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1.
J Virol ; 96(17): e0096722, 2022 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1986331

ABSTRACT

Host factors play critical roles in SARS-CoV-2 infection-associated pathology and the severity of COVID-19. In this study, we systematically analyzed the roles of SARS-CoV-2-induced host factors, doublecortin-like kinase 1 (DCLK1), and S100A9 in viral pathogenesis. In autopsied subjects with COVID-19 and pre-existing chronic liver disease, we observed high levels of DCLK1 and S100A9 expression and immunosuppressive (DCLK1+S100A9+CD206+) M2-like macrophages and N2-like neutrophils in lungs and livers. DCLK1 and S100A9 expression were rarely observed in normal controls, COVID-19-negative subjects with chronic lung disease, or COVID-19 subjects without chronic liver disease. In hospitalized patients with COVID-19, we detected 2 to 3-fold increased levels of circulating DCLK1+S100A9+ mononuclear cells that correlated with disease severity. We validated the SARS-CoV-2-dependent generation of these double-positive immune cells in coculture. SARS-CoV-2-induced DCLK1 expression correlated with the activation of ß-catenin, a known regulator of the DCLK1 promoter. Gain and loss of function studies showed that DCLK1 kinase amplified live virus production and promoted cytokine, chemokine, and growth factor secretion by peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Inhibition of DCLK1 kinase blocked pro-inflammatory caspase-1/interleukin-1ß signaling in infected cells. Treatment of SARS-CoV-2-infected cells with inhibitors of DCLK1 kinase and S100A9 normalized cytokine/chemokine profiles and attenuated DCLK1 expression and ß-catenin activation. In conclusion, we report previously unidentified roles of DCLK1 in augmenting SARS-CoV-2 viremia, inflammatory cytokine expression, and dysregulation of immune cells involved in innate immunity. DCLK1 could be a potential therapeutic target for COVID-19, especially in patients with underlying comorbid diseases associated with DCLK1 expression. IMPORTANCE High mortality in COVID-19 is associated with underlying comorbidities such as chronic liver diseases. Successful treatment of severe/critical COVID-19 remains challenging. Herein, we report a targetable host factor, DCLK1, that amplifies SARS-CoV-2 production, cytokine secretion, and inflammatory pathways via activation of ß-catenin(p65)/DCLK1/S100A9/NF-κB signaling. Furthermore, we observed in the lung, liver, and blood an increased prevalence of immune cells coexpressing DCLK1 and S100A9, a myeloid-derived proinflammatory protein. These cells were associated with increased disease severity in COVID-19 patients. Finally, we used a novel small-molecule inhibitor of DCLK1 kinase (DCLK1-IN-1) and S100A9 inhibitor (tasquinimod) to decrease virus production in vitro and normalize hyperinflammatory responses known to contribute to disease severity in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Doublecortin-Like Kinases , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Calgranulin B/metabolism , Chemokines/metabolism , Cytokines/metabolism , Doublecortin-Like Kinases/antagonists & inhibitors , Doublecortin-Like Kinases/metabolism , Humans , Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/genetics , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/metabolism , Quinolones/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2 , beta Catenin/metabolism
2.
Exp Biol Med (Maywood) ; 247(14): 1205-1213, 2022 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1808181

ABSTRACT

Severe coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) infection often leads to systemic inflammation accompanied by cardiovascular complications including venous thromboembolism (VTE). However, it is largely undefined if inflammatory markers such as lipocalin-2 (LNC2), calprotectin (S100A8/A9), and cystatin C (CST3), previously linked with VTE, play roles in cardiovascular complications and advancement of COVID-19 severity. To investigate the same, hospitalized moderate and severe (presented pneumonia and required intensive care) COVID-19 patients were recruited. The levels of plasma LNC2, S100A8/A9, CST3, myoglobin, and cardiac Troponin I (cTnI) were assessed through enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The investigation revealed a significantly upregulated level of plasma LNC2 at the moderate stage of SARS-CoV-2 infection. In contrast, the levels of S100A8/A9 and CST3 in moderate patients were comparable to healthy controls; however, a profound induction was observed only in severe COVID-19 patients. The tissue injury marker myoglobin was unchanged in moderate patients; however, a significantly elevated level was observed in the critically ill COVID-19 patients. In contrast, cTnI level was unchanged both in moderate and severe patients. Analysis revealed a positive correlation between the levels of S100A8/A9 and CST3 with myoglobin in COVID-19. In silico analysis predicted interactions of S100A8/A9 with toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4), MyD88 LY96, and LCN2 with several other inflammatory mediators including MMP2, MMP9, TIMP1, and interleukins (IL-6, IL-17A, and IL-10). In summary, early induction of LCN2 likely plays a role in advancing the COVID-19 severity. A positive correlation of S100A8/A9 and CST3 with myoglobin suggests that these proteins may serve as predictive biomarkers for thromboembolism and tissue injury in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Venous Thromboembolism , Biomarkers , COVID-19/complications , Calgranulin A/metabolism , Calgranulin B/metabolism , Cystatin C/metabolism , Humans , Lipocalin-2 , Myoglobin/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Aging Cell ; 21(3): e13545, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1741316

ABSTRACT

Frailty affects the physical, cognitive, and social domains exposing older adults to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death. The mechanisms linking frailty and cardiovascular outcomes are mostly unknown. Here, we studied the association of abundance (flow cytometry) and gene expression profile (RNAseq) of stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) and molecular markers of inflammaging (ELISA) with the cardiorespiratory phenotype and prospective adverse events of individuals classified according to levels of frailty. Two cohorts of older adults were enrolled in the study. In a cohort of pre-frail 35 individuals (average age: 75 years), a physical frailty score above the median identified subjects with initial alterations in cardiorespiratory function. RNA sequencing revealed S100A8/A9 upregulation in HSPCs from the bone marrow (>10-fold) and peripheral blood (>200-fold) of individuals with greater physical frailty. Moreover higher frailty was associated with increased alarmins S100A8/A9 and inflammatory cytokines in peripheral blood. We then studied a cohort of 104 more frail individuals (average age: 81 years) with multidomain health deficits. Reduced levels of circulating HSPCs and increased S100A8/A9 concentrations were independently associated with the frailty index. Remarkably, low HSPCs and high S100A8/A9 simultaneously predicted major adverse cardiovascular events at 1-year follow-up after adjustment for age and frailty index. In conclusion, inflammaging characterized by alarmin and pro-inflammatory cytokines in pre-frail individuals is mirrored by the pauperization of HSPCs in frail older people with comorbidities. S100A8/A9 is upregulated within HSPCs, identifying a phenotype that associates with poor cardiovascular outcomes.


Subject(s)
Alarmins , Frailty , Aged , Calgranulin A/genetics , Calgranulin A/metabolism , Calgranulin B/genetics , Calgranulin B/metabolism , Cytokines/metabolism , Frailty/genetics , Hematopoietic Stem Cells/metabolism , Humans , Prospective Studies
4.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(23)2021 Nov 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1561718

ABSTRACT

S100A9, a pro-inflammatory alarmin, is up-regulated in inflamed tissues. However, the role of S100A9 in regulating neutrophil activation, inflammation and lung damage in sepsis is not known. Herein, we hypothesized that blocking S100A9 function may attenuate neutrophil recruitment in septic lung injury. Male C57BL/6 mice were pretreated with the S100A9 inhibitor ABR-238901 (10 mg/kg), prior to cercal ligation and puncture (CLP). Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and lung tissue were harvested for analysis of neutrophil infiltration as well as edema and CXC chemokine production. Blood was collected for analysis of membrane-activated complex-1 (Mac-1) expression on neutrophils as well as CXC chemokines and IL-6 in plasma. Induction of CLP markedly increased plasma levels of S100A9. ABR-238901 decreased CLP-induced neutrophil infiltration and edema formation in the lung. In addition, inhibition of S100A9 decreased the CLP-induced up-regulation of Mac-1 on neutrophils. Administration of ABR-238901 also inhibited the CLP-induced increase of CXCL-1, CXCL-2 and IL-6 in plasma and lungs. Our results suggest that S100A9 promotes neutrophil activation and pulmonary accumulation in sepsis. Targeting S100A9 function decreased formation of CXC chemokines in circulation and lungs and attenuated sepsis-induced lung damage. These novel findings suggest that S100A9 plays an important pro-inflammatory role in sepsis and could be a useful target to protect against the excessive inflammation and lung damage associated with the disease.


Subject(s)
Acute Lung Injury/prevention & control , Calgranulin B/metabolism , Neutrophil Infiltration/drug effects , Sepsis/complications , Sulfonamides/therapeutic use , Acute Lung Injury/etiology , Acute Lung Injury/metabolism , Animals , Chemokines, CXC/metabolism , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Lung/metabolism , Male , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Sepsis/immunology , Sepsis/metabolism , Sulfonamides/pharmacology
5.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 16212, 2021 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1351976

ABSTRACT

During 2020, understanding the molecular mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 infection (the cause of COVID-19) became a scientific priority due to the devastating effects of the COVID-19. Many researchers have studied the effect of this viral infection on lung epithelial transcriptomes and deposited data in public repositories. Comprehensive analysis of such data could pave the way for development of efficient vaccines and effective drugs. In the current study, we obtained high-throughput gene expression data associated with human lung epithelial cells infected with respiratory viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, SARS, H1N1, avian influenza, rhinovirus and Dhori, then performed comparative transcriptome analysis to identify SARS-CoV-2 exclusive genes. The analysis yielded seven SARS-CoV-2 specific genes including CSF2 [GM-CSF] (colony-stimulating factor 2) and calcium-binding proteins (such as S100A8 and S100A9), which are known to be involved in respiratory diseases. The analyses showed that genes involved in inflammation are commonly altered by infection of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses. Furthermore, results of protein-protein interaction analyses were consistent with a functional role of CSF2 and S100A9 in COVID-19 disease. In conclusion, our analysis revealed cellular genes associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection of the human lung epithelium; these are potential therapeutic targets.


Subject(s)
Alveolar Epithelial Cells/metabolism , COVID-19/genetics , Transcriptome , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/virology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Calgranulin A/genetics , Calgranulin A/metabolism , Calgranulin B/genetics , Calgranulin B/metabolism , Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor/genetics , Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor/metabolism , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
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