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PubMed | The Vanderbilt Vaccine Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Nanomedicine (London, England) | Year: 2014

Antibodies are the principal mediator of immunity against reinfection with viruses. Antibodies typically neutralize viruses by binding to virion particles in solution prior to attachment to susceptible cells. Once viruses enter cells, conventional antibodies cannot inhibit virus infection or replication. It is desirable to develop an efficient and nontoxic method for the introduction of virus-inhibiting antibodies into cells.In this article, we report a new method for the delivery of small recombinant antibody fragments into virus-infected cells using a dendrimer-based molecular transporter.The construct penetrated virus-infected cells efficiently and inhibited virus replication. This method provides a novel approach for the immediate delivery of inhibitory antibodies directed to virus proteins that are exposed only in the intracellular environment. This approach circumvents the current and rather complicated expression of inhibitory antibodies in cells following gene transfer.


PubMed | The Vanderbilt Vaccine Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: mBio | Year: 2012

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common viral cause of severe lower respiratory tract illness in infants and children. The virus replicates in polarized epithelial cells in the airway and, to a lesser extent, infects airway antigen-presenting cells, such as dendritic cells (DCs). RSV possesses a number of expressed genes that antagonize the effect of type I interferons and other related host factor pathways that inhibit replication efficiency. Virus infection alters host gene transcription and the translation of host transcripts through specific antagonism of the function of host proteins, through induction of RNA stress granules, and through induction of altered patterns of host gene expression. In healthy cells, microRNAs (miRNAs) regulate gene expression by targeting the noncoding region of mRNA molecules to cause silencing or degradation of transcripts. It is not known whether or not RSV infection alters the level of microRNAs in cells. We profiled the pattern of expression of host cell microRNAs in RSV-infected epithelial cells or DCs and found that RSV did alter microRNA expression but in a cell-type-specific manner. The studies showed that let-7b was upregulated in DCs, while let-7i and miR-30b were upregulated in epithelial cells in a process that required viral replication. Interestingly, we found that the RSV nonstructural genes NS1 and NS2 antagonized the upregulation of let-7i and miR-30b. RSV appears to manipulate host cell gene expression through regulation of expression of miRNAs related to the interferon response. The data suggest a new mechanism of virus-host cell interactions for paramyxoviruses.Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common cause of serious lower respiratory tract illness in infants and children. The human innate immune response inhibits RSV replication early after inoculation, principally through the effect of substances called interferons. The virus, however, has developed several mechanisms for counteracting the host innate immune response. It is not known whether or not RSV infection alters the expression of host microRNAs, which are short RNA sequences that are posttranscriptional regulators. This paper shows that RSV does induce unique patterns of microRNA expression related to the NF-B pathway or interferon pathways. The microRNA profiles differed depending on the cell type that was infected, airway cell or antigen-presenting cell. Interestingly, the virus appears to counteract the microRNA response by expressing nonstructural viral genes in the cell that reduce microRNA induction. The data suggest a new way in which paramyxoviruses regulate the host cell response to infection.


PubMed | Duke Human Vaccine Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University and The Vanderbilt Vaccine Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

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-1, a potent inflammatory cytokine matured by the inflammasome. We used a highly-physiologic system by studying antibody-dependent enhancement of IL-1 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-1 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-1 secretion did require NLRP3 and caspase-1 activity. Immunodepletion of dengue virions from the infectious supernatant confirmed that virus was not the main IL-1-inducing agent, suggesting that a supernatant component(s) not associated with the virion induced IL-1 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-1 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-1 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.

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