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1.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 347, 2021 09 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1437669

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 mutations contribute to increased viral transmissibility and immune escape, compromising the effectiveness of existing vaccines and neutralizing antibodies. An in-depth investigation on COVID-19 pathogenesis is urgently needed to develop a strategy against SARS-CoV-2 variants. Here, we identified CD147 as a universal receptor for SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. Meanwhile, Meplazeumab, a humanized anti-CD147 antibody, could block cellular entry of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants-alpha, beta, gamma, and delta, with inhibition rates of 68.7, 75.7, 52.1, 52.1, and 62.3% at 60 µg/ml, respectively. Furthermore, humanized CD147 transgenic mice were susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 and its two variants, alpha and beta. When infected, these mice developed exudative alveolar pneumonia, featured by immune responses involving alveoli-infiltrated macrophages, neutrophils, and lymphocytes and activation of IL-17 signaling pathway. Mechanistically, we proposed that severe COVID-19-related cytokine storm is induced by a "spike protein-CD147-CyPA signaling axis": Infection of SARS-CoV-2 through CD147 initiated the JAK-STAT pathway, which further induced expression of cyclophilin A (CyPA); CyPA reciprocally bound to CD147 and triggered MAPK pathway. Consequently, the MAPK pathway regulated the expression of cytokines and chemokines, which promoted the development of cytokine storm. Importantly, Meplazumab could effectively inhibit viral entry and inflammation caused by SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. Therefore, our findings provided a new perspective for severe COVID-19-related pathogenesis. Furthermore, the validated universal receptor for SARS-CoV-2 and its variants can be targeted for COVID-19 treatment.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/pharmacology , Basigin/antagonists & inhibitors , Basigin/metabolism , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , Cytokine Release Syndrome/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Basigin/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cytokine Release Syndrome/genetics , Cytokine Release Syndrome/metabolism , Humans , MAP Kinase Signaling System/drug effects , MAP Kinase Signaling System/genetics , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells
2.
Eur J Pharmacol ; 908: 174374, 2021 Oct 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322083

ABSTRACT

The efficacy of corticosteroids and its use for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infections is controversial. In this study, using data sets of SARS-CoV-2 infected lung tissues and nasopharyngeal swabs, as well as in vitro experiments, we show that SARS-CoV-2 infection significantly downregulates DUSP1 expression. This downregulation of DUSP1 could be the mechanism regulating the enhanced activation of MAPK pathway as well as the reported steroid resistance in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Moreover, chloroquine, an off labeled COVID-19 drug is able to induce DUSP1 and attenuate MAPK pathway; and is expected to improve sensitivity to steroid treatment. However, further mechanistic studies are required to confirm this effect.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Chloroquine/pharmacology , Dual Specificity Phosphatase 1/genetics , Glucocorticoids/pharmacology , p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Cells, Cultured , Chloroquine/therapeutic use , Datasets as Topic , Down-Regulation/drug effects , Drug Resistance/drug effects , Drug Resistance/genetics , Drug Synergism , Dual Specificity Phosphatase 1/metabolism , Fibroblasts , Glucocorticoids/therapeutic use , Healthy Volunteers , Humans , Lung/cytology , Lung/pathology , MAP Kinase Signaling System/drug effects , MAP Kinase Signaling System/genetics , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Off-Label Use , Primary Cell Culture , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
3.
Dev Cell ; 56(11): 1646-1660.e5, 2021 06 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1233404

ABSTRACT

Mucus-secreting goblet cells are the dominant cell type in pulmonary diseases, e.g., asthma and cystic fibrosis (CF), leading to pathologic mucus metaplasia and airway obstruction. Cytokines including IL-13 are the major players in the transdifferentiation of club cells into goblet cells. Unexpectedly, we have uncovered a previously undescribed pathway promoting mucous metaplasia that involves VEGFa and its receptor KDR. Single-cell RNA sequencing analysis coupled with genetic mouse modeling demonstrates that loss of epithelial VEGFa, KDR, or MEK/ERK kinase promotes excessive club-to-goblet transdifferentiation during development and regeneration. Sox9 is required for goblet cell differentiation following Kdr inhibition in both mouse and human club cells. Significantly, airway mucous metaplasia in asthmatic and CF patients is also associated with reduced KDR signaling and increased SOX9 expression. Together, these findings reveal an unexpected role for VEGFa/KDR signaling in the defense against mucous metaplasia, offering a potential therapeutic target for this common airway pathology.


Subject(s)
Airway Obstruction/genetics , Metaplasia/genetics , SOX9 Transcription Factor/genetics , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A/genetics , Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-2/genetics , Airway Obstruction/metabolism , Airway Obstruction/pathology , Animals , Cell Transdifferentiation/genetics , Disease Models, Animal , Gene Expression Regulation/genetics , Goblet Cells/metabolism , Goblet Cells/pathology , Humans , Interleukin-13/genetics , MAP Kinase Signaling System/genetics , Metaplasia/pathology , Mice , Mucus/metabolism , Single-Cell Analysis
4.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 110, 2021 03 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1118799

ABSTRACT

The 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus is an ongoing global health emergency. However, the virus' pathogenesis remains unclear, and there is no cure for the disease. We investigated the dynamic changes of blood immune response in patients with COVID-19 at different stages by using 5' gene expression, T cell receptor (TCR), and B cell receptors (BCR) V(D)J transcriptome analysis at a single-cell resolution. We obtained single-cell mRNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) data of 341,420 peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and 185,430 clonotypic T cells and 28,802 clonotypic B cells from 25 samples of 16 patients with COVID-19 for dynamic studies. In addition, we used three control samples. We found expansion of dendritic cells (DCs), CD14+ monocytes, and megakaryocytes progenitor cells (MP)/platelets and a reduction of naïve CD4+ T lymphocytes in patients with COVID-19, along with a significant decrease of CD8+ T lymphocytes, and natural killer cells (NKs) in patients in critical condition. The type I interferon (IFN-I), mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), and ferroptosis pathways were activated while the disease was active, and recovered gradually after patient conditions improved. Consistent with this finding, the mRNA level of IFN-I signal-induced gene IFI27 was significantly increased in patients with COVID-19 compared with that of the controls in a validation cohort that included 38 patients and 35 controls. The concentration of interferon-α (IFN-α) in the serum of patients with COVID-19 increased significantly compared with that of the controls in an additional cohort of 215 patients with COVID-19 and 106 controls, further suggesting the important role of the IFN-I pathway in the immune response of COVID-19. TCR and BCR sequences analyses indicated that patients with COVID-19 developed specific immune responses against SARS-CoV-2 antigens. Our study reveals a dynamic landscape of human blood immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection, providing clues for therapeutic potentials in treating COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Leukocytes/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Cell Analysis , Adult , COVID-19/genetics , Female , Ferroptosis/genetics , Ferroptosis/immunology , Humans , MAP Kinase Signaling System/genetics , MAP Kinase Signaling System/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , RNA-Seq , Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
5.
Biomed Res Int ; 2020: 8827752, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1021158

ABSTRACT

The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway links the cell-surface receptors to the transcription machinery, transducing the extracellular signals into several outputs, which may also adapt the host defense mechanism to viral attacks. The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that causes the COrona VIrus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has infected upwards of nearly 70 million people and worldwide has claimed more than 1,600,000 deaths. So far, there continues to be no specific treatment for this novel coronavirus-induced disease. In the search to control the global COVID-19 pandemic, some eastern and developing countries have approved a variety of treatments with controversial efficacy, among which is the use of the antimalarial hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). Interestingly, prior data had indicated that the HCQ/CQ could influence the MAPK cascade. The main aim of this review is to address molecular mechanisms, beyond drugs, that can be helpful against viral infection for this and future pandemics. We will highlight (1) the contribution of the MAPK cascade in viral infection and (2) the possible use of MAPK inhibitors in curbing viral infections, alone or in combination with HCQ and quinoline analogues. We are convinced that understanding the molecular patterns of viral infections will be critical for new therapeutical approaches to control this and other severe diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Enzyme Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , MAP Kinase Signaling System/genetics , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/analogs & derivatives , MAP Kinase Signaling System/drug effects
6.
Int J Mol Sci ; 21(23)2020 Nov 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-951247

ABSTRACT

Activation of TLR7 by small imidazoquinoline molecules such as R848 or R837 initiates signaling cascades leading to the activation of transcription factors, such as AP-1, NF-κB, and interferon regulatory factors (IRFs) and afterward to the induction of cytokines and anti-viral Type I IFNs. In general, TLRs mediate these effects by utilizing different intracellular signaling molecules, one of them is Mal. Mal is a protein closely related to the antibacterial response, and its role in the TLR7 pathways remains poorly understood. In this study, we show that Mal determines the expression and secretion of IFNß following activation of TLR7, a receptor that recognizes ssRNA and imidazoquinolines. Moreover, we observed that R848 induces Mal-dependent IFNß production via ERK1/2 activation as well as the transcription factor IRF7 activation. Although activation of TLR7 leads to NF-κB-dependent expression of IRF7, this process is independent of Mal. We also demonstrate that secretion of IFNß regulated by TLR7 and Mal in macrophages and dendritic cells leads to the IP-10 chemokine expression. In conclusion, our data demonstrate that Mal is a critical regulator of the imidazoquinolinones-dependent IFNß production via ERK1/2/IRF7 signaling cascade which brings us closer to understanding the molecular mechanism's regulation of innate immune response.


Subject(s)
Interferon Regulatory Factor-7/genetics , Interferon-beta/genetics , Membrane Glycoproteins/genetics , Myelin and Lymphocyte-Associated Proteolipid Proteins/genetics , Toll-Like Receptor 7/genetics , Animals , Cytokines/genetics , Humans , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Interferon Type I/genetics , MAP Kinase Signaling System/genetics , Mice , Mice, Knockout , NF-kappa B/genetics , Quinolones/toxicity , Transcription Factor AP-1/genetics
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