting that IAV codon usage also reflects an evolutionary process. CONCLUSIONS: A general association between codon usage bias, base composition and poor adaptation of the virus to the respective host tRNA pool, suggests that mutational pressure is the main force shaping H1N1 pdm IAV codon usage. A dynamic process is observed in the variation of codon usage of the strains enrolled in these studies. These results suggest a balance of mutational bias and natural selection, which allow the virus to explore and re-adapt its codon usage to different environments. Recoding of IAV taking into account codon bias, base composition and adaptation to host tRNA may provide important clues to develop new and appropriate vaccines.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The first influenza pandemic of this century was declared in April of 2009, with the emergence of a novel H1N1 influenza A virus strain (H1N1pdm). Understanding the evolution of H1N1pdm populations within the South American region is essential for studying global diversification, emergence, resistance and vaccine efficacy. In order to gain insight into these matters, we have performed a Bayesian coalescent Markov Chain Monte Carlo analysis of hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) gene sequences of all available and comparable HA and NA sequences obtained from H1N1pdm IAV circulating in the South American region. High evolutionary rates and fast population growths characterize the population dynamics of H1N1pdm strains in this region of the world. A significant contribution of first codon position to the mean evolutionary rate was found for both genes studied, revealing a high contribution of non-synonymous substitutions to the mean substitution rate. In the 178days period covered by these studies, substitutions in all HA epitope regions can be observed. HA substitutions D239G/N and Q310H have been observed only in Brazilian patients. While substitution D239G/N is not particularly associated to a specific genetic lineage, all strains bearing substitution Q310H were assigned to clade 6, suggesting a founder effect. None of the substitutions found in the NA proteins of H1N1pdm strains isolated in South America appears sufficiently close to affect the drug binding pocket for the three NA inhibitor antivirals tested. A more detailed analysis of NA proteins revealed epitope differences among 2010 vaccine and H1N1pdm IAV strains circulating in the South American region.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Coxsackie B viruses (CVB) are associated with serious illnesses in humans. In this study, the patterns of synonymous codon usage in CVB have been studied through multivariate statistical methods. Effective number of codons (ENC) indicates that the overall extent of codon usage bias in CVB is not significant. The relative dinucleotide abundances suggest that codon usage bias in CVB genomes is influenced by underlying biases of dinucleotide frequencies. The distribution of CVB ORFs along the plane defined by the first two axes of correspondence analysis (COA) showed that different genotypes, as well as strains known to infect different cell types, are located at different places in the plane suggesting that CVB codon usage is reflecting an evolutionary process. The results of these studies suggest that CVB genomic biases are the result of co-evolution of translation adaptation to different cell environments and probably the need to escape anti-viral cell defenses.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Rotavirus genus belongs to the family Reoviridae and its genome consist of 11 segments of double-stranded RNA. Group A rotaviruses (RV-A) are the main etiological agent of acute viral gastroenteritis in infants and young children worldwide. Understanding the extent and causes of biases in codon usage is essential to the understanding of viral evolution. However, the factors shaping synonymous codon usage bias and nucleotide composition in human RV-A are currently unknown. In order to gain insight into these matters, we analyzed the codon usage and base composition constraints on the two genes that codify the two outer capsid proteins (VP4 [VP8*] and VP7) of 58 PG2 RV-A strains isolated in Brazil and investigated the possible key evolutionary determinants of codon usage bias. The results of these studies revealed that the frequencies of codon usage in both RV-A proteins studied are significantly different than the ones used by human cells. In order to observe if similar trends of codon usage are found when RV-A complete genomes are considered, we compare these results with results found using a dataset of 10 reference strains for whom the complete codes of the 11 segments are known. Similar results were obtained using capsid proteins or complete genomes. The general correlations found between the position of each sequence on the first axis generated by correspondence analysis and the relative dinucleotide abundances indicate that codon usage in RV-A can also be strongly influenced by underlying biases in dinucleotide frequencies. CpG and GpC containing codons are markedly suppressed. Thus, the results of this study suggest that RV-A genomic biases are the result of the evolution of genome composition in relation to host adaptation and the ability to escape antiviral cell responses.
Infection, genetics and evolution: journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases 01/2011; 11(3):580-6. · 3.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dengue virus (DENV) is a member of the genus Flavivirus of the family Flaviviridae. DENV are comprised of four distinct serotypes (DENV-1 through DENV-4) and each serotype can be divided in different genotypes. Currently, there is a dramatic emergence of DENV-3 genotype III in Latin America. Nevertheless, we still have an incomplete understanding of the evolutionary forces underlying the evolution of this genotype in this region of the world. In order to gain insight into the degree of genetic variability, rates and patterns of evolution of this genotype in Venezuela and the South American region, phylogenetic analysis, based on a large number (n = 119) of envelope gene sequences from DENV-3 genotype III strains isolated in Venezuela from 2001 to 2008, were performed.
Phylogenetic analysis revealed an in situ evolution of DENV-3 genotype III following its introduction in the Latin American region, where three different genetic clusters (A to C) can be observed among the DENV-3 genotype III strains circulating in this region. Bayesian coalescent inference analyses revealed an evolutionary rate of 8.48 x 10⁻⁴ substitutions/site/year (s/s/y) for strains of cluster A, composed entirely of strains isolated in Venezuela. Amino acid substitution at position 329 of domain III of the E protein (A→V) was found in almost all E proteins from Cluster A strains.
A significant evolutionary change between DENV-3 genotype III strains that circulated in the initial years of the introduction in the continent and strains isolated in the Latin American region in recent years was observed. The presence of DENV-3 genotype III strains belonging to different clusters was observed in Venezuela, revealing several introduction events into this country. The evolutionary rate found for Cluster A strains circulating in Venezuela is similar to the others previously established for this genotype in other regions of the world. This suggests a lack of correlation among DENV genotype III substitution rate and ecological pattern of virus spread.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The first influenza pandemic of this century was declared in April of 2009, with the emergence of a novel H1N1 influenza A virus strain (H1N1pdm). Understanding the evolution of H1N1pdm strains within the South American region is essential for studying global diversification, emergence and resistance, as well as determining vaccine efficacy. In order to gain insight into these matters, phylogenetic analysis was performed using 29 hemagglutinin (HA) gene sequences from H1N1pdm strains isolated in South America. The results of these studies revealed that clade 7 was the dominant H1N1pdm lineage in South America. None of the strains isolated in South America clustered together with the 2010 H1 vaccine strain. Amino acid substitutions P100S, S220T and I338V were found in almost all HAs of South American H1N1pdm strains.
Archives of Virology 10/2010; 156(1):87-94. · 2.03 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Group A rotavirus (RV-A) genotype PG9 has emerged as one of the leading causes of gastroenteritis in children worldwide and currently is recognized as one of the five most common genotypes detected in humans. High intragenotype diversity in G9 RV-A has been observed, and nowadays, based on the genetic variability of the VP7 gene, six different phylogenetic lineages and eleven sublineages were described.
To study the degree of genetic variation and evolution of Brazilian PG9 RV-A strains.
Phylogenetic analysis of 19 PG9 RV-A strains isolated from 2004 to 2007 in five different Brazilian states was conducted using the NSP1, NSP3, NSP5, VP4 and VP7 genes. For the VP4 and VP7 genes, 3D protein structure predictions were generated to analyze the spatial distribution of amino acid substitutions observed in Brazilian strains.
Based on the phylogenetic analyses, all Brazilian strains clustered within lineage G9-III and P-3 for VP7 and VP4, respectively, and were classified as genotype A1, T1 and H1 for the NSP1, NSP3 and NSP5 genes, respectively. Interestingly, all the strains isolated in Acre State (Northern Brazil) formed a closely related cluster clearly separated from the other Brazilian and prototype strains with regard to the five genes studied. Unique amino acid substitutions were observed in Acre strains in comparison with the prototype and Brazilian strains.
Inclusion of Acre strains in the phylogenetic analysis revealed the presence of a novel genetic variant and demonstrated a diversification of PG9 rotaviruses in Brazil.
Journal of clinical virology: the official publication of the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology 04/2010; 47(4):345-55. · 3.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bovine leukaemia virus (BLV) is an oncogenic member of the genus Deltaretrovirus of the family Retroviridae. Recent studies revealed that BLV strains can be classified into six different genotypes and raised the possibility that another genotype may exist. In order to gain insight into the degree of genetic variability of BLV strains circulating in the South American region, a phylogenetic analysis was performed using gp51 env gene sequences. The results of these studies revealed the presence of seven BLV genotypes in this geographic region and the suitability of partial gp51 env gene sequences for phylogenetic inference. A significant number of amino acid substitutions found in BLV strains isolated in South America map to the second neutralization domain of gp51. A 3D molecular model of BLV gp51 revealed that these substitutions are located on the surface of the molecule. This may provide a selective advantage to overcome immune host neutralization.
Archives of Virology 02/2010; 155(4):481-9. · 2.03 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The subtype diversity of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes is unknown in Venezuela.
Partial sequencing of the NS5B region was performed in 310 isolates circulating in patients from 1995 to 2007. In the samples collected between 2005 and 2007, HCV genotype 1 (G1) was the most common genotype (63%), composed as expected of mainly G1a and G1b. G2 was the second most common genotype (33%), being G2a almost absent and G2j the most frequent subtype. Sequence analysis of the core region confirmed the subtype assignment performed within the NS5b region in 63 isolates. The complete genome sequence of G2j was obtained. G2j has been described in France, Canada and Burkina Fasso, but it was not found in Martinique, where several subtypes of G2 circulate in the general population. Bayesian coalescence analysis indicated a most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of G2j around 1785, before the introduction of G1b (1869) and G1a (1922). While HCV G1a and G1b experienced a growth reduction since 1990, coincident with the time when blood testing was implemented in Venezuela, HCV G2j did not seem to reach growth equilibrium during this period.
Assuming the introduction of G2j from Africa during the slave trade, the high frequency of G2j found in Venezuela could suggest: 1- the introduction of African ethnic groups different from the ones introduced to Martinique or 2- the occurrence of a founder effect. This study represents an in-depth analysis of the subtype diversity of HCV in Venezuela, which is still unexplored in the Americas and deserves further studies.
PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(12):e14315. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A sudden emergence of Influenza A Virus (IAV) infections with a new pandemic H1N1 IAV is taking place since April of 2009. In order to gain insight into the mode of evolution of these new H1N1 strains, we performed a Bayesian coalescent Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) analysis of full-length neuraminidase (NA) gene sequences of 62 H1N1 IAV strains (isolated from March 30th to by July 28th, 2009).
The results of these studies revealed that the expansion population growth model was the best to fit the sequence data. A mean of evolutionary change of 7.84 x 10(-3) nucleotide substitutions per site per year (s/s/y) was obtained for the NA gene. A significant contribution of first codon position to this mean rate was observed. Maximum clade credibility trees revealed a rapid diversification of NA genes in different genetic lineages, all of them containing Oseltamivir-resistant viruses of very recent emergence. Mapping of naturally occurring amino acid substitutions in the NA protein from 2009 H1N1 IAV circulating in 62 different patients revealed that substitutions are distributed all around the surface of the molecule, leaving the hydrophobic core and the catalytic site essentially untouched.
High evolutionary rates and fast population growth have contributed to the initial transmission dynamics of 2009 H1N1 IAV. Naturally occurring substitutions are preferentially located at the protein surface and do not interfere with the NA active site. Antigenic regions relevant for vaccine development can differ from previous vaccine strains and vary among patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in patients affected by hereditary bleeding disorders. HCV, as others RNA virus, exploit all possible mechanisms of genetic variation to ensure their survival, such as recombination and mutation. In order to gain insight into the genetic variability of HCV virus strains circulating in hemophiliac patients, we have performed a phylogenetic analysis of HCV strains isolated from 10 patients with this kind of pathology.
Putative recombinant sequence was identified with the use of GARD program. Statistical support for the presence of a recombination event was done by the use of LARD program.
A new intragenotypic recombinant strain (1b/1a) was detected in 1 out of the 10 hemophiliac patient studied. The recombination event was located at position 387 of the HCV genome (relative to strain AF009606, sub-type 1a) corresponding to the core gene region.
Although recombination may not appear to be common among natural populations of HCV it should be considered as a possible mechanism for generating genetic diversity in hemophiliacs patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dengue virus (DENV) is a member of the genus Flavivirus of the family Flaviviridae. DENV causes a wide range of diseases in humans, from the acute febrile illness dengue fever (DF) to life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome (DHF/DSS). There is not knowledge of the genetic relations among DENV circulating in Ecuador. Given the emerging behaviour of DENV, a single tube RT-PCR assay using a pair of consensus primers to target the NS5 coding region has been recently validated for rapid detection of flaviviruses. In order to gain insight into the degree of genetic variation of DENV strains isolated in Ecuador, DENV NS5 sequences from 23 patients were obtained by direct sequencing of PCR fragments using the mentioned one step RT-PCR assay. Phylogenetic analysis carried out using the 23 Ecuadorian DENV NS5 sequences, as well as 56 comparable sequences from DENV strains isolated elsewhere, revealed a close genetic relation among Ecuadorian strains and DENV isolates of Caribbean origin. The use of partial NS5 gene sequences may represent a useful alternative for a rapid phylogenetic analysis of DENV outbreaks.
Virus Research 04/2008; 132(1-2):197-200. · 2.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is a hepatotropic member of the family Picornaviridae. Previous studies suggested that HAV may evolve more slowly than other members of the family. To estimate HAV substitution rates precisely, we used a Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) approach on temporally sampled HAV VP1 full-length sequences from strains isolated in France. A mean rate of evolutionary change of 9.76 x 10(-4) nucleotide substitution per site per year was found. The results also revealed that the synonymous rate found for HAV is lower than that of other members of the family. Bayesian skyline plots revealed a sharp decline in the effective number of infections in 1996, coinciding with the introduction of HAV vaccine.
Journal of General Virology 12/2007; 88(Pt 11):3039-42. · 3.13 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) has been the subject of intense research and clinical investigations due to its worldwide prevalence and major role in chronic liver disease. Like most RNA viruses, HCV circulates in vivo as a complex population of different but closely related viral variants, commonly referred to as a quasispecies. Recent studies suggest that ribavirin might exert an antiviral effect against HCV through both mutagenic effect and an impairment of RNA replication. The introduction of alpha interferon (IFN-alpha) plus ribavirin combination therapy was an important breakthrough in the treatment of chronic HCV infection. However, the rate of sustained virological response is still unsatisfactory, particularly in patients infected with HCV genotype 1. Viral persistence, a hallmark of HCV, may result from a dynamic control of the host response by the virus. In children with chronic HCV infection, the viral population is initially highly homogeneous, but diversifies during prolonged infection which seems to be a common event during chronic hepatitis C in childhood. Coinfection of human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) patients by HCV can complicate the treatment of these patients with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). HIV coinfection is associated with a decrease of HCV quasispecies variability, which appears to be reversed by effective HAART.
Virus Research 09/2007; 127(2):185-94. · 2.75 Impact Factor