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[en] The M2 protein (AM2 and BM2) of influenza A and B viruses function as a proton channel essential for viral replication. They also carry a cytoplasmic tail whose functions are not fully delineated. It is currently unknown whether these proteins could be replaced functionally in a viral context. Here, we generated single-cycle influenza A viruses (scIAV-ΔHA) carrying various M2-2A-mCherry constructs in the segment 4 (HA) and evaluated their growth in complementing cells. Intriguingly, the scIAV-ΔHA carrying AM2 and that bearing BM2 grew comparably well in MDCK-HA cells. Furthermore, while the virus carrying chimeric B-AM2 in which the BM2 transmembrane fused with the AM2 cytoplasmic tail produced robust infection, the one bearing the AM2 transmembrane fused with the BM2 cytoplasmic tail (A-BM2) exhibited severely impaired growth. Altogether, we demonstrate that AM2 and BM2 are functionally interchangeable and underscore the role of compatibility between transmembrane and cytoplasmic tail of the M2 protein. -- Highlights: •Flu A M2 protein (AM2) can be functionally replaced by that of Flu B (BM2). •Both AM2 and BM2 with extended cytoplasmic tail are functional. •Compatibility between the ion channel and the cytoplasmic tail is critical for M2 function. •M2 with higher ion channel activity may augment influenza virus replication.
[en] Quail have emerged as a potential intermediate host in the spread of avian influenza A viruses in poultry in Hong Kong. To better understand this possible role, we tested the replication and transmission in quail of influenza A viruses of all 15 HA subtypes. Quail supported the replication of at least 14 subtypes. Influenza A viruses replicated predominantly in the respiratory tract. Transmission experiments suggested that perpetuation of avian influenza viruses in quail requires adaptation. Swine influenza viruses were isolated from the respiratory tract of quail at low levels. There was no evidence of human influenza A or B virus replication. Interestingly, a human-avian recombinant containing the surface glycoprotein genes of a quail virus and the internal genes of a human virus replicated and transmitted readily in quail; therefore, quail could function as amplifiers of influenza virus reassortants that have the potential to infect humans and/or other mammalian species
[en] Influenza A are nuclear replicating viruses which hijack host machineries in order to achieve optimal infection. Numerous functional virus–host interactions have now been characterized, but little information has been gathered concerning their link to the virally induced remodeling of the host cellular architecture. In this study, we infected cells with several human and avian influenza viruses and we have analyzed their ultrastructural modifications by using electron and confocal microscopy. We discovered that infections lead to a major and systematic disruption of nucleoli and the formation of a large number of diverse viral structures showing specificity that depended on the subtype origin and genomic composition of viruses. We identified NS1 and M1 proteins as the main actors in the remodeling of the host ultra-structure and our results suggest that each influenza A virus strain could be associated with a specific cellular fingerprint, possibly correlated to the functional properties of their viral components.
[en] Avian influenza became a new threat and has set people thinking about possibility of new influenza pandemic which may be caused by highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza virus. The virus could acquire ability of fast spreading between the humans and new pandemics could kill millions. Influenza virus H5N1 exhibited its deadly essence by taking out many millions of birds in nature and aviculture; other millions of chicks and ducks were killed to prevent spread of the epizootic. The strains isolated in Russia belong to Qinghai group of H5N1 influenza virus, and were imported to Russia by migratory birds. We examined time-course changes in mice blood and lungs after intranasal infection with strains A /Chicken/ Kurgan/ 05/2005, A/ Duck/ Kurgan/08/ 2005 and A/ Chicken/ Suzdalka/ Nov-11/2005 differing in virulence for this animal species. Development of leucopenia and severe damage of hemopoiesis were found in mice infected with all H5N1 influenza virus strains. Pathological changes in mice lungs during the infection with above mentioned strains, and strain-specific features have been examined. Main characteristics of lung pathology in all mice were focal nature of the alterations, severe damage of bronchial epithelium and pronounced alteration of lung vasculature. Strain A/Chicken/Suzdalka/Nov-11/2005 induced massive apoptosis of infected bronchial cells which may be a part of mechanism responsible for avirulent properties of this strain. The most interesting finding was absence of serious direct virus damage of the lung evidencing for principal role of the host humoral mechanisms in pathogenesis of H5N1 influenza in mice.(author)
[en] Highlights: • All three H5N1 AIV display differential virus replication in human cells. • HN01 virus reveal poor replication and defective ability to suppress IFN response. • Residues 55/66/133 of NS1 in HN01 alter IFN response and viral titer. Influenza A viruses have sophisticated strategies to promote their own replication. Here, we found that three H5N1 influenza viruses display different replication patterns in human A549 and macrophage cells. The HN01 virus displayed poor replication compared to HN021 and JS01. In addition, the HN01 virus was unable to counteract the interferon response and block general gene expression. This capability was restored by three amino acid substitutions on the NS1 protein: K55E, K66E, and C133F, resulting in recovered binding to CPSF30 and decreased interferon response activity. Furthermore, a recombinant HN01 virus expressing either NS1-C133F or the triple mutation replicate with higher titers in human A549 cells and macrophages compared to the parent virus. These three amino acid mutations reveal a new pathway to alter H5N1 virus replication.
[en] Highlights: ► Vero cell-based HPAI H5N1 vaccine with stable high yield. ► Stable high yield derived from the YNVa H3N2 backbone. ► H5N1/YNVa has a similar safety and immunogenicity to H5N1delta. -- Abstract: Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses pose a global pandemic threat, for which rapid large-scale vaccine production technology is critical for prevention and control. Because chickens are highly susceptible to HPAI viruses, the supply of chicken embryos for vaccine production might be depleted during a virus outbreak. Therefore, developing HPAI virus vaccines using other technologies is critical. Meeting vaccine demand using the Vero cell-based fermentation process has been hindered by low stability and yield. In this study, a Vero cell-based HPAI H5N1 vaccine candidate (H5N1/YNVa) with stable high yield was achieved by reassortment of the Vero-adapted (Va) high growth A/Yunnan/1/2005(H3N2) (YNVa) virus with the A/Anhui/1/2005(H5N1) attenuated influenza vaccine strain (H5N1delta) using the 6/2 method. The reassorted H5N1/YNVa vaccine maintained a high hemagglutination (HA) titer of 1024. Furthermore, H5N1/YNVa displayed low pathogenicity and uniform immunogenicity compared to that of the parent virus.
[en] In this study, an in silico method for analyzing physicochemical and structural properties of the hemagglutinin molecule is presented and used to identify putative residues that differentiate two strains of influenza A. Protein sequences of the A/New York/55/2004 (NY55) and A/Wisconsin/67/2005 (WSC67) type strains, and NY55- and WSC67-like isolates were obtained from the NCBI Protein Database. Positional changes in hydrophobicity, size and polarizability, and charge and polarity indexes were quantified, and antigenicity values for each residue based on modeled structures of each sequence were calculated. By identifying non- conserved positions between the NY55 and WSC67 parent strains, then analyzing the conservation of residues at those positions within each set of the parent-like sequences and mapping to putative immunodominant epitopes common to both NY55 and WSC67, results suggest that the mutations R193F and D225N differentiate between the two strains of influenza virus, and may form a neutralizing epitope. Each mutation is located within 16A of predicted immunodominant residues, and within 8A of the sialic acid binding region. Sequence analysis also indicates that either mutation may be sufficient for antibody discrimination, since simultaneous mutations were not observed within each set of derived sequences. Moreover, the predicted immunodominant regions are in close agreement with the antigenic sites identified by Cox (1981) for H3 hemagglutinin. R193F involves a change from a linear, charged residue to a bulky, aromatic ammo acid, while D225N may possibly involve glycosylation. To conclude, this method could prove useful in in silico characterization of antigenic drift, in predicting mutation patterns, and aid in the design of vaccines against influenza. Analysis of a wider set of sequences is currently under way. (author)
[en] We studied influenza virus M1 protein by generating HeLa and MDCK cell lines that express M1 genetically fused to green fluorescent protein (GFP). GFP-M1 was incorporated into virions produced by influenza virus infected MDCK cells expressing the fusion protein indicating that the fusion protein is at least partially functional. Following infection of either HeLa or MDCK cells with influenza A virus (but not influenza B virus), GFP-M1 redistributes from its cytosolic/nuclear location and accumulates in nuclear dots. Immunofluorescence revealed that the nuclear dots represent nuclear dot 10 (ND10) structures. The colocalization of authentic M1, as well as NS1 and NS2 protein, with ND10 was confirmed by immunofluorescence following in situ isolation of ND10. These findings demonstrate a previously unappreciated involvement of influenza virus with ND10, a structure involved in cellular responses to immune cytokines as well as the replication of a rapidly increasing list of viruses
[en] Influenza virus genomic RNA segments are packaged into ribonucleoprotein (RNP) structures by the PB1, PB2, and PA subunits of an RNA polymerase and a single-strand RNA-binding nucleoprotein (NP). Assembly and function of these ribonucleoproteins depend on a complex set of protein-protein and protein-RNA interactions. Here, we identify new functional domains of PB2. We show that PB2 contains two regions that bind NP and also identify a novel PB1 binding site. The regions of PB2 responsible for binding NP and PB1 show considerable overlap, and binding of NP to the PB2 fragments could be outcompeted by PB1. The binding domains of PB2 acted as trans-dominant inhibitors of viral gene expression, and consistent with the in vitro binding data, their inhibitory activity depended on the concentration of wild-type PB2, NP, and PB1. This provides evidence for functionally significant and potentially regulatory interactions between PB2 and NP
[en] Influenza virus remains enigmatic despite of long extensive studies. Avian influenza virus (H5N1) is able to infect a large spectrum of animal and bird species. Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus represents a serious problem both for a human and birds, particularly for chicks. Many studies have been performed in order to show differences between highly and low pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 viruses, and examine their biological properties. Many separate pathological and microscopic descriptions are interspersed in numerous published articles. The aim of our study was to analyze data published in international scientific journals, and to attempt a generalized view of avian influenza pathology in various animal and bird hosts. We summarized and systematized data describing pathological changes caused by both highly and low pathogenic types of avian influenza virus (H5N1) in animals and birds, and developed generalized descriptions with accent at the type of virus. We also tried to show up species specific features of pathological changes in birds and animals infected with avian influenza virus (H5N1). The results of this analytical work may be useful for pathological studies of a new avian influenza virus isolates, and for understanding of avian influenza pathogenesis in birds and animals. (author)