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1.
Antiviral Res ; 208: 105452, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2085918

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is currently causing an unprecedented pandemic. While vaccines are massively deployed, we still lack effective large-scale antiviral therapies. In the quest for antivirals targeting conserved structures, we focused on molecules able to bind viral RNA secondary structures. Aminoglycosides are a class of antibiotics known to interact with the ribosomal RNA of both prokaryotes and eukaryotes and have previously been shown to exert antiviral activities by interacting with viral RNA. Here we show that the aminoglycoside geneticin is endowed with antiviral activity against all tested variants of SARS-CoV-2, in different cell lines and in a respiratory tissue model at non-toxic concentrations. The mechanism of action is an early inhibition of RNA replication and protein expression related to a decrease in the efficiency of the -1 programmed ribosomal frameshift (PRF) signal of SARS-CoV-2. Using in silico modeling, we have identified a potential binding site of geneticin in the pseudoknot of frameshift RNA motif. Moreover, we have selected, through virtual screening, additional RNA binding compounds, interacting with the same site with increased potency.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Frameshifting, Ribosomal , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , RNA, Viral/metabolism , COVID-19/drug therapy
2.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 4284, 2022 07 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1956403

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 frameshifting element (FSE), a highly conserved mRNA region required for correct translation of viral polyproteins, defines an excellent therapeutic target against Covid-19. As discovered by our prior graph-theory analysis with SHAPE experiments, the FSE adopts a heterogeneous, length-dependent conformational landscape consisting of an assumed 3-stem H-type pseudoknot (graph motif 3_6), and two alternative motifs (3_3 and 3_5). Here, for the first time, we build and simulate, by microsecond molecular dynamics, 30 models for all three motifs plus motif-stabilizing mutants at different lengths. Our 3_6 pseudoknot systems, which agree with experimental structures, reveal interconvertible L and linear conformations likely related to ribosomal pausing and frameshifting. The 3_6 mutant inhibits this transformation and could hamper frameshifting. Our 3_3 systems exhibit length-dependent stem interactions that point to a potential transition pathway connecting the three motifs during ribosomal elongation. Together, our observations provide new insights into frameshifting mechanisms and anti-viral strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Frameshifting, Ribosomal , Base Sequence , Humans , Nucleic Acid Conformation , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
3.
Viruses ; 14(7)2022 Jul 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1939014

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which has been reported to have caused 18 [...].


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Benzamidines , Chlorocebus aethiops , Frameshifting, Ribosomal , Guanidines , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells , Virus Replication
4.
mBio ; 13(4): e0246821, 2022 08 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1901930

ABSTRACT

The constrained nature of viral genomes has allowed a translational sleight of hand known as -1 Programmed Ribosomal Frameshifting (-1 PRF) to flourish. Numerous studies have sought to tease apart the mechanisms and implications of -1PRF utilizing a few techniques. The dual-luciferase assay and ribosomal profiling have driven the PRF field to make great advances; however, the use of these assays means that the full impact of the genomic and cellular context on -1 PRF is often lost. Here, we discuss how the Minimal Frameshifting Element (MFE) and its constraints can hide contextual effects on -1 PRF. We review how sequence elements proximal to the traditionally defined MFE, such as the coronavirus attenuator sequence, can affect the observed rates of -1 PRF. Further, the MFE-based approach fully obscured -1 PRF in Barley yellow dwarf virus and would render the exploration of -1 PRF difficult in Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, Encephalomyocarditis virus, Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus, and Sindbis virus. Finally, we examine how the cellular context of tRNA abundance, miRNAs, and immune response elements can affect -1 PRF. The use of MFE was instrumental in establishing the basic foundations of PRF; however, it has become clear that the contextual impact on -1 PRF is no longer the exception so much as it is the rule and argues for new approaches to study -1PRF that embrace context. We therefore urge our field to expand the strategies and methods used to explore -1 PRF.


Subject(s)
Frameshifting, Ribosomal , Ribosomes , Animals , Cell Line , Genome, Viral , Mice , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Ribosomes/metabolism , Sindbis Virus/genetics
5.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 1128, 2022 03 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1721520

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is a betacoronavirus with a single-stranded, positive-sense, 30-kilobase RNA genome responsible for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Although population average structure models of the genome were recently reported, there is little experimental data on native structural ensembles, and most structures lack functional characterization. Here we report secondary structure heterogeneity of the entire SARS-CoV-2 genome in two lines of infected cells at single nucleotide resolution. Our results reveal alternative RNA conformations across the genome and at the critical frameshifting stimulation element (FSE) that are drastically different from prevailing population average models. Importantly, we find that this structural ensemble promotes frameshifting rates much higher than the canonical minimal FSE and similar to ribosome profiling studies. Our results highlight the value of studying RNA in its full length and cellular context. The genomic structures detailed here lay groundwork for coronavirus RNA biology and will guide the design of SARS-CoV-2 RNA-based therapeutics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , RNA, Viral/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Frameshifting, Ribosomal , Genome, Viral , Humans , Nucleic Acid Conformation , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
6.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 988, 2022 02 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1713165

ABSTRACT

Translating ribosomes unwind mRNA secondary structures by three basepairs each elongation cycle. Despite the ribosome helicase, certain mRNA stem-loops stimulate programmed ribosomal frameshift by inhibiting translation elongation. Here, using mutagenesis, biochemical and single-molecule experiments, we examine whether high stability of three basepairs, which are unwound by the translating ribosome, is critical for inducing ribosome pauses. We find that encountering frameshift-inducing mRNA stem-loops from the E. coli dnaX mRNA and the gag-pol transcript of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) hinders A-site tRNA binding and slows down ribosome translocation by 15-20 folds. By contrast, unwinding of first three basepairs adjacent to the mRNA entry channel slows down the translating ribosome by only 2-3 folds. Rather than high thermodynamic stability, specific length and structure enable regulatory mRNA stem-loops to stall translation by forming inhibitory interactions with the ribosome. Our data provide the basis for rationalizing transcriptome-wide studies of translation and searching for novel regulatory mRNA stem-loops.


Subject(s)
Frameshifting, Ribosomal , RNA, Messenger/chemistry , Bacterial Proteins/genetics , DNA Polymerase III/genetics , Escherichia coli/genetics , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , HIV/genetics , Nucleic Acid Conformation , RNA, Bacterial/chemistry , RNA, Bacterial/metabolism , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , RNA, Transfer/metabolism , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Single Molecule Imaging , Thermodynamics
7.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 01 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1649476

ABSTRACT

Recurrent outbreaks of novel zoonotic coronavirus (CoV) diseases in recent years have highlighted the importance of developing therapeutics with broad-spectrum activity against CoVs. Because all CoVs use -1 programmed ribosomal frameshifting (-1 PRF) to control expression of key viral proteins, the frameshift signal in viral mRNA that stimulates -1 PRF provides a promising potential target for such therapeutics. To test the viability of this strategy, we explored whether small-molecule inhibitors of -1 PRF in SARS-CoV-2 also inhibited -1 PRF in a range of bat CoVs-the most likely source of future zoonoses. Six inhibitors identified in new and previous screens against SARS-CoV-2 were evaluated against the frameshift signals from a panel of representative bat CoVs as well as MERS-CoV. Some drugs had strong activity against subsets of these CoV-derived frameshift signals, while having limited to no effect on -1 PRF caused by frameshift signals from other viruses used as negative controls. Notably, the serine protease inhibitor nafamostat suppressed -1 PRF significantly for multiple CoV-derived frameshift signals. These results suggest it is possible to find small-molecule ligands that inhibit -1 PRF specifically in a broad spectrum of CoVs, establishing frameshift signals as a viable target for developing pan-coronaviral therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus/genetics , Frameshift Mutation , Frameshifting, Ribosomal/drug effects , Viral Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Animals , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Chiroptera/virology , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Nucleic Acid Conformation , RNA, Messenger/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics , Virus Replication/drug effects
8.
Rev Esp Quimioter ; 35(2): 204-212, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574365

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is an enveloped positive-sense single-stranded RNA coronavirus that causes COVID-19, of which the current outbreak has resulted in a high number of cases and fatalities throughout the world, even vaccine doses are being administered. The aim of this work was to scan the SARS-CoV-2 genome in search for therapeutic targets. We found a sequence in the 5'UTR (NC\_045512:74-130), consisting of a typical heptamer next to a structured region that may cause ribosomal frameshifting. The potential biological value of this region is relevant through its low similarity with other viruses, including coronaviruses related to SARS-CoV, and its high sequence conservation within multiple SARS-CoV-2 isolates. We have predicted the secondary structure of the region by means of different bioinformatic tools. We have suggested a most probable secondary structure to proceed with a 3D reconstruction of the structured segment. Finally, we carried out virtual docking on the 3D structure to look for a binding site and then for drug ligands from a database of lead compounds. Several molecules that could be probably administered as oral drugs show promising binding affinity within the structured region, and so it could be possible interfere its potential regulatory role.


Subject(s)
5' Untranslated Regions , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Binding Sites , COVID-19 , Computational Biology , Frameshifting, Ribosomal , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Nucleic Acid Conformation , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects
9.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 7193, 2021 12 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1565717

ABSTRACT

Programmed ribosomal frameshifting (PRF) is a fundamental gene expression event in many viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. It allows production of essential viral, structural and replicative enzymes that are encoded in an alternative reading frame. Despite the importance of PRF for the viral life cycle, it is still largely unknown how and to what extent cellular factors alter mechanical properties of frameshift elements and thereby impact virulence. This prompted us to comprehensively dissect the interplay between the SARS-CoV-2 frameshift element and the host proteome. We reveal that the short isoform of the zinc-finger antiviral protein (ZAP-S) is a direct regulator of PRF in SARS-CoV-2 infected cells. ZAP-S overexpression strongly impairs frameshifting and inhibits viral replication. Using in vitro ensemble and single-molecule techniques, we further demonstrate that ZAP-S directly interacts with the SARS-CoV-2 RNA and interferes with the folding of the frameshift RNA element. Together, these data identify ZAP-S as a host-encoded inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2 frameshifting and expand our understanding of RNA-based gene regulation.


Subject(s)
Frameshifting, Ribosomal , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , Repressor Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19 , HEK293 Cells , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Nucleic Acid Conformation , Protein Isoforms , Proteome , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Replication
10.
RNA ; 28(2): 239-249, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1542151

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 produces two long viral protein precursors from one open reading frame using a highly conserved RNA pseudoknot that enhances programmed -1 ribosomal frameshifting. The 1.3 Å-resolution X-ray structure of the pseudoknot reveals three coaxially stacked helices buttressed by idiosyncratic base triples from loop residues. This structure represents a frameshift-stimulating state that must be deformed by the ribosome and exhibits base-triple-adjacent pockets that could be targeted by future small-molecule therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Frameshifting, Ribosomal , Nucleic Acid Conformation , RNA, Viral/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Codon, Terminator , Crystallography, X-Ray , Models, Molecular , Mutation , RNA, Viral/genetics
11.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5695, 2021 09 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1442780

ABSTRACT

The dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 RNA structure and their functional relevance are largely unknown. Here we develop a simplified SPLASH assay and comprehensively map the in vivo RNA-RNA interactome of SARS-CoV-2 genome across viral life cycle. We report canonical and alternative structures including 5'-UTR and 3'-UTR, frameshifting element (FSE) pseudoknot and genome cyclization in both cells and virions. We provide direct evidence of interactions between Transcription Regulating Sequences, which facilitate discontinuous transcription. In addition, we reveal alternative short and long distance arches around FSE. More importantly, we find that within virions, while SARS-CoV-2 genome RNA undergoes intensive compaction, genome domains remain stable but with strengthened demarcation of local domains and weakened global cyclization. Taken together, our analysis reveals the structural basis for the regulation of replication, discontinuous transcription and translational frameshifting, the alternative conformations and the maintenance of global genome organization during the whole life cycle of SARS-CoV-2, which we anticipate will help develop better antiviral strategies.


Subject(s)
Frameshifting, Ribosomal/genetics , Genome, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , RNA-Seq , Transcription, Genetic , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/genetics
12.
Viruses ; 13(7)2021 06 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389549

ABSTRACT

The product of the interferon-stimulated gene C19orf66, Shiftless (SHFL), restricts human immunodeficiency virus replication through downregulation of the efficiency of the viral gag/pol frameshifting signal. In this study, we demonstrate that bacterially expressed, purified SHFL can decrease the efficiency of programmed ribosomal frameshifting in vitro at a variety of sites, including the RNA pseudoknot-dependent signals of the coronaviruses IBV, SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, and the protein-dependent stimulators of the cardioviruses EMCV and TMEV. SHFL also reduced the efficiency of stop-codon readthrough at the murine leukemia virus gag/pol signal. Using size-exclusion chromatography, we confirm the binding of the purified protein to mammalian ribosomes in vitro. Finally, through electrophoretic mobility shift assays and mutational analysis, we show that expressed SHFL has strong RNA binding activity that is necessary for full activity in the inhibition of frameshifting, but shows no clear specificity for stimulatory RNA structures.


Subject(s)
Codon, Terminator/genetics , Coronavirus/genetics , Frameshifting, Ribosomal/genetics , RNA-Binding Proteins/genetics , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Base Sequence , Escherichia coli/genetics , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral , Humans , Leukemia Virus, Murine/genetics , RNA Recognition Motif Proteins , RNA, Viral/genetics , Virus Replication
13.
ACS Chem Biol ; 16(8): 1469-1481, 2021 08 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387143

ABSTRACT

The programmed -1 ribosomal frameshifting element (PFSE) of SARS-CoV-2 is a well conserved structured RNA found in all coronaviruses' genomes. By adopting a pseudoknot structure in the presence of the ribosome, the PFSE promotes a ribosomal frameshifting event near the stop codon of the first open reading frame Orf1a during translation of the polyprotein pp1a. Frameshifting results in continuation of pp1a via a new open reading frame, Orf1b, that produces the longer pp1ab polyprotein. Polyproteins pp1a and pp1ab produce nonstructural proteins NSPs 1-10 and NSPs 1-16, respectively, which contribute vital functions during the viral life cycle and must be present in the proper stoichiometry. Both drugs and sequence alterations that affect the stability of the -1 programmed ribosomal frameshifting element disrupt the stoichiometry of the NSPs produced, which compromise viral replication. For this reason, the -1 programmed frameshifting element is considered a promising drug target. Using chaperone assisted RNA crystallography, we successfully crystallized and solved the three-dimensional structure of the PFSE. We observe a three-stem H-type pseudoknot structure with the three stems stacked in a vertical orientation stabilized by two triple base pairs at the stem 1/stem 2 and stem 1/stem 3 junctions. This structure provides a new conformation of PFSE distinct from the bent conformations inferred from midresolution cryo-EM models and provides a high-resolution framework for mechanistic investigations and structure-based drug design.


Subject(s)
Crystallography/methods , Frameshifting, Ribosomal/physiology , Molecular Chaperones , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Humans , Models, Molecular , Nucleic Acid Conformation , RNA, Viral/genetics , Ribosomes/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication/physiology
14.
Viruses ; 13(8)2021 08 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1360825

ABSTRACT

Recent outbreaks of zoonotic coronaviruses, such as Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), have caused tremendous casualties and great economic shock. Although some repurposed drugs have shown potential therapeutic efficacy in clinical trials, specific therapeutic agents targeting coronaviruses have not yet been developed. During coronavirus replication, a replicase gene cluster, including RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), is alternatively translated via a process called -1 programmed ribosomal frameshift (-1 PRF) by an RNA pseudoknot structure encoded in viral RNAs. The coronavirus frameshifting has been identified previously as a target for antiviral therapy. In this study, the frameshifting efficiencies of MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 were determined using an in vitro -1 PRF assay system. Our group has searched approximately 9689 small molecules to identify potential -1 PRF inhibitors. Herein, we found that a novel compound, 2-(5-acetylthiophen-2yl)furo[2,3-b]quinoline (KCB261770), inhibits the frameshifting of MERS-CoV and effectively suppresses viral propagation in MERS-CoV-infected cells. The inhibitory effects of 87 derivatives of furo[2,3-b]quinolines were also examined showing less prominent inhibitory effect when compared to compound KCB261770. We demonstrated that KCB261770 inhibits the frameshifting without suppressing cap-dependent translation. Furthermore, this compound was able to inhibit the frameshifting, to some extent, of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, the novel compound 2-(5-acetylthiophen-2yl)furo[2,3-b]quinoline may serve as a promising drug candidate to interfere with pan-coronavirus frameshifting.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Frameshifting, Ribosomal/drug effects , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/drug effects , Quinolines/pharmacology , SARS Virus/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , A549 Cells , Animals , Cell Line , Frameshifting, Ribosomal/physiology , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , SARS Virus/genetics , SARS Virus/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Small Molecule Libraries , Viral Zoonoses/virology , Virus Replication/drug effects
15.
Acc Chem Res ; 54(17): 3349-3361, 2021 09 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1360179

ABSTRACT

Treatment of HIV-1 has largely involved targeting viral enzymes using a cocktail of inhibitors. However, resistance to these inhibitors and toxicity in the long term have pushed the field to identify new therapeutic targets. To that end, -1 programmed ribosomal frameshifting (-1 PRF) has gained attention as a potential node for therapeutic intervention. In this process, a ribosome moves one nucleotide backward in the course of translating a mRNA, revealing a new reading frame for protein synthesis. In HIV-1, -1 PRF allows the virus to regulate the ratios of enzymatic and structural proteins as needed for correct viral particle assembly. Two RNA structural elements are central to -1 PRF in HIV: a slippery sequence and a highly conserved stable hairpin called the HIV-1 frameshifting stimulatory signal (FSS). Dysregulation of -1 PRF is deleterious for the virus. Thus, -1 PRF is an attractive target for new antiviral development. It is important to note that HIV-1 is not the only virus exploiting -1 PRF for regulating production of its proteins. Coronaviruses, including the COVID-19 pandemic virus SARS-CoV-2, also rely on -1 PRF. In SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses, -1 PRF is required for synthesis of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and several other nonstructural proteins. Coronaviruses employ a more complex RNA structural element for regulating -1 PRF called a pseudoknot. The purpose of this Account is primarily to review the development of molecules targeting HIV-1 -1 PRF. These approaches are case studies illustrating how the entire pipeline from screening to the generation of high-affinity leads might be implemented. We consider both target-based and function-based screening, with a particular focus on our group's approach beginning with a resin-bound dynamic combinatorial library (RBDCL) screen. We then used rational design approaches to optimize binding affinity, selectivity, and cellular bioavailability. Our tactic is, to the best of our knowledge, the only study resulting in compounds that bind specifically to the HIV-1 FSS RNA and reduce infectivity of laboratory and drug-resistant strains of HIV-1 in human cells. Lessons learned from strategies targeting -1 PRF HIV-1 might provide solutions in the development of antivirals in areas of unmet medical need. This includes the development of new frameshift-altering therapies for SARS-CoV-2, approaches to which are very recently beginning to appear.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , HIV-1/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Combinatorial Chemistry Techniques , Frameshifting, Ribosomal/drug effects , Humans , Microbial Sensitivity Tests
16.
Bioorg Med Chem ; 46: 116356, 2021 09 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1347508

ABSTRACT

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, periodic recurrence of viral infections, and the emergence of challenging variants has created an urgent need of alternative therapeutic approaches to combat the spread of viral infections, failing to which may pose a greater risk to mankind in future. Resilience against antiviral drugs or fast evolutionary rate of viruses is stressing the scientific community to identify new therapeutic approaches for timely control of disease. Host metabolic pathways are exquisite reservoir of energy to viruses and contribute a diverse array of functions for successful replication and pathogenesis of virus. Targeting the host factors rather than viral enzymes to cease viral infection, has emerged as an alternative antiviral strategy. This approach offers advantage in terms of increased threshold to viral resistance and can provide broad-spectrum antiviral action against different viruses. The article here provides substantial review of literature illuminating the host factors and molecular mechanisms involved in innate/adaptive responses to viral infection, hijacking of signalling pathways by viruses and the intracellular metabolic pathways required for viral replication. Host-targeted drugs acting on the pathways usurped by viruses are also addressed in this study. Host-directed antiviral therapeutics might prove to be a rewarding approach in controlling the unprecedented spread of viral infection, however the probability of cellular side effects or cytotoxicity on host cell should not be ignored at the time of clinical investigations.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Positive-Strand RNA Viruses/drug effects , Animals , Cytokines/metabolism , Frameshifting, Ribosomal/drug effects , Frameshifting, Ribosomal/physiology , Glycosylation/drug effects , Humans , Immunity/drug effects , Immunity/physiology , Lipid Metabolism/drug effects , Lipid Metabolism/physiology , Metabolic Networks and Pathways/drug effects , Metabolic Networks and Pathways/physiology , Polyamines/metabolism , Positive-Strand RNA Viruses/physiology , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Signal Transduction/physiology , Ubiquitination/drug effects , Ubiquitination/physiology
17.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4749, 2021 08 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1345559

ABSTRACT

The RNA pseudoknot that stimulates programmed ribosomal frameshifting in SARS-CoV-2 is a possible drug target. To understand how it responds to mechanical tension applied by ribosomes, thought to play a key role during frameshifting, we probe its structural dynamics using optical tweezers. We find that it forms multiple structures: two pseudoknotted conformers with different stability and barriers, and alternative stem-loop structures. The pseudoknotted conformers have distinct topologies, one threading the 5' end through a 3-helix junction to create a knot-like fold, the other with unthreaded 5' end, consistent with structures observed via cryo-EM and simulations. Refolding of the pseudoknotted conformers starts with stem 1, followed by stem 3 and lastly stem 2; Mg2+ ions are not required, but increase pseudoknot mechanical rigidity and favor formation of the knot-like conformer. These results resolve the SARS-CoV-2 frameshift signal folding mechanism and highlight its conformational heterogeneity, with important implications for structure-based drug-discovery efforts.


Subject(s)
Frameshifting, Ribosomal/genetics , Nucleic Acid Conformation , RNA, Viral/genetics , Ribosomes/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19 , Frameshift Mutation/genetics , Humans , Optical Tweezers , RNA, Messenger/genetics
18.
Viruses ; 13(7)2021 06 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1289026

ABSTRACT

Many viruses, especially RNA viruses, utilize programmed ribosomal frameshifting and/or stop codon readthrough in their expression, and in the decoding of a few a UGA is dynamically redefined to specify selenocysteine. This recoding can effectively increase viral coding capacity and generate a set ratio of products with the same N-terminal domain(s) but different C-terminal domains. Recoding can also be regulatory or generate a product with the non-universal 21st directly encoded amino acid. Selection for translation speed in the expression of many viruses at the expense of fidelity creates host immune defensive opportunities. In contrast to host opportunism, certain viruses, including some persistent viruses, utilize recoding or adventitious frameshifting as part of their strategy to evade an immune response or specific drugs. Several instances of recoding in small intensively studied viruses escaped detection for many years and their identification resolved dilemmas. The fundamental importance of ribosome ratcheting is consistent with the initial strong view of invariant triplet decoding which however did not foresee the possibility of transitory anticodon:codon dissociation. Deep level dynamics and structural understanding of recoding is underway, and a high level structure relevant to the frameshifting required for expression of the SARS CoV-2 genome has just been determined.


Subject(s)
DNA Viruses/genetics , DNA Viruses/immunology , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/immunology , Immune Evasion , RNA Viruses/genetics , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Codon, Terminator , DNA Viruses/drug effects , Frameshifting, Ribosomal , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/genetics , Nucleic Acid Conformation , Peptides/immunology , Protein Biosynthesis , RNA Viruses/drug effects , RNA Viruses/immunology
19.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(26)2021 06 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1284758

ABSTRACT

Translation of open reading frame 1b (ORF1b) in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) requires a programmed -1 ribosomal frameshift (-1 PRF) promoted by an RNA pseudoknot. The extent to which SARS-CoV-2 replication may be sensitive to changes in -1 PRF efficiency is currently unknown. Through an unbiased, reporter-based high-throughput compound screen, we identified merafloxacin, a fluoroquinolone antibacterial, as a -1 PRF inhibitor for SARS-CoV-2. Frameshift inhibition by merafloxacin is robust to mutations within the pseudoknot region and is similarly effective on -1 PRF of other betacoronaviruses. Consistent with the essential role of -1 PRF in viral gene expression, merafloxacin impedes SARS-CoV-2 replication in Vero E6 cells, thereby providing proof-of-principle for targeting -1 PRF as a plausible and effective antiviral strategy for SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Frameshifting, Ribosomal/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , Animals , Betacoronavirus , Chlorocebus aethiops , Fluoroquinolones/pharmacology , Frameshifting, Ribosomal/genetics , Mutation , Nucleic Acid Conformation , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Vero Cells
20.
Science ; 372(6548): 1306-1313, 2021 06 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1228853

ABSTRACT

Programmed ribosomal frameshifting is a key event during translation of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA genome that allows synthesis of the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and downstream proteins. Here, we present the cryo-electron microscopy structure of a translating mammalian ribosome primed for frameshifting on the viral RNA. The viral RNA adopts a pseudoknot structure that lodges at the entry to the ribosomal messenger RNA (mRNA) channel to generate tension in the mRNA and promote frameshifting, whereas the nascent viral polyprotein forms distinct interactions with the ribosomal tunnel. Biochemical experiments validate the structural observations and reveal mechanistic and regulatory features that influence frameshifting efficiency. Finally, we compare compounds previously shown to reduce frameshifting with respect to their ability to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication, establishing coronavirus frameshifting as a target for antiviral intervention.


Subject(s)
Frameshifting, Ribosomal , RNA, Viral/genetics , Ribosomes/ultrastructure , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Proteins/biosynthesis , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Codon, Terminator , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/biosynthesis , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Fluoroquinolones/pharmacology , Frameshifting, Ribosomal/drug effects , Genome, Viral , Humans , Image Processing, Computer-Assisted , Models, Molecular , Nucleic Acid Conformation , Open Reading Frames , Protein Folding , RNA, Messenger/chemistry , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , RNA, Ribosomal, 18S/chemistry , RNA, Ribosomal, 18S/genetics , RNA, Ribosomal, 18S/metabolism , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Ribosomal Proteins/metabolism , Ribosomes/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/genetics , Virus Replication/drug effects
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