Influenza pandemics occur when influenza A viruses (IAV) adapted to other host species enter humans and spread through the population. Pandemics are relatively rare due to host restriction of IAV: strains adapted to nonhuman species do not readily infect, replicate in, or transmit among humans. IAV can overcome host restriction through reassortment or adaptive evolution, and these are mechanisms by which pandemic strains arise in nature. To identify mutations that facilitate growth of avian IAV in humans, we have adapted influenza A/duck/Alberta/35/1976 (H1N1) (dk/AB/76) virus to a high-growth phenotype in differentiated human tracheo-bronchial epithelial (HTBE) cells. Following 10 serial passages of three independent lineages, the bulk populations showed similar growth in HTBE cells to that of a human seasonal virus. The coding changes present in six clonal isolates were determined. The majority of changes were located in the polymerase complex and nucleoprotein (NP), and all isolates carried mutations in the PB2 627 domain and regions of NP thought to interact with PB2. Using reverse genetics, the impact on growth and polymerase activity of individual and paired mutations in PB2 and NP was evaluated. The results indicate that coupling of the mammalian-adaptive mutation PB2 E627K or Q591K to selected mutations in NP further augments the growth of the corresponding viruses. In addition, minimal combinations of three (PB2 Q236H, E627K, and NP N309K) or two (PB2 Q591K and NP S50G) mutations were sufficient to recapitulate the efficient growth in HTBE cells of dk/AB/76 viruses isolated after 10 passages in this substrate.
The cytoplasmic helicase RIG-I is an established sensor for viral 5'-triphosphorylated RNA species. Recently, RIG-I was also implicated in the detection of intracellular bacteria. However, little is known about the host cell specificity of this process and the bacterial pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) that activates RIG-I. Here we show that RNA of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium activates production of beta interferon in a RIG-I-dependent fashion only in nonphagocytic cells. In phagocytic cells, RIG-I is obsolete for detection of Salmonella infection. We further demonstrate that Salmonella mRNA reaches the cytoplasm during infection and is thus accessible for RIG-I. The results from next-generation sequencing analysis of RIG-I-associated RNA suggest that coding bacterial mRNAs represent the activating PAMP. IMPORTANCE S. Typhimurium is a major food-borne pathogen. After fecal-oral transmission, it can infect epithelial cells in the gut as well as immune cells (mainly macrophages, dendritic cells, and M cells). The innate host immune system relies on a growing number of sensors that detect pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) to launch a first broad-spectrum response to invading pathogens. Successful detection of a given pathogen depends on colocalization of host sensors and PAMPs as well as potential countermeasures of the pathogen during infection. RIG-I-like helicases were mainly associated with detection of RNA viruses. Our work shows that S. Typhimurium is detected by RIG-I during infection specifically in nonimmune cells.
The type I interferon (IFN) response protects cells from viral infection by inducing hundreds of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs), some of which encode direct antiviral effectors. Recent screening studies have begun to catalogue ISGs with antiviral activity against several RNA and DNA viruses. However, antiviral ISG specificity across multiple distinct classes of viruses remains largely unexplored. Here we used an ectopic expression assay to screen a library of more than 350 human ISGs for effects on 14 viruses representing 7 families and 11 genera. We show that 47 genes inhibit one or more viruses, and 25 genes enhance virus infectivity. Comparative analysis reveals that the screened ISGs target positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses more effectively than negative-sense single-stranded RNA viruses. Gene clustering highlights the cytosolic DNA sensor cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS, also known as MB21D1) as a gene whose expression also broadly inhibits several RNA viruses. In vitro, lentiviral delivery of enzymatically active cGAS triggers a STING-dependent, IRF3-mediated antiviral program that functions independently of canonical IFN/STAT1 signalling. In vivo, genetic ablation of murine cGAS reveals its requirement in the antiviral response to two DNA viruses, and an unappreciated contribution to the innate control of an RNA virus. These studies uncover new paradigms for the preferential specificity of IFN-mediated antiviral pathways spanning several virus families.
With the global spread of the 2009 pandemic H1N1 (pH1N1) influenza virus, there are increasing worries about evolution through antigenic drift. One way previous seasonal H1N1 and H3N2 influenza strains have evolved over time is by acquiring additional glycosylations in the globular head of their hemagglutinin (HA) proteins; these glycosylations have been believed to shield antigenically relevant regions from antibody immune responses. We added additional HA glycosylation sites to influenza A/Netherlands/602/2009 recombinant (rpH1N1) viruses, reflecting their temporal appearance in previous seasonal H1N1 viruses. Additional glycosylations resulted in substantially attenuated infection in mice and ferrets, whereas deleting HA glycosylation sites from a pre-pandemic virus resulted in increased pathogenicity in mice. We then more directly investigated the interactions of HA glycosylations and antibody responses through mutational analysis. We found that the polyclonal antibody response elicited by wild-type rpH1N1 HA was likely directed against an immunodominant region, which could be shielded by glycosylation at position 144. However, rpH1N1 HA glycosylated at position 144 elicited a broader polyclonal response able to cross-neutralize all wild-type and glycosylation mutant pH1N1 viruses. Moreover, mice infected with a recent seasonal virus in which glycosylation sites were removed elicited antibodies that protected against challenge with the antigenically distant pH1N1 virus. Thus, acquisition of glycosylation sites in the HA of H1N1 human influenza viruses affected not only their pathogenicity and ability to escape from polyclonal antibodies elicited by previous influenza virus strains but also their ability to induce cross-reactive antibodies against drifted antigenic variants.
The incorporation of a fluorescent reporter gene into a replication-competent influenza A virus (IAV) has made it possible to trace IAV infection in vivo. This protocol describes the process of inserting a green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter into the IAV genome using the established reverse genetics system. The strategy begins with the reorganization of segment eight of the IAV genome, during which the open reading frames of nonstructural protein 1 (NS1) and the nuclear export protein (NEP) are separated to allow for GFP fusion to the NS1 protein. The NS1, GFP, and NEP open reading frames (ORF) are then cloned into the IAV rescue system backbone. Upon construction of the GFP-encoding segment eight rescue plasmid, recombinant NS1-GFP influenza virus can be rescued via co-transfection with the remaining seven rescue plasmids. The generated NS1-GFP IAV can subsequently be used to visualize infected cells, both in vitro and in vivo.
Ebola virus infection causes severe hemorrhagic fever in human and non-human primates with high mortality. Viral entry/infection is initiated by binding of glycoprotein GP protein on Ebola virion to host cells, followed by fusion of virus-cell membrane also mediated by GP. Using an human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-based pseudotyping system, the roles of 41 Ebola GP1 residues in the receptor-binding domain in viral entry were studied by alanine scanning substitutions. We identified that four residues appear to be involved in protein folding/structure and four residues are important for viral entry. An improved entry interference assay was developed and used to study the role of these residues that are important for viral entry. It was found that R64 and K95 are involved in receptor binding. In contrast, some residues such as I170 are important for viral entry, but do not play a major role in receptor binding as indicated by entry interference assay and/or protein binding data, suggesting that these residues are involved in post-binding steps of viral entry. Furthermore, our results also suggested that Ebola and Marburg viruses share a common cellular molecule for entry.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza A viruses (HPAIV) of the H5N1 subtype occasionally transmit from birds to humans and can cause severe systemic infections in both hosts. PB1-F2 is an alternative translation product of the viral PB1 segment that was initially characterized as a pro-apoptotic mitochondrial viral pathogenicity factor. A full-length PB1-F2 has been present in all human influenza pandemic virus isolates of the 20(th) century, but appears to be lost evolutionarily over time as the new virus establishes itself and circulates in the human host. In contrast, the open reading frame (ORF) for PB1-F2 is exceptionally well-conserved in avian influenza virus isolates. Here we perform a comparative study to show for the first time that PB1-F2 is a pathogenicity determinant for HPAIV (A/Viet Nam/1203/2004, VN1203 (H5N1)) in both mammals and birds. In a mammalian host, the rare N66S polymorphism in PB1-F2 that was previously described to be associated with high lethality of the 1918 influenza A virus showed increased replication and virulence of a recombinant VN1203 H5N1 virus, while deletion of the entire PB1-F2 ORF had negligible effects. Interestingly, the N66S substituted virus efficiently invades the CNS and replicates in the brain of Mx+/+ mice. In ducks deletion of PB1-F2 clearly resulted in delayed onset of clinical symptoms and systemic spreading of virus, while variations at position 66 played only a minor role in pathogenesis. These data implicate PB1-F2 as an important pathogenicity factor in ducks independent of sequence variations at position 66. Our data could explain why PB1-F2 is conserved in avian influenza virus isolates and only impacts pathogenicity in mammals when containing certain amino acid motifs such as the rare N66S polymorphism.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza A (HPAI) viruses of the H5N1 subtype have recently emerged from avian zoonotic reservoirs to cause fatal human disease. Adaptation of HPAI virus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (PB1, PB2, and PA proteins) and nucleoprotein (NP) to interactions with mammalian host proteins is thought to contribute to the efficiency of viral RNA synthesis and to disease severity. While proteomics experiments have identified a number of human proteins that associate with H1N1 polymerases and/or viral ribonucleoprotein (vRNP), how these host interactions might regulate influenza virus polymerase functions and host adaptation has been largely unexplored. We took a functional genomics (RNA interference [RNAi]) approach to assess the roles of a network of human proteins interacting with influenza virus polymerase proteins in viral polymerase activity from prototype H1N1 and H5N1 viruses. A majority (18 of 31) of the cellular proteins tested, including RNA-binding (DDX17, DDX5, NPM1, and hnRNPM), stress (PARP1, DDB1, and Ku70/86), and intracellular transport proteins, were required for efficient activity of both H1N1 and H5N1 polymerases. NXP2 and NF90 antagonized both polymerases, and six more RNA-associated proteins exhibited strain-specific phenotypes. Remarkably, 12 proteins differentially regulated H5N1 polymerase according to PB2 genotype at mammalian-adaptive residue 627. Among these, DEAD box RNA helicase DDX17/p72 facilitated efficient human-adapted (627K) H5N1 virus mRNA and viral RNA (vRNA) synthesis in human cells. Likewise, the chicken DDX17 homologue was required for efficient avian (627E) H5N1 infection in chicken DF-1 fibroblasts, suggesting that this conserved virus-host interaction contributes to PB2-dependent host species specificity of influenza virus and ultimately to the outcome of human HPAI infections.
Influenza A virus is being extensively studied because of its major impact on human and animal health. However, the dynamics of influenza virus infection and the cell types infected in vivo are poorly understood. These characteristics are challenging to determine, partly because there is no efficient replication-competent virus expressing an easily traceable reporter gene. Here, we report the generation of a recombinant influenza virus carrying a GFP reporter gene in the NS segment (NS1-GFP virus). Although attenuated when compared with wild-type virus, the NS1-GFP virus replicates efficiently in murine lungs and shows pathogenicity in mice. Using whole-organ imaging and flow cytometry, we have tracked the dynamics of influenza virus infection progression in mice. Imaging of murine lungs shows that infection starts in the respiratory tract in areas close to large conducting airways and later spreads to deeper sections of the lungs. In addition to epithelial cells, we found GFP-positive antigen-presenting cells, such as CD11b(+)CD11c(-), CD11b(-)CD11c(+), and CD11b(+)CD11c(+), as early as 24 h after intranasal infection. In addition, a significant proportion of NK and B cells were GFP positive, suggesting active infection of these cells. We next tested the effects of the influenza virus inhibitors oseltamivir and amantadine on the kinetics of in vivo infection progression. Treatment with oseltamivir dramatically reduced influenza infection in all cell types, whereas, surprisingly, amantadine treatment more efficiently blocked infection in B and NK cells. Our results demonstrate high levels of immune cells harboring influenza virus antigen during viral infection and cell-type-specific effects upon treatment with antiviral agents, opening additional avenues of research in the influenza virus field.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short noncoding RNAs that exert posttranscriptional gene silencing and regulate gene expression. In addition to the hundreds of conserved cellular miRNAs that have been identified, miRNAs of viral origin have been isolated and found to modulate both the viral life cycle and the cellular transcriptome. Thus far, detection of virus-derived miRNAs has been largely limited to DNA viruses, suggesting that RNA viruses may be unable to exploit this aspect of transcriptional regulation. Lack of RNA virus-produced miRNAs has been attributed to the replicative constraints that would incur following RNase III processing of a genomic hairpin. To ascertain whether the generation of viral miRNAs is limited to DNA viruses, we investigated whether influenza virus could be designed to deliver functional miRNAs without affecting replication. Here, we describe a modified influenza A virus that expresses cellular microRNA-124 (miR-124). Insertion of the miR-124 hairpin into an intron of the nuclear export protein transcript resulted in endogenous processing and functional miR-124. We demonstrate that a viral RNA genome incorporating a hairpin does not result in segment instability or miRNA-mediated genomic targeting, thereby permitting the virus to produce a miRNA without having a negative impact on viral replication. This work demonstrates that RNA viruses can produce functional miRNAs and suggests that this level of transcriptional regulation may extend beyond DNA viruses.
In 2009, a novel swine-origin H1N1 influenza A virus emerged. Here, we characterize the multifunctional NS1 protein of this human pandemic virus in order to understand factors that may contribute to replication efficiency or pathogenicity. Although the 2009 H1N1 virus NS1 protein (2009/NS1) is an effective interferon antagonist, we found that this NS1 (unlike those of previous human-adapted influenza A viruses) is unable to block general host gene expression in human or swine cells. This property could be restored in 2009/NS1 by replacing R108, E125, and G189 with residues corresponding to human virus consensus. Mechanistically, these previously undescribed mutations acted by increasing binding of 2009/NS1 to the cellular pre-mRNA processing protein CPSF30. A recombinant 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus (A/California/04/09) expressing NS1 with these gain-of-function substitutions was more efficient than the wild type at antagonizing host innate immune responses in primary human epithelial cells. However, such mutations had no significant effect on virus replication in either human or swine tissue culture substrates. Surprisingly, in a mouse model of pathogenicity, the mutant virus appeared to cause less morbidity, and was cleared faster, than the wild type. The mutant virus also demonstrated reduced titers in the upper respiratory tracts of ferrets; however, contact and aerosol transmissibility of the virus was unaffected. Our data highlight a potential human adaptation of NS1 that seems absent in "classically derived" swine-origin influenza A viruses, including the 2009 H1N1 virus. We discuss the impact that a natural future gain of this NS1 function may have on the new pandemic virus in humans.
The 1918 influenza A virus caused the most devastating pandemic, killing approximately 50 million people worldwide. Immunization with 1918-like and classical swine H1N1 virus vaccines results in cross-protective antibodies against the 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza, indicating antigenic similarities among these viruses. In this study, we demonstrate that vaccination with the 2009 pandemic H1N1 vaccine elicits 1918 virus cross-protective antibodies in mice and humans, and that vaccination or passive transfer of human-positive sera reduced morbidity and conferred full protection from lethal challenge with the 1918 virus in mice. The spread of the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus in the population worldwide, in addition to the large number of individuals already vaccinated, suggests that a large proportion of the population now have cross-protective antibodies against the 1918 virus, greatly alleviating concerns and fears regarding the accidental exposure/release of the 1918 virus from the laboratory and the use of the virus as a bioterrorist agent.
The classical swine H1N1 influenza A virus lineage was established after the devastating 1918 human pandemic virus entered domestic pig herds. A descendent of this lineage recently re-emerged in humans as the 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus. Adaptation in pigs has led to several changes in the multifunctional viral NS1 protein as compared with the parental 1918 virus, most notably a K217E substitution that abolishes binding to host Crk/CrkL signalling adapters, and an 11 aa C-terminal truncation. Using reverse genetics, we reintroduced both these features into a prototype 2009 H1N1 strain, A/California/04/09. Restoration of Crk/CrkL binding or extension of NS1 to 230 aa had no impact on virus replication in human or swine cells. In addition, minimal effects on replication, pathogenicity and transmission were observed in mouse and ferret models. Our data suggest that the currently circulating 2009 H1N1 virus is optimized to replicate efficiently without requiring certain NS1 functions.
A novel, swine-origin influenza H1N1 virus (H1N1pdm) caused the first pandemic of the 21st century. This pandemic, although efficient in transmission, is mild in virulence. This atypical mild pandemic season has raised concerns regarding the potential of this virus to acquire additional virulence markers either through further adaptation or possibly by immune pressure in the human host. Using the mouse model we generated, within a single round of infection with A/California/04/09/H1N1 (Ca/04), a virus lethal in mice--herein referred to as mouse-adapted Ca/04 (ma-Ca/04). Five amino acid substitutions were found in the genome of ma-Ca/04: 3 in HA (D131E, S186P and A198E), 1 in PA (E298K) and 1 in NP (D101G). Reverse genetics analyses of these mutations indicate that all five mutations from ma-Ca/04 contributed to the lethal phenotype; however, the D131E and S186P mutations--which are also found in the 1918 and seasonal H1N1 viruses-in HA alone were sufficient to confer virulence of Ca/04 in mice. HI assays against H1N1pdm demonstrate that the D131E and S186P mutations caused minor antigenic changes and, likely, affected receptor binding. The rapid selection of ma-Ca/04 in mice suggests that a virus containing this constellation of amino acids might have already been present in Ca/04, likely as minor quasispecies.
Unlike previous pandemic viruses, the 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza virus does not code for the virulence factor PB1-F2. The genome of the 2009 H1N1 virus contains three stop codons preventing PB1-F2 expression; however, PB1-F2 production could occur following genetic mutation or reassortment. Thus, it is of great interest to understand the impact that expression of the PB1-F2 protein might have in the context of the 2009 pandemic influenza virus, A/California/04/2009 (Cal/09). We have addressed this question by generating two Cal/09 viruses with productive PB1-F2 open reading frames containing either an asparagine at position 66 of PB1-F2 (66N) or a serine at position 66 (66S): this N66S change has previously been shown to be associated with increased virulence in mice. We used these viruses to investigate the effect on virulence conferred by expression of the 66N or the 66S PB1-F2 protein in both in vitro and in vivo systems. Our results show enhanced replication of the 66S virus in A549 cells, while studies of BALB/c and DBA/2 mice and ferrets revealed no significant differences in symptoms of infection with wild-type Cal/09 versus the 66N or 66S virus variant. Also, coinfection of mice with Streptococcus pneumoniae and the different viruses (recombinant wild-type [rWT] Cal/09 and the 66N and 66S viruses) did not result in significant differences in mortality. Mice infected with either PB1-F2-expressing virus did demonstrate altered protein levels of proinflammatory cytokines; differences were observed to be greater in infection caused by the 66S virus. In summary, our study demonstrates that PB1-F2 expression by the Cal/09 virus modulates the immune response to infection while having a minimal effect on virus virulence in two mammalian models.
The recent 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus infection in humans has resulted in nearly 5,000 deaths worldwide. Early epidemiological findings indicated a low level of infection in the older population (>65 years) with the pandemic virus, and a greater susceptibility in people younger than 35 years of age, a phenomenon correlated with the presence of cross-reactive immunity in the older population. It is unclear what virus(es) might be responsible for this apparent cross-protection against the 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus. We describe a mouse lethal challenge model for the 2009 pandemic H1N1 strain, used together with a panel of inactivated H1N1 virus vaccines and hemagglutinin (HA) monoclonal antibodies to dissect the possible humoral antigenic determinants of pre-existing immunity against this virus in the human population. By hemagglutinination inhibition (HI) assays and vaccination/challenge studies, we demonstrate that the 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus is antigenically similar to human H1N1 viruses that circulated from 1918-1943 and to classical swine H1N1 viruses. Antibodies elicited against 1918-like or classical swine H1N1 vaccines completely protect C57B/6 mice from lethal challenge with the influenza A/Netherlands/602/2009 virus isolate. In contrast, contemporary H1N1 vaccines afforded only partial protection. Passive immunization with cross-reactive monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) raised against either 1918 or A/California/04/2009 HA proteins offered full protection from death. Analysis of mAb antibody escape mutants, generated by selection of 2009 H1N1 virus with these mAbs, indicate that antigenic site Sa is one of the conserved cross-protective epitopes. Our findings in mice agree with serological data showing high prevalence of 2009 H1N1 cross-reactive antibodies only in the older population, indicating that prior infection with 1918-like viruses or vaccination against the 1976 swine H1N1 virus in the USA are likely to provide protection against the 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus. This data provides a mechanistic basis for the protection seen in the older population, and emphasizes a rationale for including vaccination of the younger, naïve population. Our results also support the notion that pigs can act as an animal reservoir where influenza virus HAs become antigenically frozen for long periods of time, facilitating the generation of human pandemic viruses.
Cathepsins B and L contribute to Ebola virus (EBOV) entry into Vero cells and mouse embryonic fibroblasts. However, the role of cathepsins in EBOV-infection of human dendritic cells (DCs), important targets of infection in vivo, remains undefined. Here, EBOV-like particles containing a beta-lactamase-VP40 fusion reporter and Ebola virus were used to demonstrate the cathepsin dependence of EBOV entry into human monocyte-derived DCs. However, while DC infection is blocked by cathepsin B inhibitor, it is insensitive to cathepsin L inhibitor. Furthermore, DCs pre-treated for 48 h with TNFalpha were generally less susceptible to entry and infection by EBOV. This decrease in infection was associated with a decrease in cathepsin B activity. Thus, cathepsin L plays a minimal, if any, role in EBOV infection in human DCs. The inflammatory cytokine TNFalpha modulates cathepsin B activity and affects EBOV entry into and infection of human DCs.
A viral entry assay where a beta-lactamase reporter protein fused to the influenza matrix protein-1 (BlaM1) is packaged as a structural component into influenza virus-like particles (VLPs) is described. The Bla reporter is released upon fusion with target cells and can be detected in live cells by flow cytometry, microscopy, or fluorometric plate reader for utility in high-throughput screening approaches. The production of BlaM1 VLPs and subsequent transfer of Bla activity to target cells requires the presence of influenza hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA). In addition, transfer of Bla by the VLPs can be blocked by an influenza neutralizing antibody, is impeded by a chemical inhibitor of influenza virus entry, and requires HA that is cleaved by a protease specific for its cleavage site. An analogous VLP system also was developed for Ebola (EBOV) and Marburg (MARV) viruses, demonstrating that this straightforward assay has broad application for studying the entry steps of enveloped viruses, especially those that require high levels of biosafety containment.
Entry of Ebolavirus to the target cells is mediated by the viral glycoprotein GP. The native GP exists as a homotrimer on the virions and contains two subunits, a surface subunit (GP1) that is involved in receptor binding and a transmembrane subunit (GP2) that mediates the virus-host membrane fusion. Previously we showed that over-expression of GP on the target cells blocks GP-mediated viral entry, which is mostly likely due to receptor interference by GP1.
The glycoprotein (GP) of Ebola is the sole structural protein that forms the spikes on the viral envelope. The GP contains two subunits, GP1 and GP2, linked by a disulfide bond, which are responsible for receptor binding and membrane fusion, respectively. In this study, the full length of GP gene of Ebola Zaire species, 2028 base pairs in length, was synthesized using 38 overlapping oligonucleotides by multiple rounds of polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The synthesized GP gene was shown to be efficiently expressed in mammalian cells. Furthermore, an efficient HIV-based pseudotyping system was developed using the synthetic GP gene, providing a safe approach to dissecting the entry mechanism of Ebola viruses. Using this pseudotyping system and mutational analysis, the role of the charged residues in the GP2 helical regions was examined. It was found that substitutions of the most charged residues in the regions did not adversely affect GP expression, processing, or viral incorporation, however, most of the mutations greatly impaired the ability of GP to mediate efficient viral infection. These results demonstrate that these charged residues of GP2 play an important role in GP-mediated Ebola entry into its host cells. We propose that these charged residues are involved in forming the intermediate conformation(s) of GP in membrane fusion and Ebola entry.
Influenza A virus (IAV) is a leading cause of respiratory tract disease worldwide. Anti-viral CD8(+) T lymphocytes responding to IAV infection are believed to eliminate virally infected cells by direct cytolysis but may also contribute to pulmonary inflammation and tissue damage via the release of pro-inflammatory mediators following recognition of viral antigen displaying cells. We have previously demonstrated that IAV antigen expressing inflammatory cells of hematopoietic origin within the infected lung interstitium serve as antigen presenting cells (APC) for infiltrating effector CD8(+) T lymphocytes; however, the spectrum of inflammatory cell types capable of serving as APC was not determined. Here, we demonstrate that viral antigen displaying neutrophils infiltrating the IAV infected lungs are an important cell type capable of acting as APC for effector CD8(+) T lymphocytes in the infected lungs and that neutrophils expressing viral antigen as a result of direct infection by IAV exhibit the most potent APC activity. Our findings suggest that in addition to their suggested role in induction of the innate immune responses to IAV, virus clearance, and the development of pulmonary injury, neutrophils can serve as APCs to anti-viral effector CD8(+) T cells within the infected lung interstitium.
CD8+ cytotoxic T cells are critical for viral clearance from the lungs upon influenza virus infection. The contribution of antigen cross-presentation by DCs to the induction of anti-viral cytotoxic T cells remains controversial. Here, we used a recombinant influenza virus expressing a nonstructural 1-GFP (NS1-GFP) reporter gene to visualize the route of antigen presentation by lung DCs upon viral infection in mice. We found that lung CD103+ DCs were the only subset of cells that carried intact GFP protein to the draining LNs. Strikingly, lung migratory CD103+ DCs were not productively infected by influenza virus and thus were able to induce virus-specific CD8+ T cells through the cross-presentation of antigens from virally infected cells. We also observed that CD103+ DC resistance to infection correlates with an increased anti-viral state in these cells that is dependent on the expression of type I IFN receptor. These results show that efficient cross-priming by migratory lung DCs is coupled to the acquisition of an anti-viral status, which is dependent on the type I IFN signaling pathway.
Influenza A virus infects 5-20% of the population annually, resulting in ~35,000 deaths and significant morbidity. Current treatments include vaccines and drugs that target viral proteins. However, both of these approaches have limitations, as vaccines require yearly development and the rapid evolution of viral proteins gives rise to drug resistance. In consequence additional intervention strategies, that target host factors required for the viral life cycle, are under investigation. Here we employed arrayed whole-genome siRNA screening strategies to identify cell-autonomous molecular components that are subverted to support H1N1 influenza A virus infection of human bronchial epithelial cells. Integration across relevant public data sets exposed druggable gene products required for epithelial cell infection or required for viral proteins to deflect host cell suicide checkpoint activation. Pharmacological inhibition of representative targets, RGGT and CHEK1, resulted in significant protection against infection of human epithelial cells by the A/WS/33 virus. In addition, chemical inhibition of RGGT partially protected against H5N1 and the 2009 H1N1 pandemic strain. The observations reported here thus contribute to an expanding body of studies directed at decoding vulnerabilities in the command and control networks specified by influenza virulence factors.
PB1-F2 is a small, 87- to 90-amino-acid-long protein encoded by the +1 alternate open reading frame of the PB1 gene of most influenza A virus strains. It has been shown to contribute to viral pathogenicity in a host- and strain-dependent manner, and we have previously discovered that a serine at position 66 (66S) in the PB1-F2 protein increases virulence of the 1918 and H5N1 pandemic viruses. Recently, we have shown that PB1-F2 inhibits the induction of type I interferon (IFN) at the level of the MAVS adaptor protein. However, the molecular mechanism for the IFN antagonist function of PB1-F2 has remained unclear. In the present study, we demonstrated that the C-terminal portion of the PB1-F2 protein binds to MAVS in a region that contains the transmembrane domain. Strikingly, PB1-F2 66S was observed to bind to MAVS more efficiently than PB1-F2 66N. We also tested the effect of PB1-F2 on the IFN antagonist functions of the polymerase proteins PB1, PB2, and PA and observed enhanced IFN inhibition by the PB1 and PB2 proteins in combination with PB1-F2 but not by the PA protein. Using a flow cytometry-based assay, we demonstrate that the PB1-F2 protein inhibits MAVS-mediated IFN synthesis by decreasing the mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP). Interestingly, PB1-F2 66S affected the MMP more efficiently than wild-type PB1-F2. In summary, the results of our study identify the molecular mechanism by which the influenza virus PB1-F2 N66S protein increases virulence.
Viral infection is commonly associated with virus-driven hijacking of host proteins. Here we describe a novel mechanism by which influenza virus affects host cells through the interaction of influenza non-structural protein 1 (NS1) with the infected cell epigenome. We show that the NS1 protein of influenza A H3N2 subtype possesses a histone-like sequence (histone mimic) that is used by the virus to target the human PAF1 transcription elongation complex (hPAF1C). We demonstrate that binding of NS1 to hPAF1C depends on the NS1 histone mimic and results in suppression of hPAF1C-mediated transcriptional elongation. Furthermore, human PAF1 has a crucial role in the antiviral response. Loss of hPAF1C binding by NS1 attenuates influenza infection, whereas hPAF1C deficiency reduces antiviral gene expression and renders cells more susceptible to viruses. We propose that the histone mimic in NS1 enables the influenza virus to affect inducible gene expression selectively, thus contributing to suppression of the antiviral response.
The NS1 protein of influenza virus is a major virulence factor essential for virus replication, as it redirects the host cell to promote viral protein expression. NS1 inhibits cellular messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) processing and export, down-regulating host gene expression and enhancing viral gene expression. We report in this paper the identification of a nontoxic quinoline carboxylic acid that reverts the inhibition of mRNA nuclear export by NS1, in the absence or presence of the virus. This quinoline carboxylic acid directly inhibited dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH), a host enzyme required for de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis, and partially reduced pyrimidine levels. This effect induced NXF1 expression, which promoted mRNA nuclear export in the presence of NS1. The release of NS1-mediated mRNA export block by DHODH inhibition also occurred in the presence of vesicular stomatitis virus M (matrix) protein, another viral inhibitor of mRNA export. This reversal of mRNA export block allowed expression of antiviral factors. Thus, pyrimidines play a necessary role in the inhibition of mRNA nuclear export by virulence factors.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.