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1.
The international journal of high performance computing applications ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1999016

ABSTRACT

As a theoretically rigorous and accurate method, FEP-ABFE (Free Energy Perturbation-Absolute Binding Free Energy) calculations showed great potential in drug discovery, but its practical application was difficult due to high computational cost. To rapidly discover antiviral drugs targeting SARS-CoV-2 Mpro and TMPRSS2, we performed FEP-ABFE–based virtual screening for ∼12,000 protein-ligand binding systems on a new generation of Tianhe supercomputer. A task management tool was specifically developed for automating the whole process involving more than 500,000 MD tasks. In further experimental validation, 50 out of 98 tested compounds showed significant inhibitory activity towards Mpro, and one representative inhibitor, dipyridamole, showed remarkable outcomes in subsequent clinical trials. This work not only demonstrates the potential of FEP-ABFE in drug discovery but also provides an excellent starting point for further development of anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs. Besides, ∼500 TB of data generated in this work will also accelerate the further development of FEP-related methods.

2.
J Inorg Biochem ; 231: 111777, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1873158

ABSTRACT

The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic is currently the major challenge to global public health. Two proteases, papain-like protease (PLpro) and the 3-chymotrypsin-like protease (3CLpro or Mpro), are indispensable for SARS-CoV-2 replication, making them attractive targets for antiviral therapy development. Here we screened a panel of essential metal ions using a proteolytic assay and identified that zinc gluconate, a widely-used zinc supplement, strongly inhibited the proteolytic activities of the two proteases in vitro. Biochemical and crystallographic data reveal that zinc gluconate exhibited the inhibitory function via binding to the protease catalytic site residues. We further show that treatment of zinc gluconate in combination with a small molecule ionophore hinokitiol, could lead to elevated intracellular Zn2+ level and thereby significantly impaired the two protease activities in cellulo. Particularly, this approach could also be applied to rescue SARS-CoV-2 infected mammalian cells, indicative of potential application to combat coronavirus infections. Our studies provide the direct experimental evidence that elevated intracellular zinc concentration directly inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication and suggest the potential benefits to use the zinc supplements for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) treatment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Gluconates , Mammals/metabolism , Monoterpenes , Peptide Hydrolases/metabolism , Tropolone/analogs & derivatives , Zinc/pharmacology
3.
Transp Policy (Oxf) ; 118: 91-100, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1665502

ABSTRACT

Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, various lockdown strategies restrained global economic growth bringing a significant decline in maritime transportation. However, the previous studies have not adequately recognized the specific impacts of COVID-19 on maritime transportation. In this study, a series of analyses of the Baltic Dry Index (BDI), the China Coastal Bulk Freight Index (CCBFI) and of container throughputs with and without the impact of COVID-19 were carried out to assess changing trends in dry bulk and container transportation. The results show that global dry bulk transportation was largely affected by lockdown policies in the second month during COVID-19, and BDI presented a year-on-year decrease of approximately 35.5% from 2019 to 2020. The CCBFI showed an upward trend in the second month during COVID-19, one month ahead of the BDI. The container throughputs at Shanghai Port, the Ports of Hong Kong, the Ports of Singapore and the Ports of Los Angeles from 2019 to 2020 presented the largest year-on-year drops of approximately 19.6%, 7.1%, 10.6% and 30.9%, respectively. In addition, the authors developed exponential smoothing models of BDI, CCBFI, and container transportation, and calculated the percentage prediction error between the observed and predicted values to examine the impact of exogenous effects on the shipping industry due to the outbreak of COVID-19. The results are consistent with the conclusions obtained from the comparison of BDI, CCBFI, and container transportation during the same period in 2020 and 2019. Finally, on the basis of the findings, smart shipping and special support policies are proposed to reduce the negative impacts of COVID-19.

5.
Brief Bioinform ; 23(1)2022 01 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1545908

ABSTRACT

MOTIVATION: Understanding chemical-gene interactions (CGIs) is crucial for screening drugs. Wet experiments are usually costly and laborious, which limits relevant studies to a small scale. On the contrary, computational studies enable efficient in-silico exploration. For the CGI prediction problem, a common method is to perform systematic analyses on a heterogeneous network involving various biomedical entities. Recently, graph neural networks become popular in the field of relation prediction. However, the inherent heterogeneous complexity of biological interaction networks and the massive amount of data pose enormous challenges. This paper aims to develop a data-driven model that is capable of learning latent information from the interaction network and making correct predictions. RESULTS: We developed BioNet, a deep biological networkmodel with a graph encoder-decoder architecture. The graph encoder utilizes graph convolution to learn latent information embedded in complex interactions among chemicals, genes, diseases and biological pathways. The learning process is featured by two consecutive steps. Then, embedded information learnt by the encoder is then employed to make multi-type interaction predictions between chemicals and genes with a tensor decomposition decoder based on the RESCAL algorithm. BioNet includes 79 325 entities as nodes, and 34 005 501 relations as edges. To train such a massive deep graph model, BioNet introduces a parallel training algorithm utilizing multiple Graphics Processing Unit (GPUs). The evaluation experiments indicated that BioNet exhibits outstanding prediction performance with a best area under Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve of 0.952, which significantly surpasses state-of-theart methods. For further validation, top predicted CGIs of cancer and COVID-19 by BioNet were verified by external curated data and published literature.


Subject(s)
Computational Biology , Computer Simulation , Models, Biological , Neural Networks, Computer
6.
Chem Sci ; 12(42): 14098-14102, 2021 Nov 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1472230

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 3-chymotrypsin-like protease (3CLpro or Mpro) is a key cysteine protease for viral replication and transcription, making it an attractive target for antiviral therapies to combat the COVID-19 disease. Here, we demonstrate that bismuth drug colloidal bismuth subcitrate (CBS) is a potent inhibitor for 3CLpro in vitro and in cellulo. Rather than targeting the cysteine residue at the catalytic site, CBS binds to an allosteric site and results in dissociation of the 3CLpro dimer and proteolytic dysfunction. Our work provides direct evidence that CBS is an allosteric inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro.

7.
Build Environ ; 205: 108231, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1454046

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic provides an opportunity to study the effects of urban lockdown policies on the variation in pollutant concentrations and to characterize the recovery patterns of urban air pollution under the interruption of COVID-19 lockdown policies. In this paper, interruption-recovery models and regression discontinuity design were developed to characterize air pollution interruption-recovery patterns and analyze environmental impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown, using air pollution data from four Chinese metropolises (i.e., Shanghai, Wuhan, Tianjin, and Guangzhou). The results revealed the air pollutant interruption-recovery curve represented by the three lockdown response periods (Level I, Level II and Level III) during COVID-19. The curve decreased during Level I (A 25.3%-48.8% drop in the concentration of NO2 has been observed in the four metropolises compared with the same period in 2018-2019.), then recovered around reopening, but decreased again during Level III. Moreover, the interruption-recovery curve of the year-on-year air pollution difference suggests a process of first decreasing during Level I and gradually recovering to a new equilibrium during Level III (e.g., the unit cumulative difference of NO2 mass concentrations in Shanghai was 21.7, 22.5, 11.3 (µg/m3) during Level I, II, and III and other metropolises shared similar results). Our findings reveal general trends in the air quality externality of different lockdown policies, hence could provide valuable insights into air pollutant interruption-recovery patterns and clear scientific guides for policymakers to estimate the effect of different lockdown policies on urban air quality.

8.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 5917, 2020 11 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-939438

ABSTRACT

Stringent COVID-19 control measures were imposed in Wuhan between January 23 and April 8, 2020. Estimates of the prevalence of infection following the release of restrictions could inform post-lockdown pandemic management. Here, we describe a city-wide SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid screening programme between May 14 and June 1, 2020 in Wuhan. All city residents aged six years or older were eligible and 9,899,828 (92.9%) participated. No new symptomatic cases and 300 asymptomatic cases (detection rate 0.303/10,000, 95% CI 0.270-0.339/10,000) were identified. There were no positive tests amongst 1,174 close contacts of asymptomatic cases. 107 of 34,424 previously recovered COVID-19 patients tested positive again (re-positive rate 0.31%, 95% CI 0.423-0.574%). The prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Wuhan was therefore very low five to eight weeks after the end of lockdown.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Mass Screening , Nucleic Acids/analysis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Child , China/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Employment , Female , Geography , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Prevalence , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
9.
Epilepsia ; 61(9): 1884-1893, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-697173

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Stress is a known trigger for seizures in patients with epilepsy (PWE). However, the association between stress and seizures has not been thoroughly investigated. In December 2019, an outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) occurred in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, causing tremendous collateral stress. This study was designed to evaluate the influence of the COVID-19 outbreak on seizures in PWE in the most severely affected area, Wuhan, and its surrounding cities. METHODS: In this single-center, cross-sectional study, PWE were surveyed via online questionnaires between February 23 and March 5, 2020. Collected data included demographic information, epilepsy-related characteristics (seizure type, frequency, antiepileptic drugs [AEDs], and medication management), direct and perceived threat of COVID-19, and changes in seizures during the outbreak. Psychological comorbidities were evaluated by the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 items, and Insomnia Severity Index (ISI). Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify precipitants for seizure exacerbation. RESULTS: We received 362 completed questionnaires after excluding 12 duplicates (response rate = 63.51%). A total of 31 (8.56%) patients had increased seizures during the outbreak. Exposure history to COVID-19 (P = .001), uncontrolled seizure after AED therapy (P = .020), seizure frequency of two or more times per month before the outbreak (P = .005), change of AED regimen during the outbreak (AED reduction, withdrawal, replacement, skipping altogether; P = .002), and worry about the adverse effect of the outbreak on overall seizure-related issues (severity = moderate to critical; P = .038) were risk factors for increased seizures. SIGNIFICANCE: A minority of PWE experienced seizure exacerbation during the outbreak of COVID-19. Stress, uncontrolled seizures, and inappropriate change in AED regimen were associated with increased seizures. Based on these findings, stress might be an independent precipitant for triggering seizures in some PWE.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Epilepsy/psychology , Seizures/psychology , Stress, Psychological/psychology , Symptom Flare Up , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
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