Publications by authors named "Aitor Nogales"

83 Publications

Identification of amino acid residues required for inhibition of host gene expression by influenza A/Viet Nam/1203/2004 H5N1 PA-X.

J Virol 2021 Apr 14. Epub 2021 Apr 14.

Center for Animal Health Research, INIA-CISA, 28130 Valdeolmos, Madrid, Spain.

PA-X is a non-structural protein of influenza A virus (IAV), which is encoded by the polymerase acidic (PA) N-terminal region that contains a C-terminal +1 frameshifted sequence. IAV PA-X protein modulates virus-induced host innate immune responses and viral pathogenicity via suppression of host gene expression or cellular shutoff, through cellular mRNA cleavage. Highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIV) of the H5N1 subtype naturally infect different avian species, they have an enormous economic impact in the poultry farming, and they also have zoonotic and pandemic potential, representing a risk to human public health. In the present study, we describe a novel bacteria-based approach to identify amino acid residues in the PA-X protein of the HPAIV A/Viet Nam/1203/2004 H5N1 that are important for its ability to inhibit host protein expression or cellular shutoff activity. Identified PA-X mutants displayed a reduced shutoff activity as compared to that of the wild-type (WT) A/Viet Nam/1203/2004 H5N1 PA-X protein. Notably, this new bacteria-based screening allowed us to identify amino acid residues widely distributed over the entire N-terminal region of PA-X. Furthermore, we found that some of the residues affecting A/Viet Nam/1203/2004 H5N1 PA-X host shutoff activity also affect PA polymerase activity in a minigenome assay. This information could be used for the rational design of new and more effective compounds with antiviral activity against IAV. Moreover, our results demonstrate the feasibility of using this bacteria-based approach to identify amino acid residues important for the activity of viral proteins to inhibit host gene expression.Highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIV) continue to pose a huge threat to global animal and human health. Despite of the limited genome size of Influenza A virus (IAV), the virus encodes eight main viral structural proteins and multiple accessory non-structural proteins, depending on the IAV type, subtype or strain. One of the IAV accessory proteins, PA-X, is encoded by the polymerase acidic (PA) protein and is involved in pathogenicity through the modulation of IAV-induced host inflammatory and innate immune responses. However, the molecular mechanism(s) of IAV PA-X regulation of the host immune response is not well understood. In this work, we used, for the first time, a bacteria-based approach for the identification of amino acids important for the ability of IAV PA-X to induce host shutoff activity and describe novel residues relevant for its ability to inhibit host gene expression, and their contribution in PA polymerase activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00408-21DOI Listing
April 2021

A protective bivalent vaccine against Rift Valley fever and bluetongue.

NPJ Vaccines 2020 Jul 30;5(1):70. Epub 2020 Jul 30.

Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria, Centro de Investigación en Sanidad Animal (INIA-CISA), Madrid, Spain.

Rift Valley fever (RVF) and bluetongue (BT) are two important ruminant diseases transmitted by arthropods. Both viruses have shown important geographic spread leading to endemicity of BT virus (BTV) in Africa and Europe. In this work, we report a dual vaccine that simultaneously induces protective immune responses against BTV and RVFV based on modified vaccinia Ankara virus (MVA) expressing BTV proteins VP2, NS1, or a truncated form of NS1 (NS1-Nt), and RVFV Gn and Gc glycoproteins. IFNAR mice immunized with two doses of MVA-GnGc-VP2 developed a significant neutralizing antibody response against BTV-4 and RVFV. Furthermore, the homologous prime-boost immunization with MVA-GnGc-NS1 or MVA-GnGc-NS1-Nt triggered neutralizing antibodies against RVFV and NS1-specific cytotoxic CD8+ T cells in mice. Moreover, all mice immunized with MVA-GnGc-NS1 or MVA-GnGc-NS1-Nt remained healthy after lethal challenge with RVFV or BTV-4. The homologous prime-boost vaccination with MVA-GnGc-NS1, which was the best immunization strategy observed in mice, was assayed in sheep. Clinical signs and viremia were absent or highly reduced in vaccinated sheep after challenge with BTV-4 or RVFV. These results indicate that MVA-GnGc-NS1 vaccination elicits immune protection against RVFV and BTV in sheep.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41541-020-00218-yDOI Listing
July 2020

Viral Vector Vaccines against Bluetongue Virus.

Microorganisms 2020 Dec 25;9(1). Epub 2020 Dec 25.

Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06519, USA.

Bluetongue virus (BTV), the prototype member of the genus (family ), is the causative agent of an important livestock disease, bluetongue (BT), which is transmitted via biting midges of the genus To date, up to 29 serotypes of BTV have been described, which are classified as classical (BTV 1-24) or atypical (serotypes 25-27), and its distribution has been expanding since 1998, with important outbreaks in the Mediterranean Basin and devastating incursions in Northern and Western Europe. Classical vaccine approaches, such as live-attenuated and inactivated vaccines, have been used as prophylactic measures to control BT through the years. However, these vaccine approaches fail to address important matters like vaccine safety profile, effectiveness, induction of a cross-protective immune response among serotypes, and implementation of a DIVA (differentiation of infected from vaccinated animals) strategy. In this context, a wide range of recombinant vaccine prototypes against BTV, ranging from subunit vaccines to recombinant viral vector vaccines, have been investigated. This article offers a comprehensive outline of the live viral vectors used against BTV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9010042DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7823852PMC
December 2020

Editorial overview: Virus reverse genetics approaches for the development of preventive and therapeutic vaccines.

Curr Opin Virol 2020 10;44:iii-iv

Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria, Centro de Investigación en Sanidad Animal (INIA-CISA), 28130 Madrid, Spain.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.coviro.2020.11.003DOI Listing
October 2020

Inhibition of Orbivirus Replication by Aurintricarboxylic Acid.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Oct 2;21(19). Epub 2020 Oct 2.

Animal Health Research Centre (CISA), National Institute for Agriculture and Food Research and Technology (INIA), Valdeolmos, 28130 Madrid, Spain.

Bluetongue virus (BTV) and African horse sickness virus (AHSV) are vector-borne viruses belonging to the genus, which are transmitted between hosts primarily by biting midges of the genus . With recent BTV and AHSV outbreaks causing epidemics and important economy losses, there is a pressing need for efficacious drugs to treat and control the spread of these infections. The polyanionic aromatic compound aurintricarboxylic acid (ATA) has been shown to have a broad-spectrum antiviral activity. Here, we evaluated ATA as a potential antiviral compound against infections in both mammalian and insect cells. Notably, ATA was able to prevent the replication of BTV and AHSV in both cell types in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. In addition, we evaluated the effect of ATA in vivo using a mouse model of infection. ATA did not protect mice against a lethal challenge with BTV or AHSV, most probably due to the in vivo effect of ATA on immune system regulation. Overall, these results demonstrate that ATA has inhibitory activity against replication in vitro, but further in vivo analysis will be required before considering it as a potential therapy for future clinical evaluation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21197294DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7582255PMC
October 2020

Identification of Inhibitors of ZIKV Replication.

Viruses 2020 09 18;12(9). Epub 2020 Sep 18.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, NY 14625, USA.

Zika virus (ZIKV) was identified in 1947 in the Zika forest of Uganda and it has emerged recently as a global health threat, with recurring outbreaks and its associations with congenital microcephaly through maternal fetal transmission and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Currently, there are no United States (US) Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved vaccines or antivirals to treat ZIKV infections, which underscores an urgent medical need for the development of disease intervention strategies to treat ZIKV infection and associated disease. Drug repurposing offers various advantages over developing an entirely new drug by significantly reducing the timeline and resources required to advance a candidate antiviral into the clinic. Screening the ReFRAME library, we identified ten compounds with antiviral activity against the prototypic mammarenavirus lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV). Moreover, we showed the ability of these ten compounds to inhibit influenza A and B virus infections, supporting their broad-spectrum antiviral activity. In this study, we further evaluated the broad-spectrum antiviral activity of the ten identified compounds by testing their activity against ZIKV. Among the ten compounds, Azaribine (SI-MTT = 146.29), AVN-944 (SI-MTT = 278.16), and Brequinar (SI-MTT = 157.42) showed potent anti-ZIKV activity in post-treatment therapeutic conditions. We also observed potent anti-ZIKV activity for Mycophenolate mofetil (SI-MTT = 20.51), Mycophenolic acid (SI-MTT = 36.33), and AVN-944 (SI-MTT = 24.51) in pre-treatment prophylactic conditions and potent co-treatment inhibitory activity for Obatoclax (SI-MTT = 60.58), Azaribine (SI-MTT = 91.51), and Mycophenolate mofetil (SI-MTT = 73.26) in co-treatment conditions. Importantly, the inhibitory effect of these compounds was strain independent, as they similarly inhibited ZIKV strains from both African and Asian/American lineages. Our results support the broad-spectrum antiviral activity of these ten compounds and suggest their use for the development of antiviral treatment options of ZIKV infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v12091041DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7551609PMC
September 2020

A protective bivalent vaccine against Rift Valley fever and bluetongue.

NPJ Vaccines 2020 30;5:70. Epub 2020 Jul 30.

Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria, Centro de Investigación en Sanidad Animal (INIA-CISA), Madrid, Spain.

Rift Valley fever (RVF) and bluetongue (BT) are two important ruminant diseases transmitted by arthropods. Both viruses have shown important geographic spread leading to endemicity of BT virus (BTV) in Africa and Europe. In this work, we report a dual vaccine that simultaneously induces protective immune responses against BTV and RVFV based on modified vaccinia Ankara virus (MVA) expressing BTV proteins VP2, NS1, or a truncated form of NS1 (NS1-Nt), and RVFV Gn and Gc glycoproteins. IFNAR mice immunized with two doses of MVA-GnGc-VP2 developed a significant neutralizing antibody response against BTV-4 and RVFV. Furthermore, the homologous prime-boost immunization with MVA-GnGc-NS1 or MVA-GnGc-NS1-Nt triggered neutralizing antibodies against RVFV and NS1-specific cytotoxic CD8+ T cells in mice. Moreover, all mice immunized with MVA-GnGc-NS1 or MVA-GnGc-NS1-Nt remained healthy after lethal challenge with RVFV or BTV-4. The homologous prime-boost vaccination with MVA-GnGc-NS1, which was the best immunization strategy observed in mice, was assayed in sheep. Clinical signs and viremia were absent or highly reduced in vaccinated sheep after challenge with BTV-4 or RVFV. These results indicate that MVA-GnGc-NS1 vaccination elicits immune protection against RVFV and BTV in sheep.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41541-020-00218-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7393076PMC
July 2020

Heterologous Combination of ChAdOx1 and MVA Vectors Expressing Protein NS1 as Vaccination Strategy to Induce Durable and Cross-Protective CD8+ T Cell Immunity to Bluetongue Virus.

Vaccines (Basel) 2020 Jun 29;8(3). Epub 2020 Jun 29.

Centro de Investigación en Sanidad Animal (CISA), Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA), Valdeolmos, 28130 Madrid, Spain.

The sequence of non-structural protein NS1 of bluetongue virus (BTV), which contains immunodominant CD8+ T cell epitopes, is highly conserved among BTV serotypes, and has therefore become a major tool in the development of a universal BTV vaccine. In this work, we have engineered multiserotype BTV vaccine candidates based on recombinant chimpanzee adenovirus (ChAdOx1) and modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) vectors expressing the NS1 protein of BTV-4 or its truncated form NS1-Nt. A single dose of ChAdOx1-NS1 or ChAdOx1-NS1-Nt induced a moderate CD8+ T cell response and protected IFNAR(-/-) mice against a lethal dose of BTV-4/MOR09, a reassortant strain between BTV-1 and BTV-4, although the animals showed low viremia after infection. Furthermore, IFNAR(-/-) mice immunized with a single dose of ChAdOx1-NS1 were protected after challenge with a lethal dose of BTV-8 in absence of viremia nor clinical signs. Additionally, the heterologous prime-boost ChAdOx1/MVA expressing NS1 or NS1-Nt elicited a robust NS1 specific CD8+ T cell response and protected the animals against BTV-4/MOR09 even 16 weeks after immunization, with undetectable levels of viremia at any time after challenge. Subsequently, the best immunization strategy based on ChAdOx1/MVA-NS1 was assayed in sheep. Non-immunized animals presented fever and viremia levels up to 10 PFU/mL after infection. In contrast, although viremia was detected in immunized sheep, the level of virus in blood was 100 times lower than in non-immunized animals in absence of clinical signs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/vaccines8030346DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7564706PMC
June 2020

AGL2017-82570-RReverse genetics approaches for the development of new vaccines against influenza A virus infections.

Curr Opin Virol 2020 10 27;44:26-34. Epub 2020 Jun 27.

Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria, Centro de Investigación en SanidadAnimal (INIA-CISA), 28130 Madrid, Spain. Electronic address:

Influenza A viruses (IAVs) represent a serious concern globally because they are capable of rapid spread and cause severe disease in humans and other animals. The development and implementation of plasmid-based reverse genetics approaches have allowed the manipulation and recovery of recombinant IAVs from complementary DNA copies of the viral genome. Furthermore, IAV reverse genetics have provided researchers an efficient and powerful platform to introduce specific changes in the viral genome with the final goal of studying IAV biology, designing more effective vaccine strategies, and to reduce the rates of incidence and mortality associated with viral infections. In this review, we briefly discuss IAV reverse genetics and their applications to prevent IAV infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.coviro.2020.06.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7755736PMC
October 2020

Characterizing Emerging Canine H3 Influenza Viruses.

PLoS Pathog 2020 04 14;16(4):e1008409. Epub 2020 Apr 14.

Department of Infectious Diseases, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, United States of America.

The continual emergence of novel influenza A strains from non-human hosts requires constant vigilance and the need for ongoing research to identify strains that may pose a human public health risk. Since 1999, canine H3 influenza A viruses (CIVs) have caused many thousands or millions of respiratory infections in dogs in the United States. While no human infections with CIVs have been reported to date, these viruses could pose a zoonotic risk. In these studies, the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS) network collaboratively demonstrated that CIVs replicated in some primary human cells and transmitted effectively in mammalian models. While people born after 1970 had little or no pre-existing humoral immunity against CIVs, the viruses were sensitive to existing antivirals and we identified a panel of H3 cross-reactive human monoclonal antibodies (hmAbs) that could have prophylactic and/or therapeutic value. Our data predict these CIVs posed a low risk to humans. Importantly, we showed that the CEIRS network could work together to provide basic research information important for characterizing emerging influenza viruses, although there were valuable lessons learned.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1008409DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7182277PMC
April 2020

Influenza Virus and Vaccination.

Pathogens 2020 Mar 17;9(3). Epub 2020 Mar 17.

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (CNB-CSIC), Campus Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain.

Influenza virus infections represent a serious public health problem causing contagious respiratory disease and substantial morbidity and mortality in humans, resulting in a considerable economic burden worldwide. Notably, the number of deaths due to influenza exceeds that of any other known pathogen. Moreover, influenza infections can differ in their intensity, from mild respiratory disease to pneumonia, which can lead to death. Articles in this Special Issue have addressed different aspects of influenza in human health, and the advances in influenza research leading to the development of better therapeutics and vaccination strategies, with a special focus on the study of factors associated with innate or adaptive immune responses to influenza vaccination and/or infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9030220DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7157237PMC
March 2020

A Lassa Fever Live-Attenuated Vaccine Based on Codon Deoptimization of the Viral Glycoprotein Gene.

mBio 2020 02 25;11(1). Epub 2020 Feb 25.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA

Lassa virus (LASV) is endemic in Western Africa and is estimated to infect hundreds of thousands of individuals annually. A considerable number of these infections result in Lassa fever (LF), which is associated with significant morbidity and a case-fatality rate as high as 69% among hospitalized confirmed patients. U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved LF vaccines are not available. Current antiviral treatment is limited to off-label use of a nucleoside analogue, ribavirin, that is only partially effective and associated with significant side effects. We generated and characterized a recombinant LASV expressing a codon-deoptimized (CD) glycoprotein precursor gene (GPC), rLASV-GPC/CD. Comparison of growth kinetics and peak titers showed that rLASV-GPC/CD is slightly attenuated in cell culture compared to wild-type (WT) recombinant LASV (rLASV-WT). However, rLASV-GPC/CD is highly attenuated in strain 13 and Hartley guinea pigs, as reflected by the absence of detectable clinical signs in animals inoculated with rLASV-GPC/CD. Importantly, a single subcutaneous dose of rLASV-GPC/CD provides complete protection against an otherwise lethal exposure to LASV. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of implementing a CD approach for developing a safe and effective LASV live-attenuated vaccine candidate. Moreover, rLASV-GPC/CD might provide investigators with a tool to safely study LASV outside maximum (biosafety level 4) containment, which could accelerate the elucidation of basic aspects of the molecular and cell biology of LASV and the development of novel LASV medical countermeasures. Lassa virus (LASV) infects several hundred thousand people in Western Africa, resulting in many lethal Lassa fever (LF) cases. Licensed LF vaccines are not available, and anti-LF therapy is limited to off-label use of the nucleoside analog ribavirin with uncertain efficacy. We describe the generation of a novel live-attenuated LASV vaccine candidate. This vaccine candidate is based on mutating wild-type (WT) LASV in a key region of the viral genome, the glycoprotein precursor (GPC) gene. These mutations do not change the encoded GPC but interfere with its production in host cells. This mutated LASV (rLASV-GPC/CD) behaves like WT LASV (rLASV-WT) in cell culture, but in contrast to rLASV-WT, does not cause disease in inoculated guinea pigs. Guinea pigs immunized with rLASV-GPC/CD were protected against an otherwise lethal exposure to WT LASV. Our results support the testing of this candidate vaccine in nonhuman primate models ofLF.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mBio.00039-20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7042690PMC
February 2020

A Broad and Potent H1-Specific Human Monoclonal Antibody Produced in Plants Prevents Influenza Virus Infection and Transmission in Guinea Pigs.

Viruses 2020 02 2;12(2). Epub 2020 Feb 2.

Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Alabama at Birmingham 845 19th Street South, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.

Although seasonal influenza vaccines block most predominant influenza types and subtypes, humans still remain vulnerable to waves of seasonal and new potential pandemic influenza viruses for which no immunity may exist because of viral antigenic drift and/or shift. Previously, we described a human monoclonal antibody (hMAb), KPF1, which was produced in human embryonic kidney 293T cells (KPF1-HEK) with broad and potent neutralizing activity against H1N1 influenza A viruses (IAV) in vitro, and prophylactic and therapeutic activities in vivo. In this study, we produced hMAb KPF1 in tobacco plants (KPF1-Antx) and demonstrated how the plant-produced KPF1-Antx hMAb possesses similar biological activity compared with the mammalian-produced KPF1-HEK hMAb. KPF1-Antx hMAb showed broad binding to recombinant HA proteins and H1N1 IAV, including A/California/04/2009 (pH1N1) in vitro, which was comparable to that observed with KPF1-HEK hMAb. Importantly, prophylactic administration of KPF1-Antx hMAb to guinea pigs prevented pH1N1 infection and transmission in both prophylactic and therapeutic experiments, substantiating its clinical potential to prevent and treat H1N1 infections. Collectively, this study demonstrated, for the first time, a plant-produced influenza hMAb with in vitro and in vivo activity against influenza virus. Because of the many advantages of plant-produced hMAbs, such as rapid batch production, low cost, and the absence of mammalian cell products, they represent an alternative strategy for the production of immunotherapeutics for the treatment of influenza viral infections, including emerging seasonal and/or pandemic strains.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v12020167DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7077299PMC
February 2020

Increasing the Safety Profile of the Master Donor Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine.

Pathogens 2020 Jan 29;9(2). Epub 2020 Jan 29.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester Medical Center, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.

Seasonal influenza epidemics remain one of the largest public health burdens nowadays. The best and most effective strategy to date in preventing influenza infection is a worldwide vaccination campaign. Currently, two vaccines are available to the public for the treatment of influenza infection, the chemically Inactivated Influenza Vaccine (IIV) and the Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV). However, the LAIV is not recommended for parts of the population, such as children under the age of two, immunocompromised individuals, the elderly, and pregnant adults. In order to improve the safety of the LAIV and make it available to more of the population, we sought to further attenuate the LAIV. In this study, we demonstrate that the influenza A virus (IAV) master donor virus (MDV) A/Ann Arbor/6/60 H2N2 LAIV can inhibit host gene expression using both the PA-X and NS1 proteins. Furthermore, we show that by removing PA-X, we can limit the replication of the MDV LAIV in a mouse model, while maintaining full protective efficacy. This work demonstrates a broadly applicable strategy of tuning the amount of host antiviral responses induced by the IAV MDV for the development of newer and safer LAIVs. Moreover, our results also demonstrate, for the first time, the feasibility of genetically manipulating the backbone of the IAV MDV to improve the efficacy of the current IAV LAIV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9020086DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7168643PMC
January 2020

In vivo rescue of recombinant Zika virus from an infectious cDNA clone and its implications in vaccine development.

Sci Rep 2020 01 16;10(1):512. Epub 2020 Jan 16.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester Medical Center, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, New York, 14642, USA.

Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-borne member of the Flaviviridae family that has been known to circulate for decades causing mild febrile illness. The more recent ZIKV outbreaks in the Americas and the Caribbean associated with congenital malformations and Guillain-Barré syndrome in adults have placed public health officials in high alert and highlight the significant impact of ZIKV on human health. New technologies to study the biology of ZIKV and to develop more effective prevention options are highly desired. In this study we demonstrate that direct delivery in mice of an infectious ZIKV cDNA clone allows the rescue of recombinant (r)ZIKV in vivo. A bacterial artificial chromosome containing the sequence of ZIKV strain Paraiba/2015 under the control of the cytomegalovirus promoter was complexed with a commercial transfection reagent and administrated using different routes in type-I interferon receptor deficient A129 mice. Clinical signs and death associated with ZIKV viremia were observed in mice. The rZIKV recovered from these mice remained fully virulent in a second passage in mice. Interestingly, infectious rZIKV was also recovered after intraperitoneal inoculation of the rZIKV cDNA in the absence of transfection reagent. Further expanding these studies, we demonstrate that a single intraperitoneal inoculation of a cDNA clone encoding an attenuated rZIKV was safe, highly immunogenic, and provided full protection against lethal ZIKV challenge. This novel in vivo reverse genetics method is a potentially suitable delivery platform for the study of wild-type and live-attenuated ZIKV devoid of confounding factors typical associated with in vitro systems. Moreover, our results open the possibility of employing similar in vivo reverse genetic approaches for the generation of other viruses and, therefore, change the way we will use reverse genetics in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-57545-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6965646PMC
January 2020

Identification and Characterization of Novel Compounds with Broad-Spectrum Antiviral Activity against Influenza A and B Viruses.

J Virol 2020 03 17;94(7). Epub 2020 Mar 17.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York, USA

Influenza A (IAV) and influenza B (IBV) viruses are highly contagious pathogens that cause fatal respiratory disease every year, with high economic impact. In addition, IAV can cause pandemic infections with great consequences when new viruses are introduced into humans. In this study, we evaluated 10 previously described compounds with antiviral activity against mammarenaviruses for their ability to inhibit IAV infection using our recently described bireporter influenza A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (PR8) H1N1 (BIRFLU). Among the 10 tested compounds, eight (antimycin A [AmA], brequinar [BRQ], 6-azauridine, azaribine, pyrazofurin [PF], AVN-944, mycophenolate mofetil [MMF], and mycophenolic acid [MPA]), but not obatoclax or Osu-03012, showed potent anti-influenza virus activity under posttreatment conditions [median 50% effective concentration (EC) = 3.80 nM to 1.73 μM; selective index SI for 3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, >28.90 to 13,157.89]. AmA, 6-azauridine, azaribine, and PF also showed potent inhibitory effect in pretreatment (EC = 0.14 μM to 0.55 μM; SI-MTT = 70.12 to >357.14) or cotreatment (EC = 34.69 nM to 7.52 μM; SI-MTT = 5.24 to > 1,441.33) settings. All of the compounds tested inhibited viral genome replication and gene transcription, and none of them affected host cellular RNA polymerase II activities. The antiviral activity of the eight identified compounds against BIRFLU was further confirmed with seasonal IAVs (A/California/04/2009 H1N1 and A/Wyoming/3/2003 H3N2) and an IBV (B/Brisbane/60/2008, Victoria lineage), demonstrating their broad-spectrum prophylactic and therapeutic activity against currently circulating influenza viruses in humans. Together, our results identified a new set of antiviral compounds for the potential treatment of influenza viral infections. Influenza viruses are highly contagious pathogens and are a major threat to human health. Vaccination remains the most effective tool to protect humans against influenza infection. However, vaccination does not always guarantee complete protection against drifted or, more noticeably, shifted influenza viruses. Although U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) drugs are approved for the treatment of influenza infections, influenza viruses resistant to current FDA antivirals have been reported and continue to emerge. Therefore, there is an urgent need to find novel antivirals for the treatment of influenza viral infections in humans, a search that could be expedited by repurposing currently approved drugs. In this study, we assessed the influenza antiviral activity of 10 compounds previously shown to inhibit mammarenavirus infection. Among them, eight drugs showed antiviral activities, providing a new battery of drugs that could be used for the treatment of influenza infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.02149-19DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7081893PMC
March 2020

Functional Characterization and Direct Comparison of Influenza A, B, C, and D NS1 Proteins and .

Front Microbiol 2019 17;10:2862. Epub 2019 Dec 17.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, United States.

Influenza viruses are important pathogens that affect multiple animal species, including humans. There are four types of influenza viruses: A, B, C, and D (IAV, IBV, ICV, and IDV, respectively). IAV and IBV are currently circulating in humans and are responsible of seasonal epidemics (IAV and IBV) and occasional pandemics (IAV). ICV is known to cause mild infections in humans and pigs, while the recently identified IDV primarily affect cattle and pigs. Influenza non-structural protein 1 (NS1) is a multifunctional protein encoded by the NS segment in all influenza types. The main function of NS1 is to counteract the host antiviral defense, including the production of interferon (IFN) and IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs), and therefore is considered an important viral pathogenic factor. Despite of homologous functions, the NS1 protein from the diverse influenza types share little amino acid sequence identity, suggesting possible differences in their mechanism(s) of action, interaction(s) with host factors, and contribution to viral replication and/or pathogenesis. In addition, although the NS1 protein of IAV, IBV and, to some extent ICV, have been previously studied, it is unclear if IDV NS1 has similar properties. Using an approach that allow us to express NS1 independently of the nuclear export protein from the viral NS segment, we have generated recombinant IAV expressing IAV, IBV, ICV, and IDV NS1 proteins. Although recombinant viruses expressing heterotypic (IBV, ICV, and IDV) NS1 proteins were able to replicate similarly in canine MDCK cells, their viral fitness was impaired in human A549 cells and they were highly attenuated . Our data suggest that despite the similarities to effectively counteract innate immune responses , the NS1 proteins of IBV, ICV, or IDV do not fully complement the functions of IAV NS1, resulting in deficient viral replication and pathogenesis .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2019.02862DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6927920PMC
December 2019

A natural polymorphism in Zika virus NS2A protein responsible of virulence in mice.

Sci Rep 2019 12 27;9(1):19968. Epub 2019 Dec 27.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester Medical Center, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, New York, 14642, USA.

Zika virus (ZIKV) infection is currently one of the major concerns in human public health due to its association with neurological disorders. Intensive effort has been implemented for the treatment of ZIKV, however there are not currently approved vaccines or antivirals available to combat ZIKV infection. In this sense, the identification of virulence factors associated with changes in ZIKV virulence could help to develop safe and effective countermeasures to treat ZIKV or to prevent future outbreaks. Here, we have compared the virulence of two related ZIKV strains from the recent outbreak in Brazil (2015), Rio Grande do Norte Natal (RGN) and Paraiba. In spite of both viruses being identified in the same period of time and region, significant differences in virulence and replication were observed using a validated mouse model of ZIKV infection. While ZIKV-RGN has a 50% mouse lethal dose (MLD) of ~10 focus forming units (FFUs), ZIKV-Paraiba infection resulted in 100% of lethality with less than 10 FFUs. Combining deep-sequencing analysis and our previously described infectious ZIKV-RGN cDNA clone, we identified a natural polymorphism in the non-structural protein 2 A (NS2A) that increase the virulence of ZIKV. Moreover, results demonstrate that the single amino acid alanine to valine substitution at position 117 (A117V) in the NS2A was sufficient to convert the attenuated rZIKV-RGN in a virulent Paraiba-like virus (MLD < 10 FFU). The mechanism of action was also evaluated and data indicate that substitution A117V in ZIKV NS2A protein reduces host innate immune responses and viral-induced apoptosis in vitro. Therefore, amino acid substitution A117V in ZIKV NS2A could be used as a genetic risk-assessment marker for future ZIKV outbreaks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-56291-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6934710PMC
December 2019

Immunity to Influenza Infection in Humans.

Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med 2021 Mar 1;11(3). Epub 2021 Mar 1.

David H. Smith Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York 14642, USA.

This review discusses the human immune responses to influenza infection with some insights from studies using animal models, such as experimental infection of mice. Recent technological advances in the study of human immune responses have greatly added to our knowledge of the infection and immune responses, and therefore much of the focus is on recent studies that have moved the field forward. We consider the complexity of the adaptive response generated by many sequential encounters through infection and vaccination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/cshperspect.a038729DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7919402PMC
March 2021

A Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine Elicits Enhanced Heterologous Protection When the Internal Genes of the Vaccine Are Matched to Those of the Challenge Virus.

J Virol 2020 01 31;94(4). Epub 2020 Jan 31.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA

Influenza A virus (IAV) causes significant morbidity and mortality, despite the availability of viral vaccines. The efficacy of live attenuated influenza vaccines (LAIVs) has been especially poor in recent years. One potential reason is that the master donor virus (MDV), on which all LAIVs are based, contains either the internal genes of the 1960 A/Ann Arbor/6/60 or the 1957 A/Leningrad/17/57 H2N2 viruses (i.e., they diverge considerably from currently circulating strains). We previously showed that introduction of the temperature-sensitive () residue signature of the AA/60 MDV into a 2009 pandemic A/California/04/09 H1N1 virus (Cal/09) results in only 10-fold attenuation in mice. We have previously shown that the residue signature of the Russian A/Leningrad/17/57 H2N2 LAIV (Len LAIV) more robustly attenuates the prototypical A/Puerto Rico/8/1934 (PR8) H1N1 virus. In this work, we therefore introduced the signature from Len LAIV into Cal/09. This new Cal/09 LAIV is , highly attenuated () in mice, and protects from a lethal homologous challenge. In addition, when our Cal/09 LAIV with PR8 hemagglutinin and neuraminidase was used to vaccinate mice, it provided enhanced protection against a wild-type Cal/09 challenge relative to a PR8 LAIV with the same attenuating mutations. These findings suggest it may be possible to improve the efficacy of LAIVs by better matching the sequence of the MDV to currently circulating strains. Seasonal influenza infection remains a major cause of disease and death, underscoring the need for improved vaccines. Among current influenza vaccines, the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) is unique in its ability to elicit T-cell immunity to the conserved internal proteins of the virus. Despite this, LAIV has shown limited efficacy in recent years. One possible reason is that the conserved, internal genes of all current LAIVs derive from virus strains that were isolated between 1957 and 1960 and that, as a result, do not resemble currently circulating influenza viruses. We have therefore developed and tested a new LAIV, based on a currently circulating pandemic strain of influenza. Our results show that this new LAIV elicits improved protective immunity compared to a more conventional LAIV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01065-19DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6997774PMC
January 2020

Cross-protective immune responses against African horse sickness virus after vaccination with protein NS1 delivered by avian reovirus muNS microspheres and modified vaccinia virus Ankara.

Vaccine 2020 01 7;38(4):882-889. Epub 2019 Nov 7.

Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria, Centro de Investigación en Sanidad Animal (INIA-CISA), Madrid, Spain.

African horse sickness virus (AHSV) is an insect-borne pathogen that causes acute disease in horses and other equids. In an effort to improve the safety of currently available vaccines and to acquire new knowledge about the determinants of AHSV immunogenicity, new generation vaccines are being developed. In this work we have generated and tested a novel immunization approach comprised of nonstructural protein 1 (NS1) of AHSV serotype 4 (AHSV-4) incorporated into avian reovirus muNS protein microspheres (MS-NS1) and/or expressed using recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara vector (MVA-NS1). The protection conferred against AHSV by a homologous MS-NS1 or heterologous MS-NS1 and MVA-NS1 prime/boost was evaluated in IFNAR (-/-) mice. Our results indicate that immunization based on MS-NS1 and MVA-NS1 afforded complete protection against the infection with homologous AHSV-4. Moreover, priming with MS-NS1 and boost vaccination with MVA-NS1 (MS-MVA-NS1) triggered NS1 specific cytotoxic CD8 + T cells and prevented AHSV disease in IFNAR (-/-) mice after challenge with heterologous serotype AHSV-9. Cross-protective immune responses are highly important since AHS can be caused by nine different serotypes, which means that a universal polyvalent vaccination would need to induce protective immunity against all serotypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2019.10.087DOI Listing
January 2020

Comparative Study of the Temperature Sensitive, Cold Adapted and Attenuated Mutations Present in the Master Donor Viruses of the Two Commercial Human Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccines.

Viruses 2019 10 10;11(10). Epub 2019 Oct 10.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, NY 14642, USA.

Influenza viruses cause annual, seasonal infection across the globe. Vaccination represents the most effective strategy to prevent such infections and/or to reduce viral disease. Two major types of influenza vaccines are approved for human use: inactivated influenza vaccines (IIVs) and live attenuated influenza vaccines (LAIVs). Two Master Donor Virus (MDV) backbones have been used to create LAIVs against influenza A virus (IAV): the United States (US) A/Ann Arbor/6/60 (AA) and the Russian A/Leningrad/134/17/57 (Len) H2N2 viruses. The mutations responsible for the temperature sensitive (), cold-adapted () and attenuated () phenotypes of the two MDVs have been previously identified and genetically mapped. However, a direct comparison of the contribution of these residues to viral attenuation, immunogenicity and protection efficacy has not been conducted. Here, we compared the In vitro and in vivo phenotype of recombinant influenza A/Puerto Rico/8/34 H1N1 (PR8) viruses containing the and mutations of the US (PR8/AA) and the Russian (PR8/Len) MDVs. Our results show that PR8/Len is more attenuated in vivo than PR8/AA, although both viruses induced similar levels of humoral and cellular responses, and protection against homologous and heterologous viral challenges. Our findings support the feasibility of using a different virus backbone as MDV for the development of improved LAIVs for the prevention of IAV infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v11100928DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6832241PMC
October 2019

A Bivalent Live-Attenuated Vaccine for the Prevention of Equine Influenza Virus.

Viruses 2019 10 11;11(10). Epub 2019 Oct 11.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.

Vaccination remains the most effective approach for preventing and controlling equine influenza virus (EIV) in horses. However, the ongoing evolution of EIV has increased the genetic and antigenic differences between currently available vaccines and circulating strains, resulting in suboptimal vaccine efficacy. As recommended by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the inclusion of representative strains from clade 1 and clade 2 Florida sublineages of EIV in vaccines may maximize the protection against presently circulating viral strains. In this study, we used reverse genetics technologies to generate a bivalent EIV live-attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV). We combined our previously described clade 1 EIV LAIV A/equine/Ohio/2003 H3N8 (Ohio/03 LAIV) with a newly generated clade 2 EIV LAIV that contains the six internal genes of Ohio/03 LAIV and the HA and NA of A/equine/Richmond/1/2007 H3N8 (Rich/07 LAIV). The safety profile, immunogenicity, and protection efficacy of this bivalent EIV LAIV was tested in the natural host, horses. Vaccination of horses with the bivalent EIV LAIV, following a prime-boost regimen, was safe and able to confer protection against challenge with clade 1 (A/equine/Kentucky/2014 H3N8) and clade 2 (A/equine/Richmond/2007) wild-type (WT) EIVs, as evidenced by a reduction of clinical signs, fever, and virus excretion. This is the first description of a bivalent LAIV for the prevention of EIV in horses that follows OIE recommendations. In addition, since our bivalent EIV LAIV is based on the use of reverse genetics approaches, our results demonstrate the feasibility of using the backbone of clade 1 Ohio/03 LAIV as a master donor virus (MDV) for the production and rapid update of LAIVs for the control and protection against other EIV strains of epidemiological relevance to horses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v11100933DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6832603PMC
October 2019

Host Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms Modulating Influenza A Virus Disease in Humans.

Pathogens 2019 Sep 30;8(4). Epub 2019 Sep 30.

Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (CNB-CSIC), Campus Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain.

A large number of human genes associated with viral infections contain single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which represent a genetic variation caused by the change of a single nucleotide in the DNA sequence. SNPs are located in coding or non-coding genomic regions and can affect gene expression or protein function by different mechanisms. Furthermore, they have been linked to multiple human diseases, highlighting their medical relevance. Therefore, the identification and analysis of this kind of polymorphisms in the human genome has gained high importance in the research community, and an increasing number of studies have been published during the last years. As a consequence of this exhaustive exploration, an association between the presence of some specific SNPs and the susceptibility or severity of many infectious diseases in some risk population groups has been found. In this review, we discuss the relevance of SNPs that are important to understand the pathology derived from influenza A virus (IAV) infections in humans and the susceptibility of some individuals to suffer more severe symptoms. We also discuss the importance of SNPs for IAV vaccine effectiveness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens8040168DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6963926PMC
September 2019

Influenza Viruses in Mice: Deep Sequencing Analysis of Serial Passage and Effects of Sialic Acid Structural Variation.

J Virol 2019 12 13;93(23). Epub 2019 Nov 13.

Baker Institute for Animal Health, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA

Influenza A viruses have regularly jumped to new host species to cause epidemics or pandemics, an evolutionary process that involves variation in the viral traits necessary to overcome host barriers and facilitate transmission. Mice are not a natural host for influenza virus but are frequently used as models in studies of pathogenesis, often after multiple passages to achieve higher viral titers that result in clinical disease such as weight loss or death. Here, we examine the processes of influenza A virus infection and evolution in mice by comparing single nucleotide variations of a human H1N1 pandemic virus, a seasonal H3N2 virus, and an H3N2 canine influenza virus during experimental passage. We also compared replication and sequence variation in wild-type mice expressing -glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc) with those seen in mice expressing only -acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac). Viruses derived from plasmids were propagated in MDCK cells and then passaged in mice up to four times. Full-genome deep sequencing of the plasmids, cultured viruses, and viruses from mice at various passages revealed only small numbers of mutational changes. The H3N2 canine influenza virus showed increases in frequency of sporadic mutations in the PB2, PA, and NA segments. The H1N1 pandemic virus grew well in mice, and while it exhibited the maintenance of some minority mutations, there was no clear evidence for adaptive evolution. The H3N2 seasonal virus did not establish in the mice. Finally, there were no clear sequence differences associated with the presence or absence of Neu5Gc. Mice are commonly used as a model to study the growth and virulence of influenza A viruses in mammals but are not a natural host and have distinct sialic acid receptor profiles compared to humans. Using experimental infections with different subtypes of influenza A virus derived from different hosts, we found that evolution of influenza A virus in mice did not necessarily proceed through the linear accumulation of host-adaptive mutations, that there was variation in the patterns of mutations detected in each repetition, and that the mutation dynamics depended on the virus examined. In addition, variation in the viral receptor, sialic acid, did not affect influenza virus evolution in this model. Overall, our results show that while mice provide a useful animal model for influenza virus pathology, host passage evolution will vary depending on the specific virus tested.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01039-19DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6854484PMC
December 2019

A Luciferase-fluorescent Reporter Influenza Virus for Live Imaging and Quantification of Viral Infection.

J Vis Exp 2019 08 14(150). Epub 2019 Aug 14.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry;

Influenza A viruses (IAVs) cause human respiratory disease that is associated with significant health and economic consequences. As with other viruses, studying IAV requires the use of laborious secondary approaches to detect the presence of the virus in infected cells and/or in animal models of infection. This limitation has been recently circumvented with the generation of recombinant IAVs expressing easily traceable fluorescent or bioluminescent (luciferase) reporter proteins. However, researchers have been forced to select fluorescent or luciferase reporter genes due to the restricted capacity of the IAV genome for including foreign sequences. To overcome this limitation, we have generated a recombinant replication-competent bi-reporter IAV (BIRFLU) stably expressing both a fluorescent and a luciferase reporter gene to easily track IAV infections in vitro and in vivo. To this end, the viral non-structural (NS) and hemagglutinin (HA) viral segments of influenza A/Puerto Rico/8/34 H1N1 (PR8) were modified to encode the fluorescent Venus and the bioluminescent Nanoluc luciferase proteins, respectively. Here, we describe the use of BIRFLU in a mouse model of IAV infection and the detection of both reporter genes using an in vivo imaging system. Notably, we have observed a good correlation between the expressions of both reporters and viral replication. The combination of cutting-edge techniques in molecular biology, animal research and imaging technologies, provides researchers the unique opportunity to use this tool for influenza research, including the study of virus-host interactions and dynamics of viral infections. Importantly, the feasibility to genetically alter the viral genome to express two foreign genes from different viral segments opens up opportunities to use this approach for: (i) the development of novel IAV vaccines, (ii) the generation of recombinant IAVs that can be used as vaccine vectors for the treatment of other human pathogen infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3791/59890DOI Listing
August 2019

Interferon-Induced Protein 44 Interacts with Cellular FK506-Binding Protein 5, Negatively Regulates Host Antiviral Responses, and Supports Virus Replication.

mBio 2019 08 27;10(4). Epub 2019 Aug 27.

David H. Smith Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA

Using multiple viral systems, and performing silencing approaches, overexpression approaches, and experiments in knockout cells, we report, for the first time, that interferon (IFN)-induced protein 44 (IFI44) positively affects virus production and negatively modulates innate immune responses induced after viral infections. Moreover, IFI44 is able to rescue poly(I·C)- and IFN-mediated inhibition of virus growth. Furthermore, we report a novel interaction of IFI44 with the cellular factor FK506-binding protein 5 (FKBP5), which binds to cellular kinases such as the inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa B (IκB) kinases (IKKα, IKKβ, and IKKε). Importantly, in the presence of FKBP5, IFI44 decreases the ability of IKKβ to phosphorylate IκBα and the ability of IKKε to phosphorylate interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF-3), providing a novel mechanism for the function of IFI44 in negatively modulating IFN responses. Remarkably, these new IFI44 functions may have implications for diseases associated with excessive immune signaling and for controlling virus infections mediated by IFN responses. Innate immune responses mediated by IFN and inflammatory cytokines are critical for controlling virus replication. Nevertheless, exacerbated innate immune responses could be detrimental for the host and feedback mechanisms are needed to maintain the cellular homeostasis. In this work, we describe a completely novel function for IFI44 in negatively modulating the innate immune responses induced after viral infections. We show that decreasing IFI44 expression by using small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) or by generating knockout (KO) cells impairs virus production and increases the levels of IFN responses. Moreover, we report a novel interaction of IFI44 with the cellular protein FKBP5, which in turn interacts with kinases essential for type I and III IFN induction and signaling, such as the inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa B (IκB) kinases IKKα, IKKβ, and IKKε. Our data indicate that binding of IFI44 to FKBP5 decreased the phosphorylation of IRF-3 and IκBα mediated by IKKε and IKKβ, respectively, providing a likely explanation for the function of IFI44 in negatively modulating IFN responses. These results provide new insights into the induction of innate immune responses and suggest that IFI44 is a new potential antiviral target for reducing virus replication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mBio.01839-19DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6712396PMC
August 2019

Rescue of Recombinant Zika Virus from a Bacterial Artificial Chromosome cDNA Clone.

J Vis Exp 2019 06 24(148). Epub 2019 Jun 24.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester Medical Center;

The association of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection with neurological complications during the recent worldwide outbreak and the lack of approved vaccines and/or antivirals have underscored the urgent need to develop ZIKV reverse genetic systems to facilitate the study of ZIKV biology and the development of therapeutic and/or prophylactic approaches. However, like with other flaviviruses, the generation of ZIKV full-length infectious cDNA clones has been hampered due to the toxicity of viral sequences during its amplification in bacteria. To overcome this problem, we have developed a nontraditional approach based on the use of bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs). Using this approach, the full-length cDNA copy of the ZIKV strain Rio Grande do Norte Natal (ZIKV-RGN) is generated from four synthetic DNA fragments and assembled into the single-copy pBeloBAC11 plasmid under the control of the human cytomegalovirus (CMV) immediate-early promoter. The assembled BAC cDNA clone is stable during propagation in bacteria, and infectious recombinant (r)ZIKV is recovered in Vero cells after transfection of the BAC cDNA clone. The protocol described here provides a powerful technique for the generation of infectious clones of flaviviruses, including ZIKV, and other positive-strand RNA viruses, particularly those with large genomes that have stability problems during bacterial propagation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3791/59537DOI Listing
June 2019

Potent Inhibition of Zika Virus Replication by Aurintricarboxylic Acid.

Front Microbiol 2019 12;10:718. Epub 2019 Apr 12.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, United States.

Zika virus (ZIKV) is one of the recently emerging vector-borne viruses in humans and is responsible for severe congenital abnormalities such as microcephaly in the Western Hemisphere. Currently, only a few vaccine candidates and therapeutic drugs are being developed for the treatment of ZIKV infections, and as of yet none are commercially available. The polyanionic aromatic compound aurintricarboxylic acid (ATA) has been shown to have a broad-spectrum antimicrobial and antiviral activity. In this study, we evaluated ATA as a potential antiviral drug against ZIKV replication. The antiviral activity of ATA against ZIKV replication showed median inhibitory concentrations (IC) of 13.87 ± 1.09 μM and 33.33 ± 1.13 μM in Vero and A549 cells, respectively; without showing any cytotoxic effect in both cell lines (median cytotoxic concentration (CC) > 1,000 μM). Moreover, ATA protected both cell types from ZIKV-induced cytopathic effect (CPE) and apoptosis in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. In addition, pre-treatment of Vero cells with ATA for up to 72 h also resulted in effective suppression of ZIKV replication with similar IC. Importantly, the inhibitory effect of ATA on ZIKV infection was effective against strains of the African and Asian/American lineages, indicating that this inhibitory effect was not strain dependent. Overall, these results demonstrate that ATA has potent inhibitory activity against ZIKV replication and may be considered as a potential anti-ZIKV therapy for future clinical evaluation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2019.00718DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6473159PMC
April 2019

Aryl and Arylalkyl Substituted 3-Hydroxypyridin-2(1H)-ones: Synthesis and Evaluation as Inhibitors of Influenza A Endonuclease.

ChemMedChem 2019 06 14;14(12):1204-1223. Epub 2019 May 14.

Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, 160 Frelinghuysen Road, Piscataway, NJ, 08854-8020, USA.

Seasonal influenza infections are associated with an estimated 250-500 000 deaths annually. Resistance to the antiviral M2 ion-channel inhibitors has largely invalidated their clinical utility. Resistance to neuraminidase inhibitors has also been observed in several influenza A virus (IAV) strains. These data have prompted research on inhibitors that target the cap-snatching endonuclease activity of the polymerase acidic protein (PA). Baloxavir marboxil (Xofluza®), recently approved for clinical use, inhibits cap-snatching endonuclease. Resistance to Xofluza® has been reported in both in vitro systems and in the clinic. An X-ray crystallographic screening campaign of a fragment library targeting IAV endonuclease identified 5-chloro-3-hydroxypyridin-2(1H)-one as a bimetal chelating agent at the active site. We have reported the structure-activity relationships for 3-hydroxypyridin-2(1H)-ones and 3-hydroxyquinolin-2(1H)-ones as endonuclease inhibitors. These studies identified two distinct binding modes associated with inhibition of this enzyme that are influenced by the presence of substituents at the 5- and 6-positions of 3-hydroxypyridin-2(1H)-ones. Herein we report the structure-activity relationships associated with various para-substituted 5-phenyl derivatives of 6-(p-fluorophenyl)-3-hydroxypyridin-2(1H)-ones and the effect of using naphthyl, benzyl, and naphthylmethyl groups as alternatives to the p-fluorophenyl substituent on their activity as endonuclease inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cmdc.201900084DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6581572PMC
June 2019