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1.
Chem Commun (Camb) ; 58(13): 2120-2123, 2022 Feb 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1639577

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is causing serious impacts in the world, and safe and effective vaccines and medicines are the best methods to combat the disease. The receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein plays a key role in interacting with the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, and is regarded as an important target of vaccines. Herein, we constructed the adjuvant-protein conjugate Pam3CSK4-RBD as a vaccine candidate, in which the N-terminal of the RBD was site-selectively oxidized by transamination and conjugated with the TLR1/2 agonist Pam3CSK4. This demonstrated that the conjugation of Pam3CSK4 significantly enhanced the anti-RBD antibody response and cellular response. In addition, sera from the Pam3CSK4-RBD immunized group efficiently inhibited the binding of the RBD to ACE2 and protected cells from SARS-CoV-2 and four variants of concern (alpha, beta, gamma and delta), indicating that this adjuvant strategy could be one of the effective means for protein vaccine development.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Lipopeptides/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Vaccines, Conjugate/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibody Formation , Antigens, CD/metabolism , Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Macrophages/cytology , Macrophages/immunology , Macrophages/metabolism , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Protein Binding , Protein Domains/immunology , RAW 264.7 Cells , Recombinant Proteins/biosynthesis , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vaccines, Conjugate/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Conjugate/chemistry
2.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(21)2021 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488619

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection poses a serious threat to global public health and the economy. The enzymatic product of cholesterol 25-hydroxylase (CH25H), 25-Hydroxycholesterol (25-HC), was reported to have potent anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity. Here, we found that the combination of 25-HC with EK1 peptide, a pan-coronavirus (CoV) fusion inhibitor, showed a synergistic antiviral activity. We then used the method of 25-HC modification to design and synthesize a series of 25-HC-modified peptides and found that a 25-HC-modified EK1 peptide (EK1P4HC) was highly effective against infections caused by SARS-CoV-2, its variants of concern (VOCs), and other human CoVs, such as HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-229E. EK1P4HC could protect newborn mice from lethal HCoV-OC43 infection, suggesting that conjugation of 25-HC with a peptide-based viral inhibitor was a feasible and universal strategy to improve its antiviral activity.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Hydroxycholesterols/chemistry , Lipopeptides/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Body Weight/drug effects , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus 229E, Human/drug effects , Coronavirus 229E, Human/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/drug effects , Coronavirus OC43, Human/pathogenicity , Disease Models, Animal , Drug Synergism , Humans , Hydroxycholesterols/pharmacology , Hydroxycholesterols/therapeutic use , Lipopeptides/pharmacology , Lipopeptides/therapeutic use , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Polyethylene Glycols/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Survival Rate , Virus Internalization/drug effects
3.
Science ; 371(6536): 1379-1382, 2021 03 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1476374

ABSTRACT

Containment of the COVID-19 pandemic requires reducing viral transmission. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is initiated by membrane fusion between the viral and host cell membranes, which is mediated by the viral spike protein. We have designed lipopeptide fusion inhibitors that block this critical first step of infection and, on the basis of in vitro efficacy and in vivo biodistribution, selected a dimeric form for evaluation in an animal model. Daily intranasal administration to ferrets completely prevented SARS-CoV-2 direct-contact transmission during 24-hour cohousing with infected animals, under stringent conditions that resulted in infection of 100% of untreated animals. These lipopeptides are highly stable and thus may readily translate into safe and effective intranasal prophylaxis to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Lipopeptides/administration & dosage , Membrane Fusion/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Viral Fusion Protein Inhibitors/administration & dosage , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Administration, Intranasal , Animals , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Models, Animal , Drug Design , Ferrets , Lipopeptides/chemistry , Lipopeptides/pharmacokinetics , Lipopeptides/pharmacology , Mice , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Tissue Distribution , Vero Cells , Viral Fusion Protein Inhibitors/chemistry , Viral Fusion Protein Inhibitors/pharmacokinetics , Viral Fusion Protein Inhibitors/pharmacology
5.
Bioconjug Chem ; 32(8): 1472-1490, 2021 08 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1297286

ABSTRACT

The development of lipopeptides (lipidated peptides) for vaccines is discussed, including their role as antigens and/or adjuvants. Distinct classes of lipopeptide architectures are covered including simple linear and ligated constructs and lipid core peptides. The design, synthesis, and immunological responses of the important class of glycerol-based Toll-like receptor agonist lipopeptides such as Pam3CSK4, which contains three palmitoyl chains and a CSK4 hexapeptide sequence, and many derivatives of this model immunogenic compound are also reviewed. Self-assembled lipopeptide structures including spherical and worm-like micelles that have been shown to act as vaccine agents are also described. The work discussed includes examples of lipopeptides developed with model antigens, as well as for immunotherapies to treat many infectious diseases including malaria, influenza, hepatitis, COVID-19, and many others, as well as cancer immunotherapies. Some of these have proceeded to clinical development. The research discussed highlights the huge potential of, and diversity of roles for, lipopeptides in contemporary and future vaccine development.


Subject(s)
Lipopeptides/chemistry , Vaccines/chemistry , Animals , Humans , Lipopeptides/immunology , Vaccines/immunology
6.
Science ; 371(6536): 1379-1382, 2021 03 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1088184

ABSTRACT

Containment of the COVID-19 pandemic requires reducing viral transmission. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is initiated by membrane fusion between the viral and host cell membranes, which is mediated by the viral spike protein. We have designed lipopeptide fusion inhibitors that block this critical first step of infection and, on the basis of in vitro efficacy and in vivo biodistribution, selected a dimeric form for evaluation in an animal model. Daily intranasal administration to ferrets completely prevented SARS-CoV-2 direct-contact transmission during 24-hour cohousing with infected animals, under stringent conditions that resulted in infection of 100% of untreated animals. These lipopeptides are highly stable and thus may readily translate into safe and effective intranasal prophylaxis to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Lipopeptides/administration & dosage , Membrane Fusion/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Viral Fusion Protein Inhibitors/administration & dosage , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Administration, Intranasal , Animals , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Models, Animal , Drug Design , Ferrets , Lipopeptides/chemistry , Lipopeptides/pharmacokinetics , Lipopeptides/pharmacology , Mice , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Tissue Distribution , Vero Cells , Viral Fusion Protein Inhibitors/chemistry , Viral Fusion Protein Inhibitors/pharmacokinetics , Viral Fusion Protein Inhibitors/pharmacology
7.
Int J Antimicrob Agents ; 57(1): 106218, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065131

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The recent pandemic outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 has been associated with a lethal atypical pneumonia, making COVID-19 an urgent public health issue with an increasing rate of mortality and morbidity. There are currently no vaccines or therapeutics available for COVID-19, which is causing an urgent search for a new drug to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The lipid membrane alternation efficiency of small antimicrobial lipopeptides enables them to block viral membrane fusion to the host cell. Lipopeptides could serve as potential antiviral agents, by interacting or competing with viral fusion proteins. METHODS: This study screened seven different lipopeptides (tsushimycin, daptomycin, surfactin, bacillomycin, iturin, srfTE, and LPD-12) and docked them individually against the spike (S)-glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2. RESULTS: Based on the maximum docked score and minimum atomic contact energy, LPD-12 (-1137.38 kcal) was the appropriate molecule for proper binding with the S-glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 and thus significantly interrupted its affinity of binding with angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2), which is the only receptor molecule found to be facilitating disease development. The results confirmed a strong binding affinity of LPD-12 with ACE2, with a binding free energy of -1621.62 kcal, which could also reciprocally prevent the binding of S-protein. CONCLUSTION: It can be concluded that LPD-12 may act as a potential therapeutic drug, by reducing the entry of SARS-CoV-2 to the human cells via the ACE2 receptor and related infections.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Lipopeptides/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Lipopeptides/pharmacology , Molecular Docking Simulation , Peptides, Cyclic/chemistry , Peptides, Cyclic/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
9.
EBioMedicine ; 63: 103153, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-956065

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The novel human coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is a major ongoing global threat with huge economic burden. Like all respiratory viruses, SARS-CoV-2 initiates infection in the upper respiratory tract (URT). Infected individuals are often asymptomatic, yet highly infectious and readily transmit virus. A therapy that restricts initial replication in the URT has the potential to prevent progression of severe lower respiratory tract disease as well as limiting person-to-person transmission. METHODS: SARS-CoV-2 Victoria/01/2020 was passaged in Vero/hSLAM cells and virus titre determined by plaque assay. Challenge virus was delivered by intranasal instillation to female ferrets at 5.0 × 106 pfu/ml. Treatment groups received intranasal INNA-051, developed by Ena Respiratory. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected using the 2019-nCoV CDC RUO Kit and QuantStudio™ 7 Flex Real-Time PCR System. Histopathological analysis was performed using cut tissues stained with haematoxylin and eosin (H&E). FINDINGS: We show that prophylactic intra-nasal administration of the TLR2/6 agonist INNA-051 in a SARS-CoV-2 ferret infection model effectively reduces levels of viral RNA in the nose and throat. After 5 days post-exposure to SARS-CoV-2, INNA-051 significantly reduced virus in throat swabs (p=<0.0001) by up to a 24 fold (96% reduction) and in nasal wash (p=0.0107) up to a 15 fold (93% reduction) in comparison to untreated animals. INTERPRETATION: The results of our study support clinical development of a therapy based on prophylactic TLR2/6 innate immune activation in the URT, to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission and provide protection against COVID-19. FUNDING: This work was funded by Ena Respiratory, Melbourne, Australia.


Subject(s)
Lipopeptides/administration & dosage , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Toll-Like Receptor 2/agonists , Toll-Like Receptor 6/agonists , Virus Shedding , Administration, Intranasal , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/pathology , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Ferrets , Immunity, Innate , Lipopeptides/chemistry , Lipopeptides/pharmacology , Nasal Cavity/pathology , Nasal Cavity/virology , Pharynx/pathology , Pharynx/virology , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Respiratory System/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Load/drug effects
10.
mBio ; 11(5)2020 10 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-883314

ABSTRACT

The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiological agent of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19), has erupted into a global pandemic that has led to tens of millions of infections and hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide. The development of therapeutics to treat infection or as prophylactics to halt viral transmission and spread is urgently needed. SARS-CoV-2 relies on structural rearrangements within a spike (S) glycoprotein to mediate fusion of the viral and host cell membranes. Here, we describe the development of a lipopeptide that is derived from the C-terminal heptad repeat (HRC) domain of SARS-CoV-2 S that potently inhibits infection by SARS-CoV-2. The lipopeptide inhibits cell-cell fusion mediated by SARS-CoV-2 S and blocks infection by live SARS-CoV-2 in Vero E6 cell monolayers more effectively than previously described lipopeptides. The SARS-CoV-2 lipopeptide exhibits broad-spectrum activity by inhibiting cell-cell fusion mediated by SARS-CoV-1 and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and blocking infection by live MERS-CoV in cell monolayers. We also show that the SARS-CoV-2 HRC-derived lipopeptide potently blocks the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in human airway epithelial (HAE) cultures, an ex vivo model designed to mimic respiratory viral propagation in humans. While viral spread of SARS-CoV-2 infection was widespread in untreated airways, those treated with SARS-CoV-2 HRC lipopeptide showed no detectable evidence of viral spread. These data provide a framework for the development of peptide therapeutics for the treatment of or prophylaxis against SARS-CoV-2 as well as other coronaviruses.IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, continues to spread globally, placing strain on health care systems and resulting in rapidly increasing numbers of cases and mortalities. Despite the growing need for medical intervention, no FDA-approved vaccines are yet available, and treatment has been limited to supportive therapy for the alleviation of symptoms. Entry inhibitors could fill the important role of preventing initial infection and preventing spread. Here, we describe the design, synthesis, and evaluation of a lipopeptide that is derived from the HRC domain of the SARS-CoV-2 S glycoprotein that potently inhibits fusion mediated by SARS-CoV-2 S glycoprotein and blocks infection by live SARS-CoV-2 in both cell monolayers (in vitro) and human airway tissues (ex vivo). Our results highlight the SARS-CoV-2 HRC-derived lipopeptide as a promising therapeutic candidate for SARS-CoV-2 infections.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Lipopeptides/pharmacology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Lipopeptides/chemistry , Membrane Fusion/drug effects , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/chemistry , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/drug effects , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Protein Domains , Respiratory Mucosa/drug effects , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , SARS Virus/chemistry , SARS Virus/drug effects , SARS Virus/physiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Vero Cells
11.
J Virol ; 94(14)2020 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-197345

ABSTRACT

The 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19), caused by the emerging severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has posed serious threats to global public health and economic and social stabilities, calling for the prompt development of therapeutics and prophylactics. In this study, we first verified that SARS-CoV-2 uses human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a cell receptor and that its spike (S) protein mediates high membrane fusion activity. The heptad repeat 1 (HR1) sequence in the S2 fusion protein of SARS-CoV-2 possesses markedly increased α-helicity and thermostability, as well as a higher binding affinity with its corresponding heptad repeat 2 (HR2) site, than the HR1 sequence in S2 of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Then, we designed an HR2 sequence-based lipopeptide fusion inhibitor, termed IPB02, which showed highly potent activities in inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 S protein-mediated cell-cell fusion and pseudovirus transduction. IPB02 also inhibited the SARS-CoV pseudovirus efficiently. Moreover, the structure-activity relationship (SAR) of IPB02 was characterized with a panel of truncated lipopeptides, revealing the amino acid motifs critical for its binding and antiviral capacities. Therefore, the results presented here provide important information for understanding the entry pathway of SARS-CoV-2 and the design of antivirals that target the membrane fusion step.IMPORTANCE The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by SARS-CoV-2, presents a serious global public health emergency in urgent need of prophylactic and therapeutic interventions. The S protein of coronaviruses mediates viral receptor binding and membrane fusion, thus being considered a critical target for antivirals. Herein, we report that the SARS-CoV-2 S protein has evolved a high level of activity to mediate cell-cell fusion, significantly differing from the S protein of SARS-CoV that emerged previously. The HR1 sequence in the fusion protein of SARS-CoV-2 adopts a much higher helical stability than the HR1 sequence in the fusion protein of SARS-CoV and can interact with the HR2 site to form a six-helical bundle structure more efficiently, underlying the mechanism of the enhanced fusion capacity. Also, importantly, the design of membrane fusion inhibitors with high potencies against both SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV has provided potential arsenals to combat the pandemic and tools to exploit the fusion mechanism.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Lipopeptides/pharmacology , Membrane Fusion/drug effects , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Amino Acid Sequence , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Drug Design , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Lipopeptides/chemistry , Membrane Glycoproteins/metabolism , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Viral Envelope Proteins/metabolism
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