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1.
Dis Markers ; 2022: 6780710, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1868808

ABSTRACT

Background: To date (14 January 2022), the incidence and related mortality rate of COVID-19 in America, Europe, and Asia despite administrated of billions doses of many approved vaccines are still higher than in Egypt. Epigenetic alterations mediate the effects of environmental factors on the regulation of genetic material causing many diseases. Objective: We aimed to explore the methylation status of HeyL promoter, a downstream transcription factor in Notch signal, an important regulator of cell proliferation and differentiation blood, pulmonary epithelial, and nerves cells. Methods: Our objective was achieved by DNA sequencing of the product from methyl-specific PCR of HeyL promoter after bisulfite modification of DNA extracted from the blood samples of 30 COVID-19 patients and 20 control health subjects and studying its association with clinical-pathological biomarkers. Results: We found that the HeyL promoter was partial-methylated in Egyptian COVID-19 patients and control healthy subjects compared to full methylated one that was published in GenBank. We identified unmethylated CpG (TG) flanking the response elements within HeyL promoter in Egyptian COVID-19 patients and control healthy subjects vs. methylated CpG (CG) in reference sequence (GenBank). Also, we observed that the frequency of partial-methylated HeyL promoter was higher in COVID-19 patients and associated with aging, fever, severe pneumonia, ageusia/anosmia, and dry cough compared to control healthy subjects. Conclusion: We concluded that hypomethylated HeyL promoter in Egyptian population may facilitate the binding of transcription factors to their binding sites, thus enhancing its regulatory action on the blood, pulmonary epithelium, and nerves cells in contrast to full methylated one that was published in GenBank; thus, addition of demethylating agents to the treatment protocol of COVID-19 may improve the clinical outcomes. Administration of therapy must be based on determination of methylation status of HeyL, a novel prognostic marker for severe illness in COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors , COVID-19 , Repressor Proteins , Base Sequence , Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , DNA Methylation , Egypt/epidemiology , Humans , Promoter Regions, Genetic , Repressor Proteins/genetics
2.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 2135, 2022 04 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1805610

ABSTRACT

Chronological age is a risk factor for SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe COVID-19. Previous findings indicate that epigenetic age could be altered in viral infection. However, the epigenetic aging in COVID-19 has not been well studied. In this study, DNA methylation of the blood samples from 232 healthy individuals and 413 COVID-19 patients is profiled using EPIC methylation array. Epigenetic ages of each individual are determined by applying epigenetic clocks and telomere length estimator to the methylation profile of the individual. Epigenetic age acceleration is calculated and compared between groups. We observe strong correlations between the epigenetic clocks and individual's chronological age (r > 0.8, p < 0.0001). We also find the increasing acceleration of epigenetic aging and telomere attrition in the sequential blood samples from healthy individuals and infected patients developing non-severe and severe COVID-19. In addition, the longitudinal DNA methylation profiling analysis find that the accumulation of epigenetic aging from COVID-19 syndrome could be partly reversed at late clinic phases in some patients. In conclusion, accelerated epigenetic aging is associated with the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and developing severe COVID-19. In addition, the accumulation of epigenetic aging from COVID-19 may contribute to the post-COVID-19 syndrome among survivors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aging/genetics , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/genetics , DNA Methylation , Epigenesis, Genetic , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
3.
J Immunol ; 208(8): 1968-1977, 2022 04 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1776404

ABSTRACT

The pandemic of COVID-19 has caused >5 million deaths in the world. One of the leading causes of the severe form of COVID-19 is the production of massive amounts of proinflammatory cytokines. Epigenetic mechanisms, such as histone/DNA methylation, miRNA, and long noncoding RNA, are known to play important roles in the regulation of inflammation. In this study, we investigated if hospitalized COVID-19 patients exhibit alterations in epigenetic pathways in their PBMCs. We also compared gene expression profiles between healthy controls and COVID-19 patients. Despite individual variations, the expressions of many inflammation-related genes, such as arginase 1 and IL-1 receptor 2, were significantly upregulated in COVID-19 patients. We also found the expressions of coagulation-related genes Von Willebrand factor and protein S were altered in COVID-19 patients. The expression patterns of some genes, such as IL-1 receptor 2, correlated with their histone methylation marks. Pathway analysis indicated that most of those dysregulated genes were in the TGF-ß, IL-1b, IL-6, and IL-17 pathways. A targeting pathway revealed that the majority of those altered genes were targets of dexamethasone, which is an approved drug for COVID-19 treatment. We also found that the expression of bone marrow kinase on chromosome X, a member of TEC family kinases, was increased in the PBMCs of COVID-19 patients. Interestingly, some inhibitors of TEC family kinases have been used to treat COVID-19. Overall, this study provides important information toward identifying potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets for COVID-19 disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Inflammation , Leukocytes, Mononuclear , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , DNA Methylation , Epigenesis, Genetic/physiology , Gene Expression , Histones/metabolism , Humans , Inflammation/genetics , Inflammation/metabolism , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/metabolism , Receptors, Interleukin-1/metabolism , Transcriptome
4.
Theor Appl Genet ; 135(5): 1731-1750, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1739285

ABSTRACT

KEY MESSAGE: This study presents an improved genome of Raphanus sativus cv. WK10039 uncovering centromeres and differentially methylated regions of radish chromosomes. Comprehensive genome comparison of radish and diploid Brassica species of U's triangle reveals that R. sativus arose from the Brassica B genome lineage and is a sibling species of B. nigra. Radish (Raphanus sativus L.) is a key root vegetable crop closely related to the Brassica crop species of the family Brassicaceae. We reported a draft genome of R. sativus cv. WK10039 (Rs1.0), which had 54.6 Mb gaps. To study the radish genome and explore previously unknown regions, we generated an improved genome assembly (Rs2.0) by long-read sequencing and high-resolution genome-wide mapping of chromatin interactions. Rs2.0 was 434.9 Mb in size with 0.27 Mb gaps, and the N50 scaffold length was 37.3 Mb (40-fold larger assembly compared to Rs1.0). Approximately 38% of Rs2.0 was comprised of repetitive sequences, and 52,768 protein-coding genes and 4845 non-protein-coding genes were predicted and annotated. The improved contiguity and coverage of Rs2.0, along with the detection of highly methylated regions, enabled localization of centromeres where R. sativus-specific centromere-associated repeats, full-length OTA and CRM LTR-Gypsy retrotransposons, hAT-Ac, CMC-EnSpm and Helitron DNA transposons, and sequences highly homologous to B. nigra centromere-specific CENH3-associated CL sequences were enriched. Whole-genome bisulfite sequencing combined with mRNA sequencing identified differential epigenetic marks in the radish genome related to tissue development. Synteny comparison and genomic distance analysis of radish and three diploid Brassica species of U's triangle suggested that the radish genome arose from the Brassica B genome lineage through unique rearrangement of the triplicated ancestral Brassica genome after splitting of the Brassica A/C and B genomes.


Subject(s)
Brassica , Raphanus , Brassica/genetics , Centromere/genetics , DNA Methylation , Genome, Plant , Raphanus/genetics
5.
Elife ; 112022 01 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1716085

ABSTRACT

Methyltransferase like-3 (METTL3) and METTL14 complex transfers a methyl group from S-adenosyl-L-methionine to N6 amino group of adenosine bases in RNA (m6A) and DNA (m6dA). Emerging evidence highlights a role of METTL3-METTL14 in the chromatin context, especially in processes where DNA and RNA are held in close proximity. However, a mechanistic framework about specificity for substrate RNA/DNA and their interrelationship remain unclear. By systematically studying methylation activity and binding affinity to a number of DNA and RNA oligos with different propensities to form inter- or intra-molecular duplexes or single-stranded molecules in vitro, we uncover an inverse relationship for substrate binding and methylation and show that METTL3-METTL14 preferentially catalyzes the formation of m6dA in single-stranded DNA (ssDNA), despite weaker binding affinity to DNA. In contrast, it binds structured RNAs with high affinity, but methylates the target adenosine in RNA (m6A) much less efficiently than it does in ssDNA. We also show that METTL3-METTL14-mediated methylation of DNA is largely restricted by structured RNA elements prevalent in long noncoding and other cellular RNAs.


Subject(s)
DNA Methylation/physiology , Methyltransferases/metabolism , DNA, Single-Stranded/metabolism , Deoxyadenosines/metabolism , Humans , RNA/chemistry , RNA/metabolism
6.
Elife ; 112022 01 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1677761

ABSTRACT

Protein biomarkers have been identified across many age-related morbidities. However, characterising epigenetic influences could further inform disease predictions. Here, we leverage epigenome-wide data to study links between the DNA methylation (DNAm) signatures of the circulating proteome and incident diseases. Using data from four cohorts, we trained and tested epigenetic scores (EpiScores) for 953 plasma proteins, identifying 109 scores that explained between 1% and 58% of the variance in protein levels after adjusting for known protein quantitative trait loci (pQTL) genetic effects. By projecting these EpiScores into an independent sample (Generation Scotland; n = 9537) and relating them to incident morbidities over a follow-up of 14 years, we uncovered 137 EpiScore-disease associations. These associations were largely independent of immune cell proportions, common lifestyle and health factors, and biological aging. Notably, we found that our diabetes-associated EpiScores highlighted previous top biomarker associations from proteome-wide assessments of diabetes. These EpiScores for protein levels can therefore be a valuable resource for disease prediction and risk stratification.


Although our genetic code does not change throughout our lives, our genes can be turned on and off as a result of epigenetics. Epigenetics can track how the environment and even certain behaviors add or remove small chemical markers to the DNA that makes up the genome. The type and location of these markers may affect whether genes are active or silent, this is, whether the protein coded for by that gene is being produced or not. One common epigenetic marker is known as DNA methylation. DNA methylation has been linked to the levels of a range of proteins in our cells and the risk people have of developing chronic diseases. Blood samples can be used to determine the epigenetic markers a person has on their genome and to study the abundance of many proteins. Gadd, Hillary, McCartney, Zaghlool et al. studied the relationships between DNA methylation and the abundance of 953 different proteins in blood samples from individuals in the German KORA cohort and the Scottish Lothian Birth Cohort 1936. They then used machine learning to analyze the relationship between epigenetic markers found in people's blood and the abundance of proteins, obtaining epigenetic scores or 'EpiScores' for each protein. They found 109 proteins for which DNA methylation patterns explained between at least 1% and up to 58% of the variation in protein levels. Integrating the 'EpiScores' with 14 years of medical records for more than 9000 individuals from the Generation Scotland study revealed 137 connections between EpiScores for proteins and a future diagnosis of common adverse health outcomes. These included diabetes, stroke, depression, Alzheimer's dementia, various cancers, and inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. Age-related chronic diseases are a growing issue worldwide and place pressure on healthcare systems. They also severely reduce quality of life for individuals over many years. This work shows how epigenetic scores based on protein levels in the blood could predict a person's risk of several of these diseases. In the case of type 2 diabetes, the EpiScore results replicated previous research linking protein levels in the blood to future diagnosis of diabetes. Protein EpiScores could therefore allow researchers to identify people with the highest risk of disease, making it possible to intervene early and prevent these people from developing chronic conditions as they age.


Subject(s)
Cardiovascular Diseases/diagnosis , DNA Methylation/genetics , Diabetes Mellitus/diagnosis , Epigenomics/methods , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Proteome/genetics , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Aging , Biomarkers , Epigenesis, Genetic , Female , Humans , Life Style , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Factors , Scotland , Young Adult
7.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 1859, 2022 02 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1671609

ABSTRACT

Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is the receptor of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causing Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2) is a coreceptor. Abnormal hepatic function in COVID-19 suggests specific or bystander liver disease. Because liver cancer cells express the ACE2 viral receptor, they are widely used as models of SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to analyze ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expression and localization in human liver cancers and in non-tumor livers. We studied ACE2 and TMPRSS2 in transcriptomic datasets totaling 1503 liver cancers, followed by high-resolution confocal multiplex immunohistochemistry and quantitative image analysis of a 41-HCC tissue microarray. In cancers, we detected ACE2 and TMPRSS2 at the biliary pole of tumor hepatocytes. In whole mount sections of five normal liver samples, we identified ACE2 in hepatocyte's bile canaliculi, biliary epithelium, sinusoidal and capillary endothelial cells. Tumors carrying mutated ß-catenin showed ACE2 DNA hypomethylation and higher mRNA and protein expression, consistently with predicted ß-catenin response sites in the ACE2 promoter. Finally, ACE2 and TMPRSS2 co-expression networks highlighted hepatocyte-specific functions, oxidative stress and inflammation, suggesting a link between inflammation, ACE2 dysfunction and metabolic breakdown.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19 , Carcinoma, Hepatocellular/metabolism , Hepatocytes/metabolism , Liver Neoplasms/metabolism , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , DNA Methylation , Gene Expression , Humans , Inflammation , Mutation , Oxidative Stress/genetics , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , beta Catenin/genetics , beta Catenin/metabolism
8.
Cells ; 11(3)2022 01 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1667056

ABSTRACT

Epigenetic alterations pose one major hallmark of organismal aging. Here, we provide an overview on recent findings describing the epigenetic changes that arise during aging and in related maladies such as neurodegeneration and cancer. Specifically, we focus on alterations of histone modifications and DNA methylation and illustrate the link with metabolic pathways. Age-related epigenetic, transcriptional and metabolic deregulations are highly interconnected, which renders dissociating cause and effect complicated. However, growing amounts of evidence support the notion that aging is not only accompanied by epigenetic alterations, but also at least in part induced by those. DNA methylation clocks emerged as a tool to objectively determine biological aging and turned out as a valuable source in search of factors positively and negatively impacting human life span. Moreover, specific epigenetic signatures can be used as biomarkers for age-associated disorders or even as targets for therapeutic approaches, as will be covered in this review. Finally, we summarize recent potential intervention strategies that target epigenetic mechanisms to extend healthy life span and provide an outlook on future developments in the field of longevity research.


Subject(s)
Epigenomics , Longevity , Aging/genetics , DNA Methylation/genetics , Epigenesis, Genetic , Humans , Longevity/genetics
9.
Oxid Med Cell Longev ; 2022: 2523066, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662340

ABSTRACT

Pneumoconiosis is one of the most common occupational diseases in the world, and specific treatment methods of pneumoconiosis are lacking at present, so it carries great social and economic burdens. Pneumoconiosis, coronavirus disease 2019, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis all have similar typical pathological changes-pulmonary fibrosis. Pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic lung disease characterized by excessive deposition of the extracellular matrix and remodeling of the lung tissue structure. Clarifying the pathogenesis of pneumoconiosis plays an important guiding role in its treatment. The occurrence and development of pneumoconiosis are accompanied by epigenetic factors (e.g., DNA methylation and noncoding RNA) changes, which in turn can promote or inhibit the process of pneumoconiosis. Here, we summarize epigenetic changes and functions in the several kinds of evidence classification (epidemiological investigation, in vivo, and in vitro experiments) and main types of cells (macrophages, fibroblasts, and alveolar epithelial cells) to provide some clues for finding specific therapeutic targets for pneumoconiosis and even for pulmonary fibrosis.


Subject(s)
Epigenesis, Genetic , Pneumoconiosis/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , DNA Methylation , Humans , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/genetics , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/pathology , Macrophages/cytology , Macrophages/immunology , Macrophages/metabolism , Pneumoconiosis/pathology , RNA, Untranslated/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
10.
Antiviral Res ; 197: 105232, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1588314

ABSTRACT

We report the in vitro antiviral activity of DZNep (3-Deazaneplanocin A; an inhibitor of S-adenosylmethionine-dependent methyltransferase) against SARS-CoV-2, besides demonstrating its protective efficacy against lethal infection of infectious bronchitis virus (IBV, a member of the Coronaviridae family). DZNep treatment resulted in reduced synthesis of SARS-CoV-2 RNA and proteins without affecting other steps of viral life cycle. We demonstrated that deposition of N6-methyl adenosine (m6A) in SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the infected cells recruits heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1 (hnRNPA1), an RNA binding protein which serves as a m6A reader. DZNep inhibited the recruitment of hnRNPA1 at m6A-modified SARS-CoV-2 RNA which eventually suppressed the synthesis of the viral genome. In addition, m6A-marked RNA and hnRNPA1 interaction was also shown to regulate early translation to replication switch of SARS-CoV-2 genome. Furthermore, abrogation of methylation by DZNep also resulted in defective synthesis of the 5' cap of viral RNA, thereby resulting in its failure to interact with eIF4E (a cap-binding protein), eventually leading to a decreased synthesis of viral proteins. Most importantly, DZNep-resistant mutants could not be observed upon long-term sequential passage of SARS-CoV-2 in cell culture. In summary, we report the novel role of methylation in the life cycle of SARS-CoV-2 and propose that targeting the methylome using DZNep could be of significant therapeutic value against SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Adenosine/analogs & derivatives , Genome, Viral/drug effects , Methyltransferases/antagonists & inhibitors , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Adenosine/pharmacology , Animals , Chick Embryo , Chlorocebus aethiops , Chromatin Immunoprecipitation Sequencing , DNA Methylation/drug effects , DNA Methylation/physiology , Drug Resistance, Viral/drug effects , Genome, Viral/genetics , Heterogeneous Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein A1/metabolism , Humans , Lethal Dose 50 , Mice , Protein Biosynthesis/drug effects , RNA, Viral/drug effects , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Rabbits , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms , Transcription, Genetic/drug effects , Vero Cells
11.
J Leukoc Biol ; 110(1): 21-26, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574077

ABSTRACT

The global pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a highly pathogenic RNA virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in humans. Although most patients with COVID-19 have mild illness and may be asymptomatic, some will develop severe pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, multi-organ failure, and death. RNA viruses such as SARS-CoV-2 are capable of hijacking the epigenetic landscape of host immune cells to evade antiviral defense. Yet, there remain considerable gaps in our understanding of immune cell epigenetic changes associated with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection pathology. Here, we examined genome-wide DNA methylation (DNAm) profiles of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 9 terminally-ill, critical COVID-19 patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 plasma viremia compared with uninfected, hospitalized influenza, untreated primary HIV infection, and mild/moderate COVID-19 HIV coinfected individuals. Cell-type deconvolution analyses confirmed lymphopenia in severe COVID-19 and revealed a high percentage of estimated neutrophils suggesting perturbations to DNAm associated with granulopoiesis. We observed a distinct DNAm signature of severe COVID-19 characterized by hypermethylation of IFN-related genes and hypomethylation of inflammatory genes, reinforcing observations in infection models and single-cell transcriptional studies of severe COVID-19. Epigenetic clock analyses revealed severe COVID-19 was associated with an increased DNAm age and elevated mortality risk according to GrimAge, further validating the epigenetic clock as a predictor of disease and mortality risk. Our epigenetic results reveal a discovery DNAm signature of severe COVID-19 in blood potentially useful for corroborating clinical assessments, informing pathogenic mechanisms, and revealing new therapeutic targets against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , DNA Methylation/genetics , Epigenesis, Genetic , Genome, Human , COVID-19/virology , HIV Infections/genetics , Humans , Influenza, Human/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
12.
Epigenetics Chromatin ; 14(1): 54, 2021 12 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1571923

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Understanding the molecular basis of susceptibility factors to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is a global health imperative. It is well-established that males are more likely to acquire SARS-CoV-2 infection and exhibit more severe outcomes. Similarly, exposure to air pollutants and pre-existing respiratory chronic conditions, such as asthma and chronic obstructive respiratory disease (COPD) confer an increased risk to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). METHODS: We investigated molecular patterns associated with risk factors in 398 candidate genes relevant to COVID-19 biology. To accomplish this, we downloaded DNA methylation and gene expression data sets from publicly available repositories (GEO and GTEx Portal) and utilized data from an empirical controlled human exposure study conducted by our team. RESULTS: First, we observed sex-biased DNA methylation patterns in autosomal immune genes, such as NLRP2, TLE1, GPX1, and ARRB2 (FDR < 0.05, magnitude of DNA methylation difference Δß > 0.05). Second, our analysis on the X-linked genes identified sex associated DNA methylation profiles in genes, such as ACE2, CA5B, and HS6ST2 (FDR < 0.05, Δß > 0.05). These associations were observed across multiple respiratory tissues (lung, nasal epithelia, airway epithelia, and bronchoalveolar lavage) and in whole blood. Some of these genes, such as NLRP2 and CA5B, also exhibited sex-biased gene expression patterns. In addition, we found differential DNA methylation patterns by COVID-19 status for genes, such as NLRP2 and ACE2 in an exploratory analysis of an empirical data set reporting on human COVID-9 infections. Third, we identified modest DNA methylation changes in CpGs associated with PRIM2 and TATDN1 (FDR < 0.1, Δß > 0.05) in response to particle-depleted diesel exhaust in bronchoalveolar lavage. Finally, we captured a DNA methylation signature associated with COPD diagnosis in a gene involved in nicotine dependence (COMT) (FDR < 0.1, Δß > 0.05). CONCLUSION: Our findings on sex differences might be of clinical relevance given that they revealed molecular associations of sex-biased differences in COVID-19. Specifically, our results hinted at a potentially exaggerated immune response in males linked to autosomal genes, such as NLRP2. In contrast, our findings at X-linked loci such as ACE2 suggested a potentially distinct DNA methylation pattern in females that may interact with its mRNA expression and inactivation status. We also found tissue-specific DNA methylation differences in response to particulate exposure potentially capturing a nitrogen dioxide (NO2) effect-a contributor to COVID-19 susceptibility. While we identified a molecular signature associated with COPD, all COPD-affected individuals were smokers, which may either reflect an association with the disease, smoking, or may highlight a compounded effect of these two risk factors in COVID-19. Overall, our findings point towards a molecular basis of variation in susceptibility factors that may partly explain disparities in the risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , DNA Methylation , Gene Expression , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Characteristics , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/genetics , Adolescent , Adult , Air Pollutants/adverse effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Child , Child, Preschool , Chromosomes, Human, X , Co-Repressor Proteins/genetics , Female , Genes, X-Linked , Glutathione Peroxidase/genetics , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Factors , Smoking/adverse effects , Sulfotransferases/genetics , Young Adult , beta-Arrestin 2/genetics
13.
Gene ; 811: 146069, 2022 Feb 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1536570

ABSTRACT

Within the past several decades, the emergence and spread of infectious diseases with pandemic potential have endangered human lives. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak represents an unprecedented threat for all health systems worldwide. The clinical spectrum of COVID-19 is highly heterogeneous, ranging from asymptomatic and mild upper respiratory tract illness to severe interstitial pneumonia with respiratory failure and even death. Highly age-dependent patterns of immune response potentially explain the higher rates of the severe forms of COVID-19 in elderly patients. However, genetic and epigenetic architecture can influence multiple biological processes during the lifespan, therefore as far as our knowledge shows, vulnerability to viral infection concerning telomere length and epigenetic signature is not a new idea. This review aims is to summarize the current understanding of the role of telomere length and epigenetic mechanisms on the severity of COVID-19. The current knowledge highlights the significant association between the shorter telomere length and the higher risk of developing severe COVID-19. Differential DNA methylation patterns and miRNA expression profiles imply that these hallmarks can play a pivotal role in COVID- 19 pathogenesis. Understanding the causes of inter-individual variations in COVID-19 outcomes could provide clues to the development of the personalized therapeutic intervention.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , Epigenesis, Genetic , Epigenomics , Severity of Illness Index , Telomere/genetics , COVID-19/virology , DNA Methylation , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Humans , Immunity , MicroRNAs/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
14.
JCI Insight ; 6(24)2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518198

ABSTRACT

A substantial proportion of patients who have recovered from coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) experience COVID-19-related symptoms even months after hospital discharge. We extensively immunologically characterized patients who recovered from COVID-19. In these patients, T cells were exhausted, with increased PD-1+ T cells, as compared with healthy controls. Plasma levels of IL-1ß, IL-1RA, and IL-8, among others, were also increased in patients who recovered from COVID-19. This altered immunophenotype was mirrored by a reduced ex vivo T cell response to both nonspecific and specific stimulation, revealing a dysfunctional status of T cells, including a poor response to SARS-CoV-2 antigens. Altered levels of plasma soluble PD-L1, as well as of PD1 promoter methylation and PD1-targeting miR-15-5p, in CD8+ T cells were also observed, suggesting abnormal function of the PD-1/PD-L1 immune checkpoint axis. Notably, ex vivo blockade of PD-1 nearly normalized the aforementioned immunophenotype and restored T cell function, reverting the observed post-COVID-19 immune abnormalities; indeed, we also noted an increased T cell-mediated response to SARS-CoV-2 peptides. Finally, in a neutralization assay, PD-1 blockade did not alter the ability of T cells to neutralize SARS-CoV-2 spike pseudotyped lentivirus infection. Immune checkpoint blockade ameliorates post-COVID-19 immune abnormalities and stimulates an anti-SARS-CoV-2 immune response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Cytokines/immunology , Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors/pharmacology , Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/drug effects , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , B7-H1 Antigen/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/drug effects , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/drug effects , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Case-Control Studies , Cytokines/drug effects , DNA Methylation , Female , Humans , Immunophenotyping , In Vitro Techniques , Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein/drug effects , Interleukin 1 Receptor Antagonist Protein/immunology , Interleukin-1beta/drug effects , Interleukin-1beta/immunology , Interleukin-8/drug effects , Interleukin-8/immunology , Male , MicroRNAs/metabolism , Middle Aged , Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor/antagonists & inhibitors , Promoter Regions, Genetic
15.
J Virol ; 95(13): e0019221, 2021 06 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1486499

ABSTRACT

Understanding factors that affect the infectivity of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is central to combatting coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The virus surface spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 mediates viral entry into cells by binding to the ACE2 receptor on epithelial cells and promoting fusion. We found that Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) induces ACE2 expression when it enters the lytic replicative cycle in epithelial cells. By using vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) particles pseudotyped with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, we showed that lytic EBV replication enhances ACE2-dependent SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus entry. We found that the ACE2 promoter contains response elements for Zta, an EBV transcriptional activator that is essential for EBV entry into the lytic cycle of replication. Zta preferentially acts on methylated promoters, allowing it to reactivate epigenetically silenced EBV promoters from latency. By using promoter assays, we showed that Zta directly activates methylated ACE2 promoters. Infection of normal oral keratinocytes with EBV leads to lytic replication in some of the infected cells, induces ACE2 expression, and enhances SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus entry. These data suggest that subclinical EBV replication and lytic gene expression in epithelial cells, which is ubiquitous in the human population, may enhance the efficiency and extent of SARS-CoV-2 infection of epithelial cells by transcriptionally activating ACE2 and increasing its cell surface expression. IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19, has caused a pandemic leading to millions of infections and deaths worldwide. Identifying the factors governing susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 is important in order to develop strategies to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. We show that Epstein-Barr virus, which infects and persists in >90% of adult humans, increases susceptibility of epithelial cells to infection by SARS-CoV-2. EBV, when it reactivates from latency or infects epithelial cells, increases expression of ACE2, the cellular receptor for SARS-CoV-2, enhancing infection by SARS-CoV-2. Inhibiting EBV replication with antivirals may therefore decrease susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Epithelial Cells/virology , Herpesvirus 4, Human/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Internalization , Virus Replication , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Cell Line , DNA Methylation , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Promoter Regions, Genetic , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Trans-Activators/metabolism , Virus Activation
16.
Front Immunol ; 12: 752380, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1485056

ABSTRACT

The progression of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), resulting from a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, may be influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. Several viruses hijack the host genome machinery for their own advantage and survival, and similar phenomena might occur upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. Severe cases of COVID-19 may be driven by metabolic and epigenetic driven mechanisms, including DNA methylation and histone/chromatin alterations. These epigenetic phenomena may respond to enhanced viral replication and mediate persistent long-term infection and clinical phenotypes associated with severe COVID-19 cases and fatalities. Understanding the epigenetic events involved, and their clinical significance, may provide novel insights valuable for the therapeutic control and management of the COVID-19 pandemic. This review highlights different epigenetic marks potentially associated with COVID-19 development, clinical manifestation, and progression.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , DNA Methylation/immunology , Epigenesis, Genetic/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/genetics , Humans , Organ Specificity , Pandemics
17.
J Exp Med ; 218(9)2021 09 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467276

ABSTRACT

The three classes of interferons (IFNs) share the ability to inhibit viral replication, activating cell transcriptional programs that regulate both innate and adaptive responses to viral and intracellular bacterial challenge. Due to their unique potency in regulating viral replication, and their association with numerous autoimmune diseases, the tightly orchestrated transcriptional regulation of IFNs has long been a subject of intense investigation. The protective role of early robust IFN responses in the context of infection with SARS-CoV-2 has further underscored the relevance of these pathways. In this viewpoint, rather than focusing on the downstream effects of IFN signaling (which have been extensively reviewed elsewhere), we will summarize the historical and current understanding of the stepwise assembly and function of factors that regulate IFNß enhancer activity (the "enhanceosome") and highlight opportunities for deeper understanding of the transcriptional control of the ifnb gene.


Subject(s)
Epigenesis, Genetic , Gene Expression Regulation , Host-Pathogen Interactions/physiology , Interferon-beta/genetics , CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Proteins/genetics , CCAAT-Enhancer-Binding Proteins/metabolism , DNA Methylation , Enhancer Elements, Genetic , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H5N1 Subtype/pathogenicity , Interferon-beta/metabolism , Promoter Regions, Genetic , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Transcription, Genetic , Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases/genetics , Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases/metabolism
18.
Int J Biol Sci ; 17(14): 3795-3817, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1459010

ABSTRACT

Background: SARS-CoV-2, the cause of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, utilizes the mechanism of binding to ACE2 (a crucial component of the renin-angiotensin system [RAS]), subsequently mediating a secondary imbalance of the RAS family and leading to severe injury to the host. However, very few studies have been conducted to reveal the mechanism behind the effect of SARS-CoV-2 on tumors. Methods: Demographic data extracted from 33 cancer types and over 10,000 samples were employed to determine the comprehensive landscape of the RAS. Expression distribution, pretranscriptional and posttranscriptional regulation and posttranslational modifications (PTMs) as well as genomic alterations, DNA methylation and m6A modification were analyzed in both tissue and cell lines. The clinical phenotype, prognostic value and significance of the RAS during immune infiltration were identified. Results: Low expression of AGTR1 was common in tumors compared to normal tissues, while very low expression of AGTR2 and MAS1 was detected in both tissues and cell lines. Differential expression patterns of ACE in ovarian serous cystadenocarcinoma (OV) and kidney renal clear cell carcinoma (KIRC) were correlated with ubiquitin modification involving E3 ligases. Genomic alterations of the RAS family were infrequent across TCGA pan-cancer program, and ACE had the highest alteration frequency compared with other members. Low expression of AGTR1 may result from hypermethylation in the promoter. Downregulation of RAS family was linked to higher clinical stage and worse survival (as measured by disease-specific survival [DSS], overall survival [OS] or progression-free interval [PFI]), especially for ACE2 and AGTR1 in KIRC. ACE-AGTR1, a classical axis of the RAS family related to immune infiltration, was positively correlated with M2-type macrophages, cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) and immune checkpoint genes in most cancers. Conclusion: ACE, ACE2, AGT and AGTR1 were differentially expressed in 33 types of cancers. PTM of RAS family was found to rely on ubiquitination. ACE2 and AGTR1 might serve as independent prognostic factors for LGG and KIRC. SARS-CoV-2 might modify the tumor microenvironment by regulating the RAS family, thus affecting the biological processes of cancer.


Subject(s)
Neoplasms/metabolism , Renin-Angiotensin System , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/metabolism , DNA Methylation , Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic , Humans , Immunotherapy , Neoplasms/etiology , Neoplasms/mortality , Neoplasms/therapy , Protein Processing, Post-Translational
19.
Eur J Clin Invest ; 52(2): e13685, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440744

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Obesity was consistently associated with a poor prognosis in patients with COVID-19. Epigenetic mechanisms were proposed as the link between obesity and comorbidities risk. AIM: To evaluate the methylation levels of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) gene, the main entry receptor of SARS-CoV-2, in different depots of adipose tissue (AT) and leukocytes (PBMCs) in obesity and after weight loss therapy based on a very-low-calorie ketogenic diet (VLCKD), a balanced hypocaloric diet (HCD) or bariatric surgery (BS). MATERIALS AND METHODS: DNA methylation levels of ACE2 were extracted from our data sets generated by the hybridization of subcutaneous (SAT) (n = 32) or visceral (VAT; n = 32) adipose tissue, and PBMCs (n = 34) samples in Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChips. Data were compared based on the degree of obesity and after 4-6 months of weight loss either by following a nutritional or surgical treatment and correlated with ACE2 transcript levels. RESULTS: As compared with normal weight, VAT from patients with obesity showed higher ACE2 methylation levels. These differences were mirrored in PBMCs but not in SAT. The observed obesity-associated methylation of ACE2 was reversed after VLCKD and HCD but not after BS. Among the studied CpG sites, cg16734967 and cg21598868, located at the promoter, were the most affected and correlated with BMI. The observed DNA methylation pattern was inversely correlated with ACE2 expression. CONCLUSION: Obesity-related VAT shows hypermethylation and downregulation of the ACE2 gene that is mirrored in PBMCs and is restored after nutritional weight reduction therapy. The results warrant the necessity to further evaluate its implication for COVID-19 pathogenesis.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Intra-Abdominal Fat/metabolism , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/metabolism , Obesity/genetics , Receptors, Coronavirus/genetics , Subcutaneous Fat/metabolism , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Bariatric Surgery , COVID-19 , DNA Methylation , Diet, Ketogenic , Diet, Reducing , Female , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Obesity/metabolism , Obesity/therapy , Obesity, Morbid/genetics , Obesity, Morbid/metabolism , Obesity, Morbid/therapy , Receptors, Coronavirus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Weight Loss
20.
Prostate ; 81(15): 1107-1124, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1380409

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The 27th Annual Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) Scientific Retreat was held virtually from October 20 to 23, 2020. METHODS: The Annual PCF Scientific Retreat is a global scientific research conference that highlights the most promising and cutting edge advances in prostate cancer basic, translational and clinical research, as well as research from other fields with a strong potential for advancing prostate cancer research. RESULTS: Primary areas of research discussed at the 2020 PCF Retreat included: (i) the intersection between prostate cancer and COVID-19 research; (ii) lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic that may address prostate cancer disparities; (iv) the role of the microbiome in cancer; (v) current challenges in treatment of patients with metastatic prostate cancer; (viii) prostate cancer germline genetics and evolutionary genomics; (ix) advances in circulating DNA methylation biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment selection; (x) advances in the development of MYC-targeting therapeutics; (xi) advances in antibody-drug conjugates for the treatment of cancer; (xii) advances for immunotherapy in prostate cancer; and (xiii) updates from other recent prostate cancer clinical trials. CONCLUSIONS: This article summarizes the research presented at the 2020 PCF Scientific Retreat. We hope that dissemination of this knowledge will help to accelerate and direct the next major advances in prostate cancer research and care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Prostatic Neoplasms , SARS-CoV-2 , Androgens , Animals , Biomarkers, Tumor , Biomedical Research , DNA Methylation , Genetic Predisposition to Disease/ethnology , Genomics , Healthcare Disparities , Humans , Immunotherapy , Male , Mice , Microbiota , Mutation , Pandemics , Prognosis , Prostatic Neoplasms/genetics , Prostatic Neoplasms/microbiology , Prostatic Neoplasms/therapy
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