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1.
J Virol ; 96(3): e0184221, 2022 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1691423

ABSTRACT

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a beta coronavirus that emerged in 2012, causing severe pneumonia and renal failure. MERS-CoV encodes five accessory proteins. Some of them have been shown to interfere with host antiviral immune response. However, the roles of protein 8b in innate immunity and viral virulence was rarely studied. Here, we introduced individual MERS-CoV accessory protein genes into the genome of an attenuated murine coronavirus (Mouse hepatitis virus, MHV), respectively, and found accessory protein 8b could enhance viral replication in vivo and in vitro and increase the lethality of infected mice. RNA-seq analysis revealed that protein 8b could significantly inhibit type I interferon production (IFN-I) and innate immune response in mice infected with MHV expressing protein 8b. We also found that MERS-CoV protein 8b could initiate from multiple internal methionine sites and at least three protein variants were identified. Residues 1-23 of protein 8b was demonstrated to be responsible for increased virulence in vivo. In addition, the inhibitory effect on IFN-I of protein 8b might not contribute to its virulence enhancement as aa1-23 deletion did not affect IFN-I production in vitro and in vivo. Next, we also found that protein 8b was localized to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)/Golgi membrane in infected cells, which was disrupted by C-terminal region aa 88-112 deletion. This study will provide new insight into the pathogenesis of MERS-CoV infection. IMPORTANCE Multiple coronaviruses (CoV) cause severe respiratory infections and become global public health threats such as SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2. Each coronavirus contains different numbers of accessory proteins which show high variability among different CoVs. Accessory proteins are demonstrated to play essential roles in pathogenesis of CoVs. MERS-CoV contains 5 accessory proteins (protein 3, 4a, 4b, 5, 8b), and deletion of all four accessory proteins (protein 3, 4a, 4b, 5), significantly affects MERS-CoV replication and pathogenesis. However, whether ORF8b also regulates MERS-CoV infection is unknown. Here, we constructed mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) recombinant virus expressing MERS-CoV protein 8b and demonstrated protein 8b could significantly enhance the virulence of MHV, which is mediated by N-terminal domain of protein 8b. This study will shed light on the understanding of pathogenesis of MERS-CoV infection.


Subject(s)
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , Murine hepatitis virus/physiology , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/genetics , Animals , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Immunity, Innate , Mice , Mortality , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/chemistry , Viral Tropism , Virulence/genetics , Virulence Factors/genetics
3.
Curr Opin Virol ; 52: 102-111, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1559078

ABSTRACT

Human respiratory coronaviruses (HCoVs), including the recently emerged SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, potentially cause severe lung infections and multiple organ damages, emphasizing the urgent need for antiviral therapeutics and vaccines against HCoVs. Small animal models, especially mice, are ideal tools for deciphering the pathogenesis of HCoV infections as well as virus-induced immune responses, which is critical for antiviral drug development and vaccine design. In this review, we focus on the antiviral innate immune response, antibody response and T cell response in HCoV infected mouse models, and discuss the potential implications for understanding the anti-HCoV immunity and fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Animals , Humans , Immunity , Mice , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(11): e3949-e3955, 2021 12 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1561940

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We evaluated an inactivated severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccine for immunogenicity and safety in adults aged 18-59 years. METHODS: In this randomized, double-blinded, controlled trial, healthy adults received a medium dose (MD) or a high dose (HD) of the vaccine at an interval of either 14 days or 28 days. Neutralizing antibody (NAb) and anti-S and anti-N antibodies were detected at different times, and adverse reactions were monitored for 28 days after full immunization. RESULTS: A total of 742 adults were enrolled in the immunogenicity and safety analysis. Among subjects in the 0, 14 procedure, the seroconversion rates of NAb in MD and HD groups were 89% and 96% with geometric mean titers (GMTs) of 23 and 30, respectively, at day 14 and 92% and 96% with GMTs of 19 and 21, respectively, at day 28 after immunization. Anti-S antibodies had GMTs of 1883 and 2370 in the MD group and 2295 and 2432 in the HD group. Anti-N antibodies had GMTs of 387 and 434 in the MD group and 342 and 380 in the HD group. Among subjects in the 0, 28 procedure, seroconversion rates for NAb at both doses were both 95% with GMTs of 19 at day 28 after immunization. Anti-S antibodies had GMTs of 937 and 929 for the MD and HD groups, and anti-N antibodies had GMTs of 570 and 494 for the MD and HD groups, respectively. No serious adverse events were observed during the study period. CONCLUSIONS: Adults vaccinated with inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine had NAb as well as anti-S/N antibody and had a low rate of adverse reactions. CLINICAL TRIALS REGISTRATION: NCT04412538.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Vaccines , Double-Blind Method , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine
5.
J Virol ; 96(3): e0184221, 2022 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1532965

ABSTRACT

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a beta coronavirus that emerged in 2012, causing severe pneumonia and renal failure. MERS-CoV encodes five accessory proteins. Some of them have been shown to interfere with host antiviral immune response. However, the roles of protein 8b in innate immunity and viral virulence was rarely studied. Here, we introduced individual MERS-CoV accessory protein genes into the genome of an attenuated murine coronavirus (Mouse hepatitis virus, MHV), respectively, and found accessory protein 8b could enhance viral replication in vivo and in vitro and increase the lethality of infected mice. RNA-seq analysis revealed that protein 8b could significantly inhibit type I interferon production (IFN-I) and innate immune response in mice infected with MHV expressing protein 8b. We also found that MERS-CoV protein 8b could initiate from multiple internal methionine sites and at least three protein variants were identified. Residues 1-23 of protein 8b was demonstrated to be responsible for increased virulence in vivo. In addition, the inhibitory effect on IFN-I of protein 8b might not contribute to its virulence enhancement as aa1-23 deletion did not affect IFN-I production in vitro and in vivo. Next, we also found that protein 8b was localized to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)/Golgi membrane in infected cells, which was disrupted by C-terminal region aa 88-112 deletion. This study will provide new insight into the pathogenesis of MERS-CoV infection. IMPORTANCE Multiple coronaviruses (CoV) cause severe respiratory infections and become global public health threats such as SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2. Each coronavirus contains different numbers of accessory proteins which show high variability among different CoVs. Accessory proteins are demonstrated to play essential roles in pathogenesis of CoVs. MERS-CoV contains 5 accessory proteins (protein 3, 4a, 4b, 5, 8b), and deletion of all four accessory proteins (protein 3, 4a, 4b, 5), significantly affects MERS-CoV replication and pathogenesis. However, whether ORF8b also regulates MERS-CoV infection is unknown. Here, we constructed mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) recombinant virus expressing MERS-CoV protein 8b and demonstrated protein 8b could significantly enhance the virulence of MHV, which is mediated by N-terminal domain of protein 8b. This study will shed light on the understanding of pathogenesis of MERS-CoV infection.


Subject(s)
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , Murine hepatitis virus/physiology , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/genetics , Animals , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Immunity, Innate , Mice , Mortality , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/chemistry , Viral Tropism , Virulence/genetics , Virulence Factors/genetics
6.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 155, 2021 04 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1189204

ABSTRACT

Disease progression prediction and therapeutic drug target discovery for Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are particularly important, as there is still no effective strategy for severe COVID-19 patient treatment. Herein, we performed multi-platform omics analysis of serial plasma and urine samples collected from patients during the course of COVID-19. Integrative analyses of these omics data revealed several potential therapeutic targets, such as ANXA1 and CLEC3B. Molecular changes in plasma indicated dysregulation of macrophage and suppression of T cell functions in severe patients compared to those in non-severe patients. Further, we chose 25 important molecular signatures as potential biomarkers for the prediction of disease severity. The prediction power was validated using corresponding urine samples and plasma samples from new COVID-19 patient cohort, with AUC reached to 0.904 and 0.988, respectively. In conclusion, our omics data proposed not only potential therapeutic targets, but also biomarkers for understanding the pathogenesis of severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Discovery , Lipidomics , Proteomics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Biomarkers/blood , Female , Humans , Male
7.
Vaccine ; 39(20): 2746-2754, 2021 05 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1174522

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: This study examined the safety and immunogenicity of an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. METHOD: In a phase I randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial involving 192 healthy adults 18-59 years old, two injections of three doses (50 EU, 100 EU, 150 EU) of an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine or placebo were administered intramuscularly at a 2- or 4-week interval. The safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine were evaluated. RESULTS: Vaccination was completed in 191 subjects. Forty-four adverse reactions occurred within 28 days, most commonly mild pain and redness at the injection site or slight fatigue. At days 14 and 28, the seroconversion rates were 87.5% and 79.2% (50 EU), 100% and 95.8% (100 EU), and 95.8% and 87.5% (150 EU), respectively, with geometric mean titers (GMTs) of 18.1 and 10.6, 54.5 and 15.4, and 37.1 and 18.5, respectively, for the schedules with 2-week and 4-week intervals. Seroconversion was associated with synchronous upregulation of antibodies against the S protein, N protein and virion and a cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response. No cytokines and immune cells related to immunopathology were observed. Transcriptome analysis revealed the genetic diversity of immune responses induced by the vaccine. INTERPRETATION: In a population aged 18-59 years in this trial, this inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine was safe and immunogenic. TRIAL REGISTRATION: CTR20200943 and NCT04412538.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Vaccines , Adolescent , Adult , Antibodies, Viral , China , Double-Blind Method , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
8.
ACS Chem Biol ; 16(3): 491-500, 2021 03 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1084488

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has caused a worldwide threat to public health. COVID-19 patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection can develop clinical symptoms that are often confused with the infections of other respiratory pathogens. Sensitive and specific detection of SARS-CoV-2 with the ability to discriminate from other viruses is urgently needed for COVID-19 diagnosis. Herein, we streamlined a highly efficient CRISPR-Cas12a-based nucleic acid detection platform, termed Cas12a-linked beam unlocking reaction (CALIBURN). We show that CALIBURN could detect SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses and influenza viruses with little cross-reactivity. Importantly, CALIBURN allowed accurate diagnosis of clinical samples with extremely low viral loads, which is a major obstacle for the clinical applications of existing CRISPR diagnostic platforms. When tested on the specimens from SARS-CoV-2-positive and negative donors, CALIBURN exhibited 73.0% positive and 19.0% presumptive positive rates and 100% specificity. Moreover, unlike existing CRISPR detection methods that were mainly restricted to respiratory specimens, CALIBURN displayed consistent performance across both respiratory and nonrespiratory specimens, suggesting its broad specimen compatibility. Finally, using a mouse model of SARS-CoV-2 infection, we demonstrated that CALIBURN allowed detection of coexisting pathogens without cross-reactivity from a single tissue specimen. Our results suggest that CALIBURN can serve as a versatile platform for the diagnosis of COVID-19 and other respiratory infectious diseases.


Subject(s)
Bacterial Proteins/genetics , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , CRISPR-Associated Proteins/genetics , CRISPR-Cas Systems , Endodeoxyribonucleases/genetics , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Adenoviridae/chemistry , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , Fluorescent Dyes/chemistry , Humans , Limit of Detection , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques , RNA Probes/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , Specimen Handling , Spectrometry, Fluorescence
9.
J Exp Med ; 218(4)2021 04 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1035695

ABSTRACT

Virus-specific T cells play essential roles in protection against multiple virus infections, including SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. While SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells have been identified in COVID-19 patients, their role in the protection of SARS-CoV-2-infected mice is not established. Here, using mice sensitized for infection with SARS-CoV-2 by transduction with an adenovirus expressing the human receptor (Ad5-hACE2), we identified SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell epitopes recognized by CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice. Virus-specific T cells were polyfunctional and were able to lyse target cells in vivo. Further, type I interferon pathway was proved to be critical for generating optimal antiviral T cell responses after SARS-CoV-2 infection. T cell vaccination alone partially protected SARS-CoV-2-infected mice from severe disease. In addition, the results demonstrated cross-reactive T cell responses between SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, but not MERS-CoV, in mice. Understanding the role of the T cell response will guide immunopathogenesis studies of COVID-19 and vaccine design and validation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/physiology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/virology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cross Reactions , Epitope Mapping , Interferon Type I/immunology , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , SARS Virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Vero Cells
10.
Cell ; 182(3): 734-743.e5, 2020 08 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-592236

ABSTRACT

COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2, is a virulent pneumonia, with >4,000,000 confirmed cases worldwide and >290,000 deaths as of May 15, 2020. It is critical that vaccines and therapeutics be developed very rapidly. Mice, the ideal animal for assessing such interventions, are resistant to SARS-CoV-2. Here, we overcome this difficulty by exogenous delivery of human ACE2 with a replication-deficient adenovirus (Ad5-hACE2). Ad5-hACE2-sensitized mice developed pneumonia characterized by weight loss, severe pulmonary pathology, and high-titer virus replication in lungs. Type I interferon, T cells, and, most importantly, signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) are critical for virus clearance and disease resolution in these mice. Ad5-hACE2-transduced mice enabled rapid assessments of a vaccine candidate, of human convalescent plasma, and of two antiviral therapies (poly I:C and remdesivir). In summary, we describe a murine model of broad and immediate utility to investigate COVID-19 pathogenesis and to evaluate new therapies and vaccines.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Disease Models, Animal , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Vaccination , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , COVID-19 , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical/methods , Female , Humans , Interferon-gamma/genetics , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta/genetics , Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , STAT1 Transcription Factor/genetics , STAT1 Transcription Factor/metabolism , Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms , Transduction, Genetic , Vero Cells , Viral Load , Virus Replication
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