Kaposi sarcoma–associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is linked with all clinical forms of Kaposi sarcoma and several lymphoproliferative disorders. Like other herpesviruses, KSHV becomes latent in the infected cells, expressing only a few genes that are essential for the establishment and maintenance of its latency and for the survival of the infected cells. Inhibiting the expression of these latent genes should lead to eradication of herpesvirus infection. All currently available drugs are ineffective against latent infection. Here we show, for the first time to our knowledge, that latent infection with KSHV in B lymphocytes can be terminated by glycyrrhizic acid (GA), a triterpenoid compound earlier shown to inhibit the lytic replication of other herpesviruses. We demonstrate that GA disrupts latent KSHV infection by downregulating the expression of latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA) and upregulating the expression of viral cyclin and selectively induces cell death of KSHV-infected cells. We show that reduced levels of LANA lead to p53 reactivation, an increase in ROS, and mitochondrial dysfunction, which result in G1 cell cycle arrest, DNA fragmentation, and oxidative stress–mediated apoptosis. Latent genes are involved in KSHV-induced oncogenesis, and strategies to interfere with their expression might prove useful for eradicating latent KSHV infection and have future therapeutic implications.
Francesca Curreli, Alvin E. Friedman-Kien, Ornella Flore
Poliovirus replication is limited to a few organs, including the brain and spinal cord. This restricted tropism may be a consequence of organ-specific differences in translation initiation by the poliovirus internal ribosome entry site (IRES). A C-to-U mutation at base 472 in the IRES of the Sabin type 3 poliovirus vaccine strain, known to attenuate neurovirulence, may further restrict tropism by eliminating viral replication in the CNS. To determine the relationship between IRES-mediated translation and poliovirus tropism, recombinant human adenoviruses were used to express bicistronic mRNAs in murine organs. The IRESs of poliovirus, the cardiotropic coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3), and the hepatotropic hepatitis C virus (HCV) mediate translation in many organs, including those that do not support viral replication. A translation defect associated with the Sabin type 3 IRES was observed in all organs examined. Poliovirus type 1 and recombinant polioviruses dependent on the IRES of CVB3 or HCV replicate in the CNS of mice and cause paralysis. Although the type 3 Sabin strain is an effective vaccine, polioviruses with a U at base 472 of the IRES cause paralysis in newborn mice. Tropism of wild-type and vaccine strains of poliovirus is therefore determined after internal ribosome entry.
Steven E. Kauder, Vincent R. Racaniello
DCs play a pivotal role in bringing forth innate and adaptive immune responses. Viruses can specifically target DCs, rendering them ineffective in stimulating T cells, which can ultimately lead to immunosuppression. In the present study we have identified several potential mechanisms by which lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) induces immunosuppression in its natural murine host. The immunosuppressive LCMV variant clone 13 (Cl 13) infects DCs and interferes with their maturation and antigen-presenting capacity as evidenced by a significant reduction in the surface expression of MHC class I, MHC class II, CD40, CD80, and CD86 molecules. Additionally, Cl 13 infects hematopoietic progenitor cells both in vivo and in vitro, impairing their development. One mechanism by which hematopoietic progenitors are developmentally impaired is through the Cl 13–induced production of IFN-α and IFN-β (IFN-α/β). Mice deficient in the receptor for IFN-α/β show a normal differentiation of progenitors into DCs despite viral infection. Thus, a virus can evolve a strategy to boost its survival by preventing the maturation of DCs from infected progenitor cells and by reducing the expression of antigen-presenting and costimulatory molecules on developed DCs.
Noemí Sevilla, Dorian B. McGavern, Chao Teng, Stefan Kunz, Michael B.A. Oldstone
Antigenic stimulation of T cells gives rise to short-lived effector cells and long-lived memory cells. We used two stable isotope-labeling techniques to identify kinetically distinct subpopulations of T cells and to determine the effect of advanced infection with HIV-1. Long-term deuterated water (2H2O) incorporation into DNA demonstrated biphasic accrual of total and of memory/effector (m/e)–phenotype but not naive-phenotype T cells, consistent with the presence of short-lived and longer-lived subpopulations within the m/e-phenotype T cell pool. These results were mirrored by biphasic die-away kinetics in m/e- but not naive-phenotype T cells after short-term 2H-glucose labeling. Persistent label retention was observed in a subset of m/e-phenotype T cells (presumably memory T cells), confirming the presence of T cells with very different life spans in humans. In advanced HIV-1 infection, much higher proportions of T cells were short-lived, compared to healthy controls. Effective long-term anti-retroviral therapy restored values to normal. These results provide the first quantitative evidence that long-lived and quiescent T cells do indeed predominate in the T cell pool in humans and determine T cell pool size, as in rodents. The greatest impact of advanced HIV-1 infection is to reduce the generation of long-lived, potential progenitor T cells.
Marc K. Hellerstein, Rebecca A. Hoh, Mary Beth Hanley, Denise Cesar, Daniel Lee, Richard A. Neese, Joseph M. McCune
Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) can dramatically worsen liver disease in patients coinfected with hepatitis B virus (HBV). No effective medical therapy exists for HDV. The HDV envelope requires HBV surface antigen proteins provided by HBV. Once inside a cell, however, HDV can replicate its genome in the absence of any HBV gene products. In vitro, HDV virion assembly is critically dependent on prenyl lipid modification, or prenylation, of its nucleocapsid-like protein large delta antigen. To overcome limitations of current animal models and to test the hypothesis that pharmacologic prenylation inhibition can prevent the production of HDV virions in vivo, we established a convenient mouse-based model of HDV infection capable of yielding viremia. Such mice were then treated with the prenylation inhibitors FTI-277 and FTI-2153. Both agents were highly effective at clearing HDV viremia. As expected, HDV inhibition exhibited duration-of-treatment dependence. These results provide the first preclinical data supporting the in vivo efficacy of prenylation inhibition as a novel antiviral therapy with potential application to HDV and a wide variety of other viruses.
Bruno B. Bordier, Junko Ohkanda, Ping Liu, So-Young Lee, F.H. Salazar, Patricia L. Marion, Kazuo Ohashi, Leonard Meuse, Mark A. Kay, John L. Casey, Saïd M. Sebti, Andrew D. Hamilton, Jeffrey S. Glenn
Fibrin deposition and thrombosis within the microvasculature is now appreciated to play a pivotal role in the hepatocellular injury observed in experimental and human viral hepatitis. Importantly, the pathways by which fibrin generation is elicited in viral hepatitis may be mechanistically distinct from the classical pathways of coagulation induced by mechanical trauma or bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS). In the setting of murine hepatitis virus strain-3 (MHV-3) infection, a member of the Coronaviridae, activated endothelial cells and macrophages express distinct cell-surface procoagulants, including a novel prothrombinase, Fgl2/fibroleukin, which are important for both the initiation and localization of fibrin deposition. To assess the role of Fgl2/fibroleukin in murine viral hepatitis we generated a Fgl2/fibroleukin–deficient mouse. Peritoneal macrophages isolated from Fgl2/fibroleukin–/– mice did not generate a procoagulant response when infected with MHV-3. Fibrin deposition and liver necrosis were markedly reduced, and survival was increased in mice infected with MHV-3. To address the relevance of Fgl2/fibroleukin in human chronic viral hepatitis we studied patients with minimal and marked chronic hepatitis B. We detected robust expression of Fgl2/fibroleukin mRNA transcripts and protein in liver tissue isolated from patients with marked chronic hepatitis B. Fibrin deposition was strongly associated with Fgl2/fibroleukin expression. Collectively, these data indicate a critical role for Fgl2/fibroleukin in the pathophysiology of experimental and human viral hepatitis.
Philip A. Marsden, Qin Ning, Laisum S. Fung, Xioping Luo, Yue Chen, Michael Mendicino, Anand Ghanekar, Jeremy A. Scott, Teresa Miller, Camie W.Y. Chan, Mathew W.C. Chan, Wei He, Reginald M. Gorczynski, David R. Grant, David A. Clark, M. James Phillips, Gary A. Levy
Infection of neonatal mice with some reovirus strains produces a disease similar to infantile biliary atresia, but previous attempts to correlate reovirus infection with this disease have yielded conflicting results. We used isogenic reovirus strains T3SA– and T3SA+, which differ solely in the capacity to bind sialic acid as a coreceptor, to define the role of sialic acid in reovirus encephalitis and biliary tract infection in mice. Growth in the intestine was equivalent for both strains following peroral inoculation. However, T3SA+ spread more rapidly from the intestine to distant sites and replicated to higher titers in spleen, liver, and brain. Strikingly, mice infected with T3SA+ but not T3SA– developed steatorrhea and bilirubinemia. Liver tissue from mice infected with T3SA+ demonstrated intense inflammation focused at intrahepatic bile ducts, pathology analogous to that found in biliary atresia in humans, and high levels of T3SA+ antigen in bile duct epithelial cells. T3SA+ bound 100-fold more efficiently than T3SA– to human cholangiocarcinoma cells. These observations suggest that the carbohydrate-binding specificity of a virus can dramatically alter disease in the host and highlight the need for epidemiologic studies focusing on infection by sialic acid–binding reovirus strains as a possible contributor to the pathogenesis of neonatal biliary atresia.
Erik S. Barton, Bryan E. Youree, Daniel H. Ebert, J. Craig Forrest, Jodi L. Connolly, Tibor Valyi-Nagy, Kay Washington, J. Denise Wetzel, Terence S. Dermody
Group B streptococcus (GBS) is an important human pathogen. In this study, we sought to identify mechanisms that may protect GBS from host defenses in addition to its capsular polysaccharide. A gene encoding a cell-surface–associated protein (cspA) was characterized from a highly virulent type III GBS isolate, COH1. Its sequence indicated that it is a subtilisin-like extracellular serine protease homologous to streptococcal C5a peptidases and caseinases of lactic acid bacteria. The wild-type strain cleaved the α chain of human fibrinogen, whereas a cspA mutant, TOH121, was unable to cleave fibrinogen. We observed aggregated material when COH1 was incubated with fibrinogen but not when the mutant strain was treated similarly. This suggested that the product(s) of fibrinogen cleavage have strong adhesive properties and may be similar to fibrin. The cspA gene was present among representative clinical isolates from all nine capsular serotypes, as revealed by Southern blotting. A cspA– mutant was ten times less virulent in a neonatal rat sepsis model of GBS infections, as measured by LD50 analysis. In addition, the cspA– mutant was significantly more sensitive than the wild-type strain to opsonophagocytic killing by human neutrophils in vitro. Taken together, the results suggest that cleavage of fibrinogen by CspA may increase the lethality of GBS infection, potentially by protecting the bacterium from opsonophagocytic killing.
Theresa O. Harris, Daniel W. Shelver, John F. Bohnsack, Craig E. Rubens
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