High-risk human papillomaviruses (HPVs) are small nonenveloped DNA viruses with a strict tropism for squamous epithelium. The viruses are causative agents of cervical cancer and some head and neck cancers, but their differentiation-dependent life cycles have made them difficult to study in simple cell culture. Thus, many aspects of early HPV infection remain mysterious. We recently showed the high-risk HPV type 31 (HPV31) enters its natural host cell type via caveola-dependent endocytosis, a distinct mechanism from that of the closely related HPV16 (Smith et al., J. Virol. 81:9922-9931, 2007). Here, we determined the downstream trafficking events after caveolar entry of HPV31 into human keratinocytes. After initial plasma membrane binding, HPV31 associates with caveolin-1 and transiently localizes to the caveosome before trafficking to the early endosome and proceeding through the endosomal pathway. Caveosome-to-endosome transport was found to be Rab5 GTPase dependent. Although HPV31 capsids were observed in the lysosome, Rab7 GTPase was dispensable for HPV31 infection, suggesting that viral genomes escape from the endosomal pathway prior to Rab7-mediated capsid transport. Consistent with this, the acidic pH encountered by HPV31 within the early endosomal pathway induces a conformational change in the capsid resulting in increased DNase susceptibility of the viral genome, which likely aids in uncoating and/or endosomal escape. The entry and trafficking route of HPV31 into human keratinocytes represents a unique viral pathway by which the virions use caveolar entry to eventually access a low-pH site that appears to facilitate endosomal escape of genomes.
The use of fluorescence calibration beads has been the hallmark of quantitative flow cytometry. It has enabled the direct comparison of interlaboratory data as well as quality control in clinical flow cytometry. In this article, we describe a simple method for producing color-generalizable calibration beads based on streptavidin functionalized quantum dots. Based on their broad absorption spectra and relatively narrow emission, which is tunable on the basis of dot size, quantum dot calibration beads can be made for any fluorophore that matches their emission color. In an earlier publication, we characterized the spectroscopic properties of commercial streptavidin functionalized dots (Invitrogen). Here we describe the molecular assembly of these dots on biotinylated beads. The law of mass action is used to readily define the site densities of the dots on the beads. The applicability of these beads is tested against the industry standard, namely commercial fluorescein calibration beads. The utility of the calibration beads is also extended to the characterization surface densities of dot-labeled epidermal growth factor ligands as well as quantitative indicators of the binding of dot-labeled virus particles to cells.
Subspecies B1 human adenoviruses (HAdV-B1) are prevalent respiratory pathogens. Compared to their species C (HAdV-C) counterparts, relatively little work has been devoted to the characterization of their unique molecular biology. The early region 3 (E3) transcription unit is an interesting target for future efforts because of its species-specific diversity in genetic content among adenoviruses. This diversity is particularly significant for the subset of E3-encoded products that are membrane glycoproteins and may account for the distinct pathobiology of the different human adenovirus species. In order to understand the role of HAdV-B-specific genes in viral pathogenesis, we initiated the characterization of unique E3 genes. As a continuation of our efforts to define the function encoded in the highly polymorphic ORF E3-10.9K and testing the hypothesis that the E3-10.9K protein orthologs with a hydrophobic domain contribute to the efficient release of viral progeny, we generated HAdV-3 mutant viruses unable to express E3-10.9K ortholog E3-9K and examined their ability to grow, disseminate, and egress in cell culture.
The direct genetic modification of adenoviral capsid proteins with new ligands is an attractive means to confer targeted tropism to adenoviral vectors. Although several capsid proteins have been reported to tolerate the genetic fusion of foreign peptides and proteins, direct comparison of cell targeting efficiencies through the different capsomeres has been lacking. Likewise, direct comparison of with one or multiple ligands has not been performed due to a lack of capsid-compatible ligands available for retargeting. Here we utilize a panel of metabolically biotinylated Ad vectors to directly compare targeted transduction through the fiber, protein IX, and hexon capsomeres using a variety of biotinylated ligands including antibodies, transferrin, EGF, and cholera toxin B. These results clearly demonstrate that cell targeting with a variety of high affinity receptor-binding ligands is only effective when transduction is redirected through the fiber protein. In contrast, protein IX and hexon-mediated targeting by the same set of ligands failed to mediate robust vector targeting, perhaps due to aberrant trafficking at the cell surface or inside targeted cells. These data suggest that vector targeting by genetic incorporation of high affinity ligands will likely be most efficient through modification of the adenovirus fiber rather than the protein IX and hexon capsomeres. In contrast, single-step monomeric avidin affinity purification of Ad vectors using the metabolic biotinylation system is most effective through capsomeres like protein IX and hexon.
Subspecies B1 human adenoviruses (HAdV-B1s) are important causative agents of acute respiratory disease, but the molecular bases of their distinct pathobiology are still poorly understood. Marked differences in genetic content between HAdV-B1s and the well-characterized HAdV-Cs that may contribute to distinct pathogenic properties map to the E3 region. Between the highly conserved E3-19K and E3-10.4K/RIDα open reading frames (ORFs), and in the same location as the HAdV-C ADP/E3-11.6K ORF, HAdV-B1s carry ORFs E3-20.1K and E3-20.5K and a polymorphic third ORF, designated E3-10.9K, that varies in the size of its predicted product among HAdV-B1 serotypes and genomic variants. As an initial effort to define the function of the E3-10.9K ORF, we carried out a biochemical characterization of E3-10.9K-encoded orthologous proteins and investigated their expression in infected cells. Sequence-based predictions suggested that E3-10.9K orthologs with a hydrophobic domain are integral membrane proteins. Ectopically expressed, C-terminally tagged (with enhanced green fluorescent protein [EGFP]) E3-10.9K and E3-9K localized primarily to the plasma membrane, while E3-7.7K localized primarily to a juxtanuclear compartment that could not be identified. EGFP fusion proteins with a hydrophobic domain were N and O glycosylated. EGFP-tagged E3-4.8K, which lacked the hydrophobic domain, displayed diffuse cellular localization similar to that of the EGFP control. E3-10.9K transcripts from the major late promoter were detected at late time points postinfection. A C-terminally hemagglutinin-tagged version of E3-9K was detected by immunoprecipitation at late times postinfection in the membrane fraction of mutant virus-infected cells. These data suggest a role for ORF E3-10.9K-encoded proteins at late stages of HAdV-B1 replication, with potentially important functional implications for the documented ORF polymorphism.