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Front Immunol ; 13: 889372, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2071084


Joining a function-enhanced Fc-portion of human IgG to the SARS-CoV-2 entry receptor ACE2 produces an antiviral decoy with strain transcending virus neutralizing activity. SARS-CoV-2 neutralization and Fc-effector functions of ACE2-Fc decoy proteins, formatted with or without the ACE2 collectrin domain, were optimized by Fc-modification. The different Fc-modifications resulted in distinct effects on neutralization and effector functions. H429Y, a point mutation outside the binding sites for FcγRs or complement caused non-covalent oligomerization of the ACE2-Fc decoy proteins, abrogated FcγR interaction and enhanced SARS-CoV-2 neutralization. Another Fc mutation, H429F did not improve virus neutralization but resulted in increased C5b-C9 fixation and transformed ACE2-Fc to a potent mediator of complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) against SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) expressing cells. Furthermore, modification of the Fc-glycan enhanced cell activation via FcγRIIIa. These different immune profiles demonstrate the capacity of Fc-based agents to be engineered to optimize different mechanisms of protection for SARS-CoV-2 and potentially other viral pathogens.

Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 , Humans , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
J Pers Med ; 12(9)2022 Sep 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2033039


Angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is an endogenous negative regulator of the renin-angiotensin system, a key factor in the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). ACE2 is also used by SARS-CoV-2 for host cell entry. Given that COVID-19 is associated with hypercoagulability, it is timely to explore the potential relationship between plasma ACE2 activity and the coagulation profile. In this cross-sectional study, ACE2 activity and global coagulation assays (GCA) including thromboelastography, thrombin, and fibrin generation were measured in adult healthy controls (n = 123; mean age 41 ± 17 years; 35% male) and in patients with cardiovascular risk factors and/or disease (n = 258; mean age 65 ± 14 years; 55% male). ACE2 activity was significantly lower in controls compared to patients with cardiovascular risk factors and/or disease (median 0.10 (0.02, 3.33) vs. 5.99 (1.95, 10.37) pmol/mL/min, p < 0.001). Of the healthy controls, 48% had undetectable ACE2 activity. Controls with detectable ACE2 had lower maximum amplitude (p < 0.001). In patients with cardiovascular risk factors and/or disease, those in the 3rd tertile were older and male (p = 0.002), with a higher Framingham grade and increased number of cardiovascular risk factors (p < 0.001). In conclusion, plasma ACE2 activity is undetectable to very low in young healthy controls with minimal clinically relevant associations to GCA. Patients with cardiovascular risk factors and/or disease have increased plasma ACE2 activity, suggesting that it may be an important biomarker of endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis.

Nat Immunol ; 23(2): 210-216, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1625648


A proportion of patients surviving acute coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection develop post-acute COVID syndrome (long COVID (LC)) lasting longer than 12 weeks. Here, we studied individuals with LC compared to age- and gender-matched recovered individuals without LC, unexposed donors and individuals infected with other coronaviruses. Patients with LC had highly activated innate immune cells, lacked naive T and B cells and showed elevated expression of type I IFN (IFN-ß) and type III IFN (IFN-λ1) that remained persistently high at 8 months after infection. Using a log-linear classification model, we defined an optimal set of analytes that had the strongest association with LC among the 28 analytes measured. Combinations of the inflammatory mediators IFN-ß, PTX3, IFN-γ, IFN-λ2/3 and IL-6 associated with LC with 78.5-81.6% accuracy. This work defines immunological parameters associated with LC and suggests future opportunities for prevention and treatment.

B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/complications , Immunity, Innate , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adult , Aged , B-Lymphocytes/metabolism , B-Lymphocytes/virology , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Cytokines/blood , Female , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Inflammation Mediators/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Prognosis , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Severity of Illness Index , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , T-Lymphocytes/virology , Time Factors , Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome