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Comput Biol Med ; 131: 104293, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1101164


BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an emerging infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Up to 20%-30% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 have evidence of cardiac dysfunction. Xuebijing injection is a compound injection containing five traditional Chinese medicine ingredients, which can protect cells from SARS-CoV-2-induced cell death and improve cardiac function. However, the specific protective mechanism of Xuebijing injection on COVID-19-induced cardiac dysfunction remains unclear. METHODS: The therapeutic effect of Xuebijing injection on COVID-19 was validated by the TCM Anti COVID-19 (TCMATCOV) platform. RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) data from GSE150392 was used to find differentially expressed genes (DEGs) from human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs) infected with SARS-CoV-2. Data from GSE151879 was used to verify the expression of Angiotensin I Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) and central hub genes in both human embryonic-stem-cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hESC-CMs) and adult human CMs with SARS-CoV-2 infection. RESULTS: A total of 97 proteins were identified as the therapeutic targets of Xuebijing injection for COVID-19. There were 22 DEGs in SARS-CoV-2 infected hiPSC-CMs overlapped with the 97 therapeutic targets, which might be the therapeutic targets of Xuebijing injection on COVID-19-induced cardiac dysfunction. Based on the bioinformatics analysis, 7 genes (CCL2, CXCL8, FOS, IFNB1, IL-1A, IL-1B, SERPINE1) were identified as central hub genes and enriched in pathways including cytokines, inflammation, cell senescence and oxidative stress. ACE2, the receptor of SARS-CoV-2, and the 7 central hub genes were differentially expressed in at least two kinds of SARS-CoV-2 infected CMs. Besides, FOS and quercetin exhibited the tightest binding by molecular docking analysis. CONCLUSION: Our study indicated the underlying protective effect of Xuebijing injection on COVID-19, especially on COVID19-induced cardiac dysfunction, which provided the theoretical basis for exploring the potential protective mechanism of Xuebijing injection on COVID19-induced cardiac dysfunction.

COVID-19/metabolism , Drugs, Chinese Herbal/pharmacology , Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects , Myocytes, Cardiac/metabolism , RNA-Seq , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cell Line , Human Embryonic Stem Cells/metabolism , Human Embryonic Stem Cells/pathology , Human Embryonic Stem Cells/virology , Humans , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/metabolism , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/pathology , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/virology , Myocytes, Cardiac/pathology , Myocytes, Cardiac/virology
Protein Cell ; 12(9): 717-733, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-973695


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is caused by infection with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is spread primary via respiratory droplets and infects the lungs. Currently widely used cell lines and animals are unable to accurately mimic human physiological conditions because of the abnormal status of cell lines (transformed or cancer cells) and species differences between animals and humans. Organoids are stem cell-derived self-organized three-dimensional culture in vitro and model the physiological conditions of natural organs. Here we showed that SARS-CoV-2 infected and extensively replicated in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs)-derived lung organoids, including airway and alveolar organoids which covered the complete infection and spread route for SARS-CoV-2 within lungs. The infected cells were ciliated, club, and alveolar type 2 (AT2) cells, which were sequentially located from the proximal to the distal airway and terminal alveoli, respectively. Additionally, RNA-seq revealed early cell response to virus infection including an unexpected downregulation of the metabolic processes, especially lipid metabolism, in addition to the well-known upregulation of immune response. Further, Remdesivir and a human neutralizing antibody potently inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication in lung organoids. Therefore, human lung organoids can serve as a pathophysiological model to investigate the underlying mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 infection and to discover and test therapeutic drugs for COVID-19.

Alveolar Epithelial Cells/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Lung/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Alanine/therapeutic use , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/cytology , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/virology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Down-Regulation , Drug Discovery , Human Embryonic Stem Cells/cytology , Human Embryonic Stem Cells/metabolism , Humans , Immunity , Lipid Metabolism , Lung/cytology , Lung/virology , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Virus Replication/drug effects
Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 11(4): 935-948, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-917333


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The COVID-19 pandemic has spread worldwide and poses a severe health risk. While most patients present mild symptoms, descending pneumonia can lead to severe respiratory insufficiency. Up to 50% of patients show gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea or nausea, intriguingly associating with prolonged symptoms and increased severity. Thus, models to understand and validate drug efficiency in the gut of COVID-19 patients are of urgent need. METHODS: Human intestinal organoids derived from pluripotent stem cells (PSC-HIOs) have led, due to their complexity in mimicking human intestinal architecture, to an unprecedented number of successful disease models including gastrointestinal infections. Here, we employed PSC-HIOs to dissect SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and its inhibition by remdesivir, one of the leading drugs investigated for treatment of COVID-19. RESULTS: Immunostaining for viral entry receptor ACE2 and SARS-CoV-2 spike protein priming protease TMPRSS2 showed broad expression in the gastrointestinal tract with highest levels in the intestine, the latter faithfully recapitulated by PSC-HIOs. Organoids could be readily infected with SARS-CoV-2 followed by viral spread across entire PSC-HIOs, subsequently leading to organoid deterioration. However, SARS-CoV-2 spared goblet cells lacking ACE2 expression. Importantly, we challenged PSC-HIOs for drug testing capacity. Specifically, remdesivir effectively inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infection dose-dependently at low micromolar concentration and rescued PSC-HIO morphology. CONCLUSIONS: Thus, PSC-HIOs are a valuable tool to study SARS-CoV-2 infection and to identify and validate drugs especially with potential action in the gut.

Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , Human Embryonic Stem Cells , Intestinal Mucosa , Organoids , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Replication/drug effects , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/pharmacology , Caco-2 Cells , Human Embryonic Stem Cells/metabolism , Human Embryonic Stem Cells/pathology , Human Embryonic Stem Cells/virology , Humans , Intestinal Mucosa/metabolism , Intestinal Mucosa/pathology , Intestinal Mucosa/virology , Organoids/metabolism , Organoids/pathology , Organoids/virology