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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Two distinct sets of NS2A molecules are responsible for dengue virus RNA synthesis and virion assembly.
J. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 11-14-2014
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Flavivirus nonstructural protein 2A (NS2A) plays important roles in both viral RNA synthesis and virion assembly. The molecular details of how NS2A protein modulates the two distinct events have not been defined. To address this question, we have performed a systematic mutagenesis of NS2A using dengue virus serotype 2 (DENV-2) as a model. We identified two sets of NS2A mutations with distinct defects during a viral infection cycle. One set of NS2A mutations (D125A and G200A) selectively abolished viral RNA synthesis. Mechanistically, mutation D125A abolished viral RNA synthesis through blocking the N-terminal cleavage of NS2A protein, leading to an unprocessed NS1-NS2A protein; this result suggests that amino acid D125 (far downstream of the N-terminus of NS2A) may contribute to the recognition of host protease at the NS1-NS2A junction. The other set of NS2A mutations (G11A, E20A, E100A, Q187A, and K188A) specifically impaired virion assembly without significantly affecting viral RNA synthesis. Remarkably, mutants defective in virion assembly could be rescued by trans supplying wild-type NS2A molecules expressed from a replicative replicon, by wild-type NS2A protein expressed alone, by a mutant NS2A (G200A) that is lethal for viral RNA synthesis, or by a different mutant NS2A that is defective in virion assembly. In contrast, none of the mutants defective in viral RNA synthesis could be rescued by trans complementation. Collectively, the results indicate that two distinct sets of NS2A molecules are responsible for DENV RNA synthesis and virion assembly.
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Highly Conserved Residues in the Helical Domain of Dengue Virus Type 1 Precursor Membrane Protein Are Involved in Assembly, prM Protein Cleavage and Entry.
J. Biol. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 10-19-2014
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The envelope and precursor membrane (prM) proteins of dengue virus (DENV) are present on the surface of immature virions. During maturation, prM protein is cleaved by furin protease into pr peptide and membrane (M) protein. While previous studies mainly focusing on the pr region have identified several residues important for DENV replication, the functional role of M protein, particularly the ?-helical domain (MH) which is predicted to undergo a large conformational change during maturation, remains largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the role of nine highly conserved MH domain residues in the replication cycle of DENV by site-directed mutagenesis in a DENV1 prME expression construct and found that alanine substitutions introduced to four highly conserved residues at the C-terminus and one at the N-terminus of the MH domain greatly affect the production of both virus-like particles and replicon particles. Eight out of the nine alanine mutants affected the entry of replicon particles, which correlated with the impairment in prM cleavage. Moreover, seven mutants were found to have reduced prM-E interaction at low pH, which may inhibit the formation of smooth immature particles and exposure of prM cleavage site during maturation, thus contributing to inefficient prM cleavage. Taken together, this is the first report showing that highly conserved MH domain residues, located at 20 to 38 amino acids downstream from the prM cleavage site, can modulate the prM cleavage, maturation of particles and virus entry. The highly conserved nature of these residues suggests potential targets of antiviral strategy.
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Identifying Initiation and Elongation Inhibitors of Dengue Virus RNA Polymerase in a High-Throughput Lead-Finding Campaign.
J Biomol Screen
PUBLISHED: 09-26-2014
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Dengue virus (DENV) is the most significant mosquito-borne viral pathogen in the world and is the cause of dengue fever. The DENV RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) is conserved among the four viral serotypes and is an attractive target for antiviral drug development. During initiation of viral RNA synthesis, the polymerase switches from a "closed" to "open" conformation to accommodate the viral RNA template. Inhibitors that lock the "closed" or block the "open" conformation would prevent viral RNA synthesis. Herein, we describe a screening campaign that employed two biochemical assays to identify inhibitors of RdRp initiation and elongation. Using a DENV subgenomic RNA template that promotes RdRp de novo initiation, the first assay measures cytosine nucleotide analogue (Atto-CTP) incorporation. Liberated Atto fluorophore allows for quantification of RdRp activity via fluorescence. The second assay uses the same RNA template but is label free and directly detects RdRp-mediated liberation of pyrophosphates of native ribonucleotides via liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. The ability of inhibitors to bind and stabilize a "closed" conformation of the DENV RdRp was further assessed in a differential scanning fluorimetry assay. Last, active compounds were evaluated in a renilla luciferase-based DENV replicon cell-based assay to monitor cellular efficacy. All assays described herein are medium to high throughput, are robust and reproducible, and allow identification of inhibitors of the open and closed forms of DENV RNA polymerase.
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Overlapping and Distinct Molecular Determinants Dictating the Antiviral Activities of TRIM56 against Flaviviruses and Coronavirus.
J. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 09-24-2014
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The tripartite motif-containing (TRIM) proteins have emerged as a new class of host antiviral restriction factors, with several demonstrating roles in regulating innate antiviral responses. Of >70 known TRIMs, TRIM56 inhibits replication of bovine viral diarrhea virus, a ruminant pestivirus of the family Flaviviridae, but has no appreciable effect on vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), a rhabdovirus. Yet the antiviral spectrum of TRIM56 remains undefined. In particular, how TRIM56 impacts human-pathogenic viruses is unknown. Also unclear are the molecular determinants governing the antiviral activities of TRIM56. Herein, we show that TRIM56 poses a barrier to infections by yellow fever virus (YFV), dengue virus serotype 2 (DENV2), and human coronavirus virus (HCoV) OC43 but not encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV). Moreover, by engineering cell lines conditionally expressing various TRIM56 mutants, we demonstrated that TRIM56's antiflavivirus effects required both the E3 ligase activity that lies in the N-terminal RING domain and the integrity of its C-terminal portion, while the restriction of HCoV-OC43 relied upon the TRIM56 E3 ligase activity alone. Furthermore, TRIM56 was revealed to impair YFV and DENV2 propagation by suppressing intracellular viral RNA accumulation but to compromise HCoV-OC43 infection at a later step in the viral life cycle, suggesting that distinct TRIM56 domains accommodate differing antiviral mechanisms. Altogether, TRIM56 is a versatile antiviral host factor that confers resistance to YFV, DENV2, and HCoV-OC43 through overlapping and distinct molecular determinants.
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Flavivirus NS5 Prevents the InSTATement of IFN.
Cell Host Microbe
PUBLISHED: 09-12-2014
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Given the potency of interferon-?/?, viral evasion of this pathway is crucial for infection. In this issue of Cell Host & Microbe, Laurent-Rolle et al. (2014) report that during yellow fever virus infection, interferon-?/? stimulates the polyubiquitination of viral NS5, which binds to STAT2 and inhibits transcription of interferon-stimulated genes.
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Dengue therapeutics, chemoprophylaxis, and allied tools: state of the art and future directions.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis
PUBLISHED: 08-28-2014
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Dengue is the most common arboviral disease of humans. There is an unmet need for a therapeutic intervention that reduces the duration and severity of dengue symptoms and diminishes the likelihood of severe complications. To this end, there are active discovery efforts in industry and academia to develop interventions, with a focus on small molecule inhibitors of dengue virus replication that are suitable for therapy or chemoprophylaxis. Advancements in animal models of dengue virus infection together with the possibility of a dengue human infection model have further enhanced the platform for dengue drug discovery. Whilst drug discovery efforts gestate, there are ongoing clinical research designed to benefit today's patients, including trials of supportive care interventions, and descriptive studies that should improve the ability of clinicians to make an accurate diagnosis early in the illness course and to identify patients most at risk of progression to severe disease. This review provides a state of the art summary of dengue drug discovery, clinical trials, and supportive allied research and reflects discussions at the 2nd International Dengue Therapeutics Workshop held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in December 2013.
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Modulation of inflammation and pathology during dengue virus infection by p38 MAPK inhibitor SB203580.
Antiviral Res.
PUBLISHED: 08-14-2014
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Dengue virus (DENV) infection could lead to dengue fever (DF), dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) or dengue shock syndrome (DSS). The disease outcome is controlled by both viral and host factors. Inflammation mediators from DENV-infected cells could contribute to increased vascular permeability, leading to severe DHF/DSS. Therefore, suppression of inflammation could be a potential therapeutic approach for treatment of dengue patients. In this context, p38 MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) is a key enzyme that modulates the initiation of stress and inflammatory responses. Here we show that SB203580, a p38 MAPK inhibitor, suppressed the over production of DENV-induced pro-inflammatory mediators such as TNF-?, IL-8, and RANTES from human PBMCs, monocytic THP-1, and granulocyte KU812 cell lines. Oral administration of SB203580 in DENV-infected AG129 mice prevented hematocrit rise and lymphopenia, limited the development of inflammation and pathology (including intestine leakage), and significantly improved survival. These results, for the first time, have provided experimental evidence to imply that a short term inhibition of p38 MAPK may be beneficial to reduce disease symptoms in dengue patients.
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Inhibition of enterovirus 71 by adenosine analog NITD008.
J. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 08-06-2014
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Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is a major viral pathogen in China and Southeast Asia. There is no clinically approved vaccine or antiviral therapy for EV71 infection. NITD008, an adenosine analog, is an inhibitor of flavivirus that blocks viral RNA synthesis. Here we report that NITD008 has potent antiviral activity against EV71. In cell culture, the compound inhibits EV71 at a 50% effective concentration of 0.67 ?M and a 50% cytotoxic concentration of 119.97 ?M. When administered at 5 mg/kg in an EV71 mouse model, the compound reduced viral loads in various organs and completely prevented clinical symptoms and death. To study the antiviral mechanism and drug resistance, we selected escape mutant viruses by culturing EV71 with increasing concentrations of NITD008. Resistance mutations were reproducibly mapped to the viral 3A and 3D polymerase regions. Resistance analysis with recombinant viruses demonstrated that either a 3A or a 3D mutation alone could lead to resistance to NITD008. A combination of both 3A and 3D mutations conferred higher resistance, suggesting a collaborative interplay between the 3A and 3D proteins during viral replication. The resistance results underline the importance of combination therapy required for EV71 treatment. Importance: Human enterovirus 71 (EV71) has emerged as a major cause of viral encephalitis in children worldwide, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. Vaccines and antivirals are urgently needed to prevent and treat EV71 infections. In this study, we report the in vitro and in vivo efficacy of NITD008 (an adenosine analog) as an inhibitor of EV71. The efficacy results validated the potential of nucleoside analogs as antiviral drugs for EV71 infections. Mechanistically, we showed that mutations in the viral 3A and 3D polymerases alone or in combination could confer resistance to NITD008. The resistance results suggest an intrinsic interaction between viral proteins 3A and 3D during replication, as well as the importance of combination therapy for the treatment of EV71 infections.
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A positively selected mutation in the WNV 2K peptide confers resistance to superinfection exclusion in vivo.
Virology
PUBLISHED: 08-05-2014
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Molecular epidemiologic studies of North American (NA) West Nile virus (WNV; Flaviviridae, Flavivirus) have documented the displacement of the introduced NY99 genotype with WN02. In addition, these studies have shown that particular substitutions are under positive selection. One occurs in the C-terminus of the NS4A coding sequence and results in a valine to methionine substitution at position nine of the 2K peptide. 2K-V9M confers the ability to overcome superinfection exclusion in vitro. We hypothesized that WNV strains bearing 2K-V9M have higher fitness than wildtype in Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes. Although infection rates and viral titers were not significantly different, virus dissemination rates were significantly higher with WNV 2K-V9M. As a super-infecting virus, WNV 2K-V9M was more successful than wildtype, however, in a mixed infection, 2K-V9M was not. These data support observations that 2K-V9M confers a context-specific selective advantage in mosquitoes and provides an in vivo mechanism for its positive selection.
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Crystal structure of dengue virus methyltransferase without S-adenosyl-L-methionine.
Antiviral Res.
PUBLISHED: 07-25-2014
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Flavivirus methyltransferase is a genetically-validated antiviral target. Crystal structures of almost all available flavivirus methyltransferases contain S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM), the methyl donor molecule that co-purifies with the enzymes. This raises a possibility that SAM is an integral structural component required for the folding of dengue virus (DENV) methyltransferase. Here we exclude this possibility by solving the crystal structure of DENV methyltransferase without SAM. The SAM ligand was removed from the enzyme through a urea-mediated denaturation-and-renaturation protocol. The crystal structure of the SAM-depleted enzyme exhibits a vacant SAM-binding pocket, with a conformation identical to that of the SAM-enzyme co-crystal structure. Functionally, equivalent enzymatic activities (N-7 methylation, 2'-O methylation, and GMP-enzyme complex formation) were detected for the SAM-depleted and SAM-containing recombinant proteins. These results clearly indicate that the SAM molecule is not an essential component for the correct folding of DENV methyltransferase. Furthermore, the results imply a potential antiviral approach to search for inhibitors that can bind to the SAM-binding pocket and compete against SAM binding. To demonstrate this potential, we have soaked crystals of DENV methyltransferase without a bound SAM with the natural product Sinefungin and show that preformed crystals are capable of binding ligands in this pocket.
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[Case-control study on the modified ilioinguinal incision of anterior approach for the treatment of pelvic and acetabular fractures].
Zhongguo Gu Shang
PUBLISHED: 07-18-2014
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To study modified ilioinguinal approach through the retrospective analysis on the surgical treatment of 63 patients with pelvic and acetabular fractures through anterior approach.
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Screening and monitoring zearalenone-producing Fusarium species by PCR and zearalenone by monoclonal antibodies in feed from China.
Food Addit Contam Part B Surveill
PUBLISHED: 05-29-2014
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Screening of zearalenone (ZEN)-producing species and monitoring of ZEN in feed were performed by using anti-zearalenone monoclonal antibodies. ELISA recoveries of ZEN from corn distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) feed, corn feed, rice bran, soybean meal, wheat bran and rapeseed dregs were between 78.6% and 88.6%. ZEN recovery from culture media was 96.3% at the spiked level of 500 µg/kg. Eighty-three samples of DDGS feed, corn feed and other fee ingredients were collected from 11 provinces of China and analysed for ZEN. Average ZEN levels were 563.4 µg/kg for DDGS feed, 393.1 µg/kg for corn feed and 65.7 µg/kg for other feed ingredients. Eighteen Fusarium species such as Fusarium graminearum which could produce ZEN were isolated from corn feed and other feed ingredients.
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Quantification of the resveratrol analogs trans-2,3-dimethoxy-stilbene and trans-3,4-dimethoxystilbene in rat plasma: application to pre-clinical pharmacokinetic studies.
Molecules
PUBLISHED: 05-04-2014
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trans-2,3-Dimethoxystilbene (2,3-DMS) and trans-3,4-dimethoxystilbene (3,4-DMS) are two synthetic resveratrol (trans-3,5,4'-trihydroxystilbene) analogs. In this study, a simple HPLC method was developed and validated to determine 2,3-DMS and 3,4-DMS in rat plasma. Chromatographic separation was obtained with a reversed-phase HPLC column through a 12.5-min gradient delivery of a mixture of acetonitrile and water at the flow rate of 1.5 mL/min at 50 °C. The lower limit of quantification was 10 ng/mL. After successful validation, the pharmacokinetic profiles of 2,3-DMS and 3,4-DMS were subsequently studied in Sprague-Dawley rats. Upon single intravenous administration (4 mg/kg), 2,3-DMS had a medium volume of distribution of the central compartment (Vc = 2.71 ± 0.51 L/kg), quite rapid clearance (Cl = 52.0 ± 7.0 mL/min/kg), moderate mean transit time (MTT0?last = 131.0 ± 4.5 min) but a fairly long terminal elimination half-life (t1/2 ?Z = 288.9 ± 92.9 min). Interestingly, 3,4-DMS displayed a pharmacokinetic profile apparently distinct from 2,3-DMS and it had more extensive distribution (Vc = 5.58 ± 1.73 L/kg), faster clearance (Cl = 143.4 ± 40.5 mL/min/kg) and shorter residence (MTT0?last = 61.4 ± 27.1 min). Following single oral administration (10 mg/kg), 2,3-DMS had low and erratic plasma exposure (Cmax = 37.5 ± 23.7 ng/mL) and poor oral bioavailability (2.22% ± 2.13%) while the oral bioavailability of 3,4-DMS was even poorer than 2,3-DMS. Clearly, the location of the methoxy groups had a significant impact on the pharmacokinetics of resveratrol analogs. This study provided useful information for the design of resveratrol derivatives in future study.
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The interface between methyltransferase and polymerase of NS5 is essential for flavivirus replication.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis
PUBLISHED: 05-01-2014
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The flavivirus NS5 harbors both a methyltransferase (MTase) and an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP). Both enzyme activities of NS5 are critical for viral replication. Recently, the full-length NS5 crystal structure of Japanese encephalitis virus reveals a conserved MTase-RdRP interface that features two conserved components: a six-residue hydrophobic network and a GTR sequence. Here we showed for the first time that these key interface components are essential for flavivirus replication by various reverse genetics approaches. Interestingly, some replication-impaired variants generated a common compensatory NS5 mutation outside the interface (L322F), providing novel routes to further explore the crosstalk between MTase and RdRP.
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[Significance of serum cholesterol and fibrinogen in evaluating the risk of glomerulosclerosis in children with nephrotic syndrome].
Zhongguo Dang Dai Er Ke Za Zhi
PUBLISHED: 04-23-2014
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To investigate the significance of serum cholesterol and fibrinogen (Fib) in evaluating the risk of glomerulosclerosis in children with nephrotic syndrome.
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Type I interferon signals in macrophages and dendritic cells control dengue virus infection: implications for a new mouse model to test dengue vaccines.
J. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 04-16-2014
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Dengue virus (DENV) infects an estimated 400 million people every year, causing prolonged morbidity and sometimes mortality. Development of an effective vaccine has been hampered by the lack of appropriate small animal models; mice are naturally not susceptible to DENV and only become infected if highly immunocompromised. Mouse models lacking both type I and type II interferon (IFN) receptors (AG129 mice) or the type I IFN receptor (IFNAR(-/-) mice) are susceptible to infection with mouse-adapted DENV strains but are severely impaired in mounting functional immune responses to the virus and thus are of limited use for study. Here we used conditional deletion of the type I IFN receptor (IFNAR) on individual immune cell subtypes to generate a minimally manipulated mouse model that is susceptible to DENV while retaining global immune competence. Mice lacking IFNAR expression on CD11c(+) dendritic cells and LysM(+) macrophages succumbed completely to DENV infection, while mice deficient in the receptor on either CD11c(+) or LysM(+) cells were susceptible to infection but often resolved viremia and recovered fully from infection. Conditional IFNAR mice responded with a swift and strong CD8(+) T-cell response to viral infection, compared to a weak response in IFNAR(-/-) mice. Furthermore, mice lacking IFNAR on either CD11c(+) or LysM(+) cells were also sufficiently immunocompetent to raise a protective immune response to a candidate subunit vaccine against DENV-2. These data demonstrate that mice with conditional deficiencies in expression of the IFNAR represent improved models for the study of DENV immunology and screening of vaccine candidates.
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Pulmonary immune responses to 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus in mice.
BMC Infect. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 04-07-2014
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Well-characterized mice models will afford a cheaper, easy-handling opportunity for a more comprehensive understanding of 2009 influenza A (H1N1) virus's pathogenesis potential. We aimed to provide a robust description of pulmonary immune responses in the mice infected by the virus.
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Anti-dengue-virus activity and structure-activity relationship studies of lycorine derivatives.
ChemMedChem
PUBLISHED: 02-26-2014
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Dengue is a systemic viral infection that is transmitted to humans by Aedes mosquitoes. No vaccines or specific therapeutics are currently available for dengue. Lycorine, which is a natural plant alkaloid, has been shown to possess antiviral activities against flaviviruses. In this study, a series of novel lycorine derivatives were synthesized and assayed for their inhibition of dengue virus (DENV) in cell cultures. Among the lycorine analogues, 1-acetyllycorine exhibited the most potent anti-DENV activity (EC50 =0.4??M) with a reduced cytotoxicity (CC50 >300??M), which resulted in a selectivity index (CC50 /EC50 ) of more than 750. The ketones 1-acetyl-2-oxolycorine (EC50 =1.8??M) and 2-oxolycorine (EC50 =0.5??M) also exhibited excellent antiviral activities with low cytotoxicity. Structure-activity relationships for the lycorine derivatives against DENV are discussed. A three-dimensional quantitative structure-activity relationship model was established by using a comparative molecular-field analysis protocol in order to rationalize the experimental results. Further modifications of the hydroxy group at the C1 position with retention of a ketone at the C2 position could potentially lead to inhibitors with improved overall properties.
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A novel reporter system for neutralizing and enhancing antibody assay against dengue virus.
BMC Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 02-12-2014
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Dengue virus (DENV) still poses a global public health threat, and no vaccine or antiviral therapy is currently available. Antibody plays distinct roles in controlling DENV infections. Neutralizing antibody is protective against DENV infection, whereas sub-neutralizing concentration of antibody can increase DENV infection, termed antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). Plaque-based assay represents the most widely accepted method measuring neutralizing or enhancing antibodies.
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Polymerases of hepatitis C viruses and flaviviruses: structural and mechanistic insights and drug development.
Antiviral Res.
PUBLISHED: 01-31-2014
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The family Flaviviridae comprises several major human pathogens including hepatitis C virus (genus hepacivirus), yellow fever virus, West Nile virus and dengue virus (genus flavivirus). Flaviviridae genomes comprise a single-stranded RNA segment encoding a single polyprotein that is subsequently processed into 10 mature viral proteins. The nonstructural proteins are released from the C-terminus of the polyprotein and contribute to the infectious cycle by forming membrane-bound, multi-protein compartments within host cells, named the replication complexes, where synthesis of new viral genomes takes place. Two nonstructural proteins are endowed with multiple enzymatic activities and represent important targets against which specific antiviral inhibitors have been developed. X-ray crystal structures of these viral enzymes as well as in-depth understanding of the molecular basis of their activities have contributed tremendously to the development of antiviral compounds, currently approved or in advanced clinical trials for hepatitis C treatment. One of the prime targets is the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp, NS5B for hepatitis C virus, NS5 for flaviviruses). Here we review current knowledge of the structural basis for viral RNA synthesis by NS5B and NS5. These data offer perspectives for further drug design and constitute major advances in our basic understanding of viral RdRp. They thus point to future research directions in the field.
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Flavivirus RNA methylation.
J. Gen. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 01-31-2014
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The 5' end of eukaryotic mRNA contains the type-1 (m7GpppNm) or type-2 (m7GpppNmNm) cap structure. Many viruses have evolved various mechanisms to develop their own capping enzymes (e.g. flavivirus and coronavirus) or to 'steal' caps from host mRNAs (e.g. influenza virus). Other viruses have developed 'cap-mimicking' mechanisms by attaching a peptide to the 5' end of viral RNA (e.g. picornavirus and calicivirus) or by having a complex 5' RNA structure (internal ribosome entry site) for translation initiation (e.g. picornavirus, pestivirus and hepacivirus). Here we review the diverse viral RNA capping mechanisms. Using flavivirus as a model, we summarize how a single methyltransferase catalyses two distinct N-7 and 2'-O methylations of viral RNA cap in a sequential manner. For antiviral development, a structural feature unique to the flavivirus methyltransferase was successfully used to design selective inhibitors that block viral methyltransferase without affecting host methyltransferases. Functionally, capping is essential for prevention of triphosphate-triggered innate immune activation; N-7 methylation is critical for enhancement of viral translation; and 2'-O methylation is important for subversion of innate immune response during viral infection. Flaviviruses defective in 2'-O methyltransferase are replicative, but their viral RNAs lack 2'-O methylation and are recognized and eliminated by the host immune response. Such mutant viruses could be rationally designed as live attenuated vaccines. This concept has recently been proved with Japanese encephalitis virus and dengue virus. The findings obtained with flavivirus should be applicable to other RNA viruses.
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Generation and characterization of mouse monoclonal antibodies against NS4B protein of dengue virus.
Virology
PUBLISHED: 01-09-2014
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Dengue virus (DENV) non-structural protein 4B (NS4B) has been demonstrated to be an attractive antiviral target. Due to its nature as an integral membrane protein, NS4B remains poorly characterized. In this study, we generated and characterized two monoclonal antibodies (mAb) that selectively bind to DENV NS4B protein. One mAb, 10-3-7, is specific for DENV-2 NS4B, and its epitope was mapped to residues 5-15 of NS4B. The other mAb, 44-4-7, cross-reacts with all the four serotypes of DENV NS4B, and its epitope was mapped to residues 141-147 of NS4B. Using the mAbs, we probed the intracellular orientation of the epitopes of NS4B by an epitope accessibility assay. The results showed that the N-terminus of NS4B is located in the ER lumen, whereas amino acids 130-148 of NS4B are located in the cytosol. The study demonstrates that the two anti-NS4B mAbs will be useful for future structural and functional analyses of DENV NS4B.
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Dimerization of flavivirus NS4B protein.
J. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 01-03-2014
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Flavivirus replication is mediated by a complex machinery that consists of viral enzymes, nonenzymatic viral proteins, and host factors. Many of the nonenzymatic viral proteins, such as NS4B, are associated with the endoplasmic reticulum membrane. How these membrane proteins function in viral replication is poorly understood. Here we report a robust method to express and purify dengue virus (DENV) and West Nile virus NS4B proteins. The NS4B proteins were expressed in Escherichia coli, reconstituted in dodecyl maltoside (DDM) detergent micelles, and purified to >95% homogeneity. The recombinant NS4B proteins dimerized in vitro, as evidenced by gel filtration, chemical cross-linking, and multiangle light scattering experiments. The dimeric form of NS4B was also detected when the protein was expressed alone in cells as well as in cells infected with DENV type 2 (DENV-2). Mutagenesis analysis showed that the cytosolic loop (amino acids 129 to 165) and the C-terminal region (amino acids 166 to 248) are responsible for NS4B dimerization. trans-Complementation experiments showed that (i) two genome-length RNAs containing distinct NS4B lethal mutations could not trans-complement each other, (ii) the replication defect of NS4B mutant RNA could be restored in cells containing DENV-2 replicons, and (iii) expression of wild-type NS4B protein alone was not sufficient to restore the replication of the NS4B mutant RNA. Collectively, the results indicate that trans-complementation of a lethal NS4B mutant RNA requires wild-type NS4B presented from a replication complex.
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Recovery of a chemically synthesized Japanese encephalitis virus revealed two critical adaptive mutations in NS2B and NS4A.
J. Gen. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 12-20-2013
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Full-length genome infectious clone is a powerful tool for functional assay in virology. In this study, using a chemical synthesized complete genome of Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) strain SA14 (GenBank No. U14163), we constructed a full-length genomic cDNA clone of JEV. The recovered viruses from the cDNA clone replicated poorly in either BHK-21 cells or in suckling mice brain. Following serial passage in BHK-21 cells, adaptive mutations within NS2B and NS4A were recovered in the passaged viruses leading to viruses with large plaque phenotype. Mutagenesis analysis, using a genome-length RNA and a replicon of JEV, demonstrated that the adaptive mutations restored replication to different degrees, and the restoration efficiencies were on the order of NS2B-T102M
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Live attenuated vaccine: the first clinically approved dengue vaccine?
Expert Rev Vaccines
PUBLISHED: 12-18-2013
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Dengue virus (DENV) is the most prevalent mosquito-borne viral pathogen in humans. There are 390 million human infections each year, with 96 million infections exhibiting disease symptoms. Currently, there is no clinically approved vaccine and antiviral for DENV. The four serotypes of DENV (DENV-1, -2, -3 and -4) have 25-40% variation at the amino acid level. Such variation has posed challenges for the development of a tetravalent vaccine and therapeutics.
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De novo asymmetric synthesis of the pyranoses: From monosaccharides to oligosaccharides.
Adv Carbohydr Chem Biochem
PUBLISHED: 11-27-2013
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The various methods for the de novo asymmetric synthesis of the pyranose sugars are surveyed. The presentation begins with the work of Masamune and Sharpless with the use of the Sharpless asymmetric epoxidation for the synthesis of all eight l-hexoses. The development of other asymmetric reactions and their application for the synthesis of specific hexopyranoses are further discussed. The broad application of the Achmatowicz rearrangement with asymmetric catalysis, for the synthesis of various pyranones and imino sugars, is also presented. Finally, the use of a diastereoselective palladium-catalyzed glycosylation with the Achmatowicz approach for the synthesis of oligosaccharides and applications to medicinal chemistry are discussed.
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Activation of PBMCs by dengue virus infection depotentiates Balapiravir.
J. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 11-20-2013
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In a recent clinical trial, Balapiravir, a prodrug of cytidine analog (R1479), failed to achieve efficacy (reducing viremia after treatment) in dengue patients, although the plasma trough concentration of R1479 remained above the EC50 value. Here we report experimental evidence to explain the discrepancy between the in vitro and in vivo results and its implication for drug development. R1479 lost its potency by 125-fold when treating primary human PBMC (peripheral blood mononuclear cells; one of the major targeting cells for viral replication) that were pre-infected with dengue virus. The elevated EC50 is greater than the plasma trough concentration of R1479 observed in dengue patients treated with Balapiravir, and could possibly explain the efficacy failure. Mechanistically, dengue virus infection triggered PBMCs to generate cytokines which decreased their efficiency to convert R1479 to its triphosphate form (the active antiviral ingredient), resulting in decreased antiviral potency. In contrast to the cytidine-based R1479, the potency of an adenosine-based inhibitor of dengue virus (NITD008) was much less affected. Taken together, our results demonstrate that viral infection in patient before treatment could significantly affect the prodrug conversion to its active form; such effect should be calculated when estimating human efficacious dose.
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[Low carbon number fatty acid content prediction based on near-infrared spectroscopy].
Guang Pu Xue Yu Guang Pu Fen Xi
PUBLISHED: 10-29-2013
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The rapid prediction of the low-carbon fatty acids (C < or = 14) content in grease samples was achieved by a mathematical model established by near infrared spectroscopy combined with support vector machine regression (SVR). In the present project, near-infrared spectrometer SupNIR-5700 was used to collect near-infrared spectra of 58 samples; partial least square (PLS) was applied to remove the strange samples, and principal component analysis (PCA) was conducted on the measurements; radial basis function (RBF) kernel function was selected to establish a regression model supporting vector machine, and then detailed analysis and discussions were conducted concerning their spectral preprocessing and parameters optimization methods. Experimental results showed that by applying particle swarm optimization (PSO) the model demonstrated improved performance, stronger generalization ability, better prediction accuracy and robustness. In the second pretreatment method after PSO, when the optimization parameters are: C = 2.085, gamma = 22.20, the prediction set and calibration set correlation coefficient (gamma) reached 0.998 0 and 0.925 8, respectively; and root mean square errors (MSE) were 0.000 4 and 0.014 3, respectively. Research results proved that the method based on near infrared spectroscopy and PSO-SVR for accurate and fast prediction of the low-carbon fatty acid content in vegetable oil is feasible.
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A Chimeric Dengue Virus Vaccine using Japanese Encephalitis Virus Vaccine Strain SA14-14-2 as Backbone Is Immunogenic and Protective against Either Parental Virus in Mice and Nonhuman Primates.
J. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 10-09-2013
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The development of a safe and efficient dengue vaccine represents a global challenge in public health. Chimeric dengue viruses (DENV) based on an attenuated flavivirus have been well developed as vaccine candidates by using reverse genetics. In this study, based on the full-length infectious cDNA clone of the well-known Japanese encephalitis virus live vaccine strain SA14-14-2 as a backbone, a novel chimeric dengue virus (named ChinDENV) was rationally designed and constructed by replacement with the premembrane and envelope genes of dengue 2 virus. The recovered chimeric virus showed growth and plaque properties similar to those of the parental DENV in mammalian and mosquito cells. ChinDENV was highly attenuated in mice, and no viremia was induced in rhesus monkeys upon subcutaneous inoculation. ChinDENV retained its genetic stability and attenuation phenotype after serial 15 passages in cultured cells. A single immunization with various doses of ChinDENV elicited strong neutralizing antibodies in a dose-dependent manner. When vaccinated monkeys were challenged with wild-type DENV, all animals except one that received the lower dose were protected against the development of viremia. Furthermore, immunization with ChinDENV conferred efficient cross protection against lethal JEV challenge in mice in association with robust cellular immunity induced by the replicating nonstructural proteins. Taken together, the results of this preclinical study well demonstrate the great potential of ChinDENV for further development as a dengue vaccine candidate, and this kind of chimeric flavivirus based on JE vaccine virus represents a powerful tool to deliver foreign antigens.
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West nile virus drug discovery.
Viruses
PUBLISHED: 10-03-2013
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The outbreak of West Nile virus (WNV) in 1999 in the USA, and its continued spread throughout the Americas, parts of Europe, the Middle East and Africa, underscored the need for WNV antiviral development. Here, we review the current status of WNV drug discovery. A number of approaches have been used to search for inhibitors of WNV, including viral infection-based screening, enzyme-based screening, structure-based virtual screening, structure-based rationale design, and antibody-based therapy. These efforts have yielded inhibitors of viral or cellular factors that are critical for viral replication. For small molecule inhibitors, no promising preclinical candidate has been developed; most of the inhibitors could not even be advanced to the stage of hit-to-lead optimization due to their poor drug-like properties. However, several inhibitors developed for related members of the family Flaviviridae, such as dengue virus and hepatitis C virus, exhibited cross-inhibition of WNV, suggesting the possibility to re-purpose these antivirals for WNV treatment. Most promisingly, therapeutic antibodies have shown excellent efficacy in mouse model; one of such antibodies has been advanced into clinical trial. The knowledge accumulated during the past fifteen years has provided better rationale for the ongoing WNV and other flavivirus antiviral development.
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A crystal structure of the dengue virus non-structural protein 5 (NS5) polymerase delineates interdomain amino acid residues that enhance its thermostability and de novo initiation activities.
J. Biol. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 09-11-2013
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The dengue virus (DENV) non-structural protein 5 (NS5) comprises an N-terminal methyltransferase and a C-terminal RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) domain. Both enzymatic activities form attractive targets for antiviral development. Available crystal structures of NS5 fragments indicate that residues 263-271 (using the DENV serotype 3 numbering) located between the two globular domains of NS5 could be flexible. We observed that the addition of linker residues to the N-terminal end of the DENV RdRp core domain stabilizes DENV1-4 proteins and improves their de novo polymerase initiation activities by enhancing the turnover of the RNA and NTP substrates. Mutation studies of linker residues also indicate their importance for viral replication. We report the structure at 2.6-? resolution of an RdRp fragment from DENV3 spanning residues 265-900 that has enhanced catalytic properties compared with the RdRp fragment (residues 272-900) reported previously. This new orthorhombic crystal form (space group P21212) comprises two polymerases molecules arranged as a dimer around a non-crystallographic dyad. The enzyme adopts a closed "preinitiation" conformation similar to the one that was captured previously in space group C2221 with one molecule per asymmetric unit. The structure reveals that residues 269-271 interact with the RdRp domain and suggests that residues 263-268 of the NS5 protein from DENV3 are the major contributors to the flexibility between its methyltransferase and RdRp domains. Together, these results should inform the screening and development of antiviral inhibitors directed against the DENV RdRp.
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Somatostatin receptors 3, 4 and 5 play important roles in gallbladder cancer.
Asian Pac. J. Cancer Prev.
PUBLISHED: 09-03-2013
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Expression changes of somatostatin receptor subtypes (SSTRs) including SSTR1, SSTR2, SSTR3, SSTR4 and SSTR5 in the development of gallbladder cancer were assessed with attention to relationships with clinical pathological characteristics. SSTRs in 29 gallbladder cancer and 25 normal gallbladder tissue specimens were examined by immunohistochemical staining. Differences between SSTRs expressions and clinical pathological parameters were analyzed by chi-square test. The five subtypes of SSTR were all expressed in gallbladder cancer tissues and SSTR3 presented the highest expression. SSTR5 expression was increased significantly in gallbladder cancer (P<0.05) compared with that in normal gallbladder tissue. SSTR3 expression in highly and moderately differentiated gallbladder cancer was significantly higher than that in poorly differentiated lesions (P<0.05). SSTR4 expression was lower in gallbladder cancer with lymph node metastasis than that in gallbladder cancer without lymph node metastasis (P<0.05). Therfore, these results indicated that SSRT5, SSTR3 and SSTR4 may play important roles in the formation and development of gallbladder cancer.
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Pharmacists promote rational use of antibiotic prophylaxis in Type I incision operations via application of drug use evaluation.
Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther
PUBLISHED: 08-22-2013
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Drug use evaluation (DUE) criteria were established to assess the rational use of antibiotic prophylaxis (RUAP) in Type I incision operations (TOIO) during peri-operation period and to enhance pharmacists responsibilities for antibiotic stewardship.
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Ten years of dengue drug discovery: progress and prospects.
Antiviral Res.
PUBLISHED: 08-02-2013
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To combat neglected diseases, the Novartis Institute of Tropical Diseases (NITD) was founded in 2002 through private-public funding from Novartis and the Singapore Economic Development Board. One of NITDs missions is to develop antivirals for dengue virus (DENV), the most prevalent mosquito-borne viral pathogen. Neither vaccine nor antiviral is currently available for DENV. Here we review the progress in dengue drug discovery made at NITD as well as the major discoveries made by academia and other companies. Four strategies have been pursued to identify inhibitors of DENV through targeting both viral and host proteins: (i) HTS (high-throughput screening) using virus replication assays; (ii) HTS using viral enzyme assays; (iii) structure-based in silico docking and rational design; (iv) repurposing hepatitis C virus inhibitors for DENV. Along the developmental process from hit finding to clinical candidate, many inhibitors did not advance beyond the stage of hit-to-lead optimization, due to their poor selectivity, physiochemical or pharmacokinetic properties. Only a few compounds showed efficacy in the AG129 DENV mouse model. Two nucleoside analogs, NITD-008 and Balapiravir, entered preclinical animal safety study and clinic trial, but both were terminated due to toxicity and lack of potency, respectively. Celgosivir, a host alpha-glucosidase inhibitor, is currently under clinical trial; its clinical efficacy remains to be determined. The knowledge accumulated during the past decade has provided a better rationale for ongoing dengue drug discovery. Though challenging, we are optimistic that this continuous, concerted effort will lead to an effective dengue therapy.
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Rational design of a live attenuated dengue vaccine: 2-o-methyltransferase mutants are highly attenuated and immunogenic in mice and macaques.
PLoS Pathog.
PUBLISHED: 08-01-2013
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Dengue virus is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes and infects at least 100 million people every year. Progressive urbanization in Asia and South-Central America and the geographic expansion of Aedes mosquito habitats have accelerated the global spread of dengue, resulting in a continuously increasing number of cases. A cost-effective, safe vaccine conferring protection with ideally a single injection could stop dengue transmission. Current vaccine candidates require several booster injections or do not provide protection against all four serotypes. Here we demonstrate that dengue virus mutants lacking 2-O-methyltransferase activity are highly sensitive to type I IFN inhibition. The mutant viruses are attenuated in mice and rhesus monkeys and elicit a strong adaptive immune response. Monkeys immunized with a single dose of 2-O-methyltransferase mutant virus showed 100% sero-conversion even when a dose as low as 1,000 plaque forming units was administrated. Animals were fully protected against a homologous challenge. Furthermore, mosquitoes feeding on blood containing the mutant virus were not infected, whereas those feeding on blood containing wild-type virus were infected and thus able to transmit it. These results show the potential of 2-O-methyltransferase mutant virus as a safe, rationally designed dengue vaccine that restrains itself due to the increased susceptibility to the hosts innate immune response.
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A multidimensional platform for the purification of non-coding RNA species.
Nucleic Acids Res.
PUBLISHED: 08-01-2013
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A renewed interest in non-coding RNA (ncRNA) has led to the discovery of novel RNA species and post-transcriptional ribonucleoside modifications, and an emerging appreciation for the role of ncRNA in RNA epigenetics. Although much can be learned by amplification-based analysis of ncRNA sequence and quantity, there is a significant need for direct analysis of RNA, which has led to numerous methods for purification of specific ncRNA molecules. However, no single method allows purification of the full range of cellular ncRNA species. To this end, we developed a multidimensional chromatographic platform to resolve, isolate and quantify all canonical ncRNAs in a single sample of cells or tissue, as well as novel ncRNA species. The applicability of the platform is demonstrated in analyses of ncRNA from bacteria, human cells and plasmodium-infected reticulocytes, as well as a viral RNA genome. Among the many potential applications of this platform are a system-level analysis of the dozens of modified ribonucleosides in ncRNA, characterization of novel long ncRNA species, enhanced detection of rare transcript variants and analysis of viral genomes.
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Testing antiviral compounds in a dengue mouse model.
Methods Mol. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 07-04-2013
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Dengue fever is an emerging mosquito-borne flaviviral disease that threatens 2.5 billion people worldwide. No clinically approved vaccine and antiviral therapy are currently available to prevent or treat dengue virus (DENV) infection. Vertebrate animals other than primates are not normally infectable with DENV; however, a small animal dengue infection model would greatly facilitate the development of a vaccine or an antiviral therapy. To this end, a rodent model for DENV infection has been established in IFN-?/? and IFN-? receptor-deficient (AG129) mice. This chapter describes the protocol for the DENV infection model in AG129 mice and testing of antiviral compounds by oral gavage or parenteral injection.
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Detection and quantification of flavivirus NS5 methyl-transferase activities.
Methods Mol. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 07-04-2013
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Flavivirus NS5 is the most conserved protein amongst the flavivirus proteins and is an essential enzyme for viral mRNA capping and replication. It encodes a methyl-transferase (MTase) domain at its N-terminal region which carries out sequential N7 and 2-O methylation, resulting in the formation of the cap1 structure on its viral RNA genome. Two key methods have been established to measure these activities in vitro: thin-layer chromatography (TLC) and scintillation proximity assays (SPA). TLC offers the advantage of direct visualization of the amounts and types of cap structures formed whilst the SPA assay is more sensitive and quantitative. It is also amenable to high-throughput compound screening. The drawback of both assays is the need for radioisotope usage. We further describe the adaptation of a nonradioactive immune-competitive fluorescence polarization assay for detection of dengue virus MTase activity.
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Development of a FACS-based assay for evaluating antiviral potency of compound in dengue infected peripheral blood mononuclear cells.
J. Virol. Methods
PUBLISHED: 05-22-2013
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Dengue fever is the most important arthropod-transmitted viral disease affecting humans. It is a blood-borne disease characterized by persistent fever and joint pain. In the blood, primary peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), in particular monocytes, are the main target of the dengue virus (DENV). These cells are poorly permissive for in vitro dengue virus infection and their infectivity varies from donor to donor. To overcome this barrier, an anti-dengue antibody was used to improve the infectivity of DENV-2 clinical isolates to PBMCs, the monocytic leukemia cell line, THP-1 and the granulocyte cell line, KU812. A higher throughput 96-well-format assay based on a fluorescent-activated cell sorter could potentially be developed to evaluate the antiviral potency of compounds in DENV-infected PBMCs in vitro. The results correlate well with data obtained by a standard plaque assay. Altogether, an assay has been developed that enables evaluation of the antiviral activity of test compounds in a physiologically-relevant cell system (PBMCs). These screening processes are urgently needed for dengue drug discovery.
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NMR analysis of a novel enzymatically active unlinked dengue NS2B-NS3 protease complex.
J. Biol. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 03-19-2013
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The dengue virus (DENV) is a mosquito-borne pathogen responsible for an estimated 100 million human infections annually. The viral genome encodes a two-component trypsin-like protease that contains the cofactor region from the nonstructural protein NS2B and the protease domain from NS3 (NS3pro). The NS2B-NS3pro complex plays a crucial role in viral maturation and has been identified as a potential drug target. Using a DENV protease construct containing NS2B covalently linked to NS3pro via a Gly4-Ser-Gly4 linker ("linked protease"), previous x-ray crystal structures show that the C-terminal fragment of NS2B is remote from NS3pro and exists in an open state in the absence of an inhibitor; however, in the presence of an inhibitor, NS2B complexes with NS3pro to form a closed state. This linked enzyme produced NMR spectra with severe signal overlap and line broadening. To obtain a protease construct with a resolved NMR spectrum, we expressed and purified an unlinked protease complex containing a 50-residue segment of the NS2B cofactor region and NS3pro without the glycine linker using a coexpression system. This unlinked protease complex was catalytically active at neutral pH in the absence of glycerol and produced dispersed cross-peaks in a (1)H-(15)N heteronuclear single quantum correlation spectrum that enabled us to conduct backbone assignments using conventional techniques. In addition, titration with an active-site peptide aldehyde inhibitor and paramagnetic relaxation enhancement studies demonstrated that the unlinked DENV protease exists predominantly in a closed conformation in solution. This protease complex can serve as a useful tool for drug discovery against DENV.
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Rational design of a flavivirus vaccine by abolishing viral RNA 2-O methylation.
J. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 03-13-2013
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Viruses that replicate in the cytoplasm cannot access the host nuclear capping machinery. These viruses have evolved viral methyltransferase(s) to methylate N-7 and 2-O cap of their RNA; alternatively, they "snatch" host mRNA cap to form the 5 end of viral RNA. The function of 2-O methylation of viral RNA cap is to mimic cellular mRNA and to evade host innate immune restriction. A cytoplasmic virus defective in 2-O methylation is replicative, but its viral RNA lacks 2-O methylation and is recognized and eliminated by the host immune response. Such a mutant virus could be rationally designed as a live attenuated vaccine. Here, we use Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), an important mosquito-borne flavivirus, to prove this novel vaccine concept. We show that JEV methyltransferase is responsible for both N-7 and 2-O cap methylations as well as evasion of host innate immune response. Recombinant virus completely defective in 2-O methylation was stable in cell culture after being passaged for >30 days. The mutant virus was attenuated in mice, elicited robust humoral and cellular immune responses, and retained the engineered mutation in vivo. A single dose of immunization induced full protection against lethal challenge with JEV strains in mice. Mechanistically, the attenuation phenotype was attributed to the enhanced sensitivity of the mutant virus to the antiviral effects of interferon and IFIT proteins. Collectively, the results demonstrate the feasibility of using 2-O methylation-defective virus as a vaccine approach; this vaccine approach should be applicable to other flaviviruses and nonflaviviruses that encode their own viral 2-O methyltransferases.
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Crystal structure of enterovirus 71 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase complexed with its protein primer VPg: implication for a trans mechanism of VPg uridylylation.
J. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 03-13-2013
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Picornavirus RNA replication is initiated by VPg uridylylation, during which the hydroxyl group of the third tyrosine residue of the virally encoded protein VPg is covalently linked to two UMP molecules by RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp; also known as 3D(pol)). We previously identified site 311, located at the base of the palm domain of the enterovirus 71 (EV71) RdRp, to be the site for EV71 VPg binding and uridylylation. Here we report the crystal structure of EV71 3D(pol) complexed with VPg. VPg was anchored at the bottom of the palm domain of the 3D(pol) molecule and exhibited an extended V-shape conformation. The corresponding interface on 3D(pol) was mainly formed by residues within site 311 and other residues in the palm and finger domains. Mutations of the amino acids of 3D(pol) involved in the VPg interaction (3DL319A, 3DD320A, and 3DY335A) significantly disrupted VPg binding to 3D(pol), resulting in defective VPg uridylylation. In contrast, these mutations did not affect the RNA elongation activity of 3D(pol). In the context of viral genomic RNA, mutations that abolished VPg uridylylation activity were lethal for EV71 replication. Further in vitro analysis showed that the uridylylation activity was restored by mixing VPg-binding-defective and catalysis-defective mutants, indicating a trans mechanism for EV71 VPg uridylylation. Our results, together with previous results of other studies, demonstrate that different picornaviruses use distinct binding sites for VPg uridylylation.
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Laparoscopic mesh repair of parahiatal hernia: a case report.
Asian J Endosc Surg
PUBLISHED: 03-03-2013
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We report a case of a primary parahiatal hernia that was repaired laparoscopically with a composite mesh. A 51-year-old woman presented with vomiting and epigastric pain. CT scan showed a giant paraesophageal hernia with intrathoracic gastric volvulus. Intraoperatively, a diaphragmatic muscular defect was found lateral to an attenuated left crus of the diaphragm, distinct from the normal esophageal hiatus. The defect ring was fibrotic, making a tension-free primary repair difficult. A laparoscopic mesh repair was performed with a composite mesh, which was covered with the hernia sac to prevent potential erosion into the esophagus or stomach. Recovery was uneventful and the patient was discharged on the 5 days postoperatively. She remained asymptomatic at subsequent follow-up. Laparoscopic repair of parahiatal hernia can be safely performed. In circumstances where a large or fibrotic defect prevents a tension-free primary repair, the use of a composite mesh can provide effective repair of the hernia.
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Conformational flexibility of the Dengue virus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase revealed by a complex with an inhibitor.
J. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 02-13-2013
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We report a highly reproducible method to crystallize the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) domain of dengue virus serotype 3 (DENV-3), allowing structure refinement to a 1.79-Å resolution and revealing amino acids not seen previously. We also present a DENV-3 polymerase/inhibitor cocrystal structure at a 2.1-Å resolution. The inhibitor binds to the RdRp as a dimer and causes conformational changes in the protein. The improved crystallization conditions and new structural information should accelerate structure-based drug discovery.
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Membrane topology and function of dengue virus NS2A protein.
J. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 02-13-2013
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Flavivirus nonstructural protein 2A (NS2A) is a component of the viral replication complex that functions in virion assembly and antagonizes the host immune response. Although flavivirus NS2A is known to associate with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane, the detailed topology of this protein has not been determined. Here we report the first topology model of flavivirus NS2A on the ER membrane. Using dengue virus (DENV) NS2A as a model, we show that (i) the N-terminal 68 amino acids are located in the ER lumen, with one segment (amino acids 30 to 52) that interacts with ER membrane without traversing the lipid bilayer; (ii) amino acids 69 to 209 form five transmembrane segments, each of which integrally spans the ER membrane; and (iii) the C-terminal tail (amino acids 210 to 218) is located in the cytosol. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) structural analysis showed that the first membrane-spanning segment (amino acids 69 to 93) consists of two helices separated by a "helix breaker." The helix breaker is formed by amino acid P85 and one positively charged residue, R84. Functional analysis using replicon and genome-length RNAs of DENV-2 indicates that P85 is not important for viral replication. However, when R84 was replaced with E, the mutation attenuated both viral RNA synthesis and virus production. Remarkably, an R84A mutation did not affect viral RNA synthesis but blocked intracellular formation of infectious virions. Collectively, the mutagenesis results demonstrate that NS2A functions in both DENV RNA synthesis and virion assembly/maturation. The topology model of DENV NS2A provides a good starting point for studying how flavivirus NS2A modulates viral replication and evasion of host immune response.
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Demographics of severe valvular aortic stenosis in Singapore.
Singapore Med J
PUBLISHED: 01-23-2013
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The treatment of aortic valve stenosis (AS) is seeing renewed interest mainly due to the availability of transcatheter therapies. However, the number of epidemiological studies of this disease in Singapore is limited. We aimed to describe the aetiology and clinical presentation of AS in Singapore, as well as patients attitudes toward it. Our findings may facilitate the future planning and utilisation of resources to better manage these patients.
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Noninvasive bioluminescence imaging of dengue virus infection in the brain of A129 mice.
Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol.
PUBLISHED: 01-16-2013
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Dengue virus (DENV) infection is one of the most important public health threats globally; however, no vaccines or effective antivirals are currently available. The bioluminescence imaging technique has emerged as a powerful tool for studies on viral pathogenesis in vitro and in vivo. In this study, using a recombinant DENV that stably expressed Renilla luciferase (Rluc-DENV), we used bioluminescence for imaging of DENV infection in the brain of A129 mice that lacked type I interferon receptors. Upon intracranial inoculation with Rluc-DENV, A129 mice developed typical neurological symptoms and rapidly succumbed to viral infection. Real-time bioluminescence intensity analysis revealed the replication kinetics of Rluc-DENV in the brain of A129 mice. Linear regression analyses showed a good correlation between photon flux and viral titers (R(2) = 0.9923). Finally, the bioluminescence model was validated using a known mouse monoclonal antibody, 2A10G6, and the therapeutic effects of this neutralizing antibody were readily monitored by live imaging in the same animal. The noninvasive bioluminescence imaging of DENV infection as described here shows distinct advantages over traditional animal models and provides a powerful tool for potential antiviral or vaccine assays against DENV infection in vivo.
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miR-146a Enhances the Oncogenicity of Oral Carcinoma by Concomitant Targeting of the IRAK1, TRAF6 and NUMB Genes.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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MicroRNAs are short non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression and are crucial to tumorigenesis. Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is a prevalent malignancy worldwide. Up-regulation of miR-146 has been identified in OSCC tissues. However, the roles of miR-146 in carcinogenesis are controversial as it is suppressive in many other malignancies. The present study investigated the pathogenic implications of miR-146a in oral carcinogenesis. Microdissected OSCC exhibits higher levels of miR-146a expression than matched adjacent mucosal cells. The plasma miR-146a levels of patients are significantly higher than those of control subjects; these levels decrease drastically after tumor resection. miR-146a levels in tumors and in patients plasma can be used to classify OSCC and non-disease status (sensitivity: >0.72). Exogenous miR-146a expression is significantly increased in vitro oncogenic phenotypes as well as during xenograft tumorigenesis and OSCC metastasis. The plasma miR-146a levels of these mice parallel the xenograft tumor burdens of the mice. A miR-146a blocker abrogates the growth of xenograft tumors. miR-146a oncogenic activity is associated with down-regulation of IRAK1, TRAF6 and NUMB expression. Furthermore, miR-146a directly targets the 3UTR of NUMB and a region within the NUMB coding sequence when suppressing NUMB expression. Exogenous NUMB expression attenuates OSCC oncogenicity. Double knockdown of IRAK1 and TRAF6, and of TRAF6 and NUMB, enhance the oncogenic phenotypes of OSCC cells. Oncogenic enhancement modulated by miR-146a expression is attenuated by exogenous IRAK1 or NUMB expression. This study shows that miR-146a expression contributes to oral carcinogenesis by targeting the IRAK1, TRAF6 and NUMB genes.
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A single amino acid substitution in the core protein of west nile virus increases resistance to acidotropic compounds.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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West Nile virus (WNV) is a worldwide distributed mosquito-borne flavivirus that naturally cycles between birds and mosquitoes, although it can infect multiple vertebrate hosts including horses and humans. This virus is responsible for recurrent epidemics of febrile illness and encephalitis, and has recently become a global concern. WNV requires to transit through intracellular acidic compartments at two different steps to complete its infectious cycle. These include fusion between the viral envelope and the membrane of endosomes during viral entry, and virus maturation in the trans-Golgi network. In this study, we followed a genetic approach to study the connections between viral components and acidic pH. A WNV mutant with increased resistance to the acidotropic compound NH4Cl, which blocks organelle acidification and inhibits WNV infection, was selected. Nucleotide sequencing revealed that this mutant displayed a single amino acid substitution (Lys 3 to Glu) on the highly basic internal capsid or core (C) protein. The functional role of this replacement was confirmed by its introduction into a WNV infectious clone. This single amino acid substitution also increased resistance to other acidification inhibitor (concanamycin A) and induced a reduction of the neurovirulence in mice. Interestingly, a naturally occurring accompanying mutation found on prM protein abolished the resistant phenotype, supporting the idea of a genetic crosstalk between the internal C protein and the external glycoproteins of the virion. The findings here reported unveil a non-previously assessed connection between the C viral protein and the acidic pH necessary for entry and proper exit of flaviviruses.
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De novo asymmetric synthesis of fridamycin E.
Org. Lett.
PUBLISHED: 11-22-2011
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A de novo asymmetric synthesis of (R)- and (S)-fridamycin E has been achieved. The entirely linear route required only nine steps from commercially available starting materials (16% overall yield). Key transformations included a Claisen rearrangement, a Sharpless dihydroxylation and a cobalt-catalyzed epoxide carbonylation to give a ?-lactone intermediate. Antibacterial activities were determined for both enantiomers using two strains of E. coli, with the natural (R)-enantiomer showing significant inhibition against a Gram-(+)-like imp strain (MIC = 8 ?M).
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Ligand-bound structures of the dengue virus protease reveal the active conformation.
J. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 10-26-2011
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Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral hemorrhagic disease that is a major threat to human health in tropical and subtropical regions. Here we report crystal structures of a peptide covalently bound to dengue virus serotype 3 (DENV-3) protease as well as the serine-protease inhibitor aprotinin bound to the same enzyme. These structures reveal, for the first time, a catalytically active, closed conformation of the DENV protease. In the presence of the peptide, the DENV-3 protease forms the closed conformation in which the hydrophilic ?-hairpin region of NS2B wraps around the NS3 protease core, in a manner analogous to the structure of West Nile virus (WNV) protease. Our results confirm that flavivirus proteases form the closed conformation during proteolysis, as previously proposed for WNV. The current DENV-3 protease structures reveal the detailed interactions at the P4 to P3 sites of the substrate. The new structural information explains the sequence preference, particularly for long basic residues in the nonprime side, as well as the difference in substrate specificity between the WNV and DENV proteases at the prime side. Structural analysis of the DENV-3 protease-peptide complex revealed a pocket that is formed by residues from NS2B and NS3; this pocket also exists in the WNV NS2B/NS3 protease structure and could be targeted for potential antivirus development. The structural information presented in the current study is invaluable for the design of specific inhibitors of DENV protease.
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Microarray analysis revealed dysregulation of multiple genes associated with chemoresistance to As(2)O(3) and increased tumor aggressiveness in a newly established arsenic-resistant ovarian cancer cell line, OVCAR-3/AsR.
Eur J Pharm Sci
PUBLISHED: 10-11-2011
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The potential of arsenic trioxide (As(2)O(3)) for use as a novel therapy for ovarian cancer treatment has been increasingly recognized. In this study, we developed an arsenic-resistant OVCAR-3 subline (OVCAR-3/AsR) and aimed to identify the molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways contributing to the development of acquired arsenic chemoresistance in ovarian cancer. OVCAR-3/AsR cells were obtained following continual exposure of parental OVCAR-3 cells to low dose As(2)O(3) for 12months. Cytotoxicity of OVCAR-3/AsR cells to As(2)O(3), paclitaxel and cisplatin was investigated. Cell apoptosis and cell cycle distribution following As(2)O(3) treatment of OVCAR-3/AsR cells was also analyzed using flow cytometry. Subsequently, cDNA microarray analysis was performed from the RNA samples of OVCAR-3 and OVCAR-3/AsR cells in duplicate experiments. Microarray data were analyzed using Genespring® and Pathway Studio® Softwares. OVCAR-3/AsR cells showed 9-fold greater resistance to As(2)O(3) and lack of collateral resistance to cisplatin and paclitaxel. Compared with parental OVCAR-3 cells, OVCAR-3/AsR had significantly lower apoptotic rates following As(2)O(3) treatment. These cells were also arrested at both the S phase and G(2)/M phase of the cell cycle after exposure to high concentrations of As(2)O(3). Gene expression profiling revealed significant differences in expression levels of 397 genes between OVCAR-3/AsR and OVCAR-3 cells. The differentially regulated transcripts genes have functional ontologies related to continued cancer cell growth, cell survival, tumor metastasis and tumor aggressiveness. Additionally, numerous gene targets of the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2) transcription factor showed elevated expression in OVCAR-3/AsR cells. Subsequent pathway analysis further revealed a gene network involving interleukin 1-alpha (IL1A) in mediating the arsenic-resistant phenotype. These results showed that changes in multiple genes and an increased in tumor aggressiveness occurred during the development of acquired chemoresistance to As(2)O(3) in ovarian cancer cells. The functional relevance of these genetic changes should be validated in future studies.
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Nonconsensus West Nile virus genomes arising during mosquito infection suppress pathogenesis and modulate virus fitness in vivo.
J. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 09-21-2011
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West Nile virus (WNV) is similar to other RNA viruses in that it forms genetically complex populations within hosts. The virus is maintained in nature in mosquitoes and birds, with each host type exerting distinct influences on virus populations. We previously observed that prolonged replication in mosquitoes led to increases in WNV genetic diversity and diminished pathogenesis in mice without remarkable changes to the consensus genome sequence. We therefore sought to evaluate the relationships between individual and group phenotypes in WNV and to discover novel viral determinants of pathogenesis in mice and fitness in mosquitoes and birds. Individual plaque size variants were isolated from a genetically complex population, and mutations conferring a small-plaque and mouse-attenuated phenotype were localized to the RNA helicase domain of the NS3 protein by reverse genetics. The mutation, an Asp deletion, did not alter type I interferon production in the host but rendered mutant viruses more susceptible to interferon compared to wild type (WT) WNV. Finally, we used an in vivo fitness assay in Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes and chickens to determine whether the mutation in NS3 influenced fitness. The fitness of the NS3 mutant was dramatically lower in chickens and moderately lower in mosquitoes, indicating that RNA helicase is a major fitness determinant of WNV and that the effect on fitness is host specific. Overall, this work highlights the complex relationships that exist between individual and group phenotypes in RNA viruses and identifies RNA helicase as an attenuation and fitness determinant in WNV.
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(6R,7R)-3-Hydroxymethyl-7-(2-phenyl-acetamido)-3-cephem-4-carboxylic acid lactone.
Acta Crystallogr Sect E Struct Rep Online
PUBLISHED: 09-20-2011
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In the title compound {systematic name: N-[(4R,5R)-3,11-dioxo-10-oxa-6-thia-2-aza-tricyclo-[6.3.0.0(2,5)]undec-1(8)-en-4-yl]-2-phenyl-acetamide}, C(16)H(14)N(2)O(4)S, the four- and five-membered rings adopt planar conformations (with r.m.s. deviations of 0.0349 and 0.0108?Å respectively) while the six-membered ring adopts a half-chair, or envelope-like, conformation with the S atom in the flap position. In the crystal, mol-ecules are linked by N-H?O hydrogen bonds.
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Inhibition of dengue virus by targeting viral NS4B protein.
J. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 08-24-2011
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We report a novel inhibitor that selectively suppresses dengue virus (DENV) by targeting viral NS4B protein. The inhibitor was identified by screening a 1.8-million-compound library using a luciferase replicon of DENV serotype 2 (DENV-2). The compound specifically inhibits all four serotypes of DENV (50% effective concentration [EC(50)], 1 to 4 ?M; and 50% cytotoxic concentration [CC(50)], >40 ?M), but it does not inhibit closely related flaviviruses (West Nile virus and yellow fever virus) or nonflaviviruses (Western equine encephalomyelitis virus, Chikungunya virus, and vesicular stomatitis virus). A mode-of-action study suggested that the compound inhibits viral RNA synthesis. Replicons resistant to the inhibitor were selected in cell culture. Sequencing of the resistant replicons revealed two mutations (P104L and A119T) in the viral NS4B protein. Genetic analysis, using DENV-2 replicon and recombinant viruses, demonstrated that each of the two NS4B mutations alone confers partial resistance and double mutations confer additive resistance to the inhibitor in mammalian cells. In addition, we found that a replication defect caused by a lethal NS4B mutation could be partially rescued through trans complementation. The ability to complement NS4B in trans affected drug sensitivity when a single cell was coinfected with drug-sensitive and drug-resistant viruses. Mechanistically, NS4B was previously shown to interact with the viral NS3 helicase domain; one of the two NS4B mutations recovered in our resistance analysis-P104L-abolished the NS3-NS4B interaction (I. Umareddy, A. Chao, A. Sampath, F. Gu, and S. G. Vasudevan, J. Gen. Virol. 87:2605-2614, 2006). Collectively, the results suggest that the identified inhibitor targets the DENV NS4B protein, leading to a defect in viral RNA synthesis.
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Association between the rs2910164 polymorphism in pre-mir-146a and oral carcinoma progression.
Oral Oncol.
PUBLISHED: 08-09-2011
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MicroRNAs are short non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression by RNA interference. Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is a prevalent malignancy worldwide. miR-146a has been reported to regulate Toll-like receptors and cytokine signaling, which are both crucial for inflammation and oncogenesis. This study identifies that areca nut extract, TNF? and TGF? up-regulates miR-146a in OSCC cells. The increased expression of miR-146a enhanced the oncogenicity of OSCC cells. In addition, a G to C polymorphism (rs2910164), which is located in the pre-miR-146a and has been associated with functional alterations in miR-146a, was significantly more prevalent among OSCC patients having more advanced nodal involvement. Our analysis also suggested a higher miR-146a expression in OSCC tissues of patients carrying C polymorphism. The present study concluded a higher prevalence of the pre-mir-146a C-variant was associated with OSCC progression in patients with this disease.
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[Expression and its significance of Cyclin D1 in oral squamous cell carcinoma].
Hua Xi Kou Qiang Yi Xue Za Zhi
PUBLISHED: 07-23-2011
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To investigate the expression and significance of Cyclin D1 in oral squamous cell ma (OSCC).
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West Nile virus experimental evolution in vivo and the trade-off hypothesis.
PLoS Pathog.
PUBLISHED: 07-06-2011
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In nature, arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) perpetuate through alternating replication in vertebrate and invertebrate hosts. The trade-off hypothesis proposes that these viruses maintain adequate replicative fitness in two disparate hosts in exchange for superior fitness in one host. Releasing the virus from the constraints of a two-host cycle should thus facilitate adaptation to a single host. This theory has been addressed in a variety of systems, but remains poorly understood. We sought to determine the fitness implications of alternating host replication for West Nile virus (WNV) using an in vivo model system. Previously, WNV was serially or alternately passed 20 times in vivo in chicks or mosquitoes and resulting viruses were characterized genetically. In this study, these test viruses were competed in vivo in fitness assays against an unpassed marked reference virus. Fitness was assayed in chicks and in two important WNV vectors, Culex pipiens and Culex quinquefasciatus. Chick-specialized virus displayed clear fitness gains in chicks and in Cx. pipiens but not in Cx. quinquefasciatus. Cx. pipiens-specialized virus experienced reduced fitness in chicks and little change in either mosquito species. These data suggest that when fitness is measured in birds the trade-off hypothesis is supported; but in mosquitoes it is not. Overall, these results suggest that WNV evolution is driven by alternate cycles of genetic expansion in mosquitoes, where purifying selection is weak and genetic diversity generated, and restriction in birds, where purifying selection is strong.
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A translation inhibitor that suppresses dengue virus in vitro and in vivo.
Antimicrob. Agents Chemother.
PUBLISHED: 07-05-2011
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We describe a novel translation inhibitor that has anti-dengue virus (DENV) activity in vitro and in vivo. The inhibitor was identified through a high-throughput screening using a DENV infection assay. The compound contains a benzomorphan core structure. Mode-of-action analysis indicated that the compound inhibits protein translation in a viral RNA sequence-independent manner. Analysis of the stereochemistry demonstrated that only one enantiomer of the racemic compound inhibits viral RNA translation. Medicinal chemistry was performed to eliminate a metabolically labile glucuronidation site of the compound to improve its in vivo stability. Pharmacokinetic analysis showed that upon a single subcutaneous dosing of 25 mg/kg of body weight in mice, plasma levels of the compound reached a C(max) (maximum plasma drug concentration) above the protein-binding-adjusted 90% effective concentration (EC(90)) value of 0.96 ?M. In agreement with the in vivo pharmacokinetic results, treatment of DENV-infected mice with 25 mg/kg of compound once per day reduced peak viremia by about 40-fold. However, mice treated with 75 mg/kg of compound per day exhibited adverse effects. Collectively, our results demonstrate that the benzomorphan compounds inhibit DENV through suppression of RNA translation. The therapeutic window of the current compounds needs to be improved for further development.
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A single amino acid in nonstructural protein NS4B confers virulence to dengue virus in AG129 mice through enhancement of viral RNA synthesis.
J. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 06-01-2011
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Dengue (DEN) is a mosquito-borne viral disease that has become an increasing economic and health burden for the tropical and subtropical world. The lack of an appropriate animal model of DEN has greatly impeded the study of its pathogenesis and the development of vaccines/antivirals. We recently reported a DEN virus 2 (DENV-2) strain (D2Y98P) that lethally infects immunocompromised AG129 mice, resulting in organ damage or dysfunction and increased vascular permeability, hallmarks of severe DEN in patients (G. K. Tan et al., PLoS Negl. Trop. Dis. 4:e672, 2010). Here we report the identification of one critical virulence determinant of strain D2Y98P. By mutagenesis, we showed that a Phe-to-Leu alteration at amino acid position 52 in nonstructural protein NS4B completely abolished the pathogenicity of the D2Y98P virus, as evidenced by a lack of lethality and the absence of histological signs of disease, which correlated with reduced viral titers and intact vascular permeability. Conversely, a Leu-to-Phe alteration at position 52 of NS4B in nonvirulent DENV-2 strain TSV01 led to 80% lethality and increased viremia. The NS4B(Phe52) viruses displayed enhanced RNA synthesis in mammalian cells but not in mosquito cells. The increased viral RNA synthesis was independent of the ability of NS4B to interfere with the host type I interferon response. Overall, our results demonstrate that Phe at position 52 in NS4B confers virulence in mice on two independent DENV-2 strains through enhancement of viral RNA synthesis. In addition to providing further insights into the functional role of NS4B protein, our findings further support a direct relationship between viral loads and DEN pathogenesis in vivo, consistent with observations in DEN patients.
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U18666A, an intra-cellular cholesterol transport inhibitor, inhibits dengue virus entry and replication.
Antiviral Res.
PUBLISHED: 05-11-2011
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The level of cholesterol in host cells has been shown to affect viral infection. However, it is still not understood why this level of regulation is important for successful infection. We have shown in this study that dengue virus infection was affected when the cholesterol intake in infected cells was disrupted using a cholesterol transport inhibitor, U18666A. The antiviral effect was found to result from two events: retarded viral trafficking in the cholesterol-loaded late endosomes/lysosomes and suppressed de novo sterol biosynthesis in treated infected cells. We also observed an additive antiviral effect of U18666A with C75, a fatty acid synthase inhibitor, suggesting dengue virus relies on both the host cholesterol and fatty acid biosynthesis for successful replication.
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[Transfusion of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells into marrow cavity in sensitized mouse model].
Zhongguo Shi Yan Xue Ye Xue Za Zhi
PUBLISHED: 04-27-2011
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The study was aimed to investigate the strategy of transfusion of allogeneic hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HS/PC) into marrow cavity of mouse model in sensitized transplantation. A sensitized BALB/c mouse model was established by repeated transfusion of allogeneic spleen cells. The normal BALB/c mice were used as non-sensitized controls. The non-sensitized or sensitized recipients were transplanted by transfusion of allogeneic HS/PCs into bone marrow cavity. The survival rate and hematopoietic recovery were monitored. Moreover, non-sensitized and sensitized sera were obtained and incubated with allogeneic HS/PC respectively, the percentage of dead cells was calculated using complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) tests. The results showed that non-sensitized recipients got long-term survival after the transfusion of HS/PC into marrow cavity, and the hematopoietic recovery increased along with time. However, among the sensitized recipients, one mouse died of anesthetic accident, the other 9 mice (9/10) died within 2 weeks after the transfusion of HS/PC in marrow cavity, and the hematopoietic recovery declined along with time. Histopathologic analysis demonstrated that the sensitized recipients died of bone marrow failure. The results of CDC tests showed that the percentage of dead cells in non-sensitized and sensitized group was 7.80 ± 1.93% and 50.80 ± 3.12%, respectively, and the differences were statistically significant (p < 0.05), indicating sensitized sera were capable of impairing allogeneic HS/PC. It is concluded that the strategy of the marrow cavity transfusion of HS/PC can not enhance engraftment of allogeneic donor cells in sensitized recipients.
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Inhibition of dengue virus through suppression of host pyrimidine biosynthesis.
J. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 04-20-2011
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Viral replication relies on the host to supply nucleosides. Host enzymes involved in nucleoside biosynthesis are potential targets for antiviral development. Ribavirin (a known antiviral drug) is such an inhibitor that suppresses guanine biosynthesis; depletion of the intracellular GTP pool was shown to be the major mechanism to inhibit flavivirus. Along similar lines, inhibitors of the pyrimidine biosynthesis pathway could be targeted for potential antiviral development. Here we report on a novel antiviral compound (NITD-982) that inhibits host dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH), an enzyme required for pyrimidine biosynthesis. The inhibitor was identified through screening 1.8 million compounds using a dengue virus (DENV) infection assay. The compound contains an isoxazole-pyrazole core structure, and it inhibited DENV with a 50% effective concentration (EC(50)) of 2.4 nM and a 50% cytotoxic concentration (CC(50)) of >5 ?M. NITD-982 has a broad antiviral spectrum, inhibiting both flaviviruses and nonflaviviruses with nanomolar EC(90)s. We also show that (i) the compound inhibited the enzymatic activity of recombinant DHODH, (ii) an NITD-982 analogue directly bound to the DHODH protein, (iii) supplementing the culture medium with uridine reversed the compound-mediated antiviral activity, and (iv) DENV type 2 (DENV-2) variants resistant to brequinar (a known DHODH inhibitor) were cross resistant to NITD-982. Collectively, the results demonstrate that the compound inhibits DENV through depleting the intracellular pyrimidine pool. In contrast to the in vitro potency, the compound did not show any efficacy in the DENV-AG129 mouse model. The lack of in vivo efficacy is likely due to the exogenous uptake of pyrimidine from the diet or to a high plasma protein-binding activity of the current compound.
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Development and characterization of a stable luciferase dengue virus for high-throughput screening.
Antiviral Res.
PUBLISHED: 03-18-2011
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To facilitate dengue virus (DENV) drug discovery, we developed a stable luciferase reporter DENV-2. A renilla luciferase gene was engineered into the capsid-coding region of an infectious cDNA clone of DENV-2. Transfection of BHK-21 cells with the cDNA clone-derived RNA generated high titers (>10(6)PFU/ml) of luciferase reporter DENV-2. The reporter virus was infectious to a variety of cells, producing robust luciferase signals. Compared with wild-type virus, the reporter virus replicated slower in both mammalian Vero and mosquito C6/36 cells. To examine the stability of the reporter virus, we continuously passaged the virus on Vero cells for five rounds. All passaged viruses stably maintained the luciferase gene, demonstrating the stability of the reporter virus. Furthermore, we found that the passaged virus accumulated a mutation (T108M) in viral NS4B gene that could enhance viral RNA replication in a cell-type specific manner. Using the reporter virus, we developed a HTS assay in a 384-well format. The HTS assay was validated with known DENV inhibitors and showed a robust Z factor of 0.79. The Luc-DENV-2 HTS assay allows screening for inhibitors of all steps of the viral life cycle. The reporter virus will also be a useful tool for studying DENV replication and pathogenesis.
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Anti-infectives: can cellular screening deliver?
Curr Opin Chem Biol
PUBLISHED: 03-14-2011
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In an era of emerging and reemerging infectious diseases, and increasing multidrug resistance, the need to identify novel therapy is imperative. Unfortunately, the recent shift of the drug discovery paradigm from cellular screening to target-based approaches has not delivered the anticipated benefits. A recent renaissance of the traditional cell-based approach, on the other hand, has yielded several clinical candidates. Three successful examples are illustrated in this review, namely spiroindolone, thiazolidinone, and diarylquinoline for the treatment of malaria, hepatitis C virus, and tuberculosis, respectively. We describe in detail their identification, mechanism of action (MoA), and common features in the chemical structures. The challenges of the cell-based approach for anti-infective drug discovery are also discussed. We propose a shift from standard libraries to synthetic natural-product-like compound collections to improve the success of phenotypic lead finding and to facilitate the validation of hits.
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The helical domains of the stem region of dengue virus envelope protein are involved in both virus assembly and entry.
J. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 03-02-2011
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The envelope (E) of dengue virus (DENV) is a determinant of tropism and virulence. At the C terminus of E protein, there is a stem region containing two amphipathic ?-helical domains (EH1 and EH2) and a stretch of conserved sequences in between. The crystal structure of E protein at the postfusion state suggested the involvement of the stem during the fusion; however, the critical domains or residues involved remain unknown. Site-directed mutagenesis was carried out to replace each of the stem residues at the hydrophobic face with an alanine or proline in a DENV serotype 4 (DENV4) precursor membrane (prM)/E expression construct. Most of the 15 proline mutations at either EH1 or EH2 severely affected the assembly of virus-like particles (VLPs). Radioimmunoprecipitation and membrane flotation assays revealed that EH1 mutations primarily affect prM-E heterodimerization and EH2 mutations affect the membrane binding of the stem. Introducing four proline mutations at either EH1 or EH2 into a DENV2 replicon packaging system greatly affects assembly and entry. Moreover, introducing these mutations into a DENV2 infectious clone confirmed the impairment in assembly and infectivity. Sequencing analysis of adaptive mutations in passage 5 viruses revealed a change to a leucine or wild-type residue at the original site, suggesting the importance of maintaining the helical structure. Collectively, these findings suggest that the EH1 and EH2 domains are involved in both assembly and entry steps of the DENV replication cycle; this feature, together with the high degree of sequence conservation, suggests that the stem region is a potential target of antiviral strategies.
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Keratinocytes are cell targets of West Nile virus in vivo.
J. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 03-02-2011
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West Nile virus (WNV) replicates in the skin; however, cell targets in the skin have not been identified. In the current studies, WNV infected the epidermis and adnexal glands of mouse skin, and the epidermal cells were identified as keratinocytes by double labeling for WNV antigen and keratin 10. Inoculation of mice with WNV replicon particles resulted in high levels of replication in the skin, suggesting that keratinocytes are an initial target of WNV. In addition, primary keratinocytes produced infectious virus in vitro. In conclusion, keratinocytes are cell targets of WNV in vivo and may play an important role in pathogenesis.
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Functional analysis of two cavities in flavivirus NS5 polymerase.
J. Biol. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 02-23-2011
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Flavivirus NS5 protein encodes methyltransferase and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) activities. Structural analysis of flavivirus RdRp domains uncovered two conserved cavities (A and B). Both cavities are located in the thumb subdomains and represent potential targets for development of allosteric inhibitors. In this study, we used dengue virus as a model to analyze the function of the two RdRp cavities. Amino acids from both cavities were subjected to mutagenesis analysis in the context of genome-length RNA and recombinant NS5 protein; residues critical for viral replication were subjected to revertant analysis. For cavity A, we found that only one (Lys-756) of the seven selected amino acids is critical for viral replication. Alanine substitution of Lys-756 did not affect the RdRp activity, suggesting that this residue functions through a nonenzymatic mechanism. For cavity B, all four selected amino acids (Leu-328, Lys-330, Trp-859, and Ile-863) are critical for viral replication. Biochemical and revertant analyses showed that three of the four mutated residues (Leu-328, Trp-859, and Ile-863) function at the step of initiation of RNA synthesis, whereas the fourth residue (Lys-330) functions by interacting with the viral NS3 helicase domain. Collectively, our results have provided direct evidence for the hypothesis that cavity B, but not cavity A, from dengue virus NS5 polymerase could be a target for rational drug design.
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A perturbation analysis of rate theory of self-regulating genes and signaling networks.
J Chem Phys
PUBLISHED: 02-17-2011
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A thorough kinetic analysis of the rate theory for stochastic self-regulating gene networks is presented. The chemical master equation kinetic model in terms of a coupled birth-death process is deconstructed into several simpler kinetic modules. We formulate and improve upon the rate theory of self-regulating genes in terms of perturbation theory. We propose a simple five-state scheme as a faithful caricature that elucidates the full kinetics including the "resonance phenomenon" discovered by Walczak et al. [Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 102, 18926 (2005)]. The same analysis can be readily applied to other biochemical networks such as phosphorylation signaling with fluctuating kinase activity. Generalization of the present approach can be included in multiple time-scale numerical computations for large biochemical networks.
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JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.

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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.