Antagonism of the Sodium-Potassium ATPase Impairs Chikungunya Virus Infection.
ABSTRACT: Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a reemerging alphavirus that has caused epidemics of fever, arthralgia, and rash worldwide. There are currently no licensed vaccines or antiviral therapies available for the prevention or treatment of CHIKV disease. We conducted a high-throughput, chemical compound screen that identified digoxin, a cardiac glycoside that blocks the sodium-potassium ATPase, as a potent inhibitor of CHIKV infection. Treatment of human cells with digoxin or a related cardiac glycoside, ouabain, resulted in a dose-dependent decrease in infection by CHIKV. Inhibition by digoxin was cell type-specific, as digoxin treatment of either murine or mosquito cells did not diminish CHIKV infection. Digoxin displayed antiviral activity against other alphaviruses, including Ross River virus and Sindbis virus, as well as mammalian reovirus and vesicular stomatitis virus. The digoxin-mediated block to CHIKV and reovirus infection occurred at one or more postentry steps, as digoxin inhibition was not bypassed by fusion of CHIKV at the plasma membrane or infection with cell surface-penetrating reovirus entry intermediates. Selection of digoxin-resistant CHIKV variants identified multiple mutations in the nonstructural proteins required for replication complex formation and synthesis of viral RNA. These data suggest a role for the sodium-potassium ATPase in promoting postentry steps of CHIKV replication and provide rationale for modulation of this pathway as a broad-spectrum antiviral strategy.Mitigation of disease induced by globally spreading, mosquito-borne arthritogenic alphaviruses requires the development of new antiviral strategies. High-throughput screening of clinically tested compounds provides a rapid means to identify undiscovered, antiviral functions for well-characterized therapeutics and illuminate host pathways required for viral infection. Our study describes the potent inhibition of Chikungunya virus and related alphaviruses by the cardiac glycoside digoxin and demonstrates a function for the sodium-potassium ATPase in Chikungunya virus infection.
Project description:Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a mosquito-transmitted virus that has reemerged as a significant public health threat in the last decade. Since the 2005-2006 chikungunya fever epidemic in the Indian Ocean island of La Réunion, millions of people in more than 40 countries have been infected. Despite this, there is currently no antiviral treatment for chikungunya infection. In this study, an immunofluorescence-based screening platform was developed to identify potential inhibitors of CHIKV infection. A primary screen was performed using a highly purified natural product compound library, and 44 compounds exhibiting ?70% inhibition of CHIKV infection were identified as positive hits. Among these, four were selected for dose-dependent inhibition assays to confirm their anti-CHIKV activity. Harringtonine, a cephalotaxine alkaloid, displayed potent inhibition of CHIKV infection (50% effective concentration [EC(50)] = 0.24 ?M) with minimal cytotoxicity and was selected for elucidation of its antiviral mechanism. Time-of-addition studies, cotreatment assays, and direct transfection of viral genomic RNA indicated that harringtonine inhibited an early stage of the CHIKV replication cycle which occurred after viral entry into cells. In addition, quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) and Western blot analyses indicated that harringtonine affects CHIKV RNA production as well as viral protein expression. Treatment of harringtonine against Sindbis virus, a related alphavirus, suggested that harringtonine could inhibit other alphaviruses. This study suggests for the first time that harringtonine exerts its antiviral effects by inhibiting CHIKV viral protein synthesis.
Project description:Alphaviruses are arthropod-borne, positive-stranded RNA viruses capable of causing severe disease with high morbidity. Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an alphavirus that causes a febrile illness which can progress into chronic arthralgia. The current lack of vaccines and specific treatment for CHIKV infection underscores the need to develop new therapeutic interventions. To discover new antiviral agents, we performed a compound screen in cell culture-based infection models and identified two carbocyclic adenosine analogues, 6'-?-fluoro-homoaristeromycin (FHA) and 6'-fluoro-homoneplanocin A (FHNA), that displayed potent activity against CHIKV and Semliki Forest virus (SFV) with 50% effective concentrations in the nanomolar range at nontoxic concentrations. The compounds, designed as inhibitors of the host enzyme S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) hydrolase, impeded postentry steps in CHIKV and SFV replication. Selection of FHNA-resistant mutants and reverse genetics studies demonstrated that the combination of mutations G230R and K299E in CHIKV nonstructural protein 1 (nsP1) conferred resistance to the compounds. Enzymatic assays with purified wild-type (wt) SFV nsP1 suggested that an oxidized (3'-keto) form, rather than FHNA itself, directly inhibited the MTase activity, while a mutant protein with the K231R and K299E substitutions was insensitive to the compound. Both wt nsP1 and the resistant mutant were equally sensitive to the inhibitory effect of SAH. Our combined data suggest that FHA and FHNA inhibit CHIKV and SFV replication by directly targeting the MTase activity of nsP1, rather than through an indirect effect on host SAH hydrolase. The high potency and selectivity of these novel alphavirus mRNA capping inhibitors warrant further preclinical investigation of these compounds.
Project description:Alphaviruses are arthropod-transmitted RNA viruses that can cause arthralgia, myalgia, and encephalitis in humans. Since the role of cellular kinases in alphavirus replication is unknown, we profiled kinetic changes in host kinase abundance and phosphorylation following chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infection of fibroblasts. Based upon the results of this study, we treated CHIKV-infected cells with kinase inhibitors targeting the Src family kinase (SFK)-phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-AKT-mTORC signaling pathways. Treatment of cells with SFK inhibitors blocked the replication of CHIKV as well as multiple other alphaviruses, including Mayaro virus, O'nyong-nyong virus, Ross River virus, and Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus. Dissecting the effect of SFK inhibition on alphavirus replication, we found that viral structural protein levels were significantly reduced, but synthesis of viral genomic and subgenomic RNAs was unaffected. By measuring the association of viral RNA with polyribosomes, we found that the SFK inhibitor dasatinib blocks alphavirus subgenomic RNA translation. Our results demonstrate a role for SFK signaling in alphavirus subgenomic RNA translation and replication. Targeting host factors involved in alphavirus replication represents an innovative, perhaps paradigm-shifting, strategy for exploring the replication of CHIKV and other alphaviruses while promoting antiviral therapeutic development.
Project description:Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a mosquito-borne arthralgia arbovirus that is reemergent in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. CHIKV infection has been shown to be self-limiting, but the molecular mechanisms of the innate immune response that control CHIKV replication remain undefined. Here, longitudinal transcriptional analyses of PBMCs from a cohort of CHIKV-infected patients revealed that type I IFNs controlled CHIKV infection via RSAD2 (which encodes viperin), an enigmatic multifunctional IFN-stimulated gene (ISG). Viperin was highly induced in monocytes, the major target cell of CHIKV in blood. Anti-CHIKV functions of viperin were dependent on its localization in the ER, and the N-terminal amphipathic ?-helical domain was crucial for its antiviral activity in controlling CHIKV replication. Furthermore, mice lacking Rsad2 had higher viremia and severe joint inflammation compared with wild-type mice. Our data demonstrate that viperin is a critical antiviral host protein that controls CHIKV infection and provide a preclinical basis for the design of effective control strategies against CHIKV and other reemerging arthrogenic alphaviruses.
Project description:Chikungunya disease results from an infection with the arbovirus, chikungunya virus (CHIKV). Symptoms of CHIKV include fever and persistent, severe arthritis. In recent years, several antiviral drugs have been evaluated in clinical trials; however, no registered antivirals have been approved for clinical therapy. In this study, we established a high-throughput screening (HTS) system based on CHIKV 26S mediated insect cell fusion inhibition assay. Our screening system was able to search potential anti-CHIKV drugs in vitro. Using this system, four compounds (niclosamide, nitazoxanide, niflumic acid, tolfenamic acid) were identified. These compounds were then further analyzed using a microneutralization assay. We determined that niclosamide and nitazoxanide exhibit ability to against CHIKV-induced CPE. The anti-CHIKV abilities of these compounds were further confirmed by RT-qPCR and IFA. Moreover, niclosamide and nitazoxanide were found to (1) limit virus entry, (2) inhibit both viral release and cell-to-cell transmission, and (3) possess broad anti-alphavius activities, including against two clinical CHIKV isolates and two alphaviruses: Sindbis virus (SINV) and Semliki forest virus (SFV). In conclusion, our findings suggested that niclosamide and nitazoxanide were able to inhibit CHIKV entry and transmission, which might provide a basis for the development of novel human drug therapies against CHIKV and other alphavirus infections.
Project description:RNAi pathway is an antiviral defence mechanism employed by insects that result in degradation of viral RNA thereby curbing infection. Several viruses including flaviviruses encode viral suppressors of RNAi (VSRs) to counteract the antiviral RNAi pathway. Till date, no VSR has been reported in alphaviruses. The present study was undertaken to evaluate chikungunya virus (CHIKV) proteins for RNAi suppressor activity. We systematically analyzed all nine CHIKV proteins for RNAi suppressor activity using Sf21 RNAi sensor cell line based assay. Two non-structural proteins, namely, nsP2 and nsP3 were found to exhibit RNAi suppressor activity. We further validated the findings in natural hosts, namely in Aedes and in mammalian cell lines and further through EMSA and Agrobacterium infiltration in GFP silenced transgenic tobacco plants. Domains responsible for maximum RNAi suppressor activity were also identified within these proteins. RNA binding motifs in these domains were identified and their participation in RNAi suppression evaluated using site directed mutagenesis. Sequence alignment of these motifs across all species of known alphaviruses revealed conservation of these motifs emphasizing on a similar role of action in other species of alphaviruses as well. Further validation of RNAi suppressor activity of these proteins awaits establishment of specific virus infection models.
Project description:The nonstructural proteins (nsPs) of chikungunya virus (CHIKV) are expressed as one or two polyprotein precursors, which are translated directly from the viral genomic RNA. Mature nsPs are generated by precise processing of these polyproteins. Both the precursors and mature nsPs are essential for CHIKV replication. Similar to other alphaviruses, CHIKV nsPs not only perform virus RNA replication but are also crucial for other activities essential for virus infection and pathogenesis. Thus far the best-studied CHIKV ns-protein is nsP2, for which protease, NTPase, RNA triphosphatase, and RNA helicase activities have been demonstrated. In addition, nsP2 is crucial for shut-off of host cell transcription and translation and it counteracts cellular antiviral responses. Compared to their homologues from the well-studied Sindbis and Semliki Forest viruses, CHIKV nsP1, nsP3, and nsP4 have been subjected to only few studies. Nevertheless, there are strong indirect pieces of evidence indicating that these CHIKV proteins have the same enzymatic activities as their counterparts in the other alphaviruses. Information concerning the specific interaction of CHIKV nsPs with host components is beginning to emerge. All the nsPs are involved in the functioning of membrane-bound replication complexes also called spherules, but the finer details of the structure and assembly of these complexes are currently poorly understood.
Project description:The emerging alphavirus chikungunya virus (CHIKV) has infected millions of people. However, the factors modulating disease outcome remain poorly understood. We show that depletion of the gut microbiota in oral antibiotic-treated or germ-free mice leads to greater CHIKV infection and spread within one day of virus inoculation. Perturbation of the gut microbiota alters TLR7-MyD88 signaling in plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) and blunts systemic production of type I interferon (IFN). Consequently, circulating monocytes express fewer IFN-stimulated genes and become permissive for CHIKV infection. Reconstitution with a single commensal bacterial species, Clostridium scindens, or its derived metabolite, the bile acid deoxycholic acid, can restore pDC- and MyD88-dependent type I IFN responses to restrict systemic CHIKV infection and transmission back to vector mosquitoes. Thus, commensal gut bacteria modulate antiviral immunity and levels of circulating alphaviruses within hours of infection through a bile acid-pDC-IFN signaling axis, which affects virus dissemination and potentially, epidemic spread Overall design: Droplet-based 3′ end massively parallel single-cell RNA sequencing was performed by isolating leukocytes of the peripheral blood following a magnetic bead-based CD4/CD8/CD19 depletion step. 3'GEX enrichment libraries were prepared using Chromium Single Cell 5′ Reagent Kits according to manufacturer’s protocol (10x Genomics). The generated scRNAseq libraries were sequenced using NovaSeq S4 sequencers. 3 biologically independent mice per age were pooled, procesed and sequenced.
Project description:Alphaviruses are emerging, mosquito-transmitted RNA viruses with poorly understood cellular tropism and species selectivity. Mxra8 is a receptor for multiple alphaviruses including chikungunya virus (CHIKV). We discovered that while expression of mouse, rat, chimpanzee, dog, horse, goat, sheep, and human Mxra8 enables alphavirus infection in cell culture, cattle Mxra8 does not. Cattle Mxra8 encodes a 15-amino acid insertion in its ectodomain that prevents Mxra8 binding to CHIKV. Identical insertions are present in zebu, yak, and the extinct auroch. As other Bovinae lineages contain related Mxra8 sequences, this insertion likely occurred at least 5 million years ago. Removing the Mxra8 insertion in Bovinae enhances alphavirus binding and infection, while introducing the insertion into mouse Mxra8 blocks CHIKV binding, prevents infection by multiple alphaviruses in cells, and mitigates CHIKV-induced pathogenesis in mice. Our studies on how this insertion provides resistance to CHIKV infection could facilitate countermeasures that disrupt Mxra8 interactions with alphaviruses.
Project description:Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) has infected millions of people in Africa, Europe and Asia since this alphavirus reemerged from Kenya in 2004. The severity of the disease and the spread of this epidemic virus present a serious public health threat in the absence of vaccines or antiviral therapies. Here, we describe a new vaccine that protects against CHIKV infection of nonhuman primates. We show that selective expression of viral structural proteins gives rise to virus-like particles (VLPs) in vitro that resemble replication-competent alphaviruses. Immunization with these VLPs elicited neutralizing antibodies against envelope proteins from alternative CHIKV strains. Monkeys immunized with VLPs produced high-titer neutralizing antibodies that protected against viremia after high-dose challenge. We transferred these antibodies into immunodeficient mice, where they protected against subsequent lethal CHIKV challenge, indicating a humoral mechanism of protection. Immunization with alphavirus VLP vaccines represents a strategy to contain the spread of CHIKV and related pathogenic viruses in humans.