Poxviruses include some dangerous emerging or re-emerging pathogens as well as some promising vaccine vectors for infectious diseases and cancers. They are unique among viruses in that they encode a large number of proteins that are dedicated to evading host immune responses. These proteins include secreted inhibitors of cytokines as well as intracellular inhibitors of immune signaling or antiviral factors. The long-term goal of our project is to uncover the mechanisms of poxvirus immune evasion, which will reveal fundamental principles about virus-host interactions and provide knowledge for the development of vaccines and antivirals. The focus of our last funding period was on a secreted poxvirus interleukin-18 (IL-18) binding protein (IL-18BP), which prevents IL-18 from inducing IFN-gamma production. We have been very productive and accomplished all the specific aims. In addition, we discovered in vaccinia virus (VACV) two intracellular inhibitors of type I interferons (IFN), K1 and C71,2. This is an exciting finding, since K1 and C7 are host-range factors essential for poxviruses replication in mammalian hosts but their mechanism of action has long been a mystery. We hypothesize that K1 and C7 are essential for poxvirus replication due to their inhibition of a critical IFN-inducible antiviral pathway. Therefore uncovering the mechanism of action of K1 and C7 will reveal not only molecular basis for poxvirus host tropism but also critical innate immune defense mechanism against poxviruses. In the next funding cycle, we propose to follow up our discoveries on K1 and C7 and pursue the following aims.
Aim 1. Structure-function analysis of VACV C7 based on crystal structures of C7 family of proteins.
Aim 2. Identify the host antiviral factors that are targeted by K1 and C7.
Aim 3. Determine the in vivo role K1 and C7 play in replication capacity and immunogenicity of VACV.
Pathogenic poxviruses such as variola virus and monkeypox virus remain a dangerous threat to today's largely unimmunized population, while attenuated poxviruses hold great promise as vaccine vectors. Studying poxvirus immune evasion mechanisms will provide knowledge for development of antiviral therapies and poxvirus-vectored vaccines.
|Pathak, Prabhat Kumar; Peng, Shuxia; Meng, Xiangzhi et al. (2018) Structure of a lipid-bound viral membrane assembly protein reveals a modality for enclosing the lipid bilayer. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 115:7028-7032|
|Meng, Xiangzhi; Kaever, Thomas; Yan, Bo et al. (2018) Characterization of murine antibody responses to vaccinia virus envelope protein A14 reveals an immunodominant antigen lacking of effective neutralization targets. Virology 518:284-292|
|Meng, Xiangzhi; Rose, Lloyd; Han, Yue et al. (2017) Vaccinia Virus A6 Is a Two-Domain Protein Requiring a Cognate N-Terminal Domain for Full Viral Membrane Assembly Activity. J Virol 91:|
|Krumm, Brian; Meng, Xiangzhi; Xiang, Yan et al. (2017) Identification of small molecule inhibitors of Interleukin-18. Sci Rep 7:483|
|Weisberg, Andrea S; Maruri-Avidal, Liliana; Bisht, Himani et al. (2017) Enigmatic origin of the poxvirus membrane from the endoplasmic reticulum shown by 3D imaging of vaccinia virus assembly mutants. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 114:E11001-E11009|
|Krumm, Brian; Meng, Xiangzhi; Xiang, Yan et al. (2015) Crystallization of interleukin-18 for structure-based inhibitor design. Acta Crystallogr F Struct Biol Commun 71:710-7|
|Meng, Xiangzhi; Krumm, Brian; Li, Yongchao et al. (2015) Structural basis for antagonizing a host restriction factor by C7 family of poxvirus host-range proteins. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 112:14858-63|
|Kolli, Swapna; Meng, Xiangzhi; Wu, Xiang et al. (2015) Structure-function analysis of vaccinia virus H7 protein reveals a novel phosphoinositide binding fold essential for poxvirus replication. J Virol 89:2209-19|
|Krumm, Brian; Xiang, Yan; Deng, Junpeng (2014) Structural biology of the IL-1 superfamily: key cytokines in the regulation of immune and inflammatory responses. Protein Sci 23:526-38|
|Meng, Xiangzhi; Wu, Xiang; Yan, Bo et al. (2013) Analysis of the role of vaccinia virus H7 in virion membrane biogenesis with an H7-deletion mutant. J Virol 87:8247-53|
Showing the most recent 10 out of 21 publications