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1.
Cell Mol Immunol ; 19(5): 577-587, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1830043

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.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Histones , Mice , N-Acetylneuraminic Acid , Protein Subunits/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Virus Internalization
2.
Cell ; 2022 Apr 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1803705

ABSTRACT

Breakthrough infections by SARS-CoV-2 variants become the global challenge for pandemic control. Previously, we developed the protein subunit vaccine ZF2001 based on the dimeric receptor-binding domain (RBD) of prototype SARS-CoV-2. Here, we developed a chimeric RBD-dimer vaccine approach to adapt SARS-CoV-2 variants. A prototype-Beta chimeric RBD-dimer was first designed to adapt the resistant Beta variant. Compared with its homotypic forms, the chimeric vaccine elicited broader sera neutralization of variants and conferred better protection in mice. The protection of the chimeric vaccine was further verified in macaques. This approach was generalized to develop Delta-Omicron chimeric RBD-dimer to adapt the currently prevalent variants. Again, the chimeric vaccine elicited broader sera neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 variants and conferred better protection against challenge by either Delta or Omicron SARS-CoV-2 in mice. The chimeric approach is applicable for rapid updating of immunogens, and our data supported the use of variant-adapted multivalent vaccine against circulating and emerging variants.

3.
Cell ; 185(10): 1728-1744.e16, 2022 May 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1767964

ABSTRACT

As the emerging variants of SARS-CoV-2 continue to drive the worldwide pandemic, there is a constant demand for vaccines that offer more effective and broad-spectrum protection. Here, we report a circular RNA (circRNA) vaccine that elicited potent neutralizing antibodies and T cell responses by expressing the trimeric RBD of the spike protein, providing robust protection against SARS-CoV-2 in both mice and rhesus macaques. Notably, the circRNA vaccine enabled higher and more durable antigen production than the 1mΨ-modified mRNA vaccine and elicited a higher proportion of neutralizing antibodies and distinct Th1-skewed immune responses. Importantly, we found that the circRNARBD-Omicron vaccine induced effective neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron but not the Delta variant. In contrast, the circRNARBD-Delta vaccine protected against both Delta and Omicron or functioned as a booster after two doses of either native- or Delta-specific vaccination, making it a favorable choice against the current variants of concern (VOCs) of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Macaca mulatta , Mice , RNA, Circular/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics
4.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 7(1): 61, 2022 02 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1758178

ABSTRACT

Variants are globally emerging very quickly following pandemic prototypic SARS-CoV-2. To evaluate the cross-protection of prototypic SARS-CoV-2 vaccine against its variants, we vaccinated rhesus monkeys with three doses of prototypic SARS-CoV-2 inactivated vaccine, followed by challenging with emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs). These vaccinated animals produced neutralizing antibodies against Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Omicron variants, although there were certain declinations of geometric mean titer (GMT) as compared with prototypic SARS-CoV-2. Of note, in vivo this prototypic vaccine not only reduced the viral loads in nasal, throat and anal swabs, pulmonary tissues, but also improved the pathological changes in the lung infected by variants of Alpha, Beta, and Delta. In summary, the prototypic SARS-CoV-2 inactivated vaccine in this study protected against VOCs to certain extension, which is of great significance for prevention and control of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross Protection , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Vaccination/methods , Vaccines, Inactivated/administration & dosage , Anal Canal/virology , Animals , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Lung/virology , Macaca mulatta , Male , Nasal Cavity/virology , Pharynx/virology , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/virology , Viral Load/drug effects
5.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 7(1): 69, 2022 03 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1721495

ABSTRACT

Emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants and the gradually decreasing neutralizing antibodies over time post vaccination have led to an increase in incidents of breakthrough infection across the world. To investigate the potential protective effect of the recombinant protein subunit COVID-19 vaccine targeting receptor-binding domain (RBD) (PS-RBD) and whole inactivated virus particle vaccine (IV) against the variant strains, in this study, rhesus macaques were immunized with PS-RBD or IV vaccine, followed by a Beta variant (B.1.351) challenge. Although neutralizing activity against the Beta variant was reduced compared with that against the prototype, the decreased viral load in both upper and lower respiratory tracts, milder pathological changes, and downregulated inflammatory cytokine levels in lung tissues after challenge demonstrated that PS-RBD and IV still provided effective protection against the Beta variant in the macaque model. Furthermore, PS-RBD-induced macaque sera possessed general binding and neutralizing activity to Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Omicron variants in our study, though the neutralizing antibody (NAb) titers declined by varying degrees, demonstrating potential protection of PS-RBD against current circulating variants of concern (VOCs). Interestingly, although the IV vaccine-induced extremely low neutralizing antibody titers against the Beta variant, it still showed reduction for viral load and significantly alleviated pathological change. Other correlates of vaccine-induced protection (CoP) like antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) and immune memory were both confirmed to be existing in IV vaccinated group and possibly be involved in the protective mechanism.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , Humans , Macaca mulatta , Vaccines, Inactivated/immunology , Vaccines, Inactivated/pharmacology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/pharmacology
7.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 169, 2021 04 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1199270

ABSTRACT

Neurological manifestations are frequently reported in the COVID-19 patients. Neuromechanism of SARS-CoV-2 remains to be elucidated. In this study, we explored the mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 neurotropism via our established non-human primate model of COVID-19. In rhesus monkey, SARS-CoV-2 invades the CNS primarily via the olfactory bulb. Thereafter, viruses rapidly spread to functional areas of the central nervous system, such as hippocampus, thalamus, and medulla oblongata. The infection of SARS-CoV-2 induces the inflammation possibly by targeting neurons, microglia, and astrocytes in the CNS. Consistently, SARS-CoV-2 infects neuro-derived SK-N-SH, glial-derived U251, and brain microvascular endothelial cells in vitro. To our knowledge, this is the first experimental evidence of SARS-CoV-2 neuroinvasion in the NHP model, which provides important insights into the CNS-related pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Brain Diseases/metabolism , Brain/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Olfactory Bulb/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Animals , Astrocytes/metabolism , Astrocytes/pathology , Astrocytes/virology , Brain/pathology , Brain/virology , Brain Diseases/pathology , Brain Diseases/virology , COVID-19/pathology , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Macaca mulatta , Microglia/metabolism , Microglia/pathology , Microglia/virology , Neurons/metabolism , Neurons/pathology , Neurons/virology , Olfactory Bulb/pathology , Olfactory Bulb/virology
8.
Gastroenterology ; 160(5): 1647-1661, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065985

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Gastrointestinal (GI) manifestations have been increasingly reported in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, the roles of the GI tract in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection are not fully understood. We investigated how the GI tract is involved in SARS-CoV-2 infection to elucidate the pathogenesis of COVID-19. METHODS: Our previously established nonhuman primate (NHP) model of COVID-19 was modified in this study to test our hypothesis. Rhesus monkeys were infected with an intragastric or intranasal challenge with SARS-CoV-2. Clinical signs were recorded after infection. Viral genomic RNA was quantified by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Host responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection were evaluated by examining inflammatory cytokines, macrophages, histopathology, and mucin barrier integrity. RESULTS: Intranasal inoculation with SARS-CoV-2 led to infections and pathologic changes not only in respiratory tissues but also in digestive tissues. Expectedly, intragastric inoculation with SARS-CoV-2 resulted in the productive infection of digestive tissues and inflammation in both the lung and digestive tissues. Inflammatory cytokines were induced by both types of inoculation with SARS-CoV-2, consistent with the increased expression of CD68. Immunohistochemistry and Alcian blue/periodic acid-Schiff staining showed decreased Ki67, increased cleaved caspase 3, and decreased numbers of mucin-containing goblet cells, suggesting that the inflammation induced by these 2 types of inoculation with SARS-CoV-2 impaired the GI barrier and caused severe infections. CONCLUSIONS: Both intranasal and intragastric inoculation with SARS-CoV-2 caused pneumonia and GI dysfunction in our rhesus monkey model. Inflammatory cytokines are possible connections for the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 between the respiratory and digestive systems.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Gastroenteritis/pathology , Gastrointestinal Tract/pathology , Lung/pathology , Animals , Bronchi/metabolism , Bronchi/pathology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Caspase 3/metabolism , Cytokines/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Gastric Mucosa , Gastroenteritis/metabolism , Gastroenteritis/virology , Gastrointestinal Tract/immunology , Gastrointestinal Tract/metabolism , Goblet Cells/pathology , Intestine, Small/metabolism , Intestine, Small/pathology , Ki-67 Antigen/metabolism , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Lung/immunology , Lung/metabolism , Macaca mulatta , Nasal Mucosa , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , Random Allocation , Rectum/metabolism , Rectum/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Trachea/metabolism , Trachea/pathology
11.
Sci Rep ; 10(1): 16007, 2020 09 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-809120

ABSTRACT

Since severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) became a pandemic event in the world, it has not only caused huge economic losses, but also a serious threat to global public health. Many scientific questions about SARS-CoV-2 and Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) were raised and urgently need to be answered, including the susceptibility of animals to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here we tested whether tree shrew, an emerging experimental animal domesticated from wild animal, is susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. No clinical signs were observed in SARS-CoV-2 inoculated tree shrews during this experiment except the increasing body temperature particularly in female animals. Low levels of virus shedding and replication in tissues occurred in all three age groups. Notably, young tree shrews (6 months to 12 months) showed virus shedding at the earlier stage of infection than adult (2 years to 4 years) and old (5 years to 7 years) animals that had longer duration of virus shedding comparatively. Histopathological examine revealed that pulmonary abnormalities were the main changes but mild although slight lesions were also observed in other tissues. In summary, tree shrew is less susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection compared with the reported animal models and may not be a suitable animal for COVID-19 related researches. However, tree shrew may be a potential intermediate host of SARS-CoV-2 as an asymptomatic carrier.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Host Specificity/physiology , Pandemics/veterinary , Pneumonia, Viral/veterinary , Tupaiidae/virology , Animals , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Disease Susceptibility/veterinary , Disease Susceptibility/virology , Female , Male , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Load , Virus Shedding/physiology
13.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 5(1): 157, 2020 10 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-724972

ABSTRACT

Identification of a suitable nonhuman primate (NHP) model of COVID-19 remains challenging. Here, we characterized severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in three NHP species: Old World monkeys Macaca mulatta (M. mulatta) and Macaca fascicularis (M. fascicularis) and New World monkey Callithrix jacchus (C. jacchus). Infected M. mulatta and M. fascicularis showed abnormal chest radiographs, an increased body temperature and a decreased body weight. Viral genomes were detected in swab and blood samples from all animals. Viral load was detected in the pulmonary tissues of M. mulatta and M. fascicularis but not C. jacchus. Furthermore, among the three animal species, M. mulatta showed the strongest response to SARS-CoV-2, including increased inflammatory cytokine expression and pathological changes in the pulmonary tissues. Collectively, these data revealed the different susceptibilities of Old World and New World monkeys to SARS-CoV-2 and identified M. mulatta as the most suitable for modeling COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Callithrix/virology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disease Models, Animal , Macaca fascicularis/virology , Macaca mulatta/virology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Body Temperature , Body Weight , COVID-19 , Callithrix/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/diagnostic imaging , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Cytokines/biosynthesis , Cytokines/classification , Cytokines/immunology , Disease Susceptibility , Female , Humans , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Lung/immunology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Macaca fascicularis/immunology , Macaca mulatta/immunology , Male , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Species Specificity , Tomography, X-Ray Computed , Viral Load , Virus Replication
14.
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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