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1.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 2028, 2022 04 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1805608

ABSTRACT

Dysfunctional immune responses contribute critically to the progression of Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19), with macrophages as one of the main cell types involved. It is urgent to understand the interactions among permissive cells, macrophages, and the SARS-CoV-2 virus, thereby offering important insights into effective therapeutic strategies. Here, we establish a lung and macrophage co-culture system derived from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs), modeling the host-pathogen interaction in SARS-CoV-2 infection. We find that both classically polarized macrophages (M1) and alternatively polarized macrophages (M2) have inhibitory effects on SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, M1 and non-activated (M0) macrophages, but not M2 macrophages, significantly up-regulate inflammatory factors upon viral infection. Moreover, M1 macrophages suppress the growth and enhance apoptosis of lung cells. Inhibition of viral entry using an ACE2 blocking antibody substantially enhances the activity of M2 macrophages. Our studies indicate differential immune response patterns in distinct macrophage phenotypes, which could lead to a range of COVID-19 disease severity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pluripotent Stem Cells , Humans , Lung , Macrophages , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(14): e2119093119, 2022 04 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1751830

ABSTRACT

SignificanceUsing SARS-CoV-2 as a relevant case study for infectious disease, we investigate the structure-function relationships that dictate antiviral spherical nucleic acid (SNA) vaccine efficacy. We show that the SNA architecture can be rapidly employed to target COVID-19 through incorporation of the receptor-binding domain, and that the resulting vaccine potently activates human cells in vitro and mice in vivo. Furthermore, when challenged with a lethal viral infection, only mice treated with the SNA vaccine survived. Taken together, this work underscores the importance of rational vaccine design for infectious disease to yield vaccines that elicit more potent immune responses to effectively fight disease.


Subject(s)
Communicable Disease Control , Nucleic Acids/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/immunology , Animals , Biotechnology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Diseases/etiology , Communicable Diseases/immunology , Humans , Nucleic Acids/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Viral Vaccines/genetics , Viral Vaccines/immunology
3.
Sci Adv ; 8(8): eabi6110, 2022 Feb 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1714330

ABSTRACT

The spread of SARS-CoV-2 and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic underscores the need for new treatments. Here we report that cannabidiol (CBD) inhibits infection of SARS-CoV-2 in cells and mice. CBD and its metabolite 7-OH-CBD, but not THC or other congeneric cannabinoids tested, potently block SARS-CoV-2 replication in lung epithelial cells. CBD acts after viral entry, inhibiting viral gene expression and reversing many effects of SARS-CoV-2 on host gene transcription. CBD inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication in part by up-regulating the host IRE1α RNase endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response and interferon signaling pathways. In matched groups of human patients from the National COVID Cohort Collaborative, CBD (100 mg/ml oral solution per medical records) had a significant negative association with positive SARS-CoV-2 tests. This study highlights CBD as a potential preventative agent for early-stage SARS-CoV-2 infection and merits future clinical trials. We caution against use of non-medical formulations including edibles, inhalants or topicals as a preventative or treatment therapy at the present time.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Cannabidiol/pharmacology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/drug effects , Immunity, Innate/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , A549 Cells , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Cannabidiol/chemistry , Cannabidiol/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress/drug effects , Endoribonucleases/genetics , Endoribonucleases/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/virology , Female , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral/drug effects , Host-Pathogen Interactions/physiology , Humans , Interferons/metabolism , Mice , /metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Vero Cells , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects
4.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-328871

ABSTRACT

Physical interactions between viral and host proteins are responsible for almost all aspects of the viral life cycle and the host’s immune response. Studying viral-host protein-protein interactions is thus crucial for identifying strategies for treatment and prevention of viral infection. Here, we use high-throughput yeast two-hybrid and affinity purification followed by mass spectrometry to generate a comprehensive SARS-CoV-2-human protein-protein interactome network consisting of both binary and co-complex interactions. We report a total of 739 high-confidence interactions, showing the highest overlap of interaction partners among published datasets as well as the highest enrichment for genes differentially expressed in samples (such as upper airway and bronchial epithelial cells) from patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Showcasing the utility of our network, we describe a novel interaction between the viral accessory protein ORF3a and the host zinc finger transcription factor ZNF579 to illustrate one of the first examples of a viral factor mediating a direct impact on host transcription. Leveraging our interactome, we performed network-based drug screens for over 2,900 FDA-approved/investigational drugs and obtained a curated list of 21 drugs that had significant network proximities to SARS-CoV-2 host factors, one of which, carvedilol, showed promising antiviral properties. We performed electronic health record-based validation using two independent large-scale, longitudinal COVID-19 patient databases and found that carvedilol usage was associated with a significantly lowered probability (17%-20%, P < 0.001) of obtaining a SARS-CoV-2 positive test after adjusting various confounding factors. Carvedilol additionally showed anti-viral activity against SARS-CoV-2 in a human lung epithelial cell line (EC 50 value of 4.1 µM), suggesting a mechanism for its beneficial effect in COVID-19. Our study demonstrates the value of large-scale network systems biology approaches for extracting biological insight from complex biological processes.

5.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 405, 2022 01 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1631967

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused the pandemic of the coronavirus induced disease 2019 (COVID-19) with evolving variants of concern. It remains urgent to identify novel approaches against broad strains of SARS-CoV-2, which infect host cells via the entry receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Herein, we report an increase in circulating extracellular vesicles (EVs) that express ACE2 (evACE2) in plasma of COVID-19 patients, which levels are associated with severe pathogenesis. Importantly, evACE2 isolated from human plasma or cells neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 infection by competing with cellular ACE2. Compared to vesicle-free recombinant human ACE2 (rhACE2), evACE2 shows a 135-fold higher potency in blocking the binding of the viral spike protein RBD, and a 60- to 80-fold higher efficacy in preventing infections by both pseudotyped and authentic SARS-CoV-2. Consistently, evACE2 protects the hACE2 transgenic mice from SARS-CoV-2-induced lung injury and mortality. Furthermore, evACE2 inhibits the infection of SARS-CoV-2 variants (α, ß, and δ) with equal or higher potency than for the wildtype strain, supporting a broad-spectrum antiviral mechanism of evACE2 for therapeutic development to block the infection of existing and future coronaviruses that use the ACE2 receptor.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Extracellular Vesicles/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , A549 Cells , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Extracellular Vesicles/genetics , Extracellular Vesicles/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , HeLa Cells , Humans , Mice, Transgenic , Neutralization Tests/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Survival Analysis , Vero Cells
6.
Biomaterials ; 278: 121159, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1509590

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 virus has caused an unprecedented global crisis, and curtailing its spread requires an effective vaccine which elicits a diverse and robust immune response. We have previously shown that vaccines made of a polymeric glyco-adjuvant conjugated to an antigen were effective in triggering such a response in other disease models and hypothesized that the technology could be adapted to create an effective vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. The core of the vaccine platform is the copolymer p(Man-TLR7), composed of monomers with pendant mannose or a toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) agonist. Thus, p(Man-TLR7) is designed to target relevant antigen-presenting cells (APCs) via mannose-binding receptors and then activate TLR7 upon endocytosis. The p(Man-TLR7) construct is amenable to conjugation to protein antigens such as the Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, yielding Spike-p(Man-TLR7). Here, we demonstrate Spike-p(Man-TLR7) vaccination elicits robust antigen-specific cellular and humoral responses in mice. In adult and elderly wild-type mice, vaccination with Spike-p(Man-TLR7) generates high and long-lasting titers of anti-Spike IgGs, with neutralizing titers exceeding levels in convalescent human serum. Interestingly, adsorbing Spike-p(Man-TLR7) to the depot-forming adjuvant alum amplified the broadly neutralizing humoral responses to levels matching those in mice vaccinated with formulations based off of clinically-approved adjuvants. Additionally, we observed an increase in germinal center B cells, antigen-specific antibody secreting cells, activated T follicular helper cells, and polyfunctional Th1-cytokine producing CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. We conclude that Spike-p(Man-TLR7) is an attractive, next-generation subunit vaccine candidate, capable of inducing durable and robust antibody and T cell responses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Immunity, Humoral , Adjuvants, Immunologic , Aged , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Mice , SARS-CoV-2
7.
ACS Cent Sci ; 7(8): 1368-1380, 2021 Aug 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1361607

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic underscores the need for rapid, safe, and effective vaccines. In contrast to some traditional vaccines, nanoparticle-based subunit vaccines are particularly efficient in trafficking antigens to lymph nodes, where they induce potent immune cell activation. Here, we developed a strategy to decorate the surface of oxidation-sensitive polymersomes with multiple copies of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) to mimic the physical form of a virus particle. We evaluated the vaccination efficacy of these surface-decorated polymersomes (RBDsurf) in mice compared to RBD-encapsulated polymersomes (RBDencap) and unformulated RBD (RBDfree), using monophosphoryl-lipid-A-encapsulated polymersomes (MPLA PS) as an adjuvant. While all three groups produced high titers of RBD-specific IgG, only RBDsurf elicited a neutralizing antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 comparable to that of human convalescent plasma. Moreover, RBDsurf was the only group to significantly increase the proportion of RBD-specific germinal center B cells in the vaccination-site draining lymph nodes. Both RBDsurf and RBDencap drove similarly robust CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses that produced multiple Th1-type cytokines. We conclude that a multivalent surface display of spike RBD on polymersomes promotes a potent neutralizing antibody response to SARS-CoV-2, while both antigen formulations promote robust T cell immunity.

8.
Science ; 373(6557): 931-936, 2021 08 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1319369

ABSTRACT

There is an urgent need for antiviral agents that treat severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. We screened a library of 1900 clinically safe drugs against OC43, a human beta coronavirus that causes the common cold, and evaluated the top hits against SARS-CoV-2. Twenty drugs significantly inhibited replication of both viruses in cultured human cells. Eight of these drugs inhibited the activity of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease, 3CLpro, with the most potent being masitinib, an orally bioavailable tyrosine kinase inhibitor. X-ray crystallography and biochemistry show that masitinib acts as a competitive inhibitor of 3CLpro. Mice infected with SARS-CoV-2 and then treated with masitinib showed >200-fold reduction in viral titers in the lungs and nose, as well as reduced lung inflammation. Masitinib was also effective in vitro against all tested variants of concern (B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and P.1).


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus OC43, Human/drug effects , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Thiazoles/pharmacology , A549 Cells , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Benzamides , COVID-19/virology , Catalytic Domain , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Coronavirus OC43, Human/physiology , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Piperidines , Pyridines , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Thiazoles/chemistry , Thiazoles/metabolism , Thiazoles/therapeutic use , Viral Load/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects
9.
Commun Biol ; 4(1): 193, 2021 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1075259

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 Nsp15 is a uridine-specific endoribonuclease with C-terminal catalytic domain belonging to the EndoU family that is highly conserved in coronaviruses. As endoribonuclease activity seems to be responsible for the interference with the innate immune response, Nsp15 emerges as an attractive target for therapeutic intervention. Here we report the first structures with bound nucleotides and show how the enzyme specifically recognizes uridine moiety. In addition to a uridine site we present evidence for a second base binding site that can accommodate any base. The structure with a transition state analog, uridine vanadate, confirms interactions key to catalytic mechanisms. In the presence of manganese ions, the enzyme cleaves unpaired RNAs. This acquired knowledge was instrumental in identifying Tipiracil, an FDA approved drug that is used in the treatment of colorectal cancer, as a potential anti-COVID-19 drug. Using crystallography, biochemical, and whole-cell assays, we demonstrate that Tipiracil inhibits SARS-CoV-2 Nsp15 by interacting with the uridine binding pocket in the enzyme's active site. Our findings provide new insights for the development of uracil scaffold-based drugs.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Endoribonucleases/antagonists & inhibitors , Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology , Pyrrolidines/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Thymine/pharmacology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , A549 Cells , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacokinetics , Catalytic Domain , Crystallography, X-Ray , Endoribonucleases/chemistry , Endoribonucleases/metabolism , Enzyme Inhibitors/chemistry , Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacokinetics , Humans , Ligands , Models, Molecular , Protein Conformation , Pyrrolidines/chemistry , Pyrrolidines/pharmacokinetics , Thymine/chemistry , Thymine/pharmacokinetics , Uridine/metabolism , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
10.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 743, 2021 02 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1061105

ABSTRACT

The pandemic caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to expand. Papain-like protease (PLpro) is one of two SARS-CoV-2 proteases potentially targetable with antivirals. PLpro is an attractive target because it plays an essential role in cleavage and maturation of viral polyproteins, assembly of the replicase-transcriptase complex, and disruption of host responses. We report a substantive body of structural, biochemical, and virus replication studies that identify several inhibitors of the SARS-CoV-2 enzyme. We determined the high resolution structure of wild-type PLpro, the active site C111S mutant, and their complexes with inhibitors. This collection of structures details inhibitors recognition and interactions providing fundamental molecular and mechanistic insight into PLpro. All compounds inhibit the peptidase activity of PLpro in vitro, some block SARS-CoV-2 replication in cell culture assays. These findings will accelerate structure-based drug design efforts targeting PLpro to identify high-affinity inhibitors of clinical value.


Subject(s)
Papain/metabolism , Peptide Hydrolases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Humans , Mutation , Polyproteins/metabolism , Substrate Specificity , Virus Replication/drug effects
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