Equine Rhinitis A Virus Mutants with Altered Acid Resistance Unveil a Key Role of VP3 and Intrasubunit Interactions in the Control of the pH Stability of the Aphthovirus Capsid.
ABSTRACT: Equine rhinitis A virus (ERAV) is a picornavirus associated with respiratory disease in horses and is genetically closely related to foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), the prototype aphthovirus. ERAV has recently gained interest as an FMDV alternative for the study of aphthovirus biology, including cell entry and uncoating or antiviral testing. As described for FMDV, current data support that acidic pH inside cellular endosomes triggers ERAV uncoating. In order to provide further insights into aphthovirus uncoating mechanism, we have isolated a panel of ERAV mutants with altered acid sensitivity and that differed on their degree of sensitivity to the inhibition of endosome acidification. These results provide functional evidence of the involvement of acidic pH on ERAV uncoating within endosomes. Remarkably, all amino acid substitutions found in acid-labile or acid-resistant ERAVs were located in the capsid protein VP3, indicating that this protein plays a pivotal role for the control of pH stability of the ERAV capsid. Moreover, all amino acid substitutions mapped at the intraprotomer interface between VP3 and VP2 or between VP3 and the N terminus of VP1. These results expand our knowledge on the regions that regulate the acid stability of aphthovirus capsid and should be taken into account when using ERAV as a surrogate of FMDV. IMPORTANCE:The viral capsid constitutes a sort of dynamic nanomachine that protects the viral genome against environmental assaults while accomplishing important functions such as receptor attachment for viral entry or genome release. We have explored the molecular determinants of aphthovirus capsid stability by isolating and characterizing a panel of equine rhinitis A virus mutants that differed on their acid sensitivity. All the mutations were located within a specific region of the capsid, the intraprotomer interface among capsid proteins, thus providing new insights into the regions that control the acid stability of aphthovirus capsid. These findings could positively contribute to the development of antiviral approaches targeting aphthovirus uncoating or the refinement of vaccine strategies based on capsid stabilization.
Project description:Equine rhinitis A virus (ERAV) is closely related to foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), belonging to the genus Aphthovirus of the Picornaviridae. How picornaviruses introduce their RNA genome into the cytoplasm of the host cell to initiate replication is unclear since they have no lipid envelope to facilitate fusion with cellular membranes. It has been thought that the dissociation of the FMDV particle into pentameric subunits at acidic pH is the mechanism for genome release during cell entry, but this raises the problem of how transfer across the endosome membrane of the genome might be facilitated. In contrast, most other picornaviruses form 'altered' particle intermediates (not reported for aphthoviruses) thought to induce membrane pores through which the genome can be transferred. Here we show that ERAV, like FMDV, dissociates into pentamers at mildly acidic pH but demonstrate that dissociation is preceded by the transient formation of empty 80S particles which have released their genome and may represent novel biologically relevant intermediates in the aphthovirus cell entry process. The crystal structures of the native ERAV virus and a low pH form have been determined via highly efficient crystallization and data collection strategies, required due to low virus yields. ERAV is closely similar to FMDV for VP2, VP3 and part of VP4 but VP1 diverges, to give a particle with a pitted surface, as seen in cardioviruses. The low pH particle has internal structure consistent with it representing a pre-dissociation cell entry intermediate. These results suggest a unified mechanism of picornavirus cell entry.
Project description:The picornavirus foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) is the etiological agent of a highly contagious disease that affects important livestock species. The FMDV capsid is highly acid labile, and viral particles lose infectivity due to their disassembly at pH values slightly below neutrality. This acid sensitivity is related to the mechanism of viral uncoating and genome penetration from endosomes. In this study, we have analyzed the molecular basis of FMDV acid-induced disassembly by isolating and characterizing a panel of novel FMDV mutants differing in acid sensitivity. Amino acid replacements altering virion stability were preferentially distributed in two different regions of the capsid: the N terminus of VP1 and the pentameric interface. Even more, the acid labile phenotype induced by a mutation located at the pentameric interface in VP3 could be compensated by introduction of an amino acid substitution in the N terminus of VP1. These results indicate that the acid sensitivity of FMDV can be considered a multifactorial trait and that virion stability is the fine-tuned product of the interaction between residues from different capsid proteins, in particular those located within the N terminus of VP1 or close to the pentameric interface.The viral capsid protects the viral genome from environmental factors and contributes to virus dissemination and infection. Thus, understanding of the molecular mechanisms that modulate capsid stability is of interest for the basic knowledge of the biology of viruses and as a tool to improve the stability of conventional vaccines based on inactivated virions or empty capsids. Using foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), which displays a capsid with extreme acid sensitivity, we have performed a genetic study to identify the molecular determinants involved in capsid stability. A panel of FMDV mutants with differential sensitivity to acidic pH was generated and characterized, and the results showed that two different regions of FMDV capsid contribute to modulating viral particle stability. These results provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms of acid-mediated FMDV uncoating.
Project description:?: This review summarized the molecular determinants of the acid stability of FMDV in order to explore the uncoating mechanism of FMDV and improve the acid stability of vaccines.The foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) capsid is highly acid labile and tends to dissociate into pentameric subunits at acidic condition to release viral RNA for initiating virus replication. However, the acid stability of virus capsid is greatly required for the maintenance of intact virion during the process of virus culture and vaccine production. The conflict between the acid lability in vivo and acid stability in vitro of FMDV capsid promotes the selection of a series of amino acid substitutions which can confer resistance to acid-induced FMDV inactivation. In order to explore the uncoating activity of FMDV and enhance the acid stability of vaccines, we summarized the available works about the pH stability of FMDV. In this review, we analyzed the intrinsic reasons for the acid instability of FMDV from the structural and functional aspects. We also listed all substitutions obtained by different research methods and showed them in the partial capsid of FMDV. We found that a quadrangle region in the viral capsid was the place where a great many pH-sensitive residues were distributed. As the uncoating event of FMDV is dependent on the pH-sensitive amino acid residues in the capsid, this most pH-sensitive position indicates a potential candidate location for RNA delivery triggered by the acid-induced coat disassociation.This review provided an overview of the pH stability of FMDV. The study of pH stability of FMDV not only contributes to the exploration of molecule and mechanism information for FMDV uncoating, but also enlightens the development of FMDV vaccines, including the traditionally inactivated vaccines and the new VLP (virus-like particle) vaccines.
Project description:The Picornaviridae family of small, nonenveloped viruses includes major pathogens of humans and animals. They have positive-sense, single-stranded RNA genomes, and the mechanism(s) by which these genomes are introduced into cells to initiate infection remains poorly understood. The structures of presumed uncoating intermediate particles of several picornaviruses show limited expansion and some increased porosity compared to the mature virions. Here, we present the cryo-electron microscopy structure of native equine rhinitis A virus (ERAV), together with the structure of a massively expanded ERAV particle, each at ∼17-Å resolution. The expanded structure has large pores on the particle 3-fold axes and has lost the RNA genome and the capsid protein VP4. The expanded structure thus illustrates both the limits of structural plasticity in such capsids and a plausible route by which genomic RNA might exit.Picornaviruses are important animal and human pathogens that protect their genomic RNAs within a protective protein capsid. Upon infection, this genomic RNA must be able to leave the capsid to initiate a new round of infection. We describe here the structure of a unique, massively expanded state of equine rhinitis A virus that provides insight into how this exit might occur.
Project description:The picornavirus family includes poliovirus (PV) (genus: enterovirus), human rhinoviruses (enterovirus) and foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) (aphthovirus). These are responsible for important human and animal health concerns worldwide including poliomyelitis, the common cold and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) respectively. In picornavirus particles, the positive-sense RNA genome (ca. 7-9?kb) is packaged within a protein shell (capsid) usually consisting of three surface exposed proteins, VP1, VP2 and VP3 plus the internal VP4, which are generated following cleavage of the capsid precursor by a virus-encoded protease. We have previously identified a motif near the C-terminus of FMDV VP1 that is required for capsid precursor processing. This motif is highly conserved among other picornaviruses, and is also likely to be important for their capsid precursor processing. We have now determined the plasticity of residues within this motif for virus infectivity and found an important interaction between FMDV residue VP1 R188 within this conserved motif and residue W129 in VP2 that is adjacent in the virus capsid. The FMDV (VP1 R188A) mutant virus has only been rescued with the secondary substitution VP2 W129R. This additional change compensates for the defect resulting from the VP1 R188A substitution and restored both capsid precursor processing and virus viability.
Project description:Like other viruses, the picornavirus foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV; genus Aphthovirus), one of the most notorious pathogens in the global livestock industry, needs to navigate antiviral host responses to establish an infection. There is substantial insight into how FMDV suppresses the type I interferon (IFN) response, but it is largely unknown whether and how FMDV modulates the integrated stress response. Here, we show that the stress response is suppressed during FMDV infection. Using a chimeric recombinant encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV), in which we functionally replaced the endogenous stress response antagonist by FMDV leader protease (Lpro) or 3Cpro, we demonstrate an essential role for Lpro in suppressing stress granule (SG) formation. Consistently, infection with a recombinant FMDV lacking Lpro resulted in SG formation. Additionally, we show that Lpro cleaves the known SG scaffold proteins G3BP1 and G3BP2 but not TIA-1. We demonstrate that the closely related equine rhinitis A virus (ERAV) Lpro also cleaves G3BP1 and G3BP2 and also suppresses SG formation, indicating that these abilities are conserved among aphthoviruses. Neither FMDV nor ERAV Lpro interfered with phosphorylation of RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR) or eIF2?, indicating that Lpro does not affect SG formation by inhibiting the PKR-triggered signaling cascade. Taken together, our data suggest that aphthoviruses actively target scaffolding proteins G3BP1 and G3BP2 and antagonize SG formation to modulate the integrated stress response.IMPORTANCE The picornavirus foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) is a notorious animal pathogen that puts a major economic burden on the global livestock industry. Outbreaks have significant consequences for animal health and product safety. Like many other viruses, FMDV must manipulate antiviral host responses to establish infection. Upon infection, viral double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) is detected, which results in the activation of the RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR)-mediated stress response, leading to a stop in cellular and viral translation and the formation of stress granules (SG), which are thought to have antiviral properties. Here, we show that FMDV can suppress SG formation via its leader protease (Lpro). Simultaneously, we observed that Lpro can cleave the SG scaffolding proteins G3BP1 and G3BP2. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of the antiviral host response evasion strategies of FMDV may help to develop countermeasures to control FMDV infections in the future.
Project description:Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) belongs to the Aphthovirus genus of the Picornaviridae, a family of small, icosahedral, non-enveloped, single-stranded RNA viruses. It is a highly infectious pathogen and is one of the biggest hindrances to the international trade of animals and animal products. FMDV capsids (which are unstable below pH6.5) release their genome into the host cell from an acidic compartment, such as that of an endosome, and in the process dissociate into pentamers. Whilst other members of the family (enteroviruses) have been visualized to form an expanded intermediate capsid with holes from which inner capsid proteins (VP4), N-termini (VP1) and RNA can be released, there has been no visualization of any such state for an aphthovirus, instead the capsid appears to simply dissociate into pentamers. Here we present the 8-Å resolution structure of isolated dissociated pentamers of FMDV, lacking VP4. We also found these pentamers to re-associate into a rigid, icosahedrally symmetric assembly, which enabled their structure to be solved at higher resolution (5.2 Å). In this assembly, the pentamers unexpectedly associate 'inside out', but still with their exposed hydrophobic edges buried. Stabilizing interactions occur between the HI loop of VP2 and its symmetry related partners at the icosahedral 3-fold axes, and between the BC and EF loops of VP3 with the VP2 ?B-strand and the CD loop at the 2-fold axes. A relatively extensive but subtle structural rearrangement towards the periphery of the dissociated pentamer compared to that in the mature virus provides insight into the mechanism of dissociation of FMDV and the marked difference in antigenicity.
Project description:Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), the most acid-unstable virus among picornaviruses, tends to disassemble into pentamers at pH values slightly below neutrality. However, the structural integrity of intact virion is one of the most important factors that influence the induction of a protective antibody response. Thus, improving the acid stability of FMDV is required for the efficacy of vaccine preparations. According to the previous studies, a single substitution or double amino acid substitutions (VP1 N17D, VP2 H145Y, VP2 D86H, VP3 H142D, VP3 H142G, and VP1 N17D?+?VP2 H145Y) in the capsid were introduced into the full-length infectious clone of type O FMDV vaccine strain O/HN/CHN/93 to develop seed FMDV with improved acid stability. After the transfection into BSR/T7 cells of constructed plasmids, substitution VP1 N17D or VP2 D86H resulted in viable and genetically stable FMDVs, respectively. However, substitution VP2 H145Y or VP1 N17D?+?VP2 H145Y showed reverse mutation and additional mutations, and substitution VP3 H141G or VP3 H141D prevented viral viability. We found that substitution VP1 N17D or VP2 D86H could confer increased acid resistance, alkali stability, and thermostability on FMDV O/HN/CHN/93, whereas substitution VP1 N17D was observed to lead to a decreased replication ability in BHK-21 cells and mildly impaired virulence in suckling mice. In contrast, substitution VP2 D86H had no negative effect on viral infectivity. These results indicated that the mutant rD86H carrying substitution VP2 D86H firstly reported by us could be more adequate for the development of inactivated FMD vaccines with enhanced acid stability.
Project description:Infection by viruses depends on a balance between capsid stability and dynamics. This study investigated biologically and biotechnologically relevant aspects of the relationship in foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) between capsid structure and thermostability and between thermostability and infectivity. In the FMDV capsid, a substantial number of amino acid side chains at the interfaces between pentameric subunits are charged at neutral pH. Here a mutational analysis revealed that the essential role for virus infection of most of the 8 tested charged groups is not related to substantial changes in capsid protein expression or processing or in capsid assembly or stability against a thermally induced dissociation into pentamers. However, the positively charged side chains of R2018 and H3141, located at the interpentamer interfaces close to the capsid 2-fold symmetry axes, were found to be critical both for virus infectivity and for keeping the capsid in a state of weak thermostability. A charge-restoring substitution (N2019H) that was repeatedly fixed during amplification of viral genomes carrying deleterious mutations reverted both the lethal and capsid-stabilizing effects of the substitution H3141A, leading to a double mutant virus with close to normal infectivity and thermolability. H3141A and other thermostabilizing substitutions had no detectable effect on capsid resistance to acid-induced dissociation into pentamers. The results suggest that FMDV infectivity requires limited local stability around the 2-fold axes at the interpentamer interfaces of the capsid. The implications for the mechanism of genome uncoating in FMDV and the development of thermostabilized vaccines against foot-and-mouth disease are discussed.IMPORTANCE This study provides novel insights into the little-known structural determinants of the balance between thermal stability and instability in the capsid of foot-and-mouth disease virus and into the relationship between capsid stability and virus infectivity. The results provide new guidelines for the development of thermostabilized empty capsid-based recombinant vaccines against foot-and-mouth disease, one of the economically most important animal diseases worldwide.
Project description:The presence of sequence divergence through adaptive mutations in the major capsid protein VP1, and also in VP0 (VP4 and VP2) and VP3, of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) is relevant to a broad range of viral characteristics. To explore the potential role of isolate-specific residues in the VP0 and VP3 coding regions of PanAsia-1 strains in genetic and phenotypic properties of FMDV, a series of recombinant full-length genomic clones were constructed using Cathay topotype infectious cDNA as the original backbone. The deleterious and compensatory effects of individual amino acid substitutions at positions 4008 and 3060 and in several different domains of VP2 illustrated that the chain-based spatial interaction patterns of VP1, VP2, and VP3 (VP1-3), as well as between the internal VP4 and the three external capsid proteins of FMDV, might contribute to the assembly of eventually viable viruses. The Y2079H site-directed mutants dramatically induced a decrease in plaque size on BHK-21 cells and viral pathogenicity in suckling mice. Remarkably, the 2079H-encoding viruses displayed a moderate increase in acid sensitivity correlated with NH4Cl resistance compared to the Y2079-encoding viruses. Interestingly, none of all the 16 rescued viruses were able to infect heparan sulfate-expressing CHO-K1 cells. However, viral infection in BHK-21 cells was facilitated by utilizing non-integrin-dependent, heparin-sensitive receptor(s) and replacements of four uncharged amino acids at position 3174 in VP3 of FMDV had no apparent influence on heparin affinity. These results provide particular insights into the correlation of evolutionary biology with genetic diversity in adapting populations of FMDV.IMPORTANCE The sequence variation within the capsid proteins occurs frequently in the infection of susceptible tissue cultures, reflecting the high levels of genetic diversity of FMDV. A systematic study for the functional significance of isolate-specific residues in VP0 and VP3 of FMDV PanAsia-1 strains suggested that the interaction of amino acid side chains between the N terminus of VP4 and several potential domains of VP1-3 had cascading effects on the viability and developmental characteristics of progeny viruses. Y2079H in VP0 of the indicated FMDVs could affect plaque size and pathogenicity, as well as acid sensitivity correlated with NH4Cl resistance, whereas there was no inevitable correlation in viral plaque and acid-sensitive phenotypes. The high affinity of non-integrin-dependent FMDVs for heparin might be explained by the differences in structures of heparan sulfate proteoglycans on the surfaces of different cell lines. These results may contribute to our understanding of the distinct phenotypic properties of FMDV in vitro and in vivo.