Development of an equine-tropic replication-competent lentivirus assay for equine infectious anemia virus-based lentiviral vectors.
ABSTRACT: The release of lentiviral vectors for clinical use requires the testing of vector material, production cells, and, if applicable, ex vivo-transduced cells for the presence of replication-competent lentivirus (RCL). Vectors derived from the nonprimate lentivirus equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) have been directly administered to patients in several clinical trials, with no toxicity observed to date. Because EIAV does not replicate in human cells, and because putative RCLs derived from vector components within human vector production cells would most likely be human cell-tropic, we previously developed an RCL assay using amphotropic murine leukemia virus (MLV) as a surrogate positive control and human cells as RCL amplification/indicator cells. Here we report an additional RCL assay that tests for the presence of theoretical "equine-tropic" RCLs. This approach provides further assurance of safety by detecting putative RCLs with an equine cell-specific tropism that might not be efficiently amplified by the human cell-based RCL assay. We tested the ability of accessory gene-deficient EIAV mutant viruses to replicate in a highly permissive equine cell line to direct our choice of a suitable EIAV-derived positive control. In addition, we report for the first time the mathematical rationale for use of the Poisson distribution to calculate minimal infectious dose of positive control virus and for use in monitoring assay positive/spike control failures in accumulating data sets. No RCLs have been detected in Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)-compliant RCL assays to date, further demonstrating that RCL formation is highly unlikely in contemporary minimal lentiviral vector systems.
Project description:Characterization of cellular receptors for human, simian, and feline immunodeficiency viruses that are tropic for lymphocytes and macrophages have revealed a common theme of a sequential binding of viral envelope proteins with two coreceptors to mediate virus infection of target cells. In contrast to these dual tropic immunodeficiency viruses, the ungulate lentiviruses, including equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV), exclusively infect cells of the monocyte-macrophage lineage to cause progressive degenerative diseases without clinical immunodeficiency. EIAV causes a uniquely dynamic disease that is characterized by recurrent disease episodes including fever, diarrhea, lethargy, anemia, and thrombocytopenia. Although EIAV provides an important animal model for lentivirus disease resulting from macrophage infection, to date there has been no definition of the specific cellular receptor(s) used by the equine lentivirus to infect target cells. In the current study, we have identified and cloned a functional receptor for EIAV, designated equine lentivirus receptor-1 (ELR1), related to the family of TNF receptor (TNFR) proteins. ELR1 was shown to be expressed in various equine cells permissive for EIAV replication in vitro, including monocytes and macrophages. In contrast, EIAV-resistant human, murine, and simian cells were negative for ELR1 expression but became susceptible to virus infection when transduced with a recombinant murine retrovirus expressing the ELR1. Thus, these results identify a specific functional receptor for a macrophagetropic lentivirus and indicate that infection by EIAV may be mediated by a single receptor, in contrast to coreceptors used by the lymphotropic immunodeficiency lentiviruses.
Project description:The macrophage-tropic lentivirus, equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV), encodes the small auxiliary protein S2 from a short open reading frame that overlaps the amino terminus of env EIAV S2 is dispensable for virus replication in cultured cells but is required for disease production. S2 is approximately 7 kDa and has no overall amino acid sequence homology to other cellular or viral proteins. Therefore it is likely that S2 plays a role as an adaptor protein. To further investigate S2 function we performed a yeast-2-hybrid screen to identify cellular proteins that interact with EIAV S2. The screen identified two human cellular proteins, amplified in osteosarcoma (OS-9) and proteasome 26S ATPase subunit 3 (PSMC3) that interact with S2. The equine homologues of these proteins were cloned and their interactions with S2 confirmed using co-immunoprecipitation assays. We identified two OS-9 isoforms that interact with S2 and a third splice variant that does not, indicating a region of OS-9 apparently required for the S2 interaction. The roles of these cellular proteins during EIAV infection have not been determined.
Project description:Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 has a unique integration profile in the human genome relative to murine and avian retroviruses. Equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) is another well-studied lentivirus that can also be used as a promising retro-transfection vector, but its integration into its native host has not been characterized. In this study, we mapped 477 integration sites of the EIAV strain EIAVFDDV13 in fetal equine dermal (FED) cells during in vitro infection. Published integration sites of EIAV and HIV-1 in the human genome were also analyzed as references. Our results demonstrated that EIAVFDDV13 tended to integrate into genes and AT-rich regions, and it avoided integrating into transcription start sites (TSS), which is consistent with EIAV and HIV-1 integration in the human genome. Notably, the integration of EIAVFDDV13 favored long interspersed elements (LINEs) and DNA transposons in the horse genome, whereas the integration of HIV-1 favored short interspersed elements (SINEs) in the human genome. The chromosomal environment near LINEs or DNA transposons potentially influences viral transcription and may be related to the unique EIAV latency states in equids. The data on EIAV integration in its natural host will facilitate studies on lentiviral infection and lentivirus-based therapeutic vectors.
Project description:Equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) is a lentivirus with in vivo cell tropism primarily for tissue macrophages; however, in vitro the virus can be adapted to fibroblasts and other cell types. Tropism adaptation is associated with both envelope and long terminal repeat (LTR) changes, and findings strongly suggest that these regions of the genome influence cell tropism and virulence. Furthermore, high levels of genetic variation have been well documented in both of these genomic regions. However, specific EIAV nucleotide or amino acid changes that are responsible for cell tropism changes have not been identified. A study was undertaken with the highly virulent, macrophage-tropic strain of virus EIAV(wyo) to identify LTR changes associated with alterations in cell tropism. We found the stepwise generation of a new transcription factor binding motif within the enhancer that was associated with adaptation of EIAV to endothelial cells and fibroblasts. An LTR that contained the new motif had enhanced transcriptional activity in fibroblasts, whereas the new site did not alter LTR activity in a macrophage cell line. This finding supports a previous prediction that selection for new LTR genetic variants may be a consequence of cell-specific selective pressures. Additional investigations of the EIAV(wyo) LTR were performed in vivo to determine if LTR evolution could be detected over the course of a 3-year infection. Consistent with previous in vivo findings, we observed no changes in the enhancer region of the LTR over that time period, indicating that the EIAV(wyo) LTR was evolutionarily stable in vivo.
Project description:The equine lentivirus receptor 1 (ELR1), a member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) protein family, has been identified as a functional receptor for equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV). Toward defining the functional interactions between the EIAV SU protein (gp90) and its ELR1 receptor, we mapped the gp90 binding domain of ELR1 by a combination of binding and functional assays using the EIAV SU gp90 protein and various chimeric receptor proteins derived from exchanges between the functional ELR1 and the nonbinding homolog, mouse herpesvirus entry mediator (murine HveA). Complementary exchanges of the respective cysteine-rich domains (CRD) between the ELR1 and murine HveA proteins revealed CRD1 as the predominant determinant of functional gp90 binding to ELR1 and also to a chimeric murine HveA protein expressed on the surface of transfected Cf2Th cells. Mutations of individual amino acids in the CRD1 segment of ELR1 and murine HveA indicated the Leu70 in CRD1 as essential for functional binding of EIAV gp90 and for virus infection of transduced Cf2Th cells. The specificity of the EIAV SU binding domain identified for the ELR1 receptor is fundamentally identical to that reported previously for functional binding of feline immunodeficiency virus SU to its coreceptor CD134, another TNFR protein. These results indicate unexpected common features of the specific mechanisms by which diverse lentiviruses can employ TNFR proteins as functional receptors.
Project description:We developed a replication-defective reporter virus pseudotyped with the envelope glycoprotein of equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV). The in vitro host range and neutralization phenotype of EIAV Env-pseudotyped virus were similar to those of replication-competent virus. An EIAV Env pseudovirus will improve antigenic characterization of viral variants and evaluation of lentivirus vaccines.
Project description:Cytotoxic T lymphocytes are involved in controlling intracellular pathogens in many species, including horses. Particularly, CTL are critical for the control of equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV), a lentivirus that infects horses world-wide. In humans and animal models, CTL clones are valuable for evaluating the fine specificity of epitope recognition, and for adoptive immunotherapy against infectious and neoplastic diseases. Cloned CTL would be equally useful for similar studies in the horse. Here we present the first analysis of a method to generate equine CTL clones. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were obtained from an EIAV-infected horse and stimulated with the EIAV Rev-QW11 peptide. Sorted CD8+ T cells were cloned by limiting dilution, and expanded without further antigen addition using irradiated PBMC, anti-equine CD3, and human recombinant IL-2. Clones could be frozen and thawed without detrimental effects, and could be subsequently expanded to numbers exceeding 2 x 10(9)cells. Flow cytometry of expanded clones confirmed the CD3+/CD8+ phenotype, and chromium release assays confirmed CTL activity. Finally, sequencing TCR beta chain genes confirmed clonality. Our results provide a reliable means to generate large numbers of epitope-specific equine CTL clones that are suitable for use in downstream applications, including functional assays and adoptive transfer studies.
Project description:Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) can control some viral infections and may be important in the control of lentiviruses, including human immunodeficiency virus type 1. Since there is limited evidence for an in vivo role of CTL in control of lentiviruses, dissection of immune mechanisms in animal lentiviral infections may provide needed information. Horses infected with equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) a lentivirus, have acute plasma viremia which is terminated in immunocompetent horses. Viremic episodes may recur, but most horses ultimately control infection and become asymptomatic carriers. To begin dissection of the immune mechanisms involved in EIAV control, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from infected horses were evaluated for CTL to EIAV-infected cells. By using noninfected and EIAV-infected autologous equine kidney (EK) cells in 51Cr-release assays, EIAV-specific cytotoxic activity was detected in unstimulated PBMC from three infected horses. The EIAV-specific cytotoxic activity was major histocompatibility complex (MHC) restricted, as determined by assaying EIAV-infected heterologous EK targets, and was mediated by CD8+ T lymphocytes, as determined by depleting these cells by a panning procedure with an anti-CD8 monoclonal antibody. MHC-restricted CD8+ CTL in unstimulated PBMC from infected horses caused significant specific lysis of autologous EK cells infected with recombinant vaccinia viruses expressing EIAV genes, either env or gag plus 5' pol. The EIAV-specific MHC-restricted CD8+ CTL were detected in two EIAV-infected horses within a few days after plasma viremia occurred and were present after viremia was terminated. The detection of these immune effector cells in EIAV-infected horses permits further studies to determine their in vivo role.
Project description:The Gag polyprotein is key to the budding of retroviruses from host cells and is cleaved upon virion maturation, the N-terminal membrane-binding domain forming the matrix protein (MA). The 2.8-A resolution crystal structure of MA of equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV), a lentivirus, reveals that, despite showing no sequence similarity, more than half of the molecule can be superimposed on the MAs of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). However, unlike the structures formed by HIV-1 and SIV MAs, the oligomerization state observed is not trimeric. We discuss the potential of this molecule for membrane binding in the light of conformational differences between EIAV MA and HIV or SIV MA.
Project description:Equine lentivirus receptor 1 (ELR1) has been identified as a functional cellular receptor for equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV). Herein, recombinant ELR1 and EIAV surface glycoprotein gp90 were respectively expressed in Drosophila melanogaster S2 cells, and purified to homogeneity by Ni-NTA affinity chromatography and gel filtration chromatography. Gel filtration chromatography and analytical ultracentrifugation (AUC) analyses indicated that both ELR1 and gp90 existed as individual monomers in solution and formed a complex with a stoichiometry of 1:1 when mixed. The structure of ELR1 was first determined with the molecular replacement method, which belongs to the space group P42 21 2 with one molecule in an asymmetric unit. It contains eight antiparallel ?-sheets, of which four are in cysteine rich domain 1 (CRD1) and two are in CRD2 and CRD3, respectively. Alignment of ELR1 with HVEM and CD134 indicated that Tyr61, Leu70, and Gly72 in CRD1 of ELR1 are important residues for binding to gp90. Isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) experiments further confirmed that Leu70 and Gly72 are the critical residues.