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1.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 10(4)2022 Mar 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1810347

ABSTRACT

The urgent need for vaccines against Ebola virus (EBOV) was underscored by the large outbreak in West Africa (2014-2016). Since then, several promising vaccine candidates have been tested in pre-clinical and clinical studies. As a result, two vaccines were approved for human use in 2019/2020, of which one includes a heterologous adenovirus/Modified Vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) prime-boost regimen. Here, we tested new vaccine candidates based on the recombinant MVA vector, encoding the EBOV nucleoprotein (MVA-EBOV-NP) or glycoprotein (MVA-EBOV-GP) for their efficacy after homologous prime-boost immunization in mice. Our aim was to investigate the role of each antigen in terms of efficacy and correlates of protection. Sera of mice vaccinated with MVA-EBOV-GP were virus-neutralizing and MVA-EBOV-NP immunization readily elicited interferon-γ-producing NP-specific CD8+ T cells. While mock-vaccinated mice succumbed to EBOV infection, all vaccinated mice survived and showed drastically decreased viral loads in sera and organs. In addition, MVA-EBOV-NP vaccinated mice became susceptible to lethal EBOV infection after depletion of CD8+ T cells prior to challenge. This study highlights the potential of MVA-based vaccines to elicit humoral immune responses as well as a strong and protective CD8+ T cell response and contributes to understanding the possible underlying mechanisms.

3.
Life Sci Alliance ; 5(5)2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1675573

ABSTRACT

Acute kidney injury is associated with mortality in COVID-19 patients. However, host cell changes underlying infection of renal cells with SARS-CoV-2 remain unknown and prevent understanding of the molecular mechanisms that may contribute to renal pathology. Here, we carried out quantitative translatome and whole-cell proteomics analyses of primary renal proximal and distal tubular epithelial cells derived from human donors infected with SARS-CoV-2 or MERS-CoV to disseminate virus and cell type-specific changes over time. Our findings revealed shared pathways modified upon infection with both viruses, as well as SARS-CoV-2-specific host cell modulation driving key changes in innate immune activation and cellular protein quality control. Notably, MERS-CoV infection-induced specific changes in mitochondrial biology that were not observed in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Furthermore, we identified extensive modulation in pathways associated with kidney failure that changed in a virus- and cell type-specific manner. In summary, we provide an overview of the effects of SARS-CoV-2 or MERS-CoV infection on primary renal epithelial cells revealing key pathways that may be essential for viral replication.


Subject(s)
Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/virology , Kidney , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , Proteome , Proteomics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Biomarkers , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cell Nucleus/genetics , Cell Nucleus/metabolism , Cells, Cultured , Computational Biology/methods , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Gene Expression Regulation , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Kidney Tubules, Distal , Kidney Tubules, Proximal , Mitochondria/genetics , Mitochondria/metabolism , Primary Cell Culture , Proteomics/methods , Virus Replication
4.
Viruses ; 13(8)2021 07 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1335231

ABSTRACT

Despite the recent availability of vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2), there is an urgent need for specific anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs. Monoclonal neutralizing antibodies are an important drug class in the global fight against the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic due to their ability to convey immediate protection and their potential to be used as both prophylactic and therapeutic drugs. Clinically used neutralizing antibodies against respiratory viruses are currently injected intravenously, which can lead to suboptimal pulmonary bioavailability and thus to a lower effectiveness. Here we describe DZIF-10c, a fully human monoclonal neutralizing antibody that binds the receptor-binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. DZIF-10c displays an exceptionally high neutralizing potency against SARS-CoV-2, retains full activity against the variant of concern (VOC) B.1.1.7 and still neutralizes the VOC B.1.351, although with reduced potency. Importantly, not only systemic but also intranasal application of DZIF-10c abolished the presence of infectious particles in the lungs of SARS-CoV-2 infected mice and mitigated lung pathology when administered prophylactically. Along with a favorable pharmacokinetic profile, these results highlight DZIF-10c as a novel human SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody with high in vitro and in vivo antiviral potency. The successful intranasal application of DZIF-10c paves the way for clinical trials investigating topical delivery of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Neutralizing/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Viral/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Administration, Intranasal , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
5.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(28)2021 07 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1284760

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has emerged as the infectious agent causing the pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with dramatic consequences for global human health and economics. Previously, we reached clinical evaluation with our vector vaccine based on modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) against the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which causes an infection in humans similar to SARS and COVID-19. Here, we describe the construction and preclinical characterization of a recombinant MVA expressing full-length SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein (MVA-SARS-2-S). Genetic stability and growth characteristics of MVA-SARS-2-S, plus its robust expression of S protein as antigen, make it a suitable candidate vaccine for industrial-scale production. Vaccinated mice produced S-specific CD8+ T cells and serum antibodies binding to S protein that neutralized SARS-CoV-2. Prime-boost vaccination with MVA-SARS-2-S protected mice sensitized with a human ACE2-expressing adenovirus from SARS-CoV-2 infection. MVA-SARS-2-S is currently being investigated in a phase I clinical trial as aspirant for developing a safe and efficacious vaccine against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , COVID-19 Vaccines/standards , Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , T-Lymphocytes , Vaccination , Vaccinia virus
6.
Eur Respir J ; 56(5)2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-648811

ABSTRACT

While severe coronavirus infections, including Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), cause lung injury with high mortality rates, protective treatment strategies are not approved for clinical use.We elucidated the molecular mechanisms by which the cyclophilin inhibitors cyclosporin A (CsA) and alisporivir (ALV) restrict MERS-CoV to validate their suitability as readily available therapy in MERS-CoV infection.Calu-3 cells and primary human alveolar epithelial cells (hAECs) were infected with MERS-CoV and treated with CsA or ALV or inhibitors targeting cyclophilin inhibitor-regulated molecules including calcineurin, nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFATs) or mitogen-activated protein kinases. Novel CsA-induced pathways were identified by RNA sequencing and manipulated by gene knockdown or neutralising antibodies. Viral replication was quantified by quantitative real-time PCR and 50% tissue culture infective dose. Data were validated in a murine MERS-CoV infection model.Both CsA and ALV reduced MERS-CoV titres and viral RNA replication in Calu-3 cells and hAECs, improving epithelial integrity. While neither calcineurin nor NFAT inhibition reduced MERS-CoV propagation, blockade of c-Jun N-terminal kinase diminished infectious viral particle release but not RNA accumulation. Importantly, CsA induced interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF1), a pronounced type III interferon (IFNλ) response and expression of antiviral genes. Downregulation of IRF1 or IFNλ increased MERS-CoV propagation in the presence of CsA. Importantly, oral application of CsA reduced MERS-CoV replication in vivo, correlating with elevated lung IFNλ levels and improved outcome.We provide evidence that cyclophilin inhibitors efficiently decrease MERS-CoV replication in vitro and in vivo via upregulation of inflammatory antiviral cell responses, in particular IFNλ. CsA might therefore represent a promising candidate for treating MERS-CoV infection.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Cyclophilins/antagonists & inhibitors , Cyclosporine/pharmacology , Interferons/metabolism , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/drug effects , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/virology , Animals , Calcineurin Inhibitors/pharmacology , Cell Culture Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Interferon Regulatory Factor-1/drug effects , Interferon Regulatory Factor-1/metabolism , Interferons/drug effects , Mice , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , Virus Replication/drug effects
7.
Science ; 368(6489): 409-412, 2020 04 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-164984

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a global health emergency. An attractive drug target among coronaviruses is the main protease (Mpro, also called 3CLpro) because of its essential role in processing the polyproteins that are translated from the viral RNA. We report the x-ray structures of the unliganded SARS-CoV-2 Mpro and its complex with an α-ketoamide inhibitor. This was derived from a previously designed inhibitor but with the P3-P2 amide bond incorporated into a pyridone ring to enhance the half-life of the compound in plasma. On the basis of the unliganded structure, we developed the lead compound into a potent inhibitor of the SARS-CoV-2 Mpro The pharmacokinetic characterization of the optimized inhibitor reveals a pronounced lung tropism and suitability for administration by the inhalative route.


Subject(s)
Amides/chemistry , Amides/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Betacoronavirus/enzymology , Cysteine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Amides/metabolism , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacokinetics , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Binding Sites , Cell Line, Tumor , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Crystallography, X-Ray , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Drug Design , Half-Life , Humans , Lung/metabolism , Mice , Models, Molecular , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacokinetics , Protein Domains , Protein Multimerization , Pyridones/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication/drug effects
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