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1.
ACS Omega ; 7(32): 27950-27958, 2022 Aug 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2185523

ABSTRACT

Finding antivirals for SARS-CoV-2 is still a major challenge, and many computational and experimental approaches have been employed to find a solution to this problem. While the global vaccination campaigns are the primary driver of controlling the current pandemic, orally bioavailable small-molecule drugs and biologics are critical to overcome this global issue. Improved therapeutics and prophylactics are required to treat people with circulating and emerging new variants, addressing severe infection, and people with underlying or immunocompromised conditions. The SARS-CoV-2 envelope spike is a challenging target for viral entry inhibitors. Pindolol presented a good docking score in a previous virtual screening using computational docking calculations after screening a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug library of 2400 molecules as potential candidates to block the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein interaction with the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2). Here, we expanded the computational evaluation to identify five beta-blockers against SARS-CoV-2 using several techniques, such as microscale thermophoresis, NanoDSF, and in vitro assays in different cell lines. These data identified carvedilol with a K d of 364 ± 22 nM for the SARS-CoV-2 spike and in vitro activity (EC50 of 7.57 µM, CC50 of 18.07 µM) against SARS-CoV-2 in Calu-3 cells. We have shown how we can apply multiple computational and experimental approaches to find molecules that can be further optimized to improve anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity.

2.
Nat Commun ; 14(1): 199, 2023 01 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2185848

ABSTRACT

Orally available antivirals against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are necessary because of the continuous circulation of new variants that challenge immunized individuals. Because severe COVID-19 is a virus-triggered immune and inflammatory dysfunction, molecules endowed with both antiviral and anti-inflammatory activity are highly desirable. We identified here that kinetin (MB-905) inhibits the in vitro replication of SARS-CoV-2 in human hepatic and pulmonary cell lines. On infected monocytes, MB-905 reduced virus replication, IL-6 and TNFα levels. MB-905 is converted into its triphosphate nucleotide to inhibit viral RNA synthesis and induce error-prone virus replication. Coinhibition of SARS-CoV-2 exonuclease, a proofreading enzyme that corrects erroneously incorporated nucleotides during viral RNA replication, potentiated the inhibitory effect of MB-905. MB-905 shows good oral absorption, its metabolites are stable, achieving long-lasting plasma and lung concentrations, and this drug is not mutagenic nor cardiotoxic in acute and chronic treatments. SARS-CoV-2-infected hACE-mice and hamsters treated with MB-905 show decreased viral replication, lung necrosis, hemorrhage and inflammation. Because kinetin is clinically investigated for a rare genetic disease at regimens beyond the predicted concentrations of antiviral/anti-inflammatory inhibition, our investigation suggests the opportunity for the rapid clinical development of a new antiviral substance for the treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents , COVID-19 , Animals , Humans , Mice , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2 , Kinetin/pharmacology , Inflammation/drug therapy , Nucleotides , Virus Replication
3.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(18)2022 Sep 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2071502

ABSTRACT

The chymotrypsin-like cysteine protease (3CLpro, also known as main protease-Mpro) and papain-like protease (PLpro) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have been used as the main targets for screening potential synthetic inhibitors for posterior in vitro evaluation of the most promising compounds. In this sense, the present work reports for the first time the evaluation of the interaction between Mpro/PLpro with a series of 17 porphyrin analogues-corrole (C1), meso-aryl-corrole (C2), and 15 fluorinated-meso-aryl-corrole derivatives (C3-C17) via molecular docking calculations. The impact of fluorine atoms on meso-aryl-corrole structure was also evaluated in terms of binding affinity and physical-chemical properties by two-dimensional quantitative structure-activity relationship (2D-QSAR). The presence of phenyl moieties increased the binding capacity of corrole for both proteases and depending on the position of fluorine atoms might impact positively or negatively the binding capacity. For Mpro the para-fluorine atoms might decrease drastically the binding capacity, while for PLpro there was a certain increase in the binding affinity of fluorinated-corroles with the increase of fluorine atoms into meso-aryl-corrole structure mainly from tri-fluorinated insertions. The 2D-QSAR models indicated two separated regions of higher and lower affinity for Mpro:C1-C17 based on dual electronic parameters (σI and σR), as well as one model was obtained with a correlation between the docking score value of Mpro:C2-C17 and the corresponding 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) chemical shifts of the sp2 carbon atoms (δC-1 and δC-2) of C2-C17. Overall, the fluorinated-meso-aryl-corrole derivatives showed favorable in silico parameters as potential synthetic compounds for future in vitro assays on the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 replication.


Subject(s)
Porphyrins , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Carbon , Chymotrypsin , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Fluorine , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Papain , Peptide Hydrolases , Porphyrins/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Int J Biol Macromol ; 222(Pt A): 1015-1026, 2022 Dec 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2049273

ABSTRACT

Despite the fast development of vaccines, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) still circulates through variants of concern (VoC) and escape the humoral immune response. SARS-CoV-2 has provoked over 200,000 deaths/months since its emergence and only a few antiviral drugs showed clinical benefit up to this moment. Thus, chemical structures endowed with anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity are important for continuous antiviral development and natural products represent a fruitful source of substances with biological activity. In the present study, agathisflavone (AGT), a biflavonoid from Anacardium occidentale was investigated as a candidate anti-SARS-CoV-2 compound. In silico and enzymatic analysis indicated that AGT may target mainly the viral main protease (Mpro) and not the papain-like protease (PLpro) in a non-competitive way. Cell-based assays in type II pneumocytes cell lineage (Calu-3) showed that SARS-CoV-2 is more susceptible to AGT than to apigenin (APG, monomer of AGT), in a dose-dependent manner, with an EC50 of 4.23 ± 0.21 µM and CC50 of 61.3 ± 0.1 µM and with a capacity to inhibit the level of pro-inflammatory mediator tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α). These results configure AGT as an interesting chemical scaffold for the development of novel semisynthetic antivirals against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Biflavonoids , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Biflavonoids/pharmacology , Peptide Hydrolases , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry
5.
Microbiome ; 10(1): 65, 2022 04 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2002234

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Critically ill 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients under invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) are 10 to 40 times more likely to die than the general population. Although progression from mild to severe COVID-19 has been associated with hypoxia, uncontrolled inflammation, and coagulopathy, the mechanisms involved in the progression to severity are poorly understood. METHODS: The virome of tracheal aspirates (TA) from 25 COVID-19 patients under IMV was assessed through unbiased RNA sequencing (RNA-seq), and correlation analyses were conducted using available clinical data. Unbiased sequences from nasopharyngeal swabs (NS) from mild cases and TA from non-COVID patients were included in our study for further comparisons. RESULTS: We found higher levels and differential expression of human endogenous retrovirus K (HERV-K) genes in TA from critically ill and deceased patients when comparing nasopharyngeal swabs from mild cases to TA from non-COVID patients. In critically ill patients, higher HERV-K levels were associated with early mortality (within 14 days of diagnosis) in the intensive care unit. Increased HERV-K expression in deceased patients was associated with IL-17-related inflammation, monocyte activation, and an increased consumption of clotting/fibrinolysis factors. Moreover, increased HERV-K expression was detected in human primary monocytes from healthy donors after experimental SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro. CONCLUSION: Our data implicate the levels of HERV-K transcripts in the physiopathology of COVID-19 in the respiratory tract of patients under invasive mechanical ventilation. Video abstract.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Endogenous Retroviruses , Critical Illness , Endogenous Retroviruses/genetics , Humans , Inflammation , Respiratory System , SARS-CoV-2
6.
ACS omega ; 7(32):27950-27958, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1989935

ABSTRACT

Finding antivirals for SARS-CoV-2 is still a major challenge, and many computational and experimental approaches have been employed to find a solution to this problem. While the global vaccination campaigns are the primary driver of controlling the current pandemic, orally bioavailable small-molecule drugs and biologics are critical to overcome this global issue. Improved therapeutics and prophylactics are required to treat people with circulating and emerging new variants, addressing severe infection, and people with underlying or immunocompromised conditions. The SARS-CoV-2 envelope spike is a challenging target for viral entry inhibitors. Pindolol presented a good docking score in a previous virtual screening using computational docking calculations after screening a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug library of 2400 molecules as potential candidates to block the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein interaction with the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2). Here, we expanded the computational evaluation to identify five beta-blockers against SARS-CoV-2 using several techniques, such as microscale thermophoresis, NanoDSF, and in vitro assays in different cell lines. These data identified carvedilol with a Kd of 364 ± 22 nM for the SARS-CoV-2 spike and in vitro activity (EC50 of 7.57 μM, CC50 of 18.07 μM) against SARS-CoV-2 in Calu-3 cells. We have shown how we can apply multiple computational and experimental approaches to find molecules that can be further optimized to improve anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity.

7.
Viruses ; 14(7)2022 06 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1917793

ABSTRACT

Despite the fast development of vaccines, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is still circulating and generating variants of concern (VoC) that escape the humoral immune response. In this context, the search for anti-SARS-CoV-2 compounds is still essential. A class of natural polyphenols known as flavonoids, frequently available in fruits and vegetables, is widely explored in the treatment of different diseases and used as a scaffold for the design of novel drugs. Therefore, herein we evaluate seven flavonoids divided into three subclasses, isoflavone (genistein), flavone (apigenin and luteolin) and flavonol (fisetin, kaempferol, myricetin, and quercetin), for COVID-19 treatment using cell-based assays and in silico calculations validated with experimental enzymatic data. The flavonols were better SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors than isoflavone and flavones. The increasing number of hydroxyl groups in ring B of the flavonols kaempferol, quercetin, and myricetin decreased the 50% effective concentration (EC50) value due to their impact on the orientation of the compounds inside the target. Myricetin and fisetin appear to be preferred candidates; they are both anti-inflammatory (decreasing TNF-α levels) and inhibit SARS-CoV-2 mainly by targeting the processability of the main protease (Mpro) in a non-competitive manner, with a potency comparable to the repurposed drug atazanavir. However, fisetin and myricetin might also be considered hits that are amenable to synthetic modification to improve their anti-SARS-CoV-2 profile by inhibiting not only Mpro, but also the 3'-5' exonuclease (ExoN).


Subject(s)
Flavones , Isoflavones , Flavones/pharmacology , Flavonoids/pharmacology , Flavonols/pharmacology , Humans , Isoflavones/pharmacology , Kaempferols , Molecular Docking Simulation , Protease Inhibitors , Quercetin/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Blood Adv ; 6(17): 5085-5099, 2022 09 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1789100

ABSTRACT

Accumulating evidence into the pathogenesis of COVID-19 highlights a hypercoagulability state with high risk of life-threatening thromboembolic complications. However, the mechanisms of hypercoagulability and their link to hyperinflammation remain poorly understood. Here, we investigate functions and mechanisms of platelet activation and platelet-monocyte interactions in inflammatory amplification during SARS-CoV-2 infection. We used a combination of immunophenotyping, single-cell analysis, functional assays, and pharmacological approaches to gain insights on mechanisms. Critically ill patients with COVID-19 exhibited increased platelet-monocyte aggregates formation. We identified a subset of inflammatory monocytes presenting high CD16 and low HLA-DR expression as the subset mainly interacting with platelets during severe COVID-19. Single-cell RNA-sequencing analysis indicated enhanced fibrinogen receptor Mac-1 in monocytes from patients with severe COVID-19. Monocytes from patients with severe COVID-19 displayed increased platelet binding and hyperresponsiveness to P-selectin and fibrinogen with respect to tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-1ß secretion. Platelets were able to orchestrate monocyte responses driving tissue factor (TF) expression, inflammatory activation, and inflammatory cytokines secretion in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Platelet-monocyte interactions ex vivo and in SARS-CoV-2 infection model in vitro reciprocally activated monocytes and platelets, inducing the heightened secretion of a wide panel of inflammatory mediators. We identified platelet adhesion as a primary signaling mechanism inducing mediator secretion and TF expression, whereas TF signaling played major roles in amplifying inflammation by inducing proinflammatory cytokines, especially tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-1ß. Our data identify platelet-induced TF expression and activity at the crossroad of coagulation and inflammation in severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Thrombophilia , Thrombosis , Blood Platelets/metabolism , Cytokines/metabolism , Humans , Inflammation/pathology , Interleukin-1beta/metabolism , Monocytes/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Thromboinflammation , Thromboplastin/metabolism , Thrombosis/metabolism , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism
10.
J Leukoc Biol ; 111(5): 1107-1121, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1756612

ABSTRACT

Infection by SARS-CoV-2 may elicit uncontrolled and damaging inflammatory responses. Thus, it is critical to identify compounds able to inhibit virus replication and thwart the inflammatory reaction. Here, we show that the plasma levels of the immunoregulatory neuropeptide VIP are elevated in patients with severe COVID-19, correlating with reduced inflammatory mediators and with survival on those patients. In vitro, vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP), highly similar neuropeptides, decreased the SARS-CoV-2 RNA content in human monocytes and viral production in lung epithelial cells, also reducing cell death. Both neuropeptides inhibited the production of proinflammatory mediators in lung epithelial cells and in monocytes. VIP and PACAP prevented in monocytes the SARS-CoV-2-induced activation of NF-kB and SREBP1 and SREBP2, transcriptions factors involved in proinflammatory reactions and lipid metabolism, respectively. They also promoted CREB activation, a transcription factor with antiapoptotic activity and negative regulator of NF-kB. Specific inhibition of NF-kB and SREBP1/2 reproduced the anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and cell death protection effects of VIP and PACAP. Our results support further clinical investigations of these neuropeptides against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide , Humans , Lipopolysaccharides/pharmacology , NF-kappa B/metabolism , Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase-Activating Polypeptide/pharmacology , RNA, Viral , Receptors, Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide, Type I , SARS-CoV-2 , Transcription Factors/metabolism , Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide/pharmacology
11.
Front Immunol ; 13: 820131, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731776

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is currently a worldwide emergency caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). In observational clinical studies, statins have been identified as beneficial to hospitalized patients with COVID-19. However, experimental evidence of underlying statins protection against SARS-CoV-2 remains elusive. Here we reported for the first-time experimental evidence of the protective effects of simvastatin treatment both in vitro and in vivo. We found that treatment with simvastatin significantly reduced the viral replication and lung damage in vivo, delaying SARS-CoV-2-associated physiopathology and mortality in the K18-hACE2-transgenic mice model. Moreover, simvastatin also downregulated the inflammation triggered by SARS-CoV-2 infection in pulmonary tissue and in human neutrophils, peripheral blood monocytes, and lung epithelial Calu-3 cells in vitro, showing its potential to modulate the inflammatory response both at the site of infection and systemically. Additionally, we also observed that simvastatin affected the course of SARS-CoV-2 infection through displacing ACE2 on cell membrane lipid rafts. In conclusion, our results show that simvastatin exhibits early protective effects on SARS-CoV-2 infection by inhibiting virus cell entry and inflammatory cytokine production, through mechanisms at least in part dependent on lipid rafts disruption.


Subject(s)
Down-Regulation/drug effects , Inflammation/drug therapy , Membrane Microdomains/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Simvastatin/pharmacology , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Inflammation/virology , Lung/virology , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Virus Replication/drug effects
12.
Pharmaceuticals (Basel) ; 15(1)2021 Dec 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1725923

ABSTRACT

Atazanavir (ATV) has already been considered as a potential repurposing drug to 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19); however, there are controversial reports on its mechanism of action and effectiveness as anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Through the pre-clinical chain of experiments: enzymatic, molecular docking, cell-based and in vivo assays, it is demonstrated here that both SARS-CoV-2 B.1 lineage and variant of concern gamma are susceptible to this antiretroviral. Enzymatic assays and molecular docking calculations showed that SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) was inhibited by ATV, with Morrison's inhibitory constant (Ki) 1.5-fold higher than GC376 (a positive control) dependent of the catalytic water (H2Ocat) content. ATV was a competitive inhibitor, increasing the Mpro's Michaelis-Menten (Km) more than sixfold. Cell-based assays indicated that different lineages of SARS-CoV-2 is susceptible to ATV. Using oral administration of ATV in mice to reach plasmatic exposure similar to humans, transgenic mice expression in human angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (K18-hACE2) were partially protected against lethal challenge with SARS-CoV-2 gamma. Moreover, less cell death and inflammation were observed in the lung from infected and treated mice. Our studies may contribute to a better comprehension of the Mpro/ATV interaction, which could pave the way to the development of specific inhibitors of this viral protease.

13.
Commun Biol ; 5(1): 154, 2022 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1699831

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has an exonuclease-based proofreader, which removes nucleotide inhibitors such as Remdesivir that are incorporated into the viral RNA during replication, reducing the efficacy of these drugs for treating COVID-19. Combinations of inhibitors of both the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and the exonuclease could overcome this deficiency. Here we report the identification of hepatitis C virus NS5A inhibitors Pibrentasvir and Ombitasvir as SARS-CoV-2 exonuclease inhibitors. In the presence of Pibrentasvir, RNAs terminated with the active forms of the prodrugs Sofosbuvir, Remdesivir, Favipiravir, Molnupiravir and AT-527 were largely protected from excision by the exonuclease, while in the absence of Pibrentasvir, there was rapid excision. Due to its unique structure, Tenofovir-terminated RNA was highly resistant to exonuclease excision even in the absence of Pibrentasvir. Viral cell culture studies also demonstrate significant synergy using this combination strategy. This study supports the use of combination drugs that inhibit both the SARS-CoV-2 polymerase and exonuclease for effective COVID-19 treatment.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Exonucleases/antagonists & inhibitors , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/antagonists & inhibitors , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Amino Acid Sequence , Anilides/pharmacology , Animals , Base Sequence , Benzimidazoles/pharmacology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line, Tumor , Chlorocebus aethiops , Drug Synergism , Exonucleases/genetics , Exonucleases/metabolism , Humans , Proline/pharmacology , Pyrrolidines/pharmacology , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/metabolism , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Valine/pharmacology , Vero Cells , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication/drug effects , Virus Replication/genetics
14.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 02 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1687050

ABSTRACT

Despite the development of specific therapies against severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the continuous investigation of the mechanism of action of clinically approved drugs could provide new information on the druggable steps of virus-host interaction. For example, chloroquine (CQ)/hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) lacks in vitro activity against SARS-CoV-2 in TMPRSS2-expressing cells, such as human pneumocyte cell line Calu-3, and likewise, failed to show clinical benefit in the Solidarity and Recovery clinical trials. Another antimalarial drug, mefloquine, which is not a 4-aminoquinoline like CQ/HCQ, has emerged as a potential anti-SARS-CoV-2 antiviral in vitro and has also been previously repurposed for respiratory diseases. Here, we investigated the anti-SARS-CoV-2 mechanism of action of mefloquine in cells relevant for the physiopathology of COVID-19, such as Calu-3 cells (that recapitulate type II pneumocytes) and monocytes. Molecular pathways modulated by mefloquine were assessed by differential expression analysis, and confirmed by biological assays. A PBPK model was developed to assess mefloquine's optimal doses for achieving therapeutic concentrations. Mefloquine inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication in Calu-3, with an EC50 of 1.2 µM and EC90 of 5.3 µM. It reduced SARS-CoV-2 RNA levels in monocytes and prevented virus-induced enhancement of IL-6 and TNF-α. Mefloquine reduced SARS-CoV-2 entry and synergized with Remdesivir. Mefloquine's pharmacological parameters are consistent with its plasma exposure in humans and its tissue-to-plasma predicted coefficient points suggesting that mefloquine may accumulate in the lungs. Altogether, our data indicate that mefloquine's chemical structure could represent an orally available host-acting agent to inhibit virus entry.


Subject(s)
Alveolar Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Chloroquine/pharmacology , Mefloquine/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/virology , Cell Line , Drug Repositioning/methods , Humans , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Virus Internalization/drug effects
15.
PeerJ ; 9: e12595, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1579899

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infects cardiac cells and causes heart dysfunction. Conditions such as myocarditis and arrhythmia have been reported in COVID-19 patients. The Sigma-1 receptor (S1R) is a ubiquitously expressed chaperone that plays a central role in cardiomyocyte function. S1R has been proposed as a therapeutic target because it may affect SARS-CoV-2 replication; however, the impact of the inhibition of S1R in human cardiomyocytes remains to be described. In this study, we investigated the consequences of S1R inhibition in iPSC-derived human cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CM). SARS-CoV-2 infection in hiPSC-CM was productive and reduced cell survival. S1R inhibition decreased both the number of infected cells and viral particles after 48 hours. S1R inhibition also prevented the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and cell death. Although the S1R antagonist NE-100 triggered those protective effects, it compromised cytoskeleton integrity by downregulating the expression of structural-related genes and reducing beating frequency. Our findings suggest that the detrimental effects of S1R inhibition in human cardiomyocytes' integrity may abrogate its therapeutic potential against COVID and should be carefully considered.

16.
iScience ; 24(11): 103315, 2021 Nov 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1474644

ABSTRACT

We used the recombinant trimeric spike (S) glycoprotein in the prefusion conformation to immunize horses for the production of hyperimmune globulins against SARS-CoV-2. Serum antibody titers measured by ELISA were above 1:106, and the neutralizing antibody titer against authentic virus (WT) was 1:14,604 (average PRNT90). Plasma from immunized animals was pepsin digested to remove the Fc portion and purified, yielding an F(ab')2 preparation with PRNT90 titers 150-fold higher than the neutralizing titers in human convalescent plasma. Challenge studies were carried out in hamsters and showed the in vivo ability of equine F(ab')2 to reduce viral load in the pulmonary tissues and significant clinical improvement determined by weight gain. The neutralization curve by F(ab')2 was similar against the WT and P.2 variants, but displaced to higher concentrations by 0.39 log units against the P.1 (Gamma) variant. These results support the possibility of using equine F(ab')2 preparation for the clinical treatment of COVID patients.

17.
PeerJ ; 9: e12262, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1468712

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which can infect several organs, especially impacting respiratory capacity. Among the extrapulmonary manifestations of COVID-19 is myocardial injury, which is associated with a high risk of mortality. Myocardial injury, caused directly or indirectly by SARS-CoV-2 infection, can be triggered by inflammatory processes that lead to damage to the heart tissue. Since one of the hallmarks of severe COVID-19 is the "cytokine storm", strategies to control inflammation caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection have been considered. Cannabinoids are known to have anti-inflammatory properties by negatively modulating the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Herein, we investigated the effects of the cannabinoid agonist WIN 55,212-2 (WIN) in human iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) infected with SARS-CoV-2. WIN did not modify angiotensin-converting enzyme II protein levels, nor reduced viral infection and replication in hiPSC-CMs. On the other hand, WIN reduced the levels of interleukins six, eight, 18 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) released by infected cells, and attenuated cytotoxic damage measured by the release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). Our findings suggest that cannabinoids should be further explored as a complementary therapeutic tool for reducing inflammation in COVID-19 patients.

19.
Cells ; 10(9)2021 08 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374306

ABSTRACT

The cellular immune response plays an important role in COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2. This feature makes use of in vitro models' useful tools to evaluate vaccines and biopharmaceutical effects. Here, we developed a two-step model to evaluate the cellular immune response after SARS-CoV-2 infection-induced or spike protein stimulation in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from both unexposed and COVID-19 (primo-infected) individuals (Step1). Moreover, the supernatants of these cultures were used to evaluate its effects on lung cell lines (A549) (Step2). When PBMC from the unexposed were infected by SARS-CoV-2, cytotoxic natural killer and nonclassical monocytes expressing inflammatory cytokines genes were raised. The supernatant of these cells can induce apoptosis of A549 cells (mock vs. Step2 [mean]: 6.4% × 17.7%). Meanwhile, PBMCs from primo-infected presented their memory CD4+ T cells activated with a high production of IFNG and antiviral genes. Supernatant from past COVID-19 subjects contributed to reduce apoptosis (mock vs. Step2 [ratio]: 7.2 × 1.4) and to elevate the antiviral activity (iNOS) of A549 cells (mock vs. Step2 [mean]: 31.5% × 55.7%). Our findings showed features of immune primary cells and lung cell lines response after SARS-CoV-2 or spike protein stimulation that can be used as an in vitro model to study the immunity effects after SARS-CoV-2 antigen exposure.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Immunity, Cellular , Models, Biological , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adult , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/virology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/genetics , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/metabolism , Female , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Immunologic Memory/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Phenotype , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Virus Replication/physiology , Young Adult
20.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(16)2021 Aug 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1367849

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been linked to hematological dysfunctions, but there are little experimental data that explain this. Spike (S) and Nucleoprotein (N) proteins have been putatively associated with these dysfunctions. In this work, we analyzed the recruitment of hemoglobin (Hb) and other metabolites (hemin and protoporphyrin IX-PpIX) by SARS-Cov2 proteins using different approaches. (2) Methods: shotgun proteomics (LC-MS/MS) after affinity column adsorption identified hemin-binding SARS-CoV-2 proteins. The parallel synthesis of the peptides technique was used to study the interaction of the receptor bind domain (RBD) and N-terminal domain (NTD) of the S protein with Hb and in silico analysis to identify the binding motifs of the N protein. The plaque assay was used to investigate the inhibitory effect of Hb and the metabolites hemin and PpIX on virus adsorption and replication in Vero cells. (3) Results: the proteomic analysis by LC-MS/MS identified the S, N, M, Nsp3, and Nsp7 as putative hemin-binding proteins. Six short sequences in the RBD and 11 in the NTD of the spike were identified by microarray of peptides to interact with Hb and tree motifs in the N protein by in silico analysis to bind with heme. An inhibitory effect in vitro of Hb, hemin, and PpIX at different levels was observed. Strikingly, free Hb at 1mM suppressed viral replication (99%), and its interaction with SARS-CoV-2 was localized into the RBD region of the spike protein. (4) Conclusions: in this study, we identified that (at least) five proteins (S, N, M, Nsp3, and Nsp7) of SARS-CoV-2 recruit Hb/metabolites. The motifs of the RDB of SARS-CoV-2 spike, which binds Hb, and the sites of the heme bind-N protein were disclosed. In addition, these compounds and PpIX block the virus's adsorption and replication. Furthermore, we also identified heme-binding motifs and interaction with hemin in N protein and other structural (S and M) and non-structural (Nsp3 and Nsp7) proteins.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/etiology , Hemoglobins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Viral Structural Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/blood , Hemin/metabolism , Hemoglobins/ultrastructure , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Proteomics , Protoporphyrins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/ultrastructure , Viral Structural Proteins/ultrastructure , Virus Attachment , Virus Replication
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