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1.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-307421

ABSTRACT

The ongoing pandemic of SARS-CoV-2 calls for rapid and cost-effective methods to accurately identify infected individuals. The vast majority of patient samples is assessed for viral RNA presence by RT-qPCR. Our biomedical research institute, in collaboration between partner hospitals and an accredited clinical diagnostic laboratory, established a diagnostic testing pipeline that has reported on more than 252,000 RT-qPCR results since its commencement at the beginning of April 2020. However, due to ongoing demand and competition for critical resources, alternative testing strategies were sought. In this work, we present a clinically-validated procedure for high-throughput SARS-CoV-2 detection by RT-LAMP that is robust, reliable, repeatable, specific, and inexpensive.

2.
Wellcome Open Res ; 6: 9, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502788

ABSTRACT

The ongoing pandemic of SARS-CoV-2 calls for rapid and cost-effective methods to accurately identify infected individuals. The vast majority of patient samples is assessed for viral RNA presence by RT-qPCR. Our biomedical research institute, in collaboration between partner hospitals and an accredited clinical diagnostic laboratory, established a diagnostic testing pipeline that has reported on more than 252,000 RT-qPCR results since its commencement at the beginning of April 2020. However, due to ongoing demand and competition for critical resources, alternative testing strategies were sought. In this work, we present a clinically-validated procedure for high-throughput SARS-CoV-2 detection by RT-LAMP in 25 minutes that is robust, reliable, repeatable, sensitive, specific, and inexpensive.

3.
Wellcome Open Research ; 6, 2021.
Article in English | PMC | ID: covidwho-1389814

ABSTRACT

The ongoing pandemic of SARS-CoV-2 calls for rapid and cost-effective methods to accurately identify infected individuals. The vast majority of patient samples is assessed for viral RNA presence by RT-qPCR. Our biomedical research institute, in collaboration between partner hospitals and an accredited clinical diagnostic laboratory, established a diagnostic testing pipeline that has reported on more than 252,000 RT-qPCR results since its commencement at the beginning of April 2020. However, due to ongoing demand and competition for critical resources, alternative testing strategies were sought. In this work, we present a clinically-validated procedure for high-throughput SARS-CoV-2 detection by RT-LAMP that is robust, reliable, repeatable, specific, and inexpensive.

4.
RSC Adv ; 11(33): 20457-20464, 2021 Jun 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387504

ABSTRACT

An improved and expedient technique for the synthesis of peptidyl-fluoromethyl ketones is described. The methodology is based on prior coupling of an aspartate fluoromethyl ketone to a linker and mounting it onto resin-bound methylbenzhydrylamine hydrochloride. Subsequently, by utilising standard Fmoc peptide procedures, a number of short Z-protected peptides were synthesised and assessed as possible inhibitors of the main protease from SARS-CoV-2 (3CLpro).

5.
Biochem J ; 478(13): 2499-2515, 2021 07 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1291175

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), spread around the world with unprecedented health and socio-economic effects for the global population. While different vaccines are now being made available, very few antiviral drugs have been approved. The main viral protease (nsp5) of SARS-CoV-2 provides an excellent target for antivirals, due to its essential and conserved function in the viral replication cycle. We have expressed, purified and developed assays for nsp5 protease activity. We screened the nsp5 protease against a custom chemical library of over 5000 characterised pharmaceuticals. We identified calpain inhibitor I and three different peptidyl fluoromethylketones (FMK) as inhibitors of nsp5 activity in vitro, with IC50 values in the low micromolar range. By altering the sequence of our peptidomimetic FMK inhibitors to better mimic the substrate sequence of nsp5, we generated an inhibitor with a subnanomolar IC50. Calpain inhibitor I inhibited viral infection in monkey-derived Vero E6 cells, with an EC50 in the low micromolar range. The most potent and commercially available peptidyl-FMK compound inhibited viral growth in Vero E6 cells to some extent, while our custom peptidyl FMK inhibitor offered a marked antiviral improvement.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacology , Amino Acid Chloromethyl Ketones/pharmacology , Animals , Azoles/pharmacology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/genetics , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/isolation & purification , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Enzyme Assays , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Isoindoles , Leupeptins/pharmacology , Organoselenium Compounds/pharmacology , Peptidomimetics , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Small Molecule Libraries/chemistry , Vero Cells , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
6.
Biochem J ; 478(13): 2517-2531, 2021 07 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1290988

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has emerged as the biggest life-threatening disease of this century. Whilst vaccination should provide a long-term solution, this is pitted against the constant threat of mutations in the virus rendering the current vaccines less effective. Consequently, small molecule antiviral agents would be extremely useful to complement the vaccination program. The causative agent of COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which encodes at least nine enzymatic activities that all have drug targeting potential. The papain-like protease (PLpro) contained in the nsp3 protein generates viral non-structural proteins from a polyprotein precursor, and cleaves ubiquitin and ISG protein conjugates. Here we describe the expression and purification of PLpro. We developed a protease assay that was used to screen a custom compound library from which we identified dihydrotanshinone I and Ro 08-2750 as compounds that inhibit PLpro in protease and isopeptidase assays and also inhibit viral replication in cell culture-based assays.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacology , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Aniline Compounds/pharmacology , Animals , Benzamides/pharmacology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/genetics , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/metabolism , Drug Synergism , Enzyme Assays , Flavins/pharmacology , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , Furans/pharmacology , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Naphthalenes/pharmacology , Phenanthrenes/pharmacology , Quinones/pharmacology , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Small Molecule Libraries/chemistry , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects
7.
Science ; 370(6522): 1339-1343, 2020 12 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-913669

ABSTRACT

Zoonotic introduction of novel coronaviruses may encounter preexisting immunity in humans. Using diverse assays for antibodies recognizing SARS-CoV-2 proteins, we detected preexisting humoral immunity. SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein (S)-reactive antibodies were detectable using a flow cytometry-based method in SARS-CoV-2-uninfected individuals and were particularly prevalent in children and adolescents. They were predominantly of the immunoglobulin G (IgG) class and targeted the S2 subunit. By contrast, SARS-CoV-2 infection induced higher titers of SARS-CoV-2 S-reactive IgG antibodies targeting both the S1 and S2 subunits, and concomitant IgM and IgA antibodies, lasting throughout the observation period. SARS-CoV-2-uninfected donor sera exhibited specific neutralizing activity against SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-2 S pseudotypes. Distinguishing preexisting and de novo immunity will be critical for our understanding of susceptibility to and the natural course of SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Humoral , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , COVID-19/blood , Epitope Mapping , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Viral Zoonoses/blood , Viral Zoonoses/immunology , Young Adult
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