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Current Opinion in Virology

Maëlle Deshoux, Baptiste Monsion, Marilyne Uzest
Many viruses of agricultural importance are transmitted to host plants via insect vectors. Characterizing virus-vector interactions at the molecular level is essential if we are to fully understand the transmission mechanisms involved and develop new strategies to control viral spread. Hitherto, insect proteins involved in virus transmission have been characterized only poorly. Recent advances in this topic, however, have significantly filled this knowledge gap. Among the vector molecules identified, cuticular proteins have emerged as key molecules for plant virus transmission, regardless of transmission mode or vector considered...
September 20, 2018: Current Opinion in Virology
Alana Lynn Jacobson, Siobain Duffy, Peter Sseruwagi
Emerging plant viruses are one of the greatest problems facing crop production worldwide, and have severe consequences in the developing world where subsistence farming is a major source of food production, and knowledge and resources for management are limited. In Africa, evolution of two viral disease complexes, cassava mosaic begomoviruses (CMBs) (Geminiviridae) and cassava brown streak viruses (CBSVs) (Potyviridae), have resulted in severe pandemics that continue to spread and threaten cassava production...
September 19, 2018: Current Opinion in Virology
Kendra A Bussey, Melanie M Brinkmann
Immune evasion is a hallmark of viral persistence. For the seven human tumor viruses to establish lifelong infection in their hosts, they must successfully control the host response to them. Viral inhibition of immune responses occurs at many levels. While some viruses directly target the pattern recognition receptors (PRR) of the innate immune system, they may also antagonize downstream effectors of PRR signaling cascades or activation of transcription, which would otherwise induce a type I interferon (IFN) and/or pro-inflammatory cytokine response...
September 18, 2018: Current Opinion in Virology
Corey Smith, Rajiv Khanna
It is estimated that 60-70% of cancers associated with infectious agents are linked to viral infections. Both RNA and DNA viruses that can establish persistent infection exploit various mechanisms including host cell immortalization through genomic instability, chronic inflammation and immune escape, to promote oncogenic transformation of human cells. Expression of selected viral proteins in malignant cells provides a unique opportunity to employ targeted therapies that can disrupt the cellular proliferation and prevent collateral damage caused by standard clinical therapies...
September 18, 2018: Current Opinion in Virology
Darren J Obbard
Metagenomic sequencing has led to a recent and rapid expansion of the animal virome. It has uncovered a multitude of new virus lineages from under-sampled host groups, including many that break up long branches in the virus tree, and many that display unexpected genome sizes and structures. Although there are challenges to inferring the existence of a virus from a `virus-like sequence', in the absence of an isolate the analysis of nucleic acid (including small RNAs) and sequence data can provide considerable confidence...
September 17, 2018: Current Opinion in Virology
Arvind Varsani, Pierre Lefeuvre, Philippe Roumagnac, Darren Martin
Besides evolving through nucleotide substitution, viruses frequently also evolve by genetic recombination which can occur when related viral variants co-infect the same cells. Viruses with segmented or multipartite genomes can additionally evolve via the reassortment of genomic components. Various computational techniques are now available for identifying and characterizing recombination and reassortment. While these techniques have revealed both that all well studied segmented and multipartite virus species show some capacity for reassortment, and that recombination is common in many multipartite species, they have indicated that recombination is either rare or does not occur in species with segmented genomes...
September 17, 2018: Current Opinion in Virology
Thomas C Frost, Benjamin E Gewurz
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a gamma-herpesvirus that establishes lifelong infection in the majority of people worldwide. EBV uses epigenetic reprogramming to switch between multiple latency states in order to colonize the memory B-cell compartment and to then periodically undergo lytic reactivation upon plasma cell differentiation. This review focuses on recent advances in the understanding of epigenetic mechanisms that EBV uses to control its lifecycle and to subvert the growth and survival pathways that underly EBV-driven B-cell differentiation versus B-cell growth transformation, a hallmark of the first human tumor virus...
September 15, 2018: Current Opinion in Virology
Paul J Wichgers Schreur, Richard Kormelink, Jeroen Kortekaas
The order Bunyavirales comprises nine families of enveloped, negative-strand RNA viruses. Depending on the family and genus, bunyaviruses (i.e. now referring to all members of the Bunyavirales) contain genomes consisting of two to six segments. Each genome segment is encapsidated by multiple copies of the nucleocapsid (N) protein and one or a few molecules of the viral polymerase, forming so-called ribonucleoproteins (RNPs). Incorporation of RNPs into virions is mediated by the interaction of N with the cytoplasmic tails of the structural glycoproteins...
September 15, 2018: Current Opinion in Virology
Romain Gallet, Yannis Michalakis, Stéphane Blanc
Because plants are sessile and their cells protected by a cell wall, the contact transmission of plant viruses is very rare. Almost all plant viruses are transmitted by vectors, which can be insects, nematodes, mites or fungi. Although very efficient, this mode of transmission is not trivial and imposes numerous constraints on viruses. In this review we show that these constraints apply at all stages of the transmission process and at all scales, from the molecular to ecological interactions. We discuss several viral adaptations that likely reflect sophisticated means to alleviate these constraints and to maximize transmission, and we point at gaps and future directions in this field of research...
September 14, 2018: Current Opinion in Virology
Jaclyn S Zhou, Martin Drucker, James Ck Ng
Plant viruses that are transmitted in a non-circulative, semi-persistent (NCSP) manner have determinants on, and/or accessories to, their capsids that facilitate virion binding to specific retention sites in their insect vectors. Bilateral interactions and interactions occurring at the nexus of all three partners (virus, vector and plant) also contribute to transmission by influencing virus acquisition and inoculation. Vector feeding behavior lies at the core of this trio of virus transmission processes (retention-acquisition-inoculation), but transmission may also be mediated by virus infection-triggered and/or vector feeding-triggered plant cues that influence behavioral responses such as vector attraction, deterrence and dispersal...
September 10, 2018: Current Opinion in Virology
David Gilmer, Claudio Ratti, Fabrice Michel
All living organisms have to preserve genome integrity to ensure the survival of progeny generations. Viruses, though often regarded as 'non living', protect their nucleic acids from biotic and abiotic stresses, ranging from nuclease action to radiation-induced adducts. When the viral genome is split into multiple segments, preservation of at least one copy of each segment is required. While segmented and monopartite viruses use an all-in-one strategy, multipartite viruses have to address in the cell at least one of each viral particle in which the split positive stranded RNA genome is individually packaged...
September 7, 2018: Current Opinion in Virology
Jodi A Hadden, Juan R Perilla
The constant threat of viral disease can be combated by the development of novel vaccines and therapeutics designed to disrupt key features of virus structure or infection cycle processes. Such development relies on high-resolution characterization of viruses and their dynamical behaviors, which are often challenging to obtain solely by experiment. In response, all-atom molecular dynamics simulations are widely leveraged to study the structural components of viruses, leading to some of the largest simulation endeavors undertaken to date...
September 1, 2018: Current Opinion in Virology
Sonali Chaturvedi, Aln Rao
Plant pathogenic single strand positive-sense RNA viruses with the tripartite genome are classified into two families: Bromoviridae and Virgaviridae. Family Bromoviridae contains four genera Bromo, Cucumo, Alfamo, and Ilarviruses characterized by icosahedral particles. By contrast family Virgaviridae contains only one genus, Hordeivirus, with tripartite genome and characterized by helical particles. Unlike in monopartite plant viruses, packaging in tripartite RNA viruses requires a well-orchestrated process to ensure that viral progeny is selectively encapsidated and distributed optimally into three or four different viral capsids...
August 27, 2018: Current Opinion in Virology
Alexander Borodavka, Ulrich Desselberger, John T Patton
Segmented double-stranded (ds)RNA viruses share remarkable similarities in their replication strategy and capsid structure. During virus replication, positive-sense single-stranded (+)RNAs are packaged into procapsids, where they serve as templates for dsRNA synthesis, forming progeny particles containing a complete equimolar set of genome segments. How the +RNAs are recognized and stoichiometrically packaged remains uncertain. Whereas bacteriophages of the Cystoviridae family rely on specific RNA-protein interactions to select appropriate +RNAs for packaging, viruses of the Reoviridae instead rely on specific inter-molecular interactions between +RNAs that guide multi-segmented genome assembly...
August 23, 2018: Current Opinion in Virology
Prabu Gnanasekaran, Supriya Chakraborty
Extraviral components that can influence the accumulation and pathogenesis of their associated helper viruses are known as 'satellites'. The maintenance of satellites requires their ability to associate with their helper viruses. Satellites can be categorized as either satellite viruses or satellite nucleic acids based on their ability to encode capsid proteins. Understanding the biology of satellites is important since they are pathogenic to a wide range of plant, animal, and yeast organisms. Most satellites influence the pathogenesis of their helper viruses by altering the interaction between the host and helper virus...
August 22, 2018: Current Opinion in Virology
Adriana Lucía-Sanz, Jacobo Aguirre, Susanna Manrubia
Multipartite viruses have a segmented genome encapsidated in different viral particles that, in principle, propagate independently. Current empirical knowledge on the molecular, ecological and evolutionary features underlying the very existence of multipartitism is fragmented and puzzling. Although it is generally assumed that multipartitism is viable only when propagation occurs at high multiplicity of infection, evidence indicates that severe population bottlenecks are common. Mathematical models aimed at describing the dynamics of multipartite viruses typically assign an advantage to the multipartite form to compensate for the cost of high multiplicity of infection...
August 16, 2018: Current Opinion in Virology
Jonathan Filée
Among the virus world, Giant viruses (GVs) compose one of the most successful eukaryovirus families. By contrast with other eukaryoviruses, GV genomes contain a wide array of mobile genetic elements (MGEs) that encompass diverse, mostly prokaryotic-like, transposable element families, introns, inteins, restriction-modification systems and enigmatic classes of mobile elements having little similarities with known families. Interestingly, several of these MGEs may be beneficial to the GVs, fulfilling two kinds of functions: (1) degrading host or competing virus/virophage DNA and (2) promoting viral genome integration, dissemination and excision into the host genomes...
August 13, 2018: Current Opinion in Virology
Yong-Zhen Zhang, Wei-Chen Wu, Mang Shi, Edward C Holmes
Despite a substantial increase in our knowledge of the biodiversity and evolution of vertebrate RNA viruses, far less is known about the diversity, evolution and origin of RNA viruses across the diverse phylogenetic range of viruses, and particularly in healthy animals that are often only rarely utilized for virological sampling. Fortunately, recent advances in virus discovery using metagenomic approaches are beginning to reveal a multitude of RNA viruses in vertebrates other than birds and mammals. In particular, fish harbor a remarkable array of RNA viruses, including the relatives of important pathogens...
August 13, 2018: Current Opinion in Virology
Veronica V Rezelj, Laura I Levi, Marco Vignuzzi
Particles containing degenerate forms of the viral genome which interfere with virus replication and are non-replicative per se are known as defective interfering particles (DIPs). DIPs are likely to be produced upon infection by any virus in vitro and in nature. Until recently, roles of these non-viable particles as members of a multi-component viral system have been overlooked. In this review, we cover the most recent studies that shed light on critical roles of DIPs during the course of infection, including: the modulation of virus replication, innate immune responses, disease outcome and virus persistence, as well as the evolution of the viral population...
August 9, 2018: Current Opinion in Virology
Juliana Freitas-Astúa, Pedro Luis Ramos-González, Gabriella Dias Arena, Aline Daniele Tassi, Elliot Watanabe Kitajima
Although diseases caused by Brevipalpus-transmitted viruses (BTV) became relevant for agriculture a century ago, their causal agents have been only recently characterized and classified in two new genera of plant-infecting viruses: Cilevirus and Dichorhavirus. In this review, we highlight both similarities and differences between these viruses emphasizing their current taxonomy and historical classification, phylogeny, genomic organization, gene expression, and the latest research developments on BTVs. Additionally, we stress particular features of interactions with their mite vectors and plant hosts that support, from an evolutionary perspective, the potential convergence of both viral groups...
August 3, 2018: Current Opinion in Virology
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