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1.
Viruses ; 14(10)2022 09 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2043988

ABSTRACT

Not all antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 inhibit viral entry, and hence, infection. Neutralizing antibodies are more likely to reflect real immunity; however, certain tests investigate protein/protein interaction rather than the fusion event. Viral and pseudoviral entry assays detect functionally active antibodies but are limited by biosafety and standardization issues. We have developed a Spike/ACE2-dependent fusion assay, based on a split luciferase. Hela cells stably transduced with Spike and a large fragment of luciferase were co-cultured with Hela cells transduced with ACE2 and the complementary small fragment of luciferase. Cell fusion occurred rapidly allowing the measurement of luminescence. Light emission was abolished in the absence of Spike and reduced in the presence of proteases. Sera from COVID-19-negative, non-vaccinated individuals or from patients at the moment of first symptoms did not lead to a significant reduction of fusion. Sera from COVID-19-positive patients as well as from vaccinated individuals reduced the fusion. This assay was more correlated to pseudotyped-based entry assay rather than serology or competitive ELISA. In conclusion, we report a new method measuring fusion-inhibitory antibodies in serum, combining the advantage of a complete Spike/ACE2 interaction active on entry with a high degree of standardization, easily allowing automation in a standard bio-safety environment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/prevention & control , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , HeLa Cells , Antibodies, Viral , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Vaccination
2.
Mar Drugs ; 20(8)2022 Jul 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2023891

ABSTRACT

Nowadays, the therapeutic efficiency of small interfering RNAs (siRNA) is still limited by the efficiency of gene therapy vectors capable of carrying them inside the target cells. In this study, siRNA nanocarriers based on low molecular weight chitosan grafted with increasing proportions (5 to 55%) of diisopropylethylamine (DIPEA) groups were developed, which allowed precise control of the degree of ionization of the polycations at pH 7.4. This approach made obtaining siRNA nanocarriers with small sizes (100-200 nm), positive surface charge and enhanced colloidal stability (up to 24 h) at physiological conditions of pH (7.4) and ionic strength (150 mmol L-1) possible. Moreover, the PEGylation improved the stability of the nanoparticles, which maintained their colloidal stability and nanometric sizes even in an albumin-containing medium. The chitosan-derivatives displayed non-cytotoxic effects in both fibroblasts (NIH/3T3) and macrophages (RAW 264.7) at high N/P ratios and polymer concentrations (up to 0.5 g L-1). Confocal microscopy showed a successful uptake of nanocarriers by RAW 264.7 macrophages and a promising ability to silence green fluorescent protein (GFP) in HeLa cells. These results were confirmed by a high level of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) knockdown (higher than 60%) in LPS-stimulated macrophages treated with the siRNA-loaded nanoparticles even in the FBS-containing medium, findings that reveal a good correlation between the degree of ionization of the polycations and the physicochemical properties of nanocarriers. Overall, this study provides an approach to enhance siRNA condensation by chitosan-based carriers and highlights the potential of these nanocarriers for in vivo studies.


Subject(s)
Chitosan , Nanoparticles , Chitosan/chemistry , HeLa Cells , Humans , Nanoparticles/chemistry , Particle Size , Polyethylene Glycols/chemistry , RNA, Small Interfering/metabolism
3.
Anal Chem ; 94(35): 12095-12102, 2022 09 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2016504

ABSTRACT

Lipid droplets (LDs), which are ubiquitous organelles existing in almost all eukaryotic cells, have attracted a lot of attention in the field of cell biology over the last decade. For the biological study of LDs via fluorescence imaging, the superior LD fluorescent probes with environmental polarity-sensitive character are highly desired and powerful but are very scarce. Herein, we have newly developed such a kind of fluorescent probe named LDs-Red which enables us to visualize LDs and to further reveal their polarity information. This fluorescent probe displays the advantages of intense red/near-infrared emission, high LD staining specificity, and good photostability; thus, it would be very useful for LD fluorescence imaging application. As a result, the three-dimensional confocal imaging to visualize spatial distribution of LDs and the multicolor confocal imaging to simultaneously observe LDs and other cellular organelles have been realized using this new LD fluorescent probe. Furthermore, the polarity-sensitive emission character of this probe enables us to quantitatively determine the LD polarity via spectral scan imaging. Consequently, the cancer cells (HepG2, HeLa, and Panc02) displaying lower polarity of LDs than the normal cells (L929, U251, and HT22) have been systematically demonstrated. In addition, this polarity-sensitive probe displaying shorter fluorescence wavelengths in cancer cells than in normal cells has an important and potential ability to distinguish them.


Subject(s)
Fluorescent Dyes , Lipid Droplets , HeLa Cells , Humans , Optical Imaging , Staining and Labeling
4.
J Control Release ; 350: 256-270, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1991137

ABSTRACT

Since the recent clinical approval of siRNA-based drugs and COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, the potential of RNA therapeutics for patient healthcare has become widely accepted. Lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) are currently the most advanced nanocarriers for RNA packaging and delivery. Nevertheless, the intracellular delivery efficiency of state-of-the-art LNPs remains relatively low and safety and immunogenicity concerns with synthetic lipid components persist, altogether rationalizing the exploration of alternative LNP compositions. In addition, there is an interest in exploiting LNP technology for simultaneous encapsulation of small molecule drugs and RNA in a single nanocarrier. Here, we describe how well-known tricyclic cationic amphiphilic drugs (CADs) can be repurposed as both structural and functional components of lipid-based NPs for mRNA formulation, further referred to as CADosomes. We demonstrate that selected CADs, such as tricyclic antidepressants and antihistamines, self-assemble with the widely-used helper lipid DOPE to form cationic lipid vesicles for subsequent mRNA complexation and delivery, without the need for prior lipophilic derivatization. Selected CADosomes enabled efficient mRNA delivery in various in vitro cell models, including easy-to-transfect cancer cells (e.g. human cervical carcinoma HeLa cell line) as well as hard-to-transfect primary cells (e.g. primary bovine corneal epithelial cells), outperforming commercially available cationic liposomes and state-of-the-art LNPs. In addition, using the antidepressant nortriptyline as a model compound, we show that CADs can maintain their pharmacological activity upon CADosome incorporation. Furthermore, in vivo proof-of-concept was obtained, demonstrating CADosome-mediated mRNA delivery in the corneal epithelial cells of rabbit eyes, which could pave the way for future applications in ophthalmology. Based on our results, the co-formulation of CADs, helper lipids and mRNA into lipid-based nanocarriers is proposed as a versatile and straightforward approach for the rational development of drug combination therapies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nanoparticles , Animals , Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cations , Cattle , Drug Combinations , Drug Repositioning , HeLa Cells , Humans , Lipids/chemistry , Liposomes , Nanoparticles/chemistry , Nortriptyline , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , Rabbits
5.
Structure ; 30(10): 1432-1442.e4, 2022 10 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1967156

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), SARS-CoV-2, and human coronavirus (hCoV)-NL63 utilize ACE2 as the functional receptor for cell entry, which leads to zoonotic infection. Horses (Equus caballus) attracted our attention because the spike protein receptor-binding domains (RBDs) of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-2-related coronaviruses bind equine ACE2 (eACE2) with high affinity. Here we show that eACE2 binds the RBDs of these three coronaviruses and also SARS-CoV-2 variants but with lower affinities compared with human ACE2 (hACE2). Structural analysis and mutation assays indicated that eACE2-H41 accounts for the lower binding affinity of eACE2 to the RBDs of SARS-CoV-2 variants (Alpha, Beta, and Gamma), SARS-CoV, and hCoV-NL63. Pseudovirus infection assays showed that the SARS-CoV-2 Delta strain (B.1.617.2) displayed a significantly increased infection efficiency in eACE2-expressing HeLa cells. Our results reveal the molecular basis of eACE2 binding to the RBDs of SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2, and hCoV-NL63, which provides insights into the potential animal transmission of these ACE2-dependent coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronavirus NL63, Human , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , HeLa Cells , Horses , Humans , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
6.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(14)2022 Jul 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1938839

ABSTRACT

In the SARS-CoV-2 lifecycle, papain-like protease PLpro cuts off the non-structural proteins nsp1, nsp2, and nsp3 from a large polyprotein. This is the earliest viral enzymatic activity, which is crucial for all downstream steps. Here, we designed two genetically encoded fluorescent sensors for the real-time detection of PLpro activity in live cells. The first sensor was based on the Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) between the red fluorescent protein mScarlet as a donor and the biliverdin-binding near-infrared fluorescent protein miRFP670 as an acceptor. A linker with the PLpro recognition site LKGG in between made this FRET pair sensitive to PLpro cleavage. Upon the co-expression of mScarlet-LKGG-miRFP670 and PLpro in HeLa cells, we observed a gradual increase in the donor fluorescence intensity of about 1.5-fold. In the second sensor, both PLpro and its target-green mNeonGreen and red mScarletI fluorescent proteins separated by an LKGG-containing linker-were attached to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane. Upon cleavage by PLpro, mScarletI diffused from the ER throughout the cell. About a two-fold increase in the nucleus/cytoplasm ratio was observed as a result of the PLpro action. We believe that the new PLpro sensors can potentially be used to detect the earliest stages of SARS-CoV-2 propagation in live cells as well as for the screening of PLpro inhibitors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases , HeLa Cells , Humans , Papain/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
7.
Chemosphere ; 306: 135578, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1914233

ABSTRACT

Overexpression of proteins/antigens and other gene-related sequences in the bodies could lead to significant mutations and refractory diseases. Detection and identification of assorted trace concentrations of such proteins/antigens and/or gene-related sequences remain challenging, affecting different pathogens and making viruses stronger. Correspondingly, coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) mutations/alterations and spread could lead to overexpression of ssDNA and the related antigens in the population and brisk activity in gene-editing technologies in the treatment/detection may lead to the presence of pCRISPR in the blood. Therefore, the detection and evaluation of their trace concentrations are of critical importance. CaZnO-based nanoghosts (NGs) were synthesized with the assistance of a high-gravity technique at a 1,800 MHz field, capitalizing on the use of Rosmarinus officinalis leaf extract as the templating agent. A complete chemical, physical and biological investigation revealed that the synthesized NGs presented similar morphological features to the mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), resulting in excellent biocompatibility, interaction with ssDNA- and/or pCRISPR-surface, through various chemical and physical mechanisms. This comprise the unprecedented synthesis of a fully inorganic nanostructure with behavior that is similar to MSCs. Furthermore, the endowed exceptional ability of inorganic NGs for detective sensing/folding of ssDNA and pCRISPR and recombinant SARS-CoV-2 spike antigen (RSCSA), along with in-situ hydrogen peroxide detection on the HEK-293 and HeLa cell lines, was discerned. On average, they displayed a high drug loading capacity of 55%, and the acceptable internalizations inside the HT-29 cell lines affirmed the anticipated MSCs-like behavior of these inorganic-NGs.


Subject(s)
DNA, Single-Stranded , Doxorubicin , Nanoparticle Drug Delivery System , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Calcium , DNA, Single-Stranded/analysis , Doxorubicin/administration & dosage , HEK293 Cells , HeLa Cells , Humans , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/analysis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Zinc Oxide
8.
Chem Biol Interact ; 363: 110025, 2022 Aug 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1906835

ABSTRACT

In order to discover new dual-active agents, a series of novel Biginelli hybrids (tetrahydropyrimidines) and their ruthenium(II) complexes were synthesized. Newly synthesized compounds were characterized by IR, NMR, and X-ray techniques and investigated for their cytotoxic effect on human cancer cell lines HeLa, LS174, A549, A375, K562 and normal fibroblasts (MRC-5). For further examination of the cytotoxic mechanisms of novel complexes, two of them were chosen for analyzing their effects on the distribution of HeLa cells in the cell cycle phases. The results of the flow cytometry analysis suggest that the proportion of cells in G2/M phase was decreased following the increase of subG1 phase in all treatments. These results confirmed that cells treated with 5b and 5c were induced to undergo apoptotic death. The ruthenium complexes 5a-5d show significant inhibitory potency against SARS-CoV-2 Mpro. Therefore, molecule 5b has significance, while 5e possesses the lowest values of ΔGbind and Ki, which are comparable to cinanserin, and hydroxychloroquine. In addition, achieved results will open a new avenue in drug design for more research on the possible therapeutic applications of dual-active Biginelli-based drugs (anticancer-antiviral). Dual-active drugs based on the hybridization concept "one drug curing two diseases" could be a successful tactic in healing patients who have cancer and the virus SARS-CoV-2 at the same time.


Subject(s)
Antineoplastic Agents , COVID-19 , Coordination Complexes , Ruthenium , Antineoplastic Agents/chemistry , Antineoplastic Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cell Line, Tumor , Coordination Complexes/chemistry , Coordination Complexes/pharmacology , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Drug Screening Assays, Antitumor , HeLa Cells , Humans , Ruthenium/chemistry , Ruthenium/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Pharmacol Res Perspect ; 9(3): e00800, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1898944

ABSTRACT

Antiprotozoal drug nitazoxanide (NTZ) has shown diverse pharmacological properties and has appeared in several clinical trials. Herein we present the synthesis, characterization, in vitro biological investigation, and in silico study of four hetero aryl amide analogs of NTZ. Among the synthesized molecules, compound 2 and compound 4 exhibited promising antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli (E. coli), superior to that displayed by the parent drug nitazoxanide as revealed from the in vitro antibacterial assay. Compound 2 displayed zone of inhibition of 20 mm, twice as large as the parent drug NTZ (10 mm) in their least concentration (12.5 µg/ml). Compound 1 also showed antibacterial effect similar to that of nitazoxanide. The analogs were also tested for in vitro cytotoxic activity by employing cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) assay technique in HeLa cell line, and compound 2 was identified as a potential anticancer agent having IC50 value of 172 µg which proves it to be more potent than nitazoxanide (IC50  = 428 µg). Furthermore, the compounds were subjected to molecular docking study against various bacterial and cancer signaling proteins. The in vitro test results corroborated with the in silico docking study as compound 2 and compound 4 had comparatively stronger binding affinity against the proteins and showed a higher docking score than nitazoxanide toward human mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK9) and fatty acid biosynthesis enzyme (FabH) of E. coli. Moreover, the docking study demonstrated dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) and thymidylate synthase (TS) as probable new targets for nitazoxanide and its synthetic analogs. Overall, the study suggests that nitazoxanide and its analogs can be a potential lead compound in the drug development.


Subject(s)
Amides , Anti-Bacterial Agents , Antineoplastic Agents , Antiparasitic Agents , Nitro Compounds , Thiazoles , Amides/chemistry , Amides/pharmacology , Anti-Bacterial Agents/chemistry , Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , Antineoplastic Agents/chemistry , Antineoplastic Agents/pharmacology , Antiparasitic Agents/chemistry , Antiparasitic Agents/pharmacology , Bacterial Proteins/metabolism , Biological Assay , Cell Survival/drug effects , Escherichia coli/drug effects , Escherichia coli/growth & development , HeLa Cells , Humans , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 9/metabolism , Molecular Docking Simulation , Nitro Compounds/chemistry , Nitro Compounds/pharmacology , Tetrahydrofolate Dehydrogenase/metabolism , Thiazoles/chemistry , Thiazoles/pharmacology , Thymidylate Synthase/metabolism
10.
Molecules ; 27(11)2022 May 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1892925

ABSTRACT

Chemical modification of sugars and nucleosides has a long history of producing compounds with improved selectivity and efficacy. In this study, several modified sugars (2-3) and ribonucleoside analogs (4-8) have been synthesized from α-d-glucose in a total of 21 steps. The compounds were tested for peripheral anti-nociceptive characteristics in the acetic acid-induced writhing assay in mice, where compounds 2, 7, and 8 showed a significant reduction in the number of writhes by 56%, 62%, and 63%, respectively. The compounds were also tested for their cytotoxic potential against human HeLa cell line via trypan blue dye exclusion test followed by cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) assay. Compound 6 demonstrated significant cytotoxic activity with an IC50 value of 54 µg/mL. Molecular docking simulations revealed that compounds 2, 7, and 8 had a comparable binding affinity to cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzymes. Additionally, the bridged nucleoside analogs 7 and 8 potently inhibited adenosine kinase enzyme as well, which indicates an alternate mechanistic pathway behind their anti-nociceptive action. Cytotoxic compound 6 demonstrated strong docking with cancer drug targets human cytidine deaminase, proto-oncogene tyrosine-protein kinase Src, human thymidine kinase 1, human thymidylate synthase, and human adenosine deaminase 2. This is the first ever reporting of the synthesis and analgesic property of compound 8 and the cytotoxic potential of compound 6.


Subject(s)
Antineoplastic Agents , Nucleosides , Analgesics/chemistry , Animals , Antineoplastic Agents/chemistry , Cyclooxygenase 2/metabolism , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , HeLa Cells , Humans , Mice , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Structure , Nucleosides/pharmacology , Structure-Activity Relationship , Sugars
11.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(11)2022 May 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1892892

ABSTRACT

A major cause of cancer cell resistance to chemotherapeutics is the blocking of apoptosis and induction of autophagy in the context of cell adaptation and survival. Therefore, new compounds are being sought, also among drugs that are commonly used in other therapies. Due to the involvement of histamine in the regulation of processes occurring during the development of many types of cancer, antihistamines are now receiving special attention. Our study concerned the identification of new mechanisms of action of azelastine hydrochloride, used in antiallergic treatment. The study was performed on HeLa cells treated with different concentrations of azelastine (15-90 µM). Cell cycle, level of autophagy (LC3 protein activity) and apoptosis (annexin V assay), activity of caspase 3/7, anti-apoptotic protein of Bcl-2 family, ROS concentration, measurement of mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψm), and level of phosphorylated H2A.X in response to DSB were evaluated by cytometric method. Cellular changes were also demonstrated at the level of transmission electron microscopy and optical and fluorescence microscopy. Lysosomal enzyme activities-cathepsin D and L and cell viability (MTT assay) were assessed spectrophotometrically. Results: Azelastine in concentrations of 15-25 µM induced degradation processes, vacuolization, increase in cathepsin D and L activity, and LC3 protein activation. By increasing ROS, it also caused DNA damage and blocked cells in the S phase of the cell cycle. At the concentrations of 45-90 µM, azelastine clearly promoted apoptosis by activation of caspase 3/7 and inactivation of Bcl-2 protein. Fragmentation of cell nucleus was confirmed by DAPI staining. Changes were also found in the endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria, whose damage was confirmed by staining with rhodamine 123 and in the MTT test. Azelastine decreased the mitotic index and induced mitotic catastrophe. Studies demonstrated the multidirectional effects of azelastine on HeLa cells, including anti-proliferative, cytotoxic, autophagic, and apoptotic properties, which were the predominant mechanism of death. The revealed novel properties of azelastine may be practically used in anti-cancer therapy in the future.


Subject(s)
Cathepsin D , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms , Apoptosis , Autophagy , Caspase 3/metabolism , Cell Line, Tumor , Female , HeLa Cells , Humans , Phthalazines , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 , Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism , Uterine Cervical Neoplasms/drug therapy
12.
J Virol ; 96(8): e0012822, 2022 04 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1765079

ABSTRACT

The spike protein (S) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) directs infection of the lungs and other tissues following its binding to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. For effective infection, the S protein is cleaved at two sites: S1/S2 and S2'. The "priming" of the surface S protein at S1/S2 (PRRAR685↓) [the underlined basic amino acids refer to critical residues needed for the furin recognition] by furin has been shown to be important for SARS-CoV-2 infectivity in cells and small-animal models. In this study, for the first time we unambiguously identified by proteomics the fusion activation site S2' as KPSKR815↓ (the underlined basic amino acids refer to critical residues needed for the furin recognition) and demonstrated that this cleavage was strongly enhanced by ACE2 engagement with the S protein. Novel pharmacological furin inhibitors (BOS inhibitors) effectively blocked endogenous S protein processing at both sites in HeLa cells, and SARS-CoV-2 infection of lung-derived Calu-3 cells was completely prevented by combined inhibitors of furin (BOS) and type II transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2) (camostat). Quantitative analyses of cell-to-cell fusion and S protein processing revealed that ACE2 shedding by TMPRSS2 was required for TMPRSS2-mediated enhancement of fusion in the absence of S1/S2 priming. We further demonstrated that the collectrin dimerization domain of ACE2 was essential for the effect of TMPRSS2 on cell-to-cell fusion. Overall, our results indicate that furin and TMPRSS2 act synergistically in viral entry and infectivity, supporting the combination of furin and TMPRSS2 inhibitors as potent antivirals against SARS-CoV-2. IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2, the etiological agent of COVID-19, has so far resulted in >6.1 million deaths worldwide. The spike protein (S) of the virus directs infection of the lungs and other tissues by binding the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. For effective infection, the S protein is cleaved at two sites: S1/S2 and S2'. Cleavage at S1/S2 induces a conformational change favoring the S protein recognition by ACE2. The S2' cleavage is critical for triggering membrane fusion and virus entry into host cells. Our study highlights the complex dynamics of interaction between the S protein, ACE2, and the host proteases furin and TMPRSS2 during SARS-CoV-2 entry and suggests that the combination of a nontoxic furin inhibitor with a TMPRSS2 inhibitor significantly reduces viral entry in lung cells, as evidenced by an average synergistic ∼95% reduction of viral infection. This represents a powerful novel antiviral approach to reduce viral spread in individuals infected by SARS-CoV-2 or future related coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Furin , SARS-CoV-2 , Serine Endopeptidases , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Furin/metabolism , HeLa Cells , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Internalization
13.
J Virol ; 96(2): e0106021, 2022 01 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1759286

ABSTRACT

Rhinoviruses (RVs) cause recurrent infections of the nasal and pulmonary tracts, life-threatening conditions in chronic respiratory illness patients, predisposition of children to asthmatic exacerbation, and large economic cost. RVs are difficult to treat. They rapidly evolve resistance and are genetically diverse. Here, we provide insight into RV drug resistance mechanisms against chemical compounds neutralizing low pH in endolysosomes. Serial passaging of RV-A16 in the presence of the vacuolar proton ATPase inhibitor bafilomycin A1 (BafA1) or the endolysosomotropic agent ammonium chloride (NH4Cl) promoted the emergence of resistant virus populations. We found two reproducible point mutations in viral proteins 1 and 3 (VP1 and VP3), A2526G (serine 66 to asparagine [S66N]), and G2274U (cysteine 220 to phenylalanine [C220F]), respectively. Both mutations conferred cross-resistance to BafA1, NH4Cl, and the protonophore niclosamide, as identified by massive parallel sequencing and reverse genetics, but not the double mutation, which we could not rescue. Both VP1-S66 and VP3-C220 locate at the interprotomeric face, and their mutations increase the sensitivity of virions to low pH, elevated temperature, and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 receptor. These results indicate that the ability of RV to uncoat at low endosomal pH confers virion resistance to extracellular stress. The data endorse endosomal acidification inhibitors as a viable strategy against RVs, especially if inhibitors are directly applied to the airways. IMPORTANCE Rhinoviruses (RVs) are the predominant agents causing the common cold. Anti-RV drugs and vaccines are not available, largely due to rapid evolutionary adaptation of RVs giving rise to resistant mutants and an immense diversity of antigens in more than 160 different RV types. In this study, we obtained insight into the cell biology of RVs by harnessing the ability of RVs to evolve resistance against host-targeting small chemical compounds neutralizing endosomal pH, an important cue for uncoating of normal RVs. We show that RVs grown in cells treated with inhibitors of endolysosomal acidification evolved capsid mutations yielding reduced virion stability against elevated temperature, low pH, and incubation with recombinant soluble receptor fragments. This fitness cost makes it unlikely that RV mutants adapted to neutral pH become prevalent in nature. The data support the concept of host-directed drug development against respiratory viruses in general, notably at low risk of gain-of-function mutations.


Subject(s)
Capsid/chemistry , Mutation/drug effects , Rhinovirus/physiology , Virus Uncoating/physiology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Capsid/drug effects , Capsid Proteins/genetics , Capsid Proteins/metabolism , Drug Resistance, Viral/drug effects , Drug Resistance, Viral/genetics , Endosomes/chemistry , Endosomes/drug effects , Endosomes/metabolism , HeLa Cells , Humans , Hydrogen-Ion Concentration , Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1/metabolism , Protein Conformation , Rhinovirus/chemistry , Rhinovirus/drug effects , Rhinovirus/genetics , Virion/chemistry , Virion/genetics , Virion/metabolism , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Virus Uncoating/drug effects , Virus Uncoating/genetics
14.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 12: 802147, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1753359

ABSTRACT

Owing to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) worldwide at the end of 2019, the development of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine became an urgent need. In this study, we developed a type 9 adeno-associated virus vectored vaccine candidate expressing a dimeric receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (S protein) and evaluated its immunogenicity in a murine model. The vaccine candidate, named AAV9-RBD virus, was constructed by inserting a signal peptide to the N-terminus of two copies of RBD, spaced by a linker, into the genome of a type 9 adeno-associated virus. In vitro assays showed that HeLa cells infected by the recombinant AAV virus expressed high levels of the recombinant RBD protein, mostly found in the cell culture supernatant. The recombinant AAV9-RBD virus was cultured and purified. The genome titer of the purified recombinant AAV9-RBD virus was determined to be 2.4 × 1013 genome copies/mL (GC/mL) by Q-PCR. Balb/c mice were immunized with the virus by intramuscular injection or nasal drip administration. Eight weeks after immunization, neutralizing antibodies against the new coronavirus pseudovirus were detected in the sera of all mice; the mean neutralizing antibody EC50 values were 517.7 ± 292.1 (n=10) and 682.8 ± 454.0 (n=10) in the intramuscular injection group and nasal drip group, respectively. The results of this study showed that the recombinant AAV9-RBD virus may be used for the development of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Animals , COVID-19/prevention & control , Dependovirus/genetics , HeLa Cells , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
15.
J Med Chem ; 65(2): 1302-1312, 2022 01 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1747278

ABSTRACT

CK2α and CK2α' are paralogous catalytic subunits of CK2, which belongs to the eukaryotic protein kinases. CK2 promotes tumorigenesis and the spread of pathogenic viruses like SARS-CoV-2 and is thus an attractive drug target. Efforts to develop selective CK2 inhibitors binding offside the ATP site had disclosed the αD pocket in CK2α; its occupation requires large conformational adaptations of the helix αD. As shown here, the αD pocket is accessible also in CK2α', where the necessary structural plasticity can be triggered with suitable ligands even in the crystalline state. A CK2α' structure with an ATP site and an αD pocket ligand guided the design of the bivalent CK2 inhibitor KN2. It binds to CK2 with low nanomolar affinity, is cell-permeable, and suppresses the intracellular phosphorylation of typical CK2 substrates. Kinase profiling revealed a high selectivity of KN2 for CK2 and emphasizes the selectivity-promoting potential of the αD pocket.


Subject(s)
Casein Kinase II/antagonists & inhibitors , Protein Kinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Adenosine Triphosphate/metabolism , Casein Kinase II/chemistry , Casein Kinase II/metabolism , Crystallization , HEK293 Cells , HeLa Cells , Humans , Ligands , Phosphorylation , Protein Conformation , Substrate Specificity
16.
Biomolecules ; 12(2)2022 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1715101

ABSTRACT

Protein-based carriers are promising vehicles for the intracellular delivery of therapeutics. In this study, we designed and studied adenovirus protein fiber constructs with potential applications as carriers for the delivery of protein and nanoparticle cargoes. We used as a basic structural framework the fibrous shaft segment of the adenovirus fiber protein comprising of residues 61-392, connected to the fibritin foldon trimerization motif at the C-terminal end. A fourteen-amino-acid biotinylation sequence was inserted immediately after the N-terminal, His-tagged end of the construct in order to enable the attachment of a biotin moiety in vivo. We report herein that this His-tag biotinylated construct folds into thermally and protease-stable fibrous nanorods that can be internalized into cells and are not cytotoxic. Moreover, they can bind to proteins and nanoparticles through the biotin-streptavidin interaction and mediate their delivery to cells. We demonstrate that streptavidin-conjugated gold nanoparticles can be transported into NIH3T3 fibroblast and HeLa cancer cell lines. Furthermore, two streptavidin-conjugated model proteins, alkaline phosphatase and horseradish peroxidase can be delivered into the cell cytoplasm in their enzymatically active form. This work is aimed at establishing the proof-of-principle for the rational engineering of diverse functionalities onto the initial protein structural framework and the use of adenovirus fiber-based proteins as nanorods for the delivery of nanoparticles and model proteins. These constructs could constitute a stepping stone for the development of multifunctional and modular fibrous nanorod platforms that can be tailored to applications at the sequence level.


Subject(s)
Viral Proteins , Adenoviridae/chemistry , Animals , Biotin/chemistry , Biotin/metabolism , Gold/chemistry , HeLa Cells , Humans , Metal Nanoparticles/chemistry , Mice , NIH 3T3 Cells , Streptavidin/chemistry , Viral Proteins/chemistry
17.
Nat Cell Biol ; 23(12): 1240-1254, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1699219

ABSTRACT

Extracellular vesicles and exomere nanoparticles are under intense investigation as sources of clinically relevant cargo. Here we report the discovery of a distinct extracellular nanoparticle, termed supermere. Supermeres are morphologically distinct from exomeres and display a markedly greater uptake in vivo compared with small extracellular vesicles and exomeres. The protein and RNA composition of supermeres differs from small extracellular vesicles and exomeres. Supermeres are highly enriched with cargo involved in multiple cancers (glycolytic enzymes, TGFBI, miR-1246, MET, GPC1 and AGO2), Alzheimer's disease (APP) and cardiovascular disease (ACE2, ACE and PCSK9). The majority of extracellular RNA is associated with supermeres rather than small extracellular vesicles and exomeres. Cancer-derived supermeres increase lactate secretion, transfer cetuximab resistance and decrease hepatic lipids and glycogen in vivo. This study identifies a distinct functional nanoparticle replete with potential circulating biomarkers and therapeutic targets for a host of human diseases.


Subject(s)
Extracellular Vesicles/metabolism , MicroRNAs/metabolism , Nanoparticles/metabolism , Alzheimer Disease/pathology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Biological Transport/physiology , Biomarkers/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Cardiovascular Diseases/pathology , Cell Communication/physiology , Cell Line, Tumor , HeLa Cells , Humans , Lactic Acid/metabolism , MicroRNAs/genetics , Nanoparticles/classification , Neoplasms/pathology , Tumor Microenvironment
18.
PLoS Pathog ; 18(2): e1010343, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1690680

ABSTRACT

The continuous emergence of severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants and the increasing number of breakthrough infection cases among vaccinated people support the urgent need for research and development of antiviral drugs. Viral entry is an intriguing target for antiviral drug development. We found that diltiazem, a blocker of the L-type calcium channel Cav1.2 pore-forming subunit (Cav1.2 α1c) and an FDA-approved drug, inhibits the binding and internalization of SARS-CoV-2, and decreases SARS-CoV-2 infection in cells and mouse lung. Cav1.2 α1c interacts with SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and ACE2, and affects the attachment and internalization of SARS-CoV-2. Our finding suggests that diltiazem has potential as a drug against SARS-CoV-2 infection and that Cav1.2 α1c is a promising target for antiviral drug development for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diltiazem/pharmacology , Lung/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , A549 Cells , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , Diltiazem/therapeutic use , Disease Models, Animal , Female , HEK293 Cells , HeLa Cells , Humans , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Vero Cells , Virus Attachment/drug effects , Virus Internalization/drug effects
19.
Front Immunol ; 12: 824728, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686477

ABSTRACT

We generated an optimized COVID-19 vaccine candidate based on the modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) vector expressing a full-length prefusion-stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein, termed MVA-CoV2-S(3P). The S(3P) protein was expressed at higher levels (2-fold) than the non-stabilized S in cells infected with the corresponding recombinant MVA viruses. One single dose of MVA-CoV2-S(3P) induced higher IgG and neutralizing antibody titers against parental SARS-CoV-2 and variants of concern than MVA-CoV2-S in wild-type C57BL/6 and in transgenic K18-hACE2 mice. In immunized C57BL/6 mice, two doses of MVA-CoV2-S or MVA-CoV2-S(3P) induced similar levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific B- and T-cell immune responses. Remarkably, a single administration of MVA-CoV2-S(3P) protected all K18-hACE2 mice from morbidity and mortality caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection, reducing SARS-CoV-2 viral loads, histopathological lesions, and levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the lungs. These results demonstrated that expression of a novel full-length prefusion-stabilized SARS-CoV-2 S protein by the MVA poxvirus vector enhanced immunogenicity and efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 in animal models, further supporting MVA-CoV2-S(3P) as an optimized vaccine candidate for clinical trials.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Aged , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Cell Line, Tumor , Chick Embryo , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cytokines/analysis , Female , HeLa Cells , Humans , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Plasmids/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Vaccinia virus/immunology , Vero Cells , Viral Vaccines/genetics
20.
Virol J ; 18(1): 257, 2021 12 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1639183

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike (S) protein determines virus entry and the palmitoylation of S protein affects virus infection. An acyltransferase complex ZDHHC5/GOGAL7 that interacts with S protein was detected by affinity purification mass spectrometry (AP-MS). However, the palmitoylated cysteine residues of S protein, the effects of ZDHHC5 or GOLGA7 knockout on S protein's subcellular localization, palmitoylation, pseudovirus entry and the enzyme for depalmitoylation of S protein are not clear. METHODS: The palmitoylated cysteine residues of S protein were identified by acyl-biotin exchange (ABE) assays. The interactions between S protein and host proteins were analyzed by co-immunoprecipitation (co-IP) assays. Subcellular localizations of S protein and host proteins were analyzed by fluorescence microscopy. ZDHHC5 or GOGAL7 gene was edited by CRISPR-Cas9. The entry efficiencies of SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus into A549 and Hela cells were analyzed by measuring the activity of Renilla luciferase. RESULTS: In this investigation, all ten cysteine residues in the endodomain of S protein were palmitoylated. The interaction of S protein with ZDHHC5 or GOLGA7 was confirmed. The interaction and colocalization of S protein with ZDHHC5 or GOLGA7 were independent of the ten cysteine residues in the endodomain of S protein. The interaction between S protein and ZDHHC5 was independent of the enzymatic activity and the PDZ-binding domain of ZDHHC5. Three cell lines HEK293T, A549 and Hela lacking ZDHHC5 or GOLGA7 were constructed. Furthermore, S proteins still interacted with one host protein in HEK293T cells lacking the other. ZDHHC5 or GOLGA7 knockout had no significant effect on S protein's subcellular localization or palmitoylation, but significantly decreased the entry efficiencies of SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus into A549 and Hela cells, while varying degrees of entry efficiencies may be linked to the cell types. Additionally, the S protein interacted with the depalmitoylase APT2. CONCLUSIONS: ZDHHC5 and GOLGA7 played important roles in SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus entry, but the reason why the two host proteins affected pseudovirus entry remains to be further explored. This study extends the knowledge about the interactions between SARS-CoV-2 S protein and host proteins and probably provides a reference for the corresponding antiviral methods.


Subject(s)
Acyltransferases , COVID-19 , Golgi Matrix Proteins/metabolism , Lipoylation , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Cysteine , Golgi Matrix Proteins/genetics , HEK293 Cells , HeLa Cells , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Internalization
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