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1.
Sci Rep ; 13(1): 8893, 2023 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20245029

ABSTRACT

It has been revealed that SARS-CoV-2 can be efficiently isolated from clinical specimens such as nasal/nasopharyngeal swabs or saliva in cultured cells. In this study, we examined the efficiency of viral isolation including SARS-CoV-2 mutant strains between nasal/nasopharyngeal swab or saliva specimens. Furthermore, we also examined the comparison of viral isolation rates by sample species using simulated specimens for COVID-19. As a result, it was found that the isolation efficiency of SARS-CoV-2 in the saliva specimens was significantly lower than that in the nasal/nasopharyngeal swab specimens. In order to determine which component of saliva is responsible for the lower isolation rate of saliva specimens, we tested the abilities of lactoferrin, amylase, cathelicidin, and mucin, which are considered to be abundant in saliva, to inhibit the infection of SARS-CoV-2 pseudotyped viruses (SARS-CoV-2pv). Lactoferrin and amylase were found to inhibit SARS-CoV-2pv infection. In conclusion, even if the same number of viral genome copies was detected by the real-time RT-PCR test, infection of SARS-CoV-2 present in saliva is thought to be inhibited by inhibitory factors such as lactoferrin and amylase, compared to nasal/nasopharyngeal swab specimens.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Saliva , Lactoferrin , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Nasopharynx , Cell Culture Techniques , Specimen Handling
2.
Microbiol Spectr ; 11(3): e0327322, 2023 Jun 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2326012

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in 2019, and the resulting pandemic has already caused the death of over 6 million people. There are currently few antivirals approved for treatment of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and more options would be beneficial, not only now but also to increase our preparedness for future coronavirus outbreaks. Honokiol is a small molecule from magnolia trees for which several biological effects have been reported, including anticancer and anti-inflammatory activities. Honokiol has also been shown to inhibit several viruses in cell culture. In this study, we determined that honokiol protected Vero E6 cells from SARS-CoV-2-mediated cytopathic effect, with a 50% effective concentration of 7.8 µM. In viral load reduction assays, honokiol decreased viral RNA copies as well as viral infectious progeny titers. The compound also inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication in the more relevant human A549 cells expressing angiotensin converting enzyme 2 and transmembrane protease serine 2. Time-of-addition and other assays showed that honokiol inhibited virus replication at a post-entry step of the replication cycle. Honokiol was also effective against more recent variants of SARS-CoV-2, including Omicron, and it inhibited other human coronaviruses as well. Our study suggests that honokiol is an interesting molecule to be evaluated further in animal studies and, when successful, maybe even in clinical trials to investigate its effect on virus replication and pathogenic (inflammatory) host responses. IMPORTANCE Honokiol is a compound that shows both anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects, and therefore its effect on SARS-CoV-2 infection was assessed. This small molecule inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication in various cell-based infection systems, with up to an ~1,000-fold reduction in virus titer. In contrast to earlier reports, our study clearly showed that honokiol acts on a postentry step of the replication cycle. Honokiol also inhibited different recent SARS-CoV-2 variants and other human coronaviruses (Middle East respiratory syndrome CoV and SARS-CoV), demonstrating its broad spectrum of antiviral activity. The anticoronavirus effect, combined with its anti-inflammatory properties, make honokiol an interesting compound to be further explored in animal coronavirus infection models.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Humans , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Cell Culture Techniques
3.
Stem Cell Res Ther ; 14(1): 114, 2023 04 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2290740

ABSTRACT

Millions of people have been affected ever since the emergence of the corona virus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, leading to an urgent need for antiviral drug and vaccine development. Current experimentation on traditional two-dimensional culture (2D) fails to accurately mimic the in vivo microenvironment for the disease, while in vivo animal model testing does not faithfully replicate human COVID-19 infection. Human-based three-dimensional (3D) cell culture models such as spheroids, organoids, and organ-on-a-chip present a promising solution to these challenges. In this report, we review the recent 3D in vitro lung models used in COVID-19 infection and drug screening studies and highlight the most common types of natural and synthetic polymers used to generate 3D lung models.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Polymers , Animals , Humans , Cell Culture Techniques/methods , Organoids , Lung
4.
Viruses ; 15(4)2023 04 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2295003

ABSTRACT

The Bunyavirales order is a large group of RNA viruses that includes important pathogens for humans, animals and plants. With high-throughput screening of clinically tested compounds we have looked for potential inhibitors of the endonuclease domain of a bunyavirus RNA polymerase. From a list of fifteen top candidates, five compounds were selected and their antiviral properties studied with Bunyamwera virus (BUNV), a prototypic bunyavirus widely used for studies about the biology of this group of viruses and to test antivirals. Four compounds (silibinin A, myricetin, L-phenylalanine and p-aminohippuric acid) showed no antiviral activity in BUNV-infected Vero cells. On the contrary, acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) efficiently inhibited BUNV infection with a half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 2.02 mM. In cell culture supernatants, ASA reduced viral titer up to three logarithmic units. A significant dose-dependent reduction of the expression levels of Gc and N viral proteins was also measured. Immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy showed that ASA protects the Golgi complex from the characteristic BUNV-induced fragmentation in Vero cells. Electron microscopy showed that ASA inhibits the assembly of Golgi-associated BUNV spherules that are the replication organelles of bunyaviruses. As a consequence, the assembly of new viral particles is also significantly reduced. Considering its availability and low cost, the potential usability of ASA to treat bunyavirus infections deserves further investigation.


Subject(s)
Bunyamwera virus , Orthobunyavirus , Humans , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Bunyamwera virus/genetics , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Vero Cells , Aspirin/pharmacology , Cell Culture Techniques
5.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(21)2022 Oct 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2269364

ABSTRACT

The central nervous system (CNS) controls and regulates the functional activities of the organ systems and maintains the unity between the body and the external environment. The advent of co-culture systems has made it possible to elucidate the interactions between neural cells in vitro and to reproduce complex neural circuits. Here, we classified the co-culture system as a two-dimensional (2D) co-culture system, a cell-based three-dimensional (3D) co-culture system, a tissue slice-based 3D co-culture system, an organoid-based 3D co-culture system, and a microfluidic platform-based 3D co-culture system. We provide an overview of these different co-culture models and their applications in the study of neural cell interaction. The application of co-culture systems in virus-infected CNS disease models is also discussed here. Finally, the direction of the co-culture system in future research is prospected.


Subject(s)
Cell Culture Techniques , Organoids , Coculture Techniques , Cell Culture Techniques/methods , Neurons , Cell Communication
6.
J Histotechnol ; 46(1): 1-4, 2023 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2288737
7.
Environ Int ; 172: 107801, 2023 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2286011

ABSTRACT

Atmospheric pollutants, including particulate matters, nanoparticles, bioaerosols, and some chemicals, have posed serious threats to the environment and the human's health. The lungs are the responsible organs for providing the interface betweenthecirculatory system and the external environment, where pollutant particles can deposit or penetrate into bloodstream circulation. Conventional studies to decipher the mechanismunderlying air pollution and human health are quite limited, due to the lack of reliable models that can reproduce in vivo features of lung tissues after pollutants exposure. In the past decade, advanced near-to-native lung chips, combining cell biology with bioengineered technology, present a new strategy for atmospheric pollutants assessment and narrow the gap between 2D cell culture and in vivo animal models. In this review, the key features of artificial lung chips and the cutting-edge technologies of the lung chip manufacture are introduced. The recent progresses of lung chip technologies for atmospheric pollutants exposure assessment are summarized and highlighted. We further discuss the current challenges and the future opportunities of the development of advanced lung chips and their potential utilities in atmospheric pollutants associated toxicity testing and drug screening.


Subject(s)
Environmental Pollutants , Microfluidics , Animals , Humans , Lung , Cell Culture Techniques , Particulate Matter/toxicity
8.
Viruses ; 15(3)2023 03 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2281503

ABSTRACT

The spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), causing the COVID-19 outbreak, posed a primary concern of public health worldwide. The most common changes in SARS-CoV-2 are single nucleotide substitutions, also reported insertions and deletions. This work investigates the presence of SARS-CoV-2 ORF7a deletions identified in COVID-19-positive individuals. Sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 complete genomes showed three different ORF7a size deletions (190-nt, 339-nt and 365-nt). Deletions were confirmed through Sanger sequencing. The ORF7a∆190 was detected in a group of five relatives with mild symptoms of COVID-19, and the ORF7a∆339 and ORF7a∆365 in a couple of co-workers. These deletions did not affect subgenomic RNAs (sgRNA) production downstream of ORF7a. Still, fragments associated with sgRNA of genes upstream of ORF7a showed a decrease in size when corresponding to samples with deletions. In silico analysis suggests that the deletions impair protein proper function; however, isolated viruses with partial deletion of ORF7a can replicate in culture cells similarly to wild-type viruses at 24 hpi, but with less infectious particles after 48 hpi. These findings on deleted ORF7a accessory protein gene, contribute to understanding SARS-CoV-2 phenotypes such as replication, immune evasion and evolutionary fitness as well insights into the role of SARS-CoV-2_ORF7a in the mechanism of virus-host interactions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Proteins , Humans , Cell Culture Techniques , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sequence Analysis , Sequence Deletion , Viral Proteins/genetics , Subgenomic RNA/genetics
9.
Int J Mol Sci ; 24(5)2023 Mar 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2279022

ABSTRACT

Culturing respiratory epithelial cells at an air-liquid interface (ALI) represents an established method for studies on infection or toxicology by the generation of an in vivo-like respiratory tract epithelial cellular layer. Although primary respiratory cells from a variety of animals have been cultured, an in-depth characterization of canine tracheal ALI cultures is lacking despite the fact that canines are a highly relevant animal species susceptible to various respiratory agents, including zoonotic pathogens such as severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). In this study, canine primary tracheal epithelial cells were cultured under ALI conditions for four weeks, and their development was characterized during the entire culture period. Light and electron microscopy were performed to evaluate cell morphology in correlation with the immunohistological expression profile. The formation of tight junctions was confirmed using transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) measurements and immunofluorescence staining for the junctional protein ZO-1. After 21 days of culture at the ALI, a columnar epithelium containing basal, ciliated and goblet cells was seen, resembling native canine tracheal samples. However, cilia formation, goblet cell distribution and epithelial thickness differed significantly from the native tissue. Despite this limitation, tracheal ALI cultures could be used to investigate the pathomorphological interactions of canine respiratory diseases and zoonotic agents.


Subject(s)
Cell Culture Techniques , Epithelial Cells , Animals , Dogs , Cells, Cultured , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Microscopy, Electron
10.
J Trace Elem Med Biol ; 77: 127152, 2023 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2261725

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Zinc, one of the most important essential trace elements in the human body, regulates a wide range of cellular functions of immune cells, such as proliferation, differentiation and survival. Zinc deficiency affects both the innate and adaptive immune system. Zinc supplementation was discussed as possible therapy for infectious diseases and T cell-mediated autoimmune diseases. However, the influence of commercial zinc preparations on proliferation and cytokine production of resting and antigen-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) has not yet been completely investigated. METHODS: Here, we examined whether zinc aspartate (Unizink®), an approved drug to treat zinc deficiency in patients, induces proliferation, cytokine production, and induction of apoptosis/caspase 3/7 activity of resting PBMC under high-density cell culture condition. In addition, we performed antigen-specific proliferation experiments, where PBMCs of healthy donors vaccinated against Influenza A (H1N1) and/or SARS-CoV-2 were stimulated with Influenza A (H1N1) peptides or SARS-CoV-2 peptides as well as the Mixed Lymphocyte Culture (MLC) in the presence of increasing concentrations of zinc aspartate. RESULTS: We observed a dose-dependent enhancement of proliferation and induction of cytokine production (IFN-γ, IL-5, GM-CSF and CXCL10) of resting PBMC in presence of zinc aspartate. The number of cells with active caspase 3/7 and, consecutively, the amount of cells undergoing apoptosis steadily decreased in presence of zinc aspartate. Moreover, zinc aspartate was capable of stimulating antigen-specific PBMC proliferation using MLC or influenza A (H1N1) and SARS-CoV-2 peptides in both a dose-dependent and a donor-specific manner. In the absence of zinc aspartate, we clearly could discriminate two groups of responders: low and high responders to antigenic stimulation. The addition of increasing concentration of zinc aspartate significantly stimulated the proliferation of PBMC from low responders, but not from high responders. CONCLUSION: Taken together, our results suggest that zinc aspartate induces the proliferation of resting and antigen-stimulated PBMCs under high-density cell culture conditions. Thus, zinc might represent a supportive treatment in patients suffering from infectious diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Influenza, Human , Humans , Leukocytes, Mononuclear , Caspase 3 , SARS-CoV-2 , Cell Culture Techniques , Cell Proliferation , Zinc/pharmacology , Cytokines
11.
Int J Mol Sci ; 24(4)2023 Feb 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2251862

ABSTRACT

Xeno-free three-dimensional cultures are gaining attention for mesenchymal stem cell (MSCs) expansion in clinical applications. We investigated the potential of xeno-free serum alternatives, human serum and human platelet lysate, to replace the current conventional use of foetal bovine serum for subsequent MSCs microcarrier cultures. In this study, Wharton's Jelly MSCs were cultured in nine different media combinations to identify the best xeno-free culture media for MSCs culture. Cell proliferation and viability were identified, and the cultured MSCs were characterised in accordance with the minimal criteria for defining multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells by the International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT). The selected culture media was then used in the microcarrier culture of MSCs to determine the potential of a three-dimensional culture system in the expansion of MSCs for future clinical applications, and to identify the immunomodulatory potential of cultured MSCs. Low Glucose DMEM (LG) + Human Platelet (HPL) lysate media appeared to be good candidates for replacing conventional MSCs culture media in our monolayer culture system. MSCs cultured in LG-HPL achieved high cell yield, with characteristics that remained as described by ISCT, although the overall mitochondrial activity of the cells was lower than the control and the subsequent effects remained unknown. MSC microcarrier culture, on the other hand, showed comparable cell characteristics with monolayer culture, yet had stagnated cell proliferation, which is potentially due to the inactivation of FAK. Nonetheless, both the MSCs monolayer culture and the microcarrier culture showed high suppressive activity on TNF-α, and only the MSC microcarrier culture has a better suppression of IL-1 secretion. In conclusion, LG-HPL was identified as a good xeno-free media for WJMSCs culture, and although further mechanistic research is needed, the results show that the xeno-free three-dimensional culture maintained MSC characteristics and improved immunomodulatory activities, suggesting the potential of translating the monolayer culture into this culture system in MSC expansion for future clinical application.


Subject(s)
Cell Culture Techniques, Three Dimensional , Mesenchymal Stem Cells , Wharton Jelly , Humans , Cell Culture Techniques/methods , Cell Differentiation , Cell Proliferation , Cells, Cultured , Culture Media , Wharton Jelly/cytology , Wharton Jelly/metabolism , Cell Culture Techniques, Three Dimensional/methods
12.
Biosens Bioelectron ; 227: 115169, 2023 May 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2241271

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing global public health threat. COVID-19 is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, and binding of the SARS-CoV-2 spike to its receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), on host cells is critical for viral infection. Here, we developed a luminescent biosensor that readily detects interactions of the spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) and ACE2 in cell culture medium ('SpACE-CCM'), which was based on bimolecular complementation of the split nanoluciferase-fused spike RBD and ectodomain of ACE2 and further engineered to be efficiently secreted from cells by adding a heterologous secretory signal peptide (SSP). Screening of various SSPs identified 'interferon-α+alanine-aspartate' as the SSP that induced the highest activity. The SpACE-CCM biosensor was validated by observing a marked reduction of the activity caused by interaction-defective mutations or in the presence of neutralizing antibodies, recombinant decoy proteins, or peptides. Importantly, the SpACE-CCM biosensor responded well in assay-validating conditions compared with conventional cell lysate-based NanoLuc Binary Technology, indicating its advantage. We further demonstrated the biosensor's versatility by quantitatively detecting neutralizing activity in blood samples from COVID-19 patients and vaccinated individuals, discovering a small molecule interfering with the spike RBD-ACE2 interaction through high-throughput screening, and assessing the cross-reactivity of neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 variants. Because the SpACE-CCM is a facile and rapid one-step reaction biosensor that aptly recapitulates the native spike-ACE2 interaction, it would be advantageous in many experimental and clinical applications associated with this interaction.


Subject(s)
Biosensing Techniques , COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Pandemics , Protein Binding , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Cell Culture Techniques , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
13.
Eur J Pharm Biopharm ; 184: 62-82, 2023 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2235648

ABSTRACT

The intranasal route has been receiving greater attention from the scientific community not only for systemic drug delivery but also for the treatment of pulmonary and neurological diseases. Along with it, drug transport and permeability studies across the nasal mucosa have exponentially increased. Nevertheless, the translation of data from in vitro cell lines to in vivo studies is not always reliable, due to the difficulty in generating an in vitro model that resembles respiratory human physiology. Among all currently available methodologies, the air-liquid interface (ALI) method is advantageous to promote cell differentiation and optimize the morphological and histological characteristics of airway epithelium cells. Cells grown under ALI conditions, in alternative to submerged conditions, appear to provide relevant input for inhalation and pulmonary toxicology and complement in vivo experiments. Different methodologies and a variety of materials have been used to induce ALI conditions in primary cells and numerous cell lines. Until this day, with only exploratory results, no consensus has been reached regarding the validation of the ALI method, hampering data comparison. The present review describes the most adequate cell models of airway epithelium and how these models are differently affected by ALI conditions. It includes the evaluation of cellular features before and after ALI, and the application of the method in primary cell cultures, commercial 3D primary cells, cell lines and stem-cell derived models. A variety of these models have been recently applied for pharmacological studies against severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus(-2) SARS-CoV(-2), namely primary cultures with alveolar type II epithelium cells and organotypic 3D models. The herein compiled data suggest that ALI conditions must be optimized bearing in mind the type of cells (nasal, bronchial, alveolar), their origin and the objective of the study.


Subject(s)
Cell Culture Techniques , Respiratory Mucosa , Humans , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Cell Line , Lung , Nasal Mucosa , Epithelial Cells/metabolism
14.
Viruses ; 15(1)2022 Dec 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2228317

ABSTRACT

Viral pathogens with the potential to cause widespread disruption to human health and society continue to emerge or re-emerge around the world. Research on such viruses often involves high biocontainment laboratories (BSL3 or BSL4), but the development of diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics often uses assays that are best performed at lower biocontainment. Reliable inactivation is necessary to allow removal of materials to these spaces and to ensure personnel safety. Here, we validate the use of gamma irradiation to inactivate culture supernatants and pellets of cells infected with a representative member of the Filovirus and Coronavirus families. We show that supernatants and cell pellets containing SARS-CoV-2 are readily inactivated with 1.9 MRad, while Ebola virus requires higher doses of 2.6 MRad for supernatants and 3.8 MRad for pellets. While these doses of radiation inactivate viruses, proinflammatory cytokines that are common markers of virus infection are still detected with low losses. The doses required for virus inactivation of supernatants are in line with previously reported values, but the inactivation of cell pellets has not been previously reported and enables new approaches for analysis of protein-based host responses to infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ebolavirus , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola , Viruses , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Inactivation/radiation effects , Cell Culture Techniques
15.
Tissue Eng Part C Methods ; 29(3): 95-102, 2023 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2222559

ABSTRACT

The respiratory tract is one of the frontline barriers for biological defense. Lung epithelial intercellular adhesions provide protection from bacterial and viral infections and prevent invasion into deep tissues by pathogens. Dysfunction of lung epithelial intercellular adhesion caused by pathogens is associated with development of several diseases, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, pneumonia, and asthma. To elucidate the pathological mechanism of respiratory infections, two-dimensional cell cultures and animal models are commonly used, although are not useful for evaluating host specificity or human biological response. With the rapid progression and worldwide spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2, there is increasing interest in the development of a three-dimensional (3D) in vitro lung model for analyzing interactions between pathogens and hosts. However, some models possess unclear epithelial polarity or insufficient barrier functions and need the use of complex technologies, have high cost, and long cultivation terms. We previously reported about the fabrication of 3D cellular multilayers using a layer-by-layer (LbL) cell coating technique with extracellular matrix protein, fibronectin (FN), and gelatin (G). In the present study, such a LbL cell coating technique was utilized to construct a human 3D lung model in which a monolayer of the human lower airway epithelial adenocarcinoma cell line Calu-3 cells was placed on 3D-cellular multilayers composed of FN-G-coated human primary pulmonary fibroblast cells. The 3D lung model thus constructed demonstrated an epithelial-fibroblast layer that maintained uniform thickness until 7 days of incubation. Moreover, expressions of E-cadherin, ZO-1, and mucin in the epithelial layer were observed by immunohistochemical staining. Epithelial barrier integrity was evaluated using transepithelial electrical resistance values. The results indicate that the present constructed human 3D lung model is similar to human lung tissues and also features epithelial polarity and a barrier function, thus is considered useful for evaluating infection and pathological mechanisms related to pneumonia and several pathogens. Impact statement A novel in vitro model of lung tissue was established. Using a layer-by-layer cell coating technique, a three-dimensional cultured lung model was constructed. The present novel model was shown to have epithelial polarity and chemical barrier functions. This model may be useful for investigating interaction pathogens and human biology.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Animals , Humans , COVID-19/metabolism , Lung , Epithelial Cells , Cell Line , Cell Culture Techniques
16.
J Biol Chem ; 299(3): 102976, 2023 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2220925

ABSTRACT

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a serious viral illness in cats, caused by feline coronavirus. Once a cat develops clinical FIP, the prognosis is poor. The effective treatment strategy for coronavirus infections with immunopathological complications such as SARS-CoV-2, MERS, and FIP is focused on antiviral and immunomodulatory agents to inhibit virus replication and enhance the protective immune response. In this article we report the binding and conformational alteration of feline alphacoronavirus (FCoV) nucleocapsid protein by a novel compound K31. K31 noncompetitively inhibited the interaction between the purified nucleocapsid protein and the synthetic 5' terminus of viral genomic RNA in vitro. K31 was well tolerated by cells and inhibited FCoV replication in cell culture with a selective index of 115. A single dose of K31inhibited FCoV replication to an undetectable level in 24 h post treatment. K31 did not affect the virus entry to the host cell but inhibited the postentry steps of virus replication. The nucleocapsid protein forms ribonucleocapsid in association with the viral genomic RNA that serves as a template for transcription and replication of the viral genome. Our results show that K31 treatment disrupted the structural integrity of ribonucleocapsid in virus-infected cells. After the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the antiviral drug development strategies have focused on RdRp and proteases encoded by the viral genome. Our results have shown that nucleocapsid protein is a druggable target for anticoronavirus drug discovery.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents , Coronavirus, Feline , Feline Infectious Peritonitis , Nucleocapsid Proteins , Virus Replication , Animals , Cats , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Cell Culture Techniques , Coronavirus, Feline/drug effects , Coronavirus, Feline/physiology , Feline Infectious Peritonitis/drug therapy , RNA, Viral/genetics , Virus Replication/drug effects
17.
Viruses ; 15(2)2023 01 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2225675

ABSTRACT

Live-attenuated SARS-CoV-2 vaccines present themselves as a promising approach for the induction of broad mucosal immunity. However, for initial safety assessment in clinical trials, virus production requires conditions meeting Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards while maintaining biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) requirements. Since facilities providing the necessary complex ventilation systems to meet both requirements are rare, we here describe a possibility to reproducibly propagate SARS-CoV-2 in the automated, closed cell culture device CliniMACS Prodigy® in a common BSL-3 laboratory. In this proof-of-concept study, we observed an approximately 300-fold amplification of SARS-CoV-2 under serum-free conditions with high lot-to-lot consistency in the infectious titers obtained. With the possibility to increase production capacity to up to 3000 doses per run, this study outlines a potential fast-track approach for the production of live-attenuated vaccine candidates based on highly pathogenic viruses under GMP-like conditions that may contribute to pandemic preparedness.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines , Vaccines, Attenuated , Cell Culture Techniques
18.
Sci Adv ; 8(51): eadd7197, 2022 12 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2193380

ABSTRACT

The oral protease inhibitor nirmatrelvir is of key importance for prevention of severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). To facilitate resistance monitoring, we studied severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) escape from nirmatrelvir in cell culture. Resistant variants harbored combinations of substitutions in the SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro). Reverse genetics revealed that E166V and L50F + E166V conferred high resistance in infectious culture, replicon, and Mpro systems. While L50F, E166V, and L50F + E166V decreased replication and Mpro activity, L50F and L50F + E166V variants had high fitness in the infectious system. Naturally occurring L50F compensated for fitness cost of E166V and promoted viral escape. Molecular dynamics simulations revealed that E166V and L50F + E166V weakened nirmatrelvir-Mpro binding. Polymerase inhibitor remdesivir and monoclonal antibody bebtelovimab retained activity against nirmatrelvir-resistant variants, and combination with nirmatrelvir enhanced treatment efficacy compared to individual compounds. These findings have implications for monitoring and ensuring treatments with efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 and emerging sarbecoviruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Diseases , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Cell Culture Techniques , Lactams , Nitriles
19.
Viruses ; 14(11)2022 Oct 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2090367

ABSTRACT

There is currently a need for new rapid viral diagnostic electron microscopy methods. Although the gold standard remains the transmission electron microscopy (TEM) negative staining method for electron microscopic examination of samples containing a virus, difficulties can arise when the virus particle content of the sample that has to be examined is poor. Such samples include supernatants of virus-infected cells that can be difficult to examine, as sometimes only a few virus particles are released in the culture medium upon infection. In addition to TEM, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) can also be used for visualizing virus particles. One advantage of SEM over TEM is its ability to rapidly screen several large specimens, such as microscopy slides. In this study, we investigated this possibility and tested different coating molecules as well as the effect of centrifugation for analyzing SARS-CoV-2-virus-infected cell culture supernatants deposited on microscopy glass slides by SEM. We found that centrifugation of 25XConcanavalinA-coated microscopy glass slides in shell vials provided an improved method for concentrating SARS-CoV-2-virus-infected cell supernatants for virus-like particle detection by SEM.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Microscopy, Electron, Scanning , COVID-19/diagnosis , Microscopy, Electron, Transmission , Cell Culture Techniques
20.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(19)2022 Sep 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2066118

ABSTRACT

Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench is one of the most economically important medicinal plants, cultivated worldwide for its high medicinal value and with several industrial applications in both pharmaceutical and food industries. Thanks to its various phytochemical contents, including caffeic acid derivatives (CADs), E. purpurea extracts have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immuno-stimulating properties. Among CADs, chicoric acid is one of the most important compounds which have shown important pharmacological properties. The present research was aimed at optimizing the production of chicoric acid in E. purpurea cell culture. Methyl jasmonate (MeJa) at different concentrations and for different duration of treatments was utilized as elicitor, and the content of total polyphenols and chicoric acid was measured. Several genes involved in the chicoric acid biosynthetic pathway were selected, and their expression evaluated at different time points of cell culture growth. This was performed with the aim of identifying the most suitable putative molecular markers to be used as a proxy for the early prediction of chicoric acid contents, without the need of expensive quantification methods. A correlation between the production of chicoric acid in response to MeJa and an increased response to oxidative stress was also proposed.


Subject(s)
Biological Products , Echinacea , Acetates , Antioxidants/metabolism , Biological Products/metabolism , Caffeic Acids , Cell Culture Techniques , Cyclopentanes , Echinacea/chemistry , Echinacea/metabolism , Oxylipins , Pharmaceutical Preparations/metabolism , Plant Extracts/metabolism , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , Succinates
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