HHV-6 encoded small non-coding RNAs define an intermediate and early stage in viral reactivation.
ABSTRACT: Human herpesvirus 6A and 6B frequently acquires latency. HHV-6 activation has been associated with various human diseases. Germ line inheritance of chromosomally integrated HHV-6 makes viral DNA-based analysis difficult for determination of early stages of viral activation. We characterized early stages of HHV-6 activation using high throughput transcriptomics studies and applied the results to understand virus activation under clinical conditions. Using a latent HHV-6A cell culture model in U2OS cells, we identified an early stage of viral reactivation, which we define as transactivation that is marked by transcription of several viral small non-coding RNAs (sncRNAs) in the absence of detectable increase in viral replication and proteome. Using deep sequencing approaches, we detected previously known as well as a new viral sncRNAs that characterized viral transactivation and differentiated it from latency. Here we show changes in human transcriptome upon viral transactivation that reflect multiple alterations in mitochondria-associated pathways, which was supported by observation of increased mitochondrial fragmentation in virus reactivated cells. Furthermore, we present here a unique clinical case of DIHS/DRESS associated death where HHV-6 sncRNA-U14 was abundantly detected throughout the body of the patient in the presence of low viral DNA. In this study, we have identified a unique and early stage of viral activation that is characterized by abundant transcription of viral sncRNAs, which can serve as an ideal biomarker under clinical conditions.
Project description:Early-life infections and associated neuroinflammation is incriminated in the pathogenesis of various mood disorders. Infection with human roseoloviruses, HHV-6A and HHV-6B, allows viral latency in the central nervous system and other tissues, which can later be activated causing cognitive and behavioral disturbances. Hence, this study was designed to evaluate possible association of HHV-6A and HHV-6B activation with three different groups of psychiatric patients. DNA qPCR, immunofluorescence and FISH studies were carried out in post-mortem posterior cerebellum from 50 cases each of bipolar disorder (BPD), schizophrenia, 15 major depressive disorder (MDD) and 50 appropriate control samples obtained from two well-known brain collections (Stanley Medical Research Institute). HHV-6A and HHV-6B late proteins (indicating active infection) and viral DNA were detected more frequently (p < 0.001 for each virus) in human cerebellum in MDD and BPD relative to controls. These roseolovirus proteins and DNA were found less frequently in schizophrenia cases. Active HHV-6A and HHV-6B infection in cerebellar Purkinje cells were detected frequently in BPD and MDD cases. Furthermore, we found a significant association of HHV-6A infection with reduced Purkinje cell size, suggesting virus-mediated abnormal Purkinje cell function in these disorders. Finally, gene expression analysis of cerebellar tissue revealed changes in pathways reflecting an inflammatory response possibly to HHV-6A infection. Our results provide molecular evidence to support a role for active HHV-6A and HHV-6B infection in BPD and MDD.
Project description:Human herpesvirus 6B (HHV-6B) is the causative agent of roseola infantum. HHV-6A and 6B can reactivate in immunosuppressed individuals and are linked with severe inflammatory response, organ rejection and central nervous system diseases. About 0.85% of the US and UK population carries an integrated HHV-6 genome in all nucleated cells through germline transmission. We have previously reported that the HHV-6A genome integrated in telomeres of patients suffering from neurological dysfunction and also in telomeres of tissue culture cells. We now report that HHV-6B also integrates in telomeres during latency. Detailed mapping of the integrated viral genomes demonstrates that a single HHV-6 genome integrates and telomere repeats join the left end of the integrated viral genome. When HEK-293 cells carrying integrated HHV-6A were exposed to the histone deacetylase inhibitor Trichostatin A, circularization and/or formation of concatamers were detected and this assay could be used to distinguish between lytic replication and latency.
Project description:The tegument protein U14 of human herpesvirus 6B (HHV-6B) constitutes the viral virion structure and is essential for viral growth. To define the characteristics and functions of U14, we determined the crystal structure of the N-terminal domain of HHV-6B U14 (U14-NTD) at 1.85 Å resolution. U14-NTD forms an elongated helix-rich fold with a protruding ? hairpin. U14-NTD exists as a dimer exhibiting broad electrostatic interactions and a network of hydrogen bonds. This is first report of the crystal structure and dimerization of HHV-6B U14. The surface of the U14-NTD dimer reveals multiple clusters of negatively- and positively-charged residues that coincide with potential functional sites of U14. Three successive residues, L424, E425 and V426, which relate to viral growth, reside on the ? hairpin close to the dimer's two-fold axis. The hydrophobic side-chains of L424 and V426 that constitute a part of a hydrophobic patch are solvent-exposed, indicating the possibility that the ? hairpin region is a key functional site of HHV-6 U14. Structure-based sequence comparison suggests that U14-NTD corresponds to the core fold conserved among U14 homologs, human herpesvirus 7 U14, and human cytomegalovirus UL25 and UL35, although dimerization appears to be a specific feature of the U14 group.
Project description:Immediate early proteins of human herpesvirus 6A (HHV-6A) are expressed at the outset of lytic infection and thereby regulate viral gene expression. Immediate early protein 2 (IE2) of HHV-6A is a transactivator that drives a variety of promoters. The C-terminal region of HHV-6A IE2 is shared among IE2 homologs in betaherpesviruses and is involved in dimerization, DNA binding, and transcription factor binding. In this study, the structure of the IE2 C-terminal domain (IE2-CTD) was determined by X-ray crystallography at a resolution of 2.5 Å. IE2-CTD forms a homodimer stabilized by a β-barrel core with two interchanging long loops. Unexpectedly, the core structure resembles those of the gammaherpesvirus factors EBNA1 of Epstein-Barr virus and LANA of Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus, but the interchanging loops are longer in IE2-CTD and form helix-turn-helix (HTH)-like motifs at their tips. The HTH and surrounding α-helices form a structural feature specific to the IE2 group. The apparent DNA-binding site (based on structural similarity with EBNA1 and LANA) resides on the opposite side of the HTH-like motifs, surrounded by positive electrostatic potential. Mapping analysis of conserved residues on the three-dimensional structure delineated a potential factor-binding site adjacent to the expected DNA-binding site. The predicted bi- or tripartite functional sites indicate a role for IE2-CTD as an adapter connecting the promoter and transcriptional factors that drive gene expression.IMPORTANCE Human herpesvirus 6A (HHV-6A) and HHV-6B belong to betaherpesvirus subfamily. Both viruses establish lifelong latency after primary infection, and their reactivation poses a significant risk to immunocompromised patients. Immediate early protein 2 (IE2) of HHV-6A and HHV-6B is a transactivator that triggers viral replication and contains a DNA-binding domain shared with other betaherpesviruses such as human herpesvirus 7 and human cytomegalovirus. In this study, an atomic structure of the DNA-binding domain of HHV-6A IE2 was determined and analyzed, enabling a structure-based understanding of the functions of IE2, specifically DNA recognition and interaction with transcription factors. Unexpectedly, the dimeric core resembles the DNA-binding domain of transcription regulators from gammaherpesviruses, showing structural conservation as a DNA-binding domain but with its own unique structural features. These findings facilitate further characterization of this key viral transactivator.
Project description:Human herpesvirus 6A (HHV-6A), a member of the betaherpesvirus family, is associated with several human diseases. Like all herpesviruses, HHV-6A establishes a lifelong, latent infection in its host. Reactivation of HHV-6A is frequent within the immunosuppressed and immunocompromised populations and results in lytic viral replication within multiple organs, often leading to severe disease. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are key regulators of multiple cellular processes that regulate the translation of specific transcripts. miRNAs carried by herpesviruses play important roles in modulating the host cell, thereby facilitating a suitable environment for productive viral infection and/or latency. Currently, there are approximately 150 known human herpesvirus-encoded miRNAs, although an miRNA(s) encoded by HHV-6A has yet to be reported. We hypothesized that HHV-6A, like other members of the human herpesvirus family, encodes miRNAs, which function to promote viral infection. We utilized deep sequencing of small RNA species isolated from cells harboring HHV-6A to identify five novel small noncoding RNA species that originate from the viral genome, one of which has the characteristics of a viral miRNA. These RNAs are expressed during productive infection by either bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC)-derived virus in Jjhan cells or wild-type HHV-6A strain U1102 virus in HSB2 cells and are associated with the RNA induced silencing complex (RISC) machinery. Growth analyses of mutant viruses that lack each individual miRNA revealed that a viral miRNA candidate (miR-U86) targets the HHV-6A IE gene U86, thereby regulating lytic replication. The identification and biological characterization of this HHV-6A-specific miRNA is the first step to defining how the virus regulates its life cycle.A majority of the human population is infected with human herpesvirus 6A (HHV-6A), a betaherpesvirus family member. Infections usually occur in young children, and upon resolution, the virus remains in a latent state within the host. Importantly, during times of weakened immune responses, the virus can reactivate and is correlated with significant disease states. Viruses encode many different types of factors that both undermine the host antiviral response and regulate viral replication, including small RNA species called microRNAs (miRNAs). Here we report that HHV-6A encodes at least one miRNA, which we named miR-U86. We have characterized the requirement of this viral miRNA and its impact on the viral life cycle and found that it functions to regulate a viral protein important for efficient viral replication. Our data suggest that viral miRNAs are important for HHV-6A and that they may serve as an important therapeutic target to inhibit the virus.
Project description:Human herpesvirus 6A (HHV-6A) replicates in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and various T-cell lines in vitro. Intriguingly, the virus can also establish latency in these cells, but it remains unknown what influences the decision between lytic replication and the latency of the virus. Incoming virus genomes are confronted with the nuclear domain 10 (ND10) complex as part of an intrinsic antiviral response. Most herpesviruses can efficiently subvert ND10, but its role in HHV-6A infection remains poorly understood. In this study, we investigated if the ND10 complex affects HHV-6A replication and contributes to the silencing of the virus genome during latency. We could demonstrate that ND10 complex was not dissociated upon infection, while the number of ND10 bodies was reduced in lytically infected cells. Virus replication was significantly enhanced upon knock down of the ND10 complex using shRNAs against its major constituents promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML), hDaxx, and Sp100. In addition, we could demonstrate that viral genes are more efficiently silenced in the presence of a functional ND10 complex. Our data thereby provides the first evidence that the cellular ND10 complex plays an important role in suppressing HHV-6A lytic replication and the silencing of the virus genome in latently infected cells.
Project description:Human herpesvirus 6A (HHV-6A) and 6B (HHV-6B) are ubiquitous betaherpesviruses that infects humans within the first years of life and establishes latency in various cell types. Both viruses can integrate their genomes into telomeres of host chromosomes in latently infected cells. The molecular mechanism of viral integration remains elusive. Intriguingly, HHV-6A, HHV-6B and several other herpesviruses harbor arrays of telomeric repeats (TMR) identical to human telomere sequences at the ends of their genomes. The HHV-6A and HHV-6B genomes harbor two TMR arrays, the perfect TMR (pTMR) and the imperfect TMR (impTMR). To determine if the TMR are involved in virus integration, we deleted both pTMR and impTMR in the HHV-6A genome. Upon reconstitution, the TMR mutant virus replicated comparable to wild type (wt) virus, indicating that the TMR are not essential for HHV-6A replication. To assess the integration properties of the recombinant viruses, we established an in vitro integration system that allows assessment of integration efficiency and genome maintenance in latently infected cells. Integration of HHV-6A was severely impaired in the absence of the TMR and the virus genome was lost rapidly, suggesting that integration is crucial for the maintenance of the virus genome. Individual deletion of the pTMR and impTMR revealed that the pTMR play the major role in HHV-6A integration, whereas the impTMR only make a minor contribution, allowing us to establish a model for HHV-6A integration. Taken together, our data shows that the HHV-6A TMR are dispensable for virus replication, but are crucial for integration and maintenance of the virus genome in latently infected cells.
Project description:Human herpesvirus-6A and -6B (HHV-6A and -6B) are two closely related betaherpesviruses that infect humans. Upon primary infection they establish a life-long infection termed latency, where the virus genome is integrated into the telomeres of latently infected cells. Intriguingly, HHV-6A/B can integrate into germ cells, leading to individuals with inherited chromosomally-integrated HHV-6 (iciHHV-6), who have the HHV-6 genome in every cell. It is known that telomeric repeats flanking the virus genome are essential for integration; however, the protein factors mediating integration remain enigmatic. We have previously shown that the putative viral integrase U94 is not essential for telomere integration; thus, we set out to assess the contribution of potential viral recombination proteins U41 and U70 towards integration. We could show that U70 enhances dsDNA break repair via a homology-directed mechanism using a reporter cell line. We then engineered cells to produce shRNAs targeting both U41 and U70 to inhibit their expression during infection. Using these cells in our HHV-6A in vitro integration assay, we could show that U41/U70 were dispensable for telomere integration. Furthermore, additional inhibition of the cellular recombinase Rad51 suggested that it was also not essential, indicating that other cellular and/or viral factors must mediate telomere integration.
Project description:The aberrant expression of human endogenous retrovirus (HERV) elements of the HERV-W family has been associated with different diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS). In particular, the expression of the envelope protein (Env) from the multiple sclerosis-associated retrovirus (MSRV), a member of HERV-W family and known for its potent proinflammatory activity, is repeatedly detected in the brain lesions and blood of MS patients. Furthermore, human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) infection has long been suspected to play a role in the pathogenesis of MS and neuroinflammation. We show here that both HHV-6A and stimulation of its receptor, transmembrane glycoprotein CD46, induce the expression of MSRV-Env. The engagement of extracellular domains SCR3 and SCR4 of CD46-Cyt1 isoform was required for MSRV-env transactivation, limiting thus the MSRV-Env induction to the CD46 ligands binding these domains, including C3b component of complement, specific monoclonal antibodies, and both infectious and UV-inactivated HHV-6A, but neither HHV-6B nor measles virus vaccine strain. Induction of MSRV-Env required CD46 Cyt-1 singling and was abolished by the inhibitors of protein kinase C. Finally, both membrane-expressed and secreted MSRV-Env trigger TLR4 signaling, displaying thus a proinflammatory potential, characteristic for this viral protein. These data expand the specter of HHV-6A effects in the modulation of the immune response and support the hypothesis that cross-talks between exogenous and endogenous viruses may contribute to inflammatory diseases and participate in neuroinflammation. Furthermore, they reveal a new function of CD46, known as an inhibitor of complement activation and receptor for several pathogens, in transactivation of HERV env genes, which may play an important role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases.