A Simple Method for the Design and Development of Flavivirus NS1 Recombinant Proteins Using an In Silico Approach.
ABSTRACT: 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:Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is a mosquito-transmitted flavivirus that is closely related to other emerging viral pathogens, including dengue virus (DENV), West Nile virus (WNV), and Zika virus (ZIKV). JEV infection can result in meningitis and encephalitis, which in severe cases cause permanent brain damage and death. JEV occurs predominantly in rural areas throughout Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and the Far East, causing around 68,000 cases of infection worldwide each year. In this report, we present a 2.1-Å-resolution crystal structure of the C-terminal ?-ladder domain of JEV nonstructural protein 1 (NS1-C). The surface charge distribution of JEV NS1-C is similar to those of WNV and ZIKV but differs from that of DENV. Analysis of the JEV NS1-C structure, with in silico molecular dynamics simulation and experimental solution small-angle X-ray scattering, indicates extensive loop flexibility on the exterior of the protein. This, together with the surface charge distribution, indicates that flexibility influences the protein-protein interactions that govern pathogenicity. These factors also affect the interaction of NS1 with the 22NS1 monoclonal antibody, which is protective against West Nile virus infection. Liposome and heparin binding assays indicate that only the N-terminal region of NS1 mediates interaction with membranes and that sulfate binding sites common to NS1 structures are not glycosaminoglycan binding interfaces. This report highlights several differences between flavivirus NS1 proteins and contributes to our understanding of their structure-pathogenic function relationships.IMPORTANCE JEV is a major cause of viral encephalitis in Asia. Despite extensive vaccination, epidemics still occur. Nonstructural protein 1 (NS1) plays a role in viral replication, and, because it is secreted, it can exhibit a wide range of interactions with host proteins. NS1 sequence and protein folds are conserved within the Flavivirus genus, but variations in NS1 protein-protein interactions among viruses likely contribute to differences in pathogenesis. Here, we compared characteristics of the C-terminal ?-ladder domain of NS1 between flaviviruses, including surface charge, loop flexibility, epitope cross-reactivity, membrane adherence, and glycosaminoglycan binding. These structural features are central to NS1 functionality and may provide insight into the development of diagnostic tests and therapeutics.
Project description:The explosive spread of Zika virus (ZIKV) and associated complications in flavivirus-endemic regions underscore the need for sensitive and specific serodiagnostic tests to distinguish ZIKV, dengue virus (DENV) and other flavivirus infections. Compared with traditional envelope protein-based assays, several nonstructural protein 1 (NS1)-based assays showed improved specificity, however, none can detect and discriminate three flaviviruses in a single assay. Moreover, secondary DENV infection and ZIKV infection with previous DENV infection, both common in endemic regions, cannot be discriminated. In this study, we developed a high-throughput and multiplex IgG microsphere immunoassay (MIA) using the NS1 proteins of DENV1-DENV4, ZIKV and West Nile virus (WNV) to test samples from reverse-transcription-polymerase-chain reaction-confirmed cases, including primary DENV1, DENV2, DENV3, WNV and ZIKV infections, secondary DENV infection, and ZIKV infection with previous DENV infection. Combination of four DENV NS1 IgG MIAs revealed a sensitivity of 94.3% and specificity of 97.2% to detect DENV infection. The ZIKV and WNV NS1 IgG MIAs had a sensitivity/specificity of 100%/87.9% and 86.1%/78.4%, respectively. A positive correlation was found between the readouts of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and MIA for different NS1 tested. Based on the ratio of relative median fluorescence intensity of ZIKV NS1 to DENV1 NS1, the IgG MIA can distinguish ZIKV infection with previous DENV infection and secondary DENV infection with a sensitivity of 88.9-90.0% and specificity of 91.7-100.0%. The multiplex and high-throughput assay could be applied to serodiagnosis and serosurveillance of DENV, ZIKV and WNV infections in endemic regions.
Project description:Dengue viruses (DENV) cause countless human deaths each year, whilst West Nile virus (WNV) has re-emerged as an important human pathogen. There are currently no WNV or DENV vaccines licensed for human use, yet vaccines exist against other flaviviruses. To investigate flavivirus cross-reactivity, sera from a human cohort with a history of vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) and yellow fever virus (YFV) were tested for antibodies by plaque reduction neutralization test. Neutralization of louping ill virus (LIV) occurred, but no significant neutralization of Murray Valley encephalitis virus was observed. Sera from some individuals vaccinated against TBEV and JEV neutralized WNV, which was enhanced by YFV vaccination in some recipients. Similarly, some individuals neutralized DENV-2, but this was not significantly influenced by YFV vaccination. Antigenic cartography techniques were used to generate a geometric illustration of the neutralization titres of selected sera against WNV, TBEV, JEV, LIV, YFV and DENV-2. This demonstrated the individual variation in antibody responses. Most sera had detectable titres against LIV and some had titres against WNV and DENV-2. Generally, LIV titres were similar to titres against TBEV, confirming the close antigenic relationship between TBEV and LIV. JEV was also antigenically closer to TBEV than WNV, using these sera. The use of sera from individuals vaccinated against multiple pathogens is unique relative to previous applications of antigenic cartography techniques. It is evident from these data that notable differences exist between amino acid sequence identity and mapped antigenic relationships within the family Flaviviridae.
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) 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:Current diagnosis of human flaviviral infections relies heavily on serological techniques such as the immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (MAC-ELISA). Broad application of this assay is hindered by a lack of standardized human positive-control sera that react with the wide variety of flaviviruses that can cause human disease, e.g., dengue virus (DENV), West Nile virus (WNV), yellow fever virus (YFV), Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), and St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV). We have created a human-murine chimeric antibody combining the variable regions of the broadly flavivirus cross-reactive murine monoclonal antibody (MAb) 6B6C-1 and the constant region of human IgM to produce a standardized reagent capable of replacing human positive-control sera in a MAC-ELISA for the diagnosis of all human flaviviral infections. The human-murine chimeric IgM antibody secreted from plasmid-transformed Sp2/0-Ag14 cells had a level of serological activity identical to that of 6B6C-1 as measured by ELISA, immunoblotting, and MAC-ELISA for multiple members of the flavivirus genus, including WNV, SLEV, YFV, DENV, and JEV.
Project description:IgM antibody- and IgG antibody-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (MAC/GAC-ELISAs) targeted at envelope protein (E) of dengue viruses (DENV), West Nile virus, and Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) are widely used as serodiagnostic tests for presumptive confirmation of viral infection. Antibodies directed against the flavivirus nonstructural protein 1 (NS1) have been proposed as serological markers of natural infections among vaccinated populations. The aim of the current study is to optimize an IgM and IgG antibody-capture ELISA (MAC/GAC-ELISA) to detect anti-NS1 antibodies and compare it with anti-E MAC/GAC-ELISA. Plasmids to express premembrane/envelope (prM/E) or NS1 proteins of six medically important flaviviruses, including dengue viruses (DENV-1 to DENV-4), West Nile virus (WNV), and Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), were constructed. These plasmids were used for the production of prM/E-containing virus-like particles (VLPs) and secreted NS1 (sNS1) from COS-1 cells. Archived clinical specimens from patients with confirmed DENV, JEV, and WNV infections, along with naive sera, were subjected to NS1-MAC/GAC-ELISAs before or after depletion of anti-prM/E antibodies by preabsorption with or without VLPs. Human serum specimens from previously confirmed DENV infections showed significantly enhanced positive-to-negative (P/N) ratios for NS1-MAC/GAC-ELISAs after the depletion of anti-prM/E antibodies. No statistical differences in sensitivities and specificities were found between the newly developed NS1- and VLP-MAC/GAC-ELISAs. Further application of the assays to WNV- and JEV-infected serum panels showed similar results. A novel approach to perform MAC/GAC-ELISAs for NS1 antibody detection was successfully developed with great potential to differentiate antibodies elicited by the tetravalent chimeric yellow fever-17D/dengue vaccine or DENV infection.
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:This article aims to review the present status of anti-flavivirus subunit vaccines, both those at the experimental stage and those already available for clinical use. Aspects regarding development of vaccines to Yellow Fever virus, (YFV), Dengue virus (DENV), West Nile virus (WNV), Zika virus (ZIKV), and Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) are highlighted, with particular emphasis on purified recombinant proteins generated in bacterial cells. Currently licensed anti-flavivirus vaccines are based on inactivated, attenuated, or virus-vector vaccines. However, technological advances in the generation of recombinant antigens with preserved structural and immunological determinants reveal new possibilities for the development of recombinant protein-based vaccine formulations for clinical testing. Furthermore, novel proposals for multi-epitope vaccines and the discovery of new adjuvants and delivery systems that enhance and/or modulate immune responses can pave the way for the development of successful subunit vaccines. Nonetheless, advances in this field require high investments that will probably not raise interest from private pharmaceutical companies and, therefore, will require support by international philanthropic organizations and governments of the countries more severely stricken by these viruses.
Project description: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.