Analysis of host range phenotypes of primate hepadnaviruses by in vitro infections of hepatitis D virus pseudotypes.
ABSTRACT: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and woolly monkey hepatitis B virus (WMHBV) have natural host ranges that are limited to closely related species. The barrier for infection of primates seems to be at the adsorption and/or entry steps of the viral replication cycle, since a human hepatoma cell line is permissive for HBV and WMHBV replication following transfection of cloned DNA. We hypothesized that the HBV and WMHBV envelope proteins contain the principal viral determinants of host range. As previously shown by using the hepatitis D virus (HDV) system, recombinant HBV-HDV particles were infectious in chimpanzee as well as human hepatocytes. We extended the HDV system to include HDV particles pseudotyped with the WMHBV envelope. In agreement with the natural host ranges of HBV and WMHBV, in vitro infections demonstrated that HBV-HDV and WM-HDV particles preferentially infected human and spider monkey cells, respectively. Previous studies have implicated the pre-S1 region of the large (L) envelope protein in receptor binding and host range; therefore, recombinant HDV particles were pseudotyped with the hepadnaviral envelopes containing chimeric L proteins with the first 40 amino acids from the pre-S1 domain exchanged between HBV and WMHBV. Surprisingly, addition of the human amino terminus to the WMHBV L protein increased infectivity on spider monkey hepatocytes but did not increase infectivity for human hepatocytes. Based upon these data, we discuss the possibility that the L protein may be comprised of two domains that affect infectivity and that sequences downstream of residue 40 may influence host range and receptor binding or entry.
Project description:Development of curative therapies for chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection will likely require new animal models. Here, we evaluate HBV infection in squirrel monkeys based on the high-sequence homology of the HBV receptor, Na+/taurocholate co-transporting peptide (NTCP), between humans and squirrel monkeys. HBV PreS1 peptide was examined for binding human and squirrel monkey NTCP. Immunodeficient Fah -/- , NOD, Rag1 -/- , Il2Rg null (FNRG) mice engrafted with human or squirrel monkey hepatocytes were challenged with HBV or Woolly Monkey HBV (WMHBV). In addition, adult squirrel monkeys were inoculated with HBV, WMHBV, adeno-associated virus containing an infectious genome of HBV (AAV-HBV), and AAV-WMHBV. Finally, neonate squirrel monkeys were assessed for the potential of chronic infection with WMHBV. PreS1 peptide efficiently bound to human and squirrel monkey NTCP but not to mouse or capuchin NTCP. FNRG mice engrafted with squirrel monkey hepatocytes were susceptible to infection by WMHBV but not human HBV. Similarly, adult squirrel monkeys could be infected with WMHBV but not human HBV, whereas chimeric mice engrafted with human hepatocytes were susceptible to HBV but not WMHBV. Infection of squirrel monkeys with AAV-WMHBV yielded maximum viremia of 108 genomes/mL with detectable virus for up to 8 months. Notably, covalently closed circular DNA was detected in the liver of these animals. Infection of neonates with WMHBV led to detectable viremia for up to 6 months. Conclusions: Adult and neonate squirrel monkeys exhibited prolonged WMHBV viremia lasting 6-8 months. This is greater than twice the duration of viremia achieved in other nonhuman primates and suggests that squirrel monkeys may be a suitable model for testing HBV therapeutics.
Project description:This study examined how the envelope proteins of 25 variants of hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotypes A to I support hepatitis delta virus (HDV) infectivity. The assembled virions bore the same HDV ribonucleoprotein and differed only by the HBV variant-specific envelope proteins coating the particles. The total HDV yields varied within a 122-fold range. A residue Y (position 374) in the HDV binding site was identified as critical for HDV assembly. Virions that bound antibodies, which recognize the region that includes the HBV matrix domain and predominantly but not exclusively immunoprecipitate the PreS1-containing virions, were termed PreS1*-HDVs. Using in vitro infection of primary human hepatocytes (PHH), we measured the specific infectivity (SI), which is the number of HDV genomes/cell produced by infection and normalized by the PreS1*-MOI, which is the multiplicity of infection that reflects the number of PreS1*-HDVs per cell in the inoculum used. The SI values varied within a 160-fold range and indicated a probable HBV genotype-specific trend of D > B > E > A in supporting HDV infectivity. Three variants, of genotypes B, C, and D, supported the highest SI values. We also determined the normalized index (NI) of infected PHH, which is the percentage of HDV-infected hepatocytes normalized by the PreS1*-MOI. Comparison of the SI and NI values revealed that, while a particular HBV variant may facilitate the infection of a relatively significant fraction of PHH, it may not always result in a considerable number of genomes that initiated replication after entry. The potential implications of these findings are discussed in the context of the mechanism of attachment/entry of HBV and HDV.The study advances the understanding of the mechanisms of (i) attachment and entry of HDV and HBV and (ii) transmission of HDV infection/disease.
Project description:A natural subviral agent of human hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis delta virus (HDV), requires only the envelope proteins from HBV in order to maintain persistent infection. HBV surface antigens (HBsAgs) can be produced either by HBV replication or from integrated HBV DNA regardless of replication. The functional properties of the integrant-generated HBsAgs were examined using two human hepatocellular carcinoma-derived cell lines, Hep3B and PLC/PRF/5, that contain HBV integrants but do not produce HBV virions and have no signs of HBV replication. Both cell lines were able to support HDV replication and assembly/egress of HDV virions. Neither of the cell lines was able to produce substantial amounts of the pre-S1-containing HDV particles. HDV virions assembled in PLC/PRF/5 cells were able to infect primary human hepatocytes, while Hep3B-derived HDV appeared to be noninfectious. These results correlate with the findings that the entire open reading frame (ORF) for the large (L) envelope protein that is essential for infectivity is present on HBV RNAs from PLC/PRF/5 cells, while an L protein ORF that was truncated and fused to inverted precore sequences was found using RNAs from Hep3B cells. This study demonstrates for the first time that at least some of the HBV DNA sequence naturally integrated during infection can produce functional small and large envelope proteins capable of the formation of infectious HDV virions. Our data indicate that in vivo chronic HDV infection can persist in the absence of HBV replication (or when HBV replication is profoundly suppressed) if functional envelope proteins are supplied from HBV integrants.The study addresses the unique mechanism of HDV persistence in the absence of ongoing HBV replication, advances our understanding of HDV-HBV interactions, and supports the implementation of treatments directly targeting HDV for HDV/HBV-infected individuals.
Project description:Previous studies have attempted to clarify the roles of the pre-S1 and pre-S2 domains of the large envelope protein of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in attachment and entry into susceptible cells. Difficulties arise in that these domains contain regions involved in the nucleocapsid assembly of HBV and overlapping with the coding regions of the viral polymerase and RNA sequences required for reverse transcription. Such difficulties can be circumvented with hepatitis delta virus (HDV), which needs the HBV large envelope protein only for infectivity. Thus, mutated HBV envelope proteins were examined for their effects on HDV infectivity. Changing the C-terminal region of pre-S1 critical for HBV assembly allowed the envelopment of HDV and had no effect on infectivity in primary human hepatocytes. Similarly, a deletion of the 12 amino acids of a putative translocation motif (TLM) in pre-S2 had no effect. Thus, these two regions are not necessary for HDV infectivity and, by inference, are not needed for HBV attachment and entry into susceptible cells.
Project description:The sodium-taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide (NTCP) is both a key bile acid (BA) transporter mediating uptake of BA into hepatocytes and an essential receptor for hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis D virus (HDV). In this study we aimed to characterize to what extent and through what mechanism BA affect HDV cell entry.HuH-7 cells stably expressing NTCP (HuH-7/NTCP) and primary human hepatocytes (PHH) were infected with in vitro generated HDV particles. Infectivity in the absence or presence of compounds was assessed using immunofluorescence staining for HDV antigen, standard 50% tissue culture infectious dose (TCID50) assays and quantitative PCR.Addition of primary conjugated and unconjugated BA resulted in a dose dependent reduction in the number of infected cells while secondary, tertiary and synthetic BA had a lesser effect. This effect was observed both in HuH-7/NTCP and in PHH. Other replication cycle steps such as replication and particle assembly and release were unaffected. Moreover, inhibitory BA competed with a fragment from the large HBV envelope protein for binding to NTCP-expressing cells. Conversely, the sodium/BA-cotransporter function of NTCP seemed not to be required for HDV infection since infection was similar in the presence or absence of a sodium gradient across the plasma membrane. When chenodeoxycolic acid (15 mg per kg body weight) was administered to three chronically HDV infected individuals over a period of up to 16 days there was no change in serum HDV RNA.Primary BA inhibit NTCP-mediated HDV entry into hepatocytes suggesting that modulation of the BA pool may affect HDV infection of hepatocytes.
Project description:Human hepatitis delta virus (HDV) causes the most severe form of viral hepatitis. Approximately 15-25 million people are chronically infected with HDV. As a satellite virus of the human hepatitis B virus (HBV), HDV uses the HBV-encoded envelope proteins for egress from and de novo entry into hepatocytes. So far, in vitro production of HDV particles is restricted to co-transfection of cells with HDV/HBV encoding cDNAs. This approach has several limitations. In this study, we established HuH7-END cells, which continuously secrete infectious HDV virions. The cell line was generated through stepwise stable integration of the cDNA of the HDV antigenome, the genes for the HBV envelope proteins and the HBV/HDV receptor NTCP. We found that HuH7-END cells release infectious HDV particles up to 400 million copies/milliliter and support virus spread to co-cultured cells. Due to the expression of NTCP, HuH7-END cells are also susceptible to de novo HDV entry. Virus production is stable for >16 passages and can be scaled up for preparation of large HDV virus stocks. Finally, HuH7-END cells are suitable for screening of antiviral drugs targeting HDV replication. In summary, the HuH7-END cell line provides a novel tool to study HDV replication in vitro.
Project description:Members of the Hepadnaviridae family have been isolated from birds, rodents, and primates. A new hepadnavirus isolated from the woolly monkey, a New World primate, is phylogenetically distinct from other primate isolates. An animal model has been established for woolly monkey hepatitis B virus (WMHBV) by using spider monkeys, since woolly monkeys are endangered. In this study, a greater-than-genome length construct was prepared without amplification by using covalently closed circular DNA extracted from the liver of an infected woolly monkey. Transfection of the human liver cell line Huh7 with WMHBV DNA resulted in the production of viral transcripts, DNA replicative intermediates, and secreted virions at levels similar to those obtained with an infectious human HBV clone, demonstrating that the host range restriction of WMHBV is not at the level of genome replication. WMHBV particles from the medium of transfected cultures initiated an infection in a spider monkey similar to that obtained with virions derived from woolly monkey serum. In an attempt to adapt the virus for higher levels of replication in spider monkeys, immunosuppressed and newborn animals were inoculated. Neither procedure produced persistent infections, and the level of viral replication remained several logs lower than that observed in persistently infected woolly monkeys. These data demonstrate the production of an infectious clone for WMHBV and extend the characterization of the spider monkey animal model.
Project description:Primary Tupaia hepatocytes (PTHs) are susceptible to woolly monkey hepatitis B virus (WMHBV) infection, but the identity of the cellular receptor(s) mediating WMHBV infection of PTHs remains unclear. Recently, sodium taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide (NTCP) was identified as a functional receptor for human hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection of primary human and Tupaia hepatocytes. In this study, a synthetic pre-S1 peptide from WMHBV was found to bind specifically to cells expressing Tupaia NTCP (tsNTCP) and it efficiently blocked WMHBV entry into PTHs; silencing of tsNTCP in PTHs significantly inhibited WMHBV infection. Ectopic expression of tsNTCP rendered HepG2 cells susceptible to WMHBV infection. These data demonstrate that tsNTCP is a functional receptor for WMHBV infection of PTHs. The result also indicates that NTCP's orthologs likely act as a common cellular receptor for all known primate hepadnaviruses.
Project description:Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections are a major worldwide health problem with chronic infections leading to cirrhosis and liver cancer. Viruses related to human HBV have been isolated from birds and rodents, but despite efforts to find hepadnaviruses that infect species intermediate in evolution between rodents and humans, none have been described. We recently isolated a hepadnavirus from a woolly monkey (Lagothrix lagotricha) that was suffering from fulminant hepatitis. Phylogenetic analysis of the nucleotide sequences of the core and surface genes indicated that the virus was distinct from the human HBV family, and because it is basal (ancestral) to the human monophyletic group, it probably represents a progenitor of the human viruses. This virus was designated woolly monkey hepatitis B virus (WMHBV). Analysis of woolly monkey colonies at five zoos indicated that WMHBV infections occurred in most of the animals at the Louisville zoo but not at four other zoos in the United States. The host range of WMHBV was examined by inoculation of one chimpanzee and two black-handed spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi), the closest nonendangered relative of the woolly monkey. The data suggest that spider monkeys are susceptible to infection with WMHBV and that minimal replication was observed in a chimpanzee. Thus, we have isolated a hepadnavirus with a host intermediate between humans and rodents and establishes a new animal model for evaluation of antiviral therapies for treating HBV chronic infections.
Project description:The hepatitis B virus (HBV) particles bear a receptor-binding site located in the pre-S1 domain of the large HBV envelope protein. Using the hepatitis delta virus (HDV) as a surrogate of HBV, a second infectivity determinant was recently identified in the envelope proteins antigenic loop (AGL), and its activity was shown to depend upon cysteine residues that are essential for the structure of the HBV immunodominant "a" determinant. Here, an alanine-scanning mutagenesis approach was used to precisely map the AGL infectivity determinant to a set of conserved residues, which are predicted to cluster together with cysteines in the AGL disulfide bridges network. Several substitutions suppressed both infectivity and the "a" determinant, whereas others were infectivity deficient with only a partial impact on antigenicity. Interestingly, G145R, a substitution often arising under immune pressure selection and detrimental to the "a" determinant, had no effect on infectivity. Altogether, these findings indicate that the AGL infectivity determinant is closely related to, yet separable from, the "a" determinant. Finally, a selection of HDV entry-deficient mutations were introduced at the surface of HBV virions and shown to also abrogate infection in the HBV model. Therefore, a function can at last be assigned to the orphan "a" determinant, the first-discovered marker of HBV infection. The characterization of the AGL functions at viral entry may lead to novel approaches in the development of antivirals against HBV.