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1.
Front Immunol ; 12: 785599, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1643498

ABSTRACT

Zinc ion as an enzyme cofactor exhibits antiviral and anti-inflammatory activity during infection, but circulating zinc ion level during Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is unclear. This study aimed to evaluate serum zinc ion level in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients and healthy subjects, as well as its correlation with antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. 114 COVID-19 patients and 48 healthy subjects (38 healthy volunteers and 10 close contacts of patients with COVID-19) were included. Zinc ion concentration and levels of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 Spike 1 + Spike 2 proteins, nucleocapsid protein, and receptor-binding domain in serum were measured. Results showed that the concentration of zinc ion in serum from COVID-19 patients [median: 6.4 nmol/mL (IQR 1.5 - 12.0 nmol/mL)] were significantly lower than that from the healthy subjects [median: 15.0 nmol/mL (IQR 11.9 - 18.8 nmol/mL)] (p < 0.001) and the difference remained significant after age stratification (p < 0.001) or when the patients were at the recovery stage (p < 0.001). Furthermore, COVID-19 patients with more severe hypozincemia showed higher levels of IgG against the receptor-binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Further studies to confirm the effect of zinc supplementation on improving the outcomes of COVID-19, including antibody response against SARS-CoV-2, are warranted.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Zinc/blood , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Cations, Divalent/blood , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Protein Domains/immunology , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Retrospective Studies , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
2.
Cell Death Differ ; 29(6): 1240-1254, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1612182

ABSTRACT

A recent mutation analysis suggested that Non-Structural Protein 6 (NSP6) of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a key determinant of the viral pathogenicity. Here, by transcriptome analysis, we demonstrated that the inflammasome-related NOD-like receptor signaling was activated in SARS-CoV-2-infected lung epithelial cells and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients' lung tissues. The induction of inflammasomes/pyroptosis in patients with severe COVID-19 was confirmed by serological markers. Overexpression of NSP6 triggered NLRP3/ASC-dependent caspase-1 activation, interleukin-1ß/18 maturation, and pyroptosis of lung epithelial cells. Upstream, NSP6 impaired lysosome acidification to inhibit autophagic flux, whose restoration by 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, metformin or polydatin abrogated NSP6-induced pyroptosis. NSP6 directly interacted with ATP6AP1, a vacuolar ATPase proton pump component, and inhibited its cleavage-mediated activation. L37F NSP6 variant, which was associated with asymptomatic COVID-19, exhibited reduced binding to ATP6AP1 and weakened ability to impair lysosome acidification to induce pyroptosis. Consistently, infection of cultured lung epithelial cells with live SARS-CoV-2 resulted in autophagic flux stagnation, inflammasome activation, and pyroptosis. Overall, this work supports that NSP6 of SARS-CoV-2 could induce inflammatory cell death in lung epithelial cells, through which pharmacological rectification of autophagic flux might be therapeutically exploited.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein , SARS-CoV-2 , Vacuolar Proton-Translocating ATPases , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Humans , Inflammasomes/metabolism , Interleukin-1beta/metabolism , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/genetics , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/metabolism , Pyroptosis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Vacuolar Proton-Translocating ATPases/metabolism
3.
Gastroenterology ; 162(2): 548-561.e4, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475507

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is associated with altered gut microbiota composition. Phylogenetic groups of gut bacteria involved in the metabolism of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) were depleted in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. We aimed to characterize a functional profile of the gut microbiome in patients with COVID-19 before and after disease resolution. METHODS: We performed shotgun metagenomic sequencing on fecal samples from 66 antibiotics-naïve patients with COVID-19 and 70 non-COVID-19 controls. Serial fecal samples were collected (at up to 6 times points) during hospitalization and beyond 1 month after discharge. We assessed gut microbial pathways in association with disease severity and blood inflammatory markers. We also determined changes of microbial functions in fecal samples before and after disease resolution and validated these functions using targeted analysis of fecal metabolites. RESULTS: Compared with non-COVID-19 controls, patients with COVID-19 with severe/critical illness showed significant alterations in gut microbiome functionality (P < .001), characterized by impaired capacity of gut microbiome for SCFA and L-isoleucine biosynthesis and enhanced capacity for urea production. Impaired SCFA and L-isoleucine biosynthesis in gut microbiome persisted beyond 30 days after recovery in patients with COVID-19. Targeted analysis of fecal metabolites showed significantly lower fecal concentrations of SCFAs and L-isoleucine in patients with COVID-19 before and after disease resolution. Lack of SCFA and L-isoleucine biosynthesis significantly correlated with disease severity and increased plasma concentrations of CXCL-10, NT- proB-type natriuretic peptide, and C-reactive protein (all P < .05). CONCLUSIONS: Gut microbiome of patients with COVID-19 displayed impaired capacity for SCFA and L-isoleucine biosynthesis that persisted even after disease resolution. These 2 microbial functions correlated with host immune response underscoring the importance of gut microbial functions in SARS-CoV-2 infection pathogenesis and outcome.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/microbiology , Fatty Acids, Volatile/biosynthesis , Gastrointestinal Microbiome/genetics , Immunity/physiology , Isoleucine/biosynthesis , Adult , Biomarkers/blood , Case-Control Studies , Feces/microbiology , Female , Humans , Male , Metagenomics , Middle Aged , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
4.
Brief Bioinform ; 22(2): 1466-1475, 2021 03 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1343667

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread rapidly worldwide, causing significant mortality. There is a mechanistic relationship between intracellular coronavirus replication and deregulated autophagosome-lysosome system. We performed transcriptome analysis of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from COVID-19 patients and identified the aberrant upregulation of genes in the lysosome pathway. We further determined the capability of two circulating markers, namely microtubule-associated proteins 1A/1B light chain 3B (LC3B) and (p62/SQSTM1) p62, both of which depend on lysosome for degradation, in predicting the emergence of moderate-to-severe disease in COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization for supplemental oxygen therapy. Logistic regression analyses showed that LC3B was associated with moderate-to-severe COVID-19, independent of age, sex and clinical risk score. A decrease in LC3B concentration <5.5 ng/ml increased the risk of oxygen and ventilatory requirement (adjusted odds ratio: 4.6; 95% CI: 1.1-22.0; P = 0.04). Serum concentrations of p62 in the moderate-to-severe group were significantly lower in patients aged 50 or below. In conclusion, lysosome function is deregulated in PBMCs isolated from COVID-19 patients, and the related biomarker LC3B may serve as a novel tool for stratifying patients with moderate-to-severe COVID-19 from those with asymptomatic or mild disease. COVID-19 patients with a decrease in LC3B concentration <5.5 ng/ml will require early hospital admission for supplemental oxygen therapy and other respiratory support.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/metabolism , Lysosomes/metabolism , Microtubule-Associated Proteins/blood , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Adult , Autophagy , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , Cell Cycle , Cholesterol/metabolism , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , RNA-Binding Proteins/blood , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Retrospective Studies , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
5.
Brief Bioinform ; 22(2): 1466-1475, 2021 03 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1096499

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has spread rapidly worldwide, causing significant mortality. There is a mechanistic relationship between intracellular coronavirus replication and deregulated autophagosome-lysosome system. We performed transcriptome analysis of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from COVID-19 patients and identified the aberrant upregulation of genes in the lysosome pathway. We further determined the capability of two circulating markers, namely microtubule-associated proteins 1A/1B light chain 3B (LC3B) and (p62/SQSTM1) p62, both of which depend on lysosome for degradation, in predicting the emergence of moderate-to-severe disease in COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization for supplemental oxygen therapy. Logistic regression analyses showed that LC3B was associated with moderate-to-severe COVID-19, independent of age, sex and clinical risk score. A decrease in LC3B concentration <5.5 ng/ml increased the risk of oxygen and ventilatory requirement (adjusted odds ratio: 4.6; 95% CI: 1.1-22.0; P = 0.04). Serum concentrations of p62 in the moderate-to-severe group were significantly lower in patients aged 50 or below. In conclusion, lysosome function is deregulated in PBMCs isolated from COVID-19 patients, and the related biomarker LC3B may serve as a novel tool for stratifying patients with moderate-to-severe COVID-19 from those with asymptomatic or mild disease. COVID-19 patients with a decrease in LC3B concentration <5.5 ng/ml will require early hospital admission for supplemental oxygen therapy and other respiratory support.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/metabolism , Lysosomes/metabolism , Microtubule-Associated Proteins/blood , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Adult , Autophagy , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , Cell Cycle , Cholesterol/metabolism , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , RNA-Binding Proteins/blood , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Retrospective Studies , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
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