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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330377

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has led to a worldwide Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Despite high efficacy of the authorized vaccines, protection against the surging variants of concern (VoC) was less robust. Live-attenuated vaccines (LAV) have been shown to elicit robust and long-term protection by induction of host innate and adaptive immune responses. We sought to develop a COVID-19 LAV by generating 3 double open reading frame (ORF)-deficient recombinant (r)SARS-CoV-2 simultaneously lacking two accessory open reading frame (ORF) proteins (ORF3a/ORF6, ORF3a/ORF7a, and ORF3a/ORF7b). Here, we report that these double ORF-deficient rSARS-CoV-2 have slower replication kinetics and reduced fitness in cultured cells as compared to their parental wild-type (WT) counterpart. Importantly, these double ORF-deficient rSARS-CoV-2 showed attenuation in both K18 hACE2 transgenic mice and golden Syrian hamsters. A single intranasal dose vaccination induced high levels of neutralizing antibodies against different SARS-CoV-2 VoC, and also activated viral component-specific T-cell responses. Notably, the double ORF-deficient rSARS-CoV-2 were able to protect, as determined by inhibition of viral replication, shedding, and transmission, against challenge with SARS-CoV-2. Collectively, our results demonstrate the feasibility to implement these double ORF-deficient rSARS-CoV-2 as safe, stable, immunogenic and protective LAV for the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection and associated COVID-19 disease.

2.
ACS Pharmacol Transl Sci ; 5(1): 8-19, 2022 Jan 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621207

ABSTRACT

Drug development for specific antiviral agents against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is still an unmet medical need as the pandemic continues to spread globally. Although huge efforts for drug repurposing and compound screens have been put forth, only a few compounds are in late-stage clinical trials. New approaches and assays are needed to accelerate COVID-19 drug discovery and development. Here, we report a time-resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based assay that detects the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) nucleocapsid protein (NP) produced in infected cells. It uses two specific anti-NP monoclonal antibodies conjugated to donor and acceptor fluorophores that produce a robust ratiometric signal for high throughput screening of large compound collections. Using this assay, we measured a half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) for remdesivir of 9.3 µM against infection with SARS-CoV-2 USA/WA1/2020 (WA-1). The assay also detected SARS-CoV-2 South African (Beta, ß), Brazilian/Japanese P.1 (Gamma, γ), and Californian (Epsilon, ε) variants of concern (VoC). Therefore, this homogeneous SARS-CoV-2 NP detection assay can be used for accelerating lead compound discovery for drug development and for evaluating drug efficacy against emerging SARS-CoV-2 VoC.

3.
iScience ; 25(1): 103722, 2022 Jan 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587457

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is a newly identified coronavirus that causes the respiratory disease called coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). With an urgent need for therapeutics, we lack a full understanding of the molecular basis of SARS-CoV-2-induced cellular damage and disease progression. Here, we conducted transcriptomic analysis of human PBMCs, identified significant changes in mitochondrial, ion channel, and protein quality-control gene products. SARS-CoV-2 proteins selectively target cellular organelle compartments, including the endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria. M-protein, NSP6, ORF3A, ORF9C, and ORF10 bind to mitochondrial PTP complex components cyclophilin D, SPG-7, ANT, ATP synthase, and a previously undescribed CCDC58 (coiled-coil domain containing protein 58). Knockdown of CCDC58 or mPTP blocker cyclosporin A pretreatment enhances mitochondrial Ca2+ retention capacity and bioenergetics. SARS-CoV-2 infection exacerbates cardiomyocyte autophagy and promotes cell death that was suppressed by cyclosporin A treatment. Our findings reveal that SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins suppress cardiomyocyte mitochondrial function that disrupts cardiomyocyte Ca2+ cycling and cell viability.

4.
Sci Adv ; 7(49): eabj1476, 2021 Dec 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546429

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred interest in potent and thermostable SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. Here, we assess low-dose immunization with lyophilized nanoparticles decorated with recombinant SARS-CoV-2 antigens. The SARS-CoV-2 Spike glycoprotein or its receptor-binding domain (RBD; mouse vaccine dose, 0.1 µg) was displayed on liposomes incorporating a particle-inducing lipid, cobalt porphyrin-phospholipid (dose, 0.4 µg), along with monophosphoryl lipid A (dose, 0.16 µg) and QS-21 (dose, 0.16 µg). Following optimization of lyophilization conditions, Spike or RBD-decorated liposomes were effectively reconstituted and maintained conformational capacity for binding human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) for at least a week when stored at 60°C in lyophilized but not liquid format. Prime-boost intramuscular vaccination of hACE2-transgenic mice with the reconstituted vaccine formulations induced effective antibody responses that inhibited RBD binding to hACE2 and neutralized pseudotyped and live SARS-CoV-2. Two days following viral challenge, immunized transgenic mice cleared the virus and were fully protected from lethal disease.

5.
J Vis Exp ; (177)2021 11 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528915

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). To date, SARS-CoV-2 has been responsible for over 242 million infections and more than 4.9 million deaths worldwide. Similar to other viruses, studying SARS-CoV-2 requires the use of experimental methods to detect the presence of virus in infected cells and/or in animal models. To overcome this limitation, we generated replication-competent recombinant (r)SARS-CoV-2 that expresses bioluminescent (nanoluciferase, Nluc) or fluorescent (Venus) proteins. These reporter-expressing rSARS-CoV-2 allow tracking viral infections in vitro and in vivo based on the expression of Nluc and Venus reporter genes. Here the study describes the use of rSARS-CoV-2/Nluc and rSARS-CoV-2/Venus to detect and track SARS-CoV-2 infection in the previously described K18 human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) transgenic mouse model of infection using in vivo imaging systems (IVIS). This rSARS-CoV-2/Nluc and rSARS-CoV-2/Venus show rSARS-CoV-2/WT-like pathogenicity and viral replication in vivo. Importantly, Nluc and Venus expression allow us to directly track viral infections in vivo and ex vivo, in infected mice. These rSARS-CoV-2/Nluc and rSARS-CoV-2/Venus represent an excellent option to study the biology of SARS-CoV-2 in vivo, to understand viral infection and associated COVID-19 disease, and to identify effective prophylactic and/or therapeutic treatments to combat SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19 , Keratin-18/genetics , Virus Diseases , Animals , Humans , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(41)2021 10 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1437721

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of the current COVID-19 pandemic, is one of the biggest threats to public health. However, the dynamic of SARS-CoV-2 infection remains poorly understood. Replication-competent recombinant viruses expressing reporter genes provide valuable tools to investigate viral infection. Low levels of reporter gene expressed from previous reporter-expressing recombinant (r)SARS-CoV-2 in the locus of the open reading frame (ORF)7a protein have jeopardized their use to monitor the dynamic of SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro or in vivo. Here, we report an alternative strategy where reporter genes were placed upstream of the highly expressed viral nucleocapsid (N) gene followed by a porcine tescherovirus (PTV-1) 2A proteolytic cleavage site. The higher levels of reporter expression using this strategy resulted in efficient visualization of rSARS-CoV-2 in infected cultured cells and excised lungs or whole organism of infected K18 human angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) transgenic mice. Importantly, real-time viral infection was readily tracked using a noninvasive in vivo imaging system and allowed us to rapidly identify antibodies which are able to neutralize SARS-CoV-2 infection in vivo. Notably, these reporter-expressing rSARS-CoV-2, in which a viral gene was not deleted, not only retained wild-type (WT) virus-like pathogenicity in vivo but also exhibited high stability in vitro and in vivo, supporting their use to investigate viral infection, dissemination, pathogenesis, and therapeutic interventions for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 in vivo.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral , Genes, Reporter , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Proteins , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/biosynthesis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Female , Humans , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Teschovirus/genetics , Vero Cells , Viral Proteins/biosynthesis , Viral Proteins/genetics
7.
J Virol ; 95(22): e0112621, 2021 10 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1398575

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged at the end of 2019 and has been responsible for the still ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Prophylactic vaccines have been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the prevention of COVID-19. Identification of SARS-CoV-2-neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) is important to assess vaccine protection efficacy, including their ability to protect against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VoC). Here, we report the generation and use of a recombinant (r)SARS-CoV-2 USA/WA1/2020 (WA-1) strain expressing Venus and an rSARS-CoV-2 strain expressing mCherry and containing mutations K417N, E484K, and N501Y found in the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike (S) glycoprotein of the South African (SA) B.1.351 (beta [ß]) VoC in bifluorescent-based assays to rapidly and accurately identify human monoclonal antibodies (hMAbs) able to neutralize both viral infections in vitro and in vivo. Importantly, our bifluorescent-based system accurately recapitulated findings observed using individual viruses. Moreover, fluorescent-expressing rSARS-CoV-2 strain and the parental wild-type (WT) rSARS-CoV-2 WA-1 strain had similar viral fitness in vitro, as well as similar virulence and pathogenicity in vivo in the K18 human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) transgenic mouse model of SARS-CoV-2 infection. We demonstrate that these new fluorescent-expressing rSARS-CoV-2 can be used in vitro and in vivo to easily identify hMAbs that simultaneously neutralize different SARS-CoV-2 strains, including VoC, for the rapid assessment of vaccine efficacy or the identification of prophylactic and/or therapeutic broadly NAbs for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection. IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2 is responsible of the COVID-19 pandemic that has warped daily routines and socioeconomics. There is still an urgent need for prophylactics and therapeutics to treat SARS-CoV-2 infections. In this study, we demonstrate the feasibility of using bifluorescent-based assays for the rapid identification of hMAbs with neutralizing activity against SARS-CoV-2, including VoC in vitro and in vivo. Importantly, results obtained with these bifluorescent-based assays recapitulate those observed with individual viruses, demonstrating their feasibility to rapidly advance our understanding of vaccine efficacy and to identify broadly protective human NAbs for the therapeutic treatment of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Neutralization Tests/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/immunology , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/therapeutic use , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Genes, Reporter , Humans , Luminescent Proteins/genetics , Luminescent Proteins/metabolism , Lung/drug effects , Lung/virology , Mice , Mutation , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Viral Load/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects
8.
J Virol ; 95(17): e0040221, 2021 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1350001

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the viral pathogen responsible for the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. As of 19 May 2021, John Hopkins University's COVID-19 tracking platform reported 3.3 million deaths associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Currently, the World Health Organization has granted emergency use listing (EUL) to six COVID-19 vaccine candidates. However, much of the pathogenesis observed during SARS-CoV-2 infection remains elusive. To gain insight into the contribution of individual accessory open reading frame (ORF) proteins in SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis, we used our recently described reverse-genetics system approach to successfully engineer recombinant SARS-CoV-2 (rSARS-CoV-2) constructs; we removed individual viral ORF3a, -6, -7a, -7b, and -8 proteins from them, and we characterized the resulting recombinant viruses in vitro and in vivo. Our results indicate differences in plaque morphology, with ORF-deficient (ΔORF) viruses producing smaller plaques than those of the wild type (rSARS-CoV-2/WT). However, growth kinetics of ΔORF viruses were like those of rSARS-CoV-2/WT. Interestingly, infection of K18 human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) transgenic mice with the ΔORF rSARS-CoV-2s identified ORF3a and ORF6 as the major contributors of viral pathogenesis, while ΔORF7a, ΔORF7b, and ΔORF8 rSARS-CoV-2s induced pathology comparable to that of rSARS-CoV-2/WT. This study demonstrates the robustness of our reverse-genetics system to generate rSARS-CoV-2 constructs and the major role for ORF3a and ORF6 in viral pathogenesis, providing important information for the generation of attenuated forms of SARS-CoV-2 for their implementation as live attenuated vaccines for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection and associated COVID-19. IMPORTANCE Despite great efforts put forward worldwide to combat the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to be a human health and socioeconomic threat. Insights into the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 and the contribution of viral proteins to disease outcome remain elusive. Our study aims (i) to determine the contribution of SARS-CoV-2 accessory open reading frame (ORF) proteins to viral pathogenesis and disease outcome and (ii) to develop a synergistic platform combining our robust reverse-genetics system to generate recombinant SARS-CoV-2 constructs with a validated rodent model of infection and disease. We demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 ORF3a and ORF6 contribute to lung pathology and ultimately disease outcome in K18 hACE2 transgenic mice, while ORF7a, ORF7b, and ORF8 have little impact on disease outcome. Moreover, our combinatory platform serves as a foundation for generating attenuated forms of the virus to develop live attenuated vaccines for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Open Reading Frames/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Proteins , A549 Cells , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Chlorocebus aethiops , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, Attenuated/genetics , Vaccines, Attenuated/immunology , Vero Cells , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/immunology
9.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(3): 100218, 2021 03 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1101541

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection results in viral burden in the respiratory tract, enabling transmission and leading to substantial lung pathology. The 1212C2 fully human monoclonal antibody was derived from an IgM memory B cell of a COVID-19 patient, has high affinity for the Spike protein receptor binding domain, neutralizes SARS-CoV-2, and exhibits in vivo prophylactic and therapeutic activity in hamsters when delivered intraperitoneally, reducing upper and lower respiratory viral burden and lung pathology. Inhalation of nebulized 1212C2 at levels as low as 0.6 mg/kg, corresponding to 0.03 mg/kg lung-deposited dose, reduced the viral burden below the detection limit and mitigated lung pathology. The therapeutic efficacy of an exceedingly low dose of inhaled 1212C2 supports the rationale for local lung delivery for dose-sparing benefits, as compared to the conventional parenteral route of administration. These results suggest that the clinical development of 1212C2 formulated and delivered via inhalation for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection should be considered.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Administration, Inhalation , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/classification , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Epitope Mapping , Epitopes/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Male , /metabolism , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , Phylogeny , Protein Domains/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
10.
J Virol Methods ; 290: 114084, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065422

ABSTRACT

The use of monoclonal neutralizing antibodies (mNAbs) is being actively pursued as a viable intervention for the treatment of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and associated coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). While highly potent mNAbs have great therapeutic potential, the ability of the virus to mutate and escape recognition and neutralization of mNAbs represents a potential problem in their use for the therapeutic management of SARS-CoV-2. Studies investigating natural or mNAb-induced antigenic variability in the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) glycoprotein, and their effects on viral fitness are still rudimentary. In this manuscript we described experimental approaches for the selection, identification, and characterization of SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibody resistant mutants (MARMs) in cultured cells. The ability to study SARS-CoV-2 antigenic drift under selective immune pressure by mNAbs is important for the optimal implementation of mNAbs for the therapeutic management of COVID-19. This will help to identify essential amino acid residues in the viral S glycoprotein required for mNAb-mediated inhibition of viral infection, to predict potential natural drift variants that could emerge upon implementation of therapeutic mNAbs, as well as vaccine prophylactic treatments for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Additionally, it will also enable the assessment of MARM viral fitness and its potential to induce severe infection and associated COVID-19 disease.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/pharmacology , Antigenic Variation/genetics , Drug Resistance, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Selection, Genetic , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , Binding Sites/genetics , Binding Sites/immunology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Phenotype , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vero Cells
11.
J Virol ; 2021 Jan 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024215

ABSTRACT

The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the pathogen responsible of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has devastated public health services and economies worldwide. Despite global efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 is now found in over 200 countries and has caused an upward death toll of over 1 million human lives as of November 2020. To date, only one Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved therapeutic drug (Remdesivir) and a monoclonal antibody, MAb (Bamlanivimab) are available for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2. As with other viruses, studying SARS-CoV-2 requires the use of secondary approaches to detect the presence of the virus in infected cells. To overcome this limitation, we have generated replication-competent recombinant (r)SARS-CoV-2 expressing fluorescent (Venus or mCherry) or bioluminescent (Nluc) reporter genes. Vero E6 cells infected with reporter-expressing rSARS-CoV-2 can be easily detected via fluorescence or luciferase expression and display a good correlation between reporter gene expression and viral replication. Moreover, rSARS-CoV-2 expressing reporter genes have comparable plaque sizes and growth kinetics to those of wild-type virus, rSARS-CoV-2/WT. We used these reporter-expressing rSARS-CoV-2 to demonstrate their feasibility to identify neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) or antiviral drugs. Our results demonstrate that reporter-expressing rSARS-CoV-2 represent an excellent option to identify therapeutics for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2, where reporter gene expression can be used as valid surrogates to track viral infection. Moreover, the ability to manipulate the viral genome opens the feasibility of generating viruses expressing foreign genes for their use as vaccines for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection.IMPORTANCE Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the pathogen that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has significantly impacted the human health and economic status worldwide. There is an urgent need to identify effective prophylactics and therapeutics for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection and associated COVID-19 disease. The use of fluorescent- or luciferase-expressing reporter expressing viruses has significantly advanced viral research. Here, we generated recombinant (r)SARS-CoV-2 expressing fluorescent (Venus and mCherry) or luciferase (Nluc) reporter genes and demonstrate that they represent an excellent option to track viral infections in vitro. Importantly, reporter-expressing rSARS-CoV-2 display similar growth kinetics and plaque phenotype that their wild-type counterpart (rSARS-CoV-2/WT), demonstrating their feasibility to identify drugs and/or neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) for the therapeutic treatment of SARS-CoV-2. Henceforth, these reporter-expressing rSARS-CoV-2 can be used to interrogate large libraries of compounds and/or monoclonal antibodies (MAb), in high-throughput screening settings, to identify those with therapeutic potential against SARS-CoV-2.

12.
Advanced Materials ; 32(50):2070373, 2020.
Article in English | Wiley | ID: covidwho-976957

ABSTRACT

In article number 2005637, Jonathan F. Lovell and co-workers show that the SARS-CoV-2 RBD surface protein becomes a potent immunogen when presented in nanoparticle format. Using a vaccine adjuvant that spontaneously converts soluble recombinant antigens into stable particles, immunization studies in mice and rabbits shows that the particle-based RBD elicits strong immune responses and potent antibodies capable of neutralizing the virus.

13.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 6122, 2020 11 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-952011

ABSTRACT

Vaccine and antiviral development against SARS-CoV-2 infection or COVID-19 disease would benefit from validated small animal models. Here, we show that transgenic mice expressing human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) by the human cytokeratin 18 promoter (K18 hACE2) represent a susceptible rodent model. K18 hACE2 transgenic mice succumbed to SARS-CoV-2 infection by day 6, with virus detected in lung airway epithelium and brain. K18 ACE2 transgenic mice produced a modest TH1/2/17 cytokine storm in the lung and spleen that peaked by day 2, and an extended chemokine storm that was detected in both lungs and brain. This chemokine storm was also detected in the brain at day 6. K18 hACE2 transgenic mice are, therefore, highly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and represent a suitable animal model for the study of viral pathogenesis, and for identification and characterization of vaccines (prophylactic) and antivirals (therapeutics) for SARS-CoV-2 infection and associated severe COVID-19 disease.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 , Disease Models, Animal , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , Brain/immunology , Brain/pathology , Brain/virology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/pathology , Disease Susceptibility , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Keratin-18/genetics , Lung/immunology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Mortality , Promoter Regions, Genetic/genetics , Respiratory Mucosa/immunology , Respiratory Mucosa/pathology , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , Virus Diseases/immunology , Virus Diseases/pathology
14.
Adv Mater ; 32(50): e2005637, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-893198

ABSTRACT

The receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is a candidate vaccine antigen that binds angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), leading to virus entry. Here, it is shown that rapid conversion of recombinant RBD into particulate form via admixing with liposomes containing cobalt-porphyrin-phospholipid (CoPoP) potently enhances the functional antibody response. Antigen binding via His-tag insertion into the CoPoP bilayer results in a serum-stable and conformationally intact display of the RBD on the liposome surface. Compared to other vaccine formulations, immunization using CoPoP liposomes admixed with recombinant RBD induces multiple orders of magnitude higher levels of antibody titers in mice that neutralize pseudovirus cell entry, block RBD interaction with ACE2, and inhibit live virus replication. Enhanced immunogenicity can be accounted for by greater RBD uptake into antigen-presenting cells in particulate form and improved immune cell infiltration in draining lymph nodes. QS-21 inclusion in the liposomes results in an enhanced antigen-specific polyfunctional T cell response. In mice, high dose immunization results in minimal local reactogenicity, is well-tolerated, and does not elevate serum cobalt levels. Taken together, these results confirm that particulate presentation strategies for the RBD immunogen should be considered for inducing strongly neutralizing antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , Binding Sites , COVID-19/immunology , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine/immunology , Mice , Pandemics/prevention & control , Rabbits , Vaccination , Virus Replication/drug effects
15.
J Virol Methods ; 287: 113995, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-856941

ABSTRACT

Towards the end of 2019, a novel coronavirus (CoV) named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), genetically similar to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), emerged in Wuhan, Hubei province of China, and has been responsible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in humans. Since its first report, SARS-CoV-2 has resulted in a global pandemic, with over 10 million human infections and over 560,000 deaths reported worldwide at the end of June 2020. Currently, there are no United States (US) Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved vaccines and/or antivirals licensed against SARS-CoV-2. The high economical and health impacts of SARS-CoV-2 has placed global pressure on the scientific community to identify effective prophylactic and therapeutic treatments for SARS-CoV-2 infection and associated COVID-19 disease. While some compounds have been already reported to reduce SARS-CoV-2 infection and a handful of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been described that neutralize SARS-CoV-2, there is an urgent need for the development and standardization of assays which can be used in high through-put screening (HTS) settings to identify new antivirals and/or neutralizing mAbs against SARS-CoV-2. Here, we described a rapid, accurate, and highly reproducible plaque reduction microneutralization (PRMNT) assay that can be quickly adapted for the identification and characterization of both neutralizing mAbs and antivirals against SARS-CoV-2. Importantly, our MNA is compatible with HTS settings to interrogate large and/or complex libraries of mAbs and/or antivirals to identify those with neutralizing and/or antiviral activity, respectively, against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Neutralization Tests/methods , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , Chlorocebus aethiops , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Humans , Vero Cells , Viral Plaque Assay , Virus Replication/drug effects
16.
Curr Protoc Microbiol ; 59(1): e126, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-847847

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, has been responsible for a million deaths worldwide as of September 2020. At the time of this writing, there are no available US FDA-approved therapeutics for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here, we describe a detailed protocol to generate recombinant (r)SARS-CoV-2 using reverse-genetics approaches based on the use of a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC). This method will allow the production of mutant rSARS-CoV-2-which is necessary for understanding the function of viral proteins, viral pathogenesis and/or transmission, and interactions at the virus-host interface-and attenuated SARS-CoV-2 to facilitate the discovery of effective countermeasures to control the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. © 2020 Wiley Periodicals LLC. Basic Protocol: Generation of recombinant SARS-CoV-2 using a bacterial artificial chromosome Support Protocol: Validation and characterization of rSARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Chromosomes, Artificial, Bacterial/genetics , Animals , Betacoronavirus/growth & development , Chlorocebus aethiops , Containment of Biohazards , SARS-CoV-2 , Transfection , Vero Cells
17.
mBio ; 11(5)2020 09 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-797116

ABSTRACT

Infectious coronavirus (CoV) disease 2019 (COVID-19) emerged in the city of Wuhan (China) in December 2019, causing a pandemic that has dramatically impacted public health and socioeconomic activities worldwide. A previously unknown coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been identified as the causative agent of COVID-19. To date, there are no U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved vaccines or therapeutics available for the prevention or treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection and/or associated COVID-19 disease, which has triggered a large influx of scientific efforts to develop countermeasures to control SARS-CoV-2 spread. To contribute to these efforts, we have developed an infectious cDNA clone of the SARS-CoV-2 USA-WA1/2020 strain based on the use of a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC). Recombinant SARS-CoV-2 (rSARS-CoV-2) was readily rescued by transfection of the BAC into Vero E6 cells. Importantly, BAC-derived rSARS-CoV-2 exhibited growth properties and plaque sizes in cultured cells comparable to those of the natural SARS-CoV-2 isolate. Likewise, rSARS-CoV-2 showed levels of replication similar to those of the natural isolate in nasal turbinates and lungs of infected golden Syrian hamsters. This is, to our knowledge, the first BAC-based reverse genetics system for the generation of infectious rSARS-CoV-2 that displays features in vivo similar to those of a natural viral isolate. This SARS-CoV-2 BAC-based reverse genetics will facilitate studies addressing several important questions in the biology of SARS-CoV-2, as well as the identification of antivirals and development of vaccines for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection and associated COVID-19 disease.IMPORTANCE The pandemic coronavirus (CoV) disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a major threat to global human health. To date, there are no approved prophylactics or therapeutics available for COVID-19. Reverse genetics is a powerful approach to understand factors involved in viral pathogenesis, antiviral screening, and vaccine development. In this study, we describe the feasibility of generating recombinant SARS-CoV-2 (rSARS-CoV-2) by transfection of a single bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC). Importantly, rSARS-CoV-2 possesses the same phenotype as the natural isolate in vitro and in vivo This is the first description of a BAC-based reverse genetics system for SARS-CoV-2 and the first time that an rSARS-CoV-2 isolate has been shown to be phenotypically identical to a natural isolate in a validated animal model of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The BAC-based reverse genetics approach will facilitate the study of SARS-CoV-2 and the development of prophylactics and therapeutics for the treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Chromosomes, Artificial, Bacterial/genetics , Animals , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cricetinae , DNA, Complementary/genetics , Genome, Viral/genetics , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reverse Genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Vero Cells , Virus Replication
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