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See detailVaricella-zoster virus induces the formation of dynamic nuclear capsid aggregates.
Lebrun, Marielle ULg; Thelen, Nicolas ULg; Thiry, Marc ULg et al

in Virology (2014), 454-455

The first step of herpesviruses virion assembly occurs in the nucleus. However, the exact site where nucleocapsids are assembled, where the genome and the inner tegument are acquired, remains ... [more ▼]

The first step of herpesviruses virion assembly occurs in the nucleus. However, the exact site where nucleocapsids are assembled, where the genome and the inner tegument are acquired, remains controversial. We created a recombinant VZV expressing ORF23 (homologous to HSV-1 VP26) fused to the eGFP and dually fluorescent viruses with a tegument protein additionally fused to a red tag (ORF9, ORF21 and ORF22 corresponding to HSV-1 UL49, UL37 and UL36). We identified nuclear dense structures containing the major capsid protein, the scaffold protein and maturing protease, as well as ORF21 and ORF22. Correlative microscopy demonstrated that the structures correspond to capsid aggregates and time-lapse video imaging showed that they appear prior to the accumulation of cytoplasmic capsids, presumably undergoing the secondary egress, and are highly dynamic. Our observations suggest that these structures might represent a nuclear area important for capsid assembly and/or maturation before the budding at the inner nuclear membrane. [less ▲]

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See detailUnsaturated fatty acids prevent activation of NLRP3 inflammasome in human monocytes/macrophages
L'Homme, Laurent ULg; Esser, Nathalie ULg; Riva, Laura ULg et al

in Journal of Lipid Research (2013), 54

The NLRP3 inflammasome is involved in many obesity-associated diseases such as type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis and gouty arthritis through its ability to induce IL-1β release. The molecular link between ... [more ▼]

The NLRP3 inflammasome is involved in many obesity-associated diseases such as type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis and gouty arthritis through its ability to induce IL-1β release. The molecular link between obesity and inflammasome activation is still unclear but free fatty acids have been proposed as one triggering event. Here we reported opposite effects of saturated fatty acids (SFAs) compared to unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs) on NLRP3 inflammasome in human monocytes/macrophages. Palmitate and stearate, both SFAs, triggered IL-1β secretion in a caspase-1/ASC/NLRP3-dependent pathway. Unlike SFAs, the UFAs oleate and linoleate did not lead to IL-1β secretion. In addition, they totally prevented the IL-1β release induced by SFAs and, with less efficiency, by a broad range of NLRP3 inducers including nigericin, alum and MSU. UFAs did not affect the transcriptional effect of SFAs suggesting a specific effect on the NLRP3 activation. These results provide a new antiinflammatory mechanism of UFAs by preventing the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome and therefore the IL-1β processing. By this way, UFAs might play a protective role in NLRP3-associated diseases. [less ▲]

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See detailORF9p: a new player in the Varicella-Zoster Virus egress
Riva, Laura ULg

Doctoral thesis (2013)

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See detailORF9p phosphorylation by ORF47p is crucial for the formation and egress of the Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) viral particles.
Riva, Laura ULg; Thiry, Marc ULg; BONTEMS, Sébastien ULg et al

in Journal of Virology (2013), 87(5), 2868-2881

The role of the tegument during the herpesvirus lytic cycle is still not clearly established, particularly at the late phase of infection, when the newly produced viral particles need to be fully ... [more ▼]

The role of the tegument during the herpesvirus lytic cycle is still not clearly established, particularly at the late phase of infection, when the newly produced viral particles need to be fully assembled before being released from the infected cell. The Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) protein coded by ORF9 (ORF9p) is an essential tegument protein and, even though its mRNA is the most expressed during the productive infection, little is known about its functions. Using a GalK positive/negative selection technique, we modified a BAC containing the complete VZV genome creating viruses expressing mutant versions of ORF9p.We showed that ORF9p is hyper-phosphorylated during the infection, especially through its interaction with the viral Ser/Thr kinase ORF47p; we identified a consensus site within ORF9p recognized by ORF47p and demonstrated its importance for ORF9p phosphorylation. Strikingly, an ultra-structural analysis revealed that the mutation of this consensus site (Glutamate 85 to Arginine) strongly affects viral assembly and release, reproducing ORF47 kinase dead VZV phenotype. It also slightly diminishes the infectivity towards immature dendritic cells. Taken together, our results identify ORF9p as a new viral substrate of ORF47p and suggest a determinant role of this phosphorylation for viral infectivity, especially during the process of viral particle formation and egress. [less ▲]

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