Publications by authors named "Marvin H Sommer"

22 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The N-terminus of varicella-zoster virus glycoprotein B has a functional role in fusion.

PLoS Pathog 2021 Jan 7;17(1):e1008961. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, United States of America.

Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is a medically important alphaherpesvirus that induces fusion of the virion envelope and the cell membrane during entry, and between cells to form polykaryocytes within infected tissues during pathogenesis. All members of the Herpesviridae, including VZV, have a conserved core fusion complex composed of glycoproteins, gB, gH and gL. The ectodomain of the primary fusogen, gB, has five domains, DI-V, of which DI contains the fusion loops needed for fusion function. We recently demonstrated that DIV is critical for fusion initiation, which was revealed by a 2.8Å structure of a VZV neutralizing mAb, 93k, bound to gB and mutagenesis of the gB-93k interface. To further assess the mechanism of mAb 93k neutralization, the binding site of a non-neutralizing mAb to gB, SG2, was compared to mAb 93k using single particle cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM). The gB-SG2 interface partially overlapped with that of gB-93k but, unlike mAb 93k, mAb SG2 did not interact with the gB N-terminus, suggesting a potential role for the gB N-terminus in membrane fusion. The gB ectodomain structure in the absence of antibody was defined at near atomic resolution by single particle cryo-EM (3.9Å) of native, full-length gB purified from infected cells and by X-ray crystallography (2.4Å) of the transiently expressed ectodomain. Both structures revealed that the VZV gB N-terminus (aa72-114) was flexible based on the absence of visible structures in the cryo-EM or X-ray crystallography data but the presence of gB N-terminal peptides were confirmed by mass spectrometry. Notably, N-terminal residues 109KSQD112 were predicted to form a small α-helix and alanine substitution of these residues abolished cell-cell fusion in a virus-free assay. Importantly, transferring the 109AAAA112 mutation into the VZV genome significantly impaired viral propagation. These data establish a functional role for the gB N-terminus in membrane fusion broadly relevant to the Herpesviridae.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1008961DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7817050PMC
January 2021

Publisher Correction: A glycoprotein B-neutralizing antibody structure at 2.8 Å uncovers a critical domain for herpesvirus fusion initiation.

Nat Commun 2020 08 28;11(1):4398. Epub 2020 Aug 28.

Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA.

An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-18385-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7455691PMC
August 2020

A glycoprotein B-neutralizing antibody structure at 2.8 Å uncovers a critical domain for herpesvirus fusion initiation.

Nat Commun 2020 08 18;11(1):4141. Epub 2020 Aug 18.

Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA.

Members of the Herpesviridae, including the medically important alphaherpesvirus varicella-zoster virus (VZV), induce fusion of the virion envelope with cell membranes during entry, and between cells to form polykaryocytes in infected tissues. The conserved glycoproteins, gB, gH and gL, are the core functional proteins of the herpesvirus fusion complex. gB serves as the primary fusogen via its fusion loops, but functions for the remaining gB domains remain unexplained. As a pathway for biological discovery of domain function, our approach used structure-based analysis of the viral fusogen together with a neutralizing antibody. We report here a 2.8 Å cryogenic-electron microscopy structure of native gB recovered from VZV-infected cells, in complex with a human monoclonal antibody, 93k. This high-resolution structure guided targeted mutagenesis at the gB-93k interface, providing compelling evidence that a domain spatially distant from the gB fusion loops is critical for herpesvirus fusion, revealing a potential new target for antiviral therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-17911-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7435202PMC
August 2020

Mutational analysis of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) immediate early protein (IE62) subdomains and their importance in viral replication.

Virology 2016 May 23;492:82-91. Epub 2016 Feb 23.

Departments of Pediatrics and Microbiology & Immunology, Stan ford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, United States.

VZV IE62 is an essential, immediate-early, tegument protein and consists of five domains. We generated recombinant viruses carrying mutations in the first three IE62 domains and tested their influence on VZV replication kinetics. The mutations in domain I did not affect replication kinetics while domain II mutations, disrupting the DNA binding and dimerization domain (DBD), were lethal for VZV replication. Mutations in domain III of the nuclear localization signal (NLS) and the two phosphorylation sites S686A/S722A resulted in slower growth in early and late infection respectively and were associated with IE62 accumulation in the cytoplasm and nucleus respectively. This study mapped the functional domains of IE62 in context of viral infection, indicating that DNA binding and dimerization domain is essential for VZV replication. In addition, the correct localization of IE62, whether nuclear or cytoplasmic, at different points in the viral life cycle, is important for normal progression of VZV replication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2016.02.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4826839PMC
May 2016

Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) origin of DNA replication oriS influences origin-dependent DNA replication and flanking gene transcription.

Virology 2015 Jul 17;481:179-86. Epub 2015 Mar 17.

Departments of Pediatrics and Microbiology & Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, United States.

The VZV genome has two origins of DNA replication (oriS), each of which consists of an AT-rich sequence and three origin binding protein (OBP) sites called Box A, C and B. In these experiments, the mutation in the core sequence CGC of the Box A and C not only inhibited DNA replication but also inhibited both ORF62 and ORF63 expression in reporter gene assays. In contrast the Box B mutation did not influence DNA replication or flanking gene transcription. These results suggest that efficient DNA replication enhances ORF62 and ORF63 transcription. Recombinant viruses carrying these mutations in both sites and one with a deletion of the whole oriS were constructed. Surprisingly, the recombinant virus lacking both copies of oriS retained the capacity to replicate in melanoma and HELF cells suggesting that VZV has another origin of DNA replication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2015.02.049DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4437856PMC
July 2015

ORF11 protein interacts with the ORF9 essential tegument protein in varicella-zoster virus infection.

J Virol 2013 May 20;87(9):5106-17. Epub 2013 Feb 20.

Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California, USA.

The tegument proteins encoded by ORF11 and ORF9 of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) are conserved among all alphaherpesvirus. We previously demonstrated that the ORF9 gene is essential, whereas ORF11 is dispensable in vitro but its deletion severely impairs VZV infection of skin xenografts in the SCID mouse model in vivo. Here we report that ORF11 protein interacts with ORF9 protein in infected cells as well as in the absence of other viral proteins, and we have mapped the ORF11 protein domain involved in their interaction. Although ORF11 is an RNA binding protein, the interaction between ORF11 and ORF9 proteins was not mediated by RNA or DNA bridging. VZV recombinants with mutations preventing ORF11 protein binding to ORF9 protein had no effect on 6-day growth kinetics based on plaque numbers, but plaque sizes were reduced in vitro. However, disruption of the ORF11 and ORF9 protein interaction was associated with failure to replicate in skin xenografts in vivo. Further, we demonstrate that in the absence of their interaction, the ORF9 protein displays an identical cellular localization, accumulating in the trans-Golgi region, whereas the ORF11 protein exhibits aberrant localization, dispersing throughout the cytoplasm. Overall, our observations suggest that while complete tegument assembly may not be necessary for VZV replication in vitro, the interaction between the ORF11 and ORF9 proteins appears to be critical for the proper localization of ORF11 protein to the assembly complex and for production of infectious virus during VZV pathogenesis in skin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00102-13DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3624291PMC
May 2013

An immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibition motif in varicella-zoster virus glycoprotein B regulates cell fusion and skin pathogenesis.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2013 Jan 15;110(5):1911-6. Epub 2013 Jan 15.

Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

Herpesvirus entry functions of the conserved glycoproteins gB and gH-gL have been delineated, but their role in regulating cell-cell fusion is poorly understood. Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection provides a valuable model for investigating cell-cell fusion because of the importance of this process for pathogenesis in human skin and sensory ganglia. The present study identifies a canonical immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibition motif (ITIM) in the gB cytoplasmic domain (gBcyt) and demonstrates that the gBcyt is a tyrosine kinase substrate. Orbitrap mass spectrometry confirmed that Y881, central to the ITIM, is phosphorylated. To determine whether the gBcyt ITIM regulates gB/gH-gL-induced cell-cell fusion in vitro, tyrosine residues Y881 and Y920 in the gBcyt were substituted with phenylalanine separately or together. Recombinant viruses with these substitutions were generated to establish their effects on syncytia formation in replication in vitro and in the human skin xenograft model of VZV pathogenesis. The Y881F substitution caused significantly increased cell-cell fusion despite reduced cell-surface gB. Importantly, the Y881F or Y881/920F substitutions in VZV caused aggressive syncytia formation, reducing cell-cell spread. These in vitro effects of aggressive syncytia formation translated to severely impaired skin infection in vivo. In contrast, the Y920F substitution did not affect virus replication in vitro or in vivo. These observations suggest that gB modulates cell-cell fusion via an ITIM-mediated Y881 phosphorylation-dependent mechanism, supporting a unique concept that intracellular signaling through this gBcyt motif regulates VZV syncytia formation and is essential for skin pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1216985110DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3562845PMC
January 2013

Structure-function analysis of varicella-zoster virus glycoprotein H identifies domain-specific roles for fusion and skin tropism.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2011 Nov 24;108(45):18412-7. Epub 2011 Oct 24.

Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

Enveloped viruses require membrane fusion for cell entry and replication. For herpesviruses, this event is governed by the multiprotein core complex of conserved glycoproteins (g)B and gH/gL. The recent crystal structures of gH/gL from herpes simplex virus 2, pseudorabies virus, and Epstein-Barr virus revealed distinct domains that, surprisingly, do not resemble known viral fusogens. Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) causes chicken pox and shingles. VZV is an α-herpesvirus closely related to herpes simplex virus 2, enabling prediction of the VZV gH structure by homology modeling. We have defined specific roles for each gH domain in VZV replication and pathogenesis using structure-based site-directed mutagenesis of gH. The distal tip of domain (D)I was important for skin tropism, entry, and fusion. DII helices and a conserved disulfide bond were essential for gH structure and VZV replication. An essential (724)CXXC(727) motif was critical for DIII structural stability and membrane fusion. This assignment of domain-dependent mechanisms to VZV gH links elements of the glycoprotein structure to function in herpesvirus replication and virulence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1111333108DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3215059PMC
November 2011

Mutagenesis of varicella-zoster virus glycoprotein I (gI) identifies a cysteine residue critical for gE/gI heterodimer formation, gI structure, and virulence in skin cells.

J Virol 2011 May 23;85(9):4095-110. Epub 2011 Feb 23.

Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is the alphaherpesvirus that causes chicken pox (varicella) and shingles (zoster). The two VZV glycoproteins gE and gI form a heterodimer that mediates efficient cell-to-cell spread. Deletion of gI yields a small-plaque-phenotype virus, ΔgI virus, which is avirulent in human skin using the xenograft model of VZV pathogenesis. In the present study, 10 mutant viruses were generated to determine which residues were required for the typical function of gI. Three phosphorylation sites in the cytoplasmic domain of gI were not required for VZV virulence in vivo. Two deletion mutants mapped a gE binding region in gI to residues 105 to 125. A glycosylation site, N116, in this region did not affect virulence. Substitution of four cysteine residues highly conserved in the Alphaherpesvirinae established that C95 is required for gE/gI heterodimer formation. The C95A and Δ105-125 (with residues 105 to 125 deleted) viruses had small-plaque phenotypes with reduced replication kinetics in vitro similar to those of the ΔgI virus. The Δ105-125 virus was avirulent for human skin in vivo. In contrast, the C95A mutant replicated in vivo but with significantly reduced kinetics compared to those of the wild-type virus. In addition to abolished gE/gI heterodimer formation, gI from the C95A or the Δ105-125 mutant was not recognized by monoclonal antibodies that detect the canonical conformation of gI, demonstrating structural disruption of gI in these viruses. This alteration prevented gI incorporation into virus particles. Thus, residues C95 and 105 to 125 are critical for gI structure required for gE/gI heterodimer formation, virion incorporation, and ultimately, effective viral spread in human skin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.02596-10DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3126246PMC
May 2011

Identification and functional characterization of the Varicella zoster virus ORF11 gene product.

Virology 2011 Mar 26;412(1):156-66. Epub 2011 Jan 26.

Departments of Pediatrics and Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

The deletion of ORF11 severely impaired VZV infection of human skin xenografts. Here, we investigate the characteristics and functions of the ORF11 gene product. ORF11 is expressed as a 118kDa polypeptide in VZV-infected cells; the protein is present in the nucleus and cytoplasm and is incorporated into VZ virions. Although ORF11 had little effect in transactivating VZV gene promoters in transfection assays, deleting ORF11 from the virus was associated with reduced expression of immediate early proteins IE4, IE62 and IE63, and the major glycoprotein, gE. ORF11 was identified as an RNA binding protein and its RNA binding domain was defined. However, disrupting the ORF11 RNA binding domain did not affect skin infection, indicating that RNA binding capacity, conserved among the alphaherpesviruses homologues, is not essential while the contribution of ORF11 to the expression of the IE proteins and gE may be required for VZV pathogenesis in skin in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2010.12.055DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3068617PMC
March 2011

Herpes simplex virus-1 induces expression of a novel MxA isoform that enhances viral replication.

Immunol Cell Biol 2011 Feb 6;89(2):173-82. Epub 2010 Jul 6.

The Graduate Institute of Immunology, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.

MxA is an antiviral protein induced by interferon (IFN)-α/β that is known to inhibit the replication of many RNA viruses. In these experiments, the 76-kDa MxA protein expressed in IFN-α-treated cells was shown to have antiviral activity against herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1), a human DNA virus. However, MxA was expressed as a 56-kDa protein in HSV-1-infected cells in the absence of IFN-α. This previously unrecognized MxA isoform was produced from an alternatively spliced MxA transcript that had a deletion of Exons 14-16 and a frame shift altering the C-terminus. The variant MxA (varMxA) isoform was associated with HSV-1 regulatory proteins and virions in nuclear replication compartments. varMxA expression enhanced HSV-1 infection as shown by a reduction in infectious virus titers from cells in which MxA had been inhibited by RNA interference and by an increase in HSV-1 titers when the 56-kDa varMxA was expressed constitutively. Thus, the human MxA gene encodes two MxA isoforms, which are expressed differentially depending on whether the stimulus is IFN-α or HSV-1. These findings show that alternative splicing of cellular mRNA can result in expression of a novel isoform of a host defense gene that supports instead of restricting viral infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/icb.2010.83DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5520797PMC
February 2011

Functions of the ORF9-to-ORF12 gene cluster in varicella-zoster virus replication and in the pathogenesis of skin infection.

J Virol 2008 Jun 9;82(12):5825-34. Epub 2008 Apr 9.

Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

The gene cluster composed of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) open reading frame 9 (ORF9) to ORF12 encodes four putative tegument proteins and is highly conserved in most alphaherpesviruses. In these experiments, the genes within this cluster were deleted from the VZV parent Oka (POKA) individually or in combination, and the consequences for VZV replication were evaluated with cultured cells in vitro and with human skin xenografts in SCID mice in vivo. As has been reported for ORF10, ORF11 and ORF12 were dispensable for VZV replication in melanoma and human embryonic fibroblast cells. In contrast, deletion of ORF9 was incompatible with the recovery of infectious virus. ORF9 localized to the virion tegument and formed complexes with glycoprotein E, which is an essential protein, in VZV-infected cells. Recombinants lacking ORF10 and ORF11 (POKADelta10/11), ORF11 and ORF12 (POKADelta11/12), or ORF10, ORF11 and ORF12 (POKADelta10/11/12) were viable in cultured cells. Their growth kinetics did not differ from those of POKA, and nucleocapsid formation and virion assembly were not disrupted. In addition, these deletion mutants showed no differences compared to POKA in infectivity levels for primary human tonsil T cells. Deletion of ORF12 had no effect on skin infection, whereas replication of POKADelta11, POKADelta10/11, and POKADelta11/12 was severely reduced, and no virus was recovered from skin xenografts inoculated with POKADelta10/11/12. These results indicate that with the exception of ORF9, the individual genes within the ORF9-to-ORF12 gene cluster are dispensable and can be deleted simultaneously without any apparent effect on VZV replication in vitro but that the ORF10-to-ORF12 cluster is essential for VZV virulence in skin in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00303-08DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2395146PMC
June 2008

Varicella-zoster virus open reading frame 10 is a virulence determinant in skin cells but not in T cells in vivo.

J Virol 2006 Apr;80(7):3238-48

Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5208, USA.

The open reading frame 10 (ORF10) of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) encodes a tegument protein that enhances transactivation of VZV genes and has homology to herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) VP16. While VP16 is essential for HSV replication, ORF10 is dispensable for vaccine OKA (VOKA) growth in vitro. We used parent OKA (POKA) cosmids to delete ORF10, producing POKA delta10; point mutations that disrupted the acidic activation domain and the putative motif for binding human cellular factor 1 (HCF-1) in ORF10 protein yielded POKA10-Phe28Ala, POKA10-Phe28Ser, and POKA10-mHCF viruses. Deleting ORF10 or mutating these two functional domains had no effect on VZV replication, immediate-early gene transcription, or virion assembly in vitro. However, deleting ORF10 reduced viral titers and the extent of cutaneous lesions significantly in SCIDhu skin xenografts in vivo compared to POKA. Epidermal cells infected with POKA delta10 had significantly fewer DNA-containing nucleocapsids and complete virions compared to POKA; extensive aggregates of intracytoplasmic viral particles were also observed. Altering the activation or the putative HCF-1 domains of ORF10 protein had no consequences for VZV replication in vivo. Thus, the decreased pathogenic potential of POKA delta10 in skin could not be attributed to absence of these ORF10 protein functions. In contrast to skin cells, deleting ORF10 did not impair VZV T-cell tropism in vivo, as assessed by infectious virus yields. We conclude that ORF10 protein is required for efficient VZV virion assembly and is a specific determinant of VZV virulence in epidermal and dermal cells in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.80.7.3238-3248.2006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1440391PMC
April 2006

Varicella-zoster virus ORF63 inhibits apoptosis of primary human neurons.

J Virol 2006 Jan;80(2):1025-31

Centre for Virus Research, Westmead Millennium Institute, and University of Sydney, P.O. Box 412, Westmead, 2145 NSW, Australia.

Virus-encoded modulation of apoptosis may serve as a mechanism to enhance cell survival and virus persistence. The impact of productive varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection on apoptosis appears to be cell type specific, as infected human sensory neurons are resistant to apoptosis, yet human fibroblasts readily become apoptotic. We sought to identify the viral gene product(s) responsible for this antiapoptotic phenotype in primary human sensory neurons. Treatment with phosphonoacetic acid to inhibit viral DNA replication and late-phase gene expression did not alter the antiapoptotic phenotype, implicating immediate-early (IE) or early genes or a virion component. Compared to the parental VZV strain (rOKA), a recombinant virus unable to express one copy of the diploid IE gene ORF63 (rOka deltaORF63) demonstrated a significant induction of apoptosis in infected neurons, as determined by three methods: annexin V staining, deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end label staining, and transmission electron microscopy. Furthermore, neurons transfected with a plasmid expressing ORF63 resisted apoptosis induced by nerve growth factor withdrawal. These results show that ORF63 can suppress apoptosis of neurons and provide the first identification of a VZV gene encoding an antiapoptotic function. As ORF63 is expressed in neurons during both productive and latent infection, it may play a significant role in viral pathogenesis by promoting neuron survival during primary and reactivated infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.80.2.1025-1031.2006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1346839PMC
January 2006

Role of the varicella-zoster virus gene product encoded by open reading frame 35 in viral replication in vitro and in differentiated human skin and T cells in vivo.

J Virol 2005 Apr;79(8):4819-27

Department of Pediatrics and Microbiology & Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, G-311, 300 Pasteur Dr., Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

Although genes related to varicella-zoster virus (VZV) open reading frame 35 (ORF35) are conserved in the herpesviruses, information about their contributions to viral replication and pathogenesis is limited. Using a VZV cosmid system, we deleted ORF35 to produce two null mutants, designated rOkaDelta35(#1) and rOkaDelta35(#2), and replaced ORF35 at a nonnative site, generating two rOkaDelta35/35@Avr mutants. ORF35 Flag-tagged recombinants were made by inserting ORF35-Flag at the nonnative Avr site as the only copy of ORF35, yielding rOkaDelta35/35Flag@Avr, or as a second copy, yielding rOka35Flag@Avr. Replication of rOkaDelta35 viruses was diminished in melanoma and Vero cells in a 6-day analysis of growth kinetics. Plaque sizes of rOkaDelta35 mutants were significantly smaller than those of rOka in melanoma cells. Infection of melanoma cells with rOkaDelta35 mutants was associated with disrupted cell fusion and polykaryocyte formation. The small plaque phenotype was not corrected by growth of rOkaDelta35 mutants in melanoma cells expressing the major VZV glycoprotein E, gE. The rOkaDelta35/35@Avr viruses displayed growth kinetics and plaque morphologies that were indistinguishable from those of rOka. Analysis with ORF35-Flag recombinants showed that the ORF35 gene product localized predominantly to the nuclei of infected cells. Evaluations in the SCIDhu mouse model demonstrated that ORF35 was required for efficient VZV infection of skin and T-cell xenografts, although the decrease in infectivity was most significant in skin. These mutagenesis experiments indicated that ORF35 was dispensable for VZV replication, but deleting ORF35 diminished growth in cultured cells and was associated with attenuated VZV infection of differentiated human skin and T cells in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.79.8.4819-4827.2005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1069565PMC
April 2005

Analysis of varicella zoster virus attenuation by evaluation of chimeric parent Oka/vaccine Oka recombinant viruses in skin xenografts in the SCIDhu mouse model.

Virology 2005 Feb;332(1):337-46

Department of Pediatrics, S-356, Stanford University School of Medicine, 300 Pasteur Drive, Stanford, CA 94305-5208, USA.

Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is the only human herpes virus for which a vaccine has been licensed. A clinical VZV isolate, designated the parent Oka (pOka) strain was passed in human and non-human fibroblasts to produce vaccine Oka (vOka). The pOka and vOka viruses exhibit similar infectivity in cultured cells but healthy susceptible individuals given vaccines derived from vOka rarely develop the cutaneous vesicular lesions characteristic of varicella. Inoculation of skin xenografts in the SCIDhu mouse model of VZV pathogenesis demonstrated that vOka had a reduced capacity to replicate in differentiated human epidermal cells in vivo (Moffat, J.F., Zerboni, L., Kinchington, P.R., Grose, C., Kaneshima, H., Arvin A.M., 1998a. Attenuation of the vaccine Oka strain of varicella-zoster virus and role of glycoprotein C in alphaherpesvirus virulence demonstrated in the SCID-hu mouse. J Virol. 72:965-74). In order to investigate the attenuation of vOka in skin, we made chimeric pOka and vOka recombinant viruses from VZV cosmids. Six chimeric pOka/vOka viruses were generated using cosmid sets that incorporate linear overlapping fragments of VZV DNA from cells infected with pOka or vOka. The cosmid sets consist of pOka and vOka DNA segments that have identical restriction sites. As expected, the growth kinetics and plaque morphologies of the six chimeric pOka/vOka viruses were indistinguishable in vitro. However, the chimeric viruses exhibited varying capacities to replicate when evaluated in skin xenografts in vivo. The presence of ORFs 30-55 from the pOka genome was sufficient to maintain wild-type infectivity in skin. Chimeric viruses containing different vOka components retained the attenuation phenotype, suggesting that vOka attenuation is multi-factorial and can be produced by genes from different regions of the vOka genome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2004.10.047DOI Listing
February 2005

Differential requirement for cell fusion and virion formation in the pathogenesis of varicella-zoster virus infection in skin and T cells.

J Virol 2004 Dec;78(23):13293-305

Stanford University, Department of Pediatrics, 300 Pasteur Dr., G-311, Stanford, CA 94305-5208, USA.

The protein product of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) ORF47 is a serine/threonine protein kinase and tegument component. Evaluation of two recombinants of the Oka strain, rOka47DeltaC, with a C-terminal truncation of ORF47, and rOka47D-N, with a point mutation in the conserved kinase motif, showed that ORF47 kinase function was necessary for optimal VZV replication in human skin xenografts in SCID mice but not in cultured cells. We now demonstrate that rOka47DeltaC and rOka47D-N mutants do not infect human T-cell xenografts. Differences in the growth of kinase-defective ORF47 mutants allowed an examination of requirements for VZV pathogenesis in skin and T cells in vivo. Although virion assembly was reduced and no virion transport to cell surfaces was observed, epidermal cell fusion persisted, and VZV polykaryocytes were generated by rOka47DeltaC and rOka47D-N in skin. Virion assembly was also impaired in vitro, but VZV-induced cell fusion continued to cause syncytia in cultured cells infected with rOka47DeltaC or rOka47D-N. Intracellular trafficking of envelope glycoprotein E and the ORF47 and IE62 proteins, components of the tegument, was aberrant without ORF47 kinase activity. In summary, normal VZV virion assembly appears to require ORF47 kinase function. Cell fusion was induced by ORF47 mutants in skin, and cell-cell spread occurred even though virion formation was deficient. VZV-infected T cells do not undergo cell fusion, and impaired virion assembly by ORF47 mutants was associated with a complete elimination of T-cell infectivity. These observations suggest a differential requirement for cell fusion and virion formation in the pathogenesis of VZV infection in skin and T cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.78.23.13293-13305.2004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC524993PMC
December 2004

Construction of varicella-zoster virus recombinants from parent Oka cosmids and demonstration that ORF65 protein is dispensable for infection of human skin and T cells in the SCID-hu mouse model.

J Virol 2003 May;77(10):6062-5

Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

We generated an ORF65 deletion mutant by using a cosmid system constructed from the genome of a low-passage clinical isolate (P-Oka). Using the SCID-hu mouse model, we demonstrated that the ORF65 protein is dispensable for viral replication in skin and T cells, which are critical host cell targets during primary varicella-zoster virus infection.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC154042PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jvi.77.10.6062-6065.2003DOI Listing
May 2003

Differentiation of varicella-zoster virus ORF47 protein kinase and IE62 protein binding domains and their contributions to replication in human skin xenografts in the SCID-hu mouse.

J Virol 2003 May;77(10):5964-74

Department of Pediatrics and Microbiology, School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

To investigate the role of the ORF47 protein kinase of varicella-zoster virus (VZV), we constructed VZV recombinants with targeted mutations in conserved motifs of ORF47 and a truncated ORF47 and characterized these mutants for replication, phosphorylation, and protein-protein interactions in vitro and for infectivity in human skin xenografts in the SCID-hu mouse model in vivo. Previous experiments showed that ROka47S, a null mutant that makes no ORF47 protein, did not replicate in skin in vivo (J. F. Moffat, L. Zerboni, M. H. Sommer, T. C. Heineman, J. I. Cohen, H. Kaneshima, and A. M. Arvin, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 95:11969-11974, 1998). The construction of VZV recombinants with targeted ORF47 mutations made it possible to assess the effects on VZV infection of human skin xenografts of selectively abolishing ORF47 protein kinase activity. ORF47 mutations that resulted in a C-terminal truncation or disrupted the DYS kinase motif eliminated ORF47 kinase activity and were associated with extensive nuclear retention of ORF47 and IE62 proteins in vitro. Disrupting ORF47 kinase function also resulted in a marked decrease in VZV replication and cutaneous lesion formation in skin xenografts in vivo. However, infectivity in vivo was not blocked completely as long as the capacity of ORF47 protein to bind IE62 protein was preserved, a function that we identified and mapped to the N-terminal domain of ORF47 protein. These experiments indicate that ORF47 kinase activity is of critical importance for VZV infection and cell-cell spread in human skin in vivo but suggest that it is the formation of complexes between ORF47 and IE62 proteins, both VZV tegument components, that constitutes the essential contribution of ORF47 protein to VZV replication in vivo.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC154036PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jvi.77.10.5964-5974.2003DOI Listing
May 2003

Mutational analysis of open reading frames 62 and 71, encoding the varicella-zoster virus immediate-early transactivating protein, IE62, and effects on replication in vitro and in skin xenografts in the SCID-hu mouse in vivo.

J Virol 2003 May;77(10):5607-20

Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

The varicella-zoster virus (VZV) genome has unique long (U(L)) and unique short (U(S)) segments which are flanked by internal repeat (IR) and terminal repeat (TR) sequences. The immediate-early 62 (IE62) protein, encoded by open reading frame 62 (ORF62) and ORF71 in these repeats, is the major VZV transactivating protein. Mutational analyses were done with VZV cosmids generated from parent Oka (pOka), a low-passage clinical isolate, and repair experiments were done with ORF62 from pOka and vaccine Oka (vOka), which is derived from pOka. Transfections using VZV cosmids from which ORF62, ORF71, or the ORF62/71 gene pair was deleted showed that VZV replication required at least one copy of ORF62. The insertion of ORF62 from pOka or vOka into a nonnative site in U(S) allowed VZV replication in cell culture in vitro, although the plaque size and yields of infectious virus were decreased. Targeted mutations in binding sites reported to affect interaction with IE4 protein and a putative ORF9 protein binding site were not lethal. Single deletions of ORF62 or ORF71 from cosmids permitted recovery of infectious virus, but recombination events repaired the defective repeat region in some progeny viruses, as verified by PCR and Southern hybridization. VZV infectivity in skin xenografts in the SCID-hu model required ORF62 expression; mixtures of single-copy recombinant Oka Delta 62 (rOka Delta 62) or rOka Delta 71 and repaired rOka generated by recombination of the single-copy deletion mutants were detected in some skin implants. Although insertion of ORF62 into the nonnative site permitted replication in cell culture, ORF62 expression from its native site was necessary for cell-cell spread in differentiated human skin tissues in vivo.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC154054PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jvi.77.10.5607-5620.2003DOI Listing
May 2003

Varicella-zoster virus infection facilitates VZV glycoprotein E trafficking to the membrane surface of melanoma cells.

J Med Virol 2003 ;70 Suppl 1:S56-8

Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

Varicella-zoster virus glycoprotein E (gE) is the most abundant VZV glycoprotein on the surface of virus-infected cells. VZV gE has targeting sequences for the trans-Golgi network (TGN) and is transported from the ER to the TGN in infected and gE-transfected cells. In this study, VZV gE expressing melanoma cell lines were generated. gE is expressed under the control of the reverse Tet repressor (Tet-On). gE induced by Tet-On is retained at the ER as well as in the cis Golgi by immunofluorescence confocal microscopy. To test whether other viral protein(s) may facilitate gE trafficking and surface localization, MSPgE-vOka virus that contains MSPgE in place of wt gE was made. MAb 3B3 anti-gE does not bind to MSPgE. This MAb was used to track the localization of gE in Met-gE cells post MSPgE-vOka infection. gE became detectable mostly at the TGN and on the cell surface after viral infection. These data indicate that viral proteins facilitate the trafficking and cell surface expression of gE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmv.10322DOI Listing
June 2003

Promoter sequences of varicella-zoster virus glycoprotein I targeted by cellular transactivating factors Sp1 and USF determine virulence in skin and T cells in SCIDhu mice in vivo.

J Virol 2003 Jan;77(1):489-98

Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University, California 94305, USA.

Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) glycoprotein I is dispensable in cell culture but necessary for infection of human skin and T cells in SCIDhu mice in vivo. The gI promoter contains an activating upstream sequence that binds the cellular transactivators specificity factor 1 (Sp1) and upstream stimulatory factor (USF) and an open reading frame 29 (ORF29)-responsive element (29RE), which mediates enhancement by ORF29 DNA binding protein of immediate-early 62 (IE62)-induced transcription. Recombinants, rOKAgI-Sp1 and rOKAgI-USF, with two base pair substitutions in Sp1 or USF sites, replicated like rOKA in vitro, but infectivity of rOKAgI-Sp1 was significantly impaired in skin and T cells in vivo. A double mutant, rOKAgI-Sp1/USF, did not replicate in skin but yielded low titers of infectious virus in T cells. The repaired protein, rOKAgI:rep-Sp1/USF, was as infectious as rOKA. Thus, disrupting gI promoter sites for cellular transactivators altered VZV virulence in vivo, with variable consequences related to the cellular factor and the host cell type. Mutations in the 29RE of the gI promoter were made by substituting each of four 10-bp blocks in this region with a 10-bp sequence, GATAACTACA, that was predicted to interfere with enhancer effects of the ORF29 protein. One of these mutants, which was designated rOKAgI-29RE-3, had diminished replication in skin and T cells, indicating that ORF29 protein-mediated enhancement of gI expression contributes to VZV virulence. Mutations within promoters of viral genes that are nonessential in vitro should allow construction of recombinant herpesviruses that have altered virulence in specific host cells in vivo and may be useful for designing herpesviral gene therapy vectors and attenuated viral vaccines.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC140613PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jvi.77.1.489-498.2003DOI Listing
January 2003