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Cell Mol Life Sci ; 79(6): 309, 2022 May 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1919755


Blood clot formation induced by dysfunctional coagulation is a frequent complication of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and a high-risk factor for severe illness and death. Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) are implicated in COVID-19-induced immunothrombosis. Furthermore, human cathelicidin, a NET component, can perturb the interaction between the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and its ACE2 receptor, which mediates viral entry into cells. At present, however, the levels of cathelicidin antimicrobial peptides after SARS-CoV-2 infection and their role in COVID-19 thrombosis formation remain unclear. In the current study, we analyzed coagulation function and found a decrease in thrombin time but an increase in fibrinogen level, prothrombin time, and activated partial thromboplastin time in COVID-19 patients. In addition, the cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide LL-37 was upregulated by the spike protein and significantly elevated in the plasma of patients. Furthermore, LL-37 levels were negatively correlated with thrombin time but positively correlated with fibrinogen level. In addition to platelet activation, cathelicidin peptides enhanced the activity of coagulation factors, such as factor Xa (FXa) and thrombin, which may induce hypercoagulation in diseases with high cathelicidin peptide levels. Injection of cathelicidin peptides promoted the formation of thrombosis, whereas deletion of cathelicidin inhibited thrombosis in vivo. These results suggest that cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide LL-37 is elevated during SARS-CoV-2 infection, which may induce hypercoagulation in COVID-19 patients by activating coagulation factors.

Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides , COVID-19 , Thrombosis , Blood Coagulation Factors , COVID-19/complications , Fibrinogen , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Thrombosis/virology , Cathelicidins
Zool Res ; 42(3): 335-338, 2021 May 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1231642


The global outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), as of 8 May 2021, has surpassed 150 700 000 infections and 3 279 000 deaths worldwide. Evidence indicates that SARS-CoV-2 RNA can be detected on particulate matter (PM), and COVID-19 cases are correlated with levels of air pollutants. However, the mechanisms of PM involvement in the spread of SARS-CoV-2 remain poorly understood. Here, we found that PM exposure increased the expression level of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2) in several epithelial cells and increased the adsorption of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Instillation of PM in a hACE2 mouse model significantly increased the expression of ACE2 and Tmprss2 and viral replication in the lungs. Furthermore, PM exacerbated the pulmonary lesions caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection in the hACE2 mice. In conclusion, our study demonstrated that PM is an epidemiological factor of COVID-19, emphasizing the necessity of wearing anti-PM masks to cope with this global pandemic.

Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/chemically induced , COVID-19/immunology , Particulate Matter/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2 , Adsorption/drug effects , Animals , Disease Susceptibility/chemically induced , Disease Susceptibility/immunology , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Mice , Mice, Inbred Strains , Particulate Matter/chemistry , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Internalization/drug effects
Cell Res ; 31(1): 17-24, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-953056


Infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused a pandemic worldwide. Currently, however, no effective drug or vaccine is available to treat or prevent the resulting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Here, we report our discovery of a promising anti-COVID-19 drug candidate, the lipoglycopeptide antibiotic dalbavancin, based on virtual screening of the FDA-approved peptide drug library combined with in vitro and in vivo functional antiviral assays. Our results showed that dalbavancin directly binds to human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) with high affinity, thereby blocking its interaction with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Furthermore, dalbavancin effectively prevents SARS-CoV-2 replication in Vero E6 cells with an EC50 of ~12 nM. In both mouse and rhesus macaque models, viral replication and histopathological injuries caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection are significantly inhibited by dalbavancin administration. Given its high safety and long plasma half-life (8-10 days) shown in previous clinical trials, our data indicate that dalbavancin is a promising anti-COVID-19 drug candidate.

Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antiviral Agents , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Teicoplanin/analogs & derivatives , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacokinetics , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Caco-2 Cells , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Protein Binding/drug effects , Teicoplanin/pharmacokinetics , Teicoplanin/pharmacology , Vero Cells