[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The RNA genome of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is constitutively encapsidated by the viral nucleoprotein N, thus forming a helical nucleocapsid. Polymerization of N along the genomic and antigenomic RNAs is concomitant to replication and requires the preservation of an unassembled monomeric nucleoprotein pool. To this end, and by analogy with Paramyxoviridae and Rhabdoviridae, it is expected that the viral phosphoprotein P acts as a chaperone protein, forming a soluble complex with the RNA-free form of N (N0-P complex). Here, we have engineered a mutant form of N that is monomeric, is unable to bind RNA, still interacts with P, and could thus mimic the N0 monomer. We used this N mutant, designated Nmono, as a substitute for N0 in order to characterize the P regions involved in the N0-P complex formation. Using a series of P fragments, we determined by glutathione S-transferase (GST) pulldown assays that the N and C termini of P are able to interact with Nmono. We analyzed the functional role of amino-terminal residues of P by site-directed mutagenesis, using an RSV polymerase activity assay based on a human RSV minireplicon, and found that several residues were critical for viral RNA synthesis. Using GST pulldown and surface plasmon resonance assays, we showed that these critical residues are involved in the interaction between P[1-40] peptide and Nmono in vitro. Finally, we showed that overexpression of the peptide P[1-29] can inhibit the polymerase activity in the context of the RSV minireplicon, thus demonstrating that targeting the N0-P interaction could constitute a potential antiviral strategy.
Journal of Virology 01/2015; 89(7). DOI:10.1128/JVI.03666-14 · 4.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unlabelled:
The human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) core viral RNA polymerase comprises the large polymerase protein (L) and its cofactor, the phosphoprotein (P), which associate with the viral ribonucleoprotein complex to replicate the genome and, together with the M2-1 protein, transcribe viral mRNAs. While cellular proteins have long been proposed to be involved in the synthesis of HRSV RNA by associating with the polymerase complex, their characterization has been hindered by the difficulty of purifying the viral polymerase from mammalian cell culture. In this study, enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-tagged L- and P-protein expression was coupled with high-affinity anti-GFP antibody-based immunoprecipitation and quantitative proteomics to identify cellular proteins that interacted with either the L- or the P-proteins when expressed as part of a biologically active viral RNP. Several core groups of cellular proteins were identified that interacted with each viral protein including, in both cases, protein chaperones. Ablation of chaperone activity by using small-molecule inhibitors confirmed previously reported studies which suggested that this class of proteins acted as positive viral factors. Inhibition of HSP90 chaperone function in the current study showed that HSP90 is critical for L-protein function and stability, whether in the presence or absence of the P-protein. Inhibition studies suggested that HSP70 also disrupts virus biology and might help the polymerase remodel the nucleocapsid to allow RNA synthesis to occur efficiently. This indicated a proviral role for protein chaperones in HRSV replication and demonstrates that the function of cellular proteins can be targeted as potential therapeutics to disrupt virus replication.
Human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) represents a major health care and economic burden, being the main cause of severe respiratory infections in infants worldwide. No vaccine or effective therapy is available. This study focused on identifying those cellular proteins that potentially interact specifically with the viral proteins that are central to virus replication and transcription, with a view to providing potential targets for the development of a specific, transient therapeutic which disrupts virus biology but prevents the emergence of resistance, while maintaining cell viability. In particular, protein chaperones (heat shock proteins 70 and 90), which aid protein folding and function, were identified. The mechanism by which these chaperones contribute to virus biology was tested, and this study demonstrates to the field that cellular protein chaperones may be required for maintaining the correct folding and therefore functionality of specific proteins within the virus replication complex.
Journal of Virology 10/2014; 89(2). DOI:10.1128/JVI.01783-14 · 4.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most important cause of severe lower-respiratory tract disease in calves and young children, yet no human vaccine nor efficient curative treatments are available. Here we describe a recombinant human RSV reverse genetics system in which the red fluorescent protein (mCherry) or the firefly luciferase (Luc) genes are inserted into the RSV genome. Expression of mCherry and Luc are correlated with infection rate, allowing the monitoring of RSV multiplication in cell culture. Replication of the Luc-encoding virus in living mice can be visualized by bioluminescent imaging, bioluminescence being detected in the snout and lungs of infected mice after nasal inoculation. We propose that these recombinant viruses are convenient and valuable tools for screening of compounds active against RSV, and can be used as an extremely sensitive readout for studying effects of antiviral therapeutics in living mice.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Novel 3-C-alkylated-Neu5Ac2en derivatives have been designed to target the expanded active site cavity of influenza virus sialidases with an open 150-loop, currently seen in X-ray crystal structures of influenza A virus group-1 (N1, N4, N5, N8), but not group-2 (N2, N9), sialidases. The compounds show selectivity for inhibition of H5N1 and pdm09 H1N1 sialidases over an N2 sialidase, providing evidence of the relative 150-loop flexibility of these sialidases. In a complex with N8 sialidase, the C3 substituent of 3-phenylally-Neu5Ac2en occupies the 150-cavity while the central ring and the remaining substituents bind the active site as seen for the unsubstituted template. This new class of inhibitors, which can 'trap' the open 150-loop form of the sialidase, should prove useful as probes of 150-loop flexibility.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In contrast to most RNA viruses, influenza viruses replicate their genome in the nucleus of infected cells. As a result, newly-synthesized vRNA genomes, in the form of viral ribonucleoprotein complexes (vRNPs), must be exported to the cytoplasm for productive infection. To characterize the composition of vRNP export complexes and their interplay with the nucleus of infected cells, we affinity-purified tagged vRNPs from biochemically fractionated infected nuclei. After treatment of infected cells with leptomycin B, a potent inhibitor of Crm1-mediated export, we isolated vRNP export complexes which, unexpectedly, were tethered to the host-cell chromatin with very high affinity. At late time points of infection, the cellular export receptor Crm1 also accumulated at the same regions of the chromatin as vRNPs, which led to a decrease in the export of other nuclear Crm1 substrates from the nucleus. Interestingly, chromatin targeting of vRNP export complexes brought them into association with Rcc1, the Ran guanine exchange factor responsible for generating RanGTP and driving Crm1-dependent nuclear export. Thus, influenza viruses gain preferential access to newly-generated host cell export machinery by targeting vRNP export complexes at the sites of Ran regeneration.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The genomic RNAs of influenza A viruses are associated with the viral polymerase subunits (PB1, PB2, PA) and nucleoprotein (NP), forming ribonucleoprotein complexes (RNPs). Transcription/replication of the viral genome occurs in the nucleus of infected cells. A role for Hsp90 in nuclear import and assembly of newly synthetized RNA-polymerase subunits has been proposed. Here we report that the p23 cochaperone of Hsp90, which plays a major role in glucocorticoid receptor folding and function, associates with influenza virus polymerase. We show that p23 is not essential for viral multiplication in cultured cells but relocalizes to the nucleus in influenza virus-infected cells, which may alter some functions of p23 and Hsp90. Moreover, we show that influenza virus infection inhibits glucocorticoid receptor-mediated gene transactivation, and that this negative effect can occur through a p23-independent pathway. Viral-induced inhibition of the glucocorticoid receptor response might be of significant importance regarding the physiopathology of influenza infections in vivo.
PLoS ONE 08/2011; 6(8):e23368. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0023368 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rapid and specific diagnosis of influenza A/B and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) viruses is needed for optimal management of patients with acute respiratory infections. In this study, a one-step triplex real-time RT-PCR assay was developed for rapid diagnosis of influenza A/B and RSV infections to optimize diagnosis efficiency of acute respiratory infections. Cell-culture supernatants and clinical samples were used to evaluate specificity and sensitivity of the assay. The assay was used routinely during two winter epidemics for testing respiratory specimens from 2,417 patients. The limit of detection in cell-culture supernatant was 1-10 plaque forming units/input (influenza A/B) and 2 × 10(-2) 50% tissue culture infectious dose/input (RSV). In clinical samples, the assay was as sensitive as commercial molecular assays for the detection of each influenza A/B and RSV (Flu-A/B and RSV-A/B r-gene™) individually, and far more sensitive than antigen detection. During the winter 2008-2009, the assay identified 145 RSV, 42 influenza A, and one mixed RSV-influenza A infections among 298 patients. The next winter, the assay was used in two independent hospital laboratory settings. 776 patients were tested in one hospital and 1,343 in the other, resulting in 184 and 501 RSV, 133 and 150 influenza A, and 1 and 11 mixed RSV-influenza A infections, respectively, being detected. This new user-friendly assay allows rapid (within hours), effective molecular diagnosis of single or mixed infections involving influenza A (including seasonal A H1N1 and H3N2, and A(H1N1) 2009), influenza B, and RSV(A/B). The assay is very valuable for managing patients during winter epidemics when influenza and respiratory syncytial viruses co-circulate.
Journal of Medical Virology 04/2011; 83(4):695-701. DOI:10.1002/jmv.22006 · 2.35 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During the 2007-2008 season, A(H1N1) viruses naturally resistant to oseltamivir due to an H275Y substitution in the neuraminidase emerged and spread in the human population. The neuraminidase of 2007-2008 A(H1N1) viruses has an increased affinity for sialic acids as compared with the N1 of previously circulating viruses.
Using site-directed mutagenesis analysis and an enzymatic assay on cells transiently expressing the viral neuraminidase, the amino acid changes that could account for the particular enzymatic properties of the neuraminidase of 2007-2008 A(H1N1) viruses were explored. The affinity for the substrate (K(m)) and the inhibition constants for inhibitors (K(i)) were determined for wild-type and mutated neuraminidases. Reverse genetics was used to produce 6:2 reassortant viruses expressing haemagglutinin and neuraminidase derived from A(H1N1) viruses of the 2007-2008 season or from a previously circulating H1N1 virus, in an A/WSN/33 background.
The D344N substitution characteristic of the N1 of 2007-2008 A(H1N1) viruses was identified as a major determinant of its increased affinity for sialic acids. According to the viral plaque phenotype of the 6:2 reassortant viruses, the H275Y mutation was deleterious when the surface glycoproteins were derived from the H1N1 virus isolated in 2004, but not when they were derived from A(H1N1) viruses of the 2007-2008 season.
The D344N substitution, by modifying the enzymatic property of the N1, may have favoured the emergence and spread of viruses naturally resistant to oseltamivir.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Influenza virus sialidase has an essential role in the virus' life cycle. Two distinct groups of influenza A virus sialidases have been established, that differ in the flexibility of the '150-loop', providing a more open active site in the apo form of the group-1 compared to group-2 enzymes. In this study we show, through a multidisciplinary approach, that novel sialic acid-based derivatives can exploit this structural difference and selectively inhibit the activity of group-1 sialidases. We also demonstrate that group-1 sialidases from drug-resistant mutant influenza viruses are sensitive to these designed compounds. Moreover, we have determined, by protein X-ray crystallography, that these inhibitors lock open the group-1 sialidase flexible 150-loop, in agreement with our molecular modelling prediction. This is the first direct proof that compounds may be developed to selectively target the pandemic A/H1N1, avian A/H5N1 and other group-1 sialidase-containing viruses, based on an open 150-loop conformation of the enzyme.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The major role of the neuraminidase (NA) protein of influenza A virus is related to its sialidase activity, which disrupts the interaction between the envelope hemagglutinin (HA) protein and the sialic acid receptors expressed at the surface of infected cells. This enzymatic activity is known to promote the release and spread of progeny viral particles following their production by infected cells, but a potential role of NA in earlier steps of the viral life cycle has never been clearly demonstrated. In this study we have examined the impact of NA expression on influenza HA-mediated viral membrane fusion and virion infectivity.
The role of NA in the early stages of influenza virus replication was examined using a cell-cell fusion assay that mimics HA-mediated membrane fusion, and a virion infectivity assay using HIV-based pseudoparticles expressing influenza HA and/or NA proteins. In the cell-cell fusion assay, which bypasses the endocytocytosis step that is characteristic of influenza virus entry, we found that in proper HA maturation conditions, NA clearly enhanced fusion in a dose-dependent manner. Similarly, expression of NA at the surface of pseudoparticles significantly enhanced virion infectivity. Further experiments using exogenous soluble NA revealed that the most likely mechanism for enhancement of fusion and infectivity by NA was related to desialylation of virion-expressed HA.
The NA protein of influenza A virus is not only required for virion release and spread but also plays a critical role in virion infectivity and HA-mediated membrane fusion.
PLoS ONE 12/2009; 4(12):e8495. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0008495 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic studies have shown that mutations of complement inhibitors such as membrane cofactor protein, Factors H, I, or B and C3 predispose patients to atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS). Factor I is a circulating serine protease that inhibits complement by degrading C3b and up to now only a few mutations in the CFI gene have been characterized. In a large cohort of 202 patients with aHUS, we identified 23 patients carrying exonic mutations in CFI. Their overall clinical outcome was unfavorable, as half died or developed end-stage renal disease after their first syndrome episode. Eight patients with CFI mutations carried at least one additional known genetic risk factor for aHUS, such as a mutation in MCP, CFH, C3 or CFB; a compound heterozygous second mutation in CFI; or mutations in both the MCP and CFH genes. Five patients exhibited homozygous deletion of the Factor H-related protein 1 (CFHR-1) gene. Ten patients with aHUS had one mutation in their CFI gene (Factor I-aHUS), resulting in a quantitative or functional Factor I deficiency. Patients with a complete deletion of the CFHR-1 gene had a significantly higher risk of a bad prognosis compared with those with one Factor I mutation as their unique vulnerability feature. Our results emphasize the necessity of genetic screening for all susceptibility factors in patients with aHUS.
Kidney International 12/2009; 77(4):339-49. DOI:10.1038/ki.2009.472 · 8.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The underlying mechanisms of the epidemiological association between influenza virus infections and Neisseria meningitidis invasive infections are not fully understood. Here we report that adhesion of N. meningitidis to human Hec-1-B epithelial cells is enhanced by influenza A virus (IAV) infection. A potential role of the viral neuraminidase
(NA) in facilitating meningococcal adhesion to influenza virus-infected epithelial cells was examined. Expression of a recombinant
IAV NA in Hec-1-B human epithelial cells increased the adhesion of strains of N. meningitidis belonging to the sialic acid-containing capsular serogroups B, C, and W135 but not to the mannosamine phosphate-containing
capsular serogroup A. Adhesion enhancement was not observed with an inactive NA mutant or in the presence of an NA inhibitor
(zanamivir). Furthermore, purified IAV NA was shown to cleave sialic acid-containing capsular polysaccharides of N. meningitidis. On the whole, our findings suggest that a direct interaction between the NA of IAV and the capsule of N. meningitidis enhances bacterial adhesion to cultured epithelial cells, most likely through cleavage of capsular sialic acid-containing
polysaccharides. A better understanding of the association between IAV and invasive meningococcal infections should help to
set up improved control strategies against these seasonal dual viral-bacterial infections.
Infection and immunity 07/2009; 77(9):3588-95. DOI:10.1128/IAI.00155-09 · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Following circulation of avian influenza H5 and H7 viruses in poultry, the hemagglutinin (HA) can acquire additional glycosylation sites, and the neuraminidase (NA) stalk becomes shorter. We investigated whether these features play a role in the pathogenesis of infection in mammalian hosts. From 1996 to 2007, H5N1 viruses with a short NA stalk have become widespread in several avian species. Compared to viruses with a long-stalk NA, viruses with a short-stalk NA showed a decreased capacity to elute from red blood cells and an increased virulence in mice, but not in chickens. The presence of additional HA glycosylation sites had less of an effect on virulence than did NA stalk length. The short-stalk NA of H5N1 viruses circulating in Asia may contribute to virulence in humans.
Journal of Virology 03/2009; 83(9):4704-8. DOI:10.1128/JVI.01987-08 · 4.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Strong determinants of the host range of influenza A viruses have been identified on the polymerase complex formed by the PB1, PB2, and PA subunits and on the nucleoprotein (NP). In the present study, molecular mechanisms that may involve these four core proteins and contribute to the restriction of avian influenza virus multiplication in human cells have been investigated. The efficiencies with which the polymerase complexes of a human and an avian influenza virus isolate assemble and interact with the viral NP and cellular RNA polymerase II proteins were compared in mammalian and in avian infected cells. To this end, recombinant influenza viruses expressing either human or avian-derived core proteins with a PB2 protein fused to the One-Strep purification tag at the N or C terminus were generated. Copurification experiments performed on infected cell extracts indicate that the avian-derived polymerase is assembled and interacts physically with the cellular RNA polymerase II at least as efficiently as does the human-derived polymerase in human as well as in avian cells. Restricted growth of the avian isolate in human cells correlates with low levels of the core proteins in infected cell extracts and with poor association of the NP with the polymerase compared to what is observed for the human isolate. The NP-polymerase association is restored by a Glu-to-Lys substitution at residue 627 of PB2. Overall, our data point to viral and cellular factors regulating the NP-polymerase interaction as key determinants of influenza A virus host range. Recombinant viruses expressing a tagged polymerase should prove useful for further studies of the molecular interactions between viral polymerase and host factors during the infection cycle.
Journal of Virology 12/2008; 83(3):1320-31. DOI:10.1128/JVI.00977-08 · 4.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although transmission of avian influenza viruses to mammals, particularly humans, has been repeatedly documented, adaptation and sustained transmission in the new host is a rare event that in the case of humans may result in pandemics. Host restriction involves multiple genetic determinants. Among the known determinants of host range, key determinants have been identified on the genes coding for the nucleoprotein and polymerase proteins that, together with the viral RNA segments, form the ribonucleoproteins (RNPs). The RNP genes form host-specific lineages and harbor host-associated genetic signatures. The functional significance of these determinants has been studied by reassortment and reverse genetics experiments, underlining the influence of the global genetic context. In some instances the molecular mechanisms have been approached, pointing to the importance of the polymerase activity and interaction with cellular host factors. Better knowledge of determinants of host restriction will allow monitoring of the pandemic potential of avian influenza viruses.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The transcription/replication activity of ribonucleoproteins derived from influenza A primary isolates of human (A/Paris/908/97) or avian origin (A/Mallard/Marquenterre/MZ237/83, A/Hong Kong/156/97) was compared upon reconstitution in mammalian or avian cells, using viral-like reporter RNAs synthesized under the control of the human and chicken RNA polymerase I promoters, respectively. In avian cells, transcription/replication activities were in the same range with all ribonucleoproteins tested. In human cells, ribonucleoproteins derived from A/Mallard/Marquenterre/MZ237/83 showed reduced transcription/replication activity and reduced NP binding to the PB1-PB2-PA complex (P) or to the isolated PB2 subunit, as compared to the ribonucleoproteins derived from A/Paris/908/97. Both defects were restored when PB2 residue Glu-627 was changed to a Lys. Ribonucleoproteins derived from the human A/Hong Kong/156/97 H5N1 isolate showed efficient NP-P interaction in human cells, and high levels of activity which were determined mostly by the PB2 and PA proteins. Our data suggest that PB2 might play a pivotal role in molecular interactions involving both the viral nucleoprotein and cellular proteins.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Deficiencies in terminal complement components, including the component C7, are uncommon and associated with an increased risk of recurrent systemic neisserial infection. A total of 22 molecular defects have been reported in the C7 gene with both complete (C7Q0) and subtotal (C7SD) C7 deficiencies. In this study we report the molecular basis of nine new cases of C7 deficiencies that were characterized by exon-specific sequence analysis. Seven different C7 gene mutations were identified corresponding to small deletions (n=2), splice site changes (n=1) and single base pair substitutions leading to nonsense (n=1) or missense (n=3) mutations. Altogether, three changes of the C7 gene (G357R, R499S and 5' splice donor site of intron 16) account for half of the molecular defects which emphasize that a restricted number of molecular abnormalities are involved in this deficiency. We identified two patients with combined C7Q0/C7SD(R499S) and established the C7SD(R499S) frequency at about 1% in normal Caucasian population. We demonstrated that C7(R499S) mutant protein is retained in the endoplasmic reticulum whereas the wild-type C7 is located in the Golgi apparatus. Our results provide evidence that R499S represents a loss-of-function polymorphism of C7 due to a defective folding of the protein.
European Journal of Immunology 06/2007; 37(5):1377-85. DOI:10.1002/eji.200636812 · 4.03 Impact Factor