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1.
Pathogens ; 10(11)2021 Nov 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1534218

ABSTRACT

As of 2021, the biothreat policy and research communities organize their efforts around lists of priority agents, which elides consideration of novel pathogens and biotoxins. For example, the Select Agents and Toxins list is composed of agents that historic biological warfare programs had weaponized or that have previously caused great harm during natural outbreaks. Similarly, lists of priority agents promulgated by the World Health Organization and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases are composed of previously known pathogens and biotoxins. To fill this gap, we argue that the research/scientific and biodefense/biosecurity communities should categorize agents based on how they impact their hosts to augment current list-based paradigms. Specifically, we propose integrating the results of multi-omics studies to identify bioagent-agnostic signatures (BASs) of disease-namely, patterns of biomarkers that accurately and reproducibly predict the impacts of infection or intoxication without prior knowledge of the causative agent. Here, we highlight three pathways that investigators might exploit as sources of signals to construct BASs and their applicability to this framework. The research community will need to forge robust interdisciplinary teams to surmount substantial experimental, technical, and data analytic challenges that stand in the way of our long-term vision. However, if successful, our functionality-based BAS model could present a means to more effectively surveil for and treat known and novel agents alike.

2.
mBio ; 12(4): e0157221, 2021 08 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1349194

ABSTRACT

Tissue- and cell-specific expression patterns are highly variable within and across individuals, leading to altered host responses after acute virus infection. Unraveling key tissue-specific response patterns provides novel opportunities for defining fundamental mechanisms of virus-host interaction in disease and the identification of critical tissue-specific networks for disease intervention in the lung. Currently, there are no approved therapeutics for Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) patients, and little is understood about how lung cell types contribute to disease outcomes. MERS-CoV replicates equivalently in primary human lung microvascular endothelial cells (MVE) and fibroblasts (FB) and to equivalent peak titers but with slower replication kinetics in human airway epithelial cell cultures (HAE). However, only infected MVE demonstrate observable virus-induced cytopathic effect. To explore mechanisms leading to reduced MVE viability, donor-matched human lung MVE, HAE, and FB were infected, and their transcriptomes, proteomes, and lipidomes were monitored over time. Validated functional enrichment analysis demonstrated that MERS-CoV-infected MVE were dying via an unfolded protein response (UPR)-mediated apoptosis. Pharmacologic manipulation of the UPR in MERS-CoV-infected primary lung cells reduced viral titers and in male mice improved respiratory function with accompanying reductions in weight loss, pathological signatures of acute lung injury, and times to recovery. Systems biology analysis and validation studies of global kinetic transcript, protein, and lipid data sets confirmed that inhibition of host stress pathways that are differentially regulated following MERS-CoV infection of different tissue types can alleviate symptom progression to end-stage lung disease commonly seen following emerging coronavirus outbreaks. IMPORTANCE Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) causes severe atypical pneumonia in infected individuals, but the underlying mechanisms of pathogenesis remain unknown. While much has been learned from the few reported autopsy cases, an in-depth understanding of the cells targeted by MERS-CoV in the human lung and their relative contribution to disease outcomes is needed. The host response in MERS-CoV-infected primary human lung microvascular endothelial (MVE) cells and fibroblasts (FB) was evaluated over time by analyzing total RNA, proteins, and lipids to determine the cellular pathways modulated postinfection. Findings revealed that MERS-CoV-infected MVE cells die via apoptotic mechanisms downstream of the unfolded protein response (UPR). Interruption of enzymatic processes within the UPR in MERS-CoV-infected male mice reduced disease symptoms, virus-induced lung injury, and time to recovery. These data suggest that the UPR plays an important role in MERS-CoV infection and may represent a host target for therapeutic intervention.


Subject(s)
Acute Lung Injury/pathology , Apoptosis/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Unfolded Protein Response/physiology , Acute Lung Injury/virology , Animals , Cell Line , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/virology , Female , Fibroblasts/metabolism , Fibroblasts/virology , Humans , Male , Mice , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology
3.
Front Immunol ; 11: 607314, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389171

ABSTRACT

Acute lung injury (ALI) is an important cause of morbidity and mortality after viral infections, including influenza A virus H1N1, SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2. The angiotensin I converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is a key host membrane-bound protein that modulates ALI induced by viral infection, pulmonary acid aspiration, and sepsis. However, the contributions of ACE2 sequence variants to individual differences in disease risk and severity after viral infection are not understood. In this study, we quantified H1N1 influenza-infected lung transcriptomes across a family of 41 BXD recombinant inbred strains of mice and both parents-C57BL/6J and DBA/2J. In response to infection Ace2 mRNA levels decreased significantly for both parental strains and the expression levels was associated with disease severity (body weight loss) and viral load (expression levels of viral NA segment) across the BXD family members. Pulmonary RNA-seq for 43 lines was analyzed using weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) and Bayesian network approaches. Ace2 not only participated in virus-induced ALI by interacting with TNF, MAPK, and NOTCH signaling pathways, but was also linked with high confidence to gene products that have important functions in the pulmonary epithelium, including Rnf128, Muc5b, and Tmprss2. Comparable sets of transcripts were also highlighted in parallel studies of human SARS-CoV-infected primary human airway epithelial cells. Using conventional mapping methods, we determined that weight loss at two and three days after viral infection maps to chromosome X-the location of Ace2. This finding motivated the hierarchical Bayesian network analysis, which defined molecular endophenotypes of lung infection linked to Ace2 expression and to a key disease outcome. Core members of this Bayesian network include Ace2, Atf4, Csf2, Cxcl2, Lif, Maml3, Muc5b, Reg3g, Ripk3, and Traf3. Collectively, these findings define a causally-rooted Ace2 modulatory network relevant to host response to viral infection and identify potential therapeutic targets for virus-induced respiratory diseases, including those caused by influenza and coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Lung/virology , Virus Diseases/genetics , Animals , Bayes Theorem , Epithelial Cells/virology , Female , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Inbred DBA , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , Signal Transduction/genetics
4.
Methods Mol Biol ; 2099: 173-194, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1292552

ABSTRACT

Mass spectrometry (MS)-based, integrated proteomics, metabolomics, and lipidomics (collectively, multi-omics) studies provide a very detailed snapshot of virus-induced changes to the host following infection and can lead to the identification of novel prophylactic and therapeutic targets for preventing or lessening disease severity. Multi-omics studies with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) are challenging as the requirements of biosafety level 3 containment limit the numbers of samples that can be safely managed. To address these issues, the multi-omics sample preparation technique MPLEx (metabolite, protein, and lipid extraction) was developed to partition a single sample into three distinct parts (metabolites, proteins, and lipids) for multi-omics analysis, while simultaneously inactivating MERS-CoV by solubilizing and disrupting the viral envelope and denaturing viral proteins. Here we describe the MPLEx protocol, highlight the step of inactivation, and describe the details of downstream processing, instrumental analysis of the three separate analytes, and their subsequent informatics pipelines.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Lipids/isolation & purification , Metabolomics , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/metabolism , Proteomics , Humans , Mass Spectrometry , Virus Inactivation
5.
BMC Bioinformatics ; 22(1): 287, 2021 May 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1257920

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Representing biological networks as graphs is a powerful approach to reveal underlying patterns, signatures, and critical components from high-throughput biomolecular data. However, graphs do not natively capture the multi-way relationships present among genes and proteins in biological systems. Hypergraphs are generalizations of graphs that naturally model multi-way relationships and have shown promise in modeling systems such as protein complexes and metabolic reactions. In this paper we seek to understand how hypergraphs can more faithfully identify, and potentially predict, important genes based on complex relationships inferred from genomic expression data sets. RESULTS: We compiled a novel data set of transcriptional host response to pathogenic viral infections and formulated relationships between genes as a hypergraph where hyperedges represent significantly perturbed genes, and vertices represent individual biological samples with specific experimental conditions. We find that hypergraph betweenness centrality is a superior method for identification of genes important to viral response when compared with graph centrality. CONCLUSIONS: Our results demonstrate the utility of using hypergraphs to represent complex biological systems and highlight central important responses in common to a variety of highly pathogenic viruses.


Subject(s)
Algorithms , Models, Biological , Genomics , Proteins
6.
Journal of Virology ; 93(24):1-14, 2019.
Article | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-1017136

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses (CoVs) have emerged from animal reservoirs to cause severe and lethal disease in humans, but there are currently no FDA-approved antivirals to treat the infections. One class of antiviral compounds, nucleoside analogues, mimics naturally occurring nucleosides to inhibit viral replication. While these compounds have been successful therapeutics for several viral infections, mutagenic nucleoside analogues, such as ribavirin and 5-fluorouracil, have been ineffective at inhibiting CoVs. This has been attributed to the proofreading activity of the viral 3'-5' exoribonuclease (ExoN). β-d-N4-Hydroxycytidine (NHC) (EIDD-1931;Emory Institute for Drug Development) has recently been reported to inhibit multiple viruses. Here, we demonstrate that NHC inhibits both murine hepatitis virus (MHV) (50% effective concentration [EC50] = 0.17 μM) and Middle East respiratory syndrome CoV (MERS-CoV) (EC50 = 0.56 μM) with minimal cytotoxicity. NHC inhibited MHV lacking ExoN proofreading activity similarly to wild-type (WT) MHV, suggesting an ability to evade or overcome ExoN activity. NHC inhibited MHV only when added early during infection, decreased viral specific infectivity, and increased the number and proportion of G:A and C:U transition mutations present after a single infection. Low-level NHC resistance was difficult to achieve and was associated with multiple transition mutations across the genome in both MHV and MERS-CoV. These results point to a virus-mutagenic mechanism of NHC inhibition in CoVs and indicate a high genetic barrier to NHC resistance. Together, the data support further development of NHC for treatment of CoVs and suggest a novel mechanism of NHC interaction with the CoV replication complex that may shed light on critical aspects of replication. IMPORTANCE The emergence of coronaviruses (CoVs) into human populations from animal reservoirs has demonstrated their epidemic capability, pandemic potential, and ability to cause severe disease. However, no antivirals have been approved to treat these infections. Here, we demonstrate the potent antiviral activity of a broad-spectrum ribonucleoside analogue, β-d-N4-hydroxycytidine (NHC), against two divergent CoVs. Viral proofreading activity does not markedly impact sensitivity to NHC inhibition, suggesting a novel interaction between a nucleoside analogue inhibitor and the CoV replicase. Further, passage in the presence of NHC generates only low-level resistance, likely due to the accumulation of multiple potentially deleterious transition mutations. Together, these data support a mutagenic mechanism of inhibition by NHC and further support the development of NHC for treatment of CoV infections. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Journal of Virology is the property of American Society for Microbiology and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

7.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 117(43): 26915-26925, 2020 10 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-851432

ABSTRACT

Zoonotic coronaviruses represent an ongoing threat, yet the myriads of circulating animal viruses complicate the identification of higher-risk isolates that threaten human health. Swine acute diarrhea syndrome coronavirus (SADS-CoV) is a newly discovered, highly pathogenic virus that likely evolved from closely related HKU2 bat coronaviruses, circulating in Rhinolophus spp. bats in China and elsewhere. As coronaviruses cause severe economic losses in the pork industry and swine are key intermediate hosts of human disease outbreaks, we synthetically resurrected a recombinant virus (rSADS-CoV) as well as a derivative encoding tomato red fluorescent protein (tRFP) in place of ORF3. rSADS-CoV replicated efficiently in a variety of continuous animal and primate cell lines, including human liver and rectal carcinoma cell lines. Of concern, rSADS-CoV also replicated efficiently in several different primary human lung cell types, as well as primary human intestinal cells. rSADS-CoV did not use human coronavirus ACE-2, DPP4, or CD13 receptors for docking and entry. Contemporary human donor sera neutralized the group I human coronavirus NL63, but not rSADS-CoV, suggesting limited human group I coronavirus cross protective herd immunity. Importantly, remdesivir, a broad-spectrum nucleoside analog that is effective against other group 1 and 2 coronaviruses, efficiently blocked rSADS-CoV replication in vitro. rSADS-CoV demonstrated little, if any, replicative capacity in either immune-competent or immunodeficient mice, indicating a critical need for improved animal models. Efficient growth in primary human lung and intestinal cells implicate SADS-CoV as a potential higher-risk emerging coronavirus pathogen that could negatively impact the global economy and human health.


Subject(s)
Alphacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Susceptibility/virology , Virus Replication , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Alphacoronavirus/genetics , Alphacoronavirus/growth & development , Animals , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Gene Expression , Host Specificity , Humans , Luminescent Proteins/genetics , Mice , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects
8.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 222, 2020 01 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-326513

ABSTRACT

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is the causative agent of a severe respiratory disease associated with more than 2468 human infections and over 851 deaths in 27 countries since 2012. There are no approved treatments for MERS-CoV infection although a combination of lopinavir, ritonavir and interferon beta (LPV/RTV-IFNb) is currently being evaluated in humans in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Here, we show that remdesivir (RDV) and IFNb have superior antiviral activity to LPV and RTV in vitro. In mice, both prophylactic and therapeutic RDV improve pulmonary function and reduce lung viral loads and severe lung pathology. In contrast, prophylactic LPV/RTV-IFNb slightly reduces viral loads without impacting other disease parameters. Therapeutic LPV/RTV-IFNb improves pulmonary function but does not reduce virus replication or severe lung pathology. Thus, we provide in vivo evidence of the potential for RDV to treat MERS-CoV infections.


Subject(s)
Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Interferon-beta/therapeutic use , Lopinavir/therapeutic use , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/drug effects , Ritonavir/therapeutic use , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Alanine/therapeutic use , Animals , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Carboxylesterase/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Drug Combinations , Drug Development , Female , Humans , Lung Injury/pathology , Male , Mice , Mice, Knockout , Viral Load , Virus Replication/drug effects
9.
Sci Transl Med ; 12(541)2020 04 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-38274

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses (CoVs) traffic frequently between species resulting in novel disease outbreaks, most recently exemplified by the newly emerged SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19. Here, we show that the ribonucleoside analog ß-d-N4-hydroxycytidine (NHC; EIDD-1931) has broad-spectrum antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and related zoonotic group 2b or 2c bat-CoVs, as well as increased potency against a CoV bearing resistance mutations to the nucleoside analog inhibitor remdesivir. In mice infected with SARS-CoV or MERS-CoV, both prophylactic and therapeutic administration of EIDD-2801, an orally bioavailable NHC prodrug (ß-d-N4-hydroxycytidine-5'-isopropyl ester), improved pulmonary function and reduced virus titer and body weight loss. Decreased MERS-CoV yields in vitro and in vivo were associated with increased transition mutation frequency in viral, but not host cell RNA, supporting a mechanism of lethal mutagenesis in CoV. The potency of NHC/EIDD-2801 against multiple CoVs and oral bioavailability highlights its potential utility as an effective antiviral against SARS-CoV-2 and other future zoonotic CoVs.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Ribonucleosides/administration & dosage , Virus Replication/drug effects , Adenosine Monophosphate/administration & dosage , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/administration & dosage , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Animals , Antibiotic Prophylaxis , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Cytidine/administration & dosage , Cytidine/analogs & derivatives , Disease Models, Animal , Drug Resistance, Viral , Humans , Hydroxylamines , Lung/pathology , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , Models, Molecular , Mutation/drug effects , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Primary Cell Culture , RNA, Viral , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Random Allocation , Respiratory System/cytology , SARS-CoV-2
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