The publication data currently available has been vetted by Vanderbilt faculty, staff, administrators and trainees. The data itself is retrieved directly from NCBI's PubMed and is automatically updated on a weekly basis to ensure accuracy and completeness.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.
West Nile virus (WNV), a member of the Flavivirus genus, is a leading cause of viral encephalitis in the United States. The development of neutralizing antibodies against the flavivirus envelope (E) protein is critical for immunity and vaccine protection. Previously identified candidate therapeutic mouse and human neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) target epitopes within the E domain III lateral ridge and the domain I-II hinge region, respectively. To explore the neutralizing antibody repertoire elicited by WNV infection for potential therapeutic application, we isolated ten mAbs from WNV-infected individuals. mAb WNV-86 neutralized WNV with a 50% inhibitory concentration of 2 ng ml, one of the most potently neutralizing flavivirus-specific antibodies ever isolated. WNV-86 targets an epitope in E domain II, and preferentially recognizes mature virions lacking an uncleaved form of the chaperone protein prM, unlike most flavivirus-specific antibodies. In vitro selection experiments revealed a neutralization escape mechanism involving a glycan addition to E domain II. Finally, a single dose of WNV-86 administered two days post-infection protected mice from lethal WNV challenge. This study identifies a highly potent human neutralizing mAb with therapeutic potential that targets an epitope preferentially displayed on mature virions.
Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) is a mosquito-transmitted alphavirus with a high case mortality rate in humans. EEEV is a biodefence concern because of its potential for aerosol spread and the lack of existing countermeasures. Here, we identify a panel of 18 neutralizing murine monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against the EEEV E2 glycoprotein, several of which have 'elite' activity with 50 and 99% effective inhibitory concentrations (EC and EC) of less than 10 and 100 ng ml, respectively. Alanine-scanning mutagenesis and neutralization escape mapping analysis revealed epitopes for these mAbs in domains A or B of the E2 glycoprotein. A majority of the neutralizing mAbs blocked infection at a post-attachment stage, with several inhibiting viral membrane fusion. Administration of one dose of anti-EEEV mAb protected mice from lethal subcutaneous or aerosol challenge. These experiments define the mechanistic basis for neutralization by protective anti-EEEV mAbs and suggest a path forward for treatment and vaccine design.
Since their first identification 50 years ago, marburgviruses have emerged several times, with 83%-90% lethality in the largest outbreaks. Although no vaccines or therapeutics are available for human use, the human antibody MR191 provides complete protection in non-human primates when delivered several days after inoculation of a lethal marburgvirus dose. The detailed neutralization mechanism of MR191 remains outstanding. Here we present a 3.2 Å crystal structure of MR191 complexed with a trimeric marburgvirus surface glycoprotein (GP). MR191 neutralizes by occupying the conserved receptor-binding site and competing with the host receptor Niemann-Pick C1. The structure illuminates previously disordered regions of GP including the stalk, fusion loop, CXCC switch, and an N-terminal region of GP2 that wraps about the outside of GP1 to anchor a marburgvirus-specific "wing" antibody epitope. Virus escape mutations mapped far outside the MR191 receptor-binding site footprint suggest a role for these other regions in the GP quaternary structure.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Megakaryocyte-erythrocyte progenitor (MEP) cells are potential in vivo targets of dengue virus (DENV); the virus has been found associated with megakaryocytes ex vivo and platelets during DENV-induced thrombocytopenia. We report here that DENV serotype 2 (DENV2) propagates well in human nondifferentiated MEP cell lines (Meg01 and K562). In comparison to virus propagated in Vero cells, viruses from MEP cell lines had similar structure and buoyant density. However, differences in MEP-DENV2 stability and composition were suggested by distinct protein patterns in western blot analysis. Also, antibody neutralization of envelope domain I/II on MEP-DENV2 was reduced relative to that on Vero-DENV2. Infectious DENV2 was produced at comparable kinetics and magnitude in MEP and Vero cells. However, fewer virion structures appeared in electron micrographs of MEP cells. We propose that DENV2 infects and produces virus efficiently in megakaryocytes and that megakaryocyte impairment might contribute to dengue disease pathogenesis.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
UNLABELLED - Recent experiments suggest that some glycoprotein (GP)-specific monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) can protect experimental animals against the filovirus Ebola virus (EBOV). There is a need for isolation of MAbs capable of neutralizing multiple filoviruses. Antibody neutralization assays for filoviruses frequently use surrogate systems such as the rhabdovirus vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus (VSV), lentiviruses or gammaretroviruses with their envelope proteins replaced with EBOV GP or pseudotyped with EBOV GP. It is optimal for both screening and in-depth characterization of newly identified neutralizing MAbs to generate recombinant filoviruses that express a reporter fluorescent protein in order to more easily monitor and quantify the infection. Our study showed that unlike neutralization-sensitive chimeric VSV, authentic filoviruses are highly resistant to neutralization by MAbs. We used reverse genetics techniques to replace EBOV GP with its counterpart from the heterologous filoviruses Bundibugyo virus (BDBV), Sudan virus, and even Marburg virus and Lloviu virus, which belong to the heterologous genera in the filovirus family. This work resulted in generation of multiple chimeric filoviruses, demonstrating the ability of filoviruses to tolerate swapping of the envelope protein. The sensitivity of chimeric filoviruses to neutralizing MAbs was similar to that of authentic biologically derived filoviruses with the same GP. Moreover, disabling the expression of the secreted GP (sGP) resulted in an increased susceptibility of an engineered virus to the BDBV52 MAb isolated from a BDBV survivor, suggesting a role for sGP in evasion of antibody neutralization in the context of a human filovirus infection.
IMPORTANCE - The study demonstrated that chimeric rhabdoviruses in which G protein is replaced with filovirus GP, widely used as surrogate targets for characterization of filovirus neutralizing antibodies, do not accurately predict the ability of antibodies to neutralize authentic filoviruses, which appeared to be resistant to neutralization. However, a recombinant EBOV expressing a fluorescent protein tolerated swapping of GP with counterparts from heterologous filoviruses, allowing high-throughput screening of B cell lines to isolate MAbs of any filovirus specificity. Human MAb BDBV52, which was isolated from a survivor of BDBV infection, was capable of partially neutralizing a chimeric EBOV carrying BDBV GP in which expression of sGP was disabled. In contrast, the parental virus expressing sGP was resistant to the MAb. Thus, the ability of filoviruses to tolerate swapping of GP can be used for identification of neutralizing MAbs specific to any filovirus and for the characterization of MAb specificity and mechanism of action.
Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Dengue virus is a major global health threat and can lead to life-threatening hemorrhagic complications due to immune activation and cytokine production. Cross-reactive antibodies to an earlier dengue virus infection are a recognized risk factor for severe disease. These antibodies bind heterologous dengue serotypes and enhance infection into Fc-receptor-bearing cells, a process known as antibody-dependent enhancement of infection. One crucial cytokine seen elevated in severe dengue patients is IL-1β, a potent inflammatory cytokine matured by the inflammasome. We used a highly-physiologic system by studying antibody-dependent enhancement of IL-1β in primary human monocytes with anti-dengue human monoclonal antibodies isolated from patients. Antibody-enhancement increased viral replication in primary human monocytes inoculated with supernatant harvested from Vero cells infected with dengue virus serotype 2 (DENV-2) 16681. Surprisingly, IL-1β secretion induced by infectious supernatant harvested from two independent Vero cell lines was not enhanced by antibody. Secretion of multiple other inflammatory cytokines was also independent of antibody signaling. However, IL-1β secretion did require NLRP3 and caspase-1 activity. Immunodepletion of dengue virions from the infectious supernatant confirmed that virus was not the main IL-1β-inducing agent, suggesting that a supernatant component(s) not associated with the virion induced IL-1β production. We excluded RNA, DNA, contaminating LPS, viral NS1 protein, complement, and cytokines. In contrast, purified Vero-derived DENV-2 16681 exhibited antibody-enhancement of both infection and IL-1β induction. Furthermore, C6/36 mosquito cells did not produce such an inflammatory component, as crude supernatant harvested from insect cells infected with DENV-2 16681 induced antibody-dependent IL-1β secretion. This study indicates that Vero cells infected with DENV-2 16681 may produce inflammatory components during dengue virus propagation that mask the virus-specific immune response. Thus, the choice of host cell and viral purity should be carefully considered, while insect-derived virus represents a system that elicits antibody-dependent cytokine responses to dengue virus with fewer confounding issues.
UNLABELLED - Mammalian orthoreoviruses (reoviruses) are nonenveloped double-stranded RNA viruses that infect most mammalian species, including humans. Reovirus binds to cell surface glycans, junctional adhesion molecule A (JAM-A), and the Nogo-1 receptor (depending on the cell type) and enters cells by receptor-mediated endocytosis. Within the endocytic compartment, reovirus undergoes stepwise disassembly, which is followed by release of the transcriptionally active viral core into the cytoplasm. In a small-molecule screen to identify host mediators of reovirus infection, we found that treatment of cells with 5-nonyloxytryptamine (5-NT), a prototype serotonin receptor agonist, diminished reovirus cytotoxicity. 5-NT also blocked reovirus infection. In contrast, treatment of cells with methiothepin mesylate, a serotonin antagonist, enhanced infection by reovirus. 5-NT did not alter cell surface expression of JAM-A or attachment of reovirus to cells. However, 5-NT altered the distribution of early endosomes with a concomitant impairment of reovirus transit to late endosomes and a delay in reovirus disassembly. Consistent with an inhibition of viral disassembly, 5-NT treatment did not alter infection by in vitro-generated infectious subvirion particles, which bind to JAM-A but bypass a requirement for proteolytic uncoating in endosomes to infect cells. We also found that treatment of cells with 5-NT decreased the infectivity of alphavirus chikungunya virus and coronavirus mouse hepatitis virus. These data suggest that serotonin receptor signaling influences cellular activities that regulate entry of diverse virus families and provides a new, potentially broad-spectrum target for antiviral drug development.
IMPORTANCE - Identification of well-characterized small molecules that modulate viral infection can accelerate development of antiviral therapeutics while also providing new tools to increase our understanding of the cellular processes that underlie virus-mediated cell injury. We conducted a small-molecule screen to identify compounds capable of inhibiting cytotoxicity caused by reovirus, a prototype double-stranded RNA virus. We found that 5-nonyloxytryptamine (5-NT) impairs reovirus infection by altering viral transport during cell entry. Remarkably, 5-NT also inhibits infection by an alphavirus and a coronavirus. The antiviral properties of 5-NT suggest that serotonin receptor signaling is an important regulator of infection by diverse virus families and illuminate a potential new drug target.
Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Toxemia can develop in Clostridium difficile-infected animals, and correlates with severe and fulminant disease outcomes. Circumstantial evidence suggests that toxemia may occur in patients with C. difficile infection (CDI), but positive diagnosis is extremely rare. We analyzed the potential for C. difficile toxemia in patients, determined its characteristics, and assessed challenges. C. difficile toxins in serum from patients were tested using an ultrasensitive cell-based assay and further confirmed by Rac1 glucosylation assay. The factors that hinder a diagnosis of toxemia were assessed, including investigation of toxin stability, the level of toxins-specific neutralizing antibodies in sera and its effect on diagnosis limits. CDI patients develop detectable toxemia in some cases (2.3%). Toxins were relatively stable in stored sera. Neutralizing anti-toxin antibodies were present during infection and positively correlated with the diagnosis limits. Thus, the masking effect of toxin-specific neutralizing antibodies is the major obstacle in diagnosing C. difficile toxemia using cell-based bioassays.
Dengue virus (DENV) infects ~400 million people annually. There is no licensed vaccine or therapeutic drug. Only a small fraction of the total DENV-specific antibodies in a naturally occurring dengue infection consists of highly neutralizing antibodies. Here we show that the DENV-specific human monoclonal antibody 5J7 is exceptionally potent, neutralizing 50% of virus at nanogram-range antibody concentration. The 9 Å resolution cryo-electron microscopy structure of the Fab 5J7-DENV complex shows that a single Fab molecule binds across three envelope proteins and engages three functionally important domains, each from a different envelope protein. These domains are critical for receptor binding and fusion to the endosomal membrane. The ability to bind to multiple domains allows the antibody to fully coat the virus surface with only 60 copies of Fab, that is, half the amount compared with other potent antibodies. Our study reveals a highly efficient and unusual mechanism of molecular recognition by an antibody.
UNLABELLED - Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a reemerging arbovirus responsible for outbreaks of infection throughout Asia and Africa, causing an acute illness characterized by fever, rash, and polyarthralgia. Although CHIKV infects a broad range of host cells, little is known about how CHIKV binds and gains access to the target cell interior. In this study, we tested whether glycosaminoglycan (GAG) binding is required for efficient CHIKV replication using CHIKV vaccine strain 181/25 and clinical isolate SL15649. Preincubation of strain 181/25, but not SL15649, with soluble GAGs resulted in dose-dependent inhibition of infection. While parental Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells are permissive for both strains, neither strain efficiently bound to or infected mutant CHO cells devoid of GAG expression. Although GAGs appear to be required for efficient binding of both strains, they exhibit differential requirements for GAGs, as SL15649 readily infected cells that express excess chondroitin sulfate but that are devoid of heparan sulfate, whereas 181/25 did not. We generated a panel of 181/25 and SL15649 variants containing reciprocal amino acid substitutions at positions 82 and 318 in the E2 glycoprotein. Reciprocal exchange at residue 82 resulted in a phenotype switch; Gly(82) results in efficient infection of mutant CHO cells but a decrease in heparin binding, whereas Arg(82) results in reduced infectivity of mutant cells and an increase in heparin binding. These results suggest that E2 residue 82 is a primary determinant of GAG utilization, which likely mediates attenuation of vaccine strain 181/25.
IMPORTANCE - Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infection causes a debilitating rheumatic disease that can persist for months to years, and yet there are no licensed vaccines or antiviral therapies. Like other alphaviruses, CHIKV displays broad tissue tropism, which is thought to be influenced by virus-receptor interactions. In this study, we determined that cell-surface glycosaminoglycans are utilized by both a vaccine strain and a clinical isolate of CHIKV to mediate virus binding. We also identified an amino acid polymorphism in the viral E2 attachment protein that influences utilization of glycosaminoglycans. These data enhance an understanding of the viral and host determinants of CHIKV cell entry, which may foster development of new antivirals that act by blocking this key step in viral infection.