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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 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