Discrete viral E2 lysine residues and scavenger receptor MARCO are required for clearance of circulating alphaviruses.
ABSTRACT: The magnitude and duration of vertebrate viremia is a critical determinant of arbovirus transmission, geographic spread, and disease severity. We find that multiple alphaviruses, including chikungunya (CHIKV), Ross River (RRV), and o'nyong 'nyong (ONNV) viruses, are cleared from the circulation of mice by liver Kupffer cells, impeding viral dissemination. Clearance from the circulation was independent of natural antibodies or complement factor C3, and instead relied on scavenger receptor SR-A6 (MARCO). Remarkably, lysine to arginine substitutions at distinct residues within the E2 glycoproteins of CHIKV and ONNV (E2 K200R) as well as RRV (E2 K251R) allowed for escape from clearance and enhanced viremia and dissemination. Mutational analysis revealed that viral clearance from the circulation is strictly dependent on the presence of lysine at these positions. These findings reveal a previously unrecognized innate immune pathway that controls alphavirus viremia and dissemination in vertebrate hosts, ultimately influencing disease severity and likely transmission efficiency.
Project description:Mxra8 is a recently described receptor for multiple alphaviruses, including Chikungunya (CHIKV), Mayaro (MAYV), Ross River (RRV), and O'nyong nyong (ONNV) viruses. To determine its role in pathogenesis, we generated mice with mutant Mxra8 alleles: an 8-nucleotide deletion that produces a truncated, soluble form (Mxra8?8/?8) and a 97-nucleotide deletion that abolishes Mxra8 expression (Mxra8?97/?97). Mxra8?8/?8 and Mxra8?97/?97 fibroblasts show reduced CHIKV infection in culture, and Mxra8?8/?8 and Mxra8?97/?97 mice have decreased infection of musculoskeletal tissues with CHIKV, MAYV, RRV, or ONNV. Less foot swelling is observed in CHIKV-infected Mxra8 mutant mice, which correlated with fewer infiltrating neutrophils and cytokines. A recombinant E2-D71A CHIKV with diminished binding to Mxra8 is attenuated in vivo in wild-type mice. Ectopic Mxra8 expression is sufficient to enhance CHIKV infection and lethality in transgenic flies. These studies establish a role for Mxra8 in the pathogenesis of multiple alphaviruses and suggest that targeting this protein may mitigate disease in humans.
Project description:Arthritogenic alphaviruses are human pathogens maintained in nature through alternating replication in vertebrates and mosquitoes. Using chimeric viruses, we previously reported that replacement of the PE2 coding region of the T48 strain of Ross River virus (RRV-T48) with that from the attenuated DC5692 strain, which differ by 7 amino acids, resulted in an attenuated disease phenotype in a mouse model of RRV-induced rheumatic disease. Here, we demonstrate that introduction of one of these amino acid differences, a tyrosine (Y)-to-histidine (H) change at position 18 of the E2 glycoprotein (E2 Y18H), into the RRV-T48 genetic background was sufficient to generate a virus that caused dramatically less severe musculoskeletal disease in mice. The attenuated phenotype of RRV-T48 E2 Y18H was associated with reduced viral loads in musculoskeletal tissues, reduced viremia, and less efficient virus spread. Consistent with these findings, RRV-T48 E2 Y18H replicated less well in mammalian cells in vitro due to significantly reduced PFU released per infected cell. In contrast, RRV-T48 E2 Y18H replicated more efficiently than RRV-T48 in C6/36 mosquito cells. Competition studies confirmed that RRV-T48 E2 Y18H had a fitness advantage in mosquito cells and a fitness disadvantage in mammalian cells. Interestingly, all sequenced Ross River viruses encode either a tyrosine or a histidine at E2 position 18, and this holds true for other alphaviruses in the Semliki Forest antigenic complex. Taken together, these findings suggest that a tyrosine-to-histidine switch at E2 position 18 functions as a regulator of RRV fitness in vertebrate and invertebrate cells.
Project description:The adaptation of Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) to a new vector, the Aedes albopictus mosquito, is a major factor contributing to its ongoing re-emergence in a series of large-scale epidemics of arthritic disease in many parts of the world since 2004. Although the initial step of CHIKV adaptation to A. albopictus was determined to involve an A226V amino acid substitution in the E1 envelope glycoprotein that first arose in 2005, little attention has been paid to subsequent CHIKV evolution after this adaptive mutation was convergently selected in several geographic locations. To determine whether selection of second-step adaptive mutations in CHIKV or other arthropod-borne viruses occurs in nature, we tested the effect of an additional envelope glycoprotein amino acid change identified in Kerala, India in 2009. This substitution, E2-L210Q, caused a significant increase in the ability of CHIKV to develop a disseminated infection in A. albopictus, but had no effect on CHIKV fitness in the alternative mosquito vector, A. aegypti, or in vertebrate cell lines. Using infectious viruses or virus-like replicon particles expressing the E2-210Q and E2-210L residues, we determined that E2-L210Q acts primarily at the level of infection of A. albopictus midgut epithelial cells. In addition, we observed that the initial adaptive substitution, E1-A226V, had a significantly stronger effect on CHIKV fitness in A. albopictus than E2-L210Q, thus explaining the observed time differences required for selective sweeps of these mutations in nature. These results indicate that the continuous CHIKV circulation in an A. albopictus-human cycle since 2005 has resulted in the selection of an additional, second-step mutation that may facilitate even more efficient virus circulation and persistence in endemic areas, further increasing the risk of more severe and expanded CHIK epidemics.
Project description:O'nyong-nyong virus (ONNV), an alphavirus closely related to chikungunya virus (CHIKV), has been the documented cause of two large outbreaks in east Africa; however, little is known about the contribution of ONNV to cases of acute febrile illness during interepidemic periods. An ONNV real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) was developed and evaluated using clinical and mosquito pool samples. The ONNV rRT-PCR linear range extended from 8.0 to 2.0 log10 copies/?L, and the lower limit of 95% detection was 22.4 copies/?L. No cases of ONNV infection were identified in serum from 385 Kenyan children who presented with an acute febrile illness. Additionally, ONNV was not detected in 120 mosquito pools collected in coastal and western Kenya. The ONNV rRT-PCR demonstrated good analytical sensitivity when performed in monoplex or as a component of an ONNV-CHIKV duplex assay. This assay should provide a useful diagnostic for the detection of ONNV in surveillance studies.
Project description:Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) and Ross River virus (RRV) cause a debilitating, and often chronic, musculoskeletal inflammatory disease in humans. Macrophages constitute the major inflammatory infiltrates in musculoskeletal tissues during these infections. However, the precise macrophage effector functions that affect the pathogenesis of arthritogenic alphaviruses have not been defined. We hypothesized that the severe damage to musculoskeletal tissues observed in RRV- or CHIKV-infected mice would promote a wound-healing response characterized by M2-like macrophages. Indeed, we found that RRV- and CHIKV-induced musculoskeletal inflammatory lesions, and macrophages present in these lesions, have a unique gene-expression pattern characterized by high expression of arginase 1 and Ym1/Chi3l3 in the absence of FIZZ1/Relm? that is consistent with an M2-like activation phenotype. Strikingly, mice specifically deleted for arginase 1 in neutrophils and macrophages had dramatically reduced viral loads and improved pathology in musculoskeletal tissues at late times post-RRV infection. These findings indicate that arthritogenic alphavirus infection drives a unique myeloid cell activation program in inflamed musculoskeletal tissues that inhibits virus clearance and impedes disease resolution in an arginase 1-dependent manner.
Project description:Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a mosquito-borne alphavirus that has reemerged to cause profound epidemics of fever, rash, and arthralgia throughout sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean. Like other arthritogenic alphaviruses, mechanisms of CHIKV pathogenesis are not well defined. Using the attenuated CHIKV strain 181/25 and virulent strain AF15561, we identified a residue in the E2 viral attachment protein that is a critical determinant of viral replication in cultured cells and pathogenesis in vivo. Viruses containing an arginine at E2 residue 82 displayed enhanced infectivity in mammalian cells but reduced infectivity in mosquito cells and diminished virulence in a mouse model of CHIKV disease. Mice inoculated with virus containing an arginine at this position exhibited reduced swelling at the site of inoculation with a concomitant decrease in the severity of necrosis in joint-associated tissues. Viruses containing a glycine at E2 residue 82 produced higher titers in the spleen and serum at early times postinfection. Using wild-type and glycosaminoglycan (GAG)-deficient Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell lines and soluble GAGs, we found that an arginine at residue 82 conferred greater dependence on GAGs for infection of mammalian cells. These data suggest that CHIKV E2 interactions with GAGs diminish dissemination to lymphoid tissue, establishment of viremia, and activation of inflammatory responses early in infection. Collectively, these results suggest a function for GAG utilization in regulating CHIKV tropism and host responses that contribute to arthritis.CHIKV is a reemerging alphavirus of global significance with high potential to spread into new, immunologically naive populations. The severity of CHIKV disease, particularly its propensity for chronic musculoskeletal manifestations, emphasizes the need for identification of genetic determinants that dictate CHIKV virulence in the host. To better understand mechanisms of CHIKV pathogenesis, we probed the function of an amino acid polymorphism in the E2 viral attachment protein using a mouse model of CHIKV musculoskeletal disease. In addition to influencing glycosaminoglycan utilization, we identified roles for this polymorphism in differential infection of mammalian and mosquito cells and targeting of CHIKV to specific tissues within infected mice. These studies demonstrate a correlation between CHIKV tissue tropism and virus-induced pathology modulated by a single polymorphism in E2, which in turn illuminates potential targets for vaccine and antiviral drug development.
Project description:Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) and related arboviruses have been responsible for large epidemic outbreaks with serious economic and social impact. The immune mechanisms, which control viral multiplication and dissemination, are not yet known. Here, we studied the antibody response against the CHIKV surface antigens in infected patients. With plasma samples obtained during the early convalescent phase, we showed that the naturally-acquired IgG response is dominated by IgG3 antibodies specific mostly for a single linear epitope 'E2EP3'. E2EP3 is located at the N-terminus of the E2 glycoprotein and prominently exposed on the viral envelope. E2EP3-specific antibodies are neutralizing and their removal from the plasma reduced the CHIKV-specific antibody titer by up to 80%. Screening of E2EP3 across different patient cohorts and in non-human primates demonstrated the value of this epitope as a good serology detection marker for CHIKV infection already at an early stage. Mice vaccinated by E2EP3 peptides were protected against CHIKV with reduced viremia and joint inflammation, providing a pre-clinical basis for the design of effective vaccine against arthralgia-inducing CHIKV and other alphaviruses.
Project description:In recent years, Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) was responsible for epidemic outbreaks in intertropical regions. Although acquired immunity has been shown to be crucial during CHIKV infection in both humans and mice, their exact role in the control of CHIKV infection remains unclear. In this study, wild-type (WT), CD4(-/-), and B cell (μMT) knockout mice were infected with CHIKV. Sera were taken at different days postinfection and measured for anti-CHIKV Ab levels. Isotype and neutralizing capacity of these Abs were assessed in vitro, and specific linear epitopes were mapped. Viremia in CHIKV-infected μMT mice persisted for more than a year, indicating a direct role for B cells in mediating CHIKV clearance. These animals exhibited a more severe disease than WT mice during the acute phase. Characterization of CHIKV-specific Abs revealed that anti-CHIKV Abs were elicited early and targeted epitopes mainly at the C terminus of the virus E2 glycoprotein. Furthermore, CD4(-/-) mice could still control CHIKV infection despite having lower anti-CHIKV Ab levels with reduced neutralizing capacity. Lastly, pre-existing natural Abs in the sera of normal WT mice recognized CHIKV and were able to partially inhibit CHIKV. Taken together, natural and CHIKV infection-induced specific Abs are essential for controlling CHIKV infections.
Project description:Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a medically important human viral pathogen that causes Chikungunya fever accompanied with debilitating and persistent joint pain. Host-elicited or passively-transferred monoclonal antibodies (mAb) are essential mediators of CHIKV clearance. Therefore, this study aimed to generate and characterize a panel of mAbs for their neutralization efficacy against CHIKV infection in a cell-based and murine model. To evaluate their antigenicity and neutralization profile, indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), an immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and a plaque reduction neutralization test were performed on mAbs of IgM isotype. CHIKV escape mutants against mAb 3E7b neutralization were generated, and reverse genetics techniques were then used to create an infectious CHIKV clone with a single mutation. 3E7b was also administered to neonate mice prior or after CHIKV infection. The survival rate, CHIKV burden in tissues and histopathology of the limb muscles were evaluated. Both IgM 3E7b and 8A2c bind strongly to native CHIKV surface and potently neutralize CHIKV replication. Further analyses of 3E7b binding and neutralization of CHIKV single-mutant clones revealed that N218 of CHIKV E2 protein is a potent neutralizing epitope. In a pre-binding neutralization assay, 3E7b blocks CHIKV attachment to permissive cells, possibly by binding to the surface-accessible E2-N218 residue. Prophylactic administration of 3E7b to neonate mice markedly reduced viremia and protected against CHIKV pathogenesis in various mice tissues. Given therapeutically at 4 h post-infection, 3E7b conferred 100% survival rate and similarly reduced CHIKV load in most mice tissues except the limb muscles. Collectively, these findings highlight the usefulness of 3E7b for future prophylactic or epitope-based vaccine design.
Project description:Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) and related alphaviruses cause epidemics of acute and chronic musculoskeletal disease. To investigate the mechanisms underlying the failure of immune clearance of CHIKV, we studied mice infected with an attenuated CHIKV strain (181/25) and the pathogenic parental strain (AF15561), which differ by five amino acids. Whereas AF15561 infection of wild-type mice results in viral persistence in joint tissues, 181/25 is cleared. In contrast, 181/25 infection of ?MT mice lacking mature B cells results in viral persistence in joint tissues, suggesting that virus-specific antibody is required for clearance of infection. Mapping studies demonstrated that a highly conserved glycine at position 82 in the A domain of the E2 glycoprotein impedes clearance and neutralization of multiple CHIKV strains. Remarkably, murine and human antibodies targeting E2 domain B failed to neutralize pathogenic CHIKV strains efficiently. Our data suggest that pathogenic CHIKV strains evade E2 domain-B-neutralizing antibodies to establish persistence.