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1.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 7(1): 137, 2022 Apr 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1805598

ABSTRACT

Whether and how innate antiviral response is regulated by humoral metabolism remains enigmatic. We show that viral infection induces progesterone via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in mice. Progesterone induces downstream antiviral genes and promotes innate antiviral response in cells and mice, whereas knockout of the progesterone receptor PGR has opposite effects. Mechanistically, stimulation of PGR by progesterone activates the tyrosine kinase SRC, which phosphorylates the transcriptional factor IRF3 at Y107, leading to its activation and induction of antiviral genes. SARS-CoV-2-infected patients have increased progesterone levels, and which are co-related with decreased severity of COVID-19. Our findings reveal how progesterone modulates host innate antiviral response, and point to progesterone as a potential immunomodulatory reagent for infectious and inflammatory diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antiviral Agents , COVID-19/genetics , Humans , Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Mice , Pituitary-Adrenal System , Progesterone/pharmacology
2.
Nucleic Acids Res ; 50(5): 2509-2521, 2022 03 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1722548

ABSTRACT

Upon SARS-CoV-2 infection, viral intermediates specifically activate the IFN response through MDA5-mediated sensing and accordingly induce ADAR1 p150 expression, which might lead to viral A-to-I RNA editing. Here, we developed an RNA virus-specific editing identification pipeline, surveyed 7622 RNA-seq data from diverse types of samples infected with SARS-CoV-2, and constructed an atlas of A-to-I RNA editing sites in SARS-CoV-2. We found that A-to-I editing was dynamically regulated, varied between tissue and cell types, and was correlated with the intensity of innate immune response. On average, 91 editing events were deposited at viral dsRNA intermediates per sample. Moreover, editing hotspots were observed, including recoding sites in the spike gene that affect viral infectivity and antigenicity. Finally, we provided evidence that RNA editing accelerated SARS-CoV-2 evolution in humans during the epidemic. Our study highlights the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to hijack components of the host antiviral machinery to edit its genome and fuel its evolution, and also provides a framework and resource for studying viral RNA editing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Innate/immunology , RNA Editing/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adenosine Deaminase/genetics , Adenosine Deaminase/immunology , Adenosine Deaminase/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Base Sequence , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Evolution, Molecular , Gene Expression/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1/genetics , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1/immunology , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1/metabolism , Mutation , Protein Binding , RNA Editing/genetics , RNA-Binding Proteins/genetics , RNA-Binding Proteins/immunology , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
3.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(5)2022 Feb 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1715409

ABSTRACT

We propose a new hypothesis that explains the maintenance and evolution of MHC polymorphism. It is based on two phenomena: the constitution of the repertoire of naive T lymphocytes and the evolution of the pathogen and its impact on the immune memory of T lymphocytes. Concerning the latter, pathogen evolution will have a different impact on reinfection depending on the MHC allomorph. If a mutation occurs in a given region, in the case of MHC allotypes, which do not recognize the peptide in this region, the mutation will have no impact on the memory repertoire. In the case where the MHC allomorph binds to the ancestral peptides and not to the mutated peptide, that individual will have a higher chance of being reinfected. This difference in fitness will lead to a variation of the allele frequency in the next generation. Data from the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic already support a significant part of this hypothesis and following up on these data may enable it to be confirmed. This hypothesis could explain why some individuals after vaccination respond less well than others to variants and leads to predict the probability of reinfection after a first infection depending upon the variant and the HLA allomorph.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , HLA Antigens/immunology , Polymorphism, Genetic/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Evolution, Molecular , Gene Frequency , HLA Antigens/genetics , HLA Antigens/metabolism , Humans , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Mutation/genetics , Mutation/immunology , Pandemics , Peptides/immunology , Peptides/metabolism , Polymorphism, Genetic/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes/cytology , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism
4.
Environ Res ; 210: 112890, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1706308

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus Disease-19 (COVID-19) symptoms range from mild to severe illness; the cause for this differential response to infection remains unknown. Unravelling the immune mechanisms acting at different levels of the colonization process might be key to understand these differences. We carried out a multi-tissue (nasal, buccal and blood; n = 156) gene expression analysis of immune-related genes from patients affected by different COVID-19 severities, and healthy controls through the nCounter technology. Mild and asymptomatic cases showed a powerful innate antiviral response in nasal epithelium, characterized by activation of interferon (IFN) pathway and downstream cascades, successfully controlling the infection at local level. In contrast, weak macrophage/monocyte driven innate antiviral response and lack of IFN signalling activity were present in severe cases. Consequently, oral mucosa from severe patients showed signals of viral activity, cell arresting and viral dissemination to the lower respiratory tract, which ultimately could explain the exacerbated innate immune response and impaired adaptative immune responses observed at systemic level. Results from saliva transcriptome suggest that the buccal cavity might play a key role in SARS-CoV-2 infection and dissemination in patients with worse prognosis. Co-expression network analysis adds further support to these findings, by detecting modules specifically correlated with severity involved in the abovementioned biological routes; this analysis also provides new candidate genes that might be tested as biomarkers in future studies. We also found tissue specific severity-related signatures mainly represented by genes involved in the innate immune system and cytokine/chemokine signalling. Local immune response could be key to determine the course of the systemic response and thus COVID-19 severity. Our findings provide a framework to investigate severity host gene biomarkers and pathways that might be relevant to diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Antiviral Agents , Biomarkers , COVID-19/genetics , Gene Expression Profiling/methods , Humans , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Nasal Mucosa , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Cell ; 185(5): 881-895.e20, 2022 03 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1649960

ABSTRACT

Post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC) represent an emerging global crisis. However, quantifiable risk factors for PASC and their biological associations are poorly resolved. We executed a deep multi-omic, longitudinal investigation of 309 COVID-19 patients from initial diagnosis to convalescence (2-3 months later), integrated with clinical data and patient-reported symptoms. We resolved four PASC-anticipating risk factors at the time of initial COVID-19 diagnosis: type 2 diabetes, SARS-CoV-2 RNAemia, Epstein-Barr virus viremia, and specific auto-antibodies. In patients with gastrointestinal PASC, SARS-CoV-2-specific and CMV-specific CD8+ T cells exhibited unique dynamics during recovery from COVID-19. Analysis of symptom-associated immunological signatures revealed coordinated immunity polarization into four endotypes, exhibiting divergent acute severity and PASC. We find that immunological associations between PASC factors diminish over time, leading to distinct convalescent immune states. Detectability of most PASC factors at COVID-19 diagnosis emphasizes the importance of early disease measurements for understanding emergent chronic conditions and suggests PASC treatment strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , Convalescence , Adaptive Immunity/genetics , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Autoantibodies/blood , Biomarkers/metabolism , Blood Proteins/metabolism , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Disease Progression , Female , Humans , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Transcriptome , Young Adult
6.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 440, 2022 01 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1641960

ABSTRACT

Dysregulated immune responses against the SARS-CoV-2 virus are instrumental in severe COVID-19. However, the immune signatures associated with immunopathology are poorly understood. Here we use multi-omics single-cell analysis to probe the dynamic immune responses in hospitalized patients with stable or progressive course of COVID-19, explore V(D)J repertoires, and assess the cellular effects of tocilizumab. Coordinated profiling of gene expression and cell lineage protein markers shows that S100Ahi/HLA-DRlo classical monocytes and activated LAG-3hi T cells are hallmarks of progressive disease and highlights the abnormal MHC-II/LAG-3 interaction on myeloid and T cells, respectively. We also find skewed T cell receptor repertories in expanded effector CD8+ clones, unmutated IGHG+ B cell clones, and mutated B cell clones with stable somatic hypermutation frequency over time. In conclusion, our in-depth immune profiling reveals dyssynchrony of the innate and adaptive immune interaction in progressive COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Adaptive Immunity/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Gene Expression Profiling/methods , Immunity, Innate/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Cell Analysis/methods , Adaptive Immunity/drug effects , Adaptive Immunity/genetics , Aged , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/drug effects , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/drug effects , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/genetics , Cells, Cultured , Female , Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects , Gene Expression Regulation/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate/drug effects , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Male , RNA-Seq/methods , Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
7.
PLoS Biol ; 19(12): e3001065, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1594053

ABSTRACT

The pandemic spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiological agent of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), represents an ongoing international health crisis. A key symptom of SARS-CoV-2 infection is the onset of fever, with a hyperthermic temperature range of 38 to 41°C. Fever is an evolutionarily conserved host response to microbial infection that can influence the outcome of viral pathogenicity and regulation of host innate and adaptive immune responses. However, it remains to be determined what effect elevated temperature has on SARS-CoV-2 replication. Utilizing a three-dimensional (3D) air-liquid interface (ALI) model that closely mimics the natural tissue physiology of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the respiratory airway, we identify tissue temperature to play an important role in the regulation of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Respiratory tissue incubated at 40°C remained permissive to SARS-CoV-2 entry but refractory to viral transcription, leading to significantly reduced levels of viral RNA replication and apical shedding of infectious virus. We identify tissue temperature to play an important role in the differential regulation of epithelial host responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection that impact upon multiple pathways, including intracellular immune regulation, without disruption to general transcription or epithelium integrity. We present the first evidence that febrile temperatures associated with COVID-19 inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication in respiratory epithelia. Our data identify an important role for tissue temperature in the epithelial restriction of SARS-CoV-2 independently of canonical interferon (IFN)-mediated antiviral immune defenses.


Subject(s)
Epithelial Cells/immunology , Hot Temperature , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Interferons/immunology , Respiratory Mucosa/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Virus Replication/immunology , Adolescent , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/virology , Female , Gene Expression Profiling/methods , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Interferons/genetics , Interferons/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Models, Biological , RNA-Seq/methods , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Tissue Culture Techniques , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/genetics , Virus Replication/physiology
8.
Nature ; 602(7897): 487-495, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585830

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern suggests viral adaptation to enhance human-to-human transmission1,2. Although much effort has focused on the characterization of changes in the spike protein in variants of concern, mutations outside of spike are likely to contribute to adaptation. Here, using unbiased abundance proteomics, phosphoproteomics, RNA sequencing and viral replication assays, we show that isolates of the Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant3 suppress innate immune responses in airway epithelial cells more effectively than first-wave isolates. We found that the Alpha variant has markedly increased subgenomic RNA and protein levels of the nucleocapsid protein (N), Orf9b and Orf6-all known innate immune antagonists. Expression of Orf9b alone suppressed the innate immune response through interaction with TOM70, a mitochondrial protein that is required for activation of the RNA-sensing adaptor MAVS. Moreover, the activity of Orf9b and its association with TOM70 was regulated by phosphorylation. We propose that more effective innate immune suppression, through enhanced expression of specific viral antagonist proteins, increases the likelihood of successful transmission of the Alpha variant, and may increase in vivo replication and duration of infection4. The importance of mutations outside the spike coding region in the adaptation of SARS-CoV-2 to humans is underscored by the observation that similar mutations exist in the N and Orf9b regulatory regions of the Delta and Omicron variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Evolution, Molecular , Immune Evasion , Immunity, Innate/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Humans , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Interferons/immunology , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , Phosphorylation , Proteomics , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA-Seq , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development
9.
Nat Rev Immunol ; 20(9): 518-519, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1550304
10.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 6668, 2021 11 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526076

ABSTRACT

Our innate immune responses to viral RNA are vital defenses. Long cytosolic double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) is recognized by MDA5. The ATPase activity of MDA5 contributes to its dsRNA binding selectivity. Mutations that reduce RNA selectivity can cause autoinflammatory disease. Here, we show how the disease-associated MDA5 variant M854K perturbs MDA5-dsRNA recognition. M854K MDA5 constitutively activates interferon signaling in the absence of exogenous RNA. M854K MDA5 lacks ATPase activity and binds more stably to synthetic Alu:Alu dsRNA. CryoEM structures of MDA5-dsRNA filaments at different stages of ATP hydrolysis show that the K854 sidechain forms polar bonds that constrain the conformation of MDA5 subdomains, disrupting key steps in the ATPase cycle- RNA footprint expansion and helical twist modulation. The M854K mutation inhibits ATP-dependent RNA proofreading via an allosteric mechanism, allowing MDA5 to form signaling complexes on endogenous RNAs. This work provides insights on how MDA5 recognizes dsRNA in health and disease.


Subject(s)
Adenosine Triphosphate/metabolism , Inflammation/metabolism , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1/metabolism , Mutation, Missense , RNA, Double-Stranded/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Adenosine Triphosphatases/genetics , Adenosine Triphosphatases/metabolism , Adenosine Triphosphatases/ultrastructure , Cryoelectron Microscopy , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Inflammation/genetics , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1/chemistry , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1/genetics , Models, Molecular , Nucleic Acid Conformation , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , RNA, Double-Stranded/chemistry , RNA, Double-Stranded/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics
11.
Elife ; 102021 04 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1513055

ABSTRACT

Dendritic cells (DCs) regulate processes ranging from antitumor and antiviral immunity to host-microbe communication at mucosal surfaces. It remains difficult, however, to genetically manipulate human DCs, limiting our ability to probe how DCs elicit specific immune responses. Here, we develop a CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing method for human monocyte-derived DCs (moDCs) that mediates knockouts with a median efficiency of >94% across >300 genes. Using this method, we perform genetic screens in moDCs, identifying mechanisms by which DCs tune responses to lipopolysaccharides from the human microbiome. In addition, we reveal donor-specific responses to lipopolysaccharides, underscoring the importance of assessing immune phenotypes in donor-derived cells, and identify candidate genes that control this specificity, highlighting the potential of our method to pinpoint determinants of inter-individual variation in immunity. Our work sets the stage for a systematic dissection of the immune signaling at the host-microbiome interface and for targeted engineering of DCs for neoantigen vaccination.


Subject(s)
CRISPR-Associated Protein 9/genetics , CRISPR-Cas Systems , Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Gene Editing , Genomics , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron/immunology , CRISPR-Associated Protein 9/metabolism , Cells, Cultured , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/metabolism , Dendritic Cells/drug effects , Dendritic Cells/metabolism , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Immunity, Innate/drug effects , Lipopolysaccharides/pharmacology , Phenotype , Signal Transduction , Toll-Like Receptor 4/agonists , Toll-Like Receptor 4/genetics , Toll-Like Receptor 4/metabolism
12.
J Mol Med (Berl) ; 100(2): 285-301, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1505851

ABSTRACT

The risk of severe COVID-19 increases with age as older patients are at highest risk. Thus, there is an urgent need to identify how severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) interacts with blood components during aging. We investigated the whole blood transcriptome from the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) database to explore differentially expressed genes (DEGs) translated into proteins interacting with viral proteins during aging. From 22 DEGs in aged blood, FASLG, CTSW, CTSE, VCAM1, and BAG3 were associated with immune response, inflammation, cell component and adhesion, and platelet activation/aggregation. Males and females older than 50 years old overexpress FASLG, possibly inducing a hyperinflammatory cascade. The expression of cathepsins (CTSW and CTSE) and the anti-apoptotic co-chaperone molecule BAG3 also increased throughout aging in both genders. By exploring single-cell RNA-sequencing data from peripheral blood of SARS-CoV-2-infected patients, we found FASLG and CTSW expressed in natural killer cells and CD8 + T lymphocytes, whereas BAG3 was expressed mainly in CD4 + T cells, naive T cells, and CD14 + monocytes. In addition, T cell exhaustion was associated with increased expression of CCL4L2 and DUSP4 over blood aging. LAG3, PDCD1, TIGIT, VCAM1, HLA-DRA, and TOX also increased in individuals aged 60-69 years old; conversely, the RGS2 gene decreased with aging. We further identified a distinct gene expression profile associated with type I interferon signaling following blood aging. These results revealed changes in blood molecules potentially related to SARS-CoV-2 infection throughout aging, emphasizing them as therapeutic candidates for aggressive clinical manifestation of COVID-19. KEY MESSAGES: • Prediction of host-viral interactions in the whole blood transcriptome during aging. • Expression levels of FASLG, CTSW, CTSE, VCAM1, and BAG3 increase in aged blood. • Blood interactome reveals targets involved with immune response, inflammation, and blood clots. • SARS-CoV-2-infected patients with high viral load showed FASLG overexpression. • Gene expression profile associated with T cell exhaustion and type I interferon signaling were affected with blood aging.


Subject(s)
Aging/blood , Blood Proteins/analysis , COVID-19/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Transcriptome , Adult , Aged , Aging/genetics , Blood/metabolism , Blood Chemical Analysis , Blood Proteins/genetics , Blood Proteins/metabolism , Blood Vessels/metabolism , Blood Vessels/virology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena/genetics , Cardiovascular System/metabolism , Cardiovascular System/virology , Cohort Studies , Female , Genetic Association Studies , Humans , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Male , Middle Aged , Young Adult
13.
Acc Chem Res ; 54(21): 4012-4023, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1483069

ABSTRACT

In vitro-transcribed RNAs are emerging as new biologics for therapeutic innovation, as exemplified by their application recently in SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations. RNAs prepared by in vitro transcription (IVT) allow transient expression of proteins of interest, conferring safety over DNA- or virus-mediated gene delivery systems. However, in vitro-transcribed RNAs should be used with caution because of their immunogenicity, which is in part triggered by double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) byproducts during IVT. Cellular innate immune response to dsRNA byproducts can lead to undesirable consequences, including suppression of protein synthesis and cell death, which in turn can detrimentally impact the efficacy of mRNA therapy. Thus, it is critical to understand the nature of IVT byproducts and the mechanisms by which they trigger innate immune responses.Our lab has been investigating the mechanisms by which the innate immune system discriminates between "self" and "nonself" RNA, with the focus on the cytoplasmic dsRNA receptors retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) and melanoma differentiation-associated 5 (MDA5). We have biochemically and structurally characterized critical events involving RNA discrimination and signal transduction by RIG-I or MDA5. We have used in vitro-transcribed RNAs as tools to investigate RNA specificity of RIG-I and MDA5, which required optimization of the IVT reaction and purification processes to eliminate the effect of IVT byproducts. In this Account, we summarize our current understanding of RIG-I and MDA5 and IVT reactions and propose future directions for improving IVT as a method to generate both research tools and therapeutics. Other critical proteins in cellular innate immune response to dsRNAs are also discussed. We arrange the contents in the following order: (i) innate immunity sensors for nonself RNA, including the RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs) in the cytosol and the toll-like receptors (TLRs) in the endosome, as well as cytoplasmic dsRNA-responding proteins, including protein kinase R (PKR) and 2',5'-oligoadenylate synthetases (OASes), illustrating the feature of protein-RNA binding and its consequences; (ii) the immunogenicity of IVT byproducts, specifically the generation of dsRNA molecules during IVT; and (iii) methods to reduce IVT RNA immunogenicity, including optimizations of RNA polymerases, reagents, and experimental conditions during IVT and subsequent purification.


Subject(s)
RNA, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , DEAD Box Protein 58/genetics , DEAD Box Protein 58/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1/genetics , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1/immunology , RNA, Viral/genetics , Receptors, Immunologic/genetics , Receptors, Immunologic/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
14.
Mol Biol Evol ; 39(1)2022 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475820

ABSTRACT

Although some variation introgressed from Neanderthals has undergone selective sweeps, little is known about its functional significance. We used a Massively Parallel Reporter Assay (MPRA) to assay 5,353 high-frequency introgressed variants for their ability to modulate the gene expression within 170 bp of endogenous sequence. We identified 2,548 variants in active putative cis-regulatory elements (CREs) and 292 expression-modulating variants (emVars). These emVars are predicted to alter the binding motifs of important immune transcription factors, are enriched for associations with neutrophil and white blood cell count, and are associated with the expression of genes that function in innate immune pathways including inflammatory response and antiviral defense. We combined the MPRA data with other data sets to identify strong candidates to be driver variants of positive selection including an emVar that may contribute to protection against severe COVID-19 response. We endogenously deleted two CREs containing expression-modulation variants linked to immune function, rs11624425 and rs80317430, identifying their primary genic targets as ELMSAN1, and PAN2 and STAT2, respectively, three genes differentially expressed during influenza infection. Overall, we present the first database of experimentally identified expression-modulating Neanderthal-introgressed alleles contributing to potential immune response in modern humans.


Subject(s)
Genetic Variation , Genome, Human , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Neanderthals , Animals , Gene Expression , Humans , Inflammation , Neanderthals/genetics
15.
Eur J Immunol ; 51(7): 1641-1651, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1473829

ABSTRACT

Emerging life-threatening viruses have posed great challenges to public health. It is now increasingly clear that epigenetics plays a role in shaping host-virus interactions and there is a great need for a more thorough understanding of these intricate interactions through the epigenetic lens, which may represent potential therapeutic opportunities in the clinic. In this review, we highlight the current understanding of the roles of key epigenetic regulators - chromatin remodeling and histone modification - in modulating chromatin openness during host defense against virus. We also discuss how the RNA modification m6A (N6-methyladenosine) affects fundamental aspects of host-virus interactions. We conclude with future directions for uncovering more detailed functions that epigenetic regulation exerts on both host cells and viruses during infection.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/immunology , Epigenesis, Genetic/genetics , Epigenesis, Genetic/immunology , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Animals , Chromatin/genetics , Chromatin/immunology , Histones/genetics , Histones/immunology , Host Microbial Interactions/genetics , Host Microbial Interactions/immunology , Humans , RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional/genetics , RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional/immunology
17.
Front Immunol ; 12: 746203, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477828

ABSTRACT

The reasons behind the clinical variability of SARS-CoV-2 infection, ranging from asymptomatic infection to lethal disease, are still unclear. We performed genome-wide transcriptional whole-blood RNA sequencing, bioinformatics analysis and PCR validation to test the hypothesis that immune response-related gene signatures reflecting baseline may differ between healthy individuals, with an equally robust antibody response, who experienced an entirely asymptomatic (n=17) versus clinical SARS-CoV-2 infection (n=15) in the past months (mean of 14 weeks). Among 12.789 protein-coding genes analysed, we identified six and nine genes with significantly decreased or increased expression, respectively, in those with prior asymptomatic infection relatively to those with clinical infection. All six genes with decreased expression (IFIT3, IFI44L, RSAD2, FOLR3, PI3, ALOX15), are involved in innate immune response while the first two are interferon-induced proteins. Among genes with increased expression six are involved in immune response (GZMH, CLEC1B, CLEC12A), viral mRNA translation (GCAT), energy metabolism (CACNA2D2) and oxidative stress response (ENC1). Notably, 8/15 differentially expressed genes are regulated by interferons. Our results suggest that subtle differences at baseline expression of innate immunity-related genes may be associated with an asymptomatic disease course in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Whether a certain gene signature predicts, or not, those who will develop a more efficient immune response upon exposure to SARS-CoV-2, with implications for prioritization for vaccination, warrant further study.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Asymptomatic Infections , Immunity, Innate/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Transcriptome/genetics , Adult , COVID-19/pathology , Female , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Male , RNA, Messenger/genetics , Sequence Analysis, RNA , Severity of Illness Index
18.
Front Immunol ; 12: 741502, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477825

ABSTRACT

Host innate immune response follows severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, and it is the driver of the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) amongst other inflammatory end-organ morbidities. Such life-threatening coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is heralded by virus-induced activation of mononuclear phagocytes (MPs; monocytes, macrophages, and dendritic cells). MPs play substantial roles in aberrant immune secretory activities affecting profound systemic inflammation and end-organ malfunctions. All follow the presence of persistent viral components and virions without evidence of viral replication. To elucidate SARS-CoV-2-MP interactions we investigated transcriptomic and proteomic profiles of human monocyte-derived macrophages. While expression of the SARS-CoV-2 receptor, the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, paralleled monocyte-macrophage differentiation, it failed to affect productive viral infection. In contrast, simple macrophage viral exposure led to robust pro-inflammatory cytokine and chemokine expression but attenuated type I interferon (IFN) activity. Both paralleled dysregulation of innate immune signaling pathways, specifically those linked to IFN. We conclude that the SARS-CoV-2-infected host mounts a robust innate immune response characterized by a pro-inflammatory storm heralding end-organ tissue damage.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Immunity, Innate , Macrophages/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , Cells, Cultured , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/metabolism , Gene Expression Profiling , Gene Regulatory Networks , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Inflammation Mediators/metabolism , Macrophages/immunology , Macrophages/metabolism , Proteome , Proteomics , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Signal Transduction , Transcriptome
19.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 19752, 2021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1454813

ABSTRACT

Although metabolic syndrome (MetS) is linked to an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), the cardiac-specific risk mechanism is unknown. Obesity, hypertension, and diabetes (all MetS components) are the most common form of CVD and represent risk factors for worse COVID-19 outcomes compared to their non MetS peers. Here, we use obese Yorkshire pigs as a highly relevant animal model of human MetS, where pigs develop the hallmarks of human MetS and reproducibly mimics the myocardial pathophysiology in patients. Myocardium-specific mass spectroscopy-derived metabolomics, proteomics, and transcriptomics enabled the identity and quality of proteins and metabolites to be investigated in the myocardium to greater depth. Myocardium-specific deregulation of pro-inflammatory markers, propensity for arterial thrombosis, and platelet aggregation was revealed by computational analysis of differentially enriched pathways between MetS and control animals. While key components of the complement pathway and the immune response to viruses are under expressed, key N6-methyladenosin RNA methylation enzymes are largely overexpressed in MetS. Blood tests do not capture the entirety of metabolic changes that the myocardium undergoes, making this analysis of greater value than blood component analysis alone. Our findings create data associations to further characterize the MetS myocardium and disease vulnerability, emphasize the need for a multimodal therapeutic approach, and suggests a mechanism for observed worse outcomes in MetS patients with COVID-19 comorbidity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Disease Susceptibility , Metabolic Syndrome/pathology , Animals , Blood Coagulation Factors/genetics , Blood Coagulation Factors/metabolism , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , Cyclooxygenase 2/genetics , Cyclooxygenase 2/metabolism , Diet, High-Fat/veterinary , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Metabolic Syndrome/complications , Metabolic Syndrome/metabolism , Methyltransferases/genetics , Methyltransferases/metabolism , Myocardium/metabolism , Oxidative Stress/genetics , Platelet Aggregation , Receptors, Purinergic P2Y1/genetics , Receptors, Purinergic P2Y1/metabolism , Renin-Angiotensin System , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Swine , Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator/genetics , Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator/metabolism
20.
Eur J Pharmacol ; 912: 174548, 2021 Dec 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1446596

ABSTRACT

The importance of sex differences is increasingly acknowledged in the incidence and treatment of disease. Accumulating clinical evidence demonstrates that sex differences are noticeable in COVID-19, and the prevalence, severity, and mortality rate of COVID-19 are higher among males than females. Sex-related genetic and hormonal factors and immunological responses may underlie the sex bias in COVID-19 patients. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and transmembrane protease/serine subfamily member 2 (TMPRSS2) are essential proteins involved in the cell entry of SARS-CoV-2. Since ACE2 is encoded on the X-chromosome, a double copy of ACE2 in females may compensate for virus-mediated downregulation of ACE2, and thus ACE2-mediated cellular protection is greater in females. The X chromosome also contains the largest immune-related genes leading females to develop more robust immune responses than males. Toll-like receptor-7 (TLR-7), one of the key players in innate immunity, is linked to sex differences in autoimmunity and vaccine efficacy, and its expression is greater in females. Sex steroids also affect immune cell function. Estrogen contributes to higher CD4+ and CD8+ T cell activation levels, and females have more B cells than males. Sex differences not only affect the severity and progression of the disease, but also alter the efficacy of pharmacological treatment and adverse events related to the drugs/vaccines used against COVID-19. Administration of different drugs/vaccines in different doses or intervals may be useful to eliminate sex differences in efficacy and side/adverse effects. It should be noted that studies should include sex-specific analyses to develop further sex-specific treatments for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/etiology , COVID-19/genetics , Genetic Predisposition to Disease/genetics , Adult , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Estrogens/genetics , Estrogens/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Serine Endopeptidases/immunology , Sex Characteristics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
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