ABSTRACT: The spread of viral infection within a host can be restricted by bottlenecks that limit the size and diversity of the viral population. An essential process for alphaherpesvirus infection is spread from axons of peripheral nervous system neurons to cells in peripheral epithelia (anterograde-directed spread, ADS). ADS is necessary for the formation of vesicular lesions characteristic of reactivated herpesvirus infections; however, the number of virions transmitted is unknown. We have developed two methods to quantitate ADS events using a compartmentalized neuronal culture system. The first method uses HSV-1 and pseudorabies virus recombinants that express one of three different fluorescent proteins. The fluorescence profiles of cells infected with the virus mixtures are used to quantify the number of expressed viral genomes. Strikingly, although epithelial or neuronal cells express 3-10 viral genomes after infection by free virions, epithelial cells infected by HSV-1 or pseudorabies virus following ADS express fewer than two viral genomes. The second method uses live-cell fluorescence microscopy to track individual capsids involved in ADS. We observed that most ADS events involve a single capsid infecting a target epithelial cell. Together, these complementary analyses reveal that ADS events are restricted to small numbers of viral particles, most often a single virion, resulting in a single viral genome initiating infection.
Project description:During infection of neurons by alphaherpesviruses including Pseudorabies virus (PRV) and Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) viral nucleocapsids assemble in the cell nucleus, become enveloped in the cell body then traffic into and down axons to nerve termini for spread to adjacent epithelia. The viral membrane protein US9p and the membrane glycoprotein heterodimer gE/gI play critical roles in anterograde spread of both HSV-1 and PRV, and several models exist to explain their function. Biochemical studies suggest that PRV US9p associates with the kinesin-3 motor KIF1A in a gE/gI-stimulated manner, and the gE/gI-US9p complex has been proposed to recruit KIF1A to PRV for microtubule-mediated anterograde trafficking into or along the axon. However, as loss of gE/gI-US9p essentially abolishes delivery of alphaherpesviruses to the axon it is difficult to determine the microtubule-dependent trafficking properties and motor-composition of ?(gE/gI-US9p) particles. Alternatively, studies in HSV-1 have suggested that gE/gI and US9p are required for the appearance of virions in the axon because they act upstream, to help assemble enveloped virions in the cell body. We prepared ?(gE/gI-US9p) mutant, and control parental PRV particles from differentiated cultured neuronal or porcine kidney epithelial cells and quantitated the efficiency of virion assembly, the properties of microtubule-dependent transport and the ability of viral particles to recruit kinesin motors. We find that loss of gE/gI-US9p has no significant effect upon PRV particle assembly but leads to greatly diminished plus end-directed traffic, and enhanced minus end-directed and bidirectional movement along microtubules. PRV particles prepared from infected differentiated mouse CAD neurons were found to be associated with either kinesin KIF1A or kinesin KIF5C, but not both. Loss of gE/gI-US9p resulted in failure to recruit KIF1A and KF5C, but did not affect dynein binding. Unexpectedly, while KIF5C was expressed in undifferentiated and differentiated CAD neurons it was only found associated with PRV particles prepared from differentiated cells.
Project description:Myelin and lymphocyte protein (MAL) is a tetraspan integral membrane protein that resides in detergent-insoluble membrane fractions enriched in condensed membranes. MAL is expressed in oligodendrocytes, in Schwann cells, where it is essential for the stability of myelin, and at the apical membrane of epithelial cells, where it has a critical role in transport. In T lymphocytes, MAL is found at the immunological synapse and plays a crucial role in exosome secretion. However, no involvement of MAL in viral infections has been reported so far. Here, we show that herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) virions travel in association with MAL-positive structures to reach the end of cellular processes, which contact uninfected oligodendrocytes. Importantly, the depletion of MAL led to a significant decrease in infection, with a drastic reduction in the number of lytic plaques in MAL-silenced cells. These results suggest a significant role for MAL in viral spread at cell contacts. The participation of MAL in the cell-to-cell spread of HSV-1 may shed light on the involvement of proteolipids in this process.<b>IMPORTANCE</b> Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) is a neurotropic pathogen that can infect many types of cells and establish latent infections in neurons. HSV-1 may spread from infected to uninfected cells by two main routes: by cell-free virus or by cell-to-cell spread. In the first case, virions exit into the extracellular space and then infect another cell from the outside. In the second case, viral transmission occurs through cell-to-cell contacts via a mechanism that is still poorly understood. A third mode of spread, using extracellular vesicles, also exists. In this study, we demonstrate the important role for a myelin protein, myelin and lymphocyte protein (MAL), in the process of cell-to-cell viral spread in oligodendrocytes. We show that MAL is involved in trafficking of virions along cell processes and that MAL depletion produces a significant alteration in the viral cycle, which reduces cell-to cell spread of HSV-1.
Project description:The neuroinvasive Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) utilizes intergenomic recombination in order to diversify viral populations. Research efforts to assess HSV-1 recombination are often complicated by the use of attenuating mutations, which differentiate viral progeny but unduly influence the replication and spread. In this work, we generated viruses with markers that allowed for classification of viral progeny with limited attenuation of viral replication. We isolated viruses, harboring either a cyan (C) or yellow (Y) fluorescent protein (FP) expression cassette inserted in two different locations within the viral genome, in order to visually quantify the recombinant progeny based on plaque fluorescence. We found that the FP marked genomes had a limited negative affect on the viral replication and production of progeny virions. A co-infection of the two viruses resulted in recombinant progeny that was dependent on the multiplicity of infection and independent of the time post infection, at a rate that was similar to previous reports. The sequential passage of mixed viral populations revealed a limited change in the distribution of the parental and recombinant progeny. Interestingly, the neuroinvasive spread within neuronal cultures and an in vivo mouse model, revealed large, random shifts in the parental and recombinant distributions in viral populations. In conclusion, our approach highlights the utility of FP expressing viruses in order to provide new insights into mechanisms of HSV-1 recombination.
Project description:Many viruses have the capacity to prevent a cell from being infected by a second virus, often termed superinfection exclusion. Alphaherpesviruses, including the human pathogen herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and the animal herpesvirus pseudorabies virus (PRV), encode a membrane-bound glycoprotein, gD, that can interfere with subsequent virion entry. We sought to characterize the timing and mechanism of superinfection exclusion during HSV-1 and PRV infection. To this end, we utilized recombinant viruses expressing fluorescent protein (FP) markers of infection that allowed the visualization of viral infections by microscopy and flow cytometry as well as the differentiation of viral progeny. Our results demonstrated the majority of HSV-1- and PRV-infected cells establish superinfection exclusion by 2 h postinfection. The modification of viral infections by virion inactivation and phosphonoacetic acid, cycloheximide, and actinomycin D treatments indicated new protein synthesis is needed to establish superinfection exclusion. Primary infection with gene deletion PRV recombinants identified that new gD expression is not required to establish superinfection exclusion of a secondary viral inoculum. We also identified the timing of coinfection events during axon-to-cell spread, with most occurring within a 2-h window, suggesting a role for cellular superinfection exclusion during neuroinvasive spread of infection. In summary, we have characterized a gD-independent mechanism of superinfection exclusion established by two members of the alphaherpesvirus family and identified a potential role of exclusion during the pathogenic spread of infection.Superinfection exclusion is a widely observed phenomenon initiated by a primary viral infection to prevent further viruses from infecting the same cell. The capacity for alphaherpesviruses to infect the same cell impacts rates of interviral recombination and disease. Interviral recombination allows genome diversification, facilitating the development of resistance to antiviral therapeutics and evasion of vaccine-mediated immune responses. Our results demonstrate superinfection exclusion occurs early, through a gD-independent process, and is important in the directed spread of infection. Identifying when and where in an infected host viral genomes are more likely to coinfect the same cell and generate viral recombinants will enhance the development of effective antiviral therapies and interventions.
Project description:Transneuronal spread of pseudorabies virus (PRV) is a multistep process that requires several virally encoded proteins. Previous studies have shown that PRV glycoprotein B (gB), a component of the viral fusion machinery, is required for the transmission of infection to postsynaptic, second-order neurons. We sought to identify the gB-mediated step in viral transmission. We determined that gB is not required for the sorting of virions into axons of infected neurons, anterograde transport, or the release of virions from the axon. trans or cis expression of gB on the cell surface was not sufficient for transneuronal spread of the virus; instead, efficient incorporation of gB into virions was required. Additionally, neuron-to-cell spread of PRV most likely does not proceed through syncytial connections. We conclude that, upon gB-independent release of virions at the site of neuron-cell contacts, the virion-incorporated gB/gH/gL fusion complex mediates entry into the axonally contacted cell by fusion of the closely apposed membranes.
Project description:Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) encodes two bona fide serine/threonine protein kinases, the US3 and UL13 gene products. HSV-1 ?US3 mutants replicate with wild-type efficiency in cultured cells, and HSV-1 ?UL13 mutants exhibit <10-fold reduction in infectious viral titers. Given these modest phenotypes, it remains unclear how the US3 and UL13 protein kinases contribute to HSV-1 replication. In the current study, we designed a panel of HSV-1 mutants, in which portions of UL13 and US3 genes were replaced by expression cassettes encoding mCherry protein or green fluorescent protein (GFP), respectively, and analyzed DNA replication, protein expression, and spread of these mutants in several cell types. Loss of US3 function alone had largely negligible effect on viral DNA accumulation, gene expression, virion release, and spread. Loss of UL13 function alone also had no appreciable effects on viral DNA levels. However, loss of UL13 function did result in a measurable decrease in the steady-state levels of two viral glycoproteins (gC and gD), release of total and infectious virions, and viral spread. Disruption of both genes did not affect the accumulation of viral DNA, but resulted in further reduction in gC and gD steady-state levels, and attenuation of viral spread and infectious virion release. These data show that the UL13 kinase plays an important role in the late phase of HSV-1 infection, likely by affecting virion assembly and/or release. Moreover, the data suggest that the combined activities of the US3 and UL13 protein kinases are critical to the efficient assembly and release of infectious virions from HSV-1-infected cells.
Project description:Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) is a neurotropic pathogen that can infect many types of cells and establishes latent infections in the neurons of sensory ganglia. In some cases, the virus spreads into the central nervous system, causing encephalitis or meningitis. Cells infected with several different types of viruses may secrete microvesicles (MVs) containing viral proteins and RNAs. In some instances, extracellular microvesicles harboring infectious virus have been found. Here we describe the features of shedding microvesicles released by the human oligodendroglial HOG cell line infected with HSV-1 and their participation in the viral cycle. Using transmission electron microscopy, we detected for the first time microvesicles containing HSV-1 virions. Interestingly, the Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell line, which is resistant to infection by free HSV-1 virions, was susceptible to HSV-1 infection after being exposed to virus-containing microvesicles. Therefore, our results indicate for the first time that MVs released by infected cells contain virions, are endocytosed by naive cells, and lead to a productive infection. Furthermore, infection of CHO cells was not completely neutralized when virus-containing microvesicles were preincubated with neutralizing anti-HSV-1 antibodies. The lack of complete neutralization and the ability of MVs to infect nectin-1/HVEM-negative CHO-K1 cells suggest a novel way for HSV-1 to spread to and enter target cells. Taken together, our results suggest that HSV-1 could spread through microvesicles to expand its tropism and that microvesicles could shield the virus from neutralizing antibodies as a possible mechanism to escape the host immune response.IMPORTANCE Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) is a neurotropic pathogen that can infect many types of cells and establishes latent infections in neurons. Extracellular vesicles are a heterogeneous group of membrane vesicles secreted by most cell types. Microvesicles, which are extracellular vesicles which derive from the shedding of the plasma membrane, isolated from the supernatant of HSV-1-infected HOG cells were analyzed to find out whether they were involved in the viral cycle. The importance of our investigation lies in the detection, for the first time, of microvesicles containing HSV-1 virions. In addition, virus-containing microvesicles were endocytosed into CHO-K1 cells and were able to actively infect these otherwise nonpermissive cells. Finally, the infection of CHO cells with these virus-containing microvesicles was not completely neutralized by anti-HSV-1 antibodies, suggesting that these extracellular vesicles might shield the virus from neutralizing antibodies as a possible mechanism of immune evasion.
Project description:A majority of adults in Finland are seropositive carriers of herpes simplex viruses (HSV). Infection occurs at epithelial or mucosal surfaces, after which virions enter innervating nerve endings, eventually establishing lifelong infection in neurons of the sensory or autonomic nervous system. Recent data have highlighted the genetic diversity of HSV-1 strains and demonstrated apparent geographic patterns in strain similarity. Though multiple HSV-1 genomes have been sequenced from Europe to date, there is a lack of sequenced genomes from the Nordic countries. Finland's history includes at least two major waves of human migration, suggesting the potential for diverse viruses to persist in the population. Here, we used HSV-1 clinical isolates from Finland to test the relationship between viral phylogeny, genetic variation, and phenotypic characteristics. We found that Finnish HSV-1 isolates separated into two distinct phylogenetic groups, potentially reflecting historical waves of human (and viral) migration into Finland. Each HSV-1 isolate harbored a distinct set of phenotypes in cell culture, including differences in the amount of virus production, extracellular virus release, and cell-type-specific fitness. Importantly, the phylogenetic clusters were not predictive of any detectable pattern in phenotypic differences, demonstrating that whole-genome relatedness is not a proxy for overall viral phenotype. Instead, we highlight specific gene-level differences that may contribute to observed phenotypic differences, and we note that strains from different phylogenetic groups can contain the same genetic variations.IMPORTANCE Herpes simplex viruses (HSV) infect a majority of adults. Recent data have highlighted the genetic diversity of HSV-1 strains and demonstrated apparent genomic relatedness between strains from the same geographic regions. We used HSV-1 clinical isolates from Finland to test the relationship between viral genomic and geographic relationships, differences in specific genes, and characteristics of viral infection. We found that viral isolates from Finland separated into two distinct groups of genomic and geographic relatedness, potentially reflecting historical patterns of human and viral migration into Finland. These Finnish HSV-1 isolates had distinct infection characteristics in multiple cell types tested, which were specific to each isolate and did not group according to genomic and geographic relatedness. This demonstrates that HSV-1 strain differences in specific characteristics of infection are set by a combination of host cell type and specific viral gene-level differences.
Project description:Whether all the infectious herpesvirus particles entering a cell are able to replicate and/or express their genomes is not known. Here, we developed a general method to determine the number of viral genomes expressed in an infected cell. We constructed and analysed fluorophore expression from a recombinant pseudorabies virus (PRV263) carrying a Brainbow cassette (Cre-conditional expression of different fluorophores). Using three isogenic strains derived from PRV263, each expressing a single fluorophore, we analysed the colour composition of cells infected with these three viruses at different multiplicities. We estimate that fewer than seven incoming genomes are expressed per cell. In addition, those templates that are expressed are the genomes selected for replication and packaging into virions. This finite limit on the number of viral genomes that can be expressed is an intrinsic property of the infected cell and may be influenced by viral and cellular factors.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) infections are almost exclusively sexually transmitted. The presence of vaginal gels during sexual activity may have a significant positive or negative impact on viral transmission. Therefore we investigated three off-the-shelf vaginal lubricants and one pH restoring gel to evaluate their impact on HSV-2 replication. RESULTS:HeLa cells were infected with untreated virions and virions incubated with the particular gels. The accumulation of viral genomes was monitored by quantitative PCR (qPCR) method at 24 h post infection. Two of the tested gels had no significant effect on HSV-2 replication at the maximum applied concentration, while two had a strong inhibitory effect (~?98% reduction of replication). The replication inhibitory effect was observed at various multiplicity of infection (MOI 0.4-6.4) and the two inhibitory gels were also capable of inhibiting the HSV-2 induced cytopathic effect on HeLa cells. The surface tension decreasing activity-an indication of detergent activity-was strongly correlated with the anti-HSV-2 activity of the gels (R2: 0.88). Our results indicate that off-the-shelf vaginal gels have a markedly different anti-HSV-2 activity that may influence HSV-2 transmission.