Early apoptosis of porcine alveolar macrophages limits avian influenza virus replication and pro-inflammatory dysregulation.
ABSTRACT: Pigs are evidently more resistant to avian than swine influenza A viruses, mediated in part through frontline epithelial cells and alveolar macrophages (AM). Although porcine AM (PAM) are crucial in influenza virus control, their mode of control is unclear. To gain insight into the possible role of PAM in the mediation of avian influenza virus resistance, we compared the host effects and replication of two avian (H2N3 and H6N1) and three mammalian (swine H1N1, human H1N1 and pandemic H1N1) influenza viruses in PAM. We found that PAM were readily susceptible to initial infection with all five avian and mammalian influenza viruses but only avian viruses caused early and extensive apoptosis (by 6 h of infection) resulting in reduced virus progeny and moderated pro-inflammation. Full length viral PB1-F2 present only in avian influenza viruses is a virulence factor that targets AM for mitochondrial-associated apoptotic cell death. With the use of reverse genetics on an avian H5N1 virus, we found that full length PB1-F2 contributed to increased apoptosis and pro-inflammation but not to reduced virus replication. Taken together, we propose that early apoptosis of PAM limits the spread of avian influenza viruses and that PB1-F2 could play a contributory role in the process.
Project description:Although several studies have exploited the effects of PB1-F2 in swine influenza viruses, its contribution to the pathogenicity of swine influenza viruses remains unclear. Herein, we investigated the effects of PB1-F2 on the pathogenicity of influenza virus using a virulent H1N1 A/swine/Kansas/77778/2007 (KS07) virus, which expresses a full-length PB1-F2, in mice and pigs. Using reverse genetics, we generated the wild-type KS07 (KS07_WT), a PB1-F2 knockout mutant (KS07_K/O) and its N66S variant (KS07_N66S). KS07_K/O showed similar pathogenicity in mice to the KS07_WT, whereas KS07_N66S displayed enhanced virulence when compared to the other two viruses. KS07_WT exhibited more efficient replication in lungs and nasal shedding in infected pigs than the other two viruses. Pigs infected with the KS07_WT had higher pulmonary levels of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, IFN-?, IL-6 and IL-8 at 3 and 5 days post-infection, as well as lower levels of IL-2, IL-4 and IL-12 at 1 day post-infection compared to those infected with the KS07_K/O. These results indicate that PB1-F2 modulates KS07 H1N1 virus replication, pathogenicity and innate immune responses in pigs and the single substitution at position 66 (N/S) in the PB1-F2 plays a critical role in virulence in mice. Taken together, our results provide new insights into the effects of PB1-F2 on the virulence of influenza virus in swine and support PB1-F2 as a virulence factor of influenza A virus in a strain- and host-dependent manner.
Project description:The pandemic of 1918 was caused by an H1N1 influenza A virus, which is a negative strand RNA virus; however, little is known about the nature of its direct ancestral strains. Here we applied a broad genetic and phylogenetic analysis of a wide range of influenza virus genes, in particular the PB1 gene, to gain information about the phylogenetic relatedness of the 1918 H1N1 virus. We compared the RNA genome of the 1918 strain to many other influenza strains of different origin by several means, including relative synonymous codon usage (RSCU), effective number of codons (ENC), and phylogenetic relationship. We found that the PB1 gene of the 1918 pandemic virus had ENC values similar to the H1N1 classical swine and human viruses, but different ENC values from avian as well as H2N2 and H3N2 human viruses. Also, according to the RSCU of the PB1 gene, the 1918 virus grouped with all human isolates and "classical" swine H1N1 viruses. The phylogenetic studies of all eight RNA gene segments of influenza A viruses may indicate that the 1918 pandemic strain originated from a H1N1 swine virus, which itself might be derived from a H1N1 avian precursor, which was separated from the bulk of other avian viruses in toto a long time ago. The high stability of the RSCU pattern of the PB1 gene indicated that the integrity of RNA structure is more important for influenza virus evolution than previously thought.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>A new strain of human H1N1 influenza A viruses was broken out in the April 2009 and caused worldwide pandemic emergency. The present study is trying to estimate a temporal reassortment history of 2009 H1N1 viruses by phylogenetic analysis based on a total 394 sequences of H1N1viruses isolated from swine, human and avian.<h4>Results</h4>Phylogenetic trees of eight gene segments showed that viruses sampled from human formed a well-supported clade, whereas swine and avian lineages were intermixed together. A new divergence swine sublineage containing gene segments of 2009 H1N1 viruses was characterized, which were closely related with swine viruses collected from USA and South Korea during 2004 to 2007 in six segments (PB2, PB1, PA, HA, NP and NS), and to swine viruses isolated from Thailand during 2004 to 2005 in NA and M. Substitution rates were varied drastically among eight segments and the average substitution rate was generally higher in 2009 H1N1 than in swine and human viruses (F2,23 = 5.972, P < 0.01). Similarly, higher dN/dS substitution ratios were identified in 2009 H1N1 than in swine and human viruses except M2 gene (F2, 25 = 3.779, P < 0.05). The ages of 2009 H1N1 viruses were estimated around 0.1 to 0.5 year, while their common ancestors with closest related swine viruses existed between 9.3 and 17.37 years ago.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Our results implied that at least four reassortments or transmissions probably occurred before 2009 H1N1 viruses. Initial reassortment arose in 1976 and avian-like Eurasian swine viruses emerged. The second transmission happened in Asia and North America between 1988 and 1992, and mostly influenced six segments (PB2, PB1, PA, HA, NP and NS). The third reassortment occurred between North American swine and avian viruses during 1998 to 2000, which involved PB2 and PA segments. Recent reassortments occurred among avian-to-swine reassortant, Eurasian and classical swine viruses during 2004 to 2005. South Korea, Thailand and USA, were identified as locations where reassortments most likely happened. The co-circulation of multiple swine sublineages and special lifestyle in Asia might have facilitated mixing of diverse influenza viruses, leading to generate a novel virus strain.
Project description:Highly pathogenic influenza A viruses (IAV) from avian hosts were first reported to directly infect humans 20 years ago. However, such infections are rare events, and our understanding of factors promoting or restricting zoonotic transmission is still limited. One accessory protein of IAV, PB1-F2, was associated with pathogenicity of pandemic and zoonotic IAV. This short (90-amino-acid) peptide does not harbor an enzymatic function. We thus identified host factors interacting with H5N1 PB1-F2, which could explain its importance for virulence. PB1-F2 binds to HCLS1-associated protein X1 (HAX-1), a recently identified host restriction factor of the PA subunit of IAV polymerase complexes. We demonstrate that the PA of a mammal-adapted H1N1 IAV is resistant to HAX-1 imposed restriction, while the PA of an avian-origin H5N1 IAV remains sensitive. We also showed HAX-1 sensitivity for PAs of A/Brevig Mission/1/1918 (H1N1) and A/Shanghai/1/2013 (H7N9), two avian-origin zoonotic IAV. Inhibition of H5N1 polymerase by HAX-1 can be alleviated by its PB1-F2 through direct competition. Accordingly, replication of PB1-F2-deficient H5N1 IAV is attenuated in the presence of large amounts of HAX-1. Mammal-adapted H1N1 and H3N2 viruses do not display this dependence on PB1-F2 for efficient replication in the presence of HAX-1. We propose that PB1-F2 plays a key role in zoonotic transmission of avian H5N1 IAV into humans.IMPORTANCE Aquatic and shore birds are the natural reservoir of influenza A viruses from which the virus can jump into a variety of bird and mammal host species, including humans. H5N1 influenza viruses are a good model for this process. They pose an ongoing threat to human and animal health due to their high mortality rates. However, it is currently unclear what restricts these interspecies jumps on the host side or what promotes them on the virus side. Here we show that a short viral peptide, PB1-F2, helps H5N1 bird influenza viruses to overcome a human restriction factor of the viral polymerase complex HAX-1. Interestingly, we found that human influenza A virus polymerase complexes are already adapted to HAX-1 and do not require this function of PB1-F2. We thus propose that a functional full-length PB1-F2 supports direct transmission of bird viruses into humans.
Project description:Gene mutations and reassortment are key mechanisms by which influenza A virus acquires virulence factors. To evaluate the role of the viral polymerase replication machinery in producing virulent pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza viruses, we generated various polymerase point mutants (PB2, 627K/701N; PB1, expression of PB1-F2 protein; and PA, 97I) and reassortant viruses with various sources of influenza viruses by reverse genetics. Although the point mutations produced no significant change in pathogenicity, reassortment between the pandemic A/California/04/09 (CA04, H1N1) and current human and animal influenza viruses produced variants possessing a broad spectrum of pathogenicity in the mouse model. Although most polymerase reassortants had attenuated pathogenicity (including those containing seasonal human H3N2 and high-pathogenicity H5N1 virus segments) compared to that of the parental CA04 (H1N1) virus, some recombinants had significantly enhanced virulence. Unexpectedly, one of the five highly virulent reassortants contained a A/Swine/Korea/JNS06/04(H3N2)-like PB2 gene with no known virulence factors; the other four had mammalian-passaged avian-like genes encoding PB2 featuring 627K, PA featuring 97I, or both. Overall, the reassorted polymerase complexes were only moderately compatible for virus rescue, probably because of disrupted molecular interactions involving viral or host proteins. Although we observed close cooperation between PB2 and PB1 from similar virus origins, we found that PA appears to be crucial in maintaining viral gene functions in the context of the CA04 (H1N1) virus. These observations provide helpful insights into the pathogenic potential of reassortant influenza viruses composed of the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza virus and prevailing human or animal influenza viruses that could emerge in the future.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Mutations in the PB1 subunit of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) of influenza A virus can affect replication fidelity. Before the influenza A/H1N1 pandemic in 2009, most human influenza A/H1N1 viruses contained the avian-associated residue, serine, at position 216 in PB1. However, near the onset of the 2009 pandemic, human viruses began to acquire the mammalian-associated residue, glycine, at PB1-216, and PB1-216G became predominant in human viruses thereafter. METHODS:Using entropy-based analysis algorithm, we have previously identified several host-specific amino-acid signatures that separated avian and swine viruses from human influenza viruses. The presence of these host-specific signatures in human influenza A/H1N1 viruses suggested that these mutations were the result of adaptive genetic evolution that enabled these influenza viruses to circumvent host barriers, which resulted in cross-species transmission. We investigated the biological impact of this natural avian-to-mammalian signature substitution at PB1-216 in human influenza A/H1N1 viruses. RESULTS:We found that PB1-216G viruses had greater mutation potential, and were more sensitive to ribavirin than PB1-216S viruses. In oseltamivir-treated HEK293 cells, PB1-216G viruses generated mutations in viral neuraminidase at a higher rate than PB1-216S viruses. By contrast, PB1-216S viruses were more virulent in mice than PB1-216G viruses. These results suggest that the PB1-S216G substitution enhances viral epidemiological fitness by increasing the frequency of adaptive mutations in human influenza A/H1N1 viruses. CONCLUSIONS:Our results thus suggest that the increased adaptability and epidemiological fitness of naturally arising human PB1-216G viruses, which have a canonical low-fidelity replicase, were the biological mechanisms underlying the replacement of PB1-216S viruses with a high-fidelity replicase following the emergence of pdmH1N1. We think that continued surveillance of such naturally occurring PB1-216 variants among others is warranted to assess the potential impact of changes in RdRp fidelity on the adaptability and epidemiological fitness of human A/H1N1 influenza viruses.
Project description:PB1-F2 protein, expressed from an alternative reading frame of most influenza A virus (IAV) PB1 segments, may possess specific residues associated with enhanced inflammation (L62, R75, R79, and L82) and cytotoxicity (I68, L69, and V70). These residues were shown to increase the pathogenicity of primary viral and secondary bacterial infections in a mouse model. In contrast to human seasonal influenza strains, virulence-associated residues are present in PB1-F2 proteins from pandemic H1N1 1918, H2N2 1957, and H3N2 1968, and highly pathogenic H5N1 strains, suggesting their contribution to viruses' pathogenic phenotypes. Non-human influenza strains may act as donors of virulent PB1-F2 proteins. Previously, avian influenza strains were identified as a potential source of inflammatory, but not cytotoxic, PB1-F2 residues. Here, we analyze the frequency of virulence-associated residues in PB1-F2 sequences from IAVs circulating in mammalian species in close contact with humans: pigs, horses, and dogs. All four inflammatory residues were found in PB1-F2 proteins from these viruses. Among cytotoxic residues, I68 was the most common and was especially prevalent in equine and canine IAVs. Historically, PB1-F2 from equine (about 75%) and canine (about 20%) IAVs were most likely to have combinations of the highest numbers of residues associated with inflammation and cytotoxicity, compared to about 7% of swine IAVs. Our analyses show that, in addition to birds, pigs, horses, and dogs are potentially important sources of pathogenic PB1-F2 variants. There is a need for surveillance of IAVs with genetic markers of virulence that may be emerging from these reservoirs in order to improve pandemic preparedness and response.
Project description:The H1N1/pdm2009 virus is a new triple-reassortant virus. While Eurasian avian-like and triple-reassortant swine influenza viruses are the direct ancestors of H1N1/pdm2009, the classic swine influenza virus facilitate the spectrum of influenza A diversity in pig population when the reassortant events occurred during 1998 to April 2009. The factors that facilitate the final formation of this gene constellation for H1N1/pdm2009 virus from this complex gene pool remain unknown. Since a novel successful virus should efficiently replicate and transmit in their hosts, in this study, we estimated the adaptability of the codon usage patterns of the pool of genes from these lineages of swine influenza viruses to the human expression system. We found that the MP and NA genes of Eurasian avian-like swine influenza viruses, and the PB2, PB1 and PA genes of triple-reassortant swine influenza viruses were best adapted to the human codon usage pattern. As these genes participated in the development of H1N1/pdm2009, they might help in viral replication and strengthen its competitiveness during its emergence. After its emergence in the human population, a gradual optimization of codon usage patterns between 2009 and 2019 to the human codon usage for the H1N1/pdm2009 genes was detected. This reveals that ongoing adaptive evolution, after its original incursion, occurred to further increase the adaptability of overall gene cassette to human expression system.
Project description:Here, we assessed the effects of PB1-F2 and NS1 mutations known to increase the pathogenicity of influenza viruses on the replication and pathogenicity in mice of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza viruses. We also characterized viruses possessing a PB1-F2 mutation that was recently identified in pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza virus isolates, with and without simultaneous mutations in PB2 and NS1. Our results suggest that some NS1 mutations and the newly identified PB1-F2 mutation have the potential to increase the replication and/or pathogenicity of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza viruses.
Project description:PB1-F2 protein, the 11th influenza A virus (IAV) protein, is considered to play an important role in primary influenza virus infection and postinfluenza secondary bacterial pneumonia in mice. The functional role of PB1-F2 has been reported to be a strain-specific and host-specific phenomenon. Its precise contribution to the pathogenicity and transmission of influenza virus in mammalian host, such as swine, and avian hosts, such as turkeys, remain largely unknown. In this study, we explored the role of PB1-F2 protein of triple-reassortant (TR) H3N2 swine influenza virus (SIV) in pigs and turkeys. Using the eight-plasmid reverse genetics system, we rescued wild-type SIV A/swine/Minnesota/1145/2007 (H3N2) (SIV 1145-WT), a PB1-F2 knockout mutant (SIV 1145-KO), and its N66S variant (SIV 1145-N66S). The ablation of PB1-F2 in SIV 1145 modulated early-stage apoptosis but did not affect the viral replication in swine alveolar macrophage cells. In pigs, PB1-F2 expression did not affect nasal shedding, lung viral load, immunophenotypes, and lung pathology. On the other hand, in turkeys, SIV 1145-KO infected poults, and its in-contacts developed clinical signs earlier than SIV 1145-WT groups and also displayed more extensive histopathological changes in intestine. Further, turkeys infected with SIV 1145-N66S displayed poor infectivity and transmissibility. The more extensive histopathologic changes in intestine and relative transmission advantage observed in turkeys infected with SIV 1145-KO need to be further explored. Taken together, these results emphasize the host-specific roles of PB1-F2 in the pathogenicity and transmission of IAV.Novel triple-reassortant H3N2 swine influenza virus emerged in 1998 and spread rapidly among the North American swine population. Subsequently, it showed an increased propensity to reassort, generating a range of reassortants. Unlike classical swine influenza virus, TR SIV produces a full-length PB1-F2 protein, which is considered an important virulence marker of IAV pathogenicity. Our study demonstrated that the expression of PB1-F2 does not impact the pathogenicity of TR H3N2 SIV in pigs. On the other hand, deletion of PB1-F2 caused TR H3N2 SIV to induce clinical disease early and resulted in effective transmission among the turkey poults. Our study emphasizes the continuing need to better understand the virulence determinants for IAV in intermediate hosts, such as swine and turkeys, and highlights the host-specific role of PB1-F2 protein.