Release of dengue virus genome induced by a peptide inhibitor.
ABSTRACT: Dengue virus infects approximately 100 million people annually, but there is no available therapeutic treatment. The mimetic peptide, DN59, consists of residues corresponding to the membrane interacting, amphipathic stem region of the dengue virus envelope (E) glycoprotein. This peptide is inhibitory to all four serotypes of dengue virus, as well as other flaviviruses. Cryo-electron microscopy image reconstruction of dengue virus particles incubated with DN59 showed that the virus particles were largely empty, concurrent with the formation of holes at the five-fold vertices. The release of RNA from the viral particle following incubation with DN59 was confirmed by increased sensitivity of the RNA genome to exogenous RNase and separation of the genome from the E protein in a tartrate density gradient. DN59 interacted strongly with synthetic lipid vesicles and caused membrane disruptions, but was found to be non-toxic to mammalian and insect cells. Thus DN59 inhibits flavivirus infectivity by interacting directly with virus particles resulting in release of the genomic RNA.
Project description:Dengue fever is one of the most important mosquito-borne viral infections in large parts of tropical and subtropical countries and is a significant public health concern and socioeconomic burden. There is an urgent need to develop antivirals that can effectively reduce dengue virus (DENV) replication and decrease viral load. Niclosamide, an antiparasitic drug approved for human use, has been recently identified as an effective antiviral agent against a number of pH-dependent viruses, including flaviviruses. Here, we reveal that neutralization of low-pH intracellular compartments by niclosamide affects multiple steps of the DENV infectious cycle. Specifically, niclosamide-induced endosomal neutralization not only prevents viral RNA replication but also affects the maturation of DENV particles, rendering them non-infectious. We found that niclosamide-induced endosomal neutralization prevented E glycoprotein conformational changes on the virion surface of flaviviruses, resulting in the release of non-infectious immature virus particles with uncleaved pr peptide from host cells. Collectively, our findings support the potential application of niclosamide as an antiviral agent against flavivirus infection and highlight a previously uncharacterized mechanism of action of the drug.
Project description:The Flaviviridae family includes several virus pathogens associated with human diseases worldwide. Within this family, Dengue virus is the most serious threat to public health, especially in tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. Currently, there are no vaccines or specific antiviral drugs against Dengue virus or against most of the viruses of this family. Therefore, the development of vaccines and the discovery of therapeutic compounds against the medically most important flaviviruses remain a global public health priority. We previously showed that phospholipase A2 isolated from the venom of Crotalus durissus terrificus was able to inhibit Dengue virus and Yellow fever virus infection in Vero cells. Here, we present evidence that phospholipase A2 has a direct effect on Dengue virus particles, inducing a partial exposure of genomic RNA, which strongly suggests inhibition via the cleavage of glycerophospholipids at the virus lipid bilayer envelope. This cleavage might induce a disruption of the lipid bilayer that causes a destabilization of the E proteins on the virus surface, resulting in inactivation. We show by computational analysis that phospholipase A2 might gain access to the Dengue virus lipid bilayer through the pores found on each of the twenty 3-fold vertices of the E protein shell on the virus surface. In addition, phospholipase A2 is able to inactivate other enveloped viruses, highlighting its potential as a natural product lead for developing broad-spectrum antiviral drugs.
Project description:Proteolytic processing of flavivirus polyprotein is a uniquely controlled process. To date, the sequential cleavage of the capsid anchor sequence at the junction of C-PrM has been considered essential for the production of flaviviruses. In this study, we used two experimental approaches to show the effect of unprocessed capsid on the production and infectivity of dengue virus 2 (DENV2) pseudoviral particles. The results showed that (1) both mature and unprocessed capsids of DENV2 were equally efficient in the viral RNA packaging and also in the assembly of infective particles; (2) DENV2 variants, in which the viral and host mediated cleavage of Ca peptide were independent, produced significantly higher levels of infective particles. Overall, this study demonstrated that unlike other flaviviruses, DENV2 capsid does not require a cleavable Ca sequence, and the sequential cleavage is not an obligatory requirement for the morphogenesis of infective pseudoviral particles.
Project description:Among the various host cellular processes that are hijacked by flaviviruses, few mechanisms have been described with regard to viral egress. Here we investigate how flaviviruses exploit Src family kinases (SFKs) for exit from infected cells. We identify Lyn as a critical component for secretion of Dengue and Zika infectious particles and their corresponding virus like particles (VLPs). Pharmacological inhibition or genetic depletion of the SFKs, Lyn in particular, block virus secretion. Lyn-/- cells are impaired in virus release and are rescued when reconstituted with wild-type Lyn, but not a kinase- or palmitoylation-deficient Lyn mutant. We establish that virus particles are secreted in two distinct populations - one as free virions and the other enclosed within membranes. Lyn is critical for the latter, which consists of proteolytically processed, infectious virus progenies within autophagosome-derived vesicles. This process depends on Ulk1, Rab GTPases and SNARE complexes implicated in secretory but not degradative autophagy and occur with significantly faster kinetics than the conventional secretory pathway. Our study reveals a previously undiscovered Lyn-dependent exit route of flaviviruses in LC3+?secretory organelles that enables them to evade circulating antibodies and might affect tissue tropism.
Project description:Secondary and tertiary RNA structures present in viral RNA genomes play essential regulatory roles during translation, RNA replication, and assembly of new viral particles. In the case of flaviviruses, RNA-RNA interactions between the 5' and 3' ends of the genome have been proposed to be required for RNA replication. We found that two RNA elements present at the ends of the dengue virus genome interact in vitro with high affinity. Visualization of individual molecules by atomic force microscopy revealed that physical interaction between these RNA elements results in cyclization of the viral RNA. Using RNA binding assays, we found that the putative cyclization sequences, known as 5' and 3' CS, present in all mosquito-borne flaviviruses, were necessary but not sufficient for RNA-RNA interaction. Additional sequences present at the 5' and 3' untranslated regions of the viral RNA were also required for RNA-RNA complex formation. We named these sequences 5' and 3' UAR (upstream AUG region). In order to investigate the functional role of 5'-3' UAR complementarity, these sequences were mutated either separately, to destroy base pairing, or simultaneously, to restore complementarity in the context of full-length dengue virus RNA. Nonviable viruses were recovered after transfection of dengue virus RNA carrying mutations either at the 5' or 3' UAR, while the RNA containing the compensatory mutations was able to replicate. Since sequence complementarity between the ends of the genome is required for dengue virus viability, we propose that cyclization of the RNA is a required conformation for viral replication.
Project description:The structure of immature West Nile virus particles, propagated in the presence of ammonium chloride to block virus maturation in the low-pH environment of the trans-Golgi network, was determined by cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). The structure of these particles was similar to that of immature West Nile virus particles found as a minor component of mature virus samples (naturally occurring immature particles [NOIPs]). The structures of mature infectious flaviviruses are radically different from those of the immature particles. The similarity of the ammonium chloride-treated particles and NOIPs suggests either that the NOIPs have not undergone any conformational change during maturation or that the conformational change is reversible. Comparison with the cryo-EM reconstruction of immature dengue virus established the locations of the N-linked glycosylation sites of these viruses, verifying the interpretation of the reconstructions of the immature flaviviruses.
Project description:Flaviviruses assemble as fusion-incompetent immature particles and subsequently undergo conformational change leading to release of infectious virions. Flavivirus infections also produce combined 'mosaic' particles. Here, using cryo-electron tomography, we report that mosaic particles of dengue virus type 2 had glycoproteins organized into two regions of mature and immature structure. Furthermore, particles of a maturation-deficient mutant had their glycoproteins organized into two regions of immature structure with mismatching icosahedral symmetries. It is therefore apparent that the maturation-related reorganization of the flavivirus glycoproteins is not synchronized across the whole virion, but is initiated from one or more nucleation centres. Similar deviation from icosahedral symmetry might be relevant to the asymmetrical mode of genome packaging and cell entry of other viruses.
Project description:Dengue virus, an ?10.7-kb positive-sense RNA virus, is the most common arthropod-communicated pathogen in the world. Despite dengue's clear epidemiological importance, mechanisms for its replication remain elusive. Here, we probed the entire dengue genome for interactions with viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), and we identified the dominant interaction as a loop-forming ACAG motif in the 3' positive-stranded terminus, complicating the prevailing model of replication. A subset of interactions coincides with known flaviviral recombination sites inside the viral protein-coding region. Specific recognition of the RNA element occurs via an arginine patch in the C-terminal thumb domain of RdRp. We also show that the highly conserved nature of the consensus RNA motif may relate to its tolerance to various mutations in the interacting region of RdRp. Disruption of the interaction resulted in loss of viral replication ability in cells. This unique RdRp-RNA interface is found throughout flaviviruses, implying possibilities for broad disease interventions.
Project description:Previous binding studies of antibodies that recognized a partially or fully hidden epitope suggest that insect cell-derived dengue virus undergoes structural changes at an elevated temperature. This was confirmed by our cryo-electron microscopy images of dengue virus incubated at 37°C, where viruses change their surface from smooth to rough. Here we present the cryo-electron microscopy structures of dengue virus at 37°C. Image analysis showed four classes of particles. The three-dimensional (3D) map of one of these classes, representing half of the imaged virus population, shows that the E protein shell has expanded and there is a hole at the 3-fold vertices. Fitting E protein structures into the map suggests that all of the interdimeric and some intradimeric E protein interactions are weakened. The accessibility of some previously found cryptic epitopes on this class of particles is discussed.
Project description:Flaviviruses bud into the endoplasmic reticulum and are transported through the secretory pathway, where the mildly acidic environment triggers particle rearrangement and allows furin processing of the prM protein to pr and M. The peripheral pr peptide remains bound to virus at low pH and inhibits virus-membrane interaction. Upon exocytosis, the release of pr at neutral pH completes virus maturation to an infectious particle. Together this evidence suggests that pr may shield the flavivirus fusion protein E from the low pH environment of the exocytic pathway. Here we developed an in vitro system to reconstitute the interaction of dengue virus (DENV) pr with soluble truncated E proteins. At low pH recombinant pr bound to both monomeric and dimeric forms of E and blocked their membrane insertion. Exogenous pr interacted with mature infectious DENV and specifically inhibited virus fusion and infection. Alanine substitution of E H244, a highly conserved histidine residue in the pr-E interface, blocked pr-E interaction and reduced release of DENV virus-like particles. Folding, membrane insertion and trimerization of the H244A mutant E protein were preserved, and particle release could be partially rescued by neutralization of the low pH of the secretory pathway. Thus, pr acts to silence flavivirus fusion activity during virus secretion, and this function can be separated from the chaperone activity of prM. The sequence conservation of key residues involved in the flavivirus pr-E interaction suggests that this protein-protein interface may be a useful target for broad-spectrum inhibitors.