[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fusion of the viral and host cell membranes is a necessary first step for infection by enveloped viruses, and is mediated by the envelope glycoprotein. The transmembrane subunits from the structurally defined "class I" glycoproteins adopt an α-helical "trimer-of-hairpins" conformation during the fusion pathway. Here we present our studies on the envelope glycoprotein transmembrane subunit, GP2, of the CAS virus (CASV). CASV was recently identified from annulated tree boas (Corallus annulatus) with inclusion body disease and is implicated in the disease etiology. We have generated and characterized two protein constructs consisting of the predicted CASV GP2 core domain. The crystal structure of the CASV GP2 post-fusion conformation indicates a trimeric α-helical bundle that is highly similar to those of Ebola Virus (EBOV) and Marburg Virus (MARV) GP2, despite CASV genome homology to arenaviruses. Denaturation studies demonstrate that the stability of CASV GP2 is pH-dependent with higher stability at lower pH; we propose that this behavior is due to a network of interactions among acidic residues that would destabilize the α-helical bundle under conditions where the side chains are deprotonated. The pH-dependent stability of the post-fusion structure has been observed in EBOV and MARV GP2, as well as other viruses that enter via the endosome. Infection experiments with CASV and the related Golden Gate Virus (GGV) support a mechanism of entry that requires endosomal acidification. Our results suggest that despite being primarily arenavirus-like, the transmembrane subunit of CASV is extremely similar to the filoviruses.
Journal of Molecular Biology 12/2013; · 3.91 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The human fungal pathogen Candida albicans can switch between two phenotypic cell types, termed "white" and "opaque." Both cell types are heritable for many generations, and the switch between the two types occurs epigenetically, that is, without a change in the primary DNA sequence of the genome. Previous work identified six key transcriptional regulators important for white-opaque switching: Wor1, Wor2, Wor3, Czf1, Efg1, and Ahr1. In this work, we describe the structure of the transcriptional network that specifies the white and opaque cell types and governs the ability to switch between them. In particular, we use a combination of genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation, gene expression profiling, and microfluidics-based DNA binding experiments to determine the direct and indirect regulatory interactions that form the switch network. The six regulators are arranged together in a complex, interlocking network with many seemingly redundant and overlapping connections. We propose that the structure (or topology) of this network is responsible for the epigenetic maintenance of the white and opaque states, the switching between them, and the specialized properties of each state.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malaria drug resistance contributes to up to a million annual deaths. Judicious deployment of new antimalarials and vaccines could benefit from an understanding of early molecular events that promote the evolution of parasites. Continuous in vitro challenge of Plasmodium falciparum parasites with a novel dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) inhibitor reproducibly selected for resistant parasites. Genome-wide analysis of independently-derived resistant clones revealed a two-step strategy to evolutionary success. Some haploid blood-stage parasites first survive antimalarial pressure through fortuitous DNA duplications that always included the DHODH gene. Independently-selected parasites had different sized amplification units but they were always flanked by distant A/T tracks. Higher level amplification and resistance was attained using a second, more efficient and more accurate, mechanism for head-to-tail expansion of the founder unit. This second homology-based process could faithfully tune DNA copy numbers in either direction, always retaining the unique DNA amplification sequence from the original A/T-mediated duplication for that parasite line. Pseudo-polyploidy at relevant genomic loci sets the stage for gaining additional mutations at the locus of interest. Overall, we reveal a population-based genomic strategy for mutagenesis that operates in human stages of P. falciparum to efficiently yield resistance-causing genetic changes at the correct locus in a successful parasite. Importantly, these founding events arise with precision; no other new amplifications are seen in the resistant haploid blood stage parasite. This minimizes the need for meiotic genetic cleansing that can only occur in sexual stage development of the parasite in mosquitoes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The transcription factor forkhead box P2 (FOXP2) is believed to be important in the evolution of human speech. A mutation in its DNA-binding domain causes severe speech impairment. Humans have acquired two coding changes relative to the conserved mammalian sequence. Despite intense interest in FOXP2, it has remained an open question whether the human protein's DNA-binding specificity and chromatin localization are conserved. Previous in vitro and ChIP-chip studies have provided conflicting consensus sequences for the FOXP2-binding site. Using MITOMI 2.0 microfluidic affinity assays, we describe the binding site of FOXP2 and its affinity profile in base-specific detail for all substitutions of the strongest binding site. We find that human and chimp FOXP2 have similar binding sites that are distinct from previously suggested consensus binding sites. Additionally, through analysis of FOXP2 ChIP-seq data from cultured neurons, we find strong overrepresentation of a motif that matches our in vitro results and identifies a set of genes with FOXP2 binding sites. The FOXP2-binding sites tend to be conserved, yet we identified 38 instances of evolutionarily novel sites in humans. Combined, these data present a comprehensive portrait of FOXP2's-binding properties and imply that although its sequence specificity has been conserved, some of its genomic binding sites are newly evolved.
Nucleic Acids Research 04/2013; · 8.28 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sequence-specific DNA-binding proteins are among the most important classes of gene regulatory proteins, controlling changes in transcription that underlie many aspects of biology. In this work, we identify a transcriptional regulator from the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans that binds DNA specifically but has no detectable homology with any previously described DNA- or RNA-binding protein. This protein, named White-Opaque Regulator 3 (Wor3), regulates white-opaque switching, the ability of C. albicans to switch between two heritable cell types. We demonstrate that ectopic overexpression of WOR3 results in mass conversion of white cells to opaque cells and that deletion of WOR3 affects the stability of opaque cells at physiological temperatures. Genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation of Wor3 and gene expression profiling of a wor3 deletion mutant strain indicate that Wor3 is highly integrated into the previously described circuit regulating white-opaque switching and that it controls a subset of the opaque transcriptional program. We show by biochemical, genetic, and microfluidic experiments that Wor3 binds directly to DNA in a sequence-specific manner, and we identify the set of cis-regulatory sequences recognized by Wor3. Bioinformatic analyses indicate that the Wor3 family arose more recently in evolutionary time than most previously described DNA-binding domains; it is restricted to a small number of fungi that include the major fungal pathogens of humans. These observations show that new families of sequence-specific DNA-binding proteins may be restricted to small clades and suggest that current annotations-which rely on deep conservation-underestimate the fraction of genes coding for transcriptional regulators.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2013; · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Low-cost DNA sequencing technologies have expanded the role for direct nucleic acid sequencing in the analysis of genomes, transcriptomes, and the metagenomes of whole ecosystems. Human and machine comprehension of such large datasets can be simplified via synthesis of sequence fragments into long, contiguous blocks of sequence (contigs), but most of the progress in the field of assembly has focused on genomes in isolation rather than metagenomes. Here, we present software for paired-read iterative contig extension (PRICE), a strategy for focused assembly of particular nucleic acid species using complex metagenomic data as input. We describe the assembly strategy implemented by PRICE and provide examples of its application to the sequence of particular genes, transcripts, and virus genomes from complex multi-component datasets, including an assembly of the BCBL-1 strain of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus. PRICE is open-source and available for free download (derisilab.ucsf.edu/software/price/ or sourceforge.net/projects/pricedenovo/).
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The bacterial pathogen Bartonella quintana is passed between humans by body lice. B. quintana has adapted to both the human host and body louse vector niches, producing persistent infection with high titer bacterial loads in both the host (up to 10(5) colony-forming units [CFU]/ml) and vector (more than 10(8) CFU/ml). Using a novel custom microarray platform, we analyzed bacterial transcription at temperatures corresponding to the host (37°C) and vector (28°C), to probe for temperature-specific and growth phase-specific transcriptomes. We observed that transcription of 7% (93 genes) of the B. quintana genome is modified in response to change in growth phase, and that 5% (68 genes) of the genome is temperature-responsive. Among these transcriptional changes in response to temperature shift and growth phase was the induction of known B. quintana virulence genes and several previously unannotated genes. Hemin binding proteins, secretion systems, response regulators, and genes for invasion and cell attachment were prominent among the differentially-regulated B. quintana genes. This study represents the first analysis of global transcriptional responses by B. quintana. In addition, the in vivo experiments provide novel insight into the B. quintana transcriptional program within the body louse environment. These data and approaches will facilitate study of the adaptation mechanisms employed by Bartonella during the transition between human host and arthropod vector.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The control and prevention of communicable disease is directly impacted by the genetic mutability of the underlying etiological agents. In the case of RNA viruses, genetic recombination may impact public health by facilitating the generation of new viral strains with altered phenotypes and by compromising the genetic stability of live attenuated vaccines. The landscape of homologous recombination within a given RNA viral genome is thought to be influenced by several factors; however, a complete understanding of the genetic determinants of recombination is lacking. Here, we utilize gene synthesis and deep sequencing to create a detailed recombination map of the poliovirus 1 coding region. We identified over 50 thousand breakpoints throughout the genome, and we show the majority of breakpoints to be concentrated in a small number of specific "hotspots," including those associated with known or predicted RNA secondary structures. Nucleotide base composition was also found to be associated with recombination frequency, suggesting that recombination is modulated across the genome by predictable and alterable motifs. We tested the predictive utility of the nucleotide base composition association by generating an artificial hotspot in the poliovirus genome. Our results imply that modification of these motifs could be extended to whole genome re-designs for the development of recombination-deficient, genetically stable live vaccine strains.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Centromeres are essential for chromosome segregation, yet their DNA sequences evolve rapidly. In most animals and plants that have been studied, centromeres contain megabase-scale arrays of tandem repeats. Despite their importance, very little is known about the degree to which centromere tandem repeats share common properties between different species across different phyla. We used bioinformatic methods to identify high-copy tandem repeats from 282 species using publicly available genomic sequence and our own data. RESULTS: Our methods are compatible with all current sequencing technologies. Long Pacific Biosciences sequence reads allowed us to find tandem repeat monomers up to 1,419 bp. We assumed that the most abundant tandem repeat is the centromere DNA, which was true for most species whose centromeres have been previously characterized, suggesting this is a general property of genomes. High-copy centromere tandem repeats were found in almost all animal and plant genomes, but repeat monomers were highly variable in sequence composition and length. Furthermore, phylogenetic analysis of sequence homology showed little evidence of sequence conservation beyond approximately 50 million years of divergence. We find that despite an overall lack of sequence conservation, centromere tandem repeats from diverse species showed similar modes of evolution. CONCLUSIONS: While centromere position in most eukaryotes is epigenetically determined, our results indicate that tandem repeats are highly prevalent at centromeres of both animal and plant genomes. This suggests a functional role for such repeats, perhaps in promoting concerted evolution of centromere DNA across chromosomes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT Despite wide sequence divergence, multiple picornaviruses use the Golgi adaptor acyl coenzyme A (acyl-CoA) binding domain protein 3 (ACBD3/GCP60) to recruit phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase class III beta (PI4KIIIβ/PI4KB), a factor required for viral replication. The molecular basis of this convergent interaction and the cellular function of ACBD3 are not fully understood. Using affinity purification-mass spectrometry, we identified the putative Rab33 GTPase-activating proteins TBC1D22A and TBC1D22B as ACBD3-interacting factors. Fine-scale mapping of binding determinants within ACBD3 revealed that the interaction domains for TBC1D22A/B and PI4KB are identical. Affinity purification confirmed that PI4KB and TBC1D22A/B interactions with ACBD3 are mutually exclusive, suggesting a possible regulatory mechanism for recruitment of PI4KB. The C-terminal Golgi dynamics (GOLD) domain of ACBD3 has been previously shown to bind the 3A replication protein from Aichi virus. We find that the 3A proteins from several additional picornaviruses, including hepatitis A virus, human parechovirus 1, and human klassevirus, demonstrate an interaction with ACBD3 by mammalian two-hybrid assay; however, we also find that the enterovirus and kobuvirus 3A interactions with ACBD3 are functionally distinct with respect to TBC1D22A/B and PI4KB recruitment. These data reinforce the notion that ACBD3 organizes numerous cellular functionalities and that RNA virus replication proteins likely modulate these interactions by more than one mechanism. IMPORTANCE Multiple viruses use the same Golgi protein (ACBD3) to recruit the lipid kinase phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase class III beta (PI4KB) in order to replicate. We identify a new binding partner of ACBD3 in the evolutionarily conserved Rab GTPase-activating proteins (RabGAPs) TBC1D22A and -B. Interestingly, TBC1D22A directly competes with PI4KB for binding to the same location of ACBD3 by utilizing a similar binding domain. Different viruses are able to influence this interaction through distinct mechanisms to promote the association of PI4KB with ACBD3. This work informs our knowledge of both the physical interactions of the proteins that help maintain metazoan Golgi structure and how viruses subvert these evolutionarily conserved interactions for their own purposes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A quantitative understanding of how transcription factors interact with genomic target sites is crucial for reconstructing transcriptional networks in vivo. Here, we use Hac1, a well-characterized basic leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factor involved in the unfolded protein response (UPR) as a model to investigate interactions between bZIP transcription factors and their target sites. During the UPR, the accumulation of unfolded proteins leads to unconventional splicing and subsequent translation of HAC1 mRNA, followed by transcription of UPR target genes. Initial candidate-based approaches identified a canonical cis-acting unfolded protein response element (UPRE-1) within target gene promoters; however, subsequent studies identified a large set of Hac1 target genes lacking this UPRE-1 and containing a different motif (UPRE-2). Using a combination of unbiased and directed microfluidic DNA binding assays, we established that Hac1 binds in two distinct modes: (i) to short (6-7 bp) UPRE-2-like motifs and (ii) to significantly longer (11-13 bp) extended UPRE-1-like motifs. Using a genetic screen, we demonstrate that a region of extended homology N-terminal to the basic DNA binding domain is required for this dual site recognition. These results establish Hac1 as the first bZIP transcription factor known to adopt more than one binding mode and unify previously conflicting and discrepant observations of Hac1 function into a cohesive model of UPR target gene activation. Our results also suggest that even structurally simple transcription factors can recognize multiple divergent target sites of very different lengths, potentially enriching their downstream target repertoire.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2012; · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Spectrally encoded fluorescent beads are an attractive platform for assay miniaturization and multiplexing in the biological sciences. Here, we synthesize hydrophilic PEG-acrylate polymer beads encoded with lanthanide nanophosphors using a fully automated microfluidic synthesis device. These beads are encoded by including varying amounts of two lanthanide nanophosphors relative to a third reference nanophosphor to generate 24 distinct ratios. These codes differ by less than 3% from their target values and can be distinguished from each other with an error rate of <0.1%. The encoded bead synthesis strategy we have used is readily extensible to larger numbers of codes, potentially up to millions, providing a new platform technology for assay multiplexing.
Lab on a Chip 10/2012; 12(22):4716-23. · 5.70 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Guadinomines are a recently discovered family of anti-infective compounds produced by Streptomyces sp. K01-0509 with a novel mode of action. With an IC(50) of 14 nM, guadinomine B is the most potent known inhibitor of the type III secretion system (TTSS) of Gram-negative bacteria. TTSS activity is required for the virulence of many pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria including Escherichia coli , Salmonella spp., Yersinia spp., Chlamydia spp., Vibrio spp., and Pseudomonas spp. The guadinomine (gdn) biosynthetic gene cluster has been cloned and sequenced and includes 26 open reading frames spanning 51.2 kb. It encodes a chimeric multimodular polyketide synthase, a nonribosomal peptide synthetase, along with enzymes responsible for the biosynthesis of the unusual aminomalonyl-acyl carrier protein extender unit and the signature carbamoylated cyclic guanidine. Its identity was established by targeted disruption of the gene cluster as well as by heterologous expression and analysis of key enzymes in the biosynthetic pathway. Identifying the guadinomine gene cluster provides critical insight into the biosynthesis of these scarce but potentially important natural products.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 10/2012; 134(42):17797-17806. · 10.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We developed a simple and rapid multiplex substrate-profiling method to reveal the substrate specificity of any endo- or exopeptidase using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry sequencing. We generated a physicochemically diverse library of peptides by incorporating all combinations of neighbor and near-neighbor amino acid pairs into decapeptide sequences that are flanked by unique dipeptides at each terminus. Addition of a panel of evolutionarily diverse peptidases to a mixture of these tetradecapeptides generated information on prime and nonprime sites as well as on substrate specificity that matched or expanded upon known substrate motifs. This method biochemically confirmed the activity of the klassevirus 3C protein responsible for polypeptide processing and allowed granzyme B substrates to be ranked by enzymatic turnover efficiency using label-free quantitation of precursor-ion abundance. Additionally, the proteolytic secretions from schistosome parasitic flatworm larvae and a pancreatic cancer cell line were deconvoluted in a subtractive strategy using class-specific peptidase inhibitors.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: XMRV, or xenotropic murine leukemia virus (MLV)-related virus, is a novel gammaretrovirus originally identified in studies that analyzed tissue from prostate cancer patients in 2006 and blood from patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in 2009. However, a large number of subsequent studies failed to confirm a link between XMRV infection and CFS or prostate cancer. On the contrary, recent evidence indicates that XMRV is a contaminant originating from the recombination of two mouse endogenous retroviruses during passaging of a prostate tumor xenograft (CWR22) in mice, generating laboratory-derived cell lines that are XMRV-infected. To confirm or refute an association between XMRV and prostate cancer, we analyzed prostate cancer tissues and plasma from a prospectively collected cohort of 39 patients as well as archival RNA and prostate tissue from the original 2006 study. Despite comprehensive microarray, PCR, FISH, and serological testing, XMRV was not detected in any of the newly collected samples or in archival tissue, although archival RNA remained XMRV-positive. Notably, archival VP62 prostate tissue, from which the prototype XMRV strain was derived, tested negative for XMRV on re-analysis. Analysis of viral genomic and human mitochondrial sequences revealed that all previously characterized XMRV strains are identical and that the archival RNA had been contaminated by an XMRV-infected laboratory cell line. These findings reveal no association between XMRV and prostate cancer, and underscore the conclusion that XMRV is not a naturally acquired human infection.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multilayer soft lithography (MSL) provides a convenient and low-cost method for fabricating poly(dimethyl siloxane) (PDMS) microfluidic devices with on-chip valves for automated and precise control of fluid flow. MSL casting molds for flow channels typically incorporate small patches of rounded positive photoresist at valve locations to achieve the rounded cross-sectional profile required for these valves to function properly. Despite the importance of these rounded features for device performance, a comprehensive characterization of how the rounding process affects feature dimensions and closing pressures has been lacking. Here, we measure valve dimensions both before and after rounding and closing pressures for 120 different valve widths and lengths at post-rounding heights between 15 and 84 μm, for a total of 1200 different geometries spanning a wide range of useful sizes. We find that valve height and width after rounding depend strongly on valve aspect ratios, with these effects becoming more pronounced for taller and narrower features. Based on the measured data, we provide a simple fitted model and an online tool for estimating the pre-rounding dimensions needed to achieve desired post-rounding dimensions. We also find that valve closing pressures are well explained by modelling valve membranes in a manner analogous to a suspension bridge, shedding new light on device physics and providing a practical model for estimating closing pressures during device design.
Lab on a Chip 08/2012; 12(21):4287-95. · 5.70 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previously reported studies identified analogues of propafenone that had potent antimalarial activity, reduced cardiac ion channel activity, and properties that suggested the potential for clinical development for malaria. Careful examination of the bioavailability, pharmacokinetics, toxicology, and efficacy of this series of compounds using rodent models revealed orally bioavailable compounds that are nontoxic and suppress parasitemia in vivo. Although these compounds possess potential for further preclinical development, they also carry some significant challenges.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 06/2012; 55(13):6087-93. · 5.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dengue virus is an emerging infectious agent that infects an estimated 50-100 million people annually worldwide, yet current diagnostic practices cannot detect an etiologic pathogen in ∼40% of dengue-like illnesses. Metagenomic approaches to pathogen detection, such as viral microarrays and deep sequencing, are promising tools to address emerging and non-diagnosable disease challenges. In this study, we used the Virochip microarray and deep sequencing to characterize the spectrum of viruses present in human sera from 123 Nicaraguan patients presenting with dengue-like symptoms but testing negative for dengue virus. We utilized a barcoding strategy to simultaneously deep sequence multiple serum specimens, generating on average over 1 million reads per sample. We then implemented a stepwise bioinformatic filtering pipeline to remove the majority of human and low-quality sequences to improve the speed and accuracy of subsequent unbiased database searches. By deep sequencing, we were able to detect virus sequence in 37% (45/123) of previously negative cases. These included 13 cases with Human Herpesvirus 6 sequences. Other samples contained sequences with similarity to sequences from viruses in the Herpesviridae, Flaviviridae, Circoviridae, Anelloviridae, Asfarviridae, and Parvoviridae families. In some cases, the putative viral sequences were virtually identical to known viruses, and in others they diverged, suggesting that they may derive from novel viruses. These results demonstrate the utility of unbiased metagenomic approaches in the detection of known and divergent viruses in the study of tropical febrile illness.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The activity of phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase class III beta (PI4KIIIβ) has been shown to be required for the replication of multiple picornaviruses; however, it is unclear whether a physical association between PI4KIIIβ and the viral replication machinery exists and, if it does, whether association is necessary. We examined the ability of the 3A protein from 18 different picornaviruses to form a complex with PI4KIIIβ by affinity purification of Strep-Tagged transiently transfected constructs followed by mass spectrometry and Western blotting for putative interacting targets. We found that the 3A proteins of Aichi virus, bovine kobuvirus, poliovirus, coxsackievirus B3, and human rhinovirus 14 all copurify with PI4KIIIβ. Furthermore, we found that multiple picornavirus 3A proteins copurify with the Golgi adaptor protein acyl coenzyme A (acyl-CoA) binding domain protein 3 (ACBD3/GPC60), including those from Aichi virus, bovine kobuvirus, human rhinovirus 14, poliovirus, and coxsackievirus B2, B3, and B5. Affinity purification of ACBD3 confirmed interaction with multiple picornaviral 3A proteins and revealed the ability to bind PI4KIIIβ in the absence of 3A. Mass-spectrometric analysis of transiently expressed Aichi virus, bovine kobuvirus, and human klassevirus 3A proteins demonstrated that the N-terminal glycines of these 3A proteins are myristoylated. Alanine-scanning mutagenesis along the entire length of Aichi virus 3A followed by transient expression and affinity purification revealed that copurification of PI4KIIIβ could be eliminated by mutation of specific residues, with little or no effect on recruitment of ACBD3. One mutation at the N terminus, I5A, significantly reduced copurification of both ACBD3 and PI4KIIIβ. The dependence of Aichi virus replication on the activity of PI4KIIIβ was confirmed by both chemical and genetic inhibition. Knockdown of ACBD3 by small interfering RNA (siRNA) also prevented replication of both Aichi virus and poliovirus. Point mutations in 3A that eliminate PI4KIIIβ association sensitized Aichi virus to PIK93, suggesting that disruption of the 3A/ACBD3/PI4KIIIβ complex may represent a novel target for therapeutic intervention that would be complementary to the inhibition of the kinase activity itself.
Journal of Virology 01/2012; 86(7):3605-16. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polyomaviruses are small circular DNA viruses associated with chronic infections and tumors in both human and animal hosts. Using an unbiased deep sequencing approach, we identified a novel, highly divergent polyomavirus, provisionally named MX polyomavirus (MXPyV), in stool samples from children. The ∼5.0 kB viral genome exhibits little overall homology (<46% amino acid identity) to known polyomaviruses, and, due to phylogenetic variation among its individual proteins, cannot be placed in any existing taxonomic group. PCR-based screening detected MXPyV in 28 of 834 (3.4%) fecal samples collected from California, Mexico, and Chile, and 1 of 136 (0.74%) of respiratory samples from Mexico, but not in blood or urine samples from immunocompromised patients. By quantitative PCR, the measured titers of MXPyV in human stool at 10% (weight/volume) were as high as 15,075 copies. No association was found between the presence of MXPyV and diarrhea, although girls were more likely to shed MXPyV in the stool than boys (p = 0.012). In one child, viral shedding was observed in two stools obtained 91 days apart, raising the possibility of chronic infection by MXPyV. A multiple sequence alignment revealed that MXPyV is a closely related variant of the recently reported MWPyV and HPyV10 polyomaviruses. Further studies will be important to determine the association, if any, of MXPyV with disease in humans.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(11):e49449. · 3.73 Impact Factor