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Brain Disord ; 4: 100021, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1426913


Coronaviruses have emerged as alarming pathogens owing to their inherent ability of genetic variation and cross-species transmission. Coronavirus infection burdens the endoplasmic reticulum (ER.), causes reactive oxygen species production and induces host stress responses, including unfolded protein response (UPR) and antioxidant system. In this study, we have employed a neurotropic murine ß-coronavirus (M-CoV) infection in the Central Nervous System (CNS) of experimental mice model to study the role of host stress responses mediated by interplay of DJ-1 and XBP1. DJ-1 is an antioxidant molecule with established functions in neurodegeneration. However, its regulation in virus-induced cellular stress response is less explored. Our study showed that M-CoV infection activated the glial cells and induced antioxidant and UPR genes during the acute stage when the viral titer peaks. As the virus particles decreased and acute neuroinflammation diminished at day ten p.i., a significant up-regulation in UPR responsive XBP1, antioxidant DJ-1, and downstream signaling molecules, including Nrf2, was recorded in the brain tissues. Additionally, preliminary in silico analysis of the binding between the DJ-1 promoter and a positively charged groove of XBP1 is also investigated, thus hinting at a mechanism behind the upregulation of DJ-1 during MHV-infection. The current study thus attempts to elucidate a novel interplay between the antioxidant system and UPR in the outcome of coronavirus infection.

Virology ; 569: 13-28, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740261


Emerging mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 genome pose a challenge for vaccine development and antiviral therapy. The antiviral efficacy of Azadirachta indica bark extract (NBE) was assessed against SARS-CoV-2 and m-CoV-RSA59 infection. Effects of in vivo intranasal or oral NBE administration on viral load, inflammatory response, and histopathological changes were assessed in m-CoV-RSA59-infection. NBE administered inhibits SARS-CoV-2 and m-CoV-RSA59 infection and replication in vitro, reducing Envelope and Nucleocapsid gene expression. NBE ameliorates neuroinflammation and hepatitis in vivo by restricting viral replication and spread. Isolated fractions of NBE enriched in Nimbin isomers shows potent inhibition of m-CoV-RSA59 infection in vitro. In silico studies revealed that NBE could target Spike and RdRp of m-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 with high affinity. NBE has a triterpenoids origin that may allow them to competitively target panoply of viral proteins to inhibit mouse and different strains of human coronavirus infections, suggesting its potential as an antiviral against pan-ß-Coronaviruses.

Azadirachta , COVID-19 Drug Treatment , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Limonins , Mice , Plant Bark , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Replication
Ann Neurosci ; 28(3-4): 201-218, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477158


Background: Coronaviruses (CoVs) are single-stranded, polyadenylated, enveloped RNA of positive polarity with a unique potential to alter host tropism. This has been exceptionally demonstrated by the emergence of deadly virus outbreaks of the past: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) in 2003 and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) in 2012. Summary: The 2019 outbreak by the new cross-species transmission of SARS-CoV-2 has put the world on alert. CoV infection is triggered by receptor recognition, membrane fusion, and successive viral entry mediated by the surface Spike (S) glycoprotein. S protein is one of the major antigenic determinants and the target for neutralizing antibodies. It is a valuable target in antiviral therapies because of its central role in cell-cell fusion, viral antigen spread, and host immune responses leading to immunopathogenesis. The receptor-binding domain of S protein has received greater attention as it initiates host attachment and contains major antigenic determinants. However, investigating the therapeutic potential of fusion peptide as a part of the fusion core complex assembled by the heptad repeats 1 and 2 (HR1 and HR2) is also warranted. Along with receptor attachment and entry, fusion mechanisms should also be explored for designing inhibitors as a therapeutic intervention. Key message: In this article, we review the S protein function and its role in mediating membrane fusion, spread, tropism, and its associated pathogenesis with notable therapeutic strategies focusing on results obtained from studies on a murine ß-Coronavirus (m-CoV) and its associated disease process.