Excessive production and extreme editing of human metapneumovirus defective interfering RNA is associated with type I IFN induction.
ABSTRACT: Type I IFN production is one of the hallmarks of host innate immune responses upon virus infection. Whilst most respiratory viruses carry IFN antagonists, reports on human metapneumovirus (HMPV) have been conflicting. Using deep sequencing, we have demonstrated that HMPV particles accumulate excessive amounts of defective interfering RNA (DIs) rapidly upon in vitro passage, and that these are associated with IFN induction. Importantly, the DIs were edited extensively; up to 70% of the original A and T residues had mutated to G or C, respectively. Such high editing rates of viral RNA have not, to our knowledge, been reported before. Bioinformatics and PCR assays indicated that adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR) was the most likely editing enzyme. HMPV thus has an unusually high propensity to generate DIs, which are edited at an unprecedented high frequency. The conflicting published data on HMPV IFN induction and antagonism are probably explained by DIs in virus stocks. The interaction of HMPV DIs with the RNA-editing machinery and IFN responses warrants further investigation.
Project description:This study was conducted to reexamine the hypothesis that human metapneumovirus (hMPV) will not infect turkeys. Six groups of 2-week-old turkeys (20 per group) were inoculated oculonasally with 1 of the following: noninfected cell suspension; hMPV genotype A1, A2, B1, or B2; or avian metapneumovirus (aMPV) subtype C. Poults inoculated with hMPV showed nasal discharge days 4-9 postexposure. Specific viral RNA and antigen were detected by reverse-transcription PCR and immunohistochemical evaluation, respectively, in nasal turbinates of birds exposed to hMPV. Nasal turbinates of hMPV-infected turkeys showed inflammatory changes and mucus accumulation. Each of the 4 hMPV genotypes caused a transient infection in turkeys as evidenced by clinical signs, detection of hMPV in turbinates, and histopathologic examination. Detailed investigation of cross-species pathogenicity of hMPV and aMPV and its importance for human and animal health is needed.
Project description:The human metapneumovirus (hMPV) is a new Pneumovirinae related to the avian metapneumovirus type C. hMPV genome differs from human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) genome by the gene order and the lack of nonstructural genes. Two genetic sub-groups and four sub-types of hMPV are identified. hMPV infections evolve as regular winter outbreaks which have roughly the same size and overlaping RSV epidemics. Among hospitalized children in Caen, hMPV is detected in 9.7% of the cases after RSV (37%), rhinovirus (18%), influenza virus (14.5%), adenovirus (9%), and parainfluenza virus (5%). Most of hMPV infections are observed in children suffering from bronchiolitis, but the localization to lower respiratory tract and the severity of the disease are less frequent in comparison with RSV infections. hMPV is very difficult to isolate using cell culture. Up to now, the only way for hMPV diagnosis was the TS-CRP assays. But the recent apparition of direct antigenic tests allows us to get a fair, rapid, and economic diagnostic tool.
Project description:Human metapneumovirus (hMPV), a leading cause of respiratory tract infections in infants, inhibits type I interferon (IFN) signaling by an unidentified mechanism. In this study, we showed that infection of airway epithelial cells with hMPV decreased cellular level of Janus tyrosine kinase (Jak1) and tyrosine kinase 2 (Tyk2), due to enhanced proteosomal degradation and reduced gene transcription. In addition, hMPV infection also reduced the surface expression of type I IFN receptor (IFNAR). These inhibitory mechanisms are different from the ones employed by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which does not affect Jak1, Tyk2 or IFNAR expression, but degrades downstream signal transducer and activator of transcription proteins 2 (STAT2), although both viruses are pneumoviruses belonging to the Paramyxoviridae family. Our study identifies a novel mechanism by which hMPV inhibits STAT1 and 2 activation, ultimately leading to viral evasion of host IFN responses.
Project description:Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) is a recently identified RNA virus belonging to the Paramyxoviridae family. It is a common cause of respiratory tract infections in children, adults, and immunocompromised patients, for which no specific treatment or vaccine is available. Recent investigations in our lab identified hMPV glycoprotein G as an important virulence factor, as a recombinant virus lacking the G protein (rhMPV-?G) exhibited enhanced production of important immune and antiviral mediators, such as cytokines, chemokines and type I interferon (IFN) in airway epithelial cells, and expression of G protein alone inhibits cellular signaling dependent on retinoic induced gene (RIG)-I, a RNA helicase with a fundamental role in initiating hMPV-induced cellular responses. In this study, we have further investigated the mechanism underlying the inhibitory role of hMPV G protein on RIG-I-dependent signaling. We found that the interaction of hMPV G with RIG-I occurs primarily through the CARD domains of RIG-I N-terminus, preventing RIG-I association with the adaptor protein MAVS (mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein), recruitment of RIG-I to mitochondria, as well as the interaction between mitochondria and mitochondria-associated membrane (MAM) component of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), which contains STINGS, an important part of the viral-induced RIG-I/MAVS signaling pathway, leading in the end to the inhibition of cytokine, chemokine and type I IFN expression. Mutagenesis analysis showed that hMPV G protein cytoplasmic domain played a major role in the observed inhibitory activity, and recombinant viruses expressing a G protein with amino acid substitution in position 2 and 3 recapitulated most of the phenotype observed with rhMPV-?G mutant upon infection of airway epithelial cells.
Project description:Type I interferon (IFN) is a key mediator of antiviral immunity. Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) inhibits IFN signaling, but does not encode homologues of known IFN antagonists. We tested the hypothesis that a specific viral protein prevents type I IFN signaling by targeting signal transducer and activator of transcription-1 (STAT1). We found that human airway epithelial cells (capable of expressing IFNs) became impaired for STAT1 phosphorylation even without direct infection due to intrinsic negative feedback. HMPV-infected Vero cells (incapable of expressing IFN) displayed lower STAT1 expression and impaired STAT1 phosphorylation in response to type I IFN treatment compared to mock-infected cells. Transient overexpression of HMPV small hydrophobic (SH) protein significantly inhibited STAT1 phosphorylation and signaling, and recombinant virus lacking SH protein was unable to inhibit STAT1 phosphorylation. Our results indicate a role for the SH protein of HMPV in the downregulation of type I IFN signaling through the targeting of STAT1.
Project description:Asthmatics are highly susceptible to respiratory viral infections, possibly due to impaired innate immunity. However, the exact mechanisms of susceptibility are likely to differ amongst viruses. Therefore, we infected primary nasal epithelial cells (NECs) from adults with mild-to-moderate asthma, with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) or human metapneumovirus (hMPV) in vitro and investigated the antiviral response. NECs from these asthmatics supported elevated hMPV but not RSV infection, compared to non-asthmatic controls. This correlated with reduced apoptosis and reduced activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3/7 in response to hMPV, but not RSV. The expression of heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), a known inhibitor of caspase activation and subsequent apoptosis, was amplified in response to hMPV infection. Chemical inhibition of HSP70 function restored caspase activation and reduced hMPV infection in NECs from asthmatic subjects. There was no impairment in the production of IFN by NECs from asthmatics in response to either hMPV or RSV, demonstrating that increased infection of asthmatic airway cells by hMPV is IFN-independent. This study demonstrates, for the first time, a mechanism for elevated hMPV infection in airway epithelial cells from adult asthmatics and identifies HSP70 as a potential target for antiviral and asthma therapies.
Project description:Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) is a leading cause of acute respiratory tract infection in infants, as well as in the elderly and immunocompromised patients. No effective treatment or vaccine for hMPV is currently available. A recombinant hMPV lacking the G protein (rhMPV-Delta G) was recently developed as a potential vaccine candidate and shown to be attenuated in the respiratory tract of a rodent model of infection. The mechanism of its attenuation, as well as the role of G protein in modulation of hMPV-induced cellular responses in vitro, as well as in vivo, is currently unknown. In this study, we found that rhMPV-Delta G-infected airway epithelial cells produced higher levels of chemokines and type I interferon (IFN) compared to cells infected with rhMPV-WT. Infection of airway epithelial cells with rhMPV-Delta G enhanced activation of transcription factors belonging to the nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB and interferon regulatory factor (IRF) families, as revealed by increased nuclear translocation and/or phosphorylation of these transcription factors. Compared to rhMPV-WT, rhMPV-Delta G also increased IRF- and NF-kappaB-dependent gene transcription, which was reversely inhibited by G protein expression. Since RNA helicases have been shown to play a fundamental role in initiating viral-induced cellular signaling, we investigated whether retinoic induced gene (RIG)-I was the target of G protein inhibitory activity. We found that indeed G protein associated with RIG-I and inhibited RIG-I-dependent gene transcription, identifying an important mechanism by which hMPV affects innate immune responses. This is the first study investigating the role of hMPV G protein in cellular signaling and identifies G as an important virulence factor, as it inhibits the production of important immune and antiviral mediators by targeting RIG-I, a major intracellular viral RNA sensor.
Project description:RNA editing increases during development in more than 20 transcripts encoding proteins involved in rapid synaptic neurotransmission in Drosophila central nervous system and muscle. Adar (adenosine deaminase acting on RNA) mutant flies expressing only genome-encoded, unedited isoforms of ion-channel subunits are viable but show severe locomotion defects. The Adar transcript itself is edited in adult wild-type flies to generate an isoform with a serine to glycine substitution close to the ADAR active site. We show that editing restricts ADAR function since the edited isoform of ADAR is less active in vitro and in vivo than the genome-encoded, unedited isoform. Ubiquitous expression in embryos and larvae of an Adar transcript that is resistant to editing is lethal. Expression of this transcript in embryonic muscle is also lethal, with above-normal, adult-like levels of editing at sites in a transcript encoding a muscle voltage-gated calcium channel.
Project description:Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) is a major cause of upper and lower respiratory infections in children and adults. Recent work from our group demonstrated that hMPV G glycoprotein is an important virulence factor, responsible for inhibiting innate immune responses in airway epithelial cells. Myeloid dendritic cells (DCs) are potent APCs and play a major role in initiating and modulating the innate and adaptive immune responses. In this study, we found that TLR4 plays a major role in hMPV-induced activation of monocyte-derived DCs (moDCs), as downregulation of its expression by small interfering RNA significantly blocked hMPV-induced chemokine and type I IFN expression. Similar results were found in bone marrow-derived DCs from TLR4-deficient mice. moDCs infected with a virus lacking G protein expression produced higher levels of cytokines and chemokines compared with cells infected with wild-type virus, suggesting that G protein plays an inhibitory role in viral-induced cellular responses. Specifically, G protein affects TLR4-dependent signaling, as infection of moDCs with recombinant hMPV lacking G protein inhibited LPS-induced production of cytokine and chemokines significantly less than did wild-type virus, and treatment of moDCs with purified G protein resulted in a similar inhibition of LPS-dependent signaling. Our results demonstrate that hMPV G protein plays an important role in inhibiting host innate immune responses, likely affecting adaptive responses too.
Project description:We retrospectively studied 420 pharyngeal swab specimens collected from Peruvian and Argentinean patients with influenzalike illness in 2002 and 2003 for evidence of human metapneumovirus (HMPV). Twelve specimens (2.3%) were positive by multiple assays. Six specimens yielded HMPV isolates. Four of the 6 isolates were of the uncommon B1 genotype.