Inhibitory effects on HAV IRES-mediated translation and replication by a combination of amantadine and interferon-alpha.
ABSTRACT: Hepatitis A virus (HAV) causes acute hepatitis and sometimes leads to fulminant hepatitis. Amantadine is a tricyclic symmetric amine that inhibits the replication of many DNA and RNA viruses. Amantadine was reported to suppress HAV replication, and the efficacy of amantadine was exhibited in its inhibition of the internal ribosomal entry site (IRES) activities of HAV. Interferon (IFN) also has an antiviral effect through the induction of IFN stimulated genes (ISG) and the degradation of viral RNA. To explore the mechanism of the suppression of HAV replication, we examined the effects of the combination of amantadine and IFN-alpha on HAV IRES-mediated translation, HAV replicon replication in human hepatoma cell lines, and HAV KRM003 genotype IIIB strain replication in African green monkey kidney cell GL37. IFN-alpha seems to have no additive effect on HAV IRES-mediated translation inhibition by amantadine. However, suppressions of HAV replicon and HAV replication were stronger with the combination than with amantadine alone. In conclusion, amantadine, in combination of IFN-alpha, might have a beneficial effect in some patients with acute hepatitis A.
Project description:Studies on hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication have been greatly advanced by the development of cell culture models for HCV known as replicon systems. The prototype replicon consists of a subgenomic HCV RNA in which the HCV structural region is replaced by the neomycin phosphotransferase II (NPTII) gene, and translation of the HCV proteins NS3 to NS5 is directed by the encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) internal ribosome entry site (IRES). The interferon (IFN)-inducible protein kinase PKR plays an important role in cell defense against virus infection by impairing protein synthesis as a result of eIF-2alpha phosphorylation. Here, we show that expression of the viral nonstructural (NS) and PKR proteins and eIF-2alpha phosphorylation are all variably regulated in proliferating replicon Huh7 cells. In proliferating cells, induction of PKR protein by IFN-alpha is inversely proportional to viral RNA replication and NS protein expression, whereas eIF-2alpha phosphorylation is induced by IFN-alpha in proliferating but not in serum-starved replicon cells. The role of PKR and eIF-2alpha phosphorylation was further addressed in transient-expression assays in Huh7 cells. These experiments demonstrated that activation of PKR results in the inhibition of EMCV IRES-driven NS protein synthesis from the subgenomic viral clone through mechanisms that are independent of eIF-2alpha phosphorylation. Unlike NS proteins, HCV IRES-driven NPTII protein synthesis from the subgenomic clone was resistant to PKR activation. Interestingly, activation of PKR could induce HCV IRES-dependent mRNA translation from dicistronic constructs, but this stimulatory effect was mitigated by the presence of the viral 3' untranslated region. Thus, PKR may assume multiple roles in modulating HCV replication and protein synthesis, and tight control of PKR activity may play an important role in maintaining virus replication and allowing infection to evade the host's IFN system.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>Although chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been treated with the combination of interferon alpha (IFN-?) and ribavirin (RBV) for over a decade, the mechanism of antiviral synergy is not well understood. We aimed to determine the synergistic antiviral mechanisms of IFN-? and RBV combination treatment using HCV cell culture.<h4>Methods</h4>The antiviral efficacy of IFN-?, RBV alone and in combination was quantitatively measured using HCV infected and replicon cell culture. Direct antiviral activity of these two drugs at the level of HCV internal ribosome entry site (IRES) mediated translation in Huh-7 cell culture was investigated. The synergistic antiviral effect of IFN-? and RBV combination treatment was verified using both the CalcuSyn Software and MacSynergy Software.<h4>Results</h4>RBV combination with IFN-? efficiently inhibits HCV replication cell culture. Our results demonstrate that IFN-?, interferon lambda (IFN-?) and RBV each inhibit the expression of HCV IRES-GFP and that they have a minimal effect on the expression of GFP in which the translation is not IRES dependent. The combination treatments of RBV along with IFN-? or IFN-? were highly synergistic with combination indexes <1. We show that IFN-? treatment induce levels of PKR and eIF2? phosphorylation that prevented ribosome loading of the HCV IRES-GFP mRNA. Silencing of PKR expression in Huh-7 cells prevented the inhibitory effect of IFN-? on HCV IRES-GFP expression. RBV also blocked polyribosome loading of HCV-IRES mRNA through the inhibition of cellular IMPDH activity, and induced PKR and eIF2? phosphorylation. Knockdown of PKR or IMPDH prevented RBV induced HCV IRES-GFP translation.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We demonstrated both IFN-? and RBV inhibit HCV IRES through prevention of polyribosome formation. The combination of IFN-? and RBV treatment synergistically inhibits HCV IRES translation via using two different mechanisms involving PKR activation and depletion of intracellular guanosine pool through inhibition of IMPDH.
Project description:Hepatitis A virus (HAV) and hepatitis E virus (HEV) are causative agents of acute viral hepatitis transmitted via the fecal-oral route. Both viruses place a heavy burden on the public health and economy of developing countries. To test the possibility that HAV could be used as an expression vector for the development of a combination vaccine against hepatitis A and E infections, recombinant HAV-HEp148 was created as a vector to express an HEV neutralization epitope (HEp148) located at aa 459-606 of the HEV capsid protein. The recombinant virus expressed the HEp148 protein in a partially dimerized state in HAV-susceptible cells. Immunization with the HAV-HEp148 virus induced a strong HAV- and HEV-specific immune response in mice. Thus, the present study demonstrates a novel approach to the development of a combined hepatitis A and E vaccine.
Project description:Mutations in the internal ribosome entry site (IRES) of hepatitis A virus (HAV) have been associated with enhanced in vitro replication and viral attenuation in animal models. To address the possible role of IRES variability in clinical presentation, IRES sequences were obtained from HAV isolates associated with benign (n = 8) or severe (n = 4) hepatitis. IRES activity was assessed using a bicistronic dual-luciferase expression system in adenocarcinoma (HeLa) and hepatoma (HuH7) cell lines. Activity was higher in HuH7 than in HeLa cells, except for an infrequently isolated genotype IIA strain. Though globally low, significant variation in IRES-dependent translation efficiency was observed between field isolates, reflecting the low but significant genetic variability of this region (94.2% +/- 0.5% nucleotide identity). No mutation was exclusive of benign or severe hepatitis, and variations in IRES activity were not associated with a clinical phenotype, indirectly supporting the preponderance of host factors in determining the clinical presentation.
Project description:Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections can be cured only in a fraction of patients treated with alpha interferon (IFN-alpha) and ribavirin combination therapy. The mechanism of the IFN-alpha response against HCV is not understood, but evidence for a role for viral nonstructural protein 5A (NS5A) in IFN resistance has been provided. To elucidate the mechanism by which NS5A and possibly other viral proteins inhibit the cellular antiviral program, we have constructed a subgenomic replicon from a known infectious HCV clone and demonstrated that it has an approximately 1,000-fold-higher transduction efficiency than previously used subgenomes. We found that IFN-alpha reduced replication of HCV subgenomic replicons approximately 10-fold. The estimated half-life of viral RNA in the presence of the cytokine was about 12 h. HCV replication was sensitive to IFN-alpha independently of whether the replicon expressed an NS5A protein associated with sensitivity or resistance to the cytokine. Furthermore, our results indicated that HCV replicons can persist in Huh7 cells in the presence of high concentrations of IFN-alpha. Finally, under our conditions, selection for IFN-alpha-resistant variants did not occur.
Project description:To construct a tricistronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) replicon with double internal ribosome entry sites (IRESes) of only 22 nucleotides for each, substituting the encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) IRESes, which are most often used as the translation initiation element to form HCV replicons.The alternative 22-nucleotide IRES, RNA-binding motif protein 3 IRES (Rbm3 IRES), was used to form a tricistronic HCV replicon, to facilitate constructing HCV-harboring stable cell lines and successive antiviral screening using a luciferase marker. Briefly, two sequential Rbm3 IRESes were inserted into bicistronic pUC19-HCV plasmid, consequently forming a tricistronic HCV replicon (pHCV-rep-NeoR-hRluc), initiating the translation of humanized Renilla luciferase and HCV non-structural gene, along with HCV authentic IRES initiating the translation of neomycin resistance gene. The sH7 cell lines, in which the novel replicon RNA stably replicated, were constructed by neomycin and luciferase activity screening. The intracellular HCV replicon RNA, expression of inserted foreign genes and HCV non-structural gene, as well as response to anti-HCV agents, were measured in sH7 cells and cells transiently transfected with tricistronic replicon RNA.The intracellular HCV replicon RNA and expression of inserted foreign genes and HCV non-structural gene in sH7 cells and cells transiently transfected with tricistronic replicon RNA were comparable to those in cells stably or transiently transfected with traditional bicistronic HCV replicons. The average relative light unit in pHCV-rep-NeoR-hRluc group was approximately 2-fold of those in the pUC19-HCV-hRLuc and Tri-JFH1 groups (1.049 × 10(8) ± 2.747 × 10(7) vs 5.368 × 10(7) ± 1.016 × 10(7), P < 0.05; 1.049 × 10(8) ± 2.747 × 10(7) vs 5.243 × 10(7) ± 1.194 × 10(7), P < 0.05), suggesting that the translation initiation efficiency of the first Rbm3 IRES in the two sequential IRESes was stronger than the HCV authentic IRES and EMCV IRES. The fold changes of 72 h/4 h relative light units in the pHCV-rep-NeoR-hRluc and pUC19-HCV-hRLuc groups were similar (159.619 ± 9.083 vs 163.536 ± 24.031, P = 0.7707), and were both higher than the fold change in the Tri-JFH1 group 159.619± 9.083 vs 140.811 ± 9.882, P < 0.05; 163.536 ± 24.031 vs 140.811 ± 9.882, P < 0.05), suggesting that the replication potency of the Rbm3 IRES tricistronic replicon matched the replication of bicistronic replicon and exceeded the potency of EMCV IRES replicon. Replication of tricistronic replicons was suppressed by ribavirin, simvastatin, atorvastatin, telaprevir and boceprevir. Interferon-alpha 2b could not block replication of the novel replicon RNA in sH7 cells. After interferon stimulation, MxA mRNA and protein levels were lower in sH7 than in parental cells.Tricistronic HCV replicon with double Rbm3 IRESes could be applied to evaluate the replication inhibition efficacy of anti-HCV agents.
Project description:The hepatitis A virus (HAV) cellular receptor 1 (HAVCR1), classified as CD365, was initially discovered as an HAV cellular receptor using an expression cloning strategy. Due to the lack of HAV receptor-negative replication-competent cells, it was not possible to fully prove that HAVCR1 was a functional HAV receptor. However, biochemistry, classical virology, and epidemiology studies further supported the functional role of HAVCR1 as an HAV receptor. Here, we show that an anti-HAVCR1 monoclonal antibody that protected African green monkey kidney (AGMK) cells against HAV infection only partially protected monkey Vero E6 cells and human hepatoma Huh7 cells, indicating that these two cell lines express alternative yet unidentified HAV receptors. Therefore, we focused our work on AGMK cells to further characterize the function of HAVCR1 as an HAV receptor. Advances in clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat/Cas9 technology allowed us to knock out the monkey ortholog of HAVCR1 in AGMK cells. The resulting AGMK HAVCR1 knockout (KO) cells lost susceptibility to HAV infection, including HAV-free viral particles (vpHAV) and exosomes purified from HAV-infected cells (exo-HAV). Transfection of HAVCR1 cDNA into AGMK HAVCR1 KO cells restored susceptibility to vpHAV and exo-HAV infection. Furthermore, transfection of the mouse ortholog of HAVCR1, mHavcr1, also restored the susceptibility of AGMK HAVCR1 KO cells to HAV infection. Taken together, our data clearly show that HAVCR1 and mHavcr1 are functional HAV receptors that mediate HAV infection. This work paves the way for the identification of alternative HAV receptors to gain a complete understanding of their interplay with HAVCR1 in the cell entry and pathogenic processes of HAV.IMPORTANCE HAVCR1, an HAV receptor, is expressed in different cell types, including regulatory immune cells and antigen-presenting cells. How HAV evades the immune response during a long incubation period of up to 4 weeks and the mechanism by which the subsequent necroinflammatory process clears the infection remain a puzzle that most likely involves the HAV-HAVCR1 interaction. Based on negative data, a recent paper from the S. M. Lemon and W. Maury laboratories (A. Das, A. Hirai-Yuki, O. Gonzalez-Lopez, B. Rhein, S. Moller-Tank, R. Brouillette, L. Hensley, I. Misumi, W. Lovell, J. M. Cullen, J. K. Whitmire, W. Maury, and S. M. Lemon, mBio 8:e00969-17, 2017, https://doi.org/10.1128/mBio.00969-17) suggested that HAVCR1 is not a functional HAV receptor, nor it is it required for HAV infection. However, our data, based on regain of the HAV receptor function in HAVCR1 knockout cells transfected with HAVCR1 cDNA, disagree with their findings. Our positive data show conclusively that HAVCR1 is indeed a functional HAV receptor and lays the ground for the identification of alternative HAV receptors and how they interact with HAVCR1 in cell entry and the pathogenesis of HAV.
Project description:Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is the causative agent of hepatitis E in humans and a member of the genusOrthohepevirusin the familyHepeviridae HEV infections are the common cause of acute hepatitis but can also take chronic courses. Ribavirin is the treatment of choice for most patients, and type I interferon (IFN) has been evaluated in a few infected transplant patientsin vivo In this study, the antiviral effects of different exogenously administered interferons were investigated by using state-of-the-art subgenomic replicon and full-length HEV genome cell culture models. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) subgenomic replicons based on the genotype 2a JFH1 isolate served as the reference. The experiments revealed that HEV RNA replication was inhibited by the application of all types of IFN, including IFN-α (type I), IFN-γ (type II), and IFN-λ3 (type III), but to a far lesser extent than HCV replication. Simultaneous determination of interferon-stimulated gene (ISG) expression levels for all IFN types demonstrated efficient downregulation by HEV. Furthermore, different IFN-α subtypes were also able to block viral replication in combination with ribavirin. The IFN-α subtypes 2a and 2b exerted the strongest antiviral activity against HEV. In conclusion, these data demonstrate for the first time moderate anti-HEV activities of types II and III IFNs and different IFN-α subtypes. As HEV employed a potent anti-interferon mechanism by restricting ISG expression, exogenous application of IFNs as immunotherapy should be carefully assessed.
Project description:Picornaviruses use internal ribosome entry sites (IRESs) to translate their genomes into protein. A typical feature of these IRESs is their ability to bind directly to the eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF) 4G component of the eIF4F cap-binding complex. Remarkably, the hepatitis A virus (HAV) IRES requires eIF4E for its translation, but no mechanism has been proposed to explain this. Here we demonstrate that eIF4E regulates HAV IRES-mediated translation by two distinct mechanisms. First, eIF4E binding to eIF4G generates a high-affinity binding conformation of the eIF4F complex for the IRES. Second, eIF4E binding to eIF4G strongly stimulates the rate of duplex unwinding by eIF4A on the IRES. Our data also reveal that eIF4E promotes eIF4F binding and increases the rate of restructuring of the poliovirus (PV) IRES. This provides a mechanism to explain why PV IRES-mediated translation is stimulated by eIF4E availability in nuclease-treated cell-free extracts. Using a PV replicon and purified virion RNA, we also show that eIF4E promotes the rate of eIF4G cleavage by the 2A protease. Finally, we show that cleavage of eIF4G by the poliovirus 2A protease generates a high-affinity IRES binding truncation of eIF4G that stimulates eIF4A duplex unwinding independently of eIF4E. Therefore, our data reveal how picornavirus IRESs use eIF4E-dependent and -independent mechanisms to promote their translation.
Project description:Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is a hepatotropic human picornavirus that has been associated only with acute infection. Its pathogenesis is not well understood since there have been few recent studies in animal models using modern methodologies. We characterized HAV infections in three chimpanzees, quantifying viral RNA by qRT-PCR and examining critical aspects of the innate immune response including intrahepatic interferon-stimulated gene expression. We compared these infection profiles with similar studies of chimpanzees infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), a hepatotropic flavivirus that frequently causes persistent infection. Surprisingly, HAV-infected animals exhibited very limited induction of type I interferon-stimulated genes in the liver compared to chimpanzees with acute resolving HCV infection, despite similar levels of viremia and 100-fold greater quantities of viral RNA in the liver. Minimal ISG15 and IFIT1 responses peaked 1-2 weeks after HAV challenge, then subsided despite continuing high hepatic viral loads. An acute inflammatory response at 3-4 weeks correlated with the appearance of virus-specific antibodies, and both apoptosis and proliferation of hepatocytes. Despite this, HAV RNA persisted in the liver for months, remaining present long after its clearance from serum and feces and revealing dramatic differences in the kinetics of clearance in the three compartments. Viral RNA was detected in the liver for significantly longer (35 to >48 weeks) than HCV RNA in animals with acute resolving HCV infection (10-20 weeks). Collectively, these findings suggest that early HAV infection is far stealthier than HCV infection and represents a distinctly different paradigm in viral-host interactions within the liver. Chimpanzee liver was biopsied during an acute HAV infection. Chimp 1 and 2 had two baseline samples. Chimp 3 used the baselines from chimps 1 and 2. Chimp 1 had 8 samples during the HAV acute infection. Chimp 2 had 9 samples during the HAV acute infection. Chimp 3 had 4 samples during the HAV acute infection.