Reverse Transcription
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Retrovirology ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 18 (1) ◽  
Naoki Kishimoto ◽  
Ryosuke Okano ◽  
Ayano Akita ◽  
Satoshi Miura ◽  
Ayaka Irie ◽  

Abstract Background The genome of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is encapsulated in a core consisting of viral capsid proteins (CA). After viral entry, the HIV-1 core dissociates and releases the viral genome into the target cell, this process is called uncoating. Uncoating of HIV-1 core is one of the critical events in viral replication and several studies show that host proteins positively or negatively regulate this process by interacting directly with the HIV-1 CA. Results Here, we show that arginyl-tRNA-protein transferase 1 (ATE1) plays an important role in the uncoating process by governing the optimal core stability. Yeast two-hybrid screening of a human cDNA library identified ATE1 as an HIV-1-CA-interacting protein and direct interaction of ATE1 with Pr55gag and p160gag − pol via HIV-1 CA was observed by cell-based pull-down assay. ATE1 knockdown in HIV-1 producer cells resulted in the production of less infectious viruses, which have normal amounts of the early products of the reverse transcription reaction but reduced amounts of the late products of the reverse transcription. Interestingly, ATE1 overexpression in HIV-1 producer cells also resulted in the production of poor infectious viruses. Cell-based fate-of-capsid assay, a commonly used method for evaluating uncoating by measuring core stability, showed that the amounts of pelletable cores in cells infected with the virus produced from ATE1-knockdown cells increased compared with those detected in the cells infected with the control virus. In contrast, the amounts of pelletable cores in cells infected with the virus produced from ATE1-overexpressing cells decreased compared with those detected in the cells infected with the control virus. Conclusions These results indicate that ATE1 expression levels in HIV-1 producer cells contribute to the adequate formation of a stable HIV-1 core. These findings provide insights into a novel mechanism of HIV-1 uncoating and revealed ATE1 as a new host factor regulating HIV-1 replication. Graphic abstract

Retrovirology ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 18 (1) ◽  
Christopher Aiken ◽  
Itay Rousso

AbstractThe viral capsid plays a key role in HIV-1 reverse transcription. Recent studies have demonstrated that the small molecule IP6 dramatically enhances reverse transcription in vitro by stabilizing the viral capsid. Reverse transcription results in marked changes in the biophysical properties of the capsid, ultimately resulting in its breakage and disassembly. Here we review the research leading to these advances and describe hypotheses for capsid-dependent HIV-1 reverse transcription and a model for reverse transcription-primed HIV-1 uncoating.

2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
Laila Sara Arroyo Mühr ◽  
Joakim Dillner ◽  
Agustin Enrique Ure ◽  
Karin Sundström ◽  
Emilie Hultin

AbstractAlthough metagenomics and metatranscriptomics are commonly used to identify bacteria and viruses in human samples, few studies directly compare these strategies. We wished to compare DNA and RNA sequencing of bacterial and viral metagenomes and metatranscriptomes in the human cervix. Total nucleic acids from six human cervical samples were subjected to DNA and RNA sequencing. The effect of DNase-treatment before reverse transcription to cDNA were also analyzed. Similarities and differences in the metagenomic findings with the three different sequencing approaches were evaluated. A higher proportion of human sequences were detected by DNA sequencing (93%) compared to RNA sequencing without (76%) and with prior DNase-treatment (11%). On the contrary, bacterial sequences increased 17 and 91 times. However, the number of detected bacterial genera were less by RNA sequencing, suggesting that only a few contribute to most of the bacterial transcripts. The viral sequences were less by RNA sequencing, still twice as many virus genera were detected, including some RNA viruses that were missed by DNA sequencing. Metatranscriptomics of total cDNA provided improved detection of mainly transcribed bacteria and viruses in cervical swabs as well as detection of RNA viruses, compared to metagenomics.

2021 ◽  
Vol 17 (9) ◽  
pp. e1009484
Anabel Guedán ◽  
Callum D. Donaldson ◽  
Eve R. Caroe ◽  
Ophélie Cosnefroy ◽  
Ian A. Taylor ◽  

The capsid (CA) lattice of the HIV-1 core plays a key role during infection. From the moment the core is released into the cytoplasm, it interacts with a range of cellular factors that, ultimately, direct the pre-integration complex to the integration site. For integration to occur, the CA lattice must disassemble. Early uncoating or a failure to do so has detrimental effects on virus infectivity, indicating that an optimal stability of the viral core is crucial for infection. Here, we introduced cysteine residues into HIV-1 CA in order to induce disulphide bond formation and engineer hyper-stable mutants that are slower or unable to uncoat, and then followed their replication. From a panel of mutants, we identified three with increased capsid stability in cells and found that, whilst the M68C/E212C mutant had a 5-fold reduction in reverse transcription, two mutants, A14C/E45C and E180C, were able to reverse transcribe to approximately WT levels in cycling cells. Moreover, these mutants only had a 5-fold reduction in 2-LTR circle production, suggesting that not only could reverse transcription complete in hyper-stable cores, but that the nascent viral cDNA could enter the nuclear compartment. Furthermore, we observed A14C/E45C mutant capsid in nuclear and chromatin-associated fractions implying that the hyper-stable cores themselves entered the nucleus. Immunofluorescence studies revealed that although the A14C/E45C mutant capsid reached the nuclear pore with the same kinetics as wild type capsid, it was then retained at the pore in association with Nup153. Crucially, infection with the hyper-stable mutants did not promote CPSF6 re-localisation to nuclear speckles, despite the mutant capsids being competent for CPSF6 binding. These observations suggest that hyper-stable cores are not able to uncoat, or remodel, enough to pass through or dissociate from the nuclear pore and integrate successfully. This, is turn, highlights the importance of capsid lattice flexibility for nuclear entry. In conclusion, we hypothesise that during a productive infection, a capsid remodelling step takes place at the nuclear pore that releases the core complex from Nup153, and relays it to CPSF6, which then localises it to chromatin ready for integration.

Viruses ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 13 (9) ◽  
pp. 1875
Fengyun Li ◽  
Ping He ◽  
Dongyan Xiong ◽  
Yakun Lou ◽  
Qiaosheng Pu ◽  

The worldwide pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and its emergence of variants needs rapid and point-of-care testing methods for a broad diagnosis. The regular RT-qPCR is time-consuming and limited in central laboratories, so a broad and large-scale screening requirement calls for rapid and in situ methods. In this regard, a reverse transcription recombinase-aided amplification (RT-RAA) is proposed here for the rapid and point-of-care detection of SARS-CoV-2. A set of highly conserved primers and probes targeting more than 98% of SARS-CoV-2 strains, including currently circulating variants (four variants of concerns (VOCs) and three variants of interest (VOIs)), was used in this study. With the preferred primers, the RT-RAA assay showed a 100% specificity to SARS-CoV-2 from eight other respiratory RNA viruses. Moreover, the assay here is of a high sensitivity and 0.48 copies/μL can be detected within 25 min at a constant temperature (42 °C), which can be realized on portable equipment. Furthermore, the RT-RAA assay demonstrated its high agreement for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in clinical specimens compared with RT-qPCR. The rapid, simple and point-of-care RT-RAA method is expected to be an appealing detection tool to detect SARS-CoV-2, including variants, in clinical diagnostic applications.

PLoS ONE ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 16 (9) ◽  
pp. e0257563
Les Jones ◽  
Abhijeet Bakre ◽  
Hemant Naikare ◽  
Ravindra Kolhe ◽  
Susan Sanchez ◽  

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 is a serious health threat causing worldwide morbidity and mortality. Real-time reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR) is currently the standard for SARS-CoV-2 detection. Although various nucleic acid-based assays have been developed to aid the detection of SARS-CoV-2 from COVID-19 patient samples, the objective of this study was to develop a diagnostic test that can be completed in 30 minutes without having to isolate RNA from the samples. Here, we present an RNA amplification detection method performed using reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) reactions to achieve specific, rapid (30 min), and sensitive (<100 copies) fluorescent detection in real-time of SARS-CoV-2 directly from patient nasopharyngeal swab (NP) samples. When compared to RT-qPCR, positive NP swab samples assayed by fluorescent RT-LAMP had 98% (n = 41/42) concordance and negative NP swab samples assayed by fluorescent RT-LAMP had 87% (n = 59/68) concordance for the same samples. Importantly, the fluorescent RT-LAMP results were obtained without purification of RNA from the NP swab samples in contrast to RT-qPCR. We also show that the fluorescent RT-LAMP assay can specifically detect live virus directly from cultures of both SARS-CoV-2 wild type (WA1/2020), and a SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 (alpha) variant strain with equal sensitivity to RT-qPCR. RT-LAMP has several advantages over RT-qPCR including isothermal amplification, speed (<30 min), reduced costs, and similar sensitivity and specificity.

2021 ◽  
William A. de Glanville ◽  
Kathryn J. Allan ◽  
James M. Nyarobi ◽  
Kate M. Thomas ◽  
Felix Lankester ◽  

Undetected Rift Valley fever (RVF) outbreaks are expected in endemic countries but little is known about their size or frequency. We describe a previously unreported RVF outbreak involving dairy cattle that appeared to be limited to the edge of the town of Moshi, Tanzania and occurred from May through August, 2018. The outbreak was detected retrospectively using samples collected as part of a cohort study investigating the causes of livestock abortion across northern Tanzania. A total of 14 RVF-associated cattle abortions were identified using a combination of serology and quantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR). Milk samples from three (21%) of 14 cases were also RT-qPCR positive. Genotyping revealed circulation of RVF viruses from two lineages. The occurrence of an RVF outbreak among peri-urban dairy cattle, and evidence for RVF viral shedding in milk, highlights the potential for emerging zoonotic risks associated with the growth of urban and peri-urban livestock populations.

2021 ◽  
Sarah Elizabeth Martin ◽  
Huachen Gan ◽  
Joanna Sztuba-Solinska

N6-methyladenosine is one of the most abundant epitranscriptomic signatures that can affect every aspect of RNA biology, from structure and stability to intra- and intermolecular interactions. The accurate quantitative assessment of RNA stoichiometry at single-nucleotide resolution is a prerequisite to evaluate the biological significance of m6A in the context of specific RNA. We have developed a new method, termed 4-Selenothymidine 5′-triphosphate reverse transcription and Ligation Assisted PCR analysis (SLAP), for quantitative and unbiased assessment of the m6A fraction on target RNA. The inclusion of thymidine triphosphate derivative during reverse transcription discourages base pair formation with m6A resulting in the reaction's cessation, while maintaining normal A-T base pairing. The site-specific ligation of the resulting cDNAs with adapters, followed by amplification, generates two distinct products that reflect the modified and unmodified fraction of the analyzed RNA. These PCR products are subsequently separated by gel electrophoresis and quantified using densitometric analysis. We applied the SLAP to verify the position and assess the frequency of m6A sites present on two exemplary long non-coding RNAs. We assessed the SLAP specificity, accuracy, and sensitivity, proving the applicability of this method for the m6A analysis on less abundant transcripts. Overall, this method constitutes an extension of the bird's-eye view of RNA m6A landscape provided by epitranscriptome-wide analyses by delivering quantitative assessment of modification frequency and can therefore aid the understanding of the consequences of m6A on biological processes.

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