The interferon (IFN) system is the first line of defense against viral infections. Evasion of IFN signaling by Ebola viral protein 24 (VP24) is a critical event in the pathogenesis of the infection and, hence, VP24 is a potential target for drug development. Since no drugs target VP24, the identification of molecules able to inhibit VP24, restoring and possibly enhancing the IFN response, is a goal of concern. Accordingly, we developed a dual signal firefly and Renilla luciferase cell-based drug screening assay able to quantify IFN-mediated induction of Interferon Stimulated Genes (ISGs) and its inhibition by VP24. Human Embryonic Kidney 293T (HEK293T) cells were transiently transfected with a luciferase reporter gene construct driven by the promoter of ISGs, Interferon-Stimulated Response Element (ISRE). Stimulation of cells with IFN-α activated the IFN cascade leading to the expression of ISRE. Cotransfection of cells with a plasmid expressing VP24 cloned from a virus isolated during the last 2014 outbreak led to the inhibition of ISRE transcription, quantified by a luminescent signal. To adapt this system to test a large number of compounds, we performed it in 96-well plates; optimized the assay analyzing different parameters; and validated the system by calculating the Z'- and Z-factor, which showed values of 0.62 and 0.53 for IFN-α stimulation assay and VP24 inhibition assay, respectively, indicative of robust assay performance.

Development and validation of a novel dual luciferase reporter gene assay to quantify Ebola virus VP24 inhibition of IFN signaling

FANUNZA, ELISA
Primo
;
Frau, Aldo
Secondo
;
Corona, Angela
Penultimo
;
Tramontano, Enzo
Ultimo
2018-01-01

Abstract

The interferon (IFN) system is the first line of defense against viral infections. Evasion of IFN signaling by Ebola viral protein 24 (VP24) is a critical event in the pathogenesis of the infection and, hence, VP24 is a potential target for drug development. Since no drugs target VP24, the identification of molecules able to inhibit VP24, restoring and possibly enhancing the IFN response, is a goal of concern. Accordingly, we developed a dual signal firefly and Renilla luciferase cell-based drug screening assay able to quantify IFN-mediated induction of Interferon Stimulated Genes (ISGs) and its inhibition by VP24. Human Embryonic Kidney 293T (HEK293T) cells were transiently transfected with a luciferase reporter gene construct driven by the promoter of ISGs, Interferon-Stimulated Response Element (ISRE). Stimulation of cells with IFN-α activated the IFN cascade leading to the expression of ISRE. Cotransfection of cells with a plasmid expressing VP24 cloned from a virus isolated during the last 2014 outbreak led to the inhibition of ISRE transcription, quantified by a luminescent signal. To adapt this system to test a large number of compounds, we performed it in 96-well plates; optimized the assay analyzing different parameters; and validated the system by calculating the Z'- and Z-factor, which showed values of 0.62 and 0.53 for IFN-α stimulation assay and VP24 inhibition assay, respectively, indicative of robust assay performance.
Ebola virus VP24; IFN inhibition; IFN signaling; Drug development; Dual luciferase gene reporter assay; Innate immunity
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/240040
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