We seek to understand the interactions between Human noroviruses (HuNoVs) and their Histo-blood group antigen (HBGA) receptors in the attachment/penetration into host cells and potentially triggering conformational dynamics of the viral capsid and genome release in the early stage of viral infection. HuNoVs in the Caliciviridae family are the major cause of nonbacterial gastroenteritis worldwide. The highly contagious HuNoVs can rapidly spread among the population through contaminated food, water and person-to-person contact in confined spaces, such as cruises, hotels, schools, hospitals and other long-term health care facilities. There are approximately 21 million cases of infection in ~1,500 HuNoVs outbreaks in the United States annually, which causes severe economic loss to society and threatens human health. Despite this serious public health concern, knowledge about the infection mechanism and pathogenesis of HuNoVs is limited due to the lack of a permissive cell line. Our past decade studies showed a strong association of HBGAs as a susceptibility factor in NoV infection, and therefore further studies to seek direct evidence on HBGAs as a receptor of NoVs are necessary. In this R01 application, we will use the recently discovered primate Tulane virus (TV) as the model system to fulfill our goals because of its close genetic and structural similarities to HuNoVs, the availability of an established cultivation system, and the fact that TV also utilizes HBGAs as receptors. We will first test the HBGA requirement in TV infection in cell cultures by performing blocking or inhibition experiments using HBGA-specific blocking reagents. We also will study the roles of HBGAs in the attachment and/or penetration of TV entry into host cells. Furthermore, we will test a novel hypothesis of HBGA-triggered dynamic change of TV capsid on viral genome release to initiate infection. This hypothesis is based on our recent observation of conformational changes of TV following interaction with HBGAs. Finally, we will validate these findings using a reverse genetic system of TV by mutagenesis studies in attempt to determine the hot spots in the capsid protein responsible for these interactions. We also aim to develop the TV culture system into a useful surrogate for antiviral screening/evaluation against HuNoVs. The proposed studies in this application will be performed by collaboration between two research teams on structural biology (Wen Jiang, PI) and molecular virology (Xi Jiang, co-PI) with an excellent collaboration track record in the past. We are confident that we will make a rapid progress in fulfilling our aims.

Public Health Relevance

Human noroviruses are crucial human pathogens that continuously cause pandemic outbreaks of gastroenteritis worldwide. In this project, we will use the primate Tulane virus (TV) model system to characterize the roles of HBGA receptors in the early stage of viral attachment, penetration, a potential novel mechanism of HBGA-mediated viral genome release, and to better understand the infection mechanism and develop the TV cultures into a surrogate for antiviral screening/evaluation for human noroviruses.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Macromolecular Structure and Function C Study Section (MSFC)
Program Officer
Alarcon, Rodolfo M
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Purdue University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
West Lafayette
United States
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Xia, Ming; Huang, Pengwei; Sun, Chen et al. (2018) Bioengineered Norovirus S60 Nanoparticles as a Multifunctional Vaccine Platform. ACS Nano 12:10665-10682
Yan, Rui; Li, Kunpeng; Jiang, Wen (2018) Defocus and magnification dependent variation of TEM image astigmatism. Sci Rep 8:344
Zhao, Haiyan; Li, Kunpeng; Lynn, Anna Y et al. (2017) Structure of a headful DNA-packaging bacterial virus at 2.9 Å resolution by electron cryo-microscopy. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 114:3601-3606
Yan, Rui; Li, Kunpeng; Jiang, Wen (2017) Real-time detection and single-pass minimization of TEM objective lens astigmatism. J Struct Biol 197:210-219
Jiang, Wen; Tang, Liang (2017) Atomic cryo-EM structures of viruses. Curr Opin Struct Biol 46:122-129
Liu, Zheng; Guo, Fei; Wang, Feng et al. (2016) 2.9 Å Resolution Cryo-EM 3D Reconstruction of Close-Packed Virus Particles. Structure 24:319-28
Yu, Guimei; Li, Kunpeng; Liu, Yue et al. (2016) An algorithm for estimation and correction of anisotropic magnification distortion of cryo-EM images without need of pre-calibration. J Struct Biol 195:207-215
Yu, Guimei; Li, Kunpeng; Huang, Pengwei et al. (2016) Antibody-Based Affinity Cryoelectron Microscopy at 2.6-Å Resolution. Structure 24:1984-1990
Jin, Miao; Zhou, Yong-Kang; Xie, Hua-Ping et al. (2016) Characterization of the new GII.17 norovirus variant that emerged recently as the predominant strain in China. J Gen Virol 97:2620-2632
Yu, Guimei; Li, Kunpeng; Jiang, Wen (2016) Antibody-based affinity cryo-EM grid. Methods 100:16-24

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