Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Virus (BVDV) is a pestivirus which infects cattle populations worldwide and is recognised as a significant source of economic loss through its impact on health and productivity. Studies investigating the molecular epidemiology of BVDV can give invaluable information about the diversity of viral strains present in a population and this, in turn, can inform control programs, drive vaccine development and determine likely infection sources. The current study investigated 104 viral isolates from forty farms across the UK. Through phylogenetic and nucleotide sequence analysis of the 5UTR and Npro regions of the isolates investigated, it was determined that BVDV 1a was the predominant sub-genotype. However, BVDV 1b, 1e and 1i were also identified and, for the first time in the UK, BVDV 1d. Through analysis of animal movement data alongside the phylogenetic analysis of these BVD isolates, it was possible to link animal movements to the viral isolates present on several premises and, for the first time, begin to elucidate the routes of viral transmission. With further work, this type of analysis would enable accurate determination and quantification of the true biosecurity risk factors associated with BVDV transmission.
Reverse transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) is a highly sensitive tool that can be used for accurate and reliable gene expression analysis; however, careful normalisation to a set of stably expressed endogenous reference genes is essential. Expression levels of many reference genes in RT-qPCR analyses can be extremely variable under different experimental conditions, producing potentially erroneous results (Bustin, 2002). This limitation can be overcome with a systematic evaluation of candidate reference genes to determine the most stable. In the present study eight candidate reference genes were evaluated in a bovine lymphoid (BL-3) cell culture system over seven different time points in response to three different Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Virus (BVDV) strains. Data were analysed using BestKeeper (Pfaffl et al., 2004), geNorm (Vandesompele et al., 2002), and NormFinder (Andersen et al., 2004) validation programs and results enable the candidate reference genes to be ranked from most to least stable. Quantification cycle (C(q)) variability was determined between samples, i.e. between treatment groups and time points, and variability was also observed between the three validation programs. The reference gene combination of beta-actin and hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyl transferase (HPRT) was found to be the most stable in Norm Finder. BestKeeper and geNorm both demonstrated beta-microglobulin and tyrosine 3-monooxygenase/tryptophan 5-monooxygenase (YWHAZ) as the most stable. The determination of a stable set of reference genes in the BL-3 cell culture system facilitates analysis of expression levels for appropriate genes of interest. This study further emphasises the need to accurately validate candidate reference genes before use in gene expression RT-qPCR studies.
Plasmodesmata (PD) are essential but poorly understood structures in plant cell walls that provide symplastic continuity and intercellular communication pathways between adjacent cells and thus play fundamental roles in development and pathogenesis. Viruses encode movement proteins (MPs) that modify these tightly regulated pores to facilitate their spread from cell to cell. The most striking of these modifications is observed for groups of viruses whose MPs form tubules that assemble in PDs and through which virions are transported to neighbouring cells. The nature of the molecular interactions between viral MPs and PD components and their role in viral movement has remained essentially unknown. Here, we show that the family of PD-located proteins (PDLPs) promotes the movement of viruses that use tubule-guided movement by interacting redundantly with tubule-forming MPs within PDs. Genetic disruption of this interaction leads to reduced tubule formation, delayed infection and attenuated symptoms. Our results implicate PDLPs as PD proteins with receptor-like properties involved the assembly of viral MPs into tubules to promote viral movement.
Photodynamic therapy is an established cancer treatment in which a photosensitizing agent is activated by exposure to light thus generating cytotoxic reactive oxygen species that cause cellular damage.
Bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) is an endemic pathogen worldwide and eradication strategies focus on the identification and removal of persistently infected (PI) animals arising after in utero infection. Despite this, acute infections with BVDV can persist for months or years after the removal of the PI source despite repeated screening for PIs and tight biosecurity measures. Recent evidence for a prolonged duration of viraemia in the testicles of bulls following acute BVDV infection suggests the possibility of a form of chronic persistence that may more closely resemble the persistence strategies of hepatitis C virus (HCV). To investigate the potential for virus transmission from infected and recovered cattle to virus naïve hosts we established an acute infection of 5 BVDV-naïve calves and monitored animals over 129 days. Infectious BVDV was detected in white blood cells between days 3 and 7 post-challenge. The animals seroconverted by day 21 post-infection and subsequently were apparently immune and free from infectious virus and viral antigen. Animals were further monitored and purified white blood cells were stimulated in vitro with phytohaemagglutinin A (PHA) during which time BVDV RNA was detected intermittently. Ninety-eight days following challenge, blood was transferred from these apparently virus-free and actively immune animals to a further group of 5 BVDV-naïve calves and transmission of infection was achieved. This indicates that BVDV-infected, recovered and immune animals have the potential to remain infectious for BVDV-naïve cohorts for longer than previously demonstrated.
In Arabidopsis thaliana, auxin is a key regulator of tissue patterning in the developing embryo. We have identified a group of proteins that act downstream of auxin accumulation in auxin-mediated root and vascular development in the embryo. Combined mutations in OBERON1 (OBE1) and OBERON2 (OBE2) give rise to obe1 obe2 double mutant seedlings that closely phenocopy the monopteros (mp) mutant phenotype, with an absence of roots and defective development of the vasculature. We show that, in contrast to the situation in mp mutants, obe1 obe2 double mutant embryos show auxin maxima at the root pole and in the provascular region, and that the SCF(TIR1) pathway, which translates auxin accumulation into transcriptional activation of auxin-responsive genes, remains intact. Although we focus on the impact of obe mutations on aspects of embryo development, the effect of such mutations on a broad range of auxin-related gene expression and the tissue expression patterns of OBE genes in seedlings suggest that OBE proteins have a wider role to play in growth and development. We suggest that OBE1 and OBE2 most likely control the transcription of genes required for auxin responses through the action of their PHD finger domains.
Plasmodesmata (Pds) traverse the cell wall to establish a symplastic continuum through most of the plant. Rapid and reversible deposition of callose in the cell wall surrounding the Pd apertures is proposed to provide a regulatory process through physical constriction of the symplastic channel. We identified members within a larger family of X8 domain-containing proteins that targeted to Pds. This subgroup of proteins contains signal sequences for a glycosylphosphatidylinositol linkage to the extracellular face of the plasma membrane. We focused our attention on three closely related members of this family, two of which specifically bind to 1,3-beta-glucans (callose) in vitro. We named this family of proteins Pd callose binding proteins (PDCBs). Yellow fluorescent protein-PDCB1 was found to localize to the neck region of Pds with potential to provide a structural anchor between the plasma membrane component of Pds and the cell wall. PDCB1, PDCB2, and PDCB3 had overlapping and widespread patterns of expression, but neither single nor combined insertional mutants for PDCB2 and PDCB3 showed any visible phenotype. However, increased expression of PDCB1 led to an increase in callose accumulation and a reduction of green fluorescent protein (GFP) movement in a GFP diffusion assay, identifying a potential association between PDCB-mediated callose deposition and plant cell-to-cell communication.
Cell-to-cell transport in plants occurs through cytoplasmic channels called "plasmodesmata" and is regulated by developmental and environmental factors. Callose deposition modulates plasmodesmal transport in vivo, but little is known about the mechanisms that regulate this process. Here we report a genetic approach to identify mutants affecting plasmodesmal transport. We isolated 5 mutants, named gfp arrested trafficking (gat), affected in GFP unloading from the phloem into the meristem. gat1 mutants were seedling lethal and carried lesions in an m-type thioredoxin that is expressed in non-green plastids of meristems and organ primordia. Callose and hydrogen peroxide accumulated in gat1 mutants, and WT plants subjected to oxidative conditions phenocopied the gat1 trafficking defects. Ectopic expression of GAT1 in mature leaves increased plasmodesmal permeability and led to a delay in senescence and flowering time. We propose a role for the GAT1 thioredoxin in the redox regulation of callose deposition and symplastic permeability that is essential for meristem maintenance in Arabidopsis.
Bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) is a worldwide pathogen of cattle causing a wide spectrum of clinical disease. The major envelope glycoprotein of BVDV, E2, induces the production of neutralising antibodies. In this study we compared the protection afforded to cattle after BVDV challenge by two separate E2 vaccine candidates produced by different heterologous protein expression systems. E2 antigen was expressed using the baculovirus expression system (brE2) and a mammalian cell expression system (mrE2). In the first vaccination study the quantity of recombinant protein expressed by the two systems differed. Vaccination of cattle with a higher dose of brE2 or low dose mrE2 gave comparable protection from viral challenge. Immunised animals showed no pyrexia and reduced leucopaenia which contrasted to the unvaccinated controls. In addition virus shedding from the nasal mucosa was decreased in the vaccinated groups and strong humoral responses were evident post-challenge. However, the efficacy of the brE2 vaccine was greatly diminished when a reduced dose was tested, indicating the importance of assessing the type of expression system used in antigen production.
Bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) is an economically important animal pathogen which is closely related to Hepatitis C virus. Of the structural proteins, the envelope glycoprotein E2 of BVDV is the major antigen which induces neutralizing antibodies; thus, BVDV E2 is considered as an ideal target for use in subunit vaccines. Here, the expression, purification of wild-type and mutant forms of the ectodomain of BVDV E2 and subsequent crystallization and data collection of two crystal forms grown at low and neutral pH are reported. Native and multiple-wavelength anomalous dispersion (MAD) data sets have been collected and structure determination is in progress.
Previous in vivo studies on photodynamic therapy (PDT)-treated, high cellular density tumors showed evidences of a bystander effect accompanying the therapy, cellular death continuing beyond the limits of the photochemical reactions in time and space. This process is generated by the initially damaged cells on the light pathway. The aim of this study was to determine if the bystander effect may be induced as well in colorectal xenografted tumors (less compact structure) and if the cellular signaling depends primarily on cellular proximity or not.
Chemokines play a key role in initiating the innate and subsequently adaptive immune response by recruiting immune cells to the site of an infection. Monocytes/macrophages (MØ) are part of the first line of defence against invading pathogens, and have been shown to release a variety of chemokines in response to infection. Here, we reveal the early transcriptional response of MØ to infection with cytopathogenic (cp) and non-cytopathogenic (ncp) bovine viral diarrhoea strains (BVDV). We demonstrate up-regulation of several key chemokines of the CCL and CXCL families in MØ exposed to cpBVDV, but not ncpBVDV. In contrast, infection of MØ with ncpBVDV led to down-regulation of chemokine mRNA expression compared to uninfected cells. Data suggest that ncpBVDV can shut down production of several key chemokines that play crucial roles in the immune response to infection. This study helps to further our understanding of the pathogenesis of BVDV infection, highlighting biotype-specific cellular responses.
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