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1.
J Vis Exp ; (182)2022 04 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1911780

ABSTRACT

In the lung, the alveolar epithelium is a physical barrier from environmental stimuli and plays an essential role in homeostasis and disease. Type 2 alveolar epithelial cells (AT2s) are the facultative progenitors of the distal lung epithelium. Dysfunction and injury of AT2s can result from and contribute to various lung diseases. Improved understanding of AT2 biology is, thus, critical for understanding lung biology and disease; however, primary human AT2s are generally difficult to isolate and limited in supply. To overcome these limitations, human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived type 2 alveolar epithelial cells (iAT2s) can be generated through a directed differentiation protocol that recapitulates in vivo lung development. iAT2s grow in feeder-free conditions, share a transcriptomic program with human adult primary AT2s, and execute key functions of AT2s such as production, packaging, and secretion of surfactant. This protocol details the methods for maintaining self-renewing iAT2s through serial passaging in three-dimensional (3D) culture or adapting iAT2s to air-liquid interface (ALI) culture. A single-cell suspension of iAT2s is generated before plating in 3D solubilized basement membrane matrix (hereafter referred to as "matrix"), where they self-assemble into monolayered epithelial spheres. iAT2s in 3D culture can be serially dissociated into single-cell suspensions to be passaged or plated in 2D ALI culture. In ALI culture, iAT2s form a polarized monolayer with the apical surface exposed to air, making this platform readily amenable to environmental exposures. Hence, this protocol generates an inexhaustible supply of iAT2s, producing upwards of 1 x 1030 cells per input cell over 15 passages while maintaining the AT2 program indicated by SFTPCtdTomato expression. The resulting cells represent a reproducible and relevant platform that can be applied to study genetic mutations, model environmental exposures, or screen drugs.


Subject(s)
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells , Pulmonary Surfactants , Adult , Alveolar Epithelial Cells , Cell Differentiation , Epithelium , Humans
2.
PLoS Pathog ; 18(2): e1010268, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1753212

ABSTRACT

Next generation sequencing has revealed the presence of numerous RNA viruses in animal reservoir hosts, including many closely related to known human pathogens. Despite their zoonotic potential, most of these viruses remain understudied due to not yet being cultured. While reverse genetic systems can facilitate virus rescue, this is often hindered by missing viral genome ends. A prime example is Lloviu virus (LLOV), an uncultured filovirus that is closely related to the highly pathogenic Ebola virus. Using minigenome systems, we complemented the missing LLOV genomic ends and identified cis-acting elements required for LLOV replication that were lacking in the published sequence. We leveraged these data to generate recombinant full-length LLOV clones and rescue infectious virus. Similar to other filoviruses, recombinant LLOV (rLLOV) forms filamentous virions and induces the formation of characteristic inclusions in the cytoplasm of the infected cells, as shown by electron microscopy. Known target cells of Ebola virus, including macrophages and hepatocytes, are permissive to rLLOV infection, suggesting that humans could be potential hosts. However, inflammatory responses in human macrophages, a hallmark of Ebola virus disease, are not induced by rLLOV. Additional tropism testing identified pneumocytes as capable of robust rLLOV and Ebola virus infection. We also used rLLOV to test antivirals targeting multiple facets of the replication cycle. Rescue of uncultured viruses of pathogenic concern represents a valuable tool in our arsenal for pandemic preparedness.


Subject(s)
Ebolavirus/genetics , Filoviridae Infections/virology , Filoviridae/genetics , Virus Replication , Animals , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Genetic Complementation Test , Genome, Viral , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/virology , Host Microbial Interactions , Humans , Inclusion Bodies/virology , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/virology , Macrophages/virology , RNA, Viral , Reverse Genetics , Vero Cells , Virion/genetics
3.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-313939

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 emerged in China at the end of 2019 and caused the global pandemic of COVID-19, a disease with high morbidity and mortality. While our understanding of this novel virus is rapidly increasing, gaps remain in our understanding of how SARS-CoV-2 can effectively suppress host cell antiviral responses. Recent work on other viruses has demonstrated a novel mechanism through which viral proteins can mimic critical regions of human histone proteins. Histone proteins are responsible for governing genome accessibility and their precise regulation is critical for a cell’s ability to control transcription and respond to viral threats. Here, we show that the protein encoded by ORF8 (Orf8) in SARS-CoV-2 functions as a histone mimic of two critical histone 3 sites containing an ARKS motif. Orf8 expression in cells disrupts multiple critical histone post-translational modifications (PTMs) while Orf8 lacking this histone mimic motif does not. Orf8 binds to numerous histone-associated proteins and to DNA, and is itself acetylated within the histone mimic site. Importantly, SARS-CoV-2 infection of multiple susceptible cell types causes the same global changes of histone post-translational modifications that are disrupted by Orf8 expression;these include induced pluripotent stem cell-derived alveolar type 2 cells (iAT2) and cardiomyocytes (iCM) and postmortem patient lung tissue. These findings demonstrate a novel function for the poorly understood SARS-CoV-2 ORF8 encoded protein and a mechanism through which SARS-CoV-2 disrupts host cell epigenetic regulation. Notably, this work provides a potential mechanism for emerging findings from human patients indicating that ORF8 deletion results in less severe illness and describes a potentially druggable pathway that may contribute to the virulence of SARS-CoV-2.

4.
Non-conventional in English | [Unspecified Source], Grey literature | ID: grc-750471

ABSTRACT

The most severe and fatal infections with SARS-CoV-2 result in the acute respiratory distress syndrome, a clinical phenotype of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that is associated with virions targeting the epithelium of the distal lung, particularly the facultative progenitors of this tissue, alveolar epithelial type 2 cells (AT2s). Little is known about the initial responses of human lung alveoli to SARS-CoV-2 infection due in part to inability to access these cells from patients, particularly at early stages of disease. Here we present an in vitro human model that simulates the initial apical infection of the distal lung epithelium with SARS-CoV-2, using AT2s that have been adapted to air-liquid interface culture after their derivation from induced pluripotent stem cells (iAT2s). We find that SARS-CoV-2 induces a rapid global transcriptomic change in infected iAT2s characterized by a shift to an inflammatory phenotype predominated by the secretion of cytokines encoded by NF-kB target genes, delayed epithelial interferon responses, and rapid loss of the mature lung alveolar epithelial program. Over time, infected iAT2s exhibit cellular toxicity that can result in the death of these key alveolar facultative progenitors, as is observed in vivo in COVID-19 lung autopsies. Importantly, drug testing using iAT2s confirmed the efficacy of TMPRSS2 protease inhibition, validating putative mechanisms used for viral entry in human alveolar cells. Our model system reveals the cell-intrinsic responses of a key lung target cell to infection, providing a platform for further drug development and facilitating a deeper understanding of COVID-19 pathogenesis.

5.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(16)2021 04 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1165017

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses are adept at evading host antiviral pathways induced by viral double-stranded RNA, including interferon (IFN) signaling, oligoadenylate synthetase-ribonuclease L (OAS-RNase L), and protein kinase R (PKR). While dysregulated or inadequate IFN responses have been associated with severe coronavirus infection, the extent to which the recently emerged SARS-CoV-2 activates or antagonizes these pathways is relatively unknown. We found that SARS-CoV-2 infects patient-derived nasal epithelial cells, present at the initial site of infection; induced pluripotent stem cell-derived alveolar type 2 cells (iAT2), the major cell type infected in the lung; and cardiomyocytes (iCM), consistent with cardiovascular consequences of COVID-19 disease. Robust activation of IFN or OAS-RNase L is not observed in these cell types, whereas PKR activation is evident in iAT2 and iCM. In SARS-CoV-2-infected Calu-3 and A549ACE2 lung-derived cell lines, IFN induction remains relatively weak; however, activation of OAS-RNase L and PKR is observed. This is in contrast to Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-CoV, which effectively inhibits IFN signaling and OAS-RNase L and PKR pathways, but is similar to mutant MERS-CoV lacking innate immune antagonists. Remarkably, OAS-RNase L and PKR are activated in MAVS knockout A549ACE2 cells, demonstrating that SARS-CoV-2 can induce these host antiviral pathways despite minimal IFN production. Moreover, increased replication and cytopathic effect in RNASEL knockout A549ACE2 cells implicates OAS-RNase L in restricting SARS-CoV-2. Finally, while SARS-CoV-2 fails to antagonize these host defense pathways, which contrasts with other coronaviruses, the IFN signaling response is generally weak. These host-virus interactions may contribute to the unique pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Epithelial Cells/immunology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Immunity, Innate , Lung/pathology , Myocytes, Cardiac/immunology , Myocytes, Cardiac/virology , RNA, Double-Stranded/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , A549 Cells , Endoribonucleases/metabolism , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , Nose/virology , Virus Replication , eIF-2 Kinase
6.
bioRxiv ; 2020 Nov 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-808974

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses are adept at evading host antiviral pathways induced by viral double-stranded RNA, including interferon (IFN) signaling, oligoadenylate synthetase-ribonuclease L (OAS-RNase L), and protein kinase R (PKR). While dysregulated or inadequate IFN responses have been associated with severe coronavirus infection, the extent to which the recently emerged SARS-CoV-2 activates or antagonizes these pathways is relatively unknown. We found that SARS-CoV-2 infects patient-derived nasal epithelial cells, present at the initial site of infection, induced pluripotent stem cell-derived alveolar type 2 cells (iAT2), the major cell type infected in the lung, and cardiomyocytes (iCM), consistent with cardiovascular consequences of COVID-19 disease. Robust activation of IFN or OAS-RNase L is not observed in these cell types, while PKR activation is evident in iAT2 and iCM. In SARS-CoV-2 infected Calu-3 and A549 ACE2 lung-derived cell lines, IFN induction remains relatively weak; however activation of OAS-RNase L and PKR is observed. This is in contrast to MERS-CoV, which effectively inhibits IFN signaling as well as OAS-RNase L and PKR pathways, but similar to mutant MERS-CoV lacking innate immune antagonists. Remarkably, both OAS-RNase L and PKR are activated in MAVS knockout A549 ACE2 cells, demonstrating that SARS-CoV-2 can induce these host antiviral pathways despite minimal IFN production. Moreover, increased replication and cytopathic effect in RNASEL knockout A549 ACE2 cells implicates OAS-RNase L in restricting SARS-CoV-2. Finally, while SARS-CoV-2 fails to antagonize these host defense pathways, which contrasts with other coronaviruses, the IFN signaling response is generally weak. These host-virus interactions may contribute to the unique pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2. SIGNIFICANCE: SARS-CoV-2 emergence in late 2019 led to the COVID-19 pandemic that has had devastating effects on human health and the economy. Early innate immune responses are essential for protection against virus invasion. While inadequate innate immune responses are associated with severe COVID-19 diseases, understanding of the interaction of SARS-CoV-2 with host antiviral pathways is minimal. We have characterized the innate immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infections in relevant respiratory tract derived cells and cardiomyocytes and found that SARS-CoV-2 activates two antiviral pathways, oligoadenylate synthetase-ribonuclease L (OAS-RNase L), and protein kinase R (PKR), while inducing minimal levels of interferon. This in contrast to MERS-CoV which inhibits all three pathways. Activation of these pathways may contribute to the distinctive pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2.

7.
Cell Stem Cell ; 27(6): 962-973.e7, 2020 12 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-779662

ABSTRACT

A hallmark of severe COVID-19 pneumonia is SARS-CoV-2 infection of the facultative progenitors of lung alveoli, the alveolar epithelial type 2 cells (AT2s). However, inability to access these cells from patients, particularly at early stages of disease, limits an understanding of disease inception. Here, we present an in vitro human model that simulates the initial apical infection of alveolar epithelium with SARS-CoV-2 by using induced pluripotent stem cell-derived AT2s that have been adapted to air-liquid interface culture. We find a rapid transcriptomic change in infected cells, characterized by a shift to an inflammatory phenotype with upregulation of NF-κB signaling and loss of the mature alveolar program. Drug testing confirms the efficacy of remdesivir as well as TMPRSS2 protease inhibition, validating a putative mechanism used for viral entry in alveolar cells. Our model system reveals cell-intrinsic responses of a key lung target cell to SARS-CoV-2 infection and should facilitate drug development.


Subject(s)
Alveolar Epithelial Cells/virology , Inflammation/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Drug Development , Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology , Humans , Models, Biological , Pluripotent Stem Cells/cytology , Pluripotent Stem Cells/virology , RNA-Seq , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Virus Replication
8.
bioRxiv ; 2020 Aug 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-637839

ABSTRACT

The most severe and fatal infections with SARS-CoV-2 result in the acute respiratory distress syndrome, a clinical phenotype of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that is associated with virions targeting the epithelium of the distal lung, particularly the facultative progenitors of this tissue, alveolar epithelial type 2 cells (AT2s). Little is known about the initial responses of human lung alveoli to SARS-CoV-2 infection due in part to inability to access these cells from patients, particularly at early stages of disease. Here we present an in vitro human model that simulates the initial apical infection of the distal lung epithelium with SARS-CoV-2, using AT2s that have been adapted to air-liquid interface culture after their derivation from induced pluripotent stem cells (iAT2s). We find that SARS-CoV-2 induces a rapid global transcriptomic change in infected iAT2s characterized by a shift to an inflammatory phenotype predominated by the secretion of cytokines encoded by NF-kB target genes, delayed epithelial interferon responses, and rapid loss of the mature lung alveolar epithelial program. Over time, infected iAT2s exhibit cellular toxicity that can result in the death of these key alveolar facultative progenitors, as is observed in vivo in COVID-19 lung autopsies. Importantly, drug testing using iAT2s confirmed an antiviral dose-response to remdesivir and demonstrated the efficacy of TMPRSS2 protease inhibition, validating a putative mechanism used for viral entry in human alveolar cells. Our model system reveals the cell-intrinsic responses of a key lung target cell to infection, providing a physiologically relevant platform for further drug development and facilitating a deeper understanding of COVID-19 pathogenesis.

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