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Commun Biol ; 5(1): 516, 2022 05 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1947507


The development of an in vitro cell model that can be used to study severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) research is expected. Here we conducted infection experiments in bronchial organoids (BO) and an BO-derived air-liquid interface model (BO-ALI) using 8 SARS-CoV-2 variants. The infection efficiency in BO-ALI was more than 1,000 times higher than that in BO. Among the bronchial epithelial cells, we found that ciliated cells were infected with the virus, but basal cells were not. Ciliated cells died 7 days after the viral infection, but basal cells survived after the viral infection and differentiated into ciliated cells. Fibroblast growth factor 10 signaling was essential for this differentiation. These results indicate that BO and BO-ALI may be used not only to evaluate the cell response to SARS-CoV-2 and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) therapeutic agents, but also for airway regeneration studies.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Bronchi , Humans , Organoids
Mol Ther Nucleic Acids ; 26: 1107-1114, 2021 Dec 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1472122


It has been reported that many receptors and proteases are required for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Although angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is the most important of these receptors, little is known about the contribution of other genes. In this study, we examined the roles of neuropilin-1, basigin, transmembrane serine proteases (TMPRSSs), and cathepsins (CTSs) in SARS-CoV-2 infection using the CRISPR interference system and ACE2-expressing human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Double knockdown of TMPRSS2 and cathepsin B (CTSB) reduced the viral load to 0.036% ± 0.021%. Consistently, the combination of the CTPB inhibitor CA-074 methyl ester and the TMPRSS2 inhibitor camostat reduced the viral load to 0.0078% ± 0.0057%. This result was confirmed using four SARS-CoV-2 variants (B.1.3, B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and B.1.1.248). The simultaneous use of these two drugs reduced viral load to less than 0.01% in both female and male iPS cells. These findings suggest that compounds targeting TMPRSS2 and CTSB exhibit highly efficient antiviral effects independent of gender and SARS-CoV-2 variant.

iScience ; 24(5): 102428, 2021 May 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1188663


Genetic differences are a primary reason for differences in the susceptibility and severity of COVID-19. As induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells maintain the genetic information of the donor, they can be used to model individual differences in SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro. We found that human iPS cells expressing the SARS-CoV-2 receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) (ACE2-iPS cells) can be infected w SARS-CoV-2. In infected ACE2-iPS cells, the expression of SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein, budding of viral particles, and production of progeny virus, double membrane spherules, and double-membrane vesicles were confirmed. We performed SARS-CoV-2 infection experiments on ACE2-iPS/ embryonic stem (ES) cells from eight individuals. Male iPS/ES cells were more capable of producing the virus compared with female iPS/ES cells. These findings suggest that ACE2-iPS cells can not only reproduce individual differences in SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro but also are a useful resource to clarify the causes of individual differences in COVID-19 due to genetic differences.