Insights into minor group rhinovirus uncoating: the X-ray structure of the HRV2 empty capsid.
ABSTRACT: Upon attachment to their respective receptor, human rhinoviruses (HRVs) are internalized into the host cell via different pathways but undergo similar structural changes. This ultimately results in the delivery of the viral RNA into the cytoplasm for replication. To improve our understanding of the conformational modifications associated with the release of the viral genome, we have determined the X-ray structure at 3.0 Å resolution of the end-stage of HRV2 uncoating, the empty capsid. The structure shows important conformational changes in the capsid protomer. In particular, a hinge movement around the hydrophobic pocket of VP1 allows a coordinated shift of VP2 and VP3. This overall displacement forces a reorganization of the inter-protomer interfaces, resulting in a particle expansion and in the opening of new channels in the capsid core. These new breaches in the capsid, opening one at the base of the canyon and the second at the particle two-fold axes, might act as gates for the externalization of the VP1 N-terminus and the extrusion of the viral RNA, respectively. The structural comparison between native and empty HRV2 particles unveils a number of pH-sensitive amino acid residues, conserved in rhinoviruses, which participate in the structural rearrangements involved in the uncoating process.
Project description:UNLABELLED:Human enterovirus 71 (EV71) is the major causative agent of severe hand-foot-and-mouth diseases (HFMD) in young children, and structural characterization of EV71 during its life cycle can aid in the development of therapeutics against HFMD. Here, we present the atomic structures of the full virion and an uncoating intermediate of a clinical EV71 C4 strain to illustrate the structural changes in the full virion that lead to the formation of the uncoating intermediate prepared for RNA release. Although the VP1 N-terminal regions observed to penetrate through the junction channel at the quasi-3-fold axis in the uncoating intermediate of coxsackievirus A16 were not observed in the EV71 uncoating intermediate, drastic conformational changes occur in this region, as has been observed in all capsid proteins. Additionally, the RNA genome interacts with the N-terminal extensions of VP1 and residues 32 to 36 of VP3, both of which are situated at the bottom of the junction. These observations highlight the importance of the junction for genome release. Furthermore, EV71 uncoating is associated with apparent rearrangements and expansion around the 2- and 5-fold axes without obvious changes around the 3-fold axes. Therefore, these structures enabled the identification of hot spots for capsid rearrangements, which led to the hypothesis that the protomer interface near the junction and the 2-fold axis permits the opening of large channels for the exit of polypeptides and viral RNA, which is an uncoating mechanism that is likely conserved in enteroviruses. IMPORTANCE:Human enterovirus 71 (EV71) is the major causative agent of severe hand-foot-and-mouth diseases (HFMD) in young children. EV71 contains an RNA genome protected by an icosahedral capsid shell. Uncoating is essential in EV71 life cycle, which is characterized by conformational changes in the capsid to facilitate RNA release into host cell. Here we present the atomic structures of the full virion and an uncoating intermediate of a clinical C4 strain of EV71. Structural analysis revealed drastic conformational changes associated with uncoating in all the capsid proteins near the junction at the quasi-3-fold axis and protein-RNA interactions at the bottom of the junction in the uncoating intermediate. Significant capsid rearrangements also occur at the icosahedral 2- and 5-fold axes but not at the 3-fold axis. Taking the results together, we hypothesize that the junction and nearby areas are hot spots for capsid breaches for the exit of polypeptides and viral RNA during uncoating.
Project description:Viral inhibitors, such as pleconaril and vapendavir, target conserved regions in the capsids of rhinoviruses (RVs) and enteroviruses (EVs) by binding to a hydrophobic pocket in viral capsid protein 1 (VP1). In resistant RVs and EVs, bulky residues in this pocket prevent their binding. However, recently developed pyrazolopyrimidines inhibit pleconaril-resistant RVs and EVs, and computational modeling has suggested that they also bind to the hydrophobic pocket in VP1. We studied the mechanism of inhibition of pleconaril-resistant RVs using RV-B5 (1 of the 7 naturally pleconaril-resistant rhinoviruses) and OBR-5-340, a bioavailable pyrazolopyrimidine with proven in vivo activity, and determined the 3D-structure of the protein-ligand complex to 3.6 Å with cryoelectron microscopy. Our data indicate that, similar to other capsid binders, OBR-5-340 induces thermostability and inhibits viral adsorption and uncoating. However, we found that OBR-5-340 attaches closer to the entrance of the pocket than most other capsid binders, whose viral complexes have been studied so far, showing only marginal overlaps of the attachment sites. Comparing the experimentally determined 3D structure with the control, RV-B5 incubated with solvent only and determined to 3.2 Å, revealed no gross conformational changes upon OBR-5-340 binding. The pocket of the naturally OBR-5-340-resistant RV-A89 likewise incubated with OBR-5-340 and solved to 2.9 Å was empty. Pyrazolopyrimidines have a rigid molecular scaffold and may thus be less affected by a loss of entropy upon binding. They interact with less-conserved regions than known capsid binders. Overall, pyrazolopyrimidines could be more suitable for the development of new, broadly active inhibitors.
Project description:The sequences of the capsid protein VP1 of all minor receptor group human rhinoviruses were determined. A phylogenetic analysis revealed that minor group HRVs were not more related to each other than to the nine major group HRVs whose sequences are known. Examination of the surface exposed amino acid residues of HRV1A and HRV2, whose X-ray structures are available, and that of three-dimensional models computed for the remaining eight minor group HRVs indicated a pattern of positively charged residues within the region, which, in HRV2, was shown to be the binding site of the very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) receptor. A lysine in the HI loop of VP1 (K224 in HRV2) is strictly conserved within the minor group. It lies in the middle of the footprint of a single repeat of the VLDL receptor on HRV2. Major group virus serotypes exhibit mostly negative charges at the corresponding positions and do not bind the negatively charged VLDL receptor, presumably because of charge repulsion.
Project description:The human rhinovirus 14 (HRV14) protomer, with or without the antiviral compound WIN 52084s, was simulated using molecular dynamics and rotational symmetry boundary conditions to model the effect of the entire icosahedral capsid. The protein asymmetrical unit, comprising four capsid proteins (VP1, VP2, VP3, and VP4) and two calcium ions, was solvated both on the exterior and the interior to fill the inside of the capsid. The stability of the simulations of this large system (~800 residues and 6,650 water molecules) is comparable to more conventional globular protein simulations. The influence of the antiviral compound on compressibility and positional fluctuations is reported. The compressibility, estimated from the density fluctuations in the region of the binding pocket, was found to be greater with WIN 52084s bound than without the drug, substantiating previous computations on reduced viral systems. An increase in compressibility correlates with an entropically more favorable system. In contrast to the increase in density fluctuations and compressibility, the positional fluctuations decreased dramatically for the external loops of VP1 and the N-terminus of VP3 when WIN 52084s is bound. Most of these VP1 and VP3 loops are found near the fivefold axis, a region whose mobility was not considered in reduced systems, but can be observed with this simulation of the full viral protomer. Altered loop flexibility is consistent with changes in proteolytic sensitivity observed experimentally. Moreover, decreased flexibility in these intraprotomeric loops is noteworthy since the externalization of VP4, part of VP1, and RNA during the uncoating process is thought to involve areas near the fivefold axis. Both the decrease in positional fluctuations at the fivefold axis and the increase in compressibility near the WIN pocket are discussed in relationship to the antiviral activity of stabilizing the virus against uncoating.
Project description:Coxsackievirus A9 (CVA9) is an important pathogen of the Picornaviridae family. It utilizes cellular receptors from the integrin ?v family for binding to its host cells prior to entry and genome release. Among the integrins tested, it has the highest affinity for ?v?6, which recognizes the arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) loop present on the C terminus of viral capsid protein, VP1. As the atomic model of CVA9 lacks the RGD loop, we used surface plasmon resonance, electron cryo-microscopy, and image reconstruction to characterize the capsid-integrin interactions and the conformational changes on genome release. We show that the integrin binds to the capsid with nanomolar affinity and that the binding of integrin to the virion does not induce uncoating, thereby implying that further steps are required for release of the genome. Electron cryo-tomography and single-particle image reconstruction revealed variation in the number and conformation of the integrins bound to the capsid, with the integrin footprint mapping close to the predicted site for the exposed RGD loop on VP1. Comparison of empty and RNA-filled capsid reconstructions showed that the capsid undergoes conformational changes when the genome is released, so that the RNA-capsid interactions in the N termini of VP1 and VP4 are lost, VP4 is removed, and the capsid becomes more porous, as has been reported for poliovirus 1, human rhinovirus 2, enterovirus 71, and coxsackievirus A7. These results are important for understanding the structural basis of integrin binding to CVA9 and the molecular events leading to CVA9 cell entry and uncoating.
Project description:Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is a major agent of hand, foot and mouth disease in children that can cause severe central nervous system disease and death. No vaccine or antiviral therapy is available. High-resolution structural analysis of the mature virus and natural empty particles shows that the mature virus is structurally similar to other enteroviruses. In contrast, the empty particles are markedly expanded and resemble elusive enterovirus-uncoating intermediates not previously characterized in atomic detail. Hydrophobic pockets in the EV71 capsid are collapsed in this expanded particle, providing a detailed explanation of the mechanism for receptor-binding triggered virus uncoating. These structures provide a model for enterovirus uncoating in which the VP1 GH loop acts as an adaptor-sensor for cellular receptor attachment, converting heterologous inputs to a generic uncoating mechanism, highlighting new opportunities for therapeutic intervention.
Project description:Hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) remains a major health concern in the Asia-Pacific regions, and its major causative agents include human enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackievirus A16. A desirable vaccine against HFMD would be multivalent and able to elicit protective responses against multiple HFMD causative agents. Previously, we have demonstrated that a thermostable recombinant EV71 vaccine candidate can be produced by the insertion of a foreign peptide into the BC loop of VP1 without affecting viral replication. Here we present crystal structures of two different naturally occurring empty particles, one from a clinical C4 strain EV71 and the other from its recombinant virus containing an insertion in the VP1 BC loop. Crystal structure analysis demonstrated that the inserted foreign peptide is well exposed on the particle surface without significant structural changes in the capsid. Importantly, such insertions do not seem to affect the virus uncoating process as illustrated by the conformational similarity between an uncoating intermediate of another recombinant virus and that of EV71. Especially, at least 18 residues from the N terminus of VP1 are transiently externalized. Altogether, our study provides insights into vaccine development against HFMD.
Project description:The very-low-density lipoprotein receptor (VLDL-R) is a receptor for the minor-group human rhinoviruses (HRVs). Only two of the eight binding repeats of the VLDL-R bind to HRV2, and their footprints describe an annulus on the dome at each fivefold axis. By studying the complex formed between a selection of soluble fragments of the VLDL-R and HRV2, we demonstrate that it is the second and third repeats that bind. We also show that artificial concatemers of the same repeat can bind to HRV2 with the same footprint as that for the native receptor. In a 16-A-resolution cryoelectron microscopy map of HRV2 in complex with the VLDL-R, the individual repeats are defined. The third repeat is strongly bound to charged and polar residues of the HI and BC loops of viral protein 1 (VP1), while the second repeat is more weakly bound to the neighboring VP1. The footprint of the strongly bound third repeat extends down the north side of the canyon. Since the receptor molecule can bind to two adjacent copies of VP1, we suggest that the bound receptor "staples" the VP1s together and must be detached before release of the RNA can occur. When the receptor is bound to neighboring sites on HRV2, steric hindrance prevents binding of the second repeat.
Project description:There is limited information about the molecular triggers leading to the uncoating of enteroviruses under physiological conditions. Using real-time spectroscopy and sucrose gradients with radioactively labeled virus, we show at 37°C, the formation of albumin-triggered, metastable uncoating intermediate of echovirus 1 without receptor engagement. This conversion was blocked by saturating the albumin with fatty acids. High potassium but low sodium and calcium concentrations, mimicking the endosomal environment, also induced the formation of a metastable uncoating intermediate of echovirus 1. Together, these factors boosted the formation of the uncoating intermediate, and the infectivity of this intermediate was retained, as judged by end-point titration. Cryo-electron microscopy reconstruction of the virions treated with albumin and high potassium, low sodium, and low calcium concentrations resulted in a 3.6-Å resolution model revealing a fenestrated capsid showing 4% expansion and loss of the pocket factor, similarly to altered (A) particles described for other enteroviruses. The dimer interface between VP2 molecules was opened, the VP1 N termini disordered and most likely externalized. The RNA was clearly visible, anchored to the capsid. The results presented here suggest that extracellular albumin, partially saturated with fatty acids, likely leads to the formation of the infectious uncoating intermediate prior to the engagement with the cellular receptor. In addition, changes in mono- and divalent cations, likely occurring in endosomes, promote capsid opening and genome release.IMPORTANCE There is limited information about the uncoating of enteroviruses under physiological conditions. Here, we focused on physiologically relevant factors that likely contribute to opening of echovirus 1 and other B-group enteroviruses. By combining biochemical and structural data, we show that, before entering cells, extracellular albumin is capable of priming the virus into a metastable yet infectious intermediate state. The ionic changes that are suggested to occur in endosomes can further contribute to uncoating and promote genome release, once the viral particle is endocytosed. Importantly, we provide a detailed high-resolution structure of a virion after treatment with albumin and a preset ion composition, showing pocket factor release, capsid expansion, and fenestration and the clearly visible genome still anchored to the capsid. This study provides valuable information about the physiological factors that contribute to the opening of B group enteroviruses.
Project description:The picornavirus foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) is the etiological agent of a highly contagious disease that affects important livestock species. The FMDV capsid is highly acid labile, and viral particles lose infectivity due to their disassembly at pH values slightly below neutrality. This acid sensitivity is related to the mechanism of viral uncoating and genome penetration from endosomes. In this study, we have analyzed the molecular basis of FMDV acid-induced disassembly by isolating and characterizing a panel of novel FMDV mutants differing in acid sensitivity. Amino acid replacements altering virion stability were preferentially distributed in two different regions of the capsid: the N terminus of VP1 and the pentameric interface. Even more, the acid labile phenotype induced by a mutation located at the pentameric interface in VP3 could be compensated by introduction of an amino acid substitution in the N terminus of VP1. These results indicate that the acid sensitivity of FMDV can be considered a multifactorial trait and that virion stability is the fine-tuned product of the interaction between residues from different capsid proteins, in particular those located within the N terminus of VP1 or close to the pentameric interface.The viral capsid protects the viral genome from environmental factors and contributes to virus dissemination and infection. Thus, understanding of the molecular mechanisms that modulate capsid stability is of interest for the basic knowledge of the biology of viruses and as a tool to improve the stability of conventional vaccines based on inactivated virions or empty capsids. Using foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), which displays a capsid with extreme acid sensitivity, we have performed a genetic study to identify the molecular determinants involved in capsid stability. A panel of FMDV mutants with differential sensitivity to acidic pH was generated and characterized, and the results showed that two different regions of FMDV capsid contribute to modulating viral particle stability. These results provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms of acid-mediated FMDV uncoating.