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ERJ Open Res ; 6(4)2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-975866

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) gains entry into the lung epithelial cells by binding to the surface protein angiotensin-converting enzyme 2. Severe SARS-CoV-2 infection, also known as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), can lead to death due to acute respiratory distress syndrome mediated by inflammatory immune cells and cytokines. In this review, we discuss the molecular and biochemical bases of the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and human cells, and in doing so we highlight knowledge gaps currently precluding development of new effective therapies. In particular, discovery of novel treatment targets in COVID-19 will start from understanding pathologic changes based on a large number of autopsy lung tissue samples. Pathogenetic roles of potential molecular targets identified in human lung tissues must be validated in established animal models. Overall, this stepwise approach will enable appropriate selection of candidate therapeutic modalities targeting SARS-CoV2 and the host inflammatory response.

2.
Sci Adv ; 6(33): eabb7238, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-733188

ABSTRACT

Cigarette smoking, the leading cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), has been implicated as a risk factor for severe disease in patients infected with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Here we show that mice with lung epithelial cell-specific loss of function of Miz1, which we identified as a negative regulator of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) signaling, spontaneously develop progressive age-related changes resembling COPD. Furthermore, loss of Miz1 up-regulates the expression of Ace2, the receptor for SARS-CoV-2. Concomitant partial loss of NF-κB/RelA prevented the development of COPD-like phenotype in Miz1-deficient mice. Miz1 protein levels are reduced in the lungs from patients with COPD, and in the lungs of mice exposed to chronic cigarette smoke. Our data suggest that Miz1 down-regulation-induced sustained activation of NF-κB-dependent inflammation in the lung epithelium is sufficient to induce progressive lung and airway destruction that recapitulates features of COPD, with implications for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors/metabolism , Lung/metabolism , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Phenotype , Protein Inhibitors of Activated STAT/genetics , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/genetics , Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases/genetics , Up-Regulation/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Gene Knockout Techniques , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protein Inhibitors of Activated STAT/metabolism , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/etiology , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Signal Transduction/genetics , Smoking/adverse effects , Transcription Factor RelA/metabolism , Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases/metabolism
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