Computational analysis and mapping of novel open reading frames in influenza A viruses.
ABSTRACT: The influenza A virus contains 8 segmented genomic RNAs and was considered to encode 10 viral proteins until investigators identified the 11th viral protein, PB1-F2, which uses an alternative reading frame of the PB1 gene. The recently identified PB1-N40, PA-N155 and PA-N182 influenza A proteins have shown the potential for using a leaking ribosomal scanning mechanism to generate novel open reading frames (ORFs). These novel ORFs provide examples of the manner in which the influenza A virus expands its coding capacity by using overlapping reading frames. In this study, we performed a computational search, based on a ribosome scanning mechanism, on all influenza A coding sequences to identify possible forward-reading ORFs that could be translated into novel viral proteins. We specified that the translated products had a prevalence ?5% to eliminate sporadic ORFs. A total of 1,982 ORFs were thus identified and presented in terms of their locations, lengths and Kozak sequence strengths. We further provided an abridged list of ORFs by requiring every candidate an upstream start codon (within the upstream third of the primary transcript), a strong Kozak consensus sequence and high prevalence (?95% and ?50% for in-frame and alternative-frame ORFs, respectively). The PB1-F2, PB1-N40, PA-N155 and PA-N182 proteins all fulfilled our filtering criteria. Subject to these three stringent settings, we additionally named 16 novel ORFs for all influenza A genomes except for HA and NA, for which 43 HA and 11 NA ORFs from their respective subtypes were also recognized.
Project description:Many replication events are involved in the influenza A virus life cycle, and they are accomplished by different virus proteins with specific functions. However, because the size of the influenza virus genome is limited, the virus uses different mechanisms to express multiple viral proteins from a single gene segment. The M2 and NS2 proteins are produced by splicing, and several novel influenza A virus proteins, such as PB1-F2, PB1-N40, and PA-X, have recently been identified. Here, we identified novel PA-related proteins in influenza A virus-infected cells. These newly identified proteins are translated from the 11th and 13th in-frame AUG codons in the PA mRNA and are, therefore, N-terminally truncated forms of PA, which we named PA-N155 and PA-N182, respectively. The 11th and 13th AUG codons are highly conserved among influenza A viruses, and the PA-N155 and PA-N182 proteins were detected in cells infected with various influenza A viruses isolated from different host species, suggesting the expression of these N-truncated PAs is universal in nature among influenza A viruses. These N-truncated PAs did not show polymerase activity when expressed together with PB1 and PB2; however, mutant viruses lacking the N-truncated PAs replicated more slowly in cell culture and had lower pathogenicity in mice than did wild-type virus. These results suggest that these novel PA-related proteins likely possess important functions in the replication cycle of influenza A virus.
Project description:PA-N155 and PA-N182 proteins were translated from the 11th and 13th start codon AUG of the RNA polymerase acidic protein (PA) mRNA of H5N1 influenza A virus (IAV), which plays an important role in viral replication. Little is known about the interactions between PA-N155 and PA-N182 and the host proteins. This study investigated the interaction landscape of PA-N155 and PA-N182 of H5N1 IAV in chicken cells while their interacting complexes were captured by immunoprecipitation and analyzed by mass spectrometry. A total of 491 (PA-N155) and 302 (PA-N182) interacting proteins were identified. Gene ontology and pathway enrichment analyses showed that proteins of the two interactomes were enriched in RNA processing, viral processing and protein transport, and proteins related to signaling pathways of proteasome, ribosome, and aminoacy1-tRNA biosynthesis were significantly enriched, suggesting their potential roles in H5N1 IAV infection. Comparative analysis of the interactome of PA, PA-N155, and PA-N182 identified UBA52 as a conserved host factor that interacted with all three viral proteins. UBA52 is a fusion protein consisting of ubiquitin at the N terminus and ribosomal protein L40 at the C terminus. Knockdown of UBA52 significantly decreased the titer of H5N1 IAV in chicken cells and was accompanied with attenuated production of proinflammatory cytokines. Our analyses of the influenza-host protein interactomes identified UBA52 as a PA interaction protein for virus replication.
Project description:Influenza A is a negative-sense RNA virus with an eight-segment genome. Some segments encode more than one polypeptide product, but how the virus accesses alternate internal open reading frames (ORFs) is not completely understood. In segment 2, ribosomal scanning produces two internal ORFs, PB1-F2 and N40. Here, chemical mapping reveals a Mg(2+)-dependent pseudoknot structure that includes the PB1-F2 and N40 start codons. The results suggest that interactions of the ribosome with the pseudoknot may affect the level of translation for PB1-F2 and N40.
Project description:UNLABELLED:Influenza A(H3N2) viruses became widespread in humans during the 1968 H3N2 virus pandemic and have been a major cause of influenza epidemics ever since. These viruses evolve continuously by reassortment and genomic evolution. Antigenic drift is the cause for the need to update influenza vaccines frequently. Using two data sets that span the entire period of circulation of human influenza A(H3N2) viruses, it was shown that influenza A(H3N2) virus evolution can be mapped to 13 antigenic clusters. Here we analyzed the full genomes of 286 influenza A(H3N2) viruses from these two data sets to investigate the genomic evolution and reassortment patterns. Numerous reassortment events were found, scattered over the entire period of virus circulation, but most prominently in viruses circulating between 1991 and 1998. Some of these reassortment events persisted over time, and one of these coincided with an antigenic cluster transition. Furthermore, selection pressures and nucleotide and amino acid substitution rates of all proteins were studied, including those of the recently discovered PB1-N40, PA-X, PA-N155, and PA-N182 proteins. Rates of nucleotide and amino acid substitutions were most pronounced for the hemagglutinin, neuraminidase, and PB1-F2 proteins. Selection pressures were highest in hemagglutinin, neuraminidase, matrix 1, and nonstructural protein 1. This study of genotype in relation to antigenic phenotype throughout the period of circulation of human influenza A(H3N2) viruses leads to a better understanding of the evolution of these viruses. IMPORTANCE:Each winter, influenza virus infects approximately 5 to 15% of the world's population, resulting in significant morbidity and mortality. Influenza A(H3N2) viruses evolve continuously by reassortment and genomic evolution. This leads to changes in antigenic recognition (antigenic drift) which make it necessary to update vaccines against influenza A(H3N2) viruses frequently. In this study, the relationship of genetic evolution to antigenic change spanning the entire period of A(H3N2) virus circulation was studied for the first time. The results presented in this study contribute to a better understanding of genetic evolution in correlation with antigenic evolution of influenza A(H3N2) viruses.
Project description:Influenza A virus segment 2 is known to encode two polypeptides in overlapping open reading frames: PB1, the polymerase, and PB1-F2, a proapoptotic virulence factor. We show that a third major polypeptide is synthesized from PB1 mRNA via differential AUG codon usage. PB1 codon 40 directs translation of an N-terminally truncated version of the polypeptide (N40) that lacks transcriptase function but nevertheless interacts with PB2 and the polymerase complex in the cellular environment. Importantly, the expression of N40, PB1-F2, and PB1 are interdependent, and certain mutations previously used to ablate PB1-F2 production affected N40 accumulation. Removal of the PB1-F2 AUG upregulated N40 synthesis, while truncating PB1-F2 after codon 8 (with a concomitant M40I change in PB1) abolished N40 expression. A virus lacking both N40 and PB1-F2 replicated normally. However, viruses that did not express N40 but retained an intact PB1-F2 gene overexpressed PB1 early in infection and replicated slowly in tissue culture. Thus, the influenza A virus proteome includes a 12th primary translation product that (similarly to PB1-F2) is nonessential for virus viability but whose loss, in particular genetic backgrounds, is detrimental to virus replication.
Project description:Influenza A virus segment 2 mRNA expresses three polypeptides: PB1, PB1-F2 and PB1-N40, from AUGs 1, 4 and 5 respectively. Two short open reading frames (sORFs) initiated by AUGs 2 and 3 are also present. To understand translational regulation in this system, we systematically mutated AUGs 1-4 and monitored polypeptide synthesis from plasmids and recombinant viruses. This identified sORF2 as a key regulatory element with opposing effects on PB1-F2 and PB1-N40 expression. We propose a model in which AUGs 1-4 are accessed by leaky ribosomal scanning, with sORF2 repressing synthesis of downstream PB1-F2. However, sORF2 also up-regulates PB1-N40 expression, most likely by a reinitiation mechanism that permits skipping of AUG4. Surprisingly, we also found that in contrast to plasmid-driven expression, viruses with improved AUG1 initiation contexts produced less PB1 in infected cells and replicated poorly, producing virions with elevated particle:PFU ratios. Analysis of the genome content of virus particles showed reduced packaging of the mutant segment 2 vRNAs. Overall, we conclude that segment 2 mRNA translation is regulated by a combination of leaky ribosomal scanning and reinitiation, and that the sequences surrounding the PB1 AUG codon are multifunctional, containing overlapping signals for translation initiation and for segment-specific packaging.
Project description:OBJECTIVE: To determine the molecular characterization of Polymerase complex (PA, PB1 and PB2) genes of H9N2 avian influenza viruses and the genetic relationship of Iranian H9N2 viruses and other Asian viruses. METHODS: The Polymerase complex (PA, PB1 and PB2) genes from seven isolates of H9N2 viruses isolated from commercial chickens in Iran during 2008-2009 were amplified (by RT-PCR method) and sequenced. Nucleotide sequences (Open Reading Frame: orf) of the PA, PB1 and PB2 genes were used for phylogenetic tree construction. RESULTS: Most PB2 and PA genes of the H9N2 viruses isolated in 2008-2009 belonged to the unknown avian sublineage which grouped with the 2004 Pakistani H7N3 viruses. The PB1 genes of Iranian viruses indicated greater genetic diversity and shared a high level of similarity to PB1 genes from either H5 or H7 subtypes with compared to established H9N2 Eurasian sublineages. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrated that the H9N2 viruses in Iran exhibit striking reassortment which has led to the generation of new genotypes.
Project description:Highly pathogenic Avian influenza (HPAI) is a notifiable viral disease caused by avian influenza type A viruses of the Orthomyxoviridae family. Type A influenza genome consists of eight segments of negative-sense RNA. RNA segment 2 encodes three proteins, PB1, PB1-F2, and N40, which are translated from the same mRNA by ribosomal leaky scanning and reinitiation. Since these proteins are critical for viral replication and pathogenesis, targeting their expression can be one of the approaches to control and resist HPAI. MicroRNAs are short noncoding RNAs that regulate a variety of biological processes such as cell growth, tissue differentiation, apoptosis, and viral infection. In this study, a set of 300 miRNAs expressed in chicken lungs were screened against the HPAI virus (H5N1) segment 2 with different screening parameter like thermodynamic stability of heteroduplex, seed sequence complementarity, conserved target sequence, and target-site accessibility for identifying miRNAs that can potentially target the transcript of segment 2 of H5N1. Chicken miRNAs gga-mir-133c, gga-mir-1710, and gga-mir-146c* are predicted to target the expression of PB1, PB1-F2, and N40 proteins. This indicates that chicken has genetic potential to resist/tolerate H5N1 infection and these can be suitably exploited in designing strategies for control of avian influenza in chicken.
Project description:The RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) of influenza A virus consists of three subunits, PB2, PB1, and PA, and catalyses both viral RNA genome replication and transcription. Cotransfection of four monocistronic expression vectors for these subunits and nucleoprotein with an expression vector for viral RNA reconstitutes functional viral ribonucleoprotein complex (vRNP). However, the specific activity of reconstituted RdRp is usually very low since the expression level and the ratio of the three subunits by transfection are uncontrollable at single-cell levels. For efficient reconstitution of RdRp and vRNP, their levels need to be at least comparable. We constructed polycistronic expression vectors in which the coding sequences of the three subunits were joined with the 2A-like self-processing sequence of Thosea asigna virus (TaV2A) in various orders. The level of PB1 protein, even when it was placed at the most downstream, was comparable with that expressed from the monocistronic PB1 vector. In contrast, the levels of PB2 and PA were very low, the latter of which was most likely due to proteasomal degradation caused by the TaV2A-derived sequences attached to the amino- and/or carboxyl-terminal ends in this expression system. Interestingly, two of the constructs, in which the PB1 coding sequence was placed at the most upstream, showed much higher reporter activity in a luciferase-based mini-genome assay than that observed by cotransfection of the monocistronic vectors. When the coding sequence of selective antibiotic marker was further placed at the most downstream of the PB1-PA-PB2 open reading frame, stable cells expressing RdRp were easily established, indicating that acquisition of antibiotic resistance assured the expression of upstream RdRp. The addition of an affinity tag to the carboxyl-terminal end of PB2 allowed us to isolate reconstituted vRNP. Taken together, the polycistronic expression system for influenza virus RdRp may be available for functional and structural studies on vRNP.
Project description:Haemophilus influenzae can utilize different protein-bound forms of heme for growth in vitro. A previous study (I. Maciver, J. L. Latimer, H. H. Liem, U. Muller-Eberhard, Z. Hrkal, and E. J. Hansen. Infect. Immun. 64:3703-3712, 1996) indicated that nontypeable H. influenzae (NTHI) strain TN106 expressed a protein that bound hemoglobin-haptoglobin and was encoded by an open reading frame (ORF) that contained a CCAA nucleotide repeat. Southern blot analysis revealed that several NTHI strains contained between three and five chromosomal DNA fragments that bound an oligonucleotide probe for CCAA repeats. Three ORFs containing CCAA repeats were identified in NTHI strain N182; two of these ORFs were arranged in tandem. The use of translational fusions involving these three ORFs and the beta-lactamase gene from pBR322 revealed that these three ORFs, designated hgbA, hgbB, and hgbC, encoded proteins that could bind hemoglobin, hemoglobin-haptoglobin, or both compounds. Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) specific for the HgbA, HgbB, and HgbC proteins were produced by immunizing mice with synthetic peptides unique to each protein. Both HgbA and HgbB were readily detected by Western blot analysis in N182 cells grown in the presence of hemoglobin as the sole source of heme, whereas expression of HgbC was found to be much less abundant than that of HgbA and HgbB. The use of these MAbs in a colony blot radioimmunoassay analysis revealed that expression of both HgbA and HgbB was subject to phase variation. PCR and nucleotide sequence analysis were used in conjunction with Western blot analyses to demonstrate that this phase variation involved the CCAA repeats in the hgbA and hgbB ORFs.