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biorxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.10.29.360479


Dysfunctional immune response in the COVID-19 patients is a recurrent theme impacting symptoms and mortality, yet the detailed understanding of pertinent immune cells is not complete. We applied single-cell RNA sequencing to 284 samples from 205 COVID-19 patients and controls to create a comprehensive immune landscape. Lymphopenia and active T and B cell responses were found to coexist and associated with age, sex and their interactions with COVID-19. Diverse epithelial and immune cell types were observed to be virus-positive and showed dramatic transcriptomic changes. Elevation of ANXA1 and S100A9 in virus-positive squamous epithelial cells may enable the initiation of neutrophil and macrophage responses via the ANXA1-FPR1 and S100A8/9-TLR4 axes. Systemic up-regulation of S100A8/A9, mainly by megakaryocytes and monocytes in the peripheral blood, may contribute to the cytokine storms frequently observed in severe patients. Our data provide a rich resource for understanding the pathogenesis and designing effective therapeutic strategies for COVID-19.

Carcinoma, Squamous Cell , COVID-19 , Lymphopenia
biorxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.10.29.361261


The recent COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a surge of crowd-sourced initiatives aimed at simulating the proteins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. A bottleneck currently exists in translating these simulations into tangible predictions that can be leveraged for pharmacological studies. Here we report on extensive electrostatic calculations done on an exascale simulation of the opening of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, performed by the Folding@home initiative. We compute the electric potential as the solution of the non-linear Poisson-Boltzmann equation using a parallel sharp numerical solver. The inherent multiple length scales present in the geometry and solution are reproduced using highly adaptive Octree grids. We analyze our results focusing on the electro-geometric properties of the receptor-binding domain and its vicinity. This work paves the way for a new class of hybrid computational and data-enabled approaches, where molecular dynamics simulations are combined with continuum modeling to produce high-fidelity computational measurements serving as a basis for protein bio-mechanism investigations.

biorxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.03.18.996975


ABSTRACT Background As core units of organ tissues, cells of various types play their harmonious rhythms to maintain the homeostasis of the human body. It is essential to identify the characteristics of cells in human organs and their regulatory networks for understanding the biological mechanisms related to health and disease. However, a systematic and comprehensive single-cell transcriptional profile across multiple organs of a normal human adult is missing. Results We perform single-cell transcriptomes of 84,363 cells derived from 15 tissue organs of one adult donor and generate an adult human cell atlas. The adult human cell atlas depicts 252 subtypes of cells, including major cell types such as T, B, myeloid, epithelial, and stromal cells, as well as novel COCH + fibroblasts and FibSmo cells, each of which is distinguished by multiple marker genes and transcriptional profiles. These collectively contribute to the heterogeneity of major human organs. Moreover, T cell and B cell receptor repertoire comparisons and trajectory analyses reveal direct clonal sharing of T and B cells with various developmental states among different tissues. Furthermore, novel cell markers, transcription factors and ligand-receptor pairs are identified with potential functional regulations in maintaining the homeostasis of human cells among tissues. Conclusions The adult human cell atlas reveals the inter- and intra-organ heterogeneity of cell characteristics and provides a useful resource in uncovering key events during the development of human diseases in the context of the heterogeneity of cells and organs.