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1.
mBio ; 13(3): e0078422, 2022 06 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1807327

ABSTRACT

The main protease, Mpro, of SARS-CoV-2 is required to cleave the viral polyprotein into precise functional units for virus replication and pathogenesis. Here, we report quantitative reporters for Mpro function in living cells in which protease inhibition by genetic or chemical methods results in robust signal readouts by fluorescence (enhanced green fluorescent protein [eGFP]) or bioluminescence (firefly luciferase). These gain-of-signal systems are scalable to high-throughput platforms for quantitative discrimination between Mpro mutants and/or inhibitor potencies as evidenced by validation of several reported inhibitors. Additional utility is shown by single Mpro amino acid variants and structural information combining to demonstrate that both inhibitor conformational dynamics and amino acid differences are able to influence inhibitor potency. We further show that a recent variant of concern (Omicron) has an unchanged response to a clinically approved drug, nirmatrelvir, whereas proteases from divergent coronavirus species show differential susceptibility. Together, we demonstrate that these gain-of-signal systems serve as robust, facile, and scalable assays for live cell quantification of Mpro inhibition, which will help expedite the development of next-generation antivirals and enable the rapid testing of emerging variants. IMPORTANCE The main protease, Mpro, of SARS-CoV-2 is an essential viral protein required for the earliest steps of infection. It is therefore an attractive target for antiviral drug development. Here, we report the development and implementation of two complementary cell-based systems for quantification of Mpro inhibition by genetic or chemical approaches. The first is fluorescence based (eGFP), and the second is luminescence based (firefly luciferase). Importantly, both systems rely upon gain-of-signal readouts such that stronger inhibitors yield higher fluorescent or luminescent signal. The high versatility and utility of these systems are demonstrated by characterizing Mpro mutants and natural variants, including Omicron, as well as a panel of existing inhibitors. These systems rapidly, safely, and sensitively identify Mpro variants with altered susceptibilities to inhibition, triage-nonspecific, or off-target molecules and validate bona fide inhibitors, with the most potent thus far being the first-in-class drug nirmatrelvir.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Protease Inhibitors , SARS-CoV-2 , Amino Acids , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Luciferases, Firefly , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
2.
J Virol ; 96(8): e0024922, 2022 04 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1765081

ABSTRACT

The highly contagious and fast-spreading omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 infects the respiratory tracts efficiently. The receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the omicron spike protein recognizes human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as its receptor and plays a critical role in the tissue tropism of SARS-CoV-2. Here, we showed that the omicron RBD (strain BA.1) binds to ACE2 more strongly than does the prototypic RBD from the original Wuhan strain. We also measured how individual omicron mutations affect ACE2 binding. We further determined the crystal structure of the omicron RBD (engineered to facilitate crystallization) complexed with ACE2 at 2.6 Å. The structure shows that omicron mutations caused significant structural rearrangements of two mutational hot spots at the RBD/ACE2 interface, elucidating how each omicron mutation affects ACE2 binding. The enhanced ACE2 binding by the omicron RBD may facilitate the omicron variant's infection of the respiratory tracts where ACE2 expression level is low. Our study provides insights into the receptor recognition and tissue tropism of the omicron variant. IMPORTANCE Despite the scarcity of the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2)-in the respiratory tract, the omicron variant efficiently infects the respiratory tract, causing rapid and widespread infections of COVID-19. The omicron variant contains extensive mutations in the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of its spike protein that recognizes human ACE2. Here, using a combination of biochemical and X-ray crystallographic approaches, we showed that the omicron RBD binds to ACE2 with enhanced affinity and also elucidated the role of each of the omicron mutations in ACE2 binding. The enhanced ACE2 binding by the omicron RBD may contribute to the omicron variant's new viral tropism in the respiratory tract despite the low level of ACE2 expression in the tissue. These findings help us to understand tissue tropism of the omicron variant and shed light on the molecular evolution of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Mutation , Protein Binding , Protein Structure, Tertiary , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
3.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-321206

ABSTRACT

A novel SARS-like coronavirus (2019-nCoV) recently emerged from Wuhan, China and is quickly spreading in humans. A key to tackling this epidemic is to understand the virus’s receptor recognition mechanism, which regulates its infection, pathogenesis, and host range. 2019-nCoV and SARS-CoV recognize the same host receptor ACE2. Here we determined the crystal structure of 2019-nCoV receptor-binding domain (RBD) (engineered to facilitate crystallization) in complex of human ACE2.Compared with SARS-CoV, an ACE2-binding ridge in 2019-nCoV RBD takes more compact conformations, causing structural changes at the RBD/ACE2 interface. Adaptive to these structural changes, several mutations in 2019-nCoV RBD enhance ACE2- binding affinity, contributing to the high infectivity of 2019-CoV. These mutations also reveal the molecular mechanisms of the animal-to-human transmission of 2019-nCoV. Alarmingly, a single N439R mutation in 2019-nCoV RBD further enhances its ACE2- binding affinity, indicating possible future evolution of 2019-nCoV in humans. This study sheds light on the epidemiology and evolution of 2019-nCoV, and provides guidance for intervention strategies targeting receptor recognition by 2019-nCoV.

4.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(9)2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1684239

ABSTRACT

High-fidelity replication of the large RNA genome of coronaviruses (CoVs) is mediated by a 3'-to-5' exoribonuclease (ExoN) in nonstructural protein 14 (nsp14), which excises nucleotides including antiviral drugs misincorporated by the low-fidelity viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) and has also been implicated in viral RNA recombination and resistance to innate immunity. Here, we determined a 1.6-Å resolution crystal structure of severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV 2 (SARS-CoV-2) ExoN in complex with its essential cofactor, nsp10. The structure shows a highly basic and concave surface flanking the active site, comprising several Lys residues of nsp14 and the N-terminal amino group of nsp10. Modeling suggests that this basic patch binds to the template strand of double-stranded RNA substrates to position the 3' end of the nascent strand in the ExoN active site, which is corroborated by mutational and computational analyses. We also show that the ExoN activity can rescue a stalled RNA primer poisoned with sofosbuvir and allow RdRp to continue its extension in the presence of the chain-terminating drug, biochemically recapitulating proofreading in SARS-CoV-2 replication. Molecular dynamics simulations further show remarkable flexibility of multidomain nsp14 and suggest that nsp10 stabilizes ExoN for substrate RNA binding to support its exonuclease activity. Our high-resolution structure of the SARS-CoV-2 ExoN-nsp10 complex serves as a platform for future development of anticoronaviral drugs or strategies to attenuate the viral virulence.


Subject(s)
Exoribonucleases/chemistry , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Nucleic Acid Conformation , Protein Domains , RNA, Viral/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Catalytic Domain , Crystallography, X-Ray , Exoribonucleases/genetics , Exoribonucleases/metabolism , Humans , Lysine/chemistry , Lysine/genetics , Lysine/metabolism , Mutation, Missense , Protein Binding , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
5.
Chin J Integr Med ; 28(1): 3-11, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1588738

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, is a major public health issue. The epidemic is unlikely to be contained until the global launch of safe and effective vaccines that could prevent serious illnesses and provide herd immunity. Although most patients have mild flu-like symptoms, some develop severe illnesses accompanied by multiple organ dysfunction. The identification of pathophysiology and early warning biomarkers of a severe type of COVID-19 contribute to the treatment and prevention of serious complications. Here, we review the pathophysiology, early warning indicators, and effective treatment of Chinese and Western Medicine for patients with a severe type of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 7325, 2021 12 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585854

ABSTRACT

Single-domain Variable New Antigen Receptors (VNARs) from the immune system of sharks are the smallest naturally occurring binding domains found in nature. Possessing flexible paratopes that can recognize protein motifs inaccessible to classical antibodies, VNARs have yet to be exploited for the development of SARS-CoV-2 therapeutics. Here, we detail the identification of a series of VNARs from a VNAR phage display library screened against the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD). The ability of the VNARs to neutralize pseudotype and authentic live SARS-CoV-2 virus rivalled or exceeded that of full-length immunoglobulins and other single-domain antibodies. Crystallographic analysis of two VNARs found that they recognized separate epitopes on the RBD and had distinctly different mechanisms of virus neutralization unique to VNARs. Structural and biochemical data suggest that VNARs would be effective therapeutic agents against emerging SARS-CoV-2 mutants, including the Delta variant, and coronaviruses across multiple phylogenetic lineages. This study highlights the utility of VNARs as effective therapeutics against coronaviruses and may serve as a critical milestone for nearing a paradigm shift of the greater biologic landscape.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Crystallography, X-Ray , Receptors, Antigen/chemistry , Receptors, Antigen/immunology , Sharks/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , COVID-19 , Epitopes , Mutation , Phylogeny , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Alignment , Single-Domain Antibodies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
7.
Journal of Medical Imaging and Health Informatics ; 11(11):2747-2753, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1495788

ABSTRACT

Purpose: This study aimed to identify severe Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases combining blood test results and imaging parameters based on a machine learning classifier at the initial admission.Materials and methods: Ninety-five non-severe and 22 severe laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases treated between January 23, 2020 and March 25, 2020 were examined in this retrospective trial. Blood test results and chest computed tomography (CT) images were obtained at the initial admission. The lesions on CT images were segmented using an artificial intelligent (AI) tool. Then, quantitative CT (QCT) parameters, including the volume, percentage, ground glass opacity (GGO) percentage and heterogeneity of the lesions were calculated. Correlations of blood test results and QCT parameters were analyzed by the Pearson test first. Then, discriminative features for detecting severe cases were selected by both the independent samples t test and least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) regression. Next, support vector machine (SVM), Gaussian naïve Bayes (GNB), Knearest neighbor (KNN), decision tree (DT), random forest (RF) and multi-layer perceptron-neural net (MLP-NN) algorithms were used as classifiers, and their accuracies were assessed by 10-fold-cross-validation.Results: Blood test indexes and CT parameters were moderately to medially correlated. Of all selected features, lesion percentage contributed mostly to the classification of the two groups, followed by lesion volume, patient age, lymphocyte count, neutrophil count, GGO percentage and tumor heterogeneity. RF-assisted identification had the highest accuracy of 91.38%, followed by GNB (87.83%), KNN (87.93%), SVM (86.21%), MLP-NN (85.34%) and DT (84.48%).Conclusions: The RF-assisted model combining blood test and QCT parameters is helpful in the identification of severe COVID-19 cases.

8.
Elife ; 102021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1377103

ABSTRACT

Combating the COVID-19 pandemic requires potent and low-cost therapeutics. We identified a series of single-domain antibodies (i.e., nanobody), Nanosota-1, from a camelid nanobody phage display library. Structural data showed that Nanosota-1 bound to the oft-hidden receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, blocking viral receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). The lead drug candidate possessing an Fc tag (Nanosota-1C-Fc) bound to SARS-CoV-2 RBD ~3000 times more tightly than ACE2 did and inhibited SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus ~160 times more efficiently than ACE2 did. Administered at a single dose, Nanosota-1C-Fc demonstrated preventive and therapeutic efficacy against live SARS-CoV-2 infection in both hamster and mouse models. Unlike conventional antibodies, Nanosota-1C-Fc was produced at high yields in bacteria and had exceptional thermostability. Pharmacokinetic analysis of Nanosota-1C-Fc documented an excellent in vivo stability and a high tissue bioavailability. As effective and inexpensive drug candidates, Nanosota-1 may contribute to the battle against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Single-Domain Antibodies/pharmacology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Models, Molecular , Pandemics , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , Receptors, Virus/immunology , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Single-Domain Antibodies/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
9.
J Virol ; 94(15)2020 07 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-831394

ABSTRACT

Currently, an effective therapeutic treatment for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) remains elusive. PRRSV helicase nsp10 is an important component of the replication transcription complex that plays a crucial role in viral replication, making nsp10 an important target for drug development. Here, we report the first crystal structure of full-length nsp10 from the arterivirus PRRSV, which has multiple domains: an N-terminal zinc-binding domain (ZBD), a 1B domain, and helicase core domains 1A and 2A. Importantly, our structural analyses indicate that the conformation of the 1B domain from arterivirus nsp10 undergoes a dynamic transition. The polynucleotide substrate channel formed by domains 1A and 1B adopts an open state, which may create enough space to accommodate and bind double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) during unwinding. Moreover, we report a unique C-terminal domain structure that participates in stabilizing the overall helicase structure. Our biochemical experiments also showed that deletion of the 1B domain and C-terminal domain significantly reduced the helicase activity of nsp10, indicating that the four domains must cooperate to contribute to helicase function. In addition, our results indicate that nidoviruses contain a conserved helicase core domain and key amino acid sites affecting helicase function, which share a common mechanism of helicase translocation and unwinding activity. These findings will help to further our understanding of the mechanism of helicase function and provide new targets for the development of antiviral drugs.IMPORTANCE Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is a major respiratory disease agent in pigs that causes enormous economic losses to the global swine industry. PRRSV helicase nsp10 is a multifunctional protein with translocation and unwinding activities and plays a vital role in viral RNA synthesis. Here, we report the first structure of full-length nsp10 from the arterivirus PRRSV at 3.0-Å resolution. Our results show that the 1B domain of PRRSV nsp10 adopts a novel open state and has a unique C-terminal domain structure, which plays a crucial role in nsp10 helicase activity. Furthermore, mutagenesis and structural analysis revealed conservation of the helicase catalytic domain across the order Nidovirales (families Arteriviridae and Coronaviridae). Importantly, our results will provide a structural basis for further understanding the function of helicases in the order Nidovirales.


Subject(s)
Porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome virus/enzymology , RNA Helicases/chemistry , RNA, Double-Stranded/chemistry , RNA, Viral/chemistry , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome virus/genetics , Protein Domains , RNA Helicases/genetics , RNA, Double-Stranded/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics
10.
Math Biosci Eng ; 17(4): 3618-3636, 2020 05 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-688816

ABSTRACT

A new COVID-19 epidemic model with media coverage and quarantine is constructed. The model allows for the susceptibles to the unconscious and conscious susceptible compartment. First, mathematical analyses establish that the global dynamics of the spread of the COVID-19 infectious disease are completely determined by the basic reproduction number R0. If R0 ≤ 1, then the disease free equilibrium is globally asymptotically stable. If R0 > 1, the endemic equilibrium is globally asymptotically stable. Second, the unknown parameters of model are estimated by the MCMC algorithm on the basis of the total confirmed new cases from February 1, 2020 to March 23, 2020 in the UK. We also estimate that the basic reproduction number is R0 = 4.2816(95%CI: (3.8882, 4.6750)). Without the most restrictive measures, we forecast that the COVID-19 epidemic will peak on June 2 (95%CI: (May 23, June 13)) (Figure 3a) and the number of infected individuals is more than 70% of UK population. In order to determine the key parameters of the model, sensitivity analysis are also explored. Finally, our results show reducing contact is effective against the spread of the disease. We suggest that the stringent containment strategies should be adopted in the UK.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Communications Media , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Quarantine , Algorithms , Basic Reproduction Number/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Humans , Markov Chains , Mathematical Concepts , Models, Biological , Monte Carlo Method , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors , United Kingdom/epidemiology
11.
Nature ; 581(7807): 221-224, 2020 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-19453

ABSTRACT

A novel severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-like coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) recently emerged and is rapidly spreading in humans, causing COVID-191,2. A key to tackling this pandemic is to understand the receptor recognition mechanism of the virus, which regulates its infectivity, pathogenesis and host range. SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV recognize the same receptor-angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2)-in humans3,4. Here we determined the crystal structure of the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 (engineered to facilitate crystallization) in complex with ACE2. In comparison with the SARS-CoV RBD, an ACE2-binding ridge in SARS-CoV-2 RBD has a more compact conformation; moreover, several residue changes in the SARS-CoV-2 RBD stabilize two virus-binding hotspots at the RBD-ACE2 interface. These structural features of SARS-CoV-2 RBD increase its ACE2-binding affinity. Additionally, we show that RaTG13, a bat coronavirus that is closely related to SARS-CoV-2, also uses human ACE2 as its receptor. The differences among SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV and RaTG13 in ACE2 recognition shed light on the potential animal-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV-2. This study provides guidance for intervention strategies that target receptor recognition by SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/chemistry , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Receptors, Virus/chemistry , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Zoonoses/virology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Binding Sites , COVID-19 , China/epidemiology , Chiroptera/virology , Coronavirus/chemistry , Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Crystallization , Crystallography, X-Ray , Disease Reservoirs/virology , Eutheria/virology , Humans , Models, Molecular , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Protein Stability , SARS Virus/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Zoonoses/epidemiology , Zoonoses/transmission
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