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1.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 168-171, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1623181

ABSTRACT

HCoV-OC43 is one of the mildly pathogenic coronaviruses with high infection rates in common population. Here, 43 HCoV-OC43 related cases with pneumonia were reported, corresponding genomes of HCoV-OC43 were obtained. Phylogenetic analyses based on complete genome, orf1ab and spike genes revealed that two novel genotypes of HCoV-OC43 have emerged in China. Obvious recombinant events also can be detected in the analysis of the evolutionary dynamics of novel HCoV-OC43 genotypes. Estimated divergence time analysis indicated that the two novel genotypes had apparently independent evolutionary routes. Efforts should be conducted for further investigation of genomic diversity and evolution analysis of mildly pathogenic coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Common Cold/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/genetics , Genome, Viral , Genotype , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Base Sequence , Bayes Theorem , Child , Child, Hospitalized , Child, Preschool , China/epidemiology , Common Cold/pathology , Common Cold/transmission , Common Cold/virology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/classification , Coronavirus OC43, Human/pathogenicity , Epidemiological Monitoring , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Monte Carlo Method , Mutation , Phylogeny , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Recombination, Genetic
2.
Viruses ; 13(12)2021 12 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1554806

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequencing efforts have scaled dramatically to address the current global pandemic and aid public health. However, autonomous genome annotation of SARS-CoV-2 genes, proteins, and domains is not readily accomplished by existing methods and results in missing or incorrect sequences. To overcome this limitation, we developed a novel semi-supervised pipeline for automated gene, protein, and functional domain annotation of SARS-CoV-2 genomes that differentiates itself by not relying on the use of a single reference genome and by overcoming atypical genomic traits that challenge traditional bioinformatic methods. We analyzed an initial corpus of 66,000 SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences collected from labs across the world using our method and identified the comprehensive set of known proteins with 98.5% set membership accuracy and 99.1% accuracy in length prediction, compared to proteome references, including Replicase polyprotein 1ab (with its transcriptional slippage site). Compared to other published tools, such as Prokka (base) and VAPiD, we yielded a 6.4- and 1.8-fold increase in protein annotations. Our method generated 13,000,000 gene, protein, and domain sequences-some conserved across time and geography and others representing emerging variants. We observed 3362 non-redundant sequences per protein on average within this corpus and described key D614G and N501Y variants spatiotemporally in the initial genome corpus. For spike glycoprotein domains, we achieved greater than 97.9% sequence identity to references and characterized receptor binding domain variants. We further demonstrated the robustness and extensibility of our method on an additional 4000 variant diverse genomes containing all named variants of concern and interest as of August 2021. In this cohort, we successfully identified all keystone spike glycoprotein mutations in our predicted protein sequences with greater than 99% accuracy as well as demonstrating high accuracy of the protein and domain annotations. This work comprehensively presents the molecular targets to refine biomedical interventions for SARS-CoV-2 with a scalable, high-accuracy method to analyze newly sequenced infections as they arise.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Genome, Viral , Molecular Sequence Annotation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Amino Acid Sequence , Base Sequence , Computational Biology , Humans , Mutation , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
4.
J Clin Microbiol ; 59(11): e0104621, 2021 10 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480236

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) genomic surveillance has been vital in understanding the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the emergence of viral escape mutants, and variants of concern. However, low viral loads in clinical specimens affect variant calling for phylogenetic analyses and detection of low-frequency variants, important in uncovering infection transmission chains. We systematically evaluated three widely adopted SARS-CoV-2 whole-genome sequencing methods for their sensitivity, specificity, and ability to reliably detect low-frequency variants. Our analyses reveal that the ARTIC v3 protocol consistently displays high sensitivity for generating complete genomes at low viral loads compared with the probe-based Illumina Respiratory Viral Oligo panel and a pooled long-amplicon method. We show substantial variability in the number and location of low-frequency variants detected using the three methods, highlighting the importance of selecting appropriate methods to obtain high-quality sequence data from low-viral-load samples for public health and genomic surveillance purposes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Base Sequence , Genome, Viral , Humans , Phylogeny , Whole Genome Sequencing
5.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 13(42): 49754-49761, 2021 Oct 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475248

ABSTRACT

A reliable and sensitive detection approach for SARS-CoV 2 is essential for timely infection diagnosis and transmission prevention. Here, a two-dimensional (2D) metal-organic framework (MOF)-based photoelectrochemical (PEC) aptasensor with high sensitivity and stability for SARS-CoV 2 spike glycoprotein (S protein) detection was developed. The PEC aptasensor was constructed by a plasmon-enhanced photoactive material (namely, Au NPs/Yb-TCPP) with a specific DNA aptamer against S protein. The Au NPs/Yb-TCPP fabricated by in situ growth of Au NPs on the surface of 2D Yb-TCPP nanosheets showed a high electron-hole (e-h) separation efficiency due to the enhancement effect of plasmon, resulting in excellent photoelectric performance. The modified DNA aptamer on the surface of Au NPs/Yb-TCPP can bind with S protein with high selectivity, thus decreasing the photocurrent of the system due to the high steric hindrance and low conductivity of the S protein. The established PEC aptasensor demonstrated a highly sensitive detection for S protein with a linear response range of 0.5-8 µg/mL with a detection limit of 72 ng/mL. This work presented a promising way for the detection of SARS-CoV 2, which may conduce to the impetus of clinic diagnostics.


Subject(s)
Aptamers, Nucleotide/chemistry , Biosensing Techniques/methods , Metal-Organic Frameworks/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/analysis , Base Sequence , Biosensing Techniques/instrumentation , COVID-19/diagnosis , DNA/chemistry , Electrochemical Techniques/instrumentation , Electrochemical Techniques/methods , Electrodes , Gold/chemistry , Gold/radiation effects , Humans , Immobilized Nucleic Acids/chemistry , Light , Limit of Detection , Metal Nanoparticles/chemistry , Metal Nanoparticles/radiation effects , Pharynx/virology , Photochemical Processes , Porphyrins/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Ytterbium/chemistry
6.
PLoS One ; 16(10): e0252846, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1468153

ABSTRACT

Cassava plantations in an area of 458 hectares spanning five provinces along the Thailand-Cambodia border were surveyed from October 2018 to July 2019 to determine the prevalence of cassava mosaic disease (CMD) caused by Sri Lankan cassava mosaic virus (SLCMV) in the region. CMD prevalence was 40% in the whole area and 80% in Prachinburi, 43% in Sakaeo, 37% in Burium, 25% in Surin, and 19% in Sisaket provinces. Disease incidence of CMD was highest 43.08% in Sakaeo, followed by 26.78% in Prachinburi, 7% in Burium, 2.58% in Surin, and 1.25% in Sisaket provinces. Disease severity of CMD symptoms was mild chlorosis to moderate mosaic (2-3). The greatest disease severity was recorded in Prachinburi and Sakaeo provinces. Asymptomatic plants were identified in Surin (12%), Prachinburi (5%), Sakaeo (0.2%), and Buriram (0.1%) by PCR analysis. Cassava cultivars CMR-89 and Huai Bong 80 were susceptible to CMD. In 95% of cases, the infection was transmitted by whiteflies (Bemisia tabaci), which were abundant in Sakaeo, Buriram, and Prachinburi but were sparse in Surin; their densities were highest in May and June 2019. Nucleotide sequencing of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase 1 (mtCO1) gene of whiteflies in Thailand revealed that it was similar to the mtCO1 gene of Asia II 1 whitefly. Furthermore, the AV1 gene of SLCMV-which encodes the capsid protein-showed 90% nucleotide identity with SLCMV. Phylogenetic analysis of completed nucleotide sequences of DNA-A and DNA-B components of the SLCMV genome determined by rolling circle amplification (RCA) indicated that they were similar to the nucleotide sequence of SLCMV isolates from Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. These results provide important insights into the distribution, impact, and spread of CMD and SLCMV in Thailand.


Subject(s)
Begomovirus/genetics , Animals , Base Sequence/genetics , Cambodia , DNA, Viral/genetics , Hemiptera/virology , Plant Diseases/virology , Plants/virology , Thailand , Vietnam
7.
Immunity ; 54(11): 2650-2669.e14, 2021 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1442406

ABSTRACT

Longitudinal analyses of the innate immune system, including the earliest time points, are essential to understand the immunopathogenesis and clinical course of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Here, we performed a detailed characterization of natural killer (NK) cells in 205 patients (403 samples; days 2 to 41 after symptom onset) from four independent cohorts using single-cell transcriptomics and proteomics together with functional studies. We found elevated interferon (IFN)-α plasma levels in early severe COVD-19 alongside increased NK cell expression of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) and genes involved in IFN-α signaling, while upregulation of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-induced genes was observed in moderate diseases. NK cells exert anti-SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) activity but are functionally impaired in severe COVID-19. Further, NK cell dysfunction may be relevant for the development of fibrotic lung disease in severe COVID-19, as NK cells exhibited impaired anti-fibrotic activity. Our study indicates preferential IFN-α and TNF responses in severe and moderate COVID-19, respectively, and associates a prolonged IFN-α-induced NK cell response with poorer disease outcome.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Interferon-alpha/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism , Base Sequence , Humans , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Inflammation/immunology , Interferon-alpha/blood , Pulmonary Fibrosis/pathology , RNA-Seq , Severity of Illness Index , Transcriptome/genetics , United Kingdom , United States
8.
Elife ; 102021 09 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1441361

ABSTRACT

High-throughput genomics of SARS-CoV-2 is essential to characterize virus evolution and to identify adaptations that affect pathogenicity or transmission. While single-nucleotide variations (SNVs) are commonly considered as driving virus adaption, RNA recombination events that delete or insert nucleic acid sequences are also critical. Whole genome targeting sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 is typically achieved using pairs of primers to generate cDNA amplicons suitable for next-generation sequencing (NGS). However, paired-primer approaches impose constraints on where primers can be designed, how many amplicons are synthesized and requires multiple PCR reactions with non-overlapping primer pools. This imparts sensitivity to underlying SNVs and fails to resolve RNA recombination junctions that are not flanked by primer pairs. To address these limitations, we have designed an approach called 'Tiled-ClickSeq', which uses hundreds of tiled-primers spaced evenly along the virus genome in a single reverse-transcription reaction. The other end of the cDNA amplicon is generated by azido-nucleotides that stochastically terminate cDNA synthesis, removing the need for a paired-primer. A sequencing adaptor containing a Unique Molecular Identifier (UMI) is appended to the cDNA fragment using click-chemistry and a PCR reaction generates a final NGS library. Tiled-ClickSeq provides complete genome coverage, including the 5'UTR, at high depth and specificity to the virus on both Illumina and Nanopore NGS platforms. Here, we analyze multiple SARS-CoV-2 isolates and clinical samples to simultaneously characterize minority variants, sub-genomic mRNAs (sgmRNAs), structural variants (SVs) and D-RNAs. Tiled-ClickSeq therefore provides a convenient and robust platform for SARS-CoV-2 genomics that captures the full range of RNA species in a single, simple assay.


Subject(s)
Base Sequence , Coronavirus/genetics , Genome, Viral , RNA , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/virology , DNA, Complementary , Gene Library , Genomics , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Nanopores , Polymerase Chain Reaction , RNA, Messenger , RNA, Viral/genetics , Recombination, Genetic , Whole Genome Sequencing
9.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 19161, 2021 09 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440480

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is associated with fatal pulmonary fibrosis. Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) can be developed to induce RNA interference against SARS-CoV-2, and their susceptible target sites can be inferred by Argonaute crosslinking immunoprecipitation sequencing (AGO CLIP). Here, by reanalysing AGO CLIP data in RNA viruses, we delineated putative AGO binding in the conserved non-structural protein 12 (nsp12) region encoding RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP) in SARS-CoV-2. We utilised the inferred AGO binding to optimise the local RNA folding parameter to calculate target accessibility and predict all potent siRNA target sites in the SARS-CoV-2 genome, avoiding sequence variants. siRNAs loaded onto AGO also repressed seed (positions 2-8)-matched transcripts by acting as microRNAs (miRNAs). To utilise this, we further screened 13 potential siRNAs whose seed sequences were matched to known antifibrotic miRNAs and confirmed their miRNA-like activity. A miR-27-mimicking siRNA designed to target the nsp12 region (27/RdRP) was validated to silence a synthesised nsp12 RNA mimic in lung cell lines and function as an antifibrotic miR-27 in regulating target transcriptomes related to TGF-ß signalling. siRNA sequences with an antifibrotic miRNA-like activity that could synergistically treat COVID-19 are available online ( http://clip.korea.ac.kr/covid19 ).


Subject(s)
Argonaute Proteins/genetics , COVID-19/prevention & control , MicroRNAs/genetics , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , A549 Cells , Argonaute Proteins/metabolism , Base Sequence , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Gene Expression Profiling/methods , HeLa Cells , Humans , Pulmonary Fibrosis/genetics , Pulmonary Fibrosis/metabolism , RNA Interference , RNA-Seq/methods , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
10.
Immunogenetics ; 73(6): 459-477, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1427234

ABSTRACT

Since 2019, the world was involved with SARS-CoV-2 and consequently, with the announcement by the World Health Organization that COVID-19 was a pandemic, scientific were an effort to obtain the best approach to combat this global dilemma. The best way to prevent the pandemic from spreading further is to use a vaccine against COVID-19. Here, we report the design of a recombinant multi-epitope vaccine against the four proteins spike or crown (S), membrane (M), nucleocapsid (N), and envelope (E) of SARS-CoV-2 using immunoinformatics tools. We evaluated the most antigenic epitopes that bind to HLA class 1 subtypes, along with HLA class 2, as well as B cell epitopes. Beta-defensin 3 and PADRE sequence were used as adjuvants in the structure of the vaccine. KK, GPGPG, and AAY linkers were used to fuse the selected epitopes. The nucleotide sequence was cloned into pET26b(+) vector using restriction enzymes XhoI and NdeI, and HisTag sequence was considered in the C-terminal of the construct. The results showed that the proposed candidate vaccine is a 70.87 kDa protein with high antigenicity and immunogenicity as well as non-allergenic and non-toxic. A total of 95% of the selected epitopes have conservancy with similar sequences. Molecular docking showed a strong binding between the vaccine structure and tool-like receptor (TLR) 7/8. The docking, molecular dynamics, and MM/PBSA analysis showed that the vaccine established a stable interaction with both structures of TLR7 and TLR8. Simulation of immune stimulation by this vaccine showed that it evokes immune responses related to humoral and cellular immunity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , Base Sequence , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/metabolism , Computational Biology , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/genetics , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/genetics , HLA Antigens/immunology , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Molecular Weight , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/immunology , Toll-Like Receptor 7/chemistry , Toll-Like Receptor 8/chemistry , Vaccines, Subunit/genetics , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/metabolism , Vaccinology , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/immunology
11.
Virus Res ; 305: 198563, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1415831

ABSTRACT

This study compared the lethality of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 variants belonging to the S, V, L, G, GH, and GR clades using K18-human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 heterozygous mice. To estimate the 50% lethal dose (LD50) of each variant, increasing viral loads (100-104 plaque-forming units [PFU]) were administered intranasally. Mouse weight and survival were monitored for 14 days. The LD50 of the GH and GR clades was significantly lower than that of other clades at 50 PFU. These findings suggest that the GH and GR clades, which are prevalent worldwide, are more virulent than the other clades.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/mortality , Receptors, Virus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Viral Load/genetics , Amino Acid Sequence , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Base Sequence , Body Weight , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Gene Expression , Humans , Lethal Dose 50 , Male , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Phylogeny , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Severity of Illness Index , Survival Analysis , Transgenes , Vero Cells , Viral Plaque Assay , Virulence
12.
Cells ; 10(9)2021 09 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1408629

ABSTRACT

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are cell-released, nanometer-scaled, membrane-bound materials and contain diverse contents including proteins, small peptides, and nucleic acids. Once released, EVs can alter the microenvironment and regulate a myriad of cellular physiology components, including cell-cell communication, proliferation, differentiation, and immune responses against viral infection. Among the cargoes in the vesicles, small non-coding micro-RNAs (miRNAs) have received attention in that they can regulate the expression of a variety of human genes as well as external viral genes via binding to the complementary mRNAs. In this study, we tested the potential of EVs as therapeutic agents for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. First, we found that the mesenchymal stem-cell-derived EVs (MSC-EVs) enabled the rescue of the cytopathic effect of SARS-CoV-2 virus and the suppression of proinflammatory responses in the infected cells by inhibiting the viral replication. We found that these anti-viral responses were mediated by 17 miRNAs matching the rarely mutated, conserved 3'-untranslated regions (UTR) of the viral genome. The top five miRNAs highly expressed in the MSC-EVs, miR-92a-3p, miR-26a-5p, miR-23a-3p, miR-103a-3p, and miR-181a-5p, were tested. They were bound to the complemented sequence which led to the recovery of the cytopathic effects. These findings suggest that the MSC-EVs are a potential candidate for multiple variants of anti-SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Extracellular Vesicles/metabolism , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/metabolism , MicroRNAs/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , 3' Untranslated Regions/genetics , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Base Sequence , Cell Line , Conserved Sequence/genetics , Female , Genome, Viral , Humans , Models, Biological , Mutation/genetics , Placenta/metabolism , Pregnancy , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
13.
Nucleic Acids Res ; 49(18): 10604-10617, 2021 10 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406489

ABSTRACT

RNA hydrolysis presents problems in manufacturing, long-term storage, world-wide delivery and in vivo stability of messenger RNA (mRNA)-based vaccines and therapeutics. A largely unexplored strategy to reduce mRNA hydrolysis is to redesign RNAs to form double-stranded regions, which are protected from in-line cleavage and enzymatic degradation, while coding for the same proteins. The amount of stabilization that this strategy can deliver and the most effective algorithmic approach to achieve stabilization remain poorly understood. Here, we present simple calculations for estimating RNA stability against hydrolysis, and a model that links the average unpaired probability of an mRNA, or AUP, to its overall hydrolysis rate. To characterize the stabilization achievable through structure design, we compare AUP optimization by conventional mRNA design methods to results from more computationally sophisticated algorithms and crowdsourcing through the OpenVaccine challenge on the Eterna platform. We find that rational design on Eterna and the more sophisticated algorithms lead to constructs with low AUP, which we term 'superfolder' mRNAs. These designs exhibit a wide diversity of sequence and structure features that may be desirable for translation, biophysical size, and immunogenicity. Furthermore, their folding is robust to temperature, computer modeling method, choice of flanking untranslated regions, and changes in target protein sequence, as illustrated by rapid redesign of superfolder mRNAs for B.1.351, P.1 and B.1.1.7 variants of the prefusion-stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Increases in in vitro mRNA half-life by at least two-fold appear immediately achievable.


Subject(s)
Algorithms , RNA, Double-Stranded/chemistry , RNA, Messenger/chemistry , RNA, Viral/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Base Pairing , Base Sequence , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Hydrolysis , RNA Stability , RNA, Double-Stranded/genetics , RNA, Double-Stranded/immunology , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Messenger/immunology , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Thermodynamics
14.
Nat Med ; 27(9): 1518-1524, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1402106

ABSTRACT

The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is the first to apply whole-genome sequencing near to real time, with over 2 million severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) whole-genome sequences generated and shared through the GISAID platform. This genomic resource informed public health decision-making throughout the pandemic; it also allowed detection of mutations that might affect virulence, pathogenesis, host range or immune escape as well as the effectiveness of SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics and therapeutics. However, genotype-to-phenotype predictions cannot be performed at the rapid pace of genomic sequencing. To prepare for the next phase of the pandemic, a systematic approach is needed to link global genomic surveillance and timely assessment of the phenotypic characteristics of novel variants, which will support the development and updating of diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics and nonpharmaceutical interventions. This Review summarizes the current knowledge on key viral mutations and variants and looks to the next phase of surveillance of the evolving pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Epidemiological Monitoring , Genome, Viral/genetics , Molecular Epidemiology/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Base Sequence/genetics , Clinical Decision-Making , Databases, Genetic , Humans , Public Health , Whole Genome Sequencing
15.
Cell ; 184(20): 5179-5188.e8, 2021 09 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401294

ABSTRACT

We present evidence for multiple independent origins of recombinant SARS-CoV-2 viruses sampled from late 2020 and early 2021 in the United Kingdom. Their genomes carry single-nucleotide polymorphisms and deletions that are characteristic of the B.1.1.7 variant of concern but lack the full complement of lineage-defining mutations. Instead, the remainder of their genomes share contiguous genetic variation with non-B.1.1.7 viruses circulating in the same geographic area at the same time as the recombinants. In four instances, there was evidence for onward transmission of a recombinant-origin virus, including one transmission cluster of 45 sequenced cases over the course of 2 months. The inferred genomic locations of recombination breakpoints suggest that every community-transmitted recombinant virus inherited its spike region from a B.1.1.7 parental virus, consistent with a transmission advantage for B.1.1.7's set of mutations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Pandemics , Recombination, Genetic , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Base Sequence/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Computational Biology/methods , Gene Frequency , Genome, Viral , Genotype , Humans , Mutation , Phylogeny , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Whole Genome Sequencing/methods
16.
Viruses ; 13(7)2021 06 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389549

ABSTRACT

The product of the interferon-stimulated gene C19orf66, Shiftless (SHFL), restricts human immunodeficiency virus replication through downregulation of the efficiency of the viral gag/pol frameshifting signal. In this study, we demonstrate that bacterially expressed, purified SHFL can decrease the efficiency of programmed ribosomal frameshifting in vitro at a variety of sites, including the RNA pseudoknot-dependent signals of the coronaviruses IBV, SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, and the protein-dependent stimulators of the cardioviruses EMCV and TMEV. SHFL also reduced the efficiency of stop-codon readthrough at the murine leukemia virus gag/pol signal. Using size-exclusion chromatography, we confirm the binding of the purified protein to mammalian ribosomes in vitro. Finally, through electrophoretic mobility shift assays and mutational analysis, we show that expressed SHFL has strong RNA binding activity that is necessary for full activity in the inhibition of frameshifting, but shows no clear specificity for stimulatory RNA structures.


Subject(s)
Codon, Terminator/genetics , Coronavirus/genetics , Frameshifting, Ribosomal/genetics , RNA-Binding Proteins/genetics , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Base Sequence , Escherichia coli/genetics , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral , Humans , Leukemia Virus, Murine/genetics , RNA Recognition Motif Proteins , RNA, Viral/genetics , Virus Replication
17.
Virus Res ; 305: 198553, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1386720

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is seriously threatening human health all over the world. A comprehensive understanding of the genetic mechanisms driving the rapid evolution of its pathogen (SARS-CoV-2) is the key to controlling this pandemic. In this study, by comparing the entire genome sequences of SARS-CoV-2 isolates from Asia, Europe and America, and analyzing their phylogenetic histories, we found a lineage derived from a recombination event that likely occurred before March 2020. More importantly, the recombinant offspring has become the dominant strain responsible for more than one-third of the global cases in the pandemic. These results indicated that the recombination might have played a key role in the pandemic of the virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Evolution, Molecular , Genome, Viral , Homologous Recombination , Mosaicism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Americas/epidemiology , Asia/epidemiology , Base Sequence , COVID-19/history , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Europe/epidemiology , Genomics/methods , History, 21st Century , Humans , Mutation , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
18.
Comput Biol Chem ; 94: 107570, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1385342

ABSTRACT

The base order-dependent component of folding energy has revealed a highly conserved region in HIV-1 genomes that associates with RNA structure. This corresponds to a packaging signal that is recognized by the nucleocapsid domain of the Gag polyprotein. Long viewed as a potential HIV-1 "Achilles heel," the signal can be targeted by a new antiviral compound. Although SARS-CoV-2 differs in many respects from HIV-1, the same technology displays regions with a high base order-dependent folding energy component, which are also highly conserved. This indicates structural invariance (SI) sustained by natural selection. While the regions are often also protein-encoding (e. g. NSP3, ORF3a), we suggest that their nucleic acid level functions can be considered potential "Achilles heels" for SARS-CoV-2, perhaps susceptible to therapies like those envisaged for AIDS. The ribosomal frameshifting element scored well, but higher SI scores were obtained in other regions, including those encoding NSP13 and the nucleocapsid (N) protein.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , RNA Folding , RNA, Viral/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Base Sequence , Genome, Viral , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/metabolism
19.
Int J Mol Sci ; 21(13)2020 Jul 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389380

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 virus is a recently-emerged zoonotic pathogen already well adapted to transmission and replication in humans. Although the mutation rate is limited, recently introduced mutations in SARS-CoV-2 have the potential to alter viral fitness. In addition to amino acid changes, mutations could affect RNA secondary structure critical to viral life cycle, or interfere with sequences targeted by host miRNAs. We have analysed subsets of genomes from SARS-CoV-2 isolates from around the globe and show that several mutations introduce changes in Watson-Crick pairing, with resultant changes in predicted secondary structure. Filtering to targets matching miRNAs expressed in SARS-CoV-2-permissive host cells, we identified ten separate target sequences in the SARS-CoV-2 genome; three of these targets have been lost through conserved mutations. A genomic site targeted by the highly abundant miR-197-5p, overexpressed in patients with cardiovascular disease, is lost by a conserved mutation. Our results are compatible with a model that SARS-CoV-2 replication within the human host is constrained by host miRNA defences. The impact of these and further mutations on secondary structures, miRNA targets or potential splice sites offers a new context in which to view future SARS-CoV-2 evolution, and a potential platform for engineering conditional attenuation to vaccine development, as well as providing a better understanding of viral tropism and pathogenesis.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Genome, Viral , MicroRNAs/metabolism , RNA, Viral/chemistry , 3' Untranslated Regions , Base Sequence , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Databases, Genetic , Humans , MicroRNAs/chemistry , MicroRNAs/genetics , Mutation , Nucleic Acid Conformation , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , RNA Splice Sites , RNA Splicing , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Alignment , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/metabolism
20.
PLoS One ; 15(8): e0238490, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388885

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is still rampaging throughout the world while the many evolutionary studies on it are simultaneously springing up. Researchers have simply utilized the public RNA-seq data to find out the so-called SNPs in the virus genome. The evolutionary analyses were largely based on these mutations. Here, we claim that we reliably detected A-to-G RNA modifications in the RNA-seq data of SARS-CoV-2 with high signal to noise ratios, presumably caused by the host's deamination enzymes. Intriguingly, since SARS-CoV-2 is an RNA virus, it is technically impossible to distinguish SNPs and RNA modifications from the RNA-seq data alone without solid evidence, making it difficult to tell the evolutionary patterns behind the mutation spectrum. Researchers should clarify their biological significance before they automatically regard the mutations as SNPs or RNA modifications. This is not a problem for DNA organisms but should be seriously considered when we are investigating the RNA viruses.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Evolution, Molecular , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , RNA, Viral/genetics , Base Sequence , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections , Humans , Mutation Rate , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , RNA-Seq , SARS-CoV-2
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