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1.
Nat Biotechnol ; 2022 Oct 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2062229

ABSTRACT

Studying viral-host protein-protein interactions can facilitate the discovery of therapies for viral infection. We use high-throughput yeast two-hybrid experiments and mass spectrometry to generate a comprehensive SARS-CoV-2-human protein-protein interactome network consisting of 739 high-confidence binary and co-complex interactions, validating 218 known SARS-CoV-2 host factors and revealing 361 novel ones. Our results show the highest overlap of interaction partners between published datasets and of genes differentially expressed in samples from COVID-19 patients. We identify an interaction between the viral protein ORF3a and the human transcription factor ZNF579, illustrating a direct viral impact on host transcription. We perform network-based screens of >2,900 FDA-approved or investigational drugs and identify 23 with significant network proximity to SARS-CoV-2 host factors. One of these drugs, carvedilol, shows clinical benefits for COVID-19 patients in an electronic health records analysis and antiviral properties in a human lung cell line infected with SARS-CoV-2. Our study demonstrates the value of network systems biology to understand human-virus interactions and provides hits for further research on COVID-19 therapeutics.

2.
mBio ; 13(5): e0241522, 2022 Oct 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2038243

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has killed over 6 million individuals worldwide and continues to spread in countries where vaccines are not yet widely available or its citizens are hesitant to become vaccinated. Therefore, it is critical to unravel the molecular mechanisms that allow SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses to infect and overtake the host machinery of human cells. Coronavirus replication triggers endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR), a key host cell pathway widely believed to be essential for viral replication. We examined the master UPR sensor IRE1α kinase/RNase and its downstream transcription factor effector XBP1s, which is processed through an IRE1α-mediated mRNA splicing event, in human lung-derived cells infected with betacoronaviruses. We found that human respiratory coronavirus OC43 (HCoV-OC43), Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and murine coronavirus (MHV) all induce ER stress and strongly trigger the kinase and RNase activities of IRE1α as well as XBP1 splicing. In contrast, SARS-CoV-2 only partially activates IRE1α through autophosphorylation, but its RNase activity fails to splice XBP1. Moreover, while IRE1α was dispensable for replication in human cells for all coronaviruses tested, it was required for maximal expression of genes associated with several key cellular functions, including the interferon signaling pathway, during SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our data suggest that SARS-CoV-2 actively inhibits the RNase of autophosphorylated IRE1α, perhaps as a strategy to eliminate detection by the host immune system. IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2 is the third lethal respiratory coronavirus, after MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, to emerge this century, causing millions of deaths worldwide. Other common coronaviruses such as HCoV-OC43 cause less severe respiratory disease. Thus, it is imperative to understand the similarities and differences among these viruses in how each interacts with host cells. We focused here on the inositol-requiring enzyme 1α (IRE1α) pathway, part of the host unfolded protein response to virus-induced stress. We found that while MERS-CoV and HCoV-OC43 fully activate the IRE1α kinase and RNase activities, SARS-CoV-2 only partially activates IRE1α, promoting its kinase activity but not RNase activity. Based on IRE1α-dependent gene expression changes during infection, we propose that SARS-CoV-2 prevents IRE1α RNase activation as a strategy to limit detection by the host immune system.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Animals , Mice , Humans , Endoribonucleases/genetics , Endoribonucleases/metabolism , Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Inositol , Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases/genetics , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/metabolism , Ribonucleases/genetics , Transcription Factors , RNA, Messenger , Lung/metabolism , Interferons , X-Box Binding Protein 1/genetics
3.
J Am Soc Nephrol ; 33(7): 1293-1307, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1799028

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) uses full-length angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a main receptor to enter target cells. The goal of this study was to demonstrate the preclinical efficacy of a novel soluble ACE2 protein with increased duration of action and binding capacity in a lethal mouse model of COVID-19. METHODS: A human soluble ACE2 variant fused with an albumin binding domain (ABD) was linked via a dimerization motif hinge-like 4-cysteine dodecapeptide (DDC) to improve binding capacity to SARS-CoV-2. This novel soluble ACE2 protein (ACE2-1-618-DDC-ABD) was then administered intranasally and intraperitoneally to mice before intranasal inoculation of SARS-CoV-2 and then for two additional days post viral inoculation. RESULTS: Untreated animals became severely ill, and all had to be humanely euthanized by day 6 or 7 and had pulmonary alveolar hemorrhage with mononuclear infiltrates. In contrast, all but one mouse infected with a lethal dose of SARS-CoV-2 that received ACE2-1-618-DDC-ABD survived. In the animals inoculated with SARS-CoV-2 that were untreated, viral titers were high in the lungs and brain, but viral titers were absent in the kidneys. Some untreated animals, however, had variable degrees of kidney proximal tubular injury as shown by attenuation of the proximal tubular brush border and increased NGAL and TUNEL staining. Viral titers in the lung and brain were reduced or nondetectable in mice that received ACE2-1-618-DDC-ABD, and the animals developed only moderate disease as assessed by a near-normal clinical score, minimal weight loss, and improved lung and kidney injury. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates the preclinical efficacy of a novel soluble ACE2 protein, termed ACE2-1-618-DDC-ABD, in a lethal mouse model of SARS-CoV-2 infection that develops severe lung injury and variable degrees of moderate kidney proximal tubular injury.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/therapeutic use , Animals , COVID-19/therapy , Kidney/virology , Lung/virology , Mice , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(14): e2119093119, 2022 04 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1751830

ABSTRACT

SignificanceUsing SARS-CoV-2 as a relevant case study for infectious disease, we investigate the structure-function relationships that dictate antiviral spherical nucleic acid (SNA) vaccine efficacy. We show that the SNA architecture can be rapidly employed to target COVID-19 through incorporation of the receptor-binding domain, and that the resulting vaccine potently activates human cells in vitro and mice in vivo. Furthermore, when challenged with a lethal viral infection, only mice treated with the SNA vaccine survived. Taken together, this work underscores the importance of rational vaccine design for infectious disease to yield vaccines that elicit more potent immune responses to effectively fight disease.


Subject(s)
Communicable Disease Control , Nucleic Acids/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/immunology , Animals , Biotechnology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Diseases/etiology , Communicable Diseases/immunology , Humans , Nucleic Acids/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccine Development , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Viral Vaccines/genetics , Viral Vaccines/immunology
5.
Sci Adv ; 8(8): eabi6110, 2022 Feb 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1714330

ABSTRACT

The spread of SARS-CoV-2 and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic underscores the need for new treatments. Here we report that cannabidiol (CBD) inhibits infection of SARS-CoV-2 in cells and mice. CBD and its metabolite 7-OH-CBD, but not THC or other congeneric cannabinoids tested, potently block SARS-CoV-2 replication in lung epithelial cells. CBD acts after viral entry, inhibiting viral gene expression and reversing many effects of SARS-CoV-2 on host gene transcription. CBD inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication in part by up-regulating the host IRE1α RNase endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response and interferon signaling pathways. In matched groups of human patients from the National COVID Cohort Collaborative, CBD (100 mg/ml oral solution per medical records) had a significant negative association with positive SARS-CoV-2 tests. This study highlights CBD as a potential preventative agent for early-stage SARS-CoV-2 infection and merits future clinical trials. We caution against use of non-medical formulations including edibles, inhalants or topicals as a preventative or treatment therapy at the present time.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Cannabidiol/pharmacology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/drug effects , Immunity, Innate/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , A549 Cells , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Cannabidiol/chemistry , Cannabidiol/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress/drug effects , Endoribonucleases/genetics , Endoribonucleases/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/virology , Female , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral/drug effects , Host-Pathogen Interactions/physiology , Humans , Interferons/metabolism , Mice , Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases/genetics , Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Vero Cells , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects
6.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-328871

ABSTRACT

Physical interactions between viral and host proteins are responsible for almost all aspects of the viral life cycle and the host’s immune response. Studying viral-host protein-protein interactions is thus crucial for identifying strategies for treatment and prevention of viral infection. Here, we use high-throughput yeast two-hybrid and affinity purification followed by mass spectrometry to generate a comprehensive SARS-CoV-2-human protein-protein interactome network consisting of both binary and co-complex interactions. We report a total of 739 high-confidence interactions, showing the highest overlap of interaction partners among published datasets as well as the highest enrichment for genes differentially expressed in samples (such as upper airway and bronchial epithelial cells) from patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Showcasing the utility of our network, we describe a novel interaction between the viral accessory protein ORF3a and the host zinc finger transcription factor ZNF579 to illustrate one of the first examples of a viral factor mediating a direct impact on host transcription. Leveraging our interactome, we performed network-based drug screens for over 2,900 FDA-approved/investigational drugs and obtained a curated list of 21 drugs that had significant network proximities to SARS-CoV-2 host factors, one of which, carvedilol, showed promising antiviral properties. We performed electronic health record-based validation using two independent large-scale, longitudinal COVID-19 patient databases and found that carvedilol usage was associated with a significantly lowered probability (17%-20%, P < 0.001) of obtaining a SARS-CoV-2 positive test after adjusting various confounding factors. Carvedilol additionally showed anti-viral activity against SARS-CoV-2 in a human lung epithelial cell line (EC 50 value of 4.1 µM), suggesting a mechanism for its beneficial effect in COVID-19. Our study demonstrates the value of large-scale network systems biology approaches for extracting biological insight from complex biological processes.

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