The papain-like cysteine protease 2 (PLP2) within the N-terminus of the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) nsp2 replicase protein specifies a deubiquitinating enzyme (DUB), but its biochemical properties and the role in infection have remained poorly defined. By using in vitro assays, we found that the purified PLP2 could efficiently cleave K63 and K48 linked polyubiquitin chains Ub3-7 in vitro although displaying a differential activity in converting the respective ubiquitin dimers to monomer. The subsequent mutagenesis analyses revealed that the requirement for PLP2 DUB activity surprisingly resembled that for cis-cleavage activity, as several mutations (e.g., D91R, D85R, etc.) that largely ablated the DUB function also blocked the cis- but not trans-proteolytic cleavage of nsp2/3 polyprotein. Moreover, the analyses identified key mutations that could differentiate DUB from PLP2 cis- and trans-cleavage activities. Further reverse genetics analyses revealed the following findings: (i) mutations that largely blocked the DUB activity were all lethal to the virus, (ii) a point mutation T88G that selectively blocked the cis-cleavage activity of PLP2 did not affect viral viability in cell culture, and (iii) an E90Q mutation that did not affect either of the PLP2 activities led to rescue of WT-like virus but displayed significantly reduced ability to induce TNF-alpha production. Our findings support the possibility that the PLP2 DUB activity, but not cis-cleavage activity, is essential for PRRSV replication. The data also establish a strong link of nsp2 to pro-inflammatory cytokine induction during infection that operates in a manner independent of PLP2 DUB activity.
Bicistronic transgene expression mediated by internal ribosome entry site (IRES) elements has been widely used. It co-expresses heterologous transgene products from a message RNA driven by a single promoter. Hematologic gene delivery is a promising treatment for both inherited and acquired diseases. A combined strategy was recently documented for potential genome editing in hematopoietic cells. A transduction efficiency exceeding similar to 90% can be achieved by capsid-optimized recombinant adeno-associated virus serotype 6 (rAAV6) vectors. In this study, to deliver an encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) IRES-containing rAAV6 genome into hematopoietic cells, we observed that EMCV IRES almost completely shut down the transgene expression during the process of mRNA-protein transition. In addition, position-dependent behavior was observed, in which only the EMCV IRES element located between a promoter and the transgenes had an inhibitory effect. Although further studies are warranted to evaluate the involvement of cellular translation machinery, our results propose the use of specific IRES elements or an alternative strategy, such as the 2A system, to achieve bicistronic transgene expression in hematopoietic cells.
Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), which causes Rift Valley fever (RVF), is a mosquito-borne zoonotic pathogen that causes serious morbidity and mortality in livestock and humans. RVF is a World Health Organization (WHO) priority disease and, together with rabies, is a major health burden in Africa. Here, we present the development and characterization of an inactivated recombinant RVFV and rabies virus (RABV) vaccine candidate (rSRV9-eGn). Immunization with rSRV9-eGn stimulated the production of RVFV-specific IgG antibodies and induced humoral and cellular immunity in mice but did not induce the production of neutralizing antibodies. IgG1 and IgG2a were the main isotypes observed by IgG subtype detection, and IgG3 antibodies were not detected. The ratios of IgG1/IgG2a > 1 indicated a Type 2 humoral immune response. An effective vaccine is intended to establish a long-lived population of memory T cells, and mice generated memory cells among the proliferating T cell population after immunization with rSRV9-eGn, with effector memory T cells (T-EM) as the major population. Due to the lack of prophylactic treatment experiments, it is impossible to predict whether this vaccine can protect animals from RVFV infection with only high titres of anti-RVFV IgG antibodies and no neutralizing antibodies induced, and thus, protection confirmation needs further verification. However, this RVFV vaccine designed with RABV as the vector provides ideas for the development of vaccines that prevent RVFV and RABV infections.
Enzootic nasal tumor virus (ENTV) has two types, ENTV-1 in sheep and ENTV-2 in goats, respectively. In China, the incidence of ENTV-2 related diseases has increased year by year. In this study, we reported an outbreak of ENTV-2 in a commercial goat farm in Qingyuan city, Guangdong province, southern China. A full-length genome of ENTV-2 (designated GDQY2017), with 7479 base pairs, was sequenced. Although GDQY2017 shared the highest nucleotide identity with a Chinese ENTV-2 isolate (ENTV-2CHN4, GenBank accession number KU258873), it possesses distinct genome characteristics undescribed, including a non-continuous 21-nucleotide insertion in the gag gene and a non-continuous 12-nucleotide deletion in the env gene. Notably, most of these indel nucleotide sequences were originated from a Chinese jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus (JSRV) isolate (GenBank accession number DQ838494). In the gag and env genes, GDQY2017 was phylogenetically related to those Chinese ENTV-2 isolates and a Chinese JSRV isolate (DQ838494). For GDQY2017-like viruses, more surveillance work should be made to explain their pathogenicity in goat herds. To our knowledge, this study represents the first to demonstrate the circulating pattern of ENTV-2 in Guangdong province, China, which will help to better understand the epidemiology and genetic diversity of ENTV-2.
Peste des petits ruminants is a highly contagious acute or subacute disease of small ruminants caused by the peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV), and it is responsible for significant economic losses in animal husbandry. Vaccination represents the most effective means of controlling this disease, with virus-like particle (VLP) vaccines offering promising vaccine candidates. In this study, a PPRV VLP-based vaccine was developed using a baculovirus expression system, allowing for the simultaneous expression of the PPRV matrix (M), hemagglutinin (H), fusion (F) and nucleocapsid (N) proteins in insect cells. Immunization of mice and goats with PPRV VLPs elicited a robust neutralization response and a potent cellular immune response. Mouse studies demonstrated that VLPs induced a more robust IFN-gamma response in CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells than PPRV Nigeria 75/1 and recruited and/or activated more B cells and dendritic cells in inguinal lymph nodes. In addition, PPRV VLPs induced a strong Th1 class response in mice, as indicated by a high IgG2a to IgG1 ratio. Goat studies demonstrated that PPRV VLPs can induce the production of antibodies specific for F and H proteins and can also stimulate the production of virus neutralizing antibodies to the same magnitude as the PPRV Nigeria 75/1 vaccine. Higher amounts of IFN-gamma in VLP-immunized animal serum suggested that VLPs also elicited a cellular immune response in goats. These results demonstrated that VLPs elicit a potent immune response against PPRV infection in small ruminants, making PPRV VLPs a potential candidate for PPRV vaccine development.
Newcastle disease (ND) is an acute, febrile, highly contagious disease caused by the virulent Newcastle disease virus (vNDV). The disease causes serious economic losses to the poultry industry. However, the metabolic changes caused by vNDV infection remain unclear. The objective of this study was to determine the metabolomic profiling after infection with vNDV. DF-1 cells infected with the vNDV strain Herts/33 and the lungs from Herts/33-infected specific pathogen-free (SPF) chickens were analyzed via ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography/quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-QTOF-MS) in combination with multivariate statistical analysis. A total of 305 metabolites were found to have changed significantly after Herts/33 infection, and most of them belong to the amino acid and nucleotide metabolic pathway. It is suggested that the increased pools of amino acids and nucleotides may benefit viral protein synthesis and genome amplification to promote NDV infection. Similar results were also confirmed in vivo. Identification of these metabolites will provide information to further understand the mechanism of vNDV replication and pathogenesis.
Artaxa digramma is a lepidopteran pest distributed throughout southern China, Myanmar, Indonesia, and India. Artaxa digramma nucleopolyhedrovirus (ArdiNPV) is a specific viral pathogen of A. digramma and deemed as a promising biocontrol agent against the pest. In this study, the complete genome sequence of ArdiNPV was determined by deep sequencing. The genome of ArdiNPV contains a double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) of 161,734 bp in length and 39.1% G+C content. Further, 149 hypothetical open reading frames (ORFs) were predicted to encode proteins >50 amino acids in length, covering 83% of the whole genome. Among these ORFs, 38 were baculovirus core genes, 22 were lepidopteran baculovirus conserved genes, and seven were unique to ArdiNPV, respectively. No typical baculoviral homologous regions (hrs) were identified in the genome. ArdiNPV had five multi-copy genes including baculovirus repeated ORFs (bros), calcium/sodium antiporter B (chaB), DNA binding protein (dbp), inhibitor of apoptosis protein (iap), and p26. Interestingly, phylogenetic analyses showed that ArdiNPV belonged to Clade II.b of Group II Alphabaculoviruses, which all contain a second copy of dbp. The genome of ArdiNPV was the closest to Euproctis pseudoconspersa nucleopolyhedrovirus, with 57.4% whole-genome similarity. Therefore, these results suggest that ArdiNPV is a novel baculovirus belonging to a newly identified cluster of Clade II.b Alphabaculoviruses.
Bombyx mori nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV) is closely related to Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) with over similar to 93% amino acid sequence identity. However, their host ranges are essentially nonoverlapping. The mechanism of BmNPV entry into host cells is completely different from that of AcMNPV, and whether the entry mechanism difference relates to the host range remains unclear. BmNPV produces an abortive infection in nonhost cells due to virion nuclear transportation failure. Here, we performed a detailed study by increasing BmNPV infection in Sf21 cells with the aid of methyl-beta-cyclodextrin (M beta CD). We found that low-concentration M beta CD incubation efficiently activates membrane ruffling in Sf21 cells, which mediates the increase in BmNPV infection. Interestingly, M beta CD incubation after virion internalization also increases the infection, which suggests that macropinocytosis is involved in BmNPV infection in Sf21 cells after virion internalization. Further study revealed that clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) is employed by BmNPV to facilitate entry into Sf21 cells, and chlorpromazine application abolishes BmNPV infection in cells incubated both with and without M beta CD. Based on these studies, we show that BmNPV enters Sf21 cells via CME and that parallel induction of macropinocytosis facilitates BmNPV infection in Sf21 cells. This study reveals the mechanism of BmNPV entry into Sf21 cells and provides clues for improving BmNPV infections in nonpermissive cells.
The high mutation rates of infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) pose economic threats to the poultry industry. In order to track the genetic evolutionary of IBV isolates circulating in yellow chickens, we continued to conduct the genetic analyses of the structural genes S1, E, M, and N from 64 IBV isolates in southern China during 2009-2017. The results showed that the dominant genotypes based on the four genes had changed when compared with those during 1985-2008. Based on the S1 gene phylogenetic tree, LX4-type (GI-19) was the most dominant genotype, which was different from that during 1985-2008. The second most dominant genotype was LDT3-A-type, but this genotype disappeared after 2012. New-type 1 (GVI-1) isolates showed increasing tendency and there were four aa (QKEP) located in the hypervariable region (HVR) III and one aa (S) insertion in all the New-type 1 isolates. Both the analyses of amino acid entropy and molecular evolutionary rate revealed that the variations from large to small were S1, E, M, and N. Purifying selection was detected in the S1, E, M, and N gene proteins, which was different from the positive selection during 1985-2008. Six isolates were confirmed to be recombinants, possibly generated from a vaccine virus of the 4/91-type or LDT3-A-type and a circulating virus. The estimated times for the most recent common ancestors based on the S1, E, M, and N genes were the years of 1744, 1893, 1940, and 1945, respectively. Bayesian skyline analysis revealed a sharp decrease in genetic diversity of all the four structural genes after 2010 and since late 2015, the viral population rapidly rose. In conclusion, the IBVs circulating in southern China over the past decade have experienced a remarkable change in genetic diversity, dominant genotypes, and selection pressure, indicating the importance of permanent monitoring of circulating strains and the urgency for developing new vaccines to counteract the emerging LX4-type and New-type IBVs.
Some coronaviruses (CoVs) have an extra furin cleavage site (RRKR/S, furin-S2' site) upstream of the fusion peptide in the spike protein, which plays roles in virion adsorption and fusion. Mutation of the S2' site of QX genotype (QX-type) infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) spike protein (S) in a recombinant virus background results in higher pathogenicity, pronounced neural symptoms and neurotropism when compared with conditions in wild-type IBV (WT-IBV) infected chickens. In this study, we present evidence suggesting that recombinant IBV with a mutant S2' site (furin-S2' site) leads to higher mortality. Infection with mutant IBV induces severe encephalitis and breaks the blood-brain barrier. The results of a neutralization test and immunoprotection experiment show that an original serum and vaccine can still provide effective protection in vivo and in vitro. This is the first demonstration of IBV-induced neural symptoms in chickens with encephalitis and the furin-S2' site as a determinant of neurotropism.
Ebola virus (EBOV) is a highly lethal pathogen that has caused several outbreaks of severe hemorrhagic fever in humans since its emergence in 1976. The EBOV glycoprotein (GP(1,2)) is the sole viral envelope protein and a major component of immunogenicity; it is encoded by the GP gene along with two truncated versions: soluble GP (sGP) and small soluble GP (ssGP). sGP is, in fact, the primary product of the GP gene, and it is secreted in abundance during EBOV infection. Since sGP shares large portions of its sequence with GP(1,2), it has been hypothesized that sGP may subvert the host immune response by inducing antibodies against sGP rather than GP(1,2). Several reports have shown that sGP plays multiple roles that contribute to the complex pathogenesis of EBOV. In this review, we focus on sGP and discuss its possible roles with regards to the pathogenesis of EBOV and the development of specific antiviral drugs.
Porcine deltacoronavirus (PDCoV) is a newly emerging enteric pathogen in swine that causes diarrhea in neonatal piglets and creates an additional economic burden on porcine industries in Asia and North America. In this study, a PDCoV isolate, CHN-SC2015, was isolated from Sichuan Province in southwest China. The isolate was characterized by a cytopathic effect, immunofluorescence, and electron microscopy. CHN-SC2015 titers in LLC-PK cells ranged from 10(4.31) to 10(8.22) TCID50/mL during the first 30 passages. During serial passage, 11 nucleotide mutations occurred in the S gene, resulting in nine amino acid changes. A whole genome sequencing analysis demonstrated that CHN-SC2015 shares 97.5%-99.1% identity with 59 reference strains in GenBank. Furthermore, CHN-SC2015 contained 6-nt deletion and 9-nt insertion in the ORF1ab gene, 3-nt deletion in the S gene and 11-nt deletion in its 3'UTR compared with other reference strains available in GenBank. A phylogenetic analysis showed that CHN-SC2015 is more closely related to other PDCoV strains in China than to the strains from Southeast Asia, USA, Japan, and South Korea, indicating the diversity of genetic relationships and regional and epidemic characteristics among these strains. A recombination analysis indicated that CHN-SC2015 experienced recombination events between SHJS/SL/2016 and TT-1115. In vivo infection demonstrated that CHN-SC2015 is highly pathogenic to sucking piglets, causing diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, and death. Virus was shed daily in the feces of infected piglets and upon necropsy, was found distributed in the gastrointestinal tract and in multiple organs. CHN-SC2015 is the first systematically characterized strain from southwest China hitherto reported. Our results enrich the body of information on the epidemiology, pathogenicity and molecular evolution associated with PDCoV.
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is a huge threat to the modern pig industry, and current vaccine prevention strategies could not provide full protection against it. Therefore, exploring new anti-PRRSV strategies is urgently needed. Ginsenoside Rg1, derived from ginseng and notoginseng, is shown to exert anti-inflammatory, neuronal apoptosis-suppressing and anti-oxidant effects. Here we demonstrate Rg1-inhibited PRRSV infection both in Marc-145 cells and porcine alveolar macrophages (PAMs) in a dose-dependent manner. Rg1 treatment affected multiple steps of the PRRSV lifecycle, including virus attachment, replication and release at concentrations of 10 or 50 mu M. Meanwhile, Rg1 exhibited broad inhibitory activities against Type 2 PRRSV, including highly pathogenic PRRSV (HP-PRRSV) XH-GD and JXA1, NADC-30-like strain HNLY and classical strain VR2332. Mechanistically, Rg1 reduced mRNA levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-1 beta, IL-8, IL-6 and TNF-alpha, and decreased NF-kappa B signaling activation triggered by PRRSV infection. Furthermore, 4-week old piglets intramuscularly treated with Rg1 after being challenged with the HP-PRRSV JXA1 strain display moderate lung injury, decreased viral load in serum and tissues, and an improved survival rate. Collectively, our study provides research basis and supportive clinical data for using Ginsenoside Rg1 in PRRSV therapies in swine.