An antibody recognizing the apical domain of human transferrin receptor 1 efficiently inhibits the entry of all new world hemorrhagic Fever arenaviruses.
ABSTRACT: Five New World (NW) arenaviruses cause human hemorrhagic fevers. Four of these arenaviruses are known to enter cells by binding human transferrin receptor 1 (hTfR1). Here we show that the fifth arenavirus, Chapare virus, similarly uses hTfR1. We also identify an anti-hTfR1 antibody, ch128.1, which efficiently inhibits entry mediated by the glycoproteins of all five viruses, as well as replication of infectious Junín virus. Our data indicate that all NW hemorrhagic fever arenaviruses utilize a common hTfR1 apical-domain epitope and suggest that therapeutic agents targeting this epitope, including ch128.1 itself, can be broadly effective in treating South American hemorrhagic fevers.
Project description:At least five New World (NW) arenaviruses cause hemorrhagic fevers in South America. These pathogenic clade B viruses, as well as nonpathogenic arenaviruses of the same clade, use transferrin receptor 1 (TfR1) of their host species to enter cells. Pathogenic viruses are distinguished from closely related nonpathogenic ones by their additional ability to utilize human TfR1 (hTfR1). Here, we investigate the receptor usage of North American arenaviruses, whose entry proteins share greatest similarity with those of the clade B viruses. We show that all six North American arenaviruses investigated utilize host species TfR1 orthologs and present evidence consistent with arenavirus-mediated selection pressure on the TfR1 of the North American arenavirus host species. Notably, one of these viruses, AV96010151, closely related to the prototype Whitewater Arroyo virus (WWAV), entered cells using hTfR1, consistent with a role for a WWAV-like virus in three fatal human infections whose causative agent has not been identified. In addition, modest changes were sufficient to convert hTfR1 into a functional receptor for most of these viruses, suggesting that a minor alteration in virus entry protein may allow these viruses to use hTfR1. Our data establish TfR1 as a cellular receptor for North American arenaviruses, highlight an "arms race" between these viruses and their host species, support the association of North American arenavirus with fatal human infections, and suggest that these viruses have a higher potential to emerge and cause human diseases than has previously been appreciated.hTfR1 use is a key determinant for a NW arenavirus to cause hemorrhagic fevers in humans. All known pathogenic NW arenaviruses are transmitted in South America by their host rodents. North American arenaviruses are generally considered nonpathogenic, but some of these viruses have been tentatively implicated in human fatalities. We show that these North American arenaviruses use the TfR1 orthologs of their rodent host species and identify TfR1 polymorphisms suggesting an ongoing "arms race" between these viruses and their hosts. We also show that a close relative of a North American arenavirus suggested to have caused human fatalities, the Whitewater Arroyo species complex virus AV96010151, uses human TfR1. Moreover, we present data that imply that modest changes in other North American arenaviruses might allow these viruses to infect humans. Collectively, our data suggest that North American arenaviruses have a higher potential to cause human disease than previously assumed.
Project description:Junin virus (JUNV), Machupo virus, Guanarito virus, Sabia virus, and Chapare virus are members of New World arenavirus clade B and are the etiological agents of viral hemorrhagic fevers that occur in South America. In this study, we produced three monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to the recombinant nucleocapsid protein of JUNV, designated C6-9, C11-12, and E4-2. The specificity of these MAbs was examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), indirect immunofluorescence assay, and an epitope-mapping method. Using these MAbs, we developed antigen (Ag) capture ELISA systems. We showed that by using MAb C6-9, JUNV Ag was specifically detected. On the other hand, by using MAb C11-12 or E-4-2, the Ags of all human pathogenic South American arenaviruses were detected. The combined use of these Ag capture ELISA systems in the present study may be useful for the diagnosis of acute-phase viral hemorrhagic fever due to infection by a South American arenavirus.
Project description:The ability of a New World (NW) clade B arenavirus to enter cells using human transferrin receptor 1 (TfR1) strictly correlates with its ability to cause hemorrhagic fever. Amapari (AMAV) and Tacaribe (TCRV), two nonpathogenic NW clade B arenaviruses that do not use human TfR1, are closely related to the NW arenaviruses that cause hemorrhagic fevers. Here we show that pseudotyped viruses bearing the surface glycoprotein (GP) of AMAV or TCRV can infect cells using the TfR1 orthologs of several mammalian species, including those of their respective natural hosts, the small rodent Neacomys spinosus and the fruit bat Artibeus jamaicensis. Mutation of one residue in human TfR1 makes it a functional receptor for TCRV, and mutation of four residues makes it a functional receptor for AMAV. Our data support an in vivo role for TfR1 in the replication of most, if not all, NW clade B arenaviruses, and suggest that with modest changes in their GPs the nonpathogenic arenaviruses could use human TfR1 and emerge as human pathogens.
Project description:Viral hemorrhagic fevers caused by the arenaviruses Lassa virus in Africa and Machupo, Guanarito, Junin, and Sabia virus in South America are among the most devastating emerging human diseases with fatality rates of 15-35% and a limited antiviral therapeutic repertoire available. Here we used high throughput screening of synthetic combinatorial small molecule libraries to identify inhibitors of arenavirus infection using pseudotyped virion particles bearing the glycoproteins (GPs) of highly pathogenic arenaviruses. Our screening efforts resulted in the discovery of a series of novel small molecule inhibitors of viral entry that are highly active against both Old World and New World hemorrhagic arenaviruses. We observed potent inhibition of infection of human and primate cells with live hemorrhagic arenaviruses (IC(50)=500-800 nm). Investigations of the mechanism of action revealed that the candidate compounds efficiently block pH-dependent fusion by the arenavirus GPs (IC(50) of 200-350 nm). Although our lead compounds were potent against phylogenetically distant arenaviruses, they did not show activity against other enveloped viruses with class I viral fusion proteins, indicating specificity for arenavirus GP-mediated membrane fusion.
Project description:Arenavirus pathogens cause a wide spectrum of diseases in humans ranging from central nervous system disease to lethal hemorrhagic fevers with few treatment options. The reason why some arenaviruses can cause severe human diseases while others cannot is unknown. We find that the Z proteins of all known pathogenic arenaviruses, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) and Lassa, Junin, Machupo, Sabia, Guanarito, Chapare, Dandenong, and Lujo viruses, can inhibit retinoic acid-inducible gene 1 (RIG-i) and Melanoma Differentiation-Associated protein 5 (MDA5), in sharp contrast to those of 14 other nonpathogenic arenaviruses. Inhibition of the RIG-i-like receptors (RLRs) by pathogenic Z proteins is mediated by the protein-protein interactions of Z and RLRs, which lead to the disruption of the interactions between RLRs and mitochondrial antiviral signaling (MAVS). The Z-RLR interactive interfaces are located within the N-terminal domain (NTD) of the Z protein and the N-terminal CARD domains of RLRs. Swapping of the LCMV Z NTD into the nonpathogenic Pichinde virus (PICV) genome does not affect virus growth in Vero cells but significantly inhibits the type I interferon (IFN) responses and increases viral replication in human primary macrophages. In summary, our results show for the first time an innate immune-system-suppressive mechanism shared by the diverse pathogenic arenaviruses and thus shed important light on the pathogenic mechanism of human arenavirus pathogens.We show that all known human-pathogenic arenaviruses share an innate immune suppression mechanism that is based on viral Z protein-mediated RLR inhibition. Our report offers important insights into the potential mechanism of arenavirus pathogenesis, provides a convenient way to evaluate the pathogenic potential of known and/or emerging arenaviruses, and reveals a novel target for the development of broad-spectrum therapies to treat this group of diverse pathogens. More broadly, our report provides a better understanding of the mechanisms of viral immune suppression and host-pathogen interactions.
Project description:Several Old World and New World arenaviruses are responsible for severe endemic and epidemic hemorrhagic fevers, whereas other members of the Arenaviridae family are nonpathogenic. To date, no approved vaccines, antivirals, or specific treatments are available, except for Junín virus. However, protection of nonhuman primates against Lassa fever virus (LASV) is possible through the inoculation of the closely related but nonpathogenic Mopeia virus (MOPV) before challenge with LASV. We reasoned that this virus, modified by using reverse genetics, would represent the basis for the generation of a vaccine platform against LASV and other pathogenic arenaviruses. After showing evidence of exoribonuclease (ExoN) activity in NP of MOPV, we found that this activity was essential for multiplication in antigen-presenting cells. The introduction of multiple mutations in the ExoN site of MOPV NP generated a hyperattenuated strain (MOPVExoN6b) that is (i) genetically stable over passages, (ii) has increased immunogenic properties compared to those of MOPV, and (iii) still promotes a strong type I interferon (IFN) response. MOPVExoN6b was further modified to harbor the envelope glycoproteins of heterologous pathogenic arenaviruses, such as LASV or Lujo, Machupo, Guanarito, Chapare, or Sabia virus in order to broaden specific antigenicity while preserving the hyperattenuated characteristics of the parental strain. Our MOPV-based vaccine candidate for LASV, MOPEVACLASV, was used in a one-shot immunization assay in nonhuman primates and fully protected them from a lethal challenge with LASV. Thus, our hyperattenuated strain of MOPV constitutes a promising new live-attenuated vaccine platform to immunize against several, if not all, pathogenic arenaviruses.IMPORTANCE Arenaviruses are emerging pathogens transmitted to humans by rodents and responsible for endemic and epidemic hemorrhagic fevers of global concern. Nonspecific symptoms associated with the onset of infection make these viruses difficult to distinguish from other endemic pathogens. Moreover, the unavailability of rapid diagnosis in the field delays the identification of the virus and early care for treatment and favors spreading. The vaccination of exposed populations would be of great help to decrease morbidity and human-to-human transmission. Using reverse genetics, we generated a vaccine platform for pathogenic arenaviruses based on a modified and hyperattenuated strain of the nonpathogenic Mopeia virus and showed that the Lassa virus candidate fully protected nonhuman primates from a lethal challenge. These results showed that a rationally designed recombinant MOPV-based vaccine is safe, immunogenic, and efficacious in nonhuman primates.
Project description:Several arenaviruses are known to cause viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) in sub-Saharan Africa and South America, where VHF is a major public health and medical concern. The biosafety level 4 categorization of these arenaviruses restricts their use and has impeded biological studies, including therapeutic drug and/or vaccine development. Due to difficulties associated with handling live viruses, pseudotype viruses, which transiently bear arenavirus envelope proteins based on vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) or retrovirus, have been developed as surrogate virus systems. Here, we report the development of a pseudotype VSV bearing each envelope protein of various species of arenaviruses (AREpv), including the newly identified Lujo virus (LUJV) and Chapare virus. Pseudotype arenaviruses generated in 293T cells exhibited high infectivity in various mammalian cell lines. The infections by New World and Old World AREpv were dependent on their receptors (human transferrin receptor 1 [hTfR1] and ?-dystroglycan [?DG], respectively). However, infection by pseudotype VSV bearing the LUJV envelope protein (LUJpv) occurred independently of hTfR1 and ?DG, indicating that LUJpv utilizes an unidentified receptor. The pH-dependent endocytosis of AREpv was confirmed by the use of lysosomotropic agents. The fusion of cells expressing these envelope proteins, except for those expressing the LUJV envelope protein, was induced by transient treatment at low pH values. LUJpv infectivity was inhibited by U18666A, a cholesterol transport inhibitor. Furthermore, the infectivity of LUJpv was significantly decreased in the Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1)-deficient cell line, suggesting the necessity for NPC1 activity for efficient LUJpv infection.LUJV is a newly identified arenavirus associated with a VHF outbreak in southern Africa. Although cell entry for many arenaviruses has been studied, cell entry for LUJV has not been characterized. In this study, we found that LUJpv utilizes neither ?DG nor hTfR1 as a receptor and found unique characteristics of LUJV glycoprotein in membrane fusion and cell entry. Proper exclusion of cholesterol or some kinds of lipids may play important roles in LUJpv cell entry.
Project description:Machupo virus and Chapare virus are members of the Tacaribe serocomplex (virus family Arenaviridae) and etiological agents of hemorrhagic fever in humans in Bolivia. The nucleotide sequences of the complete Z genes, a large fragment of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase genes, the complete glycoprotein precursor genes, and the complete nucleocapsid protein genes of 8 strains of Machupo virus were determined to increase our knowledge of the genetic diversity among the Bolivian arenaviruses. The results of analyses of the predicted amino acid sequences of the glycoproteins of the Machupo virus strains and Chapare virus strain 200001071 indicated that immune plasma from hemorrhagic fever cases caused by Machupo virus may prove beneficial in the treatment of Bolivian hemorrhagic fever but not hemorrhagic fever caused by Chapare virus.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Seven arenaviruses cause viral hemorrhagic fever in humans: the Old World arenaviruses Lassa and Lujo, and the New World Clade B arenaviruses Machupo (MACV), Junín (JUNV), Guanarito (GTOV), Sabiá (SABV), and Chapare (CHPV). All of these viruses are Risk Group 4 biosafety pathogens. MACV causes human disease outbreak with high case-fatality rates. To date, at least 1,200 cases with ?200 fatalities have been recorded. AREAS COVERED:This review summarizes available systems and technologies for the identification of antivirals against MACV. Furthermore, the article summarizes animal models that have been used for the in vivo evaluation of novel inhibitors. The article highlights present treatments for arenaviral diseases and provides an overview of efficacious small molecules and other therapeutics reported to date. Finally, the article summarizes strategies to identify novel inhibitors for anti-arenaviral therapy. EXPERT OPINION:New high-throughput approaches to quantitate infection rates of arenaviruses, as well as viruses modified to carry reporter genes, will accelerate compound screens and drug discovery efforts. RNAi, gene expression profiling and proteomics studies will identify host targets for therapeutic intervention. New discoveries in the cell entry mechanism of MACV and other arenaviruses as well as extensive structural studies of arenaviral L and NP could facilitate the rational design of antivirals effective against all pathogenic New World arenaviruses.
Project description:Arenaviruses are responsible for acute hemorrhagic fevers worldwide and are recognized to pose significant threats to public health and biodefense. Small molecule compounds have recently been discovered that inhibit arenavirus entry and protect against lethal infection in animal models. These chemically distinct inhibitors act on the tripartite envelope glycoprotein (GPC) through its unusual stable signal peptide subunit to stabilize the complex against pH-induced activation of membrane fusion in the endosome. Here, we report the production and characterization of the intact transmembrane GPC complex of Junín arenavirus and its interaction with these inhibitors. The solubilized GPC is antigenically indistinguishable from the native protein and forms a homogeneous trimer in solution. When reconstituted into a lipid bilayer, the purified complex interacts specifically with its cell-surface receptor transferrin receptor-1. We show that small molecule entry inhibitors specific to New World or Old World arenaviruses bind to the membrane-associated GPC complex in accordance with their respective species selectivities and with dissociation constants comparable with concentrations that inhibit GPC-mediated membrane fusion. Furthermore, competitive binding studies reveal that these chemically distinct inhibitors share a common binding pocket on GPC. In conjunction with previous genetic studies, these findings identify the pH-sensing interface of GPC as a highly vulnerable target for antiviral intervention. This work expands our mechanistic understanding of arenavirus entry and provides a foundation to guide the development of small molecule compounds for the treatment of arenavirus hemorrhagic fevers.