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1.
STAR Protoc ; 3(3): 101502, 2022 Jun 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1886131

ABSTRACT

For efficient cell entry, SARS-CoV-2 spike protein needs to be cleaved by cellular proteases. Here, we present a comprehensive protocol to assess SARS-CoV-2 spike protein cleavage in viral supernatants from SARS-CoV-2-infected cells. We also include a previous step of SARS-CoV-2 isolation from nasopharyngeal swabs of patients with COVID-19. We optimized the procedures to enhance successful viral isolation and specific spike detection. This protocol facilitates the evaluation of the role of spike mutations in spike protein processing. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Escalera et al. (2022).

2.
Cell Host Microbe ; 30(3): 373-387.e7, 2022 03 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1767977

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 lineages have diverged into highly prevalent variants termed "variants of concern" (VOCs). Here, we characterized emerging SARS-CoV-2 spike polymorphisms in vitro and in vivo to understand their impact on transmissibility and virus pathogenicity and fitness. We demonstrate that the substitution S:655Y, represented in the gamma and omicron VOCs, enhances viral replication and spike protein cleavage. The S:655Y substitution was transmitted more efficiently than its ancestor S:655H in the hamster infection model and was able to outcompete S:655H in the hamster model and in a human primary airway system. Finally, we analyzed a set of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants to investigate how different sets of mutations may impact spike processing. All VOCs tested exhibited increased spike cleavage and fusogenic capacity. Taken together, our study demonstrates that the spike mutations present in VOCs that become epidemiologically prevalent in humans are linked to an increase in spike processing and virus transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
3.
Cell Rep ; 38(11): 110508, 2022 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1700144

ABSTRACT

Concerns that infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiological agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), may cause new-onset diabetes persist in an evolving research landscape, and precise risk assessment is hampered by, at times, conflicting evidence. Here, leveraging comprehensive single-cell analyses of in vitro SARS-CoV-2-infected human pancreatic islets, we demonstrate that productive infection is strictly dependent on the SARS-CoV-2 entry receptor ACE2 and targets practically all pancreatic cell types. Importantly, the infection remains highly circumscribed and largely non-cytopathic and, despite a high viral burden in infected subsets, promotes only modest cellular perturbations and inflammatory responses. Similar experimental outcomes are also observed after islet infection with endemic coronaviruses. Thus, the limits of pancreatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, even under in vitro conditions of enhanced virus exposure, challenge the proposition that in vivo targeting of ß cells by SARS-CoV-2 precipitates new-onset diabetes. Whether restricted pancreatic damage and immunological alterations accrued by COVID-19 increase cumulative diabetes risk, however, remains to be evaluated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus , Insulin-Secreting Cells , Humans , Pancreas , SARS-CoV-2
4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292099

ABSTRACT

Concerns that infection with SARS-CoV-2, the etiological agent of COVID-19, may cause new-onset diabetes persist amidst an evolving research landscape, and precise risk assessment is hampered by at times conflicting evidence. Here, leveraging comprehensive single-cell analyses of in vitro SARS-CoV-2-infected human pancreatic islets, we demonstrate that productive infection is strictly dependent on the SARS-CoV-2 entry receptor ACE2 and targets all pancreatic cell types. Importantly, the infection remains highly circumscribed, largely non-cytopathic, and despite high viral burden in infected subsets, promotes only modest cellular perturbations and inflammatory responses. Similar experimental outcomes are also observed after islet infection with endemic coronaviruses. Thus, the limits of pancreatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, even under in vitro conditions of enhanced virus exposure, do not support the proposition that in vivo targeting of beta cells by SARS-CoV-2 precipitates new-onset diabetes. If restricted pancreatic damage accrued by COVID-19 increases cumulative diabetes risk, however, remains to be evaluated.Funding: These efforts were supported by JDRF 3-PDF-2018-575-A-N (V.v.d.H.);NIH/NIDDK R01DK12392, NIH/NIAID P01AI042288 and NIH/NIAID U54AI142766-S1 (M.A.A.);NIH/NIAID Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Response/Center for Research for Influenza Pathogenesis and Transmission contract # 75N93019R00028, NIH/NIAID U19AI135972 (supplement), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency HR0011-19-2-0020, JPB Foundation, and Open Philanthropy Project # 2020-215611 (5384), Anonymous (A.G.-S.);NIH/NIAID R01AI151029 and NIA/NIAID U01AI150748 (B.R.R.);NIH/NIDDK R01DK130425 (M.S.);and NIH/NIAID R01AI134971, NIH/NIDDK U01DK123716, NIH/NIDDK U01DK104162, NIH/NIDDK P30DK020541 and NIH/NIDDK R01DK130425 (D.H.).Funding: The AG-S laboratory has received research support from Pfizer, Senhwa Biosciences, Kenall Manufacturing, Avimex, Johnson & Johnson, Dynavax, 7Hills Pharma, Pharmamar, ImmunityBio, Accurius, Nanocomposix, Hexamer, N-fold LLC, Model Medicines and Merck, outside of the reported work. Declaration of Interests: AG-S has consulting agreements for the following companies involving cash and/or stock: Vivaldi Biosciences, Contrafect, 7Hills Pharma, Avimex, Vaxalto, Pagoda, Accurius, Esperovax, Farmak, Applied Biological Laboratories and Pfizer, outside of the reported work. AG-S is inventor on patents and patent applications on the use of antivirals and vaccines for the treatment and prevention of virus infections and cancer, owned by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, outside of the reported work. All other authors declare no conflict of interest. Ethics Approval Statement: Our study is considered “not human subjects research” since all donor islet preparations were provided as de-identified tissue specimens by a commercial purveyor

6.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 3781, 2021 06 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275920

ABSTRACT

In addition to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), humans are also susceptible to six other coronaviruses, for which consecutive exposures to antigenically related and divergent seasonal coronaviruses are frequent. Despite the prevalence of COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing research, the nature of the antibody response against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is unclear. Here we longitudinally profile the early humoral immune response against SARS-CoV-2 in hospitalized coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients and quantify levels of pre-existing immunity to OC43, HKU1 and 229E seasonal coronaviruses, and find a strong back-boosting effect to conserved but not variable regions of OC43 and HKU1 betacoronaviruses spike protein. However, such antibody memory boost to human coronaviruses negatively correlates with the induction of IgG and IgM against SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleocapsid protein. Our findings thus provide evidence of immunological imprinting by previous seasonal coronavirus infections that can potentially modulate the antibody profile to SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Aged , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Formation , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Cross Reactions , Female , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
7.
Hum Pathol ; 114: 110-119, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1213257

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an ongoing pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Although viral infection is known to trigger inflammatory processes contributing to tissue injury and organ failure, it is unclear whether direct viral damage is needed to sustain cellular injury. An understanding of pathogenic mechanisms has been handicapped by the absence of optimized methods to visualize the presence and distribution of SARS-CoV-2 in damaged tissues. We first developed a positive control cell line (Vero E6) to validate SARS-CoV-2 detection assays. We then evaluated multiple organs (lungs, kidneys, heart, liver, brain, intestines, lymph nodes, and spleen) from fourteen COVID-19 autopsy cases using immunohistochemistry (IHC) for the spike and the nucleoprotein proteins, and RNA in situ hybridization (RNA ISH) for the spike protein mRNA. Tissue detection assays were compared with quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR)-based detection. SARS-CoV-2 was histologically detected in the Vero E6 positive cell line control, 1 of 14 (7%) lungs, and none (0%) of the other 59 organs. There was perfect concordance between the IHC and RNA ISH results. qPCR confirmed high viral load in the SARS-CoV-2 ISH-positive lung tissue, and absent or low viral load in all ISH-negative tissues. In patients who die of COVID-19-related organ failure, SARS-CoV-2 is largely not detectable using tissue-based assays. Even in lungs showing widespread injury, SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA or proteins were detected in only a small minority of cases. This observation supports the concept that viral infection is primarily a trigger for multiple-organ pathogenic proinflammatory responses. Direct viral tissue damage is a transient phenomenon that is generally not sustained throughout disease progression.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Liver/virology , Lung/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Animals , Autopsy/methods , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Progression , Humans , Immunohistochemistry/methods , Liver/chemistry , Liver/pathology , Lung/pathology , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Vero Cells/virology , Viral Load/methods
8.
Cell ; 184(10): 2618-2632.e17, 2021 05 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1157174

ABSTRACT

The ongoing pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is currently affecting millions of lives worldwide. Large retrospective studies indicate that an elevated level of inflammatory cytokines and pro-inflammatory factors are associated with both increased disease severity and mortality. Here, using multidimensional epigenetic, transcriptional, in vitro, and in vivo analyses, we report that topoisomerase 1 (TOP1) inhibition suppresses lethal inflammation induced by SARS-CoV-2. Therapeutic treatment with two doses of topotecan (TPT), an FDA-approved TOP1 inhibitor, suppresses infection-induced inflammation in hamsters. TPT treatment as late as 4 days post-infection reduces morbidity and rescues mortality in a transgenic mouse model. These results support the potential of TOP1 inhibition as an effective host-directed therapy against severe SARS-CoV-2 infection. TPT and its derivatives are inexpensive clinical-grade inhibitors available in most countries. Clinical trials are needed to evaluate the efficacy of repurposing TOP1 inhibitors for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in humans.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , DNA Topoisomerases, Type I/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Topoisomerase I Inhibitors/pharmacology , Topotecan/pharmacology , Animals , COVID-19/enzymology , COVID-19/pathology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Inflammation/drug therapy , Inflammation/enzymology , Inflammation/pathology , Inflammation/virology , Mesocricetus , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , THP-1 Cells , Vero Cells
9.
Gastroenterology ; 160(7): 2435-2450.e34, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1116737

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Given that gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are a prominent extrapulmonary manifestation of COVID-19, we investigated intestinal infection with SARS-CoV-2, its effect on pathogenesis, and clinical significance. METHODS: Human intestinal biopsy tissues were obtained from patients with COVID-19 (n = 19) and uninfected control individuals (n = 10) for microscopic examination, cytometry by time of flight analyses, and RNA sequencing. Additionally, disease severity and mortality were examined in patients with and without GI symptoms in 2 large, independent cohorts of hospitalized patients in the United States (N = 634) and Europe (N = 287) using multivariate logistic regressions. RESULTS: COVID-19 case patients and control individuals in the biopsy cohort were comparable for age, sex, rates of hospitalization, and relevant comorbid conditions. SARS-CoV-2 was detected in small intestinal epithelial cells by immunofluorescence staining or electron microscopy in 15 of 17 patients studied. High-dimensional analyses of GI tissues showed low levels of inflammation, including down-regulation of key inflammatory genes including IFNG, CXCL8, CXCL2, and IL1B and reduced frequencies of proinflammatory dendritic cells compared with control individuals. Consistent with these findings, we found a significant reduction in disease severity and mortality in patients presenting with GI symptoms that was independent of sex, age, and comorbid illnesses and despite similar nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 viral loads. Furthermore, there was reduced levels of key inflammatory proteins in circulation in patients with GI symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: These data highlight the absence of a proinflammatory response in the GI tract despite detection of SARS-CoV-2. In parallel, reduced mortality in patients with COVID-19 presenting with GI symptoms was observed. A potential role of the GI tract in attenuating SARS-CoV-2-associated inflammation needs to be further examined.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Gastrointestinal Diseases/virology , Immunity, Mucosal , Intestinal Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , Case-Control Studies , Cells, Cultured , Cytokines/blood , Female , Gastrointestinal Diseases/diagnosis , Gastrointestinal Diseases/immunology , Gastrointestinal Diseases/mortality , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Inflammation Mediators/blood , Intestinal Mucosa/immunology , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , New York City , Prognosis , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viral Load
10.
medRxiv ; 2020 Nov 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-955724

ABSTRACT

Given that gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are a prominent extrapulmonary manifestation of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), we investigated intestinal infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and its effect on disease pathogenesis. SARS-CoV-2 was detected in small intestinal enterocytes by immunofluorescence staining or electron microscopy, in 13 of 15 patients studied. High dimensional analyses of GI tissues revealed low levels of inflammation in general, including active downregulation of key inflammatory genes such as IFNG, CXCL8, CXCL2 and IL1B and reduced frequencies of proinflammatory dendritic cell subsets. To evaluate the clinical significance of these findings, examination of two large, independent cohorts of hospitalized patients in the United States and Europe revealed a significant reduction in disease severity and mortality that was independent of gender, age, and examined co-morbid illnesses. The observed mortality reduction in COVID-19 patients with GI symptoms was associated with reduced levels of key inflammatory proteins including IL-6, CXCL8, IL-17A and CCL28 in circulation but was not associated with significant differences in nasopharyngeal viral loads. These data draw attention to organ-level heterogeneity in disease pathogenesis and highlight the role of the GI tract in attenuating SARS-CoV-2-associated inflammation with related mortality benefit. ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY: Intestinal infection with SARS-CoV-2 is associated with a mild inflammatory response and improved clinical outcomes.

11.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 117(45): 28344-28354, 2020 11 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-887237

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that is a serious global health problem. Evasion of IFN-mediated antiviral signaling is a common defense strategy that pathogenic viruses use to replicate and propagate in their host. In this study, we show that SARS-CoV-2 is able to efficiently block STAT1 and STAT2 nuclear translocation in order to impair transcriptional induction of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs). Our results demonstrate that the viral accessory protein Orf6 exerts this anti-IFN activity. We found that SARS-CoV-2 Orf6 localizes at the nuclear pore complex (NPC) and directly interacts with Nup98-Rae1 via its C-terminal domain to impair docking of cargo-receptor (karyopherin/importin) complex and disrupt nuclear import. In addition, we show that a methionine-to-arginine substitution at residue 58 impairs Orf6 binding to the Nup98-Rae1 complex and abolishes its IFN antagonistic function. All together our data unravel a mechanism of viral antagonism in which a virus hijacks the Nup98-Rae1 complex to overcome the antiviral action of IFN.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Interferons/metabolism , Nuclear Pore Complex Proteins/metabolism , Nuclear Pore/metabolism , STAT1 Transcription Factor/metabolism , STAT2 Transcription Factor/metabolism , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Active Transport, Cell Nucleus , Animals , Binding Sites , Chlorocebus aethiops , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Nuclear Matrix-Associated Proteins/chemistry , Nuclear Matrix-Associated Proteins/metabolism , Nucleocytoplasmic Transport Proteins/chemistry , Nucleocytoplasmic Transport Proteins/metabolism , Protein Binding , Signal Transduction , Vero Cells
12.
Nat Med ; 26(7): 1033-1036, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-244499

ABSTRACT

Here, we describe a serological enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the screening and identification of human SARS-CoV-2 seroconverters. This assay does not require the handling of infectious virus, can be adjusted to detect different antibody types in serum and plasma and is amenable to scaling. Serological assays are of critical importance to help define previous exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in populations, identify highly reactive human donors for convalescent plasma therapy and investigate correlates of protection.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Seroconversion , Adult , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Case-Control Studies , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Longitudinal Studies , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
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