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Advanced Therapeutics ; 4(7):2170016, 2021.
Article in English | Wiley | ID: covidwho-1323847


SARS-CoV-2 infects human cells by binding its spike protein to the human ACE2 receptor. Using a peptide biopanning strategy, the authors have discovered small anti-ACE2 peptides that can effectively block the SARS-CoV-2/ACE2 interaction. The anti-ACE2 peptides can be potentially used as prophylactic or therapeutic agents for SARS-CoV-2 and other ACE2-mediated viruses. This is reported by Kun Cheng and co-workers in article number 2100087.

Trends Pharmacol Sci ; 42(6): 448-460, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1187875


Polymer and lipid nanoparticles have been extensively used as carriers to address the biological barriers encountered in siRNA and mRNA delivery. We summarize the crucial role of nanoparticle charge and ionizability in complexing RNAs, binding to biological components, escaping from the endosome, and releasing RNAs into the cytoplasm. We highlight the significant impact of the apparent pKa of nanoparticles on their efficacy and toxicity, and the importance of optimizing pKa in the development of lead formulations for RNAs. We also discuss the feasibility of fine-tuning the pKa in nanoparticles and the applications of this approach in the optimization of delivery systems for RNAs.

Nanoparticles , Humans , Lipids , Polymers , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Small Interfering
Adv Ther (Weinh) ; : 2100087, 2021 Apr 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201415


COVID-19 is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which infects host cells by binding its viral spike protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) to the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) on host cells. Blocking the SARS-CoV-2-RBD/ACE2 interaction is, therefore, a potential strategy to inhibit viral infections. Using a novel biopanning strategy, a small anti-ACE2 peptide is discovered, which shows high affinity and specificity to human ACE2. It blocks not only the SARS-CoV-2-RBD/ACE2 interaction but also the SARS-CoV-1-RBD/ACE2 interaction. Moreover, it inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection in Vero-E6 cells. The peptide shows negligible cytotoxicity in Vero-E6 cells and Huh7 cells. In vivo short-term lung toxicity study also demonstrates a good safety of the peptide after intratracheal administration. The anti-ACE2 peptide can be potentially used as a prophylactic or therapeutic agent for SARS-CoV-2 or other ACE2-mediated viruses. The strategy used in this study also provides a fast-track platform to discover other antiviral peptides, which will prepare the world for future pandemics.