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1.
Immunity ; 54(11): 2632-2649.e6, 2021 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1549842

ABSTRACT

The incidence and severity of sepsis is higher among individuals of African versus European ancestry. We found that genetic risk variants (RVs) in the trypanolytic factor apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1), present only in individuals of African ancestry, were associated with increased sepsis incidence and severity. Serum APOL1 levels correlated with sepsis and COVID-19 severity, and single-cell sequencing in human kidneys revealed high expression of APOL1 in endothelial cells. Analysis of mice with endothelial-specific expression of RV APOL1 and in vitro studies demonstrated that RV APOL1 interfered with mitophagy, leading to cytosolic release of mitochondrial DNA and activation of the inflammasome (NLRP3) and the cytosolic nucleotide sensing pathways (STING). Genetic deletion or pharmacological inhibition of NLRP3 and STING protected mice from RV APOL1-induced permeability defects and proinflammatory endothelial changes in sepsis. Our studies identify the inflammasome and STING pathways as potential targets to reduce APOL1-associated health disparities in sepsis and COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Apolipoprotein L1/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , Genetic Predisposition to Disease/genetics , Sepsis/genetics , Animals , Apolipoprotein L1/blood , COVID-19/pathology , DNA, Mitochondrial/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , Inflammation/genetics , Inflammation/pathology , Membrane Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Membrane Proteins/genetics , Membrane Proteins/metabolism , Mice , Mice, Knockout , Mitophagy/genetics , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/antagonists & inhibitors , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/genetics , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/metabolism , Risk Factors , Sepsis/pathology , Severity of Illness Index , /statistics & numerical data
2.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5819, 2021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1454763

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the cause of the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The continued spread of SARS-CoV-2 increases the probability of influenza/SARS-CoV-2 coinfection, which may result in severe disease. In this study, we examine the disease outcome of influenza A virus (IAV) and SARS-CoV-2 coinfection in K18-hACE2 mice. Our data indicate enhance susceptibility of IAV-infected mice to developing severe disease upon coinfection with SARS-CoV-2 two days later. In contrast to nonfatal influenza and lower mortality rates due to SARS-CoV-2 alone, this coinfection results in severe morbidity and nearly complete mortality. Coinfection is associated with elevated influenza viral loads in respiratory organs. Remarkably, prior immunity to influenza, but not to SARS-CoV-2, prevents severe disease and mortality. This protection is antibody-dependent. These data experimentally support the necessity of seasonal influenza vaccination for reducing the risk of severe influenza/COVID-19 comorbidity during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Coinfection/immunology , Coinfection/virology , Immunity , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/immunology , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Cell Line , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Humans , Inflammation/genetics , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Male , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Up-Regulation/genetics , Viral Load/immunology
3.
Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol ; 394(11): 2187-2195, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1442084

ABSTRACT

Millions of people around the world are involved with COVID-19 due to infection with SARS-CoV-2. Virological features of SARS-CoV-2, including its genomic sequence, have been identified but the mechanisms governing COVID-19 immunopathogenesis have remained uncertain. miR-223 is a hematopoietic cell-derived miRNA that is implicated in regulating monocyte-macrophage differentiation, neutrophil recruitment, and pro-inflammatory responses. The miR-223 controls inflammation by targeting a variety of factors, including TRAF6, IKKα, HSP-70, FOXO1, TLR4, PI3K/AKT, PARP-1, HDAC2, ITGB3, CXCL2, CCL3, IL-6, IFN-I, STMN1, IL-1ß, IL-18, Caspase-1, NF-κB, and NLRP3. The key role of miR-223 in regulating the inflammatory process and its antioxidant and antiviral role can suggest this miRNA as a potential regulatory factor in the process of COVID-19 immunopathogenesis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , Inflammasomes/genetics , Inflammation/genetics , Inflammation/pathology , MicroRNAs/genetics , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Inflammasomes/immunology , Inflammation/immunology
4.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(19)2021 Sep 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438630

ABSTRACT

A high incidence of thromboembolic events associated with high mortality has been reported in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections with respiratory failure. The present study characterized post-transcriptional gene regulation by global microRNA (miRNA) expression in relation to activated coagulation and inflammation in 21 critically ill SARS-CoV-2 patients. The cohort consisted of patients with moderate respiratory failure (n = 11) and severe respiratory failure (n = 10) at an acute stage (day 0-3) and in the later course of the disease (>7 days). All patients needed supplemental oxygen and severe patients were defined by the requirement of positive pressure ventilation (intubation). Levels of D-dimers, activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), C-reactive protein (CRP), and interleukin (IL)-6 were significantly higher in patients with severe compared with moderate respiratory failure. Concurrently, next generation sequencing (NGS) analysis demonstrated increased dysregulation of miRNA expression with progression of disease severity connected to extreme downregulation of miR-320a, miR-320b and miR-320c. Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis revealed involvement in the Hippo signaling pathway, the transforming growth factor (TGF)-ß signaling pathway and in the regulation of adherens junctions. The expression of all miR-320 family members was significantly correlated with CRP, IL-6, and D-dimer levels. In conclusion, our analysis underlines the importance of thromboembolic processes in patients with respiratory failure and emphasizes miRNA-320s as potential biomarkers for severe progressive SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/genetics , MicroRNAs/genetics , Respiratory Insufficiency/etiology , Respiratory Insufficiency/genetics , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Blood Coagulation , COVID-19/blood , Disease Progression , Down-Regulation , Female , Humans , Inflammation/blood , Inflammation/etiology , Inflammation/genetics , Male , MicroRNAs/blood , Middle Aged , Respiratory Insufficiency/blood , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index
6.
Front Immunol ; 11: 631743, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389175

ABSTRACT

The concept of trained immunity has recently emerged as a mechanism contributing to several immune mediated inflammatory conditions. Trained immunity is defined by the immunological memory developed in innate immune cells after a primary non-specific stimulus that, in turn, promotes a heightened inflammatory response upon a secondary challenge. The most characteristic changes associated to this process involve the rewiring of cell metabolism and epigenetic reprogramming. Under physiological conditions, the role of trained immune cells ensures a prompt response. This action is limited by effective resolution of inflammation and tissue repair in order to restore homeostasis. However, unrestrained activation of innate immune cells contributes to the development of chronic inflammation and tissue destruction through the secretion of inflammatory cytokines, proteases and growth factors. Therefore, interventions aimed at reversing the changes induced by trained immunity provide potential therapeutic approaches to treat inflammatory and autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We review cellular approaches that target metabolism and the epigenetic reprogramming of dendritic cells, macrophages, natural killer cells, and other trained cells in the context of autoimmune inflammatory diseases.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , Autoimmune Diseases/drug therapy , Autoimmunity/drug effects , Biological Products/therapeutic use , Immune System/drug effects , Inflammation/drug therapy , Animals , Autoimmune Diseases/genetics , Autoimmune Diseases/immunology , Autoimmune Diseases/metabolism , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , Energy Metabolism/drug effects , Epigenesis, Genetic/drug effects , Humans , Immune System/immunology , Immune System/metabolism , Immunity, Innate/drug effects , Immunologic Memory/drug effects , Inflammation/genetics , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/metabolism , Signal Transduction
7.
Oxid Med Cell Longev ; 2021: 9998697, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1378094

ABSTRACT

The pandemic of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has posed huge threats to healthcare systems and the global economy. However, the host response towards COVID-19 on the molecular and cellular levels still lacks full understanding and effective therapies are in urgent need. Here, we integrate three datasets, GSE152641, GSE161777, and GSE157103. Compared to healthy people, 314 differentially expressed genes were identified, which were mostly involved in neutrophil degranulation and cell division. The protein-protein network was established and two significant subsets were filtered by MCODE: ssGSEA and CIBERSORT, which comprehensively revealed the alternation of immune cell abundance. Weighted gene coexpression network analysis (WGCNA) as well as GO and KEGG analyses unveiled the role of neutrophils and T cells during the progress of the disease. Based on the hospital-free days after 45 days of follow-up and statistical methods such as nonnegative matrix factorization (NMF), submap, and linear correlation analysis, 31 genes were regarded as the signature of the peripheral blood of COVID-19. Various immune cells were identified to be related to the prognosis of the patients. Drugs were predicted for the genes in the signature by DGIdb. Overall, our study comprehensively revealed the relationship between the inflammatory response and the disease course, which provided strategies for the treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Gene Regulatory Networks , Inflammation/genetics , Inflammation/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Transcriptome , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Inflammation/virology , Protein Interaction Maps
8.
EBioMedicine ; 70: 103525, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1356203

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: While our battle with the COVID-19 pandemic continues, a multitude of Omics data have been generated from patient samples in various studies. Translation of these data into clinical interventions against COVID-19 remains to be accomplished. Exploring host response to COVID-19 in the upper respiratory tract can unveil prognostic markers and therapeutic targets. METHODS: We conducted a meta-analysis of published transcriptome and proteome profiles of respiratory samples of COVID-19 patients to shortlist high confidence upregulated host factors. Subsequently, mRNA overexpression of selected genes was validated in nasal swabs from a cohort of COVID-19 positive/negative, symptomatic/asymptomatic individuals. Guided by this analysis, we sought to check for potential drug targets. An FDA-approved drug, Auranofin, was tested against SARS-CoV-2 replication in cell culture and Syrian hamster challenge model. FINDINGS: The meta-analysis and validation in the COVID-19 cohort revealed S100 family genes (S100A6, S100A8, S100A9, and S100P) as prognostic markers of severe COVID-19. Furthermore, Thioredoxin (TXN) was found to be consistently upregulated. Auranofin, which targets Thioredoxin reductase, was found to mitigate SARS-CoV-2 replication in vitro. Furthermore, oral administration of Auranofin in Syrian hamsters in therapeutic as well as prophylactic regimen reduced viral replication, IL-6 production, and inflammation in the lungs. INTERPRETATION: Elevated mRNA level of S100s in the nasal swabs indicate severe COVID-19 disease, and FDA-approved drug Auranofin mitigated SARS-CoV-2 replication in preclinical hamster model. FUNDING: This study was supported by the DBT-IISc partnership program (DBT (IED/4/2020-MED/DBT)), the Infosys Young Investigator award (YI/2019/1106), DBT-BIRAC grant (BT/CS0007/CS/02/20) and the DBT-Wellcome Trust India Alliance Intermediate Fellowship (IA/I/18/1/503613) to ST lab.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Nasopharynx/virology , Proteome/genetics , Transcriptome/genetics , Adult , Animals , Biomarkers/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cohort Studies , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Inflammation/genetics , Inflammation/virology , Interleukin-6/genetics , Male , Mesocricetus , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/pathology , Pandemics , Prognosis , RNA, Messenger/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Up-Regulation/genetics , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/genetics
9.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 11886, 2021 06 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1341009

ABSTRACT

The cholinergic system has been proposed as a potential regulator of COVID-19-induced hypercytokinemia. We investigated whole-blood expression of cholinergic system members and correlated it with COVID-19 severity. Patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and healthy aged-matched controls were included in this non-interventional study. A whole blood sample was drawn between 9-11 days after symptoms onset, and peripheral leukocyte phenotyping, cytokines measurement, RNA expression and plasma viral load were determined. Additionally, whole-blood expression of native alpha-7 nicotinic subunit and its negative dominant duplicate (CHRFAM7A), choline acetyltransferase and acetylcholine esterase (AchE) were determined. Thirty-seven patients with COVID-19 (10 moderate, 11 severe and 16 with critical disease) and 14 controls were included. Expression of CHRFAM7A was significantly lower in critical COVID-19 patients compared to controls. COVID-19 patients not expressing CHRFAM7A had higher levels of CRP, more extended pulmonary lesions and displayed more pronounced lymphopenia. COVID-19 patients without CHRFAM7A expression also showed increased TNF pathway expression in whole blood. AchE was also expressed in 30 COVID-19 patients and in all controls. COVID-19-induced hypercytokinemia is associated with decreased expression of the pro-inflammatory dominant negative duplicate CHRFAM7A. Expression of this duplicate might be considered before targeting the cholinergic system in COVID-19 with nicotine.


Subject(s)
Acetylcholine/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Inflammation/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , alpha7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor/immunology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/genetics , Down-Regulation , Female , Humans , Inflammation/genetics , Male , Middle Aged , alpha7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor/genetics
10.
FASEB J ; 35(9): e21798, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1334263

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic threatens human species with mortality rate of roughly 2%. We can hardly predict the time of herd immunity against and end of COVID-19 with or without success of vaccine. One way to overcome the situation is to define what delineates disease severity and serves as a molecular target. The most successful analogy is found in BCR-ABL in chronic myeloid leukemia, which is the golden biomarker, and simultaneously, the most effective molecular target. We hypothesize that S100 calcium-binding protein A8 (S100A8) is one such molecule. The underlying evidence includes accumulating clinical information that S100A8 is upregulated in severe forms of COVID-19, pathological similarities of the affected lungs between COVID-19 and S100A8-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) model, homeostatic inflammation theory in which S100A8 is an endogenous ligand for endotoxin sensor Toll-like receptor 4/Myeloid differentiation protein-2 (TLR4/MD-2) and mediates hyper-inflammation even after elimination of endotoxin-producing extrinsic pathogens, analogous findings between COVID-19-associated ARDS and pre-metastatic lungs such as S100A8 upregulation, pulmonary recruitment of myeloid cells, increased vascular permeability, and activation coagulation cascade. A successful treatment in an animal COVID-19 model is given with a reagent capable of abrogating interaction between S100A8/S100A9 and TLR4. In this paper, we try to verify our hypothesis that S100A8 governs COVID-19-associated ARDS.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Calgranulin A/physiology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/etiology , Inflammation/etiology , Pandemics , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/etiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/physiology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , Calgranulin A/blood , Calgranulin A/genetics , Chemokine CXCL11/blood , Cytokine Release Syndrome/genetics , Cytokine Release Syndrome/pathology , Disaccharides/pharmacology , Disaccharides/therapeutic use , Disease Models, Animal , Drug Discovery , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/virology , Humans , Inflammation/genetics , Inflammation/pathology , Lung/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Lung Neoplasms/drug therapy , Lung Neoplasms/secondary , Lymphocyte Antigen 96/physiology , Macaca mulatta , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Models, Biological , Mutation , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/genetics , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/metabolism , Species Specificity , Sugar Phosphates/pharmacology , Sugar Phosphates/therapeutic use , Toll-Like Receptor 4/physiology , Up-Regulation , Virus Internalization
11.
Front Immunol ; 12: 701273, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1332121

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection leads to a highly variable clinical evolution, ranging from asymptomatic to severe disease with acute respiratory distress syndrome, requiring intensive care units (ICU) admission. The optimal management of hospitalized patients has become a worldwide concern and identification of immune biomarkers predictive of the clinical outcome for hospitalized patients remains a major challenge. Immunophenotyping and transcriptomic analysis of hospitalized COVID-19 patients at admission allow identifying the two categories of patients. Inflammation, high neutrophil activation, dysfunctional monocytic response and a strongly impaired adaptive immune response was observed in patients who will experience the more severe form of the disease. This observation was validated in an independent cohort of patients. Using in silico analysis on drug signature database, we identify differential therapeutics that specifically correspond to each group of patients. From this signature, we propose a score-the SARS-Score-composed of easily quantifiable biomarkers, to classify hospitalized patients upon arrival to adapt treatment according to their immune profile.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adaptive Immunity/genetics , Adult , Aged , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Biomarkers , COVID-19/therapy , Cohort Studies , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Inflammation/genetics , Male , Middle Aged , Precision Medicine , Prospective Studies , Severity of Illness Index , Transcriptome
12.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4314, 2021 07 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1310804

ABSTRACT

Patients with chronic lung disease (CLD) have an increased risk for severe coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) and poor outcomes. Here, we analyze the transcriptomes of 611,398 single cells isolated from healthy and CLD lungs to identify molecular characteristics of lung cells that may account for worse COVID-19 outcomes in patients with chronic lung diseases. We observe a similar cellular distribution and relative expression of SARS-CoV-2 entry factors in control and CLD lungs. CLD AT2 cells express higher levels of genes linked directly to the efficiency of viral replication and the innate immune response. Additionally, we identify basal differences in inflammatory gene expression programs that highlight how CLD alters the inflammatory microenvironment encountered upon viral exposure to the peripheral lung. Our study indicates that CLD is accompanied by changes in cell-type-specific gene expression programs that prime the lung epithelium for and influence the innate and adaptive immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Lung Diseases/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Transcriptome , Virus Internalization , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/pathology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , Chronic Disease , Humans , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/genetics , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/pathology , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Inflammation/genetics , Lung/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Lung Diseases/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Virus Replication/genetics
13.
Genes (Basel) ; 12(7)2021 07 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1302193

ABSTRACT

Chronic inflammatory lung diseases are characterized by uncontrolled immune response in the airways as their main pathophysiological manifestation. The lack of specific diagnostic and therapeutic biomarkers for many pulmonary diseases represents a major challenge for pulmonologists. The majority of the currently approved therapeutic approaches are focused on achieving disease remission, although there is no guarantee of complete recovery. It is known that angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), an important counter-regulatory component of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), is expressed in the airways. It has been shown that ACE2 plays a role in systemic regulation of the cardiovascular and renal systems, lungs and liver by acting on blood pressure, electrolyte balance control mechanisms and inflammation. Its protective role in the lungs has also been presented, but the exact pathophysiological mechanism of action is still elusive. The aim of this study is to review and discuss recent findings about ACE2, including its potential role in the pathophysiology of chronic inflammatory lung diseases:, i.e., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, and pulmonary hypertension. Additionally, in the light of the coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19), we will discuss the role of ACE2 in the pathophysiology of this disease, mainly represented by different grades of pulmonary problems. We believe that these insights will open up new perspectives for the future use of ACE2 as a potential biomarker for early diagnosis and monitoring of chronic inflammatory lung diseases.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Asthma/diagnosis , COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/enzymology , Hypertension, Pulmonary/diagnosis , Lung/enzymology , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Asthma/enzymology , Asthma/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , Humans , Hypertension, Pulmonary/enzymology , Hypertension, Pulmonary/genetics , Inflammation/diagnosis , Inflammation/enzymology , Inflammation/genetics , Lung/pathology , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/enzymology , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/genetics , Renin-Angiotensin System
14.
Cytokine ; 146: 155634, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1293703

ABSTRACT

Thrombopoietin (TPO) is most recognized for its function as the primary regulator of megakaryocyte (MK) expansion and differentiation. MKs, in turn, are best known for their role in platelet production. Research indicates that MKs and platelets play an extensive role in the pathologic thrombosis at sites of high inflammation. TPO, therefore, is a key mediator of thromboinflammation. Silencing of TPO has been shown to decrease platelets levels and rates of pathologic thrombosis in patients with various inflammatory disorders (Barrett et al, 2020; Bunting et al, 1997; Desai et al, 2018; Kaser et al, 2001; Shirai et al, 2019). Given the high rates of thromboinflammmation in the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), as well as the well-documented aberrant MK activity in affected patients, TPO silencing offers a potential therapeutic modality in the treatment of COVID-19 and other pathologies associated with thromboinflammation. The current review explores the current clinical applications of TPO silencing and offers insight into a potential role in the treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Gene Silencing , Inflammation/genetics , Thrombocytosis/genetics , Thrombopoietin/genetics , Thrombosis/genetics , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Inflammation/complications , Inflammation/metabolism , Megakaryocytes/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Thrombocytosis/complications , Thrombocytosis/metabolism , Thrombopoiesis/genetics , Thrombopoietin/metabolism , Thrombosis/complications , Thrombosis/metabolism
15.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 11886, 2021 06 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275949

ABSTRACT

The cholinergic system has been proposed as a potential regulator of COVID-19-induced hypercytokinemia. We investigated whole-blood expression of cholinergic system members and correlated it with COVID-19 severity. Patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and healthy aged-matched controls were included in this non-interventional study. A whole blood sample was drawn between 9-11 days after symptoms onset, and peripheral leukocyte phenotyping, cytokines measurement, RNA expression and plasma viral load were determined. Additionally, whole-blood expression of native alpha-7 nicotinic subunit and its negative dominant duplicate (CHRFAM7A), choline acetyltransferase and acetylcholine esterase (AchE) were determined. Thirty-seven patients with COVID-19 (10 moderate, 11 severe and 16 with critical disease) and 14 controls were included. Expression of CHRFAM7A was significantly lower in critical COVID-19 patients compared to controls. COVID-19 patients not expressing CHRFAM7A had higher levels of CRP, more extended pulmonary lesions and displayed more pronounced lymphopenia. COVID-19 patients without CHRFAM7A expression also showed increased TNF pathway expression in whole blood. AchE was also expressed in 30 COVID-19 patients and in all controls. COVID-19-induced hypercytokinemia is associated with decreased expression of the pro-inflammatory dominant negative duplicate CHRFAM7A. Expression of this duplicate might be considered before targeting the cholinergic system in COVID-19 with nicotine.


Subject(s)
Acetylcholine/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Inflammation/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , alpha7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor/immunology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/genetics , Down-Regulation , Female , Humans , Inflammation/genetics , Male , Middle Aged , alpha7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor/genetics
16.
Biomolecules ; 11(6)2021 06 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1270006

ABSTRACT

The receptor for advanced glycation-end products (RAGE) is a multiligand receptor with a role in inflammatory and pulmonary pathologies. Hyperactivation of RAGE by its ligands has been reported to sustain inflammation and oxidative stress in common comorbidities of severe COVID-19. RAGE is essential to the deleterious effects of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), which participates in infection and multiorgan injury in COVID-19 patients. Thus, RAGE might be a major player in severe COVID-19, and appears to be a useful therapeutic molecular target in infections by SARS-CoV-2. The role of RAGE gene polymorphisms in predisposing patients to severe COVID-19 is discussed. .


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Inflammation/metabolism , Oxidative Stress , Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products/metabolism , Renin-Angiotensin System , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , Humans , Inflammation/genetics , Inflammation/pathology , Polymorphism, Genetic , Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products/genetics , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Severity of Illness Index
17.
Brief Bioinform ; 22(6)2021 11 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266105

ABSTRACT

Recent studies have demonstrated that the excessive inflammatory response is an important factor of death in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. In this study, we propose a deep representation on heterogeneous drug networks, termed DeepR2cov, to discover potential agents for treating the excessive inflammatory response in COVID-19 patients. This work explores the multi-hub characteristic of a heterogeneous drug network integrating eight unique networks. Inspired by the multi-hub characteristic, we design 3 billion special meta paths to train a deep representation model for learning low-dimensional vectors that integrate long-range structure dependency and complex semantic relation among network nodes. Based on the representation vectors and transcriptomics data, we predict 22 drugs that bind to tumor necrosis factor-α or interleukin-6, whose therapeutic associations with the inflammation storm in COVID-19 patients, and molecular binding model are further validated via data from PubMed publications, ongoing clinical trials and a docking program. In addition, the results on five biomedical applications suggest that DeepR2cov significantly outperforms five existing representation approaches. In summary, DeepR2cov is a powerful network representation approach and holds the potential to accelerate treatment of the inflammatory responses in COVID-19 patients. The source code and data can be downloaded from https://github.com/pengsl-lab/DeepR2cov.git.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Repositioning , Inflammation/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/chemistry , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Computational Biology , Deep Learning , Humans , Inflammation/complications , Inflammation/genetics , Inflammation/virology , Neural Networks, Computer , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Software , Transcriptome/drug effects , Transcriptome/genetics
18.
EMBO J ; 40(15): e107826, 2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1261483

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection causes broad-spectrum immunopathological disease, exacerbated by inflammatory co-morbidities. A better understanding of mechanisms underpinning virus-associated inflammation is required to develop effective therapeutics. Here, we discover that SARS-CoV-2 replicates rapidly in lung epithelial cells despite triggering a robust innate immune response through the activation of cytoplasmic RNA sensors RIG-I and MDA5. The inflammatory mediators produced during epithelial cell infection can stimulate primary human macrophages to enhance cytokine production and drive cellular activation. Critically, this can be limited by abrogating RNA sensing or by inhibiting downstream signalling pathways. SARS-CoV-2 further exacerbates the local inflammatory environment when macrophages or epithelial cells are primed with exogenous inflammatory stimuli. We propose that RNA sensing of SARS-CoV-2 in lung epithelium is a key driver of inflammation, the extent of which is influenced by the inflammatory state of the local environment, and that specific inhibition of innate immune pathways may beneficially mitigate inflammation-associated COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , DEAD Box Protein 58/immunology , Epithelial Cells/immunology , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1/immunology , Macrophages/immunology , RNA, Viral/immunology , Receptors, Immunologic/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/immunology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Inflammation/genetics , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/virology , Janus Kinases/immunology , Lung/cytology , Lung/immunology , Lung/virology , Macrophage Activation , NF-kappa B/immunology , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Respiratory Mucosa/immunology , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , STAT Transcription Factors/immunology , Virus Replication
19.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 11234, 2021 05 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1246399

ABSTRACT

Understanding the molecular basis of fibrosis, the lethal complication of COVID-19, is urgent. By the analysis of RNA-sequencing data of SARS-CoV-2-infected cells combined with data mining we identified genes involved in COVID-19 progression. To characterize their implication in the fibrosis development we established a correlation matrix based on the transcriptomic data of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. With this method, we have identified a cluster of genes responsible for SARS-CoV-2-fibrosis including its entry receptor ACE2 and epidermal growth factor EGF. Then, we developed Vi-Fi scoring-a novel drug repurposing approach and simultaneously quantified antiviral and antifibrotic activities of the drugs based on their transcriptomic signatures. We revealed the strong dual antifibrotic and antiviral activity of EGFR/ErbB inhibitors. Before the in vitro validation, we have clustered 277 cell lines and revealed distinct COVID-19 transcriptomic signatures of the cells with similar phenotypes that defines their suitability for COVID-19 research. By ERK activity monitoring in living lung cells, we show that the drugs with predicted antifibrotic activity downregulate ERK in the host lung cells. Overall, our study provides novel insights on SARS-CoV-2 dependence on EGFR/ERK signaling and demonstrates the utility of EGFR/ErbB inhibitors for COVID-19 treatment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Cytokines/metabolism , Fibrosis/metabolism , MAP Kinase Signaling System/drug effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/physiopathology , Cell Line, Tumor , Cytokines/genetics , Disease Progression , ErbB Receptors/antagonists & inhibitors , ErbB Receptors/metabolism , Fibrosis/complications , Fibrosis/genetics , Fibrosis/virology , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Inflammation/genetics , Inflammation/metabolism , Multigene Family , RNA-Seq
20.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(9)2021 May 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1224029

ABSTRACT

The elderly and patients with several comorbidities experience more severe cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) than healthy patients without underlying medical conditions. However, it is unclear why these people are prone to developing alveolar pneumonia, rapid exacerbations, and death. Therefore, we hypothesized that people with comorbidities may have a genetic predisposition that makes them more vulnerable to various factors; for example, they are likely to become more severely ill when infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). To test this hypothesis, we searched the literature extensively. Polymorphisms of genes, such as those that encode angiotensin-converting enzyme 1 (ACE1), have been associated with numerous comorbidities, such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and obesity, and there are potential mechanisms to explain these associations (e.g., DD-type carriers have greater ACE1 activity, and patients with a genetic alpha-1 anti-trypsin (AAT) deficiency lack control over inflammatory mediators). Since comorbidities are associated with chronic inflammation and are closely related to the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), these individuals may already have a mild ACE1/ACE2 imbalance before viral infection, which increases their risk for developing severe cases of COVID-19. However, there is still much debate about the association between ACE1 D/I polymorphism and comorbidities. The best explanation for this discrepancy could be that the D allele and DD subtypes are associated with comorbidities, but the DD genotype alone does not have an exceptionally large effect. This is also expected since the ACE1 D/I polymorphism is only an intron marker. We also discuss how polymorphisms of AAT and other genes are involved in comorbidities and the severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Presumably, a combination of multiple genes and non-genetic factors is involved in the establishment of comorbidities and aggravation of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Aged , Alleles , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/virology , Comorbidity , HLA Antigens/genetics , HLA Antigens/metabolism , Haplotypes , Humans , Inflammation/genetics , Inflammation/metabolism , Neanderthals/genetics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Polymorphism, Genetic , Risk Factors , Severity of Illness Index
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