Conformational plasticity of the VEEV macro domain is important for binding of ADP-ribose.
ABSTRACT: Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) is a new world alphavirus which can be involved in several central nervous system disorders such as encephalitis and meningitis. The VEEV genome codes for 4 non-structural proteins (nsP), of which nsP3 contains a Macro domain. Macro domains (MD) can be found as stand-alone proteins or embedded within larger proteins in viruses, bacteria and eukaryotes. Their most common feature is the binding of ADP-ribose (ADPr), while several macro domains act as ribosylation writers, erasers or readers. Alphavirus MD erase ribosylation but their precise contribution in viral replication is still under investigation. NMR-driven titration experiments of ADPr in solution with the VEEV macro domain (in apo- and complex state) show that it adopts a suitable conformation for ADPr binding. Specific experiments indicate that the flexibility of the loops ?5-?3 and ?3-?6 is critical for formation of the complex and assists a wrapping mechanism for ADPr binding. Furthermore, along with this sequence of events, the VEEV MD undergoes a conformational exchange process between the apo state and a low-populated "dark" conformational state.
Project description:Alphaviruses present serious health threats as emerging and re-emerging viruses. Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV), a New World alphavirus, can cause encephalitis in humans and horses, but there are no therapeutics for treatment. To date, compounds reported as anti-VEEV or anti-alphavirus inhibitors have shown moderate activity. To discover new classes of anti-VEEV inhibitors with novel viral targets, we used a high-throughput screen based on the measurement of cell protection from live VEEV TC-83-induced cytopathic effect to screen a 340,000 compound library. Of those, we identified five novel anti-VEEV compounds and chose a quinazolinone compound, CID15997213 (IC50?=?0.84 µM), for further characterization. The antiviral effect of CID15997213 was alphavirus-specific, inhibiting VEEV and Western equine encephalitis virus, but not Eastern equine encephalitis virus. In vitro assays confirmed inhibition of viral RNA, protein, and progeny synthesis. No antiviral activity was detected against a select group of RNA viruses. We found mutations conferring the resistance to the compound in the N-terminal domain of nsP2 and confirmed the target residues using a reverse genetic approach. Time of addition studies showed that the compound inhibits the middle stage of replication when viral genome replication is most active. In mice, the compound showed complete protection from lethal VEEV disease at 50 mg/kg/day. Collectively, these results reveal a potent anti-VEEV compound that uniquely targets the viral nsP2 N-terminal domain. While the function of nsP2 has yet to be characterized, our studies suggest that the protein might play a critical role in viral replication, and further, may represent an innovative opportunity to develop therapeutic interventions for alphavirus infection.
Project description:Alphaviruses are serious, sometimes lethal human pathogens that belong to the family Togaviridae. The structures of human Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV), an alphavirus, in complex with two strongly neutralizing antibody Fab fragments (F5 and 3B4C-4) have been determined using a combination of cryo-electron microscopy and homology modeling. We characterize these monoclonal antibody Fab fragments, which are known to abrogate VEEV infectivity by binding to the E2 (envelope) surface glycoprotein. Both of these antibody Fab fragments cross-link the surface E2 glycoproteins and therefore probably inhibit infectivity by blocking the conformational changes that are required for making the virus fusogenic. The F5 Fab fragment cross-links E2 proteins within one trimeric spike, whereas the 3B4C-4 Fab fragment cross-links E2 proteins from neighboring spikes. Furthermore, F5 probably blocks the receptor-binding site, whereas 3B4C-4 sterically hinders the exposure of the fusion loop at the end of the E2 B-domain.Alphaviral infections are transmitted mainly by mosquitoes. Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) is an alphavirus with a wide distribution across the globe. No effective vaccines exist for alphaviral infections. Therefore, a better understanding of VEEV and its associated neutralizing antibodies will help with the development of effective drugs and vaccines.
Project description:Alphaviruses are (re-)emerging arboviruses of public health concern. The nsP3 gene product is one of the key players during viral replication. NsP3 comprises three domains: a macro domain, a zinc-binding domain and a hypervariable region. The macro domain is essential at both early and late stages of the replication cycle through ADP-ribose (ADPr) binding and de-ADP-ribosylation of host proteins. However, both its specific role and the precise molecular mechanism of de-ADP-ribosylation across specific viral families remains to be elucidated. Here we investigate by X-ray crystallography the mechanism of ADPr reactivity in the active site of Getah virus macro domain, which displays a peculiar substitution of one of the conserved residues in the catalytic loop. ADPr adopts distinct poses including a covalent bond between the C''1 of the ADPr and a conserved Togaviridae-specific cysteine. These different poses observed for ADPr may represent snapshots of the de-ADP-ribosylation mechanism, highlighting residues to be further characterised.
Project description:While studying respiratory infections in Peru, we identified Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) in a nasopharyngeal swab, indicating that this alphavirus can be present in human respiratory secretions. Because VEEV may be infectious when aerosolized, our finding is relevant for the management of VEEV-infected patients and for VEEV transmission studies.
Project description:Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV), a member of the membrane-containing Alphavirus genus, is a human and equine pathogen, and has been developed as a biological weapon. Using electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM), we determined the structure of an attenuated vaccine strain, TC-83, of VEEV to 4.4 Å resolution. Our density map clearly resolves regions (including E1, E2 transmembrane helices and cytoplasmic tails) that were missing in the crystal structures of domains of alphavirus subunits. These new features are implicated in the fusion, assembly and budding processes of alphaviruses. Furthermore, our map reveals the unexpected E3 protein, which is cleaved and generally thought to be absent in the mature VEEV. Our structural results suggest a mechanism for the initial stage of nucleocapsid core formation, and shed light on the virulence attenuation, host recognition and neutralizing activities of VEEV and other alphavirus pathogens.
Project description:Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) is an alphavirus in the family Togaviridae. VEEV is highly infectious in aerosol form and a known bio-warfare agent that can cause severe encephalitis in humans. Periodic outbreaks of VEEV occur predominantly in Central and South America. Increased interest in VEEV has resulted in a more thorough understanding of the pathogenesis of this disease. Inflammation plays a paradoxical role of antiviral response as well as development of lethal encephalitis through an interplay between the host and viral factors that dictate virus replication. VEEV has efficient replication machinery that adapts to overcome deleterious mutations in the viral genome or improve interactions with host factors. In the last few decades there has been ongoing development of various VEEV vaccine candidates addressing the shortcomings of the current investigational new drugs or approved vaccines. We review the current understanding of the molecular basis of VEEV pathogenesis and discuss various types of vaccine candidates.
Project description:Abstract Background Human cases of Madariaga virus (MADV) infection were first detected during an outbreak in 2010 in eastern Panama, where Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) also circulates. Little is known about the long-term consequences of either alphavirus infection. Methods A follow-up study of the 2010 outbreak was undertaken in 2015. An additional survey was carried out 2 weeks after a separate 2017 alphavirus outbreak in a neighboring population in eastern Panama. Serological studies and statistical analyses were undertaken in both populations. Results Among the originally alphavirus-seronegative participants (n = 35 of 65), seroconversion was observed at a rate of 14.3% (95% CI, 4.8%–30.3%) for MADV and 8.6% (95% CI, 1.8%–23.1%) for VEEV over 5 years. Among the originally MADV-seropositive participants (n = 14 of 65), VEEV seroconversion occurred in 35.7% (95% CI, 12.8%–64.9%). In the VEEV-seropositive participants (n = 16 of 65), MADV seroconversion occurred in 6.3% (95% CI, 0.2%–30.2%). MADV seroreversion was observed in 14.3% (95% CI, 1.8%–42.8%) of those who were originally seropositive in 2010. VEEV seroconversion in the baseline MADV-seropositive participants was significantly higher than in alphavirus-negative participants. In the population sampled in 2017, MADV and VEEV seroprevalence was 13.2% and 16.8%, respectively. Memory loss, insomnia, irritability, and seizures were reported significantly more frequently in alphavirus-seropositive participants than in seronegative participants. Conclusions High rates of seroconversion to MADV and VEEV over 5 years suggest frequent circulation of both viruses in Panama. Enhanced susceptibility to VEEV infection may be conferred by MADV infection. We provide evidence of persistent neurologic symptoms up to 5 years following MADV and VEEV exposure.
Project description:Mayaro virus (MAYV), Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV), and chikungunya virus (CHIKV) are vector-borne alphaviruses that cocirculate in South America. Human infections by these viruses are frequently underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed, especially in areas with high dengue virus endemicity. Disease may progress to debilitating arthralgia (MAYV, CHIKV), encephalitis (VEEV), and death. Few standardized serological assays exist for specific human alphavirus infection detection, and antigen cross-reactivity can be problematic. Therefore, serological platforms that aid in the specific detection of multiple alphavirus infections will greatly expand disease surveillance for these emerging infections. In this study, serum samples from South American patients with PCR- and/or isolation-confirmed infections caused by MAYV, VEEV, and CHIKV were examined by using a protein microarray assembled with recombinant capsid, envelope protein 1 (E1), and E2 from nine New and Old World alphaviruses. Notably, specific antibody recognition of E1 was observed only with MAYV infections, whereas E2 was specifically targeted by antibodies from all of the alphavirus infections investigated, with evidence of cross-reactivity to E2 of o'nyong-nyong virus only in CHIKV-infected patient serum samples. Our findings suggest that alphavirus structural protein microarrays can distinguish infections caused by MAYV, VEEV, and CHIKV and that this multiplexed serological platform could be useful for high-throughput disease surveillance. IMPORTANCE Mayaro, chikungunya, and Venezuelan equine encephalitis viruses are closely related alphaviruses that are spread by mosquitos, causing diseases that produce similar influenza-like symptoms or more severe illnesses. Moreover, alphavirus infection symptoms can be similar to those of dengue or Zika disease, leading to underreporting of cases and potential misdiagnoses. New methods that can be used to detect antibody responses to multiple alphaviruses within the same assay would greatly aid disease surveillance efforts. However, possible antibody cross-reactivity between viruses can reduce the quality of laboratory results. Our results demonstrate that antibody responses to multiple alphaviruses can be specifically quantified within the same assay by using selected recombinant protein antigens and further show that Mayaro virus infections result in unique responses to viral envelope proteins.
Project description:Alphaviruses are mosquito-borne pathogens that cause human diseases ranging from debilitating arthritis to lethal encephalitis. Studies with Sindbis virus (SINV), which causes fever, rash, and arthralgia in humans, and Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV), which causes encephalitis, have identified RNA structural elements that play key roles in replication and pathogenesis. However, a complete genomic structural profile has not been established for these viruses. We used the structural probing technique SHAPE-MaP to identify structured elements within the SINV and VEEV genomes. Our SHAPE-directed structural models recapitulate known RNA structures, while also identifying novel structural elements, including a new functional element in the nsP1 region of SINV whose disruption causes a defect in infectivity. Although RNA structural elements are important for multiple aspects of alphavirus biology, we found the majority of RNA structures were not conserved between SINV and VEEV. Our data suggest that alphavirus RNA genomes are highly divergent structurally despite similar genomic architecture and sequence conservation; still, RNA structural elements are critical to the viral life cycle. These findings reframe traditional assumptions about RNA structure and evolution: rather than structures being conserved, alphaviruses frequently evolve new structures that may shape interactions with host immune systems or co-evolve with viral proteins.
Project description:The pandemic outbreak of a novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has threatened the global public health and economy since late December 2019. SARS-CoV-2 encodes the conserved macro domain within nonstructural protein 3, which may reverse cellular ADP-ribosylation and potentially cut the signal of a viral infection in the cell. Herein, we report that the SARS-CoV-2 macro domain was examined as a poly-ADP-ribose (ADPR) binding module and possessed mono-ADPR cleavage enzyme activity. After confirming the ADPR binding ability via a biophysical approach, the X-ray crystal structure of the SARS-CoV-2 macro domain was determined and structurally compared with those of other viruses. This study provides structural, biophysical, and biochemical bases to further evaluate the role of the SARS-CoV-2 macro domain in the host response via ADP-ribose binding but also as a potential target for drug design against COVID-19.