Matching Items (8)

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Characterization of Necroptosis in Breast Cancer and Melanoma for Oncolytic Vaccinia Potential

Description

With the advent of precision medicine, oncologists aim to target tumors that do not respond well to conventional treatment. One such therapy is oncolytic virotherapy, a treatment reliant on viral

With the advent of precision medicine, oncologists aim to target tumors that do not respond well to conventional treatment. One such therapy is oncolytic virotherapy, a treatment reliant on viral replication for tumor specific killing. Downregulation of the proteins RIP3 kinase, DAI or MLKL can result in a nonfunctional programmed necroptotic cell death pathway, common amongst breast cancer and melanoma. Vaccinia virus (VACV) mutants with a nonfunctional E3 protein are able to selectively replicate in necroptosis deficient cells but not in necroptosis competent cells, making them potential candidates for oncolytic virotherapy. In order to establish the efficacy and selectivity of this treatment, an accurate tumor model is required. Eight established breast adenocarcinomas and two established melanomas were selected as potential candidates, both human and murine. A pan screening method for necroptosis was established utilizing western blot analysis for expression of aforementioned proteins following various induction methods such as IFN α or VACV infection. In addition, live cell imaging after treatment with tumor necrosis factor (TNFα) and the pan-caspase inhibitor zVAD-fmk was used as a method to visualize necroptosis pathway functionality. Based on these results, cell lines will be selected and modified to create a breast cancer model with cells that are syngeneic, differing only in expression of either RIP3. VACV can be tested for tumor volume reduction in these models to ask if RIP3 expression affects efficacy of mutant VACV as an oncolytic virus.

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Date Created
  • 2019-05

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An in vitro selected sequence capable of ultrahigh transgene expression in vaccinia virus infected cells

Description

Recombinant protein expression is essential to biotechnology and molecular medicine, but facile methods for obtaining significant quantities of folded and functional protein in mammalian cell culture have been lacking. Here

Recombinant protein expression is essential to biotechnology and molecular medicine, but facile methods for obtaining significant quantities of folded and functional protein in mammalian cell culture have been lacking. Here I describe a novel 37-nucleotide in vitro selected sequence that promotes unusually high transgene expression in a vaccinia driven cytoplasmic expression system. Vectors carrying this sequence in a monocistronic reporter plasmid produce >1,000-fold more protein than equivalent vectors with conventional vaccinia promoters. Initial mechanistic studies indicate that high protein expression results from dual activity that impacts both transcription and translation. I suggest that this motif represents a powerful new tool in vaccinia-based protein expression and vaccine development technology.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Regulation of Vaccinia virus induced programmed necrosis through Z-form nucleic acid binding proteins

Description

The interaction between a virus and its host is a constant competition for supremacy. Both the virus and the host immune system constantly evolve mechanisms to circumvent one another. Vaccinia

The interaction between a virus and its host is a constant competition for supremacy. Both the virus and the host immune system constantly evolve mechanisms to circumvent one another. Vaccinia virus (VACV) infections are a prime example of this. VACV contains a highly conserved innate immune evasion gene, E3L, which encodes the E3 protein composed of a Z-NA-binding domain (Z-NA BD) in the N terminus and a highly characterized dsRNA binding domain in the C-terminus. Both domains of E3 have been found to be essential for the inhibition of antiviral states initiated by host type 1 IFNs. However, the mechanism by which the Z-NA-BD of E3’s N-terminus confers IFN resistance has yet to be established. This is partially due to conflicting evidence showing that the Z-NA-BD is dispensable in most cell culture systems, yet essential for pathogenicity in mice. Recently it has been demonstrated that programmed necrosis is an alternative form of cell death that can be initiated by viral infections as part of the host’s innate immune response to control infection. The work presented here reveals that VACV has developed a mechanism to inhibit programmed necrosis. This inhibition occurs through utilizing E3’s N-terminus to prevent the initiation of programmed necrosis involving the host-encoded cellular proteins RIP3 and Z-NA-binding protein DAI. The inhibition of programmed necrosis has been shown to involve regions of both the viral and host proteins responsible for Z-NA binding through in vivo studies demonstrating that deletions of the Z-NA-BD in E3 correspond to an attenuation of pathogenicity in wild type mice that is restored in RIP3- and DAI-deficient models. Together these findings provide novel insight into the elusive function of the Z-NA-binding domain of the N-terminus and its role in preventing host recognition of viral infections. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that a unique mechanism for resisting virally induced programmed necrosis exists. This mechanism, specific to Z-NA binding, involves the inhibition of a DAI dependent form of programmed necrosis possibly by preventing host recognition of viral infections, and hints at the possible biological role of Z-NA in regulating viral infections.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Characterization of host responses to Vaccinia virus infection

Description

Vaccinia virus (VACV) is the current vaccine for the highly infectious smallpox disease. Since the eradication of smallpox, VACV has been developed extensively as a heterologous vaccine vector for several

Vaccinia virus (VACV) is the current vaccine for the highly infectious smallpox disease. Since the eradication of smallpox, VACV has been developed extensively as a heterologous vaccine vector for several pathogens. However, due to the complications associated with this replication competent virus, the safety and efficacy of VACV vaccine vector has been reevaluated. To evaluate the safety and efficacy of VACV, we study the interactions between VACV and the host innate immune system, especially the type I interferon (IFN) signaling pathways. In this work, we evaluated the role of protein kinase R (PKR) and Adenosine Deaminase Acting on RNA 1(ADAR1), which are induced by IFN, in VACV infection. We found that PKR is necessary but is not sufficient to activate interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) in the induction of type I IFN; and the activation of the stress-activated protein kinase/ c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase is required for the PKR-dependent activation of IRF3 during VACV infection. Even though PKR was found to have an antiviral effect in VACV, ADAR1 was found to have a pro-viral effect by destabilizing double stranded RNA (dsRNA), rescuing VACVΔE3L, VACV deleted of the virulence factor E3L, when provided in trans. With the lessons we learned from VACV and host cells interaction, we have developed and evaluated a safe replication-competent VACV vaccine vector for HIV. Our preliminary results indicate that our VACV vaccine vector can still induce the IFN pathway while maintaining the ability to replicate and to express the HIV antigen efficiently. This suggests that this VACV vector can be used as a safe and efficient vaccine vector for HIV.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Lessons from vaccinia virus post-exposure prophylaxis: insights into control of diseases and epidemics

Description

The concept of vaccination dates back further than Edward Jenner's first vaccine using cowpox pustules to confer immunity against smallpox in 1796. Nevertheless, it was Jenner's success that gave vaccines

The concept of vaccination dates back further than Edward Jenner's first vaccine using cowpox pustules to confer immunity against smallpox in 1796. Nevertheless, it was Jenner's success that gave vaccines their name and made vaccinia virus (VACV) of particular interest. More than 200 years later there is still the need to understand vaccination from vaccine design to prediction of vaccine efficacy using mathematical models. Post-exposure vaccination with VACV has been suggested to be effective if administered within four days of smallpox exposure although this has not been definitively studied in humans. The first and second chapters analyze post-exposure prophylaxis of VACV in an animal model using v50ΔB13RMγ, a recombinant VACV expressing murine interferon gamma (IFN-γ) also known as type II IFN. While untreated animals infected with wild type VACV die by 10 days post-infection (dpi), animals treated with v50ΔB13RMγ 1 dpi had decreased morbidity and 100% survival. Despite these differences, the viral load was similar in both groups suggesting that v50ΔB13RMγ acts as an immunoregulator rather than as an antiviral. One of the main characteristics of VACV is its resistance to type I IFN, an effect primarily mediated by the E3L protein, which has a Z-DNA binding domain and a double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) binding domain. In the third chapter a VACV that independently expresses both domains of E3L was engineered and compared to wild type in cells in culture. The dual expression virus was unable to replicate in the JC murine cell line where both domains are needed together for replication. Moreover, phosphorylation of the dsRNA dependent protein kinase (PKR) was observed at late times post-infection which indicates that both domains need to be linked together in order to block the IFN response. Because smallpox has already been eradicated, the utility of mathematical modeling as a tool for predicting disease spread and vaccine efficacy was explored in the last chapter using dengue as a disease model. Current modeling approaches were reviewed and the 2000-2001 dengue outbreak in a Peruvian region was analyzed. This last section highlights the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration and how it benefits research on infectious diseases.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Searching for an HIV vaccine: a heterologous prime-boost system using replicating vaccinia virus and plant-produced virus-like particles

Description

The HIV-1 pandemic continues to cause millions of new infections and AIDS-related deaths each year, and a majority of these occur in regions of the world with limited access to

The HIV-1 pandemic continues to cause millions of new infections and AIDS-related deaths each year, and a majority of these occur in regions of the world with limited access to antiretroviral therapy. Therefore, an HIV-1 vaccine is still desperately needed. The most successful HIV-1 clinical trial to date used a non-replicating canarypox viral vector and protein boosting, yet its modest efficacy left room for improvement. Efforts to derive novel vectors which can be both safe and immunogenic, have spawned a new era of live, viral vectors. One such vaccinia virus vector, NYVAC-KC, was specifically designed to replicate in humans and had several immune modulators deleted to improve immunogenicity and reduce pathogenicity. Two NYVAC-KC vectors were generated: one expressing the Gag capsid, and one with deconstructed-gp41 (dgp41), which contains an important neutralizing antibody target, the membrane proximal external region (MPER). These vectors were combined with HIV-1 Gag/dgp41 virus-like particles (VLPs) produced in the tobacco-relative Nicotiana benthamiana. Different plant expression vectors were compared in an effort to improve yield. A Geminivirus-based vector was shown to increase the amount of MPER present in VLPs, thus potentially enhancing immunogenicity. Furthermore, these VLPs were shown to interact with the innate immune system through Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling, which activated antigen presenting cells to induce a Th2-biased response in a TLR-dependent manner. Furthermore, expression of Gag and dgp41 in NYVAC-KC vectors resulted in activation of antiviral signaling pathways reliant on TBK1/IRF3, which necessitated the use of higher doses in mice to match the immunogenicity of wild-type viral vectors. VLPs and NYVAC-KC vectors were tested in mice, ultimately showing that the best antibody and Gag-specific T cell responses were generated when both components were administered simultaneously. Thus, plant-produced VLPs and poxvirus vectors represent a highly immunogenic HIV-1 vaccine candidate that warrants further study.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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To Explode or to Implode: How Cells Decide Between Apoptosis and Necroptosis Following Viral or Chemical Stress

Description

Cell death is a powerful tool through which organisms can inhibit the spread of viruses by preventing their replication. In this work, I used viral and chemical stressors to elucidate

Cell death is a powerful tool through which organisms can inhibit the spread of viruses by preventing their replication. In this work, I used viral and chemical stressors to elucidate the mechanisms by which one anti-viral system might be activated over another, focusing on the programmable death pathway necroptosis and Protein Kinase R (PKR). PKR can detect viral dsRNA and trigger antiviral effects such as cessation of translation and induction of programmed death. Necroptosis is a rapid cellular death that can be induced via sensors such as DNA-dependent activator of IFN-regulatory factors (DAI), also known as Z-DNA-binding protein 1 (ZBP1). DAI contains a Z-form nucleic acid (ZNA) binding domain. E3, the primary vaccinia virus (VACV) interferon resistance protein, contains a similar domain in its amino terminus. We have previously reported this domain to be necessary for the inhibition of both PKR activation and DAI/ZBP1-mediated necroptosis.

Monkeypox virus is a reemerging human pathogen. Despite a partial amino-terminal deletion in its E3 homolog, it does not activate PKR. In chapter 2, I show that MPXV produces less dsRNA than VACV, which could explain how the virus avoids activating PKR.

The amino-terminus of vaccinia is associated with ZNA binding, inhibition of PKR, and inhibition of necroptosis. To determine the roles of PKR inhibition and ZNA binding in necroptosis inhibition, I characterized the VACV mutants Za(ADAR1)-E3, which binds ZNA but does not inhibit PKR, and E3:Y48A, which cannot bind ZNA. I found that while Za(ADAR1)-E3 fails to induce necroptosis, E3:Y48A does not activate PKR but does induce necroptosis. This suggests that Z-form nucleic acid binding is not necessary for vaccinia E3-mediated inhibition of PKR, nor is the inhibition of PKR sufficient for the inhibition of necroptosis.

Finally, all known ZNA-binding proteins have immune functions and home to stress granules. I asked if stress granule formation alone could lead to necroptosis. I found that in L929 cells sodium arsenite, a known inducer of stress granules, could trigger DAI-dependent necroptosis. This suggests that DAI/ZBP1 is not necessarily a sensor of viral ligands but perhaps is a sensor of stress signals brought about by infection.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Characterization of the E3L amino-terminus in poxvirus replication and tumor regression

Description

Host organisms have evolved multiple mechanisms to defend against a viral infection and likewise viruses have evolved multiple methods to subvert the host's anti-viral immune response. Vaccinia virus (VACV)

Host organisms have evolved multiple mechanisms to defend against a viral infection and likewise viruses have evolved multiple methods to subvert the host's anti-viral immune response. Vaccinia virus (VACV) is known to contain numerous proteins involved in blocking the cellular anti-viral immune response. The VACV E3L protein is important for inhibiting the anti-viral immune response and deletions within this gene lead to a severe attenuation. In particular, VACV containing N-terminal truncations in E3L are attenuated in animal models and fail to replicate in murine JC cells. Monkeypox virus (MPXV) F3L protein is a homologue of the VACV E3L protein, however it is predicted to contain a 37 amino acid N-terminal truncation. Despite containing an N-terminal truncation in the E3L homologue, MPXV is able to inhibit the anti-viral immune response similar to wild-type VACV and able to replicate in JC cells. This suggests that MPXV has evolved another mechanism(s) to counteract host defenses and promote replication in JC cells. MPXV produces less dsRNA than VACV during the course of an infection, which may explain why MPXV posses a phenotype similar to VACV, despite containing a truncated E3L homologue. The development of oncolytic viruses as a therapy for cancer has gained interest in recent years. Oncolytic viruses selectively replicate in and destroy cancerous cells and leave normal cells unharmed. Many tumors possess dysregulated anti-viral signaling pathways, since these pathways can also regulate cell growth. Creating a mutation in the N-terminus of the VACV-E3L protein generates an oncolytic VACV that depends on dysregulated anti-viral signaling pathways for replication allowing for direct targeting of the cancerous cells. VACV-E3Ldel54N selectively replicates in numerous cancer cells lines and not in the normal cell lines. Additionally, VACV-E3Ldel54N is safe and effective in causing tumor regression in a xenograph mouse model. Lastly, VACV-E3Ldel54N was capable of spreading from the treated tumors to the untreated tumors in both a xenograph and syngeneic mouse model. These data suggest that VACV-E3Ldel54N could be an effective oncolytic virus for the treatment of cancer.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2010