Expression, self-assembly, and antigenicity of the Norwalk virus capsid protein.
ABSTRACT: Norwalk virus capsid protein was produced by expression of the second and third open reading frames of the Norwalk virus genome, using a cell-free translation system and baculovirus recombinants. Analysis of the expressed products showed that the second open reading frame encodes a protein with an apparent molecular weight of 58,000 (58K protein) and that this protein self-assembles to form empty viruslike particles similar to native capsids in size and appearance. The antigenicity of these particles was demonstrated by immunoprecipitation and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays of paired serum samples from volunteers who developed illness following Norwalk virus challenge. These particles also induced high levels of Norwalk virus-specific serum antibody in laboratory animals following parenteral inoculation. A minor 34K protein was also found in infected insect cells. Amino acid sequence analysis of the N terminus of the 34K protein indicated that the 34K protein was a cleavage product of the 58K protein. The availability of large amounts of recombinant Norwalk virus particles will allow the development of rapid, sensitive, and reliable tests for the diagnosis of Norwalk virus infection as well as the implementation of structural studies.
Project description:A cDNA obtained from Grimsby virus (GRV), a Norwalk-like virus, purified from a stool sample of a symptomatic adult associated with a gastroenteritis outbreak in the United Kingdom, was used to obtain the complete nucleotide sequence of the second open reading frame (ORF2). The ORF2 sequence of GRV predicts a capsid of 539 amino acids (aa) which exhibits aa identities of 96% to Lordsdale virus, 67% to Mexico virus (MXV), and 43% to Norwalk virus (NV). The GRV capsid protein was expressed in insects cells by using a recombinant baculovirus, and the resulting virus-like particles (VLPs) possessed a protein with an apparent molecular weight of 58,000. Hyperimmune antisera raised against purified GRV, MXV, and NV VLPs were tested in an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) against GRV, NV, and MXV VLPs, revealing that GRV is antigenically distinct from both NV and MXV. The antigenic specificity of the GRV-hyperimmune antiserum was confirmed in an antigen capture ELISA using GRV-, NV-, or MXV-containing fecal specimens. The expression of the GRV capsid protein has, for the first time, allowed the antigenic comparison of three distinct recombinant Norwalk-like viruses.
Project description:The human noroviruses (NoVs) are genetically diverse, rapidly evolving RNA viruses and are the major cause of epidemic gastroenteritis of humans. Serum antibodies that block the interaction of NoVs and NoV viruslike particles (VLPs) with host attachment factors are considered surrogate neutralizing antibodies in the absence of cell culture and small-animal replication models for the human NoVs. A serological assay for NoV-blocking antibodies was used to assess the breadth of the heterotypic antibody response in the context of an experimental challenge study with a human NoV. Heterotypic histo-blood group antigen (HBGA)-blocking activity against GI.4, GI.7, and GII.4 NoVs increased significantly in the serum of individuals (n = 18) infected with Norwalk virus (GI.1). Although the fold increases and peak titers of heterotypic antibody were more modest than titers of antibody reactive with the challenge antigen, Norwalk virus infection elicited a serological rise even against the novel Sydney variant of GII.4 NoVs. These observations indicate that the development of a broadly cross-protective NoV vaccine containing a limited number of genotypes may be possible.
Project description:Noroviruses cause epidemic and sporadic acute gastroenteritis. No vaccine is available to prevent norovirus illness or infection.We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial to assess the safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy of an investigational, intranasally delivered norovirus viruslike particle (VLP) vaccine (with chitosan and monophosphoryl lipid A as adjuvants) to prevent acute viral gastroenteritis after challenge with a homologous viral strain, Norwalk virus (genotype GI.1). Healthy adults 18 to 50 years of age received two doses of either vaccine or placebo and were subsequently inoculated with Norwalk virus and monitored for infection and gastroenteritis symptoms.Ninety-eight persons were enrolled and randomly assigned to receive vaccine (50 participants) or placebo (48 participants), and 90 received both doses (47 participants in the vaccine group and 43 in the placebo group). The most commonly reported symptoms after vaccination were nasal stuffiness, nasal discharge, and sneezing. Adverse events occurred with similar frequency among vaccine and placebo recipients. A Norwalk virus-specific IgA seroresponse (defined as an increase by a factor of 4 in serum antibody levels) was detected in 70% of vaccine recipients. Seventy-seven of 84 participants inoculated with Norwalk virus were included in the per-protocol analysis. Vaccination significantly reduced the frequencies of Norwalk virus gastroenteritis (occurring in 69% of placebo recipients vs. 37% of vaccine recipients, P=0.006) and Norwalk virus infection (82% of placebo recipients vs. 61% of vaccine recipients, P=0.05).This norovirus VLP vaccine provides protection against illness and infection after challenge with a homologous virus. (Funded by LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals and the National Institutes of Health; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00973284.).
Project description:Norwalk virus, an important cause of epidemic, acute, nonbacterial gastroenteritis in adults and children, has eluded adaptation to tissue culture, the development of an animal model, and molecular cloning. In this study, a portion of the Norwalk viral genome encoding an immunoreactive region was cloned from very small quantities of infected stool using sequence-independent single primer amplification. Six overlapping complementary DNA (cDNA) clones were isolated by immunologic screening. The expressed recombinant protein from a representative clone reacted with six of seven high titer. Norwalk-specific, postinfection sera but not with corresponding preinfection sera. Nucleic acid sequence for all clones defined a single open reading frame contiguous with the lambda gt11-expressed beta-galactosidase protein. Only oligonucleotide probes specific for the positive strand (defined by the open reading frame) hybridized to an RNaseA-sensitive, DNaseI-resistant nucleic acid sequence extracted from Norwalk-infected stool. Furthermore, RNA extracted from serial postinfection, but not preinfection, stools from three of five volunteers hybridized to a Norwalk virus cDNA probe. Clone-specific oligonucleotide probes hybridized with cesium chloride gradient fractions containing purified Norwalk virion. In conclusion, an antigenic, protein-coding region of the Norwalk virus genome has been identified. This epitope has potential utility in future sero- and molecular epidemiologic studies of Norwalk viral gastroenteritis.
Project description:Noroviruses (NoV) cause the great majority of epidemic nonbacterial gastroenteritis in humans. Expression of the capsid protein in recombinant systems, including insect and plant cells, yields assembly of virus-like particles (VLPs) that mimic the antigenic structure of authentic virions, and are relatively acid- and heat-stable. Norwalk virus (NV), the prototype NoV, has been studied extensively, and Norwalk virus-like particles (NVLPs) produced in insect cells and plants are immunogenic in mice and humans when delivered orally, stimulating the production of systemic and mucosal anti-NV antibodies. NVLPs are also highly immunogenic when delivered intranasally, provoking antibodies at levels similar to orally delivered VLP at much lower doses. Oral and nasal delivery of NVLPs efficiently produces antibodies at distal mucosal sites, which suggests that NVLPs could be used to deliver heterologous peptide antigens by production of genetic fusion chimeric capsid proteins. Examination of norovirus VLP surface structures and receptor binding motifs facilitates identification of potential sites for insertion of foreign peptides that will minimally affect the efficiency of VLP assembly and receptor binding. Thus, there is strong potential to use norovirus VLPs as vaccine-delivery vehicles.
Project description:Passive immunoprophylaxis or immunotherapy with norovirus-neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) could be a useful treatment for high-risk populations, including infants and young children, the elderly, and certain patients who are debilitated or immunocompromised. In order to obtain antinorovirus MAbs with therapeutic potential, we stimulated a strong adaptive immune response in chimpanzees to the prototype norovirus strain Norwalk virus (NV) (genogroup I.1). A combinatorial phage Fab display library derived from mRNA of the chimpanzees' bone marrow was prepared, and four distinct Fabs reactive with Norwalk recombinant virus-like particles (rVLPs) were recovered, with estimated binding affinities in the subnanomolar range. Mapping studies showed that the four Fabs recognized three different conformational epitopes in the protruding (P) domain of NV VP1, the major capsid protein. The epitope of one of the Fabs, G4, was further mapped to a specific site involving a key amino acid residue, Gly365. One additional specific Fab (F11) was recovered months later from immortalized memory B cells and partially characterized. The anti-NV Fabs were converted into full-length IgG (MAbs) with human ?1 heavy chain constant regions. The anti-NV MAbs were tested in the two available surrogate assays for Norwalk virus neutralization, which showed that the MAbs could block carbohydrate binding and inhibit hemagglutination by NV rVLP. By mixing a single MAb with live Norwalk virus prior to challenge, MAbs D8 and B7 neutralized the virus and prevented infection in a chimpanzee. Because chimpanzee immunoglobulins are virtually identical to human immunoglobulins, these chimpanzee anticapsid MAbs may have a clinical application.
Project description:Norwalk virus is the prototype strain for members of the genus Norovirus in the family Caliciviridae, which are associated with epidemic gastroenteritis in humans. The nonstructural protein encoded in the N-terminal region of the first open reading frame (ORF1) of the Norwalk virus genome is analogous in gene order to proteins 2A and 2B of the picornaviruses; the latter is known for its membrane-associated activities. Confocal microscopy imaging of cells transfected with a vector plasmid that provided expression of the entire Norwalk virus N-terminal protein (amino acids 1 to 398 of the ORF1 polyprotein) showed colocalization of this protein with cellular proteins of the Golgi apparatus. Furthermore, this colocalization was characteristically associated with a visible disassembly of the Golgi complex into discrete aggregates. Deletion of a predicted hydrophobic region (amino acids 360 to 379) in a potential 2B-like (2BL) region (amino acids 301 to 398) near the C terminus of the Norwalk virus N-terminal protein reduced Golgi colocalization and disassembly. Confocal imaging was conducted to examine the expression characteristics of fusion proteins in which the 2BL region from the N-terminal protein of Norwalk virus (a genogroup I norovirus) or MD145 (a genogroup II norovirus) was fused to the C terminus of enhanced green fluorescent protein. Expression of each fusion protein in cells showed evidence for its colocalization with the Golgi apparatus. These data indicate that the N-terminal protein of Norwalk virus interacts with the Golgi apparatus and may play a 2BL role in the induction of intracellular membrane rearrangements associated with positive-strand RNA virus replication in cells.
Project description:In 1977, 30- to 32-nm virus-like particles, named minireovirus because of their unique morphologic appearance, were detected by electron microscopy in the stools of infants and young children with gastroenteritis. Sequence analysis of approximately 2,800 consecutive bases derived from overlapping PCR clones of a recent minireovirus clinical isolate showed 52% nucleotide sequence identity with the Norwalk virus sequence and, in addition, demonstrated that the genomic organizations of these two viruses were similar. Our data show that minireovirus is a Norwalk-like virus and should now also be included in the Caliciviridae family.
Project description:Viral capsid assembly, in which viral proteins self-assemble into complexes of well defined architecture, is a fascinating biological process. Although viral structure and assembly processes have been the subject of many excellent structural biology studies in the past, questions still remain regarding the intricate mechanisms that underlie viral structure, stability, and assembly. Here we used native mass spectrometry-based techniques to study the structure, stability, and assembly of Norwalk virus-like particles. Although detailed structural information on the fully assembled capsid exists, less information is available on potential capsid (dis)assembly intermediates, largely because of the inherent heterogeneity and complexity of the disassembly pathways. We used native mass spectrometry and atomic force microscopy to investigate the (dis)assembly of the Norwalk virus-like particles as a function of solution pH, ionic strength, and VP1 protein concentration. Native MS analysis at physiological pH revealed the presence of the complete capsid (T = 3) consisting of 180 copies of VP1. The mass of these capsid particles extends over 10 million Da, ranking them among the largest protein complexes ever analyzed by native MS. Although very stable under acidic conditions, the capsid was found to be sensitive to alkaline treatment. At elevated pH, intermediate structures consisting of 2, 4, 6, 18, 40, 60, and 80 copies of VP1 were observed with the VP1(60) (3.36-MDa) and VP1(80) (4.48-MDa) species being most abundant. Atomic force microscopy imaging and ion mobility mass spectrometry confirmed the formation of these latter midsize spherical particles at elevated pH. All these VP1 oligomers could be reversely assembled into the original capsid (VP1(180)). From the MS data collected over a range of experimental conditions, we suggest a disassembly model in which the T = 3 VP1(180) particles dissociate into smaller oligomers, predominantly dimers, upon alkaline treatment prior to reassembly into VP1(60) and VP1(80) species.
Project description:The viral capsid protein of the Seto virus (SeV), a Japanese strain of genogroup I Norwalk-like viruses (NLVs), was expressed as virus-like particles using a baculovirus expression system. An antigen detection enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay based on hyperimmune antisera to recombinant SeV was highly specific to homologous SeV-like strains but not heterologous strains in stools, allowing us type-specific detection of NLVs.