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1.
EMBO Rep ; 23(8): e55393, 2022 Aug 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1955118

ABSTRACT

In 1977, the world witnessed both the eradication of smallpox and the beginning of the modern age of genomics. Over the following half-century, 7 epidemic viruses of international concern galvanized virologists across the globe and led to increasingly extensive virus genome sequencing. These sequencing efforts exerted over periods of rapid adaptation of viruses to new hosts, in particular, humans provide insight into the molecular mechanisms underpinning virus evolution. Investment in virus genome sequencing was dramatically increased by the unprecedented support for phylogenomic analyses during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this review, we attempt to piece together comprehensive molecular histories of the adaptation of variola virus, HIV-1 M, SARS, H1N1-SIV, MERS, Ebola, Zika, and SARS-CoV-2 to the human host. Disruption of genes involved in virus-host interaction in animal hosts, recombination including genome segment reassortment, and adaptive mutations leading to amino acid replacements in virus proteins involved in host receptor binding and membrane fusion are identified as the key factors in the evolution of epidemic viruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Zika Virus Infection , Zika Virus , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/genetics , Evolution, Molecular , Genome, Viral , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/genetics , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Zika Virus/genetics
2.
J Membr Biol ; 255(2-3): 211-224, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1935761

ABSTRACT

Membrane fusion is an essential process for the survival of eukaryotes and the entry of enveloped viruses into host cells. A proper understanding of the mechanism of membrane fusion would provide us a handle to manipulate several biological pathways, and design efficient vaccines against emerging and re-emerging viral infections. Although fusion proteins take the central stage in catalyzing the process, role of lipid composition is also of paramount importance. Lipid composition modulates membrane organization and dynamics and impacts the lipid-protein (peptide) interaction. Moreover, the intrinsic curvature of lipids has strong impact on the formation of stalk and hemifusion diaphragm. Detection of transiently stable intermediates remains the bottleneck in the understanding of fusion mechanism. In order to circumvent this challenge, analytical methods can be employed to determine the kinetic parameters from ensemble average measurements of observables, such as lipid mixing, content mixing, and content leakage. The current review aims to present an analytical method that would aid our understanding of the fusion mechanism, provides a better insight into the role of lipid shape, and discusses the interplay of lipid and peptide in membrane fusion.


Subject(s)
Membrane Fusion , Peptides , Kinetics , Lipids/chemistry
3.
Int J Mol Sci ; 21(11)2020 May 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1934082

ABSTRACT

Starting from fertilization, through tissue growth, hormone secretion, synaptic transmission, and sometimes morbid events of carcinogenesis and viral infections, membrane fusion regulates the whole life of high organisms. Despite that, a lot of fusion processes still lack well-established models and even a list of main actors. A merger of membranes requires their topological rearrangements controlled by elastic properties of a lipid bilayer. That is why continuum models based on theories of membrane elasticity are actively applied for the construction of physical models of membrane fusion. Started from the view on the membrane as a structureless film with postulated geometry of fusion intermediates, they developed along with experimental and computational techniques to a powerful tool for prediction of the whole process with molecular accuracy. In the present review, focusing on fusion processes occurring in eukaryotic cells, we scrutinize the history of these models, their evolution and complication, as well as open questions and remaining theoretical problems. We show that modern approaches in this field allow continuum models of membrane fusion to stand shoulder to shoulder with molecular dynamics simulations, and provide the deepest understanding of this process in multiple biological systems.


Subject(s)
Cell Membrane/physiology , Lipid Bilayers/chemistry , Membrane Fusion , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Animals , Elasticity , Humans , Models, Biological , Normal Distribution
4.
Bioorg Chem ; 127: 105985, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1906793

ABSTRACT

We previously discovered that triterpenoid saponin platycodin D inhibits the SARS-CoV-2 entry to the host cell. Herein, we synthesized various saponin derivatives and established a structure-activity relationship of saponin-based antiviral agents against SARS-CoV-2. We discovered that the C3-glucose, the C28-oligosaccharide moiety that consist of (→3)-ß-d-Xyl-(1 â†’ 4)-α-l-Rham-(1 â†’ 2)-ß-d-Ara-(1 â†’ ) as the last three sugar units, and the C16-hydroxyl group were critical components of saponin-based coronavirus cell entry inhibitors. These findings enabled us to develop minimal saponin-based antiviral agents that are equipotent to the originally discovered platycodin D. We found that our saponin-based antiviral agents inhibited both the endosomal and transmembrane protease serine 2-mediated cell surface viral entries. Cell fusion assay experiment revealed that our newly developed compounds inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 entry by blocking the fusion between the viral and host cell membranes. The effectiveness of the newly developed antiviral agents over various SARS-CoV-2 variants hints at the broad-spectrum antiviral efficacy of saponin-based therapeutics against future coronavirus variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Saponins , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Humans , Membrane Fusion , SARS-CoV-2 , Saponins/pharmacology , Structure-Activity Relationship
5.
mBio ; : e0051922, 2022 Jun 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1901927

ABSTRACT

The ongoing global vaccination program to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection, the causative agent of COVID-19, has had significant success. However, recently, virus variants that can evade the immunity in a host achieved through vaccination have emerged. Consequently, new therapeutic agents that can efficiently prevent infection from these new variants, and hence COVID-19 spread, are urgently required. To achieve this, extensive characterization of virus-host cell interactions to identify effective therapeutic targets is warranted. Here, we report a cell surface entry pathway of SARS-CoV-2 that exists in a cell type-dependent manner and is TMPRSS2 independent but sensitive to various broad-spectrum metalloproteinase inhibitors such as marimastat and prinomastat. Experiments with selective metalloproteinase inhibitors and gene-specific small interfering RNAS (siRNAs) revealed that a disintegrin and metalloproteinase 10 (ADAM10) is partially involved in the metalloproteinase pathway. Consistent with our finding that the pathway is unique to SARS-CoV-2 among highly pathogenic human coronaviruses, both the furin cleavage motif in the S1/S2 boundary and the S2 domain of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein are essential for metalloproteinase-dependent entry. In contrast, the two elements of SARS-CoV-2 independently contributed to TMPRSS2-dependent S2 priming. The metalloproteinase pathway is involved in SARS-CoV-2-induced syncytium formation and cytopathicity, leading us to theorize that it is also involved in the rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 and the pathogenesis of COVID-19. Thus, targeting the metalloproteinase pathway in addition to the TMPRSS2 and endosomal pathways could be an effective strategy by which to cure COVID-19 in the future. IMPORTANCE To develop effective therapeutics against COVID-19, it is necessary to elucidate in detail the infection mechanism of the causative agent, SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2 binds to the cell surface receptor ACE2 via the spike protein, and then the spike protein is cleaved by host proteases to enable entry. Here, we found that the metalloproteinase-mediated pathway is important for SARS-CoV-2 infection in addition to the TMPRSS2-mediated pathway and the endosomal pathway. The metalloproteinase-mediated pathway requires both the prior cleavage of spike into two domains and a specific sequence in the second domain, S2, conditions met by SARS-CoV-2 but lacking in the related human coronavirus SARS-CoV. Besides the contribution of metalloproteinases to SARS-CoV-2 infection, inhibition of metalloproteinases was important in preventing cell death, which may cause organ damage. Our study provides new insights into the complex pathogenesis unique to COVID-19 and relevant to the development of effective therapies.

6.
J Virol ; 96(13): e0047422, 2022 07 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1891736

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) envelope glycoprotein constitutes the main determinant of virus entry and the target of host immune response, thus being of great interest for antiviral research. It is constituted of S1 and S2 subunits, which are involved in ACE2 receptor binding and fusion between the viral envelope and host cell membrane, respectively. Induction of the fusion process requires S cleavage at the S1-S2 junction and the S2' site located upstream of the fusion peptide. Interestingly, the SARS-CoV-2 spike harbors a 4-residue insertion at the S1-S2 junction that is absent in its closest relatives and constitutes a polybasic motif recognized by furin-like proteases. In addition, the S2' site is characterized by the presence of conserved basic residues. Here, we sought to determine the importance of the furin cleavage site (FCS) and the S2' basic residues for S-mediated entry functions. We determined the impact of mutations introduced at these sites on S processing, fusogenic activity, and its ability to mediate entry in different cellular backgrounds. Strikingly, mutation phenotypes were highly dependent on the host cell background. We confirmed that although the FCS was not absolutely required for virus entry, it contributed to extending the fusogenic potential of S. Cleavage site mutations, as well as inhibition of furin protease activity, affected the cell surface expression of S in a host cell-dependent manner. Finally, inhibition of furin activity differentially affected SARS-CoV-2 virus infectivity in the tested host cells, thereby confirming the host cell-dependent effect of spike processing for the viral life cycle. IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2 is responsible for the current global pandemic that has resulted in several million deaths. As the key determinant of virus entry into host cells and the main target of host immune response, the spike glycoprotein constitutes an attractive target for therapeutics development. Entry functions of spike rely on its processing at two sites by host cell proteases. While SARS-CoV-2 spike differs from its closest relatives by the insertion of a basic furin cleavage motif at the first site, it harbors conserved basic residues at the second cleavage site. Characterization of the importance of the basic sequences present at the two cleavage sites revealed that they were influencing spike processing, intracellular localization, induction of fusion, and entry in a host cell-dependent manner. Thus, our results revealed a high heterogeneity in spike sequence requirement for entry functions in the different host cells, in agreement with the high adaptability of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Furin , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Virus Internalization , COVID-19/virology , Furin/metabolism , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
7.
Topics in Antiviral Medicine ; 30(1 SUPPL):7-8, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1880864

ABSTRACT

Background: SARS-CoV-2 infection in immunocompromised individuals has been associated with prolonged virus shedding and the development of novel viral variants. Rapamycin and rapamycin analogs (rapalogs, including everolimus, temsirolimus, and ridaforolimus) are FDA-approved for use as mTOR inhibitors in multiple clinical settings, including cancer and autoimmunity, but a common side effect of these drugs is immunosuppression and increased susceptibility to infection. Immune impairment caused by rapalog use is traditionally attributed to their impacts on T cell signaling and cytokine production. Methods: We used replication-competent SARS-CoV-2 and HIV pseudotyped with betacoronavirus Spike proteins to assess how rapalog pretreatment of cells ex vivo and rodent animals in vivo impacts susceptibility to Spike-mediated infection. Results: We show that exposure to rapalogs increases cellular susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection by antagonizing components of the constitutive and interferon-induced cell-intrinsic immune response. Pre-treatment of cells (including human lung epithelial cells and primary human small airway epithelial cells) with rapalogs promoted the early stages of SARS-CoV-2 infection by facilitating Spike-mediated virus entry. Rapalogs also boosted infection mediated by Spike from SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV in addition to hemagglutinin of influenza A virus and glycoprotein from vesicular stomatitis virus, suggesting that rapalogs downmodulate antiviral defenses that pose a common barrier to these viral fusion proteins. By identifying one rapalog (ridaforolimus) that lacks this function, we demonstrate that the extent to which rapalogs promote virus entry is linked to their capacity to trigger the lysosomal degradation of IFITM2 and IFITM3, intrinsic inhibitors of virus-cell membrane fusion. Mechanistically, rapalogs that promote virus entry inhibit the mTOR-mediated phosphorylation of TFEB, a transcription factor controlling lysosome biogenesis and lysosomal degradation pathways such as autophagy. In contrast, TFEB phosphorylation by mTOR was not inhibited by ridaforolimus. In the hamster model of SARS-CoV-2 infection, injection of rapamycin four hours prior to virus exposure resulted in elevated virus titers in lungs, accelerated weight loss, and decreased survival. Conclusion: Our findings indicate that preexisting use of certain rapalogs may elevate host susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and disease by activating a lysosome-mediated suppression of intrinsic immunity.

8.
Chinese Pharmacological Bulletin ; 36(11):1497-1501, 2020.
Article in Chinese | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1863007

ABSTRACT

Corona virus disease 2019 is an acute infectious disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection and has entered the state of global pandemic. Spike protein ( S protein) , a key protein that mediates SARS-CoV-2 to infect host cells, has the characteristics of specific receptor binding and membrane fusion, playing an important role in host tropism and virulence. The spontaneous closed and open conformation of S protein trimer is crucial for receptor binding and initiation of conformational changes in membrane fusion, and its unique furin recognition site may be a crucial factor leading to high infectivity. Therefore, to study the structure and function of SARS-CoV-2 S protein and its receptor has important implications for invasion mechanisms of SARS- CoV-2 and the development of relevant targeted drugs.

9.
mBio ; 13(3): e0044522, 2022 06 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1846328

ABSTRACT

To successfully infect, viruses must respond to cues that promote their genome delivery into host cells. These keys to virus entry frequently reside inside endocytic vesicles. In a recent mBio article, Poston et al. (D. Poston, Y. Weisblum, A. Hobbs, and P. D. Bieniasz, mBio 13:e0300221, 2022, https://doi.org/10.1128/mbio.03002-21) identified and characterized protein complexes generating endocytic environments favorable for virus entry. These included retromer-associated vacuolar protein sorting 29 (VPS29) proteins. Without VPS29, endosomes lacked cathepsin activities, making them incapable of supporting those viruses in which endosomal proteolysis triggers entry. These protease-dependent viruses encompass several zoonotic filoviruses and coronaviruses, including recent SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. The valuable findings of Poston et al. reveal retromer complexes as master keys for select endosomal virus entry processes and raise the possibility that threatening coronaviruses might be resisted through targeted inactivation of components controlling endosome structure and function.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Virus Internalization , Endosomes/metabolism , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Eur J Med Chem ; 238: 114426, 2022 Aug 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1821218

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic generates a global threat to public health and continuously emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants bring a great challenge to the development of both vaccines and antiviral agents. In this study, we identified UA-18 and its optimized analog UA-30 via the hit-to-lead strategy as novel SARS-CoV-2 fusion inhibitors. The lead compound UA-30 showed potent antiviral activity against infectious SARS-CoV-2 (wuhan-HU-1 variant) in Vero-E6 cells and was also effective against infection of diverse pseudotyped SARS-CoV-2 variants with mutations in the S protein including the Omicron and Delta variants. More importantly, UA-30 might target the cavity between S1 and S2 subunits to stabilize the prefusion state of the SARS-CoV-2 S protein, thus leading to interfering with virus-cell membrane fusion. This study offers a set of novel SARS-CoV-2 fusion inhibitors against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants based on the 3-O-ß-chacotriosyl UA skeleton.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Triterpenes , Virus Internalization , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors , Triterpenes/pharmacology , Virus Internalization/drug effects
11.
Chinese Pharmacological Bulletin ; 37(8):1037-1041, 2021.
Article in Chinese | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1818309

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic. The life cycle of SARS-CoV-2 is not clear, which is one of the reasons that only Remdesivir has been approved by FDA for treating COVID-19. Although some new vaccines have been a- vailable, the quick mutations of SARS-CoV-2 affect the effectiveness of vaccines, calling for further assessment of the persistence and safety of vaccines. Therefore, drug treatment and prevention are still effective ways to deal with the epidemic of SARS-CoV-2. The article briefly summarizes the molecular mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 entry based on the existing literature. This virus enters the cell through two main ways, that is, spike protein mediating membrane fusion with plasma membrane or endosome membrane. According to the targets, the article summarizes the reported inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 entry into cells, aiming to provide a reference for following research and clinical application of anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs.

12.
Cell Rep ; 39(5): 110786, 2022 05 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1797092

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 continues to evolve into variants of concern (VOC), with greatest variability in the multidomain, entry-facilitating spike proteins. To recognize the significance of adaptive spike protein changes, we compare variant SARS-CoV-2 virus particles in several assays reflecting authentic virus-cell entry. Virus particles with adaptive changes in spike amino-terminal domains (NTDs) are hypersensitive to proteolytic activation of membrane fusion, an essential step in virus-cell entry. Proteolysis is within fusion domains (FDs), at sites over 10 nm from the VOC-specific NTD changes, indicating allosteric inter-domain control of fusion activation. In addition, NTD-specific antibodies block FD cleavage, membrane fusion, and virus-cell entry, suggesting restriction of inter-domain communication as a neutralization mechanism. Finally, using structure-guided mutagenesis, we identify an inter-monomer ß sheet structure that facilitates NTD-to-FD transmissions and subsequent fusion activation. This NTD-to-FD axis that sensitizes viruses to infection and to NTD-specific antibody neutralization provides new context for understanding selective forces driving SARS-CoV-2 evolution.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Communication , Humans , Peptide Hydrolases , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Internalization
13.
Adv Exp Med Biol ; 1366: 101-121, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1782743

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses (CoVs) are enveloped RNA viruses that widely exist in the environment. Several CoVs possess a strong ability to infect humans, termed as human coronavirus (HCoVs). Among seven known HCoVs, SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV belong to highly pathogenic HCoVs, which can cause severe clinical symptoms and even death. Especially, the current COVID-19 pandemic severely threatens human survival and health, which emphasizes the importance of developing effective CoV vaccines and anti-CoV agents to protect humans from HCoV infections. Coronavirus entry inhibitors can block various processes in viral entry, such as receptor binding, proteolytic activation of spike protein, or virus-cell membrane fusion. Coronavirus entry inhibitors, alone or in combination with other drugs, play important roles in the treatment of coronavirus diseases. Thus, we summarize and discuss the development of coronavirus entry inhibitors in this chapter.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Internalization
14.
Cell Rep ; 39(3): 110694, 2022 04 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1778029

ABSTRACT

Mutations in the spike protein generated a highly infectious and transmissible D614G variant, which is present in newly evolved fast-spreading variants. The D614G, Alpha, Beta, and Delta spike variants of SARS-CoV-2 appear to expedite membrane fusion process for entry, but the mechanism of spike-mediated fusion is unknown. Here, we reconstituted an in vitro pseudovirus-liposome fusion reaction and report that SARS-CoV-2 wild-type spike is a dynamic Ca2+ sensor, and D614G mutation enhances dynamic calcium sensitivity of spike protein for facilitating membrane fusion. This dynamic calcium sensitivity for fusion is found to be higher in Alpha and Beta variants and highest in Delta spike variant. We find that efficient fusion is dependent on Ca2+ concentration at low pH, and the fusion activity of spike dropped as the Ca2+ level rose beyond physiological levels. Thus, evolved spike variants may control the high fusion probability for entry by increasing Ca2+ sensing ability.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Calcium , Humans , Membrane Fusion , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
15.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(16): e2119467119, 2022 04 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1774041

ABSTRACT

Variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) challenge currently available COVID-19 vaccines and monoclonal antibody therapies due to structural and dynamic changes of the viral spike glycoprotein (S). The heptad repeat 1 (HR1) and heptad repeat 2 (HR2) domains of S drive virus­host membrane fusion by assembly into a six-helix bundle, resulting in delivery of viral RNA into the host cell. We surveyed mutations of currently reported SARS-CoV-2 variants and selected eight mutations, including Q954H, N969K, and L981F from the Omicron variant, in the postfusion HR1HR2 bundle for functional and structural studies. We designed a molecular scaffold to determine cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structures of HR1HR2 at 2.2­3.8 Å resolution by linking the trimeric N termini of four HR1 fragments to four trimeric C termini of the Dps4 dodecamer from Nostoc punctiforme. This molecular scaffold enables efficient sample preparation and structure determination of the HR1HR2 bundle and its mutants by single-particle cryo-EM. Our structure of the wild-type HR1HR2 bundle resolves uncertainties in previously determined structures. The mutant structures reveal side-chain positions of the mutations and their primarily local effects on the interactions between HR1 and HR2. These mutations do not alter the global architecture of the postfusion HR1HR2 bundle, suggesting that the interfaces between HR1 and HR2 are good targets for developing antiviral inhibitors that should be efficacious against all known variants of SARS-CoV-2 to date. We also note that this work paves the way for similar studies in more distantly related viruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Conserved Sequence , Humans , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Virus Internalization
16.
Microbiol Spectr ; 10(2): e0181421, 2022 04 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1745800

ABSTRACT

Most of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) targeted the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein. However, mutations at RBD sequences found in the emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants greatly reduced the effectiveness of nAbs. Here we showed that four nAbs, S2-4D, S2-5D, S2-8D, and S2-4A, which recognized a conserved epitope in the S2 subunit of the S protein, can inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection through blocking the S protein-mediated membrane fusion. Notably, these four nAbs exhibited broadly neutralizing activity against SARS-CoV-2 Alpha, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon variants. Antisera collected from mice immunized with the identified epitope peptides of these four nAbs also exhibited potent virus neutralizing activity. Discovery of the S2-specific nAbs and their unique antigenic epitopes paves a new path for development of COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines. IMPORTANCE The spike (S) protein on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 mediates receptor binding and virus-host cell membrane fusion during virus entry. Many neutralizing antibodies (nAbs), which targeted the receptor binding domain (RBD) of S protein, lost the neutralizing activity against the newly emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants with sequence mutations at the RBD. In contrast, the nAb against the highly conserved S2 subunit, which plays the key role in virus-host cell membrane fusion, was poorly discovered. We showed that four S2-specific nAbs, S2-4D, S2-5D, S2-8D, and S2-4A, inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infection through blocking the S protein-mediated membrane fusion. These nAbs exhibited broadly neutralizing activity against Alpha, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon variants. Antisera induced by the identified epitope peptides also possessed potent neutralizing activity. This work not only unveiled the S2-specific nAbs but also discovered an immunodominant epitope in the S2 subunit that can be rationally designed as the broad-spectrum vaccine against the SARS-like coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Epitopes , Immune Sera , Membrane Fusion , Mice , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
17.
Physiological Research ; 70:S123-S124, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1678856

ABSTRACT

[...]the study of molecular events behind the entry of the COVID-19 into the host cells revealed a number of co-operating proteins among which a key role plays the transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2), which is needed to cleave the spike protein and assist in membrane fusion, the expression of which is increased by androgens via androgen receptor activation (Stárka and Dušková, this issue, Knížatová et al., this issue). All these actions are genomic, but recent research of the role of androgens revealed that the latter possess also rapid, non-genomic response, as demonstrated that they are not inhibited by both transcription and translation inhibitors (actinomycin, cycloxeximide) as well as androgen receptors blockers (flutamide). Besides classical androgens testosterone, dihydrotestosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone, a particular function has the betaepimer of dihydrotestosterone (5ß-DHT), completely inactive to intracellular androgen receptors (Perusquía, this issue). [...]low androgen levels as well as hyperandrogenemia are risk factors for development and severity of COVID-19 disease.

18.
Biosci Rep ; 42(2)2022 02 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1655685

ABSTRACT

Lassa virus (LASV), an arenavirus endemic to West Africa, causes Lassa fever-a lethal hemorrhagic fever. Entry of LASV into the host cell is mediated by the glycoprotein complex (GPC), which is the only protein located on the viral surface and comprises three subunits: glycoprotein 1 (GP1), glycoprotein 2 (GP2), and a stable signal peptide (SSP). The LASV GPC is a class one viral fusion protein, akin to those found in viruses such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), influenza, Ebola virus (EBOV), and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). These viruses are enveloped and utilize membrane fusion to deliver their genetic material to the host cell. Like other class one fusion proteins, LASV-mediated membrane fusion occurs through an orchestrated sequence of conformational changes in its GPC. The receptor-binding subunit, GP1, first engages with a host cell receptor then undergoes a unique receptor switch upon delivery to the late endosome. The acidic pH and change in receptor result in the dissociation of GP1, exposing the fusion subunit, GP2, such that fusion can occur. These events ultimately lead to the formation of a fusion pore so that the LASV genetic material is released into the host cell. Interestingly, the mature GPC retains its SSP as a third subunit-a feature that is unique to arenaviruses. Additionally, the fusion domain contains two separate fusion peptides, instead of a standard singular fusion peptide. Here, we give a comprehensive review of the LASV GPC components and their unusual features.


Subject(s)
Glycoproteins , Lassa virus , Viral Envelope Proteins , Glycoproteins/genetics , Humans , Lassa virus/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics , Virus Internalization
19.
Avicenna ; 2022(1), 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1629470

ABSTRACT

Cysteine cathepsins are defined as lysosomal enzymes that are members of the papain family. Cysteine cathepsins (Cts) prevalently exist in whole organisms, varying from prokaryotes to mammals, and possess greatly conserved cysteine residues in their active sites. Cts are engaged in the digestion of cellular proteins, activation of zymogens, and remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Host cells are entered by SARS-CoV-2 via endocytosis. Cathepsin L and phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate 5-kinase are crucial in endocytosis by cleaving the spike protein, which permits viral membrane fusion with the endosomal membrane and succeeds in the release of the viral genome to the host cell. Therefore, inhibition of cathepsin L may be advantageous in terms of decreasing infection caused by SARS-CoV-2. Coordinate inhibition of multiple Cts and lysosomal function by different drugs and biological agents might be of value for some purposes, such as a parasite or viral infections and antineoplastic applications. Zn2+ deficiency or dysregulation leads to exaggerated cysteine cathepsin activity, increasing the autoimmune/inflammatory response. For this purpose, Zn2+ metal can be safely combined with a drug that increases the anti-proteolytic effect of endogenous Zn2+, lowering the excessive activity of some CysCts. Biguanide derivative complexes with Zn2+ have been found to be promising inhibitors of CysCts protease reactions. Molecular docking studies of cathepsin L inhibited by the metformin-Zn+2 complex have been performed, showing two strong key interactions (Cys-25&His-163) and an extra H-bond with Asp-163 compared to cocrystallized Zn+2 (PDB ID 4axl).

20.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(1)2022 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1626013

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has resulted in tremendous loss worldwide. Although viral spike (S) protein binding of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) has been established, the functional consequences of the initial receptor binding and the stepwise fusion process are not clear. By utilizing a cell-cell fusion system, in complement with a pseudoviral infection model, we found that the spike engagement of ACE2 primed the generation of S2' fragments in target cells, a key proteolytic event coupled with spike-mediated membrane fusion. Mutagenesis of an S2' cleavage site at the arginine (R) 815, but not an S2 cleavage site at arginine 685, was sufficient to prevent subsequent syncytia formation and infection in a variety of cell lines and primary cells isolated from human ACE2 knock-in mice. The requirement for S2' cleavage at the R815 site was also broadly shared by other SARS-CoV-2 spike variants, such as the Alpha, Beta, and Delta variants of concern. Thus, our study highlights an essential role for host receptor engagement and the key residue of spike for proteolytic activation, and uncovers a targetable mechanism for host cell infection by SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Membrane Fusion , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/virology , HEK293 Cells , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Mice , Protein Binding , Proteolysis , Virus Internalization
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