Publications by authors named "Timothy R Keiffer"

10 Publications

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Interactions of the Nipah Virus P, V, and W Proteins across the STAT Family of Transcription Factors.

mSphere 2020 12 16;5(6). Epub 2020 Dec 16.

Center for Microbial Pathogenesis, Institute for Biomedical Sciences, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

The Nipah virus (NiV) phosphoprotein (P) gene encodes four proteins. Three of these-P, V, and W-possess a common N-terminal domain but distinct C termini. These proteins interact with immune modulators. Previous studies demonstrated that P, V, and W bind STAT1 and STAT4 and that V also interacts with STAT2 but not with STAT3. The STAT1 and STAT2 interactions block interferon (IFN)-induced STAT tyrosine phosphorylation. To more fully characterize the interactions of P, V, and W with the STATs, we screened for interaction of each viral protein with STATs 1 to 6 by coimmunoprecipitation. We demonstrate that NiV P, V, and W interact with STAT4 through their common N-terminal domain and block STAT4 activity, based on a STAT4 response element reporter assay. Although none of the NiV proteins interact with STAT3 or STAT6, NiV V, but not P or W, interacts with STAT5 through its unique C terminus. Furthermore, the interaction of NiV V with STAT5 was not disrupted by overexpression of the N-terminal binding STAT1 or the C-terminal binding MDA5. NiV V also inhibits a STAT5 response element reporter assay. Residues 114 to 140 of the common N-terminal domain of the NiV P gene products were found to be sufficient to bind STAT1 and STAT4. Analysis of STAT1-STAT3 chimeras suggests that the P gene products target the STAT1 SH2 domain. When fused to GST, the 114-140 peptide is sufficient to decrease STAT1 phosphorylation in IFN-β-stimulated cells, suggesting that this peptide could potentially be fused to heterologous proteins to confer inhibition of STAT1- and STAT4-dependent responses. How Nipah virus (NiV) antagonizes innate immune responses is incompletely understood. The P gene of NiV encodes the P, V, and W proteins. These proteins have a common N-terminal sequence that is sufficient to bind to STAT1 and STAT2 and block IFN-induced signal transduction. This study sought to more fully understand how P, V, and W engage with the STAT family of transcription factors to influence their functions. The results identify a novel interaction of V with STAT5 and demonstrate V inhibition of STAT5 function. We also demonstrate that the common N-terminal residues 114 to 140 of P, V, and W are critical for inhibition of STAT1 and STAT4 function, map the interaction to the SH2 region of STAT1, and show that a fusion construct with this peptide significantly inhibits cytokine-induced STAT1 phosphorylation. These data clarify how these important virulence factors modulate innate antiviral defenses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mSphere.00449-20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7771230PMC
December 2020

Impact of Měnglà Virus Proteins on Human and Bat Innate Immune Pathways.

J Virol 2020 06 16;94(13). Epub 2020 Jun 16.

Center for Microbial Pathogenesis, Institute for Biomedical Sciences, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Měnglà virus (MLAV), identified in bats, is a phylogenetically distinct member of the family Because the filoviruses Ebola virus (EBOV) and Marburg virus (MARV) modulate host innate immunity, MLAV VP35, VP40, and VP24 proteins were compared with their EBOV and MARV homologs for innate immune pathway modulation. In human and cells, MLAV VP35 behaved like EBOV and MARV VP35s, inhibiting virus-induced activation of the interferon beta (IFN-β) promoter and interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) phosphorylation. MLAV VP35 also interacted with PACT, a host protein engaged by EBOV VP35 to inhibit RIG-I signaling. MLAV VP35 also inhibits PKR activation. MLAV VP40 was demonstrated to inhibit type I IFN-induced gene expression in human and bat cells. It blocked STAT1 tyrosine phosphorylation induced either by type I IFN or overexpressed Jak1, paralleling MARV VP40. MLAV VP40 also inhibited virus-induced IFN-β promoter activation, a property shared by MARV VP40 and EBOV VP24. A Jak kinase inhibitor did not recapitulate this inhibition in the absence of viral proteins. Therefore, inhibition of Jak-STAT signaling is insufficient to explain inhibition of IFN-β promoter activation. MLAV VP24 did not inhibit IFN-induced gene expression or bind karyopherin α proteins, properties of EBOV VP24. MLAV VP24 differed from MARV VP24 in that it failed to interact with Keap1 or activate an antioxidant response element reporter gene due to the absence of a Keap1-binding motif. These functional observations support a closer relationship of MLAV to MARV than to EBOV but also are consistent with MLAV belonging to a distinct genus. EBOV and MARV, members of the family , are highly pathogenic zoonotic viruses that cause severe disease in humans. Both viruses use several mechanisms to modulate the host innate immune response, and these likely contribute to the severity of disease. Here, we demonstrate that MLAV, a filovirus newly discovered in a bat, suppresses antiviral type I interferon responses in both human and bat cells. Inhibitory activities are possessed by MLAV VP35 and VP40, which parallels how MARV blocks IFN responses. However, whereas MARV activates cellular antioxidant responses through an interaction between its VP24 protein and host protein Keap1, MLAV VP24 lacks a Keap1-binding motif and fails to activate this cytoprotective response. These data indicate that MLAV possesses immune-suppressing functions that could facilitate human infection. They also support the placement of MLAV in a different genus than either EBOV or MARV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00191-20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7307173PMC
June 2020

A new cell culture model to genetically dissect the complete human papillomavirus life cycle.

PLoS Pathog 2018 03 1;14(3):e1006846. Epub 2018 Mar 1.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Center for Molecular and Tumor Virology, Feist-Weiller Cancer Center, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, Louisiana, United States of America.

Herein, we describe a novel infection model that achieves highly efficient infection of primary keratinocytes with human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16). This cell culture model does not depend on immortalization and is amenable to extensive genetic analyses. In monolayer cell culture, the early but not late promoter was active and yielded a spliced viral transcript pattern similar to HPV16-immortalized keratinocytes. However, relative levels of the E8^E2 transcript increased over time post infection suggesting the expression of this viral repressor is regulated independently of other early proteins and that it may be important for the shift from the establishment to the maintenance phase of the viral life cycle. Both the early and the late promoter were strongly activated when infected cells were subjected to differentiation by growth in methylcellulose. When grown as organotypic raft cultures, HPV16-infected cells expressed late E1^E4 and L1 proteins and replication foci were detected, suggesting that they supported the completion of the viral life cycle. As a proof of principle that the infection system may be used for genetic dissection of viral factors, we analyzed E1, E6 and E7 translation termination linker mutant virus for establishment of infection and genome maintenance. E1 but not E6 and E7 was essential to establish infection. Furthermore, E6 but not E7 was required for episomal genome maintenance. Primary keratinocytes infected with wild type HPV16 immortalized, whereas keratinocytes infected with E6 and E7 knockout virus began to senesce 25 to 35 days post infection. The novel infection model provides a powerful genetic tool to study the role of viral proteins throughout the viral life cycle but especially for immediate early events and enables us to compare low- and high-risk HPV types in the context of infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1006846DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5833277PMC
March 2018

Human Papillomavirus Major Capsid Protein L1 Remains Associated with the Incoming Viral Genome throughout the Entry Process.

J Virol 2017 Aug 27;91(16). Epub 2017 Jul 27.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Center for Molecular and Tumor Virology, Feist-Weiller Cancer Center, LSU Health Shreveport, Shreveport, Louisiana, USA

During infectious entry, acidification within the endosome triggers uncoating of the human papillomavirus (HPV) capsid, whereupon host cyclophilins facilitate the release of most of the major capsid protein, L1, from the minor capsid protein L2 and the viral genome. The L2/DNA complex traffics to the -Golgi network (TGN). After the onset of mitosis, HPV-harboring transport vesicles bud from the TGN, followed by association with mitotic chromosomes. During this time, the HPV genome remains in a vesicular compartment until the nucleus has completely reformed. Recent data suggest that while most of L1 protein dissociates and is degraded in the endosome, some L1 protein remains associated with the viral genome. The L1 protein has DNA binding activity, and the L2 protein has multiple domains capable of interacting with L1 capsomeres. In this study, we report that some L1 protein traffics with L2 and viral genome to the nucleus. The accompanying L1 protein is mostly full length and retains conformation-dependent epitopes, which are recognized by neutralizing antibodies. Since more than one L1 molecule contributes to these epitopes and requires assembly into capsomeres, we propose that L1 protein is present in the form of pentamers. Furthermore, we provide evidence that the L1 protein interacts directly with viral DNA within the capsid. Based on our findings, we propose that the L1 protein, likely arranged as capsomeres, stabilizes the viral genome within the subviral complex during intracellular trafficking. After internalization, the nonenveloped human papillomavirus virion uncoats in the endosome, whereupon conformational changes result in a dissociation of a subset of the major capsid protein L1 from the minor capsid protein L2, which remains in complex with the viral DNA. Recent data suggest that some L1 protein may accompany the viral genome beyond the endosomal compartment. We demonstrate that conformationally intact L1 protein, likely still arranged as capsomeres, remains associated with the incoming viral genome throughout mitosis and transiently resides in the nucleus until after the viral DNA is released from the transport vesicle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00537-17DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5533910PMC
August 2017

Incoming human papillomavirus 16 genome is lost in PML protein-deficient HaCaT keratinocytes.

Cell Microbiol 2017 05 23;19(5). Epub 2017 Jan 23.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Center for Molecular Tumor Virology, Feist-Weiller Cancer Center, LSU Health Shreveport, Shreveport, Louisiana, USA.

Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) target promyelocytic leukemia (PML) nuclear bodies (NBs) during infectious entry and PML protein is important for efficient transcription of incoming viral genome. However, the transcriptional down regulation was shown to be promoter-independent in that heterologous promoters delivered by papillomavirus particles were also affected. To further investigate the role of PML protein in HPV entry, we used small hairpin RNA to knockdown PML protein in HaCaT keratinocytes. Confirming previous findings, PML knockdown in HaCaT cells reduced HPV16 transcript levels significantly following infectious entry without impairing binding and trafficking. However, when we quantified steady-state levels of pseudogenomes in interphase cells, we found strongly reduced genome levels compared with parental HaCaT cells. Because nuclear delivery was comparable in both cell lines, we conclude that viral pseudogenome must be removed after successful nuclear delivery. Transcriptome analysis by gene array revealed that PML knockdown in clonal HaCaT cells was associated with a constitutive interferon response. Abrogation of JAK1/2 signaling prevented genome loss, however, did not restore viral transcription. In contrast, knockdown of PML protein in HeLa cells did not affect HPV genome delivery and transcription. HeLa cells are transformed by HPV18 oncogenes E6 and E7, which have been shown to interfere with the JAK/Stat signaling pathway. Our data imply that PML NBs protect incoming HPV genomes. Furthermore, they provide evidence that PML NBs are key regulators of the innate immune response in keratinocytes.

Importance: Promyelocytic leukemia nuclear bodies (PML NBs) are important for antiviral defense. Many DNA viruses target these subnuclear structures and reorganize them. Reorganization of PML NBs by viral proteins is important for establishment of infection. In contrast, HPVs require the presence of PML protein for efficient transcription of incoming viral genome. Our finding that PML protein prevents the loss of HPV genome following infection implies that the host cell may be able to recognize chromatinized HPV genome or the associated capsid proteins. A constitutively active interferon response in absence of PML protein suggests that PML NBs are key regulators of the innate immune response in keratinocytes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cmi.12708DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5382090PMC
May 2017

Incoming human papillomavirus type 16 genome resides in a vesicular compartment throughout mitosis.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2016 May 17;113(22):6289-94. Epub 2016 May 17.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Center for Molecular and Tumor Virology and Feist-Weiller Cancer Center, LSU Health Shreveport, Shreveport, LA 71130

During the entry process, the human papillomavirus (HPV) capsid is trafficked to the trans-Golgi network (TGN), whereupon it enters the nucleus during mitosis. We previously demonstrated that the minor capsid protein L2 assumes a transmembranous conformation in the TGN. Here we provide evidence that the incoming viral genome dissociates from the TGN and associates with microtubules after the onset of mitosis. Deposition onto mitotic chromosomes is L2-mediated. Using differential staining of an incoming viral genome by small molecular dyes in selectively permeabilized cells, nuclease protection, and flotation assays, we found that HPV resides in a membrane-bound vesicle until mitosis is completed and the nuclear envelope has reformed. As a result, expression of the incoming viral genome is delayed. Taken together, these data provide evidence that HPV has evolved a unique strategy for delivering the viral genome to the nucleus of dividing cells. Furthermore, it is unlikely that nuclear vesicles are unique to HPV, and thus we may have uncovered a hitherto unrecognized cellular pathway that may be of interest for future cell biological studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1600638113DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4896702PMC
May 2016

Topography of the Human Papillomavirus Minor Capsid Protein L2 during Vesicular Trafficking of Infectious Entry.

J Virol 2015 Oct 5;89(20):10442-52. Epub 2015 Aug 5.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Center for Molecular and Tumor Virology, Feist-Weiller Cancer Center, LSU Health Shreveport, Shreveport, Louisiana, USA

Unlabelled: The human papillomavirus (HPV) capsid is composed of the major capsid protein L1 and the minor capsid protein L2. During entry, the HPV capsid undergoes numerous conformational changes that result in endosomal uptake and subsequent trafficking of the L2 protein in complex with the viral DNA to the trans-Golgi network. To facilitate this transport, the L2 protein harbors a number of putative motifs that, if capable of direct interaction, would interact with cytosolic host cell factors. These data imply that a portion of L2 becomes cytosolic during infection. Using a low concentration of digitonin to selectively permeabilize the plasma membrane of infected cells, we mapped the topography of the L2 protein during infection. We observed that epitopes within amino acid residues 64 to 81 and 163 to 170 and a C-terminal tag of HPV16 L2 are exposed on the cytosolic side of intracellular membranes, whereas an epitope within residues 20 to 38, which are upstream of a putative transmembrane region, is luminal. Corroborating these findings, we also found that L2 protein is sensitive to trypsin digestion during infection. These data demonstrate that the majority of the L2 protein becomes accessible on the cytosolic side of intracellular membranes in order to interact with cytosolic factors to facilitate vesicular trafficking.

Importance: In order to complete infectious entry, nonenveloped viruses have to pass cellular membranes. This is often achieved through the viral capsid protein associating with or integrating into intracellular membrane. Here, we determine the topography of HPV L2 protein in the endocytic vesicular compartment, suggesting that L2 becomes a transmembrane protein with a short luminal portion and with the majority facing the cytosolic side for interaction with host cell transport factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01588-15DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4580179PMC
October 2015

Meprin metalloproteases inactivate interleukin 6.

J Biol Chem 2014 Mar 28;289(11):7580-8. Epub 2014 Jan 28.

From the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033.

Meprins have been implicated in the pathogenesis of several inflammatory diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, in which the cytokine IL-6 is a prominent effector molecule. Because IL-6 levels are elevated markedly in meprin α and α/β knockout mice in an experimental model of inflammatory bowel disease, the interaction between meprins and IL-6 was studied. The results demonstrate that rodent and human meprin A and B cleave IL-6 to a smaller product and, subsequently, are capable of extensive degradation of the cytokine. Analysis of the limited degradation product formed by meprin A indicated that three to five amino acids are removed from the C terminus of the cytokine. Meprin A and meprin B cleaved IL-6 with micromolar affinities (Km of 4.7 and 12.0 μM, respectively) and with high efficiencies (kcat/Km of 0.2 and 2.5 (M(-1)/s(-1)) × 10(6), respectively). These efficiency constants are among the highest for known meprin substrates. Madin-Darby canine kidney cells transiently transfected with meprin α or meprin β constructs also cleave exogenous IL-6. Both human and murine IL-6 cleaved by meprin A or B are inactivated, as demonstrated by their decreased capability to stimulate proliferation of B9 cells. These results are consistent with the proposition that one function of meprin metalloproteases is to modulate inflammation by inactivating IL-6.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M113.546309DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3953271PMC
March 2014

Amino acid substitutions affecting protein dynamics in eglin C do not affect heat capacity change upon unfolding.

Proteins 2006 Aug;64(2):295-300

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Penn State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033, USA.

The heat capacity change upon unfolding (deltaC(p)) is a thermodynamic parameter that defines the temperature dependence of the thermodynamic stability of proteins; however, physical basis of the heat capacity change is not completely understood. Although empirical surface area-based calculations can predict heat capacity changes reasonably well, accumulating evidence suggests that changes in hydration of those surfaces is not the only parameter contributing to the observed heat capacity changes upon unfolding. Because packing density in the protein interior is similar to that observed in organic crystals, we hypothesized that changes in protein dynamics resulting in increased rigidity of the protein structure might contribute to the observed heat capacity change upon unfolding. Using differential scanning calorimetry we characterized the thermodynamic behavior of a serine protease inhibitor eglin C and two eglin C variants with altered native state dynamics, as determined by NMR. We found no evidence of changes in deltaC(p) in either of the variants, suggesting that changes in rigidity do not contribute to the heat capacity change upon unfolding in this model system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/prot.20974DOI Listing
August 2006

Protein stability and surface electrostatics: a charged relationship.

Biochemistry 2006 Mar;45(9):2761-6

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania 17033, USA.

Engineering proteins to withstand a broad range of conditions continues to be a coveted objective, holding the potential to advance biomedicine, industry, and our understanding of disease. One way of achieving this goal lies in elucidating the underlying interactions that define protein stability. It has been shown that the hydrophobic effect, hydrogen bonding, and packing interactions between residues in the protein interior are dominant factors that define protein stability. The role of surface residues in protein stability has received much less attention. It has been believed that surface residues are not important for protein stability particularly because their interactions with the solvent should be similar in the native and unfolded states. In the case of surface charged residues, it was sometimes argued that solvent exposure meant that the high dielectric of the solvent will further decrease the strength of the charge-charge interactions. In this paper, we challenge the notion that the surface charged residues are not important for protein stability. We computationally redesigned sequences of five different proteins to optimize the surface charge-charge interactions. All redesigned proteins exhibited a significant increase in stability relative to their parent proteins, as experimentally determined by circular dichroism spectroscopy and differential scanning calorimetry. These results suggest that surface charge-charge interactions are important for protein stability and that rational optimization of charge-charge interactions on the protein surface can be a viable strategy for enhancing protein stability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bi0600143DOI Listing
March 2006