The objective of this project is to elucidate mechanisms of attachment of human JCV. Attachment mechanisms of related polyomaviruses are known in atomic detail, and involve interactions between the viral capsid protein VPl and cell surface receptors that are ganghosides. Little is known about the molecular basis of JCV attachment. We have overexpressed the VPl capsid protein of JCV and obtained small crystals. An integrated research program is proposed to (i) determine high-resolution structures of the JCV capsid protein VPl in complex with oHgosaccharide receptors (ii) determine structures of the JCV capsid protein VPl in complex with relevant portions of the serotonin receptor 5HT2aR, and (iii) determine high-resolution structures of the JCV capsid protein VPl in complex with inhibitors.
These aims should advance our understanding of JCV attachment to cells and point out strategies to intervene with the receptor interactions. As very few structure-function studies of virus-receptor interactions have been performed, the broader impact of this work will be in revealing general mechanisms by which pathogenic viruses recognize cellular receptors and cause organ-specific disease. We envision a high level of synergy between this project and projects 2 and 3, for the following reasons. The studies proposed here will provide a solid structural basis for understanding the binding modes of receptors and inhibitors to JCV, and this knowledge can then be directly used by the other projects to establish functional assays and to facilitate the development of effective small-molecule inhibitors. Vice versa, discoveries made by the other groups such as the identification of alpha-defensin as a JCV inhibtor can be directly used by us to provide a structural explanation for this interaction, which in turn can be used as platform for the development for other, strongly inhibitory ligands.

Public Health Relevance

To date, there are no adequate anti-viral treatments to resolve the/detrimental, and in some cases fatal, JCV-induced illness in affected individuals. The research proposed in project 1 will contribute to the development of general principles of virus-receptor interactions and reveal basic mechanisms of polyomavirus pathogenesis. Elucidation of these unifying themes may lead to identification of new targets for broadiv effective antiviral therapeutics

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Research Program Projects (P01)
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National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Initial Review Group (NSD)
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Brown University
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Maginnis, Melissa S; Nelson, Christian D S; Atwood, Walter J (2015) JC polyomavirus attachment, entry, and trafficking: unlocking the keys to a fatal infection. J Neurovirol 21:601-13
Zins, Stephen R; Nelson, Christian D S; Maginnis, Melissa S et al. (2014) The human alpha defensin HD5 neutralizes JC polyomavirus infection by reducing endoplasmic reticulum traffic and stabilizing the viral capsid. J Virol 88:948-60
O'Hara, Bethany A; Rupasinghe, Chamila; Yatawara, Achani et al. (2014) Gallic acid-based small-molecule inhibitors of JC and BK polyomaviral infection. Virus Res 189:280-5
Carney, Daniel W; Nelson, Christian D S; Ferris, Bennett D et al. (2014) Structural optimization of a retrograde trafficking inhibitor that protects cells from infections by human polyoma- and papillomaviruses. Bioorg Med Chem 22:4836-47
Neu, Ursula; Allen, Stacy-Ann A; Blaum, Barbel S et al. (2013) A structure-guided mutation in the major capsid protein retargets BK polyomavirus. PLoS Pathog 9:e1003688
Nelson, Christian D S; Carney, Dan W; Derdowski, Aaron et al. (2013) A retrograde trafficking inhibitor of ricin and Shiga-like toxins inhibits infection of cells by human and monkey polyomaviruses. MBio 4:e00729-13
Gee, Gretchen V; O'Hara, Bethany A; Derdowski, Aaron et al. (2013) Pseudovirus mimics cell entry and trafficking of the human polyomavirus JCPyV. Virus Res 178:281-6
Maginnis, Melissa S; Stroh, Luisa J; Gee, Gretchen V et al. (2013) Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy-associated mutations in the JC polyomavirus capsid disrupt lactoseries tetrasaccharide c binding. MBio 4:e00247-13
Lipovsky, Alex; Popa, Andreea; Pimienta, Genaro et al. (2013) Genome-wide siRNA screen identifies the retromer as a cellular entry factor for human papillomavirus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 110:7452-7
Yatawara, Achani K; Hodoscek, Milan; Mierke, Dale F (2013) Ligand binding site identification by higher dimension molecular dynamics. J Chem Inf Model 53:674-80

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