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1.
Nucleic Acids Res ; 50(3): 1484-1500, 2022 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1624985

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is the causal agent of the current global pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 belongs to an order, Nidovirales, with very large RNA genomes. It is proposed that the fidelity of coronavirus (CoV) genome replication is aided by an RNA nuclease complex, comprising the non-structural proteins 14 and 10 (nsp14-nsp10), an attractive target for antiviral inhibition. Our results validate reports that the SARS-CoV-2 nsp14-nsp10 complex has RNase activity. Detailed functional characterization reveals nsp14-nsp10 is a versatile nuclease capable of digesting a wide variety of RNA structures, including those with a blocked 3'-terminus. Consistent with a role in maintaining viral genome integrity during replication, we find that nsp14-nsp10 activity is enhanced by the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase complex (RdRp) consisting of nsp12-nsp7-nsp8 (nsp12-7-8) and demonstrate that this stimulation is mediated by nsp8. We propose that the role of nsp14-nsp10 in maintaining replication fidelity goes beyond classical proofreading by purging the nascent replicating RNA strand of a range of potentially replication-terminating aberrations. Using our developed assays, we identify drug and drug-like molecules that inhibit nsp14-nsp10, including the known SARS-CoV-2 major protease (Mpro) inhibitor ebselen and the HIV integrase inhibitor raltegravir, revealing the potential for multifunctional inhibitors in COVID-19 treatment.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Exoribonucleases/metabolism , Genome, Viral/genetics , Genomic Instability , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/metabolism , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Exoribonucleases/antagonists & inhibitors , Genome, Viral/drug effects , Genomic Instability/drug effects , Genomic Instability/genetics , HIV Integrase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Isoindoles/pharmacology , Multienzyme Complexes/antagonists & inhibitors , Multienzyme Complexes/metabolism , Organoselenium Compounds/pharmacology , RNA, Viral/biosynthesis , RNA, Viral/genetics , Raltegravir Potassium/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Virus Replication/drug effects , Virus Replication/genetics
2.
Nucleic Acids Res ; 49(22): 13019-13030, 2021 12 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546008

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is a positive-sense RNA virus responsible for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which continues to cause significant morbidity, mortality and economic strain. SARS-CoV-2 can cause severe respiratory disease and death in humans, highlighting the need for effective antiviral therapies. The RNA synthesis machinery of SARS-CoV-2 is an ideal drug target and consists of non-structural protein 12 (nsp12), which is directly responsible for RNA synthesis, and numerous co-factors involved in RNA proofreading and 5' capping of viral RNAs. The formation of the 5' 7-methylguanosine (m7G) cap structure is known to require a guanylyltransferase (GTase) as well as a 5' triphosphatase and methyltransferases; however, the mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 RNA capping remains poorly understood. Here we find that SARS-CoV-2 nsp12 is involved in viral RNA capping as a GTase, carrying out the addition of a GTP nucleotide to the 5' end of viral RNA via a 5' to 5' triphosphate linkage. We further show that the nsp12 NiRAN (nidovirus RdRp-associated nucleotidyltransferase) domain performs this reaction, and can be inhibited by remdesivir triphosphate, the active form of the antiviral drug remdesivir. These findings improve understanding of coronavirus RNA synthesis and highlight a new target for novel or repurposed antiviral drugs against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Adenosine Triphosphate/analogs & derivatives , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Nucleotidyltransferases/antagonists & inhibitors , RNA, Viral/biosynthesis , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Adenosine Triphosphate/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/antagonists & inhibitors , Genome, Viral/genetics , Guanosine/analogs & derivatives , Guanosine/metabolism , Humans , Nucleotidyltransferases/metabolism , RNA Caps/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccinia virus/enzymology , Vaccinia virus/metabolism
3.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun ; 538: 40-46, 2021 01 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1125713

ABSTRACT

The impact of COVID-19 on public health and the global economy has led to an unprecedented research response, with a major emphasis on the development of safe vaccines and drugs. However, effective, safe treatments typically take over a decade to develop and there are still no clinically approved therapies to treat highly pathogenic coronaviruses. Repurposing of known drugs can speed up development and this strategy, along with the use of biologicals (notably monoclonal antibody therapy) and vaccine development programmes remain the principal routes to dealing with the immediate impact of COVID-19. Nevertheless, the development of broadly-effective highly potent antivirals should be a major longer term goal. Structural biology has been applied with enormous effect, with key proteins structurally characterised only weeks after the SARS-CoV-2 sequence was released. Open-access to advanced infrastructure for structural biology techniques at synchrotrons and high-end cryo-EM and NMR centres has brought these technologies centre-stage in drug discovery. We summarise the role of Diamond Light Source in responses to the pandemic and note the impact of the immediate release of results in fuelling an open-science approach to early-stage drug discovery.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Development , Drug Discovery , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Proteins , Humans , Protein Conformation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/genetics
4.
Nat Immunol ; 21(11): 1336-1345, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-889210

ABSTRACT

The development of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines and therapeutics will depend on understanding viral immunity. We studied T cell memory in 42 patients following recovery from COVID-19 (28 with mild disease and 14 with severe disease) and 16 unexposed donors, using interferon-γ-based assays with peptides spanning SARS-CoV-2 except ORF1. The breadth and magnitude of T cell responses were significantly higher in severe as compared with mild cases. Total and spike-specific T cell responses correlated with spike-specific antibody responses. We identified 41 peptides containing CD4+ and/or CD8+ epitopes, including six immunodominant regions. Six optimized CD8+ epitopes were defined, with peptide-MHC pentamer-positive cells displaying the central and effector memory phenotype. In mild cases, higher proportions of SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T cells were observed. The identification of T cell responses associated with milder disease will support an understanding of protective immunity and highlights the potential of including non-spike proteins within future COVID-19 vaccine design.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Immunologic Memory/immunology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , United Kingdom , Viral Vaccines/immunology
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