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1.
Cell Host Microbe ; 2022 Jul 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1936160

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 Omicron rapidly outcompeted other variants and currently dominates the COVID-19 pandemic. Its enhanced transmission and immune evasion are thought to be driven by numerous mutations in the Omicron Spike protein. Here, we systematically introduced BA.1 and/or BA.2 Omicron Spike mutations into the ancestral Spike protein and examined the impacts on Spike function, processing, and susceptibility to neutralization. Individual mutations of S371F/L, S375F, and T376A in the ACE2-receptor-binding domain as well as Q954H and N969K in the hinge region 1 impaired infectivity, while changes to G339D, D614G, N764K, and L981F moderately enhanced it. Most mutations in the N-terminal region and receptor-binding domain reduced the sensitivity of the Spike protein to neutralization by sera from individuals vaccinated with the BNT162b2 vaccine and by therapeutic antibodies. Our results represent a systematic functional analysis of Omicron Spike adaptations that have allowed this SARS-CoV-2 variant to dominate the current pandemic.

2.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 7(1): 230, 2022 07 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1927079

Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Brain , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
3.
J Virol ; 96(11): e0059422, 2022 06 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1840553

ABSTRACT

It has recently been shown that an early SARS-CoV-2 isolate (NL-02-2020) hijacks interferon-induced transmembrane proteins (IFITMs) for efficient replication in human lung cells, cardiomyocytes, and gut organoids. To date, several "variants of concern" (VOCs) showing increased infectivity and resistance to neutralization have emerged and globally replaced the early viral strains. Here, we determined whether the five current SARS-CoV-2 VOCs (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Omicron) maintained the dependency on IFITM proteins for efficient replication. We found that depletion of IFITM2 strongly reduces viral RNA production by all VOCs in the human epithelial lung cancer cell line Calu-3. Silencing of IFITM1 had modest effects, while knockdown of IFITM3 resulted in an intermediate phenotype. Strikingly, depletion of IFITM2 generally reduced infectious virus production by more than 4 orders of magnitude. In addition, an antibody directed against the N terminus of IFITM2 inhibited SARS-CoV-2 VOC replication in induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived alveolar epithelial type II cells, thought to represent major viral target cells in the lung. In conclusion, endogenously expressed IFITM proteins (especially IFITM2) are critical cofactors for efficient replication of genuine SARS-CoV-2 VOCs, including the currently dominant Omicron variant. IMPORTANCE Recent data indicate that SARS-CoV-2 requires endogenously expressed IFITM proteins for efficient infection. However, the results were obtained with an early SARS-CoV-2 isolate. Thus, it remained to be determined whether IFITMs are also important cofactors for infection of emerging SARS-CoV-2 VOCs that outcompeted the original strains in the meantime. This includes the Omicron VOC, which currently dominates the pandemic. Here, we show that depletion of endogenous IFITM2 expression almost entirely prevents productive infection of Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Omicron SARS-CoV-2 VOCs in human lung cells. In addition, an antibody targeting the N terminus of IFITM2 inhibited SARS-CoV-2 VOC replication in iPSC-derived alveolar epithelial type II cells. Our results show that SARS-CoV-2 VOCs, including the currently dominant Omicron variant, are strongly dependent on IFITM2 for efficient replication, suggesting a key proviral role of IFITMs in viral transmission and pathogenicity.


Subject(s)
Lung , Membrane Proteins , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Replication , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line, Tumor , Humans , Lung/virology , Membrane Proteins/genetics , Membrane Proteins/metabolism , RNA-Binding Proteins/genetics , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Internalization
4.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-333018

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant rapidly outcompeted other variants and currently dominates the COVID-19 pandemic. Its enhanced transmission, immune evasion and pathogenicity is thought to be driven by numerous mutations in the Omicron Spike protein. Here, we examined the impact of amino acid changes that are characteristic for the BA.1 and/or BA.2 Omicron lineages on Spike function, processing and susceptibility to neutralization. Individual mutations of S371F/L, S375F and T376A in the ACE2 receptor-binding domain as well as Q954H and N969K in the hinge region 1 impaired infectivity, while changes of G339D, D614G, N764K and L981F moderately enhanced it. Most mutations in the N-terminal region and the receptor binding domain reduced sensitivity of the Spike protein to neutralization by sera from individuals vaccinated with the BNT162b2 vaccine or therapeutic antibodies. Our results represent a systematic functional analysis of Omicron Spike adaptations that allowed this SARS-CoV-2 variant to overtake the current pandemic.

5.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Jan 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1774348

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Most of the millions of people that are vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, have previously been infected by related circulating human coronaviruses (hCoVs) causing common colds and will experience further encounters with these viruses in the future. Whether or not COVID-19 vaccinations impact neutralization of seasonal coronaviruses is largely unknown. METHODS: We analyzed the capacity of sera derived from 24 individuals before and after heterologous ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 BNT162b2 prime-boost vaccination to neutralize genuine OC43, NL63 and 229E hCoVs, as well as viral pseudoparticles carrying the SARS-CoV-1, SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV, hCoV-OC43, -NL63 and -229E spike proteins. Genuine hCoVs or spike containing pseudovirions were incubated with different concentrations of sera and neutralization efficiencies were determined by measuring viral RNA yields, intracellular viral nucleocapsid expression, or reporter gene expression in Huh-7 cells. RESULTS: All individuals showed strong preexisting immunity against hCoV-OC43. Neutralization of hCoV-NL63 was more variable and all sera showed only modest inhibitory activity against genuine hCoV-229E. SARS-CoV-2 vaccination resulted in efficient cross-neutralization of SARS-CoV-1 but not of MERS-CoV. On average, vaccination significantly increased the neutralizing activity against genuine hCoV-OC43, -NL63 and -229E. CONCLUSIONS: Heterologous COVID-19 vaccination may confer some cross-protection against endemic seasonal coronaviruses.

6.
Med Microbiol Immunol ; 2022 Apr 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1772912

ABSTRACT

The innate immune system is a powerful barrier against invading pathogens. Interferons (IFNs) are a major part of the cytokine-mediated anti-viral innate immune response. After recognition of a pathogen by immune sensors, signaling cascades are activated that culminate in the release of IFNs. These activate cells in an autocrine or paracrine fashion eventually setting cells in an anti-viral state via upregulation of hundreds of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs). To evade the anti-viral effect of the IFN system, successful viruses like the pandemic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) evolved strategies to counteract both IFN induction and signaling. In fact, more than half of the about 30 proteins encoded by SARS-CoV-2 target the IFN system at multiple levels to escape IFN-mediated restriction. Here, we review recent insights into the molecular mechanisms used by SARS-CoV-2 proteins to suppress IFN production and the establishment of an anti-viral state.

7.
J Virol ; 96(6): e0207721, 2022 03 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1714342

ABSTRACT

Emerging strains of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, that show increased transmission fitness and/or immune evasion are classified as "variants of concern" (VOCs). Recently, a SARS-CoV-2 variant first identified in November 2021 in South Africa has been recognized as a fifth VOC, termed "Omicron." What makes this VOC so alarming is the high number of changes, especially in the viral Spike protein, and accumulating evidence for increased transmission efficiency and escape from neutralizing antibodies. In an amazingly short time, the Omicron VOC has outcompeted the previously dominating Delta VOC. However, it seems that the Omicron VOC is overall less pathogenic than other SARS-CoV-2 VOCs. Here, we provide an overview of the mutations in the Omicron genome and the resulting changes in viral proteins compared to other SARS-CoV-2 strains and discuss their potential functional consequences.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Genome, Viral , Humans , Immune Evasion , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
8.
Am J Physiol Cell Physiol ; 322(4): C591-C604, 2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1701350

ABSTRACT

Primary airway epithelial cells (pAECs) cultivated at air-liquid interface (ALI) conditions are widely used as surrogates for human in vivo epithelia. To extend the proliferative capacity and to enable serially passaging of pAECs, conditional reprogramming (cr) has been employed in recent years. However, ALI epithelia derived from cr cells often display functional changes with increasing passages. This highlights the need for thorough validation of the ALI cultures for the respective application. In our study, we evaluated the use of serially passaged cr nasal epithelial cells (crNECs) as a model to study SARS-CoV-2 infection and effects on ion and water transport. NECs were obtained from healthy individuals and cultivated as ALI epithelia derived from passages 1, 2, 3, and 5. We compared epithelial differentiation, ion and water transport, and infection with SARS-CoV-2 between passages. Our results show that epithelia maintained major differentiation characteristics and physiological ion and water transport properties through all passages. However, the frequency of ciliated cells, short circuit currents reflecting epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) and cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) activity and expression of aquaporin 3 and 5 decreased gradually over passages. crNECs also expressed SARS-CoV-2 receptors angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and transmembrane serin2 protease 2 (TMPRSS2) across all passages and allowed SARS-CoV-2 replication in all passages. In summary, we provide evidence that passaged crNECs provide an appropriate model to study SARS-CoV-2 infection and also epithelial transport function when considering some limitations that we defined herein.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cell Differentiation , Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator/genetics , Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , Infant, Newborn , SARS-CoV-2
9.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-317546

ABSTRACT

Preexisting diabetes increases the risk of a severe course of the pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Vice versa, exacerbations of a preexisting diabetes as well as new-onset diabetes have been reported upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. Thus, there is an imperative need to clarify whether human pancreatic endocrine cells organized within an islet of Langerhans are permissive for and affected by SARS-CoV-2 infection, and to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the development of diabetes upon COVID-19. Here, we (i) defined ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expression patterns in human pancreatic endocrine and exocrine cell types, (ii) employed human pancreatic islet cultures to demonstrate susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and to viral replication in β-cells, (iii) showed that SARS-CoV-2 attenuates glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, and (iv) tested remdesivir as eventually effective to prevent β-cell failure. In addition, we (v) visualized viral particles replicating in endocrine pancreatic cells and define their subcellular localization patterns via transmission electron microscopy, and finally (vi) present examples of cell type specific pancreatic infection patterns of COVID-19 deceased patients. Overall, our data demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 can infect both the exocrine and endocrine compartments of the pancreas and can perturb β-cell integrity, which might lead to an increased risk for diabetes.

10.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(3)2022 Jan 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1650980

ABSTRACT

TMPRSS2 is a type II transmembrane protease with broad expression in epithelial cells of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract, the prostate, and other organs. Although the physiological role of TMPRSS2 remains largely elusive, several endogenous substrates have been identified. TMPRSS2 serves as a major cofactor in SARS-CoV-2 entry, and primes glycoproteins of other respiratory viruses as well. Consequently, inhibiting TMPRSS2 activity is a promising strategy to block viral infection. In this review, we provide an overview of the role of TMPRSS2 in the entry processes of different respiratory viruses. We then review the different classes of TMPRSS2 inhibitors and their clinical development, with a focus on COVID-19 treatment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Molecular Targeted Therapy/trends , Serine Endopeptidases/physiology , COVID-19/genetics , Humans , Molecular Targeted Therapy/methods , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Serine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Serine Proteinase Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Virus Internalization/drug effects
11.
EBioMedicine ; 75: 103761, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587930

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Heterologous COVID-19 vaccination regimens combining vector- and mRNA-based vaccines are already administered, but data on solicited adverse reactions, immunological responses and elicited protection are limited. METHODS: To evaluate the reactogenicity and humoral as well as cellular immune responses towards most prevalent SARS-CoV-2 variants after a heterologous ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 BNT162b2 prime-boost vaccination, we analysed a cohort of 26 clinic employees aged 25-46 (median 30.5) years who received a ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 prime followed by a BNT162b2 boost after an 8-week interval. Serological data were compared to a cohort which received homologous BNT162b2 vaccination with a 3-week interval (14 individuals aged 25-65, median 42). FINDINGS: Self-reported solicited symptoms after ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 prime were in line with previous reports and more severe than after the BNT162b2 boost. Antibody titres increased significantly over time resulting in strong neutralization titres two weeks after the BNT162b2 boost and subsequently slightly decreased over the course of 17 weeks. At the latest time point measured, all analysed sera retained neutralizing activity against the currently dominant Delta (B.1.617.2) variant. Two weeks post boost, neutralizing activity against the Alpha (B.1.1.7) and immune-evading Beta (B.1.351) variant was ∼4-fold higher than in individuals receiving homologous BNT162b2 vaccination. No difference was observed in neutralization of Kappa (B.1.617.1). In addition, heterologous vaccination induced CD4+ and CD8+ T cells reactive to SARS-CoV-2 spike peptides of all analysed variants; Wuhan-Hu-1, Alpha, Beta, Gamma (P.1), and Delta. INTERPRETATION: In conclusion, heterologous ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 / BNT162b2 prime-boost vaccination is not associated with serious adverse events and induces potent humoral and cellular immune responses. The Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Kappa variants of spike are potently neutralized by sera from all participants and reactive T cells recognize spike peptides of all tested variants. These results suggest that this heterologous vaccination regimen is at least as immunogenic and protective as homologous vaccinations and also offers protection against current variants of concern. FUNDING: This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, the German Research Foundation, the BMBF, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung, the county of Lower Saxony, the Ministry for Science, Research and the Arts of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, and the National Institutes of Health.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunity, Cellular/drug effects , Immunization, Secondary , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prevalence
12.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296869

ABSTRACT

It has recently been shown that an early SARS-CoV-2 isolate (NL-02-2020) hijacks interferon-induced transmembrane proteins (IFITMs) for efficient replication in human cells. To date, several "Variants of Concern" (VOCs) showing increased infectivity and resistance to neutralization have emerged and globally replaced the early viral strains. Here, we determined whether the four SARS-CoV-2 VOCs (Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta) maintained the dependency on IFITM proteins for efficient replication. We found that depletion of IFITM2 strongly reduces viral RNA production by all four VOCs in the human epithelial lung cancer cell line Calu-3. Silencing of IFITM1 had little effect, while knock-down of IFITM3 resulted in an intermediate phenotype. Strikingly, depletion of IFITM2 generally reduced infectious virus production by more than four orders of magnitude. In addition, an antibody directed against the N-terminus of IFITM2 inhibited SARS-CoV-2 VOC replication in iPSC-derived alveolar epithelial type II cells thought to represent major viral target cells in the lung. In conclusion, endogenously expressed IFITM proteins (especially IFITM2) are critical cofactors for efficient replication of genuine SARS-CoV-2 VOCs, including the currently dominating Delta variant.

13.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295940

ABSTRACT

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, universities around the world were challenged by the difficult decision whether classes could be held face-to-face in the winter semester 20/21. The gross anatomy course is considered an essential practical element of medical school. In order to protect the participants and teaching staff and to gain more knowledge about SARS-CoV-2 infections among students during a semester with face-to-face teaching a longitudinal test study was conducted. Medical students from the first three years of medical school were also invited. Out of a total of almost 1,000 swabs, only two active asymptomatic infections were detected at the start of the semester, none during the semester. At semester start, approximately 6% of the students had antibodies. At the end of the semester, only nine seroconversions after infection in 671 individuals occurred. This was surprisingly low because a massive second wave of infections hit Germany during the same period. The conclusion therefore is that face-to-face teaching under these measures was not infection-promoting even with high incidence rates in the overall population with the SARS-CoV-2 variants present at that time period. Moreover, the results are indicative of a preventive effect of hygiene concepts together with repetitive testings before and during a semester.

14.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 6855, 2021 11 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1537312

ABSTRACT

The bat sarbecovirus RaTG13 is a close relative of SARS-CoV-2, the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this bat virus was most likely unable to directly infect humans since its Spike (S) protein does not interact efficiently with the human ACE2 receptor. Here, we show that a single T403R mutation increases binding of RaTG13 S to human ACE2 and allows VSV pseudoparticle infection of human lung cells and intestinal organoids. Conversely, mutation of R403T in the SARS-CoV-2 S reduces pseudoparticle infection and viral replication. The T403R RaTG13 S is neutralized by sera from individuals vaccinated against COVID-19 indicating that vaccination might protect against future zoonoses. Our data suggest that a positively charged amino acid at position 403 in the S protein is critical for efficient utilization of human ACE2 by S proteins of bat coronaviruses. This finding could help to better predict the zoonotic potential of animal coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Caco-2 Cells , Cloning, Molecular , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation , Replicon , Species Specificity , Stem Cells , Zoonoses
15.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293046

ABSTRACT

We have recently shown that a SARS-CoV-2 strain isolated in the Netherlands in February 2020 (NL-02-2020) hijacks interferon-induced transmembrane proteins, especially IFITM2, as entry cofactors for efficient infection. Here, we examined whether SARS-CoV-2 'variants of concern' (VOCs), including the currently dominating delta variant, maintained the dependency on IFITMs for efficient replication. Depletion of IFITM2 reduced viral RNA production from 31- (B.1.1.7) to 755-fold (P.1). In comparison, silencing of IFITM1 had little effect, while knock-down of IFITM3 resulted in an intermediate phenotype. Strikingly, silencing of IFITM2 generally reduced infectious virus production in Calu-3 cells to near background levels. An antibody directed against the N-terminus of IFITM2 inhibited SARS-CoV-2 VOC replication in iPSC-derived alveolar epithelial type II cells. In conclusion, endogenously expressed IFITM proteins (especially IFITM2) are important cofactors for replication of genuine SARS-CoV-2 VOCs, including the Delta variant.

16.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293045

ABSTRACT

Interferons are a major part of the anti-viral innate defense system. Successful pathogens, including the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), need to overcome these defenses to establish an infection. Early induction of interferons (IFNs) protects against severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In line with this, SARS-CoV-2 is inhibited by IFNs in vitro, and IFN-based therapies against COVID-19 are investigated in clinical trials. However, SARS-CoV-2 continues to adapt to the human population resulting in the emergence of variants characterized by increased transmission fitness and/or decreased sensitivity to preventive or therapeutic measures. It has been suggested that the efficient spread of these so-called "Variants of Concern" (VOCs) may also involve reduced sensitivity to IFNs. Here, we examined whether the four current VOCs (Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta) differ in replication efficiency or IFN sensitivity from an early isolate of SARS-CoV-2. All viruses replicated in a human lung cell line and in iPSC-derived alveolar type II cells (iAT2). The Delta variant showed accelerated replication kinetics and higher infectious virus production compared to the early 2020 isolate. Replication of all SARS-CoV-2 VOCs was reduced in the presence of exogenous type I, II and III IFNs. On average, the Alpha variant was the least susceptible to IFNs and the Alpha, Beta and Gamma variants show increased resistance against type III IFN. Although the Delta variant has outcompeted all other variants in humans it remained as sensitive to IFNs as an early 2020 SARS-CoV-2 isolate. This suggests that increased replication fitness rather than IFN resistance may be a reason for its dominance. Our results may help to understand changes in innate immune susceptibility of VOCs, and inform clinical trials exploring IFN-based COVID-19 therapies.

17.
Aging (Albany NY) ; 13(18): 21838-21854, 2021 09 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1417382

ABSTRACT

Senescent cells, which arise due to damage-associated signals, are apoptosis-resistant and can express a pro-inflammatory, tissue-destructive senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). We recently reported that a component of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) surface protein, S1, can amplify the SASP of senescent cultured human cells and that a related mouse ß-coronavirus, mouse hepatitis virus (MHV), increases SASP factors and senescent cell burden in infected mice. Here, we show that SARS-CoV-2 induces senescence in human non-senescent cells and exacerbates the SASP in human senescent cells through Toll-like receptor-3 (TLR-3). TLR-3, which senses viral RNA, was increased in human senescent compared to non-senescent cells. Notably, genetically or pharmacologically inhibiting TLR-3 prevented senescence induction and SASP amplification by SARS-CoV-2 or Spike pseudotyped virus. While an artificial TLR-3 agonist alone was not sufficient to induce senescence, it amplified the SASP in senescent human cells. Consistent with these findings, lung p16INK4a+ senescent cell burden was higher in patients who died from acute SARS-CoV-2 infection than other causes. Our results suggest that induction of cellular senescence and SASP amplification through TLR-3 contribute to SARS-CoV-2 morbidity, indicating that clinical trials of senolytics and/or SASP/TLR-3 inhibitors for alleviating acute and long-term SARS-CoV-2 sequelae are warranted.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Cellular Senescence , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Toll-Like Receptor 3/metabolism , Aging , Animals , Apoptosis , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16/metabolism , Humans , Inflammation , Lung/metabolism , Mice , Phenotype , Viral Proteins
18.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4584, 2021 07 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387354

ABSTRACT

Interferon-induced transmembrane proteins (IFITMs 1, 2 and 3) can restrict viral pathogens, but pro- and anti-viral activities have been reported for coronaviruses. Here, we show that artificial overexpression of IFITMs blocks SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, endogenous IFITM expression supports efficient infection of SARS-CoV-2 in human lung cells. Our results indicate that the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein interacts with IFITMs and hijacks them for efficient viral infection. IFITM proteins were expressed and further induced by interferons in human lung, gut, heart and brain cells. IFITM-derived peptides and targeting antibodies inhibit SARS-CoV-2 entry and replication in human lung cells, cardiomyocytes and gut organoids. Our results show that IFITM proteins are cofactors for efficient SARS-CoV-2 infection of human cell types representing in vivo targets for viral transmission, dissemination and pathogenesis and are potential targets for therapeutic approaches.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Antigens, Differentiation/genetics , Membrane Proteins/genetics , RNA-Binding Proteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Amino Acid Sequence , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/antagonists & inhibitors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antigens, Differentiation/metabolism , Binding Sites , COVID-19/virology , Gene Expression Regulation , Host-Pathogen Interactions/drug effects , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , Interferon-beta/pharmacology , Membrane Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Membrane Proteins/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , RNA, Small Interfering/metabolism , RNA-Binding Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Sequence Alignment , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Attachment/drug effects
19.
STAR Protoc ; 2(4): 100781, 2021 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1356489

ABSTRACT

We present a protocol for analyzing the impact of SARS-CoV-2 proteins in interferon signaling using luciferase reporter assays. Here, the induction of defined promoters can be quantitatively assessed with high sensitivity and broad linear range. The results are similar to those obtained using qPCR to measure endogenous mRNA induction. The assay requires stringent normalization and confirmation of the results in more physiological settings. The protocol is adaptable for other viruses and other innate immune stimuli. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Hayn et al. (2021).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral/drug effects , Interferons/pharmacology , Luciferases/metabolism , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Luciferases/genetics , Promoter Regions, Genetic , RNA, Messenger/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Viral Proteins/genetics
20.
Biospektrum (Heidelb) ; 27(4): 368-371, 2021.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1349361

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). To facilitate its own replication and avoid immune control, SARS-CoV-2 manipulates its target cells. Our results revealed that the SARS-CoV-2 non-structural protein 1 (Nsp1) plays a key role in viral immune evasion. It blocks the mRNA tunnel of the cellular ribosome, resulting in a shutdown of translation and strong attenuation of the host's antiviral immune response.

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