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1.
Elife ; 112022 01 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1634530

ABSTRACT

Despite an unprecedented global research effort on SARS-CoV-2, early replication events remain poorly understood. Given the clinical importance of emergent viral variants with increased transmission, there is an urgent need to understand the early stages of viral replication and transcription. We used single-molecule fluorescence in situ hybridisation (smFISH) to quantify positive sense RNA genomes with 95% detection efficiency, while simultaneously visualising negative sense genomes, subgenomic RNAs, and viral proteins. Our absolute quantification of viral RNAs and replication factories revealed that SARS-CoV-2 genomic RNA is long-lived after entry, suggesting that it avoids degradation by cellular nucleases. Moreover, we observed that SARS-CoV-2 replication is highly variable between cells, with only a small cell population displaying high burden of viral RNA. Unexpectedly, the B.1.1.7 variant, first identified in the UK, exhibits significantly slower replication kinetics than the Victoria strain, suggesting a novel mechanism contributing to its higher transmissibility with important clinical implications.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops/genetics , RNA/metabolism , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication/physiology
2.
J Biol Rhythms ; 37(1): 124-129, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551148

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a global crisis with unprecedented challenges for public health. Vaccinations against SARS-CoV-2 have slowed the incidence of new infections and reduced disease severity. As the time of day of vaccination has been reported to influence host immune responses to multiple pathogens, we quantified the influence of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination time, vaccine type, participant age, sex, and days post-vaccination on anti-Spike antibody responses in health care workers. The magnitude of the anti-Spike antibody response is associated with the time of day of vaccination, vaccine type, participant age, sex, and days post-vaccination. These results may be relevant for optimising SARS-CoV-2 vaccine efficacy.


Subject(s)
Antibody Formation , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Circadian Rhythm , Health Personnel , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
3.
iScience ; 24(10): 103144, 2021 Oct 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1428079

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) coronavirus, is a global health issue with unprecedented challenges for public health. SARS-CoV-2 primarily infects cells of the respiratory tract via spike glycoprotein binding to angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE2). Circadian rhythms coordinate an organism's response to its environment and can regulate host susceptibility to virus infection. We demonstrate that silencing the circadian regulator Bmal1 or treating lung epithelial cells with the REV-ERB agonist SR9009 reduces ACE2 expression and inhibits SARS-CoV-2 entry and replication. Importantly, treating infected cells with SR9009 limits SARS-CoV-2 replication and secretion of infectious particles, showing that post-entry steps in the viral life cycle are influenced by the circadian system. Transcriptome analysis revealed that Bmal1 silencing induced interferon-stimulated gene transcripts in Calu-3 lung epithelial cells, providing a mechanism for the circadian pathway to limit SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our study highlights alternative approaches to understand and improve therapeutic targeting of SARS-CoV-2.

4.
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl ; 60(33): 18144-18151, 2021 08 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1206743

ABSTRACT

The untranslated regions (UTRs) of viral genomes contain a variety of conserved yet dynamic structures crucial for viral replication, providing drug targets for the development of broad spectrum anti-virals. We combine in vitro RNA analysis with molecular dynamics simulations to build the first 3D models of the structure and dynamics of key regions of the 5' UTR of the SARS-CoV-2 genome. Furthermore, we determine the binding of metallo-supramolecular helicates (cylinders) to this RNA structure. These nano-size agents are uniquely able to thread through RNA junctions and we identify their binding to a 3-base bulge and the central cross 4-way junction located in stem loop 5. Finally, we show these RNA-binding cylinders suppress SARS-CoV-2 replication, highlighting their potential as novel anti-viral agents.


Subject(s)
5' Untranslated Regions , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Macromolecular Substances/pharmacology , RNA/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coordination Complexes/chemistry , Coordination Complexes/metabolism , Coordination Complexes/pharmacology , Genome, Viral/drug effects , Macromolecular Substances/chemistry , Macromolecular Substances/metabolism , Metals, Heavy/chemistry , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , RNA/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Vero Cells
5.
Cell Rep ; 35(3): 109020, 2021 04 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1182447

ABSTRACT

COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, is a global health issue with more than 2 million fatalities to date. Viral replication is shaped by the cellular microenvironment, and one important factor to consider is oxygen tension, in which hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) regulates transcriptional responses to hypoxia. SARS-CoV-2 primarily infects cells of the respiratory tract, entering via its spike glycoprotein binding to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). We demonstrate that hypoxia and the HIF prolyl hydroxylase inhibitor Roxadustat reduce ACE2 expression and inhibit SARS-CoV-2 entry and replication in lung epithelial cells via an HIF-1α-dependent pathway. Hypoxia and Roxadustat inhibit SARS-CoV-2 RNA replication, showing that post-entry steps in the viral life cycle are oxygen sensitive. This study highlights the importance of HIF signaling in regulating multiple aspects of SARS-CoV-2 infection and raises the potential use of HIF prolyl hydroxylase inhibitors in the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Glycine/analogs & derivatives , Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit/metabolism , Isoquinolines/pharmacology , Lung/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , A549 Cells , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/pathology , Caco-2 Cells , Cell Hypoxia/drug effects , Chlorocebus aethiops , Epithelial Cells/virology , Glycine/pharmacology , Humans , Lung/virology , Mice , Vero Cells
6.
Viruses ; 12(11)2020 10 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-896046

ABSTRACT

The ability to detect and respond to varying oxygen tension is an essential prerequisite to life. Several mechanisms regulate the cellular response to oxygen including the prolyl hydroxylase domain (PHD)/factor inhibiting HIF (FIH)-hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) pathway, cysteamine (2-aminoethanethiol) dioxygenase (ADO) system, and the lysine-specific demethylases (KDM) 5A and KDM6A. Using a systems-based approach we discuss the literature on oxygen sensing pathways in the context of virus replication in different tissues that experience variable oxygen tension. Current information supports a model where the PHD-HIF pathway enhances the replication of viruses infecting tissues under low oxygen, however, the reverse is true for viruses with a selective tropism for higher oxygen environments. Differences in oxygen tension and associated HIF signaling may play an important role in viral tropism and pathogenesis. Thus, pharmaceutical agents that modulate HIF activity could provide novel treatment options for viral infections and associated pathological conditions.


Subject(s)
Oxygen/metabolism , Signal Transduction , Viral Tropism , Virus Replication , Viruses/pathogenicity , Animals , Humans , Hypoxia , Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1/metabolism , Mice , Repressor Proteins/metabolism , Viruses/classification , Viruses/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.
J Biol Rhythms ; 36(1): 23-34, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1044068

ABSTRACT

Circadian rhythms are evolutionarily conserved anticipatory systems that allow the host to prepare and respond to threats in its environment. This article summarizes a European Biological Rhythms Society (EBRS) workshop held in July 2020 to review current knowledge of the interplay between the circadian clock and viral infections to inform therapeutic strategies against SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. A large body of work supports the role of the circadian clock in regulating various aspects of viral replication, host responses, and associated pathogenesis. We review the evidence describing the multifaceted role of the circadian clock, spanning host susceptibility, antiviral mechanisms, and host resilience. Finally, we define the most pressing research questions and how our knowledge of chronobiology can inform key translational research priorities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Circadian Clocks/physiology , Circadian Rhythm/physiology , Immune System/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Immune System/metabolism , Immune System/virology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Replication/genetics , Virus Replication/immunology
9.
J Biol Rhythms ; 36(1): 9-22, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-916335

ABSTRACT

The circadian clock controls several aspects of mammalian physiology and orchestrates the daily oscillations of biological processes and behavior. Our circadian rhythms are driven by an endogenous central clock in the brain that synchronizes with clocks in peripheral tissues, thereby regulating our immune system and the severity of infections. These rhythms affect the pharmacokinetics and efficacy of therapeutic agents and vaccines. The core circadian regulatory circuits and clock-regulated host pathways provide fertile ground to identify novel antiviral therapies. An increased understanding of the role circadian systems play in regulating virus infection and the host response to the virus will inform our clinical management of these diseases. This review provides an overview of the experimental and clinical evidence reporting on the interplay between the circadian clock and viral infections, highlighting the importance of virus-clock research.


Subject(s)
CLOCK Proteins/genetics , Circadian Clocks/physiology , Circadian Rhythm/physiology , Virus Diseases/genetics , Viruses/genetics , Animals , CLOCK Proteins/metabolism , Gene Expression , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , Virus Diseases/metabolism , Virus Diseases/virology , Virus Replication/genetics , Viruses/pathogenicity
10.
Oxf Open Immunol ; 1(1): iqaa001, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-851863

ABSTRACT

Infection with severe acute respiratory syndrom coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is more likely to lead to poor outcomes in the elderly and those with cardiovascular disease, obesity or metabolic syndrome. Here, we consider mechanisms by which dyslipidaemia and the use of cholesterol-modifying drugs could influence the virus-host relationship. Cholesterol is essential for the assembly, replication and infectivity of enveloped virus particles; we highlight several cholesterol-modifying drugs with the potential to alter the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle that could be tested in in vitro and in vivo models. Although cholesterol is an essential component of immune cell membranes, excess levels can dysregulate protective immunity and promote exaggerated pulmonary and systemic inflammatory responses. Statins block the production of multiple sterols, oxysterols and isoprenoids, resulting in a pleiotropic range of context-dependent effects on virus infectivity, immunity and inflammation. We highlight antiviral, immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects of cholesterol-modifying drugs that merit further consideration in the management of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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