Herpes Simplex Virus-1 (HSV-1) establishes a latent infection in neurons and periodically reactivates to cause disease. The stimuli that trigger HSV-1 reactivation have not been fully elucidated. We demonstrate HSV-1 reactivation from latently infected mouse neurons induced by forskolin requires neuronal excitation. Stimuli that directly induce neurons to become hyperexcitable also induced HSV-1 reactivation. Forskolin-induced reactivation was dependent on the neuronal pathway of DLK/JNK activation and included an initial wave of viral gene expression that was independent of histone demethylase activity and linked to histone phosphorylation. IL-1β is released under conditions of stress, fever and UV exposure of the epidermis; all known triggers of clinical HSV reactivation. We found that IL-1β induced histone phosphorylation and increased the excitation in sympathetic neurons. Importantly, IL-1β triggered HSV-1 reactivation, which was dependent on DLK and neuronal excitability. Thus, HSV-1 co-opts an innate immune pathway resulting from IL-1 stimulation of neurons to induce reactivation.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source data files have been provided for all figures.
- Anna R Cliffe
- Sean R Cuddy
- Jon Suzich
- Sara Dochnal
- Jon Suzich
- Jon Suzich
- Chris Boutell
- Bimal N Desai
- Philip V Seegren
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. Rodent handling and husbandry were carried out under animal protocols approved by the Animal Care and Use Committee of the University of Virginia (UVA). All of the animals were handled according to approved institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) protocols (#4134) of the University of Virginia.
- Melanie M Brinkmann, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany
© 2020, Cuddy et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
The environmental pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans claims over 180,000 lives each year. Survival of this basidiomycete at host CO2 concentrations has only recently been considered an important virulence trait. Through screening gene knockout libraries constructed in a CO2-tolerant clinical strain, we found mutations leading to CO2 sensitivity are enriched in pathways activated by heat stress, including calcineurin, Ras1-Cdc24, cell wall integrity, and Regulator of Ace2 and Morphogenesis (RAM). Overexpression of Cbk1, the conserved terminal kinase of the RAM pathway, partially restored defects of these mutants at host CO2 or temperature levels. In ascomycetes such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans, transcription factor Ace2 is an important target of Cbk1, activating genes responsible for cell separation. However, no Ace2 homolog or any downstream component of the RAM pathway has been identified in basidiomycetes. Through in vitro evolution and comparative genomics, we characterized mutations in suppressors of cbk1D in C. neoformans that partially rescued defects in CO2 tolerance, thermotolerance, and morphology. One suppressor is the RNA translation repressor Ssd1, which is highly conserved in ascomycetes and basidiomycetes. The other is a novel ribonuclease domain-containing protein, here named PSC1, which is present in basidiomycetes and humans but surprisingly absent in most ascomycetes. Loss of Ssd1 in cbk1D partially restored cryptococcal ability to survive and amplify in the inhalation and intravenous murine models of cryptococcosis. Our discoveries highlight the overlapping regulation of CO2 tolerance and thermotolerance, the essential role of the RAM pathway in cryptococcal adaptation to the host condition, and the potential importance of post-transcriptional control of virulence traits in this global pathogen.
Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from humans to other species threatens wildlife conservation and may create novel sources of viral diversity for future zoonotic transmission. A variety of computational heuristics have been developed to pre-emptively identify susceptible host species based on variation in the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor used for viral entry. However, the predictive performance of these heuristics remains unknown. Using a newly compiled database of 96 species, we show that, while variation in ACE2 can be used by machine learning models to accurately predict animal susceptibility to sarbecoviruses (accuracy = 80.2%, binomial confidence interval [CI]: 70.8–87.6%), the sites informing predictions have no known involvement in virus binding and instead recapitulate host phylogeny. Models trained on host phylogeny alone performed equally well (accuracy = 84.4%, CI: 75.5–91.0%) and at a level equivalent to retrospective assessments of accuracy for previously published models. These results suggest that the predictive power of ACE2-based models derives from strong correlations with host phylogeny rather than processes which can be mechanistically linked to infection biology. Further, biased availability of ACE2 sequences misleads projections of the number and geographic distribution of at-risk species. Models based on host phylogeny reduce this bias, but identify a very large number of susceptible species, implying that model predictions must be combined with local knowledge of exposure risk to practically guide surveillance. Identifying barriers to viral infection or onward transmission beyond receptor binding and incorporating data which are independent of host phylogeny will be necessary to manage the ongoing risk of establishment of novel animal reservoirs of SARS-CoV-2.