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1.
J Infect ; 85(1): 86-89, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1814751

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Variations in the ACE2 activity in saliva could explain the striking differences of susceptibility to infection and risk of severe disease. METHODS: We analyze the activity of ACE2 in saliva in different population groups across a wide age range and disease status during April to June 2020, before SARS-CoV-2 vaccine implementation, and we establish differences between infected people and participants considered resistant (highly exposed healthcare workers and children who cohabited with parents with COVID-19 without isolation and remain IgG negative). RESULTS: We included 74 adults, of which 47 (64%) were susceptible and 27 (36%) were resistant, and 79 children, of which 41 (52%) were susceptible and 38 (48%) were resistant. Resistant adults have significantly lower ACE2 activity in saliva than susceptible adults and non-significant higher values than susceptible and resistant children. ACE2 activity is similar in the susceptible and resistant pediatric population (p = 0.527). In contrast, we observe an increase in activity as the disease's severity increases among the adult population (mild disease vs. severe disease, 39 vs. 105 FU, p = 0.039; severe disease vs. resistant, 105 vs. 31 FU, p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: using an enzymatic test, we show that ACE2 activity in saliva correlates with the susceptibility to SARS-Cov-2 infection and disease severity. Children and adults with low-susceptibility to SARS-Cov-2 infection showed the lowest ACE2 activity. These findings could inform future strategies to identify at-risk individuals.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/enzymology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Child , Humans , Saliva/enzymology
2.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-306122

ABSTRACT

Effective control of COVID-19 requires antivirals directed against SARS-CoV-2 virus. Here we assess ten available HCV protease inhibitor drugs as potential SARS-CoV-2 antivirals. There is a striking structural similarity of the substrate binding clefts of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro and HCV NS3/4A proteases, and virtual docking experiments show that all ten HCV drugs can potentially bind into the Mpro binding cleft. Seven of these HCV drugs inhibit SARS-CoV-2 Mpro protease activity, while four dock well into the PLpro substrate binding cleft and inhibit PLpro protease activity. These same seven HCV drugs inhibit SARS-CoV-2 virus replication in Vero and/or human cells, demonstrating that HCV drugs that inhibit Mpro, or both Mpro and PLpro, suppress virus replication. Two HCV drugs, simeprevir and grazoprevir synergize with the viral polymerase inhibitor remdesivir to inhibit virus replication, thereby increasing remdesivir inhibitory activity as much as 10-fold.Funding: This research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (R01-GM120574 to GTM) and RPI Center for Computational Innovations (to KB and GTM). This research was also partly funded by CRIP (Center for Research for Influenza Pathogenesis), a NIAID supported Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS, contract #,HHSN272201400008C), by DARPA grant HR0011-19-2-0020, by supplements to NIAID grant U19AI142733 U19AI135972 and DoD grant W81XWH-20-1-0270, and by the generous support of the JPB Foundation, the Open Philanthropy Project (research grant 2020-215611 (5384)), and anonymous donors to AG-S.Conflict of Interest: A provisional patent application related to these, studies has been filed. GTM is a founder of Nexomics Biosciences, Inc. This, relationship has no conflict of interest with respect to this study. GTM and RMK are inventors in patents owned jointly by Rutgers University and the University of Texas at Austin concerning the use of specific compounds as antivirals against influenza virus. These patents have no conflict of interest for this study. AG-S is inventor in patents and patent application owned by the Icahn School of Medicine concerning the use of specific antiviral compounds. This inventorship has no conflict of interest with respect to this study.

3.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327539

ABSTRACT

A well-tolerated and cost-effective oral drug that blocks SARS-CoV-2 growth and dissemination would be a major advance in the global effort to reduce COVID-19 morbidity and mortality. Here, we show that the oral FDA-approved drug nitazoxanide (NTZ) significantly inhibits SARS-CoV-2 viral replication and infection in different primate and human cell models including stem cell-derived human alveolar epithelial type 2 cells. Furthermore, NTZ synergizes with remdesivir, and it broadly inhibits growth of SARS-CoV-2 variants B.1.351 (beta), P.1 (gamma), and B.1617.2 (delta) and viral syncytia formation driven by their spike proteins. Strikingly, oral NTZ treatment of Syrian hamsters significantly inhibits SARS-CoV-2-driven weight loss, inflammation, and viral dissemination and syncytia formation in the lungs. These studies show that NTZ is a novel host-directed therapeutic that broadly inhibits SARS-CoV-2 dissemination and pathogenesis in human and hamster physiological models, which supports further testing and optimization of NTZ-based therapy for SARS-CoV-2 infection alone and in combination with antiviral drugs.

4.
J Proteome Res ; 21(3): 623-634, 2022 03 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1671479

ABSTRACT

Despite the scientific and human efforts to understand COVID-19, there are questions still unanswered. Variations in the metabolic reaction to SARS-CoV-2 infection could explain the striking differences in the susceptibility to infection and the risk of severe disease. Here, we used untargeted metabolomics to examine novel metabolic pathways related to SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility and COVID-19 clinical severity using capillary electrophoresis coupled to a time-of-flight mass spectrometer (CE-TOF-MS) in plasma samples. We included 27 patients with confirmed COVID-19 and 29 healthcare workers heavily exposed to SARS-CoV-2 but with low susceptibility to infection ("nonsusceptible"). We found a total of 42 metabolites of SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility or COVID-19 clinical severity. We report the discovery of new plasma biomarkers for COVID-19 that provide mechanistic explanations for the clinical consequences of SARS-CoV-2, including mitochondrial and liver dysfunction as a consequence of hypoxemia (citrulline, citric acid, and 3-aminoisobutyric acid (BAIBA)), energy production and amino acid catabolism (phenylalanine and histidine), and endothelial dysfunction and thrombosis (citrulline, asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), and 2-aminobutyric acid (2-AB)), and we found interconnections between these pathways. In summary, in this first report several metabolic pathways implicated in SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility and COVID-19 clinical progression were found by CE-MS based metabolomics that could be developed as biomarkers of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Biomarkers , Humans , Metabolome , Metabolomics/methods
5.
Viruses ; 13(4)2021 04 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389536

ABSTRACT

Replication of RNA viruses is characterized by exploration of sequence space which facilitates their adaptation to changing environments. It is generally accepted that such exploration takes place mainly in response to positive selection, and that further diversification is boosted by modifications of virus population size, particularly bottleneck events. Our recent results with hepatitis C virus (HCV) have shown that the expansion in sequence space of a viral clone continues despite prolonged replication in a stable cell culture environment. Diagnosis of the expansion was based on the quantification of diversity indices, the occurrence of intra-population mutational waves (variations in mutant frequencies), and greater individual residue variations in mutant spectra than those anticipated from sequence alignments in data banks. In the present report, we review our previous results, and show additionally that mutational waves in amplicons from the NS5A-NS5B-coding region are equally prominent during HCV passage in the absence or presence of the mutagenic nucleotide analogues favipiravir or ribavirin. In addition, by extending our previous analysis to amplicons of the NS3- and NS5A-coding region, we provide further evidence of the incongruence between amino acid conservation scores in mutant spectra from infected patients and in the Los Alamos National Laboratory HCV data banks. We hypothesize that these observations have as a common origin a permanent state of HCV population disequilibrium even upon extensive viral replication in the absence of external selective constraints or changes in population size. Such a persistent disequilibrium-revealed by the changing composition of the mutant spectrum-may facilitate finding alternative mutational pathways for HCV antiviral resistance. The possible significance of our model for other genetically variable viruses is discussed.


Subject(s)
Hepacivirus/genetics , Hepacivirus/physiology , Hepatitis C/virology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Drug Resistance, Viral/drug effects , Hepacivirus/drug effects , Humans , Mutation , RNA, Viral , Ribavirin/pharmacology , Sequence Analysis , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Virus Replication/drug effects
6.
Cell Rep ; 35(7): 109133, 2021 05 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201632

ABSTRACT

Effective control of COVID-19 requires antivirals directed against SARS-CoV-2. We assessed 10 hepatitis C virus (HCV) protease-inhibitor drugs as potential SARS-CoV-2 antivirals. There is a striking structural similarity of the substrate binding clefts of SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) and HCV NS3/4A protease. Virtual docking experiments show that these HCV drugs can potentially bind into the Mpro substrate-binding cleft. We show that seven HCV drugs inhibit both SARS-CoV-2 Mpro protease activity and SARS-CoV-2 virus replication in Vero and/or human cells. However, their Mpro inhibiting activities did not correlate with their antiviral activities. This conundrum is resolved by demonstrating that four HCV protease inhibitor drugs, simeprevir, vaniprevir, paritaprevir, and grazoprevir inhibit the SARS CoV-2 papain-like protease (PLpro). HCV drugs that inhibit PLpro synergize with the viral polymerase inhibitor remdesivir to inhibit virus replication, increasing remdesivir's antiviral activity as much as 10-fold, while those that only inhibit Mpro do not synergize with remdesivir.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Culture Techniques , Cell Line , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/metabolism , Drug Repositioning/methods , Drug Synergism , Hepacivirus/drug effects , Hepatitis C/drug therapy , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Virus Replication/drug effects
7.
Front Pharmacol ; 12: 633680, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1175552

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection is required for COVID-19, but many signs and symptoms of COVID-19 differ from common acute viral diseases. SARS-CoV-2 infection is necessary but not sufficient for development of clinical COVID-19 disease. Currently, there are no approved pre- or post-exposure prophylactic COVID-19 medical countermeasures. Clinical data suggest that famotidine may mitigate COVID-19 disease, but both mechanism of action and rationale for dose selection remain obscure. We have investigated several plausible hypotheses for famotidine activity including antiviral and host-mediated mechanisms of action. We propose that the principal mechanism of action of famotidine for relieving COVID-19 symptoms involves on-target histamine receptor H2 activity, and that development of clinical COVID-19 involves dysfunctional mast cell activation and histamine release. Based on these findings and associated hypothesis, new COVID-19 multi-drug treatment strategies based on repurposing well-characterized drugs are being developed and clinically tested, and many of these drugs are available worldwide in inexpensive generic oral forms suitable for both outpatient and inpatient treatment of COVID-19 disease.

8.
Science ; 371(6532): 926-931, 2021 02 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1048642

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) viral proteins interact with the eukaryotic translation machinery, and inhibitors of translation have potent antiviral effects. We found that the drug plitidepsin (aplidin), which has limited clinical approval, possesses antiviral activity (90% inhibitory concentration = 0.88 nM) that is more potent than remdesivir against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro by a factor of 27.5, with limited toxicity in cell culture. Through the use of a drug-resistant mutant, we show that the antiviral activity of plitidepsin against SARS-CoV-2 is mediated through inhibition of the known target eEF1A (eukaryotic translation elongation factor 1A). We demonstrate the in vivo efficacy of plitidepsin treatment in two mouse models of SARS-CoV-2 infection with a reduction of viral replication in the lungs by two orders of magnitude using prophylactic treatment. Our results indicate that plitidepsin is a promising therapeutic candidate for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Depsipeptides/pharmacology , Peptide Elongation Factor 1/antagonists & inhibitors , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Alanine/therapeutic use , Animals , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/biosynthesis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Depsipeptides/administration & dosage , Depsipeptides/therapeutic use , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Lung/virology , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mutation , Peptides, Cyclic , Phosphoproteins/biosynthesis , Phosphoproteins/genetics , RNA, Viral/biosynthesis , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Replication/drug effects
9.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 117(45): 28344-28354, 2020 11 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-887237

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that is a serious global health problem. Evasion of IFN-mediated antiviral signaling is a common defense strategy that pathogenic viruses use to replicate and propagate in their host. In this study, we show that SARS-CoV-2 is able to efficiently block STAT1 and STAT2 nuclear translocation in order to impair transcriptional induction of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs). Our results demonstrate that the viral accessory protein Orf6 exerts this anti-IFN activity. We found that SARS-CoV-2 Orf6 localizes at the nuclear pore complex (NPC) and directly interacts with Nup98-Rae1 via its C-terminal domain to impair docking of cargo-receptor (karyopherin/importin) complex and disrupt nuclear import. In addition, we show that a methionine-to-arginine substitution at residue 58 impairs Orf6 binding to the Nup98-Rae1 complex and abolishes its IFN antagonistic function. All together our data unravel a mechanism of viral antagonism in which a virus hijacks the Nup98-Rae1 complex to overcome the antiviral action of IFN.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Interferons/metabolism , Nuclear Pore Complex Proteins/metabolism , Nuclear Pore/metabolism , STAT1 Transcription Factor/metabolism , STAT2 Transcription Factor/metabolism , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Active Transport, Cell Nucleus , Animals , Binding Sites , Chlorocebus aethiops , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Nuclear Matrix-Associated Proteins/chemistry , Nuclear Matrix-Associated Proteins/metabolism , Nucleocytoplasmic Transport Proteins/chemistry , Nucleocytoplasmic Transport Proteins/metabolism , Protein Binding , Signal Transduction , Vero Cells
10.
Cell ; 182(3): 685-712.e19, 2020 08 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-624826

ABSTRACT

The causative agent of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has infected millions and killed hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, highlighting an urgent need to develop antiviral therapies. Here we present a quantitative mass spectrometry-based phosphoproteomics survey of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Vero E6 cells, revealing dramatic rewiring of phosphorylation on host and viral proteins. SARS-CoV-2 infection promoted casein kinase II (CK2) and p38 MAPK activation, production of diverse cytokines, and shutdown of mitotic kinases, resulting in cell cycle arrest. Infection also stimulated a marked induction of CK2-containing filopodial protrusions possessing budding viral particles. Eighty-seven drugs and compounds were identified by mapping global phosphorylation profiles to dysregulated kinases and pathways. We found pharmacologic inhibition of the p38, CK2, CDK, AXL, and PIKFYVE kinases to possess antiviral efficacy, representing potential COVID-19 therapies.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Proteomics/methods , A549 Cells , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19 , Caco-2 Cells , Casein Kinase II/antagonists & inhibitors , Casein Kinase II/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cyclin-Dependent Kinases/antagonists & inhibitors , Cyclin-Dependent Kinases/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases/metabolism , Phosphoinositide-3 Kinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Phosphorylation , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protein Kinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Proto-Oncogene Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Proto-Oncogene Proteins/metabolism , Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases/antagonists & inhibitors , Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vero Cells , p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/antagonists & inhibitors , p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism
11.
Nature ; 583(7816): 459-468, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-152254

ABSTRACT

A newly described coronavirus named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has infected over 2.3 million people, led to the death of more than 160,000 individuals and caused worldwide social and economic disruption1,2. There are no antiviral drugs with proven clinical efficacy for the treatment of COVID-19, nor are there any vaccines that prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2, and efforts to develop drugs and vaccines are hampered by the limited knowledge of the molecular details of how SARS-CoV-2 infects cells. Here we cloned, tagged and expressed 26 of the 29 SARS-CoV-2 proteins in human cells and identified the human proteins that physically associated with each of the SARS-CoV-2 proteins using affinity-purification mass spectrometry, identifying 332 high-confidence protein-protein interactions between SARS-CoV-2 and human proteins. Among these, we identify 66 druggable human proteins or host factors targeted by 69 compounds (of which, 29 drugs are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, 12 are in clinical trials and 28 are preclinical compounds). We screened a subset of these in multiple viral assays and found two sets of pharmacological agents that displayed antiviral activity: inhibitors of mRNA translation and predicted regulators of the sigma-1 and sigma-2 receptors. Further studies of these host-factor-targeting agents, including their combination with drugs that directly target viral enzymes, could lead to a therapeutic regimen to treat COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Drug Repositioning , Molecular Targeted Therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Protein Interaction Maps , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Animals , Antiviral Agents/classification , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cloning, Molecular , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , HEK293 Cells , Host-Pathogen Interactions/drug effects , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Mass Spectrometry , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protein Binding , Protein Biosynthesis/drug effects , Protein Domains , Protein Interaction Mapping , Receptors, sigma/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , SKP Cullin F-Box Protein Ligases/metabolism , Vero Cells , Viral Proteins/genetics
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