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1.
PLoS One ; 17(4): e0265670, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775445

ABSTRACT

Host biomarkers are increasingly being considered as tools for improved COVID-19 detection and prognosis. We recently profiled circulating host-encoded microRNA (miRNAs) during SARS-CoV-2 infection, revealing a signature that classified COVID-19 cases with 99.9% accuracy. Here we sought to develop a signature suited for clinical application by analyzing specimens collected using minimally invasive procedures. Eight miRNAs displayed altered expression in anterior nasal tissues from COVID-19 patients, with miR-142-3p, a negative regulator of interleukin-6 (IL-6) production, the most strongly upregulated. Supervised machine learning analysis revealed that a three-miRNA signature (miR-30c-2-3p, miR-628-3p and miR-93-5p) independently classifies COVID-19 cases with 100% accuracy. This study further defines the host miRNA response to SARS-CoV-2 infection and identifies candidate biomarkers for improved COVID-19 detection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , MicroRNAs , Biomarkers , COVID-19/diagnosis , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , MicroRNAs/genetics , MicroRNAs/metabolism , Respiratory System/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
2.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(7): e1009759, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1329138

ABSTRACT

The host response to SARS-CoV-2 infection provide insights into both viral pathogenesis and patient management. The host-encoded microRNA (miRNA) response to SARS-CoV-2 infection, however, remains poorly defined. Here we profiled circulating miRNAs from ten COVID-19 patients sampled longitudinally and ten age and gender matched healthy donors. We observed 55 miRNAs that were altered in COVID-19 patients during early-stage disease, with the inflammatory miR-31-5p the most strongly upregulated. Supervised machine learning analysis revealed that a three-miRNA signature (miR-423-5p, miR-23a-3p and miR-195-5p) independently classified COVID-19 cases with an accuracy of 99.9%. In a ferret COVID-19 model, the three-miRNA signature again detected SARS-CoV-2 infection with 99.7% accuracy, and distinguished SARS-CoV-2 infection from influenza A (H1N1) infection and healthy controls with 95% accuracy. Distinct miRNA profiles were also observed in COVID-19 patients requiring oxygenation. This study demonstrates that SARS-CoV-2 infection induces a robust host miRNA response that could improve COVID-19 detection and patient management.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/genetics , MicroRNAs/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , Animals , COVID-19/blood , Case-Control Studies , Diagnosis, Differential , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Ferrets , Gene Expression , Host Microbial Interactions/genetics , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Longitudinal Studies , Male , MicroRNAs/blood , Middle Aged , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/diagnosis , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/genetics , Pandemics , Supervised Machine Learning
3.
J Virol ; 95(15): e0032721, 2021 07 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1305507

ABSTRACT

The human protein-coding gene ILRUN (inflammation and lipid regulator with UBA-like and NBR1-like domains; previously C6orf106) was identified as a proviral factor for Hendra virus infection and was recently characterized to function as an inhibitor of type I interferon expression. Here, we have utilized transcriptome sequencing (RNA-seq) to define cellular pathways regulated by ILRUN in the context of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection of Caco-2 cells. We find that inhibition of ILRUN expression by RNA interference alters transcription profiles of numerous cellular pathways, including upregulation of the SARS-CoV-2 entry receptor ACE2 and several other members of the renin-angiotensin aldosterone system. In addition, transcripts of the SARS-CoV-2 coreceptors TMPRSS2 and CTSL were also upregulated. Inhibition of ILRUN also resulted in increased SARS-CoV-2 replication, while overexpression of ILRUN had the opposite effect, identifying ILRUN as a novel antiviral factor for SARS-CoV-2 replication. This represents, to our knowledge, the first report of ILRUN as a regulator of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS). IMPORTANCE There is no doubt that the current rapid global spread of COVID-19 has had significant and far-reaching impacts on our health and economy and will continue to do so. Research in emerging infectious diseases, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is growing rapidly, with new breakthroughs in the understanding of host-virus interactions to assist with the development of innovative and exciting therapeutic strategies. Here, we present the first evidence that modulation of the human protein-coding gene ILRUN functions as an antiviral factor for SARS-CoV-2 infection, likely through its newly identified role in regulating the expression of SARS-CoV-2 entry receptors ACE2, TMPRSS2, and CTSL. These data improve our understanding of biological pathways that regulate host factors critical to SARS-CoV-2 infection, contributing to the development of antiviral strategies to deal with the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/biosynthesis , COVID-19/metabolism , Down-Regulation , Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic , Neoplasm Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , Caco-2 Cells , Cathepsin L/biosynthesis , Cathepsin L/genetics , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Neoplasm Proteins/genetics , Renin-Angiotensin System , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Serine Endopeptidases/biosynthesis , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Vero Cells
4.
NPJ Vaccines ; 6(1): 67, 2021 May 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1223093

ABSTRACT

Vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 are likely to be critical in the management of the ongoing pandemic. A number of candidates are in Phase III human clinical trials, including ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AZD1222), a replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus-vectored vaccine candidate. In preclinical trials, the efficacy of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 against SARS-CoV-2 challenge was evaluated in a ferret model of infection. Groups of ferrets received either prime-only or prime-boost administration of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 via the intramuscular or intranasal route. All ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 administration combinations resulted in significant reductions in viral loads in nasal-wash and oral swab samples. No vaccine-associated adverse events were observed associated with the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 candidate, with the data from this study suggesting it could be an effective and safe vaccine against COVID-19. Our study also indicates the potential for intranasal administration as a way to further improve the efficacy of this leading vaccine candidate.

5.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(7)2021 Mar 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154425

ABSTRACT

The global COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 has resulted in over 2.2 million deaths. Disease outcomes range from asymptomatic to severe with, so far, minimal genotypic change to the virus so understanding the host response is paramount. Transcriptomics has become incredibly important in understanding host-pathogen interactions; however, post-transcriptional regulation plays an important role in infection and immunity through translation and mRNA stability, allowing tight control over potent host responses by both the host and the invading virus. Here, we apply ribosome profiling to assess post-transcriptional regulation of host genes during SARS-CoV-2 infection of a human lung epithelial cell line (Calu-3). We have identified numerous transcription factors (JUN, ZBTB20, ATF3, HIVEP2 and EGR1) as well as select antiviral cytokine genes, namely IFNB1, IFNL1,2 and 3, IL-6 and CCL5, that are restricted at the post-transcriptional level by SARS-CoV-2 infection and discuss the impact this would have on the host response to infection. This early phase restriction of antiviral transcripts in the lungs may allow high viral load and consequent immune dysregulation typically seen in SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Cytokines/genetics , RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional , Ribosomes/metabolism , Ribosomes/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Transcription Factors/genetics , Animals , Antiviral Agents/antagonists & inhibitors , Cell Line, Tumor , Chlorocebus aethiops , Computational Biology , Cytokines/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/immunology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Gene Expression Profiling , Host Microbial Interactions , Humans , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Lung/immunology , Lung/virology , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , RNA-Seq , Ribosomes/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Transcription Factors/metabolism , Transcriptome , Vero Cells
6.
J Virol Methods ; 286: 113977, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-800505

ABSTRACT

The development of medical countermeasures against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) requires robust viral assays. Here we have adapted a protocol for polyethylene glycol (PEG)-mediated precipitation of SARS-CoV-2 stocks without the need for ultracentrifugation. Virus precipitation resulted in a ∼1.5 log10 increase in SARS-CoV-2 titres of virus prepared in VeroE6 cells and enabled the infection of several immortalized human cell lines (Caco-2 and Calu-3) at a high multiplicity of infection not practically achievable without virus concentration. This protocol underscores the utility of PEG-mediated precipitation for SARS-CoV-2 and provides a resource for a range of coronavirus research areas.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Polyethylene Glycols/chemistry , Animals , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Caco-2 Cells , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Ultracentrifugation/methods , Vero Cells
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