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1.
STAR Protocols ; : 101383, 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1799657

ABSTRACT

Summary Here, we describe a series of protocols detailing the steps for evaluating SARS-CoV-2 infection in models of the human eye. Included are protocols for whole eye organoid differentiation, SARS-CoV-2 infection, and processing organoids for single-cell RNA sequencing. Additional protocols describe how to dissect and culture adult human ocular cells from cadaver donor eyes and how to compare infection of SARS-CoV-2 and the presence of SARS-CoV-2 entry factors using qPCR, immunofluorescence, and plaque assays.

2.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-332816

ABSTRACT

The repertoire of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)-mediated adverse health outcomes has continued to expand in infected patients, including the susceptibility to developing long-COVID;however, the molecular underpinnings at the cellular level are poorly defined. In this study, we report that SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) infection triggers host cell genome instability by modulating the expression of molecules of DNA repair and mutagenic translesion synthesis. Further, SARS-CoV-2 infection causes genetic alterations, such as increased mutagenesis, telomere dysregulation, and elevated microsatellite instability (MSI). The MSI phenotype was coupled to reduced MLH1, MSH6, and MSH2 in infected cells. Strikingly, pre-treatment of cells with the REV1-targeting translesion DNA synthesis inhibitor, JH-RE-06, suppresses SARS-CoV-2 proliferation and dramatically represses the SARS-CoV-2-dependent genome instability. Mechanistically, JH-RE-06 treatment induces autophagy, which we hypothesize limits SARS-CoV-2 proliferation and, therefore, the hijacking of host-cell genome instability pathways. These results have implications for understanding the pathobiological consequences of COVID-19.

3.
iScience ; : 104223, 2022.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1783436

ABSTRACT

Summary The effect of SARS-CoV-2 infection on placental function is not well understood. Analysis of placentas from women who tested positive at delivery showed SARS-CoV-2 genomic and subgenomic RNA in 22 out of 52 placentas. Placentas from two mothers with symptomatic COVID-19 whose pregnancies resulted in adverse outcomes for the fetuses contained high levels of viral Alpha variant RNA. The RNA was localized to the trophoblasts that cover the fetal chorionic villi that are in direct contact with maternal blood. The intervillous spaces and villi were infiltrated with maternal macrophages and T cells. Transcriptome analysis showed increased expression of chemokines and pathways associated with viral infection and inflammation. Infection of placental cultures with live SARS-CoV-2 and spike protein-pseudotyped lentivirus showed infection of syncytiotrophoblast and, in rare cases, endothelial cells mediated by ACE2 and Neuropilin-1. Viruses with Alpha, Beta and Delta variant spikes infected the placental cultures at significantly greater levels.

4.
Elife ; 112022 03 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1786253

ABSTRACT

Coagulopathy is a significant aspect of morbidity in COVID-19 patients. The clotting cascade is propagated by a series of proteases, including factor Xa and thrombin. While certain host proteases, including TMPRSS2 and furin, are known to be important for cleavage activation of SARS-CoV-2 spike to promote viral entry in the respiratory tract, other proteases may also contribute. Using biochemical and cell-based assays, we demonstrate that factor Xa and thrombin can also directly cleave SARS-CoV-2 spike, enhancing infection at the stage of viral entry. Coagulation factors increased SARS-CoV-2 infection in human lung organoids. A drug-repurposing screen identified a subset of protease inhibitors that promiscuously inhibited spike cleavage by both transmembrane serine proteases and coagulation factors. The mechanism of the protease inhibitors nafamostat and camostat may extend beyond inhibition of TMPRSS2 to coagulation-induced spike cleavage. Anticoagulation is critical in the management of COVID-19, and early intervention could provide collateral benefit by suppressing SARS-CoV-2 viral entry. We propose a model of positive feedback whereby infection-induced hypercoagulation exacerbates SARS-CoV-2 infectivity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Blood Coagulation Factors , Humans , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Virus Internalization
5.
JCI Insight ; 7(5)2022 03 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1759583

ABSTRACT

Severe acute lung injury has few treatment options and a high mortality rate. Upon injury, neutrophils infiltrate the lungs and form neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), damaging the lungs and driving an exacerbated immune response. Unfortunately, no drug preventing NET formation has completed clinical development. Here, we report that disulfiram - an FDA-approved drug for alcohol use disorder - dramatically reduced NETs, increased survival, improved blood oxygenation, and reduced lung edema in a transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) mouse model. We then tested whether disulfiram could confer protection in the context of SARS-CoV-2 infection, as NETs are elevated in patients with severe COVID-19. In SARS-CoV-2-infected golden hamsters, disulfiram reduced NETs and perivascular fibrosis in the lungs, and it downregulated innate immune and complement/coagulation pathways, suggesting that it could be beneficial for patients with COVID-19. In conclusion, an existing FDA-approved drug can block NET formation and improve disease course in 2 rodent models of lung injury for which treatment options are limited.


Subject(s)
Acute Lung Injury/drug therapy , COVID-19/complications , Disulfiram/pharmacology , Extracellular Traps/drug effects , Lung/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Acetaldehyde Dehydrogenase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Acute Lung Injury/etiology , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Extracellular Traps/immunology , Rodentia
6.
Circ Res ; 130(7): 963-977, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731376

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Increasing evidence suggests that cardiac arrhythmias are frequent clinical features of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Sinus node damage may lead to bradycardia. However, it is challenging to explore human sinoatrial node (SAN) pathophysiology due to difficulty in isolating and culturing human SAN cells. Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) can be a source to derive human SAN-like pacemaker cells for disease modeling. METHODS: We used both a hamster model and human ESC (hESC)-derived SAN-like pacemaker cells to explore the impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection on the pacemaker cells of the heart. In the hamster model, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and immunostaining were used to detect viral RNA and protein, respectively. We then created a dual knock-in SHOX2:GFP;MYH6:mCherry hESC reporter line to establish a highly efficient strategy to derive functional human SAN-like pacemaker cells, which was further characterized by single-cell RNA sequencing. Following exposure to SARS-CoV-2, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, immunostaining, and RNA sequencing were used to confirm infection and determine the host response of hESC-SAN-like pacemaker cells. Finally, a high content chemical screen was performed to identify drugs that can inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection, and block SARS-CoV-2-induced ferroptosis. RESULTS: Viral RNA and spike protein were detected in SAN cells in the hearts of infected hamsters. We established an efficient strategy to derive from hESCs functional human SAN-like pacemaker cells, which express pacemaker markers and display SAN-like action potentials. Furthermore, SARS-CoV-2 infection causes dysfunction of human SAN-like pacemaker cells and induces ferroptosis. Two drug candidates, deferoxamine and imatinib, were identified from the high content screen, able to block SARS-CoV-2 infection and infection-associated ferroptosis. CONCLUSIONS: Using a hamster model, we showed that primary pacemaker cells in the heart can be infected by SARS-CoV-2. Infection of hESC-derived functional SAN-like pacemaker cells demonstrates ferroptosis as a potential mechanism for causing cardiac arrhythmias in patients with COVID-19. Finally, we identified candidate drugs that can protect the SAN cells from SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ferroptosis , Humans , Myocytes, Cardiac/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Sinoatrial Node/metabolism
7.
EuropePMC;
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-327768

ABSTRACT

Defects in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) have been reported in COVID-19 patients, but the timing and organs affected vary among reports. Here, we reveal the dynamics of COVID-19 through transcription profiles in nasopharyngeal and autopsy samples from patients and infected rodent models. While mitochondrial bioenergetics is repressed in the viral nasopharyngeal portal of entry, it is up regulated in autopsy lung tissues from deceased patients. In most disease stages and organs, discrete OXPHOS functions are blocked by the virus, and this is countered by the host broadly up regulating unblocked OXPHOS functions. No such rebound is seen in autopsy heart, results in severe repression of genes across all OXPHOS modules. Hence, targeted enhancement of mitochondrial gene expression may mitigate the pathogenesis of COVID-19.

8.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-324938

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infects less than 1% of cells in the human body, yet it can cause severe damage in a variety of organs. Thus, deciphering the non-cell autonomous effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection is imperative for understanding the cellular and molecular disruption it elicits. Neurological and cognitive defects are among the least understood symptoms of COVID-19 patients, with olfactory dysfunction being their most common sensory deficit. Here, we show that both in humans and hamsters SARS-CoV-2 infection causes widespread downregulation of olfactory receptors (OR) and of their signaling components. This non-cell autonomous effect coincides with a dramatic reorganization of the neuronal nuclear architecture, which results in dissipation of genomic OR compartments and elimination of genomic contact domains genomewide. Our data provide a novel mechanism by which SARS-CoV-2 infection alters the cellular morphology and the transcriptome of cells it cannot infect, providing insight to its systemic effects in the nervous system and beyond.Funding Information: NIDCD 3R01DC018744-01S1 (SL, JO) National Institutes of Health grant, 4D Nucleome Consortium U01DA052783 (SL) Howard Hughes Medical Institute Faculty Scholar Award (SL), Zegar Family Foundation (SL).Ethics Approval Statement: The study was approved by the ethics and Institutional Review Board of Columbia University Medical Center (IRB AAAT0689, AAAS7370). LVG Golden Syrian hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) were treated in compliance with the rules and regulations of IACUC under protocol number PROTO202000113-20-0743.

9.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-310674

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, has been found capable of inducing long term effects commonly referred to as post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 (PASC) or long COVID. To define the molecular basis of this condition, we compared the short- and long-term responses to influenza A virus and SARSCoV-2 in the golden hamster model. These data demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 resulted in sustained changes to lung, kidney, and brain. The most significant change in response to SARS-CoV-2 was observed in the olfactory bulb, where persistent inflammation was visible beyond one month post infection. This was characterized by microglial activation, pro-inflammatory cytokine production, and a Type I interferon (IFN-I) response in the absence of detectable virus. Given the connection between olfactory bulb injury and neurological disorders, we postulate that this prolonged inflammation is an underlying cause of long COVID.Funding Information: This work was funded by generous support from the Marc Haas Foundation, the National Institutes of Health (NCI (R01CA234614) and NIAID (2R01AI107301) and NIDDK (R01DK121072 and 1RO3DK117252) to Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine (R.E.S.)), and DARPA’s PREPARE Program (HR0011-20-2-0040). The work was further funded by NINDS (NS111251, NSO86444, NSO86444S1)(V.Z., R.A.S.).Ethics Approval Statement: The Tissue Procurement Facility operates under Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved protocol and follows guidelines set by Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Experiments using samples from human subjects were conducted in accordance with local regulations and with the approval of the IRB at the Weill Cornell Medicine. The autopsy samples are considered human tissue research and were collected under IRB protocols 20-04021814 and 19-11021069. All autopsies have consent for research use from next of kin, and these studies were determined as exempt by IRB at Weill Cornell Medicine under those protocol numbers.

10.
Cell ; 185(6): 1052-1064.e12, 2022 03 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1664731

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infects less than 1% of cells in the human body, yet it can cause severe damage in a variety of organs. Thus, deciphering the non-cell-autonomous effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection is imperative for understanding the cellular and molecular disruption it elicits. Neurological and cognitive defects are among the least understood symptoms of COVID-19 patients, with olfactory dysfunction being their most common sensory deficit. Here, we show that both in humans and hamsters, SARS-CoV-2 infection causes widespread downregulation of olfactory receptors (ORs) and of their signaling components. This non-cell-autonomous effect is preceded by a dramatic reorganization of the neuronal nuclear architecture, which results in dissipation of genomic compartments harboring OR genes. Our data provide a potential mechanism by which SARS-CoV-2 infection alters the cellular morphology and the transcriptome of cells it cannot infect, offering insight to its systemic effects in olfaction and beyond.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Olfactory Receptor Neurons , Animals , Anosmia , Cricetinae , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Smell
11.
Nat Cell Biol ; 24(1): 24-34, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1625709

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection of human cells is initiated by the binding of the viral Spike protein to its cell-surface receptor ACE2. We conducted a targeted CRISPRi screen to uncover druggable pathways controlling Spike protein binding to human cells. Here we show that the protein BRD2 is required for ACE2 transcription in human lung epithelial cells and cardiomyocytes, and BRD2 inhibitors currently evaluated in clinical trials potently block endogenous ACE2 expression and SARS-CoV-2 infection of human cells, including those of human nasal epithelia. Moreover, pharmacological BRD2 inhibition with the drug ABBV-744 inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication in Syrian hamsters. We also found that BRD2 controls transcription of several other genes induced upon SARS-CoV-2 infection, including the interferon response, which in turn regulates the antiviral response. Together, our results pinpoint BRD2 as a potent and essential regulator of the host response to SARS-CoV-2 infection and highlight the potential of BRD2 as a therapeutic target for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Epithelial Cells/virology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Transcription Factors/drug effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/drug effects , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , Membrane Glycoproteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Transcription Factors/metabolism
15.
2021.
Preprint in English | Other preprints | ID: ppcovidwho-294931

ABSTRACT

Summary SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic, drastically modifies the cells that it infects. One such effect is the activation of the host p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway, which plays a major role in inflammation pathways that are dysregulated in severe COVID-19 cases. Inhibition of p38/MAPK activity in SARS-CoV-2-infected cells reduces both cytokine production and viral replication. Here, we applied a systems biology approach to better understand interactions between the p38/MAPK pathway and SARS-CoV-2 in human lung epithelial cells. We found several components of the p38/MAPK pathway positively and negatively impact SARS-CoV-2 infection and that p38ß is a required host factor for SARS-CoV-2 that acts by promoting viral protein translation in a manner that prevents innate immune sensing. Furthermore, we combined chemical and genetic perturbations of p38ß with quantitative phosphoproteomics to identify novel, putative p38ß substrates in an unbiased manner, with broad relevance beyond SARS-CoV-2 biology.

16.
PubMed; 2020.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-292781

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of COVID-19 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus has created an unparalleled disruption of global behavior and a significant loss of human lives. To minimize SARS-CoV-2 spread, understanding the mechanisms of infection from all possible viral entry routes is essential. As aerosol transmission is thought to be the primary route of spread, we sought to investigate whether the eyes are potential entry portals for SARS-CoV-2. While virus has been detected in the eye, in order for this mucosal membrane to be a bone fide entry source SARS-CoV-2 would need the capacity to productively infect ocular surface cells. As such, we conducted RNA sequencing in ocular cells isolated from adult human cadaver donor eyes as well as from a pluripotent stem cell-derived whole eye organoid model to evaluate the expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2, essential proteins that mediate SARS-CoV-2 viral entry. We also infected eye organoids and adult human ocular cells with SARS-CoV-2 and evaluated virus replication and the host response to infection. We found the limbus was most susceptible to infection, whereas the central cornea exhibited only low levels of replication. Transcriptional profiling of the limbus upon SARS-CoV-2 infection, found that while type I or III interferons were not detected in the lung epithelium, a significant inflammatory response was mounted. Together these data suggest that the human eye can be directly infected by SARS-CoV-2 and thus is a route warranting protection. Funding: The National Eye Institute (NEI), Bethesda, MD, USA, extramural grant 1R21EY030215-01 and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai supported this study.

17.
Sci Immunol ; 6(66): eabm3131, 2021 Dec 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1483985

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has caused morbidity and mortality across the globe. As the virus spreads, new variants are arising that show enhanced capacity to bypass preexisting immunity. To understand the memory response to SARS-CoV-2, here, we monitored SARS-CoV-2­specific T and B cells in a longitudinal study of infected and recovered golden hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus). We demonstrated that engagement of the innate immune system after SARS-CoV-2 infection was delayed but was followed by a pronounced adaptive response. Moreover, T cell adoptive transfer conferred a reduction in virus levels and rapid induction of SARS-CoV-2­specific B cells, demonstrating that both lymphocyte populations contributed to the overall response. Reinfection of recovered animals with a SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern showed that SARS-CoV-2­specific T and B cells could effectively control the infection that associated with the rapid induction of neutralizing antibodies but failed to block transmission to both naïve and seroconverted animals. These data suggest that the adaptive immune response to SARS-CoV-2 is sufficient to provide protection to the host, independent of the emergence of variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Immunologic Memory/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Virus Replication/immunology , Adaptive Immunity/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/virology , Cricetinae , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Mesocricetus , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/virology , Virus Replication/genetics
18.
Cell Metab ; 33(11): 2174-2188.e5, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1446535

ABSTRACT

Individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 who also display hyperglycemia suffer from longer hospital stays, higher risk of developing acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and increased mortality. Nevertheless, the pathophysiological mechanism of hyperglycemia in COVID-19 remains poorly characterized. Here, we show that hyperglycemia is similarly prevalent among patients with ARDS independent of COVID-19 status. Yet among patients with ARDS and COVID-19, insulin resistance is the prevalent cause of hyperglycemia, independent of glucocorticoid treatment, which is unlike patients with ARDS but without COVID-19, where pancreatic beta cell failure predominates. A screen of glucoregulatory hormones revealed lower levels of adiponectin in patients with COVID-19. Hamsters infected with SARS-CoV-2 demonstrated a strong antiviral gene expression program in the adipose tissue and diminished expression of adiponectin. Moreover, we show that SARS-CoV-2 can infect adipocytes. Together these data suggest that SARS-CoV-2 may trigger adipose tissue dysfunction to drive insulin resistance and adverse outcomes in acute COVID-19.

19.
J Virol ; 95(23): e0125721, 2021 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1410202

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, the etiological agent of COVID-19, is characterized by a delay in type I interferon (IFN-I)-mediated antiviral defenses alongside robust cytokine production. Here, we investigate the underlying molecular basis for this imbalance and implicate virus-mediated activation of NF-κB in the absence of other canonical IFN-I-related transcription factors. Epigenetic and single-cell transcriptomic analyses show a selective NF-κB signature that was most prominent in infected cells. Disruption of NF-κB signaling through the silencing of the NF-κB transcription factor p65 or p50 resulted in loss of virus replication that was rescued upon reconstitution. These findings could be further corroborated with the use of NF-κB inhibitors, which reduced SARS-CoV-2 replication in vitro. These data suggest that the robust cytokine production in response to SARS-CoV-2, despite a diminished IFN-I response, is the product of a dependency on NF-κB for viral replication. IMPORTANCE The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant mortality and morbidity around the world. Although effective vaccines have been developed, large parts of the world remain unvaccinated while new SARS-CoV-2 variants keep emerging. Furthermore, despite extensive efforts and large-scale drug screenings, no fully effective antiviral treatment options have been discovered yet. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to gain a better understanding of essential factors driving SARS-CoV-2 replication to be able to develop novel approaches to target SARS-CoV-2 biology.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Cytokines/metabolism , Interferon Type I/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Transcription Factor RelA/metabolism , Transcriptome , Virus Replication , A549 Cells , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Epigenomics , Gene Expression Regulation , HEK293 Cells , HeLa Cells , Host Microbial Interactions , Humans , Signal Transduction , Single-Cell Analysis , Transcription Factor RelA/antagonists & inhibitors , Transcription Factor RelA/genetics , Transcription Factors/metabolism , Vero Cells
20.
Genome Biol ; 22(1): 242, 2021 08 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1370944

ABSTRACT

To date, the locus with the most robust human genetic association to COVID-19 severity is 3p21.31. Here, we integrate genome-scale CRISPR loss-of-function screens and eQTLs in diverse cell types and tissues to pinpoint genes underlying COVID-19 risk. Our findings identify SLC6A20 and CXCR6 as putative causal genes that modulate COVID-19 risk and highlight the usefulness of this integrative approach to bridge the divide between correlational and causal studies of human biology.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Membrane Transport Proteins/genetics , Quantitative Trait Loci , Receptors, CXCR6/genetics , Chromosomes, Human, Pair 3/genetics , Humans , Phenotype
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