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1.
Hum Genomics ; 17(1): 50, 2023 06 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20239372

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The use of molecular biomarkers for COVID-19 remains unconclusive. The application of a molecular biomarker in combination with clinical ones that could help classifying aggressive patients in first steps of the disease could help clinician and sanitary system a better management of the disease. Here we characterize the role of ACE2, AR, MX1, ERG, ETV5 and TMPRSS2 for trying a better classification of COVID-19 through knowledge of the disease mechanisms. METHODS: A total of 329 blood samples were genotyped in ACE2, MX1 and TMPRSS2. RNA analyses were also performed from 258 available samples using quantitative polymerase chain reaction for genes: ERG, ETV5, AR, MX1, ACE2, and TMPRSS2. Moreover, in silico analysis variant effect predictor, ClinVar, IPA, DAVID, GTEx, STRING and miRDB database was also performed. Clinical and demographic data were recruited from all participants following WHO classification criteria. RESULTS: We confirm the use of ferritin (p < 0.001), D-dimer (p < 0.010), CRP (p < 0.001) and LDH (p < 0.001) as markers for distinguishing mild and severe cohorts. Expression studies showed that MX1 and AR are significantly higher expressed in mild vs severe patients (p < 0.05). ACE2 and TMPRSS2 are involved in the same molecular process of membrane fusion (p = 4.4 × 10-3), acting as proteases (p = 0.047). CONCLUSIONS: In addition to the key role of TMPSRSS2, we reported for the first time that higher expression levels of AR are related with a decreased risk of severe COVID-19 disease in females. Moreover, functional analysis demonstrates that ACE2, MX1 and TMPRSS2 are relevant markers in this disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Female , Humans , COVID-19/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Genetic Markers , Databases, Factual , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Myxovirus Resistance Proteins
2.
Int J Mol Sci ; 24(10)2023 May 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20239174

ABSTRACT

Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE-2), Transmembrane Serine Protease 2 (TMPRSS-2) and Neuropilin-1 cellular receptors support the entry of SARS-CoV-2 into susceptible human target cells and are characterized at the molecular level. Some evidence on the expression of entry receptors at mRNA and protein levels in brain cells is available, but co-expression of these receptors and confirmatory evidence on brain cells is lacking. SARS-CoV-2 infects some brain cell types, but infection susceptibility, multiple entry receptor density, and infection kinetics are rarely reported in specific brain cell types. Highly sensitive Taqman ddPCR, flow-cytometry and immunocytochemistry assays were used to quantitate the expression of ACE-2, TMPRSS-2 and Neuropilin-1 at mRNA and protein levels on human brain-extracted pericytes and astrocytes, which are an integral part of the Blood-Brain-Barrier (BBB). Astrocytes showed moderate ACE-2 (15.9 ± 1.3%, Mean ± SD, n = 2) and TMPRSS-2 (17.6%) positive cells, and in contrast show high Neuropilin-1 (56.4 ± 39.8%, n = 4) protein expression. Whereas pericytes showed variable ACE-2 (23.1 ± 20.7%, n = 2), Neuropilin-1 (30.3 ± 7.5%, n = 4) protein expression and higher TMPRSS-2 mRNA (667.2 ± 232.3, n = 3) expression. Co-expression of multiple entry receptors on astrocytes and pericytes allows entry of SARS-CoV-2 and progression of infection. Astrocytes showed roughly four-fold more virus in culture supernatants than pericytes. SARS-CoV-2 cellular entry receptor expression and "in vitro" viral kinetics in astrocytes and pericytes may improve our understanding of viral infection "in vivo". In addition, this study may facilitate the development of novel strategies to counter the effects of SARS-CoV-2 and inhibit viral infection in brain tissues to prevent the spread and interference in neuronal functions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Neuropilin-1/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Astrocytes , Pericytes , Kinetics , Blood-Brain Barrier , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics
3.
Sci Rep ; 13(1): 8743, 2023 05 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20239097

ABSTRACT

Spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 variants plays a critical role in infection and transmission through its interaction with human angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) receptors. Prior findings using molecular docking and biomolecular studies reported varied findings on the difference in the interactions among the spike variants with the hACE2 receptors. Hence, it is a prerequisite to understand these interactions in a more precise manner. To this end, firstly, we performed ELISA with trimeric spike glycoproteins of SARS-CoV-2 variants including Wuhan Hu-1(Wild), Delta, C.1.2 and Omicron. Further, to study the interactions in a more specific manner by mimicking the natural infection, we developed hACE2 receptors expressing HEK-293T cell line, evaluated their binding efficiencies and competitive binding of spike variants with D614G spike pseudotyped virus. In line with the existing findings, we observed that Omicron had higher binding efficiency compared to Delta in both ELISA and Cellular models. Intriguingly, we found that cellular models could differentiate the subtle differences between the closely related C.1.2 and Delta in their binding to hACE2 receptors. Our study using the cellular model provides a precise method to evaluate the binding interactions between spike sub-lineages to hACE2 receptors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Molecular Docking Simulation , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Protein Binding
4.
J Med Virol ; 95(6): e28863, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20238042

ABSTRACT

The ongoing COVID-19 has not only caused millions of deaths worldwide, but it has also led to economic recession and the collapse of public health systems. The vaccines and antivirals developed in response to the pandemic have improved the situation markedly; however, the pandemic is still not under control with recurring surges. Thus, it is still necessary to develop therapeutic agents. In our previous studies, we designed and synthesized a series of novel 2-anilinoquinazolin-4(3H)-one derivatives, and demonstrated inhibitory activity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and MERS-CoV in vitro. We then conducted in vivo studies using modified compounds that are suitable for oral administration. These compounds demonstrated no toxicity in rats and inhibited viral entry. Here, we investigated the in vivo efficacy of these drug candidates against SARS-CoV-2. Three candidate drugs, 7-chloro-2-((3,5-dichlorophenyl)amino)quinazolin-4(3H)-one (1), N-(7-chloro-4-oxo-3,4-dihydroquinazolin-2-yl)-N-(3,5-dichlorophenyl)acetamide (2), and N-(7-chloro-4-oxo-3,4-dihydroquinazolin-2-yl)-N-(3,5-difluorophenyl)acetamide (3) were administered orally to hACE2 transgenic mice at a dose of 100 mg/kg. All three drugs improved survival rate and reduced the viral load in the lungs. These results show that the derivatives possess in vivo antiviral efficacy similar to that of molnupiravir, which is currently being used to treat COVID-19. Overall, our data suggest that 2-anilinoquinazolin-4(3H)-one derivatives are promising as potential oral antiviral drug candidates against SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Humans , Mice , Rats , Acetamides , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/therapy , Disease Models, Animal , Mice, Transgenic , Quinazolines/pharmacology , Quinazolines/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
5.
Viruses ; 15(5)2023 04 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20234853

ABSTRACT

The benefits of SARS-CoV-2 spike mRNA vaccines are well known, including a significant decline in COVID-19 morbidity and a decrease in the mortality rate of SARS-CoV-2 infected persons. However, pharmacovigilance studies have revealed the existence of rare cases of cardiovascular complications after mass vaccination using such formulations. Cases of high blood pressure have also been reported but were rarely documented under perfectly controlled medical supervision. The press release of these warning signals triggered a huge debate over COVID-19 vaccines' safety. Thereby, our attention was quickly focused on issues involving the risk of myocarditis, acute coronary syndrome, hypertension and thrombosis. Rare cases of undesirable post-vaccine pathophysiological phenomena should question us, especially when they occur in young subjects. They are more likely to occur with inappropriate use of mRNA vaccine (e.g., at the time when the immune response is already very active during a low-noise infection in the process of healing), leading to angiotensin II (Ang II) induced inflammation triggering tissue damage. Such harmful effects observed after the COVID-19 vaccine evoke a possible molecular mimicry of the viral spike transiently dysregulating angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) function. Although the benefit/risk ratio of SARS-CoV-2 spike mRNA vaccine is very favorable, it seems reasonable to suggest medical surveillance to patients with a history of cardiovascular diseases who receive the COVID-19 vaccine.


Subject(s)
Blood Coagulation Disorders , COVID-19 , Hypertension , Humans , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Renin-Angiotensin System/physiology , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Molecular Mimicry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
6.
Int J Mol Sci ; 24(10)2023 May 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20231792

ABSTRACT

The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has evolved into a global pandemic, with an alarming infectivity and mortality rate. Studies have examined genetic effects on SARS-CoV-2 disease susceptibility and severity within Eurasian populations. These studies identified contrasting effects on the severity of disease between African populations. Genetic factors can explain some of the diversity observed within SARS-CoV-2 disease susceptibility and severity. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the SARS-CoV-2 receptor genes have demonstrated detrimental and protective effects across ethnic groups. For example, the TT genotype of rs2285666 (Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2)) is associated with the severity of SARS-CoV-2 disease, which is found at higher frequency within Asian individuals compared to African and European individuals. In this study, we examined four SARS-CoV-2 receptors, ACE2, Transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2), Neuropilin-1 (NRP1), and Basigin (CD147). A total of 42 SNPs located within the four receptors were reviewed: ACE2 (12), TMPRSS2 (10), BSG (CD147) (5), and NRP1 (15). These SNPs may be determining factors for the decreased disease severity observed within African individuals. Furthermore, we highlight the absence of genetic studies within the African population and emphasize the importance of further research. This review provides a comprehensive summary of specific variants within the SARS-CoV-2 receptor genes, which can offer a better understanding of the pathology of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and identify novel potential therapeutic targets.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Disease Susceptibility , Ethnicity
7.
Viruses ; 15(5)2023 05 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20244237

ABSTRACT

Evolutionary and functional studies suggested that the emergence of the Omicron variants can be determined by multiple fitness trade-offs including the immune escape, binding affinity for ACE2, conformational plasticity, protein stability and allosteric modulation. In this study, we systematically characterize conformational dynamics, structural stability and binding affinities of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike Omicron complexes with the host receptor ACE2 for BA.2, BA.2.75, XBB.1 and XBB.1.5 variants. We combined multiscale molecular simulations and dynamic analysis of allosteric interactions together with the ensemble-based mutational scanning of the protein residues and network modeling of epistatic interactions. This multifaceted computational study characterized molecular mechanisms and identified energetic hotspots that can mediate the predicted increased stability and the enhanced binding affinity of the BA.2.75 and XBB.1.5 complexes. The results suggested a mechanism driven by the stability hotspots and a spatially localized group of the Omicron binding affinity centers, while allowing for functionally beneficial neutral Omicron mutations in other binding interface positions. A network-based community model for the analysis of epistatic contributions in the Omicron complexes is proposed revealing the key role of the binding hotspots R498 and Y501 in mediating community-based epistatic couplings with other Omicron sites and allowing for compensatory dynamics and binding energetic changes. The results also showed that mutations in the convergent evolutionary hotspot F486 can modulate not only local interactions but also rewire the global network of local communities in this region allowing the F486P mutation to restore both the stability and binding affinity of the XBB.1.5 variant which may explain the growth advantages over the XBB.1 variant. The results of this study are consistent with a broad range of functional studies rationalizing functional roles of the Omicron mutation sites that form a coordinated network of hotspots enabling a balance of multiple fitness tradeoffs and shaping up a complex functional landscape of virus transmissibility.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 , Humans , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Protein Stability , Mutation , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Protein Binding
8.
Ann Saudi Med ; 43(3): 125-142, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20243067

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a devastating pandemic that causes disease with a variability in susceptibility and mortality based on variants of various clinical and demographic factors, including particular genes among populations. OBJECTIVES: Determine associations of demographic, clinical, laboratory, and single nucleotide polymorphisms in the ACE2, TMPRSS2, TNF-α, and IFN-γ genes to the incidence of infection and mortality in COVID-19 patients. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study SETTINGS: Various cities in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. PATIENTS AND METHODS: This prospective cohort study compared laboratory markers (D-dimer, tumor necrosis factor-alpha [TNF-α], interferon-gamma [IFN-γ], C-reactive protein [CRP], lymphocyte and neutrophil counts) between COVID-19 patients and healthy controls. DNA was extracted from blood, and genotypes were done by Sanger sequencing. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Single nucleotide polymorphisms of the ACE2, TMPRSS2, TNF-α, and IFN-γ genes and demographic characteristics and laboratory markers for predicting mortality in COVID-19. SAMPLE SIZE: 203 (153 COVID-19 patients, 50 health control subjects). RESULTS: Forty-eight (31.4%) of the COVID-19 patients died. Age over 40 and comorbidities were risk factors for mortality, but the strongest associations were with serum IFN-γ, the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), and serum TNF-α. The AA genotype and A allele of TMPRSS2 rs2070788 decreased while the GA genotype and A allele of TNF-α increased susceptibility to COVID-19. Patients with the GA genotype of TNF-α rs1800629 had shorter survival times (9.9 days) than those carrying the GG genotype (18.3 days) (P<.0001 by log-rank test). The GA genotype versus the GG genotype was associated with higher levels of serum TNF-α. The GA genotype increased mortality rates by up to 3.8 fold. The survival rate for COVID-19 patients carrying the IFN-γ rs2430561 TT genotype (58.5%) was lower than in patients with the TA and AA genotypes (80.3%). The TT genotype increased the risk of death (HR=3.664, P<.0001) and was linked to high serum IFN-γ production. Olfactory dysfunction was a predictor of survival among COVID-19 patients. CONCLUSIONS: Age older than 40, comorbidities, the NLR and particular genotypes for and the IFN-γ and TNF-α genes were risk factors for death. Larger studies in different populations must be conducted to validate the possible role of particular SNPs as genetic markers for disease severity and mortality in COVID-19 disease. LIMITATIONS: Small sample size. CONFLICT OF INTEREST: None.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha , Humans , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/genetics , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Prospective Studies , COVID-19/genetics , Genotype , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , Interferon-gamma/genetics , Genetic Markers , Demography , Case-Control Studies
9.
Mol Biol Rep ; 50(7): 5827-5836, 2023 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20230640

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Oxidative stress is thought to play a significant role in the pathogenesis and severity of COVID-19. Additionally, angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) expression may predict the severity and clinical course of COVID-19. Accordingly, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the association of oxidative stress and ACE2 expression with the clinical severity in patients with COVID-19. METHODS AND RESULTS: The present study comprised 40 patients with COVID-19 and 40 matched healthy controls, recruited between September 2021 and March 2022. ACE 2 expression levels were measured using Hera plus SYBR Green qPCR kits with GAPDH used as an internal control. Serum melatonin (MLT) levels, serum malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, and total antioxidant capacity (TAC) were estimated using ELISA. The correlations between the levels of the studied markers and clinical indicators of disease severity were evaluated. Significantly, lower expression of ACE2 was observed in COVID-19 patients compared to controls. Patients with COVID-19 had lower serum levels of TAC and MLT but higher serum levels of MDA compared to normal controls. Serum MDA levels were correlated with diastolic blood pressure (DBP), Glasgow coma scale (GCS) scores, and serum potassium levels. Serum MLT levels were positively correlated with DBP, mean arterial pressure (MAP), respiratory rate, and serum potassium levels. TAC was correlated with GCS, mean platelet volume, and serum creatinine levels. Serum MLT levels were significantly lower in patients treated with remdesivir and inotropes. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis demonstrates that all markers had utility in discriminating COVID-19 patients from healthy controls. CONCLUSIONS: Increased oxidative stress and increased ACE2 expression were correlated with disease severity and poor outcomes in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in the present study. Melatonin supplementation may provide a utility as an adjuvant therapy in decreasing disease severity and death in COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Melatonin , Humans , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antioxidants/metabolism , COVID-19/genetics , Gene Expression , Oxidative Stress/genetics , Patient Acuity , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism
11.
Sci Rep ; 13(1): 7894, 2023 05 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2324270

ABSTRACT

Alveolar macrophages (AMs) are the drivers of pulmonary cytokine storm in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. This study aimed to investigate clinical-regulatory factors for the entrance protein of SARS-CoV-2, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) in AMs. Human AMs were collected from 56 patients using bronchoalveolar lavage. ACE2 expression in AMs was positively correlated with smoking pack-year (Spearman's r = 0.347, P = 0.038). In multivariate analysis, current smoking was associated with increased ACE2 in AMs (ß-coefficient: 0.791, 95% CI 0.019-1.562, P = 0.045). In vitro study, ex-vivo human AMs with higher ACE2 were more susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus (CoV-2 PsV). Treating human AMs using cigarette smoking extract (CSE) increases the ACE2 and susceptibility to CoV-2 PsV. CSE did not significantly increase the ACE2 in AMs of reactive oxygen species (ROS) deficient Cybb-/- mice; however, exogenous ROS increased the ACE2 in Cybb-/- AMs. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) decreases ACE2 by suppressing intracellular ROS in human AMs. In conclusion, cigarette smoking increases the susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 by increasing ROS-induced ACE2 expression of AMs. Further investigation into the preventive effect of NAC on the pulmonary complications of COVID-19 is required.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cigarette Smoking , Humans , Mice , Animals , Reactive Oxygen Species , Macrophages, Alveolar/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism
12.
Cell Mol Life Sci ; 80(6): 140, 2023 May 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2315322

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic spread around the world is due to the enormous capacity of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus to be transmitted between humans, causing a threat to global public health. It has been shown that the entry of this virus into cells is highly facilitated by the presence of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) in the cell membrane. Currently, we have no precise knowledge of how this receptor expresses in the brain of human fetus and, as a consequence, we do not know how susceptible the neural cells in the developing brain are to being infected through the vertical transmission of this virus, from mother to fetus. In this work, we describe the expression of ACE2 in the human brain at 20 weeks of gestation. This stage corresponds to the period of neuronal generation, migration, and differentiation in the cerebral cortex. We describe the specific expression of ACE2 in neuronal precursors and migratory neuroblasts of the dentate gyrus in the hippocampus. This finding implies that SARS-CoV-2 infection during the fetal period may affect neuronal progenitor cells and alter the normal development of the brain region where memory engrams are generated. Thus, although vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 infection was reported in few cases, the massive infection rate of young people in terms of the new variants leads to the possibility of increasing the ratio of congenital infections and originating cognitive alterations, as well as neuronal circuit anomalies that may represent vulnerability to mental problems throughout life.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Adolescent , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A , Hippocampus/metabolism , Dentate Gyrus/metabolism
13.
Commun Biol ; 6(1): 513, 2023 05 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2315255

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, especially B.1.1.529/omicron and its sublineages, continues to mutate to evade monoclonal antibodies and antibodies elicited by vaccination. Affinity-enhanced soluble ACE2 (sACE2) is an alternative strategy that works by binding the SARS-CoV-2 S protein, acting as a 'decoy' to block the interaction between the S and human ACE2. Using a computational design strategy, we designed an affinity-enhanced ACE2 decoy, FLIF, that exhibited tight binding to SARS-CoV-2 delta and omicron variants. Our computationally calculated absolute binding free energies (ABFE) between sACE2:SARS-CoV-2 S proteins and their variants showed excellent agreement to binding experiments. FLIF displayed robust therapeutic utility against a broad range of SARS-CoV-2 variants and sarbecoviruses, and neutralized omicron BA.5 in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, we directly compared the in vivo therapeutic efficacy of wild-type ACE2 (non-affinity enhanced ACE2) against FLIF. A few wild-type sACE2 decoys have shown to be effective against early circulating variants such as Wuhan in vivo. Our data suggest that moving forward, affinity-enhanced ACE2 decoys like FLIF may be required to combat evolving SARS-CoV-2 variants. The approach described herein emphasizes how computational methods have become sufficiently accurate for the design of therapeutics against viral protein targets. Affinity-enhanced ACE2 decoys remain highly effective at neutralizing omicron subvariants.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 , Humans , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Monoclonal , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Protein Engineering
14.
Front Immunol ; 13: 1055811, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2309285

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been a global health concern since 2019. The viral spike protein infects the host by binding to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) expressed on the cell surface, which is then processed by type II transmembrane serine protease. However, ACE2 does not react to SARS-CoV-2 in inbred wild-type mice, which poses a challenge for preclinical research with animal models, necessitating a human ACE2 (hACE2)-expressing transgenic mouse model. Cytokeratin 18 (K18) promoter-derived hACE2 transgenic mice [B6.Cg-Tg(K18-ACE2)2Prlmn/J] are widely used for research on SARS-CoV-1, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2. However, SARS-CoV-2 infection is lethal at ≥105 PFU and SARS-CoV-2 target cells are limited to type-1 alveolar pneumocytes in K18-hACE2 mice, making this model incompatible with infections in the human lung. Hence, we developed lung-specific SARS-CoV-2 infection mouse models with surfactant protein B (SFTPB) and secretoglobin family 1a member 1 (Scgb1a1) promoters. After inoculation of 105 PFU of SARS-CoV-2 to the K18-hACE2, SFTPB-hACE2, and SCGB1A1-hACE2 models, the peak viral titer was detected at 2 days post-infection and then gradually decreased. In K18-hACE2 mice, the body temperature decreased by approximately 10°C, body weight decreased by over 20%, and the survival rate was reduced. However, SFTPB-hACE2 and SCGB1A1-hACE2 mice showed minimal clinical signs after infection. The virus targeted type I pneumocytes in K18-hACE2 mice; type II pneumocytes in SFTPB-hACE2 mice; and club, goblet, and ciliated cells in SCGB1A1-hACE2 mice. A time-dependent increase in severe lung lesions was detected in K18-hACE2 mice, whereas mild lesions developed in SFTPB-hACE2 and SCGB1A1-hACE2 mice. Spleen, small intestine, and brain lesions developed in K18-hACE2 mice but not in SFTPB-hACE2 and SCGB1A1-hACE2 mice. These newly developed SFTPB-hACE2 and SCGB1A1-hACE2 mice should prove useful to expand research on hACE2-mediated respiratory viruses.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 , Animals , Humans , Mice , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/virology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Disease Models, Animal , Mice, Transgenic , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Int J Mol Sci ; 24(7)2023 Mar 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2291973

ABSTRACT

To prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, all routes of entry of the virus into the host must be mapped. The skin is in contact with the external environment and thus may be an alternative route of entry to transmission via the upper respiratory tract. SARS-CoV-2 cell entry is primarily dependent on ACE2 and the proteases TMPRSS2 or cathepsin L but other cofactors and attachment receptors have been identified that may play a more important role in specific tissues such as the skin. The continued emergence of new variants may also alter the tropism of the virus. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on these receptors and cofactors, their expression profile, factors modulating their expression and their role in facilitating SARS-CoV-2 infection. We discuss their expression in the skin and their possible involvement in percutaneous infection since the presence of the virus has been detected in the skin.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Skin , Peptide Hydrolases , Virus Internalization
16.
J Renin Angiotensin Aldosterone Syst ; 2023: 9668008, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2291607

ABSTRACT

Background: Although it is common knowledge that the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) and other viral infections have an uneven impact globally, the reasons for this are still indistinct. The absence of equivalent capacities worldwide in screening, testing, and reporting of cases is one of the ideas put forward to explain this discrepancy. The molecular developments are noteworthy, particularly the role played by single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in ACEs (ACE1 and ACE2). The virus can enter the host cell thanks to the transmembrane protein ACE2, which is a homolog of ACE1. Objectives: With a focus on the I/D genotype of ACE1 and the rs2285666 SNV of ACE2, we elucidated the prevalence of SNPs in ACE1 and ACE2 in various geographic locations. We examined the relationship between these SNPs and the global patterns of COVID-19 prevalence. Methods: 66 of the 127 articles obtained using PubMed, Google Scholar, and Google directly conformed to the search terms; geographical distribution of viral infections, the prevalence of COVID-19, ACE1, ACE2, SNPs, and prevalence of the DD genotype, and rs2285666. Results: The DD genotype of ACE1 and the rs2285666 SNV of ACE2 are vital in their gene expression and contribute greatly to viral disease susceptibility, development, and severity. There was generally a high prevalence of the DD genotype in Europe and America, where COVID-19 had a more devastating effect than in Asia and Africa. The prevalence of the SNV rs2285666 varied in the following order: East Asia> South Asia >America>Europe >Africa. However, there were conflicting agreements in the association of rs2285666 with COVID-19 susceptibility and prevalence. Conclusion: The ACE1 DD genotype and COVID-19 prevalence have been positively linked in a number of studies. The ACE2 rs2285666 SNV, however, has yielded no definitive results. To determine the relationship between these SNVs and COVID-19 incidence, more research is required.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Prevalence , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide/genetics , Angiotensins/genetics , Nucleotides
17.
Lancet Microbe ; 4(5): e369-e378, 2023 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2306406

ABSTRACT

Extensive immune evasion of SARS-CoV-2 rendered therapeutic antibodies ineffective in the COVID-19 pandemic. Propagating SARS-CoV-2 variants are characterised by immune evasion capacity through key amino acid mutations, but can still bind human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) through the spike protein and are, thus, sensitive to ACE2-mimicking decoys as inhibitors. In this Review, we examine advances in the development of ACE2 derivatives from the past 3 years, including the recombinant ACE2 proteins, ACE2-loaded extracellular vesicles, ACE2-mimicking antibodies, and peptide or mini-protein mimetics of ACE2. Several ACE2 derivatives are granted potent neutralisation efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 variants that rival or surpass endogenous antibodies by various auxiliary techniques such as chemical modification and practical recombinant design. The derivatives also represent enhanced production efficiency and improved bioavailability. In addition to these derivatives of ACE2, new effective therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2 variants are expected to be developed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral , Recombinant Proteins/genetics
18.
Br J Biomed Sci ; 79: 10238, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2290488

ABSTRACT

Background: Genetic risk factors may be related to the infectivity and severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and host transmembrane serine protease (TMPRSS2) have key role in viral cell entrance and priming. Methods: This case-control study on 147 healthy controls and 299 COVID-19 patients identified potential determinants and risk factors, including gene polymorphism involved in the severity (mild, moderate, severe) of COVID-19 disease defined by CORAD radiological criteria. Results: The ACE2 s2285666 and TMPRSS2 rs12329760 SNPs were significantly linked with COVID-19 disease severity, as were certain co-morbidities (hypertension, heart disease) and laboratory parameters. Both SNPs were amongst the highest predictors of disease severity: TMPRSS2 rs12329760 CT + TT [odds ratio (95% CI) 17.6 (5.1-61.10), ACE2 rs2285666 CT + TT 9.9 (3.2-30.9), both p < 0.001]. There was an increase in the expression of genotype frequencies of ACE2 rs2285666 and TMPRSS2 rs1232976 (TT), (CT + TT), and (T) allele in severe COVID-19 group compared to control and mild groups. Disease severity was also linked to elevated CRP, ferritin and D-dimer, and lower lymphocytes and platelet count (all p < 0.001). Conclusion: ACE2 rs2285666 and TMPRSS2 rs12329760 SNPs, in addition to lymphocyte count, CRP, D-dimers, ferritin, and hypertension, are predictors of COVID-19 disease severity.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 , Serine Endopeptidases , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , Case-Control Studies , Ferritins , Humans , Hypertension , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , SARS-CoV-2 , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics
19.
Eur J Cell Biol ; 102(2): 151316, 2023 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2300043

ABSTRACT

The expression of the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is altered in multiple chronic kidney diseases like hypertension and renal fibrosis, where the signaling from the basal membrane proteins is critical for the development and progression of the various pathologies. Integrins are heterodimeric cell surface receptors that have important roles in the progression of these chronic kidney diseases by altering various cell signaling pathways in response to changes in the basement membrane proteins. It is unclear whether integrin or integrin-mediated signaling affects the ACE2 expression in the kidney. The current study tests the hypothesis that integrin ß1 regulates the expression of ACE2 in kidney epithelial cells. The role of integrin ß1 in ACE2 expression in renal epithelial cells was investigated by shRNA-mediated knockdown and pharmacological inhibition. In vivo studies were carried out using epithelial cell-specific deletion of integrin ß1 in the kidneys. Deletion of integrin ß1 from the mouse renal epithelial cells reduced the expression of ACE2 in the kidney. Furthermore, the downregulation of integrin ß1 using shRNA decreased ACE2 expression in human renal epithelial cells. ACE2 expression levels were also decreased in renal epithelial cells and cancer cells when treated with an integrin α2ß1 antagonist, BTT 3033. SARS-CoV-2 viral entry to human renal epithelial cells and cancer cells was also inhibited by BTT 3033. This study demonstrates that integrin ß1 positively regulates the expression of ACE2, which is required for the entry of SARS-CoV-2 into kidney cells.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic , Humans , Animals , Mice , Integrin beta1/genetics , Integrin beta1/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Kidney/metabolism , Kidney/pathology , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/metabolism , Renal Insufficiency, Chronic/pathology
20.
Sci Signal ; 16(782): eabq1366, 2023 04 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2298370

ABSTRACT

Macrophages are key cellular contributors to the pathogenesis of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. The SARS-CoV-2 entry receptor ACE2 is present only on a subset of macrophages at sites of SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans. Here, we investigated whether SARS-CoV-2 can enter macrophages, replicate, and release new viral progeny; whether macrophages need to sense a replicating virus to drive cytokine release; and, if so, whether ACE2 is involved in these mechanisms. We found that SARS-CoV-2 could enter, but did not replicate within, ACE2-deficient human primary macrophages and did not induce proinflammatory cytokine expression. By contrast, ACE2 overexpression in human THP-1-derived macrophages permitted SARS-CoV-2 entry, processing and replication, and virion release. ACE2-overexpressing THP-1 macrophages sensed active viral replication and triggered proinflammatory, antiviral programs mediated by the kinase TBK-1 that limited prolonged viral replication and release. These findings help elucidate the role of ACE2 and its absence in macrophage responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Cytokines , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Macrophages/metabolism , Virion/metabolism
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