Effects of PB1-F2 on the pathogenicity of H1N1 swine influenza virus in mice and pigs.
ABSTRACT: Although several studies have exploited the effects of PB1-F2 in swine influenza viruses, its contribution to the pathogenicity of swine influenza viruses remains unclear. Herein, we investigated the effects of PB1-F2 on the pathogenicity of influenza virus using a virulent H1N1 A/swine/Kansas/77778/2007 (KS07) virus, which expresses a full-length PB1-F2, in mice and pigs. Using reverse genetics, we generated the wild-type KS07 (KS07_WT), a PB1-F2 knockout mutant (KS07_K/O) and its N66S variant (KS07_N66S). KS07_K/O showed similar pathogenicity in mice to the KS07_WT, whereas KS07_N66S displayed enhanced virulence when compared to the other two viruses. KS07_WT exhibited more efficient replication in lungs and nasal shedding in infected pigs than the other two viruses. Pigs infected with the KS07_WT had higher pulmonary levels of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, IFN-?, IL-6 and IL-8 at 3 and 5 days post-infection, as well as lower levels of IL-2, IL-4 and IL-12 at 1 day post-infection compared to those infected with the KS07_K/O. These results indicate that PB1-F2 modulates KS07 H1N1 virus replication, pathogenicity and innate immune responses in pigs and the single substitution at position 66 (N/S) in the PB1-F2 plays a critical role in virulence in mice. Taken together, our results provide new insights into the effects of PB1-F2 on the virulence of influenza virus in swine and support PB1-F2 as a virulence factor of influenza A virus in a strain- and host-dependent manner.
Project description:PB1-F2 protein, the 11th influenza A virus (IAV) protein, is considered to play an important role in primary influenza virus infection and postinfluenza secondary bacterial pneumonia in mice. The functional role of PB1-F2 has been reported to be a strain-specific and host-specific phenomenon. Its precise contribution to the pathogenicity and transmission of influenza virus in mammalian host, such as swine, and avian hosts, such as turkeys, remain largely unknown. In this study, we explored the role of PB1-F2 protein of triple-reassortant (TR) H3N2 swine influenza virus (SIV) in pigs and turkeys. Using the eight-plasmid reverse genetics system, we rescued wild-type SIV A/swine/Minnesota/1145/2007 (H3N2) (SIV 1145-WT), a PB1-F2 knockout mutant (SIV 1145-KO), and its N66S variant (SIV 1145-N66S). The ablation of PB1-F2 in SIV 1145 modulated early-stage apoptosis but did not affect the viral replication in swine alveolar macrophage cells. In pigs, PB1-F2 expression did not affect nasal shedding, lung viral load, immunophenotypes, and lung pathology. On the other hand, in turkeys, SIV 1145-KO infected poults, and its in-contacts developed clinical signs earlier than SIV 1145-WT groups and also displayed more extensive histopathological changes in intestine. Further, turkeys infected with SIV 1145-N66S displayed poor infectivity and transmissibility. The more extensive histopathologic changes in intestine and relative transmission advantage observed in turkeys infected with SIV 1145-KO need to be further explored. Taken together, these results emphasize the host-specific roles of PB1-F2 in the pathogenicity and transmission of IAV.Novel triple-reassortant H3N2 swine influenza virus emerged in 1998 and spread rapidly among the North American swine population. Subsequently, it showed an increased propensity to reassort, generating a range of reassortants. Unlike classical swine influenza virus, TR SIV produces a full-length PB1-F2 protein, which is considered an important virulence marker of IAV pathogenicity. Our study demonstrated that the expression of PB1-F2 does not impact the pathogenicity of TR H3N2 SIV in pigs. On the other hand, deletion of PB1-F2 caused TR H3N2 SIV to induce clinical disease early and resulted in effective transmission among the turkey poults. Our study emphasizes the continuing need to better understand the virulence determinants for IAV in intermediate hosts, such as swine and turkeys, and highlights the host-specific role of PB1-F2 protein.
Project description:PB1-F2 protein, expressed from an alternative reading frame of most influenza A virus (IAV) PB1 segments, may possess specific residues associated with enhanced inflammation (L62, R75, R79, and L82) and cytotoxicity (I68, L69, and V70). These residues were shown to increase the pathogenicity of primary viral and secondary bacterial infections in a mouse model. In contrast to human seasonal influenza strains, virulence-associated residues are present in PB1-F2 proteins from pandemic H1N1 1918, H2N2 1957, and H3N2 1968, and highly pathogenic H5N1 strains, suggesting their contribution to viruses' pathogenic phenotypes. Non-human influenza strains may act as donors of virulent PB1-F2 proteins. Previously, avian influenza strains were identified as a potential source of inflammatory, but not cytotoxic, PB1-F2 residues. Here, we analyze the frequency of virulence-associated residues in PB1-F2 sequences from IAVs circulating in mammalian species in close contact with humans: pigs, horses, and dogs. All four inflammatory residues were found in PB1-F2 proteins from these viruses. Among cytotoxic residues, I68 was the most common and was especially prevalent in equine and canine IAVs. Historically, PB1-F2 from equine (about 75%) and canine (about 20%) IAVs were most likely to have combinations of the highest numbers of residues associated with inflammation and cytotoxicity, compared to about 7% of swine IAVs. Our analyses show that, in addition to birds, pigs, horses, and dogs are potentially important sources of pathogenic PB1-F2 variants. There is a need for surveillance of IAVs with genetic markers of virulence that may be emerging from these reservoirs in order to improve pandemic preparedness and response.
Project description:Pigs are evidently more resistant to avian than swine influenza A viruses, mediated in part through frontline epithelial cells and alveolar macrophages (AM). Although porcine AM (PAM) are crucial in influenza virus control, their mode of control is unclear. To gain insight into the possible role of PAM in the mediation of avian influenza virus resistance, we compared the host effects and replication of two avian (H2N3 and H6N1) and three mammalian (swine H1N1, human H1N1 and pandemic H1N1) influenza viruses in PAM. We found that PAM were readily susceptible to initial infection with all five avian and mammalian influenza viruses but only avian viruses caused early and extensive apoptosis (by 6 h of infection) resulting in reduced virus progeny and moderated pro-inflammation. Full length viral PB1-F2 present only in avian influenza viruses is a virulence factor that targets AM for mitochondrial-associated apoptotic cell death. With the use of reverse genetics on an avian H5N1 virus, we found that full length PB1-F2 contributed to increased apoptosis and pro-inflammation but not to reduced virus replication. Taken together, we propose that early apoptosis of PAM limits the spread of avian influenza viruses and that PB1-F2 could play a contributory role in the process.
Project description:Gene mutations and reassortment are key mechanisms by which influenza A virus acquires virulence factors. To evaluate the role of the viral polymerase replication machinery in producing virulent pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza viruses, we generated various polymerase point mutants (PB2, 627K/701N; PB1, expression of PB1-F2 protein; and PA, 97I) and reassortant viruses with various sources of influenza viruses by reverse genetics. Although the point mutations produced no significant change in pathogenicity, reassortment between the pandemic A/California/04/09 (CA04, H1N1) and current human and animal influenza viruses produced variants possessing a broad spectrum of pathogenicity in the mouse model. Although most polymerase reassortants had attenuated pathogenicity (including those containing seasonal human H3N2 and high-pathogenicity H5N1 virus segments) compared to that of the parental CA04 (H1N1) virus, some recombinants had significantly enhanced virulence. Unexpectedly, one of the five highly virulent reassortants contained a A/Swine/Korea/JNS06/04(H3N2)-like PB2 gene with no known virulence factors; the other four had mammalian-passaged avian-like genes encoding PB2 featuring 627K, PA featuring 97I, or both. Overall, the reassorted polymerase complexes were only moderately compatible for virus rescue, probably because of disrupted molecular interactions involving viral or host proteins. Although we observed close cooperation between PB2 and PB1 from similar virus origins, we found that PA appears to be crucial in maintaining viral gene functions in the context of the CA04 (H1N1) virus. These observations provide helpful insights into the pathogenic potential of reassortant influenza viruses composed of the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza virus and prevailing human or animal influenza viruses that could emerge in the future.
Project description:PB1-F2 is a multifunctional protein and contributes to the pathogenicity of influenza A viruses. PB1-F2 is known to have strain and cell specific functions. In this study we have investigated the apoptotic and inflammatory responses of PB1-F2 protein from influenza viruses of diverse pathogenicities in A549 lung epithelial cells. Overexpression of PB1-F2 resulted in apoptosis and heightened inflammatory response in A549 cells. Comparison revealed that the response varied with each subtype. PB1-F2 protein from highly pathogenic H5N1 virus induced least apoptosis but maximum inflammatory response. Results indicated that apoptosis was mediated through death receptor ligands TNF? and TRAIL via Caspase 8 activation. Significant induction of cytokines/chemokines CXCL10, CCL5, CCL2, IFN?, and IL-6 was noted in A549 cells transfected with PB1-F2 gene construct of 2008 West Bengal H5N1 virus (H5N1-WB). On the contrary, PB1-F2 construct from 2007 highly pathogenic H5N1 isolate (H5N1-M) with truncated N-terminal region did not evoke as exuberant inflammatory response as the other H5N1-WB with full length PB1-F2, signifying the importance of N-terminal region of PB1-F2. Sequence analysis revealed that PB1-F2 proteins derived from different influenza viruses varied at multiple amino acid positions. The secondary structure prediction showed each of the PB1-F2 proteins had distinct helix-loop-helix structure. Thus, our data substantiate the notion that the contribution of PB1-F2 to influenza pathogenicity is greatly strain specific and involves multiple host factors. This data demonstrates that PB1-F2 protein of influenza A virus, when expressed independently is minimally apoptotic and strongly influences the early host response in A549 cells.
Project description:Highly pathogenic avian influenza A viruses (HPAIV) of the H5N1 subtype occasionally transmit from birds to humans and can cause severe systemic infections in both hosts. PB1-F2 is an alternative translation product of the viral PB1 segment that was initially characterized as a pro-apoptotic mitochondrial viral pathogenicity factor. A full-length PB1-F2 has been present in all human influenza pandemic virus isolates of the 20(th) century, but appears to be lost evolutionarily over time as the new virus establishes itself and circulates in the human host. In contrast, the open reading frame (ORF) for PB1-F2 is exceptionally well-conserved in avian influenza virus isolates. Here we perform a comparative study to show for the first time that PB1-F2 is a pathogenicity determinant for HPAIV (A/Viet Nam/1203/2004, VN1203 (H5N1)) in both mammals and birds. In a mammalian host, the rare N66S polymorphism in PB1-F2 that was previously described to be associated with high lethality of the 1918 influenza A virus showed increased replication and virulence of a recombinant VN1203 H5N1 virus, while deletion of the entire PB1-F2 ORF had negligible effects. Interestingly, the N66S substituted virus efficiently invades the CNS and replicates in the brain of Mx+/+ mice. In ducks deletion of PB1-F2 clearly resulted in delayed onset of clinical symptoms and systemic spreading of virus, while variations at position 66 played only a minor role in pathogenesis. These data implicate PB1-F2 as an important pathogenicity factor in ducks independent of sequence variations at position 66. Our data could explain why PB1-F2 is conserved in avian influenza virus isolates and only impacts pathogenicity in mammals when containing certain amino acid motifs such as the rare N66S polymorphism.
Project description:PB1-F2 is a 90 amino acid protein that is expressed from the +1 open reading frame in the PB1 gene of some influenza A viruses and has been shown to contribute to viral pathogenicity. Notably, a serine at position 66 (66S) in PB1-F2 is known to increase virulence compared to an isogenic virus with an asparagine (66N) at this position. Recently, we found that an influenza virus expressing PB1-F2 N66S suppresses interferon (IFN)-stimulated genes in mice. To characterize this phenomenon, we employed several in vitro assays. Overexpression of the A/Puerto Rico/8/1934 (PR8) PB1-F2 protein in 293T cells decreased RIG-I mediated activation of an IFN-β reporter and secretion of IFN as determined by bioassay. Of note, the PB1-F2 N66S protein showed enhanced IFN antagonism activity compared to PB1-F2 wildtype. Similar observations were found in the context of viral infection with a PR8 PB1-F2 N66S virus. To understand the relationship between NS1, a previously described influenza virus protein involved in suppression of IFN synthesis, and PB1-F2, we investigated the induction of IFN when NS1 and PB1-F2 were co-expressed in an in vitro transfection system. In this assay we found that PB1-F2 N66S further reduced IFN induction in the presence of NS1. By inducing the IFN-β reporter at different levels in the signaling cascade, we found that PB1-F2 inhibited IFN production at the level of the mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein (MAVS). Furthermore, immunofluorescence studies revealed that PB1-F2 co-localizes with MAVS. In summary, we have characterized the anti-interferon function of PB1-F2 and we suggest that this activity contributes to the enhanced pathogenicity seen with PB1-F2 N66S- expressing influenza viruses.
Project description:Here, we assessed the effects of PB1-F2 and NS1 mutations known to increase the pathogenicity of influenza viruses on the replication and pathogenicity in mice of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza viruses. We also characterized viruses possessing a PB1-F2 mutation that was recently identified in pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza virus isolates, with and without simultaneous mutations in PB2 and NS1. Our results suggest that some NS1 mutations and the newly identified PB1-F2 mutation have the potential to increase the replication and/or pathogenicity of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza viruses.
Project description:Influenza viruses cause annual epidemics and occasional pandemics that have claimed the lives of millions. The emergence of new strains will continue to pose challenges to public health and the scientific communities. The recent flu pandemic caused by a swine-origin influenza virus A/H1N1 (S-OIV) presents an opportunity to examine virulence factors, the spread of the infection and to prepare for major influenza outbreaks in the future. The virus contains a novel constellation of gene segments, the nearest known precursors being viruses found in swine and it probably arose through reassortment of two viruses of swine origin. Specific markers for virulence can be evaluated in the viral genome, PB1-F2 is a molecular marker of pathogenicity but is not present in the new S-OIV. While attention was focused on a threat of an avian influenza H5N1 pandemic emerging from Asia, a novel influenza virus of swine origin emerged in North America, and is now spreading worldwide. However, S-OIV demonstrates that even serotypes already encountered in past human pandemics may constitute new pandemic threats. There are concerns that this virus may mutate or reassort with existing influenza viruses giving rise to more transmissible or more pathogenic viruses. The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic virus was relatively mild in its first wave and acquired more virulence when it returned in the winter. Thus preparedness on a global scale against a potential more virulent strain is highly recommended. Most isolates of the new S-OIVs are susceptible to neuraminidase inhibitors, and currently a vaccine against the pandemic strain is being manufactured and will be available this fall. This review summarizes the current information on the new pandemic swine-origin influenza virus A/H1N1.
Project description:The influenza virus PB1-F2 protein is a novel protein previously shown to be involved in induction of cell death. Here we characterize the expression and the function of the protein within the context of influenza viral infection in tissue culture and a mouse model. We show that the C-terminal region of the protein can be expressed from a downstream initiation codon and is capable of interaction with the full-length protein. Using this knowledge, we generated influenza viruses knocked out for the expression of PB1-F2 protein and its downstream truncation products. Knocking out the PB1-F2 protein had no effect on viral replication in tissue culture but diminished virus pathogenicity and mortality in mice. The viruses replicated to similar levels in mouse lungs by day 3 postinfection, suggesting that the knockout did not impair viral replication. However, while the PB1-F2 knockout viruses were cleared after day 5, the wild-type viruses were detectable in mouse lungs until day 7, implying that expression of PB1-F2 resulted in delayed clearance of the viruses by the host immune system. Based on our findings and on the fact that the PB1 genomic segment was always newly introduced into some pandemic influenza viruses of the last century, we speculate that the PB1-F2 protein plays an important role in pathogenesis of influenza virus infection and may be an important contributor to pathogenicity of pandemic influenza viruses.