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1.
MAbs ; 14(1): 2072455, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1839974

ABSTRACT

Many potent neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 antibodies have been developed and used for therapies. However, the effectiveness of many antibodies has been reduced against recently emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, especially the Omicron variant. We identified a highly potent SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody, UT28K, in COVID-19 convalescent individuals who recovered from a severe condition. UT28K showed efficacy in neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 in an in vitro assay and in vivo prophylactic treatment, and the reactivity to the Omicron strain was reduced. The structural analyses revealed that antibody UT28K Fab and SARS-CoV-2 RBD protein interactions were mainly chain-dominated antigen-antibody interactions. In addition, a mutation analysis suggested that the emergence of a UT28K neutralization-resistant SARS-CoV-2 variant was unlikely, as this variant would likely lose its competitive advantage over circulating SARS-CoV-2. Our data suggest that UT28K offers potent protection against SARS-CoV-2, including newly emerging variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans
2.
Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) ; 70(3): 199-201, 2022 Mar 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1714684

ABSTRACT

MS is a powerful methodology for chemical screening to directly quantify substrates and products of enzymes, but its low throughput has been an issue. Recently, an acoustic liquid-handling apparatus (Echo®) used for rapid nano-dispensing has been coupled to a high-sensitivity mass spectrometer to create the Echo® MS system, and we applied this system to screening of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) 3CL protease inhibitors. Primary screening of 32033 chemical samples was completed in 12 h. Among the hits showing selective, dose-dependent 3CL-inhibitory activity, 8 compounds showed antiviral activity in cell-based assay.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Protease Inhibitors , Acoustics , COVID-19/drug therapy , High-Throughput Screening Assays/methods , Humans , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2
3.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-318387

ABSTRACT

Potently neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 antibodies often target the receptor binding site (RBS) of spike protein but the variability of RBS epitopes hampers broad neutralization of different clades of coronaviruses and emerging drifted viruses. Here, we identified a human RBS antibody that potently neutralizes SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 variants that belong to clade 1 SARS-related coronavirus. X-ray crystallography revealed coordinated recognition by the heavy chain to conserved sites and the light chain to RBS, allowing for the mimicry of ACE2 binding mode. The minimum footprints in the hypervariable region of RBS contributed to the breadth of neutralization, and the activity was further enhanced by IgG3 switching. Eventually, the coordinated binding resulted in broad neutralization of SARS-CoV and emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Furthermore, therapeutic treatment in a hamster model provided protection at low dosage. The structural basis for broadly neutralizing activity informs the design of broad spectrum of therapeutics and vaccines.Funding: This work was supported by Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development grant JP19fk0108111 (TH, YT), JP20fk0108298 (TK, TH, KM, YT), JP20am0101093 (KM), JP20ae0101047 (KM), JP20fk0108251 (HS), and JP20am0101124 (YK), by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology grant JPMXS0420100119 (KM) and 20H05773 (TH), by The Naito Foundation (TH), and by Joint Usage/Research Center program of Institute for Frontier Life and Medical Sciences, Kyoto University (KM).Conflict of Interest: AS is an employee of Shionogi & Co., Ltd. MO is a CEO, employee, and shareholder of Trans Chromosomics, Inc. These authors acknowledge a potential conflict of interest and attest that the work contained in this report is free of any bias that might be associated with the commercial goals of the company. TO, YA, MO, TH, KM, and YT declare that an intellectual property application has been filed using the data presented in this paper. The other authors declare that they have no competing interests.Ethical Approval: Animal procedures were approved by the Animal Ethics Committee of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan, and performed in accordance with the guidelines of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. In vitro escape mutation screening experiments for SARSCoV-2 were performed at the Biosafety Level-3 facility of the Research Center for ZoonosisControl, Hokkaido University, and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases following the institutional guidelines.

4.
iScience ; 24(10): 103120, 2021 Oct 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401549

ABSTRACT

Newly emerging or re-emerging viral infections continue to cause significant morbidity and mortality every year worldwide, resulting in serious effects on both health and the global economy. Despite significant drug discovery research against dengue viruses (DENVs) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), no fully effective and specific drugs directed against these viruses have been discovered. Here, we examined the anti-DENV activity of tubercidin derivatives from a compound library from Hokkaido University and demonstrated that 5-hydroxymethyltubercidin (HMTU, HUP1108) possessed both potent anti-flavivirus and anti-coronavirus activities at submicromolar levels without significant cytotoxicity. Furthermore, HMTU inhibited viral RNA replication and specifically inhibited replication at the late stages of the SARS-CoV-2 infection process. Finally, we demonstrated that HMTU 5'-triphosphate inhibited RNA extension catalyzed by the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. Our findings suggest that HMTU has the potential of serving as a lead compound for the development of a broad spectrum of antiviral agents, including SARS-CoV-2.

5.
Immunity ; 54(10): 2385-2398.e10, 2021 10 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1370548

ABSTRACT

Potent neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 antibodies often target the spike protein receptor-binding site (RBS), but the variability of RBS epitopes hampers broad neutralization of multiple sarbecoviruses and drifted viruses. Here, using humanized mice, we identified an RBS antibody with a germline VH gene that potently neutralized SARS-related coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 variants. X-ray crystallography revealed coordinated recognition by the heavy chain of non-RBS conserved sites and the light chain of RBS with a binding angle mimicking the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. The minimum footprints in the hypervariable region of RBS contributed to the breadth of neutralization, which was enhanced by immunoglobulin G3 (IgG3) class switching. The coordinated binding resulted in broad neutralization of SARS-CoV and emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Low-dose therapeutic antibody treatment in hamsters reduced the virus titers and morbidity during SARS-CoV-2 challenge. The structural basis for broad neutralizing activity may inform the design of a broad spectrum of therapeutics and vaccines.


Subject(s)
Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/immunology , Cross Reactions/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Binding Sites, Antibody , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/chemistry , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/therapeutic use , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Cricetinae , Humans , Immunoglobulin Class Switching , Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments/chemistry , Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments/metabolism , Immunoglobulin G/chemistry , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Mice , Protein Domains , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
7.
iScience ; 24(4): 102367, 2021 Apr 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1157438

ABSTRACT

Antiviral treatments targeting the coronavirus disease 2019 are urgently required. We screened a panel of already approved drugs in a cell culture model of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and identified two new agents having higher antiviral potentials than the drug candidates such as remdesivir and chroloquine in VeroE6/TMPRSS2 cells: the anti-inflammatory drug cepharanthine and human immunodeficiency virus protease inhibitor nelfinavir. Cepharanthine inhibited SARS-CoV-2 entry through the blocking of viral binding to target cells, while nelfinavir suppressed viral replication partly by protease inhibition. Consistent with their different modes of action, synergistic effect of this combined treatment to limit SARS-CoV-2 proliferation was highlighted. Mathematical modeling in vitro antiviral activity coupled with the calculated total drug concentrations in the lung predicts that nelfinavir will shorten the period until viral clearance by 4.9 days and the combining cepharanthine/nelfinavir enhanced their predicted efficacy. These results warrant further evaluation of the potential anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity of cepharanthine and nelfinavir.

8.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 5376, 2021 03 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1123150

ABSTRACT

Although the spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has resulted in a worldwide pandemic, there are currently no virus-specific drugs that are fully effective against SARS-CoV-2. Only a limited number of human-derived cells are capable of supporting SARS-CoV-2 replication and the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 in these cells remains poor. In contrast, monkey-derived Vero cells are highly susceptibility to infection with SARS-CoV-2, although they are not suitable for the study of antiviral effects by small molecules due to their limited capacity to metabolize drugs compared to human-derived cells. In this study, our goal was to generate a virus-susceptible human cell line that would be useful for the identification and testing of candidate drugs. Towards this end, we stably transfected human lung-derived MRC5 cells with a lentiviral vector encoding angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the cellular receptor for SARS-CoV-2. Our results revealed that SARS-CoV-2 replicates efficiently in MRC5/ACE2 cells. Furthermore, viral RNA replication and progeny virus production were significantly reduced in response to administration of the replication inhibitor, remdesivir, in MRC5/ACE2 cells compared with Vero cells. We conclude that the MRC5/ACE2 cells will be important in developing specific anti-viral therapeutics and will assist in vaccine development to combat SARS-CoV-2 infections.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Cell Engineering , Drug Discovery , Models, Biological , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cell Line , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Viral Proteins/biosynthesis , Virus Replication/drug effects
9.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(1): e1009233, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1040062

ABSTRACT

The spike (S) protein of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) binds to a host cell receptor which facilitates viral entry. A polybasic motif detected at the cleavage site of the S protein has been shown to broaden the cell tropism and transmissibility of the virus. Here we examine the properties of SARS-CoV-2 variants with mutations at the S protein cleavage site that undergo inefficient proteolytic cleavage. Virus variants with S gene mutations generated smaller plaques and exhibited a more limited range of cell tropism compared to the wild-type strain. These alterations were shown to result from their inability to utilize the entry pathway involving direct fusion mediated by the host type II transmembrane serine protease, TMPRSS2. Notably, viruses with S gene mutations emerged rapidly and became the dominant SARS-CoV-2 variants in TMPRSS2-deficient cells including Vero cells. Our study demonstrated that the S protein polybasic cleavage motif is a critical factor underlying SARS-CoV-2 entry and cell tropism. As such, researchers should be alert to the possibility of de novo S gene mutations emerging in tissue-culture propagated virus strains.


Subject(s)
SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Serine Endopeptidases/deficiency , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Caco-2 Cells , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sequence Alignment , Serial Passage , Vero Cells , Viral Tropism
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