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2.
Antiviral Research ; : 105398, 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1982555

ABSTRACT

A marked reorganization of internal membranes occurs in the cytoplasm of cells infected by single stranded positive-sense RNA viruses. Most cell compartments change their asset to provide lipids for membrane rearrangement into replication organelles, where to concentrate viral proteins and enzymes while hiding from pathogen pattern recognition molecules. Because the endoplasmic reticulum is a central hub for lipid metabolism, when viruses hijack the organelle to form their replication organelles, a cascade of events change the intracellular environment. This results in a marked increase in lipid consumption, both by lipolysis and lipophagy of lipid droplets. In addition, lipids are used to produce energy for viral replication. At the same time, inflammation is started by signalling lipids, where lysosomal processing plays a relevant role. This review is aimed at providing an overview on what takes place after human class IV viruses have released their genome into the host cell and the consequences on lipid metabolism, including lysosomes.

3.
Viruses ; 14(5)2022 05 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1869812

ABSTRACT

Lipids play a crucial role in the entry and egress of viruses, regardless of whether they are naked or enveloped. Recent evidence shows that lipid involvement in viral infection goes much further. During replication, many viruses rearrange internal lipid membranes to create niches where they replicate and assemble. Because of the close connection between lipids and inflammation, the derangement of lipid metabolism also results in the production of inflammatory stimuli. Due to its pivotal function in the viral life cycle, lipid metabolism has become an area of intense research to understand how viruses seize lipids and to design antiviral drugs targeting lipid pathways. Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is a lipid-derived peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α (PPAR-α) agonist that also counteracts SARS-CoV-2 entry and its replication. Our work highlights for the first time the antiviral potency of PEA against SARS-CoV-2, exerting its activity by two different mechanisms. First, its binding to the SARS-CoV-2 S protein causes a drop in viral infection of ~70%. We show that this activity is specific for SARS-CoV-2, as it does not prevent infection by VSV or HSV-2, other enveloped viruses that use different glycoproteins and entry receptors to mediate their entry. Second, we show that in infected Huh-7 cells, treatment with PEA dismantles lipid droplets, preventing the usage of these vesicular bodies by SARS-CoV-2 as a source of energy and protection against innate cellular defenses. This is not surprising since PEA activates PPAR-α, a transcription factor that, once activated, generates a cascade of events that leads to the disruption of fatty acid droplets, thereby bringing about lipid droplet degradation through ß-oxidation. In conclusion, the present work demonstrates a novel mechanism of action for PEA as a direct and indirect antiviral agent against SARS-CoV-2. This evidence reinforces the notion that treatment with this compound might significantly impact the course of COVID-19. Indeed, considering that the protective effects of PEA in COVID-19 are the current objectives of two clinical trials (NCT04619706 and NCT04568876) and given the relative lack of toxicity of PEA in humans, further preclinical and clinical tests will be needed to fully consider PEA as a promising adjuvant therapy in the current COVID-19 pandemic or against emerging RNA viruses that share the same route of replication as coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Amides , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Ethanolamines , Humans , Palmitic Acids/pharmacology , Pandemics , Peas , Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
4.
Comput Struct Biotechnol J ; 19: 6140-6156, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1734314

ABSTRACT

We exploited a multi-scale microscopy imaging toolbox to address some major issues related to SARS-CoV-2 interactions with host cells. Our approach harnesses both conventional and super-resolution fluorescence microscopy and easily matches the spatial scale of single-virus/cell checkpoints. After its validation through the characterization of infected cells and virus morphology, we leveraged this toolbox to reveal subtle issues related to the entry phase of SARS-CoV-2 variants in Vero E6 cells. Our results show that in Vero E6 cells the B.1.1.7 strain (aka Alpha Variant of Concern) is associated with much faster kinetics of endocytic uptake compared to its ancestor B.1.177. Given the cell-entry scenario dominated by the endosomal "late pathway", the faster internalization of B.1.1.7 could be directly related to the N501Y mutation in the S protein, which is known to strengthen the binding of Spike receptor binding domain with ACE2. Remarkably, we also directly observed the central role of clathrin as a mediator of endocytosis in the late pathway of entry. In keeping with the clathrin-mediated endocytosis, we highlighted the non-raft membrane localization of ACE2. Overall, we believe that our fluorescence microscopy-based approach represents a fertile strategy to investigate the molecular features of SARS-CoV-2 interactions with cells.

5.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327541

ABSTRACT

Several compounds have been tested against SARS-CoV-2;at present, COVID-19 treatments decrease the deleterious inflammatory response and acute lung injury. However, the best therapeutic response would be expected by combining anti-inflammatory properties, while concomitantly blocking viral replication. These combined effects should drastically reduce both infection rate and severe complications induced by novel SARS-CoV-2 variants. Therefore, we explored the antiviral potency of a class of anti-inflammatory compounds that inhibit the N-Acylethanolamine acid amidase (NAAA). This enzyme catalyzes the hydrolysis of palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), a bioactive lipid that mediates anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity through the activation of peroxisome proliferator receptor-α (PPAR-α). Similarly, this pathway is likely to be a significant target to impede viral replication since PPAR-α activation leads to dismantling of lipid droplets, where viral replication of Flaviviruses and Coronaviruses occurs. Here, we show that either genetic or pharmacological inhibition of the NAAA enzyme leads to five-fold reduction in the replication of both SARS-CoV-2 and ZIKV in various cell lines. Once NAAA enzyme is blocked, both ZIKV and SARS CoV-2 replication decrease, which parallels a sudden five-fold decrease in virion release. These effects induced by NAAA inhibition occurs concomitantly with stimulation of autophagy during infection. Remarkably, parallel antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects of NAAA antagonism were confirmed in ex-vivo experiments, within SARS-CoV-2 infected human PBMC cells, in which both viral genomes and TNF-α production drop by ~60%. It is known that macrophages contribute to viral spread, excessive inflammation and macrophage activation syndrome that NAAA inhibitors might prevent, reducing the macrophage-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome and subsequent death of COVID-19 patients.

6.
Blood Cancer J ; 12(1): 8, 2022 01 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1630561

ABSTRACT

Understanding antibody-based SARS-CoV-2 immunity in hematologic malignancy (HM) patients following infection is crucial to inform vaccination strategies for this highly vulnerable population. This cross-sectional study documents the anti-SARS-CoV-2 humoral response and serum neutralizing activity in 189 HM patients recovering from a PCR-confirmed infection. The overall seroconversion rate was 85.7%, with the lowest values in patients with lymphoid malignancies or undergoing chemotherapy. Therapy-naive patients in the "watch and wait" status were more likely to seroconvert and display increased anti-s IgG titers. Enhanced serum neutralizing activity was observed in the following SARS-CoV-2-infected HM patient groups: (i) males; (ii) severe COVID-19; and (iii) "watch and wait" or "complete/partial response". The geometric mean (GeoMean) ID50 neutralization titers in patients analyzed before or after 6 months post-infection were 299.1 and 306.3, respectively, indicating that >50% of the patients in either group had a neutralization titer sufficient to provide 50% protection from symptomatic COVID-19. Altogether, our findings suggest that therapy-naive HM patients mount a far more robust immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection vs. patients receiving anti-cancer treatment, raising the important question as to whether HM patients should be vaccinated before therapy and/or receive vaccine formats capable of better recapitulating the natural infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antineoplastic Agents/administration & dosage , COVID-19/immunology , Hematologic Neoplasms , Immunity, Humoral , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Aged , Female , Hematologic Neoplasms/drug therapy , Hematologic Neoplasms/immunology , Humans , Male , Middle Aged
7.
J Clin Virol Plus ; 1(1): 100016, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1213343

ABSTRACT

COVID19 convalescent patient plasma units with high titer neutralizing antibody can be used to treat patients with severe disease. Therefore, in order to select suitable donors, neutralizing antibody titer against SARS CoV-2 needs to be determined. Because the neutralization assay is highly demanding from several points of view, a pre-selection of sera would be desirable to minimize the number of sera to be tested. In this study, a total of 140 serum samples that had been titrated for SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody by microneutralization assay were also tested for the presence of anti-SARS-CoV2 antibody using 5 different tests: Architect® immunoassay (Abbott Diagnostics), detecting IgG against the nucleocapsid protein, LIAISON XL® (Diasorin) detecting IgG against a recombinant form of the S1/S2 subunits of the spike protein, VITROS® (Ortho Clinical Diagnostics), detecting IgG against a recombinant form of the spike protein, and ELISA (Euroimmun AG), detecting IgA or IgG against a recombinant form of the S1 subunit. To determine which immunoassay had the highest chance to detect sera with neutralizing antibodies above a certain threshold, we compared the results obtained from the five immunoassays with the titers obtained by microneutralization assay by linear regression analysis and by using receiver operating characteristic curve and Youden's index. Our results indicate that the most suitable method to predict sera with high Nab titer is Euroimmun® IgG, followed closely by Ortho VITROS® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG.

8.
ERJ Open Res ; 7(2)2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1183500

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has a variable degree of severity according to underlying comorbidities and life-style. Several research groups have reported an association between cigarette smoking and increased severity of COVID-19. The exact mechanism of action is largely unclear. We exposed low angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2)-expressing human pulmonary adenocarcinoma A549 epithelial cells to nicotine and assessed ACE2 expression at different times. We further used the nicotine-exposed cells in a virus neutralisation assay. Nicotine exposure induces rapid and long-lasting increases in gene and protein expression of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) receptor ACE2, which in turn translates into increased competence for SARS-CoV-2 replication and cytopathic effect. These findings show that nicotine worsens SARS-CoV-2 pulmonary infection and have implications for public health policies.

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