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1.
Front Immunol ; 13: 827605, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742217

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has become a public health emergency of international concern, and an effective vaccine is urgently needed to control the pandemic. Envelope (E) and membrane (M) proteins are highly conserved structural proteins among SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV and have been proposed as potential targets for the development of cross-protective vaccines. Here, synthetic DNA vaccines encoding SARS-CoV-2 E/M proteins (called p-SARS-CoV-2-E/M) were developed, and mice were immunised with three doses via intramuscular injection and electroporation. Significant cellular immune responses were elicited, whereas no robust humoral immunity was detected. In addition, novel H-2d-restricted T-cell epitopes were identified. Notably, although no drop in lung tissue virus titre was detected in DNA-vaccinated mice post-challenge with SARS-CoV-2, immunisation with either p-SARS-CoV-2-E or p-SARS-CoV-2-M provided minor protection and co-immunisation with p-SARS-CoV-2-E+M increased protection. Therefore, E/M proteins should be considered as vaccine candidates as they may be valuable in the optimisation of vaccination strategies against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus M Proteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Female , Humans , Immunization , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Vaccines, DNA
2.
Anal Bioanal Chem ; 414(5): 1773-1785, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1653430

ABSTRACT

Nucleic acid tests to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus have been performed worldwide since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the quality assessment of testing laboratories and the performance evaluation of molecular diagnosis products, reference materials (RMs) are required. In this work, we report the production of a lentiviral SARS-CoV-2 RM containing approximately 12 kilobases of its genome including common diagnostics targets such as RdRp, N, E, and S genes. The RM was measured with multiple assays using two different digital PCR platforms. To measure the homogeneity and stability of the lentiviral SARS-CoV-2 RM, reverse transcription droplet digital PCR (RT-ddPCR) was used with in-house duplex assays. The copy number concentration of each target gene in the extracted RNA solution was then converted to that of the RM solution. Their copy number values are measured to be from 1.5 × 105 to 2.0 × 105 copies/mL. The RM has a between-bottle homogeneity of 4.80-8.23% and is stable at 4 °C for 1 week and at -70 °C for 6 months. The lentiviral SARS-CoV-2 RM closely mimics real samples that undergo identical pre-analytical processes for SARS-CoV-2 molecular testing. By offering accurate reference values for the absolute copy number of viral target genes, the developed RM can be used to improve the reliability of SARS-CoV-2 molecular testing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Genome, Viral , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic/standards , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/standards , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/metabolism , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Gene Dosage , Gene Expression , Humans , Jurkat Cells , Lentivirus/genetics , Lentivirus/metabolism , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , RNA, Viral/standards , Reagent Kits, Diagnostic/supply & distribution , Reference Standards , Reproducibility of Results , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Viral Genome Packaging
3.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(5)2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1642084

ABSTRACT

Novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants pose a challenge to controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous studies indicate that clinical samples collected from individuals infected with the Delta variant may contain higher levels of RNA than previous variants, but the relationship between levels of viral RNA and infectious virus for individual variants is unknown. We measured infectious viral titer (using a microfocus-forming assay) and total and subgenomic viral RNA levels (using RT-PCR) in a set of 162 clinical samples containing SARS-CoV-2 Alpha, Delta, and Epsilon variants that were collected in identical swab kits from outpatient test sites and processed soon after collection. We observed a high degree of variation in the relationship between viral titers and RNA levels. Despite this, the overall infectivity differed among the three variants. Both Delta and Epsilon had significantly higher infectivity than Alpha, as measured by the number of infectious units per quantity of viral E gene RNA (5.9- and 3.0-fold increase; P < 0.0001, P = 0.014, respectively) or subgenomic E RNA (14.3- and 6.9-fold increase; P < 0.0001, P = 0.004, respectively). In addition to higher viral RNA levels reported for the Delta variant, the infectivity (amount of replication competent virus per viral genome copy) may be increased compared to Alpha. Measuring the relationship between live virus and viral RNA is an important step in assessing the infectivity of novel SARS-CoV-2 variants. An increase in the infectivity for Delta may further explain increased spread, suggesting a need for increased measures to prevent viral transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral , Genome, Viral , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Animals , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line, Tumor , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/metabolism , Hepatocytes/metabolism , Hepatocytes/virology , Humans , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Vero Cells , Viral Load , Virulence
5.
Infect Genet Evol ; 97: 105195, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1586990

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is the RNA virus responsible for COVID-19, the prognosis of which has been found to be slightly worse in men. The present study aimed to analyze the expression of different mRNAs and their regulatory molecules (miRNAs and lncRNAs) to consider the potential existence of sex-specific expression patterns and COVID-19 susceptibility using bioinformatics analysis. The binding sites of all human mature miRNA sequences on the SARS-CoV-2 genome nucleotide sequence were predicted by the miRanda tool. Sequencing data was excavated using the Galaxy web server from GSE157103, and the output of feature counts was analyzed using DEseq2 packages to obtain differentially expressed genes (DEGs). Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) and DEG annotation analyses were performed using the ToppGene and Metascape tools. Using the RNA Interactome Database, we predicted interactions between differentially expressed lncRNAs and differentially expressed mRNAs. Finally, their networks were constructed with top miRNAs. We identified 11 miRNAs with three to five binding sites on the SARS-COVID-2 genome reference. MiR-29c-3p, miR-21-3p, and miR-6838-5p occupied four binding sites, and miR-29a-3p had five binding sites on the SARS-CoV-2 genome. Moreover, miR-29a-3p, and miR-29c-3p were the top miRNAs targeting DEGs. The expression levels of miRNAs (125, 181b, 130a, 29a, b, c, 212, 181a, 133a) changed in males with COVID-19, in whom they regulated ACE2 expression and affected the immune response by affecting phagosomes, complement activation, and cell-matrix adhesion. Our results indicated that XIST lncRNA was up-regulated, and TTTY14, TTTY10, and ZFY-AS1 lncRN as were down-regulated in both ICU and non-ICU men with COVID-19. Dysregulation of noncoding-RNAs has critical effects on the pathophysiology of men with COVID-19, which is why they may be used as biomarkers and therapeutic agents. Overall, our results indicated that the miR-29 family target regulation patterns and might become promising biomarkers for severity and survival outcome in men with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , MicroRNAs/genetics , RNA, Long Noncoding/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Computational Biology/methods , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/metabolism , Coronavirus M Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus M Proteins/metabolism , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Databases, Genetic , Female , Gene Expression Regulation , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , Male , MicroRNAs/classification , MicroRNAs/metabolism , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , Protein Binding , RNA, Long Noncoding/classification , RNA, Long Noncoding/metabolism , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Severity of Illness Index , Sex Factors , Signal Transduction , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
6.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 24432, 2021 12 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585772

ABSTRACT

Despite the initial success of some drugs and vaccines targeting COVID-19, understanding the mechanism underlying SARS-CoV-2 disease pathogenesis remains crucial for the development of further approaches to treatment. Some patients with severe Covid-19 experience a cytokine storm and display evidence of inflammasome activation leading to increased levels of IL-1ß and IL-18; however, other reports have suggested reduced inflammatory responses to Sars-Cov-2. In this study we have examined the effects of the Sars-Cov-2 envelope (E) protein, a virulence factor in coronaviruses, on inflammasome activation and pulmonary inflammation. In cultured macrophages the E protein suppressed inflammasome priming and NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Similarly, in mice transfected with E protein and treated with poly(I:C) to simulate the effects of viral RNA, the E protein, in an NLRP3-dependent fashion, reduced expression of pro-IL-1ß, levels of IL-1ß and IL-18 in broncho-alveolar lavage fluid, and macrophage infiltration in the lung. To simulate the effects of more advanced infection, macrophages were treated with both LPS and poly(I:C). In this setting the E protein increased NLRP3 inflammasome activation in both murine and human macrophages. Thus, the Sars-Cov-2 E protein may initially suppress the host NLRP3 inflammasome response to viral RNA while potentially increasing NLRP3 inflammasome responses in the later stages of infection. Targeting the Sars-Cov-2 E protein especially in the early stages of infection may represent a novel approach to Covid-19 therapy.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/metabolism , Inflammasomes/metabolism , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Animals , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/chemistry , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Down-Regulation/drug effects , Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress , Humans , Inflammasomes/drug effects , Interleukin-1beta/genetics , Interleukin-1beta/metabolism , Janus Kinases/genetics , Janus Kinases/metabolism , Lipopolysaccharides/pharmacology , Macrophages/cytology , Macrophages/drug effects , Macrophages/metabolism , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/deficiency , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/genetics , Poly I-C/pharmacology , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
7.
Eur J Med Res ; 26(1): 147, 2021 Dec 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1582004

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The outbreak of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a public health emergency of international concern. Quantitative testing of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) virus is demanded in evaluating the efficacy of antiviral drugs and vaccines and RT-PCR can be widely deployed in the clinical assay of viral loads. Here, we developed a quantitative RT-PCR method for SARS-CoV-2 virus detection in this study. METHODS: RT-PCR kits targeting E (envelope) gene, N (nucleocapsid) gene and RdRP (RNA-dependent RNA polymerase) gene of SARS-CoV-2 from Roche Diagnostics were evaluated and E gene kit was employed for quantitative detection of COVID-19 virus using Cobas Z480. Viral load was calculated according to the standard curve established by series dilution of an E-gene RNA standard provided by Tib-Molbiol (a division of Roche Diagnostics). Assay performance was evaluated. RESULTS: The performance of the assay is acceptable with limit of detection (LOD) below 10E1 copies/µL and lower limit of quantification (LLOQ) as 10E2 copies/µL. CONCLUSION: A quantitative detection of the COVID-19 virus based on RT-PCR was established.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Humans , Limit of Detection , Phosphoproteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Load/methods
8.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 14(1): 138-149, 2022 Jan 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574636

ABSTRACT

Highly sensitive, reliable assays with strong multiplexing capability for detecting nucleic acid targets are significantly important for diagnosing various diseases, particularly severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The nanomaterial-based assay platforms suffer from several critical issues such as non-specific binding and highly false-positive results. In this paper, to overcome such limitations, we reported sensitive and remarkably reproducible magnetic microparticles (MMPs) and a surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)-based assay using stable silver nanoparticle clusters for detecting viral nucleic acids. The MMP-SERS-based assay exhibited a sensitivity of 1.0 fM, which is superior to the MMP-fluorescence-based assay. In addition, in the presence of anisotropic Ag nanostructures (nanostars and triangular nanoplates), the assay exhibited greatly enhanced sensitivity (10 aM) and excellent signal reproducibility. This assay platform intrinsically eliminated the non-specific binding that occurs in the target detection step, and the controlled formation of stable silver nanoparticle clusters in solution enabled the remarkable reproducibility of the results. These findings indicate that this assay can be employed for future practical bioanalytical applications.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Magnetite Nanoparticles/chemistry , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Humans , Limit of Detection , Metal Nanoparticles/chemistry , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Silver/chemistry , Spectrum Analysis, Raman
9.
J Infect Dis ; 224(8): 1287-1293, 2021 10 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1505875

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Previous studies demonstrated that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA can be detected for weeks after infection. The significance of this finding is unclear and, in most patients, does not represent active infection. Detection of subgenomic RNA has been proposed to represent productive infection and may be a useful marker for monitoring infectivity. METHODS: We used quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) to quantify total and subgenomic nucleocapsid (sgN) and envelope (sgE) transcripts in 185 SARS-CoV-2-positive nasopharyngeal swab samples collected on hospital admission and to relate to symptom duration. RESULTS: We find that all transcripts decline at the same rate; however, sgE becomes undetectable before other transcripts. The median duration of symptoms to a negative test is 14 days for sgE and 25 days for sgN. There is a linear decline in subgenomic compared to total RNA, suggesting that subgenomic transcript copy number is dependent on copy number of total transcripts. The mean difference between total and sgN is 16-fold and the mean difference between total and sgE is 137-fold. This relationship is constant over duration of symptoms, allowing prediction of subgenomic copy number from total copy number. CONCLUSIONS: Subgenomic RNA may be no more useful in determining infectivity than a copy number threshold determined for total RNA.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Load , Aged , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/standards , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/statistics & numerical data , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Feasibility Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/pathology , Nasopharynx/virology , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/statistics & numerical data , Reference Values , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
10.
Science ; 374(6575): 1626-1632, 2021 Dec 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501519

ABSTRACT

Efforts to determine why new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants demonstrate improved fitness have been limited to analyzing mutations in the spike (S) protein with the use of S-pseudotyped particles. In this study, we show that SARS-CoV-2 virus-like particles (SC2-VLPs) can package and deliver exogenous transcripts, enabling analysis of mutations within all structural proteins and at multiple steps in the viral life cycle. In SC2-VLPs, four nucleocapsid (N) mutations found universally in more-transmissible variants independently increased messenger RNA delivery and expression ~10-fold, and in a reverse genetics model, the serine-202→arginine (S202R) and arginine-203→methionine (R203M) mutations each produced >50 times as much virus. SC2-VLPs provide a platform for rapid testing of viral variants outside of a biosafety level 3 setting and demonstrate N mutations and particle assembly to be mechanisms that could explain the increased spread of variants, including B.1.617.2 (Delta, which contains the R203M mutation).


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Animals , Cell Line , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/metabolism , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Evolution, Molecular , Genome, Viral , Humans , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , Plasmids , RNA, Messenger/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Viral Genome Packaging , Viral Matrix Proteins/genetics , Viral Matrix Proteins/metabolism , Virus Internalization
11.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 18955, 2021 09 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1437688

ABSTRACT

The world is facing an exceptional pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2. To allow the diagnosis of COVID-19 infections, several assays based on the real-time PCR technique have been proposed. The requests for diagnosis are such that it was immediately clear that the choice of the most suitable method for each microbiology laboratory had to be based, on the one hand, on the availability of materials, and on the other hand, on the personnel and training priorities for this activity. Unfortunately, due to high demand, the shortage of commercial diagnostic kits has also become a major problem. To overcome these critical issues, we have developed a new qualitative RT-PCR probe. Our system detects three genes-RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), envelope (E) and nucleocapsid (N)-and uses the ß-actin gene as an endogenous internal control. The results from our assay are in complete agreement with the results obtained using a commercially available kit, except for two samples that did not pass the endogenous internal control. The coincidence rate was 0.96. The LoD of our assay was 140 cp/reaction for N and 14 cp/reaction for RdRp and E. Our kit was designed to be open, either for the nucleic acid extraction step or for the RT-PCR assay, and to be carried out on several instruments. Therefore, it is free from the industrial production logics of closed systems, and conversely, it is hypothetically available for distribution in large quantities to any microbiological laboratory. The kit is currently distributed worldwide (called MOLgen-COVID-19; Adaltis). A new version of the kit for detecting the S gene is also available.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19 Testing/methods , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Humans , Pandemics , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Qualitative Research , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Sensitivity and Specificity
12.
Mol Syst Biol ; 17(9): e10079, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406892

ABSTRACT

We modeled 3D structures of all SARS-CoV-2 proteins, generating 2,060 models that span 69% of the viral proteome and provide details not available elsewhere. We found that ˜6% of the proteome mimicked human proteins, while ˜7% was implicated in hijacking mechanisms that reverse post-translational modifications, block host translation, and disable host defenses; a further ˜29% self-assembled into heteromeric states that provided insight into how the viral replication and translation complex forms. To make these 3D models more accessible, we devised a structural coverage map, a novel visualization method to show what is-and is not-known about the 3D structure of the viral proteome. We integrated the coverage map into an accompanying online resource (https://aquaria.ws/covid) that can be used to find and explore models corresponding to the 79 structural states identified in this work. The resulting Aquaria-COVID resource helps scientists use emerging structural data to understand the mechanisms underlying coronavirus infection and draws attention to the 31% of the viral proteome that remains structurally unknown or dark.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Protein Processing, Post-Translational , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Amino Acid Transport Systems, Neutral/chemistry , Amino Acid Transport Systems, Neutral/genetics , Amino Acid Transport Systems, Neutral/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Binding Sites , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Computational Biology/methods , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/chemistry , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/metabolism , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Humans , Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins/chemistry , Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins/genetics , Mitochondrial Membrane Transport Proteins/metabolism , Models, Molecular , Molecular Mimicry , Neuropilin-1/chemistry , Neuropilin-1/genetics , Neuropilin-1/metabolism , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Conformation, beta-Strand , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Protein Interaction Mapping/methods , Protein Multimerization , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Viral Matrix Proteins/chemistry , Viral Matrix Proteins/genetics , Viral Matrix Proteins/metabolism , Viroporin Proteins/chemistry , Viroporin Proteins/genetics , Viroporin Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication
13.
Cell Res ; 31(8): 847-860, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387284

ABSTRACT

Cytokine storm and multi-organ failure are the main causes of SARS-CoV-2-related death. However, the origin of excessive damages caused by SARS-CoV-2 remains largely unknown. Here we show that the SARS-CoV-2 envelope (2-E) protein alone is able to cause acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)-like damages in vitro and in vivo. 2-E proteins were found to form a type of pH-sensitive cation channels in bilayer lipid membranes. As observed in SARS-CoV-2-infected cells, heterologous expression of 2-E channels induced rapid cell death in various susceptible cell types and robust secretion of cytokines and chemokines in macrophages. Intravenous administration of purified 2-E protein into mice caused ARDS-like pathological damages in lung and spleen. A dominant negative mutation lowering 2-E channel activity attenuated cell death and SARS-CoV-2 production. Newly identified channel inhibitors exhibited potent anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity and excellent cell protective activity in vitro and these activities were positively correlated with inhibition of 2-E channel. Importantly, prophylactic and therapeutic administration of the channel inhibitor effectively reduced both the viral load and secretion of inflammation cytokines in lungs of SARS-CoV-2-infected transgenic mice expressing human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE-2). Our study supports that 2-E is a promising drug target against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/metabolism , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/etiology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Apoptosis , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Cytokines/metabolism , Disease Models, Animal , Half-Life , Humans , Lung/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Mutagenesis, Site-Directed , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spleen/metabolism , Spleen/pathology , Viral Load , Virulence
15.
Nat Struct Mol Biol ; 27(12): 1202-1208, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387444

ABSTRACT

An essential protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the envelope protein E, forms a homopentameric cation channel that is important for virus pathogenicity. Here we report a 2.1-Å structure and the drug-binding site of E's transmembrane domain (ETM), determined using solid-state NMR spectroscopy. In lipid bilayers that mimic the endoplasmic reticulum-Golgi intermediate compartment (ERGIC) membrane, ETM forms a five-helix bundle surrounding a narrow pore. The protein deviates from the ideal α-helical geometry due to three phenylalanine residues, which stack within each helix and between helices. Together with valine and leucine interdigitation, these cause a dehydrated pore compared with the viroporins of influenza viruses and HIV. Hexamethylene amiloride binds the polar amino-terminal lumen, whereas acidic pH affects the carboxy-terminal conformation. Thus, the N- and C-terminal halves of this bipartite channel may interact with other viral and host proteins semi-independently. The structure sets the stage for designing E inhibitors as antiviral drugs.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/chemistry , Lipid Bilayers/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Amantadine/chemistry , Amiloride/analogs & derivatives , Amiloride/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine/chemistry , Hydrogen-Ion Concentration , Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy , Models, Molecular , Phenylalanine/chemistry , Phospholipids/chemistry , Protein Conformation , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
16.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(16)2021 Aug 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1367852

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus is a commonly used strategy that mimics certain biological functions of the authentic virus by relying on biological legitimacy at the molecular level. Despite the fact that spike (S), envelope (E), and membrane (M) proteins together wrap up the SARS-CoV-2 virion, most of the reported pseudotype viruses consist of only the S protein. Here, we report that the presence of E and M increased the virion infectivity by promoting the S protein priming. The S, E, and M (SEM)-coated pseudovirion is spherical, containing crown-like spikes on the surface. Both S and SEM pseudoviruses packaged the same amounts of viral RNA, but the SEM virus bound more efficiently to cells stably expressing the viral receptor human angiotensin-converting enzyme II (hACE2) and became more infectious. Using this SEM pseudovirus, we examined the infectivity and antigenic properties of the natural SARS-CoV-2 variants. We showed that some variants have higher infectivity than the original virus and that some render the neutralizing plasma with lower potency. These studies thus revealed possible mechanisms of the dissemination advantage of these variants. Hence, the SEM pseudovirion provides a useful tool to evaluate the viral infectivity and capability of convalescent sera in neutralizing specific SARS-CoV-2 S dominant variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Viral Matrix Proteins/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/immunology , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/ultrastructure , Cricetinae , Humans , Microscopy, Electron, Transmission , Mutation , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Viral Matrix Proteins/genetics , Viral Matrix Proteins/immunology , Viral Matrix Proteins/ultrastructure , Virion/genetics , Virion/immunology , Virion/metabolism , Virion/ultrastructure
17.
J Med Virol ; 93(9): 5339-5349, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1363673

ABSTRACT

The present study was conducted from July 1, 2020 to September 25, 2020 in a dedicated coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hospital in Delhi, India to provide evidence for the presence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus in atmospheric air and surfaces of the hospital wards. Swabs from hospital surfaces (patient's bed, ward floor, and nursing stations area) and suspended particulate matter in ambient air were collected by a portable air sampler from the medicine ward, intensive care unit, and emergency ward admitting COVID-19 patients. By performing reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for E-gene and RdRp gene, SARS-CoV-2 virus was detected from hospital surfaces and particulate matters from the ambient air of various wards collected at 1 and 3-m distance from active COVID-19 patients. The presence of the virus in the air beyond a 1-m distance from the patients and surfaces of the hospital indicates that the SARS-CoV-2 virus has the potential to be transmitted by airborne and surface routes from COVID-19 patients to health-care workers working in COVID-19 dedicated hospital. This warrants that precautions against airborne and surface transmission of COVID-19 in the community should be taken when markets, industries, educational institutions, and so on, reopen for normal activities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Fomites/virology , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Air/analysis , COVID-19/prevention & control , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Hospitals , Humans , India/epidemiology , Intensive Care Units , Particulate Matter/analysis
18.
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl ; 60(40): 21662-21667, 2021 09 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1363645

ABSTRACT

There is an urgent need to develop antiviral drugs and alleviate the current COVID-19 pandemic. Herein we report the design and construction of chimeric oligonucleotides comprising a 2'-OMe-modified antisense oligonucleotide and a 5'-phosphorylated 2'-5' poly(A)4 (4A2-5 ) to degrade envelope and spike RNAs of SARS-CoV-2. The oligonucleotide was used for searching and recognizing target viral RNA sequence, and the conjugated 4A2-5 was used for guided RNase L activation to sequence-specifically degrade viral RNAs. Since RNase L can potently cleave single-stranded RNA during innate antiviral response, degradation efficiencies with these chimeras were twice as much as those with only antisense oligonucleotides for both SARS-CoV-2 RNA targets. In pseudovirus infection models, chimera-S4 achieved potent and broad-spectrum inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 and its N501Y and/or ΔH69/ΔV70 mutants, indicating a promising antiviral agent based on the nucleic acid-hydrolysis targeting chimera (NATAC) strategy.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Endoribonucleases/metabolism , Enzyme Activation/drug effects , Oligonucleotides, Antisense/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Drug Design , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Hydrolysis/drug effects , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Mutation , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vero Cells
19.
Arch Virol ; 166(9): 2529-2540, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1305156

ABSTRACT

RT-qPCR detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA still represents the method of reference to diagnose and monitor COVID-19. From the onset of the pandemic, however, doubts have been expressed concerning the sensitivity of this molecular diagnosis method. Droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) is a third-generation PCR technique that is particularly adapted to detecting low-abundance targets. We developed two-color ddPCR assays for the detection of four different regions of SARS-CoV-2 RNA, including non-structural (IP4-RdRP, helicase) and structural (E, N) protein-encoding sequences. We observed that N or E subgenomic RNAs are generally more abundant than IP4 and helicase RNA sequences in cells infected in vitro, suggesting that detection of the N gene, coding for the most abundant subgenomic RNA of SARS-CoV-2, increases the sensitivity of detection during the highly replicative phase of infection. We investigated 208 nasopharyngeal swabs sampled in March-April 2020 in different hospitals of Greater Paris. We found that 8.6% of informative samples (n = 16/185, P < 0.0001) initially scored as "non-positive" (undetermined or negative) by RT-qPCR were positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA by ddPCR. Our work confirms that the use of ddPCR modestly, but significantly, increases the proportion of upper airway samples testing positive in the framework of first-line diagnosis of a French population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/instrumentation , Color , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , France/epidemiology , Gene Expression , Humans , Limit of Detection , Nasopharynx/virology , Phosphoproteins/genetics , RNA Helicases/genetics , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Viral Load
20.
J Biol Chem ; 297(2): 100940, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1293905

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 envelope protein (S2-E) is a conserved membrane protein that is important for coronavirus (CoV) assembly and budding. Here, we describe the recombinant expression and purification of S2-E in amphipol-class amphipathic polymer solutions, which solubilize and stabilize membrane proteins, but do not disrupt membranes. We found that amphipol delivery of S2-E to preformed planar bilayers results in spontaneous membrane integration and formation of viroporin cation channels. Amphipol delivery of the S2-E protein to human cells results in plasma membrane integration, followed by retrograde trafficking to the trans-Golgi network and accumulation in swollen perinuclear lysosomal-associated membrane protein 1-positive vesicles, likely lysosomes. CoV envelope proteins have previously been proposed to manipulate the luminal pH of the trans-Golgi network, which serves as an accumulation station for progeny CoV particles prior to cellular egress via lysosomes. Delivery of S2-E to cells will enable chemical biological approaches for future studies of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 pathogenesis and possibly even development of "Trojan horse" antiviral therapies. Finally, this work also establishes a paradigm for amphipol-mediated delivery of membrane proteins to cells.


Subject(s)
Cell Membrane/drug effects , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/metabolism , Polymers/pharmacology , Propylamines/pharmacology , Surface-Active Agents/pharmacology , trans-Golgi Network/metabolism , Cell Membrane/metabolism , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , HeLa Cells , Humans , Lipid Bilayers/chemistry , Lipid Bilayers/metabolism , Lysosomes/metabolism , Polymers/chemistry , Propylamines/chemistry , Protein Transport , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , Surface-Active Agents/chemistry
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