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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(39)2021 09 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1428995


Bats are responsible for the zoonotic transmission of several major viral diseases, including those leading to the 2003 SARS outbreak and likely the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While comparative genomics studies have revealed characteristic adaptations of the bat innate immune system, functional genomic studies are urgently needed to provide a foundation for the molecular dissection of the viral tolerance in bats. Here we report the establishment of genome-wide RNA interference (RNAi) and CRISPR libraries for the screening of the model megabat, Pteropus alecto. We used the complementary RNAi and CRISPR libraries to interrogate P. alecto cells for infection with two different viruses: mumps virus and influenza A virus, respectively. Independent screening results converged on the endocytosis pathway and the protein secretory pathway as required for both viral infections. Additionally, we revealed a general dependence of the C1-tetrahydrofolate synthase gene, MTHFD1, for viral replication in bat cells and human cells. The MTHFD1 inhibitor, carolacton, potently blocked replication of several RNA viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. We also discovered that bats have lower expression levels of MTHFD1 than humans. Our studies provide a resource for systematic inquiry into the genetic underpinnings of bat biology and a potential target for developing broad-spectrum antiviral therapy.

Aminohydrolases/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , Formate-Tetrahydrofolate Ligase/genetics , Methylenetetrahydrofolate Dehydrogenase (NADP)/genetics , Multienzyme Complexes/genetics , Pandemics , Aminohydrolases/antagonists & inhibitors , Animals , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Chiroptera/genetics , Chiroptera/virology , Formate-Tetrahydrofolate Ligase/antagonists & inhibitors , Humans , Methylenetetrahydrofolate Dehydrogenase (NADP)/antagonists & inhibitors , Minor Histocompatibility Antigens , Multienzyme Complexes/antagonists & inhibitors , RNA Viruses/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Virus Replication/genetics
Molecules ; 26(2)2021 Jan 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389464


Peptides are fragments of proteins that carry out biological functions. They act as signaling entities via all domains of life and interfere with protein-protein interactions, which are indispensable in bio-processes. Short peptides include fundamental molecular information for a prelude to the symphony of life. They have aroused considerable interest due to their unique features and great promise in innovative bio-therapies. This work focusing on the current state-of-the-art short peptide-based therapeutical developments is the first global review written by researchers from all continents, as a celebration of 100 years of peptide therapeutics since the commencement of insulin therapy in the 1920s. Peptide "drugs" initially played only the role of hormone analogs to balance disorders. Nowadays, they achieve numerous biomedical tasks, can cross membranes, or reach intracellular targets. The role of peptides in bio-processes can hardly be mimicked by other chemical substances. The article is divided into independent sections, which are related to either the progress in short peptide-based theranostics or the problems posing challenge to bio-medicine. In particular, the SWOT analysis of short peptides, their relevance in therapies of diverse diseases, improvements in (bio)synthesis platforms, advanced nano-supramolecular technologies, aptamers, altered peptide ligands and in silico methodologies to overcome peptide limitations, modern smart bio-functional materials, vaccines, and drug/gene-targeted delivery systems are discussed.

Anti-Infective Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Peptides/chemistry , Peptides/pharmacology , Peptides/therapeutic use , Amino Acids/chemistry , Anti-Infective Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/drug therapy , Computer Simulation , Cosmeceuticals/chemistry , Cosmeceuticals/therapeutic use , Dietary Supplements , Gene Transfer Techniques , Humans , Lactoferrin/chemistry , Lipid Bilayers , Nanostructures/administration & dosage , Nanostructures/chemistry , Peptides/administration & dosage , Stem Cells , Vaccines, Subunit/chemistry , Vaccines, Subunit/pharmacology