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2.
Front Immunol ; 13: 861050, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1785349

ABSTRACT

It has been reported that multiple severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern (VOCs) including Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta can reduce neutralization by antibodies, resulting in vaccine breakthrough infections. Virus-antiserum neutralization assays are typically performed to monitor potential vaccine breakthrough strains. However, experiment-based methods took several weeks whether newly emerging variants can break through current vaccines or therapeutic antibodies. To address this, we sought to establish a computational model to predict the antigenicity of SARS-CoV-2 variants by sequence alone. In this study, we firstly identified the relationship between the antigenic difference transformed from the amino acid sequence and the antigenic distance from the neutralization titers. Based on this correlation, we obtained a computational model for the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein to predict the fold decrease in virus-antiserum neutralization titers with high accuracy (~0.79). Our predicted results were comparable to experimental neutralization titers of variants, including Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma, Epsilon, Iota, Kappa, and Lambda, as well as SARS-CoV. Here, we predicted the fold of decrease of Omicron as 17.4-fold less susceptible to neutralization. We visualized all 1,521 SARS-CoV-2 lineages to indicate variants including Mu, B.1.630, B.1.633, B.1.649, and C.1.2, which can induce vaccine breakthrough infections in addition to reported VOCs Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Omicron. Our study offers a quick approach to predict the antigenicity of SARS-CoV-2 variants as soon as they emerge. Furthermore, this approach can facilitate future vaccine updates to cover all major variants. An online version can be accessed at http://jdlab.online.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Humans , Immune Sera , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
4.
Protein Cell ; 13(12): 940-953, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1777863

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and repeated outbreaks of coronavirus epidemics in the past two decades emphasize the need for next-generation pan-coronaviral therapeutics. Drugging the multi-functional papain-like protease (PLpro) domain of the viral nsp3 holds promise. However, none of the known coronavirus PLpro inhibitors has been shown to be in vivo active. Herein, we screened a structurally diverse library of 50,080 compounds for potential coronavirus PLpro inhibitors and identified a noncovalent lead inhibitor F0213 that has broad-spectrum anti-coronaviral activity, including against the Sarbecoviruses (SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2), Merbecovirus (MERS-CoV), as well as the Alphacoronavirus (hCoV-229E and hCoV-OC43). Importantly, F0213 confers protection in both SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters and MERS-CoV-infected human DPP4-knockin mice. F0213 possesses a dual therapeutic functionality that suppresses coronavirus replication via blocking viral polyprotein cleavage, as well as promoting antiviral immunity by antagonizing the PLpro deubiquitinase activity. Despite the significant difference of substrate recognition, mode of inhibition studies suggest that F0213 is a competitive inhibitor against SARS2-PLpro via binding with the 157K amino acid residue, whereas an allosteric inhibitor of MERS-PLpro interacting with its 271E position. Our proof-of-concept findings demonstrated that PLpro is a valid target for the development of broad-spectrum anti-coronavirus agents. The orally administered F0213 may serve as a promising lead compound for combating the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and future coronavirus outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Papain , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cricetinae , Humans , Mice , Pandemics , Papain/chemistry , Papain/metabolism , Peptide Hydrolases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2
5.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-309731

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been a threat to global public health. Prompt patient identification and quarantine is the most effective way to control its rapid transmission, which can be facilitated by early detection of viral antigens. Here we present a platform to develop and optimize the fibronectin-based affinity-enhanced antibody mimetics (monobodies) for recognizing viral antigens. Specifically, we developed monobodies targeting SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (N) protein. We showed that two monobodies, NN2 and NC2, bind to N protein’s N- and C-terminal domains respectively with a Kd in nM range.The specificity of the recognition was confirmed with co-immunoprecipitation and immunofluorescence assays. Furthermore, we demonstrated that one round of in vitro maturation using mRNA display can improve the binding affinity of monobodies. Machine learning algorithms were integrated with deep sequencing data for selecting candidates that improve the detection sensitivity of N. Using this pair of monobodies, we have developed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for viral detection. We were able to detect recombinant N at 4 pg/ml and detect N in viral culture supernatant, with no cross-reactivity with other CoV. Integrating high-dense mutagenesis, mRNA display, deep sequencing and machine learning, this platform can be applied through iterations to identify and optimize monobodies against emerging viral antigens, potentiating point-of-care detection of communicable diseases in a cost-and time-sensitive manner.Authors Yushen Du, Tian-hao Zhang, Xiangzhi Meng, Yuan Shi, and Menglong Hu contributed equally to this work.

6.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-324816

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 pandemic is the third zoonotic coronavirus (CoV) outbreak of the century after severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003 and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) since 2012. Treatment options for CoVs are largely lacking. Here, we show that clofazimine, an anti-leprosy drug with a favorable safety and pharmacokinetics profile, possesses pan-coronaviral inhibitory activity, and can antagonize SARS-CoV-2 replication in multiple in vitro systems, including the human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes and ex vivo lung cultures. The FDA-approved molecule was found to inhibit multiple steps of viral replication, suggesting multiple underlying antiviral mechanisms. In a hamster model of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis, prophylactic or therapeutic administration of clofazimine significantly reduced viral load in the lung and fecal viral shedding, and also prevented cytokine storm associated with viral infection. Additionally, clofazimine exhibited synergy when administered with remdesivir. Since clofazimine is orally bioavailable and has a comparatively low manufacturing cost, it is an attractive clinical candidate for outpatient treatment and remdesivir-based combinatorial therapy for hospitalized COVID-19 patients, particularly in developing countries. Taken together, our data provide evidence that clofazimine may have a role in the control of the current pandemic SARS-CoV-2, endemic MERS-CoV in the Middle East, and, possibly most importantly, emerging CoVs of the future.

7.
Analyst ; 146(24): 7386-7393, 2021 Dec 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1537342

ABSTRACT

We developed an innovative 3D printed casing that incorporates a lateral-flow immunoassay, dehydrated signal enhancement reagents, and a sealed buffer chamber. With only the push of a button for signal enhancement, our device detected the SARS-CoV-2 N-protein in 40 min at concentrations as low as 0.1 ng mL-1 in undiluted serum.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Humans , Immunoassay , Sensitivity and Specificity
8.
Adv Sci (Weinh) ; 8(23): e2103266, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1479368

ABSTRACT

Activation of endothelial cells following severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is thought to be the primary driver for the increasingly recognized thrombotic complications in coronavirus disease 2019 patients, potentially due to the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein binding to the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2). Vaccination therapies use the same Spike sequence or protein to boost host immune response as a protective mechanism against SARS-CoV-2 infection. As a result, cases of thrombotic events are reported following vaccination. Although vaccines are generally considered safe, due to genetic heterogeneity, age, or the presence of comorbidities in the population worldwide, the prediction of severe adverse outcome in patients remains a challenge. To elucidate Spike proteins underlying patient-specific-vascular thrombosis, the human microcirculation environment is recapitulated using a novel microfluidic platform coated with human endothelial cells and exposed to patient specific whole blood. Here, the blood coagulation effect is tested after exposure to Spike protein in nanoparticles and Spike variant D614G in viral vectors and the results are corroborated using live SARS-CoV-2. Of note, two potential strategies are also examined to reduce blood clot formation, by using nanoliposome-hACE2 and anti-Interleukin (IL) 6 antibodies.


Subject(s)
Blood Coagulation/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies/chemistry , Antibodies/immunology , Antibodies/metabolism , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Endothelial Cells/chemistry , Endothelial Cells/cytology , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Fibrin/chemistry , Fibrin/metabolism , Genetic Vectors/genetics , Genetic Vectors/metabolism , Humans , Interleukin-6/immunology , Liposomes/chemistry , Microfluidics/methods , Mutation , Nanoparticles/chemistry , Platelet Aggregation , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/analysis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
9.
Biomed Environ Sci ; 34(9): 743-749, 2021 Sep 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1417232

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to estimate the seroprevalence of immunoglobulin M (IgM) and G (IgG) antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 in asymptomatic people in Wuhan. This was a cross-sectional study, which enrolled 18,712 asymptomatic participants from 154 work units in Wuhan. Pearson Chi-square test, t-test, and Mann-Whitney test were used to compare the standardized seroprevalence of IgG and IgM for age and gender between different groups. The results indicated the standardized seroprevalence of IgG and IgM showed a downward trend and was significantly higher among females than males. Besides, different geographic areas and workplaces had different seroprevalence of IgG among asymptomatic people, and the number of abnormalities in CT imaging were higher in IgG antibody-positive cases than IgG-negative cases. We hope these findings can provide references for herd immunity investigation and provide basis for vaccine development.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , Carrier State/epidemiology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/immunology , Carrier State/immunology , Child , Child, Preschool , China/epidemiology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Occupations/classification , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Young Adult
10.
mSystems ; 6(2)2021 Apr 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1183288

ABSTRACT

RNA viruses, such as hepatitis C virus (HCV), influenza virus, and SARS-CoV-2, are notorious for their ability to evolve rapidly under selection in novel environments. It is known that the high mutation rate of RNA viruses can generate huge genetic diversity to facilitate viral adaptation. However, less attention has been paid to the underlying fitness landscape that represents the selection forces on viral genomes, especially under different selection conditions. Here, we systematically quantified the distribution of fitness effects of about 1,600 single amino acid substitutions in the drug-targeted region of NS5A protein of HCV. We found that the majority of nonsynonymous substitutions incur large fitness costs, suggesting that NS5A protein is highly optimized. The replication fitness of viruses is correlated with the pattern of sequence conservation in nature, and viral evolution is constrained by the need to maintain protein stability. We characterized the adaptive potential of HCV by subjecting the mutant viruses to selection by the antiviral drug daclatasvir at multiple concentrations. Both the relative fitness values and the number of beneficial mutations were found to increase with the increasing concentrations of daclatasvir. The changes in the spectrum of beneficial mutations in NS5A protein can be explained by a pharmacodynamics model describing viral fitness as a function of drug concentration. Overall, our results show that the distribution of fitness effects of mutations is modulated by both the constraints on the biophysical properties of proteins (i.e., selection pressure for protein stability) and the level of environmental stress (i.e., selection pressure for drug resistance).IMPORTANCE Many viruses adapt rapidly to novel selection pressures, such as antiviral drugs. Understanding how pathogens evolve under drug selection is critical for the success of antiviral therapy against human pathogens. By combining deep sequencing with selection experiments in cell culture, we have quantified the distribution of fitness effects of mutations in hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS5A protein. Our results indicate that the majority of single amino acid substitutions in NS5A protein incur large fitness costs. Simulation of protein stability suggests viral evolution is constrained by the need to maintain protein stability. By subjecting the mutant viruses to selection under an antiviral drug, we find that the adaptive potential of viral proteins in a novel environment is modulated by the level of environmental stress, which can be explained by a pharmacodynamics model. Our comprehensive characterization of the fitness landscapes of NS5A can potentially guide the design of effective strategies to limit viral evolution.

11.
Nature ; 593(7859): 418-423, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1137788

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is the third outbreak this century of a zoonotic disease caused by a coronavirus, following the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 20031 and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in 20122. Treatment options for coronaviruses are limited. Here we show that clofazimine-an anti-leprosy drug with a favourable safety profile3-possesses inhibitory activity against several coronaviruses, and can antagonize the replication of SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV in a range of in vitro systems. We found that this molecule, which has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, inhibits cell fusion mediated by the viral spike glycoprotein, as well as activity of the viral helicase. Prophylactic or therapeutic administration of clofazimine in a hamster model of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis led to reduced viral loads in the lung and viral shedding in faeces, and also alleviated the inflammation associated with viral infection. Combinations of clofazimine and remdesivir exhibited antiviral synergy in vitro and in vivo, and restricted viral shedding from the upper respiratory tract. Clofazimine, which is orally bioavailable and comparatively cheap to manufacture, is an attractive clinical candidate for the treatment of outpatients and-when combined with remdesivir-in therapy for hospitalized patients with COVID-19, particularly in contexts in which costs are an important factor or specialized medical facilities are limited. Our data provide evidence that clofazimine may have a role in the control of the current pandemic of COVID-19 and-possibly more importantly-in dealing with coronavirus diseases that may emerge in the future.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Clofazimine/pharmacology , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Alanine/therapeutic use , Animals , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacokinetics , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacology , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/pharmacokinetics , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Biological Availability , Cell Fusion , Cell Line , Clofazimine/pharmacokinetics , Clofazimine/therapeutic use , Coronavirus/growth & development , Coronavirus/pathogenicity , Cricetinae , DNA Helicases/antagonists & inhibitors , Drug Synergism , Female , Humans , Life Cycle Stages/drug effects , Male , Mesocricetus , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Species Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors , Transcription, Genetic/drug effects , Transcription, Genetic/genetics
12.
Res Sq ; 2020 Oct 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-869425

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 pandemic is the third zoonotic coronavirus (CoV) outbreak of the century after severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003 and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) since 2012. Treatment options for CoVs are largely lacking. Here, we show that clofazimine, an anti-leprosy drug with a favorable safety and pharmacokinetics profile, possesses pan-coronaviral inhibitory activity, and can antagonize SARS-CoV-2 replication in multiple in vitro systems, including the human embryonic stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes and ex vivo lung cultures. The FDA-approved molecule was found to inhibit multiple steps of viral replication, suggesting multiple underlying antiviral mechanisms. In a hamster model of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis, prophylactic or therapeutic administration of clofazimine significantly reduced viral load in the lung and fecal viral shedding, and also prevented cytokine storm associated with viral infection. Additionally, clofazimine exhibited synergy when administered with remdesivir. Since clofazimine is orally bioavailable and has a comparatively low manufacturing cost, it is an attractive clinical candidate for outpatient treatment and remdesivir-based combinatorial therapy for hospitalized COVID-19 patients, particularly in developing countries. Taken together, our data provide evidence that clofazimine may have a role in the control of the current pandemic SARS-CoV-2, endemic MERS-CoV in the Middle East, and, possibly most importantly, emerging CoVs of the future.

15.
Nature ; 586(7827): 113-119, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-672174

ABSTRACT

The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in 2019 has triggered an ongoing global pandemic of the severe pneumonia-like disease coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)1. The development of a vaccine is likely to take at least 12-18 months, and the typical timeline for approval of a new antiviral therapeutic agent can exceed 10 years. Thus, repurposing of known drugs could substantially accelerate the deployment of new therapies for COVID-19. Here we profiled a library of drugs encompassing approximately 12,000 clinical-stage or Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved small molecules to identify candidate therapeutic drugs for COVID-19. We report the identification of 100 molecules that inhibit viral replication of SARS-CoV-2, including 21 drugs that exhibit dose-response relationships. Of these, thirteen were found to harbour effective concentrations commensurate with probable achievable therapeutic doses in patients, including the PIKfyve kinase inhibitor apilimod2-4 and the cysteine protease inhibitors MDL-28170, Z LVG CHN2, VBY-825 and ONO 5334. Notably, MDL-28170, ONO 5334 and apilimod were found to antagonize viral replication in human pneumocyte-like cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells, and apilimod also demonstrated antiviral efficacy in a primary human lung explant model. Since most of the molecules identified in this study have already advanced into the clinic, their known pharmacological and human safety profiles will enable accelerated preclinical and clinical evaluation of these drugs for the treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/analysis , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Drug Repositioning , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/cytology , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Betacoronavirus/growth & development , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/analysis , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Drug Synergism , Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects , Humans , Hydrazones , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/cytology , Models, Biological , Morpholines/analysis , Morpholines/pharmacology , Pandemics , Pyrimidines , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2 , Small Molecule Libraries/analysis , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacology , Triazines/analysis , Triazines/pharmacology , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects
16.
Chronic Dis Transl Med ; 6(2): 106-114, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-379972

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was first diagnosed in Wuhan in December 2019. The World Health Organization defined the subsequent outbreak of COVID-19 worldwide as a public health emergency of international concern. Epidemiological data indicate that at least 20% of COVID-19 patients have severe disease. In addition to impairment of the respiratory system, acute kidney injury (AKI) is a major complication. Immune damage mediated by cytokine storms and concomitant AKI is a key factor for poor prognosis. Based on previous experience of blood purification for patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome and Middle East respiratory syndrome combined with clinical front-line practice, we developed a blood purification protocol for patients with severe COVID-19. This protocol is divided into four major steps. The first step is to assess whether patients with severe COVID-19 require blood purification. The second step is to prescribe a blood purification treatment for patients with COVID-19. The third step is to monitor and adjust parameters of blood purification. The fourth step is to evaluate the timing of discontinuation of blood purification. It is expected that blood purification will play a key role in effectively reducing the mortality of patients with severe COVID-19 through the standardized implementation of the present protocol.

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