[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BST-2 blocks the particle release of various enveloped viruses including HIV-1, and this antiviral activity is dependent on the topological arrangement of its four structural domains. Several functions of the cytoplasmic tail (CT) of BST-2 have been previously discussed, but the exact role of this domain remains to be clearly defined. In this study, we investigated the impact of truncation and commonly-used tags addition into the CT region of human BST-2 on its intracellular trafficking and signaling as well as its anti-HIV-1 function. The CT-truncated BST-2 exhibited potent inhibition on Vpu-defective HIV-1 and even wild-type HIV-1. However, the N-terminal HA-tagged CT-truncated BST-2 retained little antiviral activity and dramatically differed from its original protein in the cell surface level and intracellular localization. Further, we showed that the replacement of the CT domain with a hydrophobic tag altered BST-2 function possibly by preventing its normal vesicular trafficking. Notably, we demonstrated that a positive charged motif "KRXK" in the conjunctive region between the cytotail and the transmembrane domain which is conserved in primate BST-2 is important for the protein trafficking and the antiviral function. These results suggest that although the CT of BST-2 is not essential for its antiviral activity, the composition of residues in this region may play important roles in its normal trafficking which subsequently affected its function. These observations provide additional implications for the structure-function model of BST-2.
PLoS ONE 10/2014; 9(10):e111422. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
All lentiviruses except equine infectious anemia virus (EIVA) antagonize antiviral family APOBEC3 (A3) proteins of the host through viral Vif proteins. The mechanism by which Vif of human, simian or feline immunodeficiency viruses (HIV/SIV/FIV) suppresses the corresponding host A3s has been studied extensively.ResultsHere, we determined that bovine immunodeficiency virus (BIV) and maedi-visna virus (MVV) Vif proteins utilize the Cullin (Cul)-ElonginB (EloB)-ElonginC (EloC) complex (BIV Vif recruits Cul2, while MVV Vif recruits Cul5) to degrade Bos taurus (bt)A3Z2-Z3 and Ovis aries (oa)A3Z2-Z3, respectively, via a proteasome-dependent but a CBF-ß-independent pathway. Mutation of the BC box in BIV and MVV Vif, C-terminal hydrophilic replacement of btEloC and oaEloC and dominant-negative mutants of btCul2 and oaCul5 could disrupt the activity of BIV and MVV Vif, respectively. While the membrane-permeable zinc chelator TPEN could block BIV Vif-mediated degradation of btA3Z2-Z3, it had minimal effects on oaA3Z2-Z3 degradation induced by MVV Vif, indicating that Zn is important for the activity of BIV Vif but not MVV Vif. Furthermore, we identified a previously unreported zinc binding loop [C-x1-C-x1-H-x19-C] in the BIV Vif upstream BC box which is critical for its degradation activity.ConclusionsA novel zinc binding loop was identified in the BIV Vif protein that is important for the E3 ubiquination activity, suggesting that the degradation of btA3Z2-Z3 by BIV and that of oaA3Z2-Z3 by MVV Vif may need host factors other than CBF-ß.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adenoviruses (Ads) are nonenveloped DNA viruses that have been extensively studied and used as vectors for gene therapy and several potential vaccines. There are 57 Ad serotypes in seven species (A-G), and Ad neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) titers can vary by serotypes and geographic location. Until now serotype- and species-specific antibodies have been detected by neutralization or hemagglutination inhibition assays. These expensive and cumbersome methods of adenovirus typing have mainly been used in epidemiological studies. Our prior work demonstrated that NAbs against the fiber protein are commonly generated during natural Ad infection in humans and the trimeric knob is preferentially recognized by fiber-induced NAbs. In this study, we expressed nine trimeric knob proteins from representative Ad serotypes of human Ad (HAdV)-A to -F in Escherichia coli and found no cross-reactivity of these recombinant proteins with rabbit hyperimmune sera (among HAdV-A to -F or within HAdV-C). Results of the ELISA based on Ad2 and Ad5 (both HAdV-C) knob proteins were consistent with those of neutralization assays, indicating that the trimeric knob protein would be a good candidate antigen for detecting Ad serotype-specific NAbs in sera from naturally infected subjects. We also demonstrated the primary seroepidemiology of nine Ad serotypes in 274 children samples by the knob-based ELISA. These results will have potential implications for epidemiology of Ad serotypes and future development of Ad-based vaccines and gene therapy.
Journal of General Virology 04/2014; · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mucin 1 (MUC1) is a tumor-associated antigen that is overexpressed in several adenocarcinomas. However, clinical trials with MUC1 showed that MUC1 is a relatively poor immunogen in humans. In view of the low immunogenicity of this protein vaccine, we designed a method based on an immunoadjuvant and immunization strategy to enhance the cellular immune response to this protein vaccine. DDA/MPL has been evaluated as an adjuvant to induce strong immunity for the tuberculosis vaccine. However, its adjuvant role combined with the vaccine targeting MUC1 in malignant carcinomas has not previously been reported. Our previous study showed that adenovirus prime protein boost vaccination could significantly enhance the cellular immunity and antitumor efficacy. In our study, we used MUC1 VNTRs as the target of cancer vaccine and DDA/MPL as the adjuvant to enhancing the cellular immunity of recombinant MUC1 protein vaccine, and an AD-9M adenoviral vector prime-recombinant protein and DDA/MPL boost (designated MUC-1 VPP vaccine) strategy was studied to enhance the antitumor efficacy. The results demonstrated that antigen-specific IFN-γ-secreting T cells were increased by 2-fold, and cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) were induced effectively when the protein vaccine was combined with the DDA/MPL adjuvant. Moreover, the vaccination induced nearly 60% inhibition of the growth of B16 melanoma in mice and prolonged the survival of tumor-bearing mice. The inhibition was correlated with the specific immune responses induced by the MUC1 VPP vaccine. The data suggested that DDA/MPL-adjuvant MUC-1 VPP vaccine may be developed into effective tumor vaccines for melanomas and possibly for other tumors expressing MUC1 protein.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although the existence of cancer stem cells (CSCs) has been demonstrated in colorectal cancer, further investigation is hindered by controversies over their surface markers. The sphere formation assay is widely used as in vitro method for derivation and characterization of CSCs based on the intrinsic self-renewal property of these cells. Isolated cancer cells that form tumorspheres are generally recognized as CSCs with self-renewal and tumorigenic capacities. In this study, colon spheres grown from Caco-2 cells in the sphere formation assay were separated from other differentiated cells and characterized. Compared with Caco-2 cells, the derived colon spheres lost several CSC properties. The colon spheres contained decreased levels of specific colorectal CSC surface markers as well as low levels of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters typically overexpressed in CSCs, resulting in the near loss of their chemoresistance ability. Furthermore, cells that developed as colon spheres with strong self-renewal ability in vitro lost their tumorigenic capacity in vivo compared with Caco-2 cells, which could establish tumors in non-obese diabetic/severe-combined immunodeficient (NOD/SCID) mice. The results indicated that the Caco-2 cell derived colon spheres did not consist of colorectal CSCs. Thus, the well-accepted sphere formation assay may not be an effective method for CSC isolation and characterization from the Caco-2 colorectal cancer cell line.
Current Stem Cell Research & Therapy 11/2013; · 2.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The HIV-1 accessory factor Vif is necessary for efficient viral infection in non-permissive cells. Vif antagonizes the antiviral activity of human cytidine deaminase APOBEC3 proteins that confer the non-permissive phenotype by tethering them (APOBEC3DE/3F/3G) to the Vif-CBF-beta-ElonginB-ElonginC-Cullin5-Rbx (Vif-CBF-beta-EloB-EloC-Cul5-Rbx) E3 complex to induce their proteasomal degradation. EloB and EloC were initially reported as positive regulatory subunits of the Elongin (SIII) complex. Thereafter, EloB and EloC were found to be components of Cul-E3 complexes, contributing to proteasomal degradation of specific substrates. CBF-beta is a newly identified key regulator of Vif function, and more information is needed to further clarify its regulatory mechanism. Here, we comprehensively investigated the functions of EloB (together with EloC) in the Vif-CBF-beta-Cul5 E3 ligase complex.
The results revealed that: (1) EloB (and EloC) positively affected the recruitment of CBF-beta to Vif. Both knockdown of endogenous EloB and over-expression of its mutant with a 34-residue deletion in the COOH-terminal tail (EloBDeltaC34/EBDeltaC34) impaired the Vif-CBF-beta interaction. (2) Introduction of both the Vif SLQ [rightwards arrow] AAA mutant (VifDeltaSLQ, which dramatically impairs Vif-EloB-EloC binding) and the Vif PPL [rightwards arrow] AAA mutant (VifDeltaPPL, which is thought to reduce Vif-EloB binding) could reduce CBF-beta binding. (3) EloB-EloC but not CBF-beta could greatly enhance the folding of full-length Vif in Escherichia coli. (4) The over-expression of EloB or the N-terminal ubiquitin-like (UbL) domain of EloB could significantly improve the stability of Vif/VifDeltaSLQ/VifDeltaPPL through the region between residues 9 and 14.
Our results indicate that the Vif interaction with EloB-EloC may contribute to recruitment of CBF-beta to Vif, demonstrating that the EloB C-teminus may play a role in improving Vif function and that the over-expression of EloB results in Vif stabilization.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tetherin/BST-2/CD317 inhibits HIV-1 release from infected cells, while HIV-1 Vpu efficiently antagonizes tetherin based on intermolecular interactions between the transmembrane domains of each protein. In this study, we successfully partially purified His-tagged tetherin with a glycophosphatidylinositol deletion (delGPI) and His-tagged full-length Vpu from transiently transfected 293T cells using affinity chromatography. The in vitro interaction between these purified proteins was observed by a pull-down assay and ELISA. Detection of the Vpu/tetherin interaction by ELISA is a novel approach that would be advantageous for inhibitor screening in vitro. Successful co-purification of the tetherin/Vpu complex also provides a basis for further structural studies.
Protein Expression and Purification 08/2013; · 1.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although it is known that Ad5-specific neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) against three major viral capsid components (hexon, penton and fiber) are generated, differences in the frequency and nature of these pre-existing NAbs remain unclear. The results emphasized the contribution of anti-fiber antibodies to Ad5 neutralization responses generated during natural viral infection. Additionally, Ad5-specific NAbs against the fiber knob protein were present in over 90% of the positive serum samples while 42% of the sera had NAbs against hexon in this study based on neutralization assay of anti-HVR and anti-knob subtracted sera and Western blotting analysis. We also found that the trimeric knob was preferentially recognized by fiber-induced NAbs and it was serotype-specific in human adenovirus species C. Results indicated that the trimeric knob protein would be a good candidate antigen for detecting adenovirus serotype-specific NAbs in naturally infected sera.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tetherin/BST-2/CD317 inhibits HIV-1 release from infected cells, but the viral Vpu protein efficiently antagonizes this antiviral activity through direct interaction between the transmembrane (TM) domains of each protein. Here, we demonstrated that overexpression of an inactive tetherin delGPI mutant, the TM domain of which could competitively block Vpu targeting of endogenous tetherin, potently inhibited HIV-1 release from human tetherin-positive cells in both transient and stable expression conditions. These results also suggest that heterologous dimerization occurred between the delGPI mutant and endogenous tetherin. These findings suggest that blocking the Vpu/tetherin interface may be a novel therapeutic approach against HIV-1 release. STRUCTURED SUMMARY OF PROTEIN INTERACTIONS: VpuandTetherincolocalizebyfluorescence microscopy(View interaction)Tetherinphysically interactswithVpubyanti tag coimmunoprecipitation(View interaction).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A process for human influenza H1N1 virus vaccine production from Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells using a novel packed-bed bioreactor is described in this report. The mini-bioreactor was used to study the relationship between cell density and glucose consumption rate and to optimize the infection parameters of the influenza H1N1 virus (A/New Caledonia/20/99). The MDCK cell culture and virus infection were then monitored in a disposable perfusion bioreactor (AmProtein Current Perfusion Bioreactor) with proportional-integral-derivative control of pH, dissolved O(2) (DO), agitation, and temperature. During 6 days of culture, the total cell number increased from 2.0 × 10(9) to 3.2 × 10(10) cells. The maximum virus titers of 768 hemagglutinin units/100 μL and 7.8 × 10(7) 50 % tissue culture infectious doses/mL were obtained 3 days after infection. These results demonstrate that using a disposable perfusion bioreactor for large-scale cultivation of MDCK cells, which allows for the control of DO, pH, and other conditions, is a convenient and stable platform for industrial-scale production of influenza vaccines.
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 09/2012; · 3.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Survivin is overexpressed in major types of cancer and is considered an ideal "universal" tumor-associated antigen that can be targeted by immunotherapeutic vaccines. However, its anti-apoptosis function raises certain safety concerns. Here, a new truncated human survivin, devoid of the anti-apoptosis function, was generated as a candidate tumor vaccine. Interleukin 2 (IL-2) has been widely used as an adjuvant for vaccination against various diseases. Meanwhile, the DNA prime and recombinant adenovirus (rAd) boost heterologous immunization strategy has been proven to be highly effective in enhancing immune responses. Therefore, the efficacy of a new cancer vaccine based on a truncated form of survivin, combined with IL-2, DNA prime, and rAd boost, was tested. As prophylaxis, immunization with the DNA vaccine alone resulted in a weak immune response and modest anti-tumor effect, whereas the tumor inhibition ratio with the DNA vaccine administered with IL-2 increased to 89 % and was further increased to nearly 100 % by rAd boosting. Moreover, complete tumor rejection was observed in 5 of 15 mice. Efficacy of the vaccine administered therapeutically was enhanced by nearly 300 % when combined with carboplatin. These results indicated that vaccination with a truncated survivin vaccine using DNA prime-rAd boost combined with IL-2 adjuvant and carboplatin represents an attractive strategy to overcoming immune tolerance to tumors and has potential therapeutic benefits in melanoma cancer.
Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy 06/2012; 61(10):1857-67. · 3.64 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs may function to promote or suppress tumor development, depending on the cellular context. The important role of microRNAs in regulating molecular pathways underlying tumorigenesis has been emphasized in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). MicroRNAs regulate gene expression via post-transcriptional mechanisms by inhibiting translation or by degrading mRNA. In this study, we show that microRNA-1 (miR-1) and microRNA-499 (miR-499) are capable of repressing the expression of the ets1 proto-oncogene, which plays a fundamental role in the extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation, a process required for tumor cell invasion and migration. We used luciferase reporter assays to demonstrate that miR-1 and miR-499 target the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of ets1. Overexpression of miR-1 and miR-499 in HepG2 cells led to downregulation of ets1 mRNA and protein as assessed by quantitative reverse transcription PCR and western blot analysis. Furthermore, overexpression of miR-1 and miR-499 inhibited the invasion and migration of HepG2 cells in matrigel invasion and transwell migration assays, respectively. These results suggest that miR-1 and miR-499 may play an important role in the pathogenesis of HCC by regulating ets1.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adenovirus is widely used in gene therapy and vaccination as a viral vector, and its hypervariable regions (HVRs) on hexon are the main antigen recognition sites of adenovirus. The modification of this area by genetic engineering will change the antigenic specificity of the virus. In addition, recent studies have demonstrated the importance of coagulation factor X (FX) in adenovirus serotype 5-mediated liver transduction in vivo. The binding site of adenovirus to FX is the HVRs on hexon. By constructing five proteins containing chimeric HVRs from different adenovirus serotypes, we focused on the antigenic specificity and the affinity for FX of these proteins compared with the corresponding viruses. Our data showed that HVR5 and HVR7 had only a part of hexon activity to neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) compared with the complete activity of HVR1-7. Results also demonstrated a differential high-affinity interaction of the HVRs proteins with FX and indicated that HVRs protein had a similar binding ability with corresponding adenovirus serotype. These results highlighted some properties of chimeric HVRs proteins and revealed the influence on the structure and function of hexon proteins and adenovirus resulting from the HVRs.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 04/2012; 421(2):170-6. · 2.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The HIV-1 viral infectivity factor (Vif) protein is essential for viral replication. Vif recruits cellular ElonginB/C-Cullin5 E3 ubiquitin ligase to target the host antiviral protein APOBEC3G (A3G) for proteasomal degradation. In the absence of Vif, A3G is packaged into budding HIV-1 virions and introduces multiple mutations in the newly synthesized minus-strand viral DNA to restrict virus replication. Thus, the A3G-Vif-E3 complex represents an attractive target for development of novel anti-HIV drugs. In this study, we identified a potent small molecular compound (VEC-5) by virtual screening and validated its anti-Vif activity through biochemical analysis. We show that VEC-5 inhibits virus replication only in A3G-positive cells. Treatment with VEC-5 increased cellular A3G levels when Vif was coexpressed and enhanced A3G incorporation into HIV-1 virions to reduce viral infectivity. Coimmunoprecipitation and computational analysis further attributed the anti-Vif activity of VEC-5 to the inhibition of Vif from direct binding to the ElonginC protein. These findings support the notion that suppressing Vif function can liberate A3G to carry out its antiviral activity and demonstrate that regulation of the Vif-ElonginC interaction is a novel target for small-molecule inhibitors of HIV-1.
Journal of Virology 02/2012; 86(10):5497-507. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to investigate the transport mechanism of exendin-4 using Madin Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cell monolayer as an in vitro model of the human intestinal barrier. The roles of active and passive mechanisms of exendin-4 in the cell models were well studied and the corresponding contributions of the transcelluar and paracellular pathway to exendin-4 transport were also evaluated. Moreover, the apparent permeability coefficient (P(app)) values of exendin-4 were determined in the presence of chitosan, sodium decanoate and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) to further confirm the relative transport mechanism and to evaluate their potential utility in future formulation design. The results revealed the low transport capacity of exendin-4 (P(app), 0.10±0.06×10(-6) cm/s). And exendin-4 transport across the cell models was time and concentration-dependence, direction and energy-independence, and similar to the passive transport marker. Drug efflux and active transport were not observed. In the presence of absorption enhancers, the P(app) value significantly increased up to 2.2-11.9 folds without apparent cytotoxicity, which is comparable to that of the paracellular transport marker. And the order of enhancement was to the effect of chitosan>EDTA>sodium decanoate, and the order of safety was sodium decanoate≈chitosan>EDTA. These findings demonstrated that exendin-4 transport across MDCK cell monolayer mainly by passive paracellular pathway, which agrees with the result of confocal laser scanning microscopy. And these absorption enhancers can be used as potential safe ingredients to improve oral efficacy of exendin-4.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Survivin, as an apoptosis suppressor, exists as a homodimer interfacing at the N-terminal portion (residues 6-13) of its baculovirus IAP repeat (BIR) domain and a linker segment (residues 89-102). Here we expressed full-length human Survivin (SurF) and a series of its mutants, SurΔN7, SurΔN13, and SurΔN18 with significant truncations of the N-terminus, all of which could still dimerize in solution. Single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) was used to quantitate the unbinding forces of full-length and the mutant homodimers and revealed that the N-terminal residues up to Arg18 were not essential for dimerization. Meanwhile, the binding of SurΔN7 to Smac/DIABLO determined by ELISA was as efficient as the wild-type, but that of SurΔN13 was significantly reduced, and that of SurΔN18 was completely lost. Together, these findings provide direct evidence that the N-terminal sequence of Survivin is not critical for dimer formation but may contribute to correct folding and function of BIR.
The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 11/2010; 114(47):15656-62. · 3.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mucin 1 (MUC1) is a tumor-associated antigen that carries the important variable-number tandem repeat (VNTR) epitopes for inducing cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Such a property makes MUC1 VNTR potentially attractive for immunotherapy. This study explored the possibility of developing an efficient anti-tumor vaccine strategy using the specific antitumor immunity induced by the MUC1 VNTR DNA vaccine combined with the adjuvant effect of a plasmid expressing murine interleukin-2 (IL-2). The results showed that the MUC1 VNTR DNA vaccine successfully induced both humoral and cellular immune responses against MUC1 VNTR in mice. The effect could be obviously enhanced by increasing the number of tandem repeats, the number of immunizations, and by co-administration of the cytokine plasmid. The growth of MUC1-expressing (MUC1(+)) tumors was significantly inhibited in mice immunized with the MUC1 VNTR DNA vaccine combined with the IL-2 plasmid, both before and after tumor challenge. A much larger percentage of the immunized mice survived tumor challenge than the non-immunized mice. The combination of the MUC1 VNTR DNA vaccine and the IL-2 adjuvant plasmid provides an attractive alternative for prophylactic and therapeutic vaccinations against MUC1(+) tumors.
Human Immunology 04/2008; 69(4-5):250-8. · 2.28 Impact Factor