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1.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 412-423, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585244

ABSTRACT

Although frequently reported since the beginning of the pandemic, questions remain regarding the impact of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) interaction with circulating respiratory viruses in coinfected patients. We here investigated dual infections involving early-pandemic SARS-CoV-2 and the Alpha variant and three of the most prevalent respiratory viruses, rhinovirus (RV) and Influenza A and B viruses (IAV and IBV), in reconstituted respiratory airway epithelial cells cultured at air-liquid interface. We found that SARS-CoV-2 replication was impaired by primary, but not secondary, rhino- and influenza virus infection. In contrast, SARS-CoV-2 had no effect on the replication of these seasonal respiratory viruses. Inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 correlated better with immune response triggered by RV, IAV and IBV than the virus entry. Using neutralizing antibody against type I and III interferons, SARS-CoV-2 blockade in dual infections could be partly prevented. Altogether, these data suggested that SARS-CoV-2 interaction with seasonal respiratory viruses would be modulated by interferon induction and could impact SARS-CoV-2 epidemiology when circulation of other respiratory viruses is restored.


Subject(s)
Coinfection/virology , Influenza A virus/physiology , Influenza B virus/physiology , Respiratory System/virology , Rhinovirus/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Replication/physiology , Coinfection/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Interferons/physiology
2.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(37)2021 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376237

ABSTRACT

COVID-19, caused by severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has presented a serious risk to global public health. The viral main protease Mpro (also called 3Clpro) encoded by NSP5 is an enzyme essential for viral replication. However, very few host proteins have been experimentally validated as targets of 3Clpro. Here, through bioinformatics analysis of 300 interferon stimulatory genes (ISGs) based on the prediction method NetCorona, we identify RNF20 (Ring Finger Protein 20) as a novel target of 3Clpro. We have also provided evidence that 3Clpro, but not the mutant 3ClproC145A without catalytic activity, cleaves RNF20 at a conserved Gln521 across species, which subsequently prevents SREBP1 from RNF20-mediated degradation and promotes SARS-CoV-2 replication. We show that RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated depletion of either RNF20 or RNF40 significantly enhances viral replication, indicating the antiviral role of RNF20/RNF40 complex against SARS-CoV-2. The involvement of SREBP1 in SARS-CoV-2 infection is evidenced by a decrease of viral replication in the cells with SREBP1 knockdown and inhibitor AM580. Taken together, our findings reveal RNF20 as a novel host target for SARS-CoV-2 main protease and indicate that 3Clpro inhibitors may treat COVID-19 through not only blocking viral polyprotein cleavage but also enhancing host antiviral response.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Protein Stability , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Protein 1/metabolism , Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases/metabolism , Virus Replication , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Gene Expression Regulation , Interferons/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Protein 1/antagonists & inhibitors , Vero Cells
3.
Curr Opin Virol ; 50: 119-127, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1375918

ABSTRACT

Type I and type III interferons are among the most potent anti-viral cytokines produced by the immune system. The recent outbreak of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, underscores the vital role of these cytokines in controlling the virus and dictating disease severity. Here we delineate the pathways that lead to interferon production in response to SARS-CoV-2 encounter, and elucidate how this virus hinders the production and action of these cytokines; we also highlight that these interferon families serve protective as well as detrimental roles in patients with COVID-19, and conclude that a better understanding of the time, dose, localization, and activity of specific members of the interferon families is imperative for designing more efficient therapeutic interventions against this disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Interferons/physiology , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans
4.
Brief Bioinform ; 22(2): 1038-1052, 2021 03 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1343654

ABSTRACT

The current genomics era is bringing an unprecedented growth in the amount of gene expression data, only comparable to the exponential growth of sequences in databases during the last decades. This data allow the design of secondary analyses that take advantage of this information to create new knowledge. One of these feasible analyses is the evaluation of the expression level for a gene through a series of different conditions or cell types. Based on this idea, we have developed Automatic and Serial Analysis of CO-expression, which performs expression profiles for a given gene along hundreds of heterogeneous and normalized transcriptomics experiments and discover other genes that show either a similar or an inverse behavior. It might help to discover co-regulated genes, and common transcriptional regulators in any biological model. The present severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic is an opportunity to test this novel approach due to the wealth of data that are being generated, which could be used for validating results. Thus, we have identified 35 host factors in the literature putatively involved in the infectious cycle of SARS-CoV viruses and searched for genes tightly co-expressed with them. We have found 1899 co-expressed genes whose assigned functions are strongly related to viral cycles. Moreover, this set of genes heavily overlaps with those identified by former laboratory high-throughput screenings (with P-value near 0). Our results reveal a series of common regulators, involved in immune and inflammatory responses that might be key virus targets to induce the coordinated expression of SARS-CoV-2 host factors.


Subject(s)
High-Throughput Screening Assays/methods , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Algorithms , COVID-19/virology , Computational Biology , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral/physiology , Humans , Interferons/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
5.
Clin Invest Med ; 44(2): E5-18, 2021 06 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1278877

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: This literature review summarizes the main immunological characteristics of type III interferons (IFN) and highlights the clinically relevant aspects and future therapeutic perspectives for these inflammatory molecules. SOURCE: Relevant articles in PubMed MEDLINE from the first publication (2003) until 2020. N=101 articles were included in this review. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Type III IFNs represent a relatively newly described inflammatory cytokine family. Although they induce substantially similar signalling to the well-known type I IFNs, significant functional differences make these molecules remarkable. Type III IFNs have extensive biological effects, contributing to the pathogenesis of several diseases and also offering new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches: 1) their potent anti-viral properties make them promising therapeutics against viral hepatitis and even against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is causing the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic; 2) imbalances in the IFN-λs contribute to several forms of chronic inflammation (e.g., systemic and organ-specific autoimmune diseases) and potentially predict disease progression and therapeutic response to biologic therapies; and 3) the antitumor properties of the type III IFNs open up new therapeutic perspectives against malignant diseases. CONCLUSION: Over the last 18 years, researchers have gathered extensive information about the presence and role of these versatile inflammatory cytokines in human diseases, but further research is needed to clarify the mechanistic background of those observations. Better understanding of their biological activities will permit us to use type III IFNs more efficiently in new diagnostic approaches and individualized therapies, consequently improving patient care.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Cytokines/metabolism , Inflammation/metabolism , Interferons/physiology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Autoimmune Diseases/metabolism , Bacterial Infections/metabolism , Disease Progression , Humans , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Mycoses/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Signal Transduction
6.
Cells ; 10(3)2021 03 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1159480

ABSTRACT

As highlighted by the COVID-19 global pandemic, elderly individuals comprise the majority of cases of severe viral infection outcomes and death. A combined inability to control viral replication and exacerbated inflammatory immune activation in elderly patients causes irreparable immune-mediated tissue pathology in response to infection. Key to these responses are type I, II, and III interferons (IFNs), which are involved in inducing an antiviral response, as well as controlling and suppressing inflammation and immunopathology. IFNs support monocyte/macrophage-stimulated immune responses that clear infection and promote their immunosuppressive functions that prevent excess inflammation and immune-mediated pathology. The timing and magnitude of IFN responses to infection are critical towards their immunoregulatory functions and ability to prevent immunopathology. Aging is associated with multiple defects in the ability of macrophages and dendritic cells to produce IFNs in response to viral infection, leading to a dysregulation of inflammatory immune responses. Understanding the implications of aging on IFN-regulated inflammation will give critical insights on how to treat and prevent severe infection in vulnerable individuals. In this review, we describe the causes of impaired IFN production in aging, and the evidence to suggest that these impairments impact the regulation of the innate and adaptive immune response to infection, thereby causing disease pathology.


Subject(s)
Adaptive Immunity , Aging/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Innate , Interferons/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Virus Replication/immunology , Aged , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Inflammation/drug therapy , Inflammation/immunology , Interferon Type I/immunology , Interferon Type I/therapeutic use , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Interferon-gamma/therapeutic use , Interferons/immunology , Interferons/therapeutic use
7.
Commun Biol ; 4(1): 290, 2021 03 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1118820

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 virus has infected more than 92 million people worldwide resulting in the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Using a rhesus macaque model of SARS-CoV-2 infection, we have characterized the transcriptional signatures induced in the lungs of juvenile and old macaques following infection. Genes associated with Interferon (IFN) signaling, neutrophil degranulation and innate immune pathways are significantly induced in macaque infected lungs, while pathways associated with collagen formation are downregulated, as also seen in lungs of macaques with tuberculosis. In COVID-19, increasing age is a significant risk factor for poor prognosis and increased mortality. Type I IFN and Notch signaling pathways are significantly upregulated in lungs of juvenile infected macaques when compared with old infected macaques. These results are corroborated with increased peripheral neutrophil counts and neutrophil lymphocyte ratio in older individuals with COVID-19 disease. Together, our transcriptomic studies have delineated disease pathways that improve our understanding of the immunopathogenesis of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Cell Degranulation , Interferons/physiology , Neutrophils/physiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Animals , CD36 Antigens/physiology , COVID-19/etiology , Collagen/metabolism , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Lung/metabolism , Macaca mulatta , Male , Middle Aged , Receptors, Notch/physiology , Signal Transduction/physiology , Transforming Growth Factor beta/physiology , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A/blood , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A/physiology
8.
Cytokine Growth Factor Rev ; 58: 134-140, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1074698

ABSTRACT

Interferons are the best antiviral agents in vitro against SARS-CoV-2 so far and genetic defects in their signaling cascade or neutralization of alfa-interferons by autoantibodies come with more severe COVID-19. However, there is more, as the SARS-CoV-2 dysregulates not only innate immune mechanisms but also T and B cell repertoires. Most genetic, hematological and immunological studies in COVID-19 are at present phenomenological. However, these and antecedent studies contain the seed grains to resolve many unanswered questions and a whole range of testable hypotheses. What are the links, if existing, between genetics and the occurrence of interferon-neutralizing antibodies? Are NAGGED (neutralizing and generated by gene defect) antibodies involved or not? Is the autoimmune process cause or consequence of virus infection? What are the roles played by cytokine posttranslational modifications, such as proteolysis, glycosylation, citrullination and others? How is systemic autoimmunity linked with type 1 interferons? These questions place cytokines and growth factors at pole positions as keys to unlock basic mechanisms of infection and (auto)immunity. Related to cytokine research, (1) COVID-19 patients develop neutralizing autoantibodies, mainly against alpha interferons and it is not yet established whether this is the consequence or cause of virus replication. (2) The glycosylation of recombinant interferon-beta protects against breaking tolerance and the development of neutralizing antibodies. (3) SARS-CoV-2 induces severe inflammation and release of extracellular proteases leading to remnant epitopes, e.g. of cytokines. (4) In the rare event of homozygous cytokine gene segment deletions, observed neutralizing antibodies may be named NAGGED antibodies. (5) Severe cytolysis releases intracellular content into the extracellular milieu and leads to regulated degradation of intracellular proteins and selection of antibody repertoires, similar to those observed in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. (6) Systematic studies of novel autoimmune diseases on single cytokines will complement the present picture about interferons. (7) Interferon neutralization in COVID-19 constitutes a preamble of more studies about cytokine-regulated proteolysis in the control of autoimmunity. Here we reformulate these seven conjectures into testable questions for future research.


Subject(s)
Autoimmunity , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/physiology , Interferons/physiology , Autoimmune Diseases/complications , Autoimmune Diseases/epidemiology , Autoimmune Diseases/genetics , Autoimmunity/genetics , Autoimmunity/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Genetic Diseases, Inborn/complications , Genetic Diseases, Inborn/epidemiology , Genetic Diseases, Inborn/immunology , Genetic Predisposition to Disease/genetics , Humans
9.
Cytokine Growth Factor Rev ; 58: 55-65, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1071239

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is a recently identified coronavirus accountable for the current pandemic disease known as COVID-19. Different patterns of disease progression infer a diverse host immune response, with interferon (IFN) being pivotal. IFN-I and III are produced and released by virus-infected cells during the interplay with SARS-CoV-2, thus establishing an antiviral state in target cells. However, the efficacy of IFN and its role in the possible outcomes of the disease are not yet defined, as it is influenced both by factors inherent to the virus and to the host. The virus exhibits multiple strategies to counteract the innate immune response, including those shared by SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV and other novel ones. Inborn errors in the host may affect IFN-related effector proteins or decrease its levels in plasma upon neutralization by preexistent autoantibodies. This battle between the IFN response triggered upon SARS-CoV-2 infection, its magnitude and timing, and the efficacy of its antiviral tools in dispute against the viral evasion strategies together with the genetic factors of the host, generate a scenario whose fate contributes to defining the severity of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Host-Pathogen Interactions , Interferon Type I/physiology , Interferons/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viral Proteins/physiology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Genetic Diseases, Inborn/complications , Genetic Diseases, Inborn/immunology , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Immune Evasion/genetics , Immune Evasion/immunology , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Interferon Type I/antagonists & inhibitors , Interferons/antagonists & inhibitors , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
10.
Malar J ; 19(1): 457, 2020 Dec 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-992487

ABSTRACT

The incidence and mortality of COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization reports, shows a noticeable difference between North America, Western Europe, and South Asia on one hand and most African countries on the other hand, especially the malaria-endemic countries. Although this observation could be attributed to limited testing capacity, mitigation tools adopted and cultural habits, many theories have been postulated to explain this difference in prevalence and mortality. Because death tends to occur more in elders, both the role of demography, and how the age structure of a population may contribute to the difference in mortality rate between countries were discussed. The variable distribution of the ACEI/D and the ACE2 (C1173T substitution) polymorphisms has been postulated to explain this variable prevalence. Up-to-date data regarding the role of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and chloroquine (CQ) in COVID-19 have been summarized. The article also sheds lights on how the similarity of malaria and COVID-19 symptoms can lead to misdiagnosis of one disease for the other or overlooking the possibility of co-infection. As the COVID-19 pandemic threatens the delivery of malaria services, such as the distribution of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs), indoor residual spraying, as well as malaria chemoprevention there is an urgent need for rapid and effective responses to avoid malaria outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Malaria/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Age Factors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/physiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/drug therapy , Chloroquine/therapeutic use , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Interferons/physiology , Malaria/diagnosis , Malaria/drug therapy , Prevalence
11.
PLoS One ; 15(10): e0240647, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-895060

ABSTRACT

The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 epidemic a public health emergency of international concern on March 11th, 2020, and the pandemic is rapidly spreading worldwide. COVID-19 is caused by a novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which enters human target cells via angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). We used a number of bioinformatics tools to computationally characterize ACE2 by determining its cell-specific expression in trachea, lung, and small intestine, derive its putative functions, and predict transcriptional regulation. The small intestine expressed higher levels of ACE2 mRNA than any other organ. By immunohistochemistry, duodenum, kidney and testis showed strong signals, whereas the signal was weak in the respiratory tract. Single cell RNA-Seq data from trachea indicated positive signals along the respiratory tract in key protective cell types including club, goblet, proliferating, and ciliary epithelial cells; while in lung the ratio of ACE2-expressing cells was low in all cell types (<2.6%), but was highest in vascular endothelial and goblet cells. Gene ontology analysis suggested that, besides its classical role in the renin-angiotensin system, ACE2 may be functionally associated with angiogenesis/blood vessel morphogenesis. Using a novel tool for the prediction of transcription factor binding sites we identified several putative binding sites within two tissue-specific promoters of the ACE2 gene as well as a new putative short form of ACE2. These include several interferon-stimulated response elements sites for STAT1, IRF8, and IRF9. Our results also confirmed that age and gender play no significant role in the regulation of ACE2 mRNA expression in the lung.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Computational Biology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/physiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Receptors, Virus/physiology , Aging/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Binding Sites , COVID-19 , Carrier Proteins/biosynthesis , Carrier Proteins/genetics , Female , Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic , Gene Ontology , Humans , Interferons/physiology , Lung/metabolism , Male , Metalloproteases/biosynthesis , Metalloproteases/genetics , Neovascularization, Physiologic/physiology , Organ Specificity , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/biosynthesis , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Promoter Regions, Genetic , RNA, Messenger/biosynthesis , Receptors, Virus/biosynthesis , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Renin-Angiotensin System/physiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Characteristics , Single-Cell Analysis , Transcription Factors/metabolism , Transcription Initiation Site , Virus Attachment
12.
Science ; 369(6504): 706-712, 2020 08 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-717344

ABSTRACT

Viral infections of the lower respiratory tract are a leading cause of mortality. Mounting evidence indicates that most severe cases are characterized by aberrant immune responses and do not depend on viral burden. In this study, we assessed how type III interferons (IFN-λ) contribute to the pathogenesis induced by RNA viruses. We report that IFN-λ is present in the lower, but not upper, airways of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In mice, we demonstrate that IFN-λ produced by lung dendritic cells in response to a synthetic viral RNA induces barrier damage, causing susceptibility to lethal bacterial superinfections. These findings provide a strong rationale for rethinking the pathophysiological role of IFN-λ and its possible use in clinical practice against endemic viruses, such as influenza virus as well as the emerging severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Dendritic Cells/metabolism , Interferons/physiology , Lung/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Animals , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/immunology , COVID-19 , Cell Proliferation , Cytokines/metabolism , Humans , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Interferons/metabolism , Lung/immunology , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Nasopharynx/immunology , Pandemics , Poly I-C/administration & dosage , Respiratory Mucosa/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Signal Transduction , Staphylococcal Infections/metabolism , Superinfection , Toll-Like Receptor 3/metabolism
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