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1.
PLoS Pathog ; 18(2): e1010268, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1753212

ABSTRACT

Next generation sequencing has revealed the presence of numerous RNA viruses in animal reservoir hosts, including many closely related to known human pathogens. Despite their zoonotic potential, most of these viruses remain understudied due to not yet being cultured. While reverse genetic systems can facilitate virus rescue, this is often hindered by missing viral genome ends. A prime example is Lloviu virus (LLOV), an uncultured filovirus that is closely related to the highly pathogenic Ebola virus. Using minigenome systems, we complemented the missing LLOV genomic ends and identified cis-acting elements required for LLOV replication that were lacking in the published sequence. We leveraged these data to generate recombinant full-length LLOV clones and rescue infectious virus. Similar to other filoviruses, recombinant LLOV (rLLOV) forms filamentous virions and induces the formation of characteristic inclusions in the cytoplasm of the infected cells, as shown by electron microscopy. Known target cells of Ebola virus, including macrophages and hepatocytes, are permissive to rLLOV infection, suggesting that humans could be potential hosts. However, inflammatory responses in human macrophages, a hallmark of Ebola virus disease, are not induced by rLLOV. Additional tropism testing identified pneumocytes as capable of robust rLLOV and Ebola virus infection. We also used rLLOV to test antivirals targeting multiple facets of the replication cycle. Rescue of uncultured viruses of pathogenic concern represents a valuable tool in our arsenal for pandemic preparedness.


Subject(s)
Ebolavirus/genetics , Filoviridae Infections/virology , Filoviridae/genetics , Virus Replication , Animals , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Genetic Complementation Test , Genome, Viral , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/virology , Host Microbial Interactions , Humans , Inclusion Bodies/virology , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/virology , Macrophages/virology , RNA, Viral , Reverse Genetics , Vero Cells , Virion/genetics
2.
Nat Biotechnol ; 2022 Feb 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1713197

ABSTRACT

As the biomedical community produces datasets that are increasingly complex and high dimensional, there is a need for more sophisticated computational tools to extract biological insights. We present Multiscale PHATE, a method that sweeps through all levels of data granularity to learn abstracted biological features directly predictive of disease outcome. Built on a coarse-graining process called diffusion condensation, Multiscale PHATE learns a data topology that can be analyzed at coarse resolutions for high-level summarizations of data and at fine resolutions for detailed representations of subsets. We apply Multiscale PHATE to a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) dataset with 54 million cells from 168 hospitalized patients and find that patients who die show CD16hiCD66blo neutrophil and IFN-γ+ granzyme B+ Th17 cell responses. We also show that population groupings from Multiscale PHATE directly fed into a classifier predict disease outcome more accurately than naive featurizations of the data. Multiscale PHATE is broadly generalizable to different data types, including flow cytometry, single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq), single-cell sequencing assay for transposase-accessible chromatin (scATAC-seq), and clinical variables.

3.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327539

ABSTRACT

A well-tolerated and cost-effective oral drug that blocks SARS-CoV-2 growth and dissemination would be a major advance in the global effort to reduce COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. Here, we show that the oral FDA-approved drug nitazoxanide (NTZ) significantly inhibits SARS-CoV-2 viral replication and infection in different primate and human cell models including stem cell-derived human alveolar epithelial type 2 cells. Furthermore, NTZ synergizes with remdesivir, and it broadly inhibits growth of SARS-CoV-2 variants B.1.351 (beta), P.1 (gamma), and B.1617.2 (delta) and viral syncytia formation driven by their spike proteins. Strikingly, oral NTZ treatment of Syrian hamsters significantly inhibits SARS-CoV-2-driven weight loss, inflammation, and viral dissemination and syncytia formation in the lungs. These studies show that NTZ is a novel host-directed therapeutic that broadly inhibits SARS-CoV-2 dissemination and pathogenesis in human and hamster physiological models, which supports further testing and optimization of NTZ-based therapy for SARS-CoV-2 infection alone and in combination with antiviral drugs.

4.
Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol ; 322(3): L462-L478, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622104

ABSTRACT

There is an urgent need to understand how SARS-CoV-2 infects the airway epithelium and in a subset of individuals leads to severe illness or death. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) provide a near limitless supply of human cells that can be differentiated into cell types of interest, including airway epithelium, for disease modeling. We present a human iPSC-derived airway epithelial platform, composed of the major airway epithelial cell types, that is permissive to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Subsets of iPSC-airway cells express the SARS-CoV-2 entry factors angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), and transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2). Multiciliated cells are the primary initial target of SARS-CoV-2 infection. On infection with SARS-CoV-2, iPSC-airway cells generate robust interferon and inflammatory responses, and treatment with remdesivir or camostat mesylate causes a decrease in viral propagation and entry, respectively. In conclusion, iPSC-derived airway cells provide a physiologically relevant in vitro model system to interrogate the pathogenesis of, and develop treatment strategies for, COVID-19 pneumonia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells , Pluripotent Stem Cells , Epithelial Cells , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Non-conventional in English | [Unspecified Source], Grey literature | ID: grc-750471

ABSTRACT

The most severe and fatal infections with SARS-CoV-2 result in the acute respiratory distress syndrome, a clinical phenotype of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that is associated with virions targeting the epithelium of the distal lung, particularly the facultative progenitors of this tissue, alveolar epithelial type 2 cells (AT2s). Little is known about the initial responses of human lung alveoli to SARS-CoV-2 infection due in part to inability to access these cells from patients, particularly at early stages of disease. Here we present an in vitro human model that simulates the initial apical infection of the distal lung epithelium with SARS-CoV-2, using AT2s that have been adapted to air-liquid interface culture after their derivation from induced pluripotent stem cells (iAT2s). We find that SARS-CoV-2 induces a rapid global transcriptomic change in infected iAT2s characterized by a shift to an inflammatory phenotype predominated by the secretion of cytokines encoded by NF-kB target genes, delayed epithelial interferon responses, and rapid loss of the mature lung alveolar epithelial program. Over time, infected iAT2s exhibit cellular toxicity that can result in the death of these key alveolar facultative progenitors, as is observed in vivo in COVID-19 lung autopsies. Importantly, drug testing using iAT2s confirmed the efficacy of TMPRSS2 protease inhibition, validating putative mechanisms used for viral entry in human alveolar cells. Our model system reveals the cell-intrinsic responses of a key lung target cell to infection, providing a platform for further drug development and facilitating a deeper understanding of COVID-19 pathogenesis.

7.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(36)2021 09 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1366851

ABSTRACT

The global spread of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and the associated disease COVID-19, requires therapeutic interventions that can be rapidly identified and translated to clinical care. Traditional drug discovery methods have a >90% failure rate and can take 10 to 15 y from target identification to clinical use. In contrast, drug repurposing can significantly accelerate translation. We developed a quantitative high-throughput screen to identify efficacious agents against SARS-CoV-2. From a library of 1,425 US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved compounds and clinical candidates, we identified 17 hits that inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infection and analyzed their antiviral activity across multiple cell lines, including lymph node carcinoma of the prostate (LNCaP) cells and a physiologically relevant model of alveolar epithelial type 2 cells (iAEC2s). Additionally, we found that inhibitors of the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK signaling pathway exacerbate SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro. Notably, we discovered that lactoferrin, a glycoprotein found in secretory fluids including mammalian milk, inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection in the nanomolar range in all cell models with multiple modes of action, including blockage of virus attachment to cellular heparan sulfate and enhancement of interferon responses. Given its safety profile, lactoferrin is a readily translatable therapeutic option for the management of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Immunologic Factors/pharmacology , Lactoferrin/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Caco-2 Cells , Cell Line, Tumor , Chlorocebus aethiops , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Drug Discovery , Drug Repositioning/methods , Epithelial Cells , Heparitin Sulfate/antagonists & inhibitors , Heparitin Sulfate/immunology , Heparitin Sulfate/metabolism , Hepatocytes , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Vero Cells
8.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(16)2021 04 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1165017

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses are adept at evading host antiviral pathways induced by viral double-stranded RNA, including interferon (IFN) signaling, oligoadenylate synthetase-ribonuclease L (OAS-RNase L), and protein kinase R (PKR). While dysregulated or inadequate IFN responses have been associated with severe coronavirus infection, the extent to which the recently emerged SARS-CoV-2 activates or antagonizes these pathways is relatively unknown. We found that SARS-CoV-2 infects patient-derived nasal epithelial cells, present at the initial site of infection; induced pluripotent stem cell-derived alveolar type 2 cells (iAT2), the major cell type infected in the lung; and cardiomyocytes (iCM), consistent with cardiovascular consequences of COVID-19 disease. Robust activation of IFN or OAS-RNase L is not observed in these cell types, whereas PKR activation is evident in iAT2 and iCM. In SARS-CoV-2-infected Calu-3 and A549ACE2 lung-derived cell lines, IFN induction remains relatively weak; however, activation of OAS-RNase L and PKR is observed. This is in contrast to Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-CoV, which effectively inhibits IFN signaling and OAS-RNase L and PKR pathways, but is similar to mutant MERS-CoV lacking innate immune antagonists. Remarkably, OAS-RNase L and PKR are activated in MAVS knockout A549ACE2 cells, demonstrating that SARS-CoV-2 can induce these host antiviral pathways despite minimal IFN production. Moreover, increased replication and cytopathic effect in RNASEL knockout A549ACE2 cells implicates OAS-RNase L in restricting SARS-CoV-2. Finally, while SARS-CoV-2 fails to antagonize these host defense pathways, which contrasts with other coronaviruses, the IFN signaling response is generally weak. These host-virus interactions may contribute to the unique pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Epithelial Cells/immunology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Immunity, Innate , Lung/pathology , Myocytes, Cardiac/immunology , Myocytes, Cardiac/virology , RNA, Double-Stranded/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , A549 Cells , Endoribonucleases/metabolism , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , Nose/virology , Virus Replication , eIF-2 Kinase
9.
Mol Cell ; 80(6): 1104-1122.e9, 2020 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-933377

ABSTRACT

Human transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), causative pathogen of the COVID-19 pandemic, exerts a massive health and socioeconomic crisis. The virus infects alveolar epithelial type 2 cells (AT2s), leading to lung injury and impaired gas exchange, but the mechanisms driving infection and pathology are unclear. We performed a quantitative phosphoproteomic survey of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived AT2s (iAT2s) infected with SARS-CoV-2 at air-liquid interface (ALI). Time course analysis revealed rapid remodeling of diverse host systems, including signaling, RNA processing, translation, metabolism, nuclear integrity, protein trafficking, and cytoskeletal-microtubule organization, leading to cell cycle arrest, genotoxic stress, and innate immunity. Comparison to analogous data from transformed cell lines revealed respiratory-specific processes hijacked by SARS-CoV-2, highlighting potential novel therapeutic avenues that were validated by a high hit rate in a targeted small molecule screen in our iAT2 ALI system.


Subject(s)
Alveolar Epithelial Cells/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , Proteome/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/pathology , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/virology , Animals , Antiviral Agents , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral , Cytoskeleton , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Humans , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/metabolism , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/pathology , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/virology , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Protein Transport , Proteome/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Signal Transduction , Vero Cells
10.
bioRxiv ; 2020 Nov 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-808974

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses are adept at evading host antiviral pathways induced by viral double-stranded RNA, including interferon (IFN) signaling, oligoadenylate synthetase-ribonuclease L (OAS-RNase L), and protein kinase R (PKR). While dysregulated or inadequate IFN responses have been associated with severe coronavirus infection, the extent to which the recently emerged SARS-CoV-2 activates or antagonizes these pathways is relatively unknown. We found that SARS-CoV-2 infects patient-derived nasal epithelial cells, present at the initial site of infection, induced pluripotent stem cell-derived alveolar type 2 cells (iAT2), the major cell type infected in the lung, and cardiomyocytes (iCM), consistent with cardiovascular consequences of COVID-19 disease. Robust activation of IFN or OAS-RNase L is not observed in these cell types, while PKR activation is evident in iAT2 and iCM. In SARS-CoV-2 infected Calu-3 and A549 ACE2 lung-derived cell lines, IFN induction remains relatively weak; however activation of OAS-RNase L and PKR is observed. This is in contrast to MERS-CoV, which effectively inhibits IFN signaling as well as OAS-RNase L and PKR pathways, but similar to mutant MERS-CoV lacking innate immune antagonists. Remarkably, both OAS-RNase L and PKR are activated in MAVS knockout A549 ACE2 cells, demonstrating that SARS-CoV-2 can induce these host antiviral pathways despite minimal IFN production. Moreover, increased replication and cytopathic effect in RNASEL knockout A549 ACE2 cells implicates OAS-RNase L in restricting SARS-CoV-2. Finally, while SARS-CoV-2 fails to antagonize these host defense pathways, which contrasts with other coronaviruses, the IFN signaling response is generally weak. These host-virus interactions may contribute to the unique pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2. SIGNIFICANCE: SARS-CoV-2 emergence in late 2019 led to the COVID-19 pandemic that has had devastating effects on human health and the economy. Early innate immune responses are essential for protection against virus invasion. While inadequate innate immune responses are associated with severe COVID-19 diseases, understanding of the interaction of SARS-CoV-2 with host antiviral pathways is minimal. We have characterized the innate immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infections in relevant respiratory tract derived cells and cardiomyocytes and found that SARS-CoV-2 activates two antiviral pathways, oligoadenylate synthetase-ribonuclease L (OAS-RNase L), and protein kinase R (PKR), while inducing minimal levels of interferon. This in contrast to MERS-CoV which inhibits all three pathways. Activation of these pathways may contribute to the distinctive pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2.

11.
Cell Stem Cell ; 27(6): 962-973.e7, 2020 12 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-779662

ABSTRACT

A hallmark of severe COVID-19 pneumonia is SARS-CoV-2 infection of the facultative progenitors of lung alveoli, the alveolar epithelial type 2 cells (AT2s). However, inability to access these cells from patients, particularly at early stages of disease, limits an understanding of disease inception. Here, we present an in vitro human model that simulates the initial apical infection of alveolar epithelium with SARS-CoV-2 by using induced pluripotent stem cell-derived AT2s that have been adapted to air-liquid interface culture. We find a rapid transcriptomic change in infected cells, characterized by a shift to an inflammatory phenotype with upregulation of NF-κB signaling and loss of the mature alveolar program. Drug testing confirms the efficacy of remdesivir as well as TMPRSS2 protease inhibition, validating a putative mechanism used for viral entry in alveolar cells. Our model system reveals cell-intrinsic responses of a key lung target cell to SARS-CoV-2 infection and should facilitate drug development.


Subject(s)
Alveolar Epithelial Cells/virology , Inflammation/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Drug Development , Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology , Humans , Models, Biological , Pluripotent Stem Cells/cytology , Pluripotent Stem Cells/virology , RNA-Seq , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Virus Replication
12.
bioRxiv ; 2020 Aug 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-637839

ABSTRACT

The most severe and fatal infections with SARS-CoV-2 result in the acute respiratory distress syndrome, a clinical phenotype of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that is associated with virions targeting the epithelium of the distal lung, particularly the facultative progenitors of this tissue, alveolar epithelial type 2 cells (AT2s). Little is known about the initial responses of human lung alveoli to SARS-CoV-2 infection due in part to inability to access these cells from patients, particularly at early stages of disease. Here we present an in vitro human model that simulates the initial apical infection of the distal lung epithelium with SARS-CoV-2, using AT2s that have been adapted to air-liquid interface culture after their derivation from induced pluripotent stem cells (iAT2s). We find that SARS-CoV-2 induces a rapid global transcriptomic change in infected iAT2s characterized by a shift to an inflammatory phenotype predominated by the secretion of cytokines encoded by NF-kB target genes, delayed epithelial interferon responses, and rapid loss of the mature lung alveolar epithelial program. Over time, infected iAT2s exhibit cellular toxicity that can result in the death of these key alveolar facultative progenitors, as is observed in vivo in COVID-19 lung autopsies. Importantly, drug testing using iAT2s confirmed an antiviral dose-response to remdesivir and demonstrated the efficacy of TMPRSS2 protease inhibition, validating a putative mechanism used for viral entry in human alveolar cells. Our model system reveals the cell-intrinsic responses of a key lung target cell to infection, providing a physiologically relevant platform for further drug development and facilitating a deeper understanding of COVID-19 pathogenesis.

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