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#27974570   2016/12/15 Save this To Up

Channel-Inactivating Mutations and Their Revertant Mutants in the Envelope Protein of Infectious Bronchitis Virus.

It has been shown previously in the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) that two point mutations, N15A and V25F, in the transmembrane domain (TMD) of the envelope (E) protein abolished channel activity and led to in vivo attenuation. Pathogenicity was recovered in mutants that also regained E protein channel activity. In particular, V25F was rapidly compensated by changes at multiple V25F-facing TMD residues located on a neighboring monomer, consistent with a recovery of oligomerization. Here, we show using infected cells that the same mutations, T16A and A26F, in the gamma-CoV infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) lead to, in principle, similar results. However, IBV E A26F did not abolish oligomer formation and was compensated by mutations at N- and C-terminal extramembrane domains (EMDs). The C-terminal EMD mutations clustered along an insertion sequence specific to gamma-CoVs. Nuclear magnetic resonance data are consistent with the presence of only one TMD in IBV E, suggesting that recovery of channel activity and fitness in these IBV E revertant mutants is through an allosteric interaction between EMDs and TMD. The present results are important for the development of IBV live attenuated vaccines when channel-inactivating mutations are introduced in the E protein.IMPORTANCE The ion channel activity of SARS-CoV E protein is a determinant of virulence, and abolishment of channel activity leads to viral attenuation. E deletion may be a strategy for generating live attenuated vaccines but can trigger undesirable compensatory mechanisms through modifications of other viral proteins to regain virulence. Therefore, a more suitable approach may be to introduce small but critical attenuating mutations. For this, the stability of attenuating mutations should be examined to understand the mechanisms of reversion. Here, we show that channel-inactivating mutations of the avian infectious bronchitis virus E protein introduced in a recombinant virus system are deficient in viral release and fitness and that revertant mutations also restored channel activity. Unexpectedly, most of the revertant mutations appeared at extramembrane domains, particularly along an insertion specific for gammacoronaviruses. Our structural data propose a single transmembrane domain in IBV E, suggesting an allosteric interaction between extramembrane and transmembrane domains.

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#25122212   2014/08/15 Save this To Up

The PDZ-binding motif of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus envelope protein is a determinant of viral pathogenesis.

A recombinant severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) lacking the envelope (E) protein is attenuated in vivo. Here we report that E protein PDZ-binding motif (PBM), a domain involved in protein-protein interactions, is a major determinant of virulence. Elimination of SARS-CoV E protein PBM by using reverse genetics caused a reduction in the deleterious exacerbation of the immune response triggered during infection with the parental virus and virus attenuation. Cellular protein syntenin was identified to bind the E protein PBM during SARS-CoV infection by using three complementary strategies, yeast two-hybrid, reciprocal coimmunoprecipitation and confocal microscopy assays. Syntenin redistributed from the nucleus to the cell cytoplasm during infection with viruses containing the E protein PBM, activating p38 MAPK and leading to the overexpression of inflammatory cytokines. Silencing of syntenin using siRNAs led to a decrease in p38 MAPK activation in SARS-CoV infected cells, further reinforcing their functional relationship. Active p38 MAPK was reduced in lungs of mice infected with SARS-CoVs lacking E protein PBM as compared with the parental virus, leading to a decreased expression of inflammatory cytokines and to virus attenuation. Interestingly, administration of a p38 MAPK inhibitor led to an increase in mice survival after infection with SARS-CoV, confirming the relevance of this pathway in SARS-CoV virulence. Therefore, the E protein PBM is a virulence domain that activates immunopathology most likely by using syntenin as a mediator of p38 MAPK induced inflammation.

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#24788150   2014/05/05 Save this To Up

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus envelope protein ion channel activity promotes virus fitness and pathogenesis.

Deletion of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) envelope (E) gene attenuates the virus. E gene encodes a small multifunctional protein that possesses ion channel (IC) activity, an important function in virus-host interaction. To test the contribution of E protein IC activity in virus pathogenesis, two recombinant mouse-adapted SARS-CoVs, each containing one single amino acid mutation that suppressed ion conductivity, were engineered. After serial infections, mutant viruses, in general, incorporated compensatory mutations within E gene that rendered active ion channels. Furthermore, IC activity conferred better fitness in competition assays, suggesting that ion conductivity represents an advantage for the virus. Interestingly, mice infected with viruses displaying E protein IC activity, either with the wild-type E protein sequence or with the revertants that restored ion transport, rapidly lost weight and died. In contrast, mice infected with mutants lacking IC activity, which did not incorporate mutations within E gene during the experiment, recovered from disease and most survived. Knocking down E protein IC activity did not significantly affect virus growth in infected mice but decreased edema accumulation, the major determinant of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) leading to death. Reduced edema correlated with lung epithelia integrity and proper localization of Na+/K+ ATPase, which participates in edema resolution. Levels of inflammasome-activated IL-1β were reduced in the lung airways of the animals infected with viruses lacking E protein IC activity, indicating that E protein IC function is required for inflammasome activation. Reduction of IL-1β was accompanied by diminished amounts of TNF and IL-6 in the absence of E protein ion conductivity. All these key cytokines promote the progression of lung damage and ARDS pathology. In conclusion, E protein IC activity represents a new determinant for SARS-CoV virulence.

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#24668816   2014/05/05 Save this To Up

Structure of a conserved Golgi complex-targeting signal in coronavirus envelope proteins.

Coronavirus envelope (CoV E) proteins are ∼100-residue polypeptides with at least one channel-forming α-helical transmembrane (TM) domain. The extramembrane C-terminal tail contains a completely conserved proline, at the center of a predicted β-coil-β motif. This hydrophobic motif has been reported to constitute a Golgi-targeting signal or a second TM domain. However, no structural data for this or other extramembrane domains in CoV E proteins is available. Herein, we show that the E protein in the severe acute respiratory syndrome virus has only one TM domain in micelles, whereas the predicted β-coil-β motif forms a short membrane-bound α-helix connected by a disordered loop to the TM domain. However, complementary results suggest that this motif is potentially poised for conformational change or in dynamic exchange with other conformations.

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#23788638   2013/08/05 Save this To Up

Solution NMR analyses of the C-type carbohydrate recognition domain of DC-SIGNR protein reveal different binding modes for HIV-derived oligosaccharides and smaller glycan fragments.

The C-type lectin DC-SIGNR (dendritic cell-specific ICAM-3-grabbing non-integrin-related; also known as L-SIGN or CD299) is a promising drug target due to its ability to promote infection and/or within-host survival of several dangerous pathogens (e.g. HIV and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS)) via interactions with their surface glycans. Crystallography has provided excellent insight into the mechanism by which DC-SIGNR interacts with small glycans, such as (GlcNAc)2Man3; however, direct observation of complexes with larger, physiological oligosaccharides, such as Man9GlcNAc2, remains elusive. We have utilized solution-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to investigate DC-SIGNR binding and herein report the first backbone assignment of its active, calcium-bound carbohydrate recognition domain. Direct interactions with the small sugar fragments Man3, Man5, and (GlcNAc)2Man3 were investigated alongside Man9GlcNAc derived from recombinant gp120 (present on the HIV viral envelope), providing the first structural data for DC-SIGNR in complex with a virus-associated ligand, and unique binding modes were observed for each glycan. In particular, our data show that DC-SIGNR has a different binding mode for glycans on the HIV viral envelope compared with the smaller glycans previously observed in the crystalline state. This suggests that using the binding mode of Man9GlcNAc, instead of those of small glycans, may provide a platform for the design of DC-SIGNR inhibitors selective for high mannose glycans (like those on HIV). (15)N relaxation measurements provided the first information on the dynamics of the carbohydrate recognition domain, demonstrating that it is a highly flexible domain that undergoes ligand-induced conformational and dynamic changes that may explain the ability of DC-SIGNR to accommodate a range of glycans on viral surfaces.

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#23628137   2013/06/14 Save this To Up

Negatively charged residues in the endodomain are critical for specific assembly of spike protein into murine coronavirus.

Coronavirus spike (S) protein assembles into virions via its carboxy-terminus, which is composed of a transmembrane domain and an endodomain. Here, the carboxy-terminal charge-rich motif in the endodomain was verified to be critical for the specificity of S assembly into mouse hepatitis virus (MHV). Recombinant MHVs exhibited a range of abilities to accommodate the homologous S endodomains from the betacoronaviruses bovine coronavirus and human SARS-associated coronavirus, the alphacoronavirus porcine transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV), and the gammacoronavirus avian infectious bronchitis virus respectively. Interestingly, in TGEV endodomain chimeras the reverting mutations resulted in stronger S incorporation into virions, and a net gain of negatively charged residues in the charge-rich motif accounted for the improvement. Additionally, MHV S assembly could also be rescued by the acidic carboxy-terminal domain of the nucleocapsid protein. These results indicate an important role for negatively charged endodomain residues in the incorporation of MHV S protein into assembled virions.

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#23576515   2013/05/29 Save this To Up

Complete protection against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-mediated lethal respiratory disease in aged mice by immunization with a mouse-adapted virus lacking E protein.

Zoonotic coronaviruses, including the one that caused severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), cause significant morbidity and mortality in humans. No specific therapy for any human coronavirus is available, making vaccine development critical for protection against these viruses. We previously showed that recombinant SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) (Urbani strain based) lacking envelope (E) protein expression (rU-ΔE) provided good but not perfect protection in young mice against challenge with virulent mouse-adapted SARS-CoV (MA15). To improve vaccine efficacy, we developed a second set of E-deleted vaccine candidates on an MA15 background (rMA15-ΔE). rMA15-ΔE is safe, causing no disease in 6-week-, 12-month-, or 18-month-old BALB/c mice. Immunization with this virus completely protected mice of three ages from lethal disease and effected more-rapid virus clearance. Compared to rU-ΔE, rMA15-ΔE immunization resulted in significantly greater neutralizing antibody and SARS-CoV-specific CD4 and CD8 T cell responses. After challenge, inflammatory cell infiltration, edema, and lung destruction were decreased in the lungs of rMA15-ΔE-immunized mice compared to those in rU-ΔE-immunized 12-month-old mice. Collectively, these results show that immunization with a species-adapted attenuated coronavirus lacking E protein expression is safe and provides optimal immunogenicity and long-term protection against challenge with lethal virus. This approach will be generally useful for development of vaccines protective against human coronaviruses as well as against coronaviruses that cause disease in domestic and companion animals.

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#23573979   2013/04/11 Save this To Up

Immunogenicity and protection efficacy of monomeric and trimeric recombinant SARS coronavirus spike protein subunit vaccine candidates.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a newly emerging infectious disease, and an effective vaccine is not available. In this study, we compared the immunogenicity and protection efficacy of recombinant proteins corresponding to different domains of the SARS-coronavirus spike protein. Trimeric recombinant proteins were created by fusing the foldon domain derived from T4 bacteriophage to the carboxy-termini of individual domains of the spike protein. While the full-length ectodomain (S) of the spike protein, the full-length ectodomain fused to foldon (S-foldon), the S1 domain (S1), S1-foldon, and the S2 domain(S2) antigens all elicited comparable antibody titers as measured by ELISA, S-foldon induced a significantly higher titer of neutralizing antibody and S2 protein did not elicit virus neutralizing antibodies. When tested in a mouse virus replication model, all the mice vaccinated with the S1, S1-foldon, S, or S-foldon were completely protected.

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#23252385   2012/12/20 Save this To Up

Roadmap to developing a recombinant coronavirus S protein receptor-binding domain vaccine for severe acute respiratory syndrome.

A subunit vaccine, RBD-S, is under development to prevent severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) caused by SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV), which is classified by the US NIH as a category C pathogen. This vaccine is comprised of a recombinant receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV spike (S) protein and formulated on alum, together with a synthetic glucopyranosyl lipid A. The vaccine would induce neutralizing antibodies without causing Th2-type immunopathology. Vaccine development is being led by the nonprofit product development partnership; Sabin Vaccine Institute and Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development in collaboration with two academic partners (the New York Blood Center and University of Texas Medical Branch); an industrial partner (Immune Design Corporation); and Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. A roadmap for the product development of the RBD-S SARS vaccine is outlined with a goal to manufacture the vaccine for clinical testing within the next 5 years.

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#23185609   2012/11/27 Save this To Up

Human monoclonal antibodies against highly conserved HR1 and HR2 domains of the SARS-CoV spike protein are more broadly neutralizing.

Immune sera from convalescent patients have been shown to be effective in the treatment of patients infected with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Virus (SARS-CoV) making passive immune therapy with human monoclonal antibodies an attractive treatment strategy for SARS. Previously, using Xenomouse (Amgen British Columbia Inc), we produced a panel of neutralizing Human monoclonal antibodies (HmAbs) that could specifically bind to the ectodomain of the SARS-CoV spike (S) glycoprotein. Some of the HmAbs were S1 domain specific, while some were not. In this study, we describe non-S1 binding neutralizing HmAbs that can specifically bind to the conserved S2 domain of the S protein. However, unlike the S1 specific HmAbs, the S2 specific HmAbs can neutralize pseudotyped viruses expressing different S proteins containing receptor binding domain sequences of various clinical isolates. These data indicate that HmAbs which bind to conserved regions of the S protein are more suitable for conferring protection against a wide range of SARS-CoV variants and have implications for generating therapeutic antibodies or subunit vaccines against other enveloped viruses.

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