Melanie Ott

Melanie Ott
University of California, San Francisco | UCSF

About

150
Publications
21,662
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
8,685
Citations

Publications

Publications (150)
Article
Hybrid immunity occurs in those who have been both infected with and vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2. But how well does such hybrid immunity protect against the virus and its emerging variants?
Article
Full-text available
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Omicron variant contains extensive sequence changes relative to the earlier-arising B.1, B.1.1, and Delta SARS-CoV-2 variants that have unknown effects on viral infectivity and response to existing vaccines. Using SARS-CoV-2 virus-like particles (VLPs), we examined mutations in all fo...
Preprint
As SARS-CoV-2 continues to spread worldwide, simple and tractable primary airway cell models that accurately recapitulate the cell-intrinsic response to arising viral variants are needed. Here we describe an adult stem cell-derived human airway organoid model overexpressing the ACE2 receptor that supports robust viral replication while maintaining...
Article
Full-text available
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection remains a worldwide public health issue despite direct-acting antivirals. A substantial proportion of infected individuals (15%-45%) spontaneously clear repeated HCV infections with genetically different viruses by generating broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs). However, translating this response into an effect...
Article
Full-text available
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) readily infects a variety of cell types impacting the function of vital organ systems, with particularly severe impact on respiratory function. Neurological symptoms, which range in severity, accompany as many as one-third of COVID-19 cases, indicating a potential vulnerability of neu...
Article
Full-text available
SARS-CoV-2 Delta and Omicron are globally relevant variants of concern (VOCs). While individuals infected with Delta are at risk to develop severe lung disease, infection with Omicron often causes milder symptoms, especially in vaccinated individuals1,2. The question arises whether widespread Omicron infections could lead to future cross-variant pr...
Article
The long-lasting COVID-19 pandemic and increasing SARS-CoV-2 variants demand effective drugs for prophylactics and treatment. Protein-based biologics offer high specificity yet their noncovalent interactions often lead to drug dissociation and incomplete inhibition. Here we developed covalent nanobodies capable of binding with SARS-CoV-2 irreversib...
Preprint
Many existing protein detection strategies depend on highly functionalized antibody reagents. A simpler and easier to produce class of detection reagent is highly desirable. We designed a single-component, recombinant, luminescent biosensor that can be expressed in laboratory strains of E. coli and S. cerevisiae. This biosensor is deployed in multi...
Article
Full-text available
Inhibitors of Bromodomain and Extra-terminal domain (BET) proteins are possible anti-SARS-CoV-2 prophylactics as they downregulate angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Here, we show that BET proteins should not be inactivated therapeutically as they are critical antiviral factors at the post-entry level. Depletion of BRD3 or BRD4 in cells overex...
Article
Full-text available
Pregnancy confers unique immune responses to infection and vaccination across gestation. To date, there is limited data comparing vaccine versus infection-induced nAb to COVID-19 variants in mothers during pregnancy. We analyzed paired maternal and cord plasma samples from 60 pregnant individuals. Thirty women vaccinated with mRNA vaccines (from De...
Preprint
Full-text available
In the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic1, considerable focus has been placed on a model of viral entry into host epithelial populations, with a separate focus upon the responding immune system dysfunction that exacerbates or causes disease. We developed a precision-cut lung slice model2,3 to investigate very ear...
Article
Full-text available
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) remains a global public health challenge with an estimated 71 million people chronically infected, with surges in new cases and no effective vaccine. New methods are needed to study the human immune response to HCV since in vivo animal models are limited and in vitro cancer cell models often show dysregulated immune and prol...
Article
Virus-like particle (VLP) and live virus assays were used to investigate neutralizing immunity against Delta and Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variants in 259 samples from 128 vaccinated individuals. Following Delta breakthrough infection, titers against WT rose 57-fold and 3.1-fold compared to uninfected boosted and unboosted individuals, respectively, versu...
Preprint
Virus-like particle (VLP) and live virus assays were used to investigate neutralizing immunity to Delta and Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variants in 239 samples from 125 fully vaccinated individuals. In uninfected, non-boosted individuals, VLP neutralization titers to Delta and Omicron were reduced 2.7-fold and 15.4-fold, respectively, compared to wild-type...
Article
SARS-CoV-2 Delta and Omicron strains are the most globally relevant variants of concern (VOCs). While individuals infected with Delta are at risk to develop severe lung disease 1 , Omicron infection causes less severe disease, mostly upper respiratory symptoms 2,3 . The question arises whether rampant spread of Omicron could lead to mass immunizati...
Preprint
Full-text available
SARS-CoV-2 non-structural protein Nsp14 is a highly conserved enzyme necessary for viral replication. Nsp14 forms a stable complex with non-structural protein Nsp10 and exhibits exoribonuclease and N7-methyltransferase activities. Protein-interactome studies identified human sirtuin 5 (SIRT5) as a putative binding partner of Nsp14. SIRT5 is an NAD-...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Omicron SARS-CoV-2 virus contains extensive sequence changes relative to the earlier arising B.1, B.1.1 and Delta SARS-CoV-2 variants that have unknown effects on viral infectivity and response to existing vaccines. Using SARS-CoV-2 virus-like particles (SC2-VLPs), we examined mutations in all four structural proteins and found that Omicron sho...
Preprint
Full-text available
Pregnancy confers unique immune responses to infection and vaccination across gestation. To date, there is limited data comparing vaccine versus infection-induced nAb to COVID-19 variants in mothers during pregnancy. We analyzed paired maternal and cord plasma samples from 60 pregnant individuals. Thirty women vaccinated with mRNA vaccines were mat...
Preprint
Full-text available
Inhibitors of Bromodomain and Extra-terminal domain (BET) proteins are possible anti-SARS-CoV-2 prophylactics as they downregulate angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Here, we show that BET proteins should not be inactivated therapeutically as they are critical antiviral factors at the post-entry level. Knockouts of BRD3 or BRD4 in cells overex...
Article
A tool to probe SARS-CoV-2 biology To develop therapies against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and emerging variants, it is important to understand the viral biology and the effect of mutations. However, this is challenging because live virus can only be studied in a few laboratories that meet stringent safety standard...
Preprint
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the leading cause of death from liver disease. How HCV infection causes lasting liver damage and increases cancer risk beyond viral clearance remains unclear. We identify bipotent liver stem cells as novel targets for HCV infection, and their erroneous differentiation as the potential cause of impaired liver regeneration...
Article
Full-text available
Direct, amplification-free detection of RNA has the potential to transform molecular diagnostics by enabling simple on-site analysis of human or environmental samples. CRISPR–Cas nucleases offer programmable RNA-guided RNA recognition that triggers cleavage and release of a fluorescent reporter molecule, but long reaction times hamper their detecti...
Preprint
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) remains a global public health challenge with an estimated 71 million people chronically infected, with surges in new cases and no effective vaccine. New methods are needed to study the human immune response to HCV since in vivo animal models are limited and in vitro cancer cell models often show dysregulated immune and prol...
Preprint
Full-text available
Newly evolved SARS-CoV-2 variants are driving ongoing outbreaks of COVID-19 around the world. Efforts to determine why these viral variants have improved fitness are limited to mutations in the viral spike (S) protein and viral entry steps using non-SARS-CoV-2 viral particles engineered to display S. Here we show that SARS-CoV-2 virus-like particle...
Preprint
Full-text available
Rapid and sensitive quantification of RNA is critical for detecting infectious diseases and identifying disease biomarkers. Recent direct detection assays based on CRISPR-Cas13a avoid reverse transcription and DNA amplification required of gold-standard PCR assays, but these assays have not yet achieved the sensitivity of PCR and are not easily mul...
Article
Full-text available
The novel SARS-CoV-2 virus emerged in December 2019 and has few effective treatments. We applied a computational drug repositioning pipeline to SARS-CoV-2 differential gene expression signatures derived from publicly available data. We utilized three independent published studies to acquire or generate lists of differentially expressed genes betwee...
Preprint
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need for exploring different diagnostic and therapeutic modalities to tackle future viral threats. In this vein, we propose the idea of sentinel cells, cellular biosensors capable of detecting viral antigens and responding to them with customizable responses. Using SARS-CoV-2 as a test case, we developed a...
Article
Full-text available
The replication of SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses depends on transcription of negative-sense RNA intermediates that serve as the templates for the synthesis of positive-sense genomic RNA (gRNA) and multiple different subgenomic mRNAs (sgRNAs) encompassing fragments arising from discontinuous transcription. Recent studies have aimed to character...
Article
We identified an emerging SARS-CoV-2 variant by viral whole-genome sequencing of 2,172 nasal/nasopharyngeal swab samples from 44 counties in California, a state in the Western United States. Named B.1.427/B.1.429 to denote its 2 lineages, the variant emerged in May 2020 and increased from 0% to >50% of sequenced cases from September 2020 to January...
Preprint
Full-text available
Direct, amplification-free detection of RNA has the potential to transform molecular diagnostics by enabling simple on-site analysis of human or environmental samples. CRISPR-Cas nucleases offer programmable RNA-guided recognition of RNA that triggers cleavage and release of a fluorescent reporter molecule 1,2 , but long reaction times hamper sensi...
Article
Full-text available
Although coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) causes cardiac dysfunction in up to 25% of patients, its pathogenesis remains unclear. Exposure of human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived heart cells to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) revealed productive infection and robust transcriptomic and morphological signa...
Preprint
Full-text available
The novel SARS-CoV-2 virus emerged in December 2019 and has few effective treatments. We applied a computational drug repositioning pipeline to SARS-CoV-2 differential gene expression signatures derived from publicly available data. We utilized three independent published studies to acquire or generate lists of differentially expressed genes betwee...
Preprint
Full-text available
We identified a novel SARS-CoV-2 variant by viral whole-genome sequencing of 2,172 remnant nasal/nasopharyngeal swab samples from 44 counties in California. Named B.1.427/B.1.429 or 20C/L452R, the variant emerged around May 2020 and increased from 0% to >50% of sequenced cases from September 1, 2020 to January 29, 2021, exhibiting an estimated 18.6...
Article
Full-text available
A hallmark of coronavirus transcription is the generation of negative-sense RNA intermediates that serve as the templates for the synthesis of positive-sense genomic RNA (gRNA) and an array of subgenomic mRNAs (sgRNAs) encompassing sequences arising from discontinuous transcription. Existing PCR-based diagnostic assays for SAR-CoV-2 are qualitative...
Article
An ability to activate latent HIV-1 expression could benefit many HIV cure strategies, but the first generation of latency reversing agents (LRAs) has proven disappointing. We evaluated AKT/mTOR activators as a potential new class of LRAs. Two glycogen synthase kinase-3 inhibitors (GSK-3i’s), SB-216763 and tideglusib (the latter already in phase II...
Preprint
Full-text available
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) readily infects a variety of cell types impacting the function of vital organ systems, with particularly severe impact on respiratory function. It proves fatal for one percent of those infected. Neurological symptoms, which range in severity, accompany a significant proportion of COVI...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Preprint
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-borne RNA virus that can infect fetuses in utero causing characteristic neurodevelopmental disorders including microcephaly. We previously showed that ZIKV infection downregulates expression of up-frameshift protein 1 (UPF1), a helicase/ATPase and central regulator of the nonsense-mediated mRNA decay pathway. Here, w...
Article
Full-text available
Declining tissue nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) levels are linked to ageing and its associated diseases. However, the mechanism for this decline is unclear. Here, we show that pro-inflammatory M1-like macrophages, but not naive or M2 macrophages, accumulate in metabolic tissues, including visceral white adipose tissue and liver, during age...
Article
Full-text available
Quiescence is a hallmark of CD4+ T cells latently infected with human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1). While reversing this quiescence is an effective approach to reactivate latent HIV from T cells in culture, it can cause deleterious cytokine dysregulation in patients. As a key regulator of T-cell quiescence, FOXO1 promotes latency and suppresses...
Article
The Nonsense-mediated mRNA Decay (NMD) pathway is an RNA quality control pathway conserved among eukaryotic cells. While historically thought to predominantly recognize transcripts with premature termination codons, it is now known that the NMD pathway plays a variety of roles, from homeostatic events to control of viral pathogens. In this review w...
Preprint
Full-text available
Quiescence is a hallmark of CD4+ T cells latently infected with HIV-1. While reversing this quiescence is an effective approach to reactivate latent HIV from T cells in culture, it can cause deleterious cytokine dysregulation in patients. Here we report that FOXO1, a key regulator of T-cell quiescence, promotes latency and suppresses productive HIV...
Article
Full-text available
Innate immune responses to Zika virus (ZIKV) are dampened in the lower female reproductive tract (LFRT) compared to other tissues, but the mechanism that underlies this vulnerability is poorly understood. Using tissues from uninfected and vaginally ZIKV-infected macaques and mice, we show that low basal expression of RNA-sensing pattern recognition...
Patent
The present disclosure provides compositions and methods for reactivating latent immunodeficiency virus and / or reduc ing transcription of HIV integrated into the genome of an HIV-infected cell. The present disclosure provides compo sitions and methods for treating an immunodeficiency virus infection .
Article
Full-text available
Post-translational modifications of the RNA polymerase II C-terminal domain (CTD) coordinate the transcription cycle. Crosstalk between different modifications is poorly understood. Here, we show how acetylation of lysine residues at position 7 of characteristic heptad repeats (K7ac)—only found in higher eukaryotes—regulates phosphorylation of seri...
Preprint
Full-text available
Post-translational modifications of the RNA polymerase II C-terminal domain (CTD) coordinate the transcription cycle. Crosstalk between different modifications is poorly understood. Here, we show how acetylation of lysine residues at position 7 of characteristic heptad repeats (K7ac)—only found in higher eukaryotes—regulates phosphorylation of seri...
Article
Full-text available
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a significant global health threat, as infection has been linked to serious neurological complications, including microcephaly. Using a human stem cell-derived neural progenitor model system, we find that a critical cellular quality control process called the nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) pathway is disrupted during ZIKV i...
Preprint
Zika virus (ZIKV) infection of neural progenitor cells (NPCs) in utero is associated with neurological disorders, such as microcephaly ¹ , but a detailed molecular understanding of ZIKV-induced pathogenesis is lacking. Here we show that in vitro ZIKV infection of human cells, including NPCs, causes disruption of the nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NM...
Article
Full-text available
Post-translational acetylation of lysine residues has emerged as a key regulatory mechanism in all eukaryotic organisms. Originally discovered in 1963 as a unique modification of histones, acetylation marks are now found on thousands of nonhistone proteins located in virtually every cellular compartment. Here we summarize key findings in the field...
Article
Full-text available
The expansion of CD8 ⁺ CD28 – T cells, a population of terminally differentiated memory T cells, is one of the most consistent immunological changes in humans during aging. CD8 ⁺ CD28 – T cells are highly cytotoxic, and their frequency is linked to many age-related diseases. As they do not accumulate in mice, many of the molecular mechanisms regula...
Article
A successful HIV cure strategy may require reversing HIV latency to purge hidden viral reservoirs or enhancing HIV latency to permanently silence HIV transcription. Epigenetic modifying agents show promise as antilatency therapeutics in vitro and ex vivo, but also affect other steps in the viral life cycle. In this review, we summarize what we know...
Article
BET proteins commonly activate cellular gene expression, yet inhibiting their recruitment paradoxically reactivates latent HIV-1 transcription. Here we identify the short isoform of BET family member BRD4 (BRD4S) as a corepressor of HIV-1 transcription. We found that BRD4S was enriched in chromatin fractions of latently infected T cells, and it was...
Article
The main obstacle to eradicating HIV-1 from patients is post-integration latency (Finzi et al., 1999). Antiretroviral treatments target only actively replicating virus, while latent infections that have low or no transcriptional activity remain untreated (Sedaghat et al., 2007). To eliminate viral reservoirs, one strategy focuses on reversing HIV-1...
Method
The main obstacle to eradicating HIV-1 from patients is post-integration latency (Finzi et al., 1999). Antiretroviral treatments target only actively replicating virus, while latent infections that have low or no transcriptional activity remain untreated (Sedaghat et al., 2007). A combination of antiretroviral treatments with latency-purging strate...
Article
Full-text available
Transcriptional latency of HIV is a last barrier to viral eradication. Chromatin-remodeling complexes and post-translational histone modifications likely play key roles in HIV-1 reactivation, but the underlying mechanisms are incompletely understood. We performed an RNAi-based screen of human lysine methyltransferases and identified the SET and MYN...
Article
Full-text available
understanding the host immune response to vaginal exposure to rnA viruses is required to combat sexual transmission of this class of pathogens. In this study, using lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LcMV) and Zika virus (ZIKV) in wild-type mice, we show that these viruses replicate in the vaginal mucosa with minimal induction of antiviral interfe...
Article
A population of CD4 T lymphocytes harboring latent HIV genomes can persist in patients on antiretroviral therapy, posing a barrier to HIV eradication. To examine cellular complexes controlling HIV latency, we conducted a genome-wide screen with a pooled ultracomplex shRNA library and in vitro system modeling HIV latency and identified the mTOR comp...
Article
Full-text available
Integration is a key feature of the retroviral life cycle. This process involves packaging of the viral genome into chromatin, which is often assumed to occur as a post-integration step. In this issue of Cell Host & Microbe, Wang and colleagues (Wang et al., 2016) show that chromatinization occurs before integration, raising new questions about the...
Article
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of liver disease worldwide. To establish and maintain chronic infection, HCV extensively rearranges cellular organelles to generate distinct compartments for viral RNA replication and virion assembly. Here, we review our current knowledge of how HCV proliferates and remodels ER-derived membranes while preser...
Article
Full-text available
Antiretroviral therapy is not curative. Given the challenges in providing lifelong therapy to a global population of more than 35 million people living with HIV, there is intense interest in developing a cure for HIV infection. The International AIDS Society convened a group of international experts to develop a scientific strategy for research tow...
Article
Full-text available
The HIV-1 transactivator protein Tat is a critical regulator of HIV transcription primarily enabling efficient elongation of viral transcripts. Its interactions with RNA and various host factors are regulated by ordered, transient posttranslational modifications (PTMs). Here, we report a novel Tat modification, monomethylation at lysine-71 (K71). W...
Article
Persistent viral infections are widespread and represent significant public health burdens. Some viruses endure in a latent state by co-opting the host epigenetic machinery to manipulate viral gene expression. Small molecules targeting epigenetic pathways are now in the clinic for certain cancers and are considered as potential treatment strategies...