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1.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296091

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus is highly contagious and causes lymphocytopenia, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. We demonstrate here that heterotypic cell-in-cell structures with lymphocytes inside multinucleate syncytia are prevalent in the lung tissues of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. These unique cellular structures are a direct result of SARS-CoV-2 infection, as the expression of the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein is sufficient to induce a rapid (approximately 45.1 nm/sec) membrane fusion to produce syncytium, which could readily internalize multiple lines of lymphocytes to form typical cell-in-cell structures, remarkably leading to the death of internalized cells. This membrane fusion is dictated by a bi-arginine motif within the polybasic S1/S2 cleavage site, which is frequently present in the surface glycoprotein of most highly contagious viruses. Moreover, candidate anti-viral drugs could efficiently inhibit spike glycoprotein processing, membrane fusion, and cell-in-cell formation. Together, we delineate a molecular and cellular rationale for SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and identify novel targets for COVID-19 therapy.

2.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293999

ABSTRACT

Single-cell RNA profiling of ACE2, the SARS-CoV-2 receptor, had proposed multiple tissue cells as the potential targets of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus causing the COVID-19 pandemic. However, most were not echoed by the patients’ clinical manifestations, largely due to the lack of protein expression information of ACE2 and co-factors. Here, we incorporated the protein information to analyse the expression of ACE2, together with TMPRSS2 and Furin, two proteases assisting SARS-CoV-2 infection, at single cell level in situ, which we called protein-proofed single-cell RNA (pscRNA) profiling. Systemic analysis across 36 tissues revealed a rank list of candidate cells potentially vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2. The top targets are lung AT2 cells and macrophages, then cardiomyocytes and adrenal gland stromal cells, followed by stromal cells in testis, ovary and thyroid. Whereas, the polarized kidney proximal tubule cells, liver cholangiocytes and intestinal enterocytes are less likely to be the primary SARS-CoV-2 targets as ACE2 localizes at the apical region of cells, where the viruses may not readily reach. These findings are in concert with the clinical characteristics of prominent lung symptoms, frequent heart injury, and uncommon intestinal symptoms and acute kidney injury. Together, we provide a comprehensive view on the potential SARS-CoV-2 targets by pscRNA profiling, and propose that, in addition to acute respiratory distress syndrome, attentions should also be paid to the potential injuries in cardiovascular, endocrine and reproductive systems during the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

3.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293601

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus is highly contagious and causes lymphocytopenia, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. We demonstrate here that heterotypic cell-in-cell structures with lymphocytes inside multinucleate syncytia are prevalent in the lung tissues of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. These unique cellular structures are a direct result of SARS-CoV-2 infection, as the expression of the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein is sufficient to induce a rapid (approximately 45.1 nm/sec) membrane fusion to produce syncytium, which could readily internalize multiple lines of lymphocytes to form typical cell-in-cell structures, remarkably leading to the death of internalized cells. This membrane fusion is dictated by a bi-arginine motif within the polybasic S1/S2 cleavage site, which is frequently present in the surface glycoprotein of most highly contagious viruses. Moreover, candidate anti-viral drugs could efficiently inhibit spike glycoprotein processing, membrane fusion, and cell-in-cell formation. Together, we delineate a molecular and cellular rationale for SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and identify novel targets for COVID-19 therapy.

4.
[Unspecified Source]; 2020.
Preprint in English | [Unspecified Source] | ID: ppcovidwho-292748

ABSTRACT

Vaccine efforts against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) responsible for the current COVID-19 pandemic are focused on SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein, the primary target for neutralizing antibodies. Here, we performed cryo-EM and site-specific glycan analysis of one of the leading subunit vaccine candidates from Novavax based on a full-length spike protein formulated in polysorbate 80 (PS 80) detergent. Our studies reveal a stable prefusion conformation of the spike immunogen with slight differences in the S1 subunit compared to published spike ectodomain structures. Interestingly, we also observed novel interactions between the spike trimers allowing formation of higher order spike complexes. This study confirms the structural integrity of the full-length spike protein immunogen and provides a basis for interpreting immune responses to this multivalent nanoparticle immunogen.

5.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(10)2021 Sep 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1444339

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has developed variants escaping neutralization antibody immunity established against the original virus. An understanding of broad-spectrum adaptive immunity, including CD8+ T cell immunity to wide range of epitopes, could help translational efforts to improve coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) prevention and therapy. However, there have been few direct studies in which such immunity exists in a population. METHODS: We selected SARS-CoV-2-conserved structural peptides that are not prone to mutation as antigens for broad-spectrum CD8+ T cell immunity. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from unexposed healthy donors were stimulated with these peptides in vitro and CD8+ T cell-specific response was monitored. The conserved peptide-specific CD8+ T cells were sorted for T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire sequencing. The presence of specific complementary determining region 3 (CDR3) clones was analyzed in a healthy cohort. RESULTS: For each structural protein, including S, E, M, N, the conserved peptides could potentially provide the largest number of major histocompatibility complex-I (MHC-I) epitopes in the Oriental and Caucasian populations. For conserved peptides from spike (S), envelope (E), membrane (M), nucleocapsid (N) proteins, we found that there were no cross-reactive memory T cells in the unexposed individuals. Instead, their T cells contain naïve TCR repertoire recognizing these conserved peptides. Using TCR sequencing and CDR3 clustering for the conserved peptides specific T cells, we found that the recovered patients had a higher proportion of TCR repertoire similar with that of specific CD8+ T cells in unexposed individuals. Meanwhile, CDR3 clones of the above T cells were widely present in the healthy population. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides evidence of broad-spectrum SARS-CoV-2 specific CD8+ TCR repertoire in unexposed healthy population, which is implicated in the development and implementation of broad-spectrum vaccines against COVID-19.

6.
Cell Death Differ ; 28(9): 2765-2777, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1195611

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus is highly contagious and causes lymphocytopenia, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. We demonstrate here that heterotypic cell-in-cell structures with lymphocytes inside multinucleate syncytia are prevalent in the lung tissues of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. These unique cellular structures are a direct result of SARS-CoV-2 infection, as the expression of the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein is sufficient to induce a rapid (~45.1 nm/s) membrane fusion to produce syncytium, which could readily internalize multiple lines of lymphocytes to form typical cell-in-cell structures, remarkably leading to the death of internalized cells. This membrane fusion is dictated by a bi-arginine motif within the polybasic S1/S2 cleavage site, which is frequently present in the surface glycoprotein of most highly contagious viruses. Moreover, candidate anti-viral drugs could efficiently inhibit spike glycoprotein processing, membrane fusion, and cell-in-cell formation. Together, we delineate a molecular and cellular rationale for SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and identify novel targets for COVID-19 therapy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Giant Cells/virology , Lymphocytes/virology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Cell Line , Cell Line, Tumor , Giant Cells/pathology , HEK293 Cells , HeLa Cells , Humans , Jurkat Cells , K562 Cells , Lymphocytes/pathology , Virus Internalization , Virus Replication/genetics
7.
Viruses ; 13(4)2021 03 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154531

ABSTRACT

Enveloped viruses hijack not only the host translation processes, but also its glycosylation machinery, and to a variable extent cover viral surface proteins with tolerogenic host-like structures. SARS-CoV-2 surface protein S presents as a trimer on the viral surface and is covered by a dense shield of N-linked glycans, and a few O-glycosites have been reported. The location of O-glycans is controlled by a large family of initiating enzymes with variable expression in cells and tissues and hence is difficult to predict. Here, we used our well-established O-glycoproteomic workflows to map the precise positions of O-linked glycosylation sites on three different entities of protein S-insect cell or human cell-produced ectodomains, or insect cell derived receptor binding domain (RBD). In total 25 O-glycosites were identified, with similar patterns in the two ectodomains of different cell origin, and a distinct pattern of the monomeric RBD. Strikingly, 16 out of 25 O-glycosites were located within three amino acids from known N-glycosites. However, O-glycosylation was primarily found on peptides that were unoccupied by N-glycans, and otherwise had low overall occupancy. This suggests possible complementary functions of O-glycans in immune shielding and negligible effects of O-glycosylation on subunit vaccine design for SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Amino Acid Motifs , Animals , Cell Line , Glycosylation , Humans , Insecta , Polysaccharides/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Species Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
8.
Environ Int ; 147: 106361, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-987643

ABSTRACT

Corona virus disease 2019 has spread worldwide, and appropriate drug design and screening activities are required to overcome the associated pandemic. Using computational simulation, blockade mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor binding domain (S RBD) and human angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) was clarified based on interactions between RBD and hesperidin. Interactions between anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs and therapy were investigated based on the binding energy and druggability of the compounds, and they exhibited negative correlations; the compounds were classified into eight common types of structures with highest activity. An anti-SARS-CoV-2 drug screening strategy based on blocking S RBD/hACE2 binding was established according to the first key change (interactions between hesperidin and S RBD/hACE2) vs the second key change (interactions between anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs and RBD/hACE2) trends. Our findings provide valuable information on the mechanism of RBD/hACE2 binding and on the associated screening strategies for anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs based on blocking mechanisms of pockets.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pharmaceutical Preparations , Humans , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
9.
Int J Infect Dis ; 100: 164-173, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-943165

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To further reveal the phylogenetic evolution and molecular characteristics of the whole genome of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) based on a large number of genomes and provide a basis for the prevention and treatment of SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: Various evolution analysis methods were employed. RESULTS: The estimated ratio of the rates of non-synonymous to synonymous changes (Ka/Ks) of SARS-CoV-2 was 1.008 or 1.094 based on 622 or 3624 SARS-CoV-2 genomes and nine key specific sites of high linkage, and four major haplotypes were found: H1, H2, H3 and H4. The results of Ka/Ks, detected population size and development trends of each major haplotype showed that H3 and H4 subgroups were going through a purify evolution and almost disappeared after detection, indicating that they might have existed for a long time. The H1 and H2 subgroups were going through a near neutral or neutral evolution and globally increased with time, and the frequency of H1 was generally high in Europe and correlated with the death rate (r >0.37), suggesting that these two haplotypes might relate to the infectivity or pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2. CONCLUSIONS: Several key specific sites and haplotypes related to the infectivity or pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2, and the possible earlier origin time and place of SARS-CoV-2 were indicated based on the evolution and epidemiology of 16,373 SARS-CoV-2 genomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Genome, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Europe/epidemiology , Evolution, Molecular , Haplotypes , Humans , Pandemics , Phylogeny
10.
iScience ; 23(11): 101744, 2020 Nov 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-893969

ABSTRACT

The cellular targets of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus causing the COVID-19 pandemic, is still rudimentary. Here, we incorporated the protein information to analyze the expression of ACE2, the SARS-CoV-2 receptor, together with co-factors, TMPRSS2 and Furin, at single-cell level in situ, which we called protein-proofed single-cell RNA (pscRNA) profiling. Systemic analysis across 36 tissues revealed a rank list of candidate cells potentially vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2. The top targets are lung AT2 cells and macrophages, then cardiomyocytes and adrenal gland stromal cells, followed by stromal cells in testis, ovary, and thyroid, whereas the kidney proximal tubule cells, cholangiocytes, and enterocytes are less likely to be the primary SARS-CoV-2 targets. Actually, the stomach may constitute a physical barrier against SARS-CoV-2 as the acidic environment (pH < 2.0) could completely inactivate SARS-CoV-2 pseudo-viruses. Together, we provide a comprehensive view on the potential SARS-CoV-2 targets by pscRNA profiling.

11.
Science ; 370(6520): 1089-1094, 2020 11 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-883301

ABSTRACT

Vaccine efforts to combat the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is responsible for the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, are focused on SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein, the primary target for neutralizing antibodies. We performed cryo-election microscopy and site-specific glycan analysis of one of the leading subunit vaccine candidates from Novavax, which is based on a full-length spike protein formulated in polysorbate 80 detergent. Our studies reveal a stable prefusion conformation of the spike immunogen with slight differences in the S1 subunit compared with published spike ectodomain structures. We also observed interactions between the spike trimers, allowing formation of higher-order spike complexes. This study confirms the structural integrity of the full-length spike protein immunogen and provides a basis for interpreting immune responses to this multivalent nanoparticle immunogen.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Humans , Protein Domains , Protein Multimerization
12.
SSRN; 2020.
Preprint | SSRN | ID: ppcovidwho-1041

ABSTRACT

Background: The kidney is a possible target organ that can be infected by SARS-CoV-2. Clinical characteristics and management of patients with COVID-19-related

13.
Front Med (Lausanne) ; 7: 436, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-719739

ABSTRACT

Background: The kidney is a target organ that could be infected by SARS-CoV-2, and acute kidney injury (AKI) was associated with a higher risk of COVID-19 patients' in-hospital death. However, no published works discussed about the risk factors of COVID-19 related AKI. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study, recruiting COVID-19 inpatients from the Sino-French branch of Tongji Hospital. Demographic, clinical, treatment, and laboratory data were collected and compared. We used univariable and multivariable logistic regression methods to identify the risk factors of COVID-19-related AKI. Results: Of the 116 patients in our study, 12 (10.3%) were recognized as AKI, including 5 (4.3%) in-hospital AKI. Multivariable regression showed increasing odds of COVID-19-related AKI associated with COVID-19 clinical classification (OR = 8.155, 95% CI = 1.848-35.983, ref = non-critical, p = 0.06), procalcitonin more than 0.1 ng/mL (OR = 4.822, 95% CI = 1.095-21.228, p = 0.037), and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 (OR = 13.451, 95% CI = 1.617-111.891, p = 0.016). Conclusions: COVID-19-related AKI was likely to be related to multiorgan failure rather than the kidney tropism of SARS-CoV-2. The potential risk factors of COVID-19 clinical classification, procalcitonin more than 0.1 ng/mL, and eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 could help clinicians to identify patients with kidney injury at an early stage.

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