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1.
Lancet Digit Health ; 4(9): e632-e645, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2016308

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 is a multi-system disorder with high variability in clinical outcomes among patients who are admitted to hospital. Although some cytokines such as interleukin (IL)-6 are believed to be associated with severity, there are no early biomarkers that can reliably predict patients who are more likely to have adverse outcomes. Thus, it is crucial to discover predictive markers of serious complications. METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, we analysed samples from 455 participants with COVID-19 who had had a positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR result between April 14, 2020, and Dec 1, 2020 and who had visited one of three Mayo Clinic sites in the USA (Minnesota, Arizona, or Florida) in the same period. These participants were assigned to three subgroups depending on disease severity as defined by the WHO ordinal scale of clinical improvement (outpatient, severe, or critical). Our control cohort comprised of 182 anonymised age-matched and sex-matched plasma samples that were available from the Mayo Clinic Biorepository and banked before the COVID-19 pandemic. We did a deep profiling of circulatory cytokines and other proteins, lipids, and metabolites from both cohorts. Most patient samples were collected before, or around the time of, hospital admission, representing ideal samples for predictive biomarker discovery. We used proximity extension assays to quantify cytokines and circulatory proteins and tandem mass spectrometry to measure lipids and metabolites. Biomarker discovery was done by applying an AutoGluon-tabular classifier to a multiomics dataset, producing a stacked ensemble of cutting-edge machine learning algorithms. Global proteomics and glycoproteomics on a subset of patient samples with matched pre-COVID-19 plasma samples was also done. FINDINGS: We quantified 1463 cytokines and circulatory proteins, along with 902 lipids and 1018 metabolites. By developing a machine-learning-based prediction model, a set of 102 biomarkers, which predicted severe and clinical COVID-19 outcomes better than the traditional set of cytokines, were discovered. These predictive biomarkers included several novel cytokines and other proteins, lipids, and metabolites. For example, altered amounts of C-type lectin domain family 6 member A (CLEC6A), ether phosphatidylethanolamine (P-18:1/18:1), and 2-hydroxydecanoate, as reported here, have not previously been associated with severity in COVID-19. Patient samples with matched pre-COVID-19 plasma samples showed similar trends in muti-omics signatures along with differences in glycoproteomics profile. INTERPRETATION: A multiomic molecular signature in the plasma of patients with COVID-19 before being admitted to hospital can be exploited to predict a more severe course of disease. Machine learning approaches can be applied to highly complex and multidimensional profiling data to reveal novel signatures of clinical use. The absence of validation in an independent cohort remains a major limitation of the study. FUNDING: Eric and Wendy Schmidt.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Biomarkers , COVID-19/diagnosis , Cohort Studies , Cytokines , Humans , Lipidomics/methods , Lipids , Metabolomics/methods , Pandemics , Prognosis , Proteomics/methods , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
2.
J Virol ; 95(24): e0136821, 2021 11 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1691427

ABSTRACT

Severe cardiovascular complications can occur in coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) patients. Cardiac damage is attributed mostly to the aberrant host response to acute respiratory infection. However, direct infection of cardiac tissue by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) also occurs. We examined here the cardiac tropism of SARS-CoV-2 in spontaneously beating human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs). These cardiomyocytes express the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor but not the transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) that mediates spike protein cleavage in the lungs. Nevertheless, SARS-CoV-2 infection of hiPSC-CMs was prolific; viral transcripts accounted for about 88% of total mRNA. In the cytoplasm of infected hiPSC-CMs, smooth-walled exocytic vesicles contained numerous 65- to 90-nm particles with canonical ribonucleocapsid structures, and virus-like particles with knob-like spikes covered the cell surface. To better understand how SARS-CoV-2 spreads in hiPSC-CMs, we engineered an expression vector coding for the spike protein with a monomeric emerald-green fluorescent protein fused to its cytoplasmic tail (S-mEm). Proteolytic processing of S-mEm and the parental spike were equivalent. Live cell imaging tracked spread of S-mEm cell-to-cell and documented formation of syncytia. A cell-permeable, peptide-based molecule that blocks the catalytic site of furin and furin-like proteases abolished cell fusion. A spike mutant with the single amino acid change R682S that disrupts the multibasic furin cleavage motif was fusion inactive. Thus, SARS-CoV-2 replicates efficiently in hiPSC-CMs and furin, and/or furin-like-protease activation of its spike protein is required for fusion-based cytopathology. This hiPSC-CM platform enables target-based drug discovery in cardiac COVID-19. IMPORTANCE Cardiac complications frequently observed in COVID-19 patients are tentatively attributed to systemic inflammation and thrombosis, but viral replication has occasionally been confirmed in cardiac tissue autopsy materials. We developed an in vitro model of SARS-CoV-2 spread in myocardium using induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes. In these highly differentiated cells, viral transcription levels exceeded those previously documented in permissive transformed cell lines. To better understand the mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 spread, we expressed a fluorescent version of its spike protein that allowed us to characterize a fusion-based cytopathic effect. A mutant of the spike protein with a single amino acid mutation in the furin/furin-like protease cleavage site lost cytopathic function. Of note, the fusion activities of the spike protein of other coronaviruses correlated with the level of cardiovascular complications observed in infections with the respective viruses. These data indicate that SARS-CoV-2 may cause cardiac damage by fusing cardiomyocytes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Myocytes, Cardiac/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Animals , Cathepsin B/metabolism , Cell Fusion , Chlorocebus aethiops , Embryonic Stem Cells/metabolism , Exocytosis , Humans , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/metabolism , Microscopy, Confocal , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Vero Cells , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Virus Internalization , Virus Replication
3.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-320927

ABSTRACT

Viruses spread between hosts through particles, but within hosts, viral genomes can spread from cell to cell through fusion, evading antiviral defenses and obviating costly infectious virion production1-3. Billions of electromechanically coupled cardiomyocytes (CMs) make myocardium inherently vulnerable to pathological electromechanical short circuits caused by intercellular viral spread 4-6. Beyond respiratory illness, COVID-19 affects the heart7 and cardiac injury and arrhythmias are serious public health concerns8-12. By studying myocardium of a young woman who died suddenly, diagnosed postmortem with COVID-19, we discovered highly focal myocardial SARS-CoV-2 infection spreading from one CM to another through intercellular junctions identified by highly concentrated sarcolemmal t-tubule viral spike glycoprotein. SARS-CoV-2 permissively infected beating human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-CMs building multinucleated cardiomyotubes (CMTs) through cell type-specific fusion driven by proteolytically-activated spike glycoprotein. Recombinant spike glycoprotein, co-localizing to sarcolemma and sarcoplasmic reticulum, produced multinucleated CMTs with pathological structure, electrophysiology and Ca2+ excitation-contraction coupling. Blocking cleavage, a peptide-based protease inhibitor neutralized SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein pathogenicity. We conclude that SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein, efficiently primed, activated and strategically poised during biosynthesis, can exploit the CM’s inherent membranous connectivities to drive heart damage directly, uncoupling clinically common myocardial injury from lymphocytic myocarditis, often suspected but rarely confirmed in COVID-19.

5.
Hypertension ; 76(5): 1350-1367, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-802994

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is associated with significant morbidity and mortality throughout the world, predominantly due to lung and cardiovascular injury. The virus responsible for COVID-19-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2-gains entry into host cells via ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2). ACE2 is a primary enzyme within the key counter-regulatory pathway of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), which acts to oppose the actions of Ang (angiotensin) II by generating Ang-(1-7) to reduce inflammation and fibrosis and mitigate end organ damage. As COVID-19 spans multiple organ systems linked to the cardiovascular system, it is imperative to understand clearly how severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 may affect the multifaceted RAS. In addition, recognition of the role of ACE2 and the RAS in COVID-19 has renewed interest in its role in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular disease in general. We provide researchers with a framework of best practices in basic and clinical research to interrogate the RAS using appropriate methodology, especially those who are relatively new to the field. This is crucial, as there are many limitations inherent in investigating the RAS in experimental models and in humans. We discuss sound methodological approaches to quantifying enzyme content and activity (ACE, ACE2), peptides (Ang II, Ang-[1-7]), and receptors (types 1 and 2 Ang II receptors, Mas receptor). Our goal is to ensure appropriate research methodology for investigations of the RAS in patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and COVID-19 to ensure optimal rigor and reproducibility and appropriate interpretation of results from these investigations.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Hypertension/epidemiology , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Renin-Angiotensin System/physiology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Blood Pressure Determination/methods , COVID-19 , China/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Hypertension/physiopathology , Incidence , Male , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Prognosis , Research Design , Risk Assessment , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/epidemiology
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