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1.
JACS Au ; 2(9): 2187-2202, 2022 Sep 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2050266

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 presents a global health emergency. Therapeutic options against SARS-CoV-2 are still very limited but urgently required. Molecular tweezers are supramolecular agents that destabilize the envelope of viruses resulting in a loss of viral infectivity. Here, we show that first-generation tweezers, CLR01 and CLR05, disrupt the SARS-CoV-2 envelope and abrogate viral infectivity. To increase the antiviral activity, a series of 34 advanced molecular tweezers were synthesized by insertion of aliphatic or aromatic ester groups on the phosphate moieties of the parent molecule CLR01. A structure-activity relationship study enabled the identification of tweezers with a markedly enhanced ability to destroy lipid bilayers and to suppress SARS-CoV-2 infection. Selected tweezer derivatives retain activity in airway mucus and inactivate the SARS-CoV-2 wildtype and variants of concern as well as respiratory syncytial, influenza, and measles viruses. Moreover, inhibitory activity of advanced tweezers against respiratory syncytial virus and SARS-CoV-2 was confirmed in mice. Thus, potentiated tweezers are broad-spectrum antiviral agents with great prospects for clinical development to combat highly pathogenic viruses.

2.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-317546

ABSTRACT

Preexisting diabetes increases the risk of a severe course of the pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Vice versa, exacerbations of a preexisting diabetes as well as new-onset diabetes have been reported upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. Thus, there is an imperative need to clarify whether human pancreatic endocrine cells organized within an islet of Langerhans are permissive for and affected by SARS-CoV-2 infection, and to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the development of diabetes upon COVID-19. Here, we (i) defined ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expression patterns in human pancreatic endocrine and exocrine cell types, (ii) employed human pancreatic islet cultures to demonstrate susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and to viral replication in β-cells, (iii) showed that SARS-CoV-2 attenuates glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, and (iv) tested remdesivir as eventually effective to prevent β-cell failure. In addition, we (v) visualized viral particles replicating in endocrine pancreatic cells and define their subcellular localization patterns via transmission electron microscopy, and finally (vi) present examples of cell type specific pancreatic infection patterns of COVID-19 deceased patients. Overall, our data demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 can infect both the exocrine and endocrine compartments of the pancreas and can perturb β-cell integrity, which might lead to an increased risk for diabetes.

3.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 1726, 2021 03 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1142436

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is a respiratory pathogen and primarily infects the airway epithelium. As our knowledge about innate immune factors of the respiratory tract against SARS-CoV-2 is limited, we generated and screened a peptide/protein library derived from bronchoalveolar lavage for inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 spike-driven entry. Analysis of antiviral fractions revealed the presence of α1-antitrypsin (α1AT), a highly abundant circulating serine protease inhibitor. Here, we report that α1AT inhibits SARS-CoV-2 entry at physiological concentrations and suppresses viral replication in cell lines and primary cells including human airway epithelial cultures. We further demonstrate that α1AT binds and inactivates the serine protease TMPRSS2, which enzymatically primes the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein for membrane fusion. Thus, the acute phase protein α1AT is an inhibitor of TMPRSS2 and SARS-CoV-2 entry, and may play an important role in the innate immune defense against the novel coronavirus. Our findings suggest that repurposing of α1AT-containing drugs has prospects for the therapy of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Serine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , alpha 1-Antitrypsin/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/blood , Caco-2 Cells , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Molecular Docking Simulation , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects
4.
Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol ; 320(5): L750-L756, 2021 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1076012

ABSTRACT

Pharmaceutical interventions are urgently needed to prevent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and transmission. As SARS-CoV-2 infects and spreads via the nasopharyngeal airways, we analyzed the antiviral effect of selected nasal and oral sprays on virus infection in vitro. Two nose sprays showed virucidal activity but were cytotoxic precluding further analysis in cell culture. One nasal and one mouth spray suppressed SARS-CoV-2 infection of TMPRSS2-expressing Vero E6 cells and primary differentiated human airway epithelial cultures. The antiviral activity in both sprays could be attributed to polyanionic ι- and κ-carrageenans. Thus, application of carrageenan-containing nasal and mouth sprays may reduce the risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection and may limit viral spread, warranting further clinical evaluation.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/prevention & control , Carrageenan/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Adult , Animals , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Epithelial Cells/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nasal Sprays , Oral Sprays , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Vero Cells
5.
Nat Metab ; 3(2): 149-165, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065968

ABSTRACT

Infection-related diabetes can arise as a result of virus-associated ß-cell destruction. Clinical data suggest that the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), causing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), impairs glucose homoeostasis, but experimental evidence that SARS-CoV-2 can infect pancreatic tissue has been lacking. In the present study, we show that SARS-CoV-2 infects cells of the human exocrine and endocrine pancreas ex vivo and in vivo. We demonstrate that human ß-cells express viral entry proteins, and SARS-CoV-2 infects and replicates in cultured human islets. Infection is associated with morphological, transcriptional and functional changes, including reduced numbers of insulin-secretory granules in ß-cells and impaired glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. In COVID-19 full-body postmortem examinations, we detected SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein in pancreatic exocrine cells, and in cells that stain positive for the ß-cell marker NKX6.1 and are in close proximity to the islets of Langerhans in all four patients investigated. Our data identify the human pancreas as a target of SARS-CoV-2 infection and suggest that ß-cell infection could contribute to the metabolic dysregulation observed in patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Islets of Langerhans/virology , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/biosynthesis , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/physiopathology , Cells, Cultured , Diabetes Mellitus , Female , Humans , Islets of Langerhans/cytology , Islets of Langerhans/physiopathology , Male , Pancreas, Exocrine/cytology , Pancreas, Exocrine/physiopathology , Pancreas, Exocrine/virology , Pancreatic Diseases/etiology , Pancreatic Diseases/virology , Serine Endopeptidases/biosynthesis , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Virus Internalization , Virus Replication
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