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1.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 9(3): ofac027, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1701028

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: While several demographic and clinical correlates of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outcome have been identified, their relationship to virological and immunological parameters remains poorly defined. METHODS: To address this, we performed longitudinal collection of nasopharyngeal swabs and blood samples from a cohort of 58 hospitalized adults with COVID-19. Samples were assessed for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) viral load, viral genotype, viral diversity, and antibody titer. Demographic and clinical information, including patient blood tests and several composite measures of disease severity, was extracted from electronic health records. RESULTS: Several factors, including male sex, higher age, higher body mass index, higher 4C Mortality score, and elevated lactate dehydrogenase levels, were associated with intensive care unit admission. Of all measured parameters, only the retrospectively calculated median Deterioration Index score was significantly associated with death. While quantitative polymerase chain reaction cycle threshold (Ct) values and genotype of SARS-CoV-2 were not significantly associated with outcome, Ct value did correlate positively with C-reactive protein levels and negatively with D-dimer, lymphocyte count, and antibody titer. Intrahost viral genetic diversity remained constant through the disease course and resulted in changes in viral genotype in some participants. CONCLUSIONS: Ultimately, these results suggest that worse outcomes are driven by immune dysfunction rather than by viral load and that SARS-CoV-2 evolution in hospital settings is relatively constant over time.

2.
Sci Signal ; 14(689)2021 06 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406596

ABSTRACT

Capping of viral messenger RNAs is essential for efficient translation, for virus replication, and for preventing detection by the host cell innate response system. The SARS-CoV-2 genome encodes the 2'-O-methyltransferase nsp16, which, when bound to the coactivator nsp10, uses S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) as a donor to transfer a methyl group to the first ribonucleotide of the mRNA in the final step of viral mRNA capping. Here, we provide biochemical and structural evidence that this reaction requires divalent cations, preferably Mn2+, and a coronavirus-specific four-residue insert. We determined the x-ray structures of the SARS-CoV-2 2'-O-methyltransferase (the nsp16-nsp10 heterodimer) in complex with its reaction substrates, products, and divalent metal cations. These structural snapshots revealed that metal ions and the insert stabilize interactions between the capped RNA and nsp16, resulting in the precise alignment of the ribonucleotides in the active site. Comparison of available structures of 2'-O-methyltransferases with capped RNAs from different organisms revealed that the four-residue insert unique to coronavirus nsp16 alters the backbone conformation of the capped RNA in the binding groove, thereby promoting catalysis. This insert is highly conserved across coronaviruses, and its absence in mammalian methyltransferases makes this region a promising site for structure-guided drug design of selective coronavirus inhibitors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , RNA Caps/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Amino Acid Sequence , Catalytic Domain , Crystallography, X-Ray , Humans , Manganese/metabolism , Methylation , Methyltransferases/chemistry , Methyltransferases/genetics , Methyltransferases/metabolism , Models, Molecular , Nucleic Acid Conformation , RNA Caps/chemistry , RNA Caps/genetics , RNA Stability , RNA, Messenger/chemistry , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , S-Adenosylmethionine/chemistry , S-Adenosylmethionine/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Signal Transduction , Substrate Specificity , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics
3.
SLAS Discov ; 26(9): 1200-1211, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1290310

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly brought the healthcare systems worldwide to a breaking point, along with devastating socioeconomic consequences. The SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the disease, uses RNA capping to evade the human immune system. Nonstructural protein (nsp) 14 is one of the 16 nsps in SARS-CoV-2 and catalyzes the methylation of the viral RNA at N7-guanosine in the cap formation process. To discover small-molecule inhibitors of nsp14 methyltransferase (MTase) activity, we developed and employed a radiometric MTase assay to screen a library of 161 in-house synthesized S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) competitive MTase inhibitors and SAM analogs. Among six identified screening hits, SS148 inhibited nsp14 MTase activity with an IC50 value of 70 ± 6 nM and was selective against 20 human protein lysine MTases, indicating significant differences in SAM binding sites. Interestingly, DS0464 with an IC50 value of 1.1 ± 0.2 µM showed a bisubstrate competitive inhibitor mechanism of action. DS0464 was also selective against 28 out of 33 RNA, DNA, and protein MTases. The structure-activity relationship provided by these compounds should guide the optimization of selective bisubstrate nsp14 inhibitors and may provide a path toward a novel class of antivirals against COVID-19, and possibly other coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Exoribonucleases/genetics , Protein Binding/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Methylation , Pandemics , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Virus Replication/genetics
4.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(21)2021 05 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1223143

ABSTRACT

The genome of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) coronavirus has a capping modification at the 5'-untranslated region (UTR) to prevent its degradation by host nucleases. These modifications are performed by the Nsp10/14 and Nsp10/16 heterodimers using S-adenosylmethionine as the methyl donor. Nsp10/16 heterodimer is responsible for the methylation at the ribose 2'-O position of the first nucleotide. To investigate the conformational changes of the complex during 2'-O methyltransferase activity, we used a fixed-target serial synchrotron crystallography method at room temperature. We determined crystal structures of Nsp10/16 with substrates and products that revealed the states before and after methylation, occurring within the crystals during the experiments. Here we report the crystal structure of Nsp10/16 in complex with Cap-1 analog (m7GpppAm2'-O). Inhibition of Nsp16 activity may reduce viral proliferation, making this protein an attractive drug target.


Subject(s)
RNA Caps/metabolism , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Crystallography , Methylation , Methyltransferases/chemistry , Methyltransferases/metabolism , Multiprotein Complexes/chemistry , Multiprotein Complexes/metabolism , RNA Cap Analogs/chemistry , RNA Cap Analogs/metabolism , RNA Caps/chemistry , RNA, Messenger/chemistry , RNA, Viral/chemistry , S-Adenosylhomocysteine/chemistry , S-Adenosylhomocysteine/metabolism , S-Adenosylmethionine/chemistry , S-Adenosylmethionine/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Synchrotrons , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/chemistry , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/metabolism
5.
Sci Signal ; 13(651)2020 09 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-808027

ABSTRACT

There are currently no antiviral therapies specific for SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the global pandemic disease COVID-19. To facilitate structure-based drug design, we conducted an x-ray crystallographic study of the SARS-CoV-2 nsp16-nsp10 2'-O-methyltransferase complex, which methylates Cap-0 viral mRNAs to improve viral protein translation and to avoid host immune detection. We determined the structures for nsp16-nsp10 heterodimers bound to the methyl donor S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), the reaction product S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH), or the SAH analog sinefungin (SFG). We also solved structures for nsp16-nsp10 in complex with the methylated Cap-0 analog m7GpppA and either SAM or SAH. Comparative analyses between these structures and published structures for nsp16 from other betacoronaviruses revealed flexible loops in open and closed conformations at the m7GpppA-binding pocket. Bound sulfates in several of the structures suggested the location of the ribonucleic acid backbone phosphates in the ribonucleotide-binding groove. Additional nucleotide-binding sites were found on the face of the protein opposite the active site. These various sites and the conserved dimer interface could be exploited for the development of antiviral inhibitors.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/enzymology , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Methyltransferases/chemistry , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Adenosine/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine/metabolism , Adenosine/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Binding Sites , COVID-19 , Catalytic Domain , Crystallography, X-Ray , Dimerization , Genes, Viral/genetics , Humans , Methylation , Methyltransferases/antagonists & inhibitors , Models, Molecular , Open Reading Frames/genetics , Pandemics , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , RNA Cap Analogs/metabolism , RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional , RNA, Viral/metabolism , S-Adenosylhomocysteine/metabolism , S-Adenosylmethionine/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Structure-Activity Relationship , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
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