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1.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 12899, 2022 Jul 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1960506

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has emphasized the serious threat to human health posed by emerging coronaviruses. Effective broadly-acting antiviral countermeasures are urgently needed to prepare for future emerging CoVs, as vaccine development is not compatible with a rapid response to a newly emerging virus. The green tea catechin, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), has broad-spectrum antiviral activity, although its mechanisms against coronavirus (CoV) infection have remained unclear. Here, we show that EGCG prevents human and murine CoV infection and blocks the entry of lentiviral particles pseudotyped with spike proteins from bat or highly pathogenic CoVs, including SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, in lung epithelial cells. Mechanistically, EGCG treatment reduces CoV attachment to target cell surfaces by interfering with attachment to cell-surface glycans. Heparan sulfate proteoglycans are a required attachment factor for SARS-CoV-2 and are shown here to be important in endemic HCoV-OC43 infection. We show that EGCG can compete with heparin, a heparan sulfate analog, for virion binding. Our results highlight heparan sulfate as a conserved cell attachment factor for CoVs, and demonstrate the potential for the development of pan-coronavirus attachment inhibitors, which may be useful to protect against future emerging CoVs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Catechin , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Catechin/analogs & derivatives , Catechin/pharmacology , Heparitin Sulfate , Humans , Mice , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Tea
2.
Commun Biol ; 5(1): 694, 2022 Jul 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1947509

ABSTRACT

Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is a ubiquitous pathogen that causes various diseases in humans, ranging from common mucocutaneous lesions to severe life-threatening encephalitis. However, our understanding of the interaction between HSV-1 and human host factors remains incomplete. Here, to identify the host factors for HSV-1 infection, we performed a human genome-wide CRISPR screen using near-haploid HAP1 cells, in which gene knockout (KO) could be efficiently achieved. Along with several already known host factors, we identified 3'-phosphoadenosine 5'-phosphosulfate synthase 1 (PAPSS1) as a host factor for HSV-1 infection. The KO of PAPSS1 in HAP1 cells reduced heparan sulfate (HepS) expression, consequently diminishing the binding of HSV-1 and several other HepS-dependent viruses (such as HSV-2, hepatitis B virus, and a human seasonal coronavirus). Hence, our findings provide further insights into the host factor requirements for HSV-1 infection and HepS biosynthesis.


Subject(s)
Herpes Simplex , Herpesvirus 1, Human , Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats , Gene Knockout Techniques , Heparitin Sulfate/metabolism , Herpes Simplex/genetics , Herpesvirus 1, Human/genetics , Humans
3.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 6294, 2022 04 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1805651

ABSTRACT

Spike-mediated entry of SARS-CoV-2 into human airway epithelial cells is an attractive therapeutic target for COVID-19. In addition to protein receptors, the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein also interacts with heparan sulfate, a negatively charged glycosaminoglycan (GAG) attached to certain membrane proteins on the cell surface. This interaction facilitates the engagement of spike with a downstream receptor to promote viral entry. Here, we show that Mitoxantrone, an FDA-approved topoisomerase inhibitor, targets a heparan sulfate-spike complex to compromise the fusogenic function of spike in viral entry. As a single agent, Mitoxantrone inhibits the infection of an authentic SARS-CoV-2 strain in a cell-based model and in human lung EpiAirway 3D tissues. Gene expression profiling supports the plasma membrane as a major target of Mitoxantrone but also underscores an undesired activity targeting nucleosome dynamics. We propose that Mitoxantrone analogs bearing similar heparan sulfate-binding activities but with reduced affinity for DNA topoisomerases may offer an alternative therapy to overcome breakthrough infections in the post-vaccine era.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , COVID-19/drug therapy , Heparin/metabolism , Heparitin Sulfate/metabolism , Humans , Mitoxantrone/pharmacology , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
4.
Biochimie ; 198: 109-140, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1767919

ABSTRACT

Heparinases are enzymes that selectively cleave heparin and heparan sulfate chains, via cleavage of the glycosidic linkage between hexosamines and uronic acids, producing disaccharide and oligosaccharide products. While heparin is well known as an anti-coagulant drug, heparin and heparan sulfate are also involved in biological processes such as inflammation, cancer and angiogenesis and viral and bacterial infections and are of growing interest for their therapeutic potential. Recently, potential roles of heparin and heparan sulfate in relation to COVID-19 infection have been highlighted. The ability of heparinases to selectively cleave heparin chains has been exploited industrially to produce low molecular weight heparin, which has replaced heparin in several clinical applications. Other applications of heparinases include heparin and heparan sulfate structural analysis, neutralisation of heparin in blood and removal of the inhibitory effect of heparin on various enzymes. Heparinases are known to inhibit neovascularization and heparinase III is of interest for treating cancer and inhibiting tumour cell growth. Heparinase activity, first isolated from Pedobacter heparinus, has since been reported from several other microorganisms. Significant progress has been made in the production, characterisation and improvement of microbial heparinases in response to application demands in terms of heparinase yield and purity, which is likely to extend their usefulness in various applications. This review focuses on recent developments in the identification, characterisation and improvement of microbial heparinases and their established and emerging industrial, clinical and therapeutic applications.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Heparin/chemistry , Heparin Lyase/chemistry , Heparitin Sulfate , Humans , Oligosaccharides
5.
J Mol Med (Berl) ; 100(5): 735-746, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1763332

ABSTRACT

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) represents a rare but severe complication of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection affecting children that can lead to myocardial injury and shock. Vascular endothelial dysfunction has been suggested to be a common complicating factor in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This study aims to characterize endothelial glycocalyx degradation in children admitted with MIS-C. We collected blood and urine samples and measured proinflammatory cytokines, myocardial injury markers, and endothelial glycocalyx markers in 17 children admitted with MIS-C, ten of which presented with inflammatory shock requiring intensive care admission and hemodynamic support with vasopressors. All MIS-C patients presented signs of glycocalyx deterioration with elevated levels of syndecan-1 in blood and both heparan sulfate and chondroitin sulfate in the urine. The degree of glycocalyx shedding correlated with tumor necrosis factor-α concentration. Five healthy age-matched children served as controls. Patients with MIS-C presented severe alteration of the endothelial glycocalyx that was associated with disease severity. Future studies should clarify if glycocalyx biomarkers could effectively be predictive indicators for the development of complications in adult patients with severe COVID-19 and children with MIS-C. KEY MESSAGES : Children admitted with MIS-C presented signs of endothelial glycocalyx injury with elevated syndecan-1 and heparan sulfate level. Syndecan-1 levels were associated with MIS-C severity and correlated TNF-α concentration. Syndecan-1 and heparan sulfate may represent potential biomarkers for patients with severe COVID-19 or MIS-C.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Glycocalyx , Adult , Biomarkers , COVID-19/complications , Child , Glycocalyx/metabolism , Heparitin Sulfate/metabolism , Humans , Syndecan-1/metabolism , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism
6.
Am J Obstet Gynecol ; 227(2): 277.e1-277.e16, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1757079

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 presents a spectrum of signs and symptoms in pregnant women that might resemble preeclampsia. Differentiation between severe COVID-19 and preeclampsia is difficult in some cases. OBJECTIVE: To study biomarkers of endothelial damage, coagulation, innate immune response, and angiogenesis in preeclampsia and COVID-19 in pregnancy in addition to in vitro alterations in endothelial cells exposed to sera from pregnant women with preeclampsia and COVID-19. STUDY DESIGN: Plasma and sera samples were obtained from pregnant women with COVID-19 infection classified into mild (n=10) or severe (n=9) and from women with normotensive pregnancies as controls (n=10) and patients with preeclampsia (n=13). A panel of plasmatic biomarkers was assessed, including vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, soluble tumor necrosis factor-receptor I, heparan sulfate, von Willebrand factor antigen (activity and multimeric pattern), α2-antiplasmin, C5b9, neutrophil extracellular traps, placental growth factor, soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1, and angiopoietin 2. In addition, microvascular endothelial cells were exposed to patients' sera, and changes in the cell expression of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 on cell membranes and von Willebrand factor release to the extracellular matrix were evaluated through immunofluorescence. Changes in inflammation cell signaling pathways were also assessed by of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphorylation. Statistical analysis included univariate and multivariate methods. RESULTS: Biomarker profiles of patients with mild COVID-19 were similar to those of controls. Both preeclampsia and severe COVID-19 showed significant alterations in most circulating biomarkers with distinctive profiles. Whereas severe COVID-19 exhibited higher concentrations of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1, soluble tumor necrosis factor-α receptor I, heparan sulfate, von Willebrand factor antigen, and neutrophil extracellular traps, with a significant reduction of placental growth factor compared with controls, preeclampsia presented a marked increase in vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 and soluble tumor necrosis factor-α receptor I (significantly increased compared with controls and patients with severe COVID-19), with a striking reduction in von Willebrand factor antigen, von Willebrand factor activity, and α2-antiplasmin. As expected, reduced placental growth factor, increased soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 and angiopoietin 2, and a very high soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 to placental growth factor ratio were also observed in preeclampsia. In addition, a significant increase in C5b9 and neutrophil extracellular traps was also detected in preeclampsia compared with controls. Principal component analysis demonstrated a clear separation between patients with preeclampsia and the other groups (first and second components explained 42.2% and 13.5% of the variance), mainly differentiated by variables related to von Willebrand factor, soluble tumor necrosis factor-receptor I, heparan sulfate, and soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1. Von Willebrand factor multimeric analysis revealed the absence of von Willebrand factor high-molecular-weight multimers in preeclampsia (similar profile to von Willebrand disease type 2A), whereas in healthy pregnancies and COVID-19 patients, von Willebrand factor multimeric pattern was normal. Sera from both preeclampsia and severe COVID-19 patients induced an overexpression of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 and von Willebrand factor in endothelial cells in culture compared with controls. However, the effect of preeclampsia was less pronounced than the that of severe COVID-19. Immunoblots of lysates from endothelial cells exposed to mild and severe COVID-19 and preeclampsia sera showed an increase in p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphorylation. Patients with severe COVID-19 and preeclampsia were statistically different from controls, suggesting that both severe COVID-19 and preeclampsia sera can activate inflammatory signaling pathways. CONCLUSION: Although similar in in vitro endothelial dysfunction, preeclampsia and severe COVID-19 exhibit distinctive profiles of circulating biomarkers related to endothelial damage, coagulopathy, and angiogenic imbalance that could aid in the differential diagnosis of these entities.


Subject(s)
Biomarkers , COVID-19 , Pre-Eclampsia , Angiopoietin-2 , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Endothelial Cells , Female , Heparitin Sulfate , Humans , Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 , Placenta Growth Factor , Pre-Eclampsia/diagnosis , Pregnancy , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha , Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-1 , p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases , von Willebrand Factor
7.
Molecules ; 27(6)2022 Mar 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1753654

ABSTRACT

This article discusses the importance of D-xylose for fighting viruses (especially SARS-CoV-2) that use core proteins as receptors at the cell surface, by providing additional supporting facts that these viruses probably bind at HS/CS attachment sites (i.e., the hydroxyl groups of Ser/Thr residues of the core proteins intended to receive the D-xylose molecules to initiate the HS/CS chains). Essentially, the additional supporting facts, are: some anterior studies on the binding sites of exogenous heparin and soluble HS on the core proteins, the inhibition of the viral entry by pre-incubation of cells with heparin, and additionally, corroborating studies about the mechanism leading to type 2 diabetes during viral infection. We then discuss the mechanism by which serine protease inhibitors inhibit SARS-CoV-2 entry. The biosynthesis of heparan sulfate (HS), chondroitin sulfate (CS), dermatan sulfate (DS), and heparin (Hep) is initiated not only by D-xylose derived from uridine diphosphate (UDP)-xylose, but also bioactive D-xylose molecules, even in situations where cells were previously treated with GAG inhibitors. This property of D-xylose shown by previous anterior studies helped in the explanation of the mechanism leading to type 2 diabetes during SARS-CoV-2 infection. This explanation is completed here by a preliminary estimation of xyloside GAGs (HS/CS/DS/Hep) in the body, and with other previous studies helping to corroborate the mechanism by which the D-xylose exhibits its antiglycaemic properties and the mechanism leading to type 2 diabetes during SARS-CoV-2 infection. This paper also discusses the confirmatory studies of regarding the correlation between D-xylose and COVID-19 severity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 , COVID-19/drug therapy , Heparin/metabolism , Heparin/pharmacology , Heparitin Sulfate/metabolism , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Serine Proteinase Inhibitors
8.
Am J Physiol Cell Physiol ; 322(4): C605-C613, 2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1704254

ABSTRACT

Heparan sulfate (HS) is a linear polysaccharide attached to a core protein, forming heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) that are ubiquitously expressed on the surface of almost all mammalian cells and the extracellular matrix. HS orchestrates the binding of various signal molecules to their receptors, thus regulating many biological processes, including homeostasis, metabolism, and various pathological processes. Due to its wide distribution and negatively charged properties, HS is exploited by many viruses as a cofactor to attach to host cells. Therefore, inhibition of the interaction between virus and HS is proposed as a promising approach to mitigate viral infection, including SARS-CoV-2. In this review, we summarize the interaction manners of HS with viruses with focus on significant pathogenic RNA viruses, including alphaviruses, flaviviruses, and coronaviruses. We also provide an overview of the challenges we may face when using HS mimetics as antivirals for clinical treatment. More studies are needed to provide a further understanding of the interplay between HS and viruses both in vitro and in vivo, which will favor the development of specific antiviral inhibitors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Animals , Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans/chemistry , Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans/metabolism , Heparitin Sulfate/metabolism , Mammals/metabolism , Proteins , SARS-CoV-2
9.
J Chem Inf Model ; 62(3): 656-667, 2022 02 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1641824

ABSTRACT

The viral entry process of the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) requires heparin and heparan sulfates from the cell surface, functioning as a cofactor for human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) for recognizing the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike (S) protein on the surface of the virion. In the present study, the binding poses of an oligosaccharide with four repeating units of GlcNS6S-IdoA2S (octa) predicted by Vina-Carb in the RBD binding site were employed in molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to provide atomic details for studying the cofactor mechanism. The molecular model in the MD simulations reproduced the length- and sequence-dependent behavior observed from the microarray experiments and revealed an important planar U-turn shape for HP/HS binding to RBD. The model for octa with this shape in the ACE2-RBD complex enhanced the interactions in the binding interface. The comparisons with the ACE2-RBD complex suggested that the presence of octa in the RBD binding site blocked the movements in a loop region at the distal end of the RBD binding interface and promoted the contacts of this loop region with the ACE2 N-terminus helix. This study shed light on the atomic and dynamic details for HP/HS interacting with RBD and provided insights into their cofactor role in the ACE2-RBD interactions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Heparin , Angiotensins , Binding Sites , Heparitin Sulfate , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
10.
Chemistry ; 28(11): e202104222, 2022 Feb 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604266

ABSTRACT

Pixatimod (PG545), a heparan sulfate (HS) mimetic and anticancer agent currently in clinical trials, is a potent inhibitor of heparanase. Heparanase is an endo-ß-glucuronidase that degrades HS in the extracellular matrix and basement membranes and is implicated in numerous pathological processes such as cancer and viral infections, including SARS-CoV-2. To understand how PG545 interacts with heparanase, we firstly carried out a conformational analysis through a combination of NMR experiments and molecular modelling which showed that the reducing end ß-D-glucose residue of PG545 adopts a distorted conformation. This was followed by docking and molecular dynamics simulations to study the interactions of PG545 with heparanase, revealing that PG545 is able to block the active site by binding in different conformations, with the cholestanol side-chain making important hydrophobic interactions. While PG545 blocks its natural substrate HS from binding to the active site, small synthetic heparanase substrates are only partially excluded, and thus pentasaccharide or larger substrates are preferred for assaying this class of inhibitor. This study provides new insights for the design of next-generation heparanase inhibitors and substrates.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Virus Diseases , Glucuronidase/metabolism , Heparitin Sulfate/pharmacology , Humans , Neoplasms/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Shock ; 57(1): 95-105, 2022 01 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574295

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Endotheliopathy is a key element in COVID-19 pathophysiology, contributing to both morbidity and mortality. Biomarkers distinguishing different COVID-19 phenotypes from sepsis syndrome remain poorly understood. OBJECTIVE: To characterize circulating biomarkers of endothelial damage in different COVID-19 clinical disease stages compared with sepsis syndrome and normal volunteers. METHODS: Patients with COVID-19 pneumonia (n = 49) were classified into moderate, severe, or critical (life-threatening) disease. Plasma samples were collected within 48 to 72 h of hospitalization to analyze endothelial activation markers, including soluble Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 (sVCAM-1), von Willebrand Factor (VWF), A disintegrin-like and metalloprotease with thrombospondin type 1 motif no. 13 (ADAMTS-13) activity, thrombomodulin (TM), and soluble TNF receptor I (sTNFRI); heparan sulfate (HS) for endothelial glycocalyx degradation; C5b9 deposits on endothelial cells in culture and soluble C5b9 for complement activation; circulating dsDNA for neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) presence, and α2-antiplasmin and PAI-1 as parameters of fibrinolysis. We compared the level of each biomarker in all three COVID-19 groups and healthy donors as controls (n = 45). Results in critically ill COVID-19 patients were compared with other intensive care unit (ICU) patients with septic shock (SS, n = 14), sepsis (S, n = 7), and noninfectious systemic inflammatory response syndrome (NI-SIRS, n = 7). RESULTS: All analyzed biomarkers were increased in COVID-19 patients versus controls (P < 0.001), except for ADAMTS-13 activity that was normal in both groups. The increased expression of sVCAM-1, VWF, sTNFRI, and HS was related to COVID-19 disease severity (P < 0.05). Several differences in these parameters were found between ICU groups: SS patients showed significantly higher levels of VWF, TM, sTNFRI, and NETS compared with critical COVID-19 patients and ADAMTS-13 activity was significantly lover in SS, S, and NI-SIRS versus critical COVID-19 (P < 0.001). Furthermore, α2-antiplasmin activity was higher in critical COVID-19 versus NI-SIRS (P < 0.01) and SS (P < 0.001), whereas PAI-1 levels were significantly lower in COVID-19 patients compared with NI-SIRS, S, and SS patients (P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 patients present with increased circulating endothelial stress products, complement activation, and fibrinolytic dysregulation, associated with disease severity. COVID-19 endotheliopathy differs from SS, in which endothelial damage is also a critical feature of pathobiology. These biomarkers could help to stratify the severity of COVID-19 disease and may also provide information to guide specific therapeutic strategies to mitigate endotheliopathy progression.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , ADAMTS13 Protein/blood , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , Complement Membrane Attack Complex/analysis , DNA/blood , Female , Heparitin Sulfate/blood , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acuity , Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1/blood , Prospective Studies , Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Type I/blood , Sepsis/blood , Thrombomodulin/blood , Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1/blood , alpha-2-Antiplasmin/analysis , von Willebrand Factor/analysis
12.
Bioconjug Chem ; 32(11): 2420-2431, 2021 11 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526037

ABSTRACT

The heparan sulfate (HS) mimetic pixatimod (PG545) is a highly potent inhibitor of angiogenesis, tumor growth, and metastasis currently in clinical trials for cancer. PG545 has also demonstrated potent antiviral activity against numerous HS-dependent viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, and shows promise as an antiviral drug for the treatment of COVID-19. Structurally, PG545 consists of a fully sulfated tetrasaccharide conjugated to the steroid 5α-cholestan-3ß-ol. The reported synthesis of PG545 suffers from a low yield and poor selectivity in the critical glycosylation step. Given its clinical importance, new efficient routes for the synthesis of PG545 and analogues were developed. Particular attention was given to improving the key glycosylation step by using more stable protecting groups and optimized glycosyl donors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Angiogenesis Inhibitors , Cell Line, Tumor , Heparitin Sulfate , Humans , Neovascularization, Pathologic
13.
Int J Biol Macromol ; 193(Pt B): 1124-1129, 2021 Dec 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1487744

ABSTRACT

Thrombotic complication has been an important symptom in critically ill patients with COVID-19. It has not been clear whether the virus spike (S) protein can directly induce blood coagulation in addition to inflammation. Heparan sulfate (HS)/heparin, a key factor in coagulation process, was found to bind SARS-CoV-2 S protein with high affinity. Herein, we found that the S protein can competitively inhibit the bindings of antithrombin and heparin cofactor II to heparin/HS, causing abnormal increase in thrombin activity. SARS-CoV-2 S protein at a similar concentration (~10 µg/mL) as the viral load in critically ill patients can cause directly blood coagulation and thrombosis in zebrafish model. Furthermore, exogenous heparin/HS can significantly reduce coagulation caused by S protein, pointing to a potential new direction to elucidate the etiology of the virus and provide fundamental support for anticoagulant therapy especially for the COVID-19 critically ill patients.


Subject(s)
Blood Coagulation , Heparitin Sulfate , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Thrombosis/metabolism , Animals , Heparitin Sulfate/chemistry , Heparitin Sulfate/metabolism , Humans , Mice , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
14.
J Virol ; 95(21): e0135721, 2021 10 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1476390

ABSTRACT

One of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virulence factors is the ability to interact with high affinity to the ACE2 receptor, which mediates viral entry into cells. The results of our study demonstrate that within a few passages in cell culture, both the natural isolate of SARS-CoV-2 and the recombinant cDNA-derived variant acquire an additional ability to bind to heparan sulfate (HS). This promotes a primary attachment of viral particles to cells before their further interactions with the ACE2. Interaction with HS is acquired through multiple mechanisms. These include (i) accumulation of point mutations in the N-terminal domain (NTD) of the S protein, which increases the positive charge of the surface of this domain, (ii) insertions into the NTD of heterologous peptides containing positively charged amino acids, and (iii) mutation of the first amino acid downstream of the furin cleavage site. This last mutation affects S protein processing, transforms the unprocessed furin cleavage site into the heparin-binding peptide, and makes viruses less capable of syncytium formation. These viral adaptations result in higher affinity of viral particles to heparin, dramatic increase in plaque sizes, more efficient viral spread, higher infectious titers, and 2 orders of magnitude higher infectivity. The detected adaptations also suggest an active role of NTD in virus attachment and entry. As in the case of other RNA-positive (RNA+) viruses, evolution to HS binding may result in virus attenuation in vivo. IMPORTANCE The spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 is a major determinant of viral pathogenesis. It mediates binding to the ACE2 receptor and, later, fusion of viral envelope and cellular membranes. The results of our study demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 rapidly evolves during propagation in cultured cells. Its spike protein acquires mutations in the NTD and in the P1' position of the furin cleavage site (FCS). The amino acid substitutions or insertions of short peptides in NTD are closely located on the protein surface and increase its positive charge. They strongly increase affinity of the virus to heparan sulfate, make it dramatically more infectious for the cultured cells, and decrease the genome equivalent to PFU (GE/PFU) ratio by orders of magnitude. The S686G mutation also transforms the FCS into the heparin-binding peptide. Thus, the evolved SARS-CoV-2 variants efficiently use glycosaminoglycans on the cell surface for primary attachment before the high-affinity interaction of the spikes with the ACE2 receptor.


Subject(s)
Evolution, Molecular , Heparitin Sulfate/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Adaptation, Biological , Animals , Binding Sites , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral , DNA, Complementary , Furin/metabolism , Heparin/metabolism , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Protein Processing, Post-Translational , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Serial Passage , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vero Cells , Viral Plaque Assay , Virus Attachment
15.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 134, 2021 01 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387323

ABSTRACT

Understanding the factors that contribute to efficient SARS-CoV-2 infection of human cells may provide insights on SARS-CoV-2 transmissibility and pathogenesis, and reveal targets of intervention. Here, we analyze host and viral determinants essential for efficient SARS-CoV-2 infection in both human lung epithelial cells and ex vivo human lung tissues. We identify heparan sulfate as an important attachment factor for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Next, we show that sialic acids present on ACE2 prevent efficient spike/ACE2-interaction. While SARS-CoV infection is substantially limited by the sialic acid-mediated restriction in both human lung epithelial cells and ex vivo human lung tissues, infection by SARS-CoV-2 is limited to a lesser extent. We further demonstrate that the furin-like cleavage site in SARS-CoV-2 spike is required for efficient virus replication in human lung but not intestinal tissues. These findings provide insights on the efficient SARS-CoV-2 infection of human lungs.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/transmission , Sialic Acids/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Attachment , Animals , Caco-2 Cells , Cell Line, Tumor , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetinae , Furin/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Heparitin Sulfate/metabolism , Humans , Intestinal Mucosa/metabolism , Intestines/virology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/pathology , Vero Cells , Virus Internalization , Virus Replication/physiology
17.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(36)2021 09 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1366851

ABSTRACT

The global spread of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and the associated disease COVID-19, requires therapeutic interventions that can be rapidly identified and translated to clinical care. Traditional drug discovery methods have a >90% failure rate and can take 10 to 15 y from target identification to clinical use. In contrast, drug repurposing can significantly accelerate translation. We developed a quantitative high-throughput screen to identify efficacious agents against SARS-CoV-2. From a library of 1,425 US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved compounds and clinical candidates, we identified 17 hits that inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infection and analyzed their antiviral activity across multiple cell lines, including lymph node carcinoma of the prostate (LNCaP) cells and a physiologically relevant model of alveolar epithelial type 2 cells (iAEC2s). Additionally, we found that inhibitors of the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK signaling pathway exacerbate SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro. Notably, we discovered that lactoferrin, a glycoprotein found in secretory fluids including mammalian milk, inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection in the nanomolar range in all cell models with multiple modes of action, including blockage of virus attachment to cellular heparan sulfate and enhancement of interferon responses. Given its safety profile, lactoferrin is a readily translatable therapeutic option for the management of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Immunologic Factors/pharmacology , Lactoferrin/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Caco-2 Cells , Cell Line, Tumor , Chlorocebus aethiops , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Drug Discovery , Drug Repositioning/methods , Epithelial Cells , Heparitin Sulfate/antagonists & inhibitors , Heparitin Sulfate/immunology , Heparitin Sulfate/metabolism , Hepatocytes , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Vero Cells
18.
Cell Rep ; 36(2): 109364, 2021 07 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1283971

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike (S) variants govern transmissibility, responsiveness to vaccination, and disease severity. In a screen for new models of SARS-CoV-2 infection, we identify human H522 lung adenocarcinoma cells as naturally permissive to SARS-CoV-2 infection despite complete absence of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) expression. Remarkably, H522 infection requires the E484D S variant; viruses expressing wild-type S are not infectious. Anti-S monoclonal antibodies differentially neutralize SARS-CoV-2 E484D S in H522 cells as compared to ACE2-expressing cells. Sera from vaccinated individuals block this alternative entry mechanism, whereas convalescent sera are less effective. Although the H522 receptor remains unknown, depletion of surface heparan sulfates block H522 infection. Temporally resolved transcriptomic and proteomic profiling reveal alterations in cell cycle and the antiviral host cell response, including MDA5-dependent activation of type I interferon signaling. These findings establish an alternative SARS-CoV-2 host cell receptor for the E484D SARS-CoV-2 variant, which may impact tropism of SARS-CoV-2 and consequently human disease pathogenesis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , Receptors, Virus , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Amino Acid Substitution , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Cell Cycle , Cell Line, Tumor , Chlorocebus aethiops , Gene Expression Profiling , Heparitin Sulfate/metabolism , Humans , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1/metabolism , Models, Biological , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Proteomics , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Signal Transduction , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vero Cells , Virus Internalization , Virus Replication
19.
Chem Rec ; 21(11): 3087-3101, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1272237

ABSTRACT

Heparan sulfate (HS) is a complex, polyanionic polysaccharide ubiquitously expressed on cell surfaces and in the extracellular matrix. HS interacts with numerous proteins to mediate a vast array of biological and pathological processes. Inhibition of HS-protein interactions is thus an attractive approach for new therapeutic development for cancer and infectious diseases, including COVID-19; however, synthesis of well-defined native HS oligosaccharides remains challenging. This has aroused significant interest in the development of HS mimetics which are more synthetically tractable and have fewer side effects, such as undesired anticoagulant activity. This account provides a perspective on the design and synthesis of different classes of HS mimetics with useful properties, and the development of various assays and molecular modelling tools to progress our understanding of their interactions with HS-binding proteins.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neoplasms , Heparitin Sulfate , Humans , Neoplasms/drug therapy , Proteins , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Mol Cell Biochem ; 476(10): 3815-3825, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1263168

ABSTRACT

Chagas and COVID-19 are diseases caused by Trypanosoma cruzi and SARS-CoV-2, respectively. These diseases present very different etiological agents despite showing similarities such as susceptibility/risk factors, pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), recognition of glycosaminoglycans, inflammation, vascular leakage hypercoagulability, microthrombosis, and endotheliopathy; all of which suggest, in part, treatments with similar principles. Here, both diseases are compared, focusing mainly on the characteristics related to dysregulated immunothrombosis. Given the in-depth investigation of molecules and mechanisms related to microthrombosis in COVID-19, it is necessary to reconsider a prompt treatment of Chagas disease with oral anticoagulants.


Subject(s)
Anticoagulants/therapeutic use , COVID-19/pathology , Chagas Disease/pathology , Heparitin Sulfate/therapeutic use , Thrombosis/drug therapy , Thrombosis/pathology , Blood Platelets/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Chagas Disease/immunology , Complement Activation/immunology , Endothelium/pathology , Humans , Pathogen-Associated Molecular Pattern Molecules/immunology , Platelet Activation/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Trypanosoma cruzi/immunology
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