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See detailBovine herpesvirus 4 ORF73 is dispensable for viral growth in vitro but is essential for viral persistence in vivo.
Thirion, M.; Machiels, Bénédicte ULg; Farnir, Frédéric ULg et al

in Journal of General Virology (The) (2010), 91(10), 2574-84

ORF73 orthologues encoded by different rhadinoviruses have been studied extensively. These studies revealed that the ORF73 expression product (pORF73) is a multifunctional protein essential for latency ... [more ▼]

ORF73 orthologues encoded by different rhadinoviruses have been studied extensively. These studies revealed that the ORF73 expression product (pORF73) is a multifunctional protein essential for latency that enables episome tethering to mitotic chromosomes and modulates cellular pathways implicated in growth and survival of latently infected cells. Comparison of pORF73 orthologues encoded by rhadinoviruses reveals important variations in amino acid sequence length and composition. Bovine herpesvirus 4 (BoHV-4) encodes by far the shortest ORF73 orthologue with a size equivalent to only 22% of the largest orthologues. The present study focused on determining if BoHV 4 ORF73 is a bona fide gene and investigating whether it is essential for latency as established for larger ORF73 orthologues. Our results demonstrate that BoHV-4 ORF73 is transcribed as immediate-early bicistronic mRNA together with ORF71. Using a BoHV-4 bacterial artificial chromosome clone, we produced a strain deleted for ORF73 and a revertant strain. Deletion of BoHV-4 ORF73 did not affect the capacity of the virus to replicate in vitro, but it prevented latent infection in vivo using a rabbit model. Interestingly, the strain deleted for ORF73 induced an anti-BoHV-4 humoral immune response comparable to that elicited by wild-type and revertant recombinants. Together, these results demonstrate that despite its relatively small size, BoHV-4 ORF73 is a functional homologue of larger rhadinovirus ORF73 orthologues, and highlight the potential of ORF73 deletion for the development of BoHV-4 as a vector in vaccinology. [less ▲]

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See detailComparative study of Murid gammaherpesvirus 4 infection in mice and in its natural host, the bank voles.
François, Sylvie ULg; Vidick, Sarah ULg; Koteja, Pawel et al

Poster (2009, December 11)

Gammaherpesviruses are the archetypes of persistent viruses that have been identified in a range of animals from mice to man. They are host-range specific and establish persistent, productive infections ... [more ▼]

Gammaherpesviruses are the archetypes of persistent viruses that have been identified in a range of animals from mice to man. They are host-range specific and establish persistent, productive infections of immunocompetent hosts. Thus, infected individuals simultaneously both elicit antiviral protective immune response and secrete infectious virions. The best studied gammaherpesviruses are Human herpesvirus 4 and Human herpesvirus 8. As these viruses have no well-established in vivo infection model, related animal gammaherpesviruses are an important source of information. We are studying Murid herpesvirus 4 (MuHV-4), a virus that has originally been isolated from bank voles (Myodes glareolus). Although MuHV-4 has not been isolated from house mice (Mus musculus), infection of inbred laboratory mouse strains is commonly accepted as a good model for studying gammaherpesviruses in vivo. It has however never been possible to monitor viral reexcretion and virus transmission in this species suggesting that this model could be imperfect. In this study, we therefore characterized MuHV-4 infection in its natural host, the bank voles, through classical virological methods but also through global luciferase imaging for an anatomical complete view of the infection. Results obtained show that, after intra-nasal infection, the natural route of infection is similar in mice and voles. Following nasal productive infection, the virus spreads to the lung where the infection is accompanied by massive cellular infiltrates. By opposition to extensive viral replication observed in mice, the different analyses indicated that the viral replication was ~1000 fold lower in bank voles. This lower replication did however not affect colonization of latency sites in superficial cervical lymph nodes and spleen as measured by real-time PCR quantification of viral genomes in these organs. In conclusion, this study revealed that MuHV-4 can experimentally infect bank voles, the supposed natural host, but with a lower replicative power. As, gammaherpesvirus epidemiology indicates that transmission correlates with the latent load, our results suggest that gammaherpesviruses may have evolved to infect their hosts without extensive lytic spread. In the future, establishment of experimental transmission in a population of Myodes glareolus should help us to better understand mechanisms used by gammaherpesviruses to evade immune response. [less ▲]

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See detailThe major portal of entry of koi herpesvirus in cyprinus carpio is the skin.
Costes, Bérénice ULg; Stalin Raj, V.; Michel, Benjamin ULg et al

in Journal of Virology (2009)

Koi herpesvirus (KHV), recently designated in the species Cyprinid Herpesvirus 3, is the causative agent of a lethal disease in koi and common carp. In the present study, we investigated the portal of ... [more ▼]

Koi herpesvirus (KHV), recently designated in the species Cyprinid Herpesvirus 3, is the causative agent of a lethal disease in koi and common carp. In the present study, we investigated the portal of entry of KHV in carp using bioluminescence imaging. Taking profit of the recent cloning of the KHV genome as a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC), we produced a recombinant plasmid encoding a firefly luciferase (LUC) expression cassette inserted in the intergenic region between ORF 136 and ORF 137. Two viral strains were then reconstituted from the modified plasmid: the FL BAC 136 LUC excised strain and the FL BAC 136 LUC TK revertant strain encoding a disrupted and a wild-type thymidine kinase (TK) locus, respectively. In vitro, the two recombinant strains replicated comparably to the parental FL strain. The FL BAC 136 LUC TK revertant strain was shown in vitro to induce a bioluminescent signal allowing the detection of single positive cells as early as 24 hours post-infection; while in vivo, it induced KHV infection in carp that was indistinguishable from that induced by the parental FL strain. To identify the KHV portal of entry, carp were analyzed by bioluminescence imaging at different time post-infection with the FL BAC 136 LUC TK revertant strain. These analyses demonstrated that the skin of the fish, covering the fins and also the body, is the major portal of entry of KHV in carp. Finally, to further demonstrate the role of the skin as the KHV portal of entry, we constructed an original system nicknamed "U-tube" to perform per-cutaneous infection restricted to the posterior part of the fish. All the data obtained in the present study demonstrate that the skin and not the gills is the major portal of entry of KHV in carp. [less ▲]

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See detailIn vivo imaging of murid herpesvirus-4 infection.
Milho, Ricardo; Smith, Christopher M; Marques, Sofia et al

in Journal of General Virology (The) (2009), 90(Pt 1), 21-32

Luciferase-based imaging allows a global view of microbial pathogenesis. We applied this technique to gammaherpesvirus infection by inserting a luciferase expression cassette into the genome of murine ... [more ▼]

Luciferase-based imaging allows a global view of microbial pathogenesis. We applied this technique to gammaherpesvirus infection by inserting a luciferase expression cassette into the genome of murine herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4). The recombinant virus strongly expressed luciferase in lytically infected cells without significant attenuation. We used it to compare different routes of virus inoculation. After intranasal infection of anaesthetized mice, luciferase was expressed in the nose and lungs for 7-10 days and in lymphoid tissue, most consistently the superficial cervical lymph nodes, for up to 30 days. Gastrointestinal infection was not observed. Intraperitoneal infection was very different to intranasal, with strong luciferase expression in the liver, kidneys, intestines, reproductive tract and spleen, but none in the nose or lungs. The nose has not previously been identified as a site of MuHV-4 infection. After intranasal infection of non-anaesthetized mice, it was the only site of non-lymphoid luciferase expression. Nevertheless, lymphoid colonization and persistence were still established, even at low inoculation doses. In contrast, virus delivered orally was very poorly infectious. Inoculation route therefore had a major impact on pathogenesis. Low dose intranasal infection without anaesthesia seems most likely to mimic natural transmission, and may therefore be particularly informative about normal viral gene functions. [less ▲]

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See detailGlycoprotein L sets the neutralization profile of murid herpesvirus 4.
Gillet, Laurent ULg; Alenquer, Marta; Glauser, Daniel L et al

in Journal of General Virology (The) (2009), 90(Pt 5), 1202-14

Antibodies readily neutralize acute, epidemic viruses, but are less effective against more indolent pathogens such as herpesviruses. Murid herpesvirus 4 (MuHV-4) provides an accessible model for tracking ... [more ▼]

Antibodies readily neutralize acute, epidemic viruses, but are less effective against more indolent pathogens such as herpesviruses. Murid herpesvirus 4 (MuHV-4) provides an accessible model for tracking the fate of antibody-exposed gammaherpesvirus virions. Glycoprotein L (gL) plays a central role in MuHV-4 entry: it allows gH to bind heparan sulfate and regulates fusion-associated conformation changes in gH and gB. However, gL is non-essential: heparan sulfate binding can also occur via gp70, and the gB-gH complex alone seems to be sufficient for membrane fusion. Here, we investigated how gL affects the susceptibility of MuHV-4 to neutralization. Immune sera neutralized gL(-) virions more readily than gL(+) virions, chiefly because heparan sulfate binding now depended on gp70 and was therefore easier to block. However, there were also post-binding effects. First, the downstream, gL-independent conformation of gH became a neutralization target; gL normally prevents this by holding gH in an antigenically distinct heterodimer until after endocytosis. Second, gL(-) virions were more vulnerable to gB-directed neutralization. This covered multiple epitopes and thus seemed to reflect a general opening up of the gH-gB entry complex, which gL again normally restricts to late endosomes. gL therefore limits MuHV-4 neutralization by providing redundancy in cell binding and by keeping key elements of the virion fusion machinery hidden until after endocytosis. [less ▲]

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See detailIn vivo importance of heparan sulfate-binding glycoproteins for murid herpesvirus-4 infection.
Gillet, Laurent ULg; May, Janet S; Stevenson, Philip G

in Journal of General Virology (The) (2009), 90(Pt 3), 602-13

Many herpesviruses bind to heparan sulfate (HS). Murid herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4) does so via its envelope glycoproteins gp70 and gH/gL. MuHV-4 gp150 further regulates an HS-independent interaction to make ... [more ▼]

Many herpesviruses bind to heparan sulfate (HS). Murid herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4) does so via its envelope glycoproteins gp70 and gH/gL. MuHV-4 gp150 further regulates an HS-independent interaction to make that HS-dependent too. Cell binding by MuHV-4 virions is consequently strongly HS-dependent. Gp70 and gH/gL show some in vitro redundancy: an antibody-mediated blockade of HS binding by one is well tolerated, whereas a blockade of both severely impairs infection. In order to understand the importance of HS binding for MuHV-4 in vivo, we generated mutants lacking both gL and gp70. As expected, gL(-)gp70(-) MuHV-4 showed very poor cell binding. It infected mice at high dose but not at low dose, indicating defective host entry. But once entry occurred, host colonization, which for MuHV-4 is relatively independent of the infection dose, was remarkably normal. The gL(-)gp70(-) entry deficit was much greater than that of gL(-) or gp70(-) single knockouts. And gp150 disruption, which allows HS-independent cell binding, largely rescued the gL(-)gp70(-) cell binding and host entry deficits. Thus, it appeared that MuHV-4 HS binding is important in vivo, principally for efficient host entry. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Murid Herpesvirus-4 gL regulates an entry-associated conformation change in gH.
Gillet, Laurent ULg; Colaco, Susanna; Stevenson, Philip G

in PLoS ONE (2008), 3(7), 2811

The glycoprotein H (gH)/gL heterodimer is crucial for herpesvirus membrane fusion. Yet how it functions is not well understood. The Murid Herpesvirus-4 gH, like that of other herpesviruses, adopts its ... [more ▼]

The glycoprotein H (gH)/gL heterodimer is crucial for herpesvirus membrane fusion. Yet how it functions is not well understood. The Murid Herpesvirus-4 gH, like that of other herpesviruses, adopts its normal virion conformation by associating with gL. However, gH switched back to a gL-independent conformation after virion endocytosis. This switch coincided with a conformation switch in gB and with capsid release. Virions lacking gL constitutively expressed the down-stream form of gH, prematurely switched gB to its down-stream form, and showed premature capsid release with poor infectivity. These data argue that gL plays a key role in regulating a gH and gB functional switch from cell binding to membrane fusion. [less ▲]

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See detailThe murid herpesvirus-4 gH/gL binds to glycosaminoglycans.
Gillet, Laurent ULg; Colaco, Susanna; Stevenson, Philip G

in PLoS ONE (2008), 3(2), 1669

The first contact a virus makes with cells is an important determinant of its tropism. Murid Herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4) is highly dependent on glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) for cell binding. Its first contact is ... [more ▼]

The first contact a virus makes with cells is an important determinant of its tropism. Murid Herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4) is highly dependent on glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) for cell binding. Its first contact is therefore likely to involve a GAG-binding virion glycoprotein. We have previously identified two such proteins, gp70 and gp150. Gp70 binds strongly to GAGs. However, deleting it makes little difference to MuHV-4 cell binding or GAG-dependence. Deleting gp150, by contrast, frees MuHV-4 from GAG dependence. This implies that GAGs normally displace gp150 to allow GAG-independent cell binding. But the gp150 GAG interaction is weak, and so would seem unlikely to make an effective first contact. Since neither gp70 nor gp150 matches the expected profile of a first contact glycoprotein, our understanding of MuHV-4 GAG interactions must be incomplete. Here we relate the seemingly disconnected gp70 and gp150 GAG interactions by showing that the MuHV-4 gH/gL also binds to GAGs. gH/gL-blocking and gp70-blocking antibodies individually had little effect on cell binding, but together were strongly inhibitory. Thus, there was redundancy in GAG binding between gp70 and gH/gL. Gp150-deficient MuHV-4 largely resisted blocks to gp70 and gH/gL binding, consistent with its GAG independence. The failure of wild-type MuHV-4 to do the same argues that gp150 is normally engaged only down-stream of gp70 or gH/gL. MuHV-4 GAG dependence is consequently two-fold: gp70 or gH/gL binding provides virions with a vital first foothold, and gp150 is then engaged to reveal GAG-independent binding. [less ▲]

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See detailCloning of the koi herpesvirus genome as an infectious bacterial artificial chromosome demonstrates that disruption of the thymidine kinase locus induces partial attenuation in Cyprinus carpio koi.
Costes, Bérénice ULg; Fournier, Guillaume ULg; Michel, Benjamin ULg et al

in Journal of Virology (2008), 82(10), 4955-4964

Koi herpesvirus (KHV) is the causative agent of a lethal disease in koi and common carp. In the present study, we describe the cloning of the KHV genome as a stable and infectious bacterial artificial ... [more ▼]

Koi herpesvirus (KHV) is the causative agent of a lethal disease in koi and common carp. In the present study, we describe the cloning of the KHV genome as a stable and infectious bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clone that can be used to produce KHV recombinant strains. This goal was achieved by the insertion of a loxP-flanked BAC cassette into the thymidine kinase (TK) locus. This insertion led to a BAC plasmid that was stably maintained in bacteria and was able to regenerate virions when permissive cells were transfected with the plasmid. Reconstituted virions free of the BAC cassette but carrying a disrupted TK locus (the FL BAC-excised strain) were produced by the transfection of Cre recombinase-expressing cells with the BAC. Similarly, virions with a wild-type revertant TK sequence (the FL BAC revertant strain) were produced by the cotransfection of cells with the BAC and a DNA fragment encoding the wild-type TK sequence. Reconstituted recombinant viruses were compared to the wild-type parental virus in vitro and in vivo. The FL BAC revertant strain and the FL BAC-excised strain replicated comparably to the parental FL strain. The FL BAC revertant strain induced KHV infection in koi carp that was indistinguishable from that induced by the parental strain, while the FL BAC-excised strain exhibited a partially attenuated phenotype. Finally, the usefulness of the KHV BAC for recombination studies was demonstrated by the production of an ORF16-deleted strain by using prokaryotic recombination technology. The availability of the KHV BAC is an important advance that will allow the study of viral genes involved in KHV pathogenesis, as well as the production of attenuated recombinant candidate vaccines. [less ▲]

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See detailGlycoprotein B switches conformation during murid herpesvirus 4 entry.
Gillet, Laurent ULg; Colaco, Susanna; Stevenson, Philip G

in Journal of General Virology (The) (2008), 89(Pt 6), 1352-63

Herpesviruses are ancient pathogens that infect all vertebrates. The most conserved component of their entry machinery is glycoprotein B (gB), yet how gB functions is unclear. A striking feature of the ... [more ▼]

Herpesviruses are ancient pathogens that infect all vertebrates. The most conserved component of their entry machinery is glycoprotein B (gB), yet how gB functions is unclear. A striking feature of the murid herpesvirus 4 (MuHV-4) gB is its resistance to neutralization. Here, we show by direct visualization of infected cells that the MuHV-4 gB changes its conformation between extracellular virions and those in late endosomes, where capsids are released. Specifically, epitopes on its N-terminal cell-binding domain become inaccessible, whilst non-N-terminal epitopes are revealed, consistent with structural changes reported for the vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein G. Inhibitors of endosomal acidification blocked the gB conformation switch. They also blocked capsid release and the establishment of infection, implying that the gB switch is a key step in entry. Neutralizing antibodies could only partially inhibit the switch. Their need to engage a less vulnerable, upstream form of gB, because its fusion form is revealed only in endosomes, helps to explain why gB-directed MuHV-4 neutralization is so difficult. [less ▲]

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See detailEvolution of Bovine herpesvirus 4: recombination and transmission between African buffalo and cattle
Dewals, Benjamin G ULg; Thirion, Muriel; Markine-Goriaynoff, Nicolas et al

Poster (2007, November 23)

Bovine herpesvirus 4 (BoHV 4) has been isolated from cattle throughout the world, but virological and serological studies have suggested that the African buffalo is also a natural host for this virus. We ... [more ▼]

Bovine herpesvirus 4 (BoHV 4) has been isolated from cattle throughout the world, but virological and serological studies have suggested that the African buffalo is also a natural host for this virus. We have previously found that the Bo17 gene of BoHV-4 was acquired from an ancestor of the African buffalo, probably around 1.5 Myr ago. Analysis of the variation of the Bo17 gene sequence among BoHV-4 strains suggested a relatively ancient transmission of BoHV 4 from the buffalo to the Bos primigenius lineage, followed by a host dependent split between zebu and taurine BoHV 4 strains. In the present study, the evolutionary history of BoHV-4 was investigated by analysis of five gene sequences from each of nine strains representative of the viral species: three isolated from African buffalo in Kenya, and six from cattle from Europe, N. America and India. No two gene sequences had the same evolutionary tree, indicating that recombination has occurred between divergent lineages: six recombination events were delineated for these sequences. Nevertheless, exchange has been infrequent enough that a clonal evolutionary history of the strains could be discerned, upon which the recombination events were superimposed. The dates of divergence among BoHV-4 lineages were estimated from synonymous nucleotide substitution rates. The inferred evolutionary history suggests that African buffalo were the original natural reservoir of BoHV-4, and that there have been at least three independent transmissions from buffalo to cattle, probably via intermediate hosts, and – at least in the case of N. American strains – within the last 500 years. [less ▲]

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See detailIgG fc receptors provide an alternative infection route for murine gamma-herpesvirus-68.
Rosa, Gustavo T; Gillet, Laurent ULg; Smith, Christopher M et al

in PLoS ONE (2007), 2(6), 560

BACKGROUND: Herpesviruses can be neutralized in vitro but remain infectious in immune hosts. One difference between these settings is the availability of immunoglobulin Fc receptors. The question ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Herpesviruses can be neutralized in vitro but remain infectious in immune hosts. One difference between these settings is the availability of immunoglobulin Fc receptors. The question therefore arises whether a herpesvirus exposed to apparently neutralizing antibody can still infect Fc receptor(+) cells. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Immune sera blocked murine gamma-herpesvirus-68 (MHV-68) infection of fibroblasts, but failed to block and even enhanced its infection of macrophages and dendritic cells. Viral glycoprotein-specific monoclonal antibodies also enhanced infection. MHV-68 appeared to be predominantly latent in macrophages regardless of whether Fc receptors were engaged, but the infection was not abortive and new virus production soon overwhelmed infected cultures. Lytically infected macrophages down-regulated MHC class I-restricted antigen presentation, endocytosis and their response to LPS. CONCLUSIONS: IgG Fc receptors limit the neutralization of gamma-herpesviruses such as MHV-68. [less ▲]

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See detailGlycosaminoglycan interactions in murine gammaherpesvirus-68 infection.
Gillet, Laurent ULg; Adler, Heiko; Stevenson, Philip G

in PLoS ONE (2007), 2(4), 347

Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) commonly participate in herpesvirus entry. They are thought to provide a reversible attachment to cells that promotes subsequent receptor binding. Murine gamma-herpesvirus-68 ... [more ▼]

Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) commonly participate in herpesvirus entry. They are thought to provide a reversible attachment to cells that promotes subsequent receptor binding. Murine gamma-herpesvirus-68 (MHV-68) infection of fibroblasts and epithelial cells is highly GAG-dependent. This is a function of the viral gp150, in that gp150-deficient mutants are much less GAG-dependent than wild-type. Here we show that the major MHV-68 GAG-binding protein is not gp150 but gp70, a product of ORF4. Surprisingly, ORF4-deficient MHV-68 showed normal cell binding and was more sensitive than wild-type to inhibition by soluble heparin rather than less. Thus, the most obvious viral GAG interaction made little direct contribution to infection. Indeed, a large fraction of the virion gp70 had its GAG-binding domain removed by post-translational cleavage. ORF4 may therefore act mainly to absorb soluble GAGs and prevent them from engaging gp150 prematurely. In contrast to gp70, gp150 bound poorly to GAGs, implying that it provides little in the way of adhesion. We hypothesize that it acts instead as a GAG-sensitive switch that selectively activates MHV-68 entry at cell surfaces. [less ▲]

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See detailPost-exposure vaccination improves gammaherpesvirus neutralization.
Gillet, Laurent ULg; May, Janet S; Stevenson, Philip G

in PLoS ONE (2007), 2(9), 899

Herpesvirus carriers transmit infection despite making virus-specific antibodies. Thus, their antibody responses are not necessarily optimal. An important question for infection control is whether ... [more ▼]

Herpesvirus carriers transmit infection despite making virus-specific antibodies. Thus, their antibody responses are not necessarily optimal. An important question for infection control is whether vaccinating carriers might improve virus neutralization. The antibody response to murine gamma-herpesvirus-68 (MHV-68) blocks cell binding, but fails to block and even enhances an IgG Fc receptor-dependent infection of myeloid cells. Viral membrane fusion therefore remains intact. Although gH/gL-specific monoclonal antibodies can block infection at a post-binding step close to membrane fusion, gH/gL is a relatively minor antibody target in virus carriers. We show here that gH/gL-specific antibodies can block both Fc receptor-independent and Fc receptor-dependent infections, and that vaccinating virus carriers with a gH/gL fusion protein improves their capacity for virus neutralization both in vitro and in vivo. This approach has the potential to reduce herpesvirus transmission. [less ▲]

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See detailThe murine gammaherpesvirus-68 gp150 acts as an immunogenic decoy to limit virion neutralization.
Gillet, Laurent ULg; May, Janet S; Colaco, Susanna et al

in PLoS ONE (2007), 2(1), 705

Herpesviruses maintain long-term infectivity without marked antigenic variation. They must therefore evade neutralization by other means. Immune sera block murine gammaherpesvirus-68 (MHV-68) infection of ... [more ▼]

Herpesviruses maintain long-term infectivity without marked antigenic variation. They must therefore evade neutralization by other means. Immune sera block murine gammaherpesvirus-68 (MHV-68) infection of fibroblasts, but fail to block and even enhance its infection of IgG Fc receptor-bearing cells, suggesting that the antibody response to infection is actually poor at ablating virion infectivity completely. Here we analyzed this effect further by quantitating the glycoprotein-specific antibody response of MHV-68 carrier mice. Gp150 was much the commonest glycoprotein target and played a predominant role in driving Fc receptor-dependent infection: when gp150-specific antibodies were boosted, Fc receptor-dependent infection increased; and when gp150-specific antibodies were removed, Fc receptor-dependent infection was largely lost. Neither gp150-specific monoclonal antibodies nor gp150-specific polyclonal sera gave significant virion neutralization. Gp150 therefore acts as an immunogenic decoy, distorting the MHV-68-specific antibody response to promote Fc receptor-dependent infection and so compromise virion neutralization. This immune evasion mechanism may be common to many non-essential herpesvirus glycoproteins. [less ▲]

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See detailThe paralogous salivary anti-complement proteins IRAC I and IRAC II encoded by Ixodes ricinus ticks have broad and complementary inhibitory activities against the complement of different host species.
Schroeder, Hélène ULg; Daix, Virginie; Gillet, Laurent ULg et al

in Microbes & Infection (2007), 9(2), 247-50

Several observations suggest that inhibition of the host complement alternative pathway by Ixodes tick saliva is crucial to achieve blood feeding. We recently described two paralogous anti-complement ... [more ▼]

Several observations suggest that inhibition of the host complement alternative pathway by Ixodes tick saliva is crucial to achieve blood feeding. We recently described two paralogous anti-complement proteins called Ixodes ricinus anti-complement (IRAC) proteins I and II co-expressed in I. ricinus salivary glands. Phylogenetic analyses suggested that these sequences were diversifying by a process of positive Darwinian selection, possibly leading to molecules with different biological properties. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that each paralogue may have different inhibitory activities against the complement of different natural host species, thereby contributing to broaden the host range of I. ricinus ticks. IRAC I and IRAC II were tested against the complement of eight I. ricinus natural host species (six mammals and two birds). The results demonstrate that IRAC I and IRAC II have broad and complementary inhibition activities against the complement of different host species. This report is the first description of paralogous anti-complement molecules encoded by a pathogen with broad and complementary inhibitory activities against the complement of different host species. [less ▲]

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See detailStat5 Is an Ambivalent Regulator of Neutrophil Homeostasis
Fievez, Laurence ULg; Desmet, Christophe ULg; Henry, Emmanuelle et al

in PLoS ONE (2007), 2(1), 727

Although STAT5 promotes survival of hematopoietic progenitors, STAT5-/- mice develop mild neutrophilia. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we show that in STAT5-/- mice, liver endothelial cells (LECs ... [more ▼]

Although STAT5 promotes survival of hematopoietic progenitors, STAT5-/- mice develop mild neutrophilia. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we show that in STAT5-/- mice, liver endothelial cells (LECs) autonomously secrete high amounts of G-CSF, allowing myeloid progenitors to overcompensate for their intrinsic survival defect. However, when injected with pro-inflammatory cytokines, mutant mice cannot further increase neutrophil production, display a severe deficiency in peripheral neutrophil survival, and are therefore unable to maintain neutrophil homeostasis. In wild-type mice, inflammatory stimulation induces rapid STAT5 degradation in LECs, G-CSF production by LECs and other cell types, and then sustained mobilization and expansion of long-lived neutrophils. CONCLUSION: We conclude that STAT5 is an ambivalent factor. In cells of the granulocytic lineage, it exerts an antiapoptotic function that is required for maintenance of neutrophil homeostasis, especially during the inflammatory response. In LECs, STAT5 negatively regulates granulopoiesis by directly or indirectly repressing G-CSF expression. Removal of this STAT5-imposed brake contributes to induction of emergency granulopoiesis. [less ▲]

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See detailIxodes ticks belonging to the Ixodes ricinus complex encode a family of anticomplement proteins.
Daix, Virginie ULg; Schroeder, Hélène ULg; Praet, N. et al

in Insect Molecular Biology (2007), 16(2), 155-66

The alternative pathway of complement is an important innate defence against pathogens including ticks. This component of the immune system has selected for pathogens that have evolved countermeasures ... [more ▼]

The alternative pathway of complement is an important innate defence against pathogens including ticks. This component of the immune system has selected for pathogens that have evolved countermeasures. Recently, a salivary protein able to inhibit the alternative pathway was cloned from the American tick Ixodes scapularis (Valenzuela et al., 2000; J. Biol. Chem. 275, 18717-18723). Here, we isolated two different sequences, similar to Isac, from the transcriptome of I. ricinus salivary glands. Expression of these sequences revealed that they both encode secreted proteins able to inhibit the complement alternative pathway. These proteins, called I. ricinus anticomplement (IRAC) protein I and II, are coexpressed constitutively in I. ricinus salivary glands and are upregulated during blood feeding. Also, we demonstrated that they are the products of different genes and not of alleles of the same locus. Finally, phylogenetic analyses demonstrate that ticks belonging to the Ixodes ricinus complex encode a family of relatively small anticomplement molecules undergoing diversification by positive Darwinian selection. [less ▲]

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See detailNatural antibody--complement dependent neutralization of bovine herpesvirus 4 by human serum
Machiels, Bénédicte ULg; Gillet, Laurent ULg; Brito, Sieberth Do Nascimento et al

in Microbes & Infection (2007), 9(14-15), 1530-1537

In contrast to most gammaherpesviruses, Bovine herpesvirus 4 (BoHV-4) has a broad range of host species both in vitro and in vivo. Several in vitro studies demonstrated that some human cell lines are ... [more ▼]

In contrast to most gammaherpesviruses, Bovine herpesvirus 4 (BoHV-4) has a broad range of host species both in vitro and in vivo. Several in vitro studies demonstrated that some human cell lines are sensitive or even permissive to BoHV-4. These observations led to the hypothesis that cross-species transmission of BoHV-4 could lead to human infections. In the present study, we investigate the sensitivity of BoHV-4 to neutralization by naïve human sera in order to determine if humans exhibit innate anti-viral activities against this virus. Our results demonstrate that human sera from naïve individuals, in contrast to the sera of naïve subjects from various animal species, neutralize BoHV-4 efficiently. A series of complementary experiments were performed to unravel the mechanism(s) of this neutralization. The data obtained in this study demonstrates that human serum neutralizes BoHV-4 in a complement dependent manner activated by natural antibodies raised against the Galalpha1-3Galbeta1-4GlcNAc-R epitope expressed by bovine cells [less ▲]

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