PA from an H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus activates viral transcription and replication and induces apoptosis and interferon expression at an early stage of infection.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Although gene exchange is not likely to occur freely, reassortment between the H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) and currently circulating human viruses is a serious concern. The PA polymerase subunit of H5N1 HPAIV was recently reported to activate the influenza replicon activity. METHODS: The replicon activities of PR8 and WSN strains (H1N1) of influenza containing PA from HPAIV A/Cambodia/P0322095/2005 (H5N1) and the activity of the chimeric RNA polymerase were analyzed. A reassortant WSN virus containing the H5N1 Cambodia PA (C-PA) was then reconstituted and its growth in cells and pathogenicity in mice examined. The interferon promoter, TUNEL, and caspase 3, 8, and 9 activities of C-PA-infected cells were compared with those of WSN-infected cells. RESULTS: The activity of the chimeric RNA polymerase was slightly higher than that of WSN, and C-PA replicated better than WSN in cells. However, the multi-step growth of C-PA and its pathogenicity in mice were lower than those of WSN. The interferon promoter, TUNEL, and caspase 3, 8, and 9 activities were strongly induced in early infection in C-PA-infected cells but not in WSN-infected cells. CONCLUSIONS: Apoptosis and interferon were strongly induced early in C-PA infection, which protected the uninfected cells from expansion of viral infection. In this case, these classical host-virus interactions contributed to the attenuation of this strongly replicating virus.
Project description:Mast cells play an important role in the pathogenesis of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus (H5N1-HPAIV) infection. Defective viral particles (DPs) can interfere with the replication of infectious viruses and stimulate the innate immune response of host cells. However, DPs arising from mast cells during HPAIV replication and their potent antiviral actions has not been reported. Here, we showed that the human mastocytoma cell line, HMC-1, allowed for the productive replication of the H5N1-HPAIV. Compared with alveolar cell line A549, DPs were propagated preferentially and abundantly in mast cells following IAV infection, which can be attributed to the wide existence of Argonaute 2 (AGO2) in HMC-1 cells. In addition, DPs generated in H5N1-infected cells could provide great therapeutic protection on mice to fight against various influenza A viruses, which included not only homologous H5N1-HPAIV, but also heterologous H1N1, H3N2, H7N2, and H9N2. Importantly, DPs generated in H5N1-infected HMC-1 cells could diminish viral virulence <i>in vivo</i> and <i>in vitro</i> by triggering a robust antiviral response through type II interferon signaling pathways. This study is the first to illustrate the arising of DPs in H5N1-HPAIV infected mast cells and explore their favorable ability to protect mice from influenza A viruses infection, which provides a novel insight and valuable information for the progress of new strategies to fight influenza A viruses infection, especially highly pathogenic avian influenza virus infection by focusing on the DPs generated in mast cells.
Project description:PA-X is a newly discovered protein that decreases the virulence of the 1918 H1N1 virus in a mouse model. However, the role of PA-X in the pathogenesis of highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIV) of the H5N1 subtype in avian species is totally unknown. By generating two PA-X-deficient viruses and evaluating their virulence in different animal models, we show here that PA-X diminishes the virulence of the HPAIV H5N1 strain A/Chicken/Jiangsu/k0402/2010 (CK10) in mice, chickens, and ducks. Expression of PA-X dampens polymerase activity and virus replication both in vitro and in vivo. Using microarray analysis, we found that PA-X blunts the global host response in chicken lungs, markedly downregulating genes associated with the inflammatory and cell death responses. Correspondingly, a decreased cytokine response was recapitulated in multiple organs of chickens and ducks infected with the wild-type virus relative to those infected with the PA-X-deficient virus. In addition, the PA-X protein exhibits antiapoptotic activity in chicken and duck embryo fibroblasts. Thus, our results demonstrated that PA-X acts as a negative virulence regulator and decreases virulence by inhibiting viral replication and the host innate immune response. Therefore, we here define the role of PA-X in the pathogenicity of H5N1 HPAIV, furthering our understanding of the intricate pathogenesis of influenza A virus.Influenza A virus (IAV) continues to pose a huge threat to global public health. Eight gene segments of the IAV genome encode as many as 17 proteins, including 8 main viral proteins and 9 accessory proteins. The presence of these accessory proteins may further complicate the pathogenesis of IAV. PA-X is a newly identified protein in segment 3 that acts to decrease the virulence of the 1918 H1N1 virus in mice by modulating host gene expression. Our study extends these functions of PA-X to H5N1 HPAIV. We demonstrated that loss of PA-X expression increases the virulence and replication of an H5N1 virus in mice and avian species and alters the host innate immune and cell death responses. Our report is the first to delineate the role of the novel PA-X protein in the pathogenesis of H5N1 viruses in avian species and promotes our understanding of H5N1 HPAIV.
Project description:Influenza A viruses (IAV) pose a constant threat to human and poultry health. Of particular interest are the infections caused by highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses, such as H5N1, which cause significant production issues. In response to influenza infection, cells activate immune mechanisms that lead to increased interferon (IFN) production. To investigate how alterations in the interferon signaling pathway affect the cellular response to infection in the chicken, we used CRISPR/Cas9 to generate a chicken cell line that lacks a functional the type I interferon receptor (IFNAR1). We then assessed viral infections with the WSN strain of influenza. Cells lacking a functional IFNAR1 receptor showed reduced expression of the interferon stimulated genes (ISG) such as Protein Kinase R (<i>PKR</i>) and Myxovirus resistance (<i>Mx</i>) and were more susceptible to viral infection with WSN. We further investigated the role or IFNAR1 on low pathogenicity avian influenza (LPAI) strains (H7N9) and a HPAI strain (H5N1). Intriguingly, <i>Ifnar</i><i><sup>-/-</sup></i> cells appeared more resistant than WT cells when infected with HPAI virus, potentially indicating a different interaction between H5N1 and the IFN signaling pathway. Our findings support that ChIFNAR1 is a key component of the chicken IFN signaling pathway and these data add contributions to the field of host-avian pathogen interaction and innate immunity in chickens.
Project description:Influenza A viruses frequently change their genetic characteristics, which leads to the emergence of new viruses. Consequently, elucidation of the relationship between influenza A virus and host cells has a great importance to cope with viral infections. In this study, it was aimed to determine expression profiles of interferon response genes in human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cells infected with human (A/WSN-H1N1) and avian influenza A viruses (duck/Pennsylvania/10218/84/H5N2) or transfected with plasmids encoding viral RdRP subunits and, to obtain clues about the genes that may be important for the viral pathogenesis. The HEK293 cells cultured in a 12-well plate were infected with influenza A viruses or transfected with plasmids encoding viral polymerase. Total RNA extraction and cDNA preparation were carried out with commercial kits. Qiagen 96-well-RT<sup>2</sup> Profiler PCR Array plates designated for interferons response genes were used for quantitation of the transcripts. The relative quantities of transcripts were normalized with STAT3 gen, and the results were evaluated. Quantitative RT-PCR results showed that there are substantial differences of the interferon response gene transcription in cells infected with viruses or transfected with plasmids. A higher number of interferon-related genes were found to be downregulated in the cells infected with DkPen compared to WSN. On the other hand, significant differences in the expression profiles of interferon response genes were observed in the cells expressing viral PA protein. In particular, avian influenza PA protein was found to cause more aggressive changes on the transcript levels. Human and avian influenza A viruses cause a substantial change in interferon response gene expression in HEK293 cells. However, a higher number of genes were downregulated in the cells infected with avian influenza DkPen compared to WSN. It has been also concluded that the viral PA protein is one of the important viral factors affecting the transcript level of host genes.
Project description:Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) of the subtype H5N1 causes severe, often fatal pneumonia in humans. The pathogenesis of HPAIV H5N1 infection is not completely understood, although the alveolar macrophage (AM) is thought to play an important role. HPAIV H5N1 infection of macrophages cultured from monocytes leads to high percentages of infection accompanied by virus production and an excessive pro-inflammatory immune response. However, macrophages cultured from monocytes are different from AM, both in phenotype and in response to seasonal influenza virus infection. Consequently, it remains unclear whether the results of studies with macrophages cultured from monocytes are valid for AM. Therefore we infected AM and for comparison macrophages cultured from monocytes with seasonal H3N2 virus, HPAIV H5N1 or pandemic H1N1 virus, and determined the percentage of cells infected, virus production and induction of TNF-alpha, a pro-inflammatory cytokine. In vitro HPAIV H5N1 infection of AM compared to that of macrophages cultured from monocytes resulted in a lower percentage of infected cells (up to 25% vs up to 84%), lower virus production and lower TNF-alpha induction. In vitro infection of AM with H3N2 or H1N1 virus resulted in even lower percentages of infected cells (up to 7%) than with HPAIV H5N1, while virus production and TNF-alpha induction were comparable. In conclusion, this study reveals that macrophages cultured from monocytes are not a good model to study the interaction between AM and these influenza virus strains. Furthermore, the interaction between HPAIV H5N1 and AM could contribute to the pathogenicity of this virus in humans, due to the relative high percentage of infected cells rather than virus production or an excessive TNF-alpha induction.
Project description:Lethal infections by strains of the highly-pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) H5N1 pose serious threats to both the poultry industry and public health worldwide. A lack of confirmed HPAIV epitopes recognized by cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) has hindered the utilization of CD8<sup>+</sup> T-cell-mediated immunity and has precluded the development of effectively diversified epitope-based vaccination approaches. In particular, an HPAIV H5N1 CTL-recognized epitope based on the peptide MHC-I-β2m (pMHC-I) complex has not yet been designed. Here, screening a collection of selected peptides of several HPAIV strains against a specific pathogen-free pMHC-I (pBF2*1501), we identified a highly-conserved HPAIV H5N1 CTL epitope, named HPAIV-PA<sub>123-130</sub> We determined the structure of the BF2*1501-PA<sub>123-130</sub> complex at 2.1 Å resolution to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of a preferential presentation of the highly-conserved PA<sub>123-130</sub> epitope in the chicken B15 lineage. Conformational characteristics of the PA<sub>123-130</sub> epitope with a protruding Tyr-7 residue indicated that this epitope has great potential to be recognized by specific TCRs. Moreover, significantly increased numbers of CD8<sup>+</sup> T cells specific for the HPAIV-PA<sub>123-130</sub> epitope in peptide-immunized chickens indicated that a repertoire of CD8<sup>+</sup> T cells can specifically respond to this epitope. We anticipate that the identification and structural characterization of the PA<sub>123-130</sub> epitope reported here could enable further studies of CTL immunity against HPAIV H5N1. Such studies may aid in the development of vaccine development strategies using well-conserved internal viral antigens in chickens.
Project description:The RNA polymerase of influenza virus is a heterotrimeric complex of PB1, PB2 and PA subunits which cooperate in the transcription and replication of the viral genome. Previous research has shown that the N-terminal region of the PA subunit of influenza A/WSN/33 (H1N1) virus is involved in promoter binding.Here we extend our studies of the influenza RNA polymerase to that of influenza strains A/HongKong/156/97 (H5N1) and A/Vietnam/1194/04 (H5N1). Both H5N1 strains, originally isolated from patients in 1997 and 2004, showed significantly higher polymerase activity compared with two classical human strains, A/WSN/33 (H1N1) and A/NT/60/68 (H3N2) in vitro. This increased polymerase activity correlated with enhanced promoter binding. The N-terminal region of the PA subunit was the major determinant of this enhanced promoter activity.Overall we suggest that the N-terminal region of the PA subunit of two recent H5N1 strains can influence promoter binding and we speculate this may be a factor in their virulence.
Project description:Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) H5N1 can infect mammals via the intestine; this is unusual since influenza viruses typically infect mammals via the respiratory tract. The dissemination of HPAIV H5N1 following intestinal entry and associated pathogenesis are largely unknown. To assess the route of spread of HPAIV H5N1 to other organs and to determine its associated pathogenesis, we inoculated infected chicken liver homogenate directly into the intestine of cats by use of enteric-coated capsules. Intestinal inoculation of HPAIV H5N1 resulted in fatal systemic disease. The spread of HPAIV H5N1 from the lumen of the intestine to other organs took place via the blood and lymphatic vascular systems but not via neuronal transmission. Remarkably, the systemic spread of the virus via the vascular system was associated with massive infection of endothelial and lymphendothelial cells, resulting in widespread hemorrhages. This is unique for influenza in mammals and resembles the pathogenesis of HPAIV infection in terrestrial poultry. It contrasts with the pathogenesis of systemic disease from the same virus following entry via the respiratory tract, where lesions are characterized mainly by necrosis and inflammation and are associated with the presence of influenza virus antigen in parenchymal, not endothelial cells. The marked endotheliotropism of the virus following intestinal inoculation indicates that the pathogenesis of systemic influenza virus infection in mammals may differ according to the portal of entry.
Project description:Systemic infections with HPAIVs, such as H5N1, are characterized by cytokine burst and sepsis. We investigated the role of human monocyte-derived macrophages in these events after infection with different influenza virus strains. Macrophages were infected with low pathogenic H1N1 (PR8) or high pathogenic H7N7 (FPV) and H5N1 (KAN-1) subtypes. Macrophages were found to be nonpermissive for influenza virus propagation. Surprisingly, transcriptome analysis revealed an insufficient innate immune response of macrophages only to HPAIV infections. Induction of inflammatory cytokines, as well as type I IFNs, was significantly attenuated in H5N1- and H7N7-infected cells, contradicting a primary role of macrophages for the cytokine burst. Furthermore, inflammasome activation was impaired significantly in HPAIV-infected macrophages. Interestingly, this finding correlated with a complete suppression of viral protein M2 expression after HPAIV infection, which is known to be involved in influenza viral inflammasome activation. In summary, our data provide first evidences for a strategy of how HPAIVs avoid initial inflammatory responses of macrophages facilitating virus spreading and progression to the systemic stage of disease.
Project description:Highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIV) of subtype H5N1 not only cause a devastating disease in domestic chickens and turkeys but also pose a continuous threat to public health. In some countries, H5N1 viruses continue to circulate and evolve into new clades and subclades. The rapid evolution of these viruses represents a problem for virus diagnosis and control. In this work, recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) vectors expressing HA of subtype H5 were generated. To comply with biosafety issues the G gene was deleted from the VSV genome. The resulting vaccine vector VSV*?G(HA) was propagated on helper cells providing the VSV G protein in trans. Vaccination of chickens with a single intramuscular dose of 2×10? infectious replicon particles without adjuvant conferred complete protection from lethal H5N1 infection. Subsequent application of the same vaccine strongly boosted the humoral immune response and completely prevented shedding of challenge virus and transmission to sentinel birds. The vaccine allowed serological differentiation of infected from vaccinated animals (DIVA) by employing a commercially available ELISA. Immunized chickens produced antibodies with neutralizing activity against multiple H5 viruses representing clades 1, 2.2, 2.5, and low-pathogenic avian influenza viruses (classical clade). Studies using chimeric H1/H5 hemagglutinins showed that the neutralizing activity was predominantly directed against the globular head domain. In summary, these results suggest that VSV replicon particles are safe and potent DIVA vaccines that may help to control avian influenza viruses in domestic poultry.