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1.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-315359

ABSTRACT

Remdesivir (RDV) has garnered much hope for its moderate anti-COVID-19 effects, but its limited amelioration of survival in hospitalized patient causes a huge controversy over the applicability of RDV to COVID-19 treatment. Developing strategies to improve its antivirus efficacy is urgently required. As anticipated, RDV exhibits similar behavior with other nucleotide analogs to disrupt the metabolism of natural endogenous ribonucleotides (RNs) and deoxyribonucleotides (dRNs). Alterations in endogenous RNs and dRNs play a critical role in virus replication as well as other key cellular functions. Thus elucidation of the disturbances of RDV on RNs and dRNs could help to understand its exact mechanism of action. Here, the metabolic profiling determined by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry method showed a general increase in the abundance of nucleotides and a more than 2-fold increase for specific nucleotides. However, the variation of pyrimidine ribonucleotides was relative slight or even contrary, resulting in obvious imbalance between purine and pyrimidine ribonucleotides, which implied the obstacle of RDV to pyrimidine synthesis and could further block the transcription and replication of viral RNA. Additionally, the extreme disequilibrium between cytidine triphosphate (CTP) and cytidine monophosphate might result from the inhibition of CTP synthase and provide a metabolic target for the treatment of COVID-19 infection. Since nucleotides metabolism pathways are vulnerable to nucleotide analogues and are liable to be the regulation targets, it is promising to enhance the efficacy of RDV through co-administration with CTP synthase inhibitors or de novo pyrimidine synthesis inhibitors to exacerbate the imbalance of nucleotide pools.

2.
Front Pharmacol ; 12: 647280, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1231374

ABSTRACT

Remdesivir (RDV) has generated much anticipation for its moderate effect in treating severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. However, the unsatisfactory survival rates of hospitalized patients limit its application to the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Therefore, improvement of antiviral efficacy of RDV is urgently needed. As a typical nucleotide analog, the activation of RDV to bioactive triphosphate will affect the biosynthesis of endogenous ribonucleotides (RNs) and deoxyribonucleotides (dRNs), which are essential to RNA and DNA replication in host cells. The imbalance of RN pools will inhibit virus replication as well. In order to investigate the effects of RDV on cellular nucleotide pools and on RNA transcription and DNA replication, cellular RNs and dRNs concentrations were measured by the liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry method, and the synthesis of RNA and DNA was monitored using click chemistry. The results showed that the IC50 values for BEAS-2B cells at exposure durations of 48 and 72 h were 25.3 ± 2.6 and 9.6 ± 0.7 µM, respectively. Ten (10) µM RDV caused BEAS-2B arrest at S-phase and significant suppression of RNA and DNA synthesis after treatment for 24 h. In addition, a general increase in the abundance of nucleotides and an increase of specific nucleotides more than 2 folds were observed. However, the variation of pyrimidine ribonucleotides was relatively slight or even absent, resulting in an obvious imbalance between purine and pyrimidine ribonucleotides. Interestingly, the very marked disequilibrium between cytidine triphosphate (CTP) and cytidine monophosphate might result from the inhibition of CTP synthase. Due to nucleotides which are also precursors for the synthesis of viral nucleic acids, the perturbation of nucleotide pools would block viral RNA replication. Considering the metabolic vulnerability of endogenous nucleotides, exacerbating the imbalance of nucleotide pools imparts great promise to enhance the efficacy of RDV, which possibly has special implications for treatment of COVID-19.

3.
Front Pharmacol ; 12: 634176, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1150704

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 virus caused more than 80,155,187 confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide, which has posed a serious threat to global public health and the economy. The development of vaccines and discovery of novel drugs for COVID-19 are urgently needed. Although the FDA-approved SARS-CoV-2 vaccines has been launched in many countries recently, the strength of safety, stringent storage condition and the possibly short-term immunized efficacy remain as the major challenges in the popularity and recognition of using vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. With the spike-receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 being responsible for binding to human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor (hACE2), ACE2 is identified as the receptor for the entry and viral infection of SARS-CoV-2. In this study, molecular docking and biolayer interferometry (BLI) binding assay were adopted to determine the direct molecular interactions between natural small-molecule, 1,2,3,4,6-Pentagalloyl glucose (PGG) and the spike-RBD of the SARS-CoV-2. Our results showed that PGG preferentially binds to a pocket that contains residues Glu 340 to Lys 356 of spike-RBD with a relatively low binding energy of -8 kcal/mol. BLI assay further confirmed that PGG exhibits a relatively strong binding affinity to SARS-CoV-2-RBD protein in comparison to hACE2. In addition, both ELISA and immunocytochemistry assay proved that PGG blocks SARS-CoV-2-RBD binding to hACE2 dose dependently in cellular level. Notably, PGG was confirmed to abolish the infectious property of RBD-pseudotyped lentivirus in hACE2 overexpressing HEK293 cells, which mimicked the entry of wild type SARS-CoV-2 virus in human host cells. Finally, maximal tolerated dose (MTD) studies revealed that up to 200 mg/kg/day of PGG was confirmed orally safe in mice. Our findings suggest that PGG may be a safe and potential antiviral agent against the COVID-19 by blockade the fusion of SARS-CoV-2 spike-RBD to hACE2 receptors. Therefore, PGG may be considered as a safe and natural antiviral agent for its possible preventive application in daily anti-virus hygienic products such as a disinfectant spray or face mask.

4.
Cell Death Dis ; 12(1): 53, 2021 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1015001

ABSTRACT

Interleukin-38 has recently been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties in lung inflammatory diseases. However, the effects of IL-38 in viral pneumonia remains unknown. In the present study, we demonstrate that circulating IL-38 concentrations together with IL-36α increased significantly in influenza and COVID-19 patients, and the level of IL-38 and IL-36α correlated negatively and positively with disease severity and inflammation, respectively. In the co-cultured human respiratory epithelial cells with macrophages to mimic lung microenvironment in vitro, IL-38 was able to alleviate inflammatory responses by inhibiting poly(I:C)-induced overproduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines through intracellular STAT1, STAT3, p38 MAPK, ERK1/2, MEK, and NF-κB signaling pathways. Intriguingly, transcriptomic profiling revealed that IL-38 targeted genes were associated with the host innate immune response to virus. We also found that IL-38 counteracts the biological processes induced by IL-36α in the co-culture. Furthermore, the administration of recombinant IL-38 could mitigate poly I:C-induced lung injury, with reduced early accumulation of neutrophils and macrophages in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, activation of lymphocytes, production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines and permeability of the alveolar-epithelial barrier. Taken together, our study indicates that IL-38 plays a crucial role in protection from exaggerated pulmonary inflammation during poly(I:C)-induced pneumonia, thereby providing the basis of a novel therapeutic target for respiratory viral infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Immunity, Innate/drug effects , Influenza, Human/metabolism , Interleukins/pharmacology , Pneumonia/prevention & control , Poly I-C/toxicity , Respiratory System/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cytokines/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/immunology , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Humans , Influenza A virus/isolation & purification , Influenza, Human/immunology , Influenza, Human/virology , Interleukin-1/blood , Interleukins/blood , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Pneumonia/chemically induced , Pneumonia/immunology , Pneumonia/pathology , Respiratory System/metabolism , Respiratory System/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
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