[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Herpes viruses persist in the infected host and are transmitted between hosts in the presence of a fully functional humoral immune response, suggesting that they can evade neutralization by antiviral antibodies. Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) encodes a number of polymorphic highly glycosylated virion glycoproteins (g), including the essential envelope glycoprotein, gN. We have tested the hypothesis that glycosylation of gN contributes to resistance of the virus to neutralizing antibodies. Recombinant viruses carrying deletions in serine/threonine rich sequences within the glycosylated surface domain of gN were constructed in the genetic background of HCMV strain AD169. The deletions had no influence on the formation of the gM/gN complex and in vitro replication of the respective viruses compared to the parent virus. The gN-truncated viruses were significantly more susceptible to neutralization by a gN-specific monoclonal antibody and in addition by a number of gB- and gH-specific monoclonal antibodies. Sera from individuals previously infected with HCMV also more efficiently neutralized gN-truncated viruses. Immunization of mice with viruses that expressed the truncated forms of gN resulted in significantly higher serum neutralizing antibody titers against the homologous strain that was accompanied by increased antibody titers against known neutralizing epitopes on gB and gH. Importantly, neutralization activity of sera from animals immunized with gN-truncated virus did not exhibit enhanced neutralizing activity against the parental wild type virus carrying the fully glycosylated wild type gN. Our results indicate that the extensive glycosylation of gN could represent a potentially important mechanism by which HCMV neutralization by a number of different antibody reactivities can be inhibited.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many SIV isolates can employ the orphan receptor GPR15 as coreceptor for efficient entry into transfected cell lines, but the role of endogenously expressed GPR15 in SIV cell tropism is largely unclear. Here, we show that several human B and T cell lines express GPR15 on the cell surface, including the T/B cell hybrid cell line CEMx174, and that GPR15 expression is essential for SIV infection of CEMx174 cells. In addition, GPR15 expression was detected on subsets of primary human CD4(+), CD8(+) and CD19(+) peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), respectively. However, GPR15(+) PBMCs were not efficiently infected by HIV and SIV, including cells from individuals homozygous for the defective Δ32 ccr5 allele. These results suggest that GPR15 is coexpressed with CD4 on PBMCs but that infection of CD4(+), GPR15(+) cells is not responsible for the well documented ability of SIV to infect CCR5(-) blood cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), a herpesvirus, is a ubiquitously distributed pathogen that causes severe disease in immunosuppressed patients and infected newborns. Efforts are underway to prepare effective subunit vaccines and therapies including antiviral antibodies. However, current vaccine efforts are hampered by the lack of information on protective immune responses against HCMV. Characterizing the B-cell response in healthy infected individuals could aid in the design of optimal vaccines and therapeutic antibodies. To address this problem, we determined, for the first time, the B-cell repertoire against glycoprotein B (gB) of HCMV in different healthy HCMV seropositive individuals in an unbiased fashion. HCMV gB represents a dominant viral antigenic determinant for induction of neutralizing antibodies during infection and is also a component in several experimental HCMV vaccines currently being tested in humans. Our findings have revealed that the vast majority (>90%) of gB-specific antibodies secreted from B-cell clones do not have virus neutralizing activity. Most neutralizing antibodies were found to bind to epitopes not located within the previously characterized antigenic domains (AD) of gB. To map the target structures of these neutralizing antibodies, we generated a 3D model of HCMV gB and used it to identify surface exposed protein domains. Two protein domains were found to be targeted by the majority of neutralizing antibodies. Domain I, located between amino acids (aa) 133-343 of gB and domain II, a discontinuous domain, built from residues 121-132 and 344-438. Analysis of a larger panel of human sera from HCMV seropositive individuals revealed positivity rates of >50% against domain I and >90% against domain II, respectively. In accordance with previous nomenclature the domains were designated AD-4 (Dom II) and AD-5 (Dom I), respectively. Collectively, these data will contribute to optimal vaccine design and development of antibodies effective in passive immunization.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The calcium-dependent lectins DC-SIGN and DC-SIGNR (collectively termed DC-SIGN/R) bind to high-mannose carbohydrates on a variety of viruses. In contrast, the related lectin LSECtin does not recognize mannose-rich glycans and interacts with a more restricted spectrum of viruses. Here, we analyzed whether these lectins differ in their mode of ligand engagement. LSECtin and DC-SIGNR, which we found to be co-expressed by liver, lymph node and bone marrow sinusoidal endothelial cells, bound to soluble Ebola virus glycoprotein (EBOV-GP) with comparable affinities. Similarly, LSECtin, DC-SIGN and the Langerhans cell-specific lectin Langerin readily bound to soluble human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) GP. However, only DC-SIGN captured HIV-1 particles, indicating that binding to soluble GP is not necessarily predictive of binding to virion-associated GP. Capture of EBOV-GP by LSECtin triggered ligand internalization, suggesting that LSECtin like DC-SIGN might function as an antigen uptake receptor. However, the intracellular fate of lectin-ligand complexes might differ. Thus, exposure to low-pH medium, which mimics the acidic luminal environment in endosomes/lysosomes, released ligand bound to DC-SIGN/R but had no effect on LSECtin interactions with ligand. Our results reveal important differences between pathogen capture by DC-SIGN/R and LSECtin and hint towards different biological functions of these lectins.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: LSECtin is a member of the C-type lectin family of glycan-binding receptors that is expressed on sinusoidal endothelial cells
of the liver and lymph nodes. To compare the sugar and pathogen binding properties of LSECtin with those of related but more
extensively characterized receptors, such as DC-SIGN, a soluble fragment of LSECtin consisting of the C-terminal carbohydrate-recognition
domain has been expressed in bacteria. A biotin-tagged version of the protein was also generated and complexed with streptavidin
to create tetramers. These forms of the carbohydrate-recognition domain were used to probe a glycan array and to characterize
binding to oligosaccharide and glycoprotein ligands. LSECtin binds with high selectivity to glycoproteins terminating in GlcNAcβ1-2Man.
The inhibition constant for this disaccharide is 3.5 μm, making it one of the best low molecular weight ligands known for any C-type lectin. As a result of the selective binding
of this disaccharide unit, the receptor recognizes glycoproteins with a truncated complex and hybrid N-linked glycans on glycoproteins. Glycan analysis of the surface glycoprotein of Ebola virus reveals the presence of such
truncated glycans, explaining the ability of LSECtin to facilitate infection by Ebola virus. High mannose glycans are also
present on the viral glycoprotein, which explains why DC-SIGN also binds to this virus. Thus, multiple receptors interact
with surface glycoproteins of enveloped viruses that bear different types of relatively poorly processed glycans.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The C-type lectin DC-SIGN binds to oligosaccharides on the human and simian immunodeficiency virus (HIV, SIV) envelope glycoproteins and promotes infection of susceptible cells. Here, we show that DC-SIGN recognizes glycans involved in SIV sensitivity to neutralizing antibodies and that binding to DC-SIGN confers neutralization resistance to an otherwise sensitive SIV variant. Moreover, we provide evidence that mannose-binding lectin (MBL) can interfere with HIV-1 neutralization by the carbohydrate-specific antibody 2G12.