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1.
Elife ; 112022 Mar 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742931

ABSTRACT

Background: Risk of severe COVID-19 increases with age, is greater in males, and is associated with lymphopenia, but not with higher burden of SARS-CoV-2. It is unknown whether effects of age and sex on abundance of specific lymphoid subsets explain these correlations. Methods: Multiple regression was used to determine the relationship between abundance of specific blood lymphoid cell types, age, sex, requirement for hospitalization, duration of hospitalization, and elevation of blood markers of systemic inflammation, in adults hospitalized for severe COVID-19 (n = 40), treated for COVID-19 as outpatients (n = 51), and in uninfected controls (n = 86), as well as in children with COVID-19 (n = 19), recovering from COVID-19 (n = 14), MIS-C (n = 11), recovering from MIS-C (n = 7), and pediatric controls (n = 17). Results: This observational study found that the abundance of innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) decreases more than 7-fold over the human lifespan - T cell subsets decrease less than 2-fold - and is lower in males than in females. After accounting for effects of age and sex, ILCs, but not T cells, were lower in adults hospitalized with COVID-19, independent of lymphopenia. Among SARS-CoV-2-infected adults, the abundance of ILCs, but not of T cells, correlated inversely with odds and duration of hospitalization, and with severity of inflammation. ILCs were also uniquely decreased in pediatric COVID-19 and the numbers of these cells did not recover during follow-up. In contrast, children with MIS-C had depletion of both ILCs and T cells, and both cell types increased during follow-up. In both pediatric COVID-19 and MIS-C, ILC abundance correlated inversely with inflammation. Blood ILC mRNA and phenotype tracked closely with ILCs from lung. Importantly, blood ILCs produced amphiregulin, a protein implicated in disease tolerance and tissue homeostasis. Among controls, the percentage of ILCs that produced amphiregulin was higher in females than in males, and people hospitalized with COVID-19 had a lower percentage of ILCs that produced amphiregulin than did controls. Conclusions: These results suggest that, by promoting disease tolerance, homeostatic ILCs decrease morbidity and mortality associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection, and that lower ILC abundance contributes to increased COVID-19 severity with age and in males. Funding: This work was supported in part by the Massachusetts Consortium for Pathogen Readiness and NIH grants R37AI147868, R01AI148784, F30HD100110, 5K08HL143183.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Lymphopenia , Amphiregulin , COVID-19/complications , Child , Female , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Inflammation , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome , T-Lymphocyte Subsets
2.
Virus Res ; 292: 198246, 2021 01 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-974719

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has created an urgent need for therapeutics that inhibit the SARS-COV-2 virus and suppress the fulminant inflammation characteristic of advanced illness. Here, we describe the anti-COVID-19 potential of PTC299, an orally bioavailable compound that is a potent inhibitor of dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH), the rate-limiting enzyme of the de novo pyrimidine nucleotide biosynthesis pathway. In tissue culture, PTC299 manifests robust, dose-dependent, and DHODH-dependent inhibition of SARS-COV-2 replication (EC50 range, 2.0-31.6 nM) with a selectivity index >3,800. PTC299 also blocked replication of other RNA viruses, including Ebola virus. Consistent with known DHODH requirements for immunomodulatory cytokine production, PTC299 inhibited the production of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-17A (also called IL-17), IL-17 F, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in tissue culture models. The combination of anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity, cytokine inhibitory activity, and previously established favorable pharmacokinetic and human safety profiles render PTC299 a promising therapeutic for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Carbamates/pharmacology , Carbazoles/pharmacology , Cytokines/antagonists & inhibitors , Oxidoreductases Acting on CH-CH Group Donors/antagonists & inhibitors , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cytokine Release Syndrome/drug therapy , Cytokines/immunology , HeLa Cells , Humans , Inflammation/drug therapy , Inflammation/virology , Vero Cells
3.
bioRxiv ; 2020 Jul 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-637849

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein variant D614G supplanted the ancestral virus worldwide in a matter of months. Here we show that D614G was more infectious than the ancestral form on human lung cells, colon cells, and cells rendered permissive by ectopic expression of various mammalian ACE2 orthologs. Nonetheless, D614G affinity for ACE2 was reduced due to a faster dissociation rate. Assessment of the S protein trimer by cryo-electron microscopy showed that D614G disrupts a critical interprotomer contact and that this dramatically shifts the S protein trimer conformation toward an ACE2-binding and fusion-competent state. Consistent with the more open conformation, neutralization potency of antibodies targeting the S protein receptor-binding domain was not attenuated. These results indicate that D614G adopts conformations that make virion membrane fusion with the target cell membrane more probable but that D614G retains susceptibility to therapies that disrupt interaction of the SARS-CoV-2 S protein with the ACE2 receptor.

4.
Cell ; 183(3): 739-751.e8, 2020 10 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-758650

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein variant D614G supplanted the ancestral virus worldwide, reaching near fixation in a matter of months. Here we show that D614G was more infectious than the ancestral form on human lung cells, colon cells, and on cells rendered permissive by ectopic expression of human ACE2 or of ACE2 orthologs from various mammals, including Chinese rufous horseshoe bat and Malayan pangolin. D614G did not alter S protein synthesis, processing, or incorporation into SARS-CoV-2 particles, but D614G affinity for ACE2 was reduced due to a faster dissociation rate. Assessment of the S protein trimer by cryo-electron microscopy showed that D614G disrupts an interprotomer contact and that the conformation is shifted toward an ACE2 binding-competent state, which is modeled to be on pathway for virion membrane fusion with target cells. Consistent with this more open conformation, neutralization potency of antibodies targeting the S protein receptor-binding domain was not attenuated.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Betacoronavirus/ultrastructure , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/ultrastructure , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Cells, Cultured , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Genetic Variation , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Male , Models, Molecular , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protein Conformation , Protein Processing, Post-Translational , Receptors, Coronavirus , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Species Specificity
5.
bioRxiv ; 2020 Aug 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-721075

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has created an urgent need for therapeutics that inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 virus and suppress the fulminant inflammation characteristic of advanced illness. Here, we describe the anti-COVID-19 potential of PTC299, an orally available compound that is a potent inhibitor of dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH), the rate-limiting enzyme of the de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis pathway. In tissue culture, PTC299 manifests robust, dose-dependent, and DHODH-dependent inhibition of SARS CoV-2 replication (EC 50 range, 2.0 to 31.6 nM) with a selectivity index >3,800. PTC299 also blocked replication of other RNA viruses, including Ebola virus. Consistent with known DHODH requirements for immunomodulatory cytokine production, PTC299 inhibited the production of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-17A (also called IL-17), IL-17F, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in tissue culture models. The combination of anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity, cytokine inhibitory activity, and previously established favorable pharmacokinetic and human safety profiles render PTC299 a promising therapeutic for COVID-19.

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