An evolutionarily conserved N-terminal leucine is essential for MX1 GTPase antiviral activity against different families of RNA virusesMyxovirus resistance protein 1 (MX1) and MX2 are homologous, dynamin-like large GTPases, induced upon interferon exposure. Human MX1 (HsMX1) is known to inhibit many viruses, including influenza A virus, by likely acting at various steps of their life cycles. Despite decades of studies, the mechanism(s) of action with which MX1 proteins manage to inhibit target viruses is not fully understood. MX1 proteins are mechano-enzymes and share a similar organization to dynamin, with a GTPase domain and a carboxy-terminal stalk domain, connected by a bundle signaling element.
Herpes simplex virus 1 protein pUL21 alters ceramide metabolism by activating the interorganelle transport protein CERTHerpes simplex virus (HSV)-1 dramatically alters the architecture and protein composition of cellular membranes during infection, but its effects upon membrane lipid composition remain unclear. HSV-1 pUL21 is a virus-encoded protein phosphatase adaptor that promotes dephosphorylation of multiple cellular and virus proteins, including the cellular ceramide (Cer) transport protein CERT. CERT mediates nonvesicular Cer transport from the endoplasmic reticulum to the trans-Golgi network, whereupon Cer is converted to sphingomyelin (SM) and other sphingolipids that play important roles in cellular proliferation, signaling, and membrane trafficking.
Oxidative stress activates transcription of Salmonella pathogenicity island-2 genes in macrophagesThe type III secretion system encoded in the Salmonella pathogenicity island-2 (SPI-2) gene cluster facilitates intracellular growth of nontyphoidal Salmonella by interfering with the maturation of Salmonella-containing vacuoles along the degradative pathway. SPI-2 gene products also protect Salmonella against the antimicrobial activity of reactive oxygen species (ROS) synthesized by the phagocyte NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2). However, a potential relationship between inflammatory ROS and the activation of transcription of SPI-2 genes by intracellular Salmonella is unclear.
Elimination of Aicardi–Goutières syndrome protein SAMHD1 activates cellular innate immunity and suppresses SARS-CoV-2 replicationThe lack of antiviral innate immune responses during severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections is characterized by limited production of interferons (IFNs). One protein associated with Aicardi–Goutières syndrome, SAMHD1, has been shown to negatively regulate the IFN-1 signaling pathway. However, it is unclear whether elevated IFN signaling associated with genetic loss of SAMHD1 would affect SARS-CoV-2 replication. In this study, we established in vitro tissue culture model systems for SARS-CoV-2 and human coronavirus OC43 infections in which SAMHD1 protein expression was absent as a result of CRISPR–Cas9 gene KO or lentiviral viral protein X–mediated proteosomal degradation.
Effect of clinical isolate or cleavage site mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein on protein stability, cleavage, and cell–cell fusionThe trimeric severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein (S) is the sole viral protein responsible for both viral binding to a host cell and the membrane fusion event needed for cell entry. In addition to facilitating fusion needed for viral entry, S can also drive cell–cell fusion, a pathogenic effect observed in the lungs of SARS-CoV-2–infected patients. While several studies have investigated S requirements involved in viral particle entry, examination of S stability and factors involved in S cell–cell fusion remain limited.
Evaluating angiotensin-converting enzyme 2-mediated SARS-CoV-2 entry across speciesThe severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic represents a global threat, and the interaction between the virus and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the primary entry receptor for SARS-CoV-2, is a key determinant of the range of hosts that can be infected by the virus. However, the mechanisms underpinning ACE2-mediated viral entry across species remains unclear. Using infection assay, we evaluated SARS-CoV-2 entry mediated by ACE2 of 11 different animal species.
A fluorescent reporter system enables spatiotemporal analysis of host cell modification during herpes simplex virus-1 replicationHerpesviruses are large and complex viruses that have a long history of coevolution with their host species. One important factor in the virus–host interaction is the alteration of intracellular morphology during viral replication with critical implications for viral assembly. However, the details of this remodeling event are not well understood, in part because insufficient tools are available to deconstruct this highly heterogeneous process. To provide an accurate and reliable method of investigating the spatiotemporal dynamics of virus-induced changes to cellular architecture, we constructed a dual-fluorescent reporter virus that enabled us to classify four distinct stages in the infection cycle of herpes simplex virus-1 at the single cell level.
The SARS-CoV-2 envelope and membrane proteins modulate maturation and retention of the spike protein, allowing assembly of virus-like particlesThe severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a β-coronavirus, is the causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like for other coronaviruses, its particles are composed of four structural proteins: spike (S), envelope (E), membrane (M), and nucleoprotein (N) proteins. The involvement of each of these proteins and their interactions are critical for assembly and production of β-coronavirus particles. Here, we sought to characterize the interplay of SARS-CoV-2 structural proteins during the viral assembly process.
SARS-CoV-2 viral budding and entry can be modeled using BSL-2 level virus-like particlesSevere acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first discovered in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, and expeditiously spread across the globe causing a global pandemic. Research on SARS-CoV-2, as well as the closely related SARS-CoV-1 and MERS coronaviruses, is restricted to BSL-3 facilities. Such BSL-3 classification makes SARS-CoV-2 research inaccessible to the majority of functioning research laboratories in the United States; this becomes problematic when the collective scientific effort needs to be focused on such in the face of a pandemic.
Design of a highly thermotolerant, immunogenic SARS-CoV-2 spike fragmentVirtually all SARS-CoV-2 vaccines currently in clinical testing are stored in a refrigerated or frozen state prior to use. This is a major impediment to deployment in resource-poor settings. Furthermore, several of them use viral vectors or mRNA. In contrast to protein subunit vaccines, there is limited manufacturing expertise for these nucleic-acid-based modalities, especially in the developing world. Neutralizing antibodies, the clearest known correlate of protection against SARS-CoV-2, are primarily directed against the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the viral spike protein, suggesting that a suitable RBD construct might serve as a more accessible vaccine ingredient.