Negatively charged amino acids at the foot-and-mouth disease virus capsid reduce the virion-destabilizing effect of viral RNA at acidic pH.
ABSTRACT: Elucidation of the molecular basis of the stability of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) particles is relevant to understand key aspects of the virus cycle. Residue N17D in VP1, located at the capsid inner surface, modulates the resistance of FMDV virion to dissociation and inactivation at acidic pH. Here we have studied whether the virion-stabilizing effect of amino acid substitution VP1 N17D may be mediated by the alteration of electrostatic charge at this position and/or the presence of the viral RNA. Substitutions that either introduced a positive charge (R,K) or preserved neutrality (A) at position VP1 17 led to increased sensitivity of virions to inactivation at acidic pH, while replacement by negatively charged residues (D,E) increased the resistance of virions to acidic pH. The role in virion stability of viral RNA was addressed using FMDV empty capsids that have a virtually unchanged structure compared to the capsid in the RNA-filled virion, but that are considerably more resistant to acidic pH than WT virions, supporting a virion-destabilizing effect of the RNA. Remarkably, no differences were observed in the resistance to dissociation at acidic pH between the WT empty capsids and those harboring replacement N17D. Thus, the virion-destabilizing effect of viral RNA at acidic pH can be partially restored by introducing negatively charged residues at position VP1 N17.
Project description:The picornavirus foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) is the etiological agent of a highly contagious disease that affects important livestock species. The FMDV capsid is highly acid labile, and viral particles lose infectivity due to their disassembly at pH values slightly below neutrality. This acid sensitivity is related to the mechanism of viral uncoating and genome penetration from endosomes. In this study, we have analyzed the molecular basis of FMDV acid-induced disassembly by isolating and characterizing a panel of novel FMDV mutants differing in acid sensitivity. Amino acid replacements altering virion stability were preferentially distributed in two different regions of the capsid: the N terminus of VP1 and the pentameric interface. Even more, the acid labile phenotype induced by a mutation located at the pentameric interface in VP3 could be compensated by introduction of an amino acid substitution in the N terminus of VP1. These results indicate that the acid sensitivity of FMDV can be considered a multifactorial trait and that virion stability is the fine-tuned product of the interaction between residues from different capsid proteins, in particular those located within the N terminus of VP1 or close to the pentameric interface.The viral capsid protects the viral genome from environmental factors and contributes to virus dissemination and infection. Thus, understanding of the molecular mechanisms that modulate capsid stability is of interest for the basic knowledge of the biology of viruses and as a tool to improve the stability of conventional vaccines based on inactivated virions or empty capsids. Using foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), which displays a capsid with extreme acid sensitivity, we have performed a genetic study to identify the molecular determinants involved in capsid stability. A panel of FMDV mutants with differential sensitivity to acidic pH was generated and characterized, and the results showed that two different regions of FMDV capsid contribute to modulating viral particle stability. These results provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms of acid-mediated FMDV uncoating.
Project description:The foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) capsid protein precursor, P1-2A, is cleaved by 3C(pro) to generate VP0, VP3, VP1, and the peptide 2A. The capsid proteins self-assemble into empty capsid particles or viruses which do not contain 2A. In a cell culture-adapted strain of FMDV (O1 Manisa [Lindholm]), three different amino acid substitutions (E83K, S134C, and K210E) were identified within the VP1 region of the P1-2A precursor compared to the field strain (wild type [wt]). Expression of the O1 Manisa P1-2A (wt or with the S134C substitution in VP1) plus 3C(pro), using a transient expression system, resulted in efficient capsid protein production and self-assembly of empty capsid particles. Removal of the 2A peptide from the capsid protein precursor had no effect on capsid protein processing or particle assembly. However, modification of E83K alone abrogated particle assembly with no apparent effect on protein processing. Interestingly, the K210E substitution, close to the VP1/2A junction, completely blocked processing by 3C(pro) at this cleavage site, but efficient assembly of "self-tagged" empty capsid particles, containing the uncleaved VP1-2A, was observed. These self-tagged particles behaved like the unmodified empty capsids in antigen enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and integrin receptor binding assays. Furthermore, mutant viruses with uncleaved VP1-2A could be rescued in cells from full-length FMDV RNA transcripts encoding the K210E substitution in VP1. Thus, cleavage of the VP1/2A junction is not essential for virus viability. The production of such engineered self-tagged empty capsid particles may facilitate their purification for use as diagnostic reagents and vaccines.
Project description:Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) is a significant economically and distributed globally pathogen of Artiodactyla. Current vaccines are chemically inactivated whole virus particles that require large-scale virus growth in strict bio-containment with the associated risks of accidental release or incomplete inactivation. Non-infectious empty capsids are structural mimics of authentic particles with no associated risk and constitute an alternate vaccine candidate. Capsids self-assemble from the processed virus structural proteins, VP0, VP3 and VP1, which are released from the structural protein precursor P1-2A by the action of the virus-encoded 3C protease. To date recombinant empty capsid assembly has been limited by poor expression levels, restricting the development of empty capsids as a viable vaccine. Here expression of the FMDV structural protein precursor P1-2A in insect cells is shown to be efficient but linkage of the cognate 3C protease to the C-terminus reduces expression significantly. Inactivation of the 3C enzyme in a P1-2A-3C cassette allows expression and intermediate levels of 3C activity resulted in efficient processing of the P1-2A precursor into the structural proteins which assembled into empty capsids. Expression was independent of the insect host cell background and leads to capsids that are recognised as authentic by a range of anti-FMDV bovine sera suggesting their feasibility as an alternate vaccine.
Project description:Equine rhinitis A virus (ERAV) is closely related to foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), belonging to the genus Aphthovirus of the Picornaviridae. How picornaviruses introduce their RNA genome into the cytoplasm of the host cell to initiate replication is unclear since they have no lipid envelope to facilitate fusion with cellular membranes. It has been thought that the dissociation of the FMDV particle into pentameric subunits at acidic pH is the mechanism for genome release during cell entry, but this raises the problem of how transfer across the endosome membrane of the genome might be facilitated. In contrast, most other picornaviruses form 'altered' particle intermediates (not reported for aphthoviruses) thought to induce membrane pores through which the genome can be transferred. Here we show that ERAV, like FMDV, dissociates into pentamers at mildly acidic pH but demonstrate that dissociation is preceded by the transient formation of empty 80S particles which have released their genome and may represent novel biologically relevant intermediates in the aphthovirus cell entry process. The crystal structures of the native ERAV virus and a low pH form have been determined via highly efficient crystallization and data collection strategies, required due to low virus yields. ERAV is closely similar to FMDV for VP2, VP3 and part of VP4 but VP1 diverges, to give a particle with a pitted surface, as seen in cardioviruses. The low pH particle has internal structure consistent with it representing a pre-dissociation cell entry intermediate. These results suggest a unified mechanism of picornavirus cell entry.
Project description:The Endosomal Sorting Complex Required for Transport (ESCRT) is an important cellular machinery for the sorting and trafficking of ubiquitinated cargos. It is also known that ESCRT is required for the egress of a number of viruses. To investigate the relationship between ESCRT and hepatitis B virus (HBV), we conducted an siRNA screening of ESCRT components for their potential effect on HBV replication and virion release. We identified a number of ESCRT factors required for HBV replication, and focused our study here on HGS (HRS, hepatocyte growth factor-regulated tyrosine kinase substrate) in the ESCRT-0 complex. Aberrant levels of HGS suppressed HBV transcription, replication and virion secretion. Hydrodynamic delivery of HGS in a mouse model significantly suppressed viral replication in the liver and virion secretion in the serum. Surprisingly, overexpression of HGS stimulated the release of HBV naked capsids, irrespective of their viral RNA, DNA, or empty contents. Mutant core protein (HBc 1-147) containing no arginine-rich domain (ARD) failed to secrete empty virions with or without HGS. In contrast, empty naked capsids of HBc 1-147 could still be promoted for secretion by HGS. HGS exerted a strong positive effect on the secretion of naked capsids, at the expense of a reduced level of virions. The association between HGS and HBc appears to be ubiquitin-independent. Furthermore, HBc is preferentially co-localized with HGS near the cell periphery, instead of near the punctate endosomes in the cytoplasm. In summary, our work demonstrated the importance of an optimum level of HGS in HBV propagation. In addition to an effect on HBV transcription, HGS can diminish the pool size of intracellular nucleocapsids with ongoing genome maturation, probably in part by promoting the secretion of naked capsids. The secretion routes of HBV virions and naked capsids can be clearly distinguished based on the pleiotropic effect of HGS involved in the ESCRT-0 complex.
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:Adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors have been successfully applied in clinical trials for hemophilic patients. Although promising, the clinical results suggest that the capsid-specific CD8+T cell response has a negative effect on therapeutic success. In an in vitro analysis using an engineered AAV virus carrying immune-dominant SIINFEKL peptide in the capsid backbone, we have previously demonstrated that capsid antigen presentation from full (genome containing) AAV capsids requires endosome escape and is proteasome dependent and that no capsid antigen presentation is induced from empty virions. In the present study, we examined capsid antigen presentation from administration of empty virions in animal models. In wild-type mice, similar to AAV full particles, capsid antigen presentation from AAV empty virion infection was dose dependent, and the kinetics studies showed that antigen presentation was detected from 2 to 40?days after AAV empty virion administration. In the transporter associated with antigen processing 1 deficient (TAP-/-) mice, capsid antigen presentation was inhibited from both AAV full and empty virions, but higher inhibition was achieved from AAV full particle administration than that from empty virions. This indicates that the pathway of capsid antigen presentation from AAV transduction is dependent on proteasome-mediated degradation of AAV capsids (mainly for full particles) and that the endosomal pathway may also play a role in antigen presentation from empty particles but not full virions. The capsid antigen presentation efficiency from AAV preparations was positively correlated with the amount of empty virions contaminated with full particles. Collectively, the results indicate that contamination of AAV empty virions induces efficient antigen presentation in vivo and the mechanism of capsid antigen presentation from empty virions involves both endosomal and proteasomal pathways. The elucidation of capsid antigen presentation from AAV empty virions may allow us to rationally design effective strategies to prevent elimination of AAV transduced target cells by capsid specific CD8+ T cells.
Project description:Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) remains one of the most economically important infectious diseases of production animals globally. Vaccination can successfully control this disease, however, current vaccines are imperfect. They are made using chemically inactivated FMD virus (FMDV) that is produced in large-scale mammalian cell culture under high containment conditions. Here, we have expressed the FMDV capsid protein precursor (P1-2A) of strain O1 Manisa alone or with the FMDV 3C protease (3Cpro) using a "single cycle" packaged alphavirus self-replicating RNA based on Semliki Forest virus (SFV). When the FMDV P1-2A was expressed with 3Cpro then processing of the FMDV capsid precursor protein is observed within cells and the proteins assemble into empty capsid particles. The products interact with anti-FMDV antibodies in an ELISA and bind to the integrin ?v?6 (a cellular receptor for FMDV). In cattle vaccinated with these rSFV-FMDV vectors alone, anti-FMDV antibodies were elicited but the immune response was insufficient to give protection against FMDV challenge. However, the prior vaccination with these vectors resulted in a much stronger immune response against FMDV post-challenge and the viremia observed was decreased in level and duration. In subsequent experiments, cattle were sequentially vaccinated with a rSFV-FMDV followed by recombinant FMDV empty capsid particles, or vice versa, prior to challenge. Animals given a primary vaccination with the rSFV-FMDV vector and then boosted with FMDV empty capsids showed a strong anti-FMDV antibody response prior to challenge, they were protected against disease and no FMDV RNA was detected in their sera post-challenge. Initial inoculation with empty capsids followed by the rSFV-FMDV was much less effective at combating the FMDV challenge and a large post-challenge boost to the level of anti-FMDV antibodies was observed. This prime-boost system, using reagents that can be generated outside of high-containment facilities, offers significant advantages to achieve control of FMD by vaccination.
Project description:The assembly of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) requires the cleavage of the P12A polyprotein into individual structural proteins by protease 3C. In this study, we constructed a recombinant baculovirus that simultaneously expressed the genes for the P12A and 3C proteins of Asia I FMDV from individual promoters. The capsid proteins expressed in High Five insect cells were processed by viral 3C protease, as shown by Western blotting, and were antigenic, as revealed by their reactivity in an indirect sandwich-ELISA, and by immunofluorescent assay. The empty capsid-like particles were similar to authentic 75S empty capsids from FMDV in terms of their shape, size and sedimentation velocity, as demonstrated by sucrose gradient centrifugation. Both empty capsid-like particles and some small-sized particles (about 10nm in diameter) were also observed using immunoelectron microscopy. Furthermore, the empty capsid-like particles or intermediates induced high levels of FMDV-specific antibodies in guinea pigs following immunization, and neutralizing antibodies were induced in the second week after vaccination. These recombinant, non-infectious, FMDV empty capsids are potentially useful for the development of new diagnostic techniques and vaccines.
Project description:Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) initiates infection by adhering to integrin receptors on target cells, followed by cell entry and disassembly of the virion through acidification within endosomes. Mild heating of the virions also leads to irreversible dissociation into pentamers, a characteristic linked to reduced vaccine efficacy. In this study, the structural stability of intra- and inter-serotype chimeric SAT2 and SAT3 virus particles to various conditions including low pH, mild temperatures or high ionic strength, was compared. Our results demonstrated that while both the SAT2 and SAT3 infectious capsids displayed different sensitivities in a series of low pH buffers, their stability profiles were comparable at high temperatures or high ionic strength conditions. Recombinant vSAT2 and intra-serotype chimeric viruses were used to map the amino acid differences in the capsid proteins of viruses with disparate low pH stabilities. Four His residues at the inter-pentamer interface were identified that change protonation states at pH 6.0. Of these, the H145 of VP3 appears to be involved in interactions with A141 in VP3 and K63 in VP2, and may be involved in orientating H142 of VP3 for interaction at the inter-pentamer interfaces.