[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lymphocyte colonization by gamma-herpesviruses (γHVs) is an important target for cancer prevention. However how it works is not clear. Epstein-Barr virus drives autonomous B cell proliferation in vitro, but in vivo may more subtly exploit the proliferative pathways provided by lymphoid germinal centers (GCs). Murid Herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4), which realistically infects inbred mice, provides a useful tool with which to understand further how a γHV colonizes B cells in vivo. Not all γHVs necessarily behave the same, but common events can with MuHV-4 be assigned an importance for host colonization, and so a potential as therapeutic targets. MuHV-4-driven B cell proliferation depends quantitatively on CD4(+) T cell help. Here we show that it also depends on T cell-independent survival signals provided by the BAFF receptor (BAFF-R). B cells could be infected in BAFF-R(-/-) mice, but virus loads remained low. This corresponded to a BAFF-R-dependent defect in GC colonization. The close parallels between normal, antigen-driven B cell responses and virus-infected B cell proliferation argue that in vivo, γHVs mostly induce infected B cells into normal GC reactions, rather than generating large numbers of autonomously proliferating blasts.Importance γHVs cause cancers by driving the proliferation of infected cells. B cells are a particular target. Thus, we need to know how virus-driven B cell proliferation works. Controversy exists as to whether viral genes drive it directly, or less directly orchestrate the engagement of normal, host-driven pathways. Here we show that the B cell proliferation driven by a murid γHV requires BAFF-R. This supports the idea that γHVs exploit host proliferation pathways, and suggests that interfering with BAFF-R could more generally reduce γHV-associated B cell proliferation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human gammaherpesviruses are associated with the development of lymphomas and epithelial malignancies. The heterogeneity of these tumors reflects the ability of these viruses to route infection to different cell types at various stages of their lifecycle. While the Epstein Barr virus uses gp42 - human leukocyte antigen class II interaction as a switch of cell tropism, the molecular mechanism that orientates tropism of rhadinoviruses is still poorly defined. Here, we used bovine herpesvirus 4 (BoHV-4) to further elucidate how rhadinoviruses regulate their infectivity. In the absence of any gp42 homolog, BoHV-4 exploits the alternative splicing of its Bo10 gene to produce distinct viral populations that behave differently based on the originating cell. While epithelial cells produce virions with high levels of the accessory envelope protein gp180, encoded by a Bo10 spliced product, myeloid cells express reduced levels of gp180. As a consequence, virions grown in epithelial cells are hardly infectious for CD14+ circulating cells, but are relatively resistant to antibody neutralization due to the shielding property of gp180 for vulnerable entry epitopes. In contrast, myeloid virions readily infect CD14+ circulating cells but are easily neutralized. This molecular switch could therefore allow BoHV-4 to promote either, on the one hand, its dissemination into the organism, or, on the other hand, its transmission between hosts.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glycoprotein B (gB) is a conserved herpesvirus virion component implicated in membrane fusion. As with many - but not all - herpesviruses, the gB of murid herpesvirus 4 (MuHV-4) is cleaved into disulfide-linked subunits, apparently by furin. Preventing gB cleavage for some herpesviruses causes minor infection deficits in vitro, but what the cleavage contributes to host colonization has been unclear. To address this we mutated the furin cleavage site (R-R-K-R) of the MuHV-4 gB. Abolishing gB cleavage did not affect its expression levels, glycosylation or antigenic conformation. In vitro, mutant viruses entered fibroblasts and epithelial cells normally, but had a significant entry deficit in myeloid cells such as macrophages and bone marrow-derived dendritic cells. The deficit in myeloid cells was not due to reduced virion binding or endocytosis, suggesting that gB cleavage promotes infection at a post-endocytic entry step, presumably viral membrane fusion. In vivo, viruses lacking gB cleavage showed reduced lytic spread in the lungs. Alveolar epithelial cell infection was normal, but alveolar macrophage infection was significantly reduced. Normal long-term latency in lymphoid tissue was established nonetheless.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1) is a ubiquitous and important human pathogen. It is known to persist in trigeminal ganglia (TG), but how it reaches this site has been difficult to determine, as viral transmission is sporadic, pathogenesis is complicated, and early infection is largely asymptomatic. We used mice to compare the most likely natural HSV-1 host entry routes: oral and nasal. Intranasal infection was 100-fold more efficient than oral, and targeted predominantly the olfactory neuroepithelium. Live imaging of HSV-1-expressed luciferase showed infection progressing from the nose to the TG, then re-emerging in the facial skin. The brain remained largely luciferase-negative throughout. Infected cell tagging by viral cre recombinase expression in floxed reporter gene mice showed nasal virus routinely reaching the TG and only rarely reaching the olfactory bulbs. Thus HSV-1 spread from the olfactory neuroepithelium to the TG, and re-emerged peripherally without causing significant neurological disease. This recapitulation of typical clinical infection suggests that HSV-1 might sometimes also enter humans via the respiratory tract.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transmission is a matter of life or death for pathogen lineages and can therefore be considered as the main motor of their evolution. Gammaherpesviruses are archetypal pathogenic persistent viruses which have evolved to be transmitted in presence of specific immune response. Identifying their mode of transmission and their mechanisms of immune evasion is therefore essential to develop prophylactic and therapeutic strategies against these infections. As the known human gammaherpesviruses, Epstein-Barr virus and Kaposi's Sarcoma-associated Herpesvirus are host-specific and lack a convenient in vivo infection model; related animal gammaherpesviruses, such as murine gammaherpesvirus-68 (MHV-68), are commonly used as general models of gammaherpesvirus infections in vivo. To date, it has however never been possible to monitor viral excretion or virus transmission of MHV-68 in laboratory mice population. In this study, we have used MHV-68 associated with global luciferase imaging to investigate potential excretion sites of this virus in laboratory mice. This allowed us to identify a genital excretion site of MHV-68 following intranasal infection and latency establishment in female mice. This excretion occurred at the external border of the vagina and was dependent on the presence of estrogens. However, MHV-68 vaginal excretion was not associated with vertical transmission to the litter or with horizontal transmission to female mice. In contrast, we observed efficient virus transmission to naïve males after sexual contact. In vivo imaging allowed us to show that MHV-68 firstly replicated in penis epithelium and corpus cavernosum before spreading to draining lymph nodes and spleen. All together, those results revealed the first experimental transmission model for MHV-68 in laboratory mice. In the future, this model could help us to better understand the biology of gammaherpesviruses and could also allow the development of strategies that could prevent the spread of these viruses in natural populations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Herpesviruses are ubiquitous pathogens that cause much disease. The difficulty of clearing their established infections makes host entry an important target for control. However, while herpesviruses have been studied extensively in vitro, how they cross differentiated mucus-covered epithelia in vivo is unclear. To establish general principles we tracked host entry by Murid Herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4), a lymphotropic rhadinovirus related to the Kaposi's Sarcoma-associated Herpesvirus. Spontaneously acquired virions targeted the olfactory neuroepithelium. Like many herpesviruses, MuHV-4 binds to heparan sulfate (HS), and virions unable to bind HS showed poor host entry. While the respiratory epithelium expressed only basolateral HS and was bound poorly by incoming virions, the neuroepithelium also displayed HS on its apical neuronal cilia and was bound strongly. Incoming virions tracked down the neuronal cilia, and either infected neurons or reached the underlying microvilli of the adjacent glial (sustentacular) cells and infected them. Thus the olfactory neuroepithelium provides an important and complex site of HS-dependent herpesvirus uptake.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gamma-herpesviruses persist in lymphocytes and cause disease by driving their proliferation. Lymphocyte infection is therefore a key pathogenetic event. Murid Herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4) is a rhadinovirus that like the related Kaposi's Sarcoma-associated Herpesvirus persists in B cells in vivo yet infects them poorly in vitro. Here we used MuHV-4 to understand how virion tropism sets the path to lymphocyte colonization. Virions that were highly infectious in vivo showed a severe post-binding block to B cell infection. Host entry was accordingly an epithelial infection and B cell infection a secondary event. Macrophage infection by cell-free virions was also poor, but improved markedly when virion binding improved or when macrophages were co-cultured with infected fibroblasts. Under the same conditions B cell infection remained poor; it improved only when virions came from macrophages. This reflected better cell penetration and correlated with antigenic changes in the virion fusion complex. Macrophages were seen to contact acutely infected epithelial cells, and cre/lox-based virus tagging showed that almost all the virus recovered from lymphoid tissue had passed through lysM(+) and CD11c(+) myeloid cells. Thus MuHV-4 reached B cells in 3 distinct stages: incoming virions infected epithelial cells; infection then passed to myeloid cells; glycoprotein changes then allowed B cell infection. These data identify new complexity in rhadinovirus infection and potentially also new vulnerability to intervention.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Herpesviruses consistently transmit from immunocompetent carriers, implying that their neutralization is hard to achieve. Murid herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4) exploits host IgG Fc receptors to bypass blocks to cell binding, and pH-dependent protein conformation changes to unveil its fusion machinery only after endocytosis. Nevertheless, neutralization remains possible by targeting the virion glycoprotein H (gH)-gL heterodimer, and the neutralizing antibody responses of MuHV-4 carriers are improved by boosting with recombinant gH-gL. We analysed here how gH-gL-directed neutralization works. The MuHV-4 gH-gL binds to heparan sulfate. However, most gH-gL-specific neutralizing antibodies did not block this interaction; neither did they act directly on fusion. Instead, they blocked virion endocytosis and transport to the late endosomes, where membrane fusion normally occurs. The poor endocytosis of gH-gL-neutralized virions was recapitulated precisely by virions genetically lacking gL. Therefore, driving virion uptake appears to be an important function of gH-gL that provides a major target for antibody-mediated neutralization.
Journal of General Virology 02/2012; 93(Pt 6):1316-27. · 3.13 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Herpesvirus entry is a complicated process involving multiple virion glycoproteins and culminating in membrane fusion. Glycoprotein conformation changes are likely to play key roles. Studies of recombinant glycoproteins have revealed some structural features of the virion fusion machinery. However, how the virion glycoproteins change during infection remains unclear. Here using conformation-specific monoclonal antibodies we show in situ that each component of the Murid Herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4) entry machinery--gB, gH/gL and gp150--changes in antigenicity before tegument protein release begins. Further changes then occurred upon actual membrane fusion. Thus virions revealed their final fusogenic form only in late endosomes. The substantial antigenic differences between this form and that of extracellular virions suggested that antibodies have only a limited opportunity to block virion membrane fusion.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(1):e30152. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The core entry machinery of mammalian herpesviruses comprises glycoprotein B (gB), gH, and gL. gH and gL form a heterodimer with a central role in viral membrane fusion. When archetypal alpha- or betaherpesviruses lack gL, gH misfolds and progeny virions are noninfectious. However, the gL of the rhadinovirus murid herpesvirus 4 (MuHV-4) is nonessential for infection. In order to define more generally what role gL plays in rhadinovirus infections, we disrupted its coding sequence in bovine herpesvirus 4 (BoHV-4). BoHV-4 lacking gL showed altered gH glycosylation and incorporated somewhat less gH into virions but remained infectious. However, gL(-) virions showed poor growth associated with an entry deficit. Moreover, a major part of their entry defect appeared to reflect impaired endocytosis, which occurs upstream of membrane fusion itself. Thus, the rhadinovirus gL may be more important for driving virion endocytosis than for incorporating gH into virions, and it is nonessential for membrane fusion.
Journal of Virology 12/2011; 86(5):2653-64. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: All gammaherpesviruses encode a major glycoprotein homologous to the Epstein-Barr virus gp350. These glycoproteins are often involved in cell binding, and some provide neutralization targets. However, the capacity of gammaherpesviruses for long-term transmission from immune hosts implies that in vivo neutralization is incomplete. In this study, we used Bovine Herpesvirus 4 (BoHV-4) to determine how its gp350 homolog--gp180--contributes to virus replication and neutralization. A lack of gp180 had no impact on the establishment and maintenance of BoHV-4 latency, but markedly sensitized virions to neutralization by immune sera. Antibody had greater access to gB, gH and gL on gp180-deficient virions, including neutralization epitopes. Gp180 appears to be highly O-glycosylated, and removing O-linked glycans from virions also sensitized them to neutralization. It therefore appeared that gp180 provides part of a glycan shield for otherwise vulnerable viral epitopes. Interestingly, this O-glycan shield could be exploited for neutralization by lectins and carbohydrate-specific antibody. The conservation of O-glycosylation sites in all gp350 homologs suggests that this is a general evasion mechanism that may also provide a therapeutic target.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dendritic cells (DCs) play a central role in initiating immune responses. Some persistent viruses infect DCs and can disrupt their functions in vitro. However, these viruses remain strongly immunogenic in vivo. Thus what role DC infection plays in the pathogenesis of persistent infections is unclear. Here we show that a persistent, B cell-tropic gamma-herpesvirus, Murid Herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4), infects DCs early after host entry, before it establishes a substantial infection of B cells. DC-specific virus marking by cre-lox recombination revealed that a significant fraction of the virus latent in B cells had passed through a DC, and a virus attenuated for replication in DCs was impaired in B cell colonization. In vitro MuHV-4 dramatically altered the DC cytoskeleton, suggesting that it manipulates DC migration and shape in order to spread. MuHV-4 therefore uses DCs to colonize B cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glycoprotein B (gB) is a conserved, essential component of gammaherpes virions and so potentially vulnerable to neutralization. However, few good gB-specific neutralizing antibodies have been identified. Here, we show that murid herpesvirus 4 is strongly neutralized by mAbs that recognize an epitope close to one of the gB fusion loops. Antibody binding did not stop gB interacting with its cellular ligands or initiating its fusion-associated conformation change, but did stop gB resolving stably to its post-fusion form, and so blocked membrane fusion to leave virions stranded in late endosomes. The conservation of gB makes this mechanism a possible general route to gammaherpesvirus neutralization.
Journal of General Virology 05/2011; 92(Pt 9):2020-33. · 3.13 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The difficulty of eliminating herpesvirus carriage makes host entry a key target for infection control. However, its viral requirements are poorly defined. Murid herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4) can potentially provide insights into gammaherpesvirus host entry. Upper respiratory tract infection requires the MuHV-4 thymidine kinase (TK) and ribonucleotide reductase large subunit (RNR-L), suggesting a need for increased nucleotide production. However, both TK and RNR-L are likely to be multifunctional. We therefore tested further the importance of nucleotide production by disrupting the MuHV-4 ribonucleotide reductase small subunit (RNR-S). This caused a similar attenuation to RNR-L disruption: despite reduced intra-host spread, invasive inoculations still established infection, whereas a non-invasive upper respiratory tract inoculation did so only at high dose. Histological analysis showed that RNR-S(-), RNR-L(-) and TK(-) viruses all infected cells in the olfactory neuroepithelium but unlike wild-type virus then failed to spread. Thus captured host nucleotide metabolism enzymes, up to now defined mainly as important for alphaherpesvirus reactivation in neurons, also have a key role in gammaherpesvirus host entry. This seemed to reflect a requirement for lytic replication to occur in a terminally differentiated cell before a viable pool of latent genomes could be established.
Journal of General Virology 04/2011; 92(Pt 7):1550-60. · 3.13 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: All gammaherpesviruses encode a glycoprotein positionally homologous to the Epstein-Barr virus gp350 and the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) K8.1. In this study, we characterized the positional homologous glycoprotein of bovine herpesvirus 4 (BoHV-4), encoded by the Bo10 gene. We identified a 180-kDa gene product, gp180, that was incorporated into the virion envelope. A Bo10 deletion virus was viable but showed a growth deficit associated with reduced binding to epithelial cells. This seemed to reflect an interaction of gp180 with glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), since compared to the wild-type virus, the Bo10 mutant virus was both less infectious for GAG-positive (GAG(+)) cells and more infectious for GAG-negative (GAG(-)) cells. However, we could not identify a direct interaction between gp180 and GAGs, implying that any direct interaction must be of low affinity. This function of gp180 was very similar to that previously identified for the murid herpesvirus 4 gp150 and also to that of the Epstein-Barr virus gp350 that promotes CD21(+) cell infection and inhibits CD21(-) cell infection. We propose that such proteins generally regulate virion attachment both by binding to cells and by covering another receptor-binding protein until they are displaced. Thus, they regulate viral tropism both positively and negatively depending upon the presence or absence of their receptor.
Journal of Virology 11/2010; 85(2):1011-24. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Herpesviruses characteristically disseminate from immune hosts. Therefore in the context of natural infection, antibody neutralizes them poorly. Murid herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4) provides a tractable model with which to understand gammaherpesvirus neutralization. MuHV-4 virions blocked for cell binding by immune sera remain infectious for IgG-Fc receptor(+) myeloid cells, so broadly neutralizing antibodies must target the virion fusion complex - glycoprotein B (gB) or gH/gL. While gB-specific neutralizing antibodies are rare, its domains I+II (gB-N) contain at least one potent neutralization epitope. Here, we tested whether immunization with recombinant gB presenting this epitope could induce neutralizing antibodies in naive mice and protect them against MuHV-4 challenge. Immunizing with the full-length gB extracellular domain induced a strong gB-specific antibody response and reduced MuHV-4 lytic replication but did not induce detectable neutralization. gB-N alone, which more selectively displayed pre-fusion epitopes including neutralization epitopes, also failed to induce neutralizing responses, and while viral lytic replication was again reduced this depended completely on IgG Fc receptors. gB and gB-N also boosted neutralizing responses in only a minority of carrier mice. Therefore, it appears that neutralizing epitopes on gB are intrinsically difficult for the immune response to target.
Journal of General Virology 10/2010; 91(Pt 10):2542-52. · 3.13 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gammaherpesviruses are archetypal pathogenic persistent viruses. The known human gammaherpesviruses (Epstein-Barr virus and Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus) are host-specific and therefore lack a convenient in vivo infection model. This makes related animal gammaherpesviruses an important source of information. Infection by murid herpesvirus 4 (MuHV-4), a virus originally isolated from bank voles (Myodes glareolus), was studied here. MuHV-4 infection of inbred laboratory mouse strains (Mus musculus) is commonly used as a general model of gammaherpesvirus pathogenesis. However, MuHV-4 has not been isolated from house mice, and no systematic comparison has been made between experimental MuHV-4 infections of mice and bank voles. This study therefore characterized MuHV-4 (strain MHV-68) infection of bank voles through global luciferase imaging and classical virological methods. As in mice, intranasal virus inoculation led to productive replication in bank vole lungs, accompanied by massive cellular infiltrates. However, the extent of lytic virus replication was approximately 1000-fold lower in bank voles than in mice. Peak latency titres in lymphoid tissue were also lower, although latency was still established. Finally, virus transmission was tested between animals maintained in captivity. However, as observed in mice, MuHV-4 was not transmitted between voles under these conditions. In conclusion, this study revealed that, despite quantitative differences, replication and the latency sites of MuHV-4 are comparable in bank voles and mice. Therefore, it appears that, so far, Mus musculus represents a suitable host for studying gammaherpesvirus pathogenesis with MuHV-4. Establishing transmission conditions in captivity will be a vital step for further research in this field.
Journal of General Virology 10/2010; 91(Pt 10):2553-63. · 3.13 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Viral enzymes that process small molecules provide potential chemotherapeutic targets. A key constraint-the replicative potential of spontaneous enzyme mutants-has been hard to define with human gammaherpesviruses because of their narrow species tropisms. Here, we disrupted the murid herpesvirus 4 (MuHV-4) ORF61, which encodes its ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) large subunit. Mutant viruses showed delayed in vitro lytic replication, failed to establish infection via the upper respiratory tract, and replicated to only a very limited extent in the lower respiratory tract without reaching lymphoid tissue. RNR could therefore provide a good target for gammaherpesvirus chemotherapy.
Journal of Virology 10/2010; 84(20):10937-42. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A critical factor influencing the ability of the host to mount a robust immune response against a virus depends on the rapid recruitment of dendritic cells (DCs) presenting Ags. From the outset, this step sets the tempo for subsequent activation of virus-specific T cells. Despite this, how induction of the immune response might be modified by pathogens with the capacity to establish persistence is unclear. In this study, we have characterized the in vivo influence of murine gamma-herpesvirus K3-mediated interference with MHC class I in DCs that drive the initial adaptive immune response. We observed that gamma-herpesvirus could interfere with the very earliest phase of Ag presentation through K3 by directly targeting migratory and lymph node-resident DCs. These results show that a pathogen with the capacity to interfere with early Ag presentation can establish suboptimal conditions for rapid induction of the adaptive immune response and thus favor establishment of viral persistence.
The Journal of Immunology 09/2010; 185(6):3669-76. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancers with viral aetiologies can potentially be prevented by antiviral vaccines. Therefore, it is important to understand how viral infections and cancers might be linked. Some cancers frequently carry gammaherpesvirus genomes. However, they generally express the same viral genes as non-transformed cells, and differ mainly in also carrying oncogenic host mutations. Infection, therefore, seems to play a triggering or accessory role in disease. The hit-and-run hypothesis proposes that cumulative host mutations can allow viral genomes to be lost entirely, such that cancers remaining virus-positive represent only a fraction of those to which infection contributes. This would have considerable implications for disease control. However, the hit-and-run hypothesis has so far lacked experimental support. Here, we tested it by using Cre-lox recombination to trigger transforming mutations in virus-infected cells. Thus, 'floxed' oncogene mice were infected with Cre recombinase-positive murid herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4). The emerging cancers showed the expected genetic changes but, by the time of presentation, almost all lacked viral genomes. Vaccination with a non-persistent MuHV-4 mutant nonetheless conferred complete protection. Equivalent human gammaherpesvirus vaccines could therefore potentially prevent not only viral genome-positive cancers, but possibly also some cancers less suspected of a viral origin because of viral genome loss.
Journal of General Virology 09/2010; 91(Pt 9):2176-85. · 3.13 Impact Factor