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Commun Biol ; 6(1): 102, 2023 01 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2212038


Protein acetylation plays a key role in regulating cellular processes and is subject to aberrant control in diverse pathologies. Although histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors are approved drugs for certain cancers, it is not known whether they can be deployed in other therapeutic contexts. We have explored the clinical HDAC inhibitor, zabadinostat/CXD101, and found that it is a stand-alone regulator of the adaptive immune response. Zabadinostat treatment increased expression of MHC class I and II genes in a variety of cells, including dendritic cells (DCs) and healthy tissue. Remarkably, zabadinostat enhanced the activity of DCs, and CD4 and CD8 T lymphocytes. Using an antigenic peptide presented to the immune system by MHC class I, zabadinostat caused an increase in antigen-specific CD8 T lymphocytes. Further, mice immunised with covid19 spike protein and treated with zabadinostat exhibit enhanced covid19 neutralising antibodies and an increased level of T lymphocytes. The enhanced humoral response reflected increased activity of T follicular helper (Tfh) cells and germinal centre (GC) B cells. Our results argue strongly that zabadinostat has potential to augment diverse therapeutic agents that act through the immune system.

COVID-19 , Immunity, Humoral , Mice , Animals , T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer , Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Adaptive Immunity , Antigens
JCI Insight ; 7(13)2022 07 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1861743


The role of immune responses to previously seen endemic coronavirus epitopes in severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and disease progression has not yet been determined. Here, we show that a key characteristic of fatal outcomes with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is that the immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is enriched for antibodies directed against epitopes shared with endemic beta-coronaviruses and has a lower proportion of antibodies targeting the more protective variable regions of the spike. The magnitude of antibody responses to the SARS-CoV-2 full-length spike protein, its domains and subunits, and the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid also correlated strongly with responses to the endemic beta-coronavirus spike proteins in individuals admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) with fatal COVID-19 outcomes, but not in individuals with nonfatal outcomes. This correlation was found to be due to the antibody response directed at the S2 subunit of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which has the highest degree of conservation between the beta-coronavirus spike proteins. Intriguingly, antibody responses to the less cross-reactive SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid were not significantly different in individuals who were admitted to an ICU with fatal and nonfatal outcomes, suggesting an antibody profile in individuals with fatal outcomes consistent with an "original antigenic sin" type response.

COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , Epitopes , Humans , SARS-CoV-2