Mechanism of interferon action: identification of a RNA binding domain within the N-terminal region of the human RNA-dependent P1/eIF-2 alpha protein kinase.
McCormack S J,Thomis D C,Samuel C E
A molecular cDNA clone of the human RNA-dependent P1/eIF-2 alpha protein kinase was expressed in Escherichia coli. Mutant P1 proteins were examined for RNA binding activity by Northwestern blot analysis using the reovirus s1 mRNA, an activator of the kinase; the adenovirus VAI RNA, an inhibitor of kinase activation; or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) TAR RNA as probe. Analysis of TrpE-P1 deletion mutant fusion proteins revealed that the 11-kDa N-terminal region of the P1 protein bound reovirus s1 mRNA, adenovirus VAI RNA, and HIV TAR RNA. Neither s1 RNA, VAI RNA, nor TAR RNA was bound by truncated P1 proteins which lacked the N-terminal 98 amino acids. Computer analysis revealed that the human protein P1 sequence corresponding to amino acid residues within the N-terminal RNA binding domain displays high homology (greater than 54% identity; 61 to 94% similarity) with two animal virus proteins which possess RNA binding activity (vaccinia virus E3L; rotavirus VP2) and two proteins of unknown function (murine TIK; rotavirus NS34), but which are likely RNA binding proteins.
Mechanism of interferon action: cDNA structure, expression, and regulation of the interferon-induced, RNA-dependent P1/eIF-2 alpha protein kinase from human cells.
Thomis D C,Doohan J P,Samuel C E
A molecular cDNA clone (P1 KIN) was isolated that encodes the human RNA-dependent P1/eIF-2 alpha protein kinase. The complete cDNA sequence of the P1 KIN cDNA was determined; the longest open reading frame (ORF) encoded a 551 amino acid protein with a deduced molecular weight of 62055 Da. Transcripts prepared from the P1 KIN cDNA by transcription in vitro with T7 RNA polymerase programmed the cell-free synthesis of a protein indistinguishable by immunoprecipitation and immunoblot gel analyses from the authentic 67-kDa P1 protein synthesized in human U cells treated with interferon (IFN). Furthermore, by use of a sensitive primer extension assay with T7 DNA polymerase, the major site of translation initiation within the deduced ORF of the P1 KIN cDNA was directly identified. Northern RNA gel-blot analysis revealed that the P1 KIN cDNA strongly hybridized to two IFN-induced mRNAs present in both human amnion U cells and HeLa cells; their sizes were 2.5 and 6 kb. Both transcripts were efficiently induced by IFN-alpha, but poorly by IFN-gamma. Polyclonal antibody was prepared against the product of the P1 KIN cDNA expressed in Escherichia coli. In Western blot analysis the antibody recognized a 67-kDa protein induced in human cells by IFN-alpha and, in addition, a 90-kDa protein whose level was not greatly altered by IFN treatment. The IFN-induced 67-kDa protein was found associated with the ribosomal salt-wash fraction of IFN-treated human cells, whereas the 90-kDa protein was predominantly in the S100 soluble fraction. The time course for the induction by IFN-alpha of RNA-dependent protein P1 kinase activity measured by immunoprecipitation was comparable to the time course for protein P1 induction measured by Western immunoblot analysis. The amino acid sequence of P1/eIF-2 alpha protein kinase deduced from the cDNA was 62% identical with the 518-residue murine TIK kinase and contained, within the carboxy-terminal half of the protein, the motifs commonly conserved among protein-serine/threonine kinases. The amino-terminal half of the P1 protein did not possess conserved kinase motifs, but did show extensive homology with vaccinia virus-predicted protein E3L.
Binding and degradation of lectins by components of rumen liquor.
Baintner K,Duncan S H,Stewart C S,Pusztai A
The Journal of applied bacteriology
The binding of 15 different plant lectins to feed particles and microbes in rumen liquor, and their degradation were studied in vitro. The rate of degradation assessed from the label released when radioactive iodine-labelled lectins were incubated with rumen liquor conflicted with the rates calculated from measurements of the survival of the antigenic structure (immuno-rocket electrophoresis) or the biological function (haemagglutination) of the lectins. Thus solubilization of the radioactive label indicated that Concanavalin A (Con A), but not the soyabean agglutinin, SBA, or kidney bean phytohaemagglutinin, PHA-E3L, was stable to rumen proteolysis. In contrast, both SBA and PHA-E3L were shown by immuno-rocket electrophoresis or haemagglutination tests to be highly resistant to breakdown, while the degradation of Con A proceeded at a constant slow rate under the same conditions. This was in accord with the previously established general stability of lectins in the gut of single-stomach animals. Of the 15 lectins, SBA, favin (Vicia faba lectin) and Con A were bound by hay and the particle fraction of rumen liquor. This was, in part, specific and reversible in the presence of appropriate sugars. Most pure bacterial strains preferentially bound lectins with specificity for glucose/mannose (favin and Con A), while rumen fungi reacted with SBA. The level of binding was low with other lectins. However, inter-strain differences of lectin-binding were found in Selenomonas ruminantium and Ruminococcus flavefaciens. Clearly, as some lectins were not fully degraded in the rumen, they could be expected to depress the utilization of the diet not only in single-stomach animals but, possibly, also in ruminants.
Mechanism of interferon action. Translational control and the RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR): antagonists of PKR enhance the translational activity of mRNAs that include a 161 nucleotide region from reovirus S1 mRNA.
Henry G L,McCormack S J,Thomis D C,Samuel C E
Journal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents
The interferon-inducible, RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR) is an important regulator of viral protein synthesis. Activated PKR inhibits protein synthesis by phosphorylating initiation factor eIF-2 alpha. The reovirus S4 gene, whose 1196 nucleotide mRNA transcript does not activate the PKR kinase, is efficiently expressed in vector-transfected monkey COS cells. By contrast, the 1463 nucleotide S1 gene of reovirus, which is a potent activator of PKR, is poorly expressed in COS cells. Virus genetic engineering was therefore used to examine the effect of the PKR activator sequence from the reovirus S1 gene on the expression of chimeric genes of reovirus in transfected COS cells. Chimeric S1/S4 and S4/S1/S4 reovirus constructions that included the PKR activator sequence from S1 in the sigma 3 ORF of S4 were expressed much less efficiently than wild-type S4. However, expression of sigma 3 from S4 (3'UTR/S1), which included the PKR activator sequence from S1 within the 3'-UTR of S4, was comparable to that from wild-type S4. Treatment of COS cells with 2-aminopurine, an inhibitor of PKR, increased the expression of the reovirus S1, S1/S4, and S4/S1/S4 chimeric genes but not the S4 gene or S4 (3'UTR/S1) chimera in transfected COS cells. Likewise, coexpression of the phosphotransfer-negative mutant PKR (K296R) increased the expression of reovirus S1, S1/S4 and S4/S1/S4 chimeric genes but not the S4 gene or S4 (3'UTR/S1) chimera in cotransfected COS cells. Truncated PKR(1-243) which includes the dsRNA binding domain but not the kinase catalytic subdomains was able to enhance the expression of reovirus S1, but did not affect S4 expression. The dsRNA binding protein E3L encoded by vaccinia virus also increased S1 expression similar to PKR (1-243) and PKR(K296R). These results suggest that the translational repression in vivo mediated by PKR is selective for mRNAs that possess the kinase activator region, and that the dominant negative effect of PKR on gene expression is likely mediated by the RNA binding activity of the PKR protein.
The interferon-induced double-stranded RNA-activated protein kinase induces apoptosis.
Lee S B,Esteban M
Interferons (IFNs) exert antitumor activities, but the molecular mechanism underlying these effects is poorly understood. IFN-induced, double-stranded (ds) RNA-activated protein kinase (p68 kinase) has long been implicated in mediating the antiproliferative effects of IFN. In addition, recent studies suggest that p68 kinase may function as a tumor suppressor gene. In this investigation we showed that expression of p68 kinase in HeLa cells resulted in a rapid cell death characteristic of apoptosis. Rapid cell death was not observed in cells which expressed a mutant form of p68 kinase (lys296-->arg) indicating that cell death observed is the result of p68 kinase expression and activation. Moreover, infection of HeLa cells with the mutant vaccinia virus lacking E3L gene, which encodes a dsRNA binding protein that acts as an inhibitor of p68 kinase, also resulted in apoptosis. Thus, we propose that human p68 kinase functions as a tumor suppressor gene by actively participating in apoptosis.
TAR RNA-binding protein is an inhibitor of the interferon-induced protein kinase PKR.
Park H,Davies M V,Langland J O,Chang H W,Nam Y S,Tartaglia J,Paoletti E,Jacobs B L,Kaufman R J,Venkatesan S
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
A cDNA encoding a double-stranded-RNA (dsRNA)-binding protein was isolated by screening a HeLa cell cDNA expression library for proteins that bind the HIV-1 Rev-responsive-element RNA. The cDNA encoded a protein that was identical to TRBP, the previously reported cellular protein that binds the transactivation response element (TAR) RNA of human immunodeficiency virus type 1. TRBP inhibited phosphorylation of the interferon-induced ribosome-associated protein kinase PKR and of the eukaryotic translation initiation factor eIF-2 alpha in a transient-expression system in which the translation of a reporter gene was inhibited by the localized activation of PKR. TRBP expression in HeLa cells complemented the growth and protein-synthesis defect of a vaccinia virus mutant lacking the expression of the dsRNA-binding protein E3L. These results implicate TRBP as a cellular regulatory protein that binds RNAs containing specific secondary structure(s) to mediate the inhibition of PKR activation and stimulate translation in a localized manner.
Two basic motifs of reovirus sigma 3 protein are involved in double-stranded RNA binding.
Mabrouk T,Danis C,Lemay G
Biochemistry and cell biology = Biochimie et biologie cellulaire
It has been reported that the sigma 3 protein of reovirus can exert an inhibitory effect on the cellular double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) activated protein kinase. Activation of this kinase is thought to be a general mechanism mediating a cellular antiviral response. This enzyme can also be activated upon transfection, resulting in translational inhibition of plasmid-encoded mRNAs. sigma 3 has an affinity for dsRNA postulated to be responsible for antikinase activity. In the present study, site-directed mutagenesis was performed on two basic regions previously suggested as dsRNA-binding motifs and the mutant sigma 3 proteins were then expressed in COS cells. These experiments revealed that both motifs are involved in sigma 3 attachment to RNA. Expression of the mutants lacking RNA-binding capability is stimulated by coexpression of another dsRNA-binding protein, the E3L vaccinia virus protein. These results support a model in which the attachment to dsRNA is directly responsible for the trans-stimulating effect of sigma 3 on expression of cotransfected genes.
Isolation, characterization, and partial purification of a novel ubiquitin-protein ligase, E3. Targeting of protein substrates via multiple and distinct recognition signals and conjugating enzymes.
Gonen H,Stancovski I,Shkedy D,Hadari T,Bercovich B,Bengal E,Mesilati S,Abu-Hatoum O,Schwartz A L,Ciechanover A
The Journal of biological chemistry
Degradation of a protein via the ubiquitin system involves two discrete steps, conjugation of ubiquitin to the substrate and degradation of the adduct. Conjugation follows a three-step mechanism. First, ubiquitin is activated by the ubiquitin-activating enzyme, E1. Following activation, one of several E2 enzymes (ubiquitin-carrier proteins or ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes, UBCs) transfers ubiquitin from E1 to the protein substrate that is bound to one of several ubiquitin-protein ligases, E3s. These enzymes catalyze the last step in the process, covalent attachment of ubiquitin to the protein substrate. The binding of the substrate to E3 is specific and implies that E3s play a major role in recognition and selection of proteins for conjugation and subsequent degradation. So far, only a few ligases have been identified, and it is clear that many more have not been discovered yet. Here, we describe a novel ligase that is involved in the conjugation and degradation of non "N-end rule" protein substrates such as actin, troponin T, and MyoD. This substrate specificity suggests that the enzyme may be involved in degradation of muscle proteins. The ligase acts in concert with E2-F1, a previously described non N-end rule UBC. Interestingly, it is also involved in targeting lysozyme, a bona fide N-end substrate that is recognized by E3 alpha and E2-14 kDa. The novel ligase recognizes lysozyme via a signal(s) that is distinct from the N-terminal residue of the protein. Thus, it appears that certain proteins can be targeted via multiple recognition motifs and distinct pairs of conjugating enzymes. We have purified the ligase approximately 200-fold and demonstrated that it is different from other known E3s, including E3 alpha/UBR1, E3 beta, and E6-AP. The native enzyme has an apparent molecular mass of approximately 550 kDa and appears to be a homodimer. Because of its unusual size, we designated this novel ligase E3L (large). E3L contains an -SH group that is essential for its activity. Like several recently described E3 enzymes, including E6-AP and the ligase involved in the processing of p105, the NF-kappa B precursor, the novel ligase is found in mammalian tissues but not in wheat germ.
Physical and functional characterization of the double-stranded RNA binding protein encoded by the vaccinia virus E3 gene.
Ho C K,Shuman S
The vaccinia virus E3 gene encodes a 190-amino acid double-stranded (ds) RNA-binding protein that antagonizes cellular antiviral response pathways triggered by dsRNA and interferon. The physical and functional properties of the E3 protein were determined using recombinant E3 produced in bacteria and purified to homogeneity. We show by sedimentation and chemical crosslinking that E3 is a dimer in solution at high ionic strength. E3 self-associates to form higher order oligomers as ionic strength is reduced from 1 to 0.1 M NaCl. Structure probing by limited proteolysis suggests that E3 consists of amino- and carboxyl-terminal domains separated by a trypsin-sensitive bridge at residues Lys-92 and Arg-95. The carboxyl-domain of E3 contains a conserved dsRNA binding motif (dsRBM) found in many other proteins that interact with dsRNA. That the C-terminal domain per se binds to dsRNA was verified by studies of recombinant E3(100-190) purified from bacteria. The affinity of the C-terminal domain for dsRNA was comparable to that of the full-length E3 protein (KD approximately 7 to 9 nM). E3(100-190) did not bind to DNA-DNA duplexes or to DNA-RNA hybrids, suggesting that the dsRBM specifically recognizes an A-form helix. E3(100-190) is a dimer in solution; however, unlike the full-sized E3 protein, E3(100-190) does not form higher order multimers at low ionic strength.
Mutational analysis of the vaccinia virus E3 protein defines amino acid residues involved in E3 binding to double-stranded RNA.
Ho C K,Shuman S
Journal of virology
Alanine-substitution mutations were targeted to 14 amino acid residues within the double-stranded (ds) RNA binding motif (dsRBM) of the vaccinia virus E3 protein. Substitutions at six positions--Glu-124, Phe-135, Phe-148, Lys-167, Arg-168, and Lys-171--caused significant reductions in dsRNA binding. These six residues are conserved in the two dsRBMs for which structural information is available (Escherichia coli RNase III and Drosophila melanogaster staufen) and in many other members of the dsRBM protein family. Residues we show to be important for dsRNA binding by vaccinia virus E3 map to the same face of the dsRBM structure and are thus likely to compose part of the RNA binding site.
Cytokines and their inhibitors in orf virus infection.
Haig D,McInnes C,Deane D,Lear A,Myatt N,Reid H,Rothel J,Seow H F,Wood P,Lyttle D,Mercer A
Veterinary immunology and immunopathology
The epitheliotropic parapoxvirus, orf virus, can repeatedly infect sheep skin. A specific immune response is generated as reinfections induce smaller lesions with quicker resolution times than primary lesions. Cyclosporin-A treatment abrogates this partial immunity. Cytokine mRNAs detected in lesion biopsies include the transcripts for IL-1 beta, IL-3 GM-CSF, TNF-alpha and, less reproducibly, IFN-gamma. CD4+ T-cells predominate in afferent lymph draining the site of infection, and are the major source of GM-CSF and IFN-gamma. IL-1 beta and IL-8 are also detected. The orf virus genome contains a homologue of mammalian vascular endothelial growth factor that may enhance virulence and a vaccinia virus E3L-like gene which may inhibit the anti-viral effect of the interferons. A GM-CSF inhibitory activity has also been discovered and has been 'chased' into a 10 kb DNA segment of the orf virus genome. These studies indicate that orf virus may temporarily avoid host immunity by a combination of acute, rapid infection and replication in the epidermis and by producing virulence factors that inhibit protective proteins of the host immune and inflammatory response.
Activation of antiviral protein kinase leads to immunoglobulin E class switching in human B cells.
Rager K J,Langland J O,Jacobs B L,Proud D,Marsh D G,Imani F
Journal of virology
An epidemiologic association between viral infections and the onset of asthma and allergy has been documented. Also, evidence from animal and human studies has suggested an increase in antigen-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) production during viral infections, and elevated levels of IgE are characteristic of human asthma and allergy. Here, we provide molecular evidence for the roles of viral infection and of activation of the antiviral protein kinase (PKR) (double-stranded-RNA [dsRNA]-activated protein kinase) in the induction of IgE class switching. The presence of dsRNA, a known component of viral infection and an activator of PKR, induced IgE class switching as detected by the expression of germ line epsilon in the human Ramos B-cell line. Furthermore, dsRNA treatment of Ramos cells resulted in the activation of PKR and in vivo activation of the NF-kappaB complex. Interestingly, infection of Ramos cells with rhinovirus (common cold virus) serotypes 14 and 16 resulted in the induction of germ line epsilon expression. To further evaluate the role of PKR in the viral induction of IgE class switching, we infected Ramos cells with two different vaccinia virus (cowpox virus) strains. Infection with wild-type vaccinia virus failed to induce germ line epsilon expression; however, a deletion mutant of vaccinia virus (VP1080) lacking the PKR-inhibitory polypeptide E3L induced the expression of germ line epsilon. Collectively, the results of our study define a common molecular mechanism underlying the role of viral infections in IgE class switching and subsequent induction of IgE-mediated disorders such as allergy and asthma.
Ovine diseases. Orf.
Haig D M,Mercer A A
Orf virus is an epitheliotropic DNA parapoxvirus with a worldwide distribution that induces acute pustular lesions in the skin of sheep, goats and man. Genetic mapping and sequencing of the orf virus genome have revealed that orf virus has a typical poxvirus distribution of genes, with those essential for viral DNA synthesis, replication and packaging located in the central region, and those involved in virulence concentrated in the terminal regions. The immune and inflammatory response to orf virus infection in the skin and local lymph is vigorous and typical of an anti-viral response, involving CD4+ helper and CD8+ cytotoxic T cells, interferons and antibodies. In spite of this, the virus can repeatedly infect sheep. Host acquired immunity involving CD4+ T cells and interferons is effective in controlling the extent of viral replication, but does not prevent reinfection. Several virus putative virulence genes have been identified. These are: viral homologues of ovine vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF); ovine IL-10; vaccinia virus E3L interferon resistance gene; and in addition a viral activity that inhibits the cytokine granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). These may be responsible for rescuing orf virus, at least temporarily, from host immunity and aiding viral replication in epidermal cells.
Double-stranded RNA-specific adenosine deaminase: nucleic acid binding properties.
Liu Y,Herbert A,Rich A,Samuel C E
Methods (San Diego, Calif.)
The RNA-specific adenosine deaminase (ADAR1, herein referred to as ADAR) is an interferon-inducible RNA-editing enzyme. ADAR catalyzes the C-6 deamination of adenosine in double-stranded (ds) structures present in viral RNAs and cellular pre-mRNAs as well as synthetic dsRNA substrates. ADAR possesses three functionally distinct copies of the highly conserved double-stranded RNA binding R motif (RI, RII, RIII) implicated in the recognition of dsRNA structures within the substrate RNAs. ADAR is also a Z-DNA-binding protein. Two Z-DNA binding motifs (Zalpha and Zbeta) present in ADAR correspond to repeated regions homologous to the N-terminal region of the vaccinia virus E3L protein. Here we describe assay methods for measurement of ADAR enzymatic activity, dsRNA binding activity, and Z-DNA binding activity.
Identification and requirement of three ribosome binding domains in dsRNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR).
Wu S,Kumar K U,Kaufman R J
The interferon-inducible, double-stranded (ds) RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR) regulates protein synthesis initiation by phosphorylating the alpha-subunit of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 (eIF-2). The amino-terminal half of PKR contains two dsRNA binding domains, and the kinase domain resides in the carboxy-terminal half of the protein. PKR is a ribosomal-associated protein. In this report, we provide evidence that PKR contains three ribosome interaction sites, two that are localized in each of the dsRNA binding domains and one that is localized in the kinase domain. All three domains can associate with polysomes independently. The ribosome association of the dsRNA binding domains requires dsRNA binding activity. Ribosome interaction of either the individual or the combined dsRNA binding domains was disrupted by 0.1 M KCl. In contrast, the ribosome interaction of intact PKR and the isolated kinase domain was largely resistant to 0.5 M KCl. These results indicate that all three domains of PKR contribute to the high-affinity ribosomal association. After dissociation of polysomes with EDTA, both intact PKR and the isolated kinase domain were primarily associated with the 60S ribosomal subunit. Coexpression of the adenovirus VAI RNA, an RNA polymerase III gene product that binds and inactivates PKR, disrupted ribosomal association of intact PKR, but not of the isolated PKR kinase domain. The results support a model where VAI RNA induces a major conformational change in PKR to prohibit ribosome association of all interaction sites. In contrast, other inhibitors of PKR including vaccinia virus E3L and K3L gene products, and the HIV trans-activating response (TAR) element binding protein TRBP, did not disrupt ribosome association of PKR. The results suggest a novel mechanism by which viral RNAs may inactivate PKR through disrupting ribosome association.
The orf virus OV20.0L gene product is involved in interferon resistance and inhibits an interferon-inducible, double-stranded RNA-dependent kinase.
Haig D M,McInnes C J,Thomson J,Wood A,Bunyan K,Mercer A
The parapoxvirus orf virus was resistant to type 1 (IFN-alpha) and type 2 (IFN-gamma) interferons in cultures of ovine cells. The recently identified orf virus OV20.0L gene exhibits 31% predicted amino acid identity to the vaccinia virus E3L interferon-resistance gene, and is referred to as the (putative) orf virus interferon-resistance gene (OVIFNR). The objective of this study was to determine whether OVIFNR was involved in interferon resistance. Recombinant OVIFNR as a thioredoxin fusion protein (OVIFNR-Tx) inhibited the activation (by autophosphorylation) of an interferon-inducible, double-stranded (ds) RNA-dependent kinase (PKR) of sheep, which was shown to bind dsRNA (poly I:C). PKR in other species is involved in the inhibition of protein synthesis as part of the antiviral state in infected cells. Virus-infected cell lysates, but not control lysates, from cells grown in the presence of cytosine arabinoside also contained PKR inhibitory activity, which indicated that the inhibitory activity was associated with early viral gene expression. Significantly, the OVIFNR gene expressed in interferon-treated ovine fibroblasts protected the unrelated Semliki Forest virus from the antiviral effect of both type 1 and type 2 interferons. Taken together, the results indicate that the OVIFNR gene functions as an interferon-resistance gene, the product of which inhibits PKR in a similar way to the vaccinia virus E3L gene product.
Identification by mass spectroscopy of three major early proteins associated with virosomes in vaccinia virus-infected cells.
Murcia-Nicolas A,Bolbach G,Blais J C,Beaud G
Virosomes are cytoplasmic sites of replication of vaccinia virus DNA and were prepared from virus-infected HeLa cells. The early virosomal proteins were 35S-labelled and SDS polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed the presence of three major early 35S-labelled proteins of 34, 24 and 45 kDa. The masses of molecules present in the 34 and 24 kDa proteins were measured by the convenient and sensitive MALDI TOF mass spectroscopy technique. Identification of the three virosomal proteins was carried out by MALDI mass spectroscopy of corresponding tryptic digests. For each protein at least 13 measured masses matched, within less than 0.1 Da, calculated tryptic peptides of the vaccinia virus proteins H5R (34 kDa), E3L (24 kDa) and E5R (45 kDa). In addition, virosomes contained several structural proteins from the infecting virus and a 45 kDa keratin-related protein. This work demonstrates directly that the abundant early vaccinia virus proteins H5R, E3L and E5R are associated with the virosomes.
Immunomodulation by virulence proteins of the parapoxvirus orf virus.
Haig D M,Fleming S
Veterinary immunology and immunopathology
Three orf virus putative virulence proteins are described that exhibit immunomodulatory functions. The OVIFNR gene at the left terminus of the viral genome encodes an interferon resistance protein with homology to the E3L gene of vaccinia virus. OVIFNR functions by preventing a dsRNA-dependent kinase from inhibiting virus and cell protein synthesis as part of the interferon-induced anti-viral state within infected cells. The orf virus orthologue of the ovine interleukin-10 (vIL-10) gene is located at the right terminus of the viral genome. Both vIL-10 and host (ovine) IL-10 function in vitro as inhibitors of pro-inflammatory cytokine production by keratinocytes and macrophages, and both inhibit IFN-gamma production from activated peripheral blood lymphocytes. Both the orf virus vIL-10 and ovine IL-10 stimulate mast cell and thymocyte proliferation. In this respect the orf virus IL-10 differs from Epstein Barr virus IL-10 which does not exhibit cell proliferative activity. Finally, the orf virus GM-CSF inhibitory factor gene (GIF) at the right terminus of the viral genome encodes an inhibitor of GM-CSF that also binds IL-2. Together, these viral proteins are capable of inhibiting key components of the ovine anti-virus immune and inflammatory response.
Genomic comparison of an avirulent strain of Orf virus with that of a virulent wild type isolate reveals that the Orf virus G2L gene is non-essential for replication.
The genomic structure of two strains of orf virus (OV), a field isolate (MRI-Scab) which has never been passaged in cell culture, and a multiple-passage cell culture-adapted strain (Orf-11) were compared. The Orf-11 genome is approximately 8.0 kb longer than that of the MRI-Scab due to a duplication of the right-hand end. The duplicated region has been translocated to the left-hand end of the genome with a loss of sequence from that end. The lost sequence contains three complete genes, namely E2L, E3L and G1L and 80% of a fourth gene, namely G2L. The sequence lost from G2L in Orf-11 has been replaced by a region of unrelated sequence, encoding 98 amino acids. Northern analysis shows that mRNA is expressed from this "new" gene. The two viruses were also compared for in vivo virulence and ability to protect against subsequent OV challenge. In vivo, the field isolate was fully virulent and conferred good protection against challenge, whereas the cell culture-adapted virus produced only mild lesions and reduced protection against challenge.
MC159L protein from the poxvirus molluscum contagiosum virus inhibits NF-kappaB activation and apoptosis induced by PKR.
Gil Jesús,Rullas Joaquín,Alcamí José,Esteban Mariano
The Journal of general virology
Molluscum contagiosum virus (MCV) is a human poxvirus that causes abnormal proliferation of epithelial cells. MCV encodes specific molecules to control host defences, such as MC159L, which as previously shown prevents apoptosis induced by death receptors. However, unlike most poxviruses, MCV lacks a homologue to the E3L and K3L proteins of vaccinia virus, which are involved in the control of the key antiviral and pro-apoptotic dsRNA-dependent protein kinase, PKR. In this study, we analysed the relationship of MC159L to PKR. We found that MC159L is not a direct inhibitor of PKR since it does not associate with PKR and cannot block PKR-induced phosphorylation of eIF-2alpha. However, expression of MC159L inhibits apoptosis triggered by PKR through death receptor-mediated pathways. In addition, MC159L inhibits NF-kappaB activation induced in response to PKR. Expression of MC159L cannot counteract the PKR-mediated antiviral action in the context of a poxvirus infection, despite its ability to affect these signalling events. These findings show that MC159L is able to interfere with downstream events triggered by PKR in the absence of a direct physical interaction, and assign a role to MC159L in the control of some PKR-mediated biological effects.
Human interferon-gamma mRNA autoregulates its translation through a pseudoknot that activates the interferon-inducible protein kinase PKR.
Ben-Asouli Yitzhak,Banai Yona,Pel-Or Yehuda,Shir Alexei,Kaempfer Raymond
PKR, an interferon (IFN)-inducible protein kinase activated by double-stranded RNA, inhibits translation by phosphorylating the initiation factor eIF2alpha chain. We show that human IFN-gamma mRNA uses local activation of PKR in the cell to control its own translation yield. IFN-gamma mRNA activates PKR through a pseudoknot in its 5' untranslated region. Mutations that impair pseudoknot stability reduce the ability to activate PKR and strongly increase the translation efficiency of IFN-gamma mRNA. Nonphosphorylatable mutant eIF2alpha, knockout of PKR and PKR inhibitors 2-aminopurine, transdominant-negative PKR, or vaccinia E3L correspondingly enhances translation of IFN-gamma mRNA. The potential to form the pseudoknot is phylogenetically conserved. We propose that the RNA pseudoknot acts to adjust translation of IFN-gamma mRNA to the PKR level expressed in the cell.
Protein kinase R regulates double-stranded RNA induction of TNF-alpha but not IL-1 beta mRNA in human epithelial cells.
Meusel Tiffany R,Kehoe Kelly E,Imani Farhad
Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Epithelial cells represent the initial site of respiratory viral entry and the first line of defense against such infections. This early antiviral response is characterized by an increase in the production of proinflammatory cytokines such as TNF-alpha and IL-1 beta. dsRNA, which is a common factor present during the life cycle of both DNA and RNA viruses, is known to induce TNF-alpha and IL-1 beta in a variety of cells. In this work we provide data showing that dsRNA treatment induces TNF-alpha and IL-1 beta in human lung epithelial cells via two different mechanisms. Our data show that dsRNA activation of dsRNA-activated protein kinase (PKR) is associated with induction of TNF-alpha but not IL-1 beta expression. An inhibitor of PKR activation blocked the dsRNA-induced elevations in TNF-alpha but not IL-1 beta mRNA in epithelial cells. Data obtained from infection of epithelial cells with a vaccinia virus lacking the PKR inhibitory polypeptide, E3L, revealed that PKR activation was essential for TNF-alpha but not for IL-1 beta expression. In this report, we provide experimental support for the differential regulation of proinflammatory cytokine expression by dsRNA and viral infections in human airway epithelial cells.
Modulation of GAPDH expression and cellular localization after vaccinia virus infection of human adherent monocytes.
Nahlik Krystyna W,Mleczko Anna K,Gawlik Magdalena K,Rokita Hanna B
Acta biochimica Polonica
Vaccinia virus is able to replicate in many cell types and is known to modulate apoptosis in infected cells. In this study, expression of apoptosis-related genes was screened in human adherent monocytes after vaccinia infection using a DNA array. A marked increase of the key glycolytic enzyme glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) expression was found. Increased expression and nuclear translocation of GAPDH have recently been reported to participate in apoptosis of many cell types. To confirm the array results, levels of GAPDH mRNA were estimated by RT-PCR, showing an increase at 4 h p.i. followed by a slight decrease, which correlated with the viral anti-apoptotic E3L gene transcript levels. Subcellular localization of the enzyme in human monocytes was examined by Western blot and immunostaining of the infected cells. Both experiments revealed accumulation of GAPDH in the nucleus at 14 h p.i., which was completely suppressed at 24 h p.i. This might indicate GAPDH as a novel target for vaccinia anti-apoptotic modulation.
Interferon antagonist proteins of influenza and vaccinia viruses are suppressors of RNA silencing.
Li Wan-Xiang,Li Hongwei,Lu Rui,Li Feng,Dus Monica,Atkinson Peter,Brydon Edward W A,Johnson Kyle L,García-Sastre Adolfo,Ball L Andrew,Palese Peter,Ding Shou-Wei
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Homology-dependent RNA silencing occurs in many eukaryotic cells. We reported recently that nodaviral infection triggers an RNA silencing-based antiviral response (RSAR) in Drosophila, which is capable of a rapid virus clearance in the absence of expression of a virus-encoded suppressor. Here, we present further evidence to show that the Drosophila RSAR is mediated by the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway, as the viral suppressor of RSAR inhibits experimental RNAi initiated by exogenous double-stranded RNA and RSAR requires the RNAi machinery. We demonstrate that RNAi also functions as a natural antiviral immunity in mosquito cells. We further show that vaccinia virus and human influenza A, B, and C viruses each encode an essential protein that suppresses RSAR in Drosophila. The vaccinia and influenza viral suppressors, E3L and NS1, are distinct double-stranded RNA-binding proteins and essential for pathogenesis by inhibiting the mammalian IFN-regulated innate antiviral response. We found that the double-stranded RNA-binding domain of NS1, implicated in innate immunity suppression, is both essential and sufficient for RSAR suppression. These findings provide evidence that mammalian virus proteins can inhibit RNA silencing, implicating this mechanism as a nucleic acid-based antiviral immunity in mammalian cells.
Vaccinia virus recombinants as a model system to analyze interferon-induced pathways.
Gil Jesús,Esteban Mariano
Journal of interferon & cytokine research : the official journal of the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research
The interferons (IFNs) are a family of cytokines with broad antiviral activities that also control cell proliferation and modulate immune responses. IFNs exert their pleiotropic actions through the regulation of multiple pathways that have been subjected to extensive study using diverse approaches. The scope of this review is to show how we can take advantage of vaccinia virus (VV) to study IFN-related pathways. We summarize and present the different VV models available for studying IFN function and the possibilities that they offer to analyze IFN-induced pathways, IFN modulators, and the biologic effects at the molecular and cellular levels. Emphasis is given to studies of dsRNA-activated signaling with VV lacking E3L (VV DeltaE3L) and in RNA-activated protein kinase (PKR)-related pathways, through the use of VV recombinants (VVr) with inducible PKR (VV PKR). The latest system is versatile, as expression of PKR can be regulated and induced at different times; similarly, VVr can be generated expressing other PKR modulators. As an example of the utility of VVr, we describe how this model has been used to analyze the antiviral and proapoptotic functions of PKR, the impact of PKR on translation, and the PKR-induced activation of the nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) pathway.
Genome of deerpox virus.
Afonso C L,Delhon G,Tulman E R,Lu Z,Zsak A,Becerra V M,Zsak L,Kutish G F,Rock D L
Journal of virology
Deerpox virus (DPV), an uncharacterized and unclassified member of the Poxviridae, has been isolated from North American free-ranging mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) exhibiting mucocutaneous disease. Here we report the genomic sequence and comparative analysis of two pathogenic DPV isolates, W-848-83 (W83) and W-1170-84 (W84). The W83 and W84 genomes are 166 and 170 kbp, containing 169 and 170 putative genes, respectively. Nucleotide identity between DPVs is 95% over the central 157 kbp. W83 and W84 share similar gene orders and code for similar replicative, structural, virulence, and host range functions. DPV open reading frames (ORFs) with putative virulence and host range functions include those similar to cytokine receptors (R), including gamma interferon receptor (IFN-gammaR), interleukin 1 receptor (IL-1R), and type 8 CC-chemokine receptors; cytokine binding proteins (BP), including IL-18BP, IFN-alpha/betaBP, and tumor necrosis factor binding protein (TNFBP); serpins; and homologues of vaccinia virus (VACV) E3L, K3L, and A52R proteins. DPVs also encode distinct forms of major histocompatibility complex class I, C-type lectin-like protein, and transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF-beta1), a protein not previously described in a mammalian chordopoxvirus. Notably, DPV encodes homologues of cellular endothelin 2 and IL-1R antagonist, novel poxviral genes also likely involved in the manipulation of host responses. W83 and W84 differ from each other by the presence or absence of five ORFs. Specifically, homologues of a CD30 TNFR family protein, swinepox virus SPV019, and VACV E11L core protein are absent in W83, and homologues of TGF-beta1 and lumpy skin disease virus LSDV023 are absent in W84. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that DPVs are genetically distinct from viruses of other characterized poxviral genera and that they likely comprise a new genus within the subfamily Chordopoxvirinae.
La Crosse virus nonstructural protein NSs counteracts the effects of short interfering RNA.
Soldan Samantha S,Plassmeyer Matthew L,Matukonis Meghan K,González-Scarano Francisco
Journal of virology
Through a process known as RNA interference (RNAi), double-stranded short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) silence gene expression in a sequence-specific manner. Recently, several viral proteins, including the nonstructural protein NSs of tomato spotted wilt virus (a plant-infecting bunyavirus), the interferon antagonist protein NS1 of influenza virus, and the E3L protein of vaccinia virus, have been shown to function as suppressors of RNAi, presumably as a counterdefense against cellular mechanisms that decrease viral production. La Crosse virus (LACV), a member of the California serogroup of orthobunyaviruses, has a trisegmented negative-stranded genome comprised of large (L), medium (M), and small (S) segments. To develop a strategy for segment-specific inhibition of transcription, we designed 13 synthetic siRNAs targeting specific RNA segments of the LACV genome that decreased LACV replication and antigen expression in mammalian (293T) and insect (C6/36) cells. Furthermore, NSs, a LACV nonstructural protein, markedly inhibited RNAi directed both against an LACV M segment construct and against a host gene (glyeraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase), suggesting a possible role for this viral protein in the suppression of RNA silencing. Segment-specific siRNAs will be useful as a tool to analyze LACV transcription and replication and to obtain recombinant viruses. Additionally, NSs will help us to identify molecular pathways involved in RNAi and further define its role in the innate immune system.
A PKR-like eukaryotic initiation factor 2alpha kinase from zebrafish contains Z-DNA binding domains instead of dsRNA binding domains.
Rothenburg Stefan,Deigendesch Nikolaus,Dittmar Katharina,Koch-Nolte Friedrich,Haag Friedrich,Lowenhaupt Ky,Rich Alexander
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
The double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-dependent protein kinase (PKR) is induced as part of the IFN response in mammals and acts to shut down protein synthesis by the phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 2alpha (eIF2alpha). In fish, a PKR-like kinase activity has been detected, but the enzyme responsible has eluded characterization. Here, we describe a PKR-like kinase from zebrafish. Phylogenetic analysis shows that the C-terminal kinase domain is more closely related to the kinase domain of PKR than to any of the other three known eIF2alpha kinases. Surprisingly, instead of the two dsRNA binding domains found at the N terminus of PKR, there are two Zalpha domains. Zalpha domains specifically bind dsDNA and RNA in the left-handed Z conformation, often with high affinity. They have been found previously in two other IFN-inducible proteins, the dsRNA editing enzyme, ADAR1, and Z-DNA binding protein 1 (ZBP1), as well as in the poxvirus virulence factor, E3L. This previously undescribed kinase, designated PKZ (protein kinase containing Z-DNA binding domains), is transcribed constitutively at low levels and is highly induced after injection of poly(inosinic)-poly(cytidylic) acid, which simulates viral infection. Binding of Z-DNA by the Zalpha domain of PKZ was demonstrated by circular dichroism. PKZ inhibits translation in transfected cells; site-directed mutagenesis indicates that this inhibition depends on its catalytic activity. Identification of a gene combining Zalpha domains with a PKR-like kinase domain strengthens the hypothesis that the ability to bind left-handed nucleic acid plays a role in the host response to viruses.
Down-regulation of p53 by double-stranded RNA modulates the antiviral response.
Marques Joao T,Rebouillat Dominique,Ramana Chilakamarti V,Murakami Junko,Hill Jason E,Gudkov Andrei,Silverman Robert H,Stark George R,Williams Bryan R G
Journal of virology
p53 has been well characterized as a tumor suppressor gene, but its role in antiviral defense remains unclear. A recent report has demonstrated that p53 can be induced by interferons and is activated after vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) infection. We observed that different nononcogenic viruses, including encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) and human parainfluenza virus type 3 (HPIV3), induced down-regulation of p53 in infected cells. Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) and a mutant vaccinia virus lacking the dsRNA binding protein E3L can also induce this effect, indicating that dsRNA formed during viral infection is likely the trigger for down-regulation of p53. The mechanism of down-regulation of p53 by dsRNA relies on translation inhibition mediated by the PKR and RNase L pathways. In the absence of p53, the replication of both EMCV and HPIV3 was retarded, whereas, conversely, VSV replication was enhanced. Cell cycle analysis indicated that wild-type (WT) but not p53 knockout (KO) fibroblasts undergo an early-G(1) arrest following dsRNA treatment. Moreover, in WT cells the onset of dsRNA-induced apoptosis begins after p53 levels are down-regulated, whereas p53 KO cells, which lack the early-G(1) arrest, rapidly undergo apoptosis. Hence, our data suggest that the down-regulation of p53 facilitates apoptosis, thereby limiting viral replication.
Vaccinia virus subverts a mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein-dependent innate immune response in keratinocytes through its double-stranded RNA binding protein, E3.
Deng Liang,Dai Peihong,Parikh Tanvi,Cao Hua,Bhoj Vijay,Sun Qinmiao,Chen Zhijian,Merghoub Taha,Houghton Alan,Shuman Stewart
Journal of virology
Skin keratinocytes provide a first line of defense against invading microorganisms in two ways: (i) by acting as a physical barrier to pathogen entry and (ii) by initiating a vigorous innate immune response upon sensing danger signals. How keratinocytes detect virus infections and generate antiviral immune responses is not well understood. Orthopoxviruses are dermatotropic DNA viruses that cause lethal disease in humans. Virulence in animal models depends on the virus-encoded bifunctional Z-DNA/double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-binding protein E3. Here, we report that infection of mouse primary keratinocytes with a vaccinia DeltaE3L mutant virus triggers the production of beta interferon (IFN-beta), interleukin-6 (IL-6), CCL4, and CCL5. None of these immune mediators is produced by keratinocytes infected with wild-type vaccinia virus. The dsRNA-binding domain of E3 suffices to prevent activation of the innate immune response. DeltaE3L induction of IFN-beta, IL-6, CCL4, and CCL5 secretion requires mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein (MAVS; an adaptor for the cytoplasmic viral RNA sensors RIG-I and MDA5) and the transcription factor IRF3. IRF3 phosphorylation is induced in keratinocytes infected with DeltaE3L, an event that depends on MAVS. The response of keratinocytes to DeltaE3L is unaffected by genetic ablation of Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3), TRIF, TLR9, and MyD88.
Inhibition of interferons by ectromelia virus.
Smith Vincent P,Alcami Antonio
Journal of virology
Ectromelia virus (EV) is an orthopoxvirus (OPV) that causes mousepox, a severe disease of laboratory mice. Mousepox is a useful model of OPV infection because EV is likely to be a natural mouse pathogen, unlike its close relatives vaccinia virus (VV) and variola virus. Several studies have highlighted the importance of mouse interferons (IFNs) in resistance to and recovery from EV infection, but little is known of the anti-IFN strategies encoded by the virus itself. We have determined that 12 distinct strains and isolates of EV encode soluble, secreted receptors for IFN-gamma (vIFN-gammaR) and IFN-alpha/beta (vIFN-alpha/betaR) that are homologous to those identified in other OPVs. We demonstrate for the first time that the EV vIFN-gammaR has the unique ability to inhibit the biological activity of mouse IFN-gamma. The EV vIFN-alpha/betaR was a potent inhibitor of human and mouse IFN-alpha and human IFN-beta but, surprisingly, was unable to inhibit mouse IFN-beta. The replication of all of the EVs included in our study and of cowpox virus was more resistant than VV to the antiviral effects induced in mouse L-929 cells by IFN-alpha/beta and IFN-gamma. Sequencing studies showed that this EV resistance is likely to be partly mediated by the double-stranded-RNA-binding protein encoded by an intact EV homolog of the VV E3L gene. The absence of a functional K3L gene, which encodes a viral eIF-2alpha homolog, in EV suggests that the virus encodes a novel mechanism to counteract the IFN response. These findings will facilitate future studies of the role of viral anti-IFN strategies in mousepox pathogenesis. Their significance in the light of earlier data on the role of IFNs in mousepox is discussed.
Evasion of cellular antiviral responses by human cytomegalovirus TRS1 and IRS1.
Child Stephanie J,Hakki Morgan,De Niro Katherine L,Geballe Adam P
Journal of virology
During infection with human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), cellular protein synthesis continues even as viral proteins are being synthesized in abundance. Thus, HCMV may have a mechanism for counteracting host cell antiviral pathways that act by shutting off translation. Consistent with this view, HCMV infection of human fibroblasts rescues the replication of a vaccinia virus mutant lacking the double-stranded RNA-binding protein gene E3L (VVdeltaE3L). HCMV also prevents the phosphorylation of the eukaryotic translation initiation factor eIF-2alpha, the activation of RNase L, and the shutoff of viral and cellular protein synthesis that otherwise result from VVdeltaE3L infection. To identify the HCMV gene(s) responsible for these effects, we prepared a library of VVdeltaE3L recombinants containing HCMV genomic fragments. By infecting nonpermissive cells with this library and screening for VV gene expression and replication, we isolated a virus containing a 2.8-kb HCMV fragment that rescues replication of VVdeltaE3L. The fragment comprises the 3' end of the J1S open reading frame through the entire TRS1 gene. Analyses of additional VVdeltaE3L recombinants revealed that the protein encoded by TRS1, pTRS1, as well as the closely related IRS1 gene, rescues VVdeltaE3L replication and prevent the shutoff of protein synthesis, the phosphorylation of eIF-2alpha, and activation of RNase L. These results demonstrate that TRS1 and IRS1 are able to counteract critical host cell antiviral response pathways.
Heat shock protein and heat shock factor 1 expression and localization in vaccinia virus infected human monocyte derived macrophages.
Kowalczyk Aleksandra,Guzik Krzysztof,Slezak Kinga,Dziedzic Jakub,Rokita Hanna
Journal of inflammation (London, England)
BACKGROUND:Viruses remain one of the inducers of the stress response in the infected cells. Heat shock response induced by vaccinia virus (VV) infection was studied in vitro in human blood monocyte derived macrophages (MDMs) as blood cells usually constitute the primary site of the infection. METHODS:Human blood monocytes were cultured for 12-14 days. The transcripts of heat shock factor 1 (HSF1), heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) and two viral genes (E3L and F17R) were assayed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and the corresponding proteins measured by Western blot. Heat shock factor 1 DNA binding activities were estimated by electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and its subcellular localization analyzed by immunocytofluorescence. RESULTS:It appeared that infection with vaccinia virus leads to activation of the heat shock factor 1. Activation of HSF1 causes increased synthesis of an inducible form of the HSP70 both at the mRNA and the protein level. Although HSP90 mRNA was enhanced in vaccinia virus infected cells, the HSP90 protein content remained unchanged. At the time of maximum vaccinia virus gene expression, an inhibitory effect of the infection on the heat shock protein and the heat shock factor 1 was most pronounced. Moreover, at the early phase of the infection translocation of HSP70 and HSP90 from the cytoplasm to the nucleus of the infected cells was observed. CONCLUSION:Preferential nuclear accumulation of HSP70, the major stress-inducible chaperone protein, suggests that VV employs this particular mechanism of cytoprotection to protect the infected cell rather than to help viral replication. The results taken together with our previous data on monocytes or MDMs infected with VV or S. aureus strongly argue that VV employs multiple cellular antiapoptotic/cytoprotective mechanisms to prolong viability and proinflammatory activity of the cells of monocytic-macrophage lineage.
Dual role of TRBP in HIV replication and RNA interference: viral diversion of a cellular pathway or evasion from antiviral immunity?
Gatignol Anne,Lainé Sébastien,Clerzius Guerline
Increasing evidence indicates that RNA interference (RNAi) may be used to provide antiviral immunity in mammalian cells. Human micro (mi)RNAs can inhibit the replication of a primate virus, whereas a virally-encoded miRNA from HIV inhibits its own replication. Indirect proof comes from RNAi suppressors encoded by mammalian viruses. Influenza NS1 and Vaccinia E3L proteins can inhibit RNAi in plants, insects and worms. HIV-1 Tat protein and Adenovirus VA RNAs act as RNAi suppressors in mammalian cells. Surprisingly, many RNAi suppressors are also inhibitors of the interferon (IFN)-induced protein kinase R (PKR) but the potential overlap between the RNAi and the IFN pathways remains to be determined. The link between RNAi as an immune response and the IFN pathway may be formed by a cellular protein, TRBP, which has a dual role in HIV replication and RNAi. TRBP has been isolated as an HIV-1 TAR RNA binding protein that increases HIV expression and replication by inhibiting PKR and by increasing translation of structured RNAs. A recent report published in the Journal of Virology shows that the poor replication of HIV in astrocytes is mainly due to a heightened PKR response that can be overcome by supplying TRBP exogenously. In two recent papers published in Nature and EMBO Reports, TRBP is now shown to interact with Dicer and to be required for RNAi mediated by small interfering (si) and micro (mi)RNAs. The apparent discrepancy between TRBP requirement in RNAi and in HIV replication opens the hypotheses that RNAi may be beneficial for HIV-1 replication or that HIV-1 may evade the RNAi restriction by diverting TRBP from Dicer and use it for its own benefit.
Human gene profiling in response to the active protein kinase, interferon-induced serine/threonine protein kinase (PKR), in infected cells. Involvement of the transcription factor ATF-3 IN PKR-induced apoptosis.
Guerra Susana,López-Fernández Luis A,García María Angel,Zaballos Angel,Esteban Mariano
The Journal of biological chemistry
The interferon-induced serine/threonine protein kinase (PKR) has an essential role in cell survival and cell death after viral infection and under stress conditions, but the host genes involved in these processes are not well defined. We used human cDNA microarrays to identify, in infected cells, genes differentially expressed after PKR expression and analyzed the requirement of catalytic activity of the enzyme. To express PKR, we used vaccinia virus (VV) recombinants producing wild type PKR (VV-PKR) and the catalytically inactive mutant K296R (VV-PKR-K296R). Most regulated genes were classified according to biological function, including apoptosis, stress, defense, and immune response. Transcriptional changes detected by microarray analysis were confirmed for selected genes by quantitative real time reverse transcription PCR. A total of 111 genes were regulated specifically by PKR catalytic activity. Of these, 97 were up-regulated, and 14 were down-regulated. The ATF-3 transcription factor, involved in stress-induced beta-cell apoptosis, was up-regulated. Activation of endogenous PKR with a VV mutant lacking the viral protein E3L (VVDeltaE3L), a PKR inhibitor, triggered an increase in ATF-3 expression that was not observed in PKR(-/-) cells. Using null cells for ATF-3 and for the p65 subunit of NF-kappaB, we showed that induction of apoptosis by PKR at late times of infection was dependent on ATF-3 expression and regulated by NF-kappaB activation. Here, we identified human genes selectively induced by expression of active PKR in infected cells and linked ATF-3 to a novel mechanism used by PKR to induce apoptosis.
Short report: Isolation of two vaccinia virus strains from a single bovine vaccinia outbreak in rural area from Brazil: Implications on the emergence of zoonotic orthopoxviruses.
Trindade Giliane S,Lobato Zélia I P,Drumond Betânia P,Leite Juliana A,Trigueiro Ricardo C,Guedes Maria I M C,da Fonseca Flávio G,dos Santos João R,Bonjardim Cláudio A,Ferreira Paulo C P,Kroon Erna G
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
Outbreaks of bovine vaccinia disease caused by circulation of Vaccinia virus (VACV) strains have been a common occurrence in Brazil in the recent years, being an important emergent zoonosis. During a single outbreak that took place in 2001, two genetically different VACV strains were isolated and named Guarani P1 virus (GP1V) and Guarani P2 virus (GP2V). Molecular diagnosis was done through restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of ati gene (A26L) and by sequence analysis of a group of five VACV genes including the C11R, J2R, A56R, B18R, and E3L genes. These findings confirmed the co-circulation of two different Vaccinia virus strains during the same outbreak, raising important questions about the origin, emergence, and circulation of VACV strains in Brazil.
Mouse hepatitis coronavirus A59 nucleocapsid protein is a type I interferon antagonist.
Ye Ye,Hauns Kevin,Langland Jeffrey O,Jacobs Bertram L,Hogue Brenda G
Journal of virology
The recent emergence of several new coronaviruses, including the etiological cause of severe acute respiratory syndrome, has significantly increased the importance of understanding virus-host cell interactions of this virus family. We used mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) A59 as a model to gain insight into how coronaviruses affect the type I alpha/beta interferon (IFN) system. We demonstrate that MHV is resistant to type I IFN. Protein kinase R (PKR) and the alpha subunit of eukaryotic translation initiation factor are not phosphorylated in infected cells. The RNase L activity associated with 2',5'-oligoadenylate synthetase is not activated or is blocked, since cellular RNA is not degraded. These results are consistent with lack of protein translation shutoff early following infection. We used a well-established recombinant vaccinia virus (VV)-based expression system that lacks the viral IFN antagonist E3L to screen viral genes for their ability to rescue the IFN sensitivity of the mutant. The nucleocapsid (N) gene rescued VVDeltaE3L from IFN sensitivity. N gene expression prevents cellular RNA degradation and partially rescues the dramatic translation shutoff characteristic of the VVDeltaE3L virus. However, it does not prevent PKR phosphorylation. The results indicate that the MHV N protein is a type I IFN antagonist that likely plays a role in circumventing the innate immune response.
The dsRNA protein kinase PKR: virus and cell control.
García M A,Meurs E F,Esteban M
The IFN-induced double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR) is one of the four mammalian serine-threonine kinases (the three others being HRI, GCN2 and PERK) that phosphorylate the eIF2 alpha translation initiation factor, in response to stress signals, mainly as a result of viral infections. eIF2 alpha phosphorylation results in arrest of translation of both cellular and viral mRNAs, an efficient way to inhibit virus replication. The particularity of PKR is to activate by binding to dsRNA through two N terminal dsRNA binding motifs (dsRBM). PKR activation during a viral infection represents a threat for several viruses, which have therefore evolved to express PKR inhibitors, such as the Vaccinia E3L and K3L proteins. The function of PKR can also be regulated by cellular proteins, either positively (RAX/PACT; Mda7) or negatively (p58IPK, TRBP, nucleophosmin, Hsp90/70). PKR can provoke apoptosis, in part through its ability to control protein translation, but the situation appears to be more complex, as NF-kappaB, ATF-3 and p53 have also been implicated. PKR-induced apoptosis involves mainly the FADD/caspase 8 pathway, while the mitochondrial APAF/caspase 9 pathway is also engaged. As a consequence of the effects of PKR on translation, transcription and apoptosis, PKR can function to control cell growth and cell differentiation, and its activity can be controlled by the action of several oncogenes.
Transgenic inhibitors of RNA interference in Drosophila.
Chou Yu-ting,Tam Bergin,Linay Fabien,Lai Eric C
RNA silencing functions as an adaptive antiviral defense in both plants and animals. In turn, viruses commonly encode suppressors of RNA silencing, which enable them to mount productive infection. These inhibitor proteins may be exploited as reagents with which to probe mechanisms and functions of RNA silencing pathways. In this report, we describe transgenic Drosophila strains that allow inducible expression of the viral RNA silencing inhibitors Flock House virus-B2, Nodamura virus-B2, vaccinia virus-E3L, influenza A virus-NS1 and tombusvirus P19. Some of these, especially the B2 proteins, are effective transgenic inhibitors of double strand RNA-induced gene silencing in flies. On the other hand, none of them is effective against the Drosophila microRNA pathway. Their functional selectivity makes these viral silencing proteins useful reagents with which to study biological functions of the Drosophila RNA interference pathway.
Identification from diverse mammalian poxviruses of host-range regulatory genes functioning equivalently to vaccinia virus C7L.
Meng Xiangzhi,Chao Jie,Xiang Yan
Vaccinia virus (VACV) C7L is a host-range gene that regulates cellular tropism of VACV. Distantly related C7L homologues are encoded by nearly all mammalian poxviruses, but whether they are host-range genes functioning similar to VACV C7L has not been determined. Here, we used VACV as a model system to analyze five different C7L homologues from diverse mammalian poxviruses for their abilities to regulate poxvirus cellular tropism. Three C7L homologues (myxoma virus M63R, M64R and cowpox virus 020), when expressed with an epitope tag and from a VACV mutant lacking the host-range genes K1L and C7L (vK1L-C7L-), failed to support productive viral replication in human and murine cells. In nonpermissive cells, these viruses did not synthesize viral late proteins, expressed a reduced level of the early protein E3L, and were defective at suppressing cellular PKR activation. In contrast, two other C7L homologues, myxoma virus (MYXV) M62R and yaba-like disease virus (YLDV) 67R, when expressed with an epitope tag and from vK1L(-)C7L(-), supported normal viral replication in human and murine cells and restored the ability of the virus to suppress PKR activation. Furthermore, M62R rescued the defect of vK1L(-)C7L(-) at replicating and disseminating in mice following intranasal inoculation. These results show that MYXV M62R and YLDV 67R function equivalently to C7L at supporting VACV replication in mammalian hosts and suggest that a C7L-like host-range gene is essential for the replication of many mammalian poxviruses in mammalian hosts.
The interferon system and vaccinia virus evasion mechanisms.
Perdiguero Beatriz,Esteban Mariano
Journal of interferon & cytokine research : the official journal of the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research
Vaccinia virus (VACV), a prototype member of the poxvirus family, has been used from the early times after interferons (IFN) were discovered, as a model virus cell system to analyze the mode of action of IFN. This large DNA-containing virus (around 200 kb) replicates entirely in the cytoplasm of the cell, taking rapidly over the host cell machinery for virus multiplication. In the presence of IFN, this virus exhibits sensitivity or resistance depending on the virus-host model. With the discovery of IFN-induced enzymes, the sensitivity of VACV to IFN was correlated with dsRNA activation of the protein kinase PKR and 2'-5'-OAS/RNaseL systems leading to a translational block by the phosphorylation of the eIF2 alpha factor and RNA breakdown. Following sequencing of the VACV genome and generation of deletion mutants, the resistance phenomenon to IFN was shown to be exerted through inhibition of multiple pathways. This review analyzes current knowledge on the VACV genes encoding proteins acting as decoy receptors to block the activity of type I and type II IFNs, targeting cytokines and chemokines, and antagonizing intracellular signaling pathways (pattern recognition receptors [PRRs] signaling). The molecular dissection of how VACV prevents the IFN response is providing important insights on our understanding of antiviral action and immune surveillance.
Inhibition of the RNA polymerase III-mediated dsDNA-sensing pathway of innate immunity by vaccinia virus protein E3.
Valentine Robert,Smith Geoffrey L
The Journal of general virology
The vaccinia virus E3 protein is an important intracellular modulator of innate immunity that can be split into distinct halves. The C terminus contains a well defined dsRNA-binding domain, whereas the N terminus contains a Z-DNA-binding domain, and both domains are required for virulence. In this study, we investigated whether the E3 Z-DNA-binding domain functions by sequestering cytoplasmic dsDNA thereby preventing the induction of type I interferon (IFN). In line with this hypothesis, expression of E3 ablated both IFN-beta expression and NF-kappaB activity in response to the dsDNA, poly(dA-dT). However, surprisingly, the ability of E3 to block poly(dA-dT) signalling was independent of the N terminus, whereas the dsRNA-binding domain was essential, suggesting that the Z-DNA-binding domain does not bind immunostimulatory dsDNA. This was confirmed by the failure of E3 to co-precipitate with biotinylated dsDNA, whereas the recruitment of several cytoplasmic DNA-binding proteins could be detected. Recently, AT-rich dsDNA was reported to be transcribed into 5'-triphosphate poly(A-U) RNA by RNA polymerase III, which then activates retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I). Consistent with this, RNA from poly(dA-dT) transfected cells induced IFN-beta and expression of the E3 dsRNA-binding domain was sufficient to ablate this response. Given the well documented function of the E3 dsRNA-binding domain we propose that E3 blocks signalling in response to poly(dA-dT) by binding to transcribed poly(A-U) RNA preventing RIG-I activation. This report describes a DNA virus-encoded inhibitor of the RNA polymerase III-dsDNA-sensing pathway and extends our knowledge of E3 as a modulator of innate immunity.
Comparative analysis of poxvirus orthologues of the vaccinia virus E3 protein: modulation of protein kinase R activity, cytokine responses, and virus pathogenicity.
Myskiw Chad,Arsenio Janilyn,Hammett Craig,van Bruggen Rebekah,Deschambault Yvon,Beausoleil Nicole,Babiuk Shawn,Cao Jingxin
Journal of virology
Poxviruses are important human and animal pathogens that have evolved elaborate strategies for antagonizing host innate and adaptive immunity. The E3 protein of vaccinia virus, the prototypic member of the orthopoxviruses, functions as an inhibitor of innate immune signaling and is essential for vaccinia virus replication in vivo and in many human cell culture systems. However, the function of orthologues of E3 expressed by poxviruses of other genera with different host specificity remains largely unknown. In the present study, we characterized the E3 orthologues from sheeppox virus, yaba monkey tumor virus, swinepox virus, and myxoma virus for their ability to modulate protein kinase R (PKR) function, cytokine responses and virus pathogenicity. We found that the E3 orthologues of myxoma virus and swinepox virus could suppress PKR activation and interferon (IFN)-induced antiviral activities and restore the host range function of E3 in HeLa cells. In contrast, the E3 orthologues from sheeppox virus and yaba monkey tumor virus were unable to inhibit PKR activation. While the sheeppox orthologue was unable to restore the host range function of E3, the yaba monkey tumor virus orthologue partially restored E3-deficient vaccinia virus replication in HeLa cells, correlated with its ability to suppress IFN-induced antiviral activities. Moreover, poxvirus E3 orthologues show varying ability to inhibit the induction of antiviral and proinflammatory cytokines. Despite these in vitro results, none of the E3 orthologues tested was capable of restoring pathogenicity to E3-deficient vaccinia virus in vivo.
Regulation of vaccinia virus E3 protein by small ubiquitin-like modifier proteins.
González-Santamaría José,Campagna Michela,García María Angel,Marcos-Villar Laura,González Dolores,Gallego Pedro,Lopitz-Otsoa Fernando,Guerra Susana,Rodríguez Manuel S,Esteban Mariano,Rivas Carmen
Journal of virology
The vaccinia virus (VACV) E3 protein is essential for virulence and has antiapoptotic activity and the ability to impair the host innate immune response. Here we demonstrate that E3 interacts with SUMO1 through a small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO)-interacting motif (SIM). SIM integrity is required for maintaining the stability of the viral protein and for the covalent conjugation of E3 to SUMO1 or SUMO2, a modification that has a negative effect on the E3 transcriptional transactivation of the p53-upregulated modulator of apoptosis (PUMA) and APAF-1 genes. We also demonstrate that E3 is ubiquitinated, a modification that does not destabilize the wild-type protein but triggers the degradation of an E3-ΔSIM mutant. This report constitutes the first demonstration of the important roles that both SUMO and ubiquitin play in the regulation of the VACV protein E3.
Innate immune response of human plasmacytoid dendritic cells to poxvirus infection is subverted by vaccinia E3 via its Z-DNA/RNA binding domain.
Cao Hua,Dai Peihong,Wang Weiyi,Li Hao,Yuan Jianda,Wang Fangjin,Fang Chee-Mun,Pitha Paula M,Liu Jia,Condit Richard C,McFadden Grant,Merghoub Taha,Houghton Alan N,Young James W,Shuman Stewart,Deng Liang
Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) play important roles in antiviral innate immunity by producing type I interferon (IFN). In this study, we assess the immune responses of primary human pDCs to two poxviruses, vaccinia and myxoma virus. Vaccinia, an orthopoxvirus, was used for immunization against smallpox, a contagious human disease with high mortality. Myxoma virus, a Leporipoxvirus, causes lethal disease in rabbits, but is non-pathogenic in humans. We report that myxoma virus infection of human pDCs induces IFN-α and TNF production, whereas vaccinia infection does not. Co-infection of pDCs with myxoma virus plus vaccinia blocks myxoma induction effects. We find that heat-inactivated vaccinia (Heat-VAC; by incubating the virus at 55°C for 1 h) gains the ability to induce IFN-α and TNF in primary human pDCs. Induction of IFN-α in pDCs by myxoma virus or Heat-VAC is blocked by chloroquine, which inhibits endosomal acidification required for TLR7/9 signaling, and by inhibitors of cellular kinases PI3K and Akt. Using purified pDCs from genetic knockout mice, we demonstrate that Heat-VAC-induced type I IFN production in pDCs requires the endosomal RNA sensor TLR7 and its adaptor MyD88, transcription factor IRF7 and the type I IFN feedback loop mediated by IFNAR1. These results indicate that (i) vaccinia virus, but not myxoma virus, expresses inhibitor(s) of the poxvirus sensing pathway(s) in pDCs; and (ii) Heat-VAC infection fails to produce inhibitor(s) but rather produces novel activator(s), likely viral RNA transcripts that are sensed by the TLR7/MyD88 pathway. Using vaccinia gene deletion mutants, we show that the Z-DNA/RNA binding domain at the N-terminus of the vaccinia immunomodulatory E3 protein is an antagonist of the innate immune response of human pDCs to poxvirus infection and TLR agonists. The myxoma virus ortholog of vaccinia E3 (M029) lacks the N-terminal Z-DNA/RNA binding domain, which might contribute to the immunostimulating properties of myxoma virus.
Vaccinia virus E3 suppresses expression of diverse cytokines through inhibition of the PKR, NF-kappaB, and IRF3 pathways.
Myskiw Chad,Arsenio Janilyn,van Bruggen Rebekah,Deschambault Yvon,Cao Jingxin
Journal of virology
The vaccinia virus double-stranded RNA binding protein E3 has been demonstrated to inhibit the expression of cytokines, including beta interferon (IFN-beta) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha). However, few details regarding the molecular mechanisms of this inhibition have been described. Using real-time PCR arrays, we found that E3 suppressed the induction of a diverse array of cytokines representing members of the IFN, interleukin (IL), TNF, and transforming growth factor cytokine families. We discovered that the factor(s) responsible for the induction of IL-6, TNF-alpha, and inhibin beta A (INHBA) was associated with the early and late phases of virus infection. In contrast, the factor(s) which regulates IFN-beta induction was associated with the late phase of replication. We have found that expression of these cytokines can be induced by transfection of cells with RNA isolated from vaccinia virus-infected cells. Moreover, we provide evidence that E3 antagonizes both PKR-dependent and PKR-independent pathways to regulate cytokine expression. PKR-dependent activation of p38 and NF-kappaB was required for vaccinia virus-induced INHBA expression, whereas induction of TNF-alpha required only PKR-dependent NF-kappaB activation. In contrast, induction of IL-6 and IFN-beta was largely PKR independent. IL-6 induction is regulated by NF-kappaB, while IFN-beta induction is mediated by IFN-beta promoter stimulator 1 and IFN regulatory factor 3/NF-kappaB. Collectively, these results indicate that E3 suppresses distinct but interlinked host signaling pathways to inhibit the expression of a diverse array of cytokines.
Double-stranded RNA is a trigger for apoptosis in vaccinia virus-infected cells.
Kibler K V,Shors T,Perkins K B,Zeman C C,Banaszak M P,Biesterfeldt J,Langland J O,Jacobs B L
Journal of virology
The vaccinia virus E3L gene codes for double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) binding proteins which can prevent activation of the dsRNA-dependent, interferon-induced protein kinase PKR. Activated PKR has been shown to induce apoptosis in HeLa cells. HeLa cells infected with vaccinia virus with the E3L gene deleted have also been shown to undergo apoptosis, whereas HeLa cells infected with wild-type vaccinia virus do not. In this report, using virus recombinants expressing mutant E3L products or alternative dsRNA binding proteins, we show that suppression of induction of apoptosis correlates with functional binding of proteins to dsRNA. Infection of HeLa cells with ts23, which leads to synthesis of increased dsRNA at restrictive temperature, induced apoptosis at restrictive but not permissive temperatures. Treatment of cells with cytosine arabinoside, which blocks the late buildup of dsRNA in vaccinia virus-infected cells, prevented induction of apoptosis by vaccinia virus with E3L deleted. Cells transfected with dsRNA in the absence of virus infection also underwent apoptosis. These results suggest that dsRNA is a trigger that can initiate a suicide response in virus-infected and perhaps uninfected cells.
Crystallization and preliminary X-ray crystallographic study of the viral Zalpha domain bound to left-handed Z-DNA.
Ha Sung Chul,Oh Doo-Byoung,Kim Kyeong Kyu,Kim Yang-Gyun
Protein and peptide letters
The Zalpha domain (yabaZalpha(E3L)) of the E3L protein homologue from Yaba-like disease virus, a yatavirus, was co-crystallized with d(TCGCGCG)(2) in the Z-conformation. The crystals belong to the P2(1)2(1)2 space group, with unit-cell parameters a=51.20 Angstroms, b=92.45 Angstroms, c=48.02 Angstroms, alpha=beta= gamma=90 degrees. The diffraction data were collected up to a resolution of 2.2 Angstroms. The structure of viral Zalpha motif will provide an insight into how diverse Zalpha motifs recognize Z-DNA.
Binding and nuclear relocalization of protein kinase R by human cytomegalovirus TRS1.
Hakki Morgan,Marshall Emily E,De Niro Katherine L,Geballe Adam P
Journal of virology
The human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) TRS1 and IRS1 genes block the phosphorylation of the alpha subunit of eukaryotic initiation factor 2 (eIF2alpha) and the consequent shutoff of cellular protein synthesis that occur during infection with vaccinia virus (VV) deleted of the double-stranded RNA binding protein gene E3L (VVDeltaE3L). To further define the underlying mechanism, we first evaluated the effect of pTRS1 on protein kinase R (PKR), the double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-dependent eIF2alpha kinase. Immunoblot analyses revealed that pTRS1 expression in the context of a VVDeltaE3L recombinant decreased levels of PKR in the cytoplasm and increased its levels in the nucleus of infected cells, an effect not seen with wild-type VV or a VVDeltaE3L recombinant virus expressing E3L. This effect of pTRS1 was confirmed by visualizing the nuclear relocalization of PKR-EGFP expressed by transient transfection. PKR present in both the nuclear and cytoplasmic fractions was nonphosphorylated, indicating that it was unactivated when TRS1 was present. PKR also accumulated in the nucleus during HCMV infection as determined by indirect immunofluorescence and immunoblot analysis. Binding assays revealed that pTRS1 interacted with PKR in mammalian cells and in vitro. This interaction required the same carboxy-terminal region of pTRS1 that is necessary to rescue VVDeltaE3L replication in HeLa cells. The carboxy terminus of pIRS1 was also required for rescue of VVDeltaE3L and for mediating an interaction of pIRS1 with PKR. These results suggest that these HCMV genes directly interact with PKR and inhibit its activation by sequestering it in the nucleus, away from both its activator, cytoplasmic dsRNA, and its substrate, eIF2alpha.
Double-stranded RNA binding by a heterodimeric complex of murine cytomegalovirus m142 and m143 proteins.
Child Stephanie J,Hanson Laura K,Brown Crystal E,Janzen Deanna M,Geballe Adam P
Journal of virology
In response to viral infection, cells activate a variety of antiviral responses, including several that are triggered by double-stranded (ds) RNA. Among these are the protein kinase R and oligoadenylate synthetase/RNase L pathways, both of which result in the shutoff of protein synthesis. Many viruses, including human cytomegalovirus, encode dsRNA-binding proteins that prevent the activation of these pathways and thereby enable continued protein synthesis and viral replication. We have extended these analyses to another member of the beta subfamily of herpesviruses, murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV), and now report that products of the m142 and m143 genes together bind dsRNA. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments demonstrate that these two proteins interact in infected cells, consistent with their previously reported colocalization. Jointly, but not individually, the proteins rescue replication of a vaccinia virus mutant with a deletion of the dsRNA-binding protein gene E3L (VVDeltaE3L). Like the human cytomegalovirus dsRNA-binding protein genes TRS1 and IRS1, m142 and m143 are members of the US22 gene family. We also found that two other members of the MCMV US22 family, M23 and M24, encode dsRNA-binding proteins, but they do not rescue VVDeltaE3L replication. These results reveal that MCMV, like many other viruses, encodes dsRNA-binding proteins, at least two of which can inhibit dsRNA-activated antiviral pathways. However, unlike other well-studied examples, the MCMV proteins appear to act in a heterodimeric complex.
Vaccinia virus double-stranded RNA-binding protein E3 does not interfere with siRNA-mediated gene silencing in mammalian cells.
Lantermann Markus,Schwantes Astrid,Sliva Katja,Sutter Gerd,Schnierle Barbara S
Vaccinia virus (VACV) evolved several strategies to evade antiviral cellular defence. The vaccinia virus E3 protein for example binds and sequesters double stranded RNA (dsRNA) and counteracts interferon action. We were interested to find out whether and to what extend E3 interferes with RNA silencing mediated by short interfering RNA (siRNA) in mammalian cells. We could show that the expression of a VACV-encoded marker gene can be efficiently inhibited by siRNA independently of the presence of the E3 protein. In addition, expression of E3 had no impact on RNA polymerase III promoter-derived shRNA-induced silencing of a cellular gene in human cells. Both VACV early and late gene expression could be inhibited by siRNA. Furthermore, downregulation of the expression of the E3L gene itself by siRNA in VACV infected cells produced the previously described phenotype of a knock-out virus, which illustrates the power of siRNA for vaccinia virus gene function analysis.
Phylogenetic analysis of parapoxviruses and the C-terminal heterogeneity of viral ATPase proteins.
Chan Kun-Wei,Yang Cheng-Hsiung,Lin Jen-Wei,Wang Hsien-Chi,Lin Fong-Yuan,Kuo Shu-Ting,Wong Min-Liang,Hsu Wei-Li
Two outbreaks of orf virus (a parapoxvirus) infection in goats found in Nantou and Taiping of central Taiwan were investigated. The nucleotide and the amino acid sequences of viral B2L, E3L and A32L genes in these two outbreaks were analyzed, and each of their phylogenetic trees were also constructed. In the A32L gene, an unexpected deletion of 24 nucleotides was found in the Taiping strain. The A32L gene can encode an ATPase and is supposed to be involved in virion DNA packaging. The 24 nucleotides correspond to 8 amino acids residues of the viral ATPase, which are located near the C-terminal region of the enzyme. Moreover, two copies of the RGD sequence at C-terminal region of ATPase were found in the Nantou strain. The 24-nucleotide difference in the A32L gene indicated that the Nantou strain and the Taiping strain were two separate strains, and it can be used in differential molecular diagnosis. Moreover, the C-terminal heterogeneity was found to be a general feature of the viral ATPase. Lastly, similar functional motifs of the ATPase and the Ras proto-oncoprotein (a GTPase) are discussed.
Specific inhibition of the PKR-mediated antiviral response by the murine cytomegalovirus proteins m142 and m143.
Budt Matthias,Niederstadt Lars,Valchanova Ralitsa S,Jonjić Stipan,Brune Wolfram
Journal of virology
Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) produced during viral infection activates several cellular antiviral responses. Among the best characterized is the shutoff of protein synthesis mediated by the dsRNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR) and the oligoadenylate synthetase (OAS)/RNase L system. As viral replication depends on protein synthesis, many viruses have evolved mechanisms for counteracting the PKR and OAS/RNase L pathways. The murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) proteins m142 and m143 have been characterized as dsRNA binding proteins that inhibit PKR activation, phosphorylation of the translation initiation factor eIF2alpha, and a subsequent protein synthesis shutoff. In the present study we analyzed the contribution of the PKR- and the OAS-dependent pathways to the control of MCMV replication in the absence or presence of m142 and m143. We show that the induction of eIF2alpha phosphorylation during infection with an m142- and m143-deficient MCMV is specifically mediated by PKR, not by the related eIF2alpha kinases PERK or GCN2. PKR antagonists of vaccinia virus (E3L) or herpes simplex virus (gamma34.5) rescued the replication defect of an MCMV strain with deletions of both m142 and m143. Moreover, m142 and m143 bound to each other and interacted with PKR. By contrast, an activation of the OAS/RNase L pathway by MCMV was not detected in the presence or absence of m142 and m143, suggesting that these viral proteins have little or no influence on this pathway. Consistently, an m142- and m143-deficient MCMV strain replicated to high titers in fibroblasts lacking PKR but did not replicate in cells lacking RNase L. Hence, the PKR-mediated antiviral response is responsible for the essentiality of m142 and m143.
Essential role for either TRS1 or IRS1 in human cytomegalovirus replication.
Marshall Emily E,Bierle Craig J,Brune Wolfram,Geballe Adam P
Journal of virology
Viral infections often produce double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), which in turn triggers potent antiviral responses, including the global repression of protein synthesis mediated by protein kinase R (PKR) and 2'-5' oligoadenylate synthetase (OAS). As a consequence, many viruses have evolved genes, such as those encoding dsRNA-binding proteins, which counteract these pathways. Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) encodes two related proteins, pTRS1 and pIRS1, which bind dsRNA and can prevent activation of the PKR and OAS pathways. HCMV mutants lacking either IRS1 or TRS1 replicate at least moderately well in cell culture. However, as we demonstrate in the present study, an HCMV mutant lacking both IRS1 and TRS1 (HCMV[DeltaI/DeltaT]) has a severe replication defect. Infection with HCMV[DeltaI/DeltaT] results in a profound inhibition of overall and viral protein synthesis, as well as increased phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 2alpha (eIF2alpha). The vaccinia virus E3L gene can substitute for IRS1 or TRS1, enabling HCMV replication. Despite the accumulation of dsRNA in HCMV-infected cells, the OAS pathway remains inactive, even in HCMV[DeltaI/DeltaT]-infected cells. These results suggest that PKR-mediated phosphorylation of eIF2alpha is the dominant dsRNA-activated pathway responsible for inhibition of protein synthesis and HCMV replication in the absence of both IRS1 and TRS1 and that the requirement for evasion of the PKR pathway likely explains the necessity for IRS1 or TRS1 for productive infection.
Viral host-range factor C7 or K1 is essential for modified vaccinia virus Ankara late gene expression in human and murine cells, irrespective of their capacity to inhibit protein kinase R-mediated phosphorylation of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2alpha.
Backes Simone,Sperling Karin M,Zwilling Joachim,Gasteiger Georg,Ludwig Holger,Kremmer Elisabeth,Schwantes Astrid,Staib Caroline,Sutter Gerd
The Journal of general virology
Vaccinia virus (VACV) infection induces phosphorylation of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2alpha (eIF2alpha), which inhibits cellular and viral protein synthesis. In turn, VACV has evolved the capacity to antagonize this antiviral response by expressing the viral host-range proteins K3 and E3. This study revealed that the host-range genes K1L and C7L also prevent eIF2alpha phosphorylation in modified VACV Ankara (MVA) infection of several human and murine cell lines. Moreover, C7L-deleted MVA (MVA-DeltaC7L) lacked late gene expression, which could be rescued by the function of host-range factor K1 or C7. It was demonstrated that viral gene expression was blocked after viral DNA replication and that it was independent of apoptosis induction. Furthermore, it was found that eIF2alpha phosphorylation in MVA-DeltaC7L-infected cells is mediated by protein kinase R (PKR) as shown in murine embryonic fibroblasts lacking PKR function, and it was shown that this was not due to reduced E3L gene expression. The block of eIF2alpha phosphorylation by C7 could be complemented by K1 in cells infected with MVA-DeltaC7L encoding a reinserted K1L gene (MVA-DeltaC7L-K1L). Importantly, these data illustrated that eIF2alpha phosphorylation by PKR is not responsible for the block of late viral gene expression. This suggests that other mechanisms targeted by C7 and K1 are essential for completing the MVA gene expression cycle and probably also for VACV replication in a diverse set of cell types.
The Zalpha domain of PKZ from Carassius auratus can bind to d(GC)(n) in negative supercoils.
Wu Chu-Xin,Wang Shu-Jun,Lin Gang,Hu Cheng-Yu
Fish & shellfish immunology
PKZ was the most recently discovered member of eIF2alpha kinase family in fish. CaPKZ, the first identified fish PKZ, possessed a conserved eIF2alpha kinase catalytic domain in C-terminal and two Z-DNA binding domains (Zalpha) in N-terminal. The Zalpha of CaPKZ closely resembled that of other Z-DNA binding proteins: ADAR1, DLM-1, and E3L. In order to understand more about the function of CaPKZ, we expressed and purified three constructed peptides of CaPKZ (P(Zalpha)): P(Zalpha1Zalpha2), P(Zalpha1Zalpha1) and P(Zalpha2)(Zalpha2). Moreover, most of the plasmids containing d(GC)(n) inserts were maintained in the Z-conformation, as confirmed by using inhibition of methylation experiments and anti-Z-DNA antibody. Gel mobility shift assays were then used to examine the affinity of these P(Zalpha) to the recombinant plasmids. Meanwhile, a competition experiment using P(Zalpha1Zalpha2) and anti-Z-DNA antibody was performed. The results revealed that P(Zalpha1Zalpha2) and P(Zalpha1Zalpha1) were able to bind to the recombinant plasmids with high affinity, whereas P(Zalpha2)(Zalpha2) could not bind to it. In addition, dimerization of P(Zalpha1Zalpha2) indicated the function unit of Zalpha of CaPKZ would be a dimer.
Z-DNA binding proteins as targets for structure-based virtual screening.
Kim Doyoun,Lee Young-Ho,Hwang Hye-Yeon,Kim Kyeong Kyu,Park Hyun-Ju
Current drug targets
Z-DNA, the alternative form of double-stranded DNA involved in a variety of nucleotide metabolism, is recognized and stabilized by specific Z-DNA binding proteins (ZBPs). Three ZBPs known in vertebrates -ADAR1, DAI and PKZ- modulate innate immunity, particularly, the IFN-induced immune response. The E3L protein of the vaccinia virus appears to compete with the host ZBP for Z-DNA binding, thereby suppressing the host immune system. ZBPs are, therefore, considered to be attractive therapeutic targets for infectious and immune diseases. Recent advances in computer-aided drug development combined with the high-resolution crystal and NMR structures of ZBPs have enabled us to discover novel candidates as ZBP inhibitors. In this study, we present an overview of Z-DNA and known ZBPs as drug targets, and summarize recent progress in the structure-based identification of ZBP inhibitors.
Characterization of a ranavirus inhibitor of the antiviral protein kinase PKR.
Rothenburg Stefan,Chinchar V Gregory,Dever Thomas E
BACKGROUND:Ranaviruses (family Iridoviridae) are important pathogens of lower vertebrates. However, little is known about how they circumvent the immune response of their hosts. Many ranaviruses contain a predicted protein, designated vIF2α, which shows homology with the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α. In analogy to distantly related proteins found in poxviruses vIF2α might act as an inhibitor of the antiviral protein kinase PKR. RESULTS:We have characterized the function of vIF2α from Rana catesbeiana virus Z (RCV-Z). Multiple sequence alignments and secondary structure prediction revealed homology of vIF2α with eIF2α throughout the S1-, helical- and C-terminal domains. Genetic and biochemical analyses showed that vIF2α blocked the toxic effects of human and zebrafish PKR in a heterologous yeast system. Rather than complementing eIF2α function, vIF2α acted in a manner comparable to the vaccinia virus (VACV) K3L protein (K3), a pseudosubstrate inhibitor of PKR. Both vIF2α and K3 inhibited human PKR-mediated eIF2α phosphorylation, but not PKR autophosphorylation on Thr446. In contrast the E3L protein (E3), another poxvirus inhibitor of PKR, inhibited both Thr446 and eIF2α Ser51 phosphorylation. Interestingly, phosphorylation of eIF2α by zebrafish PKR was inhibited by vIF2α and E3, but not by K3. Effective inhibition of PKR activity coincided with increased PKR expression levels, indicative of relieved autoinhibition of PKR expression. Experiments with vIF2α deletion constructs, showed that both the N-terminal and helical domains were sufficient for inhibition of PKR, whereas the C-terminal domain was dispensable. CONCLUSIONS:Our results show that RCV-Z vIF2α is a functional inhibitor of human and zebrafish PKR, and probably functions in similar fashion as VACV K3. This constitutes an important step in understanding the interaction of ranaviruses and the host innate immune system.
Myxoma virus protein M029 is a dual function immunomodulator that inhibits PKR and also conscripts RHA/DHX9 to promote expanded host tropism and viral replication.
Rahman Masmudur M,Liu Jia,Chan Winnie M,Rothenburg Stefan,McFadden Grant
Myxoma virus (MYXV)-encoded protein M029 is a member of the poxvirus E3 family of dsRNA-binding proteins that antagonize the cellular interferon signaling pathways. In order to investigate additional functions of M029, we have constructed a series of targeted M029-minus (vMyx-M029KO and vMyx-M029ID) and V5-tagged M029 MYXV. We found that M029 plays a pivotal role in determining the cellular tropism of MYXV in all mammalian cells tested. The M029-minus viruses were able to replicate only in engineered cell lines that stably express a complementing protein, such as vaccinia E3, but underwent abortive or abated infection in all other tested mammalian cell lines. The M029-minus viruses were dramatically attenuated in susceptible host European rabbits and caused no observable signs of myxomatosis. Using V5-tagged M029 virus, we observed that M029 expressed as an early viral protein is localized in both the nuclear and cytosolic compartments in virus-infected cells, and is also incorporated into virions. Using proteomic approaches, we have identified Protein Kinase R (PKR) and RNA helicase A (RHA)/DHX9 as two cellular binding partners of M029 protein. In virus-infected cells, M029 interacts with PKR in a dsRNA-dependent manner, while binding with DHX9 was not dependent on dsRNA. Significantly, PKR knockdown in human cells rescued the replication defect of the M029-knockout viruses. Unexpectedly, this rescue of M029-minus virus replication by PKR depletion could then be reversed by RHA/DHX9 knockdown in human monocytic THP1 cells. This indicates that M029 not only inhibits generic PKR anti-viral pathways, but also binds and conscripts RHA/DHX9 as a pro-viral effector to promote virus replication in THP1 cells. Thus, M029 is a critical host range and virulence factor for MYXV that is required for replication in all mammalian cells by antagonizing PKR-mediated anti-viral functions, and also conscripts pro-viral RHA/DHX9 to promote viral replication specifically in myeloid cells.
ISG15 is counteracted by vaccinia virus E3 protein and controls the proinflammatory response against viral infection.
Eduardo-Correia Benedito,Martínez-Romero Carles,García-Sastre Adolfo,Guerra Susana
Journal of virology
Conjugation of ISG15 inhibits replication of several viruses. Here, using an expression system for assaying human and mouse ISG15 conjugations (ISGylations), we have demonstrated that vaccinia virus E3 protein binds and antagonizes human and mouse ISG15 modification. To study ISGylation importance in poxvirus infection, we used a mouse model that expresses deconjugating proteases. Our results indicate that ISGylation restricts in vitro replication of the vaccinia virus VVΔE3L mutant but unconjugated ISG15 is crucial to counteract the inflammatory response produced after VVΔE3L infection.
Modified vaccinia virus Ankara triggers type I IFN production in murine conventional dendritic cells via a cGAS/STING-mediated cytosolic DNA-sensing pathway.
Dai Peihong,Wang Weiyi,Cao Hua,Avogadri Francesca,Dai Lianpan,Drexler Ingo,Joyce Johanna A,Li Xiao-Dong,Chen Zhijian,Merghoub Taha,Shuman Stewart,Deng Liang
Modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) is an attenuated poxvirus that has been engineered as a vaccine against infectious agents and cancers. Our goal is to understand how MVA modulates innate immunity in dendritic cells (DCs), which can provide insights to vaccine design. In this study, using murine bone marrow-derived dendritic cells, we assessed type I interferon (IFN) gene induction and protein secretion in response to MVA infection. We report that MVA infection elicits the production of type I IFN in murine conventional dendritic cells (cDCs), but not in plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs). Transcription factors IRF3 (IFN regulatory factor 3) and IRF7, and the positive feedback loop mediated by IFNAR1 (IFN alpha/beta receptor 1), are required for the induction. MVA induction of type I IFN is fully dependent on STING (stimulator of IFN genes) and the newly discovered cytosolic DNA sensor cGAS (cyclic guanosine monophosphate-adenosine monophosphate synthase). MVA infection of cDCs triggers phosphorylation of TBK1 (Tank-binding kinase 1) and IRF3, which is abolished in the absence of cGAS and STING. Furthermore, intravenous delivery of MVA induces type I IFN in wild-type mice, but not in mice lacking STING or IRF3. Treatment of cDCs with inhibitors of endosomal and lysosomal acidification or the lysosomal enzyme Cathepsin B attenuated MVA-induced type I IFN production, indicating that lysosomal enzymatic processing of virions is important for MVA sensing. Taken together, our results demonstrate a critical role of the cGAS/STING-mediated cytosolic DNA-sensing pathway for type I IFN induction in cDCs by MVA. We present evidence that vaccinia virulence factors E3 and N1 inhibit the activation of IRF3 and the induction of IFNB gene in MVA-infected cDCs.
Opposing Roles of Double-Stranded RNA Effector Pathways and Viral Defense Proteins Revealed with CRISPR-Cas9 Knockout Cell Lines and Vaccinia Virus Mutants.
Liu Ruikang,Moss Bernard
Journal of virology
UNLABELLED:Vaccinia virus (VACV) decapping enzymes and cellular exoribonuclease Xrn1 catalyze successive steps in mRNA degradation and prevent double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) accumulation, whereas the viral E3 protein can bind dsRNA. We showed that dsRNA and E3 colocalized within cytoplasmic viral factories in cells infected with a decapping enzyme mutant as well as with wild-type VACV and that they coprecipitated with antibody. An E3 deletion mutant induced protein kinase R (PKR) and eukaryotic translation initiation factor alpha (eIF2α) phosphorylation earlier and more strongly than a decapping enzyme mutant even though less dsRNA was made, leading to more profound effects on viral gene expression. Human HAP1 and A549 cells were genetically modified by clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat-Cas9 (CRISPR-Cas9) to determine whether the same pathways restrict E3 and decapping mutants. The E3 mutant replicated in PKR knockout (KO) HAP1 cells in which RNase L is intrinsically inactive but only with a double knockout (DKO) of PKR and RNase L in A549 cells, indicating that both pathways decreased replication equivalently and that no additional dsRNA pathway was crucial. In contrast, replication of the decapping enzyme mutant increased significantly (though less than that of wild-type virus) in DKO A549 cells but not in DKO HAP1 cells where a smaller increase in viral protein synthesis occurred. Xrn1 KO A549 cells were viable but nonpermissive for VACV; however, wild-type and mutant viruses replicated in triple-KO cells in which RNase L and PKR were also inactivated. Since KO of PKR and RNase L was sufficient to enable VACV replication in the absence of E3 or Xrn1, the poor replication of the decapping mutant, particularly in HAP1 DKO, cells indicated additional translational defects. IMPORTANCE:Viruses have evolved ways of preventing or counteracting the cascade of antiviral responses that double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) triggers in host cells. We showed that the dsRNA produced in excess in cells infected with a vaccinia virus (VACV) decapping enzyme mutant and by wild-type virus colocalized with the viral E3 protein in cytoplasmic viral factories. Novel human cell lines defective in either or both protein kinase R and RNase L dsRNA effector pathways and/or the cellular 5' exonuclease Xrn1 were prepared by CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing. Inactivation of both pathways was necessary and sufficient to allow full replication of the E3 mutant and reverse the defect cause by inactivation of Xrn1, whereas the decapping enzyme mutant still exhibited defects in gene expression. The study provided new insights into functions of the VACV proteins, and the well-characterized panel of CRISPR-Cas9-modified human cell lines should have broad applicability for studying innate dsRNA pathways.
Inhibition of DAI-dependent necroptosis by the Z-DNA binding domain of the vaccinia virus innate immune evasion protein, E3.
Koehler Heather,Cotsmire Samantha,Langland Jeffrey,Kibler Karen V,Kalman Daniel,Upton Jason W,Mocarski Edward S,Jacobs Bertram L
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vaccinia virus (VACV) encodes an innate immune evasion protein, E3, which contains an N-terminal Z-nucleic acid binding (Zα) domain that is critical for pathogenicity in mice. Here we demonstrate that the N terminus of E3 is necessary to inhibit an IFN-primed virus-induced necroptosis. VACV deleted of the Zα domain of E3 (VACV-E3LΔ83N) induced rapid RIPK3-dependent cell death in IFN-treated L929 cells. Cell death was inhibited by the RIPK3 inhibitor, GSK872, and infection with this mutant virus led to phosphorylation and aggregation of MLKL, the executioner of necroptosis. In 293T cells, induction of necroptosis depended on expression of RIPK3 as well as the host-encoded Zα domain-containing DNA sensor, DAI. VACV-E3LΔ83N is attenuated in vivo, and pathogenicity was restored in either RIPK3- or DAI-deficient mice. These data demonstrate that the N terminus of the VACV E3 protein prevents DAI-mediated induction of necroptosis.
Regulation of mRNA translation and cellular signaling by hepatitis C virus nonstructural protein NS5A.
He Y,Tan S L,Tareen S U,Vijaysri S,Langland J O,Jacobs B L,Katze M G
Journal of virology
The NS5A nonstructural protein of hepatitis C virus (HCV) has been shown to inhibit the cellular interferon (IFN)-induced protein kinase R (PKR). PKR mediates the host IFN-induced antiviral response at least in part by inhibiting mRNA translation initiation through phosphorylation of the alpha subunit of eukaryotic initiation factor 2 (eIF2alpha). We thus examined the effect of NS5A inhibition of PKR on mRNA translation within the context of virus infection by using a recombinant vaccinia virus (VV)-based assay. The VV E3L protein is a potent inhibitor of PKR. Accordingly, infection of IFN-pretreated HeLa S3 cells with an E3L-deficient VV (VVDeltaE3L) resulted in increased phosphorylation levels of both PKR and eIF2alpha. IFN-pretreated cells infected with VV in which the E3L locus was replaced with the NS5A gene (VVNS5A) displayed diminished phosphorylation of PKR and eIF2alpha in a transient manner. We also observed an increase in activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase in IFN-pretreated cells infected with VVDeltaE3L, consistent with reports that p38 lies downstream of the PKR pathway. Furthermore, these cells exhibited increased phosphorylation of the cap-binding initiation factor 4E (eIF4E), which is downstream of the p38 pathway. Importantly, these effects were reduced in cells infected with VVNS5A. NS5A was also found to inhibit activation of the p38-eIF4E pathway in epidermal growth factor-treated cells stably expressing NS5A. NS5A-induced inhibition of eIF2alpha and eIF4E phosphorylation may exert counteracting effects on mRNA translation. Indeed, IFN-pretreated cells infected with VVNS5A exhibited a partial and transient restoration of cellular and viral mRNA translation compared with IFN-pretreated cells infected with VVDeltaE3L. Taken together, these results support the role of NS5A as a PKR inhibitor and suggest a potential mechanism by which HCV might maintain global mRNA translation rate during early virus infection while favoring cap-independent translation of HCV mRNA during late infection.
A poxvirus protein forms a complex with left-handed Z-DNA: crystal structure of a Yatapoxvirus Zalpha bound to DNA.
Ha Sung Chul,Lokanath Neratur K,Van Quyen Dong,Wu Chun Ai,Lowenhaupt Ky,Rich Alexander,Kim Yang-Gyun,Kim Kyeong Kyu
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
A conserved feature of poxviruses is a protein, well characterized as E3L in vaccinia virus, that confers IFN resistance on the virus. This protein comprises two domains, an N-terminal Z-DNA-binding protein domain (Zalpha) and a C-terminal double-stranded RNA-binding domain. Both are required for pathogenicity of vaccinia virus in mice infected by intracranial injection. Here, we describe the crystal structure of the Zalpha domain from the E3L-like protein of Yaba-like disease virus, a Yatapoxvirus, in a complex with Z-DNA, solved at a 2.0-A resolution. The DNA contacting surface of Yaba-like disease virus Zalpha(E3L) closely resembles that of other structurally defined members of the Zalpha family, although some variability exists in the beta-hairpin region. In contrast to the Z-DNA-contacting surface, the nonbinding surface of members of the Zalpha family are unrelated; this surface may effect protein-specific interactions. The presence of the conserved and tailored Z-DNA-binding surface, which interacts specifically with the zigzag backbone and syn base diagnostic of the Z-form, reinforces the importance to poxvirus infection of the ability of this protein to recognize the Z-conformation.
Double-stranded RNA binding by human cytomegalovirus pTRS1.
Hakki Morgan,Geballe Adam P
Journal of virology
The human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) TRS1 and IRS1 genes rescue replication of vaccinia virus (VV) that has a deletion of the double-stranded RNA binding protein gene E3L (VVDeltaE3L). Like E3L, these HCMV genes block the activation of key interferon-induced, double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-activated antiviral pathways. We investigated the hypothesis that the products of these HCMV genes act by binding to dsRNA. pTRS1 expressed by cell-free translation or by infection of mammalian cells with HCMV or recombinant VV bound to dsRNA. Competition experiments revealed that pTRS1 preferentially bound to dsRNA compared to double-stranded DNA or single-stranded RNA. 5'- and 3'-end deletion analyses mapped the TRS1 dsRNA-binding domain to amino acids 74 through 248, a region of identity to pIRS1 that contains no homology to known dsRNA-binding proteins. Deletion of the majority of this region (Delta86-246) completely abrogated dsRNA binding. To determine the role of the dsRNA-binding domain in the rescue of VVDeltaE3L replication, wild-type or deletion mutants of TRS1 were transfected into HeLa cells, which were then infected with VVDeltaE3L. While full-length TRS1 rescued VVDeltaE3L replication, deletion mutants affecting a carboxy-terminal region of TRS1 that is not required for dsRNA binding failed to rescue VVDeltaE3L. Analyses of stable cell lines revealed that the carboxy-terminal domain is necessary to prevent the shutoff of protein synthesis and the phosphorylation of eIF2alpha after VVDeltaE3L infection. Thus, pTRS1 contains an unconventional dsRNA-binding domain at its amino terminus, but a second function involving the carboxy terminus is also required for countering host cell antiviral responses.
Vaccinia virus E3 protein prevents the antiviral action of ISG15.
Guerra Susana,Cáceres Ana,Knobeloch Klaus-Peter,Horak Ivan,Esteban Mariano
The ubiquitin-like modifier ISG15 is one of the most predominant proteins induced by type I interferons (IFN). In this study, murine embryo fibroblast (MEFs) and mice lacking the gene were used to demonstrate a novel role of ISG15 as a host defense molecule against vaccinia virus (VACV) infection. In MEFs, the growth of replication competent Western Reserve (WR) VACV strain was affected by the absence of ISG15, but in addition, virus lacking E3 protein (VVDeltaE3L) that is unable to grow in ISG15+/+ cells replicated in ISG15-deficient cells. Inhibiting ISG15 with siRNA or promoting its expression in ISG15-/- cells with a lentivirus vector showed that VACV replication was controlled by ISG15. Immunoprecipitation analysis revealed that E3 binds ISG15 through its C-terminal domain. The VACV antiviral action of ISG15 and its interaction with E3 are events independent of PKR (double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase). In mice lacking ISG15, infection with VVDeltaE3L caused significant disease and mortality, an effect not observed in VVDeltaE3L-infected ISG15+/+ mice. Pathogenesis in ISG15-deficient mice infected with VVDeltaE3L or with an E3L deletion mutant virus lacking the C-terminal domain triggered an enhanced inflammatory response in the lungs compared with ISG15+/+-infected mice. These findings showed an anti-VACV function of ISG15, with the virus E3 protein suppressing the action of the ISG15 antiviral factor.
Induction of protein kinase PKR-dependent activation of interferon regulatory factor 3 by vaccinia virus occurs through adapter IPS-1 signaling.
Zhang Ping,Samuel Charles E
The Journal of biological chemistry
Interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF-3) undergoes phosphorylation-induced activation in virus-infected cells and plays an important role in the antiviral innate immune response. The E3L protein encoded by vaccinia virus is known to impair phosphorylation and activation of IRF-3. Kinases in addition to I kappaB kinase-related kinases are implicated in the IRF-3-dependent antiviral response. To test in human cells the role of the protein kinase regulated by RNA (PKR) in IRF-3 activation, HeLa cells made stably deficient in PKR using an RNA interference strategy were compared with PKR-sufficient cells. Rapid phosphorylation and nuclear accumulation of IRF-3 were detected in PKR-sufficient cells following infection with E3L deletion mutant (DeltaE3L) virus. By contrast, the full IRF-3 activation response was largely abolished in PKR-deficient cells. The DeltaE3L virus-induced IRF-3 activation seen in PKR-sufficient cells was diminished by treatment with cytosine beta-D-arabinofuranoside. Furthermore, the vaccinia mutant ts23, which displays increased viral double-stranded RNA production at 39 degrees C, induced PKR-dependent IRF-3 phosphorylation at 39 degrees C but not at 31 degrees C. Both IRF-3 phosphorylation and cell apoptosis induced by infection with DeltaE3L virus were dependent upon RIG-I-like receptor signal transduction components, including the adapter IPS-1. These data suggest that PKR facilitates the host innate immune response and apoptosis in virus-infected cells by mediating IRF-3 activation through the mitochondrial IPS-1 signal transduction pathway.
Antagonism of the protein kinase R pathway by the guinea pig cytomegalovirus US22-family gene gp145.
Bierle Craig J,Schleiss Mark R,Geballe Adam P
Viral double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) activates protein kinase R (PKR), which phosphorylates eIF2α and inhibits translation. In response, viruses have evolved various strategies to evade the antiviral impact of PKR. We investigated whether guinea pig cytomegalovirus (GPCMV), a useful model of congenital CMV infection, encodes a gene that interferes with the PKR pathway. Using a proteomic screen, we identified several GPCMV dsRNA-binding proteins, among which only gp145 rescued replication of a vaccinia virus mutant that lacks E3L. gp145 also reversed the inhibitory effects of PKR on expression of a cotransfected reporter gene. Mapping studies demonstrated that the gp145 dsRNA-binding domain has homology to the PKR antagonists of other CMVs. However, dsRNA-binding by gp145 is not sufficient for it to block PKR. gp145 differs from the PKR antagonists of murine CMV in that it functions alone and from those encoded by human CMV in functioning in cells from both primates and rodents.
A survey of host range genes in poxvirus genomes.
Bratke Kirsten A,McLysaght Aoife,Rothenburg Stefan
Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases
Poxviruses are widespread pathogens, which display extremely different host ranges. Whereas some poxviruses, including variola virus, display narrow host ranges, others such as cowpox viruses naturally infect a wide range of mammals. The molecular basis for differences in host range are poorly understood but apparently depend on the successful manipulation of the host antiviral response. Some poxvirus genes have been shown to confer host tropism in experimental settings and are thus called host range factors. Identified host range genes include vaccinia virus K1L, K3L, E3L, B5R, C7L and SPI-1, cowpox virus CP77/CHOhr, ectromelia virus p28 and 022, and myxoma virus T2, T4, T5, 11L, 13L, 062R and 063R. These genes encode for ankyrin repeat-containing proteins, tumor necrosis factor receptor II homologs, apoptosis inhibitor T4-related proteins, Bcl-2-related proteins, pyrin domain-containing proteins, cellular serine protease inhibitors (serpins), short complement-like repeats containing proteins, KilA-N/RING domain-containing proteins, as well as inhibitors of the double-stranded RNA-activated protein kinase PKR. We conducted a systematic survey for the presence of known host range genes and closely related family members in poxvirus genomes, classified them into subgroups based on their phylogenetic relationship and correlated their presence with the poxvirus phylogeny. Common themes in the evolution of poxvirus host range genes are lineage-specific duplications and multiple independent inactivation events. Our analyses yield new insights into the evolution of poxvirus host range genes. Implications of our findings for poxvirus host range and virulence are discussed.
Research on substances with activity against orthopoxviruses.
Kołodziej Marcin,Joniec Justyna,Bartoszcze Michał,Gryko Romuald,Kocik Janusz,Knap Józef
Annals of agricultural and environmental medicine : AAEM
Although smallpox was eradicated over 30 years ago, the disease remains a major threat. High mortality, high infectivity and low resistance of the contemporary population make the smallpox virus very attractive to terrorists. The possible presence of illegal stocks of the virus or risk of deliberate genetic modifications cause serious concerns among experts. Hence, it is reasonable to seek effective drugs that could be used in case of smallpox outbreak. This paper reviews studies on compounds with proven in vitro or in vivo antipoxviruses potential, which show various mechanisms of action. Nucleoside analogues, such as cidofovir, can inhibit virus replication. Cidofovir derivatives are developed to improve the bioavailability of the drug. Among the nucleoside analogues under current investigation are: ANO (adenozine N1-oxide) and its derivatives, N-methanocarbothymidine [(N)-MCT], or derivatitives of aciklovir, peninclovir and brivudin. Recently, ST-246 - which effectively inhibits infection by limiting release of progeny virions - has become an object of attention. It has been also been demonstrated that compounds such as: nigericin, aptamers and peptides may have antiviral potential. An interesting strategy to fight infections was presented in experiments aimed at defining the role of individual genes (E3L, K3L or C6L) in the pathogenesis, and looking for their potential blockers. Additionally, among substances considered to be effective in the treatment of smallpox cases, there are factors that can block viral inhibitors of the human complement system, epidermal growth factor inhibitors or immunomodulators. Further studies on compounds with activity against poxviruses are necessary in order to broaden the pool of available means that could be used in the case of a new outbreak of smallpox.
Double-stranded RNA binding by the human cytomegalovirus PKR antagonist TRS1.
Bierle Craig J,Semmens Kathryn M,Geballe Adam P
Protein Kinase R (PKR) inhibits translation initiation following double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) binding and thereby represses viral replication. Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) encodes two noncanonical dsRNA binding proteins, IRS1 and TRS1, and the expression of at least one of these PKR antagonists is essential for HCMV replication. In this study, we investigated the role of dsRNA binding by TRS1 in PKR inhibition. We found that purified TRS1 binds specifically to dsRNA with an affinity lower than that of PKR. Point mutants in the TRS1 dsRNA binding domain that were deficient in rescuing the replication of vaccinia virus lacking its PKR antagonist E3L were unable to bind to dsRNA but retained the ability bind to PKR. Thus TRS1 binding to dsRNA and to PKR are separable. Overall, our results are most consistent with a model in which TRS1 binds simultaneously to both dsRNA and PKR to inhibit PKR activation.
Structural basis for Z-DNA binding and stabilization by the zebrafish Z-DNA dependent protein kinase PKZ.
de Rosa Matteo,Zacarias Sonia,Athanasiadis Alekos
Nucleic acids research
The RNA-dependent protein kinase PKR plays a central role in the antiviral defense of vertebrates by shutting down protein translation upon detection of viral dsRNA in the cytoplasm. In some teleost fish, PKZ, a homolog of PKR, performs the same function, but surprisingly, instead of dsRNA binding domains, it harbors two Z-DNA/Z-RNA-binding domains belonging to the Zalpha domain family. Zalpha domains have also been found in other proteins, which have key roles in the regulation of interferon responses such as ADAR1 and DNA-dependent activator of IFN-regulatory factors (DAI) and in viral proteins involved in immune response evasion such as the poxviral E3L and the Cyprinid Herpesvirus 3 ORF112. The underlying mechanism of nucleic acids binding and stabilization by Zalpha domains is still unclear. Here, we present two crystal structures of the zebrafish PKZ Zalpha domain (DrZalpha(PKZ)) in alternatively organized complexes with a (CG)6 DNA oligonucleotide at 2 and 1.8 Å resolution. These structures reveal novel aspects of the Zalpha interaction with DNA, and they give insights on the arrangement of multiple Zalpha domains on DNA helices longer than the minimal binding site.
Proteins that contain a functional Z-DNA-binding domain localize to cytoplasmic stress granules.
Ng Siew Kit,Weissbach Rebekka,Ronson George E,Scadden A D J
Nucleic acids research
Long double-stranded RNA may undergo hyper-editing by adenosine deaminases that act on RNA (ADARs), where up to 50% of adenosine residues may be converted to inosine. However, although numerous RNAs may undergo hyper-editing, the role for inosine-containing hyper-edited double-stranded RNA in cells is poorly understood. Nevertheless, editing plays a critical role in mammalian cells, as highlighted by the analysis of ADAR-null mutants. In particular, the long form of ADAR1 (ADAR1(p150)) is essential for viability. Moreover, a number of studies have implicated ADAR1(p150) in various stress pathways. We have previously shown that ADAR1(p150) localized to cytoplasmic stress granules in HeLa cells following either oxidative or interferon-induced stress. Here, we show that the Z-DNA-binding domain (Zα(ADAR1)) exclusively found in ADAR1(p150) is required for its localization to stress granules. Moreover, we show that fusion of Zα(ADAR1) to either green fluorescent protein (GFP) or polypyrimidine binding protein 4 (PTB4) also results in their localization to stress granules. We additionally show that the Zα domain from other Z-DNA-binding proteins (ZBP1, E3L) is likewise sufficient for localization to stress granules. Finally, we show that Z-RNA or Z-DNA binding is important for stress granule localization. We have thus identified a novel role for Z-DNA-binding domains in mammalian cells.
Adaptive gene amplification as an intermediate step in the expansion of virus host range.
Brennan Greg,Kitzman Jacob O,Rothenburg Stefan,Shendure Jay,Geballe Adam P
The majority of recently emerging infectious diseases in humans is due to cross-species pathogen transmissions from animals. To establish a productive infection in new host species, viruses must overcome barriers to replication mediated by diverse and rapidly evolving host restriction factors such as protein kinase R (PKR). Many viral antagonists of these restriction factors are species specific. For example, the rhesus cytomegalovirus PKR antagonist, RhTRS1, inhibits PKR in some African green monkey (AGM) cells, but does not inhibit human or rhesus macaque PKR. To model the evolutionary changes necessary for cross-species transmission, we generated a recombinant vaccinia virus that expresses RhTRS1 in a strain that lacks PKR inhibitors E3L and K3L (VVΔEΔK+RhTRS1). Serially passaging VVΔEΔK+RhTRS1 in minimally-permissive AGM cells increased viral replication 10- to 100-fold. Notably, adaptation in these AGM cells also improved virus replication 1000- to 10,000-fold in human and rhesus cells. Genetic analyses including deep sequencing revealed amplification of the rhtrs1 locus in the adapted viruses. Supplying additional rhtrs1 in trans confirmed that amplification alone was sufficient to improve VVΔEΔK+RhTRS1 replication. Viruses with amplified rhtrs1 completely blocked AGM PKR, but only partially blocked human PKR, consistent with the replication properties of these viruses in AGM and human cells. Finally, in contrast to AGM-adapted viruses, which could be serially propagated in human cells, VVΔEΔK+RhTRS1 yielded no progeny virus after only three passages in human cells. Thus, rhtrs1 amplification in a minimally permissive intermediate host was a necessary step, enabling expansion of the virus range to previously nonpermissive hosts. These data support the hypothesis that amplification of a weak viral antagonist may be a general evolutionary mechanism to permit replication in otherwise resistant host species, providing a molecular foothold that could enable further adaptations necessary for efficient replication in the new host.
Identification of 10 cowpox virus proteins that are necessary for induction of hemorrhagic lesions (red pocks) on chorioallantoic membranes.
Xu Zhiyong,Zikos Dimitrios,Tamošiūnaitė Aistė,Klopfleisch Robert,Osterrieder Nikolaus,Tischer B Karsten
Journal of virology
UNLABELLED:Cowpox viruses (CPXV) cause hemorrhagic lesions ("red pocks") on infected chorioallantoic membranes (CAM) of embryonated chicken eggs, while most other members of the genus Orthopoxvirus produce nonhemorrhagic lesions ("white pocks"). Cytokine response modifier A (CrmA) of CPXV strain Brighton Red (BR) is necessary but not sufficient for the induction of red pocks. To identify additional viral proteins involved in the induction of hemorrhagic lesions, a library of single-gene CPXV knockout mutants was screened. We identified 10 proteins that are required for the formation of hemorrhagic lesions, which are encoded by CPXV060, CPXV064, CPXV068, CPXV069, CPXV074, CPXV136, CPXV168, CPXV169, CPXV172, and CPXV199. The genes are the homologues of F12L, F15L, E2L, E3L, E8R, A4L, A33R, A34R, A36R, and B5R of vaccinia virus (VACV). Mutants with deletions in CPXV060, CPXV168, CPXV169, CPXV172, or CPXV199 induced white pocks with a comet-like shape on the CAM. The homologues of these five genes in VACV encode proteins that are involved in the production of extracellular enveloped viruses (EEV) and the repulsion of superinfecting virions by actin tails. The homologue of CPXV068 in VACV is also involved in EEV production but is not related to actin tail induction. The other genes encode immunomodulatory proteins (CPXV069 and crmA) and viral core proteins (CPXV074 and CPXV136), and the function of the product of CPXV064 is unknown. IMPORTANCE:It has been known for a long time that cowpox virus induces hemorrhagic lesions on chicken CAM, while most of the other orthopoxviruses produce nonhemorrhagic lesions. Although cowpox virus CrmA has been proved to be responsible for the hemorrhagic phenotype, other proteins causing this phenotype remain unknown. Recently, we generated a complete single-gene knockout bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library of cowpox virus Brighton strain. Out of 183 knockout BAC clones, 109 knockout viruses were reconstituted. The knockout library makes possible high-throughput screening for studying poxvirus replication and pathogenesis. In this study, we screened all 109 single-gene knockout viruses and identified 10 proteins necessary for inducing hemorrhagic lesions. The identification of these genes gives a new perspective for studying the hemorrhagic phenotype and may give a better understanding of poxvirus virulence.
Recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara generating excess early double-stranded RNA transiently activates protein kinase R and triggers enhanced innate immune responses.
Wolferstätter Michael,Schweneker Marc,Späth Michaela,Lukassen Susanne,Klingenberg Marieken,Brinkmann Kay,Wielert Ursula,Lauterbach Henning,Hochrein Hubertus,Chaplin Paul,Suter Mark,Hausmann Jürgen
Journal of virology
UNLABELLED:Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) is an important molecular pattern associated with viral infection and is detected by various extra- and intracellular recognition molecules. Poxviruses have evolved to avoid producing dsRNA early in infection but generate significant amounts of dsRNA late in infection due to convergent transcription of late genes. Protein kinase R (PKR) is activated by dsRNA and triggers major cellular defenses against viral infection, including protein synthesis shutdown, apoptosis, and type I interferon (IFN-I) production. The poxviral E3 protein binds and sequesters viral dsRNA and is a major antagonist of the PKR pathway. We found that the highly replication-restricted modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) engineered to produce excess amounts of dsRNA early in infection showed enhanced induction of IFN-β in murine and human cells in the presence of an intact E3L gene. IFN-β induction required a minimum overlap length of 300 bp between early complementary transcripts and was strongly PKR dependent. Excess early dsRNA produced by MVA activated PKR early but transiently in murine cells and induced enhanced systemic levels of IFN-α, IFN-γ, and other cytokines and chemokines in mice in a largely PKR-dependent manner. Replication-competent chorioallantois vaccinia virus Ankara (CVA) generating excess early dsRNA also enhanced IFN-I production and was apathogenic in mice even at very high doses but showed no in vitro host range defect. Thus, genetically adjuvanting MVA and CVA to generate excess early dsRNA is an effective method to enhance innate immune stimulation by orthopoxvirus vectors and to attenuate replicating vaccinia virus in vivo. IMPORTANCE:Efficient cellular sensing of pathogen-specific components, including double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), is an important prerequisite of an effective antiviral immune response. The prototype poxvirus vaccinia virus (VACV) and its derivative modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) produce dsRNA as a by-product of viral transcription. We found that inhibition of cellular dsRNA recognition established by the virus-encoded proteins E3 and K3 can be overcome by directing viral overexpression of dsRNA early in infection without compromising replication of MVA in permissive cells. Early dsRNA induced transient activation of the cellular dsRNA sensor protein kinase R (PKR), resulting in enhanced production of interferons and cytokines in cells and mice. Enhancing the capacity of MVA to activate the innate immune system is an important approach to further improve the immunogenicity of this promising vaccine vector.
Poxviral protein E3-altered cytokine production reveals that DExD/H-box helicase 9 controls Toll-like receptor-stimulated immune responses.
Dempsey Alan,Keating Sinead E,Carty Michael,Bowie Andrew G
The Journal of biological chemistry
Host pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs) detect viruses and other pathogens, inducing production of cytokines that cause inflammation and mobilize cells to control infection. Vaccinia virus (VACV) encodes proteins that antagonize these host innate immune responses, and elucidating the mechanisms of action of these viral proteins helped shed light on PRR signaling mechanisms. The VACV virulence factor E3 is one of the most intensely studied VACV proteins and has multiple effects on host cells, many of which cannot be explained by the currently known cellular targets of E3. Here, we report that E3 expression in human monocytes alters TLR2- and TLR8-dependent cytokine induction, and particularly inhibits interleukin (IL)-6. Using MS, we identified DExD/H-box helicase 9 (DHX9) as an E3 target. Although DHX9 has previously been implicated as a PRR for sensing nucleic acid in dendritic cells, we found no role for DHX9 as a nucleic acid-sensing PRR in monocytes. Rather, DHX9 suppression in these cells phenocopied the effects of E3 expression on TLR2- and TLR8-dependent cytokine induction, in that DHX9 was required for all TLR8-dependent cytokines measured, and for TLR2-dependent IL-6. Furthermore, DHX9 also had a cell- and stimulus-independent role in IL-6 promoter induction. DHX9 enhanced NF-κB-dependent IL-6 promoter activation, which was directly antagonized by E3. These results indicate new roles for DHX9 in regulating cytokines in innate immunity and reveal that VACV E3 disrupts innate immune responses by targeting of DHX9.
Expression of the Vaccinia Virus Antiapoptotic F1 Protein Is Blocked by Protein Kinase R in the Absence of the Viral E3 Protein.
Mehta Ninad,Enwere Emeka K,Santos Theodore Dos,Saffran Holly A,Hazes Bart,Evans David,Barry Michele,Smiley James R
Journal of virology
Poxviruses encode many proteins with the ability to regulate cellular signaling pathways. One such protein is the vaccinia virus innate immunity modulator E3. Multiple functions have been ascribed to E3, including modulating the cellular response to double-stranded RNA, inhibiting the NF-κB and IRF3 pathways, and dampening apoptosis. Apoptosis serves as a powerful defense against damaged and unwanted cells and is an effective defense against viral infection; many viruses therefore encode proteins that prevent or delay apoptosis. Here, we present data indicating that E3 does not directly inhibit the intrinsic apoptotic pathway; instead, it suppresses apoptosis indirectly by stimulating expression of the viral F1 apoptotic inhibitor. Our data demonstrate that E3 promotes F1 expression by blocking activation of the double-stranded RNA-activated protein kinase R (PKR). F1 mRNA is present in cells infected with E3-null virus, but the protein product does not detectably accumulate, suggesting a block at the translational level. We also show that two 3' coterminal transcripts span the F1 open reading frame (ORF), a situation previously described for the vaccinia virus mRNAs encoding the J3 and J4 proteins. One of these is a conventional monocistronic transcript of the F1L gene, while the other arises by read-through transcription from the upstream F2L gene and does not give rise to appreciable levels of F1 protein. Previous studies have shown that E3-deficient vaccinia virus triggers apoptosis of infected cells. Our study demonstrates that this proapoptotic phenotype stems, at least in part, from the failure of the mutant virus to produce adequate quantities of the viral F1 protein, which acts at the mitochondria to directly block apoptosis. Our data establish a regulatory link between the vaccinia virus proteins that suppress the innate response to double-stranded RNA and those that block the intrinsic apoptotic pathway.
Vaccinia virus infection attenuates innate immune responses and antigen presentation by epidermal dendritic cells.
Deng Liang,Dai Peihong,Ding Wanhong,Granstein Richard D,Shuman Stewart
Journal of virology
Langerhans cells (LCs) are antigen-presenting cells in the skin that play sentinel roles in host immune defense by secreting proinflammatory molecules and activating T cells. Here we studied the interaction of vaccinia virus with XS52 cells, a murine epidermis-derived dendritic cell line that serves as a surrogate model for LCs. We found that vaccinia virus productively infects XS52 cells, yet this infection displays an atypical response to anti-poxvirus agents. Whereas adenosine N1-oxide blocked virus production and viral protein synthesis during a synchronous infection, cytosine arabinoside had no effect at concentrations sufficient to prevent virus replication in BSC40 monkey kidney cells. Vaccinia virus infection of XS52 cells not only failed to elicit the production of various cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), IL-6, IL-10, IL-12 p40, alpha interferon (IFN-alpha), and IFN-gamma, it actively inhibited the production of proinflammatory cytokines TNF-alpha and IL-6 by XS52 cells in response to exogenous lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or poly(I:C). Infection with a vaccinia virus mutant lacking the E3L gene resulted in TNF-alpha secretion in the absence of applied stimuli. Infection of XS52 cells or BSC40 cells with the DeltaE3L virus, but not wild-type vaccinia virus, triggered proteolytic decay of IkappaBalpha. These results suggest a novel role for the E3L protein as an antagonist of the NF-kappaB signaling pathway. DeltaE3L-infected XS52 cells secreted higher levels of TNF-alpha and IL-6 in response to LPS and poly(I:C) than did cells infected with the wild-type virus. XS52 cells were productively infected by a vaccinia virus mutant lacking the K1L gene. DeltaK1L-infected cells secreted higher levels of TNF-alpha and IL-6 in response to LPS than wild-type virus-infected cells. Vaccinia virus infection of primary LCs harvested from mouse epidermis was nonpermissive, although a viral reporter protein was expressed in the infected LCs. Vaccinia virus infection of primary LCs strongly inhibited their capacity for antigen-specific activation of T cells. Our results highlight suppression of the skin immune response as a feature of orthopoxvirus infection.
Vaccinia virus K1L and C7L inhibit antiviral activities induced by type I interferons.
Meng Xiangzhi,Jiang Canhua,Arsenio Janilyn,Dick Kevin,Cao Jingxin,Xiang Yan
Journal of virology
Cellular tropism of vaccinia virus (VACV) is regulated by host range genes, including K1L, C7L, and E3L. While E3L is known to support viral replication by antagonizing interferon (IFN) effectors, including PKR, the exact functions of K1L and C7L are unclear. Here, we show that K1L and C7L can also inhibit antiviral effectors induced by type I IFN. In human Huh7 and MCF-7 cells, a VACV mutant lacking both K1L and C7L (vK1L-C7L-) replicated as efficiently as wild-type (WT) VACV, even in the presence of IFN. However, pretreating the cells with type I IFN, while having very little effect on WT VACV, blocked the replication of vK1L-C7L- at the step of intermediate viral gene translation. Restoring either K1L or C7L to vK1L(-)C7L(-) fully restored the IFN resistance phenotype. The deletion of K1L and C7L from VACV did not affect the ability of the virus to inhibit IFN signaling or its ability to inhibit the phosphorylation of PKR and the alpha subunit of eukaryotic initiation factor 2, indicating that K1L and C7L function by antagonizing an IFN effector(s) but with a mechanism that is different from those of IFN antagonists previously identified for VACV. Mutations of K1L that inactivate the host range function also rendered K1L unable to antagonize IFN, suggesting that K1L supports VACV replication in mammalian cells by antagonizing the same antiviral factor(s) that is induced by IFN in Huh7 cells.
Formation of antiviral cytoplasmic granules during orthopoxvirus infection.
Simpson-Holley M,Kedersha N,Dower K,Rubins K H,Anderson P,Hensley L E,Connor J H
Journal of virology
Vaccinia virus (VV) mutants lacking the double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-binding E3L protein (ΔE3L mutant VV) show restricted replication in most cell types, as dsRNA produced by VV activates protein kinase R (PKR), leading to eIF2α phosphorylation and impaired translation initiation. Here we show that cells infected with ΔE3L mutant VV assemble cytoplasmic granular structures which surround the VV replication factories at an early stage of the nonproductive infection. These structures contain the stress granule-associated proteins G3BP, TIA-1, and USP10, as well as poly(A)-containing RNA. These structures lack large ribosomal subunit proteins, suggesting that they are translationally inactive. Formation of these punctate structures correlates with restricted replication, as they occur in >80% of cells infected with ΔE3L mutant VV but in only 10% of cells infected with wild-type VV. We therefore refer to these structures as antiviral granules (AVGs). Formation of AVGs requires PKR and phosphorylated eIF2α, as mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) lacking PKR displayed reduced granule formation and MEFs lacking phosphorylatable eIF2α showed no granule formation. In both cases, these decreased levels of AVG formation correlated with increased ΔE3L mutant VV replication. Surprisingly, MEFs lacking the AVG component protein TIA-1 supported increased replication of ΔE3L mutant VV, despite increased eIF2α phosphorylation and the assembly of AVGs that lacked TIA-1. These data indicate that the effective PKR-mediated restriction of ΔE3L mutant VV replication requires AVG formation subsequent to eIF2α phosphorylation. This is a novel finding that supports the hypothesis that the formation of subcellular protein aggregates is an important component of the successful cellular antiviral response.
PKR Transduces MDA5-Dependent Signals for Type I IFN Induction.
Pham Alissa M,Santa Maria Felicia Gilfoy,Lahiri Tanaya,Friedman Eugene,Marié Isabelle J,Levy David E
Sensing invading pathogens early in infection is critical for establishing host defense. Two cytosolic RIG-like RNA helicases, RIG-I and MDA5, are key to type I interferon (IFN) induction in response to viral infection. Mounting evidence suggests that another viral RNA sensor, protein kinase R (PKR), may also be critical for IFN induction during infection, although its exact contribution and mechanism of action are not completely understood. Using PKR-deficient cells, we found that PKR was required for type I IFN induction in response to infection by vaccinia virus lacking the PKR antagonist E3L (VVΔE3L), but not by Sendai virus or influenza A virus lacking the IFN-antagonist NS1 (FluΔNS1). IFN induction required the catalytic activity of PKR, but not the phosphorylation of its principal substrate, eIF2α, or the resulting inhibition of host translation. In the absence of PKR, IRF3 nuclear translocation was impaired in response to MDA5 activators, VVΔE3L and encephalomyocarditis virus, but not during infection with a RIG-I-activating virus. Interestingly, PKR interacted with both RIG-I and MDA5; however, PKR was only required for MDA5-mediated, but not RIG-I-mediated, IFN production. Using an artificially activated form of PKR, we showed that PKR activity alone was sufficient for IFN induction. This effect required MAVS and correlated with IRF3 activation, but no longer required MDA5. Nonetheless, PKR activation during viral infection was enhanced by MDA5, as virus-stimulated catalytic activity was impaired in MDA5-null cells. Taken together, our data describe a critical and non-redundant role for PKR following MDA5, but not RIG-I, activation to mediate MAVS-dependent induction of type I IFN through a kinase-dependent mechanism.
Emergence of a Viral RNA Polymerase Variant during Gene Copy Number Amplification Promotes Rapid Evolution of Vaccinia Virus.
Cone Kelsey R,Kronenberg Zev N,Yandell Mark,Elde Nels C
Journal of virology
Viruses are under relentless selective pressure from host immune defenses. To study how poxviruses adapt to innate immune detection pathways, we performed serial vaccinia virus infections in primary human cells. Independent courses of experimental evolution with a recombinant strain lacking E3L revealed several high-frequency point mutations in conserved poxvirus genes, suggesting important roles for essential poxvirus proteins in innate immune subversion. Two distinct mutations were identified in the viral RNA polymerase gene A24R, which seem to act through different mechanisms to increase virus replication. Specifically, a Leu18Phe substitution encoded within A24R conferred fitness trade-offs, including increased activation of the antiviral factor protein kinase R (PKR). Intriguingly, this A24R variant underwent a drastic selective sweep during passaging, despite enhanced PKR activity. We showed that the sweep of this variant could be accelerated by the presence of copy number variation (CNV) at the K3L locus, which in multiple copies strongly reduced PKR activation. Therefore, adaptive cases of CNV can facilitate the accumulation of point mutations separate from the expanded locus. This study reveals how rapid bouts of gene copy number amplification during accrual of distant point mutations can potently facilitate poxvirus adaptation to host defenses. IMPORTANCE:Viruses can evolve quickly to defeat host immune functions. For poxviruses, little is known about how multiple adaptive mutations emerge in populations at the same time. In this study, we uncovered a means of vaccinia virus adaptation involving the accumulation of distinct genetic variants within a single population. We identified adaptive point mutations in the viral RNA polymerase gene A24R and, surprisingly, found that one of these mutations activates the nucleic acid sensing factor PKR. We also found that gene copy number variation (CNV) can provide dual benefits to evolving virus populations, including evidence that CNV facilitates the accumulation of a point mutation distant from the expanded locus. Our data suggest that transient CNV can accelerate the fixation of mutations conferring modest benefits, or even fitness trade-offs, and highlight how structural variation might aid poxvirus adaptation through both direct and indirect actions.
Poxvirus encoded eIF2α homolog, K3 family proteins, is a key determinant of poxvirus host species specificity.
Cao Jingxin,Varga Jessie,Deschambault Yvon
Protein kinase R plays a key role in innate antiviral immune responses of vertebrate animals. Most mammalian poxviruses encode two PKR antagonists, E3 (dsRNA binding) and K3 (eIF2α homolog) proteins. In this study, the role of K3 family proteins from poxviruses with distinct host tropisms in determining the virus host range was examined in a vaccinia E3L deletion mutant virus. It was found that K3 orthologs from the species-specific poxviruses (taterapox virus, sheeppox virus, myxoma virus, swinepox virus and yaba monkey tumor virus) restored the virus replication competency in cells derived from their natural hosts or related animal species. Further, it was found that the residues located in the helix insert region of the protein, K45 of vaccinia K3 and Y47 of the sheep poxvirus ortholog 011, are critical for the virus host species specificity. These observations demonstrate that poxvirus K3 proteins are major determinants of the virus host specificity.
Recognizing limits of Z-nucleic acid binding protein (ZBP1/DAI/DLM1) function.
Koehler Heather S,Feng Yanjun,Mandal Pratyusha,Mocarski Edward S
The FEBS journal
Z-nucleic acid binding protein (ZBP)1 (also known as DAI and DLM1) is a pathogen sensor activated by double-strand character RNA to recruit receptor-interacting protein (RIP) kinase via a RIP homotypic interaction motif. The activation of receptor-interacting protein kinase (RIPK)3 and initiation of virus-induced necroptosis were initially reported in a landmark publication Upton et al. (Cell Host Microbe 11: 290, 2012) employing the DNA virus murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV). M45-encoded viral inhibitor of RIP activation prevents virus-induced necroptosis. Additional virus-encoded suppressors of necroptosis were then identified, including herpes simplex virus ICP6 and vaccinia virus E3L. Caspase-8 suppressors encoded by these DNA viruses block apoptosis, unleashing necroptosis mediated through Z-nucleic acid binding protein 1 (ZBP1) recruitment of RIPK3. These studies all utilized ZBP1-deficient mice generated by the Akira Lab (Zbp1 ) to bring the significance of virus-induced necroptosis to light. C57BL/6 mice were chosen as controls based on the assumption that mutant mice were congenic; however, these mice were recently found to display an unexpected innate immune deficit, lacking C57BL/6-specific NK1.1 and Ly49H natural killer cell subpopulations important in the early control of MCMV infection. Short nucleotide polymorphism analysis of Zbp1 breeders revealed a mixed genetic background (~ 71% C57BL/6 DNA and ~ 29% 129). Even though this level of 129 strain background does not alter ZBP1 cell-autonomous function as a sensor and mediator of necroptosis, it confounds innate immune response characteristics. In the future, genetic background must be carefully controlled before implicating ZBP1 function in response characteristics that shape immunity, inflammation, metabolism, and pathogenesis.
CRISPR/Cas9 as an antiviral against Orthopoxviruses using an AAV vector.
A vaccine for smallpox is no longer administered to the general public, and there is no proven, safe treatment specific to poxvirus infections, leaving people susceptible to infections by smallpox and other zoonotic Orthopoxviruses such as monkeypox. Using vaccinia virus (VACV) as a model organism for other Orthopoxviruses, CRISPR-Cas9 technology was used to target three essential genes that are conserved across the genus, including A17L, E3L, and I2L. Three individual single guide RNAs (sgRNAs) were designed per gene to facilitate redundancy in rendering the genes inactive, thereby reducing the reproduction of the virus. The efficacy of the CRISPR targets was tested by transfecting human embryonic kidney (HEK293) cells with plasmids encoding both SaCas9 and an individual sgRNA. This resulted in a reduction of VACV titer by up to 93.19% per target. Following the verification of CRISPR targets, safe and targeted delivery of the VACV CRISPR antivirals was tested using adeno-associated virus (AAV) as a packaging vector for both SaCas9 and sgRNA. Similarly, AAV delivery of the CRISPR antivirals resulted in a reduction of viral titer by up to 92.97% for an individual target. Overall, we have identified highly specific CRISPR targets that significantly reduce VACV titer as well as an appropriate vector for delivering these CRISPR antiviral components to host cells in vitro.
Dual conformational recognition by Z-DNA binding protein is important for the B-Z transition process.
Park Chaehee,Zheng Xu,Park Chan Yang,Kim Jeesoo,Lee Seul Ki,Won Hyuk,Choi Jinhyuk,Kim Yang-Gyun,Choi Hee-Jung
Nucleic acids research
Left-handed Z-DNA is radically different from the most common right-handed B-DNA and can be stabilized by interactions with the Zα domain, which is found in a group of proteins, such as human ADAR1 and viral E3L proteins. It is well-known that most Zα domains bind to Z-DNA in a conformation-specific manner and induce rapid B-Z transition in physiological conditions. Although many structural and biochemical studies have identified the detailed interactions between the Zα domain and Z-DNA, little is known about the molecular basis of the B-Z transition process. In this study, we successfully converted the B-Z transition-defective Zα domain, vvZαE3L, into a B-Z converter by improving B-DNA binding ability, suggesting that B-DNA binding is involved in the B-Z transition. In addition, we engineered the canonical B-DNA binding protein GH5 into a Zα-like protein having both Z-DNA binding and B-Z transition activities by introducing Z-DNA interacting residues. Crystal structures of these mutants of vvZαE3L and GH5 complexed with Z-DNA confirmed the significance of conserved Z-DNA binding interactions. Altogether, our results provide molecular insight into how Zα domains obtain unusual conformational specificity and induce the B-Z transition.
A role for Z-DNA binding in vaccinia virus pathogenesis.
Kim Yang-Gyun,Muralinath Maneesha,Brandt Teresa,Pearcy Matthew,Hauns Kevin,Lowenhaupt Ky,Jacobs Bertram L,Rich Alexander
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
The N-terminal domain of the E3L protein of vaccinia virus has sequence similarity to a family of Z-DNA binding proteins of defined three-dimensional structure and it is necessary for pathogenicity in mice. When other Z-DNA-binding domains are substituted for the similar E3L domain, the virus retains its lethality after intracranial inoculation. Mutations decreasing Z-DNA binding in the chimera correlate with decreases in viral pathogenicity, as do analogous mutations in wild-type E3L. A chimeric virus incorporating a related protein that does not bind Z-DNA is not pathogenic, but a mutation that creates Z-DNA binding makes a lethal virus. The ability to bind the Z conformation is thus essential to E3L activity. This finding may allow the design of a class of antiviral agents, including agents against variola (smallpox), which has an almost identical E3L.
Double-stranded RNA-binding protein E3 controls translation of viral intermediate RNA, marking an essential step in the life cycle of modified vaccinia virus Ankara.
Ludwig Holger,Suezer Yasemin,Waibler Zoe,Kalinke Ulrich,Schnierle Barbara S,Sutter Gerd
The Journal of general virology
Infection of human cells with modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) activates the typical cascade-like pattern of viral early-, intermediate- and late-gene expression. In contrast, infection of human HeLa cells with MVA deleted of the E3L gene (MVA-DeltaE3L) results in high-level synthesis of intermediate RNA, but lacks viral late transcription. The viral E3 protein is thought to bind double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) and to act as an inhibitor of dsRNA-activated 2'-5'-oligoadenylate synthetase (2'-5'OA synthetase)/RNase L and protein kinase (PKR). Here, it is demonstrated that viral intermediate RNA can form RNase A/T1-resistant dsRNA, suggestive of activating both the 2'-5'OA synthetase/RNase L pathway and PKR in various human cell lines. Western blot analysis revealed that failure of late transcription in the absence of E3L function resulted from the deficiency to produce essential viral intermediate proteins, as demonstrated for vaccinia late transcription factor 2 (VLTF 2). Substantial host cell-specific differences were found in the level of activation of either RNase L or PKR. However, both rRNA degradation and phosphorylation of eukaryotic translation initiation factor-2alpha (eIF2alpha) inhibited the synthesis of VLTF 2 in human cells. Moreover, intermediate VLTF 2 and late-protein production were restored in MVA-DeltaE3L-infected mouse embryonic fibroblasts from Pkr(0/0) mice. Thus, both host-response pathways may be involved, but activity of PKR is sufficient to block the MVA molecular life cycle. These data imply that an essential function of vaccinia virus E3L is to secure translation of intermediate RNA and, thereby, expression of other viral genes.
The identification and characterization of a monoclonal antibody to the vaccinia virus E3 protein.
Weaver Jessica R,Shamim Mohammad,Alexander Edward,Davies D Huw,Felgner Philip L,Isaacs Stuart N
Monoclonal antibodies with reactivity to vaccinia virus specific proteins are useful reagents to study the proteins as well as to help understand aspects of the poxvirus life cycle. Using a vaccinia virus proteomics microarray, we found a hybridoma (MAb 3015B2) from a vaccinia virus vaccinated mouse that reacted with the product of the E3L gene. The specificity to the E3 protein was confirmed by Western blotting and immunofluorescence of cells infected with either wild-type vaccinia virus or a mutant virus with the E3L gene deleted. Antibody reactivity with E3 was also seen in cells transfected with a plasmid expressing the E3 protein. A panel of mutated vaccinia viruses with truncations in the E3L gene revealed that while MAb 3015B2 reacted with E3 lacking the C-terminal 7 amino acids, it lost reactivity with a mutant E3 lacking the C-terminal 26 amino acids. This indicates that the antigenic site recognized by 3015B2 is on the C-terminus, somewhere between amino acids 164 through 183. The antibody also recognizes the E3 protein encoded by other orthopoxviruses. This antibody will be useful for further investigations of the E3 protein as well as a useful reagent to indicate vaccinia virus early protein expression.
Inhibition of type III interferon activity by orthopoxvirus immunomodulatory proteins.
Bandi Prasanthi,Pagliaccetti Nicole E,Robek Michael D
Journal of interferon & cytokine research : the official journal of the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research
The type III interferon (IFN) family elicits an antiviral response that is nearly identical to that evoked by IFN-alpha/beta. However, these cytokines (known as IFN-lambda1, 2, and 3) signal through a distinct receptor, and thus may be resistant to the evasion strategies used by some viruses to avoid the IFN-alpha/beta response. Orthopoxviruses are highly resistant to IFN-alpha/beta because they encode well-characterized immunomodulatory proteins that inhibit IFN activity. These include a secreted receptor (B18R) that neutralizes IFN-alpha/beta, and a cytoplasmic protein (E3L) that blocks IFN-alpha/beta effector functions in infected cells. We therefore determined the ability of these immunomodulators to abrogate the IFN-lambda-induced antiviral response. We found that (i) vaccinia virus (VACV) replication is resistant to IFN-lambda antiviral activity; (ii) neither VACV B18R nor the variola virus homolog B20R neutralizes IFN-lambda; (iii) VACV E3L inhibits the IFN-lambda-mediated antiviral response through a PKR-dependent pathway; (iv) VACV infection inhibits IFN-lambdaR-mediated signal transduction and gene expression. These results demonstrate differential sensitivity of IFN-lambda to multiple distinct evasion mechanisms employed by a single virus.
Crystal structure of a poxvirus-like zalpha domain from cyprinid herpesvirus 3.
Tomé Ana Rita,Kuś Krzysztof,Correia Silvia,Paulo Lara Martins,Zacarias Sónia,de Rosa Matteo,Figueiredo Delio,Parkhouse R Michael E,Athanasiadis Alekos
Journal of virology
Zalpha domains are a subfamily of the winged helix-turn-helix domains sharing the unique ability to recognize CpG repeats in the left-handed Z-DNA conformation. In vertebrates, domains of this family are found exclusively in proteins that detect foreign nucleic acids and activate components of the antiviral interferon response. Moreover, poxviruses encode the Zalpha domain-containing protein E3L, a well-studied and potent inhibitor of interferon response. Here we describe a herpesvirus Zalpha-domain-containing protein (ORF112) from cyprinid herpesvirus 3. We demonstrate that ORF112 also binds CpG repeats in the left-handed conformation, and moreover, its structure at 1.75 Å reveals the Zalpha fold found in ADAR1, DAI, PKZ, and E3L. Unlike other Zalpha domains, however, ORF112 forms a dimer through a unique domain-swapping mechanism. Thus, ORF112 may be considered a new member of the Z-domain family having DNA binding properties similar to those of the poxvirus E3L inhibitor of interferon response.
Functional analysis of the short isoform of orf virus protein OV20.0.
Tseng Yeu-Yang,Lin Fong-Yuan,Cheng Sun-Fang,Tscharke David,Chulakasian Songkhla,Chou Chia-Chi,Liu Ya-Fen,Chang Wei-Shan,Wong Min-Liang,Hsu Wei-Li
Journal of virology
UNLABELLED:Orf virus (ORFV) OV20.0L is an ortholog of vaccinia virus (VACV) gene E3L. The function of VACV E3 protein as a virulence factor is well studied, but OV20.0 has received less attention. Here we show that like VACV E3L, OV20.0L encodes two proteins, a full-length protein and a shorter form (sh20). The shorter sh20 is an N-terminally truncated OV20.0 isoform generated when a downstream AUG codon is used for initiating translation. These isoforms differed in cellular localization, with full-length OV20.0 and sh20 found throughout the cell and predominantly in the cytoplasm, respectively. Nonetheless, both OV20.0 isoforms were able to bind double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-activated protein kinase (PKR) and dsRNA. Moreover, both isoforms strongly inhibited PKR activation as shown by decreased phosphorylation of the translation initiation factor eIF2α subunit and protection of Sindbis virus infection against the activity of interferon (IFN). In spite of this apparent conservation of function in vitro, a recombinant ORFV that was able to express only the sh20 isoform was attenuated in a mouse model. IMPORTANCE:The OV20.0 protein of orf virus (ORFV) has two isoforms and contributes to virulence, but the roles of the two forms are not known. This study shows that the shorter isoform (sh20) arises due to use of a downstream initiation codon and is amino-terminally truncated. The sh20 form also differs in expression kinetics and cellular localization from full-length OV20.0. Similar to the full-length isoform, sh20 is able to bind dsRNA and PKR, inactivate PKR, and thus act as an antagonist of the interferon response in vitro. In vivo, however, wild-type OV20.0 could not be replaced with sh20 alone without a loss of virulence, suggesting that the functions of the isoforms are not simply redundant.
Evasion of the Innate Immune Type I Interferon System by Monkeypox Virus.
Arndt William D,Cotsmire Samantha,Trainor Kelly,Harrington Heather,Hauns Kevin,Kibler Karen V,Huynh Trung P,Jacobs Bertram L
Journal of virology
UNLABELLED:The vaccinia virus (VACV) E3 protein has been shown to be important for blocking activation of the cellular innate immune system and allowing viral replication to occur unhindered. Mutation or deletion of E3L severely affects viral host range and pathogenesis. While the monkeypox virus (MPXV) genome encodes a homologue of the VACV E3 protein, encoded by the F3L gene, the MPXV gene is predicted to encode a protein with a truncation of 37 N-terminal amino acids. VACV with a genome encoding a similarly truncated E3L protein (VACV-E3LΔ37N) has been shown to be attenuated in mouse models, and infection with VACV-E3LΔ37N has been shown to lead to activation of the host antiviral protein kinase R pathway. In this report, we present data demonstrating that, despite containing a truncated E3 homologue, MPXV phenotypically resembles a wild-type (wt) VACV rather than VACV-E3LΔ37N. Thus, MPXV appears to contain a gene or genes that can suppress the phenotypes associated with an N-terminal truncation in E3. The suppression maps to sequences outside F3L, suggesting that the suppression is extragenic in nature. Thus, MPXV appears to have evolved mechanisms to minimize the effects of partial inactivation of its E3 homologue. IMPORTANCE:Poxviruses have evolved to have many mechanisms to evade host antiviral innate immunity; these mechanisms may allow these viruses to cause disease. Within the family of poxviruses, variola virus (which causes smallpox) is the most pathogenic, while monkeypox virus is intermediate in pathogenicity between vaccinia virus and variola virus. Understanding the mechanisms of monkeypox virus innate immune evasion will help us to understand the evolution of poxvirus innate immune evasion capabilities, providing a better understanding of how poxviruses cause disease.
Characterization of a PKR inhibitor from the pathogenic ranavirus, Ambystoma tigrinum virus, using a heterologous vaccinia virus system.
Huynh Trung P,Jancovich James K,Tripuraneni Latha,Heck Michael C,Langland Jeffrey O,Jacobs Bertram L
Ambystoma tigrinum virus (ATV) (family Iridoviridae, genus Ranavirus) was isolated from diseased tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum stebbinsi) from the San Rafael Valley in southern Arizona, USA in 1996. Genomic sequencing of ATV, as well as other members of the genus, identified an open reading frame that has homology to the eukaryotic translation initiation factor, eIF2α (ATV eIF2α homologue, vIF2αH). Therefore, we asked if the ATV vIF2αH could also inhibit PKR. To test this hypothesis, the ATV vIF2αH was cloned into vaccinia virus (VACV) in place of the well-characterized VACV PKR inhibitor, E3L. Recombinant VACV expressing ATV vIF2αH partially rescued deletion of the VACV E3L gene. Rescue coincided with rapid degradation of PKR in infected cells. These data suggest that the salamander virus, ATV, contains a novel gene that may counteract host defenses, and this gene product may be involved in the presentation of disease caused by this environmentally important pathogen.
Application of poxvirus K3 ortholog as a positive selection marker for constructing recombinant vaccinia viruses with modified host range.
Cao Jingxin,Layne Christine,Varga Jessie,Deschambault Yvon
Vaccinia virus is capable of replicating in a wide range of vertebrate animal cells. However, deletion of the two virus host range genes, E3L and K3L, would render replication of the virus abortive in all the cell types tested, except the cells with defective PKR and RNase L activity. By expressing different poxvirus K3 ortholog proteins in the E3L and K3L double knockout vaccinia virus, we can construct a mutant vaccinia virus with modified host range. Here, using poxvirus K3 ortholog as a positive selection marker, we developed a proof-of-concept protocol to construct recombinant vaccinia viruses expressing foreign proteins. Such a recombinant virus has a modified host range in comparison to wild-type vaccinia virus. This protocol offers the following advantages:➢Cheap: no additional selection reagent is required.➢Highly efficient: nearly all recombinant virus plaques picked would be the stable recombinant virus expressing the protein of interest.➢Rapid: starting from transfection with the recombinant DNA vector, a purified recombinant virus expressing the protein of interest could be obtained within a week.
Subversion of Programed Cell Death by Poxviruses.
Current topics in microbiology and immunology
Poxviruses have been long regarded as potent inhibitors of apoptotic cell death. More recently, they have been shown to inhibit necroptotic cell death through two distinct strategies. These strategies involve either blocking virus sensing by the host pattern recognition receptor, ZBP1 (also called DAI) or by influencing receptor interacting protein kinase (RIPK)3 signal transduction by inhibition of activation of the executioner of necroptosis, mixed lineage kinase-like protein (MLKL). Vaccinia virus E3 specifically blocks ZBP1 → RIPK3 → MLKL necroptosis, leaving virus-infected cells susceptible to the TNF death-receptor signaling (e.g., TNFR1 → FADD → RIPK1 → RIPK3 → MLKL), and, potentially, TLR3 → TRIF → RIPK3 → MLKL necroptosis. While E3 restriction of necroptosis appears to be common to many poxviruses that infect vertebrate hosts, another modulatory strategy not observed in vaccinia or variola virus manifests through subversion of MLKL activation. Recently described viral mimics of MLKL in other chordopoxviruses inhibit all three modes of necroptotic cell death. As with inhibition of apoptosis, the evolution of potentially redundant viral mechanisms to inhibit programmed necroptotic cell death emphasizes the importance of this pathway in the arms race between pathogens and their hosts.
Single Immunization of a Vaccine Vectored by a Novel Recombinant Vaccinia Virus Affords Effective Protection Against Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection in Cotton Rats.
Russell Marsha S,Thulasi Raman Sathya N,Gravel Caroline,Zhang Wanyue,Pfeifle Annabelle,Chen Wangxue,Van Domselaar Gary,Safronetz David,Johnston Michael,Sauve Simon,Wang Lisheng,Rosu-Myles Michael,Cao Jingxin,Li Xuguang
Frontiers in immunology
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a leading cause of respiratory infections worldwide and disease management measures are hampered by the lack of a safe and effective vaccine against the infection. We constructed a novel recombinant RSV vaccine candidate based on a deletion mutant vaccinia virus platform, in that the host range genes E3L and K3L were deleted (designated as VACVΔE3LΔK3L) and a poxvirus K3L ortholog gene was used as a marker for the rapid and efficient selection of recombinant viruses. The safety of the modified vaccinia virus was investigated by intranasal administration of BALB/c mice with the modified vaccinia vector using a dose known to be lethal in the wild-type Western Reserve. Only a minor loss of body weight by less than 5% and mild pulmonary inflammation were observed, both of which were transient in nature following nasal administration of the high-dose modified vaccinia virus. In addition, the viruses were cleared from the lung in 2 days with no viral invasions of the brain and other vital organs. These results suggest that the virulence of the virus has been essentially abolished. We then investigated the efficiency of the vector for the delivery of vaccines against RSV through comparison with another RSV vaccine delivered by the widely used Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) backbone. In the cotton rats, we found a single intramuscular administration of VACVΔE3LΔK3L-vectored vaccine elicited immune responses and protection at a level comparable to the MVA-vectored vaccine against RSV infection. The distinct features of this novel VACV vector, such as an E3L deletion for attenuation and a K3L ortholog for positive selection and high efficiency for vaccine delivery, could provide unique advantages to the application of VACV as a platform for vaccine development.
Small Hero with Great Powers: Vaccinia Virus E3 Protein and Evasion of the Type I IFN Response.
Szczerba Mateusz,Subramanian Sambhavi,Trainor Kelly,McCaughan Megan,Kibler Karen V,Jacobs Bertram L
Poxviridae have developed a plethora of strategies to evade innate and adaptive immunity. In this review, we focused on the vaccinia virus E3 protein, encoded by the gene. E3 is present within the subfamily (with the exception of the avipoxviruses and molluscum contagiosum virus) and displays pleiotropic effects on the innate immune system. Initial studies identified E3 as a double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-binding protein (through its C terminus), able to inhibit the activation of protein kinase dependent on RNA (PKR) and the 2'5'-oligoadenylate synthetase (OAS)/RNase L pathway, rendering E3 a protein counteracting the type I interferon (IFN) system. In recent years, N-terminal mutants of E3 unable to bind to Z-form nucleic acids have been shown to induce the cellular death pathway necroptosis. This pathway was dependent on host IFN-inducible Z-DNA-binding protein 1 (ZBP1); full-length E3 is able to inhibit ZBP1-mediated necroptosis. Binding to what was identified as Z-RNA has emerged as a novel mechanism of counteracting the type I IFN system and has broadened our understanding of innate immunity against viral infections. This article gives an overview of the studies leading to our understanding of the vaccinia virus E3 protein function and its involvement in viral pathogenesis. Furthermore, a short summary of other viral systems is provided.
The E3L gene of vaccinia virus encodes an inhibitor of the interferon-induced, double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase.
Chang H W,Watson J C,Jacobs B L
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
A vaccinia virus-encoded double-stranded RNA-binding protein, p25, has been previously implicated in inhibition of the interferon-induced, double-stranded RNA-activated protein kinase. In this study, we have identified the vaccinia viral gene (WR strain) that encodes p25. Amino acid sequence analysis of a chymotryptic fragment of p25 revealed a close match to the vaccinia virus (Copenhagen strain) E3L gene. The WR strain E3L gene was cloned and expressed either in COS-1 cells or in rabbit reticulocyte lysates in vitro. A M(r) 25,000 polypeptide that could bind to poly(rI).poly(rC)-agarose and that reacted with p25-specific antiserum was produced in each case. In addition, COS cells expressing E3L gene products inhibited activation of the double-stranded RNA-activated protein kinase in extracts from interferon-treated cells. Removal of E3L-encoded products by adsorption with anti-p25 antiserum resulted in loss of kinase inhibitory activity. These results demonstrate that the vaccinia virus E3L gene encodes p25 and that the products of the E3L gene have kinase inhibitory activity. Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequence of the E3L gene products with the protein sequence data base revealed a region closely related to the human interferon-induced, double-stranded RNA-activated protein kinase.
The E3L and K3L vaccinia virus gene products stimulate translation through inhibition of the double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase by different mechanisms.
Davies M V,Chang H W,Jacobs B L,Kaufman R J
Journal of virology
Vaccinia virus has evolved multiple mechanisms to counteract the interferon-induced antiviral host cell response. Recently, two vaccinia virus gene products were shown to interfere with the activity of the double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR): the K3L gene product and the E3L gene product. We have evaluated the efficiency by which these gene products inhibit PKR and whether they act in a synergistic manner. The effects of the two vaccinia virus gene products were compared in an in vivo system in which translation of a reporter gene (dihydrofolate reductase or eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2 alpha [eIF-2 alpha]) was inhibited because of the localized activation of PKR. In this system, the E3L gene product, and to a lesser extent the K3L gene product, potentiated translation of the reporter gene and inhibited eIF-2 alpha phosphorylation. Analysis in vitro demonstrated that the E3L gene product inhibited PKR approximately 50- to 100-fold more efficiently than the K3L gene product. However, further studies demonstrated that the mechanism of action of these two inhibitors was different. Whereas the E3L inhibitor interfered with the binding of the kinase to double-stranded RNA, the K3L inhibitor did not. We propose that the K3L inhibitor acts through its homology to eIF-2 alpha to interfere with the interaction of eIF-2 alpha with PKR. The two inhibitors did not display a synergistic effect on translation or eIF-2 alpha phosphorylation. In addition, neither K3L nor E3L expression detectably altered cellular protein synthesis.
Nuclear localization of a double-stranded RNA-binding protein encoded by the vaccinia virus E3L gene.
Yuwen H,Cox J H,Yewdell J W,Bennink J R,Moss B
We produced a B cell hybridoma (TW2.3) from vaccinia virus-infected mice that secreted a monoclonal antibody (MAb) reactive with a 25-kDA early viral protein that was localized by laser scanning confocal microscopy to the nucleus and cytoplasmic viral factory regions of infected cells. By cell-free translation of mRNA selected by hybridization to a complete library of vaccinia virus DNA fragments, the immunoreactive polypeptide was mapped to open reading frame E3L. The RNA start site of an early promoter was located 26 nucleotides upstream of the first methionine codon of E3L. Evidence was obtained that translation initiation occurs in vivo and in vitro at both the first and second methionine codons to produce major and minor polypeptides of 25 and 19 kDa, respectively. Both polypeptides bound double-stranded RNA, confirming the recent report of H.-W. Chang, J. C. Watson, and B. L. Jacobs (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 89, 4825-4829, 1992). Other vaccinia virus proteins were not required for the nuclear localization of the E3L protein, since MAb TW2.3 bound to the nuclei of uninfected cells that were transfected with the E3L gene under the control of the SV40 early promoter. We also demonstrated that the E3L protein can bind to nuclei of aldehyde fixed and detergent permeabilized uninfected cells. This binding was abrogated by treatment of the cells with RNase but not DNase. The nuclear and cytoplasmic locations of the double-stranded RNA binding protein are consistent with multiple functions in the vaccinia virus infectious cycle.
Reversal of the interferon-sensitive phenotype of a vaccinia virus lacking E3L by expression of the reovirus S4 gene.
Beattie E,Denzler K L,Tartaglia J,Perkus M E,Paoletti E,Jacobs B L
Journal of virology
The vaccinia virus (VV) E3L gene, which encodes a potent inhibitor of the interferon (IFN)-induced, double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-dependent protein kinase, PKR, is thought to be involved in the IFN-resistant phenotype of VV. The E3L gene products, p25 and p20, act as inhibitors of PKR, presumably by binding and sequestering activator dsRNA from the kinase. In this study we demonstrate that VV with the E3L gene specifically deleted (vP1080) was sensitive to the antiviral effects of IFN and debilitated in its ability to rescue vesicular stomatitis virus from the antiviral effects of IFN. Infection of L929 cells with E3L-minus virus led to rRNA degradation typical of activation of the 2'-5'-oligoadenylate synthetase/RNase L system, and extracts of infected cells lacked the PKR-inhibitory activity characteristic of wild-type VV. The reovirus S4 gene, which encodes a dsRNA-binding protein (sigma 3) that can also inhibit PKR activation by binding and sequestering activator dsRNA, was inserted into vP1080. The resultant virus (vP1112) was partially resistant to the antiviral effects of IFN in comparison with vP1080. Further studies demonstrated that transient expression of the reovirus sigma 3 protein rescued E3L-minus VV replication in HeLa cells. In these studies, rescue by sigma 3 mutants correlated with their ability to bind dsRNA. Finally, vP112 was also able to rescue the replication of the IFN-sensitive virus vesicular stomatitis virus in a manner similar to that of wild-type VV. Together, these results suggest that the reovirus S4 gene can replace the VV E3L gene with respect to interference with the IFN-induced antiviral activity.
Rescue of vaccinia virus lacking the E3L gene by mutants of E3L.
Chang H W,Uribe L H,Jacobs B L
Journal of virology
Vaccinia virus with the E3L gene deleted was able to replicate in RK-13 but not HeLa cells. This host range phenotype could be complemented by an E3L gene expressed transiently from a plasmid. Analysis of mutants of E3L indicates that the ability to complement deletion of E3L correlates with the ability of mutated proteins to bind double-stranded RNA but not with their ability to migrate to the nucleus.
Complementation of deletion of the vaccinia virus E3L gene by the Escherichia coli RNase III gene.
Shors T,Jacobs B L
This work investigated whether the Escherichia coli RNase III gene, rnc+, could complement vp1080, a mutant vaccinia virus that is deleted of its E3L gene. Like E3L, rnc+ codes for a dsRNA binding protein that contains an additional nucleolytic activity. Rnc genes were cloned into the eukaryotic expression vector pMTVa-, expressed in COS-1 cells, and shown to be functional. Transient rescue experiments in HeLa cells demonstrated that the cleavage function of the rnc+ gene was necessary for full rescue of vp1080. The rnc 70 gene, which encodes a product deficient in catalytic activity but still capable of binding to dsRNA, rescued vp1080 weakly. The rnc 105 gene, which encodes a product that cannot bind or cleave dsRNA, was unable to rescue vp1080. The rnc genes were also inserted into the E3L locus of vp1080. While recombinants containing the rnc+ gene or the rnc 70 gene regained the IFN resistance phenotype in RK13 cells, full host range of vaccinia virus was only restored in the recombinant containing the rnc+ gene. Thus, the ability of RNase III to process dsRNA appears to be necessary to restore the host range phenotype. The vp-rnc 105 recombinant behaved similarly to vp1080.
Orf virus encodes a homolog of the vaccinia virus interferon-resistance gene E3L.
A homolog of the vaccinia virus (VAC) interferon resistance gene E3L has been discovered in orf virus strain NZ-2, a parapoxvirus that infects sheep, goats and humans. The gene is located 20 kb from the left terminus of the orf virus genome and is transcribed towards this terminus. RNase protection studies have been used to define the limits of the gene and Northern analysis revealed that it is expressed early in infection. The predicted amino acid sequence of the orf virus protein shares 31% identity (57% similarity) with the VAC E3L protein. Four of the six residues identified as being essential to dsRNA binding in the vaccinia virus protein are conserved in the orf virus protein whilst the other two amino acid changes are conservative substitutions. The orf virus gene has been sequenced in two other orf virus strains which vary markedly in their ability to produce experimental lesions in vivo. Their predicted protein sequences vary by less than 3% from the NZ-2 protein. The recombinant orf virus protein, expressed as a fusion protein in E. coli, bound double-stranded (ds)RNA but not dsDNA, single-stranded (ss)DNA or ssRNA . This is the first demonstration of a VAC E3L-like gene encoded by a parapoxvirus.
The vaccinia virus E3L gene product interacts with both the regulatory and the substrate binding regions of PKR: implications for PKR autoregulation.
Sharp T V,Moonan F,Romashko A,Joshi B,Barber G N,Jagus R
The vaccinia virus E3L gene product, pE3, is a dsRNA binding protein that prevents activation of the interferon-induced, dsRNA-activated protein kinase, PKR. Activation of PKR, which results in phosphorylation of the translation initiation factor, eIF2alpha, leads to the inhibition of protein synthesis, a process involved in defense against virus infection. The E3L gene product has a conserved dsRNA binding domain (DRBD) in its carboxyl-terminal region and has been shown to function in vitro by sequestration of dsRNA. We have utilized in vitro binding assays and the yeast two-hybrid system to demonstrate direct interactions of pE3 with PKR. By these methods, we demonstrate that pE3 interacts with two distinct regions in PKR, the amino-terminal (amino acids 1-99) located in the regulatory domain and the carboxyl-terminal (amino acids 367-523) located in the catalytic domain. The amino-terminal region of PKR that interacts with pE3 contains a conserved DRBD, suggesting that PKR can form nonfunctional heterodimers with pE3, analogous to those seen with other dsRNA binding proteins. Interaction of pE3 with the amino-terminal region of PKR is enhanced by dsRNA. In contrast, dsRNA reduces the interaction of pE3 with the carboxyl-terminal region of PKR. Competition experiments demonstrate that the carboxyl-terminal region of PKR, to which pE3 binds, overlaps the region with which eIF2alpha and the pseudosubstrate pK3 interact, suggesting that pE3 may also prevent PKR activation by masking the substrate binding domain. Like pE3, the amino-terminal region of PKR also interacts with the carboxyl-terminal domain of PKR. These interactions increase our understanding of the mechanisms by which pE3 downregulates PKR. In addition, the PKR-PKR interactions observed leads us to suggest a novel autoregulatory mechanism for activation of PKR in which dsRNA binding to the DRBD(s) induces a conformational change that results in release of the amino terminal region from the substrate binding domain, allowing access to eIF2alpha and its subsequent phosphorylation.
Characterization of DNA-binding activity of Z alpha domains from poxviruses and the importance of the beta-wing regions in converting B-DNA to Z-DNA.
Quyen Dong Van,Ha Sung Chul,Lowenhaupt Ky,Rich Alexander,Kim Kyeong Kyu,Kim Yang-Gyun
Nucleic acids research
The E3L gene is essential for pathogenesis in vaccinia virus. The E3L gene product consists of an N-terminal Z alpha domain and a C-terminal double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) binding domain; the left-handed Z-DNA-binding activity of the Z alpha domain of E3L is required for viral pathogenicity in mice. E3L is highly conserved among poxviruses, including the smallpox virus, and it is likely that the orthologous Z alpha domains play similar roles. To better understand the biological function of E3L proteins, we have investigated the Z-DNA-binding behavior of five representative Z alpha domains from poxviruses. Using surface plasmon resonance (SPR), we have demonstrated that these viral Z alpha domains bind Z-DNA tightly. Ability of Z alpha(E3L) converting B-DNA to Z-DNA was measured by circular dichroism (CD). The extents to which these Z alphas can stabilize Z-DNA vary considerably. Mutational studies demonstrate that residues in the loop of the beta-wing play an important role in this stabilization. Notably the Z alpha domain of vaccinia E3L acquires ability to convert B-DNA to Z-DNA by mutating amino acid residues in this region. Differences in the host cells of the various poxviruses may require different abilities to stabilize Z-DNA; this may be reflected in the observed differences in behavior in these Zalpha proteins.
Ectromelia virus accumulates less double-stranded RNA compared to vaccinia virus in BS-C-1 cells.
Frey Tiffany R,Lehmann Michael H,Ryan Colton M,Pizzorno Marie C,Sutter Gerd,Hersperger Adam R
Most orthopoxviruses, including vaccinia virus (VACV), contain genes in the E3L and K3L families. The protein products of these genes have been shown to combat PKR, a host defense pathway. Interestingly, ectromelia virus (ECTV) contains an E3L ortholog but does not possess an intact K3L gene. Here, we gained insight into how ECTV can still efficiently evade PKR despite lacking K3L. Relative to VACV, we found that ECTV-infected BS-C-1 cells accumulated considerably less double-stranded (ds) RNA, which was due to lower mRNA levels and less transcriptional read-through of some genes by ECTV. The abundance of dsRNA in VACV-infected cells, detected using a monoclonal antibody, was able to activate the RNase L pathway at late time points post-infection. Historically, the study of transcription by orthopoxviruses has largely focused on VACV as a model. Our data suggest that there could be more to learn by studying other members of this genus.
Vaccinia virus E3 prevents sensing of Z-RNA to block ZBP1-dependent necroptosis.
Cell host & microbe
Necroptosis mediated by Z-nucleic-acid-binding protein (ZBP)1 (also called DAI or DLM1) contributes to innate host defense against viruses by triggering cell death to eliminate infected cells. During infection, vaccinia virus (VACV) protein E3 prevents death signaling by competing for Z-form RNA through an N-terminal Zα domain. In the absence of this E3 domain, Z-form RNA accumulates during the early phase of VACV infection, triggering ZBP1 to recruit receptor interacting protein kinase (RIPK)3 and execute necroptosis. The C-terminal E3 double-strand RNA-binding domain must be retained to observe accumulation of Z-form RNA and induction of necroptosis. Substitutions of Zα from either ZBP1 or the RNA-editing enzyme double-stranded RNA adenosine deaminase (ADAR)1 yields fully functional E3 capable of suppressing virus-induced necroptosis. Overall, our evidence reveals the importance of Z-form RNA generated during VACV infection as a pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) unleashing ZBP1/RIPK3/MLKL-dependent necroptosis unless suppressed by viral E3.
Identification of a conserved motif that is necessary for binding of the vaccinia virus E3L gene products to double-stranded RNA.
Chang H W,Jacobs B L
The E3L gene of vaccinia virus encodes the double-stranded (ds) RNA binding proteins p20 and p25 that exhibit inhibitory activity for the IFN-induced, P1/elF-2 alpha protein kinase. A region in the E3L encoded proteins (residues 156-180) shares a high degree of similarity with several proteins that bind double-helical RNA including the P1/elF-1 alpha kinase, bacterial and yeast RNase III, and a human transactivator response element/Rev response element binding protein. In this study, mutants of E3L proteins were constructed in order to determine the region of the proteins required for dsRNA binding and kinase inhibitory activity. Our data indicate that both the region necessary for dsRNA binding and for kinase inhibitory activity are located at the carboxyl terminus of the protein. The E3L proteins with 7 amino acids deleted from the carboxyl terminus (184-190) could bind to dsRNA, but with lower affinity than could the full-length protein. This protein did not detectably inhibit kinase in vitro. Deletion of 26 amino acids from the carboxyl terminus of the E3L proteins (165-190) abolished dsRNA binding activity and kinase inhibitory activity. In addition, mutations at amino acid 164, 167, or 174 severely inhibited binding to dsRNA. On the other hand, deletion of 83 amino acids from the amino terminus did not affect the proteins' ability to bind dsRNA or inhibit kinase. These results suggest that a region of sequence between amino acids 164 and 183 is necessary for E3L proteins' dsRNA binding activity. This region lies within the homologous domain that the E3L proteins share with other dsRNA binding proteins.
Distinct patterns of IFN sensitivity observed in cells infected with vaccinia K3L- and E3L- mutant viruses.
Beattie E,Paoletti E,Tartaglia J
Recent results have implicated a role for both the VV K3L- and E3L-encoded gene products in conferring VV with an IFN-resistant phenotype (Beattie et al., Virology 183, 419-422, 1991; Beattie et al., J. Virol. 69, 499-505, 1995). As a means of further establishing the mechanisms by which these functions mediate this process in VV-infected cells, we have further assessed the IFN phenotype in K3L- (vP872) and E3L- (vP1080) virus-infected cells. Biochemical and molecular biological analyses were performed comparing the effects of IFN on wild-type as well as K3L- and E3L- virus-infected cells. Expression analyses of the K3L and E3L gene products revealed that both are evidenced in virus-infected cells as early as 0.5 hr postinfection. E3L expression, however, appears more prolonged, in that it was detectable between 3 to 4 hr postinfection while K3L was undetectable after 3 hr postinfection. Despite having similar expression profiles at early times postinfection, a pronounced sensitivity of protein synthesis to IFN was observed by 30 min postinfection in VV K3L- virus-infected cells, whereas IFN sensitivity was not observed in VV E3L(-)-infected cells until 2 hr postinfection. Subsequent analyses of the IFN-induced antiviral pathways in VV-infected cells demonstrated that the K3L gene product does not contribute to the previously identified specific kinase inhibitory factor (SKIF) activity but does reduce the level of phosphorylated eIF-2 alpha in VV-infected cells. Interestingly, the IFN-induced 2',5'-oligoadenylate synthetase-mediated antiviral pathway was active in VV K3L(-)-infected cells and not in wild-type virus-infected cells. Collectively these results suggest that the K3L(-)- and E3L(-)-encoded products abrogate the antiviral effect of IFN at distinct levels.
Complementation of vaccinia virus deleted of the E3L gene by mutants of E3L.
Shors T,Kibler K V,Perkins K B,Seidler-Wulff R,Banaszak M P,Jacobs B L
Vaccinia virus devoid of its E3L gene is sensitive to treatment of RK-13 cells with interferon-alpha and fails to replicate or form plaques in HeLa cells. In order to determine function of the E3L gene, vaccinia virus recombinants were constructed by inserting mutant E3L genes or a gene coding for an alternative dsRNA-binding protein into virus deleted of its wild type E3L gene. Those viruses that expressed proteins that retained dsRNA binding activity were resistant to the effects of interferon in RK-13 cells and could replicate in HeLa cells. Recombinant viruses that expressed E3L mutant proteins which were unable to bind to dsRNA were interferon sensitive in RK-13 cells and could not replicate in HeLa cells. In addition, a virus that expressed a mutant E3L protein previously characterized as having a low binding affinity for dsRNA exhibited an intermediate phenotype: it was interferon resistant in RK-13 cells but could not replicate in HeLa cells. This work suggests that the E3L gene of vaccinia virus functions primarily as a dsRNA-binding protein in allowing resistance to interferon and in promoting replication in HeLa cells.
Vaccinia virus E3L protein is an inhibitor of the interferon (i.f.n.)-induced 2-5A synthetase enzyme.
Rivas C,Gil J,Mĕlková Z,Esteban M,Díaz-Guerra M
Induction of apoptosis in mammalian cells by double-stranded (ds) RNA-dependent enzymes, protein kinase (PKR), and 2-5A-synthetase/RNase L (referred to as the 2-5A system) might be a mechanism mediating anticellular and antiviral actions of interferon (i.f.n.). To counteract the effect of i.f.n., animal viruses have acquired genes that block specific i.f.n. pathways. Among poxviruses, vaccinia virus (VV) encodes E3L, a dsRNA-binding protein, which inhibits activation of i.f.n.-induced PKR. It has been proposed that E3L might also block activation of the 2-5A system, but direct proof is lacking. To establish if E3L inhibits the 2-5A system, we have developed a method to assay apoptosis induced by increased production of enzymes in the 2-5A pathway, as well as of their putative modulators. This assay is based on the use of cells derived from homozygous PKR knockout mice (Pkr-/-) infected with a VV mutant lacking E3L (delta E3L) and transiently transfected with a luciferase reporter gene together with plasmid vectors expressing 2-5A-synthetase, RNase L, or E3L, all controlled by the same inducible promoter. We found that expression of 2-5A-synthetase inhibited luciferase activity in a dose-response manner, reaching inhibition values of 80% relative to transfections with control plasmids. Similar results were obtained by transfection with an RNase L vector, although in this case the extent of inhibition was further enhanced upon coexpression of 2-5A-synthetase and RNase L. Inhibition of protein synthesis mediated by the 2-5A system correlated well with induction of apoptosis. Transfection of cells with a plasmid vector expressing E3L together with 2-5A-synthetase completely prevented apoptosis induced by this enzyme. We conclude that VV E3L acts as an inhibitor of the i.f.n.-induced 2-5A-synthetase enzyme.
Role of the vaccinia virus E3L and K3L gene products in rescue of VSV and EMCV from the effects of IFN-alpha.
Shors S T,Beattie E,Paoletti E,Tartaglia J,Jacobs B L
Journal of interferon & cytokine research : the official journal of the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research
Vaccinia virus (VV) has been shown to be relatively resistant to the antiviral effects of interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) and to rescue replication of IFN-sensitive viruses, such as encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), from the antiviral effects of IFN. The E3L and K3L gene products have been implicated in the IFN resistance of VV. We have investigated the role that these VV-encoded functions play in the rescue of VSV and EMCV from the effects of IFN. Transient expression of the E3L open reading frame (ORF) was sufficient to rescue VSV but not EMCV from the IFN-induced antiviral state. Rescue of VSV by mutants of E3L correlated with the ability of the mutated E3L gene products to bind dsRNA. Conversely, transient expression of the K3L ORF was sufficient to partially rescue EMCV but not VSV from the effects of IFN. Results with VV deleted of either the K3L or E3L ORFs were consistent with results obtained by transient expression of these genes. These results demonstrate that the VV E3L gene products are likely responsible for the VV-mediated rescue of VSV from the effects of IFN and the K3L gene product is likely at least partly responsible for rescue of EMCV.
IRF3 and IRF7 phosphorylation in virus-infected cells does not require double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase R or Ikappa B kinase but is blocked by Vaccinia virus E3L protein.
Smith E J,Marié I,Prakash A,García-Sastre A,Levy D E
The Journal of biological chemistry
Induction of interferon-alpha (IFNalpha) gene expression in virus-infected cells requires phosphorylation-induced activation of the transcription factors IRF3 and IRF7. However, the kinase(s) that targets these proteins has not been identified. Using a combined pharmacological and genetic approach, we found that none of the kinases tested was responsible for IRF phosphorylation in cells infected with Newcastle disease virus (NDV). Although the broad-spectrum kinase inhibitor staurosporine potently blocked IRF3 and -7 phosphorylation, inhibitors for protein kinase C, protein kinase A, MEK, SAPK, IKK, and protein kinase R (PKR) were without effect. Both IkappaB kinase and PKR have been implicated in IFN induction, but cells genetically deficient in IkappaB kinase, PKR, or the PKR-related genes PERK, IRE1, or GCN2 retained the ability to phosphorylate IRF7 and induce IFNalpha. Interestingly, PKR mutant cells were defective for response to double-stranded (ds) RNA but not to virus infection, suggesting that dsRNA is not the only activating viral component. Consistent with this notion, protein synthesis was required for IRF7 phosphorylation in virus-infected cells, and the kinetics of phosphorylation and viral protein production were similar. Despite evidence for a lack of involvement of dsRNA and PKR, vaccinia virus E3L protein, a dsRNA-binding protein capable of inhibiting PKR, was an effective IRF3 and -7 phosphorylation inhibitor. These results suggest that a novel cellular protein that is activated by viral products in addition to dsRNA and is sensitive to E3L inhibition is responsible for IRF activation and reveal a novel mechanism for the anti-IFN effect of E3L distinct from its inhibition of PKR.
Expression of vaccinia E3L and K3L genes by a novel recombinant canarypox HIV vaccine vector enhances HIV-1 pseudovirion production and inhibits apoptosis in human cells.
Fang Z Y,Limbach K,Tartaglia J,Hammonds J,Chen X,Spearman P
Poxviruses that are attenuated for growth in human cells provide a safe means of HIV antigen expression and are capable of eliciting HIV-specific immune responses, including CD8+ cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) responses. HIV-1 antigen expression in human cells by attenuated poxvirus vectors may be limited by interferon-mediated host defense mechanisms. To enhance HIV antigen expression in human cells, the vaccinia virus E3L and K3L genes were inserted into a canarypox vector that expresses HIV-1 Gag, Env, and a Nef/Pol polyepitope string. E3L and K3L markedly reduced the activation of the double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase, PKR, and led to a significant reduction in apoptosis in HeLa cells. Production and release of HIV-1 antigen in the form of pseudovirions was enhanced in both duration and magnitude by this vector modification. The addition of immunomodulatory genes to attenuated poxviruses represents a novel strategy for enhancing antigen production by live vector HIV vaccine candidates.
Complementation of vaccinia virus lacking the double-stranded RNA-binding protein gene E3L by human cytomegalovirus.
Child Stephanie J,Jarrahian Sohail,Harper Victoria M,Geballe Adam P
Journal of virology
The cellular response to viral infection often includes activation of pathways that shut off protein synthesis and thereby inhibit viral replication. In order to enable efficient replication, many viruses carry genes such as the E3L gene of vaccinia virus that counteract these host antiviral pathways. Vaccinia virus from which the E3L gene has been deleted (VVDeltaE3L) is highly sensitive to interferon and exhibits a restricted host range, replicating very inefficiently in many cell types, including human fibroblast and U373MG cells. To determine whether human cytomegalovirus (CMV) has a mechanism for preventing translational shutoff, we evaluated the ability of CMV to complement the deficiencies in replication and protein synthesis associated with VVDeltaE3L. CMV, but not UV-inactivated CMV, rescued VVDeltaE3L late gene expression and replication. Thus, complementation of the VVDeltaE3L defect appears to depend on de novo CMV gene expression and is not likely a result of CMV binding to the cell receptor or of a virion structural protein. CMV rescued VVDeltaE3L late gene expression even in the presence of ganciclovir, indicating that CMV late gene expression is not required for complementation of VVDeltaE3L. The striking decrease in overall translation after infection with VVDeltaE3L was prevented by prior infection with CMV. Finally, CMV blocked both the induction of eukaryotic initiation factor 2alpha (eIF2alpha) phosphorylation and activation of RNase L by VVDeltaE3L. These results suggest that CMV has one or more immediate-early or early genes that ensure maintenance of a high protein synthetic capacity during infection by preventing activation of the PKR/eIF2alpha phosphorylation and 2-5A oligoadenylate synthetase/RNase L pathways.
Ectopic expression of vaccinia virus E3 and K3 cannot rescue ectromelia virus replication in rabbit RK13 cells.
Hand Erin S,Haller Sherry L,Peng Chen,Rothenburg Stefan,Hersperger Adam R
As a group, poxviruses have been shown to infect a wide variety of animal species. However, there is individual variability in the range of species able to be productively infected. In this study, we observed that ectromelia virus (ECTV) does not replicate efficiently in cultured rabbit RK13 cells. Conversely, vaccinia virus (VACV) replicates well in these cells. Upon infection of RK13 cells, the replication cycle of ECTV is abortive in nature, resulting in a greatly reduced ability to spread among cells in culture. We observed ample levels of early gene expression but reduced detection of virus factories and severely blunted production of enveloped virus at the cell surface. This work focused on two important host range genes, named E3L and K3L, in VACV. Both VACV and ECTV express a functional protein product from the E3L gene, but only VACV contains an intact K3L gene. To better understand the discrepancy in replication capacity of these viruses, we examined the ability of ECTV to replicate in wild-type RK13 cells compared to cells that constitutively express E3 and K3 from VACV. The role these proteins play in the ability of VACV to replicate in RK13 cells was also analyzed to determine their individual contribution to viral replication and PKR activation. Since E3L and K3L are two relevant host range genes, we hypothesized that expression of one or both of them may have a positive impact on the ability of ECTV to replicate in RK13 cells. Using various methods to assess virus growth, we did not detect any significant differences with respect to the replication of ECTV between wild-type RK13 compared to versions of this cell line that stably expressed VACV E3 alone or in combination with K3. Therefore, there remain unanswered questions related to the factors that limit the host range of ECTV.
Rapid, Seamless Generation of Recombinant Poxviruses using Host Range and Visual Selection.
Vipat Sameera,Brennan Greg,Park Chorong,Haller Sherry L,Rothenburg Stefan
Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE
Vaccinia virus (VACV) was instrumental in eradicating variola virus (VARV), the causative agent of smallpox, from nature. Since its first use as a vaccine, VACV has been developed as a vector for therapeutic vaccines and as an oncolytic virus. These applications take advantage of VACV's easily manipulated genome and broad host range as an outstanding platform to generate recombinant viruses with a variety of therapeutic applications. Several methods have been developed to generate recombinant VACV, including marker selection methods and transient dominant selection. Here, we present a refinement of a host range selection method coupled with visual identification of recombinant viruses. Our method takes advantage of selective pressure generated by the host antiviral protein kinase R (PKR) coupled with a fluorescent fusion gene expressing mCherry-tagged E3L, one of two VACV PKR antagonists. The cassette, including the gene of interest and the mCherry-E3L fusion is flanked by sequences derived from the VACV genome. Between the gene of interest and mCherry-E3L is a smaller region that is identical to the first ~150 nucleotides of the 3' arm, to promote homologous recombination and loss of the mCherry-E3L gene after selection. We demonstrate that this method permits efficient, seamless generation of rVACV in a variety of cell types without requiring drug selection or extensive screening for mutant viruses.
The amino terminus of the vaccinia virus E3 protein is necessary to inhibit the interferon response.
White Stacy D,Jacobs Bertram L
Journal of virology
Vaccinia virus (VACV) encodes a multifunctional protein, E3L, that is necessary for interferon (IFN) resistance in cells in culture. Interferon resistance has been mapped to the well-characterized carboxy terminus of E3L, which contains a conserved double-stranded RNA binding domain. The amino terminus of E3L has a Z-form nucleic acid binding domain, which has been shown to be dispensable for replication and IFN resistance in HeLa and RK13 cells; however, a virus expressing E3L deleted of the amino terminus has reduced pathogenicity in an animal model. In this study, we demonstrate that the pathogenicity of a virus expressing E3L deleted of the amino terminus was fully rescued in type I IFN receptor knockout (IFN-α/βR(-/-)) mice. Furthermore, this virus was IFN sensitive in primary mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs). This virus induced the phosphorylation of the α subunit of eukaryotic initiation factor 2 (eIF2α) in MEFs in an IFN-dependent manner. The depletion of double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR) from these MEFs restored the IFN resistance of this virus. Furthermore, the virus expressing E3L deleted of the amino terminus was also IFN resistant in PKR(-/-) MEFs. Thus, our data demonstrate that the amino terminus of E3L is necessary to inhibit the type I IFN response both in mice and in MEFs and that in MEFs, the amino terminus of E3L functions to inhibit the PKR pathway.
The role of the PKR-inhibitory genes, E3L and K3L, in determining vaccinia virus host range.
Langland Jeffrey O,Jacobs Bertram L
Vaccinia virus encodes two regulators of the cellular antiviral response. The E3L gene is thought to act primarily by sequestering double-stranded RNA, whereas the K3L gene is thought to act as a competitive inhibitor of the double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase, PKR. The broad host range associated with vaccinia virus replication appears to be related to the presence of these genes. The E3L gene is required for replication in HeLa cells, but is not required for replication in BHK cells. On the contrary, the K3L gene is required for replication in BHK cells, but is dispensable for replication in HeLa cells. Our results suggest that these cell lines varied in the expression of endogenous activatable PKR and that replication of vaccinia virus in different cell lines led to altered levels of double-stranded RNA synthesis from the virus. Vaccinia virus was able to overcome these cellular variations by regulating PKR activity through the synthesis of either E3L or K3L. The results suggest that vaccinia virus has evolved a broad host range by maintaining both the E3L and the K3L genes.
Modified vaccinia virus Ankara protein F1L is a novel BH3-domain-binding protein and acts together with the early viral protein E3L to block virus-associated apoptosis.
Fischer S F,Ludwig H,Holzapfel J,Kvansakul M,Chen L,Huang D C S,Sutter G,Knese M,Häcker G
Cell death and differentiation
Infection with viruses often protects the infected cell against external stimuli to apoptosis. Here we explore the balance of apoptosis induction and inhibition for infection with the modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA), using two MVA mutants with experimentally introduced deletions. Deletion of the E3L-gene from MVA transformed the virus from an inhibitor to an inducer of apoptosis. Noxa-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEF) were resistant to MVA-DeltaE3L-induced apoptosis. When the gene encoding F1L was deleted from MVA, apoptosis resulted that required Bak or Bax. MVA-DeltaF1L-induced apoptosis was blocked by Bcl-2. When expressed in HeLa cells, F1L blocked apoptosis induced by forced expression of the BH3-only proteins, Bim, Puma and Noxa. Finally, biosensor analysis confirmed direct binding of F1L to BH3 domains. These data describe a molecular framework of how a cell responds to MVA infection by undergoing apoptosis, and how the virus blocks apoptosis by interfering with critical steps of its signal transduction.
Both carboxy- and amino-terminal domains of the vaccinia virus interferon resistance gene, E3L, are required for pathogenesis in a mouse model.
Brandt T A,Jacobs B L
Journal of virology
The vaccinia virus (VV) E3L gene is responsible for providing interferon (IFN) resistance and a broad host range to VV in cell culture. The E3L gene product contains two distinct domains. A conserved carboxy-terminal domain, which is required for the IFN resistance and broad host range of the virus, has been shown to bind double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) and inhibit the antiviral dsRNA-dependent protein kinase, PKR. The amino-terminal domain, while conserved among orthopoxviruses, is dispensable in cell culture. To study the role of E3L in whole-animal infections, WR strain VV recombinants either lacking E3L (VVDeltaE3L) or expressing an amino-terminal (VVE3LDelta83N) or carboxy-terminal (VVE3LDelta26C) truncation of E3L were constructed. Whereas wild-type VV had a 50% lethal dose of approximately 10(4) PFU after intranasal infection, and elicited severe weight loss and morbidity, VVDeltaE3L was apathogenic, leading to no death, weight loss, or morbidity. VVDeltaE3L was also apathogenic after intracranial injection. Although the amino-terminal domain of E3L is dispensable for infection of cells in culture, both the amino- and carboxy-terminal domains of E3L were required for full pathogenesis in intranasal infections. These results demonstrate that the entire E3L gene is required for pathogenesis in the mouse model.
The N-terminal domain of the vaccinia virus E3L-protein is required for neurovirulence, but not induction of a protective immune response.
Brandt Teresa,Heck Michael C,Vijaysri Sangeetha,Jentarra Garilyn M,Cameron Jason M,Jacobs Bertram L
Encephalitis is a rare, but serious complication from vaccination against smallpox using replication competent strains of vaccinia virus. In this report we describe mutants of vaccinia virus, containing N-terminal deletions of the vaccinia virus interferon resistance gene, E3L, that are attenuated for neuropathogenesis in a mouse model system. These recombinant viruses replicated to high titers in the nasal mucosa after intra-nasal infection of C57BL/6 mice but failed to spread to the lungs or brain. These viruses demonstrated reduced pathogenicity after intra-cranial infection as well, indicating a decrease in neurovirulence. Intra-nasal inoculation or inoculation by scarification with a low dose of recombinant virus containing a deletion of the entire N-terminal domain of E3L protected against challenge with a high dose of wild-type vaccinia virus, suggesting that this replication competent, but attenuated strain of vaccinia virus may have promise as an improved vaccine for protecting against smallpox, and as a vector for inducing mucosal immunity to heterologous pathogenic organisms.
Suppression of proinflammatory signal transduction and gene expression by the dual nucleic acid binding domains of the vaccinia virus E3L proteins.
Langland Jeffrey O,Kash John C,Carter Victoria,Thomas Matthew J,Katze Michael G,Jacobs Bertram L
Journal of virology
Cells have evolved elaborate mechanisms to counteract the onslaught of viral infections. To activate these defenses, the viral threat must be recognized. Danger signals, or pathogen-associated molecular patterns, that are induced by pathogens include double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), viral single-stranded RNA, glycolipids, and CpG DNA. Understanding the signal transduction pathways activated and host gene expression induced by these danger signals is vital to understanding virus-host interactions. The vaccinia virus E3L protein is involved in blocking the host antiviral response and increasing pathogenesis, functions that map to separate C-terminal dsRNA- and N-terminal Z-DNA-binding domains. Viruses containing mutations in these domains allow modeling of the role of dsRNA and Z-form nucleic acid in the host response to virus infection. Deletions in the Z-DNA- or dsRNA-binding domains led to activation of signal transduction cascades and up-regulation of host gene expression, with many genes involved in the inflammatory response. These data suggest that poxviruses actively inhibit cellular recognition of viral danger signals and the subsequent cellular response to the viral threat.
Inhibition of PKR by vaccinia virus: role of the N- and C-terminal domains of E3L.
Langland Jeffrey O,Jacobs Bertram L
The process of eukaryotic translation initiation can be regulated by a highly conserved mechanism involving the phosphorylation of the translation initiation factor eIF2 on the alpha subunit. This mechanism is recognized as an efficient step in the host antiviral response. Vaccinia virus (VV), like many other viruses, encodes proteins to overcome this inhibitory process. The C-terminus of the vaccinia virus E3L is known to bind to double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) thereby sequestering the activator of this antiviral response. In this report, the N-terminus of E3L was found to be required for the additional regulation of eIF2alpha phosphorylation. This phosphorylation event did not lead to a global shutdown in protein synthesis. Because the N-terminus of E3L is required for full viral pathogenesis in mice, these results suggest an alternative role of eIF2alpha phosphorylation in regulating viral replication.
Vaccinia virus E3L interferon resistance protein inhibits the interferon-induced adenosine deaminase A-to-I editing activity.
Liu Y,Wolff K C,Jacobs B L,Samuel C E
The RNA-specific adenosine deaminase (ADAR1) is an interferon-inducible editing enzyme that converts adenosine to inosine. ADAR1 contains three distinct domains: a N-terminal Z-DNA binding domain that includes two Z-DNA binding motifs; a central double-stranded RNA binding domain that includes three dsRNA binding motifs (dsRBM); and a C-terminal catalytic domain responsible for A-to-I enzymatic activity. The E3L protein of vaccinia virus mediates interferon resistance. E3L, similar to ADAR1, also contains Z-DNA binding and dsRNA binding motifs. To assess the possible role of E3L in modulating RNA editing by ADAR1, we examined the effect of E3L on ADAR1 deaminase activity. Wild-type E3L protein was a potent inhibitor of ADAR1 deaminase enzymatic activity. Analysis of mutant E3L proteins indicated that the carboxy-proximal dsRBM of E3L was essential for antagonism of ADAR1. Surprisingly, disruption of the Z-DNA binding domain of E3L by double substitutions of two highly conserved residues also abolished its antagonistic activity, whereas deletion of the entire Z domain had little effect on the inhibition. With natural neurotransmitter pre-mRNA substrates, E3L weakly inhibited the site-selective editing activity by ADAR1 at the R/G site of the glutamate receptor B subunit (GluR-B) pre-mRNA and the A site of serotonin 2C receptor (5-HT2CR) pre-mRNA; editing of the intronic hotspot (+)60 site of GluR-B was not affected by E3L. These results demonstrate that the A-to-I RNA editing activity of the IFN-inducible adenosine deaminase is impaired by the product of the vaccinia virus E3L interferon resistance gene.
Replication of modified vaccinia virus Ankara in primary chicken embryo fibroblasts requires expression of the interferon resistance gene E3L.
Hornemann Simone,Harlin Olof,Staib Caroline,Kisling Sigrid,Erfle Volker,Kaspers Bernd,Häcker Georg,Sutter Gerd
Journal of virology
Highly attenuated modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) serves as a candidate vaccine to immunize against infectious diseases and cancer. MVA was randomly obtained by serial growth in cultures of chicken embryo fibroblasts (CEF), resulting in the loss of substantial genomic information including many genes regulating virus-host interactions. The vaccinia virus interferon (IFN) resistance gene E3L is among the few conserved open reading frames encoding viral immune defense proteins. To investigate the relevance of E3L in the MVA life cycle, we generated the deletion mutant MVA-DeltaE3L. Surprisingly, we found that MVA-DeltaE3L had lost the ability to grow in CEF, which is the first finding of a vaccinia virus host range phenotype in this otherwise highly permissive cell culture. Reinsertion of E3L led to the generation of revertant virus MVA-E3rev and rescued productive replication in CEF. Nonproductive infection of CEF with MVA-DeltaE3L allowed viral DNA replication to occur but resulted in an abrupt inhibition of viral protein synthesis at late times. Under these nonpermissive conditions, CEF underwent apoptosis starting as early as 6 h after infection, as shown by DNA fragmentation, Hoechst staining, and caspase activation. Moreover, we detected high levels of active chicken alpha/beta IFN (IFN-alpha/beta) in supernatants of MVA-DeltaE3L-infected CEF, while moderate IFN quantities were found after MVA or MVA-E3rev infection and no IFN activity was present upon infection with wild-type vaccinia viruses. Interestingly, pretreatment of CEF with similar amounts of recombinant chicken IFN-alpha inhibited growth of vaccinia viruses, including MVA. We conclude that efficient propagation of MVA in CEF, the tissue culture system used for production of MVA-based vaccines, essentially requires conserved E3L gene function as an inhibitor of apoptosis and/or IFN induction.
Vaccinia viruses with mutations in the E3L gene as potential replication-competent, attenuated vaccines: intra-nasal vaccination.
Vijaysri Sangeetha,Jentarra Garilyn,Heck Michael C,Mercer Andrew A,McInnes Colin J,Jacobs Bertram L
Vaccinia virus (VACV) has been used as the vaccine to protect against smallpox, and recombinant VACVs have been used to develop vaccine candidates against numerous cancers and infectious diseases. Although relatively safe for use in humans, the strains of VACV that were used as smallpox vaccines led to several complications including, progressive infection in immune compromised individuals, eczema vaccination in individuals with a history of atopic dermatitis, and encephalitis and perimyocarditis in apparently healthy individuals. The work described in this paper focuses on attenuated strains of VACV that may have the potential for use as vaccine vectors with reduced pathogenicity. We have generated several VACV mutants in a WR background with specific mutations in the E3L gene that were at least a 1000-fold less pathogenic compared to wtVACV upon intra-nasal infection of mice. Many of these mutant viruses replicated to high titers in the nasal mucosa of mice following intra-nasal administration. Despite replication to high titers in the nose, there was little spread to other organs in infected animals. Intra-nasal vaccination with doses as low as 100-1000 pfu (plaque forming units) of these replicating VACV constructs were sufficient to protect the host from challenge with large doses of wtVACV. Similar constructs in a Copenhagen and a NYCBH background were highly attenuated, yet effective as vaccines in the mouse model. These recombinant VACV constructs may be promising vector candidates for use in vaccination strategies against smallpox and other pathogens.
Evidence that vaccinia virulence factor E3L binds to Z-DNA in vivo: Implications for development of a therapy for poxvirus infection.
Kim Yang-Gyun,Lowenhaupt Ky,Oh Doo-Byoung,Kim Kyeong Kyu,Rich Alexander
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
The E3L gene product found in all poxviruses is required for the lethality of mice in vaccinia virus infection. Both the C-terminal region, consisting of a double-stranded RNA-binding motif, and the N-terminal region (vZ(E3L)), which is similar to the Zalpha family of Z-DNA-binding proteins, are required for infection. It has recently been demonstrated that the function of the N-terminal domain depends on its ability to bind Z-DNA; Z-DNA-binding domains from unrelated mammalian proteins fully complement an N-terminal deletion of E3L. Mutations that decrease affinity for Z-DNA have similar effects in decreasing pathogenicity. Compounds that block the Z-DNA-binding activity of E3L may also limit infection by the poxvirus. Here we show both an in vitro and an in vivo assay with the potential to be used in screening for such compounds. Using a conformation-specific yeast one-hybrid assay, we compared the results for Z-DNA binding of vZ(E3L) with those for human Zbeta(ADAR1), a peptide that has similarity to the Zalpha motif but does not bind Z-DNA, and with a mutant of hZbeta(ADAR1), which binds Z-DNA. The results suggest that this system can be used for high-throughput screening.
Anti-apoptotic and oncogenic properties of the dsRNA-binding protein of vaccinia virus, E3L.
García Maria Angel,Guerra Susana,Gil Jesús,Jimenez Victoria,Esteban Mariano
The vaccinia virus (VV) E3L gene encodes a dsRNA binding protein that inhibits activation of the IFN-induced, dsRNA-dependent protein kinase, (PKR), the 2-5A synthetases/RNase L system and other dsRNA dependent pathways, thus leading to efficient VV replication. To analyse E3L effects over cellular metabolism in a virus-free system, we have generated stable mouse 3T3 cell lines expressing E3L. Expression of E3L in NIH3T3 cells results in inhibition of eIF-2alpha phosphorylation and Ikappa(B)alpha degradation in response to dsRNA. Antiviral responses induced by IFN-alpha/beta were partially impaired in 3T3-E3L cells, as determined by a viability assay upon VSV infection. E3L expression also confers resistance to dsRNA-triggered apoptosis. Interestingly, cells expressing E3L grew faster than control cells, and showed increased expression of cyclin A and decreased levels of p27(Kip1). E3L cooperated with H-ras in a focus formation assay, and NIH3T3 E3L cells formed solid tumors when injected in nude mice. Overall, our findings reveal that interference of E3L protein with several cellular pathways, results in promotion of cellular growth, impairment of antiviral activity and resistance to apoptosis.
Protein kinase PKR-dependent activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases occurs through mitochondrial adapter IPS-1 and is antagonized by vaccinia virus E3L.
Zhang Ping,Langland Jeffrey O,Jacobs Bertram L,Samuel Charles E
Journal of virology
The p38 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) play important roles in the host innate immune response. The protein kinase regulated by RNA (PKR) is implicated in p38 MAPK activation in response to proinflammatory signals in mouse embryonic fibroblasts. To test the role of PKR in the activation of p38 and JNK MAPKs in human cells following viral infection, HeLa cells made stably deficient in PKR by using an RNA interference strategy were compared to cells with sufficient PKR. The phosphorylation of both p38 and JNK in cells with sufficient PKR was activated following either infection with an E3L deletion (DeltaE3L) mutant of vaccinia virus or transfection with double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) in the absence of infection with wild-type vaccinia virus. The depletion of PKR by stable knockdown impaired the phosphorylation of both p38 and JNK induced by either the DeltaE3L mutant virus or dsRNA but not that induced by tumor necrosis factor alpha. The PKR-dependent activation of MAPKs in DeltaE3L mutant-infected cells was abolished by treatment with cytosine beta-d-arabinoside. The complementation of PKR-deficient cells with the human PKR wild-type protein, but not with the PKR catalytic mutant (K296R) protein, restored p38 and JNK phosphorylation following DeltaE3L mutant virus infection. Transient small interfering RNA knockdown established that the p38 and JNK kinase activation following DeltaE3L infection was dependent upon RIG-I-like receptor signal transduction pathway components, including the mitochondrial adapter IPS-1 protein.
The solution structure of the N-terminal domain of E3L shows a tyrosine conformation that may explain its reduced affinity to Z-DNA in vitro.
Kahmann Jan D,Wecking Diana A,Putter Vera,Lowenhaupt Ky,Kim Yang-Gyun,Schmieder Peter,Oschkinat Hartmut,Rich Alexander,Schade Markus
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
The N-terminal domain of the vaccinia virus protein E3L (Z alpha(E3L)) is essential for full viral pathogenicity in mice. It has sequence similarity to the high-affinity human Z-DNA-binding domains Z alpha(ADAR1) and Z alpha(DLM1). Here, we report the solution structure of Z alpha(E3L) and the chemical shift map of its interaction surface with Z-DNA. The global structure and the Z-DNA interaction surface of Z alpha(E3L) are very similar to the high-affinity Z-DNA-binding domains Z alpha(ADAR1) and Z alpha(DLM1). However, the key Z-DNA contacting residue Y48 of Z alpha(E3L) adopts a different side chain conformation in unbound Z alpha(E3L), which requires rearrangement for binding to Z-DNA. This difference suggests a molecular basis for the significantly lower in vitro affinity of Z alpha(E3L) to Z-DNA compared with its homologues.
siRNA targeting vaccinia virus double-stranded RNA binding protein [E3L] exerts potent antiviral effects.
Dave Rajnish S,McGettigan James P,Qureshi Tazeen,Schnell Matthias J,Nunnari Giuseppe,Pomerantz Roger J
The Vaccinia virus gene, E3L, encodes a double-stranded RNA [dsRNA]-binding protein. We hypothesized that, owing to the critical nature of dsRNA in triggering host innate antiviral responses, E3L-specific small-interfering RNAs [siRNAs] should be effective antiviral agents against pox viruses, for which Vaccinia virus is an appropriate surrogate. In this study, we have utilized two human cell types, namely, HeLa and 293T, one which responds to interferon [IFN]-beta and the other produces and responds to IFN-beta, respectively. The antiviral effects were equally robust in HeLa and 293T cells. However, in the case of 293T cells, several distinct features were observed, when IFN-beta is activated in these cells. Vaccinia virus replication was inhibited by 97% and 98% as compared to control infection in HeLa and 293T cells transfected with E3L-specific siRNAs, respectively. These studies demonstrate the utility of E3L-specific siRNAs as potent antiviral agents for small pox and related pox viruses.
Role of viral factor E3L in modified vaccinia virus ankara infection of human HeLa Cells: regulation of the virus life cycle and identification of differentially expressed host genes.
Ludwig Holger,Mages Jörg,Staib Caroline,Lehmann Michael H,Lang Roland,Sutter Gerd
Journal of virology
Modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) is a highly attenuated virus strain being developed as a vaccine for delivery of viral and recombinant antigens. The MVA genome lacks functional copies of numerous genes interfering with host response to infection. The interferon resistance gene E3L encodes one important viral immune defense factor still made by MVA. Here we demonstrate an essential role of E3L to allow for completion of the MVA molecular life cycle upon infection of human HeLa cells. A deletion mutant virus, MVA-DeltaE3L, was found defective in late protein synthesis, viral late transcription, and viral DNA replication in infected HeLa cells. Moreover, we detected viral early and continuing intermediate transcription associated with degradation of rRNA, indicating rapid activation of 2'-5'-oligoadenylate synthetase/RNase L in the absence of E3L. Further molecular monitoring of E3L function by microarray analysis of host cell transcription in MVA- or MVA-DeltaE3L-infected HeLa cells revealed an overall significant down regulation of more than 50% of cellular transcripts expressed under mock conditions already at 5 h after infection, with a more prominent shutoff following MVA-DeltaE3L infection. Interestingly, a cluster of genes up regulated exclusively in MVA-DeltaE3L-infected cells could be identified, including transcripts for interleukin 6, growth arrest and DNA damage-inducible protein beta, and dual-specificity protein phosphatases. Our data indicate that lack of E3L inhibits MVA antigen production in human HeLa cells at the level of viral late gene expression and suggest that E3L can prevent activation of additional host factors possibly affecting the MVA molecular life cycle.
Host-range restriction of vaccinia virus E3L deletion mutant can be overcome in vitro, but not in vivo, by expression of the influenza virus NS1 protein.
Guerra Susana,Abaitua Fernando,Martínez-Sobrido Luis,Esteban Mariano,García-Sastre Adolfo,Rodríguez Dolores
During the last decades, research focused on vaccinia virus (VACV) pathogenesis has been intensified prompted by its potential beneficial application as a vector for vaccine development and anti-cancer therapies, but also due to the fear of its potential use as a bio-terrorism threat. Recombinant viruses lacking a type I interferon (IFN) antagonist are attenuated and hence good vaccine candidates. However, vaccine virus growth requires production in IFN-deficient systems, and thus viral IFN antagonists that are active in vitro, yet not in vivo, are of great value. The VACV E3 and influenza virus NS1 proteins are distinct double-stranded RNA-binding proteins that play an important role in pathogenesis by inhibiting the mammalian IFN-regulated innate antiviral response. Based on the functional similarities between E3 and NS1, we investigated the ability of NS1 to replace the biological functions of E3 of VACV in both in vitro and in vivo systems. For this, we generated a VACV recombinant virus lacking the E3L gene, yet expressing NS1 (VVΔE3L/NS1). Our study revealed that NS1 can functionally replace E3 in cultured cells, rescuing the protein synthesis blockade, and preventing apoptosis and RNA breakdown. In contrast, in vivo the VVΔE3L/NS1 virus was highly attenuated after intranasal inoculation, as it was unable to spread to the lungs and other organs. These results indicate that there are commonalities but also functional differences in the roles of NS1 and E3 as inhibitors of the innate antiviral response, which could potentially be utilized for vaccine production purposes in the future.
Vaccinia viruses with mutations in the E3L gene as potential replication-competent, attenuated vaccines: scarification vaccination.
Jentarra Garilyn M,Heck Michael C,Youn Jin Won,Kibler Karen,Langland Jeffrey O,Baskin Carole R,Ananieva Olga,Chang Yung,Jacobs Bertram L
In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of vaccinia virus (VACV) containing mutations in the E3L virulence gene to protect mice against a lethal poxvirus challenge after vaccination by scarification. VACV strains with mutations in the E3L gene had significantly decreased pathogenicity, even in immune deficient mice, yet retained the ability to produce a potent Th1-dominated immune response in mice after vaccination by scarification, while protecting against challenge with wild type, pathogenic VACV. Initial experiments were done using the mouse-adapted, neurovirulent Western Reserve (WR) strain of vaccinia virus. Testing of the full E3L deletion mutation in the Copenhagen and NYCBH strains of VACV, which are more appropriate for use in humans, produced similar results. These results suggest that highly attenuated strains of VACV containing mutations in E3L have the potential for use as scarification administered vaccines.
Biological function of the vaccinia virus Z-DNA-binding protein E3L: gene transactivation and antiapoptotic activity in HeLa cells.
Kwon Jin-Ah,Rich Alexander
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
The vaccinia virus (VV) E3L protein is essential for virulence and has anti-apoptotic activity. In mice, Z-DNA-binding activity of the N-terminal domain of E3L (Z alpha) is necessary for viral lethality. Here, we report that inhibition of hygromycin-B-induced apoptosis in HeLa cells depends on Z-DNA binding of the E3L Z alpha domain. Z-DNA-binding domains of other proteins are equally effective in blocking apoptosis. Using a transient reporter assay, we demonstrate transactivation of human IL-6, nuclear factor of activated T cells (NF-AT), and p53 genes by E3L. This activation also requires Z-DNA binding of the N-terminal domain of E3L. Overall, this work suggests that the important role of E3L in VV pathogenesis involves modulating expression of host cellular genes at the transcriptional level and inhibiting apoptosis of host cells through Z-DNA binding.
The attenuated NYCBH vaccinia virus deleted for the immune evasion gene, E3L, completely protects mice against heterologous challenge with ectromelia virus.
Denzler Karen L,Schriewer Jill,Parker Scott,Werner Chas,Hartzler Hollyce,Hembrador Ed,Huynh Trung,Holechek Susan,Buller R M,Jacobs Bertram L
The New York City Board of Health (NYCBH) vaccinia virus (VACV) vaccine strain was deleted for the immune evasion gene, E3L, and tested for its pathogenicity and ability to protect mice from heterologous challenge with ectromelia virus (ECTV). NYCBHΔE3L was found to be highly attenuated for pathogenicity in a newborn mouse model and showed a similar attenuated phenotype as the NYVAC strain of vaccinia virus. Scarification with one or two doses of the attenuated NYCBHΔE3L was able to protect mice equally as well as NYCBH from death, weight loss, and viral spread to visceral organs. A single dose of NYCBHΔE3L resulted in low poxvirus-specific antibodies, and a second dose increased levels of poxvirus-specific antibodies to a level similar to that seen in animals vaccinated with a single dose of NYCBH. However, similar neutralizing antibody titers were observed following one or two doses of NYCBHΔE3L or NYCBH. Thus, NYCBHΔE3L shows potential as a candidate for a safer human smallpox vaccine since it protects mice from challenge with a heterologous poxvirus.
Expression of the E3L gene of vaccinia virus in transgenic mice decreases host resistance to vaccinia virus and Leishmania major infections.
Domingo-Gil Elena,Pérez-Jiménez Eva,Ventoso Iván,Nájera José L,Esteban Mariano
Journal of virology
The E3L gene of vaccinia virus (VACV) encodes the E3 protein that in cultured cells inhibits the activation of interferon (IFN)-induced proteins, double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR), 2'-5'-oligoadenylate synthetase/RNase L (2-5A system) and adenosine deaminase (ADAR-1), thus helping the virus to evade host responses. Here, we have characterized the in vivo E3 functions in a murine inducible cell culture system (E3L-TetOFF) and in transgenic mice (TgE3L). Inducible E3 expression in cultured cells conferred on cells resistance to the antiviral action of IFN against different viruses, while expression of the E3L gene in TgE3L mice triggered enhanced sensitivity of the animals to pathogens. Virus infection monitored in TgE3L mice by different inoculation routes (intraperitoneal and tail scarification) showed that transgenic mice became more susceptible to VACV infection than control mice. TgE3L mice were also more susceptible to Leishmania major infection, leading to an increase in parasitemia compared to control mice. The enhanced sensitivity of TgE3L mice to VACV and L. major infections occurred together with alterations in the host immune system, as revealed by decreased T-cell responses to viral antigens in the spleen and lymph nodes and by differences in the levels of specific innate cell populations. These results demonstrate that expression of the E3L gene in transgenic mice partly reverses the resistance of the host to viral and parasitic infections and that these effects are associated with immune alterations.
Identification of protective T-cell antigens for smallpox vaccines.
Background aims:E3L is an immediate-early protein of vaccinia virus (VV) that is detected within 0.5 h of infection, potentially before the many immune evasion genes of vaccinia can exert their protective effects. E3L is highly conserved among orthopoxviruses and hence could provide important protective T-cell epitopes that should be retained in any subunit or attenuated vaccine. We have therefore evaluated the immunogenicity of E3L in healthy VV-vaccinated donors. Methods:Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy volunteers (n = 13) who had previously received a smallpox vaccine (Dryvax) were activated and expanded using overlapping E3L peptides and their function, specificity and antiviral activity was analyzed. E3L-specific T cells were expanded from 7 of 12 (58.3%) vaccinated healthy donors. Twenty-five percent of these produced CD8+ T-cell responses and 87.5% produced CD4+ T cells. We identified epitopes restricted by HLA-B35 and HLA-DR15. Results:E3L-specific T cells killed peptide-loaded target cells as well as vaccinia-infected cells, but only CD8+ T cells could prevent the spread of infectious virus in virus inhibition assays. The epitopes recognized by E3L-specific T cells were shared with monkeypox, and although there was a single amino acid change in the variola epitope homolog, it was recognized by vaccinia-specific T-cells. Conclusions:It might be important to include E3L in any deletion mutant or subunit vaccine and E3L could provide a useful antigen to monitor protective immunity in humans.
Loss of protein kinase PKR expression in human HeLa cells complements the vaccinia virus E3L deletion mutant phenotype by restoration of viral protein synthesis.
Zhang Ping,Jacobs Bertram L,Samuel Charles E
Journal of virology
The E3L proteins encoded by vaccinia virus bind double-stranded RNA and mediate interferon resistance, promote virus growth, and impair virus-mediated apoptosis. Among the cellular proteins implicated as targets of E3L is the protein kinase regulated by RNA (PKR). To test in human cells the role of PKR in conferring the E3L mutant phenotype, HeLa cells stably deficient in PKR generated by an RNA interference-silencing strategy were compared to parental and control knockdown cells following infection with either an E3L deletion mutant (DeltaE3L) or wild-type (WT) virus. The growth yields of WT virus were comparable in PKR-sufficient and -deficient cells. By contrast, the single-cycle yield of DeltaE3L virus was increased by nearly 2 log(10) in PKR-deficient cells over the impaired growth in PKR-sufficient cells. Furthermore, virus-induced apoptosis characteristic of the DeltaE3L mutant in PKR-sufficient cells was effectively abolished in PKR-deficient HeLa cells. The viral protein synthesis pattern was altered in DeltaE3L-infected PKR-sufficient cells, characterized by an inhibition of late viral protein expression, whereas in PKR-deficient cells, late protein accumulation was restored. Phosphorylation of both PKR and the alpha subunit of protein synthesis initiation factor 2 (eIF-2alpha) was elevated severalfold in DeltaE3L-infected PKR-sufficient, but not PKR-deficient, cells. WT virus did not significantly increase PKR or eIF-2alpha phosphorylation in either PKR-sufficient or -deficient cells, both of which supported efficient WT viral protein production. Finally, apoptosis induced by infection of PKR-sufficient HeLa cells with DeltaE3L virus was blocked by a caspase antagonist, but mutant virus growth was not rescued, suggesting that translation inhibition rather than apoptosis activation is a principal factor limiting virus growth.
Roles of vaccinia virus genes E3L and K3L and host genes PKR and RNase L during intratracheal infection of C57BL/6 mice.
Rice Amanda D,Turner Peter C,Embury Jennifer E,Moldawer Lyle L,Baker Henry V,Moyer Richard W
Journal of virology
The importance of the 2'-5' oligoadenylate synthetase (OAS)/RNase L and double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-dependent protein kinase (PKR) pathways in host interferon induction resulting from virus infection in response to dsRNA has been well documented. In poxvirus infections, the interactions between the vaccinia virus (VV) genes E3L and K3L, which target RNase L and PKR, respectively, serve to prevent the induction of the dsRNA-dependent induced interferon response in cell culture. To determine the importance of these host genes in controlling VV infections, mouse single-gene knockouts of RNase L and PKR and double-knockout mice were studied following intratracheal infection with VV, VVΔK3L, or VVΔE3L. VV caused lethal disease in all mouse strains. The single-knockout animals were more susceptible than wild-type animals, while the RNase L(-/-) PKR(-/-) mice were the most susceptible. VVΔE3L infections of wild-type mice were asymptomatic, demonstrating that E3L plays a critical role in controlling the host immune response. RNase L(-/-) mice showed no disease, whereas 20% of the PKR(-/-) mice succumbed at a dose of 10(8) PFU. Lethal disease was routinely observed in RNase L(-/-) PKR(-/-) mice inoculated with 10(8) PFU of VVΔE3L, with a distinct pathology. VVΔK3L infections exhibited no differences in virulence among any of the mouse constructs, suggesting that PKR is not the exclusive target of K3L. Surprisingly, VVΔK3L did not disseminate to other tissues from the lung. Hence, the cause of death in this model is respiratory disease. These results also suggest that an unanticipated role of the K3L gene is to facilitate virus dissemination.
The double-stranded RNA binding domain of the vaccinia virus E3L protein inhibits both RNA- and DNA-induced activation of interferon beta.
Marq Jean-Baptiste,Hausmann Stéphane,Luban Jeremy,Kolakofsky Daniel,Garcin Dominique
The Journal of biological chemistry
Vaccinia virus, a large DNA virus that replicates in the cytoplasm, expresses its E3L protein to inhibit the cellular innate immune response and apoptosis. E3L is a bifunctional protein that contains an N-terminal DNA binding domain (BD) and a C-terminal double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-BD (residues 100-190), both of which contribute to viral pathogenesis by blocking the activation of cellular genes that respond to the viral infection. We report that expression of the dsRNA-BD alone inhibits not only the dsRNA-induced activation of interferon beta (IFNbeta) but also that of 5'-triphosphate single-stranded RNA and DNA-induced IFNbeta activation even though E3L(100-190) does not bind the latter two pathogen-associated molecular patterns. This inhibition occurs in both human HeLa and A549 cells, where RIG-I appears to be required for dsDNA-induced IFNbeta activation. Unexpectedly, the two residues most important for dsRNA binding are also critical for this domain's ability to inhibit all three nucleic acid-induced cellular responses.
The NYCBH vaccinia virus deleted for the innate immune evasion gene, E3L, protects rabbits against lethal challenge by rabbitpox virus.
Denzler Karen L,Rice Amanda D,MacNeill Amy L,Fukushima Nobuko,Lindsey Scott F,Wallace Greg,Burrage Andrew M,Smith Andrew J,Manning Brandi R,Swetnam Daniele M,Gray Stacey A,Moyer R W,Jacobs Bertram L
Vaccinia virus deleted for the innate immune evasion gene, E3L, has been shown to be highly attenuated and yet induces a protective immune response against challenge by homologous virus in a mouse model. In this manuscript the NYCBH vaccinia virus vaccine strain was compared to NYCBH vaccinia virus deleted for E3L (NYCBHΔE3L) in a rabbitpox virus (RPV) challenge model. Upon scarification, both vaccines produced a desired skin lesion, although the lesion produced by NYCBHΔE3L was smaller. Both vaccines fully protected rabbits against lethal challenge by escalating doses of RPV, from 10LD(50) to 1000LD(50). A single dose of NYCBHΔE3L protected rabbits from weight loss, fever, and clinical symptoms following the lowest dose challenge of 10LD(50), however it allowed a moderate level of RPV replication at the challenge site, some spread to external skin and mucosal surfaces, and increased numbers of secondary lesions as compared to vaccination with NYCBH. Alternately, two doses of NYCBHΔE3L fully protected rabbits from weight loss, fever, and clinical symptoms, following challenge with 100-1000LD(50) RPV, and it prevented development of secondary lesions similar to protection seen with NYCBH. Finally, vaccination with either one or two doses of NYCBHΔE3L resulted in similar neutralizing antibody titers following RPV challenge as compared to titers obtained by vaccination with NYCBH. These results support the efficacy of the attenuated NYCBHΔE3L in protection against an orthologous poxvirus challenge.
Attenuated NYCBH vaccinia virus deleted for the E3L gene confers partial protection against lethal monkeypox virus disease in cynomolgus macaques.
Denzler Karen L,Babas Tahar,Rippeon Amy,Huynh Trung,Fukushima Nobuko,Rhodes Lowrey,Silvera Peter M,Jacobs Bertram L
The New York City Board of Health (NYCBH) vaccinia virus is the currently licensed vaccine for use in the US against smallpox. The vaccine under investigation in this study has been attenuated by deletion of the innate immune evasion gene, E3L, and shown to be protective in homologous virus mouse challenge and heterologous virus mouse and rabbit challenge models. In this study we compared NYCBH deleted for the E3L gene (NYCBHΔE3L) to NYCBH for the ability to induce phosphorylation of proinflammatory signaling proteins and the ability to protect cynomolgus macaques from heterologous challenge with monkeypox virus (MPXV). NYCBHΔE3L induced phosphorylation of PKR and eIF2α as well as p38, SAPK/JNK, and IRF3 which can lead to induction of proinflammatory gene transcription. Vaccination of macaques with two doses of NYCBHΔE3L resulted in negligible pock formation at the site of scarification in comparison to vaccination using a single dose of NYCBH, but still elicited neutralizing antibodies and protected 75% of the animals from mortality after challenge with MPXV. However, NYCBHΔE3L-vaccinated animals developed a high number of secondary skin lesions and blood viral load similar to that seen in unvaccinated controls. The NYCBHΔE3L-vaccinated animals that survived MPXV challenge were able to show resolution of blood viral load, a decrease in number of skin lesions, and an improved clinical score by three weeks post challenge. These results suggest that although the highly attenuated NYCBHΔE3L allows proinflammatory signal transduction to occur, it does not provide full protection against monkeypox challenge.
Antagonizing activity of vaccinia virus E3L against human interferons in Huh7 cells.
Arsenio Janilyn,Deschambault Yvon,Cao Jingxin
The E3L protein of vaccinia virus (VV) is well known for its capacity to evade cellular innate antiviral immunity related to interferon (IFN), for example PKR and RNaseL mediated antiviral activities. However, due to the limited range of cells that support VV E3L deletion mutant replication, the full capacity of E3L inhibiting the innate immune response induced by IFNs remains to be examined. In this report, the inhibition activity of VV E3L against a wide spectrum of human IFNs, including type I IFNs (12 IFN-alpha subtypes, IFN-beta, and IFN-omega), and type II IFN (gamma), was comparatively examined using the Copenhagen strain E3L deletion mutant and its revertant control virus in a human hepatoma cell line, Huh7. Deletion of the E3L open reading frame rendered the mutant VV sensitive to all types of IFNs, while the revertant VV was strongly resistant to these treatments. Furthermore, we show that the inhibition of VV E3L deletion mutant by IFN occurs at the stage of intermediate gene translation, while the expression of early genes and transcription of intermediate genes are largely unaffected. Using specific siRNAs to suppress the classical IFN-induced antiviral pathways, we found that PKR is the key factor modulated by E3L, while the RNaseL and MxA pathways play limited roles in this Huh7 cell system. Thus, our data demonstrates that VV E3L can mediate strong inhibition activity against all human type I and type II IFNs, mainly through modulation of the PKR pathway in Huh7 cells.
Sequence and phylogenetic analysis of host-range (E3L, K3L, and C7L) and structural protein (B5R) genes of buffalopox virus isolates from buffalo, cattle, and human in India.
Buffalopox virus (BPXV), a close variant of vaccinia virus (VACV) has emerged as a zoonotic pathogen. The host tropism of poxviruses is governed by host-range genes. Among the host-range genes: E3L, K3L, and C7L are essential for virus replication by preventing interferon resistance, whereas B5R is essential for spread of the virus and evasion from the host's immune response as in VACV. We report sequence analysis of host-range genes: E3L, K3L, C7L, and membrane protein gene (B5R) of BPXVs from buffalo, cattle, and human from recent outbreaks in India-their phylogenetic relationship with reference strain (BP4) and other Orthopoxviruses. BPXVs revealed a sequence homology with VACVs including zoonotic Brazilian VACV-like viruses. The aa sequences of E3L and K3L genes were 100 % similar in buffalo, cattle, and human isolates. However, four significant point mutations (I11K; N12K and S36F in C7L gene and D249G in B5R gene) were observed specific to buffalo isolate only. This signifies that different strains of BPXV were circulated during the outbreak. The mutations in C7L and B5R could play an important role in adaptation of BPXV in human and cattle which needs further functional studies. The strain of BPXV isolated from buffalo may not be adopted in human and cow. Various point mutations were observed in the host-range genes of reference strain (BPXV-BP4) which may be due to several passages of virus in cell culture. The phylogeny constructed based on concatenated gene sequences revealed that BPXVs are not as closely related to vaccine strain (Lister and Lister-derived strain-LC16m8), as hypothesized earlier, rather they are more closely related to reference strain (BPXV-BP4) and other vaccinia and vaccinia-like viruses such as Passatempo and Aracatuba viruses. The availability of information regarding host tropism determinants would allow us to understand molecular mechanism of species tropism of poxviruses which would be useful in unveiling new strategies to control zoonotic poxviral infections.
NMR study of hydrogen exchange during the B-Z transition of a DNA duplex induced by the Zα domains of yatapoxvirus E3L.
Lee Eun-Hae,Seo Yeo-Jin,Ahn Hee-Chul,Kang Young-Min,Kim Hee-Eun,Lee Yeon-Mi,Choi Byong-Seok,Lee Joon-Hwa
The Yaba-like disease viruses (YLDV) are members of the Yatapoxvirus family and have double-stranded DNA genomes. The E3L protein, which is essential for pathogenesis in the vaccinia virus, consists of two domains: an N-terminal Z-DNA binding domain and a C-terminal RNA binding domain. The crystal structure of the E3L orthologue of YLDV (yabZα(E3L)) bound to Z-DNA revealed that the overall structure of yabZα(E3L) and its interaction with Z-DNA are very similar to those of hZα(ADAR1). Here we have performed NMR hydrogen exchange experiments on the complexes between yabZα(E3L) and d(CGCGCG)(2) with a variety of protein-to-DNA molar ratios. This study revealed that yabZα(E3L) could efficiently change the B-form helix of the d(CGCGCG)(2) to left-handed Z-DNA via the active-mono B-Z transition pathway like hZα(ADAR1).
E3L and F1L Gene Functions Modulate the Protective Capacity of Modified Vaccinia Virus Ankara Immunization in Murine Model of Human Smallpox.
Volz Asisa,Jany Sylvia,Freudenstein Astrid,Lantermann Markus,Ludwig Holger,Sutter Gerd
The highly attenuated Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) lacks most of the known vaccinia virus (VACV) virulence and immune evasion genes. Today MVA can serve as a safety-tested next-generation smallpox vaccine. Yet, we still need to learn about regulatory gene functions preserved in the MVA genome, such as the apoptosis inhibitor genes and . Here, we tested MVA vaccine preparations on the basis of the deletion mutant viruses MVA-ΔF1L and MVA-ΔE3L for efficacy against ectromelia virus (ECTV) challenge infections in mice. In non-permissive human tissue culture the MVA deletion mutant viruses produced reduced levels of the VACV envelope antigen B5. Upon mousepox challenge at three weeks after vaccination, MVA-ΔF1L and MVA-ΔE3L exhibited reduced protective capacity in comparison to wildtype MVA. Surprisingly, however, all vaccines proved equally protective against a lethal ECTV infection at two days after vaccination. Accordingly, the deletion mutant MVA vaccines induced high levels of virus-specific CD8+ T cells previously shown to be essential for rapidly protective MVA vaccination. These results suggest that inactivation of the anti-apoptotic genes or modulates the protective capacity of MVA vaccination most likely through the induction of distinct orthopoxvirus specific immunity in the absence of these viral regulatory proteins.
Complementation of the human adenovirus type 5 VA RNAI defect by the Vaccinia virus E3L protein and serotype-specific VA RNAIs.
Inturi Raviteja,Kamel Wael,Akusjärvi Göran,Punga Tanel
Human adenoviruses (HAdVs) encode for multifunctional non-coding virus-associated (VA) RNAs, which function as powerful suppressors of the cellular interferon (IFN) and RNA interference (RNAi) systems. In this study we tested the ability of various plant and animal virus encoded RNAi and IFN suppressor proteins to functionally substitute for the HAdV-5 VA RNAI. Our results revealed that only the Vaccinia virus (VACV) E3L protein was able to substitute for the HAdV-5 VA RNAI functions in virus-infected cells. Interestingly, the E3L protein rescues the translational defect but does not stimulate viral capsid mRNA accumulation observed with VA RNA. We further show that the E3L C-terminal region containing the dsRNA-binding domain is needed to enhance VA RNAI mutant virus replication. Additionally, we show that the HAdV-4 and HAdV-37 VA RNAI are more effective than the HAdV-5 VA RNAI in rescuing virus replication.
Variola virus E3L Zα domain, but not its Z-DNA binding activity, is required for PKR inhibition.
Thakur Meghna,Seo Eun Joo,Dever Thomas E
RNA (New York, N.Y.)
Responding to viral infection, the interferon-induced, double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-activated protein kinase PKR phosphorylates translation initiation factor eIF2α to inhibit cellular and viral protein synthesis. To overcome this host defense mechanism, many poxviruses express the protein E3L, containing an N-terminal Z-DNA binding (Zα) domain and a C-terminal dsRNA-binding domain (dsRBD). While E3L is thought to inhibit PKR activation by sequestering dsRNA activators and by directly binding the kinase, the role of the Zα domain in PKR inhibition remains unclear. Here, we show that the E3L Zα domain is required to suppress the growth-inhibitory properties associated with expression of human PKR in yeast, to inhibit PKR kinase activity in vitro, and to reverse the inhibitory effects of PKR on reporter gene expression in mammalian cells treated with dsRNA. Whereas previous studies revealed that the Z-DNA binding activity of E3L is critical for viral pathogenesis, we identified point mutations in E3L that functionally uncouple Z-DNA binding and PKR inhibition. Thus, our studies reveal a molecular distinction between the nucleic acid binding and PKR inhibitory functions of the E3L Zα domain, and they support the notion that E3L contributes to viral pathogenesis by targeting PKR and other components of the cellular anti-viral defense pathway.
Ectromelia virus lacking the E3L ortholog is replication-defective and nonpathogenic but does induce protective immunity in a mouse strain susceptible to lethal mousepox.
Frey Tiffany R,Forsyth Katherine S,Sheehan Maura M,De Haven Brian C,Pevarnik Julia G,Hand Erin S,Pizzorno Marie C,Eisenlohr Laurence C,Hersperger Adam R
All known orthopoxviruses, including ectromelia virus (ECTV), contain a gene in the E3L family. The protein product of this gene, E3, is a double-stranded RNA-binding protein. It can impact host range and is used by orthopoxviruses to combat cellular defense pathways, such as PKR and RNase L. In this work, we constructed an ECTV mutant with a targeted disruption of the E3L open reading frame (ECTVΔE3L). Infection with this virus resulted in an abortive replication cycle in all cell lines tested. We detected limited transcription of late genes but no significant translation of these mRNAs. Notably, the replication defects of ECTVΔE3L were rescued in human and mouse cells lacking PKR. ECTVΔE3L was nonpathogenic in BALB/c mice, a strain susceptible to lethal mousepox disease. However, infection with ECTVΔE3L induced protective immunity upon subsequent challenge with wild-type virus. In summary, E3L is an essential gene for ECTV.
Poxviral E3L ortholog (Viral Interferon resistance gene) of orf viruses of sheep and goats indicates species-specific clustering with heterogeneity among parapoxviruses.
Karki Monu,Kumar Amit,Arya Sargam,Ramakrishnan M A,Venkatesan G
Orf is a contagious disease posing a serious threat to animal and human health. E3L is one of the evolutionarily acquired immunomodulatory proteins present in orf virus (ORFV) and is responsible for conferring resistance to interferons among poxviruses. Genetic analysis of ORFV isolates of different geographical regions including Indian subcontinent targeting viral interferon resistance (VIR) gene (a homolog of vaccinia virus E3L gene) revealed a high percentage of identity among themselves and other ORFV isolates at both nt and aa levels as compared to low identity among parapoxviruses (PPVs). Phylogenetic analysis showed species-specific clustering among PPVs along with sub-clusters based on host species of origin among ORFVs infecting sheep and goats. Conserved amino acids in N-terminal Z-DNA binding domain and C-terminal ds RNA binding domain of VIR proteins of PPVs corresponding to ORFV VIR positions namely N37, Y41, P57, and W59 (necessary for Z-DNA binding) and E116, F127, F141, and K160 (necessary for dsRNA binding) were found. Further, the predicted protein characteristics and homology model of VIR protein of ORFV showed high structural conservation among poxviruses. This study on E3L genetic analysis of ORFV isolates may provide a better understanding of the molecular epidemiology of circulating strains in India and neighboring countries. Also, E3L deleted or mutated ORFV may be an as vaccine candidate and/or compounds blocking E3L may prove as an effective method for treating broad spectrum poxviral infections, suggesting a wider application in control of poxvirus infections.