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Type I interferons (IFN) are important for antiviral responses. Melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 (MDA-5) and retinoic acid-induced gene I (RIG-I) proteins detect cytosolic double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) or 5'-triphosphate (5'-ppp) RNA and mediate IFN production. Cytosolic 5'-ppp RNA and dsRNA are generated during viral RNA replication and(More)
Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) is a pathogenic alphavirus, which circulates in the Central, South, and North Americas, including the United States, and represents a significant public health threat. In recent years, strong progress has been made in understanding the structure of VEEV virions, but the mechanism of their formation has yet to be(More)
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an alphavirus that causes chronic and incapacitating arthralgia in humans. Injury to the joint is believed to occur because of viral and host immune-mediated effects. However, the exact involvement of the different immune mediators in CHIKV-induced pathogenesis is unknown. In this study, we assessed the roles of T cells in(More)
The C-terminal cysteine protease domain of Semliki Forest virus nonstructural protein 2 (nsP2) regulates the virus life cycle by sequentially cleaving at three specific sites within the virus-encoded replicase polyprotein P1234. The site between nsP3 and nsP4 (the 3/4 site) is cleaved most efficiently. Analysis of Semliki Forest virus-specific cleavage(More)
UNLABELLED Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a reemerging mosquito-borne alphavirus that has caused severe epidemics in Africa and Asia and occasionally in Europe. As of today, there is no licensed vaccine available to prevent CHIKV infection. Here we describe the development and evaluation of novel CHIKV vaccine candidates that were attenuated by deleting a(More)
Semliki Forest virus (SFV) is a member of the Alphavirus genus, which produces its replicase proteins in the form of a nonstructural (ns) polyprotein precursor P1234. The maturation of the replicase occurs in a temporally controlled manner by protease activity of nsP2. The template preference and enzymatic capabilities of the alphaviral replication complex(More)
Alphavirus-based vector and replicon systems have been extensively used experimentally and are likely to be used in human and animal medicine. Whilst marker genes can be inserted easily under the control of a duplicated subgenomic promoter, these constructs are often genetically unstable. Here, a novel alphavirus construct is described in which an enhanced(More)
We have sequenced the nonstructural protein coding region of Semliki Forest virus temperature-sensitive (ts) mutant strains ts1, ts6, ts9, ts10, ts11, ts13, and ts14. In each case, the individual amino acid changes uncovered were transferred to the prototype strain background and thereby identified as the underlying cause of the altered RNA synthesis(More)
UNLABELLED Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a reemerging mosquito-borne alphavirus that causes debilitating arthralgia in humans. Here we describe the development and testing of novel DNA replicon and protein CHIKV vaccine candidates and evaluate their abilities to induce antigen-specific immune responses against CHIKV. We also describe homologous and(More)
RNA-sensing toll-like receptors (TLRs) mediate innate immunity and regulate anti-viral response. We show here that TLR3 regulates host immunity and the loss of TLR3 aggravates pathology in Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infection. Susceptibility to CHIKV infection is markedly increased in human and mouse fibroblasts with defective TLR3 signaling. Up to 100-fold(More)