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Surveillance of Influenza Virus Spread on the Arizona State University Campus

Description

The 2017-2018 Influenza season was marked by the death of 80,000 Americans: the highest flu-related death toll in a decade. Further, the yearly economic toll to the US healthcare system and society is on the order of tens of billions

The 2017-2018 Influenza season was marked by the death of 80,000 Americans: the highest flu-related death toll in a decade. Further, the yearly economic toll to the US healthcare system and society is on the order of tens of billions of dollars. It is vital that we gain a better understanding of the dynamics of influenza transmission in order to prevent its spread. Viral DNA sequences examined using bioinformatics methods offer a rich framework with which to monitor the evolution and spread of influenza for public health surveillance. To better understand the influenza epidemic during the severe 2017-2018 season, we established a passive surveillance system at Arizona State University’s Tempe Campus Health Services beginning in January 2018. From this system, nasopharyngeal samples screening positive for influenza were collected. Using these samples, molecular DNA sequences will be generated using a combined multiplex RT-PCR and NGS approach. Phylogenetic analysis will be used to infer the severity and temporal course of the 2017-2018 influenza outbreak on campus as well as the 2018-2019 flu season. Through this surveillance system, we will gain knowledge of the dynamics of influenza spread in a university setting and will use this information to inform public health strategies.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Coronavirus Envelope Protein Transmembrane Domain: Impact of Positive Charges on Virus-like Particle Assembly

Description

Coronaviruses are a significant group of viruses that cause enteric and respiratory infections in a variety of animals, including humans. Outbreaks of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the past 15 years has increased

Coronaviruses are a significant group of viruses that cause enteric and respiratory infections in a variety of animals, including humans. Outbreaks of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the past 15 years has increased research into coronaviruses to gain an understanding of their structure and function so one day therapies and vaccines may be produced. These viruses have four main structural proteins: the spike, nucleocapsid, envelope, and membrane proteins. The envelope (E) protein is an integral membrane protein in the viral envelope that acts as a viroporin for transport of cations and plays an important role in pathogenesis and viral assembly. E contains a hydrophobic transmembrane domain with polar residues that is conserved across coronavirus species and may be significant to its function. This experiment looks at the possible role of one polar residue in assembly, the 15th residue glutamine, in the Mouse Hepatitis Virus (MHV) E protein. The glutamine 15 residue was mutated into positively charged residues lysine or arginine. Plasmids with these mutations were co-expressed with the membrane protein (M) gene to produce virus-like particles (VLPs). VLPs are produced when E and M are co-expressed together and model assembly of the coronavirus envelope, but they are not infectious as they do not contain the viral genome. Observing their production with the mutated E protein gives insight into the role the glutamine residue plays in assembly. The experiment showed that a changing glutamine 15 to positive charges does not appear to significantly affect the assembly of the VLPs, indicating that this specific residue may not have a large impact on viral assembly.

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2017-05

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Biophysical Characterization of a Vaccine Candidate Against HIV-1: The Transmembrane and Membrane Proximal Domains of HIV-1 gp41 as a Maltose Binding Protein Fusion

Description

The membrane proximal region (MPR, residues 649–683) and transmembrane domain (TMD, residues 684–705) of the gp41 subunit of HIV-1’s envelope protein are highly conserved and are important in viral mucosal transmission, virus attachment and membrane fusion with target cells. Several

The membrane proximal region (MPR, residues 649–683) and transmembrane domain (TMD, residues 684–705) of the gp41 subunit of HIV-1’s envelope protein are highly conserved and are important in viral mucosal transmission, virus attachment and membrane fusion with target cells. Several structures of the trimeric membrane proximal external region (residues 662–683) of MPR have been reported at the atomic level; however, the atomic structure of the TMD still remains unknown. To elucidate the structure of both MPR and TMD, we expressed the region spanning both domains, MPR-TM (residues 649–705), in Escherichia coli as a fusion protein with maltose binding protein (MBP). MPR-TM was initially fused to the C-terminus of MBP via a 42 aa-long linker containing a TEV protease recognition site (MBP-linker-MPR-TM).

Biophysical characterization indicated that the purified MBP-linker-MPR-TM protein was a monodisperse and stable candidate for crystallization. However, crystals of the MBP-linker-MPR-TM protein could not be obtained in extensive crystallization screens. It is possible that the 42 residue-long linker between MBP and MPR-TM was interfering with crystal formation. To test this hypothesis, the 42 residue-long linker was replaced with three alanine residues. The fusion protein, MBP-AAA-MPR-TM, was similarly purified and characterized. Significantly, both the MBP-linker-MPR-TM and MBP-AAA-MPR-TM proteins strongly interacted with broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies 2F5 and 4E10. With epitopes accessible to the broadly neutralizing antibodies, these MBP/MPR-TM recombinant proteins may be in immunologically relevant conformations that mimic a pre-hairpin intermediate of gp41.

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Date Created
2015-08-21

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Bacterial Expression, Correct Membrane Targeting, and Functional Folding of the HIV-1 Membrane Protein Vpu Using a Periplasmic Signal Peptide

Description

Viral protein U (Vpu) is a type-III integral membrane protein encoded by Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV- 1). It is expressed in infected host cells and plays several roles in viral progeny escape from infected cells, including down-regulation of CD4 receptors.

Viral protein U (Vpu) is a type-III integral membrane protein encoded by Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV- 1). It is expressed in infected host cells and plays several roles in viral progeny escape from infected cells, including down-regulation of CD4 receptors. But key structure/function questions remain regarding the mechanisms by which the Vpu protein contributes to HIV-1 pathogenesis. Here we describe expression of Vpu in bacteria, its purification and characterization. We report the successful expression of PelB-Vpu in Escherichia coli using the leader peptide pectate lyase B (PelB) from Erwinia carotovora. The protein was detergent extractable and could be isolated in a very pure form. We demonstrate that the PelB signal peptide successfully targets Vpu to the cell membranes and inserts it as a type I membrane protein. PelB-Vpu was biophysically characterized by circular dichroism and dynamic light scattering experiments and was shown to be an excellent candidate for elucidating structural models.

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Created

Date Created
2017-02-22

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Diffraction Data of Core-shell Nanoparticles from an X-ray Free Electron Laser

Description

X-ray free-electron lasers provide novel opportunities to conduct single particle analysis on nanoscale particles. Coherent diffractive imaging experiments were performed at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), SLAC National Laboratory, exposing single inorganic core-shell nanoparticles to femtosecond hard-X-ray pulses. Each

X-ray free-electron lasers provide novel opportunities to conduct single particle analysis on nanoscale particles. Coherent diffractive imaging experiments were performed at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), SLAC National Laboratory, exposing single inorganic core-shell nanoparticles to femtosecond hard-X-ray pulses. Each facetted nanoparticle consisted of a crystalline gold core and a differently shaped palladium shell. Scattered intensities were observed up to about 7 nm resolution. Analysis of the scattering patterns revealed the size distribution of the samples, which is consistent with that obtained from direct real-space imaging by electron microscopy. Scattering patterns resulting from single particles were selected and compiled into a dataset which can be valuable for algorithm developments in single particle scattering research.

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Date Created
2017-04-11

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Coherent Diffraction of Single Rice Dwarf Virus Particles Using Hard X-rays at the Linac Coherent Light Source

Description

Single particle diffractive imaging data from Rice Dwarf Virus (RDV) were recorded using the Coherent X-ray Imaging (CXI) instrument at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS). RDV was chosen as it is a well-characterized model system, useful for proof-of-principle experiments,

Single particle diffractive imaging data from Rice Dwarf Virus (RDV) were recorded using the Coherent X-ray Imaging (CXI) instrument at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS). RDV was chosen as it is a well-characterized model system, useful for proof-of-principle experiments, system optimization and algorithm development. RDV, an icosahedral virus of about 70 nm in diameter, was aerosolized and injected into the approximately 0.1 μm diameter focused hard X-ray beam at the CXI instrument of LCLS. Diffraction patterns from RDV with signal to 5.9 Ångström were recorded. The diffraction data are available through the Coherent X-ray Imaging Data Bank (CXIDB) as a resource for algorithm development, the contents of which are described here.

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Date Created
2016-08-01

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Coherent soft X-ray diffraction imaging of coliphage PR772 at the Linac coherent light source

Description

Single-particle diffraction from X-ray Free Electron Lasers offers the potential for molecular structure determination without the need for crystallization. In an effort to further develop the technique, we present a dataset of coherent soft X-ray diffraction images of Coliphage PR772

Single-particle diffraction from X-ray Free Electron Lasers offers the potential for molecular structure determination without the need for crystallization. In an effort to further develop the technique, we present a dataset of coherent soft X-ray diffraction images of Coliphage PR772 virus, collected at the Atomic Molecular Optics (AMO) beamline with pnCCD detectors in the LAMP instrument at the Linac Coherent Light Source. The diameter of PR772 ranges from 65–70 nm, which is considerably smaller than the previously reported ~600 nm diameter Mimivirus. This reflects continued progress in XFEL-based single-particle imaging towards the single molecular imaging regime. The data set contains significantly more single particle hits than collected in previous experiments, enabling the development of improved statistical analysis, reconstruction algorithms, and quantitative metrics to determine resolution and self-consistency.

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Created

Date Created
2017-06-27

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Expression, purification and crystallization of CTB-MPR, a candidate mucosal vaccine component against HIV-1

Description

CTB-MPR is a fusion protein between the B subunit of cholera toxin (CTB) and the membrane-proximal region of gp41 (MPR), the transmembrane envelope protein of Human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1), and has previously been shown to induce the production of

CTB-MPR is a fusion protein between the B subunit of cholera toxin (CTB) and the membrane-proximal region of gp41 (MPR), the transmembrane envelope protein of Human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1), and has previously been shown to induce the production of anti-HIV-1 antibodies with antiviral functions. To further improve the design of this candidate vaccine, X-ray crystallography experiments were performed to obtain structural information about this fusion protein. Several variants of CTB-MPR were designed, constructed and recombinantly expressed in Escherichia coli. The first variant contained a flexible GPGP linker between CTB and MPR, and yielded crystals that diffracted to a resolution of 2.3 Å, but only the CTB region was detected in the electron-density map. A second variant, in which the CTB was directly attached to MPR, was shown to destabilize pentamer formation. A third construct containing a polyalanine linker between CTB and MPR proved to stabilize the pentameric form of the protein during purification. The purification procedure was shown to produce a homogeneously pure and monodisperse sample for crystallization. Initial crystallization experiments led to pseudo-crystals which were ordered in only two dimensions and were disordered in the third dimension. Nanocrystals obtained using the same precipitant showed promising X-ray diffraction to 5 Å resolution in femtosecond nanocrystallography experiments at the Linac Coherent Light Source at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The results demonstrate the utility of femtosecond X-ray crystallography to enable structural analysis based on nano/microcrystals of a protein for which no macroscopic crystals ordered in three dimensions have been observed before.

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Created

Date Created
2014-08-20

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Merging single-shot XFEL diffraction data from inorganic nanoparticles: a new approach to size and orientation determination

Description

X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) provide new opportunities for structure determination of biomolecules, viruses and nanomaterials. With unprecedented peak brilliance and ultra-short pulse duration, XFELs can tolerate higher X-ray doses by exploiting the femtosecond-scale exposure time, and can thus go beyond

X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) provide new opportunities for structure determination of biomolecules, viruses and nanomaterials. With unprecedented peak brilliance and ultra-short pulse duration, XFELs can tolerate higher X-ray doses by exploiting the femtosecond-scale exposure time, and can thus go beyond the resolution limits achieved with conventional X-ray diffraction imaging techniques. Using XFELs, it is possible to collect scattering information from single particles at high resolution, however particle heterogeneity and unknown orientations complicate data merging in three-dimensional space. Using the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), synthetic inorganic nanocrystals with a core–shell architecture were used as a model system for proof-of-principle coherent diffractive single-particle imaging experiments. To deal with the heterogeneity of the core–shell particles, new computational methods have been developed to extract the particle size and orientation from the scattering data to assist data merging. The size distribution agrees with that obtained by electron microscopy and the merged data support a model with a core–shell architecture.

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Date Created
2017-08-27

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Serial femtosecond X-ray diffraction of enveloped virus microcrystals

Description

Serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) using X-ray free-electron lasers has produced high-resolution, room temperature, time-resolved protein structures. We report preliminary SFX of Sindbis virus, an enveloped icosahedral RNA virus with ∼700 Å diameter. Microcrystals delivered in viscous agarose medium diffracted to ∼40 Å

Serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) using X-ray free-electron lasers has produced high-resolution, room temperature, time-resolved protein structures. We report preliminary SFX of Sindbis virus, an enveloped icosahedral RNA virus with ∼700 Å diameter. Microcrystals delivered in viscous agarose medium diffracted to ∼40 Å resolution. Small-angle diffuse X-ray scattering overlaid Bragg peaks and analysis suggests this results from molecular transforms of individual particles. Viral proteins undergo structural changes during entry and infection, which could, in principle, be studied with SFX. This is an important step toward determining room temperature structures from virus microcrystals that may enable time-resolved studies of enveloped viruses.

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Created

Date Created
2015-08-20