Uncovering Flavivirus Host Dependency Factors through a Genome-Wide Gain-of-Function Screen.
ABSTRACT: Flaviviruses, such as dengue (DENV), West Nile (WNV), yellow fever (YFV) and Zika (ZIKV) viruses, are mosquito-borne pathogens that present a major risk to global public health. To identify host factors that promote flavivirus replication, we performed a genome-wide gain-of-function cDNA screen for human genes that enhance the replication of flavivirus reporter particles in human cells. The screen recovered seventeen potential host proteins that promote viral replication, including the previously known dolichyl-diphosphooligosaccharide--protein glycosyltransferase non-catalytic subunit (DDOST). Using silencing approaches, we validated the role of four candidates in YFV and WNV replication: ribosomal protein L19 (RPL19), ribosomal protein S3 (RPS3), DDOST and importin 9 (IPO9). Applying a panel of virological, biochemical and microscopic methods, we validated further the role of RPL19 and DDOST as host factors required for optimal replication of YFV, WNV and ZIKV. The genome-wide gain-of-function screen is thus a valid approach to advance our understanding of flavivirus replication.
Project description:Even in countries that are currently not facing a flavivirus epidemic, the spread of mosquito-borne flaviviruses presents an increasing public threat, owing to climate change, international travel, and other factors. Many of these countries lack the resources (viral strains, clinical specimens, etc.) needed for the research that could help cope with the threat imposed by flaviviruses, and therefore, an alternative approach is needed. Using an in silico approach to global databases, we aimed to design and develop flavivirus NS1 recombinant proteins with due consideration towards antigenic variation. NS1 genes analyzed in this study included a total of 6,823 sequences, from Dengue virus (DENV), Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), West Nile virus (WNV), Zika virus (ZIKV), and Yellow fever virus (YKV). We extracted and analyzed 316 DENV NS1 sequence types (STs), 59 JEV STs, 75 WNV STs, 30 YFV STs, and 43 ZIKV STs using a simple algorithm based on phylogenetic analysis. STs were reclassified according to the variation of the major epitope by MHC II binding. 78 DENV epitope type (EpT), 29 JEV EpTs, 29 WNV EpTs, 12 YFV EpTs, and 5 ZIKV EpTs were extracted according to their major epitopes. Also, frequency results showed that there were dominant EpTs in all flavivirus. Fifteen STs were selected and purified for the expression of recombinant antigen in Escherichia coli by sodium dodecyl sulfate extraction. Our study details a novel in silico approach for the development of flavivirus diagnostics, including a simple way to screen the important peptide regions.
Project description:Many flaviviruses, such as Zika virus (ZIKV), Dengue virus (DENV1-4) and yellow fever virus (YFV), are significant human pathogens. Infection with ZIKV, an emerging mosquito-borne flavivirus, is associated with increased risk of microcephaly in newborns and Guillain-Barré syndrome and other complications in adults. Currently, specific therapy does not exist for any flavivirus infections. In this study, we found that erythrosin B, an FDA-approved food additive, is a potent inhibitor for flaviviruses, including ZIKV and DENV2. Erythrosin B was found to inhibit the DENV2 and ZIKV NS2B-NS3 proteases with IC50 in low micromolar range, via a non-competitive mechanism. Erythrosin B can significantly reduce titers of representative flaviviruses, DENV2, ZIKV, YFV, JEV, and WNV, with micromolar potency and with excellent cytotoxicity profile. Erythrosin B can also inhibit ZIKV replication in ZIKV-relevant human placental and neural progenitor cells. As a pregnancy category B food additive, erythrosin B may represent a promising and easily developed therapy for management of infections by ZIKV and other flaviviruses.
Project description:Zika virus (ZIKV) infections occur in areas where dengue virus (DENV), West Nile virus (WNV), yellow fever virus (YFV), and other viruses of the genus Flavivirus cocirculate. The envelope (E) proteins of these closely related flaviviruses induce specific long-term immunity, yet subsequent infections are associated with cross-reactive antibody responses that may enhance disease susceptibility and severity. To gain a better understanding of ZIKV infections against a background of similar viral diseases, we examined serological immune responses to ZIKV, WNV, DENV, and YFV infections of humans and nonhuman primates (NHPs). Using printed microarrays, we detected very specific antibody responses to primary infections with probes of recombinant E proteins from 15 species and lineages of flaviviruses pathogenic to humans, while high cross-reactivity between ZIKV and DENV was observed with 11 printed native viruses. Notably, antibodies from human primary ZIKV or secondary DENV infections that occurred in areas where flavivirus is endemic broadly recognized E proteins from many flaviviruses, especially DENV, indicating a strong influence of infection history on immune responses. A predictive algorithm was used to tentatively identify previous encounters with specific flaviviruses based on serum antibody interactions with the multispecies panel of E proteins. These results illustrate the potential impact of exposure to related viruses on the outcome of ZIKV infection and offer considerations for development of vaccines and diagnostics.
Project description:Mosquito-borne flaviviruses, including yellow fever virus (YFV), Zika virus (ZIKV), and West Nile virus (WNV), profoundly affect human health. The successful transmission of these viruses to a human host depends on the pathogen's ability to overcome a potentially sterilizing immune response in the vector mosquito. Similar to other invertebrate animals and plants, the mosquito's RNA silencing pathway comprises its primary antiviral defense. Although a diverse range of plant and insect viruses has been found to encode suppressors of RNA silencing, the mechanisms by which flaviviruses antagonize antiviral small RNA pathways in disease vectors are unknown. Here we describe a viral suppressor of RNA silencing (VSR) encoded by the prototype flavivirus, YFV. We show that the YFV capsid (YFC) protein inhibits RNA silencing in the mosquito Aedes aegypti by interfering with Dicer. This VSR activity appears to be broadly conserved in the C proteins of other medically important flaviviruses, including that of ZIKV. These results suggest that a molecular "arms race" between vector and pathogen underlies the continued existence of flaviviruses in nature.
Project description:Vector-borne diseases, including arboviruses, pose a serious threat to public health worldwide. Arboviruses of the flavivirus genus, such as Zika virus (ZIKV), dengue virus, yellow fever virus (YFV), and West Nile virus (WNV), are transmitted to humans from insect vectors and can cause serious disease. In 2017, over 2,000 reported cases of WNV virus infection occurred in the United States, with two-thirds of cases classified as neuroinvasive. WNV transmission cycles through two different animal populations: birds and mosquitoes. Mammals, particularly humans and horses, can become infected through mosquito bites and represent dead-end hosts of WNV infection. Because WNV can infect diverse species, research on this arbovirus has investigated the host response in mosquitoes, birds, humans, and horses. With the growing geographical range of the WNV mosquito vector and increased human exposure, improved surveillance and treatment of the infection will enhance public health in areas where WNV is endemic. In this review, we survey the bionomics of mosquito species involved in Nearctic WNV transmission. Subsequently, we describe the known immune response pathways that counter WNV infection in insects, birds, and mammals, as well as the mechanisms known to curb viral infection. Moreover, we discuss the bacterium Wolbachia and its involvement in reducing flavivirus titer in insects. Finally, we highlight the similarities of the known immune pathways and identify potential targets for future studies aimed at improving antiviral therapeutic and vaccination design.
Project description:Flaviviruses cause a wide range of severe diseases ranging from encephalitis to hemorrhagic fever. Discovery of host factors that regulate the fate of flaviviruses in infected cells could provide insight into the molecular mechanisms of infection and therefore facilitate the development of anti-flaviviral drugs. We performed genome-scale siRNA screens to discover human host factors required for yellow fever virus (YFV) propagation. Using a 2 × 2 siRNA pool screening format and a duplicate of the screen, we identified a high confidence list of YFV host factors. To find commonalities between flaviviruses, these candidates were compared to host factors previously identified for West Nile virus (WNV) and dengue virus (DENV). This comparison highlighted a potential requirement for the G protein-coupled receptor kinase family, GRKs, for flaviviral infection. The YFV host candidate GRK2 (also known as ADRBK1) was validated both in siRNA-mediated knockdown HuH-7 cells and in GRK(-/-) mouse embryonic fibroblasts. Additionally, we showed that GRK2 was required for efficient propagation of DENV and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) indicating that GRK2 requirement is conserved throughout the Flaviviridae. Finally, we found that GRK2 participates in multiple distinct steps of the flavivirus life cycle by promoting both entry and RNA synthesis. Together, our findings identified GRK2 as a novel regulator of flavivirus infection and suggest that inhibition of GRK2 function may constitute a new approach for treatment of flavivirus associated diseases.
Project description:The flavivirus genome encodes a single polyprotein precursor requiring multiple cleavages by host and viral proteases in order to produce the individual proteins that constitute an infectious virion. Previous studies have revealed that the NS2B cofactor of the viral NS2B-NS3 heterocomplex protease displays a conformational dynamic between active and inactive states. Here, we developed a conformational switch assay based on split luciferase complementation (SLC) to monitor the conformational change of NS2B and to characterize candidate allosteric inhibitors. Binding of an active-site inhibitor to the protease resulted in a conformational change of NS2B and led to significant SLC enhancement. Mutagenesis of key residues at an allosteric site abolished this induced conformational change and SLC enhancement. We also performed a virtual screen of NCI library compounds to identify allosteric inhibitors, followed by in vitro biochemical screening of the resultant candidates. Only three of these compounds, NSC135618, 260594, and 146771, significantly inhibited the protease of Dengue virus 2 (DENV2) in vitro, with IC50 values of 1.8 ?M, 11.4 ?M, and 4.8 ?M, respectively. Among the three compounds, only NSC135618 significantly suppressed the SLC enhancement triggered by binding of active-site inhibitor in a dose-dependent manner, indicating that it inhibits the conformational change of NS2B. Results from virus titer reduction assays revealed that NSC135618 is a broad spectrum flavivirus protease inhibitor, and can significantly reduce titers of DENV2, Zika virus (ZIKV), West Nile virus (WNV), and Yellow fever virus (YFV) on A549 cells in vivo, with EC50 values in low micromolar range. In contrast, the cytotoxicity of NSC135618 is only moderate with CC50 of 48.8 ?M on A549 cells. Moreover, NSC135618 inhibited ZIKV in human placental and neural progenitor cells relevant to ZIKV pathogenesis. Results from binding, kinetics, Western blot, mass spectrometry and mutagenesis experiments unambiguously demonstrated an allosteric mechanism for inhibition of the viral protease by NSC135618.
Project description:Flaviviruses are a group of human pathogenic, enveloped RNA viruses that includes dengue (DENV), yellow fever (YFV), West Nile (WNV), and Japanese encephalitis (JEV) viruses. Cross-reactive antibodies against Flavivirus have been described, but most of them are generally weakly neutralizing. In this study, a novel monoclonal antibody, designated mAb 2A10G6, was determined to have broad cross-reactivity with DENV 1-4, YFV, WNV, JEV, and TBEV. Phage-display biopanning and structure modeling mapped 2A10G6 to a new epitope within the highly conserved flavivirus fusion loop peptide, the (98)DRXW(101) motif. Moreover, in vitro and in vivo experiments demonstrated that 2A10G6 potently neutralizes DENV 1-4, YFV, and WNV and confers protection from lethal challenge with DENV 1-4 and WNV in murine model. Furthermore, functional studies revealed that 2A10G6 blocks infection at a step after viral attachment. These results define a novel broadly flavivirus cross-reactive mAb with highly neutralizing activity that can be further developed as a therapeutic agent against severe flavivirus infections in humans.
Project description:Zika virus (ZIKV) is a re-emerged flavivirus transmitted by Aedes spp mosquitoes that has caused outbreaks of fever and rash on islands in the Pacific and in the Americas. These outbreaks have been associated with neurologic complications that include congenital abnormalities and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS). The pathogenesis of ZIKV-associated GBS, a potentially life-threatening peripheral nerve disease, remains unclear. Because Schwann cells (SCs) play a central role in peripheral nerve function and can be the target for damage in GBS, we characterized the interactions of ZIKV isolates from Africa, Asia and Brazil with human SCs in comparison with the related mosquito-transmitted flaviviruses yellow fever virus 17D (YFV) and dengue virus type 2 (DENV2). SCs supported sustained replication of ZIKV and YFV, but not DENV. ZIKV infection induced increased SC expression of IL-6, interferon (IFN)?1, IFN-?, IFIT-1, TNF? and IL-23A mRNAs as well as IFN-? receptors and negative regulators of IFN signaling. SCs expressed baseline mRNAs for multiple potential flavivirus receptors and levels did not change after ZIKV infection. SCs did not express detectable levels of cell surface Fc? receptors. This study demonstrates the susceptibility and biological responses of SCs to ZIKV infection of potential importance for the pathogenesis of ZIKV-associated GBS.
Project description:Zika virus (ZIKV), transmitted by Aedes species mosquitoes, was first isolated in Uganda in 1947. From February 2014 to October 2017, the Uganda Virus Research Institute, in collaboration with the US Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, conducted arbovirus surveillance in acute febrile illness (AFI) patients at St Francis hospital in Nkonkonjeru. Three hundred and eighty-four serum samples were collected and tested for IgM antibodies to yellow fever virus (YFV), West Nile virus (WNV), dengue virus (DENV), chikungunya virus (CHIKV) and ZIKV. Of the 384 samples, 5 were positive for ZIKV IgM. Of these five, three were confirmed by plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT) to be ZIKV infections. Of the remaining two, one was determined to be a non-specific flavivirus infection and one was confirmed to be alphavirus-positive by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). This study provides the first evidence of laboratory-confirmed ZIKV infection in Uganda in five decades, and emphasizes the need to enhance sentinel surveillance.