Mapping Murine Corneal Neovascularization and Weight Loss Virulence Determinants in the Herpes Simplex Virus 1 Genome and the Detection of an Epistatic Interaction between the UL and IRS/US Regions.
ABSTRACT: Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) most commonly causes recrudescent labial ulcers; however, it is also the leading cause of infectious blindness in developed countries. Previous research in animal models has demonstrated that the severity of HSV-1 ocular disease is influenced by three main factors: host innate immunity, host immune response, and viral strain. We have previously shown that mixed infection with two avirulent HSV-1 strains (OD4 and CJ994) results in recombinants with a wide range of ocular disease phenotype severity. Recently, we developed a quantitative trait locus (QTL)-based computational approach (vQTLmap) to identify viral single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) predicted to influence the severity of the ocular disease phenotypes. We have now applied vQTLmap to identify HSV-1 SNPs associated with corneal neovascularization and mean peak percentage weight loss (MPWL) using 65 HSV-1 OD4-CJ994 recombinants. The vQTLmap analysis using Random Forest for neovascularization identified phenotypically meaningful nonsynonymous SNPs in the ICP4, UL41 (VHS), UL42, UL46 (VP11/12), UL47 (VP13/14), UL48 (VP22), US3, US4 (gG), US6 (gD), and US7 (gI) coding regions. The ICP4 gene was previously identified as a corneal neovascularization determinant, validating the vQTLmap method. Further analysis detected an epistatic interaction for neovascularization between a segment of the unique long (UL) region and a segment of the inverted repeat short (IRS)/unique short (US) region. Ridge regression was used to identify MPWL-associated nonsynonymous SNPs in the UL1 (gL), UL2, UL4, UL49 (VP22), UL50, and ICP4 coding regions. The data provide additional insights into virulence gene and epistatic interaction discovery in HSV-1.Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) typically causes recurrent cold sores; however, it is also the leading source of infectious blindness in developed countries. Corneal neovascularization is critical for the progression of blinding ocular disease, and weight loss is a measure of infection severity. Previous HSV-1 animal virulence studies have shown that the severity of ocular disease is partially due to the viral strain. In the current study, we used a recently described computational quantitative trait locus (QTL) approach in conjunction with 65 HSV-1 recombinants to identify viral single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) involved in neovascularization and weight loss. Neovascularization SNPs were identified in the ICP4, VHS, UL42, VP11/12, VP13/14, VP22, gG, US3, gD, and gI genes. Further analysis revealed an epistatic interaction between the UL and US regions. MPWL-associated SNPs were detected in the UL1 (gL), UL2, UL4, VP22, UL50, and ICP4 genes. This approach will facilitate future HSV virulence studies.
Project description:Herpes simplex virus type 1 causes mucocutaneous lesions, and is the leading cause of infectious blindness in the United States. Animal studies have shown that the severity of HSV-1 ocular disease is influenced by three main factors; innate immunity, host immune response and viral strain. We previously showed that mixed infection with two avirulent HSV-1 strains (OD4 and CJ994) resulted in recombinants that exhibit a range of disease phenotypes from severe to avirulent, suggesting epistatic interactions were involved. The goal of this study was to develop a quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis of HSV-1 ocular virulence determinants and to identify virulence associated SNPs. Blepharitis and stromal keratitis quantitative scores were characterized for 40 OD4:CJ994 recombinants. Viral titers in the eye were also measured. Virulence quantitative trait locus mapping (vQTLmap) was performed using the Lasso, Random Forest, and Ridge regression methods to identify significant phenotypically meaningful regions for each ocular disease parameter. The most predictive Ridge regression model identified several phenotypically meaningful SNPs for blepharitis and stromal keratitis. Notably, phenotypically meaningful nonsynonymous variations were detected in the UL24, UL29 (ICP8), UL41 (VHS), UL53 (gK), UL54 (ICP27), UL56, ICP4, US1 (ICP22), US3 and gG genes. Network analysis revealed that many of these variations were in HSV-1 regulatory networks and viral genes that affect innate immunity. Several genes previously implicated in virulence were identified, validating this approach, while other genes were novel. Several novel polymorphisms were also identified in these genes. This approach provides a framework that will be useful for identifying virulence genes in other pathogenic viruses, as well as epistatic effects that affect HSV-1 ocular virulence.
Project description:Herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) causes lifelong infection affecting between 50 and 90% of the global population. In addition to causing dermal lesions, HSV-1 is a leading cause of blindness resulting from recurrent corneal infection. Corneal disease is characterized by loss of corneal immunologic privilege and extensive neovascularization driven by vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A). In the current study, we identify HSV-1 infected cells as the dominant source of VEGF-A during acute infection, and VEGF-A transcription did not require TLR signaling or MAP kinase activation. Rather than being an innate response to the pathogen, VEGF-A transcription was directly activated by the HSV-1 encoded immediate early transcription factor, ICP4. ICP4 bound the proximal human VEGF-A promoter and was sufficient to promote transcription. Transcriptional activation also required cis GC-box elements common to the VEGF-A promoter and HSV-1 early genes. Our results suggest that the neovascularization characteristic of ocular HSV-1 disease is a direct result of HSV-1's major transcriptional regulator, ICP4, and similarities between the VEGF-A promoter and those of HSV-1 early genes.
Project description:The U(L)17 protein (pU(L)17) of herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) likely associates with the surfaces of DNA-containing capsids in a heterodimer with pU(L)25. pU(L)17 is also associated with viral light particles that lack capsid proteins, suggesting its presence in the tegument of the HSV-1 virion. To help determine how pU(L)17 becomes incorporated into virions and its functions therein, we identified pU(L)17-interacting proteins by immunoprecipitation with pU(L)17-specific IgY at 16 h postinfection, followed by mass spectrometry. Coimmunoprecipitated proteins included cellular histone proteins H2A, H3, and H4; the intermediate filament protein vimentin; the major HSV-1 capsid protein VP5; and the HSV tegument proteins VP11/12 (pU(L)46) and VP13/14 (pU(L)47). The pU(L)17-VP13/14 interaction was confirmed by coimmunoprecipitation in the presence and absence of intact capsids and by affinity copurification of pU(L)17 and VP13/14 from lysates of cells infected with a recombinant virus encoding His-tagged pU(L)17. pU(L)17 and VP13/14-HA colocalized in the nuclear replication compartment, in the cytoplasm, and at the plasma membrane between 9 and 18 h postinfection. One possible explanation of these data is that pU(L)17 links the external face of the capsid to VP13/14 and associated tegument components.
Project description:CD8+ T cells have the potential to control HSV-2 infection. However, limited information has been available on CD8+ T cell epitopes or the functionality of antigen specific T cells during infection or following immunization with experimental vaccines. Peptide panels from HSV-2 proteins ICP27, VP22 and VP13/14 were selected from in silico predictions of binding to human HLA-A*0201 and mouse H-2Kd, Ld and Dd molecules. Nine previously uncharacterized CD8+ T cell epitopes were identified from HSV-2 infected BALB/c mice. HSV-2 specific peptide sequences stabilized HLA-A*02 surface expression with intermediate or high affinity binding. Peptide specific CD8+ human T cell lines from peripheral blood lymphocytes were generated from a HLA-A*02+ donor. High frequencies of peptide specific CD8+ T cell responses were elicited in mice by DNA vaccination with ICP27, VP22 and VP13/14, as demonstrated by CD107a mobilization. Vaccine driven T cell responses displayed a more focused immune response than those induced by viral infection. Furthermore, vaccination with ICP27 reduced viral shedding and reduced the clinical impact of disease. In conclusion, this study describes novel HSV-2 epitopes eliciting strong CD8+ T cell responses that may facilitate epitope based vaccine design and aid immunomonitoring of antigen specific T cell frequencies in preclinical and clinical settings.
Project description:While the role of CD8+ T cells in the control of herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) infection and disease is gaining wider acceptance, a direct involvement of effector CD4+ T cells in this protection and the phenotype and function of HSV-specific human CD4+ T cell epitopes remain to be fully elucidated. In the present study, we report that several epitopes from the HSV-1 virion tegument protein (VP11/12) encoded by UL46 are targeted by CD4+ T cells from HSV-seropositive asymptomatic individuals (who, despite being infected, never develop any recurrent herpetic disease). Among these, we identified two immunodominant effector memory CD4+ TEM cell epitopes, amino acids (aa) 129 to 143 of VP11/12 (VP11/12129-143) and VP11/12483-497, using in silico, in vitro, and in vivo approaches based on the following: (i) a combination of the TEPITOPE algorithm and PepScan library scanning of the entire 718 aa of HSV-1 VP11/12 sequence; (ii) an in silico peptide-protein docking analysis and in vitro binding assay that identify epitopes with high affinity to soluble HLA-DRB1 molecules; and (iii) an ELISpot assay and intracellular detection of gamma interferon (IFN-?), CD107a/b degranulation, and CD4+ T cell carboxyfluorescein succinimidyl ester (CFSE) proliferation assays. We demonstrated that native VP11/12129-143 and VP11/12483-497 epitopes presented by HSV-1-infected HLA-DR-positive target cells were recognized mainly by effector memory CD4+ TEM cells while being less targeted by FOXP3+ CD4+ CD25+ regulatory T cells. Furthermore, immunization of HLA-DR transgenic mice with a mixture of the two immunodominant human VP11/12 CD4+ TEM cell epitopes, but not with cryptic epitopes, induced HSV-specific polyfunctional IFN-?-producing CD107ab+ CD4+ T cells associated with protective immunity against ocular herpes infection and disease.IMPORTANCE We report that naturally protected HSV-1-seropositive asymptomatic individuals develop a higher frequency of antiviral effector memory CD4+ TEM cells specific to two immunodominant epitopes derived from the HSV-1 tegument protein VP11/12. Immunization of HLA-DR transgenic mice with a mixture of these two immunodominant CD4+ T cell epitopes induced a robust antiviral CD4+ T cell response in the cornea that was associated with protective immunity against ocular herpes. The emerging concept of developing an asymptomatic herpes vaccine that would boost effector memory CD4+ and CD8+ TEM cell responses is discussed.
Project description:Many viruses depend on host microtubule motors to reach their destined intracellular location. Viral particles of neurotropic alphaherpesviruses such as herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1) show bidirectional transport towards the cell center as well as the periphery, indicating that they utilize microtubule motors of opposing directionality. To understand the mechanisms of specific motor recruitment, it is necessary to characterize the molecular composition of such motile viral structures. We have generated HSV1 capsids with different surface features without impairing their overall architecture, and show that in a mammalian cell-free system the microtubule motors dynein and kinesin-1 and the dynein cofactor dynactin could interact directly with capsids independent of other host factors. The capsid composition and surface was analyzed with respect to 23 structural proteins that are potentially exposed to the cytosol during virus assembly or cell entry. Many of these proteins belong to the tegument, the hallmark of all herpesviruses located between the capsid and the viral envelope. Using immunoblots, quantitative mass spectrometry and quantitative immunoelectron microscopy, we show that capsids exposing inner tegument proteins such as pUS3, pUL36, pUL37, ICP0, pUL14, pUL16, and pUL21 recruited dynein, dynactin, kinesin-1 and kinesin-2. In contrast, neither untegumented capsids exposing VP5, VP26, pUL17 and pUL25 nor capsids covered by outer tegument proteins such as vhs, pUL11, ICP4, ICP34.5, VP11/12, VP13/14, VP16, VP22 or pUS11 bound microtubule motors. Our data suggest that HSV1 uses different structural features of the inner tegument to recruit dynein or kinesin-1. Individual capsids simultaneously accommodated motors of opposing directionality as well as several copies of the same motor. Thus, these associated motors either engage in a tug-of-war or their activities are coordinately regulated to achieve net transport either to the nucleus during cell entry or to cytoplasmic membranes for envelopment during assembly.
Project description:Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) infection is widespread among humans. The HSV-1 virion protein 13/14 (VP13/14), also known as UL47, is a tegument antigen targeted by CD8+ T cells from HSV-seropositive individuals. However, whether VP13/14-specific CD8+ T cells play a role in the natural protection seen in asymptomatic (ASYMP) individuals (individuals who have never had a clinical herpetic disease) has not been elucidated. Using predictive computer-assisted algorithms, we identified 10 potential HLA-A*02:01-restricted CD8+ T-cell epitopes from the 693-amino-acid sequence of the VP13/14 protein. Three out of 10 epitopes exhibited a high to moderate affinity of binding to soluble HLA-A*02:01 molecules. The phenotype and function of CD8+ T cells specific for each epitope were compared in HLA-A*02:01-positive ASYMP individuals and symptomatic (SYMP) individuals (individuals who have frequent clinical herpetic diseases) using determination of a combination of tetramer frequency and the levels of granzyme B, granzyme K, perforin, gamma interferon, tumor necrosis factor alpha, and interleukin-2 production and CD107a/b cytotoxic degranulation. High frequencies of multifunctional CD8+ T cells directed against three epitopes, VP13/14 from amino acids 286 to 294 (VP13/14286-294), VP13/14 from amino acids 504 to 512 (VP13/14504-512), and VP13/14 from amino acids 544 to 552 (VP13/14544-552), were detected in ASYMP individuals, while only low frequencies were detected in SYMP individuals. The three epitopes also predominantly recalled more CD45RAlow CD44high CCR7low CD62Llow CD8+ effector memory T cells (TEM cells) in ASYMP individuals than SYMP individuals. Moreover, immunization of HLA-A*02:01 transgenic mice with the three CD8+ TEM-cell epitopes from ASYMP individuals induced robust and polyfunctional HSV-specific CD8+ TEM cells associated with strong protective immunity against ocular herpesvirus infection and disease. Our findings outline the phenotypic and functional features of protective HSV-specific CD8+ T cells that should guide the development of a safe and effective T-cell-based herpes simplex vaccine. IMPORTANCE:Although most herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1)-infected individuals shed the virus in their body fluids following reactivation from latently infected sensory ganglia, the majority never develop a recurrent herpetic disease and remain asymptomatic (ASYMP). In contrast, small proportions of individuals are symptomatic (SYMP) and develop frequent bouts of recurrent disease. The present study demonstrates that naturally protected ASYMP individuals have a higher frequency of effector memory CD8+ T cells (CD8+ TEM cells) specific to three epitopes derived from the HSV-1 tegument protein VP13/14 (VP13/14286-294,VP13/14504-512, and VP13/14544-552) than SYMP patients. Moreover, immunization of humanized HLA-A*02:01 transgenic mice with the three CD8+ TEM-cell epitopes from ASYMP individuals induced robust and polyfunctional HSV-specific CD8+ T cells associated with strong protective immunity against ocular herpesvirus infection and disease. The findings support the emerging concept of the development of a safe and effective asymptomatic herpes simplex vaccine that is selectively based on CD8+ T-cell epitopes from ASYMP individuals.
Project description:The HSV type 1 tegument virion phosphoprotein (VP) 11/12 (VP11/12) is a major Ag targeted by CD8(+) T cells from HSV-seropositive individuals. However, whether and which VP11/12 epitope-specific CD8(+) T cells play a role in the "natural" protection seen in seropositive healthy asymptomatic (ASYMP) individuals (who have never had clinical herpes disease) remain to be determined. In this study, we used multiple prediction computer-assisted algorithms to identify 10 potential HLA-A*02:01-restricted CD8(+) T cell epitopes from the 718-aa sequence of VP11/12. Three of 10 epitopes exhibited high-to-moderate binding affinity to HLA-A*02:01 molecules. In 10 sequentially studied HLA-A*02:01-positive and HSV-1-seropositive ASYMP individuals, the most frequent, robust, and polyfunctional effector CD8(+) T cell responses, as assessed by a combination of tetramer frequency, granzyme B, granzyme K, perforin, CD107(a/b) cytotoxic degranulation, IFN-?, and multiplex cytokines assays, were predominantly directed against three epitopes: VP11/1266-74, VP11/12220-228, and VP11/12702-710. Interestingly, ASYMP individuals had a significantly higher proportion of CD45RA(low)CCR7(low)CD44(high)CD62L(low)CD27(low)CD28(low)CD8(+) effector memory CD8(+) T cells (TEMs) specific to the three epitopes, compared with symptomatic individuals (with a history of numerous episodes of recurrent ocular herpetic disease). Moreover, immunization of HLA-A*02:01 transgenic mice with the three ASYMP CD8(+) TEM cell epitopes induced robust and polyfunctional epitope-specific CD8(+) TEM cells that were associated with a strong protective immunity against ocular herpes infection and disease. Our findings outline phenotypic and functional features of protective HSV-specific CD8(+) T cells that should guide the development of an effective T cell-based herpes vaccine.
Project description:PURPOSE:Little is known about the role of sequence variation in the pathology of HSV-1 keratitis virus. The goal was to show that a multiplex, high-throughput genome-sequencing approach is feasible for simultaneously sequencing seven HSV-1 ocular strains. METHODS:A genome sequencer was used to sequence the HSV-1 ocular isolates TFT401, 134, CJ311, CJ360, CJ394, CJ970, and OD4, in a single lane. Reads were mapped to the HSV-1 strain 17 reference genome by high-speed sequencing. ClustalW was used for alignment, and the Mega 4 package was used for phylogenetic analysis (www.megasoftware.net). Simplot was used to compare genetic variability and high-speed sequencing was used to identify SNPs (developed by Stuart Ray, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, http://sray.med.som.jhml.edu/SCRoftware/simplot). RESULTS:Approximately 95% to 99% of the seven genomes were sequenced in a single lane with average coverage ranging from 224 to 1345. Phylogenetic analysis of the sequenced genome regions revealed at least three clades. Each strain had approximately 200 coding SNPs compared to strain 17, and these were evenly spaced along the genomes. Four genes were highly conserved, and six were more variable. Reduced coverage was obtained in the highly GC-rich terminal repeat regions. CONCLUSIONS:Multiplex sequencing is a cost-effective way to obtain the genomic sequences of ocular HSV-1 isolates with sufficient coverage of the unique regions for genomic analysis. The number of SNPs and their distribution will be useful for analyzing the genetics of virulence, and the sequence data will be useful for studying HSV-1 evolution and for the design of structure-function studies.
Project description:VP22 is a major tegument protein of equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1). In the present study, we examined functions of VP22 in EHV-1 replication by viral protein expression analyses in cells infected with the VP22-deficient virus. The expressions of several viral proteins in the cells infected with the VP22-deficient virus were lower than those in the cells infected with the parent virus. One of the weakly expressed proteins was identified as ICP4, which is a major regulatory protein encoded by an immediate early gene of EHV-1. A real-time PCR analysis showed that the mRNA expression of ICP4 was the same in cells infected with the parent and VP22-deficient viruses. Hence, VP22 appears to promote synthesis of ICP4 post-transcriptionally.