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1.
Curr Opin Genet Dev ; 75: 101946, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2004086

ABSTRACT

Ex situ experimental models have become a main stay in pulmonary research. Organoids and explant systems have uncovered novel stem cell subsets, served as disease models, delineated cell fate transitions, and aided high throughput pre-clinical drug screening. Integration of gene-editing and bioengineering approaches have further generated novel avenues for regenerative medicine and transplantation strategies. In this article, we highlight recent studies, aided by ex situ systems, which have contributed to significant advances in our understanding of the human lower respiratory tract. We present key observations from these studies to gain improved insights into human disease. We conclude this article with a summary of existing challenges and potential technological advances to successfully mirror human tissue physiology.


Subject(s)
Organoids , Regenerative Medicine , Cell Differentiation , Humans , Models, Theoretical , Stem Cells
2.
Cell Rep ; 40(7): 111220, 2022 Aug 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1966425

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike N-terminal domain (NTD) remains poorly characterized despite enrichment of mutations in this region across variants of concern (VOCs). Here, we examine the contribution of the NTD to infection and cell-cell fusion by constructing chimeric spikes bearing B.1.617 lineage (Delta and Kappa variants) NTDs and generating spike pseudotyped lentivirus. We find that the Delta NTD on a Kappa or wild-type (WT) background increases S1/S2 cleavage efficiency and virus entry, specifically in lung cells and airway organoids, through use of TMPRSS2. Delta exhibits increased cell-cell fusogenicity that could be conferred to WT and Kappa spikes by Delta NTD transfer. However, chimeras of Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 spikes with a Delta NTD do not show more efficient TMPRSS2 use or fusogenicity. We conclude that the NTD allosterically modulates S1/S2 cleavage and spike-mediated functions in a spike context-dependent manner, and allosteric interactions may be lost when combining regions from more distantly related VOCs.

3.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-336846

ABSTRACT

Over 20 mutations have been identified in the N-Terminal Domain (NTD) of SARS-CoV-2 spike and yet few of them are fully characterised. Here we first examined the contribution of the NTD to infection and cell-cell fusion by constructing different VOC-based chimeric spikes bearing B.1617 lineage (Delta and Kappa variants) NTDs and generating spike pseudotyped lentivirus (PV). We found the Delta NTD on a Kappa or WT background increased spike S1/S2 cleavage efficiency and virus entry, specifically in Calu-3 lung cells and airway organoids, through use of TMPRSS2. Delta was previously shown to have fast cell-cell fusion kinetics and increased fusogenicity that could be conferred to WT and Kappa variant spikes by transfer of the Delta NTD. Moving to contemporary variants, we found that BA.2 had higher entry efficiency in a range of cell types as compared to BA.1. BA.2 showed higher fusogenic activity than BA.1, but the BA.2 NTD could not confer higher fusion to BA.1 spike. There was low efficiency of TMPRSS2 usage by both BA.1 and BA.2, and chimeras of Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 spikes with a Delta NTD did not result in more efficient use of TMRPSS2 or cell-cell fusogenicity. We conclude that the NTD allosterically modulates S1/S2 cleavage and spike-mediated functions such as entry and cell-cell fusion in a spike context dependent manner, and allosteric interactions may be lost when combining regions from more distantly related spike proteins. These data may explain the lack of dominant SARS-CoV-2 inter-variant recombinants bearing breakpoints within spike.

4.
Nature ; 603(7902): 706-714, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1764186

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.1 variant emerged in 20211 and has multiple mutations in its spike protein2. Here we show that the spike protein of Omicron has a higher affinity for ACE2 compared with Delta, and a marked change in its antigenicity increases Omicron's evasion of therapeutic monoclonal and vaccine-elicited polyclonal neutralizing antibodies after two doses. mRNA vaccination as a third vaccine dose rescues and broadens neutralization. Importantly, the antiviral drugs remdesivir and molnupiravir retain efficacy against Omicron BA.1. Replication was similar for Omicron and Delta virus isolates in human nasal epithelial cultures. However, in lung cells and gut cells, Omicron demonstrated lower replication. Omicron spike protein was less efficiently cleaved compared with Delta. The differences in replication were mapped to the entry efficiency of the virus on the basis of spike-pseudotyped virus assays. The defect in entry of Omicron pseudotyped virus to specific cell types effectively correlated with higher cellular RNA expression of TMPRSS2, and deletion of TMPRSS2 affected Delta entry to a greater extent than Omicron. Furthermore, drug inhibitors targeting specific entry pathways3 demonstrated that the Omicron spike inefficiently uses the cellular protease TMPRSS2, which promotes cell entry through plasma membrane fusion, with greater dependency on cell entry through the endocytic pathway. Consistent with suboptimal S1/S2 cleavage and inability to use TMPRSS2, syncytium formation by the Omicron spike was substantially impaired compared with the Delta spike. The less efficient spike cleavage of Omicron at S1/S2 is associated with a shift in cellular tropism away from TMPRSS2-expressing cells, with implications for altered pathogenesis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Membrane Fusion , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Virus Internalization , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cell Line , Cell Membrane/metabolism , Cell Membrane/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Convalescence , Female , Humans , Immune Sera/immunology , Intestines/pathology , Intestines/virology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation , Nasal Mucosa/pathology , Nasal Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Tissue Culture Techniques , Virulence , Virus Replication
5.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-295504

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant was first identified in the state of Maharashtra in late 2020 and spread throughout India, outcompeting pre-existing lineages including B.1.617.1 (Kappa) and B.1.1.7 (Alpha). In vitro , B.1.617.2 is 6-fold less sensitive to serum neutralising antibodies from recovered individuals, and 8-fold less sensitive to vaccine-elicited antibodies as compared to wild type Wuhan-1 bearing D614G. Serum neutralising titres against B.1.617.2 were lower in ChAdOx-1 versus BNT162b2 vaccinees. B.1.617.2 spike pseudotyped viruses exhibited compromised sensitivity to monoclonal antibodies against the receptor binding domain (RBD) and N-terminal domain (NTD), in particular to the clinically approved bamlavinimab and imdevimab monoclonal antibodies. B.1.617.2 demonstrated higher replication efficiency in both airway organoid and human airway epithelial systems as compared to B.1.1.7, associated with B.1.617.2 spike being in a predominantly cleaved state compared to B.1.1.7. Additionally we observed that B.1.617.2 had higher replication and spike mediated entry as compared to B.1.617.1, potentially explaining B.1.617.2 dominance. In an analysis of over 130 SARS-CoV-2 infected healthcare workers across three centres in India during a period of mixed lineage circulation, we observed substantially reduced ChAdOx-1 vaccine efficacy against B.1.617.2 relative to non-B.1.617.2. Compromised vaccine efficacy against the highly fit and immune evasive B.1.617.2 Delta variant warrants continued infection control measures in the post-vaccination era.

6.
Nature ; 599(7883): 114-119, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1392870

ABSTRACT

The B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was first identified in the state of Maharashtra in late 2020 and spread throughout India, outcompeting pre-existing lineages including B.1.617.1 (Kappa) and B.1.1.7 (Alpha)1. In vitro, B.1.617.2 is sixfold less sensitive to serum neutralizing antibodies from recovered individuals, and eightfold less sensitive to vaccine-elicited antibodies, compared with wild-type Wuhan-1 bearing D614G. Serum neutralizing titres against B.1.617.2 were lower in ChAdOx1 vaccinees than in BNT162b2 vaccinees. B.1.617.2 spike pseudotyped viruses exhibited compromised sensitivity to monoclonal antibodies to the receptor-binding domain and the amino-terminal domain. B.1.617.2 demonstrated higher replication efficiency than B.1.1.7 in both airway organoid and human airway epithelial systems, associated with B.1.617.2 spike being in a predominantly cleaved state compared with B.1.1.7 spike. The B.1.617.2 spike protein was able to mediate highly efficient syncytium formation that was less sensitive to inhibition by neutralizing antibody, compared with that of wild-type spike. We also observed that B.1.617.2 had higher replication and spike-mediated entry than B.1.617.1, potentially explaining the B.1.617.2 dominance. In an analysis of more than 130 SARS-CoV-2-infected health care workers across three centres in India during a period of mixed lineage circulation, we observed reduced ChAdOx1 vaccine effectiveness against B.1.617.2 relative to non-B.1.617.2, with the caveat of possible residual confounding. Compromised vaccine efficacy against the highly fit and immune-evasive B.1.617.2 Delta variant warrants continued infection control measures in the post-vaccination era.


Subject(s)
Immune Evasion , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Virus Replication/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cell Fusion , Cell Line , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , India , Kinetics , Male , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vaccination
7.
Cell Stem Cell ; 27(6): 905-919.e10, 2020 12 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-885442

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is the cause of a present pandemic, infects human lung alveolar type 2 (hAT2) cells. Characterizing pathogenesis is crucial for developing vaccines and therapeutics. However, the lack of models mirroring the cellular physiology and pathology of hAT2 cells limits the study. Here, we develop a feeder-free, long-term, three-dimensional (3D) culture technique for hAT2 cells derived from primary human lung tissue and investigate infection response to SARS-CoV-2. By imaging-based analysis and single-cell transcriptome profiling, we reveal rapid viral replication and the increased expression of interferon-associated genes and proinflammatory genes in infected hAT2 cells, indicating a robust endogenous innate immune response. Further tracing of viral mutations acquired during transmission identifies full infection of individual cells effectively from a single viral entry. Our study provides deep insights into the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 and the application of defined 3D hAT2 cultures as models for respiratory diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pulmonary Alveoli/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Stem Cells/virology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Culture Techniques , Culture Media , Humans , Interferons/metabolism , Models, Biological , Pulmonary Alveoli/metabolism , Pulmonary Alveoli/ultrastructure , SARS-CoV-2/ultrastructure , Transcriptome , Virus Internalization , Virus Replication
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