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1.
Med Sci (Basel) ; 10(1)2022 03 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1760773

ABSTRACT

Autophagy is a known mechanism of cells under internal stress that regulates cellular function via internal protein recycling and the cleaning up of debris, leading to healthy live cells. However, the stimulation of autophagy by external factors such as chemical compounds or viral infection mostly tends to induce apoptosis/cell death. This study hypothesizes that manipulation of the autophagy mechanism to the pro-cell survival and/or decreased pro-viral niche can be a strategy for effective antiviral and anticancer treatment. Cells susceptible to viral infection, namely LLC-MK2, normal monkey epithelium, and K562, human immune-related lymphocyte, which is also a cancer cell line, were treated with fludarabine nucleoside analog (Fdb), interferon alpha (IFN-α), and a combination of Fdb and IFN-α, and then were evaluated for signs of adaptive autophagy and STAT1 antiviral signaling by Western blotting and immunolabeling assays. The results showed that the low concentration of Fdb was able to activate an autophagy response in both cell types, as demonstrated by the intense immunostaining of LC3B foci in the autophagosomes of living cells. Treatment with IFN-α (10 U/mL) showed no alteration in the initiator of mTOR autophagy but dramatically increased the intracellular STAT1 signaling molecules in both cell types. Although in the combined Fdb and IFN-α treatment, both LLC-MK2 and K562 cells showed only slight changes in the autophagy-responsive proteins p-mTOR and LC3B, an adaptive autophagy event was clearly shown in the autophagosome of the LLC-MK2 cell, suggesting the survival phase of the normal cell. The combined effect of Fdb and IFN-α treatment on the antiviral response was identified by the level of activation of the STAT1 antiviral marker. Significantly, the adaptive autophagy mediated by Fdb was able to suppress the IFN-α-mediated pSTAT1 signaling in both cell types to a level that is appropriate for cellular function. It is concluded that the administration of an appropriate dose of Fdb and IFN-α in combination is beneficial for the treatment of some types of cancer and viral infection.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents , Interferon-alpha , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Autophagy , Cell Survival , Humans , Interferon-alpha/pharmacology , K562 Cells , TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases , Vidarabine/analogs & derivatives
2.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 19, 2022 01 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616981

ABSTRACT

T cells play a vital role in combatting SARS-CoV-2 and forming long-term memory responses. Whereas extensive structural information is available on neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, such information on SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell receptors (TCRs) bound to their peptide-MHC targets is lacking. Here we determine the structures of a public and a private TCR from COVID-19 convalescent patients in complex with HLA-A2 and two SARS-CoV-2 spike protein epitopes (YLQ and RLQ). The structures reveal the basis for selection of particular TRAV and TRBV germline genes by the public but not the private TCR, and for the ability of the TCRs to recognize natural variants of RLQ but not YLQ. Neither TCR recognizes homologous epitopes from human seasonal coronaviruses. By elucidating the mechanism for TCR recognition of an immunodominant yet variable epitope (YLQ) and a conserved but less commonly targeted epitope (RLQ), this study can inform prospective efforts to design vaccines to elicit pan-coronavirus immunity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , HLA-A2 Antigen/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/virology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/metabolism , HLA-A2 Antigen/chemistry , HLA-A2 Antigen/metabolism , Humans , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , Immunodominant Epitopes/metabolism , Jurkat Cells , K562 Cells , Peptides/chemistry , Peptides/immunology , Peptides/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/chemistry , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Surface Plasmon Resonance/methods
3.
Biomedica ; 41(Sp. 2): 86-102, 2021 10 15.
Article in English, Spanish | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1529016

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Immunological markers have been described during COVID-19 and persist after recovery. These immune markers are associated with clinical features among SARSCoV-2 infected individuals. Nevertheless, studies reporting a comprehensive analysis of the immune changes occurring during SARS-CoV-2 infection are still limited. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the production of proinflammatory cytokines, the antibody response, and the phenotype and function of NK cells and T cells in a Colombian family cluster with SARS-CoV-2 infection. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Proinflammatory cytokines were evaluated by RT-PCR and ELISA. The frequency, phenotype, and function of NK cells (cocultures with K562 cells) and T-cells (stimulated with spike/RdRp peptides) were assessed by flow cytometry. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were determined using indirect immunofluorescence and plaque reduction neutralization assay. RESULTS: During COVID-19, we observed a high proinflammatory-cytokine production and a reduced CD56bright-NK cell and cytotoxic response. Compared with healthy controls, infected individuals had a higher frequency of dysfunctional CD8+ T cells CD38+HLA-DR-. During the acute phase, CD8+ T cells stimulated with viral peptides exhibited a monofunctional response characterized by high IL-10 production. However, during recovery, we observed a bifunctional response characterized by the co-expression of CD107a and granzyme B or perforin. CONCLUSION: Although the proinflammatory response is a hallmark of SARS-CoV-2 infection, other phenotypic and functional alterations in NK cells and CD8+ T cells could be associated with the outcome of COVID-19. However, additional studies are required to understand these alterations and to guide future immunotherapy strategies.


Introducción. Se han descrito diferentes marcadores inmunológicos durante la COVID-19, los cuales persisten incluso después de la convalecencia y se asocian con los estadios clínicos de la infección. Sin embargo, aún son pocos los estudios orientados al análisis exhaustivo de las alteraciones del sistema inmunológico en el curso de la infección. Objetivo. Evaluar la producción de citocinas proinflamatorias, la reacción de anticuerpos, y el fenotipo y la función de las células NK y los linfocitos T en una familia colombiana con infección por SARS-CoV-2. Materiales y métodos. Se evaluaron las citocinas proinflamatorias mediante RT-PCR y ELISA; la frecuencia, el fenotipo y la función de las células NK (en cocultivos con células K562) y linfocitos T CD8+ (estimulados con péptidos spike/RdRp) mediante citometría de flujo, y los anticuerpos anti-SARS-CoV-2, mediante inmunofluorescencia indirecta y prueba de neutralización por reducción de placa. Resultados. Durante la COVID-19 hubo una producción elevada de citocinas proinflamatorias, con disminución de las células NK CD56bright y reacción citotóxica. Comparados con los controles sanos, los individuos infectados presentaron con gran frecuencia linfocitos T CD8+ disfuncionales CD38+HLA-DR-. Además, en los linfocitos T CD8+ estimulados con péptidos virales, predominó una reacción monofuncional con gran producción de IL-10 durante la fase aguda y una reacción bifuncional caracterizada por la coexpresión de CD107a y granzima B o perforina durante la convalecencia. Conclusión. Aunque la reacción inflamatoria caracteriza la infección por SARS-CoV-2, hay otras alteraciones fenotípicas y funcionales en células NK y linfocitos T CD8+ que podrían asociarse con la progresión de la infección. Se requieren estudios adicionales para entender estas alteraciones y guiar futuras estrategias de inmunoterapia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/analysis , CD56 Antigen/immunology , Case-Control Studies , Colombia , Family Health , Granzymes/metabolism , Humans , Interleukin-10/metabolism , Interleukin-1beta/blood , Interleukin-6/blood , Interleukin-8/blood , K562 Cells , Killer Cells, Natural/cytology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Lymphocyte Activation , Male , Middle Aged , Perforin/metabolism , Phenotype , Receptors, CCR7/metabolism , T-Lymphocytes/cytology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/blood , Young Adult
4.
Biomedica ; 41(Sp. 2): 86-102, 2021 10 15.
Article in English, Spanish | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1332335

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Immunological markers have been described during COVID-19 and persist after recovery. These immune markers are associated with clinical features among SARSCoV-2 infected individuals. Nevertheless, studies reporting a comprehensive analysis of the immune changes occurring during SARS-CoV-2 infection are still limited. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the production of proinflammatory cytokines, the antibody response, and the phenotype and function of NK cells and T cells in a Colombian family cluster with SARS-CoV-2 infection. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Proinflammatory cytokines were evaluated by RT-PCR and ELISA. The frequency, phenotype, and function of NK cells (cocultures with K562 cells) and T-cells (stimulated with spike/RdRp peptides) were assessed by flow cytometry. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were determined using indirect immunofluorescence and plaque reduction neutralization assay. RESULTS: During COVID-19, we observed a high proinflammatory-cytokine production and a reduced CD56bright-NK cell and cytotoxic response. Compared with healthy controls, infected individuals had a higher frequency of dysfunctional CD8+ T cells CD38+HLA-DR-. During the acute phase, CD8+ T cells stimulated with viral peptides exhibited a monofunctional response characterized by high IL-10 production. However, during recovery, we observed a bifunctional response characterized by the co-expression of CD107a and granzyme B or perforin. CONCLUSION: Although the proinflammatory response is a hallmark of SARS-CoV-2 infection, other phenotypic and functional alterations in NK cells and CD8+ T cells could be associated with the outcome of COVID-19. However, additional studies are required to understand these alterations and to guide future immunotherapy strategies.


Introducción. Se han descrito diferentes marcadores inmunológicos durante la COVID-19, los cuales persisten incluso después de la convalecencia y se asocian con los estadios clínicos de la infección. Sin embargo, aún son pocos los estudios orientados al análisis exhaustivo de las alteraciones del sistema inmunológico en el curso de la infección. Objetivo. Evaluar la producción de citocinas proinflamatorias, la reacción de anticuerpos, y el fenotipo y la función de las células NK y los linfocitos T en una familia colombiana con infección por SARS-CoV-2. Materiales y métodos. Se evaluaron las citocinas proinflamatorias mediante RT-PCR y ELISA; la frecuencia, el fenotipo y la función de las células NK (en cocultivos con células K562) y linfocitos T CD8+ (estimulados con péptidos spike/RdRp) mediante citometría de flujo, y los anticuerpos anti-SARS-CoV-2, mediante inmunofluorescencia indirecta y prueba de neutralización por reducción de placa. Resultados. Durante la COVID-19 hubo una producción elevada de citocinas proinflamatorias, con disminución de las células NK CD56bright y reacción citotóxica. Comparados con los controles sanos, los individuos infectados presentaron con gran frecuencia linfocitos T CD8+ disfuncionales CD38+HLA-DR-. Además, en los linfocitos T CD8+ estimulados con péptidos virales, predominó una reacción monofuncional con gran producción de IL-10 durante la fase aguda y una reacción bifuncional caracterizada por la coexpresión de CD107a y granzima B o perforina durante la convalecencia. Conclusión. Aunque la reacción inflamatoria caracteriza la infección por SARS-CoV-2, hay otras alteraciones fenotípicas y funcionales en células NK y linfocitos T CD8+ que podrían asociarse con la progresión de la infección. Se requieren estudios adicionales para entender estas alteraciones y guiar futuras estrategias de inmunoterapia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Killer Cells, Natural , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/analysis , CD56 Antigen/immunology , Case-Control Studies , Colombia , Family Health , Granzymes/metabolism , Humans , Interleukin-10/metabolism , Interleukin-1beta/blood , Interleukin-6/blood , Interleukin-8/blood , K562 Cells , Killer Cells, Natural/cytology , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Lymphocyte Activation , Male , Middle Aged , Perforin/metabolism , Phenotype , Receptors, CCR7/metabolism , T-Lymphocytes/cytology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/blood , Young Adult
5.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 10(1): 1555-1573, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1324547

ABSTRACT

To curb the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), multiple platforms have been employed toward a safe and highly effective vaccine. Here, we develop a novel cell-based vaccine candidate, namely K562-S, by utilizing human cell K562 as a cellular carrier to display Spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 on the membrane. Analogous to the traditional inactivated vaccine, K562-S cells can be propagated to a large scale by culturing and completely lose their viability after exposure to X-ray irradiation or formalin. We in turn demonstrated high immunogenicity of formalin-inactivated K562-S vaccine in both mouse and non-human primates and its protective efficacy in mice. In mice, immunization with inactivated K562-S vaccines can elicit potent neutralizing antibody (nAb) responses persisting longer than 5 months. We consequently showed in a hACE2 mouse model of SARS-CoV-2 infection that a two-shot vaccination with adjuvanted K562-S rendered greater than 3 log reduction in viral lung load and concomitant ameliorated lung pathology. Of importance, the administration of the same regimen in non-human primates was able to induce a neutralizing antibody titer averaging three-fold higher relative to human convalescent serum. These results together support the promise of K562-based, S-protein-expressing vaccines as a novel vaccination approach against SARS-CoV-2. Importantly, with a powerful capacity to carry external genes for cell-based vectors, this platform could rapidly generate two- and multiple-valent vaccines by incorporating SARS-CoV-2 mutants, SARS-CoV, or MERS-CoV.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , Animals, Genetically Modified , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , K562 Cells , Macaca mulatta , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Inbred ICR , Primates , Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/administration & dosage , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination/methods , Vaccines, Inactivated/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Inactivated/immunology
6.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(13)2021 Jun 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1304662

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of everolimus, a mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor, on red blood cell parameters in the context of iron homeostasis in patients with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) and evaluate its effect on cell size in vitro. Everolimus has a significant impact on red blood cell parameters in patients with TSC. The most common alteration was microcytosis. The mean MCV value decreased by 9.2%, 12%, and 11.8% after 3, 6, and 12 months of everolimus treatment. The iron level declined during the first 3 months, and human soluble transferrin receptor concentration increased during 6 months of therapy. The size of K562 cells decreased when cultured in the presence of 5 µM everolimus by approximately 8%. The addition of hemin to the cell culture with 5 µM everolimus did not prevent any decrease in cell size. The stage of erythroid maturation did not affect the response to everolimus. Our results showed that the mTOR inhibitor everolimus caused red blood cell microcytosis in vivo and in vitro. This effect is not clearly related to a deficit of iron and erythroid maturation. This observation confirms that mTOR signaling plays a complex role in the control of cell size.


Subject(s)
Cell Size/drug effects , Erythrocytes/drug effects , Erythrocytes/pathology , Protein Kinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases/antagonists & inhibitors , Adolescent , Biomarkers , Cell Differentiation/drug effects , Cell Line , Child , Child, Preschool , Erythrocyte Indices , Erythrocytes/metabolism , Everolimus/administration & dosage , Everolimus/adverse effects , Everolimus/pharmacology , Flow Cytometry , Humans , Iron/metabolism , K562 Cells , Protein Kinase Inhibitors/administration & dosage , Protein Kinase Inhibitors/adverse effects
7.
Cell Death Differ ; 28(9): 2765-2777, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1195611

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus is highly contagious and causes lymphocytopenia, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. We demonstrate here that heterotypic cell-in-cell structures with lymphocytes inside multinucleate syncytia are prevalent in the lung tissues of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. These unique cellular structures are a direct result of SARS-CoV-2 infection, as the expression of the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein is sufficient to induce a rapid (~45.1 nm/s) membrane fusion to produce syncytium, which could readily internalize multiple lines of lymphocytes to form typical cell-in-cell structures, remarkably leading to the death of internalized cells. This membrane fusion is dictated by a bi-arginine motif within the polybasic S1/S2 cleavage site, which is frequently present in the surface glycoprotein of most highly contagious viruses. Moreover, candidate anti-viral drugs could efficiently inhibit spike glycoprotein processing, membrane fusion, and cell-in-cell formation. Together, we delineate a molecular and cellular rationale for SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and identify novel targets for COVID-19 therapy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Giant Cells/virology , Lymphocytes/virology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Cell Line , Cell Line, Tumor , Giant Cells/pathology , HEK293 Cells , HeLa Cells , Humans , Jurkat Cells , K562 Cells , Lymphocytes/pathology , Virus Internalization , Virus Replication/genetics
8.
Cells ; 9(9)2020 08 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-730306

ABSTRACT

Natural killer cells are important in the control of viral infections. However, the role of NK cells during severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has previously not been identified. Peripheral blood NK cells from SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 naïve subjects were evaluated for their activation, degranulation, and interferon-gamma expression in the presence of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins. K562 and lung epithelial cells were transfected with spike proteins and co-cultured with NK cells. The analysis was performed by flow cytometry and immune fluorescence. SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins did not alter NK cell activation in a K562 in vitro model. On the contrary, SARS-CoV-2 spike 1 protein (SP1) intracellular expression by lung epithelial cells resulted in NK cell-reduced degranulation. Further experiments revealed a concomitant induction of HLA-E expression on the surface of lung epithelial cells and the recognition of an SP1-derived HLA-E-binding peptide. Simultaneously, there was increased modulation of the inhibitory receptor NKG2A/CD94 on NK cells when SP1 was expressed in lung epithelial cells. We ruled out the GATA3 transcription factor as being responsible for HLA-E increased levels and HLA-E/NKG2A interaction as implicated in NK cell exhaustion. We show for the first time that NK cells are affected by SP1 expression in lung epithelial cells via HLA-E/NKG2A interaction. The resulting NK cells' exhaustion might contribute to immunopathogenesis in SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/metabolism , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Lymphocyte Activation/genetics , NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily C/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Blood Donors , Bronchi/cytology , COVID-19 , Cell Degranulation/genetics , Coculture Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , K562 Cells , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS Virus/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/immunology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/metabolism , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Transfection
9.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 3061, 2020 06 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-601843

ABSTRACT

Programmed ribosomal frameshifting (PRF) is the controlled slippage of the translating ribosome to an alternative frame. This process is widely employed by human viruses such as HIV and SARS coronavirus and is critical for their replication. Here, we developed a high-throughput approach to assess the frameshifting potential of a sequence. We designed and tested >12,000 sequences based on 15 viral and human PRF events, allowing us to systematically dissect the rules governing ribosomal frameshifting and discover novel regulatory inputs based on amino acid properties and tRNA availability. We assessed the natural variation in HIV gag-pol frameshifting rates by testing >500 clinical isolates and identified subtype-specific differences and associations between viral load in patients and the optimality of PRF rates. We devised computational models that accurately predict frameshifting potential and frameshifting rates, including subtle differences between HIV isolates. This approach can contribute to the development of antiviral agents targeting PRF.


Subject(s)
Frameshifting, Ribosomal , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing/methods , Fusion Proteins, gag-pol/genetics , Genetic Variation , Green Fluorescent Proteins/genetics , HIV-1/genetics , Humans , K562 Cells , Luminescent Proteins/genetics , Protein Biosynthesis , RNA, Transfer/genetics
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