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2.
Cell Mol Immunol ; 2022 Mar 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1735231

ABSTRACT

Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) can capture and kill viruses, such as influenza viruses, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), thus contributing to host defense. Contrary to our expectation, we show here that the histones released by NETosis enhance the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2, as found by using live SARS-CoV-2 and two pseudovirus systems as well as a mouse model. The histone H3 or H4 selectively binds to subunit 2 of the spike (S) protein, as shown by a biochemical binding assay, surface plasmon resonance and binding energy calculation as well as the construction of a mutant S protein by replacing four acidic amino acids. Sialic acid on the host cell surface is the key molecule to which histones bridge subunit 2 of the S protein. Moreover, histones enhance cell-cell fusion. Finally, treatment with an inhibitor of NETosis, histone H3 or H4, or sialic acid notably affected the levels of sgRNA copies and the number of apoptotic cells in a mouse model. These findings suggest that SARS-CoV-2 could hijack histones from neutrophil NETosis to promote its host cell attachment and entry process and may be important in exploring pathogenesis and possible strategies to develop new effective therapies for COVID-19.

3.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 439, 2021 12 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585883

ABSTRACT

The development of animal models for COVID-19 is essential for basic research and drug/vaccine screening. Previously reported COVID-19 animal models need to be established under a high biosafety level condition for the utilization of live SARS-CoV-2, which greatly limits its application in routine research. Here, we generate a mouse model of COVID-19 under a general laboratory condition that captures multiple characteristics of SARS-CoV-2-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) observed in humans. Briefly, human ACE2-transgenic (hACE2) mice were intratracheally instilled with the formaldehyde-inactivated SARS-CoV-2, resulting in a rapid weight loss and detrimental changes in lung structure and function. The pulmonary pathologic changes were characterized by diffuse alveolar damage with pulmonary consolidation, hemorrhage, necrotic debris, and hyaline membrane formation. The production of fatal cytokines (IL-1ß, TNF-α, and IL-6) and the infiltration of activated neutrophils, inflammatory monocyte-macrophages, and T cells in the lung were also determined, suggesting the activation of an adaptive immune response. Therapeutic strategies, such as dexamethasone or passive antibody therapy, could effectively ameliorate the disease progression in this model. Therefore, the established mouse model for SARS-CoV-2-induced ARDS in the current study may provide a robust tool for researchers in the standard open laboratory to investigate the pathological mechanisms or develop new therapeutic strategies for COVID-19 and ARDS.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Lung/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/genetics
4.
MedComm ; 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1567359

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‐CoV‐2) is the etiology of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) pandemic. Current variants including Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Lambda increase the capacity of infection and transmission of SARS‐CoV‐2, which might disable the in‐used therapies and vaccines. The COVID‐19 has now put an enormous strain on health care system all over the world. Therefore, the development of animal models that can capture characteristics and immune responses observed in COVID‐19 patients is urgently needed. Appropriate models could accelerate the testing of therapeutic drugs and vaccines against SARS‐CoV‐2. In this review, we aim to summarize the current animal models for SARS‐CoV‐2 infection, including mice, hamsters, nonhuman primates, and ferrets, and discuss the details of transmission, pathology, and immunology induced by SARS‐CoV‐2 in these animal models. We hope this could throw light to the increased usefulness in fundamental studies of COVID‐19 and the preclinical analysis of vaccines and therapeutic agents. Animal models that recapitulate characteristics and immune responses observed in COVID‐19 patients are urgently needed. These animal models such as mouse, hamster, nonhuman primate, and ferret, have provided robust platforms for studying the transmission, pathogenesis, and immunology induced by SARS‐CoV‐2, and for evaluating the immunomodulatory and antiviral drugs and vaccines against COVID‐19.

5.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 343, 2021 09 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1415924

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 recognizes, via its spike receptor-binding domain (S-RBD), human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) to initiate infection. Ecto-domain protein of ACE2 can therefore function as a decoy. Here we show that mutations of S19W, T27W, and N330Y in ACE2 could individually enhance SARS-CoV-2 S-RBD binding. Y330 could be synergistically combined with either W19 or W27, whereas W19 and W27 are mutually unbeneficial. The structures of SARS-CoV-2 S-RBD bound to the ACE2 mutants reveal that the enhanced binding is mainly contributed by the van der Waals interactions mediated by the aromatic side-chains from W19, W27, and Y330. While Y330 and W19/W27 are distantly located and devoid of any steric interference, W19 and W27 are shown to orient their side-chains toward each other and to cause steric conflicts, explaining their incompatibility. Finally, using pseudotyped SARS-CoV-2 viruses, we demonstrate that these residue substitutions are associated with dramatically improved entry-inhibition efficacy toward both wild-type and antibody-resistant viruses. Taken together, our biochemical and structural data have delineated the basis for the elevated S-RBD binding associated with S19W, T27W, and N330Y mutations in ACE2, paving the way for potential application of these mutants in clinical treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , COVID-19 , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation, Missense , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Amino Acid Substitution , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
8.
MedComm (2020) ; 2021 May 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1222647

ABSTRACT

The emerging variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) in pandemic call for the urgent development of universal corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines which could be effective for both wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and mutant strains. In the current study, we formulated protein subunit vaccines with AS03 adjuvant and recombinant proteins of S1 subunit of SARS-CoV-2 (S1-WT) and S1 variant (K417N, E484K, N501Y, and D614G) subunit (S1-Mut), and immunized transgenic mice that express human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2). The S1 protein-specific antibody production and the neutralization capability for SARS-CoV-2 and B.1.351 variant were measured after immunization in mice. The results revealed that the S1-Mut antigens were more effective in inhibiting the receptor-binding domain and ACE2 binding in B.1.351 variant than in wild-type SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, the development of a bivalent vaccine exhibited the ideal neutralization properties against wild-type and B.1.351 variant, as well as other variants. Our findings may provide a rationale for the development of a bivalent recombinant vaccine targeting the S1 protein that can induce the neutralizing antibodies against both SARS-CoV-2 variants and wild-type of the virus and may be of importance to explore the potential clinical use of bivalent recombinant vaccine in the future.

10.
J Infect ; 82(1): 126-132, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-947286

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: COVID-19 has caused a large global pandemic. Patients with COVID-19 exhibited considerable variation in disease behavior. Pervious genome-wide association studies have identified potential genetic variants involved in the risk and prognosis of COVID-19, but the underlying biological interpretation remains largely unclear. METHODS: We applied the summary data-based Mendelian randomization (SMR) method to identify genes that were pleiotropically associated with the risk and various outcomes of COVID-19, including severe respiratory confirmed COVID-19 and hospitalized COVID-19. RESULTS: In blood, we identified 2 probes, ILMN_1765146 and ILMN_1791057 tagging IFNAR2, that showed pleiotropic association with hospitalized COVID-19 (ß [SE]=0.42 [0.09], P = 4.75 × 10-06 and ß [SE]=-0.48 [0.11], P = 6.76 × 10-06, respectively). Although no other probes were significant after correction for multiple testing in both blood and lung, multiple genes as tagged by the top 5 probes were involved in inflammation or antiviral immunity, and several other tagged genes, such as PON2 and HPS5, were involved in blood coagulation. CONCLUSIONS: We identified IFNAR2 and other potential genes that could be involved in the susceptibility or prognosis of COVID-19. These findings provide important leads to a better understanding of the mechanisms of cytokine storm and venous thromboembolism in COVID-19 and potential therapeutic targets for the effective treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Genetic Variation/genetics , Genome-Wide Association Study/methods , Mendelian Randomization Analysis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Aryldialkylphosphatase/genetics , Blood Coagulation/genetics , COVID-19/mortality , Carrier Proteins/genetics , Cytokine Release Syndrome/genetics , Cytokine Release Syndrome/pathology , Genetic Predisposition to Disease/genetics , Humans , Prognosis , Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta/genetics , Risk , Venous Thromboembolism/genetics , Venous Thromboembolism/pathology
11.
medRxiv ; 2020 Sep 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-827840

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: COVID-19 has caused a large global pandemic. Patients with COVID-19 exhibited considerable variation in disease behavior. Pervious genome-wide association studies have identified potential genetic variants involved in the risk and prognosis of COVID-19, but the underlying biological interpretation remains largely unclear. METHODS: We applied the summary data-based Mendelian randomization (SMR) method to identify genes that were pleiotropically associated with the risk and various outcomes of COVID-19, including severe respiratory confirmed COVID-19 and hospitalized COVID-19. RESULTS: In blood, we identified 2 probes, ILMN_1765146 and ILMN_1791057 tagging IFNAR2, that showed pleiotropic association with hospitalized COVID-19 (Beta; [SE]=0.42 [0.09], P=4.75E-06 and Beta; [SE]=-0.48 [0.11], P=6.76E-06, respectively). Although no other probes were significant after correction for multiple testing in both blood and lung, multiple genes as tagged by the top 5 probes were involved in inflammation or antiviral immunity, and several other tagged genes, such as PON2 and HPS5, were involved in blood coagulation. CONCLUSIONS: We identified IFNAR2 and other potential genes that could be involved in the susceptibility or prognosis of COVID-19. These findings provide important leads to a better understanding of the mechanisms of cytokine storm and venous thromboembolism in COVID-19 and potential therapeutic targets for the effective treatment of COVID-19.

12.
Nature ; 586(7830): 572-577, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-691301

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes a respiratory disease called coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the spread of which has led to a pandemic. An effective preventive vaccine against this virus is urgently needed. As an essential step during infection, SARS-CoV-2 uses the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein to engage with the receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) on host cells1,2. Here we show that a recombinant vaccine that comprises residues 319-545 of the RBD of the spike protein induces a potent functional antibody response in immunized mice, rabbits and non-human primates (Macaca mulatta) as early as 7 or 14 days after the injection of a single vaccine dose. The sera from the immunized animals blocked the binding of the RBD to ACE2, which is expressed on the cell surface, and neutralized infection with a SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus and live SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. Notably, vaccination also provided protection in non-human primates to an in vivo challenge with SARS-CoV-2. We found increased levels of RBD-specific antibodies in the sera of patients with COVID-19. We show that several immune pathways and CD4 T lymphocytes are involved in the induction of the vaccine antibody response. Our findings highlight the importance of the RBD domain in the design of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and provide a rationale for the development of a protective vaccine through the induction of antibodies against the RBD domain.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Macaca mulatta/immunology , Macaca mulatta/virology , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Models, Animal , Models, Molecular , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2 , Serum/immunology , Spleen/cytology , Spleen/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccination
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