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1.
J Med Life ; 15(3):319-327, 2022.
Article in English | PubMed | ID: covidwho-1811949

ABSTRACT

In December 2019, in Wuhan, China, the first cases of infection with SARS-CoV 2 responsible for COVID-19 disease were identified. SARS-CoV 2 was declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020, and since then has attracted the medical world's attention. The threat to humans' health that this emerging pandemic could leave raises awareness on the importance of understanding the mechanisms that underlie the developing conditions. The epidemiology, clinical picture, and pathogenesis of COVID-19 show that this virus presents new strategies to overcome the past defensive medicine. While all the current data has focused on the pulmonary and cardiovascular manifestations, little has been written about the neurological implications of the disease. This review updates new clinical aspects that SARS-CoV 2 expresses in humans by focusing primarily on neurological manifestations. The damage to the nervous system became more apparent - anosmia, ageusia, polyneuritis, meningitis, meningoencephalitis, stroke, acute necrotizing encephalopathy. Oxygen therapy is vital for those in critical health situations. Finally, prevention is the most important element in breaking the epidemiological chain.

2.
Phys. Sci. Rev. ; : 9, 2022.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1793451

ABSTRACT

The receptor binding motif (RBM) within the S-protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been touted as one of the main targets for vaccine/therapeutic development due to its interaction with the human angiotensin II converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) to facilitate virus entry into the host cell. The mechanism of action is based on the disruption of binding between the RBM and the hACE2 to prevent virus uptake for replication. In this work, we applied in silico approaches to design specific competitive binders for SARS-CoV-2 S-protein receptor binding motif (RBM) by using hACE2 peptidase domain (PD) mutants. Online single point mutation servers were utilised to estimate the effect of PD mutation on the binding affinity with RBM. The PD mutants were then modelled and the binding free energy was calculated. Three PD variants were designed with an increased affinity and interaction with SARS-CoV-2-RBM. It is hope that these designs could serve as the initial work for vaccine/drug development and could eventually interfere the preliminary recognition between SARS-CoV-2 and the host cell.

3.
Comput Struct Biotechnol J ; 20: 766-778, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1778071

ABSTRACT

The clinical manifestation of the recent pandemic COVID-19, caused by the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus, varies from mild to severe respiratory illness. Although environmental, demographic and co-morbidity factors have an impact on the severity of the disease, contribution of the mutations in each of the viral genes towards the degree of severity needs a deeper understanding for designing a better therapeutic approach against COVID-19. Open Reading Frame-3a (ORF3a) protein has been found to be mutated at several positions. In this work, we have studied the effect of one of the most frequently occurring mutants, D155Y of ORF3a protein, found in Indian COVID-19 patients. Using computational simulations we demonstrated that the substitution at 155th changed the amino acids involved in salt bridge formation, hydrogen-bond occupancy, interactome clusters, and the stability of the protein compared with the other substitutions found in Indian patients. Protein-protein docking using HADDOCK analysis revealed that substitution D155Y weakened the binding affinity of ORF3a with caveolin-1 compared with the other substitutions, suggesting its importance in the overall stability of ORF3a-caveolin-1 complex, which may modulate the virulence property of SARS-CoV-2.

4.
Gene Rep ; 27: 101608, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1773330

ABSTRACT

Rapid emergence of covid-19 variants by continuous mutation made the world experience continuous waves of infections and as a result, a huge number of death-toll recorded so far. It is, therefore, very important to investigate the diversity and nature of the mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 genomes. In this study, the common mutations occurred in the whole genome sequences of SARS-CoV-2 variants of Bangladesh in a certain timeline were analyzed to better understand its status. Hence, a total of 78 complete genome sequences available in the NCBI database were obtained, aligned and further analyzed. Scattered Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified throughout the genome of variants and common SNPs such as: 241:C>T in the 5'UTR of Open Reading Frame 1A (ORF1A), 3037: C>T in Non-structural Protein 3 (NSP3), 14,408: C>T in ORF6 and 23,402: A>G, 23,403: A>G in Spike Protein (S) were observed, but all of them were synonymous mutations. About 97% of the studied genomes showed a block of tri-nucleotide alteration (GGG>AAC), the most common non-synonymous mutation in the 28,881-28,883 location of the genome. This block results in two amino acid changes (203-204: RG>KR) in the SR rich motif of the nucleocapsid (N) protein of SARS-CoV-2, introducing a lysine in between serine and arginine. The N protein structure of the mutant was predicted through protein modeling. However, no observable difference was found between the mutant and the reference (Wuhan) protein. Further, the protein stability changes upon mutations were analyzed using the I-Mutant2.0 tool. The alteration of the arginine to lysine at the amino acid position 203, showed reduction of entropy, suggesting a possible impact on the overall stability of the N protein. The estimation of the non-synonymous to synonymous substitution ratio (dN/dS) were analyzed for the common mutations and the results showed that the overall mean distance among the N-protein variants were statistically significant, supporting the non-synonymous nature of the mutations. The phylogenetic analysis of the selected 78 genomes, compared with the most common genomic variants of this virus across the globe showed a distinct cluster for the analyzed Bangladeshi sequences. Further studies are warranted for conferring any plausible association of these mutations with the clinical manifestation.

5.
Embase; 2021.
Preprint in English | EMBASE | ID: ppcovidwho-331167

ABSTRACT

Background: Certain riboviruses can cause severe pulmonary complications leading to death in some infected patients. We propose that DNA damage induced-apoptosis accelerates viral release, triggered by depletion of host RNA binding proteins (RBPs) from nuclear RNA bound to replicating viral sequences. Methods: Information theory-based analysis of interactions between RBPs and individual sequences in the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), Influenza A (H3N2), HIV-1, and Dengue genomes identifies strong RBP binding sites in these viral genomes. Replication and expression of viral sequences is expected to increasingly sequester RBPs - SRSF1 and RNPS1. Ordinarily, RBPs bound to nascent host transcripts prevents their annealing to complementary DNA. Their depletion induces destabilizing R-loops. Chromosomal breakage occurs when an excess of unresolved R-loops collide with incoming replication forks, overwhelming the DNA repair machinery. We estimated stoichiometry of inhibition of RBPs in host nuclear RNA by counting competing binding sites in replicating viral genomes and host RNA. Results: Host RBP binding sites are frequent and conserved among different strains of RNA viral genomes. Similar binding motifs of SRSF1 and RNPS1 explain why DNA damage resulting from SRSF1 depletion is complemented by expression of RNPS1. Clustering of strong RBP binding sites coincides with the distribution of RNA-DNA hybridization sites across the genome. SARS-CoV-2 replication is estimated to require 32.5-41.8 hours to effectively compete for binding of an equal proportion of SRSF1 binding sites in host encoded nuclear RNAs. Significant changes in expression of transcripts encoding DNA repair and apoptotic proteins were found in an analysis of influenza A and Dengue-infected cells in some individuals. Conclusions: R-loop-induced apoptosis indirectly resulting from viral replication could release significant quantities of membrane-associated virions into neighboring alveoli. These could infect adjacent pneumocytes and other tissues, rapidly compromising lung function, causing multiorgan system failure and other described symptoms.

6.
J Virol ; : e0024922, 2022 Mar 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1765081

ABSTRACT

The highly contagious and fast-spreading omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 infects the respiratory tracts efficiently. The receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the omicron spike protein recognizes human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as its receptor and plays a critical role in the tissue tropism of SARS-CoV-2. Here, we showed that the omicron RBD (strain BA.1) binds to ACE2 more strongly than does the prototypic RBD from the original Wuhan strain. We also measured how individual omicron mutations affect ACE2 binding. We further determined the crystal structure of the omicron RBD (engineered to facilitate crystallization) complexed with ACE2 at 2.6 Å. The structure shows that omicron mutations caused significant structural rearrangements of two mutational hot spots at the RBD/ACE2 interface, elucidating how each omicron mutation affects ACE2 binding. The enhanced ACE2 binding by the omicron RBD may facilitate the omicron variant's infection of the respiratory tracts where ACE2 expression level is low. Our study provides insights into the receptor recognition and tissue tropism of the omicron variant. IMPORTANCE Despite the scarcity of the SARS-CoV-2 receptor-human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2)-in the respiratory tract, the omicron variant efficiently infects the respiratory tract, causing rapid and widespread infections of COVID-19. The omicron variant contains extensive mutations in the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of its spike protein that recognizes human ACE2. Here, using a combination of biochemical and X-ray crystallographic approaches, we showed that the omicron RBD binds to ACE2 with enhanced affinity and also elucidated the role of each of the omicron mutations in ACE2 binding. The enhanced ACE2 binding by the omicron RBD may contribute to the omicron variant's new viral tropism in the respiratory tract despite the low level of ACE2 expression in the tissue. These findings help us to understand tissue tropism of the omicron variant and shed light on the molecular evolution of SARS-CoV-2.

7.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(6)2022 Mar 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1753509

ABSTRACT

The new variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2), Omicron, has been quickly spreading in many countries worldwide. Compared to the original virus, Omicron is characterized by several mutations in its genomic region, including the spike protein's receptor-binding domain (RBD). We have computationally investigated the interaction between the RBD of both the wild type and Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 with the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) receptor using molecular dynamics and molecular mechanics-generalized Born surface area (MM-GBSA)-based binding free energy calculations. The mode of the interaction between Omicron's RBD with the hACE2 receptor is similar to the original SARS-CoV-2 RBD except for a few key differences. The binding free energy difference shows that the spike protein of Omicron has an increased affinity for the hACE2 receptor. The mutated residues in the RBD showed strong interactions with a few amino acid residues of hACE2. More specifically, strong electrostatic interactions (salt bridges) and hydrogen bonding were observed between R493 and R498 residues of the Omicron RBD with D30/E35 and D38 residues of the hACE2, respectively. Other mutated amino acids in the Omicron RBD, e.g., S496 and H505, also exhibited hydrogen bonding with the hACE2 receptor. A pi-stacking interaction was also observed between tyrosine residues (RBD-Tyr501: hACE2-Tyr41) in the complex, which contributes majorly to the binding free energies and suggests that this is one of the key interactions stabilizing the formation of the complex. The resulting structural insights into the RBD:hACE2 complex, the binding mode information within it, and residue-wise contributions to the free energy provide insight into the increased transmissibility of Omicron and pave the way to design and optimize novel antiviral agents.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Humans , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virulence
8.
Front Microbiol ; 13: 829094, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742230

ABSTRACT

The C-terminus of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) protein E contains a PBM (PDZ-binding motif) targeting PDZ (PSD-95/Dlg/ZO-1) domains, which is identical to the PBM of SARS-CoV. The latter is involved in the pathogenicity of the virus. Recently, we identified 10 human PDZ-containing proteins showing significant interactions with SARS-CoV-2 protein E PBM. We selected several of them involved in cellular junctions and cell polarity (TJP1, PARD3, MLLT4, and LNX2) and MPP5/PALS1 previously shown to interact with SARS-CoV E PBM. Targeting cellular junctions and polarity components is a common strategy by viruses to hijack cell machinery to their advantage. In this study, we showed that these host PDZ domains TJP1, PARD3, MLLT4, LNX2, and MPP5/PALS1 interact in a PBM-dependent manner in vitro and colocalize with the full-length E protein in cellulo, sequestrating the PDZ domains to the Golgi compartment. We solved three crystal structures of complexes between human LNX2, MLLT4, and MPP5 PDZs and SARS-CoV-2 E PBM highlighting its binding preferences for several cellular targets. Finally, we showed different affinities for the PDZ domains with the original SARS-CoV-2 C-terminal sequence containing the PBM and the one of the beta variant that contains a mutation close to the PBM. The acquired mutations in the E protein localized near the PBM might have important effects both on the structure and the ion-channel activity of the E protein and on the host machinery targeted by the variants during the infection.

9.
Cell Rep ; 38(10): 110434, 2022 03 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1729611

ABSTRACT

Type I interferons (IFN-I) are essential to establish antiviral innate immunity. Unanchored (or free) polyubiquitin (poly-Ub) has been shown to regulate IFN-I responses. However, few unanchored poly-Ub interactors are known. To identify factors regulated by unanchored poly-Ub in a physiological setting, we developed an approach to isolate unanchored poly-Ub from lung tissue. We identified the RNA helicase DHX16 as a potential pattern recognition receptor (PRR). Silencing of DHX16 in cells and in vivo diminished IFN-I responses against influenza virus. These effects extended to members of other virus families, including Zika and SARS-CoV-2. DHX16-dependent IFN-I production requires RIG-I and unanchored K48-poly-Ub synthesized by the E3-Ub ligase TRIM6. DHX16 recognizes a signal in influenza RNA segments that undergo splicing and requires its RNA helicase motif for direct, high-affinity interactions with specific viral RNAs. Our study establishes DHX16 as a PRR that partners with RIG-I for optimal activation of antiviral immunity requiring unanchored poly-Ub.


Subject(s)
DEAD Box Protein 58 , Interferon Type I , RNA Helicases , RNA, Viral , Receptors, Immunologic , Zika Virus Infection , Zika Virus , COVID-19 , DEAD Box Protein 58/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Interferon Type I/immunology , RNA Helicases/immunology , Receptors, Immunologic/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Tripartite Motif Proteins , Zika Virus/genetics , Zika Virus Infection/immunology
10.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(3)2022 Jan 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686808

ABSTRACT

After solid-organ transplantation, reactivation of the cytomegalovirus (CMV) is often observed in seronegative patients and associated with a high risk of disease and mortality. CMV-specific T cells can prevent CMV reactivation. In a phase 1 trial, CMV-seronegative patients with end-stage renal disease listed for kidney transplantation were subjected to CMV phosphoprotein 65 (CMVpp65) peptide vaccination and further investigated for T-cell responses. To this end, CMV-specific CD8+ T cells were characterized by bulk T-cell-receptor (TCR) repertoire sequencing and combined single-cell RNA and TCR sequencing. In patients mounting an immune response to the vaccine, a common SYE(N)E TCR motif known to bind CMVpp65 was detected. CMV-peptide-vaccination-responder patients had TCR features distinct from those of non-responders. In a non-responder patient, a monoclonal inflammatory T-cell response was detected upon CMV reactivation. The identification of vaccine-induced CMV-reactive TCRs motifs might facilitate the development of cellular therapies for patients wait-listed for kidney transplantation.


Subject(s)
Cytomegalovirus Infections/prevention & control , Kidney Failure, Chronic/therapy , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , Viral Matrix Proteins/administration & dosage , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Clinical Trials, Phase I as Topic , Cytomegalovirus/immunology , Cytomegalovirus Infections/immunology , Cytomegalovirus Vaccines/administration & dosage , Cytomegalovirus Vaccines/immunology , Humans , Kidney Failure, Chronic/immunology , Kidney Transplantation , Sequence Analysis, RNA , Single Molecule Imaging , Viral Matrix Proteins/immunology
11.
2021 IEEE Power and Energy Society General Meeting, PESGM 2021 ; 2021-July, 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1685127

ABSTRACT

Modern power systems have been experiencing unexpected challenges of system-wide power balance in the face of intermittent renewable energy generation and extreme societal events (e.g., pandemic). In principle, frequency is a global indicator of power system operational security, especially the shortage or surplus of active power. Inspired by the motif theory, we extract the variation patterns of large-scale historical frequency measurements from the complex network perspective. In particular, recent data records of the Great Britain (GB) power system are studied as an example. It is then found that, in this system, the frequency variation reveals anomalous patterns in 2018 and in the summer of 2020, which are consistent with the maximum generation/load percentage margin and the societal influences of COVID-19, respectively. It is finally concluded that the proposed method could serve as a powerful and trustworthy tool to perform big data analysis of operational characteristics. © 2021 IEEE.

12.
Mol Biol Evol ; 39(3)2022 03 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1672235

ABSTRACT

Depletion of CpG dinucleotides in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) genomes has been linked to virus evolution, host-switching, virus replication, and innate immune responses. Temporal variations, if any, in the rate of CpG depletion during virus evolution in the host remain poorly understood. Here, we analyzed the CpG content of over 1.4 million full-length SARS-CoV-2 genomes representing over 170 million documented infections during the first 17 months of the pandemic. Our findings suggest that the extent of CpG depletion in SARS-CoV-2 genomes is modest. Interestingly, the rate of CpG depletion is highest during early evolution in humans and it gradually tapers off, almost reaching an equilibrium; this is consistent with adaptations to the human host. Furthermore, within the coding regions, CpG depletion occurs predominantly at codon positions 2-3 and 3-1. Loss of ZAP (Zinc-finger antiviral protein)-binding motifs in SARS-CoV-2 genomes is primarily driven by the loss of the terminal CpG within the motifs. Nonetheless, majority of the CpG depletion in SARS-CoV-2 genomes occurs outside ZAP-binding motifs. SARS-CoV-2 genomes selectively lose CpGs-motifs from a U-rich context; this may help avoid immune recognition by TLR7. SARS-CoV-2 alpha-, beta-, and delta-variants of concern have reduced CpG content compared to sequences from the beginning of the pandemic. In sum, we provide evidence that the rate of CpG depletion in virus genomes is not uniform and it greatly varies over time and during adaptations to the host. This work highlights how temporal variations in selection pressures during virus adaption may impact the rate and the extent of CpG depletion in virus genomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/genetics , Genome, Viral , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Virus Replication
13.
Cell Reprogram ; 24(1): 26-37, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662095

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was primarily noted as a respiratory pathogen, but later clinical reports highlighted its extrapulmonary effects particularly on the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The aim of the current study was the prediction of crucial genes associated with the regulatory network motifs, probably responsible for the SARS-CoV-2 effects on the GI tract. The data were obtained from a published study on the effect of SARS-CoV-2 on the Caco-2 (colon carcinoma) cell line. We used transcription factors-microRNA-gene interaction databases to find the key regulatory molecules, then analyzed the data using the FANMOD software for detection of the crucial regulatory motifs. Cytoscape software was then used to construct and analyze the regulatory network of these motifs and identify their crucial genes. Finally, GEPIA2 (Gene Expression Profiling Interactive Analysis 2) and UALCAN datasets were used to evaluate the possible relationship between crucial genes and colon cancer development. Using bioinformatics tools, we demonstrated one 3edge feed-forward loop motifs and recognized 10 crucial genes in relationship with Caco-2 cell infected by SARS-CoV-2, including SP1, TSC22D2, POU2F1, REST, NFIC, CHD7, E2F1, CEBPA, TCF7L2, and TSC22D1. The box plot analysis indicated the significant overexpression of CEBPA in colon cancer compared to normal colon tissues, while it was in contrast with the results of stage plot. However, the overall survival analysis indicated that high expression of CEBPA has positive effect on colon cancer patient survivability, verifying the results of CEBPA stage plot. We predict that the SARS-CoV-2 GI infections may cause a serious risk in colon cancer patients. However, further experimental studies are required.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , MicroRNAs , Caco-2 Cells , DNA-Binding Proteins , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Transcription Factors
14.
Elife ; 112022 01 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662829

ABSTRACT

The human proteome is replete with short linear motifs (SLiMs) of four to six residues that are critical for protein-protein interactions, yet the importance of the sequence surrounding such motifs is underexplored. We devised a proteomic screen to examine the influence of SLiM sequence context on protein-protein interactions. Focusing on the EVH1 domain of human ENAH, an actin regulator that is highly expressed in invasive cancers, we screened 36-residue proteome-derived peptides and discovered new interaction partners of ENAH and diverse mechanisms by which context influences binding. A pocket on the ENAH EVH1 domain that has diverged from other Ena/VASP paralogs recognizes extended SLiMs and favors motif-flanking proline residues. Many high-affinity ENAH binders that contain two proline-rich SLiMs use a noncanonical site on the EVH1 domain for binding and display a thermodynamic signature consistent with the two-motif chain engaging a single domain. We also found that photoreceptor cilium actin regulator (PCARE) uses an extended 23-residue region to obtain a higher affinity than any known ENAH EVH1-binding motif. Our screen provides a way to uncover the effects of proteomic context on motif-mediated binding, revealing diverse mechanisms of control over EVH1 interactions and establishing that SLiMs can't be fully understood outside of their native context.


Subject(s)
Actins/metabolism , Binding Sites , DNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , Microfilament Proteins/metabolism , Proline/metabolism , Cell Adhesion Molecules/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Proteomics
15.
Nanomedicine ; 41: 102527, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1654961

ABSTRACT

New SARS-COV-2 vaccine strategies are still urgently needed, especially for emerging virus mutations and variants. In this study, we focused on analyzing the antigenicity and vaccine potency of linear peptide epitopes located in receptor binding motif (RBM) of spike (S) protein. Nine 12 to 16-mer overlapping peptides (P1-P9) were synthesized chemically and coupled to carrier protein KLH for the immunization in mice. Four of identified peptides were further engineered to present on the surface of recombinant Hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAg) virus-like particles (VLPs) respectively. Antisera obtained from VLPs -immunized mice demonstrated strong reactivity and affinity to S1 protein or inactivated virus and neutralizing activity against virus infection in vitro. This study indicates that recombinant VLPs empower peptides which display underprivileged antigenicity in native protein to elicit high levels of neutralizing antibody, providing potential epitope candidates and an effective delivery strategy for the development of a multi-epitope vaccine.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19 , Animals , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Mice , Peptides/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
16.
Immune Netw ; 21(6): e38, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1626637

ABSTRACT

Recently, a new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (B.1.1.529) Omicron variant originated from South Africa in the middle of November 2021. SARS-CoV-2 is also called coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) since SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent of COVID-19. Several studies already suggested that the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant would be the fastest transmissible variant compared to the previous 10 SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, interest, and alert. Few clinical studies reported the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant but there is insufficient time to perform actual experiments to prove it, since the spread is so fast. We analyzed the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant, which revealed a very high rate of mutation at amino acid residues that interact with angiostatin-converting enzyme 2. The mutation rate of COVID-19 is faster than what we prepared vaccine program, antibody therapy, lockdown, and quarantine against COVID-19 so far. Thus, it is necessary to find better strategies to overcome the current crisis of COVID-19 pandemic.

17.
EPMA J ; : 1-27, 2022 Jan 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616276

ABSTRACT

Aims: The rapid spread of new SARS-CoV-2 variants has highlighted the crucial role played in the infection by mutations occurring at the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor binding domain (RBD) in the interactions with the human ACE2 receptor. In this context, it urgently needs to develop new rapid tools for quickly predicting the affinity of ACE2 for the SARS-CoV-2 spike RBD protein variants to be used with the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequencing activities in the clinics, aiming to gain clues about the transmissibility and virulence of new variants, to prevent new outbreaks and to quickly estimate the severity of the disease in the context of the 3PM. Methods: In our study, we used a computational pipeline for calculating the interaction energies at the SARS-CoV-2 spike RBD/ACE2 protein-protein interface for a selected group of characterized infectious variants of concern/interest (VoC/VoI). By using our pipeline, we built 3D comparative models of the SARS-CoV-2 spike RBD/ACE2 protein complexes for the VoC B.1.1.7-United Kingdom (carrying the mutations of concern/interest N501Y, S494P, E484K at the RBD), P.1-Japan/Brazil (RBD mutations: K417T, E484K, N501Y), B.1.351-South Africa (RBD mutations: K417N, E484K, N501Y), B.1.427/B.1.429-California (RBD mutations: L452R), the B.1.141 (RBD mutations: N439K), and the recent B.1.617.1-India (RBD mutations: L452R; E484Q) and the B.1.620 (RBD mutations: S477N; E484K). Then, we used the obtained 3D comparative models of the SARS-CoV-2 spike RBD/ACE2 protein complexes for predicting the interaction energies at the protein-protein interface. Results: Along SARS-CoV-2 mutation database screening and mutation localization analysis, it was ascertained that the most dangerous mutations at VoC/VoI spike proteins are located mainly at three regions of the SARS-CoV-2 spike "boat-shaped" receptor binding motif, on the RBD domain. Notably, the P.1 Japan/Brazil variant present three mutations, K417T, E484K, N501Y, located along the entire receptor binding motif, which apparently determines the highest interaction energy at the SARS-CoV-2 spike RBD/ACE2 protein-protein interface, among those calculated. Conversely, it was also observed that the replacement of a single acidic/hydrophilic residue with a basic residue (E484K or N439K) at the "stern" or "bow" regions, of the boat-shaped receptor binding motif on the RBD, appears to determine an interaction energy with ACE2 receptor higher than that observed with single mutations occurring at the "hull" region or with other multiple mutants. In addition, our pipeline allowed searching for ACE2 structurally related proteins, i.e., THOP1 and NLN, which deserve to be investigated for their possible involvement in interactions with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, in those tissues showing a low expression of ACE2, or as a novel receptor for future spike variants. A freely available web-tool for the in silico calculation of the interaction energy at the SARS-CoV-2 spike RBD/ACE2 protein-protein interface, starting from the sequences of the investigated spike and/or ACE2 variants, was made available for the scientific community at: https://www.mitoairm.it/covid19affinities. Conclusion: In the context of the PPPM/3PM, the employment of the described pipeline through the provided webservice, together with the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequencing, would help to predict the transmissibility of new variants sequenced from future patients, depending on SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequencing activities and on the specific amino acid replacement and/or on its location on the SARS-CoV-2 spike RBD, to put in play all the possible counteractions for preventing the most deleterious scenarios of new outbreaks, taking into consideration that a greater transmissibility has not to be necessarily related to a more severe manifestation of the disease. Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s13167-021-00267-w.

18.
Gene ; 818: 146136, 2022 Apr 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1611737

ABSTRACT

Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) associated Cas protein (CRISPR-Cas) has turned out to be a very important tool for the rapid detection of viruses. This can be used for the identification of the target site in a virus by identifying a 3-6 nt length Protospacer Adjacent Motif (PAM) adjacent to the potential target site, thus motivating us to adopt CRISPR-Cas technique to identify SARS-CoV-2 as well as other members of Coronaviridae family. In this regard, we have developed a fast and effective method using k-mer technique in order to identify the PAM by scanning the whole genome of the respective virus. Subsequently, palindromic sequences adjacent to the PAM locations are identified as the potential target sites. Palindromes are considered in this work as they are known to identify viruses. Once all the palindrome-PAM combinations are identified, PAMs specific for the RNA-guided DNA Cas9/Cas12 endonuclease are identified to bind and cut the target sites. In this regard, PAMs such as 5'-TGG-3' and 5'-TTTA-3' in NSP3 and Exon for SARS-CoV-2, 5'-GGG-3' and 5'-TGG-3' in Exon and NSP2 for MERS-CoV and 5'-AGG-3' and 5'-TTTG-3' in Helicase and NSP3 respectively for SARS-CoV-1 are identified corresponding to SpCas9 and FnCas12a endonucleases. Finally, to recognise the target sites of Coronaviridae family as cleaved by SpCas9 and FnCas12a, complements of the palindromic target regions are designed as primers or guide RNA (gRNA). Therefore, such complementary gRNAs along with respective Cas proteins can be considered in assays for the identification of SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-1.


Subject(s)
CRISPR-Cas Systems/genetics , Inverted Repeat Sequences/genetics , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , SARS Virus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Base Sequence , CRISPR-Associated Protein 9/metabolism , Gene Editing , Humans
19.
J Biomed Sci ; 29(1): 1, 2022 Jan 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1605455

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is an exceptional public health crisis that demands the timely creation of new therapeutics and viral detection. Owing to their high specificity and reliability, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have emerged as powerful tools to treat and detect numerous diseases. Hence, many researchers have begun to urgently develop Ab-based kits for the detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and Ab drugs for use as COVID-19 therapeutic agents. The detailed structure of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is known, and since this protein is key for viral infection, its receptor-binding domain (RBD) has become a major target for therapeutic Ab development. Because SARS-CoV-2 is an RNA virus with a high mutation rate, especially under the selective pressure of aggressively deployed prophylactic vaccines and neutralizing Abs, the use of Ab cocktails is expected to be an important strategy for effective COVID-19 treatment. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2 infection may stimulate an overactive immune response, resulting in a cytokine storm that drives severe disease progression. Abs to combat cytokine storms have also been under intense development as treatments for COVID-19. In addition to their use as drugs, Abs are currently being utilized in SARS-CoV-2 detection tests, including antigen and immunoglobulin tests. Such Ab-based detection tests are crucial surveillance tools that can be used to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Herein, we highlight some key points regarding mAb-based detection tests and treatments for the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Pandemics , Reproducibility of Results , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
20.
Blood ; 138:4193, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1582360

ABSTRACT

[Formula presented] Background : The SARS-CoV-2 infection activates both innate and adaptive immune responses and induces an exaggerated cytokine storm leading to causes septic shock, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and/or multiple organ failure in critically ill patients. The knowledge of this dysregulated immune response is not well explained. One hypothesis is that the response of macrophages and neutrophils to infection is disproportionate, resulting in overproduction of cytokines and activation of neutrophils leading to the most severe complications of infection, including the production of multiple microthrombi and endothelial damage. Aim of the study: To evaluate the activation levels of macrophage biomarkers as well as indicators of the development of neutrophil extracellular traps (NET) in the first phase of infection in hospitalized patients with COVID19. Patients and Methods: We selected dry blood spot from a total of 60 previously identified SARS-CoV-2 infected subjects. Plasma samples were provided by the Aragon Health System Biobank's collection and were extracted within 5 days of symptom onset. Plasma from 60 healthy controls were used to stablish the control range for NETosis determination. The study was authorized by the Ethics Committee of the Aragon Health System and complies with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR 2016/679) and LO 3/2018. Demographic characteristics, clinical manifestations, follow-up during hospitalization, associated comorbidities, and thrombotic complications were obtained from the database. Chitotriosidase activity (ChT), YKL40 chitinase and CCL18/PARC cytokine were measured as markers of macrophage activation. Myeloperoxidase (MPO), Neutrophil Elastase (NE), and S100A8/S100A9 Heterodimer (MPR) were immuno-quantified, levels of circulating free DNA (cfDNA) were measured as well as the presence of DNAsases by fluorimetry as indicators of Netosis. For the comparative analysis, we stratified patients by age groups and disease severity and used the Mann-Whitney U test for statistical comparison, considering a p-value < 0.05 as statistically significant. Results : A statistically significant increase in ChT (p=0.032) and CCL18/PARC (p=0.0001) was observed in the patients´ group. A comparative study with clinical variables and other inflammation markers as ferritin, D-dimer will be shown upon acceptance. Concerning NET markers, we found a statistically significant increase in MPO, NE, and MRP in COVID-19 patients (p=0.0001;p=0.0290;p=0.0001 respectively), as well as a statistically significant decrease in DNAsa (p=0.0001). No differences in cfDNA levels were observed. The table shows the median (quartile1-quartile3) for each marker in the control group and in the patient group. Conclusions : In this study, biomarkers of macrophage activation do not appear to be more sensitive than the indicators of inflammation in routine clinical practice (ferritin, D-dimer). Clinical cases of severe COVID-19 disease show an excessive NET formation, which contributes to vascular damage and the development of thrombosis. This work was supported by a research grant from FEETEG [Formula presented] Disclosures: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

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