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CNS Neurosci Ther ; 27(10): 1127-1135, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1270830


AIMS: To determine if neurologic symptoms at admission can predict adverse outcomes in patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). METHODS: Electronic medical records of 1053 consecutively hospitalized patients with laboratory-confirmed infection of SARS-CoV-2 from one large medical center in the USA were retrospectively analyzed. Univariable and multivariable Cox regression analyses were performed with the calculation of areas under the curve (AUC) and concordance index (C-index). Patients were stratified into subgroups based on the presence of encephalopathy and its severity using survival statistics. In sensitivity analyses, patients with mild/moderate and severe encephalopathy (defined as coma) were separately considered. RESULTS: Of 1053 patients (mean age 52.4 years, 48.0% men [n = 505]), 35.1% (n = 370) had neurologic manifestations at admission, including 10.3% (n = 108) with encephalopathy. Encephalopathy was an independent predictor for death (hazard ratio [HR] 2.617, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.481-4.625) in multivariable Cox regression. The addition of encephalopathy to multivariable models comprising other predictors for adverse outcomes increased AUCs (mortality: 0.84-0.86, ventilation/ intensive care unit [ICU]: 0.76-0.78) and C-index (mortality: 0.78 to 0.81, ventilation/ICU: 0.85-0.86). In sensitivity analyses, risk stratification survival curves for mortality and ventilation/ICU based on severe encephalopathy (n = 15) versus mild/moderate encephalopathy (n = 93) versus no encephalopathy (n = 945) at admission were discriminative (p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Encephalopathy at admission predicts later progression to death in SARS-CoV-2 infection, which may have important implications for risk stratification in clinical practice.

Brain Diseases/diagnosis , Brain Diseases/mortality , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/mortality , Patient Admission/trends , Adult , Aged , Brain Diseases/therapy , COVID-19/therapy , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Predictive Value of Tests , Retrospective Studies
Biophys J ; 120(6): 1020-1030, 2021 03 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-987186


The superfamily 1 helicase nonstructural protein 13 (nsp13) is required for SARS-CoV-2 replication. The mechanism and regulation of nsp13 has not been explored at the single-molecule level. Specifically, force-dependent unwinding experiments have yet to be performed for any coronavirus helicase. Here, using optical tweezers, we find that nsp13 unwinding frequency, processivity, and velocity increase substantially when a destabilizing force is applied to the RNA substrate. These results, along with bulk assays, depict nsp13 as an intrinsically weak helicase that can be activated >50-fold by piconewton forces. Such force-dependent behavior contrasts the known behavior of other viral monomeric helicases, such as hepatitis C virus NS3, and instead draws stronger parallels to ring-shaped helicases. Our findings suggest that mechanoregulation, which may be provided by a directly bound RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, enables on-demand helicase activity on the relevant polynucleotide substrate during viral replication.

DNA, Viral/metabolism , Methyltransferases/metabolism , RNA Helicases/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Adenosine Triphosphate/pharmacology , Biomechanical Phenomena , Single Molecule Imaging