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1.
Jie Fang Jun Yi Xue Za Zhi ; 46(6):628-633, 2021.
Article in Chinese | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1311458

ABSTRACT

By April 19, 2021, the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-2019), which is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected more than one hundred and fourty million individuals across more than 200 countries or territories and killed more than three million twenty-six thousand individuals worldwide. There are currently no specific drugs available for patients with COVID-19 infection, but a number of potential drug targets have been identified with the further understanding of the virological characteristics and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2. Some candidate drugs have shown good antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 in preclinical or clinical trials. This paper summarizes the current status of potential therapeutic drugs for COVID-19 in order to provide references for future COVID-19 therapy.

2.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-393629

ABSTRACT

Receptor recognition and subsequent membrane fusion are essential for the establishment of successful infection by SARS-CoV-2. Halting these steps can cure COVID-19. Here we have identified and characterized a potent human monoclonal antibody, HB27, that blocks SARS-CoV-2 attachment to its cellular receptor at sub-nM concentrations. Remarkably, HB27 can also prevent SARS-CoV-2 membrane fusion. Consequently, a single dose of HB27 conferred effective protection against SARS-CoV-2 in two established mouse models. Rhesus macaques showed no obvious adverse events when administrated with 10-fold of effective dose of HB27. Cryo-EM studies on complex of SARS-CoV-2 trimeric S with HB27 Fab reveal that three Fab fragments work synergistically to occlude SARS-CoV-2 from binding to ACE2 receptor. Binding of the antibody also restrains any further conformational changes of the RBD, possibly interfering with progression from the prefusion to the postfusion stage. These results suggest that HB27 is a promising candidate for immuno-therapies against COVID-19. HighlightsO_LISARS-CoV-2 specific antibody, HB27, blocks viral receptor binding and membrane fusion C_LIO_LIHB27 confers prophylactic and therapeutic protection against SARS-CoV-2 in mice models C_LIO_LIRhesus macaques showed no adverse side effects when administered with HB27 C_LIO_LICryo-EM studies suggest that HB27 sterically occludes SARS-CoV-2 from its receptor C_LI

3.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-377333

ABSTRACT

The ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has brought an urgent need for animal models to study the pathogenicity of the virus. Herein, we generated and characterized a novel mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 strain, named MASCp36, that causes severe acute respiratory symptoms and mortality in standard laboratory mice. Particularly, this model exhibits age and gender related skewed distribution of mortality akin to severe COVID-19, and the 50% lethal dose (LD50) of MASCp36 was 58 PFU in 9-month-old, male BALB/c mice. Deep sequencing identified three amino acid substitutions, N501Y, Q493H, and K417N, subsequently emerged at the receptor binding domain (RBD) of MASCp36, during in vivo passaging. All three mutations in RBD significantly enhanced the binding affinity to its endogenous receptor, mouse ACE2 (mACE2). Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) analysis of human ACE2 (hACE2) or mACE2 in complex with the RBD of MASCp36 at 3.1 to 3.7 angstrom resolution elucidates molecular basis for the receptor-binding switch driven by specific amino acid substitutions. Interestingly, N501Y and Q493H enhanced the binding affinity to human ACE2 (hACE2); while triple mutations N501Y/Q493H/K417N decreased affinity to hACE2, thus led to the reduced infectivity of MASCp36 to human cells. Our study not only provides a robust platform for studying the pathogenesis of severe COVID-19 and rapid evaluation of coutermeasures against SARS-CoV-2, but also unveils the molecular mechanism for the rapid adaption and evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in human and animals. One sentence summaryA mouse adapted SARS-CoV-2 strain that harbored specific amino acid substitutions in the RBD of S protein showed 100% mortality in aged, male BALB/c mice.

4.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-376673

ABSTRACT

Olfactory dysfunction caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection represents as one of the most predictive and common symptoms in COVID-19 patients. However, the causal link between SARS-CoV-2 infection and olfactory disorders remains lacking. Herein we demonstrate intranasal inoculation of SARS-CoV-2 induces robust viral replication in the olfactory epithelium (OE), resulting in transient olfactory dysfunction in humanized ACE2 mice. The sustentacular cells and Bowmans gland cells in OE were identified as the major targets of SARS-CoV-2 before the invasion into olfactory sensory neurons. Remarkably, SARS-CoV-2 infection triggers cell death and immune cell infiltration, and impairs the uniformity of OE structure. Combined transcriptomic and proteomic analyses reveal the induction of antiviral and inflammatory responses, as well as the downregulation of olfactory receptors in OE from the infected animals. Overall, our mouse model recapitulates the olfactory dysfunction in COVID-19 patients, and provides critical clues to understand the physiological basis for extrapulmonary manifestations of COVID-19.

5.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20171371

ABSTRACT

The World Health Organization has declared SARS-CoV-2 virus outbreak a world-wide pandemic. Individuals infected by the virus exhibited different degrees of symptoms, the basis of which remains largely unclear. Currently, though convalescent individuals have been shown with both cellular and humoral immune responses, there is very limited understanding on the immune responses, especially adaptive immune responses, in patients with severe COVID-19. Here, we examined 10 blood samples from COVID-19 patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The majority of them (70%) mounted SARS-CoV-2-specific humoral immunity with production of neutralizing antibodies. However, compared to healthy controls, the percentages and absolute numbers of both NK cells and CD8+ T cells were significantly reduced, accompanied with decreased IFN{gamma} expression in CD4+ T cells in peripheral blood from severe patients. Most notably, we failed in detecting SARS-CoV-2-specific IFN{gamma} production by peripheral blood lymphocytes from these patients. Our work thus indicates that COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms are associated with defective cellular immunity, which not only provides insights on understanding the pathogenesis of COVID-19, but also has implications in developing an effective vaccine to SARS-CoV-2.

6.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-129098

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus has resulted in an unprecedented public health crisis. There are no approved vaccines or therapeutics for treating COVID-19. Here we reported a humanized monoclonal antibody, H014, efficiently neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV pseudoviruses as well as authentic SARS-CoV-2 at nM level by engaging the S receptor binding domain (RBD). Importantly, H014 administration reduced SARS-CoV-2 titers in the infected lungs and prevented pulmonary pathology in hACE2 mouse model. Cryo-EM characterization of the SARS-CoV-2 S trimer in complex with the H014 Fab fragment unveiled a novel conformational epitope, which is only accessible when the RBD is in open conformation. Biochemical, cellular, virological and structural studies demonstrated that H014 prevents attachment of SARS-CoV-2 to its host cell receptors. Epitope analysis of available neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 uncover broad cross-protective epitopes. Our results highlight a key role for antibody-based therapeutic interventions in the treatment of COVID-19. One sentence summaryA potent neutralizing antibody conferred protection against SARS-CoV-2 in an hACE2 humanized mouse model by sterically blocking the interaction of the virus with its receptor.

7.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-073411

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) threatens global public health and economy. In order to develop safe and effective vaccines, suitable animal models must be established. Here we report the rapid adaption of SARS-CoV-2 in BALB/c mice, based on which a convenient, economical and effective animal model was developed. Specifically, we found that mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 at passage 6 (MACSp6) efficiently infected both aged and young wild-type BALB/c mice, resulting in moderate pneumonia as well as inflammatory responses. The elevated infectivity of MACSp6 in mice could be attributed to the substitution of a key residue (N501Y) in the receptorbinding domain (RBD). Using this novel animal model, we further evaluated the in vivo protective efficacy of an RBD-based SARS-CoV-2 subunit vaccine, which elicited highly potent neutralizing antibodies and conferred full protection against SARS-CoV-2 MACSp6 challenge. This novel mouse model is convenient and effective in evaluating the in vivo protective efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. SummaryThis study describes a unique mouse model for SARS-CoV-2 infection and confirms protective efficacy of a SARS-CoV-2 RBD subunit vaccine.

8.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-074021

ABSTRACT

The pandemic COVID-19 has spread to all over the world and greatly threatens safety and health of people. COVID-19 is highly infectious and with high mortality rate. As no effective antiviral treatment is currently available, new drugs are urgently needed. We employed transcriptional analysis to uncover potential antiviral drugs from natural products or FDA approved drugs. We found liquiritin significantly inhibit replication of SARS-CoV-2 in Vero E6 cells with EC50 = 2.39 M. Mechanistically, we found liquiritin exerts anti-viral function by mimicking type I interferon. Upregulated genes induced by liquiritin are enriched in GO categories including type I interferon signaling pathway, negative regulation of viral genome replication and etc. In toxicity experiment, no death was observed when treated at dose of 300 mg/kg for a week in ICR mice. All the organ indexes but liver and serum biochemical indexes were normal after treatment. Liquiritin is abundant in licorice tablet (~0.2% by mass), a traditional Chinese medicine. Together, we recommend liquiritin as a competitive candidate for treating COVID-19. We also expect liquiritin to have a broad and potent antiviral function to other viral pathogens, like HBV, HIV and etc.

9.
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20036640

ABSTRACT

The WHO has declared SARS-CoV-2 outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. However, to date, there was hardly any study in characterizing the immune responses, especially adaptive immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection. In this study, we collected blood from COVID-19 patients who have recently become virus-free and therefore were discharged, and analyzed their SARS-CoV-2-specific antibody and T cell responses. We observed SARS-CoV-2-specific humoral and cellular immunity in the patients. Both were detected in newly discharged patients, suggesting both participate in immune-mediated protection to viral infection. However, follow-up patients (2 weeks post discharge) exhibited high titers of IgG antibodies, but with low levels of virus-specific T cells, suggesting that they may enter a quiescent state. Our work has thus provided a basis for further analysis of protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2, and understanding the pathogenesis of COVID-19, especially in the severe cases. It has also implications in designing an effective vaccine to protect and treat SARS-CoV-2 infection.

10.
Preprint in English | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-988345

ABSTRACT

Currently, COVID-19 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been widely spread around the world; nevertheless, so far there exist no specific antiviral drugs for treatment of the disease, which poses great challenge to control and contain the virus. Here, we reported a research finding that SARS-CoV-2 invaded host cells via a novel route of CD147-spike protein (SP). SP bound to CD147, a receptor on the host cells, thereby mediating the viral invasion. Our further research confirmed this finding. First, in vitro antiviral tests indicated Meplazumab, an anti-CD147 humanized antibody, significantly inhibited the viruses from invading host cells, with an EC50 of 24.86 g/mL and IC50 of 15.16 g/mL. Second, we validated the interaction between CD147 and SP, with an affinity constant of 1.85x10-7M. Co-Immunoprecipitation and ELISA also confirmed the binding of the two proteins. Finally, the localization of CD147 and SP was observed in SARS-CoV-2 infected Vero E6 cells by immuno-electron microscope. Therefore, the discovery of the new route CD147-SP for SARS-CoV-2 invading host cells provides a critical target for development of specific antiviral drugs.

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