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1.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 12: 1079926, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2198726

ABSTRACT

Virus-Like Particles (VLPs) are nanostructures that share conformation and self-assembly properties with viruses, but lack a viral genome and therefore the infectious capacity. In this study, we produced VLPs by co-expression of VSV glycoprotein (VSV-G) and HIV structural proteins (Gag, Pol) that incorporated a strong sequence-optimized 5'ppp-RNA RIG-I agonist, termed M8. Treatment of target cells with VLPs-M8 generated an antiviral state that conferred resistance against multiple viruses. Interestingly, treatment with VLPs-M8 also elicited a therapeutic effect by inhibiting ongoing viral replication in previously infected cells. Finally, the expression of SARS-CoV-2 Spike glycoprotein on the VLP surface retargeted VLPs to ACE2 expressing cells, thus selectively blocking viral infection in permissive cells. These results highlight the potential of VLPs-M8 as a therapeutic and prophylactic vaccine platform. Overall, these observations indicate that the modification of VLP surface glycoproteins and the incorporation of nucleic acids or therapeutic drugs, will permit modulation of particle tropism, direct specific innate and adaptive immune responses in target tissues, and boost immunogenicity while minimizing off-target effects.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interferon Type I , Vaccines, Virus-Like Particle , Virus Diseases , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Vaccines, Virus-Like Particle/genetics
2.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 12: 910864, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1974642

ABSTRACT

Dendritic cells (DCs) are important mediators of the induction and regulation of adaptive immune responses following microbial infection and inflammation. Sensing environmental danger signals including viruses, microbial products, or inflammatory stimuli by DCs leads to the rapid transition from a resting state to an activated mature state. DC maturation involves enhanced capturing and processing of antigens for presentation by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and class II, upregulation of chemokines and their receptors, cytokines and costimulatory molecules, and migration to lymphoid tissues where they prime naive T cells. Orchestrating a cellular response to environmental threats requires a high bioenergetic cost that accompanies the metabolic reprogramming of DCs during activation. We previously demonstrated that DCs undergo a striking functional transition after stimulation of the retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) pathway with a synthetic 5' triphosphate containing RNA (termed M8), consisting of the upregulation of interferon (IFN)-stimulated antiviral genes, increased DC phagocytosis, activation of a proinflammatory phenotype, and induction of markers associated with immunogenic cell death. In the present study, we set out to determine the metabolic changes associated with RIG-I stimulation by M8. The rate of glycolysis in primary human DCs was increased in response to RIG-I activation, and glycolytic reprogramming was an essential requirement for DC activation. Pharmacological inhibition of glycolysis in monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MoDCs) impaired type I IFN induction and signaling by disrupting the TBK1-IRF3-STAT1 axis, thereby countering the antiviral activity induced by M8. Functionally, the impaired IFN response resulted in enhanced viral replication of dengue, coronavirus 229E, and Coxsackie B5.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents , Dendritic Cells , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Glycolysis , Humans , Monocytes , Tretinoin/metabolism
3.
Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology ; 12, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1971030

ABSTRACT

Dendritic cells (DCs) are important mediators of the induction and regulation of adaptive immune responses following microbial infection and inflammation. Sensing environmental danger signals including viruses, microbial products, or inflammatory stimuli by DCs leads to the rapid transition from a resting state to an activated mature state. DC maturation involves enhanced capturing and processing of antigens for presentation by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and class II, upregulation of chemokines and their receptors, cytokines and costimulatory molecules, and migration to lymphoid tissues where they prime naive T cells. Orchestrating a cellular response to environmental threats requires a high bioenergetic cost that accompanies the metabolic reprogramming of DCs during activation. We previously demonstrated that DCs undergo a striking functional transition after stimulation of the retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) pathway with a synthetic 5′ triphosphate containing RNA (termed M8), consisting of the upregulation of interferon (IFN)–stimulated antiviral genes, increased DC phagocytosis, activation of a proinflammatory phenotype, and induction of markers associated with immunogenic cell death. In the present study, we set out to determine the metabolic changes associated with RIG-I stimulation by M8. The rate of glycolysis in primary human DCs was increased in response to RIG-I activation, and glycolytic reprogramming was an essential requirement for DC activation. Pharmacological inhibition of glycolysis in monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MoDCs) impaired type I IFN induction and signaling by disrupting the TBK1-IRF3-STAT1 axis, thereby countering the antiviral activity induced by M8. Functionally, the impaired IFN response resulted in enhanced viral replication of dengue, coronavirus 229E, and Coxsackie B5.

4.
Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology ; 11, 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1639808

ABSTRACT

Influenza virus infection induces oxidative stress in host cells by decreasing the intracellular content of glutathione (GSH) and increasing reactive oxygen species (ROS) level. Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) is responsible for the production of reducing equivalents of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) that is used to regenerate the reduced form of GSH, thus restoring redox homeostasis. Cells deficient in G6PD display elevated levels of ROS and an increased susceptibility to viral infection, although the consequences of G6PD modulation during viral infection remain to be elucidated. In this study, we demonstrated that influenza virus infection decreases G6PD expression and activity, resulting in an increase in oxidative stress and virus replication. Moreover, the down regulation of G6PD correlated with a decrease in the expression of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2), a key transcription factor that regulates the expression of the antioxidant response gene network. Also down-regulated in influenza virus infected cells was sirtuin 2 (SIRT2), a NADPH-dependent deacetylase involved in the regulation of G6PD activity. Acetylation of G6PD increased during influenza virus infection in a manner that was strictly dependent on SIRT2 expression. Furthermore, the use of a pharmacological activator of SIRT2 rescued GSH production and NRF2 expression, leading to decreased influenza virus replication. Overall, these data identify a novel strategy used by influenza virus to induce oxidative stress and to favor its replication in host cells. These observations furthermore suggest that manipulation of metabolic and oxidative stress pathways could define new therapeutic strategies to interfere with influenza virus infection.

5.
Pathogens ; 10(11)2021 Nov 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1534221

ABSTRACT

Despite the success of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), integrated HIV-1 proviral DNA cannot be eradicated from an infected individual. HAART is not able to eliminate latently infected cells that remain invisible to the immune system. Viral sanctuaries in specific tissues and immune-privileged sites may cause residual viral replication that contributes to HIV-1 persistence. The "Shock or Kick, and Kill" approach uses latency reversing agents (LRAs) in the presence of HAART, followed by cell-killing due to viral cytopathic effects and immune-mediated clearance. Different LRAs may be required for the in vivo reactivation of HIV-1 in different CD4+ T cell reservoirs, leading to the activation of cellular transcription factors acting on the integrated proviral HIV-1 LTR. An important requirement for LRA drugs is the reactivation of viral transcription and replication without causing a generalized immune activation. Toll-like receptors, RIG-I like receptors, and STING agonists have emerged recently as a new class of LRAs that augment selective apoptosis in reactivated T lymphocytes. The challenge is to extend in vitro observations to HIV-1 positive patients. Further studies are also needed to overcome the mechanisms that protect latently infected cells from reactivation and/or elimination by the immune system. The Block and Lock alternative strategy aims at using latency promoting/inducing agents (LPAs/LIAs) to block the ability of latent proviruses to reactivate transcription in order to achieve a long term lock down of potential residual virus replication. The Shock and Kill and the Block and Lock approaches may not be only alternative to each other, but, if combined together (one after the other), or given all at once [namely "Shoc-K(kill) and B(block)-Lock"], they may represent a better approach to a functional cure.

6.
ACS Infect Dis ; 7(11): 3034-3051, 2021 11 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475251

ABSTRACT

The antimicrobial medication malarone (atovaquone/proguanil) is used as a fixed-dose combination for treating children and adults with uncomplicated malaria or as chemoprophylaxis for preventing malaria in travelers. It is an inexpensive, efficacious, and safe drug frequently prescribed around the world. Following anecdotal evidence from 17 patients in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, Canada, suggesting that malarone/atovaquone may present some benefits in protecting against COVID-19, we sought to examine its antiviral potential in limiting the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in cellular models of infection. In VeroE6 expressing human TMPRSS2 and human lung Calu-3 epithelial cells, we show that the active compound atovaquone at micromolar concentrations potently inhibits the replication of SARS-CoV-2 and other variants of concern including the alpha, beta, and delta variants. Importantly, atovaquone retained its full antiviral activity in a primary human airway epithelium cell culture model. Mechanistically, we demonstrate that the atovaquone antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 is partially dependent on the expression of TMPRSS2 and that the drug can disrupt the interaction of the spike protein with the viral receptor, ACE2. Additionally, spike-mediated membrane fusion was also reduced in the presence of atovaquone. In the United States, two clinical trials of atovaquone administered alone or in combination with azithromycin were initiated in 2020. While we await the results of these trials, our findings in cellular infection models demonstrate that atovaquone is a potent antiviral FDA-approved drug against SARS-CoV-2 and other variants of concern in vitro.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Atovaquone/pharmacology , Humans , United States
7.
Biology (Basel) ; 10(9)2021 Aug 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374289

ABSTRACT

Among the many activities attributed to the type I interferon (IFN) multigene family, their roles as mediators of the antiviral immune response have emerged as important components of the host response to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Viruses likewise have evolved multiple immune evasion strategies to circumvent the host immune response and promote virus propagation and dissemination. Therefore, a thorough characterization of host-virus interactions is essential to understand SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis. Here, we summarize the virus-mediated evasion of the IFN responses and the viral functions involved, the genetic basis of IFN production in SARS-CoV-2 infection and the progress of clinical trials designed to utilize type I IFN as a potential therapeutic tool.

10.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 4938, 2020 10 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-811574

ABSTRACT

Antiviral strategies to inhibit Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) and the pathogenic consequences of COVID-19 are urgently required. Here, we demonstrate that the NRF2 antioxidant gene expression pathway is suppressed in biopsies obtained from COVID-19 patients. Further, we uncover that NRF2 agonists 4-octyl-itaconate (4-OI) and the clinically approved dimethyl fumarate (DMF) induce a cellular antiviral program that potently inhibits replication of SARS-CoV2 across cell lines. The inhibitory effect of 4-OI and DMF extends to the replication of several other pathogenic viruses including Herpes Simplex Virus-1 and-2, Vaccinia virus, and Zika virus through a type I interferon (IFN)-independent mechanism. In addition, 4-OI and DMF limit host inflammatory responses to SARS-CoV2 infection associated with airway COVID-19 pathology. In conclusion, NRF2 agonists 4-OI and DMF induce a distinct IFN-independent antiviral program that is broadly effective in limiting virus replication and in suppressing the pro-inflammatory responses of human pathogenic viruses, including SARS-CoV2.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Dimethyl Fumarate/agonists , NF-E2-Related Factor 2/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Succinates/agonists , Adult , Antioxidants/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Dimethyl Fumarate/pharmacology , Female , Gene Expression , Gene Knockdown Techniques , Humans , Interferon Type I , Lung/pathology , Male , NF-E2-Related Factor 2/genetics , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Succinates/pharmacology , Virus Replication/drug effects
11.
Virus Res ; 287: 198094, 2020 10 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-680841

ABSTRACT

The past century has witnessed major advances in the control of many infectious diseases, yet outbreaks and epidemics caused by (re-) emerging RNA viruses continue to pose a global threat to human health. As illustrated by the global COVID19 pandemic, high healthcare costs, economic disruption and loss of productivity reinforce the unmet medical need to develop new antiviral strategies to combat not only the current pandemic but also future viral outbreaks. Pivotal for effective anti-viral defense is the innate immune system, a first line host response that senses and responds to virus infection. While molecular details of the innate immune response are well characterized, this research field is now being revolutionized with the recognition that cell metabolism has a major impact on the antiviral and inflammatory responses to virus infections. A detailed understanding of the role of metabolic regulation with respect to antiviral and inflammatory responses, together with knowledge of the strategies used by viruses to exploit immunometabolic pathways, will ultimately change our understanding and treatment of pathogenic viral diseases. INITIATE is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Network (MSCA-ITN), with the goal to train 15 early stage PhD researchers (ESRs) to become experts in antiviral immunometabolism (https://initiate-itn.eu/). To this end, INITIATE brings together a highly complementary international team of academic and corporate leaders from 7 European countries, with outstanding track records in the historically distinct research fields of virology, immunology and metabolism. The ESRs of INITIATE are trained in these interdisciplinary research fields through individual investigator-driven research projects, specialized scientific training events, workshops on academia-industry interactions, outreach & communication. INITIATE will deliver a new generation of creative and entrepreneurial researchers who will be able to face the inevitable future challenges in combating viral diseases.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Biomedical Research/methods , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Education, Medical/methods , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/economics , Delivery of Health Care/economics , Delivery of Health Care/methods , Host-Pathogen Interactions/physiology , Humans , Pandemics/economics , Pneumonia, Viral/economics , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Cytokine Growth Factor Rev ; 53: 1-9, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-401783

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus pandemic has engulfed the nations of the world for the first five months of 2020 and altered the pace, fabric and nature of our lives. In this overview accompanying the Special Issue of Cytokine & Growth Factor Reviews, we examine some of the many social and scientific issues impacted by SARS-CoV2 - personal lives, economy, scientific communication, the environment. International members of Istituto Pasteur in Rome and INITIATE, the Marie Curie Training Network reflect on the lasting global impact of the coronavirus pandemic.


Subject(s)
Communicable Disease Control/methods , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
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