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1.
biorxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.12.08.519593

ABSTRACT

Host-viral interactions during SARS-CoV-2 infection are needed to understand COVID-19 pathogenesis and may help to guide the design of novel antiviral therapeutics. N6-methyladenosine modification (m6A), one of the most abundant cellular RNA modifications, regulates key processes in RNA metabolism during a stress response. Gene expression profiles observed post-infection with different SARS-CoV-2 variants show changes in the expression of genes related to RNA catabolism, including m6A readers and erasers. We found that infection with SARS-CoV-2 variants caused a loss of m6A in cellular RNAs, whereas m6A was detected abundantly in viral RNA. METTL3, the m6A methyltransferase, showed an unusual cytoplasmic localization post-infection. The B.1.351 variant had a less pronounced effect on METTL3 localization and loss of m6A than the B.1 and B.1.1.7 variants. We also observed a loss of m6A upon SARS-CoV-2 infection in air/liquid interface cultures of human airway epithelia, confirming that m6A loss is characteristic of SARS-CoV-2 infected cells. Further, transcripts with m6A modification were preferentially down-regulated post-infection. Inhibition of the export protein XPO1 resulted in the restoration of METTL3 localization, recovery of m6A on cellular RNA, and increased mRNA expression. Stress granule formation, which was compromised by SARS-CoV-2 infection, was restored by XPO1 inhibition and accompanied by a reduced viral infection in vitro. Together, our study elucidates how SARS-CoV-2 inhibits the stress response and perturbs cellular gene expression in an m6A-dependent manner.


Subject(s)
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome , COVID-19 , Virus Diseases
2.
biorxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2022.05.20.492832

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT SARS-CoV-2 remained genetically stable during the first three months of the pandemic, before acquiring a D614G spike mutation that rapidly spread worldwide, and then generating successive waves of viral variants with increasingly high transmissibility. We set out to evaluate possible epistatic interactions between the early occurring D614G mutation and the more recently emerged cleavage site mutations present in spike of the Alpha, Delta, and Omicron variants of concern. The P681H/R mutations at the S1/S2 cleavage site increased spike processing and fusogenicity but limited its incorporation into pseudoviruses. In addition, the higher cleavage rate led to higher shedding of the spike S1 subunit, resulting in a lower infectivity of the P681H/R-carrying pseudoviruses compared to those expressing the Wuhan wild-type spike. The D614G mutation increased spike expression at the cell surface and limited S1 shedding from pseudovirions. As a consequence, the D614G mutation preferentially increased the infectivity of P681H/R-carrying pseudoviruses. This enhancement was more marked in cells where the endosomal route predominated, suggesting that more stable spikes could better withstand the endosomal environment. Taken together, these findings suggest that the D614G mutation stabilized S1/S2 association and enabled the selection of mutations that increased S1/S2 cleavage, leading to the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants expressing highly fusogenic spikes. AUTHOR SUMMARY The successive emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants is fueling the COVID pandemic, thus causing a major and persistent public health issue. The parameters involved in the emergence of variants with higher pathogenic potential remain incompletely understood. The first SARS-CoV-2 variant that spread worldwide in early 2020 carried a D614G mutation in the viral spike, making this protein more stable in its cleaved form at the surface of virions, and resulting in viral particles with higher infectious capacity. The Alpha and the Delta variants that spread in late 2020 and early 2021, respectively, proved increasingly transmissible and pathogenic when compared to the original SARS-CoV-2 strain. Interestingly, Alpha and Delta both carried mutations in a spike cleavage site that needs to be processed by cellular proteases prior to viral entry. The cleavage site mutations P681H/R made the Alpha and Delta spikes more efficient at viral fusion, by generating a higher fraction of cleaved spikes subunits S1 and S2. We show here that the early D614G mutation and the late P681H/R mutations act synergistically to increase the fusion capacity of SARS-CoV-2 variants. Specifically, viruses with increased spike cleavage due to P681H/R were even more dependent on the stabilizing effect of D614G mutation, which limited the shedding of cleaved S1 subunits from viral particles. These findings suggest that the worldwide spread of the D614G mutation was a prerequisite to the emergence of more pathogenic SARS-CoV-2 variants with highly fusogenic spikes.

3.
arxiv; 2022.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-ARXIV | ID: ppzbmed-2201.05389v1

ABSTRACT

Serological tests are important for understanding the physiopathology and following the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic. Assays based on flow cytometry (FACS) of tissue culture cells expressing the spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 have repeatedly proven to perform slightly better than the plate-based assays ELISA and CLIA (chemiluminescent immuno-assay), and markedly better than lateral flow immuno-assays (LFIA). Here, we describe an optimized and very simple FACS assay based on staining a mix of two Jurkat cell lines, expressing either high levels of the S protein (Jurkat-S) or a fluorescent protein (Jurkat-R expressing m-Cherry, or Jurkat-G, expressing GFP, which serve as an internal negative control). We show that the Jurkat-S\&R-flow test has a much broader dynamic range than a commercial ELISA test and performs at least as well in terms of sensitivity and specificity. Also, it is more sensitive and quantitative than the hemagglutination-based test HAT, which we described recently. The Jurkat-flow test requires only a few microliters of blood; thus, it can be used to quantify various Ig isotypes in capillary blood collected from a finger prick. It can be used also to evaluate serological responses in mice, hamsters, cats and dogs. FACS tests offer a very attractive solution for laboratories with access to tissue culture and flow cytometry who want to monitor serological responses in humans or in animals, and how these relate to susceptibility to infection, or re-infection, by the virus, and to protection against Covid-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19
4.
biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.10.05.463282

ABSTRACT

Robust severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in nasal turbinate (NT) accounts for high viral transmissibility, yet whether neutralizing IgA antibodies can control it remains unknown. Here, we evaluated receptor binding domain (RBD)-specific monomeric B8-mIgA1 and B8-mIgA2, and dimeric B8-dIgA1 and B8-dIgA2 against intranasal SARS-CoV-2 challenge in Syrian hamsters. These antibodies exhibited comparably potent neutralization against authentic virus by competing with human angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) receptor for RBD binding. While reducing viruses in lungs, pre-exposure intranasal B8-dIgA1 or B8-dIgA2 led to 81-fold more infectious viruses and severer damage in NT than placebo. Virus-bound B8-dIgA1 and B8-dIgA2 could engage CD209 as an alternative receptor for entry into ACE2-negative cells and allowed viral cell-to-cell transmission. Cryo-EM revealed B8 as a class II neutralizing antibody binding trimeric RBDs in 3-up or 2-up/1-down conformation. Therefore, RBD-specific neutralizing dIgA engages an unexpected action for enhanced SARS-CoV-2 nasal infection and injury in Syrian hamsters.


Subject(s)
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
5.
researchsquare; 2021.
Preprint in English | PREPRINT-RESEARCHSQUARE | ID: ppzbmed-10.21203.rs.3.rs-923755.v1

ABSTRACT

Robust severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in nasal turbinate (NT) accounts for high viral transmissibility, yet whether neutralizing IgA antibodies can control it remains unknown. Here, we evaluated receptor binding domain (RBD)-specific monomeric B8-mIgA1 and B8-mIgA2, and dimeric B8-dIgA1 and B8-dIgA2 against intranasal SARS-CoV-2 challenge in Syrian hamsters. These antibodies exhibited comparably potent neutralization against authentic virus by competing with human angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) receptor for RBD binding. While reducing viruses in lungs, pre-exposure intranasal B8-dIgA1 or B8-dIgA2 led to 81-fold more infectious viruses and severer damage in NT than placebo. Virus-bound B8-dIgA1 and B8-dIgA2 could engage CD209 as an alternative receptor for entry into ACE2-negative cells and allowed viral cell-to-cell transmission. Cryo-EM revealed B8 as a class II neutralizing antibody binding trimeric RBDs in 3-up or 2-up/1-down conformation. Therefore, RBD-specific neutralizing dIgA engages an unexpected action for enhanced SARS-CoV-2 nasal infection and injury in Syrian hamsters.


Subject(s)
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
6.
medrxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.09.06.21262027

ABSTRACT

Serological tests are important for understanding the physiopathology and following the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic. Assays based on flow cytometry (FACS) of tissue culture cells expressing the spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 have repeatedly proven to perform slightly better than the plate-based assays ELISA and CLIA (chemiluminescent immuno-assay), and markedly better than lateral flow immuno-assays (LFIA). Here, we describe an optimized and very simple FACS assay based on staining a mix of two Jurkat cell lines, expressing either high levels of the S protein (Jurkat-S) or the mCherry fluorescent protein (Jurkat-R, which serve as an internal negative control). We show that this Jurkat-S&R-flow test has a much broader dynamic range than a commercial ELISA test and performs at least as well in terms of sensitivity and specificity. Also, it is more sensitive and quantitative than the hemagglutination-based test HAT, which we described recently. The Jurkat-R&S-flow test requires only a few microliters of blood; thus, it can be used to quantify various Ig isotypes in capillary blood collected from a finger prick. It can be used also to evaluate serological responses in mice, cats and dogs. FACS tests offer a very attractive solution for laboratories with access to tissue culture and flow cytometry who want to monitor serological responses in humans or in animals, and how these relate to susceptibility to infection, or re-infection, by the virus, and to protection against Covid-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19
7.
biorxiv; 2021.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2021.06.11.448011

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 (variant Alpha) and B.1.351 (variant Beta) have supplanted pre-existing strains in many countries. Severe COVID-19 is characterized by lung abnormalities, including the presence of syncytial pneumocytes. Syncytia form when infected cells fuse with adjacent cells. The fitness, cytopathic effects and type-I interferon (IFN) sensitivity of the variants remain poorly characterized. Here, we assessed B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 spread and fusion in cell cultures. B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 replicated similarly to D614G reference strain in Vero, Caco-2, Calu-3 and primary airway cells and were similarly sensitive to IFN. The variants formed larger and more numerous syncytia. Variant Spikes, in the absence of any other viral proteins, resulted in faster fusion relative to D614G. B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 fusion was similarly inhibited by interferon induced transmembrane proteins (IFITMs). Individual mutations present in the variant Spikes modified fusogenicity, binding to ACE2 and recognition by monoclonal antibodies. Also, B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants remain sensitive to innate immunity components. The mutations present in the two variants globally enhance viral fusogenicity and allow for antibody evasion.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Lung Diseases
8.
medrxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.11.12.20230508

ABSTRACT

A large proportion of SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals remains asymptomatic. Little is known about the extent and quality of their antiviral humoral response. Here, we analyzed antibody functions in 52 asymptomatic infected individuals, 119 mild and 21 hospitalized COVID-19 patients. We measured anti-Spike antibody levels with the S-Flow assay and mapped SARS-CoV-2 Spike- and N-targeted regions by Luminex. Neutralization, complement deposition and Antibody-Dependent Cellular Cytotoxicity (ADCC) were evaluated using replication-competent SARS-CoV-2 or reporter cell systems. We show that COVID-19 sera mediate complement deposition and kill infected cells by ADCC. Sera from asymptomatic individuals neutralize the virus, activate ADCC and trigger complement deposition. Antibody levels and activities are slightly lower in asymptomatic individuals. The different functions of the antibodies are correlated, independently of disease severity. Longitudinal samplings show that antibody functions follow similar kinetics of induction and contraction, with minor variations. Overall, asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection elicits polyfunctional antibodies neutralizing the virus and targeting infected cells. - Sera from convalescent COVID-19 patients activate the complement and kill infected cells by ADCC. - Asymptomatic and symptomatic SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals harbor polyfunctional antibodies. - Antibody levels and functions are slightly lower in asymptomatic individuals - The different antiviral activities of anti-Spike antibodies are correlated regardless of disease severity. - Functions of anti-Spike antibodies have similar kinetics of induction and contraction.


Subject(s)
COVID-19
9.
biorxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.10.06.328369

ABSTRACT

Understanding how SARS-CoV-2 spreads within the respiratory tract is important to define the parameters controlling the severity of COVID-19. We examined the functional and structural consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a reconstituted human bronchial epithelium model. SARS-CoV-2 replication caused a transient decrease in epithelial barrier function and disruption of tight junctions, though viral particle crossing remained limited. Rather, SARS-CoV-2 replication led to a rapid loss of the ciliary layer, characterized at the ultrastructural level by axoneme loss and misorientation of remaining basal bodies. The motile cilia function was compromised, as measured in a mucociliary clearance assay. Epithelial defense mechanisms, including basal cell mobilization and interferon-lambda induction, ramped up only after the initiation of cilia damage. Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 infection in Syrian hamsters further demonstrated the loss of motile cilia in vivo. This study identifies cilia damage as a pathogenic mechanism that could facilitate SARS-CoV-2 spread to the deeper lung parenchyma.


Subject(s)
COVID-19
10.
medrxiv; 2020.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppzbmed-10.1101.2020.04.21.20068858

ABSTRACT

It is of paramount importance to evaluate the prevalence of both asymptomatic and symptomatic cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection and their antibody response profile. Here, we performed a pilot study to assess the levels of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in samples taken from 491 pre- epidemic individuals, 51 patients from Hopital Bichat (Paris), 209 pauci-symptomatic individuals in the French Oise region and 200 contemporary Oise blood donors. Two in-house ELISA assays, that recognize the full-length nucleoprotein (N) or trimeric Spike (S) ectodomain were implemented. We also developed two novel assays: the S-Flow assay, which is based on the recognition of S at the cell surface by flow-cytometry, and the LIPS assay that recognizes diverse antigens (including S1 or N C- terminal domain) by immunoprecipitation. Overall, the results obtained with the four assays were similar, with differences in sensitivity that can be attributed to the technique and the antigen in use. High antibody titers were associated with neutralisation activity, assessed using infectious SARS-CoV- 2 or lentiviral-S pseudotypes. In hospitalized patients, seroconversion and neutralisation occurred on 5-14 days post symptom onset, confirming previous studies. Seropositivity was detected in 29% of pauci-symptomatic individuals within 15 days post-symptoms and 3 % of blood of healthy donors collected in the area of a cluster of COVID cases. Altogether, our assays allow for a broad evaluation of SARS-CoV2 seroprevalence and antibody profiling in different population subsets.


Subject(s)
COVID-19
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