[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dengue viruses (DENV), members of mosquito-borne Flaviviruses, are human pathogens of global significance. The virus enters the host cell through endocytosis and uncoating subsequent to a low pH-triggered conformational change of E protein in endosomes. The endosomes are active in antigen processing and the key enzyme involved is the gamma interferon-inducible lysosomal thiol reductase (GILT). Here, we sought to address the role of GILT in DENV2 entry using fibroblasts from wild type (WT) and GILT knockout (GILT(-/-)) mice (MFs) with defective antigen processing. Our results obtained using DENV2 infectious and Renilla luciferase reporter replicon RNAs show that WT MFs are relatively resistant and GILT(-/-) MFs are susceptible to DENV2 translation and replication. We show that DENV2 infection of WT MEFs induced autophagy based on an increased LC3-II/LC3-I ratio that is further enhanced in GILT(-/-) cells. The increased susceptibility of DENV2 infection in the GILT(-/-)MFs strongly correlates with increased autophagy.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Dengue virus (DENV) genome contains multiple cis-acting elements required for translation and replication. Previous studies indicated that a 719-nt subgenomic minigenome (DENV-MINI) is an efficient template for translation and (−) strand RNA synthesis in vitro. We performed a detailed structural analysis of DENV-MINI RNA, combining chemical acylation techniques, Pb2+ ion-induced hydrolysis and site-directed mutagenesis. Our results highlight protein-independent 5′–3′ terminal interactions involving hybridization between recognized cis-acting motifs. Probing analyses identified tandem dumbbell structures (DBs) within the 3′ terminus spaced by single-stranded regions, internal loops and hairpins with embedded GNRA-like motifs. Analysis of conserved motifs and top loops (TLs) of these dumbbells, and their proposed interactions with downstream pseudoknot (PK) regions, predicted an H-type pseudoknot involving TL1 of the 5′ DB and the complementary region, PK2. As disrupting the TL1/PK2 interaction, via ‘flipping’ mutations of PK2, previously attenuated DENV replication, this pseudoknot may participate in regulation of RNA synthesis. Computer modeling implied that this motif might function as autonomous structural/regulatory element. In addition, our studies targeting elements of the 3′ DB and its complementary region PK1 indicated that communication between 5′–3′ terminal regions strongly depends on structure and sequence composition of the 5′ cyclization region.
Nucleic Acids Research 03/2013; · 8.28 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Dengue virus (DENV) genome contains multiple cis-acting elements required for translation and replication. Previous studies indicated that a 719-nt subgenomic minigenome (DENV-MINI) is an efficient template for translation and (-) strand RNA synthesis in vitro. We performed a detailed structural analysis of DENV-MINI RNA, combining chemical acylation techniques, Pb(2+) ion-induced hydrolysis and site-directed mutagenesis. Our results highlight protein-independent 5'-3' terminal interactions involving hybridization between recognized cis-acting motifs. Probing analyses identified tandem dumbbell structures (DBs) within the 3' terminus spaced by single-stranded regions, internal loops and hairpins with embedded GNRA-like motifs. Analysis of conserved motifs and top loops (TLs) of these dumbbells, and their proposed interactions with downstream pseudoknot (PK) regions, predicted an H-type pseudoknot involving TL1 of the 5' DB and the complementary region, PK2. As disrupting the TL1/PK2 interaction, via 'flipping' mutations of PK2, previously attenuated DENV replication, this pseudoknot may participate in regulation of RNA synthesis. Computer modeling implied that this motif might function as autonomous structural/regulatory element. In addition, our studies targeting elements of the 3' DB and its complementary region PK1 indicated that communication between 5'-3' terminal regions strongly depends on structure and sequence composition of the 5' cyclization region.
Nucleic Acids Research 03/2013; · 8.28 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mosquito-borne flavivirus RNA genomes encode one long open reading frame flanking 5'- and 3'-untranslated regions (5'- and 3'-UTRs) which contain cis-acting RNA elements playing important roles for viral RNA translation and replication. The viral RNA encodes a single polyprotein, which is processed into three structural proteins and seven nonstructural (NS) proteins. The regions coding for the seven NS proteins are sufficient for replication of the RNA. The sequences encoding the structural genes can be deleted except for two short regions. The first one encompasses 32 amino acid (aa) residues from the N-terminal coding sequence of capsid (C) and the second, 27 aa region from the C-terminus of envelope (E) protein. The deleted region can be substituted with a gene coding for a readily quantifiable reporter to give rise to a subgenomic reporter replicon. Replicons containing a variety of reporter genes and marker genes for construction of stable mammalian cell lines are valuable reagents for studying the effects of mutations in translation and/or replication in isolation from processes like the entry and assembly of the virus particles. Here we describe the construction of two West Nile virus (WNV) replicons by overlap extension PCR and standard recombinant DNA techniques. One has a Renilla luciferase (Rluc) reporter gene followed by an internal ribosome entry site (element) for cap-independent translation of the open reading frame encompassing the carboxy-terminal sequence of E to NS5. The second replicon has in tandem the Rluc gene, foot and mouth disease virus 2A, and neomycin phosphotransferase gene that allows establishment of a stable mammalian cell line expressing the Rluc reporter in the presence of the neomycin analog, G418. The stable replicon-expressing Vero cell line has been used for cell-based screening and determination of EC50 values for antiviral compounds that inhibited WNV replication.
Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2013; 1030:283-299.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 1,2-Benzisothiazol-3(2H)-ones and 1,3,4-oxadiazoles individually have recently attracted considerable interest in drug discovery, including as antibacterial and antifungal agents. In this study, a series of functionalized 1,2-benzisothiazol-3(2H)-one-1,3,4-oxadiazole hybrid derivatives were synthesized and subsequently screened against Dengue and West Nile virus proteases. Ten out of twenty-four compounds showed greater than 50% inhibition against DENV2 and WNV proteases ([I]=10μM). The IC(50) values of compound 7n against DENV2 and WNV NS2B/NS3 were found to be 3.75±0.06 and 4.22±0.07μM, respectively. The kinetics data support a competitive mode of inhibition by compound 7n. Molecular modeling studies were performed to delineate the putative binding mode of this series of compounds. This study reveals that the hybrid series arising from the linking of the two scaffolds provides a suitable platform for conducting a hit-to-lead optimization campaign via iterative structure-activity relationship studies, in vitro screening and X-ray crystallography.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Four serotypes of Dengue virus (DENV1-4), mosquito-borne members of Flaviviridae family cause frequent epidemics causing considerable morbidity and mortality in humans throughout tropical regions of the world. There is no vaccine or antiviral therapeutics available for human use. In a previous study, we reported that compounds containing the 8-hydroxyquinoline (8-HQ) scaffold as inhibitors of West Nile virus serine protease. In this study, we analyzed potencies of some compounds with (8-HQ)-aminobenzothiazole derivatives for inhibition of DENV2 protease in vitro. We identified analogs 1-4 with 2-aminothiazole or 2-aminobenzothiazole scaffold with sub-micromolar potencies (IC(50)) in the in vitro protease assays. The kinetic constant (K(i)) for the most potent 8-HQ-aminobenzothiazoleinhibitor (compound 1) with an IC(50) value of 0.91 ± 0.05 μM was determined to be 2.36 ± 0.13 μM. This compound inhibits the DENV2 NS2B/NS3pro by a competitive mode of inhibition.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dengue and West Nile viruses (WNV) are mosquito-borne members of flaviviruses that cause significant morbidity and mortality. There is no approved vaccine or antiviral drugs for human use to date. In this study, a series of functionalized meta and para aminobenzamide derivatives were synthesized and subsequently screened in vitro against Dengue virus and West Nile virus proteases. Four active compounds were identified which showed comparable activity toward the two proteases and shared in common a meta or para(phenoxy)phenyl group. The inhibition constants (K(i)) for the most potent compound 7n against Dengue and West Nile virus proteases were 8.77 and 5.55 μM, respectively. The kinetics data support a competitive mode of inhibition of both proteases by compound 7n. This conclusion is further supported by molecular modeling. This study reveals a new chemical scaffold which is amenable to further optimization to yield potent inhibitors of the viral proteases via the combined utilization of iterative medicinal chemistry/structure-activity relationship studies and in vitro screening.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne member of flaviviruses that causes significant morbidity and mortality especially among children. There is currently no approved vaccine or antiviral therapeutic for human use. In a previous study, we described compounds containing the 8-hydroxyquinoline (8-HQ) scaffold as inhibitors of WNV serine protease (NS2B/NS3pro) in a high throughput screen (HTS) using the purified WNV NS2B/NS3pro as the target. In this study, we analyzed potencies of some commercially available as well as chemically synthesized derivatives of 8-HQ by biochemical assays. An insight into the contribution of various substitutions of 8-HQ moiety for inhibition of the protease activity was revealed. Most importantly, the substitution of the N1 of the 8-HQ ring by -CH- in compound 26 significantly reduced the inhibition of the viral protease by this naphthalen-1-ol derivative. The kinetic constant (K(i)) for the most potent 8-HQ inhibitor (compound 14) with an IC(50) value of 2.01 ± 0.08 μM using the tetra-peptide substrate was determined to be 5.8 μM. This compound inhibits the WNV NS2B/NS3pro by a competitive mode of inhibition which is supported by molecular modeling.
Antiviral research 02/2012; 94(1):18-24. · 3.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two click chemistry-derived focused libraries based on the benz[d]isothiazol-3(2H)-one scaffold were synthesized and screened against Dengue virus and West Nile virus NS2B-NS3 proteases. Several compounds (4l, 7j-n) displayed noteworthy inhibitory activity toward Dengue virus NS2B-NS3 protease in the absence and presence of added detergent. These compounds could potentially serve as a launching pad for a hit-to-lead optimization campaign.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using the massively parallel genetic algorithm for RNA folding, we show that the core region of the 3'-untranslated region of the dengue virus (DENV) RNA can form two dumbbell structures (5'- and 3'-DBs) of unequal frequencies of occurrence. These structures have the propensity to form two potential pseudoknots between identical five-nucleotide terminal loops 1 and 2 (TL1 and TL2) and their complementary pseudoknot motifs, PK2 and PK1. Mutagenesis using a DENV2 replicon RNA encoding the Renilla luciferase reporter indicated that all four motifs and the conserved sequence 2 (CS2) element within the 3'-DB are important for replication. However, for translation, mutation of TL1 alone does not have any effect; TL2 mutation has only a modest effect in translation, but translation is reduced by ∼60% in the TL1/TL2 double mutant, indicating that TL1 exhibits a cooperative synergy with TL2 in translation. Despite the variable contributions of individual TL and PK motifs in translation, WT levels are achieved when the complementarity between TL1/PK2 and TL2/PK1 is maintained even under conditions of inhibition of the translation initiation factor 4E function mediated by LY294002 via a noncanonical pathway. Taken together, our results indicate that the cis-acting RNA elements in the core region of DENV2 RNA that include two DB structures are required not only for RNA replication but also for optimal translation.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2011; 286(25):22521-34. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Replicon systems have been useful to study mechanisms of translation and replication of flavivirus RNAs. In this study, we constructed a dengue virus 4 replicon encoding a Renilla luciferase (R(luc)) reporter, and six single-residue substitution mutants were generated: L128F and S158P in the non-structural protein (NS) 3 protease domain gene, and N96I, N390A, K437R and M805I in the NS5 gene. The effects of these substitutions on viral RNA translation and/or replication were examined by measuring R(luc) activities in wild-type and mutant replicon RNA-transfected Vero cells incubated at 35, 37 and 39 °C. Our results show that none of the mutations affected translation of replicon RNAs; however, L128F and S158P of NS3 at 39°C, and N96I of NS5 at 37 and 39°C, presented temperature-sensitive (ts) phenotypes for replication. Furthermore, using in vitro methyltransferase assays, we identified that the N96I mutation in NS5 exhibited a ts phenotype for N7-methylation, but not for 2'-O-methylation.
Journal of General Virology 11/2010; 91(Pt 11):2713-8. · 3.13 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bioisosteric deaza analogues of 6-methyl-9-β-D-ribofuranosylpurine, a hydrophobic analogue of adenosine, were synthesized and evaluated for antiviral activity. Whereas the 1-deaza and 3-deaza analogues were essentially inactive in plaque assays of infectivity, a novel 7-deaza-6-methyl-9-β-D-ribofuranosylpurine analogue, structurally related to the natural product tubercidin, potently inhibited replication of poliovirus (PV) in HeLa cells (IC(50) = 11 nM) and dengue virus (DENV) in Vero cells (IC(50) = 62 nM). Selectivity against PV over cytotoxic effects to HeLa cells was >100-fold after incubation for 7 h. Mechanistic studies of the 5'-triphosphate of 7-deaza-6-methyl-9-β-D-ribofuranosylpurine revealed that this compound is an efficient substrate of PV RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP) and is incorporated into RNA mimicking both ATP and GTP.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 10/2010; 53(22):7958-66. · 5.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The 1-oxo-1, 2, 3, 4-tetrahydroisoquinoline and 1-Oxo-1, 2-dihydroisoquinoline scaffolds were utilized in the design and solution phase synthesis of focused libraries of compounds for screening against West Nile Virus (WNV) protease. Exploratory studies have led to the identification of a WNV protease inhibitor (a 1-oxo-1, 2-dihydroisoquinoline-based derivative, 12j) which could potentially serve as a launching pad for a hit-to-lead optimization campaign. The identified hit was devoid of any inhibitory activity toward a panel of mammalian serine proteases.
Journal of Combinatorial Chemistry 09/2010; 12(6):836-43. · 4.93 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The 3' untranslated region (3'UTR) of the dengue virus (DENV) genome contain several sequences required for translation, replication and cyclization processes. This region also binds cellular proteins such as La, polypyrimidine tract-binding protein (PTB), Y box-binding protein 1, poly(A)-binding protein and the translation initiation factor eEF-1 alpha. PTB is a cellular protein that interacts with the regulatory sequences of positive-strand RNA viruses such as several picornaviruses and hepatitis C virus. In the present report, it was demonstrated that PTB translocates from the nucleus to the cytoplasm during DENV infection. At 48 h post-infection, PTB, as well as the DENV proteins NS1 and NS3, were found to co-localize with the endoplasmic reticulum marker calnexin. Silencing of PTB expression inhibited virus translation and replication, whilst overexpression of PTB augmented these processes. Thus, these results provide evidence that, during infection, PTB moves from the nucleus to the cytoplasm and plays an important role in the DENV replicative cycle.
Journal of General Virology 09/2009; 90(Pt 12):2893-901. · 3.13 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Detergents such as Triton X-100 are often used in drug discovery research to weed out small molecule promiscuous and non-specific inhibitors which act by aggregation in solution and undesirable precipitation in aqueous assay buffers. We evaluated the effects of commonly used detergents, Triton X-100, Tween-20, Nonidet-40 (NP-40), Brij-35, and CHAPS, on the enzymatic activity of West Nile virus (WNV) protease. Unexpectedly, Triton X-100, Tween-20, and NP-40 showed an enhancement of in vitro WNV protease activity from 2 to 2.5-fold depending on the detergent and its concentration. On the other hand, Brij-35, at 0.001% enhanced the protease activity by 1.5-fold and CHAPS had the least enhancing effect. The kinetic analysis showed that the increase in protease activity by Triton X-100 was dose-dependent. Furthermore, at Triton X-100 and Tween-20 concentrations higher than 0.001%, the inhibition of compound B, one of the lead compounds against WNV protease identified in a high throughput screen (IC(50) value of 5.7+/-2.5 microM), was reversed. However, in the presence of CHAPS, compound B still showed good inhibition of WNV protease. Our results, taken together, indicate that nonionic detergents, Triton X-100, Tween, and NP-40 are unsuitable for the purpose of discrimination of true versus promiscuous inhibitors of WNV protease in high throughput assays.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Flaviviruses are a major cause of infectious disease in humans. Dengue virus causes an estimated 50 million cases of febrile illness each year, including an increasing number of cases of hemorrhagic fever. West Nile virus, which recently spread from the Mediterranean basin to the Western Hemisphere, now causes thousands of sporadic cases of encephalitis annually. Despite the existence of licensed vaccines, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and tick-borne encephalitis also claim many thousands of victims each year across their vast endemic areas. Antiviral therapy could potentially reduce morbidity and mortality from flavivirus infections, but no effective drugs are currently available. This article introduces a collection of papers in Antiviral Research on molecular targets for flavivirus antiviral drug design and murine models of dengue virus disease that aims to encourage drug development efforts. After reviewing the flavivirus replication cycle, we discuss the envelope glycoprotein, NS3 protease, NS3 helicase, NS5 methyltransferase and NS5 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase as potential drug targets, with special attention being given to the viral protease. The other viral proteins are the subject of individual articles in the journal. Together, these papers highlight current status of drug discovery efforts for flavivirus diseases and suggest promising areas for further research.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genomes of RNA viruses encounter a continual threat from host cellular ribonucleases. Therefore, viruses have evolved mechanisms to protect the integrity of their genomes. To study the mechanism of 3'-end repair in dengue virus-2 in mammalian cells, a series of 3'-end deletions in the genome were evaluated for virus replication by detection of viral antigen NS1 and by sequence analysis. Limited deletions did not cause any delay in the detection of NS1 within 5 d. However, deletions of 7-10 nucleotides caused a delay of 9 d in the detection of NS1. Sequence analysis of RNAs from recovered viruses showed that at early times, virus progenies evolved through RNA molecules of heterogeneous lengths and nucleotide sequences at the 3' end, suggesting a possible role for terminal nucleotidyl transferase activity of the viral polymerase (NS5). However, this diversity gradually diminished and consensus sequences emerged. Template activities of 3'-end mutants in the synthesis of negative-strand RNA in vitro by purified NS5 correlate well with the abilities of mutant RNAs to repair and produce virus progenies. Using the Mfold program for RNA structure prediction, we show that if the 3' stem-loop (3' SL) structure was abrogated by mutations, viruses eventually restored the 3' SL structure. Taken together, these results favor a two-step repair process: non-template-based nucleotide addition followed by evolutionary selection of 3'-end sequences based on the best-fit RNA structure that can support viral replication.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: West Nile virus and dengue virus are mosquito-borne flaviviruses that cause a large number of human infections each year. No vaccines or chemotherapeutics are currently available. These viruses encode a serine protease that is essential for polyprotein processing, a required step in the viral replication cycle. In this study, a high-throughput screening assay for the West Nile virus protease was employed to screen approximately 32,000 small-molecule compounds for identification of inhibitors. Lead inhibitor compounds with three distinct core chemical structures (1 to 3) were identified. In a secondary screening of selected compounds, two compounds, belonging to the 8-hydroxyquinoline family (compounds A and B) and containing core structure 1, were identified as potent inhibitors of the West Nile virus protease, with K(i) values of 3.2 +/- 0.3 microM and 3.4 +/- 0.6 microM, respectively. These compounds inhibited the dengue virus type 2 protease with K(i) values of 28.6 +/- 5.1 microM and 30.2 +/- 8.6 microM, respectively, showing some selectivity in the inhibition of these viral proteases. However, the compounds show no inhibition of cellular serine proteases, trypsin, or factor Xa. Kinetic analysis and molecular docking of compound B onto the known crystal structure of the West Nile virus protease indicate that the inhibitor binds in the substrate-binding cleft. Furthermore, compound B was capable of inhibiting West Nile virus RNA replication in cultured Vero cells (50% effective concentration, 1.4 +/- 0.4 microM; selectivity index, 100), presumably by inhibition of polyprotein processing.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 08/2008; 52(9):3385-93. · 4.57 Impact Factor