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1.
EBioMedicine ; 76: 103861, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1734342

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since late 2019, SARS-CoV-2 infection has resulted in COVID-19 accompanied by diverse clinical manifestations. However, the underlying mechanism of how SARS-CoV-2 interacts with host and develops multiple symptoms is largely unexplored. METHODS: Bioinformatics analysis determined the sequence similarity between SARS-CoV-2 and human genomes. Diverse fragments of SARS-CoV-2 genome containing Human Identical Sequences (HIS) were cloned into the lentiviral vector. HEK293T, MRC5 and HUVEC were infected with laboratory-packaged lentivirus or transfected with plasmids or antagomirs for HIS. Quantitative RT-PCR and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay detected gene expression and H3K27ac enrichment, respectively. UV-Vis spectroscopy assessed the interaction between HIS and their target locus. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay evaluated the hyaluronan (HA) levels of culture supernatant and plasma of COVID-19 patients. FINDINGS: Five short sequences (24-27 nt length) sharing identity between SARS-CoV-2 and human genome were identified. These RNA elements were highly conserved in primates. The genomic fragments containing HIS were predicted to form hairpin structures in silico similar to miRNA precursors. HIS may function through direct genomic interaction leading to activation of host enhancers, and upregulation of adjacent and distant genes, including cytokine genes and hyaluronan synthase 2 (HAS2). HIS antagomirs and Cas13d-mediated HIS degradation reduced HAS2 expression. Severe COVID-19 patients displayed decreased lymphocytes and elevated D-dimer, and C-reactive proteins, as well as increased plasma hyaluronan. Hymecromone inhibited hyaluronan production in vitro, and thus could be further investigated as a therapeutic option for preventing severe outcome in COVID-19 patients. INTERPRETATION: HIS of SARS-CoV-2 could promote COVID-19 progression by upregulating hyaluronan, providing novel targets for treatment. FUNDING: The National Key R&D Program of China (2018YFC1005004), Major Special Projects of Basic Research of Shanghai Science and Technology Commission (18JC1411101), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31872814, 32000505).


Subject(s)
Gene Regulatory Networks/genetics , Genome, Human , Hyaluronic Acid/metabolism , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Antagomirs/metabolism , Argonaute Proteins/genetics , Base Sequence , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Disease Progression , Enhancer Elements, Genetic/genetics , Humans , Hyaluronan Synthases/genetics , Hyaluronan Synthases/metabolism , Hyaluronic Acid/blood , MicroRNAs/genetics , RNA, Viral/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Up-Regulation
2.
Microvasc Res ; 140: 104269, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1473424

ABSTRACT

AIMS: Kawasaki disease (KD) is an acute systemic vasculitis with possible long-term impact of general cardio-vascular health. An endothelial glycocalyx disorder during the disease's acute phase might predispose to long-term vascular anomalies leading to endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis. To investigate any association between increased cardiovascular risk and endothelial glycocalyx, we assessed circulating glycocalyx components in patients with a KD history, and analysed their association with acute-phase clinical features and more importantly, with patients' current cardiovascular risk factors. METHODS: This prospective observational cohort study included 51 subjects: 31 patients with a history of KD, and 20 healthy subjects matched for age and sex. We analysed serum syndecan-1 and hyaluronan via ELISA. We assessed features reported during the acute phase of KD such as blood counts, C-reactive protein (CRP) levels and coronary artery aneurysms (CAA), and their current blood pressure and lipid markers in relation to measured glycocalyx components. RESULTS: Our multivariate analysis revealed that hyaluronan and syndecan-1 levels were not associated with KD. However, the latter exhibited a significant association with acute-phase blood count alterations in patients with KD. Furthermore, significant interactions of hyaluronan and syndecan-1 with certain cardiovascular risk factors like blood lipids and blood pressure were only present in KD patients. CONCLUSION: Vasculitis during KD's acute phase might predispose to a long-term endothelial glycocalyx alteration, influenced by other factors having a vascular impact such as blood pressure and circulating lipids. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: German Clinical Trials Register on 25th February 2016, DRKS00010071 https://www.drks.de/drks_web/.


Subject(s)
Coronary Aneurysm/blood , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Glycocalyx/metabolism , Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome/blood , Syndecan-1/blood , Adolescent , Biomarkers/blood , Blood Pressure , Child , Coronary Aneurysm/diagnosis , Coronary Aneurysm/epidemiology , Endothelial Cells/pathology , Female , Glycocalyx/pathology , Heart Disease Risk Factors , Humans , Hyaluronic Acid/blood , Incidence , Lipids/blood , Male , Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome/diagnosis , Mucocutaneous Lymph Node Syndrome/epidemiology , Predictive Value of Tests , Prognosis , Prospective Studies , Risk Assessment , Young Adult
3.
Cell Death Differ ; 28(12): 3199-3213, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475289

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations have greatly reduced COVID-19 cases, but we must continue to develop our understanding of the nature of the disease and its effects on human immunity. Previously, we suggested that a dysregulated STAT3 pathway following SARS-Co-2 infection ultimately leads to PAI-1 activation and cascades of pathologies. The major COVID-19-associated metabolic risks (old age, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity) share high PAI-1 levels and could predispose certain groups to severe COVID-19 complications. In this review article, we describe the common metabolic profile that is shared between all of these high-risk groups and COVID-19. This profile not only involves high levels of PAI-1 and STAT3 as previously described, but also includes low levels of glutamine and NAD+, coupled with overproduction of hyaluronan (HA). SARS-CoV-2 infection exacerbates this metabolic imbalance and predisposes these patients to the severe pathophysiologies of COVID-19, including the involvement of NETs (neutrophil extracellular traps) and HA overproduction in the lung. While hyperinflammation due to proinflammatory cytokine overproduction has been frequently documented, it is recently recognized that the immune response is markedly suppressed in some cases by the expansion and activity of MDSCs (myeloid-derived suppressor cells) and FoxP3+ Tregs (regulatory T cells). The metabolomics profiles of severe COVID-19 patients and patients with advanced cancer are similar, and in high-risk patients, SARS-CoV-2 infection leads to aberrant STAT3 activation, which promotes a cancer-like metabolism. We propose that glutamine deficiency and overproduced HA is the central metabolic characteristic of COVID-19 and its high-risk groups. We suggest the usage of glutamine supplementation and the repurposing of cancer drugs to prevent the development of severe COVID-19 pneumonia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/physiopathology , Glutamine/deficiency , Animals , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/epidemiology , Comorbidity , Glutamine/blood , Humans , Hyaluronic Acid/blood , Metabolome , Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1/blood , Risk Factors , Severity of Illness Index
4.
JCI Insight ; 6(17)2021 09 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1327774

ABSTRACT

Vascular injury has emerged as a complication contributing to morbidity in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The glycosaminoglycan hyaluronan (HA) is a major component of the glycocalyx, a protective layer of glycoconjugates that lines the vascular lumen and regulates key endothelial cell functions. During critical illness, as in the case of sepsis, enzymes degrade the glycocalyx, releasing fragments with pathologic activities into circulation and thereby exacerbating disease. Here, we analyzed levels of circulating glycosaminoglycans in 46 patients with COVID-19 ranging from moderate to severe clinical severity and measured activities of corresponding degradative enzymes. This report provides evidence that the glycocalyx becomes significantly damaged in patients with COVID-19 and corresponds with severity of disease. Circulating HA fragments and hyaluronidase, 2 signatures of glycocalyx injury, strongly associate with sequential organ failure assessment scores and with increased inflammatory cytokine levels in patients with COVID-19. Pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells exposed to COVID-19 milieu show dysregulated HA biosynthesis and degradation, leading to production of pathological HA fragments that are released into circulation. Finally, we show that HA fragments present at high levels in COVID-19 patient plasma can directly induce endothelial barrier dysfunction in a ROCK- and CD44-dependent manner, indicating a role for HA in the vascular pathology of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Hyaluronic Acid/metabolism , Aged , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/pathology , Cytokines/blood , Endothelium, Vascular/pathology , Female , Glycocalyx/metabolism , Glycocalyx/pathology , Humans , Hyaluronan Receptors/metabolism , Hyaluronic Acid/blood , Hyaluronoglucosaminidase/blood , Hyaluronoglucosaminidase/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , rho-Associated Kinases/metabolism
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