Molecular basis for the acid-initiated uncoating of human enterovirus D68.
ABSTRACT: Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) belongs to a group of enteroviruses that contain a single positive-sense RNA genome surrounded by an icosahedral capsid. Like common cold viruses, EV-D68 mainly causes respiratory infections and is acid-labile. The molecular mechanism by which the acid-sensitive EV-D68 virions uncoat and deliver their genome into a host cell is unknown. Using cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM), we have determined the structures of the full native virion and an uncoating intermediate [the A (altered) particle] of EV-D68 at 2.2- and 2.7-Å resolution, respectively. These structures showed that acid treatment of EV-D68 leads to particle expansion, externalization of the viral protein VP1 N termini from the capsid interior, and formation of pores around the icosahedral twofold axes through which the viral RNA can exit. Moreover, because of the low stability of EV-D68, cryo-EM analyses of a mixed population of particles at neutral pH and following acid treatment demonstrated the involvement of multiple structural intermediates during virus uncoating. Among these, a previously undescribed state, the expanded 1 ("E1") particle, shows a majority of internal regions (e.g., the VP1 N termini) to be ordered as in the full native virion. Thus, the E1 particle acts as an intermediate in the transition from full native virions to A particles. Together, the present work delineates the pathway of EV-D68 uncoating and provides the molecular basis for the acid lability of EV-D68 and of the related common cold viruses.
Project description:During infection, viruses undergo conformational changes that lead to delivery of their genome into host cytosol. In human rhinovirus A2, this conversion is triggered by exposure to acid pH in the endosome. The first subviral intermediate, the A-particle, is expanded and has lost the internal viral protein 4 (VP4), but retains its RNA genome. The nucleic acid is subsequently released, presumably through one of the large pores that open at the icosahedral twofold axes, and is transferred along a conduit in the endosomal membrane; the remaining empty capsids, termed B-particles, are shuttled to lysosomes for degradation. Previous structural analyses revealed important differences between the native protein shell and the empty capsid. Nonetheless, little is known of A-particle architecture or conformation of the RNA core. Using 3D cryo-electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography, we found notable changes in RNA-protein contacts during conversion of native virus into the A-particle uncoating intermediate. In the native virion, we confirmed interaction of nucleotide(s) with Trp(38) of VP2 and identified additional contacts with the VP1 N terminus. Study of A-particle structure showed that the VP2 contact is maintained, that VP1 interactions are lost after exit of the VP1 N-terminal extension, and that the RNA also interacts with residues of the VP3 N terminus at the fivefold axis. These associations lead to formation of a well-ordered RNA layer beneath the protein shell, suggesting that these interactions guide ordered RNA egress.
Project description:Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is a respiratory viral pathogen that primarily infects children under the age of 8. Although EV-D68 infection typically leads to moderate to severe respiratory illnesses, recent years have seen increasing cases of EV-D68 triggered neurological complications such as acute flaccid myelitis (AFM). There is currently no vaccine or antiviral available for EV-D68; we therefore aimed to develop potent and specific small molecule antivirals against EV-D68. In this study, we report our discovery of a viral capsid inhibitor R856932 that inhibits multiple contemporary EV-D68 strains with single-digit to submicromolar efficacy. Mechanistic studies have shown that the tetrazole compound R856932 binds to the hydrophobic pocket of viral capsid protein VP1, thereby preventing viral uncoating and release of viral genome in the infected cells. The mechanism of action of R856932 was confirmed by time-of-addition, Western blot, RT-qPCR, viral heat inactivation, serial viral passage, and reverse genetics experiments. A single mutation located at VP1, A129V, confers resistance against R856932. However, a recombination virus encoding VP1-A129V appeared to have compromised fitness of replication compared to the wild-type EV-D68 virus as shown by the competition growth assay. Overall, the hit compound identified in this study, R856932, represents a promising starting point with a confirmed mechanism of action that can be further developed into EV-D68 antivirals.
Project description:During cell entry, native poliovirus (160S) converts to a cell-entry intermediate (135S) particle, resulting in the externalization of capsid proteins VP4 and the amino terminus of VP1 (residues 1 to 53). Externalization of these entities is followed by release of the RNA genome (uncoating), leaving an empty (80S) particle. The antigen-binding fragment (Fab) of a monospecific peptide 1 (P1) antibody, which was raised against a peptide corresponding to amino-terminal residues 24 to 40 of VP1, was utilized to track the location of the amino terminus of VP1 in the 135S and 80S states of poliovirus particles via cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and three-dimensional image reconstruction. On 135S, P1 Fabs bind to a prominent feature on the external surface known as the "propeller tip." In contrast, our initial 80S-P1 reconstruction showed P1 Fabs also binding to a second site, at least 50 Å distant, at the icosahedral 2-fold axes. Further analysis showed that the overall population of 80S-P1 particles consisted of three kinds of capsids: those with P1 Fabs bound only at the propeller tips, P1 Fabs bound only at the 2-fold axes, or P1 Fabs simultaneously bound at both positions. Our results indicate that, in 80S particles, a significant fraction of VP1 can deviate from icosahedral symmetry. Hence, this portion of VP1 does not change conformation synchronously when switching from the 135S state. These conclusions are compatible with previous observations of multiple conformations of the 80S state and suggest that movement of the amino terminus of VP1 has a role in uncoating. Similar deviations from icosahedral symmetry may be biologically significant during other viral transitions.
Project description:Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) has been increasingly associated with severe respiratory illness and neurological complications in children worldwide. However, no vaccine is currently available to prevent EV-D68 infection. In the present study, we investigated the possibility of developing a virus-like particle (VLP)-based EV-D68 vaccine. We found that co-expression of the P1 precursor and 3CD protease of EV-D68 in Pichia pastoris yeast resulted in the generation of EV-D68 VLPs, which were composed of processed VP0, VP1, and VP3 capsid proteins and were visualized as ~30 nm spherical particles. Mice immunized with these VLPs produced serum antibodies capable of specifically neutralizing EV-D68 infections in vitro. The in vivo protective efficacy of the EV-D68 VLP candidate vaccine was assessed in two challenge experiments. The first challenge experiment showed that neonatal mice born to the VLP-immunized dams were fully protected from lethal EV-D68 infection, whereas in the second experiment, passive transfer of anti-VLP sera was found to confer complete protection in the recipient mice. Collectively, these results demonstrate the proof-of-concept for VLP-based broadly effective EV-D68 vaccines.
Project description:Human enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is a causative agent of childhood respiratory diseases and has now emerged as a global public health threat. Nevertheless, knowledge of the tissue tropism and pathogenesis of EV-D68 has been hindered by a lack of studies on the receptor-mediated EV-D68 entry into host cells. Here we demonstrate that cell surface sialic acid is essential for EV-D68 to bind to and infect susceptible cells. Crystal structures of EV-D68 in complex with sialylated glycan receptor analogues show that they bind into the 'canyon' on the virus surface. The sialic acid receptor induces a cascade of conformational changes in the virus to eject a fatty-acid-like molecule that regulates the stability of the virus. Thus, virus binding to a sialic acid receptor and to immunoglobulin-like receptors used by most other enteroviruses share a conserved mechanism for priming viral uncoating and facilitating cell entry.
Project description:Despite the recent emergence of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), its clinical impact on adult population is less well defined. To better define the epidemiology of EV-D68, 6,800 nasopharyngeal aspirates (NPAs) from 2010-2014 were subject to EV-D68 detection by RT-PCR and sequencing of 5'UTR and partial VP1. EV-D68 was detected in 30 (0.44%) NPAs from 22 children and 8 adults/elderlies. Sixteen patients (including five elderly) (53%) had pneumonia and 13 (43%) patients were complicated by small airway disease exacerbation. Phylogenetic analysis of VP1, 2C and 3D regions showed four distinct lineages of EV-D68, clade A1, A2, B1 and B3, with adults/elderlies exclusively infected by clade A2. The potentially new clade, B3, has emerged in 2014, while strains closely related to recently emerged B1 strains in the United States were also detected as early as 2011 in Hong Kong. The four lineages possessed distinct aa sequence patterns in BC and DE loops. Amino acid residues 97 and 140, within BC and DE-surface loops of VP1 respectively, were under potential positive selection. EV-D68 infections in Hong Kong usually peak in spring/summer, though with a delayed autumn/winter peak in 2011. This report suggests that EV-D68 may cause severe respiratory illness in adults/elderlies with underlying co-morbidities.
Project description:Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) undergoes structural transformation between mature, cell-entry intermediate (A-particle) and empty forms throughout its life cycle. Structural information for the various forms and antibody-bound capsids will facilitate the development of effective vaccines and therapeutics against EV-D68 infection, which causes childhood respiratory and paralytic diseases worldwide. Here, we report the structures of three EV-D68 capsid states representing the virus at major phases. We further describe two original monoclonal antibodies (15C5 and 11G1) with distinct structurally defined mechanisms for virus neutralization. 15C5 and 11G1 engage the capsid loci at icosahedral three-fold and five-fold axes, respectively. To block viral attachment, 15C5 binds three forms of capsids, and triggers mature virions to transform into A-particles, mimicking engagement by the functional receptor ICAM-5, whereas 11G1 exclusively recognizes the A-particle. Our data provide a structural and molecular explanation for the transition of picornavirus capsid conformations and demonstrate distinct mechanisms for antibody-mediated neutralization.
Project description:In order to initiate an infection, viruses need to deliver their genomes into cells. This involves uncoating the genome and transporting it to the cytoplasm. The process of genome delivery is not well understood for nonenveloped viruses. We address this gap in our current knowledge by studying the uncoating of the nonenveloped human cardiovirus Saffold virus 3 (SAFV-3) of the family Picornaviridae SAFVs cause diseases ranging from gastrointestinal disorders to meningitis. We present a structure of a native SAFV-3 virion determined to 2.5 Å by X-ray crystallography and an 11-Å-resolution cryo-electron microscopy reconstruction of an "altered" particle that is primed for genome release. The altered particles are expanded relative to the native virus and contain pores in the capsid that might serve as channels for the release of VP4 subunits, N termini of VP1, and the RNA genome. Unlike in the related enteroviruses, pores in SAFV-3 are located roughly between the icosahedral 3- and 5-fold axes at an interface formed by two VP1 and one VP3 subunit. Furthermore, in native conditions many cardioviruses contain a disulfide bond formed by cysteines that are separated by just one residue. The disulfide bond is located in a surface loop of VP3. We determined the structure of the SAFV-3 virion in which the disulfide bonds are reduced. Disruption of the bond had minimal effect on the structure of the loop, but it increased the stability and decreased the infectivity of the virus. Therefore, compounds specifically disrupting or binding to the disulfide bond might limit SAFV infection.A capsid assembled from viral proteins protects the virus genome during transmission from one cell to another. However, when a virus enters a cell the virus genome has to be released from the capsid in order to initiate infection. This process is not well understood for nonenveloped viruses. We address this gap in our current knowledge by studying the genome release of Human Saffold virus 3 Saffold viruses cause diseases ranging from gastrointestinal disorders to meningitis. We show that before the genome is released, the Saffold virus 3 particle expands, and holes form in the previously compact capsid. These holes serve as channels for the release of the genome and small capsid proteins VP4 that in related enteroviruses facilitate subsequent transport of the virus genome into the cell cytoplasm.
Project description:Despite its first appearance in 1962, human enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) has been recognized as an emerging respiratory pathogen in the last decade when it caused outbreaks and clusters in several countries including Japan, the Philippines, and the Netherlands. The most recent and largest outbreak of EV-D68 associated with severe respiratory illness took place in North America between August 2014 and January 2015. Between September 1 and October 31 2014, EV-D68 infection was laboratory confirmed among 153/907 (16.9%) persons tested for the virus in Ontario, Canada, using real time RT-PCR and subsequent genotyping by sequencing of partial VP1 gene. In order to understand the evolutionary history of the 2014 North American EV-D68 outbreak, we conducted phylogenetic and phylodynamic analyses using available partial VP1 genes (n = 469) and NCBI available whole genome sequences (WGS) (n = 38). The global EV-D68 phylogenetic tree (n = 469) reconfirms the divergence of three distinct clades A, B, and C from the prototype EV-D68 Fermon strain as previously documented. Two sub-clades (B1 and B2) were identified, with most 2014 EV-D68 outbreak strains belonging to sub-cluster B2b2 (one of the two emerging clusters within sub-clade B2), with two signature substitutions T650A and M700V in BC and DE loops of VP1 gene, respectively. The close homology between WGS of strains from Ontario (n = 2) and USA (n = 21) in the recent EV-D68 outbreak suggests genetic relatedness and also a common source for the outbreak. The time of most recent common ancestor of EV-D68 and the 2014 EV-D68 outbreak strain suggest that the viruses possibly emerged during 1960-1961 and 2012-2013, respectively. We observed lower mean evolutionary rates of global EV-D68 using WGS data than estimated with partial VP1 gene sequences. Based on WGS data, the estimated mean rate of evolution of the EV-D68 B2b cluster was 9.75 × 10-3 substitutions/site/year (95% BCI 4.11 × 10-3 to 16 × 10-3).
Project description:UNLABELLED:Human enterovirus 71 (EV71) is the major causative agent of severe hand-foot-and-mouth diseases (HFMD) in young children, and structural characterization of EV71 during its life cycle can aid in the development of therapeutics against HFMD. Here, we present the atomic structures of the full virion and an uncoating intermediate of a clinical EV71 C4 strain to illustrate the structural changes in the full virion that lead to the formation of the uncoating intermediate prepared for RNA release. Although the VP1 N-terminal regions observed to penetrate through the junction channel at the quasi-3-fold axis in the uncoating intermediate of coxsackievirus A16 were not observed in the EV71 uncoating intermediate, drastic conformational changes occur in this region, as has been observed in all capsid proteins. Additionally, the RNA genome interacts with the N-terminal extensions of VP1 and residues 32 to 36 of VP3, both of which are situated at the bottom of the junction. These observations highlight the importance of the junction for genome release. Furthermore, EV71 uncoating is associated with apparent rearrangements and expansion around the 2- and 5-fold axes without obvious changes around the 3-fold axes. Therefore, these structures enabled the identification of hot spots for capsid rearrangements, which led to the hypothesis that the protomer interface near the junction and the 2-fold axis permits the opening of large channels for the exit of polypeptides and viral RNA, which is an uncoating mechanism that is likely conserved in enteroviruses. IMPORTANCE:Human enterovirus 71 (EV71) is the major causative agent of severe hand-foot-and-mouth diseases (HFMD) in young children. EV71 contains an RNA genome protected by an icosahedral capsid shell. Uncoating is essential in EV71 life cycle, which is characterized by conformational changes in the capsid to facilitate RNA release into host cell. Here we present the atomic structures of the full virion and an uncoating intermediate of a clinical C4 strain of EV71. Structural analysis revealed drastic conformational changes associated with uncoating in all the capsid proteins near the junction at the quasi-3-fold axis and protein-RNA interactions at the bottom of the junction in the uncoating intermediate. Significant capsid rearrangements also occur at the icosahedral 2- and 5-fold axes but not at the 3-fold axis. Taking the results together, we hypothesize that the junction and nearby areas are hot spots for capsid breaches for the exit of polypeptides and viral RNA during uncoating.