Complete DNA sequence analyses of the first two varicella-zoster virus glycoprotein E (D150N) mutant viruses found in North America: evolution of genotypes with an accelerated cell spread phenotype.
ABSTRACT: Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is considered to be one of the most genetically stable of all the herpesviruses. Yet two VZV strains with a D150N missense mutation within the gE glycoprotein were isolated in North America in 1998 and 2002. The mutant strains have an accelerated cell spread phenotype, which distinguishes them from all wild-type and laboratory viruses. Since the VZV genome contains 70 additional open reading frames (ORFs), the possibility existed that the phenotypic change was actually due to an as-yet-undiscovered mutation or deletion elsewhere in the genome. To exclude this hypothesis, the entire genomes of the two mutant viruses were sequenced and found to contain 124,883 (VZV-MSP) and 125,459 (VZV-BC) nucleotides. Coding single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified in 14 ORFs. One missense mutation was discovered in gH, but none was found in gB, gI, gL, or gK. There were no coding SNPs in the major regulatory protein ORF 62. One polymorphism was discovered which could never have been anticipated based on current knowledge of herpesvirus genomics, namely, the origins of replication differed from those in the prototype strain but not in a manner expected to affect cell spread. When the two complete mutant VZV sequences were surveyed in their entirety, the most reasonable conclusion was that the increased cell spread phenotype was dependent substantially or solely on the single D150N polymorphism in glycoprotein gE. The genomic results also expanded the evolutionary database by identifying which VZV ORFs were more likely to mutate over time.
Project description:Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is an alphaherpesvirus that infects skin, lymphocytes, and sensory ganglia. VZV glycoprotein E (gE) has a unique N-terminal region (aa1-188), which is required for replication and includes domains involved in secondary envelopment, efficient cell-cell spread, and skin infection in vivo. The nonconserved N-terminal region also mediates binding to the insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE), which is proposed to be a VZV receptor. Using viral mutagenesis to make the recombinant rOka-DeltaP27-G90, we showed that amino acids in this region are required for gE/IDE binding in infected cells; this deletion reduced cell-cell spread in vitro and skin infection in vivo. However, a gE point mutation, linker insertions, and partial deletions in the aa27-90 region, and deletion of a large portion of the unique N-terminal region, aa52-187, had similar or more severe effects on VZV replication in vitro and in vivo without disrupting the gE/IDE interaction. VZV replication in T cells in vivo was not impaired by deletion of gE aa27-90, suggesting that these gE residues are not essential for VZV T cell tropism. However, the rOka-DeltaY51-P187 mutant failed to replicate in T cell xenografts as well as skin in vivo. VZV tropism for T cells and skin, which is necessary for its life cycle in the human host, requires this nonconserved region of the N-terminal region of VZV gE.
Project description:Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) glycoprotein E (gE) is essential for VZV replication. To further analyze the functions of gE in VZV replication, a full deletion and point mutations were made in the 62-amino-acid (aa) C-terminal domain. Targeted mutations were introduced in YAGL (aa 582 to 585), which mediates gE endocytosis, AYRV (aa 568 to 571), which targets gE to the trans-Golgi network (TGN), and SSTT, an "acid cluster" comprising a phosphorylation motif (aa 588 to 601). Substitutions Y582G in YAGL, Y569A in AYRV, and S593A, S595A, T596A, and T598A in SSTT were introduced into the viral genome by using VZV cosmids. These experiments demonstrated a hierarchy in the contributions of these C-terminal motifs to VZV replication and virulence. Deletion of the gE C terminus and mutation of YAGL were lethal for VZV replication in vitro. Mutations of AYRV and SSTT were compatible with recovery of VZV, but the AYRV mutation resulted in rapid virus spread in vitro and the SSTT mutation resulted in higher virus titers than were observed for the parental rOka strain. When the rOka-gE-AYRV and rOka-gE-SSTT mutants were evaluated in skin and T-cell xenografts in SCIDhu mice, interference with TGN targeting was associated with substantial attenuation, especially in skin, whereas the SSTT mutation did not alter VZV infectivity in vivo. These results provide the first information about how targeted mutations of this essential VZV glycoprotein affect viral replication in vitro and VZV virulence in dermal and epidermal cells and T cells within intact tissue microenvironments in vivo.
Project description:In 1998, a varicella-zoster virus glycoprotein E (gE) mutant virus (VZV-MSP) was isolated from a child with chickenpox. VZV-MSP, representing a second VZV serotype, was considered a rarity. We isolated another VZV-MSP-like virus from an elderly man with herpes zoster. These gE mutant viruses may have arisen through independent mutation or may represent a distinct VZV subpopulation that emerged more than 50 years ago.
Project description:Here, we describe the association of certain varicella-zoster virus (VZV) genotypes with unique glycoprotein E (gE) gene mutations. Within 45 analyzed VZV wild-type strains of genotypes A and D, five novel gE mutations were discovered. A statistically significant (P < 0.0001) association of certain gE mutations with VZV genotype D was found.
Project description:Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) causes chickenpox and shingles. While varicella is likely spread as cell-free virus to susceptible hosts, the virus is transmitted by cell-to-cell spread in the body and in vitro. Since VZV glycoprotein E (gE) is essential for virus infection, we postulated that gE binds to a cellular receptor. We found that insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE) interacts with gE through its extracellular domain. Downregulation of IDE by siRNA, or blocking of IDE with antibody, with soluble IDE protein extracted from liver, or with bacitracin inhibited VZV infection. Cell-to-cell spread of virus was also impaired by blocking IDE. Transfection of cell lines impaired for VZV infection with a plasmid expressing human IDE resulted in increased entry and enhanced infection with cell-free and cell-associated virus. These studies indicate that IDE is a cellular receptor for both cell-free and cell-associated VZV.
Project description:The gH glycoprotein of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is a major fusogen. The realigned short cytoplasmic tail of gH (18 amino acids) harbors a functional endocytosis motif (YNKI) that mediates internalization in both VZV-infected and transfected cells (T. J. Pasieka, L. Maresova, and C. Grose, J. Virol. 77: 4194-4202, 2003). During subsequent confocal microscopy studies of endocytosis-deficient gH mutants, we observed that cells transfected with the gH tail mutants exhibited marked fusion. Therefore, we postulated that VZV gH endocytosis served to regulate cell-to-cell fusion. Subsequent analyses of gH+gL transfection fusion assays by the Kolmogorov-Smirnov statistical test demonstrated that expression of the endocytosis-deficient gH mutants resulted in a statistically significant enhancement of cell-to-cell fusion (P < 0.0001) compared to wild-type gH. On the other hand, coexpression of VZV gE, another endocytosis-competent VZV glycoprotein, was able to temper the fusogenicity of the gH endocytosis mutants by facilitating internalization of the mutant gH protein from the cell surface. When the latter results were similarly analyzed, there was no longer any enhanced fusion by the endocytosis-deficient gH mutant protein. In summary, these studies support a role for gH endocytosis in regulating the cell surface expression of gH and thereby regulating gH-mediated fusion. The data also confirm and extend prior observations of a gE-gH interaction during viral glycoprotein trafficking in a VZV transfection system.
Project description:Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is the alphaherpesvirus that causes chicken pox (varicella) and shingles (zoster). The two VZV glycoproteins gE and gI form a heterodimer that mediates efficient cell-to-cell spread. Deletion of gI yields a small-plaque-phenotype virus, ?gI virus, which is avirulent in human skin using the xenograft model of VZV pathogenesis. In the present study, 10 mutant viruses were generated to determine which residues were required for the typical function of gI. Three phosphorylation sites in the cytoplasmic domain of gI were not required for VZV virulence in vivo. Two deletion mutants mapped a gE binding region in gI to residues 105 to 125. A glycosylation site, N116, in this region did not affect virulence. Substitution of four cysteine residues highly conserved in the Alphaherpesvirinae established that C95 is required for gE/gI heterodimer formation. The C95A and ?105-125 (with residues 105 to 125 deleted) viruses had small-plaque phenotypes with reduced replication kinetics in vitro similar to those of the ?gI virus. The ?105-125 virus was avirulent for human skin in vivo. In contrast, the C95A mutant replicated in vivo but with significantly reduced kinetics compared to those of the wild-type virus. In addition to abolished gE/gI heterodimer formation, gI from the C95A or the ?105-125 mutant was not recognized by monoclonal antibodies that detect the canonical conformation of gI, demonstrating structural disruption of gI in these viruses. This alteration prevented gI incorporation into virus particles. Thus, residues C95 and 105 to 125 are critical for gI structure required for gE/gI heterodimer formation, virion incorporation, and ultimately, effective viral spread in human skin.
Project description:Herpes simplex virus (HSV) and varicella-zoster virus (VZV) are two pathogenic human alphaherpesviruses whose intracellular assembly is thought to follow different pathways. VZV presumably acquires its envelope in the trans-Golgi network (TGN), and it has recently been shown that its major envelope glycoprotein, VZV-gE, accumulates in this compartment when expressed alone. In contrast, the envelopment of HSV has been proposed to occur at the inner nuclear membrane, although to which compartment the gE homolog (HSV-gE) is transported is unknown. For this reason, we have studied the intracellular traffic of HSV-gE and have found that this glycoprotein accumulates at steady state in the TGN, both when expressed from cloned cDNA and in HSV-infected cells. In addition, HSV-gE cycles between the TGN and the cell surface and requires a conserved tyrosine-containing motif within its cytoplasmic tail for proper trafficking. These results show that VZV-gE and HSV-gE have similar intracellular trafficking pathways, probably reflecting the presence of similar sorting signals in the cytoplasmic domains of both molecules, and suggest that the respective viruses, VZV and HSV, could use the same subcellular organelle, the TGN, for their envelopment.
Project description:A high-throughput test to detect varicella-zoster virus (VZV) antibodies in varicella vaccine recipients is not currently available. One of the most sensitive tests for detecting VZV antibodies after vaccination is the fluorescent antibody to membrane antigen (FAMA) test. Unfortunately, this test is labor-intensive, somewhat subjective to read, and not commercially available. Therefore, we developed a highly quantitative and high-throughput luciferase immunoprecipitation system (LIPS) assay to detect antibody to VZV glycoprotein E (gE). Tests of children who received the varicella vaccine showed that the gE LIPS assay had 90% sensitivity and 70% specificity, a viral capsid antigen enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) had 67% and 87% specificity, and a glycoprotein ELISA (not commercially available in the United States) had 94% sensitivity and 74% specificity compared with the FAMA test. The rates of antibody detection by the gE LIPS and glycoprotein ELISA were not statistically different. Therefore, the gE LIPS assay may be useful for detecting VZV antibodies in varicella vaccine recipients. (This study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov under registration no. NCT00921999.).
Project description:Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) glycoprotein gpIV, to be renamed VZV gI, forms a heterodimer with glycoprotein gpI (gE) which functions as an Fc receptor in virus-infected cells. Like VZV gpI (gE), this viral glycoprotein is phosphorylated in cell culture during biosynthesis. In this report, we investigated the nature and specificity of the phosphorylation event involving VZV gpIV (gI). Phosphoamino acid analysis indicated that gpIV (gI) was modified mainly on serine residues. To identify the precise location of the phosphorylation site on the 64-kDa protein, a step-by-step mutagenesis procedures was followed. Initially a tailless mutant was generated, and this truncated product was no longer phosphorylated. Thereafter, point mutations were made within the cytoplasmic tail of gpIV (gI) at potential phosphorylation sites. The phosphorylation site was localized to the following sequence: Ser-Pro-Pro (amino acids 343 to 345). Examination of the point mutants established that serine 343 in the cytoplasmic tail was the major phosphoacceptor. In addition, we found that the prolines located immediately to the C terminus of serine 343 were an integral part of the kinase recognition sequence. This site was located immediately N terminal to a predicted beta-turn secondary structure. By comparison with known substrate consensus sequences for various protein kinases, these data suggested that the phosphorylation of VZV gpIV (gI) was catalyzed by a proline-directed protein kinase. Computer homology analysis of other alphaherpesviruses demonstrated that a similar potential phosphorylation site was highly conserved in the cytoplasmic tails of herpes simplex virus type 1 gI, equine herpesvirus type 1 gI, and pseudorabies virus gp63.