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1.
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl ; : e202201684, 2022 Apr 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1813460

ABSTRACT

Natural products possessing unique scaffolds may have antiviral activity but their complex structures hinder facile synthesis. A pharmacophore-oriented semisynthesis approach was applied to (-)-maoelactone A (1) and oridonin (2) for the discovery of anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents. The Wolff rearrangement/lactonization cascade (WRLC) reaction was developed to construct the unprecedented maoelactone-type scaffold during semisynthesis of 1. Further mechanistic study suggested a concerted mechanism for Wolff rearrangement and a water-assisted stepwise process for lactonization. The WRLC reaction then enabled the creation of a novel family by assembly of the maoelactone-type scaffold and the pharmacophore of 2, whereby one derivative inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication in HPA EpiC cells with a low EC50 value (19±1 nM) and a high TI value (>1000), both values better than those of remdesivir.

2.
Eur J Med Chem ; 227: 113966, 2022 Jan 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1487705

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is unprecedented in human history. As a major structural protein, nucleocapsid protein (NPro) is critical to the replication of SARS-CoV-2. In this work, 17 NPro-targeting phenanthridine derivatives were rationally designed and synthesized, based on the crystal structure of NPro. Most of these compounds can interact with SARS-CoV-2 NPro tightly and inhibit the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. Compounds 12 and 16 exhibited the most potent anti-viral activities with 50% effective concentration values of 3.69 and 2.18 µM, respectively. Furthermore, site-directed mutagenesis of NPro and Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) assays revealed that 12 and 16 target N-terminal domain (NTD) of NPro by binding to Tyr109. This work found two potent anti-SARS-CoV-2 bioactive compounds and also indicated that SARS-CoV-2 NPro-NTD can be a target for new anti-virus agents.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Phenanthridines/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Animals , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Binding Sites , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Cell Survival/drug effects , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Drug Design , Humans , Kinetics , Molecular Docking Simulation , Phenanthridines/metabolism , Phenanthridines/pharmacology , Phenanthridines/therapeutic use , Phosphoproteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Structure, Tertiary , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Vero Cells
3.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 328, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1392810

ABSTRACT

Understanding the pathological features of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in an animal model is crucial for the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Here, we compared immunopathological changes in young and old rhesus macaques (RMs) before and after SARS-CoV-2 infection at the tissue level. Quantitative analysis of multiplex immunofluorescence staining images of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) sections showed that SARS-CoV-2 infection specifically induced elevated levels of apoptosis, autophagy, and nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB) activation of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2)+ cells, and increased interferon α (IFN-α)- and interleukin 6 (IL-6)-secreting cells and C-X-C motif chemokine receptor 3 (CXCR3)+ cells in lung tissue of old RMs. This pathological pattern, which may be related to the age-related pro-inflammatory microenvironment in both lungs and spleens, was significantly correlated with the systemic accumulation of CXCR3+ cells in lungs, spleens, and peripheral blood. Furthermore, the ratio of CXCR3+ to T-box protein expression in T cell (T-bet)+ (CXCR3+/T-bet+ ratio) in CD8+ cells may be used as a predictor of severe COVID-19. These findings uncovered the impact of aging on the immunopathology of early SARS-CoV-2 infection and demonstrated the potential application of CXCR3+ cells in predicting severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cellular Microenvironment/immunology , Lung/immunology , Receptors, CXCR3/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/pathology , COVID-19/pathology , Disease Models, Animal , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/pathology , Interferon-alpha/immunology , Interleukin-6/immunology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Macaca mulatta , Male
5.
Science ; 371(6536): 1374-1378, 2021 03 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1255508

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continually poses serious threats to global public health. The main protease (Mpro) of SARS-CoV-2 plays a central role in viral replication. We designed and synthesized 32 new bicycloproline-containing Mpro inhibitors derived from either boceprevir or telaprevir, both of which are approved antivirals. All compounds inhibited SARS-CoV-2 Mpro activity in vitro, with 50% inhibitory concentration values ranging from 7.6 to 748.5 nM. The cocrystal structure of Mpro in complex with MI-23, one of the most potent compounds, revealed its interaction mode. Two compounds (MI-09 and MI-30) showed excellent antiviral activity in cell-based assays. In a transgenic mouse model of SARS-CoV-2 infection, oral or intraperitoneal treatment with MI-09 or MI-30 significantly reduced lung viral loads and lung lesions. Both also displayed good pharmacokinetic properties and safety in rats.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Cell Survival/drug effects , Chemokine CXCL10/metabolism , Disease Models, Animal , Drug Design , Humans , Interferon-beta/metabolism , Lung/immunology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Oligopeptides , Proline/analogs & derivatives , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Protease Inhibitors/toxicity , Rats , Rats, Sprague-Dawley , Viral Load/drug effects , Virus Replication
6.
Zool Res ; 42(3): 350-353, 2021 May 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1231641

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), has become an unprecedented global health emergency. At present, SARS-CoV-2-infected nonhuman primates are considered the gold standard animal model for COVID-19 research. Here, we showed that northern pig-tailed macaques ( Macaca leonina, NPMs) supported SARS-CoV-2 replication. Furthermore, compared with rhesus macaques, NPMs showed rapid viral clearance in lung tissues, nose swabs, throat swabs, and rectal swabs, which may be due to higher expression of interferon (IFN)-α in lung tissue. However, the rapid viral clearance was not associated with good outcome. In the second week post infection, NPMs developed persistent or even more severe inflammation and body injury compared with rhesus macaques. These results suggest that viral clearance may have no relationship with COVID-19 progression and SARS-CoV-2-infected NPMs could be considered as a critically ill animal model in COVID-19 research.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Macaca nemestrina , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Disease Models, Animal , Interferon-alpha/analysis , Interleukin-1beta/analysis , Interleukin-6/analysis , Lung/immunology , Lung/virology , Nose/virology , Pharynx/virology , RNA, Viral/analysis , Rectum/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
9.
Zool Res ; 42(2): 161-169, 2021 Mar 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1070034

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continue to impact countries worldwide. At present, inadequate diagnosis and unreliable evaluation systems hinder the implementation and development of effective prevention and treatment strategies. Here, we conducted a horizontal and longitudinal study comparing the detection rates of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid in different types of samples collected from COVID-19 patients and SARS-CoV-2-infected monkeys. We also detected anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the above clinical and animal model samples to identify a reliable approach for the accurate diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Results showed that, regardless of clinical symptoms, the highest detection levels of viral nucleic acid were found in sputum and tracheal brush samples, resulting in a high and stable diagnosis rate. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin M (IgM) and G (IgG) antibodies were not detected in 6.90% of COVID-19 patients. Furthermore, integration of nucleic acid detection results from the various sample types did not improve the diagnosis rate. Moreover, dynamic changes in SARS-CoV-2 viral load were more obvious in sputum and tracheal brushes than in nasal and throat swabs. Thus, SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid detection in sputum and tracheal brushes was the least affected by infection route, disease progression, and individual differences. Therefore, SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid detection using lower respiratory tract samples alone is reliable for COVID-19 diagnosis and study.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/veterinary , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Viral , Disease Models, Animal , Haplorhini , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Pharynx/virology , Predictive Value of Tests , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Specimen Handling , Sputum/virology
10.
Zool Res ; 41(5): 503-516, 2020 Sep 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-709116

ABSTRACT

As of June 2020, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has killed an estimated 440 000 people worldwide, 74% of whom were aged ≥65 years, making age the most significant risk factor for death caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. To examine the effect of age on death, we established a SARS-CoV-2 infection model in Chinese rhesus macaques ( Macaca mulatta) of varied ages. Results indicated that infected young macaques manifested impaired respiratory function, active viral replication, severe lung damage, and infiltration of CD11b + and CD8 + cells in lungs at one-week post infection (wpi), but also recovered rapidly at 2 wpi. In contrast, aged macaques demonstrated delayed immune responses with a more severe cytokine storm, increased infiltration of CD11b + cells, and persistent infiltration of CD8 + cells in the lungs at 2 wpi. In addition, peripheral blood T cells from aged macaques showed greater inflammation and chemotaxis, but weaker antiviral functions than that in cells from young macaques. Thus, the delayed but more severe cytokine storm and higher immune cell infiltration may explain the poorer prognosis of older aged patients suffering SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Aging/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Cytokines/immunology , Macaca mulatta/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Age Factors , Aging/metabolism , Animals , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cytokines/metabolism , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/veterinary , Inflammation/virology , Lung/immunology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Macaca mulatta/virology , Monkey Diseases/immunology , Monkey Diseases/virology , Pandemics/veterinary , Pneumonia, Viral/veterinary , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/immunology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/veterinary , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , T-Lymphocytes/pathology , Viral Load/immunology , Viral Load/veterinary , Virus Replication/immunology
11.
Zool Res ; 41(5): 517-526, 2020 Sep 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-671953

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to pose a global threat to the human population. Identifying animal species susceptible to infection with the SARS-CoV-2/ HCoV-19 pathogen is essential for controlling the outbreak and for testing valid prophylactics or therapeutics based on animal model studies. Here, different aged Chinese tree shrews (adult group, 1 year old; old group, 5-6 years old), which are close relatives to primates, were infected with SARS-CoV-2. X-ray, viral shedding, laboratory, and histological analyses were performed on different days post-inoculation (dpi). Results showed that Chinese tree shrews could be infected by SARS-CoV-2. Lung infiltrates were visible in X-ray radiographs in most infected animals. Viral RNA was consistently detected in lung tissues from infected animals at 3, 5, and 7 dpi, along with alterations in related parameters from routine blood tests and serum biochemistry, including increased levels of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and blood urea nitrogen (BUN). Histological analysis of lung tissues from animals at 3 dpi (adult group) and 7 dpi (old group) showed thickened alveolar septa and interstitial hemorrhage. Several differences were found between the two different aged groups in regard to viral shedding peak. Our results indicate that Chinese tree shrews have the potential to be used as animal models for SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/growth & development , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Disease Models, Animal , Lung/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Tupaiidae/physiology , Age Factors , Animals , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Humans , Lung/virology , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Tupaiidae/virology , Virus Shedding/physiology
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