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1.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 21462, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500517

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19). More than 143 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported to date, with the global death rate at 2.13%. Currently, there are no licensed therapeutics for controlling SARS-CoV-2 infection. The antiviral effects of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), a cytoprotective enzyme that inhibits the inflammatory response and reduces oxidative stress, have been investigated in several viral infections. To confirm whether HO-1 suppresses SARS-CoV-2 infection, we assessed the antiviral activity of hemin, an effective and safe HO-1 inducer, in SARS-CoV-2 infection. We found that treatment with hemin efficiently suppressed SARS-CoV-2 replication (selectivity index: 249.7012). Besides, the transient expression of HO-1 using an expression vector also suppressed the growth of the virus in cells. Free iron and biliverdin, which are metabolic byproducts of heme catalysis by HO-1, also suppressed the viral infection. Additionally, hemin indirectly increased the expression of interferon-stimulated proteins known to restrict SARS-CoV-2 replication. Overall, the findings suggested that HO-1, induced by hemin, effectively suppressed SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. Therefore, HO-1 could be potential therapeutic candidate for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Heme Oxygenase-1/metabolism , Hemin/therapeutic use , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Survival/drug effects , Chlorocebus aethiops , Heme Oxygenase-1/antagonists & inhibitors , Heme Oxygenase-1/genetics , Hemin/chemistry , Hemin/pharmacology , Humans , RNA Interference , RNA, Small Interfering/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Up-Regulation/drug effects , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects
2.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(4)2021 Feb 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1094246

ABSTRACT

Since Yachie et al. reported the first description of human heme oxygenase (HO)-1 deficiency more than 20 years ago, few additional human cases have been reported in the literature. A detailed analysis of the first human case of HO-1 deficiency revealed that HO-1 is involved in the protection of multiple tissues and organs from oxidative stress and excessive inflammatory reactions, through the release of multiple molecules with anti-oxidative stress and anti-inflammatory functions. HO-1 production is induced in vivo within selected cell types, including renal tubular epithelium, hepatic Kupffer cells, vascular endothelium, and monocytes/macrophages, suggesting that HO-1 plays critical roles in these cells. In vivo and in vitro studies have indicated that impaired HO-1 production results in progressive monocyte dysfunction, unregulated macrophage activation and endothelial cell dysfunction, leading to catastrophic systemic inflammatory response syndrome. Data from reported human cases of HO-1 deficiency and numerous studies using animal models suggest that HO-1 plays critical roles in various clinical settings involving excessive oxidative stress and inflammation. In this regard, therapy to induce HO-1 production by pharmacological intervention represents a promising novel strategy to control inflammatory diseases.


Subject(s)
Anemia, Hemolytic/metabolism , Growth Disorders/metabolism , Heme Oxygenase-1/deficiency , Heme Oxygenase-1/metabolism , Iron Metabolism Disorders/metabolism , Oxidative Stress , Animals , Humans , Inflammation
3.
Biomed Pharmacother ; 137: 111384, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1082719

ABSTRACT

Antiviral agents with different mechanisms of action could induce synergistic effects against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Some reports suggest the therapeutic potential of the heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) enzyme against virus infection. Given that hemin is a natural inducer of the HO-1 gene, the aim of this study was to develop an in vitro assay to analyze the antiviral potency of hemin against SARS-CoV-2 infection. A SARS-CoV-2 infectivity assay was conducted in Vero-E6 and Calu-3 epithelial cell lines. The antiviral effect of hemin, and chloroquine as a control, against SARS-CoV-2 virus infection was quantified by RT-qPCR using specific oligonucleotides for the N gene. Chloroquine induced a marked reduction of viral genome copies in kidney epithelial Vero-E6 cells but not in lung cancer Calu-3 cells. Hemin administration to the culture medium induced a high induction in the expression of the HO-1 gene that was stronger in Vero-E6 macaque-derived cells than in the human Calu-3 cell line. However, hemin treatment did not modify SARS-CoV-2 replication, as measured by viral genome quantification 48 h post-infection for Vero-E6 and 72 h post-infection for the Calu-3 lineages. In conclusion, although exposure to hemin induced strong HO-1 up-regulation, this effect was unable to inhibit or delay the progression of SARS-CoV-2 infection in two epithelial cell lines susceptible to infection.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Heme Oxygenase-1/metabolism , Hemin/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , Chloroquine/pharmacology , Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , Lung/drug effects , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects
4.
Free Radic Biol Med ; 161: 263-271, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-872071

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to infect hundred thousands of people every day worldwide. Since it is a novel virus, research continues to update the possible therapeutic targets when new evidence regarding COVID-19 are gathered. This article presents an evidence-based hypothesis that activating the heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) pathway is a potential target for COVID-19. Interferons (IFNs) have broad-spectrum antiviral activity including against SARS-CoV-2. Induction of HO-1 and increase in the heme catabolism end-product confer antiviral activity. IFN activation results in inhibition of viral replication in various viral infections. COVID-19 induced inflammation as well as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and coagulopathies are now known major causes of mortality. A protective role of HO-1 induction in inflammation, inflammation-induced coagulation, and ARDS has been reported. Based on an association of HO-1 promoter polymorphisms and disease severity, we propose an evaluation of the status of these polymorphisms in COVID-19 patients who become severely ill. If an association is established, it might be helpful in identifying patients at high risk. Hence, we hypothesize that HO-1 pathway activation could be a therapeutic strategy against COVID-19 and associated complications.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Fibrinolytic Agents/metabolism , Heme Oxygenase-1/metabolism , Interferon Type I/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , COVID-19/drug therapy , Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation/prevention & control , Heme/metabolism , Heme Oxygenase-1/genetics , Humans , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects
5.
Mol Med ; 26(1): 90, 2020 09 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-801066

ABSTRACT

Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a natural defence against the infections from enveloped RNA viruses and is likely involved also in Covid 19. It was already shown to inhibit growth and pathogenic mechanisms of a variety of enveloped RNA viruses and it was now found that circulating H2S is higher in Covid 19 survivors compared to fatal cases. H2S release is triggered by carbon monoxide (CO) from the catabolism of heme by inducible heme oxygenase (HO-1) and heme proteins possess catalytic activity necessary for the H2S signalling by protein persulfidation. Subjects with a long promoter for the HMOX1 gene, coding for HO-1, are predicted for lower efficiency of this mechanism. SARS-cov-2 exerts ability to attack the heme of hemoglobin and other heme-proteins thus hampering both release and signalling of H2S. Lack of H2S-induced persulfidation of the KATP channels of leucocytes causes adhesion and release of the inflammatory cytokines, lung infiltration and systemic endothelial damage with hyper-coagulability. These events largely explain the sex and age distribution, clinical manifestations and co-morbidities of Covid-19. The understanding of this mechanism may be of guidance in re-evaluating the ongoing therapeutic strategies, with special attention to the interaction with mechanical ventilation, paracetamol and chloroquine use, and in the individuation of genetic traits causing increased susceptibility to the disruption of these physiologic processes and to a critical Covid 19. Finally, an array of therapeutic interventions with the potential to clinically modulate the HO-1/CO/H2S axis is already available or under development. These include CO donors and H2S donors and a boost to the endogenous production of H2S is also possible.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Hydrogen Sulfide/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 , Carbon Monoxide/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Heme Oxygenase (Decyclizing)/metabolism , Heme Oxygenase-1/genetics , Heme Oxygenase-1/metabolism , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Risk Factors
6.
Int J Mol Sci ; 21(17)2020 Sep 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-742801

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) or severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is a global pandemic with increasing incidence and mortality rates. Recent evidence based on the cytokine profiles of severe COVID-19 cases suggests an overstimulation of macrophages and monocytes associated with reduced T-cell abundance (lymphopenia) in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. The SARS-CoV-2 open reading frame 3 a (ORF3a) protein was found to bind to the human HMOX1 protein at a high confidence through high-throughput screening experiments. The HMOX1 pathway can inhibit platelet aggregation, and can have anti-thrombotic and anti-inflammatory properties, amongst others, all of which are critical medical conditions observed in COVID-19 patients. Here, we review the potential of modulating the HMOX1-ORF3a nexus to regulate the innate immune response for therapeutic benefits in COVID-19 patients. We also review other potential treatment strategies and suggest novel synthetic and natural compounds that may have the potential for future development in clinic.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Heme Oxygenase-1/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/metabolism , Animals , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Heme Oxygenase-1/genetics , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protein Binding , Viroporin Proteins
7.
Med Hypotheses ; 144: 110242, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-739959

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) requires urgent need for effective treatment. Severe COVID-19 is characterized by a cytokine storm syndrome with subsequent multiple organ failure (MOF) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which may lead to intensive care unit and increased risk of death. While awaiting a vaccine, targeting COVID-19-induced cytokine storm syndrome appears currently as the efficient strategy to reduce the mortality of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The stress-responsive enzyme, heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is largely known to protect against inflammatory response in animal models. HO-1 is induced by hemin, a well-tolerated molecule, used for decades in the treatment of acute intermittent porphyria. Experimental studies showed that hemin-induced HO-1 mitigates cytokine storm and lung injury in mouse models of sepsis and renal ischemia-reperfusion injury. Furthermore, HO-1 may also control numerous viral infections by inhibiting virus replication. In this context, we suggest the hypothesis that HO-1 cytoprotective pathway might be a promising target to control SARS-CoV-2 infection and mitigate COVID-19-induced cytokine storm and subsequent ARDS.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , Cytokine Release Syndrome/drug therapy , Heme Oxygenase-1/metabolism , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/physiopathology , Animals , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , COVID-19 Vaccines , Critical Care , Cytokine Release Syndrome/prevention & control , Cytokines/metabolism , Hemin/metabolism , Humans , Inflammation , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Models, Theoretical , Polymorphism, Genetic , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology
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