Crystallization and X-ray analysis of 23?nm virus-like particles from Norovirus Chiba strain.
ABSTRACT: Norovirus is a major causative pathogen of nonbacterial acute gastroenteritis. Despite the sequence similarity among various strains, noroviruses of different genotypes show different antigenicities and different binding profiles to histo-blood group antigens (HBGAs). To reveal the relationships between the structure of the capsid and the diversity in antigenicity and the HBGA-binding profile, virus-like particles (VLPs) of the Chiba strain that belongs to genogroup I, genotype 4 were crystallized for X-ray structural analysis. Diffraction data were collected and processed at 3.2?Å resolution. The crystal belonged to space group I222, with unit-cell parameters a = 290.0, b = 310.4 c = 350.4?Å. The possible packing model indicated that the diameter of the particle was 280?Å, which was much smaller than the 38?nm VLPs of Norovirus Norwalk strain (NV) with T = 3 icosahedral symmetry and composed of 180 VP1 proteins. The structure was solved by molecular replacement using the structure of the VP1 pentamer of NV 38?nm VLPs as a search model, revealing that the VLPs were smaller particles: 23?nm VLPs with T = 1 icosahedral symmetry, the structure of which has not yet been analyzed at high resolution. The structure of 23?nm VLPs will enable the two different VLPs of Norovirus to be compared, which will provide important information for understanding the structural basis of capsid formation.
Project description:The major capsid protein of norovirus VP1 assembles to form an icosahedral viral particle. Despite evidence that the Norwalk virus (NV) minor structural protein VP2 is present in infectious virions, the available crystallographic and electron cryomicroscopy structures of NV have not revealed the location of VP2. In this study, we determined that VP1 associates with VP2 at the interior surface of the capsid, specifically with the shell (S) domain of VP1. We mapped the interaction site to amino acid 52 of VP1, an isoleucine located within a sequence motif IDPWI in the S domain that is highly conserved across norovirus genogroups. Mutation of this isoleucine abrogated VP2 incorporation into virus-like particles without affecting the ability for VP1 to dimerize and form particles. The highly basic nature of VP2 and its location interior to the viral particle are consistent with its potential role in assisting capsid assembly and genome encapsidation.
Project description:Norwalk virus (NV) is the prototype strain of a group of human caliciviruses responsible for epidemic outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis. While these viruses do not grow in tissue culture cells or animal models, expression of the capsid protein in insect cells results in the self-assembly of recombinant NV virus-like particles (rNV VLPs) that are morphologically and antigenically similar to native NV. The X-ray structure of the rNV VLPs has revealed that the capsid protein folds into two principal domains: a shell (S) domain and a protruding (P) domain (B. V. V. Prasad, M. E. Hardy, T. Dokland, J. Bella, M. G. Rossmann, and M. K. Estes, Science 286:287-290, 1999). To investigate the structural requirements for the assembly of rNV VLPs, we performed mutational analyses of the capsid protein. We examined the ability of 10 deletion mutants of the capsid protein to assemble into VLPs in insect cell cultures. Deletion of the N-terminal 20 residues, suggested by the X-ray structure to be involved in a switching mechanism during assembly, did not affect the ability of the mutant capsid protein to self-assemble into 38-nm VLPs with a T=3 icosahedral symmetry. Further deletions in the N-terminal region affected particle assembly. Deletions in the C-terminal regions of the P domain, involved in the interactions between the P and S domains, did not block the assembly process, but they affected the size and stability of the particles. Mutants carrying three internal deletion mutations in the P domain, involved in maintaining dimeric interactions, produced significantly larger 45-nm particles, albeit in low yields. The complete removal of the protruding domain resulted in the formation of smooth particles with a diameter that is slightly smaller than the 30-nm diameter expected from the rNV structure. These studies indicate that the shell domain of the NV capsid protein contains everything required to initiate the assembly of the capsid, whereas the entire protruding domain contributes to the increased stability of the capsid by adding intermolecular contacts between the dimeric subunits and may control the size of the capsid.
Project description:Noroviruses are the major cause of non-bacterial acute gastroenteritis in humans and livestock worldwide, despite being physically among the simplest animal viruses. The icosahedral capsid encasing the norovirus RNA genome is made of 90 dimers of a single ca 60-kDa polypeptide chain, VP1, arranged with T = 3 icosahedral symmetry. Here we study the conformational dynamics of this main building block of the norovirus capsid. We use molecular modeling and all-atom molecular dynamics simulations of the VP1 dimer for two genogroups with 50% sequence identity. We focus on the two points of flexibility in VP1 known from the crystal structure of the genogroup I (GI, human) capsid and from subsequent cryo-electron microscopy work on the GII capsid (also human). First, with a homology model of the GIII (bovine) VP1 dimer subjected to simulated annealing then classical molecular dynamics simulations, we show that the N-terminal arm conformation seen in the GI crystal structure is also favored in GIII VP1 but depends on the protonation state of critical residues. Second, simulations of the GI dimer show that the VP1 spike domain will not keep the position found in the GII electron microscopy work. Our main finding is a consistent propensity of the VP1 dimer to assume prominently asymmetric conformations. In order to probe this result, we obtain new SAXS data on GI VP1 dimers. These data are not interpretable as a population of symmetric dimers, but readily modeled by a highly asymmetric dimer. We go on to discuss possible implications of spontaneously asymmetric conformations in the successive steps of norovirus capsid assembly. Our work brings new lights on the surprising conformational range encoded in the norovirus major capsid protein.
Project description:The capsid protein (VP1) of all caliciviruses forms an icosahedral particle with two principal domains, shell (S) and protruding (P) domains, which are connected via a flexible hinge region. The S domain forms a scaffold surrounding the nucleic acid, while the P domains form a homodimer that interacts with receptors. The P domain is further subdivided into two subdomains, termed P1 and P2. The P2 subdomain is likely an insertion in the P1 subdomain; consequently, the P domain is divided into the P1-1, P2, and P1-2 subdomains. In order to investigate capsid antigenicity, N-terminal (N-term)/S/P1-1 and P2/P1-2 were switched between two sapovirus genotypes GI.1 and GI.5. The chimeric VP1 constructs were expressed in insect cells and were shown to self-assemble into virus-like particles (VLPs) morphologically similar to the parental VLPs. Interestingly, the chimeric VLPs had higher levels of cross-reactivities to heterogeneous antisera than the parental VLPs. In order to better understand the antigenicity from a structural perspective, we determined an intermediate-resolution (8.5-Å) cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structure of a chimeric VLP and developed a VP1 homology model. The cryo-EM structure revealed that the P domain dimers were raised slightly (?5 Å) above the S domain. The VP1 homology model allowed us predict the S domain (67-229) and P1-1 (229-280), P2 (281-447), and P1-2 (448-567) subdomains. Our results suggested that the raised P dimers might expose immunoreactive S/P1-1 subdomain epitopes. Consequently, the higher levels of cross-reactivities with the chimeric VLPs resulted from a combination of GI.1 and GI.5 epitopes.We developed sapovirus chimeric VP1 constructs and produced the chimeric VLPs in insect cells. We found that both chimeric VLPs had a higher level of cross-reactivity against heterogeneous VLP antisera than the parental VLPs. The cryo-EM structure of one chimeric VLP (Yokote/Mc114) was solved to 8.5-Å resolution. A homology model of the VP1 indicated for the first time the putative S and P (P1-1, P2, and P1-2) domains. The overall structure of Yokote/Mc114 contained features common among other caliciviruses. We showed that the P2 subdomain was mainly involved in the homodimeric interface, whereas a large gap between the P1 subdomains had fewer interactions.
Project description:The vesivirus feline calicivirus (FCV) is a positive strand RNA virus encapsidated by an icosahedral T=3 shell formed by the viral VP1 protein. Upon its expression in the insect cell - baculovirus system in the context of vaccine development, two types of virus-like particles (VLPs) were formed, a majority built of 60 subunits (T=1) and a minority probably built of 180 subunits (T=3). The structure of the small particles was determined by x-ray crystallography at 0.8 nm resolution helped by cryo-electron microscopy in order to understand their formation. Cubic crystals belonged to space group P213. Their self-rotation function showed the presence of an octahedral pseudo-symmetry similar to the one described previously by Agerbandje and co-workers for human parvovirus VLPs. The crystal structure could be solved starting from the published VP1 structure in the context of the T=3 viral capsid. In contrast to viral capsids, where the capsomers are interlocked by the exchange of the N-terminal arm (NTA) domain, this domain is disordered in the T=1 capsid of the VLPs. Furthermore it is prone to proteolytic cleavage. The relative orientation of P (protrusion) and S (shell) domains is alerted so as to fit VP1 to the smaller T=1 particle whereas the intermolecular contacts around 2-fold, 3-fold and 5-fold axes are conserved. By consequence the surface of the VLP is very similar compared to the viral capsid and suggests a similar antigenicity. The knowledge of the structure of the VLPs will help to improve their stability, in respect to a use for vaccination.
Project description:In polyomaviruses the pentameric capsomers are interlinked by the long C-terminal arm of the structural protein VP1. The T=7 icosahedral structure of these viruses is possible due to an intriguing adaptability of this linker arm to the different local environments in the capsid. To explore the assembly process, we have compared the structure of two virus-like particles (VLPs) formed, as we found, in a calcium-dependent manner by the VP1 protein of human polyomavirus BK. The structures were determined using electron cryomicroscopy (cryo-EM), and the three-dimensional reconstructions were interpreted by atomic modeling. In the small VP1 particle, 26.4 nm in diameter, the pentameric capsomers form an icosahedral T=1 surface lattice with meeting densities at the threefold axes that interlinked three capsomers. In the larger particle, 50.6 nm in diameter, the capsomers form a T=7 icosahedral shell with three unique contacts. A folding model of the BKV VP1 protein was obtained by alignment with the VP1 protein of simian virus 40 (SV40). The model fitted well into the cryo-EM density of the T=7 particle. However, residues 297 to 362 of the C-terminal arm had to be remodeled to accommodate the higher curvature of the T=1 particle. The loops, before and after the C-terminal short helix, were shown to provide the hinges that allowed curvature variation in the particle shell. The meeting densities seen at the threefold axes in the T=1 particle were consistent with the triple-helix interlinking contact at the local threefold axes in the T=7 structure.
Project description:Noroviruses (NoV) cause the great majority of epidemic nonbacterial gastroenteritis in humans. Expression of the capsid protein in recombinant systems, including insect and plant cells, yields assembly of virus-like particles (VLPs) that mimic the antigenic structure of authentic virions, and are relatively acid- and heat-stable. Norwalk virus (NV), the prototype NoV, has been studied extensively, and Norwalk virus-like particles (NVLPs) produced in insect cells and plants are immunogenic in mice and humans when delivered orally, stimulating the production of systemic and mucosal anti-NV antibodies. NVLPs are also highly immunogenic when delivered intranasally, provoking antibodies at levels similar to orally delivered VLP at much lower doses. Oral and nasal delivery of NVLPs efficiently produces antibodies at distal mucosal sites, which suggests that NVLPs could be used to deliver heterologous peptide antigens by production of genetic fusion chimeric capsid proteins. Examination of norovirus VLP surface structures and receptor binding motifs facilitates identification of potential sites for insertion of foreign peptides that will minimally affect the efficiency of VLP assembly and receptor binding. Thus, there is strong potential to use norovirus VLPs as vaccine-delivery vehicles.
Project description:Noroviruses cause immense sporadic gastroenteritis outbreaks worldwide. Upcoming genotypes, which are divided based on VP1 sequence, further enhance this public thread regularly. Self-assembling properties of the human norovirus major capsid protein VP1 are crucial for using virus-like particles (VLPs) for vaccine development. However, there is no vaccine available yet. Here, VLPs from different variants produced in insect cells are characterized in detail using a set of biophysical and structural tools.
Project description:Tulane virus (TV) is a newly isolated cultivatable calicivirus that infects juvenile rhesus macaques. Here we report a 6.3 Å resolution cryo-electron microscopy structure of the TV virion. The TV virion is about 400 Å in diameter and consists of a T?=?3 icosahedral protein capsid enclosing the RNA genome. 180 copies of the major capsid protein VP1 (?57 KDa) are organized into two types of dimers A/B and C/C and form a thin, smooth shell studded with 90 dimeric protrusions. The overall capsid organization and the capsid protein fold of TV closely resemble that of other caliciviruses, especially of human Norwalk virus, the prototype human norovirus. These close structural similarities support TV as an attractive surrogate for the non-cultivatable human noroviruses. The most distinctive feature of TV is that its C/C dimers are in a highly flexible conformation with significantly reduced interactions between the shell (S) domain and the protruding (P) domain of VP1. A comparative structural analysis indicated that the P domains of TV C/C dimers were much more flexible than those of other caliciviruses. These observations, combined with previous studies on other caliciviruses, led us to hypothesize that the enhanced flexibility of C/C dimer P domains are likely required for efficient calicivirus-host cell interactions and the consequent uncoating and genome release. Residues in the S-P1 hinge between the S and P domain may play a critical role in the flexibility of P domains of C/C dimers.
Project description:Noroviruses are major pathogens associated with acute gastroenteritis. They are diverse viruses, with at least six genogroups (GI-GVI) and multiple genotypes defined by differences in the major capsid protein, VP1. This diversity has challenged the development of broadly cross-reactive vaccines as well as efficient detection methods. Here, we report the characterization of a broadly cross-reactive monoclonal antibody (MAb) raised against the capsid protein of a GII.3 norovirus strain. The MAb reacted with VLPs and denatured VP1 protein from GI, GII, GIV and GV noroviruses, and mapped to a linear epitope located in the inner shell domain. An alignment of all available VP1 sequences showed that the putative epitope (residues 52-56) is highly conserved across the genus Norovirus. This broadly cross-reactive MAb thus constitutes a valuable reagent for the diagnosis and study of these diverse viruses.