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2.
JCI Insight ; 6(24)2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518199

ABSTRACT

Kidneys are critical target organs of COVID-19, but susceptibility and responses to infection remain poorly understood. Here, we combine SARS-CoV-2 variants with genome-edited kidney organoids and clinical data to investigate tropism, mechanism, and therapeutics. SARS-CoV-2 specifically infects organoid proximal tubules among diverse cell types. Infections produce replicating virus, apoptosis, and disrupted cell morphology, features of which are revealed in the context of polycystic kidney disease. Cross-validation of gene expression patterns in organoids reflects proteomic signatures of COVID-19 in the urine of critically ill patients indicating interferon pathway upregulation. SARS-CoV-2 viral variants alpha, beta, gamma, kappa, and delta exhibit comparable levels of infection in organoids. Infection is ameliorated in ACE2-/- organoids and blocked via treatment with de novo-designed spike binder peptides. Collectively, these studies clarify the impact of kidney infection in COVID-19 as reflected in organoids and clinical populations, enabling assessment of viral fitness and emerging therapies.


Subject(s)
Acute Kidney Injury/urine , COVID-19/urine , Kidney Tubules, Proximal/virology , Kidney/virology , Organoids/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Acute Kidney Injury/etiology , Adult , Aged , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Apoptosis , Bowman Capsule/cytology , Bowman Capsule/virology , COVID-19/complications , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , Gene Knockout Techniques , Hospital Mortality , Hospitalization , Humans , Kidney/metabolism , Kidney/pathology , Kidney Tubules, Proximal/metabolism , Kidney Tubules, Proximal/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , Organoids/metabolism , Podocytes/virology , Polycystic Kidney Diseases , Proteome , Receptors, Coronavirus/genetics , Reproducibility of Results , Transcriptome , Vero Cells , Viral Tropism , Virus Replication
3.
J Virol ; 95(17): e0080721, 2021 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1486516

ABSTRACT

The membrane fusion between the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and host cells is essential for the initial step of infection; therefore, the host cell membrane components, including sphingolipids, influence the viral infection. We assessed several inhibitors of the enzymes pertaining to sphingolipid metabolism, against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (S)-mediated cell-cell fusion and viral infection. N-(4-Hydroxyphenyl) retinamide (4-HPR), an inhibitor of dihydroceramide Δ4-desaturase 1 (DES1), suppressed cell-cell fusion and viral infection. The analysis of sphingolipid levels revealed that the inhibition efficiencies of cell-cell fusion and viral infection in 4-HPR-treated cells were consistent with an increased ratio of saturated sphinganine-based lipids to total sphingolipids. We investigated the relationship of DES1 with the inhibition efficiencies of cell-cell fusion. The changes in the sphingolipid profile induced by 4-HPR were mitigated by the supplementation with exogenous cell-permeative ceramide; however, the reduced cell-cell fusion could not be reversed. The efficiency of cell-cell fusion in DES1 knockout (KO) cells was at a level comparable to that in wild-type (WT) cells; however, the ratio of saturated sphinganine-based lipids to the total sphingolipids was higher in DES1 KO cells than in WT cells. 4-HPR reduced cell membrane fluidity without any significant effects on the expression or localization of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, the SARS-CoV-2 receptor. Therefore, 4-HPR suppresses SARS-CoV-2 S-mediated membrane fusion through a DES1-independent mechanism, and this decrease in membrane fluidity induced by 4-HPR could be the major cause for the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 infection. IMPORTANCE Sphingolipids could play an important role in SARS-CoV-2 S-mediated membrane fusion with host cells. We studied the cell-cell fusion using SARS-CoV-2 S-expressing cells and sphingolipid-manipulated target cells, with an inhibitor of the sphingolipid metabolism. 4-HPR (also known as fenretinide) is an inhibitor of DES1, and it exhibits antitumor activity and suppresses cell-cell fusion and viral infection. 4-HPR suppresses membrane fusion through a decrease in membrane fluidity, which could possibly be the cause for the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 infection. There is accumulating clinical data on the safety of 4-HPR. Therefore, it could be a potential candidate drug against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Cell Membrane/metabolism , Fenretinide/pharmacology , Membrane Fluidity/drug effects , Oxidoreductases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Cell Fusion , Cell Membrane/genetics , Gene Knockout Techniques , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Membrane Fluidity/genetics , Oxidoreductases/deficiency , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
4.
J Virol ; 95(19): e0085121, 2021 09 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403028

ABSTRACT

Uncoordinated 51-like kinase 1 (ULK1) is a well-characterized initiator of canonical autophagy under basal or pathological conditions. Porcine hemagglutinating encephalomyelitis virus (PHEV), a neurotropic betacoronavirus (ß-CoV), impairs ULK1 kinase but hijacks autophagy to facilitate viral proliferation. However, the machinery of PHEV-induced autophagy initiation upon ULK1 kinase deficiency remains unclear. Here, the time course of PHEV infection showed a significant accumulation of autophagosomes (APs) in nerve cells in vivo and in vitro. Utilizing ULK1-knockout neuroblastoma cells, we have identified that ULK1 is not essential for productive AP formation induced by PHEV. In vitro phosphorylation studies discovered that mTORC1-regulated ULK1 activation stalls during PHEV infection, whereas AP biogenesis was controlled by AMPK-driven BECN1 phosphorylation. A lack of BECN1 is sufficient to block LC3 lipidation and disrupt recruitment of the LC3-ATG14 complex. Moreover, BECN1 acts as a bona fide substrate for ULK1-independent neural autophagy, and ectopic expression of BECN1 somewhat enhances PHEV replication. These findings highlight a novel machinery of noncanonical autophagy independent of ULK1 that bypasses the conserved initiation circuit of AMPK-mTORC1-ULK1, providing new insights into the interplay between neurotropic ß-CoV and the host. IMPORTANCE The ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic alongside the outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) pose Betacoronavirus (ß-CoV) as a global public health challenge. Coronaviruses subvert, hijack, or utilize autophagy to promote proliferation, and thus, exploring the cross talk between ß-CoV and autophagy is of great significance in confronting future ß-CoV outbreaks. Porcine hemagglutinating encephalomyelitis virus (PHEV) is a highly neurotropic ß-CoV that invades the central nervous system (CNS) in pigs, but understanding of the pathogenesis for PHEV-induced neurological dysfunction is yet limited. Here, we discovered a novel regulatory principle of neural autophagy initiation during PHEV infection, where productive autophagosome (AP) biogenesis bypasses the multifaceted regulation of ULK1 kinase. The PHEV-triggered noncanonical autophagy underscores the complex interactions of virus and host and will help in the development of therapeutic strategies targeting noncanonical autophagy to treat ß-CoV disease.


Subject(s)
Autophagy-Related Protein-1 Homolog/genetics , Autophagy-Related Protein-1 Homolog/metabolism , Autophagy/physiology , Betacoronavirus 1/metabolism , Animals , Autophagosomes/metabolism , Beclin-1/metabolism , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Gene Knockout Techniques , Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins/metabolism , Male , Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 1/metabolism , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Neurons/metabolism , Phosphorylation , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Sci Adv ; 6(48)2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388431

ABSTRACT

Acute respiratory distress syndrome is associated with a robust inflammatory response that damages the vascular endothelium, impairing gas exchange. While restoration of microcapillaries is critical to avoid mortality, therapeutic targeting of this process requires a greater understanding of endothelial repair mechanisms. Here, we demonstrate that lung endothelium possesses substantial regenerative capacity and lineage tracing reveals that native endothelium is the source of vascular repair after influenza injury. Ablation of chicken ovalbumin upstream promoter-transcription factor 2 (COUP-TF2) (Nr2f2), a transcription factor implicated in developmental angiogenesis, reduced endothelial proliferation, exacerbating viral lung injury in vivo. In vitro, COUP-TF2 regulates proliferation and migration through activation of cyclin D1 and neuropilin 1. Upon influenza injury, nuclear factor κB suppresses COUP-TF2, but surviving endothelial cells ultimately reestablish vascular homeostasis dependent on restoration of COUP-TF2. Therefore, stabilization of COUP-TF2 may represent a therapeutic strategy to enhance recovery from pathogens, including H1N1 influenza and SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COUP Transcription Factor II/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype , Lung/cytology , Lung/physiology , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/metabolism , Regeneration/genetics , Animals , COUP Transcription Factor II/genetics , Cell Movement/genetics , Cell Proliferation/genetics , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Gene Knockout Techniques , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Male , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/virology , Transfection
6.
J Virol ; 95(17): e0080721, 2021 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1381151

ABSTRACT

The membrane fusion between the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and host cells is essential for the initial step of infection; therefore, the host cell membrane components, including sphingolipids, influence the viral infection. We assessed several inhibitors of the enzymes pertaining to sphingolipid metabolism, against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (S)-mediated cell-cell fusion and viral infection. N-(4-Hydroxyphenyl) retinamide (4-HPR), an inhibitor of dihydroceramide Δ4-desaturase 1 (DES1), suppressed cell-cell fusion and viral infection. The analysis of sphingolipid levels revealed that the inhibition efficiencies of cell-cell fusion and viral infection in 4-HPR-treated cells were consistent with an increased ratio of saturated sphinganine-based lipids to total sphingolipids. We investigated the relationship of DES1 with the inhibition efficiencies of cell-cell fusion. The changes in the sphingolipid profile induced by 4-HPR were mitigated by the supplementation with exogenous cell-permeative ceramide; however, the reduced cell-cell fusion could not be reversed. The efficiency of cell-cell fusion in DES1 knockout (KO) cells was at a level comparable to that in wild-type (WT) cells; however, the ratio of saturated sphinganine-based lipids to the total sphingolipids was higher in DES1 KO cells than in WT cells. 4-HPR reduced cell membrane fluidity without any significant effects on the expression or localization of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, the SARS-CoV-2 receptor. Therefore, 4-HPR suppresses SARS-CoV-2 S-mediated membrane fusion through a DES1-independent mechanism, and this decrease in membrane fluidity induced by 4-HPR could be the major cause for the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 infection. IMPORTANCE Sphingolipids could play an important role in SARS-CoV-2 S-mediated membrane fusion with host cells. We studied the cell-cell fusion using SARS-CoV-2 S-expressing cells and sphingolipid-manipulated target cells, with an inhibitor of the sphingolipid metabolism. 4-HPR (also known as fenretinide) is an inhibitor of DES1, and it exhibits antitumor activity and suppresses cell-cell fusion and viral infection. 4-HPR suppresses membrane fusion through a decrease in membrane fluidity, which could possibly be the cause for the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 infection. There is accumulating clinical data on the safety of 4-HPR. Therefore, it could be a potential candidate drug against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Cell Membrane/metabolism , Fenretinide/pharmacology , Membrane Fluidity/drug effects , Oxidoreductases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Cell Fusion , Cell Membrane/genetics , Gene Knockout Techniques , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Membrane Fluidity/genetics , Oxidoreductases/deficiency , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
7.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(9)2021 Apr 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1359279

ABSTRACT

Deeply understanding the virus-host interaction is a prerequisite for developing effective anti-viral strategies. Traditionally, the transporter associated with antigen processing type 1 (TAP1) is critical for antigen presentation to regulate adaptive immunity. However, its role in controlling viral infections through modulating innate immune signaling is not yet fully understood. In the present study, we reported that TAP1, as a product of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs), had broadly antiviral activity against various viruses such as herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), adenoviruses (AdV), vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), dengue virus (DENV), Zika virus (ZIKV), and influenza virus (PR8) etc. This antiviral activity by TAP1 was further confirmed by series of loss-of-function and gain-of-function experiments. Our further investigation revealed that TAP1 significantly promoted the interferon (IFN)-ß production through activating the TANK binding kinase-1 (TBK1) and the interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) signaling transduction. Our work highlighted the broadly anti-viral function of TAP1 by modulating innate immunity, which is independent of its well-known function of antigen presentation. This study will provide insights into developing novel vaccination and immunotherapy strategies against emerging infectious diseases.


Subject(s)
ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 2/immunology , Antiviral Agents/immunology , Host Microbial Interactions/immunology , Interferon Type I/biosynthesis , ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 2/antagonists & inhibitors , ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 2/deficiency , ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 2/genetics , Animals , Gene Knockout Techniques , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/immunology , Mice , Models, Immunological , RAW 264.7 Cells , Toll-Like Receptors/agonists , Virus Diseases/immunology
8.
J Virol ; 95(17): e0080721, 2021 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1350004

ABSTRACT

The membrane fusion between the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and host cells is essential for the initial step of infection; therefore, the host cell membrane components, including sphingolipids, influence the viral infection. We assessed several inhibitors of the enzymes pertaining to sphingolipid metabolism, against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (S)-mediated cell-cell fusion and viral infection. N-(4-Hydroxyphenyl) retinamide (4-HPR), an inhibitor of dihydroceramide Δ4-desaturase 1 (DES1), suppressed cell-cell fusion and viral infection. The analysis of sphingolipid levels revealed that the inhibition efficiencies of cell-cell fusion and viral infection in 4-HPR-treated cells were consistent with an increased ratio of saturated sphinganine-based lipids to total sphingolipids. We investigated the relationship of DES1 with the inhibition efficiencies of cell-cell fusion. The changes in the sphingolipid profile induced by 4-HPR were mitigated by the supplementation with exogenous cell-permeative ceramide; however, the reduced cell-cell fusion could not be reversed. The efficiency of cell-cell fusion in DES1 knockout (KO) cells was at a level comparable to that in wild-type (WT) cells; however, the ratio of saturated sphinganine-based lipids to the total sphingolipids was higher in DES1 KO cells than in WT cells. 4-HPR reduced cell membrane fluidity without any significant effects on the expression or localization of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, the SARS-CoV-2 receptor. Therefore, 4-HPR suppresses SARS-CoV-2 S-mediated membrane fusion through a DES1-independent mechanism, and this decrease in membrane fluidity induced by 4-HPR could be the major cause for the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 infection. IMPORTANCE Sphingolipids could play an important role in SARS-CoV-2 S-mediated membrane fusion with host cells. We studied the cell-cell fusion using SARS-CoV-2 S-expressing cells and sphingolipid-manipulated target cells, with an inhibitor of the sphingolipid metabolism. 4-HPR (also known as fenretinide) is an inhibitor of DES1, and it exhibits antitumor activity and suppresses cell-cell fusion and viral infection. 4-HPR suppresses membrane fusion through a decrease in membrane fluidity, which could possibly be the cause for the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 infection. There is accumulating clinical data on the safety of 4-HPR. Therefore, it could be a potential candidate drug against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Cell Membrane/metabolism , Fenretinide/pharmacology , Membrane Fluidity/drug effects , Oxidoreductases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Cell Fusion , Cell Membrane/genetics , Gene Knockout Techniques , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Membrane Fluidity/genetics , Oxidoreductases/deficiency , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
9.
Cell Rep ; 36(5): 109479, 2021 08 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1328702

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses rely on host membranes for entry, establishment of replication centers, and egress. Compounds targeting cellular membrane biology and lipid biosynthetic pathways have previously shown promise as antivirals and are actively being pursued as treatments for other conditions. Here, we test small molecule inhibitors that target the PI3 kinase VPS34 or fatty acid metabolism for anti-severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) activity. Our studies determine that compounds targeting VPS34 are potent SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors. Mechanistic studies with compounds targeting multiple steps up- and downstream of fatty acid synthase (FASN) identify the importance of triacylglycerol production and protein palmitoylation as requirements for efficient viral RNA synthesis and infectious virus production. Further, FASN knockout results in significantly impaired SARS-CoV-2 replication that can be rescued with fatty acid supplementation. Together, these studies clarify roles for VPS34 and fatty acid metabolism in SARS-CoV-2 replication and identify promising avenues for the development of countermeasures against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/virology , Class III Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases/antagonists & inhibitors , Lipid Metabolism/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Replication/drug effects , Aminopyridines/pharmacology , Animals , Caco-2 Cells , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Class III Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases/metabolism , Fatty Acid Synthases/drug effects , Fatty Acid Synthases/genetics , Gene Knockout Techniques , Humans , Lipoylation/drug effects , Pyrimidines/pharmacology , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Triglycerides/metabolism , Vero Cells
10.
Int J Biol Sci ; 17(8): 2080-2088, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1271049

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), an infectious disease caused by Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has posed a persistent global threat. The transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is wide and swift. Rapid detection of the viral RNA and effective therapy are imperative to prevent the worldwide spread of the new infectious disease. Clustered Regularly-Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)- CRISPR-associated protein (Cas) system is an RNA-directed adaptive immune system, and it has been transformed into a gene editing tool. Applications of CRISPR-Cas system involves in many fields, such as human gene therapy, drug discovery and disease diagnosis. Under the background of COVID-19 pandemic, CRISPR-Cas system shows hidden capacity to fight the emergency in many aspects. This review will focus on the role of gene editing in COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment. We will describe the potential use of CRISPR-Cas-based system in combating COVID-19, from diagnosis to treatment. Furthermore, the limitation and perspectives of this novel technology are also evaluated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , CRISPR-Cas Systems , Gene Editing/methods , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Animals , Fluorometry/methods , Forecasting , Gene Knockout Techniques , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Models, Animal , Molecular Targeted Therapy , Nasopharynx/virology , Oropharynx/virology , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sensitivity and Specificity
11.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 9803, 2021 05 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1262011

ABSTRACT

Angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is a key regulator of the renin-angiotensin system, but also the functional receptor of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Based on structural similarity with other γ-secretase (γS) targets, we hypothesized that ACE2 may be affected by γS proteolytic activity. We found that after ectodomain shedding, ACE2 is targeted for intramembrane proteolysis by γS, releasing a soluble ACE2 C-terminal fragment. Consistently, chemical or genetic inhibition of γS results in the accumulation of a membrane-bound fragment of ectodomain-deficient ACE2. Although chemical inhibition of γS does not alter SARS-CoV-2 cell entry, these data point to a novel pathway for cellular ACE2 trafficking.


Subject(s)
Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Membrane Glycoproteins/metabolism , Presenilin-1/metabolism , Presenilin-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , Caco-2 Cells , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Gene Knockout Techniques , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Membrane Glycoproteins/genetics , Mice , Presenilin-1/genetics , Presenilin-2/genetics , Proteolysis , Vero Cells , Virus Internalization
12.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 9803, 2021 05 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1218960

ABSTRACT

Angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is a key regulator of the renin-angiotensin system, but also the functional receptor of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Based on structural similarity with other γ-secretase (γS) targets, we hypothesized that ACE2 may be affected by γS proteolytic activity. We found that after ectodomain shedding, ACE2 is targeted for intramembrane proteolysis by γS, releasing a soluble ACE2 C-terminal fragment. Consistently, chemical or genetic inhibition of γS results in the accumulation of a membrane-bound fragment of ectodomain-deficient ACE2. Although chemical inhibition of γS does not alter SARS-CoV-2 cell entry, these data point to a novel pathway for cellular ACE2 trafficking.


Subject(s)
Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Membrane Glycoproteins/metabolism , Presenilin-1/metabolism , Presenilin-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , Caco-2 Cells , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Gene Knockout Techniques , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Membrane Glycoproteins/genetics , Mice , Presenilin-1/genetics , Presenilin-2/genetics , Proteolysis , Vero Cells , Virus Internalization
13.
Molecules ; 26(7)2021 Mar 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1167670

ABSTRACT

Depression and anxiety disorders are widespread diseases, and they belong to the leading causes of disability and greatest burdens on healthcare systems worldwide. It is expected that the numbers will dramatically rise during the COVID-19 pandemic. Established medications are not sufficient to adequately treat depression and are not available for everyone. Plants from traditional medicine may be promising alternatives to treat depressive symptoms. The model organism Chaenorhabditis elegans was used to assess the stress reducing effects of methanol/dichlormethane extracts from plants used in traditional medicine. After initial screening for antioxidant activity, nine extracts were selected for in vivo testing in oxidative stress, heat stress, and osmotic stress assays. Additionally, anti-aging properties were evaluated in lifespan assay. The extracts from Acanthopanax senticosus, Campsis grandiflora, Centella asiatica, Corydalis yanhusuo, Dan Zhi, Houttuynia cordata, Psoralea corylifolia, Valeriana officinalis, and Withaniasomnifera showed antioxidant activity of more than 15 Trolox equivalents per mg extract. The extracts significantly lowered ROS in mutants, increased resistance to heat stress and osmotic stress, and the extended lifespan of the nematodes. The plant extracts tested showed promising results in increasing stress resistance in the nematode model. Further analyses are needed, in order to unravel underlying mechanisms and transfer results to humans.


Subject(s)
Antidepressive Agents/pharmacology , Caenorhabditis elegans/drug effects , Caenorhabditis elegans/physiology , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , Plants, Medicinal/chemistry , Aging/drug effects , Aging/physiology , Animals , Antioxidants/pharmacology , Caenorhabditis elegans/genetics , Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins/genetics , Gene Knockout Techniques , Heat-Shock Response/drug effects , Longevity/drug effects , Longevity/genetics , Longevity/physiology , Mutation , Osmotic Pressure/drug effects , Oxidative Stress/drug effects , Plant Extracts/chemistry , Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism
14.
Cell ; 184(1): 120-132.e14, 2021 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064914

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has claimed the lives of over one million people worldwide. The causative agent, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is a member of the Coronaviridae family of viruses that can cause respiratory infections of varying severity. The cellular host factors and pathways co-opted during SARS-CoV-2 and related coronavirus life cycles remain ill defined. To address this gap, we performed genome-scale CRISPR knockout screens during infection by SARS-CoV-2 and three seasonal coronaviruses (HCoV-OC43, HCoV-NL63, and HCoV-229E). These screens uncovered host factors and pathways with pan-coronavirus and virus-specific functional roles, including major dependency on glycosaminoglycan biosynthesis, sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP) signaling, bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling, and glycosylphosphatidylinositol biosynthesis, as well as a requirement for several poorly characterized proteins. We identified an absolute requirement for the VMP1, TMEM41, and TMEM64 (VTT) domain-containing protein transmembrane protein 41B (TMEM41B) for infection by SARS-CoV-2 and three seasonal coronaviruses. This human coronavirus host factor compendium represents a rich resource to develop new therapeutic strategies for acute COVID-19 and potential future coronavirus pandemics.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Genome-Wide Association Study , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , A549 Cells , Cell Line , Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats , Coronavirus 229E, Human/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Coronavirus NL63, Human/physiology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/physiology , Gene Knockout Techniques , HEK293 Cells , Host-Pathogen Interactions/drug effects , Humans , Membrane Proteins/metabolism , Metabolic Networks and Pathways/drug effects , Protein Interaction Mapping
15.
Cell ; 184(1): 106-119.e14, 2021 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064913

ABSTRACT

The Coronaviridae are a family of viruses that cause disease in humans ranging from mild respiratory infection to potentially lethal acute respiratory distress syndrome. Finding host factors common to multiple coronaviruses could facilitate the development of therapies to combat current and future coronavirus pandemics. Here, we conducted genome-wide CRISPR screens in cells infected by SARS-CoV-2 as well as two seasonally circulating common cold coronaviruses, OC43 and 229E. This approach correctly identified the distinct viral entry factors ACE2 (for SARS-CoV-2), aminopeptidase N (for 229E), and glycosaminoglycans (for OC43). Additionally, we identified phosphatidylinositol phosphate biosynthesis and cholesterol homeostasis as critical host pathways supporting infection by all three coronaviruses. By contrast, the lysosomal protein TMEM106B appeared unique to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Pharmacological inhibition of phosphatidylinositol kinases and cholesterol homeostasis reduced replication of all three coronaviruses. These findings offer important insights for the understanding of the coronavirus life cycle and the development of host-directed therapies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus/physiology , Genome-Wide Association Study , Host-Pathogen Interactions , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , A549 Cells , Animals , Biosynthetic Pathways/drug effects , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cholesterol/biosynthesis , Cholesterol/metabolism , Cluster Analysis , Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats , Common Cold/genetics , Common Cold/virology , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Gene Knockout Techniques , Host-Pathogen Interactions/drug effects , Humans , Mice , Phosphatidylinositols/biosynthesis , Vero Cells , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Virus Replication
16.
Cell ; 184(1): 92-105.e16, 2021 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064907

ABSTRACT

To better understand host-virus genetic dependencies and find potential therapeutic targets for COVID-19, we performed a genome-scale CRISPR loss-of-function screen to identify host factors required for SARS-CoV-2 viral infection of human alveolar epithelial cells. Top-ranked genes cluster into distinct pathways, including the vacuolar ATPase proton pump, Retromer, and Commander complexes. We validate these gene targets using several orthogonal methods such as CRISPR knockout, RNA interference knockdown, and small-molecule inhibitors. Using single-cell RNA-sequencing, we identify shared transcriptional changes in cholesterol biosynthesis upon loss of top-ranked genes. In addition, given the key role of the ACE2 receptor in the early stages of viral entry, we show that loss of RAB7A reduces viral entry by sequestering the ACE2 receptor inside cells. Overall, this work provides a genome-scale, quantitative resource of the impact of the loss of each host gene on fitness/response to viral infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , A549 Cells , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/virology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Biosynthetic Pathways , COVID-19/metabolism , Cholesterol/biosynthesis , Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats , Endosomes/metabolism , Gene Expression Profiling , Gene Knockdown Techniques , Gene Knockout Techniques/methods , Genome-Wide Association Study , Host-Pathogen Interactions/drug effects , Humans , RNA Interference , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Single-Cell Analysis , Viral Load/drug effects , rab GTP-Binding Proteins/genetics
17.
Cell ; 184(1): 76-91.e13, 2021 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064906

ABSTRACT

Identification of host genes essential for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection may reveal novel therapeutic targets and inform our understanding of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pathogenesis. Here we performed genome-wide CRISPR screens in Vero-E6 cells with SARS-CoV-2, Middle East respiratory syndrome CoV (MERS-CoV), bat CoV HKU5 expressing the SARS-CoV-1 spike, and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike. We identified known SARS-CoV-2 host factors, including the receptor ACE2 and protease Cathepsin L. We additionally discovered pro-viral genes and pathways, including HMGB1 and the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex, that are SARS lineage and pan-coronavirus specific, respectively. We show that HMGB1 regulates ACE2 expression and is critical for entry of SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-1, and NL63. We also show that small-molecule antagonists of identified gene products inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infection in monkey and human cells, demonstrating the conserved role of these genetic hits across species. This identifies potential therapeutic targets for SARS-CoV-2 and reveals SARS lineage-specific and pan-CoV host factors that regulate susceptibility to highly pathogenic CoVs.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Genome-Wide Association Study , Host-Pathogen Interactions , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Gene Knockout Techniques , Gene Regulatory Networks , HEK293 Cells , HMGB1 Protein/genetics , HMGB1 Protein/metabolism , Host-Pathogen Interactions/drug effects , Humans , Vero Cells , Virus Internalization
18.
Phytomedicine ; 84: 153482, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1051912

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Approximately 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression. The COVID-19 crisis may dramatically increase these numbers. Severe side effects and resistance development limit the use of standard antidepressants. The steroidal lactone withanolide A (WA) from Withania somnifera may be a promising alternative. Caenorhabditis elegans was used as model to explore WA's anti-depressive and anti-stress potential. METHODS: C. elegans wildtype (N2) and deficient strains (AQ866, DA1814, DA2100, DA2109 and MT9772) were used to assess oxidative, osmotic or heat stress as measured by generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), determination of lifespan, and mRNA expression of serotonin receptor (ser-1, ser-4, ser-7) and serotonin transporter genes (mod-5). The protective effect of WA was compared to fluoxetine as clinically established antidepressant. Additionally, WA's effect on lifespan was determined. Furthermore, the binding affinities and pKi values of WA, fluoxetine and serotonin as natural ligand to Ser-1, Ser-4, Ser-7, Mod-5 and their human orthologues proteins were calculated by molecular docking. RESULTS: Baseline oxidative stress was higher in deficient than wildtype worms. WA and fluoxetine reduced ROS levels in all strains except MT9772. WA and fluoxetine prolonged survival times in wildtype and mutants under osmotic stress. WA but not fluoxetine increased lifespan of all heat-stressed C. elegans strains except DA2100. Furthermore, WA but not fluoxetine extended lifespan in all non-stressed C. elegans strains. WA also induced mRNA expression of serotonin receptors and transporters in wildtype and mutants. WA bound with higher affinity and lower pKi values to all C. elegans and human serotonin receptors and transporters than serotonin, indicating that WA may competitively displaced serotonin from the binding pockets of these proteins. CONCLUSION: WA reduced stress and increased lifespan by ROS scavenging and interference with the serotonin system. Hence, WA may serve as promising candidate to treat depression.


Subject(s)
Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins/genetics , Caenorhabditis elegans/drug effects , Longevity/drug effects , Receptors, Serotonin/genetics , Withanolides/pharmacology , Animals , Caenorhabditis elegans/physiology , Fluoxetine/pharmacology , Gene Knockout Techniques , Molecular Docking Simulation , Oxidative Stress/drug effects , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism , Receptors, Serotonin/metabolism , Withania/chemistry
19.
Nucleic Acids Res ; 49(7): e40, 2021 04 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1050155

ABSTRACT

Generation of conditional knockout (cKO) and various gene-modified cells is laborious and time-consuming. Here, we established an all-in-one cKO system, which enables highly efficient generation of cKO cells and simultaneous gene modifications, including epitope tagging and reporter gene knock-in. We applied this system to mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and generated RNA helicase Ddx1 cKO ESCs. The targeted cells displayed endogenous promoter-driven EGFP and FLAG-tagged DDX1 expression, and they were converted to Ddx1 KO via FLP recombinase. We further established TetFE ESCs, which carried a reverse tetracycline transactivator (rtTA) expression cassette and a tetracycline response element (TRE)-regulated FLPERT2 cassette in the Gt(ROSA26)Sor locus for instant and tightly regulated induction of gene KO. By utilizing TetFE Ddx1F/F ESCs, we isolated highly pure Ddx1F/F and Ddx1-/- ESCs and found that loss of Ddx1 caused rRNA processing defects, thereby activating the ribosome stress-p53 pathway. We also demonstrated cKO of various genes in ESCs and homologous recombination-non-proficient human HT1080 cells. The frequency of cKO clones was remarkably high for both cell types and reached up to 96% when EGFP-positive clones were analyzed. This all-in-one cKO system will be a powerful tool for rapid and precise analyses of gene functions.


Subject(s)
DEAD-box RNA Helicases/metabolism , Gene Knockout Techniques/methods , RNA, Ribosomal/metabolism , Animals , Cell Line , Embryonic Stem Cells , Fibroblasts , Gene Expression , Gene Knock-In Techniques , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional , Ribosomes/metabolism
20.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(1): e1009246, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1045566

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infects cells by binding to the host cell receptor ACE2 and undergoing virus-host membrane fusion. Fusion is triggered by the protease TMPRSS2, which processes the viral Spike (S) protein to reveal the fusion peptide. SARS-CoV-2 has evolved a multibasic site at the S1-S2 boundary, which is thought to be cleaved by furin in order to prime S protein for TMPRSS2 processing. Here we show that CRISPR-Cas9 knockout of furin reduces, but does not prevent, the production of infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus. Comparing S processing in furin knockout cells to multibasic site mutants reveals that while loss of furin substantially reduces S1-S2 cleavage it does not prevent it. SARS-CoV-2 S protein also mediates cell-cell fusion, potentially allowing virus to spread virion-independently. We show that loss of furin in either donor or acceptor cells reduces, but does not prevent, TMPRSS2-dependent cell-cell fusion, unlike mutation of the multibasic site that completely prevents syncytia formation. Our results show that while furin promotes both SARS-CoV-2 infectivity and cell-cell spread it is not essential, suggesting furin inhibitors may reduce but not abolish viral spread.


Subject(s)
Cell Fusion , Furin/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Virus Internalization , Animals , COVID-19 , CRISPR-Cas Systems , Chlorocebus aethiops , Gene Knockout Techniques , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Protein Structure, Tertiary , SARS-CoV-2 , Serine Endopeptidases , Vero Cells
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