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1.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 269, 2022 01 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621240

ABSTRACT

A complete diagnostic autopsy is the gold-standard to gain insight into Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pathogenesis. To delineate the in situ immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 viral infection, here we perform comprehensive high-dimensional transcriptional and spatial immune profiling in 22 COVID-19 decedents from Wuhan, China. We find TIM-3-mediated and PD-1-mediated immunosuppression as a hallmark of severe COVID-19, particularly in men, with PD-1+ cells being proximal rather than distal to TIM-3+ cells. Concurrently, lymphocytes are distal, while activated myeloid cells are proximal, to SARS-CoV-2 viral antigens, consistent with prevalent SARS-CoV-2 infection of myeloid cells in multiple organs. Finally, viral load positively correlates with specific immunosuppression and dendritic cell markers. In summary, our data show that SARS-CoV-2 viral infection induces lymphocyte suppression yet myeloid activation in severe COVID-19, so these two cell types likely have distinct functions in severe COVID-19 disease progression, and should be targeted differently for therapy.

2.
Nat Cell Biol ; 2021 Dec 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1559292

ABSTRACT

The lung is the primary organ targeted by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), making respiratory failure a leading coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related mortality. However, our cellular and molecular understanding of how SARS-CoV-2 infection drives lung pathology is limited. Here we constructed multi-omics and single-nucleus transcriptomic atlases of the lungs of patients with COVID-19, which integrate histological, transcriptomic and proteomic analyses. Our work reveals the molecular basis of pathological hallmarks associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection in different lung and infiltrating immune cell populations. We report molecular fingerprints of hyperinflammation, alveolar epithelial cell exhaustion, vascular changes and fibrosis, and identify parenchymal lung senescence as a molecular state of COVID-19 pathology. Moreover, our data suggest that FOXO3A suppression is a potential mechanism underlying the fibroblast-to-myofibroblast transition associated with COVID-19 pulmonary fibrosis. Our work depicts a comprehensive cellular and molecular atlas of the lungs of patients with COVID-19 and provides insights into SARS-CoV-2-related pulmonary injury, facilitating the identification of biomarkers and development of symptomatic treatments.

3.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-295313

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 is a respiratory infectious disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Evidence on the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 is accumulating rapidly. In addition to structural proteins such as Spike and Envelope, the functional roles of non-structural and accessory proteins in regulating viral life cycle and host immune responses remain to be understood. Here, we show that open reading frame 8 (ORF8) acts as messenger for inter-cellular communication between alveolar epithelial cells and macrophages during SARS-CoV-2 infection. Mechanistically, ORF8 is a secretory protein that can be secreted by infected epithelial cells via both conventional and unconventional secretory pathways. The unconventionally secreted ORF8 recognizes the IL17RA receptor of macrophages and induces cytokine release. However, conventionally secreted ORF8 cannot bind to IL17RA due to N-linked glycosylation. Furthermore, we found that Yip1 interacting factor homolog B (YIF1B) is a channel protein that translocates unglycosylated ORF8 into vesicles for unconventional secretion. Blocking the unconventional secretion of ORF8 via a YIF1B knockout in hACE2 mice attenuates inflammation and yields delayed mortality following SARS-CoV-2 challenge.

4.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-293622

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 is a respiratory infectious disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Evidence on the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 is accumulating rapidly. In addition to structural proteins such as Spike and Envelope, the functional roles of non-structural and accessory proteins in regulating viral life cycle and host immune responses remain to be understood. Here, we show that open reading frame 8 (ORF8) acts as messenger for inter-cellular communication between alveolar epithelial cells and macrophages during SARS-CoV-2 infection. Mechanistically, ORF8 is a secretory protein that can be secreted by infected epithelial cells via both conventional and unconventional secretory pathways. The unconventionally secreted ORF8 recognizes the IL17RA receptor of macrophages and induces cytokine release. However, conventionally secreted ORF8 cannot bind to IL17RA due to N-linked glycosylation. Furthermore, we found that Yip1 interacting factor homolog B (YIF1B) is a channel protein that translocates unglycosylated ORF8 into vesicles for unconventional secretion. Blocking the unconventional secretion of ORF8 via a YIF1B knockout in hACE2 mice attenuates inflammation and yields delayed mortality following SARS-CoV-2 challenge.

5.
Cell Host Microbe ; 29(12): 1788-1801.e6, 2021 Dec 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1509671

ABSTRACT

Previous work found that the co-occurring mutations R203K/G204R on the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (N) protein are increasing in frequency among emerging variants of concern or interest. Through a combination of in silico analyses, this study demonstrates that R203K/G204R are adaptive, while large-scale phylogenetic analyses indicate that R203K/G204R associate with the emergence of the high-transmissibility SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7. Competition experiments suggest that the 203K/204R variants possess a replication advantage over the preceding R203/G204 variants, possibly related to ribonucleocapsid (RNP) assembly. Moreover, the 203K/204R virus shows increased infectivity in human lung cells and hamsters. Accordingly, we observe a positive association between increased COVID-19 severity and sample frequency of 203K/204R. Our work suggests that the 203K/204R mutations contribute to the increased transmission and virulence of select SARS-CoV-2 variants. In addition to mutations in the spike protein, mutations in the nucleocapsid protein are important for viral spreading during the pandemic.

7.
Front Immunol ; 12: 708184, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1346403

ABSTRACT

There is a worldwide pandemic of Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection; yet our understanding remains limited on the characteristic of antibodies, especially for dynamic long-term tracking. Sequential serum samples were collected up to 416 days post onset of symptoms (POS) from 102 patients who were hospitalized with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Immunoglobulin (Ig)G, IgM, and IgA levels targeting SARS-CoV-2 spike 1 receptor-binding domain (S1-RBD), spike 2 extracellular domain (S2-ECD), and nucleocapsid protein (N) were quantified as well as neutralizing activity. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the antibody remained detective and effective for more than a year POS. We also found the varied reactions of different antibodies as time passed: N-IgA rose most rapidly in the early stage of infection, while S2-IgG was present at a high level in the long time of observation. This study described the long traceable antibody response of the COVID-19 and offered hints about targets to screen for postinfectious immunity and for vaccination development of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Aged , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Hospitalization , Humans , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/blood , Immunoglobulin Isotypes/immunology , Kinetics , Male , Middle Aged , Models, Theoretical , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Protein Domains/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Seroconversion , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
8.
J Chem Inf Model ; 61(8): 3917-3926, 2021 08 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317793

ABSTRACT

The continual spread of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), posing a severe threat to the health worldwide. The main protease (Mpro, alias 3CLpro) of SARS-CoV-2 is a crucial enzyme for the maturation of viral particles and is a very attractive target for designing drugs to treat COVID-19. Here, we propose a multiple conformation-based virtual screening strategy to discover inhibitors that can target SARS-CoV-2 Mpro. Based on this strategy, nine Mpro structures and a protein mimetics library with 8960 commercially available compounds were prepared to carry out ensemble docking for the first time. Five of the nine structures are apo forms presented in different conformations, whereas the other four structures are holo forms complexed with different ligands. The surface plasmon resonance assay revealed that 6 out of 49 compounds had the ability to bind to SARS-CoV-2 Mpro. The fluorescence resonance energy transfer experiment showed that the biochemical half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values of the six compounds could hamper Mpro activities ranged from 0.69 ± 0.05 to 2.05 ± 0.92 µM. Evaluation of antiviral activity using the cell-based assay indicated that two compounds (Z1244904919 and Z1759961356) could strongly inhibit the cytopathic effect and reduce replication of the living virus in Vero E6 cells with the half-maximal effective concentrations (EC50) of 4.98 ± 1.83 and 8.52 ± 0.92 µM, respectively. The mechanism of the action for the two inhibitors were further elucidated at the molecular level by molecular dynamics simulation and subsequent binding free energy analysis. As a result, the discovered noncovalent reversible inhibitors with novel scaffolds are promising antiviral drug candidates, which may be used to develop the treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Cysteine Endopeptidases , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins
9.
J Vet Diagn Invest ; 33(5): 969-974, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1298415

ABSTRACT

Avian influenza A(H5) viruses (avian IAVs) pose a major threat to the economy and public health. We developed an antigen-ELISA (ag-ELISA) and a colloidal gold-based immunochromatographic strip for the rapid detection of avian A(H5) viruses. Both detection methods displayed no cross-reactivity with other viruses (e.g., other avian IAVs, infectious bursal disease virus, Newcastle disease virus, infectious bronchitis virus, avian paramyxovirus). The ag-ELISA was sensitive down to 0.5 hemagglutinin (HA) units/100 µL of avian A(H5) viruses and 7.5 ng/mL of purified H5 HA proteins. The immunochromatographic strip was sensitive down to 1 HA unit/100 µL of avian A(H5) viruses. Both detection methods exhibited good reproducibility with CVs < 10%. For 200 random poultry samples, the sensitivity and specificity of the ag-ELISA were 92.6% and 98.8%, respectively, and for test strips were 88.9% and 98.3%, respectively. Both detection methods displayed high specificity, sensitivity, and stability, making them suitable for rapid detection and field investigation of avian A(H5) viruses.


Subject(s)
Infectious bronchitis virus , Influenza in Birds , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal , Antibodies, Viral , Chickens , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/veterinary , Gold Colloid , Influenza in Birds/diagnosis , Reproducibility of Results , Sensitivity and Specificity
10.
J Vet Diagn Invest ; 33(3): 577-581, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1271943

ABSTRACT

The H2 subtypes of avian influenza A viruses (avian IAVs) have been circulating in poultry, and they have the potential to infect humans. Therefore, establishing a method to quickly detect this subtype is pivotal. We developed a TaqMan minor groove binder real-time RT-PCR assay that involved probes and primers based on conserved sequences of the matrix and hemagglutinin genes. The detection limit of this assay was as low as one 50% egg infectious dose (EID50)/mL per reaction. This assay is specific, sensitive, and rapid for detecting avian IAV H2 subtypes.


Subject(s)
Influenza A virus/isolation & purification , Influenza in Birds/diagnosis , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/veterinary , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/veterinary , Animals , Chick Embryo , Chickens , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Sensitivity and Specificity
11.
iScience ; 24(4): 102293, 2021 Apr 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1203085

ABSTRACT

Recently, COVID-19 caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has brought great challenges to the world. More and more studies have shown that patients with severe COVID-19 may suffer from cytokine storm syndrome; however, there are few studies on its pathogenesis. Here we demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 coding protein open reading frame 8 (ORF8) acted as a contributing factor to cytokine storm during COVID-19 infection. ORF8 could activate IL-17 signaling pathway and promote the expression of pro-inflammatory factors. Moreover, we demonstrated that treatment of IL17RA antibody protected mice from ORF8-induced inflammation. Our findings are helpful to understand the pathogenesis of cytokine storm caused by SARS-CoV-2 and provide a potential target for the development of COVID-19 therapeutic drugs.

12.
Chem Biol Drug Des ; 98(1): 1-18, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201241

ABSTRACT

The ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has become a global health concern and pose a serious threat to humanity. There is an urgent need for developing therapeutic drugs and (or) biologics to prevent the spread of the virus. The life cycle of SARS-CoV-2 shows that the virus enters host cells by first binding to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) through its spike protein receptor-binding domain (RBD). Therefore, blocking the binding between of ACE2 and SARS-CoV-2 RBD can inhibit the virus infection in the host cells. In this study, by grafting the complementarity-determining regions (CDRs) of developed SARS-CoV, MERS-CoVs specific neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) include monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) as well as SARS-CoV-2 mAbs onto a known stable nanobody (Nb) scaffold, and a total of 16 Nbs sequences were designed. Five Nbs, namely CS01, CS02, CS03, CS10, and CS16, were selected based on the free energy landscape of protein docking verified by the recently reported Nb-RBD cocrystal structures. CS01, CS02, and CS03 occupied the ACE2 binding site of RBD, while CS10 and CS16 were proposed to inhibit the interaction between RBD and ACE2 through an allosteric mechanism. Based on the structures of the five Nbs in complex with RBD, seven brand-new Nbs with enhanced binding affinities (CS02_RD01, CS03_RD01, CS03_RD02, CS03_RD03, CS03_RD04, CS16_RD01, and CS16_RD02) were generated by redesign of residues on the interface of the five Nbs contact with SARS-CoV-2 RBD. In addition, the identified "hot spots" on the interface of each complex provide useful information to understand the binding mechanism of designed Nbs to SARS-CoV-2 RBD. In sum, the predicted stabilities and high binding affinities of the 11 (re)designed Nbs indicating the potential of the developed computational framework in this work to design effective agents to block the infection of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , COVID-19 , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Single-Domain Antibodies/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Humans , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Domain Antibodies/immunology
13.
Natl Sci Rev ; 7(12): 1868-1878, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1087785

ABSTRACT

Systematic autopsy and comprehensive pathological analyses of COVID-19 decedents should provide insights into the disease characteristics and facilitate the development of novel therapeutics. In this study, we report the autopsy findings from the lungs and lymphatic organs of 12 COVID-19 decedents-findings that evaluated histopathological changes, immune cell signature and inflammatory factor expression in the lungs, spleen and lymph nodes. Here we show that the major pulmonary alterations included diffuse alveolar damage, interstitial fibrosis and exudative inflammation featured with extensive serous and fibrin exudates, macrophage infiltration and abundant production of inflammatory factors (IL-6, IP-10, TNFα and IL-1ß). The spleen and hilar lymph nodes contained lesions with tissue structure disruption and immune cell dysregulation, including lymphopenia and macrophage accumulation. These findings provide pathological evidence that links injuries of the lungs and lymphatic organs with the fatal systematic respiratory and immune malfunction in critically ill COVID-19 patients.

14.
Cell Discov ; 6(1): 76, 2020 Oct 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-904771

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread globally with more than 33 million patients diagnosed, taking more than a million lives. Abundant mutations were observed but the functional consequences of these mutations are largely unknown. We report the mutation spectrum, replication dynamics, and infectivity of 11 patient-derived viral isolates in diverse cell lines, including the human lung cancer cell line Calu-3. We observed 46 mutations, including 9 different mutations in the spike gene. Importantly, these viral isolates show significant and consistent variations in replication dynamics and infectivity in tested cell lines, up to a 1500-fold difference in viral titers at 24 h after infecting Calu-3 cells. Moreover, we show that the variations in viral titers among viral isolates are positively correlated with blood clotting function but inversely correlated with the amount of red blood cell and hemoglobin in patients. Therefore, we provide direct evidence that naturally occurring mutations in SARS-CoV-2 can substantially change its replication dynamics and infectivity in diverse human cell lines, with clinical implications in vivo.

15.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 9(1): 1474-1488, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-599992

ABSTRACT

The mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 virus genome during COVID-19 dissemination are unclear. In 788 COVID-19 patients from Zhejiang province, we observed decreased rate of severe/critical cases compared with patients in Wuhan. For mechanisms exploration, we isolated one strain of SARS-CoV-2 (ZJ01) from a mild COVID-19 patient. Thirty-five specific gene mutations were identified. Phylogenetic and relative synonymous codon usage analysis suggested that ZJ01 may be a potential evolutionary branch of SARS-CoV-2. We classified 54 global virus strains based on the base (C or T) at positions 8824 and 28247 while ZJ01 has T at both sites. The prediction of the Furin cleavage site (FCS) and sequence alignment indicated that the FCS may be an important site of coronavirus evolution. ZJ01 mutations identified near the FCS (F1-2) caused changes in the structure and electrostatic distribution of the S surface protein, further affecting the binding capacity of Furin. Single-cell sequencing and ACE2-Furin co-expression results confirmed that the Furin expression was especially higher in glands, liver, kidneys, and colon. The evolutionary pattern of SARS-CoV-2 towards FCS formation may result in its clinical symptom becoming closer to HKU-1 and OC43 caused mild flu-like symptoms, further showing its potential in differentiating into mild COVID-19 subtypes.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Furin/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Adult , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , China/epidemiology , Codon , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Progression , Evolution, Molecular , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation , Pandemics , Phylogeny , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Analysis, RNA
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