Publications by authors named "Allison Zeher"

3 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

AAV9 Structural Rearrangements Induced by Endosomal Trafficking pH and Glycan Attachment.

J Virol 2021 Jul 14:JVI0084321. Epub 2021 Jul 14.

Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Center for Structural Biology, The McKnight Brain Institute, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.

Adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) are small non-enveloped ssDNA viruses, that are currently being developed as gene therapy biologics. After cell entry, AAVs traffic to the nucleus using the endo-lysosomal pathway. The subsequent decrease in pH triggers conformational changes to the capsid that enables the externalization of the capsid protein (VP) N-termini, including the unique domain of the minor capsid protein VP1 (VP1u), which permits phospholipase activity required for the capsid lysosomal egress. Here, we report the AAV9 capsid structure, determined at the endosomal pHs (7.4, 6.0, 5.5, and 4.0) and terminal galactose-bound AAV9 capsids at pHs 7.4 and 5.5 using cryo-electron microscopy and three-dimensional image reconstruction. Taken together these studies provide insight into AAV9 capsid conformational changes at the 5-fold pore during endosomal trafficking, both in the presence and absence of its cellular glycan receptor. We visualized, for the first time, that acidification induces the externalization of the VP3 and possibly VP2 N-termini, presumably in prelude to the externalization of VP1u at pH 4.0, that is essential for lysosomal membrane disruption. In addition, the structural study of AAV9-galactose interactions demonstrates AAV9 remains attached to its glycan receptor at the late endosome pH 5.5. This interaction significantly alters the conformational stability of the variable region I of the VPs, as well as the dynamics associated with VP N-terminus externalization. There are 13 distinct Adeno-associated virus (AAV) serotypes that are structurally homologous and whose capsid proteins (VP1-3) are similar in amino acid sequence. However, AAV9 is one of the most commonly studied and used as gene therapy vector. This is part because, AAV9 is capable of crossing the blood brain barrier as well as readily transduces a wide array of tissues, including the central nervous system. In this study we provide AAV9 capsid structural insight during intracellular trafficking. Although the AAV capsid has been shown to externalize the N-termini of its VPs, to enzymatically disrupt the lysosome membrane at low pH, there was no structural evidence to confirm this. By utilizing AAV9 as our model, we provide the first structural evidence that the externalization process occurs at the protein interface at the icosahedral 5-fold symmetry axis and can be triggered by lowering pH.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00843-21DOI Listing
July 2021

Structures of synthetic nanobody-SARS-CoV-2-RBD complexes reveal distinct sites of interaction and recognition of variants.

Res Sq 2021 Jun 16. Epub 2021 Jun 16.

The worldwide spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and emergence of new variants demands understanding the structural basis of the interaction of antibodies with the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD). Here we report five X-ray crystal structures of sybodies (synthetic nanobodies) including binary and ternary complexes of Sb16-RBD, Sb45-RBD, Sb14-RBD-Sb68, and Sb45-RBD-Sb68; and Sb16 unliganded. These reveal that Sb14, Sb16, and Sb45 bind the RBD at the ACE2 interface and that the Sb16 interaction is accompanied by a large CDR2 shift. In contrast, Sb68 interacts at the periphery of the interface. We also determined cryo-EM structures of Sb45 bound to spike (S). Superposition of the X-ray structures of sybodies onto the trimeric S protein cryo-EM map indicates some may bind both "up" and "down" configurations, but others may not. Sensitivity of sybody binding to several recently identified RBD mutants is consistent with these structures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-625642/v1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8219104PMC
June 2021

Histotripsy Ablation Alters the Tumor Microenvironment and Promotes Immune System Activation in a Subcutaneous Model of Pancreatic Cancer.

IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control 2021 May 6;PP. Epub 2021 May 6.

Pancreatic cancer is a significant cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States with an abysmal 5-year overall survival rate that is under 9%. Reasons for this mortality include the lack of late-stage treatment options and the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. Histotripsy is an ultrasound-guided, non-invasive, non-thermal tumor ablation therapy that mechanically lyses targeted cells. To study the effects of histotripsy on pancreatic cancer, we utilized an in vitro model of pancreatic adenocarcinoma and compared the release of potential antigens following histotripsy treatment to other ablation modalities. Histotripsy was found to release immune-stimulating molecules at magnitudes similar to other non-thermal ablation modalities and superior to thermal ablation modalities, which corresponded to increased innate immune system activation in vivo. In subsequent in vivo studies, murine Pan02 tumors were grown in mice and treated with histotripsy. Flow cytometry and rtPCR were used to determine changes in the tumor microenvironment over time compared to untreated animals. In mice with pancreatic tumors, we observed significantly increased tumor-progression-free and general survival, with increased activation of the innate immune system 24 hours post-treatment and decreased tumor-associated immune cell populations within 14 days of treatment. This study demonstrates the feasibility of using histotripsy for pancreatic cancer ablation and provides mechanistic insight into the initial innate immune system activation following treatment. Further work is needed to establish the mechanisms behind the immunomodulation of the tumor microenvironment and immune effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TUFFC.2021.3078094DOI Listing
May 2021