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Sci Transl Med ; 14(646): eabn1252, 2022 05 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1784766


New variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continue to arise and prolong the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Here, we used a cell-free expression workflow to rapidly screen and optimize constructs containing multiple computationally designed miniprotein inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2. We found the broadest efficacy was achieved with a homotrimeric version of the 75-residue angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) mimic AHB2 (TRI2-2) designed to geometrically match the trimeric spike architecture. Consistent with the design model, in the cryo-electron microscopy structure TRI2-2 forms a tripod at the apex of the spike protein that engaged all three receptor binding domains simultaneously. TRI2-2 neutralized Omicron (B.1.1.529), Delta (B.1.617.2), and all other variants tested with greater potency than the monoclonal antibodies used clinically for the treatment of COVID-19. TRI2-2 also conferred prophylactic and therapeutic protection against SARS-CoV-2 challenge when administered intranasally in mice. Designed miniprotein receptor mimics geometrically arrayed to match pathogen receptor binding sites could be a widely applicable antiviral therapeutic strategy with advantages over antibodies in greater resistance to viral escape and antigenic drift, and advantages over native receptor traps in lower chances of autoimmune responses.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Humans , Mice , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
JCI Insight ; 6(24)2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518199


Kidneys are critical target organs of COVID-19, but susceptibility and responses to infection remain poorly understood. Here, we combine SARS-CoV-2 variants with genome-edited kidney organoids and clinical data to investigate tropism, mechanism, and therapeutics. SARS-CoV-2 specifically infects organoid proximal tubules among diverse cell types. Infections produce replicating virus, apoptosis, and disrupted cell morphology, features of which are revealed in the context of polycystic kidney disease. Cross-validation of gene expression patterns in organoids reflects proteomic signatures of COVID-19 in the urine of critically ill patients indicating interferon pathway upregulation. SARS-CoV-2 viral variants alpha, beta, gamma, kappa, and delta exhibit comparable levels of infection in organoids. Infection is ameliorated in ACE2-/- organoids and blocked via treatment with de novo-designed spike binder peptides. Collectively, these studies clarify the impact of kidney infection in COVID-19 as reflected in organoids and clinical populations, enabling assessment of viral fitness and emerging therapies.

Acute Kidney Injury/urine , COVID-19/urine , Kidney Tubules, Proximal/virology , Kidney/virology , Organoids/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Acute Kidney Injury/etiology , Adult , Aged , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Apoptosis , Bowman Capsule/cytology , Bowman Capsule/virology , COVID-19/complications , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , Gene Knockout Techniques , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization , Humans , Kidney/metabolism , Kidney/pathology , Kidney Tubules, Proximal/metabolism , Kidney Tubules, Proximal/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Organoids/metabolism , Podocytes/virology , Polycystic Kidney Diseases , Protein Kinase D2/genetics , Proteome , Receptors, Coronavirus/genetics , Reproducibility of Results , Transcriptome , Vero Cells , Viral Tropism , Virus Replication