ABSTRACT: Avian leukosis virus subgroup J (ALV-J) is an oncogenic virus causing hemangiomas and myeloid tumors in chickens. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a multifunctional pro-inflammatory interleukin involved in many types of cancer. We previously demonstrated that IL-6 expression was induced following ALV-J infection in chickens. The aim of this study is to characterize the mechanism by which ALV-J induces IL-6 expression, and the role of IL-6 in tumor development. Our results demonstrate that ALV-J infection increases IL-6 expression in chicken splenocytes, peripheral blood lymphocytes, and vascular endothelial cells. IL-6 production is induced by the ALV-J envelope protein gp85 and capsid protein p27 via PI3K- and NF-κB-mediated signaling. IL-6 in turn induced expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A and its receptor, VEGFR-2, in vascular endothelial cells and embryonic vascular tissues. Suppression of IL-6 using siRNA inhibited the ALV-J induced VEGF-A and VEGFR-2 expression in vascular endothelial cells, indicating that the ALV-J-induced VEGF-A/VEGFR-2 expression is mediated by IL-6. As VEGF-A and VEGFR-2 are important factors in oncogenesis, our findings suggest that ALV-J hijacks IL-6 to promote tumorigenesis, and indicate that IL-6 could potentially serve as a therapeutic target in ALV-J infections.
Project description:In the past 5 years, an atypical clinical outbreak of avian leukosis virus subgroup J (ALV-J), which contains a unique 205-nucleotide deletion in its 3' untranslated region (3'UTR), has become epidemic in chickens in China. To determine the role of the 205-nucleotide deletion in the pathogenicity of ALV-J, a pair of viruses were constructed and rescued. The first virus was an ALV-J Chinese isolate (designated HLJ09SH01) containing the 205-nucleotide deletion in its 3'UTR. The second virus was a chimeric clone in which the 3'UTR contains a 205-nucleotide sequence corresponding to a region of the ALV-J prototype virus. The replication and pathogenicity of the rescued viruses (rHLJ09SH01 and rHLJ09SH01A205) were investigated. Compared to rHLJ09SH01A205, rHLJ09SH01 showed a moderate growth advantage in vitro and in vivo, in addition to exhibiting a higher oncogenicity rate and lethality rate in layers and broilers. Increased vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) and vascular endothelial growth receptor subtype 2 (VEGFR-2) expression was induced by rHLJ09SH01 more so than by rHLJ09SH01A205 during early embryonic vascular development, but this increased expression disappeared when the expression levels were normalized to the viral levels. This finding suggests that the expression of VEGF-A and VEGFR-2 is associated with viral replication and may also represent a novel molecular mechanism underlying the oncogenic potential of ALV-J. Overall, our findings not only indicate that the unique 205-nucleotide deletion in the ALV-J genome occurred naturally in China and contributes to increased pathogenicity but also point to the possible mechanism of ALV-J-induced oncogenicity.
Project description:In spite of the purification of the laying hens and broilers of avian leukosis virus (ALV) has made remarkable achievements, the infection of ALV was still serious in Chinese indigenous chickens.In order to assess the epidemic state of avian leukosis virus in indigenous chickens in China, 10 novel strains of ALV subgroup J (ALV-J), named JS16JH01 to JS16JH10, were isolated and identified by virus isolation and immunofluorescence antibody assays from a Chinese local breed farm with a sporadic incidence of tumors. To understand their virological characteristics further, the proviral genome of ENV-LTR was sequenced and compared with the reference strains.The homology of the gp85 gene between the ten ALV-J strains and NX0101 was in the range from 89.7-94.8% at the nuclear acid level. In addition, their gp85 genes were quite varied, with identities of 92-98% with themselves at the nuclear acid level. There were several snp and indel sites in the amino acid sequence of gp85 genes after comparison with other reference strains of ALV. Interestingly, a novel insertion in the gp85 region was found in two strains, JS16JH01 and JS16JH07, compared with NX0101 and HPRS-103.At present, owing to the large-scale purification of ALV in China, laying hens and broiler chickens with ALV infection are rarely detected, but ALVs are still frequently detected in the local chickens, which suggests that more efforts should be applied to the purification of ALV from indigenous chickens.
Project description:Blood-brain barrier (BBB) dysfunction caused by activation of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) is a pathological feature in vascular/neurological disease. We describe the mechanisms of BBB dysfunction and neuroinflammation as a result of MMP-3/9 activation and disruption of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A/VEGFR-2 interaction, impairing effective angiogenesis.We investigate the hypothesis in human brain endothelial cells and animal model of chronic alcohol ingestion. Proteome array analysis, zymography, immunofluorescence, and Western blotting techniques detected the activation, expression, and levels of MMP-3 and MMP-9. We found that degradation of VEGFR-2 and BBB proteins, for example, occludin, claudin-5, and ZO-1 by MMP-3/9, causes rupture of capillary endothelium and BBB leakiness. Impairment of BBB integrity was demonstrated by increased permeability of dye tracers and Fluo-3/calcein-AM-labeled monocyte adhesion or infiltration and decrease in transendothelial electric resistance. Alcohol-induced degradation of endothelial VEGFR-2 by MMP-3/9 led to a subsequent elevation of cellular/serum VEGF-A level. The decrease in VEGFR-2 with subsequent increase in VEGF-A level led to apoptosis and neuroinflammation via the activation of caspase-1 and IL-1? release. The use of MMPs, VEGFR-2, and caspase-1 inhibitors helped to dissect the underlying mechanisms.Alcohol-induced MMPs activation is a key mechanism for dysfunction of BBB via degradation of VEGFR-2 protein and activation of caspase-1 or IL-1? release. Targeting VEGF-induced MMP-3/9 activation can be a novel preventive approach to vascular inflammatory disease in alcohol abuse.
Project description:In this study, a novel oral vaccine of recombinant Lactobacillus plantarum (L. plantarum) containing the gp85 protein was explored, and the effects of this vaccine on the prevention of subgroup J Avian Leukosis Virus (ALV-J) infection were assessed. In the current study, the gp85 protein of ALV-J was expressed on the surface of L. plantarum with the surface-display motif, pgsA, by constructing a shuttle vector pMG36e:pgsA:gp85. Surface localization of the fusion protein was verified by western blotting and flow cytometry. Subsequently, Specific Pathogen Free Hy-Line Brown layer chickens were orally vaccinated with the recombinant L. plantarum and presented with high levels of serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) and secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) titers in bile and duodenal-mucosal fluid. After challenged with ALV-J of a 3 × 103 50% tissue culture infective dose (TCID50), serum samples of the chickens were collected and viremia was analyzed. Results showed that, compared to the L. plantarum and PBS control group, the recombinant L. plantarum group showed a significant rise in antibody levels after inoculation, and provide improved protection against ALV-J according to viremia detection. These results indicate that oral immunization with the recombinant L. plantarum provided an effective means for eliciting protective immune response against early ALV-J infection.
Project description:Previously, we have demonstrated that bridge proteins comprised of avian leukosis virus (ALV) receptors fused to epidermal growth factor (EGF) can be used to selectively target retroviral vectors with ALV envelope proteins to cells expressing EGF receptors. To determine whether another type of ligand incorporated into an ALV receptor-containing bridge protein can also function to target retroviral infection, the TVA-VEGF110 bridge protein was generated. TVA-VEGF110 consists of the extracellular domain of the TVA receptor for ALV subgroup A (ALV-A), fused via a proline-rich linker peptide to a 110-amino-acid form of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). This bridge protein bound specifically to its cell surface receptor, VEGFR-2, and efficiently mediated the entry of an ALV-A vector into cells. These studies indicate that ALV receptor-ligand bridge proteins may be generally useful tools for retroviral targeting approaches.
Project description:Chicken Na+/H+ exchanger type I (chNHE1), a multispan transmembrane protein, is a cellular receptor of the subgroup J avian leukosis virus (ALV-J). To identify the functional determinants of chNHE1 responsible for the ALV-J receptor activity, a series of chimeric receptors was created by exchanging the extracellular loops (ECL) of human NHE1 (huNHE1) and chNHE1 and by ECL replacement with a hemagglutinin (HA) tag. These chimeric receptors then were used in binding and entry assays to map the minimal ALV-J gp85-binding domain of chNHE1. We show that ECL1 of chNHE1 (chECL1) is the critical functional ECL that interacts directly with ALV-J gp85; ECL3 is also involved in ALV-J gp85 binding. Amino acid residues 28 to 39 of the N-terminal membrane-proximal region of chECL1 constitute the minimal domain required for chNHE1 binding of ALV-J gp85. These residues are sufficient to mediate viral entry into ALV-J nonpermissive cells. Point mutation analysis revealed that A30, V33, W38, and E39 of chECL1 are the key residues mediating the binding between chNHE1 and ALV-J gp85. Further, the replacement of residues 28 to 39 of huNHE1 with the corresponding chNHE1 residues converted the nonfunctional ALV-J receptor huNHE1 to a functional one. Importantly, soluble chECL1 and huECL1 harboring chNHE1 residues 28 to 39 both could effectively block ALV-J infection. Collectively, our findings indicate that residues 28 to 39 of chNHE1 constitute a domain that is critical for receptor function and mediate ALV-J entry.IMPORTANCE chNHE1 is a cellular receptor of ALV-J, a retrovirus that causes infections in chickens and serious economic losses in the poultry industry. Until now, the domains determining the chNHE1 receptor function remained unknown. We demonstrate that chECL1 is critical for receptor function, with residues 28 to 39 constituting the minimal functional domain responsible for chNHE1 binding of ALV-J gp85 and efficiently mediating ALV-J cell entry. These residues are located in the membrane-proximal region of the N terminus of chECL1, suggesting that the binding site of ALV-J gp85 on chNHE1 is probably located on the apex of the molecule; the receptor-binding mode might be different from that of retroviruses. We also found that soluble chECL1, as well as huECL1 harboring chNHE1 residues 28 to 39, effectively blocked ALV-J infection. These findings contribute to a better understanding of the ALV-J infection mechanism and also provide new insights into the control strategies for ALV-J infection.
Project description:BACKGROUND:In systemic sclerosis (SSc), chronic and uncontrolled overexpression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) results in chaotic vessels, and intractable fingertip ulcers. Vice versa, VEGF is a potent mediator of angiogenesis if temporally and spatially controlled. We have addressed this therapeutic dilemma in SSc by a novel approach using a VEGF121 variant that covalently binds to fibrin and gets released on demand by cellular enzymatic activity. Using University of California at Davis (UCD)-206 chickens, we tested the hypothesis that cell-demanded release of fibrin-bound VEGF121 leads to the formation of stable blood vessels, and clinical improvement of ischaemic lesions. METHODS:Ninety-one early and late ischaemic comb and neck skin lesions of UCD-206 chickens were treated locally with VEGF121-fibrin, fibrin alone, or left untreated. After 1?week of treatment the clinical outcome was assessed. Angiogenesis was studied by immunofluorescence staining of vascular markers quantitatively analysed using TissueQuest. RESULTS:Overall, 79.3% of the lesions treated with VEGF121-fibrin showed clinical improvement, whereas 71.0% of fibrin treated controls, and 93.1% of untreated lesions deteriorated. This was accompanied by significantly increased growth of stable microvessels, upregulation of the proangiogenic VEGFR-2 and its regulator TAL-1, and increase of endogenous endothelial VEGF expression. CONCLUSIONS:Our findings in the avian model of SSc suggest that cell-demanded release of VEGF121 from fibrin matrix induces controlled angiogenesis by differential regulation of VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2 expression, shifting the balance towards the proangiogenic VEGFR-2. The study shows the potential of covalently conjugated VEGF-fibrin matrices for the therapy of ischaemic lesions such as fingertip ulcers.
Project description:Vasculogenesis involves the differentiation of vascular endothelial progenitors de novo from undifferentiated mesoderm, their migration and coalescence to form the major embryonic vessels and the acquisition of arterial or venous identity. Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (Vegf) signaling plays multiple roles during vascular development. However, its function during embryonic vasculogenesis has been controversial. Previous studies have implicated Vegf signaling in either regulating arteriovenous specification or overall vascular endothelial differentiation. To clarify the role of Vegf in embryonic vasculogenesis and identify its downstream targets, we used chemical inhibitors of Vegf receptor (Vegfr) signaling in zebrafish embryos as well as zebrafish genetic mutants. A high level of chemical inhibition of Vegfr signaling resulted in the reduction of overall vascular endothelial marker gene expression, including downregulation of both arterial and venous markers, ultimately leading to the apoptosis of vascular endothelial cells. In contrast, a low level of Vegfr inhibition specifically blocked arterial specification while the expression of venous markers appeared largely unaffected or increased. Inhibition of Vegfr signaling prior to the initiation of vasculogenesis reduced overall vascular endothelial differentiation, while inhibition of Vegfr signaling starting at mid-somitogenesis stages largely inhibited arterial specification. Conversely, Vegf overexpression resulted in the expansion of both arterial and pan-endothelial markers, while the expression of several venous-specific markers was downregulated. We further show that Vegf signaling affects overall endothelial differentiation by modulating the expression of the ETS transcription factor etv2/ etsrp. etv2 expression was downregulated in Vegfr- inhibited embryos, and expanded in Vegfaa-overexpressing embryos. Furthermore, vascular-specific overexpression of etv2 in Vegfr-inhibited embryos rescued defects in vascular endothelial differentiation. Similarly, vegfaa genetic mutants displayed a combination of the two phenotypes observed with chemical Vegfr inhibition: the expression of arterial and pan-endothelial markers including etv2 was downregulated while the expression of most venous markers was either expanded or unchanged. Based on these results we propose a revised model which explains the different phenotypes observed upon inhibition of Vegf signaling: low levels of Vegf signaling promote overall vascular endothelial differentiation and cell survival by upregulating etv2 expression, while high levels of Vegf signaling promote arterial and inhibit venous specification.
Project description:Vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) is one of the most important factors controlling angiogenesis. Although the functions of exogenous VEGF-A have been widely studied, the roles of endogenous VEGF-A remain unclear. Here we focused on the mechanistic functions of endogenous VEGF-A in endothelial cells. We found that it is complexed with VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR-2) and maintains a basal expression level for VEGFR-2 and its downstream signaling activation. Endogenous VEGF-A also controls expression of key endothelial specific genes including VEGFR-2, Tie-2, and vascular endothelial cadherin. Of importance, endogenous VEGF-A differs from exogenous VEGF-A by regulating VEGFR-2 transcription through mediation of FoxC2 binding to the FOX:ETS motif, and the complex formed by endogenous VEGF-A with VEGFR-2 is localized within the EEA1 (early endosome antigen 1) endosomal compartment. Taken together, our results emphasize the importance of endogenous VEGF-A in endothelial cells by regulating key vascular proteins and maintaining the endothelial homeostasis.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Vascular endothelial growth factor action in tumour angiogenesis is well characterised; nevertheless, it functions as a key element in the promotion of the immune system's evasion by tumours. We sought to investigate the possible direct effect of VEGF on T-cell activation and through which type of VEGF receptor it exerts this effect on cells isolated from ovarian cancer patients' ascites. METHODS: T cells isolated from the ascites of ovarian cancer patients were cultured with anti-CD3 and IL-2, with or without VEGF for 14 days and the number of viable T cells was counted. Cytotoxic activity of cultured T cells and expression of VEGF receptor-2 (VEGFR-2), was assayed. RESULTS: The addition of VEGF in cultures significantly reduced the number and proliferation rate of T cells in a dose-dependent manner and CD3(+) T cells expressed VEGFR-2 on their surface upon activation. Experiments with specific anti-VEGFR-2 antibodies revealed that the direct suppressive effect of VEGF on T-cell proliferation is mediated by VEGFR-2. We also showed that VEGF significantly reduced the cytotoxic activity of T cells. CONCLUSION: Our study showed that ascites-derived T cells secrete VEGF and express VEGFR-2 upon activation. Vascular endothelial growth factor directly suppresses T-cell activation via VEGFR-2.