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1.
Cell Mol Life Sci ; 79(6): 301, 2022 May 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1919756

ABSTRACT

Escalated innate immunity plays a critical role in SARS-CoV-2 pathology; however, the molecular mechanism is incompletely understood. Thus, we aim to characterize the molecular mechanism by which SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein advances human macrophage (MÏ´) inflammatory and glycolytic phenotypes and uncover novel therapeutic strategies. We found that human MÏ´s exposed to Spike protein activate IRAK4 phosphorylation. Blockade of IRAK4 in Spike protein-stimulated MÏ´s nullifies signaling of IRAK4, AKT, and baseline p38 without affecting ERK and NF-κB activation. Intriguingly, IRAK4 inhibitor (IRAK4i) rescues the SARS-CoV-2-induced cytotoxic effect in ACE2+HEK 293 cells. Moreover, the inflammatory reprogramming of MÏ´s by Spike protein was blunted by IRAK4i through IRF5 and IRF7, along with the reduction of monokines, IL-6, IL-8, TNFα, and CCL2. Notably, in Spike protein-stimulated MÏ´s, suppression of the inflammatory markers by IRAK4i was coupled with the rebalancing of oxidative phosphorylation over metabolic activity. This metabolic adaptation promoted by IRAK4i in Spike protein-activated MÏ´s was shown to be in part through constraining PFKBF3, HIF1α, cMYC, LDHA, lactate expression, and reversal of citrate and succinate buildup. IRAK4 knockdown could comparably impair Spike protein-enhanced inflammatory and metabolic imprints in human MÏ´s as those treated with ACE2, TLR2, and TLR7 siRNA. Extending these results, in murine models, where human SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein was not recognized by mouse ACE2, TLRs were responsible for the inflammatory and glycolytic responses instigated by Spike protein and were dysregulated by IRAK4i therapy. In conclusion, IRAK4i may be a promising strategy for severe COVID-19 patients by counter-regulating ACE2 and TLR-mediated MÏ´ hyperactivation. IRAK4i therapy counteracts MÏ´ inflammatory and glycolytic reprogramming triggered by Spike protein. This study illustrates that SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein activates IRAK4 signaling via ACE2 as well as TLR2 and TLR7 sensing in human MÏ´s. Remarkably, IRAK4i treatment can dysregulate both ACE-dependent and independent (via TLR sensing) SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein-activated inflammatory and metabolic imprints.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Interferon Regulatory Factors/metabolism , Interferon Regulatory Factors/pharmacology , Interleukin-1 Receptor-Associated Kinases/genetics , Interleukin-1 Receptor-Associated Kinases/metabolism , Macrophages/metabolism , Mice , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Toll-Like Receptor 2/metabolism , Toll-Like Receptor 7/metabolism
2.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 23315, 2021 12 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1550334

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for the identification of new antiviral drug therapies for a variety of diseases. COVID-19 is caused by infection with the human coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, while other related human coronaviruses cause diseases ranging from severe respiratory infections to the common cold. We developed a computational approach to identify new antiviral drug targets and repurpose clinically-relevant drug compounds for the treatment of a range of human coronavirus diseases. Our approach is based on graph convolutional networks (GCN) and involves multiscale host-virus interactome analysis coupled to off-target drug predictions. Cell-based experimental assessment reveals several clinically-relevant drug repurposing candidates predicted by the in silico analyses to have antiviral activity against human coronavirus infection. In particular, we identify the MET inhibitor capmatinib as having potent and broad antiviral activity against several coronaviruses in a MET-independent manner, as well as novel roles for host cell proteins such as IRAK1/4 in supporting human coronavirus infection, which can inform further drug discovery studies.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus/metabolism , Drug Development/methods , Drug Repositioning/methods , Benzamides/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cell Line , Computer Simulation , Coronavirus/chemistry , Databases, Pharmaceutical , Drug Discovery/methods , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Imidazoles/pharmacology , Interleukin-1 Receptor-Associated Kinases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Triazines/pharmacology
3.
Mol Syst Biol ; 17(9): e10426, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1355289

ABSTRACT

Although 15-20% of COVID-19 patients experience hyper-inflammation induced by massive cytokine production, cellular triggers of this process and strategies to target them remain poorly understood. Here, we show that the N-terminal domain (NTD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein substantially induces multiple inflammatory molecules in myeloid cells and human PBMCs. Using a combination of phenotypic screening with machine learning-based modeling, we identified and experimentally validated several protein kinases, including JAK1, EPHA7, IRAK1, MAPK12, and MAP3K8, as essential downstream mediators of NTD-induced cytokine production, implicating the role of multiple signaling pathways in cytokine release. Further, we found several FDA-approved drugs, including ponatinib, and cobimetinib as potent inhibitors of the NTD-mediated cytokine release. Treatment with ponatinib outperforms other drugs, including dexamethasone and baricitinib, inhibiting all cytokines in response to the NTD from SARS-CoV-2 and emerging variants. Finally, ponatinib treatment inhibits lipopolysaccharide-mediated cytokine release in myeloid cells in vitro and lung inflammation mouse model. Together, we propose that agents targeting multiple kinases required for SARS-CoV-2-mediated cytokine release, such as ponatinib, may represent an attractive therapeutic option for treating moderate to severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Cytokines/metabolism , Host-Pathogen Interactions/physiology , Animals , Azetidines/pharmacology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/drug effects , Humans , Imidazoles/pharmacology , Interleukin-1 Receptor-Associated Kinases/metabolism , Janus Kinase 1/metabolism , Lipopolysaccharides/toxicity , Machine Learning , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Neutrophils/virology , Protein Kinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Purines/pharmacology , Pyrazoles/pharmacology , Pyridazines/pharmacology , RAW 264.7 Cells , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Sulfonamides/pharmacology
5.
Front Immunol ; 12: 683800, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1305645

ABSTRACT

The major cause of death in SARS-CoV-2 infected patients is due to de-regulation of the innate immune system and development of cytokine storm. SARS-CoV-2 infects multiple cell types in the lung, including macrophages, by engagement of its spike (S) protein on angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. ACE2 receptor initiates signals in macrophages that modulate their activation, including production of cytokines and chemokines. IL-1R-associated kinase (IRAK)-M is a central regulator of inflammatory responses regulating the magnitude of TLR responsiveness. Aim of the work was to investigate whether SARS-CoV-2 S protein-initiated signals modulate pro-inflammatory cytokine production in macrophages. For this purpose, we treated PMA-differentiated THP-1 human macrophages with SARS-CoV-2 S protein and measured the induction of inflammatory mediators including IL6, TNFα, IL8, CXCL5, and MIP1a. The results showed that SARS-CoV-2 S protein induced IL6, MIP1a and TNFα mRNA expression, while it had no effect on IL8 and CXCL5 mRNA levels. We further examined whether SARS-CoV-2 S protein altered the responsiveness of macrophages to TLR signals. Treatment of LPS-activated macrophages with SARS-CoV-2 S protein augmented IL6 and MIP1a mRNA, an effect that was evident at the protein level only for IL6. Similarly, treatment of PAM3csk4 stimulated macrophages with SARS-CoV-2 S protein resulted in increased mRNA of IL6, while TNFα and MIP1a were unaffected. The results were confirmed in primary human peripheral monocytic cells (PBMCs) and isolated CD14+ monocytes. Macrophage responsiveness to TLR ligands is regulated by IRAK-M, an inactive IRAK kinase isoform. Indeed, we found that SARS-CoV-2 S protein suppressed IRAK-M mRNA and protein expression both in THP1 macrophages and primary human PBMCs and CD14+ monocytes. Engagement of SARS-CoV-2 S protein with ACE2 results in internalization of ACE2 and suppression of its activity. Activation of ACE2 has been previously shown to induce anti-inflammatory responses in macrophages. Treatment of macrophages with the ACE2 activator DIZE suppressed the pro-inflammatory action of SARS-CoV-2. Our results demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2/ACE2 interaction rendered macrophages hyper-responsive to TLR signals, suppressed IRAK-M and promoted pro-inflammatory cytokine expression. Thus, activation of ACE2 may be a potential anti-inflammatory therapeutic strategy to eliminate the development of cytokine storm observed in COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Interleukin-1 Receptor-Associated Kinases/metabolism , Macrophages/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/genetics , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/metabolism , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Inflammation Mediators/metabolism , Interleukin-1 Receptor-Associated Kinases/genetics , Interleukin-6/genetics , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Lipopolysaccharides/immunology , Macrophages/virology , Protein Binding , THP-1 Cells , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/genetics , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism
6.
Front Immunol ; 12: 638446, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1211811

ABSTRACT

Interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 4 (IRAK4) and interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) lie sequentially on a signaling pathway activated by ligands of the IL-1 receptor and/or multiple TLRs located either on plasma or endosomal membranes. Activated IRF5, in conjunction with other synergistic transcription factors, notably NF-κB, is crucially required for the production of proinflammatory cytokines in the innate immune response to microbial infection. The IRAK4-IRF5 axis could therefore have a major role in the induction of the signature cytokines and chemokines of the hyperinflammatory state associated with severe morbidity and mortality in COVID-19. Here a case is made for considering IRAK4 or IRF5 inhibitors as potential therapies for the "cytokine storm" of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/metabolism , Interferon Regulatory Factors/antagonists & inhibitors , Interferon Regulatory Factors/metabolism , Interleukin-1 Receptor-Associated Kinases/antagonists & inhibitors , Interleukin-1 Receptor-Associated Kinases/metabolism , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/physiopathology , Chemokines/metabolism , Cytokines/metabolism , Humans , Signal Transduction/genetics , Signal Transduction/immunology , Virus Diseases/metabolism
7.
J Exp Med ; 218(4)2021 04 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1061104

ABSTRACT

Several studies have analyzed antiviral immune pathways in late-stage severe COVID-19. However, the initial steps of SARS-CoV-2 antiviral immunity are poorly understood. Here we have isolated primary SARS-CoV-2 viral strains and studied their interaction with human plasmacytoid predendritic cells (pDCs), a key player in antiviral immunity. We show that pDCs are not productively infected by SARS-CoV-2. However, they efficiently diversified into activated P1-, P2-, and P3-pDC effector subsets in response to viral stimulation. They expressed CD80, CD86, CCR7, and OX40 ligand at levels similar to influenza virus-induced activation. They rapidly produced high levels of interferon-α, interferon-λ1, IL-6, IP-10, and IL-8. All major aspects of SARS-CoV-2-induced pDC activation were inhibited by hydroxychloroquine. Mechanistically, SARS-CoV-2-induced pDC activation critically depended on IRAK4 and UNC93B1, as established using pDC from genetically deficient patients. Overall, our data indicate that human pDC are efficiently activated by SARS-CoV-2 particles and may thus contribute to type I IFN-dependent immunity against SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , Cell Plasticity/immunology , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Dendritic Cells/metabolism , Interleukin-1 Receptor-Associated Kinases/metabolism , Membrane Transport Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Biomarkers , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Cytokines/metabolism , Dendritic Cells/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/pharmacology , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Immunomodulation , Immunophenotyping , Inflammation Mediators/metabolism , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Interferons/metabolism
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