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1.
Biosaf Health ; 4(3): 186-192, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1821155

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to evolve, generating new variants that pose a threat to global health; therefore, it is imperative to obtain safe and broad-spectrum antivirals against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. To this end, we screened compounds for their ability to inhibit viral entry, which is a critical step in virus infection. Twenty compounds that have been previously reported to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication were tested by using pseudoviruses containing the spike protein from the original strain (SARS-CoV-2-WH01). The cytotoxicity of these compounds was determined. Furthermore, we identified six compounds with strong antagonistic activity against the WH01 pseudovirus, and low cytotoxicity was identified. These compounds were then evaluated for their efficacy against pseudoviruses expressing the spike protein from B.1.617.2 (Delta) and B.1.1.529 (Omicron), the two most prevalent circulating strains. These assays demonstrated that two phenothiazine compounds, trifluoperazine 2HCl and thioridazine HCl, inhibit the infection of Delta and Omicron pseudoviruses. Finally, we discovered that these two compounds were highly effective against authentic SARS-CoV-2 viruses, including the WH01, Delta, and Omicron strains. Our study identified potential broad-spectrum SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors and provided insights into the development of novel therapeutics.

2.
Cell ; 185(10): 1728-1744.e16, 2022 05 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 , mRNA Vaccines
3.
Sci Signal ; 15(715): eabh0068, 2022 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1741564

ABSTRACT

The transcription regulator ID2 plays an essential role in the development and differentiation of immune cells. Here, we report that ID2 also negatively regulates antiviral innate immune responses. During viral infection of human epithelial cells, ID2 bound to TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) and to inhibitor of nuclear factor κB kinase ε (IKKε). These interactions inhibited the recruitment and activation of interferon (IFN) regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) by TBK1 or IKKε, leading to a reduction in the expression of IFN-ß1 (IFNB1). IFN-ß induced the nuclear export of ID2 to form a negative feedback loop. Knocking out ID2 in human cells enhanced innate immune responses and suppressed infection by different viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. Mice with a myeloid-specific deficiency of ID2 produced more IFN-α in response to viral infection and were more resistant to viral infection than wild-type mice. Our findings not only establish ID2 as a modulator of IRF3 activation induced by TBK1 and/or IKKε but also introduce a mechanism for cross-talk between innate immunity and cell development and differentiation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , I-kappa B Kinase , Animals , Antiviral Agents , Humans , I-kappa B Kinase/genetics , I-kappa B Kinase/metabolism , Immunity, Innate , Inhibitor of Differentiation Protein 2 , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/genetics , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/metabolism , Mice , Phosphorylation , SARS-CoV-2
4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-325398

ABSTRACT

The global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a positive-sense RNA virus. How the host immune system senses and responds to SARS-CoV-2 infection remain to be determined. Here, we report that SARS-CoV-2 infection activates the innate immune response through the cytosolic DNA sensing cGAS-STING pathway. SARS-CoV-2 infection induces the cellular level of 2'3'-cGAMP associated with STING activation. cGAS recognizes chromatin DNA shuttled from the nucleus as a result of cell-to-cell fusion upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. We further demonstrate that the expression of spike protein from SARS-CoV-2 and ACE2 from host cells is sufficient to trigger cytoplasmic chromatin upon cell fusion. Furthermore, cytoplasmic chromatin-cGAS-STING pathway, but not MAVS mediated viral RNA sensing pathway, contributes to interferon and pro-inflammatory gene expression upon cell fusion. Finally, we show that cGAS is required for host antiviral responses against SARS-CoV-2, and a STING-activating compound potently inhibits viral replication. Together, our study reported a previously unappreciated mechanism by which the host innate immune system responds to SARS-CoV-2 infection, mediated by cytoplasmic chromatin from the infected cells. Targeting the cytoplasmic chromatin-cGAS-STING pathway may offer novel therapeutic opportunities in treating COVID-19. In addition, these findings extend our knowledge in host defense against viral infection by showing that host cells’ self-nucleic acids can be employed as a “danger signal” to alarm the immune system.

7.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 382, 2021 11 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500449

ABSTRACT

The global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a positive-sense RNA virus. How the host immune system senses and responds to SARS-CoV-2 infection remain largely unresolved. Here, we report that SARS-CoV-2 infection activates the innate immune response through the cytosolic DNA sensing cGAS-STING pathway. SARS-CoV-2 infection induces the cellular level of 2'3'-cGAMP associated with STING activation. cGAS recognizes chromatin DNA shuttled from the nucleus as a result of cell-to-cell fusion upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. We further demonstrate that the expression of spike protein from SARS-CoV-2 and ACE2 from host cells is sufficient to trigger cytoplasmic chromatin upon cell fusion. Furthermore, cytoplasmic chromatin-cGAS-STING pathway, but not MAVS-mediated viral RNA sensing pathway, contributes to interferon and pro-inflammatory gene expression upon cell fusion. Finally, we show that cGAS is required for host antiviral responses against SARS-CoV-2, and a STING-activating compound potently inhibits viral replication. Together, our study reported a previously unappreciated mechanism by which the host innate immune system responds to SARS-CoV-2 infection, mediated by cytoplasmic chromatin from the infected cells. Targeting the cytoplasmic chromatin-cGAS-STING pathway may offer novel therapeutic opportunities in treating COVID-19. In addition, these findings extend our knowledge in host defense against viral infection by showing that host cells' self-nucleic acids can be employed as a "danger signal" to alarm the immune system.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Chromatin/immunology , Cytoplasm/immunology , Immunity, Innate , Nucleotidyltransferases/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , Chromatin/genetics , Cytoplasm/genetics , Disease Models, Animal , HEK293 Cells , HeLa Cells , Humans , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Nucleotidyltransferases/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
8.
Sci China Life Sci ; 65(4): 701-717, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1371380

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2 has created a global health crisis. SARS-CoV-2 infects varieties of tissues where the known receptor ACE2 is low or almost absent, suggesting the existence of alternative viral entry pathways. Here, we performed a genome-wide barcoded-CRISPRa screen to identify novel host factors that enable SARS-CoV-2 infection. Beyond known host proteins, i.e., ACE2, TMPRSS2, and NRP1, we identified multiple host components, among which LDLRAD3, TMEM30A, and CLEC4G were confirmed as functional receptors for SARS-CoV-2. All these membrane proteins bind directly to spike's N-terminal domain (NTD). Their essential and physiological roles have been confirmed in either neuron or liver cells. In particular, LDLRAD3 and CLEC4G mediate SARS-CoV-2 entry and infection in an ACE2-independent fashion. The identification of the novel receptors and entry mechanisms could advance our understanding of the multiorgan tropism of SARS-CoV-2, and may shed light on the development of COVID-19 countermeasures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Virus Internalization
9.
Cell Mol Immunol ; 18(4): 945-953, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1104474

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is the pathogenic agent of COVID-19, which has evolved into a global pandemic. Compared with some other respiratory RNA viruses, SARS-CoV-2 is a poor inducer of type I interferon (IFN). Here, we report that SARS-CoV-2 nsp12, the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), suppresses host antiviral responses. SARS-CoV-2 nsp12 attenuated Sendai virus (SeV)- or poly(I:C)-induced IFN-ß promoter activation in a dose-dependent manner. It also inhibited IFN promoter activation triggered by RIG-I, MDA5, MAVS, and IRF3 overexpression. Nsp12 did not impair IRF3 phosphorylation but suppressed the nuclear translocation of IRF3. Mutational analyses suggested that this suppression was not dependent on the polymerase activity of nsp12. Given these findings, our study reveals that SARS-CoV-2 RdRp can antagonize host antiviral innate immunity and thus provides insights into viral pathogenesis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/metabolism , Interferon Type I/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/genetics , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/metabolism , Cell Nucleus/metabolism , DEAD Box Protein 58/genetics , DEAD Box Protein 58/metabolism , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/genetics , Interferon Type I/genetics , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1/genetics , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1/metabolism , Interferon-beta/genetics , Interferon-beta/metabolism , Mutation , Phosphorylation , Promoter Regions, Genetic , Receptors, Immunologic/genetics , Receptors, Immunologic/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Sendai virus/metabolism
10.
Clin Infect Dis ; 71(15): 713-720, 2020 07 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-909244

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A novel coronavirus (CoV), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV-2, has infected >75 000 individuals and spread to >20 countries. It is still unclear how fast the virus evolved and how it interacts with other microorganisms in the lung. METHODS: We have conducted metatranscriptome sequencing for bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples from 8 patients with SARS-CoV-2, and also analyzed data from 25 patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), and 20 healthy controls for comparison. RESULTS: The median number of intrahost variants was 1-4 in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients, ranged from 0 to 51 in different samples. The distribution of variants on genes was similar to those observed in the population data. However, very few intrahost variants were observed in the population as polymorphisms, implying either a bottleneck or purifying selection involved in the transmission of the virus, or a consequence of the limited diversity represented in the current polymorphism data. Although current evidence did not support the transmission of intrahost variants in a possible person-to-person spread, the risk should not be overlooked. Microbiotas in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients were similar to those in CAP, either dominated by the pathogens or with elevated levels of oral and upper respiratory commensal bacteria. CONCLUSION: SARS-CoV-2 evolves in vivo after infection, which may affect its virulence, infectivity, and transmissibility. Although how the intrahost variant spreads in the population is still elusive, it is necessary to strengthen the surveillance of the viral evolution in the population and associated clinical changes.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Genetic Variation , Genomics , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 3810, 2020 07 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-690732

ABSTRACT

The pandemic of COVID-19 has posed an unprecedented threat to global public health. However, the interplay between the viral pathogen of COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, and host innate immunity is poorly understood. Here we show that SARS-CoV-2 induces overt but delayed type-I interferon (IFN) responses. By screening 23 viral proteins, we find that SARS-CoV-2 NSP1, NSP3, NSP12, NSP13, NSP14, ORF3, ORF6 and M protein inhibit Sendai virus-induced IFN-ß promoter activation, whereas NSP2 and S protein exert opposite effects. Further analyses suggest that ORF6 inhibits both type I IFN production and downstream signaling, and that the C-terminus region of ORF6 is critical for its antagonistic effect. Finally, we find that IFN-ß treatment effectively blocks SARS-CoV-2 replication. In summary, our study shows that SARS-CoV-2 perturbs host innate immune response via both its structural and nonstructural proteins, and thus provides insights into the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Immune Evasion , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Signal Transduction , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Interferon-beta/genetics , Interferon-beta/metabolism , Interferon-beta/pharmacology , Mutation , Open Reading Frames , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Promoter Regions, Genetic , SARS-CoV-2 , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication/drug effects
13.
Cell Host Microbe ; 27(6): 883-890.e2, 2020 06 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-165371

ABSTRACT

The outbreaks of 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection have posed a severe threat to global public health. It is unclear how the human immune system responds to this infection. Here, we used metatranscriptomic sequencing to profile immune signatures in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of eight COVID-19 cases. The expression of proinflammatory genes, especially chemokines, was markedly elevated in COVID-19 cases compared to community-acquired pneumonia patients and healthy controls, suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 infection causes hypercytokinemia. Compared to SARS-CoV, which is thought to induce inadequate interferon (IFN) responses, SARS-CoV-2 robustly triggered expression of numerous IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs). These ISGs exhibit immunopathogenic potential, with overrepresentation of genes involved in inflammation. The transcriptome data was also used to estimate immune cell populations, revealing increases in activated dendritic cells and neutrophils. Collectively, these host responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection could further our understanding of disease pathogenesis and point toward antiviral strategies.


Subject(s)
Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Immunity, Innate , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Respiratory System/immunology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/cytology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Cytokine Release Syndrome , Cytokines/analysis , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Interferons/metabolism , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Respiratory System/pathology
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