Complete Genome Sequence of Germline Chromosomally Integrated Human Herpesvirus 6A and Analyses Integration Sites Define a New Human Endogenous Virus with Potential to Reactivate as an Emerging Infection.
ABSTRACT: Human herpesvirus-6A and B (HHV-6A, HHV-6B) have recently defined endogenous genomes, resulting from integration into the germline: chromosomally-integrated "CiHHV-6A/B". These affect approximately 1.0% of human populations, giving potential for virus gene expression in every cell. We previously showed that CiHHV-6A was more divergent than CiHHV-6B by examining four genes in 44 European CiHHV-6A/B cardiac/haematology patients. There was evidence for gene expression/reactivation, implying functional non-defective genomes. To further define the relationship between HHV-6A and CiHHV-6A we used next-generation sequencing to characterize genomes from three CiHHV-6A cardiac patients. Comparisons to known exogenous HHV-6A showed CiHHV-6A genomes formed a separate clade; including all 85 non-interrupted genes and necessary cis-acting signals for reactivation as infectious virus. Greater single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) density was defined in 16 genes and the direct repeats (DR) terminal regions. Using these SNPs, deep sequencing analyses demonstrated superinfection with exogenous HHV-6A in two of the CiHHV-6A patients with recurrent cardiac disease. Characterisation of the integration sites in twelve patients identified the human chromosome 17p subtelomere as a prevalent site, which had specific repeat structures and phylogenetically related CiHHV-6A coding sequences indicating common ancestral origins. Overall CiHHV-6A genomes were similar, but distinct from known exogenous HHV-6A virus, and have the capacity to reactivate as emerging virus infections.
Project description:The genomes of human herpesvirus 6A (HHV-6A) and HHV-6B have the capacity to integrate into telomeres, the essential capping structures of chromosomes that play roles in cancer and ageing. About 1% of people worldwide are carriers of chromosomally integrated HHV-6 (ciHHV-6), which is inherited as a genetic trait. Understanding the consequences of integration for the evolution of the viral genome, for the telomere, and for the risk of disease associated with carrier status is hampered by a lack of knowledge about ciHHV-6 genomes. Here, we report an analysis of 28 ciHHV-6 genomes and show that they are significantly divergent from the few modern nonintegrated HHV-6 strains for which complete sequences are currently available. In addition, ciHHV-6B genomes in Europeans are more closely related to each other than to ciHHV-6B genomes from China and Pakistan, suggesting regional variation of the trait. Remarkably, at least one group of European ciHHV-6B carriers has inherited the same ciHHV-6B genome, integrated in the same telomere allele, from a common ancestor estimated to have existed 24,500 ± 10,600 years ago. Despite the antiquity of some, and possibly most, germ line HHV-6 integrations, the majority of ciHHV-6B (95%) and ciHHV-6A (72%) genomes contain a full set of intact viral genes and therefore appear to have the capacity for viral gene expression and full reactivation.IMPORTANCE Inheritance of HHV-6A or HHV-6B integrated into a telomere occurs at a low frequency in most populations studied to date, but its characteristics are poorly understood. However, stratification of ciHHV-6 carriers in modern populations due to common ancestry is an important consideration for genome-wide association studies that aim to identify disease risks for these people. Here, we present full sequence analysis of 28 ciHHV-6 genomes and show that ciHHV-6B in many carriers with European ancestry most likely originated from ancient integration events in a small number of ancestors. We propose that ancient ancestral origins for ciHHV-6A and ciHHV-6B are also likely in other populations. Moreover, despite their antiquity, all of the ciHHV-6 genomes appear to retain the capacity to express viral genes, and most are predicted to be capable of full viral reactivation. These discoveries represent potentially important considerations in immunocompromised patients, in particular in organ transplantation and in stem cell therapy.
Project description:A unique feature of both human herpesvirus 6A and B (HHV-6A and B) among human herpesviruses is their ability to integrate into chromosomal telomeres. In some individuals integrated viral genomes are present in the germ-line and result in the vertical transmission of HHV-6; however, little is known about the disease associations of germ-line transmitted, chromosomally integrated HHV-6 (ciHHV-6). Recent publications suggest that HHV-6 is associated with classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). Here we examine the prevalence of ciHHV-6 in 936 cases of cHL and 563 controls by screening with a duplex TaqMan assay and confirming with droplet digital PCR. ciHHV-6 was detected in 10/563 (1.8%) controls and in all but one individual the virus was HHV-6B. Amongst cases 16/936 (1.7%) harboured ciHHV-6, thus demonstrating no association between ciHHV-6 and risk of cHL.
Project description:Human betaherpesviruses 6A and 6B (HHV-6A and HHV-6B) are highly prevalent in human populations. The genomes of these viruses can be stably integrated at the telomeres of human chromosomes and be vertically transmitted (inherited chromosomally integrated HHV-6A/HHV-6B, iciHHV-6A/iciHHV-6B). We reconstructed the population structures of HHV-6A and HHV-6B, showing that HHV-6A diverged less than HHV-6B genomes from the projected common ancestral population. Thus, HHV-6B genomes experienced stronger drift, as also supported by calculation of nucleotide diversity and Tajima's D. Analysis of ancestry proportions indicated that HHV-6A exogenous viruses and iciHHV-6A derived most of their genomes from distinct ancestral sources. Conversely, ancestry proportions were similar in exogenous HHV-6B viruses and iciHHV-6B. In line with previous indications, this suggests the distinct exogenous viral populations that originated iciHHV-6B in subjects with European and Asian ancestry are still causing infections in the corresponding geographic areas. Notably, for both iciHHV-6A and iciHHV-6B, we found that European and American sequences tend to have high proportions of ancestry from viral populations that experienced considerable drift, suggesting that they underwent one or more bottlenecks followed by population expansion. Finally, analysis of HHV-6B exogenous viruses sampled in Japan indicated that proportions of ancestry components of most of these viruses are different from the majority of those sampled in the USA. More generally, we show that, in both viral species, both integrated and exogenous viral genomes have different ancestry components, partially depending on geographic location. It would be extremely important to determine whether such differences account for the diversity of HHV-6A/HHV-6B-associated clinical symptoms and epidemiology. Also, the sequencing of additional exogenous and integrated viral genomes will be instrumental to confirm and expand our conclusions, which are based on a relatively small number of genomes, sequenced with variable quality, and with unequal sampling in terms of geographic origin.
Project description:Human betaherpesviruses 6A and 6B (HHV-6A and HHV-6B) are highly prevalent in human populations. The genomes of these viruses can be stably integrated at the telomeres of human chromosomes and be vertically transmitted (inherited chromosomally integrated HHV-6, iciHHV6). We reconstructed the population structure of HHV-6 and we show that HHV-6A genomes diverged less than HHV-6B genomes from the ancestral common HHV-6A/B population. Analysis of ancestry proportions indicated that HHV-6A exogenous viruses and iciHHV-6A derived most of their genomes from distinct ancestral sources. Conversely, exogenous viral and iciHHV-6B populations were similar in terms of ancestry components, with no evident geographic structuring. Most HHV-6B genomes sampled to date derive from viral populations that experienced considerable drift. However, a population of HHV-6 exogenous viruses, currently classified as HHV-6B and sampled in New York state, formed a separate cluster (NY cluster) and harbored a considerable portion of HHV-6A-like ancestry. Recombination detection methods identified these viruses as interspecies recombinants, but phylogenetic reconstruction indicated that the recombination signals are due to shared ancestry. In analogy to iciHHV-6A, NY cluster viruses have high nucleotide diversity and constant population size. We propose that HHV-6A sequences and the NY cluster population diverged from an ancestral HHV-6A-like population. A relatively recent bottleneck of the NY (or a related) population with subsequent expansion originated most HHV-6B genomes currently sampled. Our findings indicate that the distinction between HHV-6A and -6B is not as clear-cut as previously thought. More generally, epidemiological and clinical surveys would benefit from taking HHV-6 genetic diversity into account.
Project description:Human herpesvirus 6A and 6B (HHV-6) can integrate into the germline, and as a result, ?70 million people harbor the genome of one of these viruses in every cell of their body. Until now, it has been largely unknown if 1) these integrations are ancient, 2) if they still occur, and 3) whether circulating virus strains differ from integrated ones. Here, we used next-generation sequencing and mining of public human genome data sets to generate the largest and most diverse collection of circulating and integrated HHV-6 genomes studied to date. In genomes of geographically dispersed, only distantly related people, we identified clades of integrated viruses that originated from a single ancestral event, confirming this with fluorescent in situ hybridization to directly observe the integration locus. In contrast to HHV-6B, circulating and integrated HHV-6A sequences form distinct clades, arguing against ongoing integration of circulating HHV-6A or "reactivation" of integrated HHV-6A. Taken together, our study provides the first comprehensive picture of the evolution of HHV-6, and reveals that integration of heritable HHV-6 has occurred since the time of, if not before, human migrations out of Africa.
Project description:Human herpesvirus-6A (HHV-6A) and 6B (HHV-6B) are two closely related betaherpesviruses that are associated with various diseases including seizures and encephalitis. The HHV-6A/B genomes have been shown to be present in an integrated state in the telomeres of latently infected cells. In addition, integration of HHV-6A/B in germ cells has resulted in individuals harboring this inherited chromosomally integrated HHV-6A/B (iciHHV-6) in every cell of their body. Until now, the viral transcriptome and the epigenetic modifications that contribute to the silencing of the integrated virus genome remain elusive. In the current study, we used a patient-derived iciHHV-6A cell line to assess the global viral gene expression profile by RNA-seq, and the chromatin profiles by MNase-seq and ChIP-seq analyses. In addition, we investigated an in vitro generated cell line (293-HHV-6A) that expresses GFP upon the addition of agents commonly used to induce herpesvirus reactivation such as TPA. No viral gene expression including miRNAs was detected from the HHV-6A genomes, indicating that the integrated virus is transcriptionally silent. Intriguingly, upon stimulation of the 293-HHV-6A cell line with TPA, only foreign promoters in the virus genome were activated, while all HHV-6A promoters remained completely silenced. The transcriptional silencing of latent HHV-6A was further supported by MNase-seq results, which demonstrate that the latent viral genome resides in a highly condensed nucleosome-associated state. We further explored the enrichment profiles of histone modifications via ChIP-seq analysis. Our results indicated that the HHV-6 genome is modestly enriched with the repressive histone marks H3K9me3/H3K27me3 and does not possess the active histone modifications H3K27ac/H3K4me3. Overall, these results indicate that HHV-6 genomes reside in a condensed chromatin state, providing insight into the epigenetic mechanisms associated with the silencing of the integrated HHV-6A genome.
Project description:Human herpesvirus-6B (HHV-6B) is a T lymphotropic ?-herpesvirus that is clearly distinct from human herpesvirus-6A (HHV-6A) according to molecular biological features. The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses recently classified HHV-6B as a separate species. The primary HHV-6B infection causes exanthem subitum and is sometimes associated with severe encephalopathy. More than 90% of the general population is infected with HHV-6B during childhood, and the virus remains throughout life as a latent infection. HHV-6B reactivation causes encephalitis in immunosuppressed patients. The cellular receptor for HHV-6A entry was identified as human CD46, but the receptor for HHV-6B has not been clear. Here we found that CD134, a member of the TNF receptor superfamily, functions as a specific entry receptor for HHV-6B. A T-cell line that is normally nonpermissive for HHV-6B infection became highly susceptible to infection when CD134 was overexpressed. CD134 was down-regulated in HHV-6B-infected T cells. Soluble CD134 interacted with the HHV-6B glycoprotein complex that serves as a viral ligand for cellular receptor, which inhibited HHV-6B but not HHV-6A infection in target cells. The identification of CD134 as an HHV-6B specific entry receptor provides important insight into understanding HHV-6B entry and its pathogenesis.
Project description:Human herpesvirus 6A (HHV-6A) and 6B (HHV-6B) are ubiquitous betaherpesviruses that infects humans within the first years of life and establishes latency in various cell types. Both viruses can integrate their genomes into telomeres of host chromosomes in latently infected cells. The molecular mechanism of viral integration remains elusive. Intriguingly, HHV-6A, HHV-6B and several other herpesviruses harbor arrays of telomeric repeats (TMR) identical to human telomere sequences at the ends of their genomes. The HHV-6A and HHV-6B genomes harbor two TMR arrays, the perfect TMR (pTMR) and the imperfect TMR (impTMR). To determine if the TMR are involved in virus integration, we deleted both pTMR and impTMR in the HHV-6A genome. Upon reconstitution, the TMR mutant virus replicated comparable to wild type (wt) virus, indicating that the TMR are not essential for HHV-6A replication. To assess the integration properties of the recombinant viruses, we established an in vitro integration system that allows assessment of integration efficiency and genome maintenance in latently infected cells. Integration of HHV-6A was severely impaired in the absence of the TMR and the virus genome was lost rapidly, suggesting that integration is crucial for the maintenance of the virus genome. Individual deletion of the pTMR and impTMR revealed that the pTMR play the major role in HHV-6A integration, whereas the impTMR only make a minor contribution, allowing us to establish a model for HHV-6A integration. Taken together, our data shows that the HHV-6A TMR are dispensable for virus replication, but are crucial for integration and maintenance of the virus genome in latently infected cells.
Project description:More than 95% of the human population is infected with human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) during early childhood and maintains latent HHV-6 genomes either in an extra-chromosomal form or as a chromosomally integrated HHV-6 (ciHHV-6). In addition, approximately 1% of humans are born with an inheritable form of ciHHV-6 integrated into the telomeres of chromosomes. Immunosuppression and stress conditions can reactivate latent HHV-6 replication, which is associated with clinical complications and even death. We have previously shown that Chlamydia trachomatis infection reactivates ciHHV-6 and induces the formation of extra-chromosomal viral DNA in ciHHV-6 cells. Here, we propose a model and provide experimental evidence for the mechanism of ciHHV-6 reactivation. Infection with Chlamydia induced a transient shortening of telomeric ends, which subsequently led to increased telomeric circle (t-circle) formation and incomplete reconstitution of circular viral genomes containing single viral direct repeat (DR). Correspondingly, short t-circles containing parts of the HHV-6 DR were detected in cells from individuals with genetically inherited ciHHV-6. Furthermore, telomere shortening induced in the absence of Chlamydia infection also caused circularization of ciHHV-6, supporting a t-circle based mechanism for ciHHV-6 reactivation.
Project description:Next-generation sequencing technologies allowed sequencing of thousands of genomes. However, there are genomic regions that remain difficult to characterize, including telomeres, centromeres, and other low-complexity regions, as well as transposable elements and endogenous viruses. Human herpesvirus 6A and 6B (HHV-6A and HHV-6B) are closely related viruses that infect most humans and can integrate their genomes into the telomeres of infected cells. Integration also occurs in germ cells, meaning that the virus can be inherited and result in individuals harboring the virus in every cell of their body. The integrated virus can reactivate and cause disease in humans. While it is well established that the virus resides in the telomere region, the integration locus is poorly defined due to the low sequence complexity (TTAGGG)n of telomeres that cannot be easily resolved through sequencing. We therefore employed genome imaging of the integrated HHV-6A and HHV-6B genomes using whole-genome optical site mapping technology. Using this technology, we identified which chromosome arm harbors the virus genome and obtained a high-resolution map of the integration loci of multiple patients. Surprisingly, this revealed long telomere sequences at the virus-subtelomere junction that were previously missed using PCR-based approaches. Contrary to what was previously thought, our technique revealed that the telomere lengths of chromosomes harboring the integrated virus genome were comparable to the other chromosomes. Taken together, our data shed light on the genetic structure of the HHV-6A and HHV-6B integration locus, demonstrating the utility of optical mapping for the analysis of genomic regions that are difficult to sequence.