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1.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(23)2021 06 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1238060

ABSTRACT

COVID-19, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has become a global pandemic and has claimed over 2 million lives worldwide. Although the genetic sequences of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 have high homology, the clinical and pathological characteristics of COVID-19 differ significantly from those of SARS. How and whether SARS-CoV-2 evades (cellular) immune surveillance requires further elucidation. In this study, we show that SARS-CoV-2 infection leads to major histocompability complex class Ι (MHC-Ι) down-regulation both in vitro and in vivo. The viral protein encoded by open reading frame 8 (ORF8) of SARS-CoV-2, which shares the least homology with SARS-CoV among all viral proteins, directly interacts with MHC-Ι molecules and mediates their down-regulation. In ORF8-expressing cells, MHC-Ι molecules are selectively targeted for lysosomal degradation via autophagy. Thus, SARS-CoV-2-infected cells are much less sensitive to lysis by cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Because ORF8 protein impairs the antigen presentation system, inhibition of ORF8 could be a strategy to improve immune surveillance.


Subject(s)
Antigen Presentation , COVID-19/immunology , Down-Regulation/immunology , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/immunology , Immune Evasion , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viral Proteins/immunology , Animals , Autophagy/genetics , Autophagy/immunology , COVID-19/genetics , Chlorocebus aethiops , HEK293 Cells , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/genetics , Humans , Lysosomes/genetics , Lysosomes/immunology , Lysosomes/virology , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells , Viral Proteins/genetics
2.
mBio ; 12(1)2021 01 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066818

ABSTRACT

The etiologic agent of COVID-19 is highly contagious and has caused a severe global pandemic. Until now, there has been no simple and reliable system available in a lower-biosafety-grade laboratory for SARS-CoV-2 virologic research and inhibitor screening. In this study, we reported a replicon system which consists of four plasmids expressing the required segments of SARS-CoV-2. Our study revealed that the features for viral RNA synthesis and responses to antivirus drugs of the replicon are similar to those of wild-type viruses. Further analysis indicated that ORF6 provided potent in trans stimulation of the viral replication. Some viral variations, such as 5'UTR-C241T and ORF8-(T28144C) L84S mutation, also exhibit their different impact upon viral replication. Besides, the screening of clinically used drugs identified that several tyrosine kinase inhibitors and DNA-Top II inhibitors potently inhibit the replicon, as well as authentic SARS-CoV-2 viruses. Collectively, this replicon system provides a biosafety-worry-free platform for studying SARS-CoV-2 virology, monitoring the functional impact of viral mutations, and developing viral inhibitors.IMPORTANCE COVID-19 has caused a severe global pandemic. Until now, there has been no simple and reliable system available in a lower-biosafety-grade laboratory for SARS-CoV-2 virologic research and inhibitor screening. We reported a replicon system which consists of four ordinary plasmids expressing the required segments of SARS-CoV-2. Using the replicon system, we developed three application scenarios: (i) to identify the effects of viral proteins on virus replication, (ii) to identify the effects of mutations on viral replication during viral epidemics, and (iii) to perform high-throughput screening of antiviral drugs. Collectively, this replicon system would be useful for virologists to study SARS-CoV-2 virology, for epidemiologists to monitor virus mutations, and for industry to develop antiviral drugs.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/virology , RNA, Viral/biosynthesis , Replicon/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical/methods , Female , Genetic Engineering , HEK293 Cells , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Humans , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Mutation , Pandemics , RNA, Viral/genetics , Replicon/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Virus Replication/drug effects
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