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1.
PLoS Genet ; 18(3): e1010042, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1793655

ABSTRACT

In November 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic death toll surpassed five million individuals. We applied Mendelian randomization including >3,000 blood proteins as exposures to identify potential biomarkers that may indicate risk for hospitalization or need for respiratory support or death due to COVID-19, respectively. After multiple testing correction, using genetic instruments and under the assumptions of Mendelian Randomization, our results were consistent with higher blood levels of five proteins GCNT4, CD207, RAB14, C1GALT1C1, and ABO being causally associated with an increased risk of hospitalization or respiratory support/death due to COVID-19 (ORs = 1.12-1.35). Higher levels of FAAH2 were solely associated with an increased risk of hospitalization (OR = 1.19). On the contrary, higher levels of SELL, SELE, and PECAM-1 decrease risk of hospitalization or need for respiratory support/death (ORs = 0.80-0.91). Higher levels of LCTL, SFTPD, KEL, and ATP2A3 were solely associated with a decreased risk of hospitalization (ORs = 0.86-0.93), whilst higher levels of ICAM-1 were solely associated with a decreased risk of respiratory support/death of COVID-19 (OR = 0.84). Our findings implicate blood group markers and binding proteins in both hospitalization and need for respiratory support/death. They, additionally, suggest that higher levels of endocannabinoid enzymes may increase the risk of hospitalization. Our research replicates findings of blood markers previously associated with COVID-19 and prioritises additional blood markers for risk prediction of severe forms of COVID-19. Furthermore, we pinpoint druggable targets potentially implicated in disease pathology.


Subject(s)
Blood Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/pathology , Biomarkers/analysis , Biomarkers/blood , Blood Proteins/analysis , Blood Proteins/genetics , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/mortality , Causality , Genome-Wide Association Study , Hospitalization , Humans , Mendelian Randomization Analysis , Mortality , Pandemics , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , Prognosis , Proteome/analysis , Proteome/genetics , Proteome/metabolism , Respiratory Insufficiency/blood , Respiratory Insufficiency/diagnosis , Respiratory Insufficiency/mortality , Respiratory Insufficiency/pathology , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Severity of Illness Index
2.
Commun Biol ; 5(1): 152, 2022 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1701655

ABSTRACT

The complement system constitutes the innate defense against pathogens. Its dysregulation leads to diseases and is a critical determinant in many viral infections, e.g., COVID-19. Factor H (FH) is the main regulator of the alternative pathway of complement activation and could be a therapy to restore homeostasis. However, recombinant FH is not available. Engineered FH versions may be alternative therapeutics. Here, we designed a synthetic protein, MFHR13, as a multitarget complement regulator. It combines the dimerization and C5-regulatory domains of human FH-related protein 1 (FHR1) with the C3-regulatory and cell surface recognition domains of human FH, including SCR 13. In summary, the fusion protein MFHR13 comprises SCRs FHR11-2:FH1-4:FH13:FH19-20. It protects sheep erythrocytes from complement attack exhibiting 26 and 4-fold the regulatory activity of eculizumab and human FH, respectively. Furthermore, we demonstrate that MFHR13 and FHR1 bind to all proteins forming the membrane attack complex, which contributes to the mechanistic understanding of FHR1. We consider MFHR13 a promising candidate as therapeutic for complement-associated diseases.


Subject(s)
Blood Proteins/metabolism , Complement Activation , Complement Factor H/metabolism , Complement System Proteins/metabolism , Erythrocytes/metabolism , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/metabolism , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Bryopsida/genetics , Bryopsida/metabolism , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Complement Membrane Attack Complex/metabolism , Humans , Models, Molecular , Pandemics/prevention & control , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sheep
3.
Front Immunol ; 12: 781100, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686474

ABSTRACT

Multiple studies have investigated the role of blood circulating proteins in COVID-19 disease using the Olink affinity proteomics platform. However, study inclusion criteria and sample collection conditions varied between studies, leading to sometimes incongruent associations. To identify the most robust protein markers of the disease and the underlying pathways that are relevant under all conditions, it is essential to identify proteins that replicate most widely. Here we combined the Olink proteomics profiles of two newly recruited COVID-19 studies (N=68 and N=98) with those of three previously published COVID-19 studies (N=383, N=83, N=57). For these studies, three Olink panels (Inflammation and Cardiovascular II & III) with 253 unique proteins were compared. Case/control analysis revealed thirteen proteins (CCL16, CCL7, CXCL10, CCL8, LGALS9, CXCL11, IL1RN, CCL2, CD274, IL6, IL18, MERTK, IFNγ, and IL18R1) that were differentially expressed in COVID-19 patients in all five studies. Except CCL16, which was higher in controls, all proteins were overexpressed in COVID-19 patients. Pathway analysis revealed concordant trends across all studies with pathways related to cytokine-cytokine interaction, IL18 signaling, fluid shear stress and rheumatoid arthritis. Our results reaffirm previous findings related to a COVID-19 cytokine storm syndrome. Cross-study robustness of COVID-19 specific protein expression profiles support the utility of affinity proteomics as a tool and for the identification of potential therapeutic targets.


Subject(s)
Blood Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/blood , Cytokines/blood , Transcriptome/genetics , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/blood , Cytokine Release Syndrome/pathology , Cytokines/metabolism , Female , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Inflammation/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Proteomics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Signal Transduction
4.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(3)2022 Feb 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674671

ABSTRACT

Inflammation and thrombosis are closely intertwined in numerous disorders, including ischemic events and sepsis, as well as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Thrombotic complications are markers of disease severity in both sepsis and COVID-19 and are associated with multiorgan failure and increased mortality. Immunothrombosis is driven by the complement/tissue factor/neutrophil axis, as well as by activated platelets, which can trigger the release of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) and release further effectors of immunothrombosis, including platelet factor 4 (PF4/CXCL4) and high-mobility box 1 protein (HMGB1). Many of the central effectors of deregulated immunothrombosis, including activated platelets and platelet-derived extracellular vesicles (pEVs) expressing PF4, soluble PF4, HMGB1, histones, as well as histone-decorated NETs, are positively charged and thus bind to heparin. Here, we provide evidence that adsorbents functionalized with endpoint-attached heparin efficiently deplete activated platelets, pEVs, PF4, HMGB1 and histones/nucleosomes. We propose that this elimination of central effectors of immunothrombosis, rather than direct binding of pathogens, could be of clinical relevance for mitigating thrombotic complications in sepsis or COVID-19 using heparin-functionalized adsorbents.


Subject(s)
Blood Proteins/isolation & purification , Heparin/pharmacology , /drug therapy , Blood Coagulation/physiology , Blood Platelets/metabolism , Blood Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Extracellular Traps/immunology , Extracellular Traps/metabolism , HMGB Proteins/isolation & purification , HMGB Proteins/metabolism , HMGB1 Protein/isolation & purification , HMGB1 Protein/metabolism , Heparin/metabolism , Histones/isolation & purification , Histones/metabolism , Humans , Neutrophils/metabolism , Platelet Activation/immunology , Platelet Factor 4/isolation & purification , Platelet Factor 4/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Sepsis/blood , Sepsis/metabolism , Thromboplastin/metabolism , Thrombosis/drug therapy
5.
Cell ; 185(5): 916-938.e58, 2022 03 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1654147

ABSTRACT

Treatment of severe COVID-19 is currently limited by clinical heterogeneity and incomplete description of specific immune biomarkers. We present here a comprehensive multi-omic blood atlas for patients with varying COVID-19 severity in an integrated comparison with influenza and sepsis patients versus healthy volunteers. We identify immune signatures and correlates of host response. Hallmarks of disease severity involved cells, their inflammatory mediators and networks, including progenitor cells and specific myeloid and lymphocyte subsets, features of the immune repertoire, acute phase response, metabolism, and coagulation. Persisting immune activation involving AP-1/p38MAPK was a specific feature of COVID-19. The plasma proteome enabled sub-phenotyping into patient clusters, predictive of severity and outcome. Systems-based integrative analyses including tensor and matrix decomposition of all modalities revealed feature groupings linked with severity and specificity compared to influenza and sepsis. Our approach and blood atlas will support future drug development, clinical trial design, and personalized medicine approaches for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/pathology , Proteome/analysis , Adult , Blood Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , Cell Cycle Proteins/genetics , Cell Cycle Proteins/metabolism , Female , Humans , Influenza, Human/blood , Influenza, Human/pathology , Lymphocytes/immunology , Lymphocytes/metabolism , Machine Learning , Male , Middle Aged , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 14/genetics , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 14/metabolism , Monocytes/immunology , Monocytes/metabolism , Principal Component Analysis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sepsis/blood , Sepsis/pathology , Severity of Illness Index , Transcription Factor AP-1/genetics , Transcription Factor AP-1/metabolism
6.
Cell ; 185(5): 881-895.e20, 2022 03 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1649960

ABSTRACT

Post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC) represent an emerging global crisis. However, quantifiable risk factors for PASC and their biological associations are poorly resolved. We executed a deep multi-omic, longitudinal investigation of 309 COVID-19 patients from initial diagnosis to convalescence (2-3 months later), integrated with clinical data and patient-reported symptoms. We resolved four PASC-anticipating risk factors at the time of initial COVID-19 diagnosis: type 2 diabetes, SARS-CoV-2 RNAemia, Epstein-Barr virus viremia, and specific auto-antibodies. In patients with gastrointestinal PASC, SARS-CoV-2-specific and CMV-specific CD8+ T cells exhibited unique dynamics during recovery from COVID-19. Analysis of symptom-associated immunological signatures revealed coordinated immunity polarization into four endotypes, exhibiting divergent acute severity and PASC. We find that immunological associations between PASC factors diminish over time, leading to distinct convalescent immune states. Detectability of most PASC factors at COVID-19 diagnosis emphasizes the importance of early disease measurements for understanding emergent chronic conditions and suggests PASC treatment strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , Convalescence , Adaptive Immunity/genetics , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Autoantibodies/blood , Biomarkers/metabolism , Blood Proteins/metabolism , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Disease Progression , Female , Humans , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Transcriptome , Young Adult
7.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 418, 2021 12 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1565706

ABSTRACT

The systemic processes involved in the manifestation of life-threatening COVID-19 and in disease recovery are still incompletely understood, despite investigations focusing on the dysregulation of immune responses after SARS-CoV-2 infection. To define hallmarks of severe COVID-19 in acute disease (n = 58) and in disease recovery in convalescent patients (n = 28) from Hannover Medical School, we used flow cytometry and proteomics data with unsupervised clustering analyses. In our observational study, we combined analyses of immune cells and cytokine/chemokine networks with endothelial activation and injury. ICU patients displayed an altered immune signature with prolonged lymphopenia but the expansion of granulocytes and plasmablasts along with activated and terminally differentiated T and NK cells and high levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies. The core signature of seven plasma proteins revealed a highly inflammatory microenvironment in addition to endothelial injury in severe COVID-19. Changes within this signature were associated with either disease progression or recovery. In summary, our data suggest that besides a strong inflammatory response, severe COVID-19 is driven by endothelial activation and barrier disruption, whereby recovery depends on the regeneration of the endothelial integrity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Blood Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/diagnosis , Cytokine Release Syndrome/diagnosis , Endothelium, Vascular/virology , Lymphopenia/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Biomarkers/blood , C-Reactive Protein/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , Chemokine CXCL10/blood , Chemokine CXCL9/blood , Cluster Analysis , Convalescence , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/mortality , Cytokine Release Syndrome/virology , Disease Progression , Endothelium, Vascular/immunology , Granulocytes/immunology , Granulocytes/virology , Hematopoietic Cell Growth Factors/blood , Hepatocyte Growth Factor/blood , Humans , Intensive Care Units , Interleukin-12 Subunit p40/blood , Interleukin-6/blood , Interleukin-8/blood , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural/virology , Lectins, C-Type/blood , Lymphopenia/immunology , Lymphopenia/mortality , Lymphopenia/virology , Plasma Cells/immunology , Plasma Cells/virology , Survival Analysis , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/virology
8.
EBioMedicine ; 74: 103723, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1536518

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 has caused millions of deaths globally, yet the cellular mechanisms underlying the various effects of the disease remain poorly understood. Recently, a new analytical platform for comprehensive analysis of plasma protein profiles using proximity extension assays combined with next generation sequencing has been developed, which allows for multiple proteins to be analyzed simultaneously without sacrifice on accuracy or sensitivity. METHODS: We analyzed the plasma protein profiles of COVID-19 patients (n = 50) with mild and moderate symptoms by comparing the protein levels in newly diagnosed patients with the protein levels in the same individuals after 14 days. FINDINGS: The study has identified more than 200 proteins that are significantly elevated during infection and many of these are related to cytokine response and other immune-related functions. In addition, several other proteins are shown to be elevated, including SCARB2, a host cell receptor protein involved in virus entry. A comparison with the plasma protein response in patients with severe symptoms shows a highly similar pattern, but with some interesting differences. INTERPRETATION: The study presented here demonstrates the usefulness of "next generation plasma protein profiling" to identify molecular signatures of importance for disease progression and to allow monitoring of disease during recovery from the infection. The results will facilitate further studies to understand the molecular mechanism of the immune-related response of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. FUNDING: This work was financially supported by Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation.


Subject(s)
Blood Proteins/classification , Blood Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/pathology , Plasma/chemistry , Disease Progression , Gene Expression Profiling , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Humans , Proteome/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index
9.
Science ; 374(6569): eabj1541, 2021 Nov 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526448

ABSTRACT

Characterization of the genetic regulation of proteins is essential for understanding disease etiology and developing therapies. We identified 10,674 genetic associations for 3892 plasma proteins to create a cis-anchored gene-protein-disease map of 1859 connections that highlights strong cross-disease biological convergence. This proteo-genomic map provides a framework to connect etiologically related diseases, to provide biological context for new or emerging disorders, and to integrate different biological domains to establish mechanisms for known gene-disease links. Our results identify proteo-genomic connections within and between diseases and establish the value of cis-protein variants for annotation of likely causal disease genes at loci identified in genome-wide association studies, thereby addressing a major barrier to experimental validation and clinical translation of genetic discoveries.


Subject(s)
Blood Proteins/genetics , Disease/genetics , Genome, Human , Genomics , Proteins/genetics , Proteome , Aging , Alternative Splicing , Blood Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/genetics , Connective Tissue Diseases/genetics , Disease/etiology , Drug Development , Female , Gallstones/genetics , Genetic Association Studies , Genetic Variation , Genome-Wide Association Study , Humans , Internet , Male , Phenotype , Proteins/metabolism , Quantitative Trait Loci , Sex Characteristics
10.
Mol Cell Proteomics ; 20: 100159, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525879

ABSTRACT

Viruses hijack host metabolic pathways for their replicative advantage. In this study, using patient-derived multiomics data and in vitro infection assays, we aimed to understand the role of key metabolic pathways that can regulate severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 reproduction and their association with disease severity. We used multiomics platforms (targeted and untargeted proteomics and untargeted metabolomics) on patient samples and cell-line models along with immune phenotyping of metabolite transporters in patient blood cells to understand viral-induced metabolic modulations. We also modulated key metabolic pathways that were identified using multiomics data to regulate the viral reproduction in vitro. Coronavirus disease 2019 disease severity was characterized by increased plasma glucose and mannose levels. Immune phenotyping identified altered expression patterns of carbohydrate transporter, glucose transporter 1, in CD8+ T cells, intermediate and nonclassical monocytes, and amino acid transporter, xCT, in classical, intermediate, and nonclassical monocytes. In in vitro lung epithelial cell (Calu-3) infection model, we found that glycolysis and glutaminolysis are essential for virus replication, and blocking these metabolic pathways caused significant reduction in virus production. Taken together, we therefore hypothesized that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 utilizes and rewires pathways governing central carbon metabolism leading to the efflux of toxic metabolites and associated with disease severity. Thus, the host metabolic perturbation could be an attractive strategy to limit the viral replication and disease severity.


Subject(s)
Blood Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/etiology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adult , Aged , Amino Acid Transport System y+/blood , Amino Acids/blood , Biomarkers/blood , Blood Proteins/analysis , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Carbohydrates/blood , Case-Control Studies , Glucose Transporter Type 1/blood , Hospitalization , Humans , Immunophenotyping , Mannose/blood , Mannose-Binding Lectin/blood , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index , Virus Replication
11.
J Mol Med (Berl) ; 100(2): 285-301, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1505851

ABSTRACT

The risk of severe COVID-19 increases with age as older patients are at highest risk. Thus, there is an urgent need to identify how severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) interacts with blood components during aging. We investigated the whole blood transcriptome from the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) database to explore differentially expressed genes (DEGs) translated into proteins interacting with viral proteins during aging. From 22 DEGs in aged blood, FASLG, CTSW, CTSE, VCAM1, and BAG3 were associated with immune response, inflammation, cell component and adhesion, and platelet activation/aggregation. Males and females older than 50 years old overexpress FASLG, possibly inducing a hyperinflammatory cascade. The expression of cathepsins (CTSW and CTSE) and the anti-apoptotic co-chaperone molecule BAG3 also increased throughout aging in both genders. By exploring single-cell RNA-sequencing data from peripheral blood of SARS-CoV-2-infected patients, we found FASLG and CTSW expressed in natural killer cells and CD8 + T lymphocytes, whereas BAG3 was expressed mainly in CD4 + T cells, naive T cells, and CD14 + monocytes. In addition, T cell exhaustion was associated with increased expression of CCL4L2 and DUSP4 over blood aging. LAG3, PDCD1, TIGIT, VCAM1, HLA-DRA, and TOX also increased in individuals aged 60-69 years old; conversely, the RGS2 gene decreased with aging. We further identified a distinct gene expression profile associated with type I interferon signaling following blood aging. These results revealed changes in blood molecules potentially related to SARS-CoV-2 infection throughout aging, emphasizing them as therapeutic candidates for aggressive clinical manifestation of COVID-19. KEY MESSAGES: • Prediction of host-viral interactions in the whole blood transcriptome during aging. • Expression levels of FASLG, CTSW, CTSE, VCAM1, and BAG3 increase in aged blood. • Blood interactome reveals targets involved with immune response, inflammation, and blood clots. • SARS-CoV-2-infected patients with high viral load showed FASLG overexpression. • Gene expression profile associated with T cell exhaustion and type I interferon signaling were affected with blood aging.


Subject(s)
Aging/blood , Blood Proteins/analysis , COVID-19/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Transcriptome , Adult , Aged , Aging/genetics , Blood/metabolism , Blood Chemical Analysis , Blood Proteins/genetics , Blood Proteins/metabolism , Blood Vessels/metabolism , Blood Vessels/virology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena/genetics , Cardiovascular System/metabolism , Cardiovascular System/virology , Cohort Studies , Female , Genetic Association Studies , Humans , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult
12.
Microbiol Spectr ; 9(2): e0090821, 2021 10 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1452921

ABSTRACT

Emerging coronaviruses (CoVs) can cause severe diseases in humans and animals, and, as of yet, none of the currently available broad-spectrum drugs or vaccines can effectively control these diseases. Host antiviral proteins play an important role in inhibiting viral proliferation. One of the isoforms of cytoplasmic poly(A)-binding protein (PABP), PABPC4, is an RNA-processing protein, which plays an important role in promoting gene expression by enhancing translation and mRNA stability. However, its function in viruses remains poorly understood. Here, we report that the host protein, PABPC4, could be regulated by transcription factor SP1 and broadly inhibits the replication of CoVs, covering four genera (Alphacoronavirus, Betacoronavirus, Gammacoronavirus, and Deltacoronavirus) of the Coronaviridae family by targeting the nucleocapsid (N) protein through the autophagosomes for degradation. PABPC4 recruited the E3 ubiquitin ligase MARCH8/MARCHF8 to the N protein for ubiquitination. Ubiquitinated N protein was recognized by the cargo receptor NDP52/CALCOCO2, which delivered it to the autolysosomes for degradation, resulting in impaired viral proliferation. In addition to regulating gene expression, these data demonstrate a novel antiviral function of PABPC4, which broadly suppresses CoVs by degrading the N protein via the selective autophagy pathway. This study will shed light on the development of broad anticoronaviral therapies. IMPORTANCE Emerging coronaviruses (CoVs) can cause severe diseases in humans and animals, but none of the currently available drugs or vaccines can effectively control these diseases. During viral infection, the host will activate the interferon (IFN) signaling pathways and host restriction factors in maintaining the innate antiviral responses and suppressing viral replication. This study demonstrated that the host protein, PABPC4, interacts with the nucleocapsid (N) proteins from eight CoVs covering four genera (Alphacoronavirus, Betacoronavirus, Gammacoronavirus, and Deltacoronavirus) of the Coronaviridae family. PABPC4 could be regulated by SP1 and broadly inhibits the replication of CoVs by targeting the nucleocapsid (N) protein through the autophagosomes for degradation. This study significantly increases our understanding of the novel host restriction factor PABPC4 against CoV replication and will help develop novel antiviral strategies.


Subject(s)
Autophagy/physiology , Blood Proteins/metabolism , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Coronavirus/growth & development , Poly(A)-Binding Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication/physiology , Animals , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Infectious bronchitis virus/growth & development , Murine hepatitis virus/growth & development , Nuclear Proteins/metabolism , Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus/growth & development , Proteolysis , Sp1 Transcription Factor/metabolism , Swine , Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases/metabolism , Ubiquitination , Vero Cells
13.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(9): e1009804, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1416909

ABSTRACT

Prior studies have demonstrated that immunologic dysfunction underpins severe illness in COVID-19 patients, but have lacked an in-depth analysis of the immunologic drivers of death in the most critically ill patients. We performed immunophenotyping of viral antigen-specific and unconventional T cell responses, neutralizing antibodies, and serum proteins in critically ill patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection, using influenza infection, SARS-CoV-2-convalescent health care workers, and healthy adults as controls. We identify mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cell activation as an independent and significant predictor of death in COVID-19 (HR = 5.92, 95% CI = 2.49-14.1). MAIT cell activation correlates with several other mortality-associated immunologic measures including broad activation of CD8+ T cells and non-Vδ2 γδT cells, and elevated levels of cytokines and chemokines, including GM-CSF, CXCL10, CCL2, and IL-6. MAIT cell activation is also a predictor of disease severity in influenza (ECMO/death HR = 4.43, 95% CI = 1.08-18.2). Single-cell RNA-sequencing reveals a shift from focused IFNα-driven signals in COVID-19 ICU patients who survive to broad pro-inflammatory responses in fatal COVID-19 -a feature not observed in severe influenza. We conclude that fatal COVID-19 infection is driven by uncoordinated inflammatory responses that drive a hierarchy of T cell activation, elements of which can serve as prognostic indicators and potential targets for immune intervention.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, CD/immunology , Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , Biomarkers/blood , Blood Proteins/metabolism , Cohort Studies , Critical Illness/mortality , Female , Humans , Immunophenotyping , Influenza, Human/immunology , Lectins, C-Type/immunology , Lymphocyte Activation , Male , Middle Aged , Mucosal-Associated Invariant T Cells/immunology , Patient Acuity
14.
J Immunol ; 207(5): 1229-1238, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1344412

ABSTRACT

Infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) or seasonal influenza may lead to respiratory failure requiring intubation and mechanical ventilation. The pathophysiology of this respiratory failure is attributed to local immune dysregulation, but how the immune response to viral infection in the lower airways of the human lung differs between individuals with respiratory failure and those without is not well understood. We used quantitative multiparameter flow cytometry and multiplex cytokine assays to evaluate matched blood and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) samples from control human subjects, subjects with symptomatic seasonal influenza who did not have respiratory failure, and subjects with severe seasonal influenza or SARS-CoV-2 infection with respiratory failure. We find that severe cases are associated with an influx of nonclassical monocytes, activated T cells, and plasmablast B cells into the lower airways. Cytokine concentrations were not elevated in the lower airways of moderate influenza patients compared with controls; however, 28 of 35 measured cytokines were significantly elevated in severe influenza, severe SARS-CoV-2 infection, or both. We noted the largest elevations in IL-6, IP-10, MCP-1, and IL-8. IL-1 family cytokines and RANTES were higher in severe influenza infection than severe SARS-CoV-2 infection. Interestingly, only the concentration of IP-10-correlated between blood and BAL during severe infection. Our results demonstrate inflammatory immune dysregulation in the lower airways during severe viral pneumonia that is distinct from lower airway responses seen in human patients with symptomatic, but not severe, illness and suggest that measurement of blood IP-10 concentration may predict this unique dysregulation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Influenza A virus/physiology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Respiratory System/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adult , Aged , Blood Proteins/metabolism , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , Chemokine CXCL10/metabolism , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Inflammation Mediators/metabolism , Influenza, Human/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Respiratory Insufficiency , Severity of Illness Index
15.
PLoS Comput Biol ; 17(3): e1008805, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1181166

ABSTRACT

Thrombosis is a recognized complication of Coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) and is often associated with poor prognosis. There is a well-recognized link between coagulation and inflammation, however, the extent of thrombotic events associated with COVID-19 warrants further investigation. Poly(A) Binding Protein Cytoplasmic 4 (PABPC4), Serine/Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitor Clade G Member 1 (SERPING1) and Vitamin K epOxide Reductase Complex subunit 1 (VKORC1), which are all proteins linked to coagulation, have been shown to interact with SARS proteins. We computationally examined the interaction of these with SARS-CoV-2 proteins and, in the case of VKORC1, we describe its binding to ORF7a in detail. We examined the occurrence of variants of each of these proteins across populations and interrogated their potential contribution to COVID-19 severity. Potential mechanisms, by which some of these variants may contribute to disease, are proposed. Some of these variants are prevalent in minority groups that are disproportionally affected by severe COVID-19. Therefore, we are proposing that further investigation around these variants may lead to better understanding of disease pathogenesis in minority groups and more informed therapeutic approaches.


Subject(s)
Blood Coagulation , Blood Proteins/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , Complement C1 Inhibitor Protein/genetics , Poly(A)-Binding Proteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Vitamin K Epoxide Reductases/genetics , Anticoagulants/administration & dosage , Blood Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/virology , Complement C1 Inhibitor Protein/metabolism , Genome-Wide Association Study , Humans , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Poly(A)-Binding Proteins/metabolism , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Severity of Illness Index , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Vitamin K Epoxide Reductases/metabolism , Warfarin/administration & dosage
16.
J Microbiol Immunol Infect ; 54(5): 845-857, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1157511

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Pathogenic coronaviruses include Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), and SARS-CoV-2. These viruses have induced outbreaks worldwide, and there are currently no effective medications against them. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop potential drugs against coronaviruses. METHODS: High-throughput technology is widely used to explore differences in messenger (m)RNA and micro (mi)RNA expression profiles, especially to investigate protein-protein interactions and search for new therapeutic compounds. We integrated miRNA and mRNA expression profiles in MERS-CoV-infected cells and compared them to mock-infected controls from public databases. RESULTS: Through the bioinformatics analysis, there were 251 upregulated genes and eight highly differentiated miRNAs that overlapped in the two datasets. External validation verified that these genes had high expression in MERS-CoV-infected cells, including RC3H1, NF-κB, CD69, TNFAIP3, LEAP-2, DUSP10, CREB5, CXCL2, etc. We revealed that immune, olfactory or sensory system-related, and signal-transduction networks were discovered from upregulated mRNAs in MERS-CoV-infected cells. In total, 115 genes were predicted to be related to miRNAs, with the intersection of upregulated mRNAs and miRNA-targeting prediction genes such as TCF4, NR3C1, and POU2F2. Through the Connectivity Map (CMap) platform, we suggested potential compounds to use against MERS-CoV infection, including diethylcarbamazine, harpagoside, bumetanide, enalapril, and valproic acid. CONCLUSIONS: The present study illustrates the crucial roles of miRNA-mRNA interacting networks in MERS-CoV-infected cells. The genes we identified are potential targets for treating MERS-CoV infection; however, these could possibly be extended to other coronavirus infections.


Subject(s)
Adenocarcinoma of Lung/virology , Coronavirus Infections , Epithelial Cells/virology , Lung Neoplasms/virology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/genetics , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/metabolism , Blood Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19 , Chemokine CXCL2/genetics , Chemokine CXCL2/metabolism , Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein A/genetics , Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein A/metabolism , Disease Outbreaks , Dual-Specificity Phosphatases/genetics , Dual-Specificity Phosphatases/metabolism , Humans , MicroRNAs/genetics , MicroRNAs/metabolism , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Phosphatases/genetics , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Phosphatases/metabolism , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2 , Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha-Induced Protein 3/metabolism
17.
Hum Genet ; 140(6): 969-979, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1092066

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the current health crisis. Despite intensive research efforts, the genes and pathways that contribute to COVID-19 remain poorly understood. We, therefore, used an integrative genomics (IG) approach to identify candidate genes responsible for COVID-19 and its severity. We used Bayesian colocalization (COLOC) and summary-based Mendelian randomization to combine gene expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) from the Lung eQTL (n = 1,038) and eQTLGen (n = 31,784) studies with published COVID-19 genome-wide association study (GWAS) data from the COVID-19 Host Genetics Initiative. Additionally, we used COLOC to integrate plasma protein quantitative trait loci (pQTL) from the INTERVAL study (n = 3,301) with COVID-19 loci. Finally, we determined any causal associations between plasma proteins and COVID-19 using multi-variable two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR). The expression of 18 genes in lung and/or blood co-localized with COVID-19 loci. Of these, 12 genes were in suggestive loci (PGWAS < 5 × 10-05). LZTFL1, SLC6A20, ABO, IL10RB and IFNAR2 and OAS1 had been previously associated with a heightened risk of COVID-19 (PGWAS < 5 × 10-08). We identified a causal association between OAS1 and COVID-19 GWAS. Plasma ABO protein, which is associated with blood type in humans, demonstrated a significant causal relationship with COVID-19 in the MR analysis; increased plasma levels were associated with an increased risk of COVID-19 and, in particular, severe COVID-19. In summary, our study identified genes associated with COVID-19 that may be prioritized for future investigations. Importantly, this is the first study to demonstrate a causal association between plasma ABO protein and COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Blood Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/epidemiology , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Lung/metabolism , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , Quantitative Trait Loci , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , ABO Blood-Group System/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , Genome-Wide Association Study , Humans , Mendelian Randomization Analysis , Risk Factors
18.
Immunity ; 53(5): 1108-1122.e5, 2020 11 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-880509

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is a global public health crisis. However, little is known about the pathogenesis and biomarkers of COVID-19. Here, we profiled host responses to COVID-19 by performing plasma proteomics of a cohort of COVID-19 patients, including non-survivors and survivors recovered from mild or severe symptoms, and uncovered numerous COVID-19-associated alterations of plasma proteins. We developed a machine-learning-based pipeline to identify 11 proteins as biomarkers and a set of biomarker combinations, which were validated by an independent cohort and accurately distinguished and predicted COVID-19 outcomes. Some of the biomarkers were further validated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using a larger cohort. These markedly altered proteins, including the biomarkers, mediate pathophysiological pathways, such as immune or inflammatory responses, platelet degranulation and coagulation, and metabolism, that likely contribute to the pathogenesis. Our findings provide valuable knowledge about COVID-19 biomarkers and shed light on the pathogenesis and potential therapeutic targets of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/blood , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Plasma/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus , Biomarkers/blood , Blood Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/classification , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Female , Humans , Machine Learning , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/classification , Pneumonia, Viral/classification , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Proteomics , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Cell Syst ; 11(1): 11-24.e4, 2020 07 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-459007

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global challenge, and point-of-care diagnostic classifiers are urgently required. Here, we present a platform for ultra-high-throughput serum and plasma proteomics that builds on ISO13485 standardization to facilitate simple implementation in regulated clinical laboratories. Our low-cost workflow handles up to 180 samples per day, enables high precision quantification, and reduces batch effects for large-scale and longitudinal studies. We use our platform on samples collected from a cohort of early hospitalized cases of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and identify 27 potential biomarkers that are differentially expressed depending on the WHO severity grade of COVID-19. They include complement factors, the coagulation system, inflammation modulators, and pro-inflammatory factors upstream and downstream of interleukin 6. All protocols and software for implementing our approach are freely available. In total, this work supports the development of routine proteomic assays to aid clinical decision making and generate hypotheses about potential COVID-19 therapeutic targets.


Subject(s)
Blood Proteins/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , Proteomics/methods , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Biomarkers/blood , Blood Proteins/analysis , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/classification , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/classification , Pneumonia, Viral/classification , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
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