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1.
Acc Chem Res ; 54(21): 3991-4000, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1483068

ABSTRACT

The modern healthcare system faces an unrelenting threat from microorganisms, as evidenced by global outbreaks of new viral diseases, emerging antimicrobial resistance, and the rising incidence of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). An effective response to these threats requires rapid and accurate diagnostic tests that can identify causative pathogens at the point of care (POC). Such tests could eliminate diagnostic uncertainties, facilitating patient triaging, minimizing the empiric use of antimicrobial drugs, and enabling targeted treatments. Current standard methods, however, often fail to meet the needs of rapid diagnosis in POC settings. Culture-based assays entail long processing times and require specialized laboratory infrastructure; nucleic acid (NA) tests are often limited to centralized hospitals due to assay complexity and high costs. Here we discuss two new POC tests developed in our groups to enable the rapid diagnosis of infection. The first is nanoPCR that takes advantages of core-shell magnetoplasmonic nanoparticles (MPNs): (i) Au shell significantly accelerates thermocycling via volumetric, plasmonic light-to-heat conversion and (ii) a magnetic core enables sensitive in situ fluorescent detection via magnetic clearing. By adopting a Ferris wheel module, the system expedites multisamples in parallel with a minimal setup. When applied to COVID-19 diagnosis, nanoPCR detected SARS-CoV-2 RNA down to 3.2 copy/µL within 17 min. In particular, nanoPCR diagnostics accurately identified COVID-19 cases in clinical samples (n = 150), validating its clinical applicability. The second is a polarization anisotropy diagnostic (PAD) system that exploits the principle of fluorescence polarization (FP) as a detection modality. Fluorescent probes were designed to alter their molecular weight upon recognizing target NAs. This event modulates the probes' tumbling rate (Brownian motion), which leads to changes in FP. The approach is robust against environmental noise and benefits from the ratiometric nature of the signal readout. We applied PAD to detect clinically relevant HAI bacteria (Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus). The PAD assay demonstrated detection sensitivity down to the single bacterium level and determined both drug resistance and virulence status. In summary, these new tests have the potential to become powerful tools for rapid diagnosis in the infectious disease space. They do not require highly skilled personnel or labor-intensive analyses, and the assays are quick and cost-effective. These attributes will make nanoPCR and PAD well-aligned with a POC workflow to aid physicians to initiate prompt and informed patient treatment.


Subject(s)
Bacterial Infections/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Fluorescence Polarization , Nanotechnology , Polymerase Chain Reaction , Fluorescent Dyes/chemistry , Humans , Point-of-Care Systems , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
2.
Bioorg Chem ; 116: 105362, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1432980

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a serious threat to global health. One attractive antiviral target is the membrane fusion mechanism employed by the virus to gain access to the host cell. Here we report a robust protein-based fluorescent polarization assay, that mimicking the formation of the six-helix bundle (6-HB) process during the membrane fusion, for the evaluation and screening of SARS-CoV-2 fusion Inhibitors. The IC50 of known inhibitors, HR2P, EK1, and Salvianolic acid C (Sal-C) were measured to be 6.1 nM, 2.5 nM, and 8.9 µM respectively. In addition, we found Sal-A has a slightly lower IC50 (3.9 µM) than Sal-C. Interestingly, simple caffeic acid can also disrupt the formation of 6-HB with a sub-mM concentration. Pilot high throughput screening (HTS) of a small marine natural product library validates the assay with a Z' factor close to 0.8. We envision the current assay provides a convenient way to screen SARS-CoV-2 fusion inhibitors and assess their binding affinity.


Subject(s)
Alkenes/analysis , Antiviral Agents/analysis , Fluorescence Polarization , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Peptides/analysis , Polyphenols/analysis , Alkenes/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Humans , Molecular Structure , Peptides/pharmacology , Polyphenols/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects
3.
Int J Mol Sci ; 21(19)2020 Sep 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1299427

ABSTRACT

The covalent transfer of the AMP portion of ATP onto a target protein-termed adenylylation or AMPylation-by the human Fic protein HYPE/FICD has recently garnered attention as a key regulatory mechanism in endoplasmic reticulum homeostasis, neurodegeneration, and neurogenesis. As a central player in such critical cellular events, high-throughput screening (HTS) efforts targeting HYPE-mediated AMPylation warrant investigation. Herein, we present a dual HTS assay for the simultaneous identification of small-molecule activators and inhibitors of HYPE AMPylation. Employing the fluorescence polarization of an ATP analog fluorophore-Fl-ATP-we developed and optimized an efficient, robust assay that monitors HYPE autoAMPylation and is amenable to automated, high-throughput processing of diverse chemical libraries. Challenging our pilot screen with compounds from the LOPAC, Spectrum, MEGx, and NATx libraries yielded 0.3% and 1% hit rates for HYPE activators and inhibitors, respectively. Further, these hits were assessed for dose-dependency and validated via orthogonal biochemical AMPylation assays. We thus present a high-quality HTS assay suitable for tracking HYPE's enzymatic activity, and the resultant first small-molecule manipulators of HYPE-promoted autoAMPylation.


Subject(s)
Enzyme Inhibitors/chemistry , Membrane Proteins , Molecular Docking Simulation , Nucleotidyltransferases , Adenosine Triphosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Triphosphate/chemistry , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Fluorescence Polarization , Humans , Membrane Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Membrane Proteins/chemistry , Nucleotidyltransferases/antagonists & inhibitors , Nucleotidyltransferases/chemistry
4.
Biosens Bioelectron ; 178: 113049, 2021 Apr 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1056383

ABSTRACT

Prompt diagnosis, patient isolation, and contact tracing are key measures to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Molecular tests are the current gold standard for COVID-19 detection, but are carried out at central laboratories, delaying treatment and control decisions. Here we describe a portable assay system for rapid, onsite COVID-19 diagnosis. Termed CODA (CRISPR Optical Detection of Anisotropy), the method combined isothermal nucleic acid amplification, activation of CRISPR/Cas12a, and signal generation in a single assay, eliminating extra manual steps. Importantly, signal detection was based on the ratiometric measurement of fluorescent anisotropy, which allowed CODA to achieve a high signal-to-noise ratio. For point-of-care operation, we built a compact, standalone CODA device integrating optoelectronics, an embedded heater, and a microcontroller for data processing. The developed system completed SARS-CoV-2 RNA detection within 20 min of sample loading; the limit of detection reached 3 copy/µL. When applied to clinical samples (10 confirmed COVID-19 patients; 10 controls), the rapid CODA test accurately classified COVID-19 status, in concordance with gold-standard clinical diagnostics.


Subject(s)
Biosensing Techniques/methods , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Fluorescence Polarization/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Biosensing Techniques/instrumentation , Biosensing Techniques/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/instrumentation , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/statistics & numerical data , CRISPR-Cas Systems , Equipment Design , Fluorescence Polarization/instrumentation , Fluorescence Polarization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/instrumentation , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/statistics & numerical data , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/instrumentation , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/methods , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Point-of-Care Systems/statistics & numerical data , Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted , Signal-To-Noise Ratio
5.
SLAS Discov ; 26(5): 620-627, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1021348

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, evades the human immune system by capping its RNA. This process protects the viral RNA and is essential for its replication. Multiple viral proteins are involved in this RNA capping process, including the nonstructural protein 16 (nsp16), which is an S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM)-dependent 2'-O-methyltransferase. Nsp16 is significantly active when in complex with another nonstructural protein, nsp10, which plays a key role in its stability and activity. Here we report the development of a fluorescence polarization (FP)-based RNA displacement assay for nsp10-nsp16 complex in a 384-well format with a Z' factor of 0.6, suitable for high-throughput screening. In this process, we purified the nsp10-nsp16 complex to higher than 95% purity and confirmed its binding to the methyl donor SAM, the product of the reaction, S-adenosyl-l-homocysteine (SAH), and a common methyltransferase inhibitor, sinefungin, using isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). The assay was further validated by screening a library of 1124 drug-like compounds. This assay provides a cost-effective high-throughput method for screening the nsp10-nsp16 complex for RNA competitive inhibitors toward developing COVID-19 therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , High-Throughput Screening Assays , RNA, Viral/antagonists & inhibitors , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Adenosine/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine/pharmacology , Binding, Competitive , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology , Fluorescence Polarization , Gene Expression Regulation , Host-Pathogen Interactions/drug effects , Humans , Methyltransferases , Protein Binding , RNA Caps/antagonists & inhibitors , RNA Caps/genetics , RNA Caps/metabolism , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Signal Transduction , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/genetics , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication
6.
EMBO J ; 39(18): e106275, 2020 09 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-730426

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus encodes an essential papain-like protease domain as part of its non-structural protein (nsp)-3, namely SARS2 PLpro, that cleaves the viral polyprotein, but also removes ubiquitin-like ISG15 protein modifications as well as, with lower activity, Lys48-linked polyubiquitin. Structures of PLpro bound to ubiquitin and ISG15 reveal that the S1 ubiquitin-binding site is responsible for high ISG15 activity, while the S2 binding site provides Lys48 chain specificity and cleavage efficiency. To identify PLpro inhibitors in a repurposing approach, screening of 3,727 unique approved drugs and clinical compounds against SARS2 PLpro identified no compounds that inhibited PLpro consistently or that could be validated in counterscreens. More promisingly, non-covalent small molecule SARS PLpro inhibitors also target SARS2 PLpro, prevent self-processing of nsp3 in cells and display high potency and excellent antiviral activity in a SARS-CoV-2 infection model.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Ubiquitin/metabolism , Animals , Binding Sites , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/genetics , Crystallography, X-Ray , Cytokines/genetics , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical/methods , Drug Repositioning , Fluorescence Polarization , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Kinetics , Models, Molecular , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protein Conformation , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Ubiquitins/genetics , Vero Cells
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