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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-330133

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the cause of the ongoing coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic. Despite its urgency, we still do not fully understand the molecular basis of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and its ability to antagonize innate immune responses. SARS-CoV-2 leads to shutoff of cellular protein synthesis and over-expression of nsp1, a central shutoff factor in coronaviruses, inhibits cellular gene translation. However, the diverse molecular mechanisms nsp1 employs as well as its functional importance in infection are still unresolved. By overexpressing various nsp1 mutants and generating a SARS-CoV-2 mutant in which nsp1 does not bind ribosomes, we untangle the effects of nsp1. We uncover that nsp1, through inhibition of translation and induction of mRNA degradation, is the main driver of host shutoff during SARS-CoV-2 infection. Furthermore, we find the propagation of nsp1 mutant virus is inhibited specifically in cells with intact interferon (IFN) response as well as in-vivo, in infected hamsters, and this attenuation is associated with stronger induction of type I IFN response. This illustrates that nsp1 shutoff activity has an essential role mainly in counteracting the IFN response. Overall, our results reveal the multifaceted approach nsp1 uses to shut off cellular protein synthesis and uncover the central role it plays in SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis, explicitly through blockage of the IFN response.

2.
J Am Soc Nephrol ; 32(9): 2242-2254, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702796

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) causes significan t morbidity, mainly from pulmonary involvement, extrapulmonary symptoms are also major componen ts of the disease. Kidney disease, usually presenting as AKI, is particularly severe among patients with COVID-19. It is unknown, however, whether such injury results from direct kidney infection with COVID-19's causative virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), or from indirect mechanisms. METHODS: Using ex vivo cell models, we sought to analyze SARS-CoV-2 interactions with kidney tubular cells and assess direct tubular injury. These models comprised primary human kidney epithelial cells (derived from nephrectomies) and grown as either proliferating monolayers or quiescent three-dimensional kidney spheroids. RESULTS: We demonstrated that viral entry molecules and high baseline levels of type 1 IFN-related molecules were present in monolayers and kidney spheroids. Although both models support viral infection and replication, they did not exhibit a cytopathic effect and cell death, outcomes that were strongly present in SARS-CoV-2-infected controls (African green monkey kidney clone E6 [Vero E6] cultures). A comparison of monolayer and spheroid cultures demonstrated higher infectivity and replication of SARS-CoV-2 in actively proliferating monolayers, although the spheroid cultures exhibited high er levels of ACE2. Monolayers exhibited elevation of some tubular injury molecules-including molecules related to fibrosis (COL1A1 and STAT6) and dedifferentiation (SNAI2)-and a loss of cell identity, evident by reduction in megalin (LRP2). The three-dimensional spheroids were less prone to such injury. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 can infect kidney cells without a cytopathic effect. AKI-induced cellular proliferation may potentially intensify infectivity and tubular damage by SARS-CoV-2, suggesting that early intervention in AKI is warranted to help minimize kidney infection.


Subject(s)
Acute Kidney Injury/etiology , Acute Kidney Injury/virology , COVID-19/complications , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spheroids, Cellular/virology , Animals , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cohort Studies , Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Host Microbial Interactions , Humans , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Kidney/immunology , Kidney/pathology , Kidney/virology , Mice , Mice, Inbred NOD , Mice, SCID , Models, Biological , Pandemics , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spheroids, Cellular/pathology , Vero Cells , Virus Replication
3.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(2)2022 Feb 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1699506

ABSTRACT

The emergence of rapidly spreading variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) poses a major challenge to the ability of vaccines and therapeutic antibodies to provide immunity. These variants contain mutations of specific amino acids that might impede vaccine efficacy. BriLife® (rVSV-ΔG-spike) is a newly developed SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate currently in phase II clinical trials. It is based on a replication-competent vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) platform. The rVSV-ΔG-spike contains several spontaneously acquired spike mutations that correspond to SARS-CoV-2 variants' mutations. We show that human sera from BriLife® vaccinees preserve comparable neutralization titers towards alpha, gamma, and delta variants and show less than a three-fold reduction in the neutralization capacity of beta and omicron compared to the original virus. Taken together, we show that human sera from BriLife® vaccinees overall maintain a neutralizing antibody response against all tested variants. We suggest that BriLife®-acquired mutations may prove advantageous against future SARS-CoV-2 VOCs.

4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-304759

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the cause for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic1. The continued spread of SARS-CoV-2 along with the imminent flu season increase the probability of influenza-SARS-CoV-2 dual infection which might result in a severe disease. In this study, we examined the disease outcome of influenza A virus (IAV) and SARS-CoV-2 co-infection in K18-hACE2 mice. Our data indicates that IAV-infected mice are more susceptible to develop severe disease upon co-infection with SARS-CoV-2 two days post influenza infection. This co-infection results in severe morbidity and nearly uniform fatality as compared to the non-fatal influenza disease, or the partial fatality of SARS-CoV-2 alone. Co-infection was associated with elevated influenza viral load in respiratory organs. Remarkably, prior immunity to influenza, but not to SARS-CoV-2, prevented the severe disease and mortality. These data provide an experimental support that flu intervention by prior vaccination may be valuable in reducing the risk of sever Flu - SARS-CoV-2 comorbidity, and highlight the importance of vaccination.

5.
Arch Toxicol ; 96(3): 859-875, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1634984

ABSTRACT

rVSV-ΔG-SARS-CoV-2-S is a clinical stage (Phase 2) replication competent recombinant vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. To evaluate the safety profile of the vaccine, a series of non-clinical safety, immunogenicity and efficacy studies were conducted in four animal species, using multiple doses (up to 108 Plaque Forming Units/animal) and dosing regimens. There were no treatment-related mortalities or any noticeable clinical signs in any of the studies. Compared to unvaccinated controls, hematology and biochemistry parameters were unremarkable and no adverse histopathological findings. There was no detectable viral shedding in urine, nor viral RNA detected in whole blood or serum samples seven days post vaccination. The rVSV-ΔG-SARS-CoV-2-S vaccination gave rise to neutralizing antibodies, cellular immune responses, and increased lymphocytic cellularity in the spleen germinal centers and regional lymph nodes. No evidence for neurovirulence was found in C57BL/6 immune competent mice or in highly sensitive type I interferon knock-out mice. Vaccine virus replication and distribution in K18-human Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2-transgenic mice showed a gradual clearance from the vaccination site with no vaccine virus recovered from the lungs. The nonclinical data suggest that the rVSV-ΔG-SARS-CoV-2-S vaccine is safe and immunogenic. These results supported the initiation of clinical trials, currently in Phase 2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/toxicity , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cricetinae , Female , Membrane Glycoproteins/genetics , Mesocricetus , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Rabbits , Swine , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic/toxicity , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics
6.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 01 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1625815

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, a member of the coronavirus family, is the causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, there is still an urgent need in developing an efficient therapeutic intervention. In this study, we aimed at evaluating the therapeutic effect of a single intranasal treatment of the TLR3/MDA5 synthetic agonist Poly(I:C) against a lethal dose of SARS-CoV-2 in K18-hACE2 transgenic mice. We demonstrate here that early Poly(I:C) treatment acts synergistically with SARS-CoV-2 to induce an intense, immediate and transient upregulation of innate immunity-related genes in lungs. This effect is accompanied by viral load reduction, lung and brain cytokine storms prevention and increased levels of macrophages and NK cells, resulting in 83% mice survival, concomitantly with long-term immunization. Thus, priming the lung innate immunity by Poly(I:C) or alike may provide an immediate, efficient and safe protective measure against SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunity, Innate , Poly I-C/immunology , Poly I-C/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Toll-Like Receptor 3/agonists , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/prevention & control , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Lung/immunology , Lung/virology , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Toll-Like Receptor 3/immunology , Viral Load/drug effects
7.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(12): e1010175, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1592244

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, as dangerous mutations emerge, there is an increased demand for specific treatments for SARS-CoV-2 infected patients. The spike glycoprotein on the virus envelope binds to the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) on host cells through its receptor binding domain (RBD) to mediate virus entry. Thus, blocking this interaction may inhibit viral entry and consequently stop infection. Here, we generated fusion proteins composed of the extracellular portions of ACE2 and RBD fused to the Fc portion of human IgG1 (ACE2-Ig and RBD-Ig, respectively). We demonstrate that ACE2-Ig is enzymatically active and that it can be recognized by the SARS-CoV-2 RBD, independently of its enzymatic activity. We further show that RBD-Ig efficiently inhibits in-vivo SARS-CoV-2 infection better than ACE2-Ig. Mechanistically, we show that anti-spike antibody generation, ACE2 enzymatic activity, and ACE2 surface expression were not affected by RBD-Ig. Finally, we show that RBD-Ig is more efficient than ACE2-Ig at neutralizing high virus titers. We thus propose that RBD-Ig physically blocks virus infection by binding to ACE2 and that RBD-Ig should be used for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2-infected patients.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/antagonists & inhibitors , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments/metabolism , Immunoglobulin G/metabolism , Protein Domains , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Binding Sites , Binding Sites, Antibody , COVID-19/prevention & control , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments/therapeutic use , Immunoglobulin G/therapeutic use , Mice, Transgenic , Neutralization Tests , Protein Binding , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Vero Cells
8.
Viruses ; 14(1)2021 12 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580414

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) caused a severe global pandemic. Mice models are essential to investigate infection pathology, antiviral drugs, and vaccine development. However, wild-type mice lack the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) that mediates SARS-CoV-2 entry into human cells and consequently are not susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. hACE2 transgenic mice could provide an efficient COVID-19 model, but are not always readily available, and practically restricted to specific strains. Therefore, there is a dearth of additional mouse models for SARS-CoV-2 infection. We applied lentiviral vectors to generate hACE2 expression in interferon receptor knock-out (IFNAR1-/-) mice. Lenti-hACE2 transduction supported SARS-CoV-2 replication in vivo, simulating mild acute lung disease. Gene expression analysis revealed two modes of immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection: one in response to the exposure of mouse lungs to SARS-CoV-2 particles in the absence of productive viral replication, and the second in response to productive SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our results infer that immune response to immunogenic elements on incoming virus or in productively infected cells stimulate diverse immune effectors, even in absence of type I IFN signaling. Our findings should contribute to a better understanding of the immune response triggered by SARS-CoV-2 and to further elucidate COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Lentivirus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Humans , Immunity/genetics , Lung/immunology , Lung/virology , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta/genetics , Transduction, Genetic , Virus Replication
9.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293181

ABSTRACT

BriLife® (rVSV- ΔG-spike) is a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate based on vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) platform. We show that sera from BriLife® vaccinees maintain neutralization capacity against alpha, beta, gamma and delta SARS-CoV-2 variants. BriLife® spontaneously-acquired spike mutations, corresponding with key SARS-CoV-2 variants mutations, may contribute to its efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 variants.

10.
Life Sci Alliance ; 5(1)2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1515726

ABSTRACT

Understanding pathways that might impact coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) manifestations and disease outcomes is necessary for better disease management and for therapeutic development. Here, we analyzed alterations in sphingolipid (SL) levels upon infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). SARS-CoV-2 infection induced elevation of SL levels in both cells and sera of infected mice. A significant increase in glycosphingolipid levels was induced early post SARS-CoV-2 infection, which was essential for viral replication. This elevation could be reversed by treatment with glucosylceramide synthase inhibitors. Levels of sphinganine, sphingosine, GA1, and GM3 were significantly increased in both cells and the murine model upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. The potential involvement of SLs in COVID-19 pathology is discussed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Disease Models, Animal , Sphingolipids/metabolism , Virus Replication/physiology , Animals , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Chromatography, Liquid/methods , Dioxanes/pharmacology , Gangliosides/blood , Gangliosides/metabolism , Glucosyltransferases/antagonists & inhibitors , Glucosyltransferases/metabolism , Humans , Mass Spectrometry/methods , Mice, Transgenic , Pyrrolidines/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sphingolipids/blood , Sphingosine/analogs & derivatives , Sphingosine/blood , Sphingosine/metabolism , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects
11.
Front Bioeng Biotechnol ; 9: 737627, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477802

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic initiated a worldwide race toward the development of treatments and vaccines. Small animal models included the Syrian golden hamster and the K18-hACE2 mice infected with SARS-CoV-2 to display a disease state with some aspects of human COVID-19. A group activity of animals in their home cage continuously monitored by the HCMS100 (Home cage Monitoring System 100) was used as a sensitive marker of disease, successfully detecting morbidity symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection in hamsters and in K18-hACE2 mice. COVID-19 convalescent hamsters rechallenged with SARS-CoV-2 exhibited minor reduction in group activity compared to naive hamsters. To evaluate the rVSV-ΔG-spike vaccination efficacy against SARS-CoV-2, we used the HCMS100 to monitor the group activity of hamsters in their home cage. A single-dose rVSV-ΔG-spike vaccination of the immunized group showed a faster recovery than the nonimmunized infected hamsters, substantiating the efficacy of rVSV-ΔG-spike vaccine. HCMS100 offers nonintrusive, hands-free monitoring of a number of home cages of hamsters or mice modeling COVID-19.

12.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5819, 2021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1454763

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the cause of the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The continued spread of SARS-CoV-2 increases the probability of influenza/SARS-CoV-2 coinfection, which may result in severe disease. In this study, we examine the disease outcome of influenza A virus (IAV) and SARS-CoV-2 coinfection in K18-hACE2 mice. Our data indicate enhance susceptibility of IAV-infected mice to developing severe disease upon coinfection with SARS-CoV-2 two days later. In contrast to nonfatal influenza and lower mortality rates due to SARS-CoV-2 alone, this coinfection results in severe morbidity and nearly complete mortality. Coinfection is associated with elevated influenza viral loads in respiratory organs. Remarkably, prior immunity to influenza, but not to SARS-CoV-2, prevents severe disease and mortality. This protection is antibody-dependent. These data experimentally support the necessity of seasonal influenza vaccination for reducing the risk of severe influenza/COVID-19 comorbidity during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Coinfection/immunology , Coinfection/virology , Immunity , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/immunology , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Cell Line , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Inflammation/genetics , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Male , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Up-Regulation/genetics , Viral Load/immunology
13.
Cell Rep ; 36(10): 109679, 2021 09 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1363916

ABSTRACT

A wide range of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been reported, most of which target the spike glycoprotein. Therapeutic implementation of these antibodies has been challenged by emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants harboring mutated spike versions. Consequently, re-assessment of previously identified mAbs is of high priority. Four previously selected mAbs targeting non-overlapping epitopes are now evaluated for binding potency to mutated RBD versions, reported to mediate escape from antibody neutralization. In vitro neutralization potencies of these mAbs, and two NTD-specific mAbs, are evaluated against two frequent SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, the B.1.1.7 Alpha and the B.1.351 Beta. Furthermore, we demonstrate therapeutic potential of three selected mAbs by treatment of K18-human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) transgenic mice 2 days post-infection with each virus variant. Thus, despite the accumulation of spike mutations, the highly potent MD65 and BL6 mAbs retain their ability to bind the prevalent viral mutants, effectively protecting against B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibody Affinity , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Epitopes/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Models, Molecular , Neutralization Tests , Protein Domains , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Treatment Outcome
14.
J Infect Dis ; 224(4): 616-619, 2021 08 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1358460

ABSTRACT

Emerging severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants may influence the effectiveness of existing laboratory diagnostics. In the current study we determined whether the British (20I/501Y.V1) and South African (20H/501Y.V2) SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern are detected with an in-house S1-based antigen detection assay, analyzing spiked pools of quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction-negative nasopharyngeal swab specimens. The assay, combining 4 monoclonal antibodies, allowed sensitive detection of both the wild type and the variants of concern, despite accumulation of several mutations in the variants' S1 region-results suggesting that this combination, targeting distinct epitopes, enables both specificity and the universality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/isolation & purification , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Viral Load
15.
J Am Soc Nephrol ; 32(9): 2242-2254, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266593

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) causes significan t morbidity, mainly from pulmonary involvement, extrapulmonary symptoms are also major componen ts of the disease. Kidney disease, usually presenting as AKI, is particularly severe among patients with COVID-19. It is unknown, however, whether such injury results from direct kidney infection with COVID-19's causative virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), or from indirect mechanisms. METHODS: Using ex vivo cell models, we sought to analyze SARS-CoV-2 interactions with kidney tubular cells and assess direct tubular injury. These models comprised primary human kidney epithelial cells (derived from nephrectomies) and grown as either proliferating monolayers or quiescent three-dimensional kidney spheroids. RESULTS: We demonstrated that viral entry molecules and high baseline levels of type 1 IFN-related molecules were present in monolayers and kidney spheroids. Although both models support viral infection and replication, they did not exhibit a cytopathic effect and cell death, outcomes that were strongly present in SARS-CoV-2-infected controls (African green monkey kidney clone E6 [Vero E6] cultures). A comparison of monolayer and spheroid cultures demonstrated higher infectivity and replication of SARS-CoV-2 in actively proliferating monolayers, although the spheroid cultures exhibited high er levels of ACE2. Monolayers exhibited elevation of some tubular injury molecules-including molecules related to fibrosis (COL1A1 and STAT6) and dedifferentiation (SNAI2)-and a loss of cell identity, evident by reduction in megalin (LRP2). The three-dimensional spheroids were less prone to such injury. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 can infect kidney cells without a cytopathic effect. AKI-induced cellular proliferation may potentially intensify infectivity and tubular damage by SARS-CoV-2, suggesting that early intervention in AKI is warranted to help minimize kidney infection.


Subject(s)
Acute Kidney Injury/etiology , Acute Kidney Injury/virology , COVID-19/complications , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spheroids, Cellular/virology , Animals , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cohort Studies , Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Host Microbial Interactions , Humans , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Kidney/immunology , Kidney/pathology , Kidney/virology , Mice , Mice, Inbred NOD , Mice, SCID , Models, Biological , Pandemics , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spheroids, Cellular/pathology , Vero Cells , Virus Replication
16.
Nano Lett ; 21(11): 4774-4779, 2021 06 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1241785

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic led to development of mRNA vaccines, which became a leading anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunization platform. Preclinical studies are limited to infection-prone animals such as hamsters and monkeys in which protective efficacy of vaccines cannot be fully appreciated. We recently reported a SARS-CoV-2 human Fc-conjugated receptor-binding domain (RBD-hFc) mRNA vaccine delivered via lipid nanoparticles (LNPs). BALB/c mice demonstrated specific immunologic responses following RBD-hFc mRNA vaccination. Now, we evaluated the protective effect of this RBD-hFc mRNA vaccine by employing the K18 human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (K18-hACE2) mouse model. Administration of an RBD-hFc mRNA vaccine to K18-hACE2 mice resulted in robust humoral responses comprising binding and neutralizing antibodies. In correlation with this response, 70% of vaccinated mice withstood a lethal SARS-CoV-2 dose, while all control animals succumbed to infection. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first nonreplicating mRNA vaccine study reporting protection of K18-hACE2 against a lethal SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nanoparticles , Vaccines , Animals , Humans , Lipids , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Transgenic , Pandemics , RNA, Messenger/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
17.
Nature ; 594(7862): 240-245, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225510

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is the cause of the ongoing pandemic of COVID-191. Coronaviruses have developed a variety of mechanisms to repress host mRNA translation to allow the translation of viral mRNA, and concomitantly block the cellular innate immune response2,3. Although several different proteins of SARS-CoV-2 have previously been implicated in shutting off host expression4-7, a comprehensive picture of the effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on cellular gene expression is lacking. Here we combine RNA sequencing, ribosome profiling and metabolic labelling of newly synthesized RNA to comprehensively define the mechanisms that are used by SARS-CoV-2 to shut off cellular protein synthesis. We show that infection leads to a global reduction in translation, but that viral transcripts are not preferentially translated. Instead, we find that infection leads to the accelerated degradation of cytosolic cellular mRNAs, which facilitates viral takeover of the mRNA pool in infected cells. We reveal that the translation of transcripts that are induced in response to infection (including innate immune genes) is impaired. We demonstrate this impairment is probably mediated by inhibition of nuclear mRNA export, which prevents newly transcribed cellular mRNA from accessing ribosomes. Overall, our results uncover a multipronged strategy that is used by SARS-CoV-2 to take over the translation machinery and to suppress host defences.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Protein Biosynthesis , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , 5' Untranslated Regions/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Line , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Protein Biosynthesis/genetics , RNA Stability , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Ribosomes/metabolism , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
18.
JCI Insight ; 6(12)2021 06 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1223641

ABSTRACT

Mice are normally unaffected by SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection since the virus does not bind effectively to the murine version of the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor molecule. Here, we report that induced mild pulmonary morbidities rendered SARS-CoV-2-refractive CD-1 mice susceptible to this virus. Specifically, SARS-CoV-2 infection after application of low doses of the acute lung injury stimulants bleomycin or ricin caused severe disease in CD-1 mice, manifested by sustained body weight loss and mortality rates greater than 50%. Further studies revealed markedly higher levels of viral RNA in the lungs, heart, and serum of low-dose ricin-pretreated mice compared with non-pretreated mice. Furthermore, lung extracts prepared 2-3 days after viral infection contained subgenomic mRNA and virus particles capable of replication only when derived from the pretreated mice. The deleterious effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection were effectively alleviated by passive transfer of polyclonal or monoclonal antibodies generated against the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD). Thus, viral cell entry in the sensitized mice seems to depend on viral RBD binding, albeit by a mechanism other than the canonical ACE2-mediated uptake route. This unique mode of viral entry, observed over a mildly injured tissue background, may contribute to the exacerbation of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pathologies in patients with preexisting morbidities.


Subject(s)
Bleomycin/toxicity , COVID-19/pathology , Lung Injury , Ricin/toxicity , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Comorbidity , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Lung Injury/chemically induced , Lung Injury/virology , Mice , Vero Cells , Virus Attachment , Virus Internalization/drug effects
19.
Viruses ; 13(4)2021 03 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154538

ABSTRACT

Monoclonal antibodies represent an important avenue for COVID-19 therapy and are routinely used for rapid and accessible diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The recent emergence of SARS-CoV-2 genetic variants emphasized the need to enlarge the repertoire of antibodies that target diverse epitopes, the combination of which may improve immune-diagnostics, augment the efficiency of the immunotherapy and prevent selection of escape-mutants. Antigen-specific controlled immunization of experimental animals may elicit antibody repertoires that significantly differ from those generated in the context of the immune response mounted in the course of disease. Accordingly, rabbits were immunized by several recombinant antigens representing distinct domains of the viral spike protein and monoclonal antibodies were isolated from single cells obtained by cell sorting. Characterization of a panel of successfully isolated anti-receptor binding domain (RBD) and anti-N-terminal domain (NTD) antibodies demonstrated that they exhibit high specificity and affinity profiles. Anti-RBD antibodies revealing significant neutralizing potency against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro were found to target at least three distinct epitopes. Epitope mapping established that two of these antibodies recognized a novel epitope located on the surface of the RBD. We suggest that the antibodies isolated in this study are useful for designing SARS-CoV-2 diagnosis and therapy approaches.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Epitope Mapping , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , Female , Humans , Neutralization Tests , Rabbits , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
20.
Anal Bioanal Chem ; 413(13): 3501-3510, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1151992

ABSTRACT

Public health experts emphasize the need for quick, point-of-care SARS-CoV-2 detection as an effective strategy for controlling virus spread. To this end, many "antigen" detection devices were developed and commercialized. These devices are mostly based on detecting SARS-CoV-2's nucleocapsid protein. Recently, alerts issued by both the FDA and the CDC raised concerns regarding the devices' tendency to exhibit false positive results. In this work, we developed a novel alternative spike-based antigen assay, comprising four high-affinity, specific monoclonal antibodies, directed against different epitopes on the spike's S1 subunit. The assay's performance was evaluated for COVID-19 detection from nasopharyngeal swabs, compared to an in-house nucleocapsid-based assay, composed of novel antibodies directed against the nucleocapsid. Detection of COVID-19 was carried out in a cohort of 284 qRT-PCR positive and negative nasopharyngeal swab samples. The time resolved fluorescence (TRF) ELISA spike assay displayed very high specificity (99%) accompanied with a somewhat lower sensitivity (66% for Ct < 25), compared to the nucleocapsid ELISA assay which was more sensitive (85% for Ct < 25) while less specific (87% specificity). Despite being outperformed by qRT-PCR, we suggest that there is room for such tests in the clinical setting, as cheap and rapid pre-screening tools. Our results further suggest that when applying antigen detection, one must consider its intended application (sensitivity vs specificity), taking into consideration that the nucleocapsid might not be the optimal target. In this regard, we propose that a combination of both antigens might contribute to the validity of the results. Schematic representation of sample collection and analysis. The figure was created using BioRender.com.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/analysis , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Humans , Phosphoproteins/analysis , Sensitivity and Specificity , Specimen Handling
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