Norwalk Virus Minor Capsid Protein VP2 Associates within the VP1 Shell Domain.
ABSTRACT: The major capsid protein of norovirus VP1 assembles to form an icosahedral viral particle. Despite evidence that the Norwalk virus (NV) minor structural protein VP2 is present in infectious virions, the available crystallographic and electron cryomicroscopy structures of NV have not revealed the location of VP2. In this study, we determined that VP1 associates with VP2 at the interior surface of the capsid, specifically with the shell (S) domain of VP1. We mapped the interaction site to amino acid 52 of VP1, an isoleucine located within a sequence motif IDPWI in the S domain that is highly conserved across norovirus genogroups. Mutation of this isoleucine abrogated VP2 incorporation into virus-like particles without affecting the ability for VP1 to dimerize and form particles. The highly basic nature of VP2 and its location interior to the viral particle are consistent with its potential role in assisting capsid assembly and genome encapsidation.
Project description:Human noroviruses, the most common cause of nonbacterial gastroenteritis, are characterized by high infectivity rate, low infectious dose, and unusually high stability outside the host. However, human norovirus research is hindered by the lack of a cell culture system and a small animal model of infection. Norwalk virus (NV) is the prototype strain of human noroviruses. We report here replication of NV viral RNA and its packaging into virus particles in mammalian cells by intracellular expression of native forms of NV viral RNA devoid of extraneous nucleotide sequences derived from the expression vector by the use of replication-deficient vaccinia virus MVA encoding the bacteriophage T7 RNA polymerase (MVA/T7). Expressed genomic RNA was found to replicate; NV subgenomic RNA was transcribed from genomic RNA by use of NV nonstructural proteins expressed from genomic RNA and was subsequently translated into NV capsid protein VP1. Viral genomic RNA was packaged into virus particles generated in mammalian cells. The cesium chloride (CsCl) density gradient profile of virus particles containing genomic RNA was similar to that of NV purified from stool. These observations indicate that the NV cDNA constructed here is a biologically infectious clone, and that mammalian cells have the ability to replicate NV genomic RNA. This work establishes a mammalian cell-based system for analysis of human norovirus replication and, thus, makes it feasible to investigate antiviral agents in mammalian cells.
Project description:Passive immunoprophylaxis or immunotherapy with norovirus-neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) could be a useful treatment for high-risk populations, including infants and young children, the elderly, and certain patients who are debilitated or immunocompromised. In order to obtain antinorovirus MAbs with therapeutic potential, we stimulated a strong adaptive immune response in chimpanzees to the prototype norovirus strain Norwalk virus (NV) (genogroup I.1). A combinatorial phage Fab display library derived from mRNA of the chimpanzees' bone marrow was prepared, and four distinct Fabs reactive with Norwalk recombinant virus-like particles (rVLPs) were recovered, with estimated binding affinities in the subnanomolar range. Mapping studies showed that the four Fabs recognized three different conformational epitopes in the protruding (P) domain of NV VP1, the major capsid protein. The epitope of one of the Fabs, G4, was further mapped to a specific site involving a key amino acid residue, Gly365. One additional specific Fab (F11) was recovered months later from immortalized memory B cells and partially characterized. The anti-NV Fabs were converted into full-length IgG (MAbs) with human ?1 heavy chain constant regions. The anti-NV MAbs were tested in the two available surrogate assays for Norwalk virus neutralization, which showed that the MAbs could block carbohydrate binding and inhibit hemagglutination by NV rVLP. By mixing a single MAb with live Norwalk virus prior to challenge, MAbs D8 and B7 neutralized the virus and prevented infection in a chimpanzee. Because chimpanzee immunoglobulins are virtually identical to human immunoglobulins, these chimpanzee anticapsid MAbs may have a clinical application.
Project description:Norovirus is a major causative pathogen of nonbacterial acute gastroenteritis. Despite the sequence similarity among various strains, noroviruses of different genotypes show different antigenicities and different binding profiles to histo-blood group antigens (HBGAs). To reveal the relationships between the structure of the capsid and the diversity in antigenicity and the HBGA-binding profile, virus-like particles (VLPs) of the Chiba strain that belongs to genogroup I, genotype 4 were crystallized for X-ray structural analysis. Diffraction data were collected and processed at 3.2?Å resolution. The crystal belonged to space group I222, with unit-cell parameters a = 290.0, b = 310.4 c = 350.4?Å. The possible packing model indicated that the diameter of the particle was 280?Å, which was much smaller than the 38?nm VLPs of Norovirus Norwalk strain (NV) with T = 3 icosahedral symmetry and composed of 180 VP1 proteins. The structure was solved by molecular replacement using the structure of the VP1 pentamer of NV 38?nm VLPs as a search model, revealing that the VLPs were smaller particles: 23?nm VLPs with T = 1 icosahedral symmetry, the structure of which has not yet been analyzed at high resolution. The structure of 23?nm VLPs will enable the two different VLPs of Norovirus to be compared, which will provide important information for understanding the structural basis of capsid formation.
Project description:Noroviruses (NoV) cause the great majority of epidemic nonbacterial gastroenteritis in humans. Expression of the capsid protein in recombinant systems, including insect and plant cells, yields assembly of virus-like particles (VLPs) that mimic the antigenic structure of authentic virions, and are relatively acid- and heat-stable. Norwalk virus (NV), the prototype NoV, has been studied extensively, and Norwalk virus-like particles (NVLPs) produced in insect cells and plants are immunogenic in mice and humans when delivered orally, stimulating the production of systemic and mucosal anti-NV antibodies. NVLPs are also highly immunogenic when delivered intranasally, provoking antibodies at levels similar to orally delivered VLP at much lower doses. Oral and nasal delivery of NVLPs efficiently produces antibodies at distal mucosal sites, which suggests that NVLPs could be used to deliver heterologous peptide antigens by production of genetic fusion chimeric capsid proteins. Examination of norovirus VLP surface structures and receptor binding motifs facilitates identification of potential sites for insertion of foreign peptides that will minimally affect the efficiency of VLP assembly and receptor binding. Thus, there is strong potential to use norovirus VLPs as vaccine-delivery vehicles.
Project description:Direct insertion of amino acid sequences into the adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV) capsid open reading frame (cap ORF) is one strategy currently being developed for retargeting this prototypical gene therapy vector. While this approach has successfully resulted in the formation of AAV particles that have expanded or retargeted viral tropism, the inserted sequences have been relatively short, linear receptor binding ligands. Since many receptor-ligand interactions involve nonlinear, conformation-dependent binding domains, we investigated the insertion of full-length peptides into the AAV cap ORF. To minimize disruption of critical VP3 structural domains, we confined the insertions to residue 138 within the VP1-VP2 overlap, which has been shown to be on the surface of the particle following insertion of smaller epitopes. The insertion of coding sequences for the 8-kDa chemokine binding domain of rat fractalkine (CX3CL1), the 18-kDa human hormone leptin, and the 30-kDa green fluorescent protein (GFP) after residue 138 failed to lead to formation of particles due to the loss of VP3 expression. To test the ability to complement these insertions with the missing capsid proteins in trans, we designed a system for producing AAV vectors in which expression of one capsid protein is isolated and combined with the remaining two capsid proteins expressed separately. Such an approach allows for genetic modification of a specific capsid protein across its entire coding sequence leaving the remaining capsid proteins unaffected. An examination of particle formation from the individual components of the system revealed that genome-containing particles formed as long as the VP3 capsid protein was present and demonstrated that the VP2 capsid protein is nonessential for viral infectivity. Viable particles composed of all three capsid proteins were obtained from the capsid complementation groups regardless of which capsid proteins were supplied separately in trans. Significant overexpression of VP2 resulted in the formation of particles with altered capsid protein stoichiometry. The key finding was that by using this system we successfully obtained nearly wild-type levels of recombinant AAV-like particles with large ligands inserted after residue 138 in VP1 and VP2 or in VP2 exclusively. While insertions at residue 138 in VP1 significantly decreased infectivity, insertions at residue 138 that were exclusively in VP2 had a minimal effect on viral assembly or infectivity. Finally, insertion of GFP into VP1 and VP2 resulted in a particle whose trafficking could be temporally monitored by using confocal microscopy. Thus, we have demonstrated a method that can be used to insert large (up to 30-kDa) peptide ligands into the AAV particle. This system allows greater flexibility than current approaches in genetically manipulating the composition of the AAV particle and, in particular, may allow vector retargeting to alternative receptors requiring interaction with full-length conformation-dependent peptide ligands.
Project description:Norwalk virus (NV) is the prototype strain of a group of human caliciviruses responsible for epidemic outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis. While these viruses do not grow in tissue culture cells or animal models, expression of the capsid protein in insect cells results in the self-assembly of recombinant NV virus-like particles (rNV VLPs) that are morphologically and antigenically similar to native NV. The X-ray structure of the rNV VLPs has revealed that the capsid protein folds into two principal domains: a shell (S) domain and a protruding (P) domain (B. V. V. Prasad, M. E. Hardy, T. Dokland, J. Bella, M. G. Rossmann, and M. K. Estes, Science 286:287-290, 1999). To investigate the structural requirements for the assembly of rNV VLPs, we performed mutational analyses of the capsid protein. We examined the ability of 10 deletion mutants of the capsid protein to assemble into VLPs in insect cell cultures. Deletion of the N-terminal 20 residues, suggested by the X-ray structure to be involved in a switching mechanism during assembly, did not affect the ability of the mutant capsid protein to self-assemble into 38-nm VLPs with a T=3 icosahedral symmetry. Further deletions in the N-terminal region affected particle assembly. Deletions in the C-terminal regions of the P domain, involved in the interactions between the P and S domains, did not block the assembly process, but they affected the size and stability of the particles. Mutants carrying three internal deletion mutations in the P domain, involved in maintaining dimeric interactions, produced significantly larger 45-nm particles, albeit in low yields. The complete removal of the protruding domain resulted in the formation of smooth particles with a diameter that is slightly smaller than the 30-nm diameter expected from the rNV structure. These studies indicate that the shell domain of the NV capsid protein contains everything required to initiate the assembly of the capsid, whereas the entire protruding domain contributes to the increased stability of the capsid by adding intermolecular contacts between the dimeric subunits and may control the size of the capsid.
Project description:Virions of polyomaviruses consist of the major structural protein VP1, the minor structural proteins VP2 and VP3, and the viral genome associated with histones. An additional structural protein, VP4, is present in avian polyomavirus (APV) particles. As it had been reported that expression of APV VP1 in insect cells did not result in the formation of virus-like particles (VLP), the prerequisites for particle formation were analyzed. To this end, recombinant influenza viruses were created to (co)express the structural proteins of APV in chicken embryo cells, permissive for APV replication. VP1 expressed individually or coexpressed with VP4 did not result in VLP formation; both proteins (co)localized in the cytoplasm. Transport of VP1, or the VP1-VP4 complex, into the nucleus was facilitated by the coexpression of VP3 and resulted in the formation of VLP. Accordingly, a mutant APV VP1 carrying the N-terminal nuclear localization signal of simian virus 40 VP1 was transported to the nucleus and assembled into VLP. These results support a model of APV capsid assembly in which complexes of the structural proteins VP1, VP3 (or VP2), and VP4, formed within the cytoplasm, are transported to the nucleus using the nuclear localization signal of VP3 (or VP2); there, capsid formation is induced by the nuclear environment.
Project description:During infection, binding of mature poliovirus to cell surface receptors induces an irreversible expansion of the capsid, to form an infectious cell-entry intermediate particle that sediments at 135S. In these expanded virions, the major capsid proteins (VP1 to VP3) adopt an altered icosahedral arrangement to open holes in the capsid at 2-fold and quasi-3-fold axes, and internal polypeptides VP4 and the N terminus of VP1, which can bind membranes, become externalized. Cryo-electron microscopy images for 117,330 particles were collected using Leginon and reconstructed using FREALIGN. Improved rigid-body positioning of major capsid proteins established reliably which polypeptide segments become disordered or rearranged. The virus-to-135S transition includes expansion of 4%, rearrangements of the GH loops of VP3 and VP1, and disordering of C-terminal extensions of VP1 and VP2. The N terminus of VP1 rearranges to become externalized near its quasi-3-fold exit, binds to rearranged GH loops of VP3 and VP1, and attaches to the top surface of VP2. These details improve our understanding of subsequent stages of infection, including endocytosis and RNA transfer into the cytoplasm.
Project description:Cylindrical projections surrounding the fivefold-symmetry axes in minute virus of mice (MVM) harbor central pores that penetrate through the virion shell. In newly released DNA-containing particles, these pores contain residues 28 to 38 belonging to a single copy of VP2, disposed so that its extreme N-terminal domain projects outside the particle. Virions are metastable, initially sequestering internally the N termini of all copies of the minor capsid protein, VP1, that is essential for entry. This VP1 domain can be externalized in vitro in response to limited heating, and we show here that the efficiency of this transition is greatly enhanced by proteolysis of VP2 N termini to yield VP3. This step also renders the VP1 rearrangement pH dependent, indicating that VP2 cleavage is a maturation step required to prime subsequent emergence of the VP1 "entry" domain. The tightest constriction within the cylinder is created by VP2 leucine 172, the five symmetry-related copies of which form a portal that resembles an iris diaphragm across the base of the pore. In MVMp, threonine substitution at this position, L172T, yields infectious particles following transfection at 37 degrees C, but these can initiate infection only at 32 degrees C, and this process can be blocked by exposing virions to a cellular factor(s) at 37 degrees C during the first 8 h after entry. At 32 degrees C, the mutant particle is highly infectious, and it remains stable prior to VP2 cleavage or following cleavage at pH 5.5 or below. However, upon exposure to neutral pH following VP2 cleavage, its VP1-specific sequences and genome are extruded even at room temperature, underscoring the significance of the VP2 cleavage step for MVM particle dynamics.
Project description:Viral capsid assembly, in which viral proteins self-assemble into complexes of well defined architecture, is a fascinating biological process. Although viral structure and assembly processes have been the subject of many excellent structural biology studies in the past, questions still remain regarding the intricate mechanisms that underlie viral structure, stability, and assembly. Here we used native mass spectrometry-based techniques to study the structure, stability, and assembly of Norwalk virus-like particles. Although detailed structural information on the fully assembled capsid exists, less information is available on potential capsid (dis)assembly intermediates, largely because of the inherent heterogeneity and complexity of the disassembly pathways. We used native mass spectrometry and atomic force microscopy to investigate the (dis)assembly of the Norwalk virus-like particles as a function of solution pH, ionic strength, and VP1 protein concentration. Native MS analysis at physiological pH revealed the presence of the complete capsid (T = 3) consisting of 180 copies of VP1. The mass of these capsid particles extends over 10 million Da, ranking them among the largest protein complexes ever analyzed by native MS. Although very stable under acidic conditions, the capsid was found to be sensitive to alkaline treatment. At elevated pH, intermediate structures consisting of 2, 4, 6, 18, 40, 60, and 80 copies of VP1 were observed with the VP1(60) (3.36-MDa) and VP1(80) (4.48-MDa) species being most abundant. Atomic force microscopy imaging and ion mobility mass spectrometry confirmed the formation of these latter midsize spherical particles at elevated pH. All these VP1 oligomers could be reversely assembled into the original capsid (VP1(180)). From the MS data collected over a range of experimental conditions, we suggest a disassembly model in which the T = 3 VP1(180) particles dissociate into smaller oligomers, predominantly dimers, upon alkaline treatment prior to reassembly into VP1(60) and VP1(80) species.