PB1-F2 Protein Does Not Impact the Virulence of Triple-Reassortant H3N2 Swine Influenza Virus in Pigs but Alters Pathogenicity and Transmission in Turkeys.
ABSTRACT: 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.
Project description:PB1-F2 is a 90 amino acid protein that is expressed from the +1 open reading frame in the PB1 gene of some influenza A viruses and has been shown to contribute to viral pathogenicity. Notably, a serine at position 66 (66S) in PB1-F2 is known to increase virulence compared to an isogenic virus with an asparagine (66N) at this position. Recently, we found that an influenza virus expressing PB1-F2 N66S suppresses interferon (IFN)-stimulated genes in mice. To characterize this phenomenon, we employed several in vitro assays. Overexpression of the A/Puerto Rico/8/1934 (PR8) PB1-F2 protein in 293T cells decreased RIG-I mediated activation of an IFN-β reporter and secretion of IFN as determined by bioassay. Of note, the PB1-F2 N66S protein showed enhanced IFN antagonism activity compared to PB1-F2 wildtype. Similar observations were found in the context of viral infection with a PR8 PB1-F2 N66S virus. To understand the relationship between NS1, a previously described influenza virus protein involved in suppression of IFN synthesis, and PB1-F2, we investigated the induction of IFN when NS1 and PB1-F2 were co-expressed in an in vitro transfection system. In this assay we found that PB1-F2 N66S further reduced IFN induction in the presence of NS1. By inducing the IFN-β reporter at different levels in the signaling cascade, we found that PB1-F2 inhibited IFN production at the level of the mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein (MAVS). Furthermore, immunofluorescence studies revealed that PB1-F2 co-localizes with MAVS. In summary, we have characterized the anti-interferon function of PB1-F2 and we suggest that this activity contributes to the enhanced pathogenicity seen with PB1-F2 N66S- expressing influenza viruses.
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:Highly pathogenic avian influenza A viruses (HPAIV) of the H5N1 subtype occasionally transmit from birds to humans and can cause severe systemic infections in both hosts. PB1-F2 is an alternative translation product of the viral PB1 segment that was initially characterized as a pro-apoptotic mitochondrial viral pathogenicity factor. A full-length PB1-F2 has been present in all human influenza pandemic virus isolates of the 20(th) century, but appears to be lost evolutionarily over time as the new virus establishes itself and circulates in the human host. In contrast, the open reading frame (ORF) for PB1-F2 is exceptionally well-conserved in avian influenza virus isolates. Here we perform a comparative study to show for the first time that PB1-F2 is a pathogenicity determinant for HPAIV (A/Viet Nam/1203/2004, VN1203 (H5N1)) in both mammals and birds. In a mammalian host, the rare N66S polymorphism in PB1-F2 that was previously described to be associated with high lethality of the 1918 influenza A virus showed increased replication and virulence of a recombinant VN1203 H5N1 virus, while deletion of the entire PB1-F2 ORF had negligible effects. Interestingly, the N66S substituted virus efficiently invades the CNS and replicates in the brain of Mx+/+ mice. In ducks deletion of PB1-F2 clearly resulted in delayed onset of clinical symptoms and systemic spreading of virus, while variations at position 66 played only a minor role in pathogenesis. These data implicate PB1-F2 as an important pathogenicity factor in ducks independent of sequence variations at position 66. Our data could explain why PB1-F2 is conserved in avian influenza virus isolates and only impacts pathogenicity in mammals when containing certain amino acid motifs such as the rare N66S polymorphism.
Project description:This study used virological, histological, and global gene expression from an experimental murine model of influenza infection to study the contribution of a specific mutation in the PB1-F2 protein (PB1-F2 N66S) of influenza A to viral pathogenesis. 6-8 week old, wild-type, female, C57Bl/6 mice were inoculated individually with 30 μl (10^4 PFU) of virus (recombinant influenza A/WSN/33 carrying the PB1 gene segment from A/Hong Kong/156/97 (H5N1) or a PB1 mutant recombinant virus resulting in an amino acid change at position 66 in the PB1-F2 protein [N66S]) in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) containing penicillin-streptomycin and bovine serum albumin (PBS-BA-PS). A total of 10^4 PFU of virus was given in all inoculations. Control mice were given PBS-BA-PS. Lung samples were taken for microarray analysis at 12h, 1d, 3d, and 5d post-infection (n=3 animals per group at each time point for virus infected animals; n=2 animals per time point for mock-infected animals).
Project description:To date there is no rapid method to screen for highly pathogenic avian influenza strains that may be indicators of future pandemics. We report here the first development of an oligonucleotide-based spectroscopic assay to rapidly and sensitively detect a N66S mutation in the gene coding for the PB1-F2 protein associated with increased virulence in highly pathogenic pandemic influenza viruses. 5'-Thiolated ssDNA oligonucleotides were employed as probes to capture RNA isolated from six influenza viruses, three having N66S mutations, two without the N66S mutation, and one deletion mutant not encoding the PB1-F2 protein. Hybridization was detected without amplification or labeling using the intrinsic surfaced-enhanced Raman spectrum of the DNA-RNA complex. Multivariate analysis identified target RNA binding from noncomplementary sequences with 100% sensitivity, 100% selectivity, and 100% correct classification in the test data set. These results establish that optical-based diagnostic methods are able to directly identify diagnostic indicators of virulence linked to highly pathogenic pandemic influenza viruses without amplification or labeling.
Project description:Triple-reassortant (tr) viruses of human, avian, and swine origin, including H1N1, H1N2, and H3N2 subtypes, emerged in North American swine herds in 1998 and have become predominant. While sporadic human infections with classical influenza A (H1N1) and with tr-swine influenza viruses have been reported, relatively few have been documented in occupationally exposed swine workers (SW).We conducted a 2-year (2002-2004) prospective cohort study of transmission of influenza viruses between pigs and SW from a single pork production company in Iowa. Respiratory samples were collected and tested for influenza viruses from SW and from pigs under their care through surveillance for influenza-like illnesses (ILI). Serial blood samples from study participants were tested by hemagglutination inhibition (HI) for antibody seroconversion against human and swine influenza viruses (SIV), and antibody seroprevalence was compared to age-matched urban Iowa blood donors.During the first year, 15 of 88 SW had ILI and were sampled; all were culture-negative for influenza. During the second year, 11 of 76 SW had ILI and were sampled; one was culture-positive for a human seasonal H3N2 virus. Among 20 swine herd ILI outbreaks sampled, influenza A virus was detected by rRT-PCR from 17 with 11 trH1N1 and five trH3N2 virus isolates cultured. During both years, HI geometric mean titers were significantly higher among SW compared to blood donor controls for three SIV: classical swine Sw/WI/238/97 (H1N1), tr Sw/IN/9K035/99 (H1N2), and trSw/IA/H02NJ56371/02 (H1N1)] (P < 0·0001).SW had serologic evidence for infection with both swine and human influenza viruses and were exposed to diverse influenza virus strains circulating in pigs. Influenza virus surveillance among pigs and SW should be encouraged to better understand cross-species transmission and diversity of influenza viruses at the human-swine interface.
Project description:Influenza A virus (IAV) PB1-F2 protein has been linked to viral virulence. Strains of the H3N2 subtype historically express full-length PB1-F2 proteins but during the 2010-2011 influenza seasons, nearly half of the circulating H3N2 IAVs encoded truncated PB1-F2 protein. Using a panel of reverse engineered H3N2 IAVs differing only in the origin of the PB1 gene segment, we found that only the virus encoding the avian-derived 1968 PB1 gene matching the human pandemic strain enhanced cellular infiltrate into the alveolar spaces of infected mice. We linked this phenomenon to expression of full-length PB1-F2 protein encompassing critical "inflammatory" residues.
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:BACKGROUND: Influenza A virus encodes for eleven proteins, of which HA, NA, NS1 and PB1-F2 have been implicated in viral pathogenicity and virulence. Thus, in addition to the HA and NA gene segments, monitoring diversity of NS1 and PB1-F2 is also important. METHODS: 55 out of 166 circulating influenza A strains (31 H1N1 and 24 H3N2) were randomly picked during 2007-2009 and NS and PB1-F2 genes were sequenced. Phylogenetic analysis was carried out with reference to the prototype strains, concurrent vaccine strains and other reference strains isolated world wide. RESULTS: Comparative analysis of both nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences, revealed presence of NS gene with A/PR/8/34(H1N1)-like mutations (H4N, Q21R, A22V, K44R, N53D, C59R, V60A, F103S and M106I) in both RNA-binding and effector domain of NS1 protein, and G63E, the HPAI-H5N1-like mutation in NEP/NS2 of five A/H1N1 strains of 2007 and 2009. NS1 of other A/H1N1 strains clustered with concurrent A/H1N1 vaccine strains. Of 31 A/H1N1 strains, five had PB1-F2 similar to the H3N2 strains; six had non-functional PB1-F2 protein (11 amino acids) similar to the 2009 pandemic H1N1 strains and rest 20 strains had 57 amino acids PB1-F2 protein, similar to concurrent A/H1N1 vaccine strain. Interestingly, three A/H1N1 strains with H3N2-like PB1-F2 protein carried primitive PR8-like NS gene. Full gene sequencing of PB1 gene confirmed presence of H3N2-like PB1 gene in these A/H1N1 strains. CONCLUSION: Overall the study highlights reassortment event involving gene segments other than HA and NA in the co-circulating A/H1N1 and A/H3N2 strains and their importance in complexity of influenza virus genetics. In contrast, NS and PB1-F2 genes of all A/H3N2 eastern India strains were highly conserved and homologous to the concurrent A/H3N2 vaccine strains suggesting that these gene segments of H3N2 viruses are evolutionarily more stable compared to H1N1 viruses.
Project description:Influenza A virus contains eight RNA segments and encodes 10 viral proteins. However, an 11th protein, called PB1-F2, was found in A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (H1N1). This novel protein is translated from an alternative open reading frame (ORF) in the PB1 gene. We analyzed the PB1 gene of 42 recent influenza A isolates in Taiwan, including 24 H1N1 and 18 H3N2 strains. One H1N1 isolate and 17 H3N2 isolates contained the entire PB1-F2 ORF of 90 residues, three amino acids (aa) longer than the PB1-F2 of A/Puerto Rico/8/34 at the C terminal. The one remaining H3N2 isolate encoded a truncated PB1-F2 with 79 residues. The other 23 H1N1 isolates contained a truncated PB1-F2 of 57 aa. Phylogenetic analysis of both the HA and the PB1 genes showed that they shared similar clustering of these Taiwanese isolates, suggesting that no obvious reassortment occurred between the two genomic segments.