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1.
European journal of medicinal chemistry ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1843193

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), as the pathogen of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has infected millions of people and took hundreds of thousands of lives. Unfortunately, there is deficiency of effective medicines to prevent or treat COVID-19. 3C like protease (3CLPro) of SARS-CoV-2 is essential to the viral replication and transcription, and is an attractive target to develop anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents. Targeting on the 3CLPro, we screened our protease inhibitor library and obtained compound 10a as hit to weakly inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 3CLPro, and determined the co-crystal structure of 10a and the protease. Based on the deep understanding on the protein-ligand complexes between the hit and SARS-CoV-2 3CLPro, we designed a series of peptidomimetic inhibitors, with outstanding inhibitory activity against SARS-CoV-2 3CLPro and excellent anti-viral potency against SARS-CoV-2. The protein-ligand complexes of the other key inhibitors with SARS-CoV-2 3CLPro were explicitly described by the X-ray co-crystal study. All such results suggest these peptidomimetic inhibitors could be further applied as encouraging drug candidates. Graphical Image 1

2.
Front Microbiol ; 12: 768740, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572296

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is currently the most important emerging pathogen worldwide, but its early transcriptional dynamics and host immune response remain unclear. Herein, the expression profiles of viral interactions with different types of hosts were comprehensively dissected to shed light on the early infection strategy of SARS-CoV-2 and the host immune response against infection. SARS-CoV-2 was found to exhibit a two-stage transcriptional strategy within the first 24 h of infection, comprising a lag phase that ends with the virus being paused and a log phase that starts when the viral load increases rapidly. Interestingly, the host innate immune response was found not to be activated (latent period) until the virus entered the log stage. Noteworthy, when intracellular immunity is suppressed, SARS-CoV-2 shows a correlation with dysregulation of metal ion homeostasis. Herein, the inhibitory activity of copper ions against SARS-CoV-2 was further validated in in vitro experiments. Coronavirus disease 2019-related genes (including CD38, PTX3, and TCN1) were also identified, which may serve as candidate host-restricted factors for interventional therapy. Collectively, these results confirm that the two-stage strategy of SARS-CoV-2 effectively aids its survival in early infection by regulating the host intracellular immunity, highlighting the key role of interferon in viral infection and potential therapeutic candidates for further investigations on antiviral strategies.

4.
Viruses ; 13(8)2021 07 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1335234

ABSTRACT

The development of rapid serological detection methods re urgently needed for determination of neutralizing antibodies in sera. In this study, four rapid methods (ACE2-RBD inhibition assay, S1-IgG detection, RBD-IgG detection, and N-IgG detection) were established and evaluated based on chemiluminescence technology. For the first time, a broadly neutralizing antibody with high affinity was used as a standard for the quantitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 specific neutralizing antibodies in human sera. Sera from COVID-19 convalescent patients (N = 119), vaccinated donors (N = 86), and healthy donors (N = 299) confirmed by microneutralization test (MNT) were used to evaluate the above methods. The result showed that the ACE2-RBD inhibition assay calculated with either ACE2-RBD binding inhibition percentage rate or ACE2-RBD inhibiting antibody concentration were strongly correlated with MNT (r ≥ 0.78, p < 0.0001) and also highly consistent with MNT (Kappa Value ≥ 0.94, p < 0.01). There was also a strong correlation between the two evaluation indices (r ≥ 0.99, p < 0.0001). Meanwhile, S1-IgG and RBD-IgG quantitative detection were also significantly correlated with MNT (r ≥ 0.73, p < 0.0001), and both methods were highly correlated with each other (r ≥ 0.95, p < 0.0001). However, the concentration of N-IgG antibodies showed a lower correlation with the MNT results (r < 0.49, p < 0.0001). The diagnostic assays presented here could be used for the evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine immunization effect and serological diagnosis of COVID-19 patients, and could also have guiding significance for establishing other rapid serological methods to surrogate neutralization tests for SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Immunoassay/methods , Luminescent Measurements/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Serological Testing/instrumentation , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccination
5.
mBio ; 12(4): e0106721, 2021 08 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1297962

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an ongoing global public crisis. Although viral RNA modification has been reported based on the transcriptome architecture, the types and functions of RNA modification are still unknown. In this study, we evaluated the roles of RNA N6-methyladenosine (m6A) modification in SARS-CoV-2. Our methylated RNA immunoprecipitation sequencing (MeRIP-Seq) and Nanopore direct RNA sequencing (DRS) analysis showed that SARS-CoV-2 RNA contained m6A modification. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2 infection not only increased the expression of methyltransferase-like 3 (METTL3) but also altered its distribution. Modification of METTL3 expression by short hairpin RNA or plasmid transfection for knockdown or overexpression, respectively, affected viral replication. Furthermore, the viral key protein RdRp interacted with METTL3, and METTL3 was distributed in both the nucleus and cytoplasm in the presence of RdRp. RdRp appeared to modulate the sumoylation and ubiquitination of METTL3 via an unknown mechanism. Taken together, our findings demonstrated that the host m6A modification complex interacted with viral proteins to modulate SARS-CoV-2 replication. IMPORTANCE Internal chemical modifications of viral RNA play key roles in the regulation of viral replication and gene expression. Although potential internal modifications have been reported in SARS-CoV-2 RNA, the function of the SARS-CoV-2 N6-methyladenosine (m6A) modification in the viral life cycle is unclear. In the current study, we demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 RNA underwent m6A modification by host m6A machinery. SARS-CoV-2 infection altered the expression pattern of methyltransferases and demethylases, while the expression level of methyltransferase-like 3 (METTL3) and fat mass and obesity-associated protein (FTO) was linked to the viral replication. Further study showed that METTL3 interacted with viral RNA polymerase RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), which influenced not only the distribution but also the posttranslational modification of METTL3. Our study provided evidence that host m6A components interacted with viral proteins to modulate viral replication.


Subject(s)
Adenosine/analogs & derivatives , Methyltransferases/genetics , Methyltransferases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Virus Replication/genetics , Adenosine/chemistry , Adenosine/genetics , Alpha-Ketoglutarate-Dependent Dioxygenase FTO/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Gene Expression Regulation/genetics , Humans , Methylation , Protein Processing, Post-Translational/physiology , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
6.
MAbs ; 13(1): 1930636, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1258715

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), interacts with the host cell receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) via its spike 1 protein during infection. After the virus sequence was published, we identified two potent antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD) from antibody libraries using a phage-to-yeast (PtY) display platform in only 10 days. Our lead antibody JMB2002, now in a Phase 1 clinical trial (ChiCTR2100042150), showed broad-spectrum in vitro blocking activity against hACE2 binding to the RBD of multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants, including B.1.351 that was reportedly much more resistant to neutralization by convalescent plasma, vaccine sera and some clinical-stage neutralizing antibodies. Furthermore, JMB2002 has demonstrated complete prophylactic and potent therapeutic efficacy in a rhesus macaque disease model. Prophylactic and therapeutic countermeasure intervention of SARS-CoV-2 using JMB2002 would likely slow down the transmission of currently emerged SARS-CoV-2 variants and result in more efficient control of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/antagonists & inhibitors , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , Antibody Specificity , Binding Sites, Antibody , CHO Cells , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetulus , Disease Models, Animal , Epitopes , Macaca mulatta , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Vero Cells
7.
Protein Cell ; 12(9): 717-733, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-973695

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is caused by infection with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is spread primary via respiratory droplets and infects the lungs. Currently widely used cell lines and animals are unable to accurately mimic human physiological conditions because of the abnormal status of cell lines (transformed or cancer cells) and species differences between animals and humans. Organoids are stem cell-derived self-organized three-dimensional culture in vitro and model the physiological conditions of natural organs. Here we showed that SARS-CoV-2 infected and extensively replicated in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs)-derived lung organoids, including airway and alveolar organoids which covered the complete infection and spread route for SARS-CoV-2 within lungs. The infected cells were ciliated, club, and alveolar type 2 (AT2) cells, which were sequentially located from the proximal to the distal airway and terminal alveoli, respectively. Additionally, RNA-seq revealed early cell response to virus infection including an unexpected downregulation of the metabolic processes, especially lipid metabolism, in addition to the well-known upregulation of immune response. Further, Remdesivir and a human neutralizing antibody potently inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication in lung organoids. Therefore, human lung organoids can serve as a pathophysiological model to investigate the underlying mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 infection and to discover and test therapeutic drugs for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Alveolar Epithelial Cells/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Lung/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Alanine/therapeutic use , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/cytology , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/virology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Down-Regulation , Drug Discovery , Human Embryonic Stem Cells/cytology , Human Embryonic Stem Cells/metabolism , Humans , Immunity , Lipid Metabolism , Lung/cytology , Lung/virology , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Virus Replication/drug effects
8.
Acta Pharmacol Sin ; 42(8): 1347-1353, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-894380

ABSTRACT

To discover effective drugs for COVID-19 treatment amongst already clinically approved drugs, we developed a high throughput screening assay for SARS-CoV-2 virus entry inhibitors using SARS2-S pseudotyped virus. An approved drug library of 1800 small molecular drugs was screened for SARS2 entry inhibitors and 15 active drugs were identified as specific SARS2-S pseudovirus entry inhibitors. Antiviral tests using native SARS-CoV-2 virus in Vero E6 cells confirmed that 7 of these drugs (clemastine, amiodarone, trimeprazine, bosutinib, toremifene, flupenthixol, and azelastine) significantly inhibited SARS2 replication, reducing supernatant viral RNA load with a promising level of activity. Three of the drugs were classified as histamine receptor antagonists with clemastine showing the strongest anti-SARS2 activity (EC50 = 0.95 ± 0.83 µM). Our work suggests that these 7 drugs could enter into further in vivo studies and clinical investigations for COVID-19 treatment.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Repositioning , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Cell Line , Drug Approval , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Humans , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/drug effects
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