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J Clin Invest ; 2021 Oct 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1495792


Acute coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by SARS-CoV-2, is characterized by diverse clinical presentations, ranging from asymptomatic infection to fatal respiratory failure, and often associated with varied longer-term sequelae. Over the past 18 months, it has become apparent that inappropriate immune responses contribute to the pathogenesis of severe COVID-19. Researchers working at the intersection of COVID-19 and autoimmunity recently gathered at an American Autoimmune Related Disease Association (AARDA) Noel R. Rose Colloquium to address the current state of knowledge regarding two important questions: Does established autoimmunity predispose to severe COVID-19? And, at the same time, can SARS-CoV-2 infection trigger de novo autoimmunity? Indeed, work to date has demonstrated that 10 to 15% of patients with critical COVID-19 pneumonia exhibit autoantibodies against type I interferons, suggesting that preexisting autoimmunity underlies severe disease in some patients. Other studies have identified functional autoantibodies following infection with SARS-CoV-2, such as those that promote thrombosis or antagonize cytokine signaling. These autoantibodies may arise from a predominantly extrafollicular B cell response that is more prone to generating autoantibody-secreting B cells. This review highlights the current understanding, evolving concepts, and unanswered questions provided by this unique opportunity to determine mechanisms by which a viral infection can be exacerbated by, and even trigger, autoimmunity. The potential role of autoimmunity in post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 is also discussed.

J Autoimmun ; 120: 102644, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201116


We aim to establish a comprehensive COVID-19 autoantigen atlas in order to understand autoimmune diseases caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection. Based on the unique affinity between dermatan sulfate and autoantigens, we identified 348 proteins from human lung A549 cells, of which 198 are known targets of autoantibodies. Comparison with current COVID data identified 291 proteins that are altered at protein or transcript level in SARS-CoV-2 infection, with 191 being known autoantigens. These known and putative autoantigens are significantly associated with viral replication and trafficking processes, including gene expression, ribonucleoprotein biogenesis, mRNA metabolism, translation, vesicle and vesicle-mediated transport, and apoptosis. They are also associated with cytoskeleton, platelet degranulation, IL-12 signaling, and smooth muscle contraction. Host proteins that interact with and that are perturbed by viral proteins are a major source of autoantigens. Orf3 induces the largest number of protein alterations, Orf9 affects the mitochondrial ribosome, and they and E, M, N, and Nsp proteins affect protein localization to membrane, immune responses, and apoptosis. Phosphorylation and ubiquitination alterations by viral infection define major molecular changes in autoantigen origination. This study provides a large list of autoantigens as well as new targets for future investigation, e.g., UBA1, UCHL1, USP7, CDK11A, PRKDC, PLD3, PSAT1, RAB1A, SLC2A1, platelet activating factor acetylhydrolase, and mitochondrial ribosomal proteins. This study illustrates how viral infection can modify host cellular proteins extensively, yield diverse autoantigens, and trigger a myriad of autoimmune sequelae. Our work provides a rich resource for studies into "long COVID" and related autoimmune sequelae.

Autoantigens/immunology , Autoimmunity , COVID-19/immunology , Lung/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Signal Transduction/immunology , Virus Replication/immunology , A549 Cells , COVID-19/pathology , Humans , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology