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1.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(11): e1009743, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526705

ABSTRACT

Phosphatidylserine (PS) receptors enhance infection of many enveloped viruses through virion-associated PS binding that is termed apoptotic mimicry. Here we show that this broadly shared uptake mechanism is utilized by SARS-CoV-2 in cells that express low surface levels of ACE2. Expression of members of the TIM (TIM-1 and TIM-4) and TAM (AXL) families of PS receptors enhance SARS-CoV-2 binding to cells, facilitate internalization of fluorescently-labeled virions and increase ACE2-dependent infection of SARS-CoV-2; however, PS receptors alone did not mediate infection. We were unable to detect direct interactions of the PS receptor AXL with purified SARS-CoV-2 spike, contrary to a previous report. Instead, our studies indicate that the PS receptors interact with PS on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 virions. In support of this, we demonstrate that: 1) significant quantities of PS are located on the outer leaflet of SARS-CoV-2 virions, 2) PS liposomes, but not phosphatidylcholine liposomes, reduced entry of VSV/Spike pseudovirions and 3) an established mutant of TIM-1 which does not bind to PS is unable to facilitate entry of SARS-CoV-2. As AXL is an abundant PS receptor on a number of airway lines, we evaluated small molecule inhibitors of AXL signaling such as bemcentinib for their ability to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection. Bemcentinib robustly inhibited virus infection of Vero E6 cells as well as multiple human lung cell lines that expressed AXL. This inhibition correlated well with inhibitors that block endosomal acidification and cathepsin activity, consistent with AXL-mediated uptake of SARS-CoV-2 into the endosomal compartment. We extended our observations to the related betacoronavirus mouse hepatitis virus (MHV), showing that inhibition or ablation of AXL reduces MHV infection of murine cells. In total, our findings provide evidence that PS receptors facilitate infection of the pandemic coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and suggest that inhibition of the PS receptor AXL has therapeutic potential against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/etiology , Receptors, Cell Surface/physiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/physiology , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Proto-Oncogene Proteins/physiology , Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases/physiology , Receptors, Cell Surface/antagonists & inhibitors , Virus Internalization
2.
J Thorac Oncol ; 16(11): 1821-1839, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1492352

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Coronavirus disease 2019 is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which enters host cells through the cell surface proteins ACE2 and TMPRSS2. METHODS: Using a variety of normal and malignant models and tissues from the aerodigestive and respiratory tracts, we investigated the expression and regulation of ACE2 and TMPRSS2. RESULTS: We find that ACE2 expression is restricted to a select population of epithelial cells. Notably, infection with SARS-CoV-2 in cancer cell lines, bronchial organoids, and patient nasal epithelium induces metabolic and transcriptional changes consistent with epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), including up-regulation of ZEB1 and AXL, resulting in an increased EMT score. In addition, a transcriptional loss of genes associated with tight junction function occurs with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The SARS-CoV-2 receptor, ACE2, is repressed by EMT through the transforming growth factor-ß, ZEB1 overexpression, and onset of EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor resistance. This suggests a novel model of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis in which infected cells shift toward an increasingly mesenchymal state, associated with a loss of tight junction components with acute respiratory distress syndrome-protective effects. AXL inhibition and ZEB1 reduction, as with bemcentinib, offer a potential strategy to reverse this effect. CONCLUSIONS: These observations highlight the use of aerodigestive and, especially, lung cancer model systems in exploring the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses and offer important insights into the potential mechanisms underlying the morbidity and mortality of coronavirus disease 2019 in healthy patients and patients with cancer alike.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Lung Neoplasms , Bronchi , Humans , Lung , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Cancers (Basel) ; 13(6)2021 Mar 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1140681

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic. Severely symptomatic COVID-19 is associated with lung inflammation, pneumonia, and respiratory failure, thereby raising concerns of elevated risk of COVID-19-associated mortality among lung cancer patients. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is the major receptor for SARS-CoV-2 entry into lung cells. The single-cell expression landscape of ACE2 and other SARS-CoV-2-related genes in pulmonary tissues of lung cancer patients remains unknown. We sought to delineate single-cell expression profiles of ACE2 and other SARS-CoV-2-related genes in pulmonary tissues of lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) patients. We examined the expression levels and cellular distribution of ACE2 and SARS-CoV-2-priming proteases TMPRSS2 and TMPRSS4 in 5 LUADs and 14 matched normal tissues by single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) analysis. scRNA-seq of 186,916 cells revealed epithelial-specific expression of ACE2, TMPRSS2, and TMPRSS4. Analysis of 70,030 LUAD- and normal-derived epithelial cells showed that ACE2 levels were highest in normal alveolar type 2 (AT2) cells and that TMPRSS2 was expressed in 65% of normal AT2 cells. Conversely, the expression of TMPRSS4 was highest and most frequently detected (75%) in lung cells with malignant features. ACE2-positive cells co-expressed genes implicated in lung pathobiology, including COPD-associated HHIP, and the scavengers CD36 and DMBT1. Notably, the viral scavenger DMBT1 was significantly positively correlated with ACE2 expression in AT2 cells. We describe normal and tumor lung epithelial populations that express SARS-CoV-2 receptor and proteases, as well as major host defense genes, thus comprising potential treatment targets for COVID-19 particularly among lung cancer patients.

4.
Sci Adv ; 7(6)2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066794

ABSTRACT

The ongoing unprecedented severe acute respiratory syndrome caused by the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak worldwide has highlighted the need for understanding viral-host interactions involved in mechanisms of virulence. Here, we show that the virulence factor Nsp1 protein of SARS-CoV-2 interacts with the host messenger RNA (mRNA) export receptor heterodimer NXF1-NXT1, which is responsible for nuclear export of cellular mRNAs. Nsp1 prevents proper binding of NXF1 to mRNA export adaptors and NXF1 docking at the nuclear pore complex. As a result, a significant number of cellular mRNAs are retained in the nucleus during infection. Increased levels of NXF1 rescues the Nsp1-mediated mRNA export block and inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection. Thus, antagonizing the Nsp1 inhibitory function on mRNA export may represent a strategy to restoring proper antiviral host gene expression in infected cells.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Gene Expression , Host Microbial Interactions/genetics , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Virulence Factors/metabolism , Active Transport, Cell Nucleus/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Nuclear Pore/metabolism , Nucleocytoplasmic Transport Proteins/genetics , Nucleocytoplasmic Transport Proteins/metabolism , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA-Binding Proteins/genetics , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Transfection , Vero Cells , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics
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