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1.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 7(1): 7, 2022 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1606287

ABSTRACT

Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) initiates class-switch recombination and somatic hypermutation (SHM) in antibody genes. Protein expression and activity are tightly controlled by various mechanisms. However, it remains unknown whether a signal from the extracellular environment directly affects the AID activity in the nucleus where it works. Here, we demonstrated that a deubiquitinase USP10, which specifically stabilizes nuclear AID protein, can translocate into the nucleus after AKT-mediated phosphorylation at its T674 within the NLS domain. Interestingly, the signals from BCR and TLR1/2 synergistically promoted this phosphorylation. The deficiency of USP10 in B cells significantly decreased AID protein levels, subsequently reducing neutralizing antibody production after immunization with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) nanoparticle vaccines. Collectively, we demonstrated that USP10 functions as an integrator for both BCR and TLR signals and directly regulates nuclear AID activity. Its manipulation could be used for the development of vaccines and adjuvants.


Subject(s)
AIDS Vaccines/immunology , B-Cell Activating Factor/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cytidine Deaminase/immunology , HIV-1/immunology , Nanoparticles , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Signal Transduction/immunology , Ubiquitin Thiolesterase/immunology , Ubiquitination/immunology , AIDS Vaccines/genetics , Animals , B-Cell Activating Factor/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Cytidine Deaminase/genetics , HEK293 Cells , HIV-1/genetics , Humans , Mice , Mice, Knockout , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Signal Transduction/genetics , Ubiquitin Thiolesterase/genetics
2.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(1)2022 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1599544

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a highly transmissible coronavirus responsible for the global COVID-19 pandemic. Herein, we provide evidence that SARS-CoV-2 spreads through cell-cell contact in cultures, mediated by the spike glycoprotein. SARS-CoV-2 spike is more efficient in facilitating cell-to-cell transmission than is SARS-CoV spike, which reflects, in part, their differential cell-cell fusion activity. Interestingly, treatment of cocultured cells with endosomal entry inhibitors impairs cell-to-cell transmission, implicating endosomal membrane fusion as an underlying mechanism. Compared with cell-free infection, cell-to-cell transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is refractory to inhibition by neutralizing antibody or convalescent sera of COVID-19 patients. While angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 enhances cell-to-cell transmission, we find that it is not absolutely required. Notably, despite differences in cell-free infectivity, the authentic variants of concern (VOCs) B.1.1.7 (alpha) and B.1.351 (beta) have similar cell-to-cell transmission capability. Moreover, B.1.351 is more resistant to neutralization by vaccinee sera in cell-free infection, whereas B.1.1.7 is more resistant to inhibition by vaccinee sera in cell-to-cell transmission. Overall, our study reveals critical features of SARS-CoV-2 spike-mediated cell-to-cell transmission, with important implications for a better understanding of SARS-CoV-2 spread and pathogenesis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Virus Internalization , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19/therapy , Cell Fusion , Chlorocebus aethiops , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vero Cells
3.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(1)2022 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1599475

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has resulted in tremendous loss worldwide. Although viral spike (S) protein binding of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) has been established, the functional consequences of the initial receptor binding and the stepwise fusion process are not clear. By utilizing a cell-cell fusion system, in complement with a pseudoviral infection model, we found that the spike engagement of ACE2 primed the generation of S2' fragments in target cells, a key proteolytic event coupled with spike-mediated membrane fusion. Mutagenesis of an S2' cleavage site at the arginine (R) 815, but not an S2 cleavage site at arginine 685, was sufficient to prevent subsequent syncytia formation and infection in a variety of cell lines and primary cells isolated from human ACE2 knock-in mice. The requirement for S2' cleavage at the R815 site was also broadly shared by other SARS-CoV-2 spike variants, such as the Alpha, Beta, and Delta variants of concern. Thus, our study highlights an essential role for host receptor engagement and the key residue of spike for proteolytic activation, and uncovers a targetable mechanism for host cell infection by SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Membrane Fusion , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/virology , HEK293 Cells , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Mice , Protein Binding , Proteolysis , Virus Internalization
4.
STAR Protoc ; 3(1): 101067, 2022 03 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1595326

ABSTRACT

N 6 -methylation of adenosine (m6A) is the most abundant internal mRNA modification and is an important post-transcriptional regulator of gene expression. Here, we describe a protocol for methylated RNA immunoprecipitation sequencing (MeRIP-Seq) to detect and quantify m6A modifications in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA. The protocol is optimized for low viral RNA levels and is readily adaptable for other applications. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Li et al. (2021).


Subject(s)
Adenosine/analogs & derivatives , Immunoprecipitation/methods , Sequence Analysis, RNA/methods , Adenosine/analysis , Adenosine/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , Caco-2 Cells , Chlorocebus aethiops , Gene Expression/genetics , Gene Expression Regulation/genetics , Genetic Techniques , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Methylation , RNA/chemistry , RNA/genetics , RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Vero Cells
5.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 167, 2021 04 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585891

ABSTRACT

The ongoing 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2 has posed a worldwide pandemic and a major global public health threat. The severity and mortality of COVID-19 are associated with virus-induced dysfunctional inflammatory responses and cytokine storms. However, the interplay between host inflammatory responses and SARS-CoV-2 infection remains largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (N) protein, the major structural protein of the virion, promotes the virus-triggered activation of NF-κB signaling. After binding to viral RNA, N protein robustly undergoes liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS), which recruits TAK1 and IKK complex, the key kinases of NF-κB signaling, to enhance NF-κB activation. Moreover, 1,6-hexanediol, the inhibitor of LLPS, can attenuate the phase separation of N protein and restrict its regulatory functions in NF-κB activation. These results suggest that LLPS of N protein provides a platform to induce NF-κB hyper-activation, which could be a potential therapeutic target against COVID-19 severe pneumonia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , NF-kappa B/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Signal Transduction , A549 Cells , Acrylates/pharmacology , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/pathology , Chlorocebus aethiops , HEK293 Cells , HeLa Cells , Humans , Inflammation/drug therapy , Inflammation/metabolism , Inflammation/pathology , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , Vero Cells
6.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 420, 2021 12 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585885

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is identified as a zoonotic disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, which also can cross-transmit to many animals but not mice. Genetic modifications of SARS-CoV-2 or mice enable the mice susceptible to viral infection. Although neither is the natural situation, they are currently utilized to establish mouse infection models. Here we report a direct contact transmission of SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.351 in wild-type mice. The SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.351) replicated efficiently and induced significant pathological changes in lungs and tracheas, accompanied by elevated proinflammatory cytokines in the lungs and sera. Mechanistically, the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.351) spike protein turned to a high binding affinity to mouse angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (mACE2), allowing the mice highly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.351) infection. Our work suggests that SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.351) expands the host range and therefore increases its transmission route without adapted mutation. As the wild house mice live with human populations quite closely, this possible transmission route could be potentially risky. In addition, because SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.351) is one of the major epidemic strains and the mACE2 in laboratory-used mice is naturally expressed and regulated, the SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.351)/mice could be a much convenient animal model system to study COVID-19 pathogenesis and evaluate antiviral inhibitors and vaccines.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/transmission , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Receptors, Virus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Gene Expression , HEK293 Cells , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Receptors, Virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Virus Replication
7.
Front Immunol ; 12: 766821, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581335

ABSTRACT

As severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants continue to emerge and spread around the world, antibodies and vaccines to confer broad and potent neutralizing activity are urgently needed. Through the isolation and characterization of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) from individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2, we identified one antibody, P36-5D2, capable of neutralizing the major SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Crystal and electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM) structure analyses revealed that P36-5D2 targeted to a conserved epitope on the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein, withstanding the three key mutations-K417N, E484K, and N501Y-found in the variants that are responsible for escape from many potent neutralizing mAbs, including some already approved for emergency use authorization (EUA). A single intraperitoneal (IP) injection of P36-5D2 as a prophylactic treatment completely protected animals from challenge of infectious SARS-CoV-2 Alpha and Beta. Treated animals manifested normal body weight and were devoid of infection-associated death up to 14 days. A substantial decrease of the infectious virus in the lungs and brain, as well as reduced lung pathology, was found in these animals compared to the controls. Thus, P36-5D2 represents a new and desirable human antibody against the current and emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/pharmacology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/chemistry , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Mice
8.
Mol Cell ; 81(24): 5099-5111.e8, 2021 12 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1578079

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is a critical component of vaccines and a target for neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (nAbs). Spike is also undergoing immunogenic selection with variants that increase infectivity and partially escape convalescent plasma. Here, we describe Spike Display, a high-throughput platform to rapidly characterize glycosylated spike ectodomains across multiple coronavirus-family proteins. We assayed ∼200 variant SARS-CoV-2 spikes for their expression, ACE2 binding, and recognition by 13 nAbs. An alanine scan of all five N-terminal domain (NTD) loops highlights a public epitope in the N1, N3, and N5 loops recognized by most NTD-binding nAbs. NTD mutations in variants of concern B.1.1.7 (alpha), B.1.351 (beta), B.1.1.28 (gamma), B.1.427/B.1.429 (epsilon), and B.1.617.2 (delta) impact spike expression and escape most NTD-targeting nAbs. Finally, B.1.351 and B.1.1.28 completely escape a potent ACE2 mimic. We anticipate that Spike Display will accelerate antigen design, deep scanning mutagenesis, and antibody epitope mapping for SARS-CoV-2 and other emerging viral threats.


Subject(s)
Mammals/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Epitopes/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mammals/immunology , Protein Binding/genetics , Protein Binding/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
9.
Front Immunol ; 12: 719077, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575525

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is a major global public threat. Currently, a worldwide effort has been mounted to generate billions of effective SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses to immunize the world's population at record speeds. However, there is still a demand for alternative effective vaccines that rapidly confer long-term protection and rely upon cost-effective, easily scaled-up manufacturing. Here, we present a Sindbis alphavirus vector (SV), transiently expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (SV.Spike), combined with the OX40 immunostimulatory antibody (αOX40) as a novel, highly effective vaccine approach. We show that SV.Spike plus αOX40 elicits long-lasting neutralizing antibodies and a vigorous T-cell response in mice. Protein binding, immunohistochemical, and cellular infection assays all show that vaccinated mice sera inhibits spike functions. Immunophenotyping, RNA Seq transcriptome profiles, and metabolic analysis indicate a reprogramming of T cells in vaccinated mice. Activated T cells were found to mobilize to lung tissue. Most importantly, SV.Spike plus αOX40 provided robust immune protection against infection with authentic coronavirus in transgenic mice expressing the human ACE2 receptor (hACE2-Tg). Finally, our immunization strategy induced strong effector memory response, potentiating protective immunity against re-exposure to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Our results show the potential of a new Sindbis virus-based vaccine platform to counteract waning immune response, which can be used as a new candidate to combat SARS-CoV-2. Given the T-cell responses elicited, our vaccine is likely to be effective against variants that are proving challenging, as well as serve as a platform to develop a broader spectrum pancoronavirus vaccine. Similarly, the vaccine approach is likely to be applicable to other pathogens.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Differentiation/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sindbis Virus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cricetinae , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Sindbis Virus/genetics , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Vaccination
10.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 7276, 2021 12 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575708

ABSTRACT

Double membrane vesicles (DMVs) serve as replication organelles of plus-strand RNA viruses such as hepatitis C virus (HCV) and SARS-CoV-2. Viral DMVs are morphologically analogous to DMVs formed during autophagy, but lipids driving their biogenesis are largely unknown. Here we show that production of the lipid phosphatidic acid (PA) by acylglycerolphosphate acyltransferase (AGPAT) 1 and 2 in the ER is important for DMV biogenesis in viral replication and autophagy. Using DMVs in HCV-replicating cells as model, we found that AGPATs are recruited to and critically contribute to HCV and SARS-CoV-2 replication and proper DMV formation. An intracellular PA sensor accumulated at viral DMV formation sites, consistent with elevated levels of PA in fractions of purified DMVs analyzed by lipidomics. Apart from AGPATs, PA is generated by alternative pathways and their pharmacological inhibition also impaired HCV and SARS-CoV-2 replication as well as formation of autophagosome-like DMVs. These data identify PA as host cell lipid involved in proper replication organelle formation by HCV and SARS-CoV-2, two phylogenetically disparate viruses causing very different diseases, i.e. chronic liver disease and COVID-19, respectively. Host-targeting therapy aiming at PA synthesis pathways might be suitable to attenuate replication of these viruses.


Subject(s)
Hepacivirus/genetics , Phosphatidic Acids/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Virus Replication/physiology , 1-Acylglycerol-3-Phosphate O-Acyltransferase , Acyltransferases , Autophagosomes/metabolism , Autophagy , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Cell Survival , Dengue Virus , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Membrane Proteins , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Viral Nonstructural Proteins , Viral Proteins , Zika Virus
11.
J Virol Methods ; 300: 114423, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1568896

ABSTRACT

Since the pandemic occurred due to the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, there has always been a demand for a simple and sensitive diagnostic kit for detection of SARS-Cov-2 infection. In January 2020, WHO approved the Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) for detecting the presence of Covid-19 genetic material in individuals. Till date many diagnostic kits have arrived in the market for quantification of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. In spite of being the gold standard method of Covid-19 detection, there are some drawbacks associated with RT-PCR which leads to false-negative results. Hence, in order to fulfil the need for an antibody testing kit for evaluating seroconversion and immunity acquisition in the population, an efficient, highly specific and sensitive assay, Chimera Soochak, an enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) Kit has been developed. It works on the principle of detecting IgG antibodies developed specifically against the S1-RBD by employing a recombinant strain of S1-RBD produced in the HEK293 cell line. The developed kit was validated using different modes and methods to attain the utmost confidence on the samples collected from patients. The validation methodology included, validation with known samples, blind study, third-party validation, validation using WHO Reference Panel and comparison with FDA approved Surrogate virus neutralization kit. The kit was found successful in detecting IgG against the S1-RBD of SARS-CoV-2. The kit had been validated on multiple parameters. A total of 900 samples had been tested by using this kit and it has exhibited the sensitivity, specificity and accuracy for all the above-mentioned parameters.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Sensitivity and Specificity
12.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(24)2021 Dec 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1554850

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread around the world and remains a major public health threat. Vaccine inefficiency, vaccination breakthroughs and lack of supply, especially in developing countries, as well as the fact that a non-negligible part of the population either refuse vaccination or cannot be vaccinated due to age, pre-existing illness or non-response to existing vaccines intensify this issue. This might also contribute to the emergence of new variants, being more efficiently transmitted, more virulent and more capable of escaping naturally acquired and vaccine-induced immunity. Hence, the need of effective and viable prevention options to reduce viral transmission is of outmost importance. In this study, we investigated the antiviral effect of iota-, lambda- and kappa-carrageenan, sulfated polysaccharides extracted from red seaweed, on SARS-CoV-2 Wuhan type and the spreading variants of concern (VOCs) Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta. Carrageenans as part of broadly used nasal and mouth sprays as well as lozenges have the potential of first line defense to inhibit the infection and transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Here, we demonstrate by using a SARS-CoV-2 spike pseudotyped lentivirus particles (SSPL) system and patient-isolated SARS-CoV-2 VOCs to infect transgenic A549ACE2/TMPRSS2 and Calu-3 human lung cells that all three carrageenan types exert antiviral activity. Iota-carrageenan exhibits antiviral activity with comparable IC50 values against the SARS-CoV-2 Wuhan type and the VOCs. Altogether, these results indicate that iota-carrageenan might be effective for prophylaxis and treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infections independent of the present and potentially future variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Carrageenan/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , Chlorocebus aethiops , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Pandemics , Polysaccharides/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination/methods , Vero Cells
13.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4502, 2021 07 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1550282

ABSTRACT

Cells in many tissues, such as bone, muscle, and placenta, fuse into syncytia to acquire new functions and transcriptional programs. While it is known that fused cells are specialized, it is unclear whether cell-fusion itself contributes to programmatic-changes that generate the new cellular state. Here, we address this by employing a fusogen-mediated, cell-fusion system to create syncytia from undifferentiated cells. RNA-Seq analysis reveals VSV-G-induced cell fusion precedes transcriptional changes. To gain mechanistic insights, we measure the plasma membrane surface area after cell-fusion and observe it diminishes through increases in endocytosis. Consequently, glucose transporters internalize, and cytoplasmic glucose and ATP transiently decrease. This reduced energetic state activates AMPK, which inhibits YAP1, causing transcriptional-reprogramming and cell-cycle arrest. Impairing either endocytosis or AMPK activity prevents YAP1 inhibition and cell-cycle arrest after fusion. Together, these data demonstrate plasma membrane diminishment upon cell-fusion causes transient nutrient stress that may promote transcriptional-reprogramming independent from extrinsic cues.


Subject(s)
Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/metabolism , Cell Membrane/metabolism , Cell Nucleus/metabolism , Membrane Glycoproteins/metabolism , Transcription Factors/metabolism , Transcription, Genetic/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/metabolism , AMP-Activated Protein Kinases/genetics , AMP-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/genetics , Animals , Biological Transport , Cell Fusion , Cell Line , Cell Line, Tumor , Cells, Cultured , Giant Cells/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Membrane Glycoproteins/genetics , Mice , RNA-Seq/methods , Signal Transduction/genetics , Transcription Factors/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics
14.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 3172, 2021 05 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1550281

ABSTRACT

Secreted class 3 semaphorins (Sema3s) form tripartite complexes with the plexin receptor and neuropilin coreceptor, which are both transmembrane proteins that together mediate semaphorin signal for neuronal axon guidance and other processes. Despite extensive investigations, the overall architecture of and the molecular interactions in the Sema3/plexin/neuropilin complex are incompletely understood. Here we present the cryo-EM structure of a near intact extracellular region complex of Sema3A, PlexinA4 and Neuropilin 1 (Nrp1) at 3.7 Å resolution. The structure shows a large symmetric 2:2:2 assembly in which each subunit makes multiple interactions with others. The two PlexinA4 molecules in the complex do not interact directly, but their membrane proximal regions are close to each other and poised to promote the formation of the intracellular active dimer for signaling. The structure reveals a previously unknown interface between the a2b1b2 module in Nrp1 and the Sema domain of Sema3A. This interaction places the a2b1b2 module at the top of the complex, far away from the plasma membrane where the transmembrane regions of Nrp1 and PlexinA4 embed. As a result, the region following the a2b1b2 module in Nrp1 must span a large distance to allow the connection to the transmembrane region, suggesting an essential role for the long non-conserved linkers and the MAM domain in neuropilin in the semaphorin/plexin/neuropilin complex.


Subject(s)
Nerve Tissue Proteins/ultrastructure , Neuropilin-1/ultrastructure , Receptors, Cell Surface/ultrastructure , Semaphorin-3A/ultrastructure , Animals , COS Cells , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cryoelectron Microscopy , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mutation , Nerve Tissue Proteins/genetics , Nerve Tissue Proteins/isolation & purification , Nerve Tissue Proteins/metabolism , Neuropilin-1/genetics , Neuropilin-1/isolation & purification , Neuropilin-1/metabolism , Protein Binding/genetics , Protein Domains/genetics , Protein Multimerization/genetics , Receptors, Cell Surface/genetics , Receptors, Cell Surface/isolation & purification , Receptors, Cell Surface/metabolism , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/isolation & purification , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , Recombinant Proteins/ultrastructure , Semaphorin-3A/genetics , Semaphorin-3A/isolation & purification , Semaphorin-3A/metabolism
15.
Biomolecules ; 11(12)2021 12 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551563

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is a highly infectious disease caused by a newly emerged coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that has rapidly progressed into a pandemic. This unprecedent emergency has stressed the significance of developing effective therapeutics to fight the current and future outbreaks. The receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 surface Spike protein is the main target for vaccines and represents a helpful "tool" to produce neutralizing antibodies or diagnostic kits. In this work, we provide a detailed characterization of the native RBD produced in three major model systems: Escherichia coli, insect and HEK-293 cells. Circular dichroism, gel filtration chromatography and thermal denaturation experiments indicated that recombinant SARS-CoV-2 RBD proteins are stable and correctly folded. In addition, their functionality and receptor-binding ability were further evaluated through ELISA, flow cytometry assays and bio-layer interferometry.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Animals , Cell Line , Escherichia coli/genetics , Gene Expression , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Insecta/cytology , Protein Binding , Protein Denaturation , Protein Domains , Protein Folding , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
16.
Cell Rep ; 37(6): 109920, 2021 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1530684

ABSTRACT

It is urgent to develop disease models to dissect mechanisms regulating severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Here, we derive airway organoids from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC-AOs). The hPSC-AOs, particularly ciliated-like cells, are permissive to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Using this platform, we perform a high content screen and identify GW6471, which blocks SARS-CoV-2 infection. GW6471 can also block infection of the B.1.351 SARS-CoV-2 variant. RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis suggests that GW6471 blocks SARS-CoV-2 infection at least in part by inhibiting hypoxia inducible factor 1 subunit alpha (HIF1α), which is further validated by chemical inhibitor and genetic perturbation targeting HIF1α. Metabolic profiling identifies decreased rates of glycolysis upon GW6471 treatment, consistent with transcriptome profiling. Finally, xanthohumol, 5-(tetradecyloxy)-2-furoic acid, and ND-646, three compounds that suppress fatty acid biosynthesis, also block SARS-CoV-2 infection. Together, a high content screen coupled with transcriptome and metabolic profiling reveals a key role of the HIF1α-glycolysis axis in mediating SARS-CoV-2 infection of human airway epithelium.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Glycolysis/physiology , Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, alpha Subunit/metabolism , Lung/metabolism , Organoids/metabolism , Animals , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Pluripotent Stem Cells/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Transcriptome/physiology , Vero Cells
17.
Front Immunol ; 12: 772239, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528825

ABSTRACT

This contribution explores in a new statistical perspective the antibody responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in 141 coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients exhibiting a broad range of clinical manifestations. This cohort accurately reflects the characteristics of the first wave of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Italy. We determined the IgM, IgA, and IgG levels towards SARS-CoV-2 S1, S2, and NP antigens, evaluating their neutralizing activity and relationship with clinical signatures. Moreover, we longitudinally followed 72 patients up to 9 months postsymptoms onset to study the persistence of the levels of antibodies. Our results showed that the majority of COVID-19 patients developed an early virus-specific antibody response. The magnitude and the neutralizing properties of the response were heterogeneous regardless of the severity of the disease. Antibody levels dropped over time, even though spike reactive IgG and IgA were still detectable up to 9 months. Early baseline antibody levels were key drivers of the subsequent antibody production and the long-lasting protection against SARS-CoV-2. Importantly, we identified anti-S1 IgA as a good surrogate marker to predict the clinical course of COVID-19. Characterizing the antibody response after SARS-CoV-2 infection is relevant for the early clinical management of patients as soon as they are diagnosed and for implementing the current vaccination strategies.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , Immunoglobulin A/blood , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/immunology , Female , HEK293 Cells , Hospitalization , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult
18.
Cell Rep ; 37(3): 109838, 2021 10 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1517083

ABSTRACT

As severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spreads, variants with enhanced virulence and transmissibility have emerged. Although in vitro systems allow rapid characterization, they do not fully recapitulate the dynamic interaction of virions and neutralizing antibodies in the airway. Here, we demonstrate that the N501Y variant permits respiratory infection in unmodified mice. We utilize N501Y to survey in vivo pseudovirus infection dynamics and susceptibility to reinfection with the L452R (Los Angeles), K417N + E484K (South Africa), and L452R + K417N + E484Q (India) variants. Human coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)+ or vaccinated antibody isotypes, titers, variant receptor binding domain (RBD) binding, and neutralization potential are studied, revealing numerous significant correlations. Immune escape of the K417N + E484K variant is observed because infection can be appreciated in the nasopharynx, but not lungs, of mice transferred with low-antibody-tier plasma. Conversely, near-complete protection is observed in animals receiving high-antibody-tier plasma, a phenomenon that can only be appreciated in vivo.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Cell Line , Cricetinae , Genetic Variation , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immune System , Immunization, Passive/methods , In Vitro Techniques , Mice , Mutation , Nasopharynx/virology , Protein Binding , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
19.
Front Immunol ; 12: 750386, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1515534

ABSTRACT

Antibodies targeting Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 have been suggested to account for the majority of neutralizing activity in COVID-19 convalescent sera and several neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) have been isolated, characterized and proposed as emergency therapeutics in the form of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). However, SARS-CoV-2 variants are rapidly spreading worldwide from the sites of initial identification. The variants of concern (VOC) B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta), P.1 (Gamma) and B.1.167.2 (Delta) showed mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein potentially able to cause escape from nAb responses with a consequent reduction of efficacy of vaccines and mAbs-based therapy. We produced the recombinant RBD (rRBD) of SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein from the Wuhan-Hu 1 reference sequence in a mammalian system, for mice immunization to isolate new mAbs with neutralizing activity. Here we describe four mAbs that were able to bind the rRBD in Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay and the transmembrane full-length spike protein expressed in HEK293T cells by flow cytometry assay. Moreover, the mAbs recognized the RBD in supernatants of SARS-CoV-2 infected VERO E6 cells by Western Blot under non-reducing condition or in supernatants of cells infected with lentivirus pseudotyped for spike protein, by immunoprecipitation assay. Three out of four mAbs lost their binding efficiency to completely N-deglycosylated rRBD and none was able to bind the same recombinant protein expressed in Escherichia coli, suggesting that the epitopes recognized by three mAbs are generated by the conformational structure of the glycosylated native protein. Of particular relevance, three mAbs were able to inhibit Wuhan SARS-CoV-2 infection of VERO E6 cells in a plaque-reduction neutralization test and the Wuhan SARS-CoV-2 as well as the Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta VOC in a pseudoviruses-based neutralization test. These mAbs represent important additional tools for diagnosis and therapy of COVID-19 and may contribute to the understanding of the functional structure of SARS-CoV-2 RBD.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/pharmacology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral/pharmacology , Epitopes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Binding Sites, Antibody/immunology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cell Line, Tumor , Chlorocebus aethiops , Female , Glycosylation , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Neutralization Tests , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vero Cells
20.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 389, 2021 11 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1510582

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV are genetically related coronavirus and share the same cellular receptor ACE2. By replacing the VSV glycoprotein with the spikes (S) of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV, we generated two replication-competent recombinant viruses, rVSV-SARS-CoV-2 and rVSV-SARS-CoV. Using wild-type and human ACE2 (hACE2) knock-in mouse models, we found a single dose of rVSV-SARS-CoV could elicit strong humoral immune response via both intranasal (i.n.) and intramuscular (i.m.) routes. Despite the high genetic similarity between SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV, no obvious cross-neutralizing activity was observed in the immunized mice sera. In macaques, neutralizing antibody (NAb) titers induced by one i.n. dose of rVSV-SARS-CoV-2 were eight-fold higher than those by a single i.m. dose. Thus, our data indicates that rVSV-SARS-CoV-2 might be suitable for i.n. administration instead of the traditional i.m. immunization in human. Because rVSV-SARS-CoV elicited significantly stronger NAb responses than rVSV-SARS-CoV-2 in a route-independent manner, we generated a chimeric antigen by replacing the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV S with that from the SARS-CoV-2. rVSV expressing the chimera (rVSV-SARS-CoV/2-RBD) induced significantly increased NAbs against SARS-CoV-2 in mice and macaques than rVSV-SARS-CoV-2, with a safe Th1-biased response. Serum immunized with rVSV-SARS-CoV/2-RBD showed no cross-reactivity with SARS-CoV. hACE2 mice receiving a single i.m. dose of either rVSV-SARS-CoV-2 or rVSV-SARS-CoV/2-RBD were fully protected against SARS-CoV-2 challenge without obvious lesions in the lungs. Our results suggest that transplantation of SARS-CoV-2 RBD into the S protein of SARS-CoV might be a promising antigen design for COVID-19 vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Gene Knock-In Techniques , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Neutralization Tests , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
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