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1.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis ; 16(4): e0010363, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1808522

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 has posed a significant threat to global public health since its outbreak in late 2019. Although there are a few drugs approved for clinical treatment to combat SARS-CoV-2 infection currently, the severity of the ongoing global pandemic still urges the efforts to discover new antiviral compounds. As the viral spike (S) protein plays a key role in mediating virus entry, it becomes a potential target for the design of antiviral drugs against COVID-19. Here, we tested the antiviral activity of berbamine hydrochloride, a bis-benzylisoquinoline alkaloid, against SARS-CoV-2 infection. We found that berbamine hydrochloride could efficiently inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection in different cell lines. Further experiments showed berbamine hydrochloride inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection by targeting the viral entry into host cells. Moreover, berbamine hydrochloride and other bis-benzylisoquinoline alkaloids could potently inhibit S-mediated cell-cell fusion. Furthermore, molecular docking results implied that the berbamine hydrochloride could bind to the post fusion core of SARS-CoV-2 S2 subunit. Therefore, berbamine hydrochloride may represent a potential efficient antiviral agent against SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Benzylisoquinolines , COVID-19 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Benzylisoquinolines/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Membrane Fusion , Molecular Docking Simulation , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Virus Internalization
2.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 12: 845580, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1798939

ABSTRACT

A growing body of epidemiological and research data has associated neurotropic viruses with accelerated brain aging and increased risk of neurodegenerative disorders. Many viruses replicate optimally in senescent cells, as they offer a hospitable microenvironment with persistently elevated cytosolic calcium, abundant intracellular iron, and low interferon type I. As cell-cell fusion is a major driver of cellular senescence, many viruses have developed the ability to promote this phenotype by forming syncytia. Cell-cell fusion is associated with immunosuppression mediated by phosphatidylserine externalization that enable viruses to evade host defenses. In hosts, virus-induced immune dysfunction and premature cellular senescence may predispose to neurodegenerative disorders. This concept is supported by novel studies that found postinfectious cognitive dysfunction in several viral illnesses, including human immunodeficiency virus-1, herpes simplex virus-1, and SARS-CoV-2. Virus-induced pathological syncytia may provide a unified framework for conceptualizing neuronal cell cycle reentry, aneuploidy, somatic mosaicism, viral spreading of pathological Tau and elimination of viable synapses and neurons by neurotoxic astrocytes and microglia. In this narrative review, we take a closer look at cell-cell fusion and vesicular merger in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders. We present a "decentralized" information processing model that conceptualizes neurodegeneration as a systemic illness, triggered by cytoskeletal pathology. We also discuss strategies for reversing cell-cell fusion, including, TMEM16F inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, senolytics, and tubulin stabilizing agents. Finally, going beyond neurodegeneration, we examine the potential benefit of harnessing fusion as a therapeutic strategy in regenerative medicine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neurodegenerative Diseases , Viruses , Cellular Senescence/physiology , Humans , Membrane Fusion , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Cell Rep ; 39(3): 110694, 2022 04 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1778029

ABSTRACT

Mutations in the spike protein generated a highly infectious and transmissible D614G variant, which is present in newly evolved fast-spreading variants. The D614G, Alpha, Beta, and Delta spike variants of SARS-CoV-2 appear to expedite membrane fusion process for entry, but the mechanism of spike-mediated fusion is unknown. Here, we reconstituted an in vitro pseudovirus-liposome fusion reaction and report that SARS-CoV-2 wild-type spike is a dynamic Ca2+ sensor, and D614G mutation enhances dynamic calcium sensitivity of spike protein for facilitating membrane fusion. This dynamic calcium sensitivity for fusion is found to be higher in Alpha and Beta variants and highest in Delta spike variant. We find that efficient fusion is dependent on Ca2+ concentration at low pH, and the fusion activity of spike dropped as the Ca2+ level rose beyond physiological levels. Thus, evolved spike variants may control the high fusion probability for entry by increasing Ca2+ sensing ability.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Calcium , Humans , Membrane Fusion , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
4.
Nature ; 603(7902): 706-714, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1764186

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.1 variant emerged in 20211 and has multiple mutations in its spike protein2. Here we show that the spike protein of Omicron has a higher affinity for ACE2 compared with Delta, and a marked change in its antigenicity increases Omicron's evasion of therapeutic monoclonal and vaccine-elicited polyclonal neutralizing antibodies after two doses. mRNA vaccination as a third vaccine dose rescues and broadens neutralization. Importantly, the antiviral drugs remdesivir and molnupiravir retain efficacy against Omicron BA.1. Replication was similar for Omicron and Delta virus isolates in human nasal epithelial cultures. However, in lung cells and gut cells, Omicron demonstrated lower replication. Omicron spike protein was less efficiently cleaved compared with Delta. The differences in replication were mapped to the entry efficiency of the virus on the basis of spike-pseudotyped virus assays. The defect in entry of Omicron pseudotyped virus to specific cell types effectively correlated with higher cellular RNA expression of TMPRSS2, and deletion of TMPRSS2 affected Delta entry to a greater extent than Omicron. Furthermore, drug inhibitors targeting specific entry pathways3 demonstrated that the Omicron spike inefficiently uses the cellular protease TMPRSS2, which promotes cell entry through plasma membrane fusion, with greater dependency on cell entry through the endocytic pathway. Consistent with suboptimal S1/S2 cleavage and inability to use TMPRSS2, syncytium formation by the Omicron spike was substantially impaired compared with the Delta spike. The less efficient spike cleavage of Omicron at S1/S2 is associated with a shift in cellular tropism away from TMPRSS2-expressing cells, with implications for altered pathogenesis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Membrane Fusion , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Virus Internalization , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cell Line , Cell Membrane/metabolism , Cell Membrane/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Convalescence , Female , Humans , Immune Sera/immunology , Intestines/pathology , Intestines/virology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Mutation , Nasal Mucosa/pathology , Nasal Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Tissue Culture Techniques , Virulence , Virus Replication
5.
Microbiol Spectr ; 10(2): e0181421, 2022 Apr 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1745800

ABSTRACT

Most of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) targeted the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein. However, mutations at RBD sequences found in the emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants greatly reduced the effectiveness of nAbs. Here we showed that four nAbs, S2-4D, S2-5D, S2-8D, and S2-4A, which recognized a conserved epitope in the S2 subunit of the S protein, can inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection through blocking the S protein-mediated membrane fusion. Notably, these four nAbs exhibited broadly neutralizing activity against SARS-CoV-2 Alpha, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon variants. Antisera collected from mice immunized with the identified epitope peptides of these four nAbs also exhibited potent virus neutralizing activity. Discovery of the S2-specific nAbs and their unique antigenic epitopes paves a new path for development of COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines. IMPORTANCE The spike (S) protein on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 mediates receptor binding and virus-host cell membrane fusion during virus entry. Many neutralizing antibodies (nAbs), which targeted the receptor binding domain (RBD) of S protein, lost the neutralizing activity against the newly emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants with sequence mutations at the RBD. In contrast, the nAb against the highly conserved S2 subunit, which plays the key role in virus-host cell membrane fusion, was poorly discovered. We showed that four S2-specific nAbs, S2-4D, S2-5D, S2-8D, and S2-4A, inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infection through blocking the S protein-mediated membrane fusion. These nAbs exhibited broadly neutralizing activity against Alpha, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon variants. Antisera induced by the identified epitope peptides also possessed potent neutralizing activity. This work not only unveiled the S2-specific nAbs but also discovered an immunodominant epitope in the S2 subunit that can be rationally designed as the broad-spectrum vaccine against the SARS-like coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Epitopes , Immune Sera , Membrane Fusion , Mice , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
6.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 1002, 2022 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1702683

ABSTRACT

The molecular events that permit the spike glycoprotein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to bind and enter cells are important to understand for both fundamental and therapeutic reasons. Spike proteins consist of S1 and S2 domains, which recognize angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors and contain the viral fusion machinery, respectively. Ostensibly, the binding of spike trimers to ACE2 receptors promotes dissociation of the S1 domains and exposure of the fusion machinery, although the molecular details of this process have yet to be observed. We report the development of bottom-up coarse-grained (CG) models consistent with cryo-electron tomography data, and the use of CG molecular dynamics simulations to investigate viral binding and S2 core exposure. We show that spike trimers cooperatively bind to multiple ACE2 dimers at virion-cell interfaces in a manner distinct from binding between soluble proteins, which processively induces S1 dissociation. We also simulate possible variant behavior using perturbed CG models, and find that ACE2-induced S1 dissociation is primarily sensitive to conformational state populations and the extent of S1/S2 cleavage, rather than ACE2 binding affinity. These simulations reveal an important concerted interaction between spike trimers and ACE2 dimers that primes the virus for membrane fusion and entry.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Algorithms , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , COVID-19/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Membrane Fusion , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Protein Multimerization , Receptors, Virus/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Virus Attachment , Virus Internalization
7.
Nature ; 603(7902): 700-705, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1661969

ABSTRACT

The emergence of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 is an urgent global health concern1. In this study, our statistical modelling suggests that Omicron has spread more rapidly than the Delta variant in several countries including South Africa. Cell culture experiments showed Omicron to be less fusogenic than Delta and than an ancestral strain of SARS-CoV-2. Although the spike (S) protein of Delta is efficiently cleaved into two subunits, which facilitates cell-cell fusion2,3, the Omicron S protein was less efficiently cleaved compared to the S proteins of Delta and ancestral SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, in a hamster model, Omicron showed decreased lung infectivity and was less pathogenic compared to Delta and ancestral SARS-CoV-2. Our multiscale investigations reveal the virological characteristics of Omicron, including rapid growth in the human population, lower fusogenicity and attenuated pathogenicity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Membrane Fusion , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Virus Internalization , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cell Line , Cricetinae , Humans , In Vitro Techniques , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Male , Mesocricetus , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , South Africa/epidemiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virulence , Virus Replication
8.
Biophys J ; 121(2): 207-227, 2022 01 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1634388

ABSTRACT

Entry of coronaviruses into host cells is mediated by the viral spike protein. Previously, we identified the bona fide fusion peptides (FPs) for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus ("SARS-1") and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 ("SARS-2") using electron spin resonance spectroscopy. We also found that their FPs induce membrane ordering in a Ca2+-dependent fashion. Here we study which negatively charged residues in SARS-1 FP are involved in this binding, to build a topological model and clarify the role of Ca2+. Our systematic mutation study on the SARS-1 FP shows that all six negatively charged residues contribute to the FP's membrane ordering activity, with D812 the dominant residue. The corresponding SARS-2 residue D830 plays an equivalent role. We provide a topological model of how the FP binds Ca2+ ions: its two segments FP1 and FP2 each bind one Ca2+. The binding of Ca2+, the folding of FP (both studied by isothermal titration calorimetry experiments), and the ordering activity correlate very well across the mutants, suggesting that the Ca2+ helps the folding of FP in membranes to enhance the ordering activity. Using a novel pseudotyped viral particle-liposome methodology, we monitored the membrane ordering induced by the FPs in the whole spike protein in its trimer form in real time. We found that the SARS-1 and SARS-2 pseudotyped viral particles also induce membrane ordering to the extent that separate FPs do, and mutations of the negatively charged residues also significantly suppress the membrane ordering activity. However, the slower kinetics of the FP ordering activity versus that of the pseudotyped viral particle suggest the need for initial trimerization of the FPs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Membrane Fusion , Humans , Peptides , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics
9.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(1)2022 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1626013

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has resulted in tremendous loss worldwide. Although viral spike (S) protein binding of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) has been established, the functional consequences of the initial receptor binding and the stepwise fusion process are not clear. By utilizing a cell-cell fusion system, in complement with a pseudoviral infection model, we found that the spike engagement of ACE2 primed the generation of S2' fragments in target cells, a key proteolytic event coupled with spike-mediated membrane fusion. Mutagenesis of an S2' cleavage site at the arginine (R) 815, but not an S2 cleavage site at arginine 685, was sufficient to prevent subsequent syncytia formation and infection in a variety of cell lines and primary cells isolated from human ACE2 knock-in mice. The requirement for S2' cleavage at the R815 site was also broadly shared by other SARS-CoV-2 spike variants, such as the Alpha, Beta, and Delta variants of concern. Thus, our study highlights an essential role for host receptor engagement and the key residue of spike for proteolytic activation, and uncovers a targetable mechanism for host cell infection by SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Membrane Fusion , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/virology , HEK293 Cells , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Mice , Protein Binding , Proteolysis , Virus Internalization
10.
Biophys J ; 120(14): 2914-2926, 2021 07 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1605082

ABSTRACT

Infection of human cells by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) relies on its binding to a specific receptor and subsequent fusion of the viral and host cell membranes. The fusion peptide (FP), a short peptide segment in the spike protein, plays a central role in the initial penetration of the virus into the host cell membrane, followed by the fusion of the two membranes. Here, we use an array of molecular dynamics simulations that take advantage of the highly mobile membrane mimetic model to investigate the interaction of the SARS-CoV2 FP with a lipid bilayer representing mammalian cellular membranes at an atomic level and to characterize the membrane-bound form of the peptide. Six independent systems were generated by changing the initial positioning and orientation of the FP with respect to the membrane, and each system was simulated in five independent replicas, each for 300 ns. In 73% of the simulations, the FP reaches a stable, membrane-bound configuration, in which the peptide deeply penetrated into the membrane. Clustering of the results reveals three major membrane-binding modes (binding modes 1-3), in which binding mode 1 populates over half of the data points. Taking into account the sequence conservation among the viral FPs and the results of mutagenesis studies establishing the role of specific residues in the helical portion of the FP in membrane association, the significant depth of penetration of the whole peptide, and the dense population of the respective cluster, we propose that the most deeply inserted membrane-bound form (binding mode 1) represents more closely the biologically relevant form. Analysis of FP-lipid interactions shows the involvement of specific residues, previously described as the "fusion-active core residues," in membrane binding. Taken together, the results shed light on a key step involved in SARS-CoV2 infection, with potential implications in designing novel inhibitors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Cell Membrane , Humans , Membrane Fusion , Peptides , RNA, Viral , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Virus Internalization
11.
J Virol ; 94(13)2020 06 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1583223

ABSTRACT

Fusion with, and subsequent entry into, the host cell is one of the critical steps in the life cycle of enveloped viruses. For Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), the spike (S) protein is the main determinant of viral entry. Proteolytic cleavage of the S protein exposes its fusion peptide (FP), which initiates the process of membrane fusion. Previous studies on the related severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) FP have shown that calcium ions (Ca2+) play an important role in fusogenic activity via a Ca2+ binding pocket with conserved glutamic acid (E) and aspartic acid (D) residues. SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV FPs share a high sequence homology, and here, we investigated whether Ca2+ is required for MERS-CoV fusion by screening a mutant array in which E and D residues in the MERS-CoV FP were substituted with neutrally charged alanines (A). Upon verifying mutant cell surface expression and proteolytic cleavage, we tested their ability to mediate pseudoparticle (PP) infection of host cells in modulating Ca2+ environments. Our results demonstrate that intracellular Ca2+ enhances MERS-CoV wild-type (WT) PP infection by approximately 2-fold and that E891 is a crucial residue for Ca2+ interaction. Subsequent electron spin resonance (ESR) experiments revealed that this enhancement could be attributed to Ca2+ increasing MERS-CoV FP fusion-relevant membrane ordering. Intriguingly, isothermal calorimetry showed an approximate 1:1 MERS-CoV FP to Ca2+ ratio, as opposed to an 1:2 SARS-CoV FP to Ca2+ ratio, suggesting significant differences in FP Ca2+ interactions of MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV FP despite their high sequence similarity.IMPORTANCE Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a major emerging infectious disease with zoonotic potential and has reservoirs in dromedary camels and bats. Since its first outbreak in 2012, the virus has repeatedly transmitted from camels to humans, with 2,468 confirmed cases causing 851 deaths. To date, there are no efficacious drugs and vaccines against MERS-CoV, increasing its potential to cause a public health emergency. In order to develop novel drugs and vaccines, it is important to understand the molecular mechanisms that enable the virus to infect host cells. Our data have found that calcium is an important regulator of viral fusion by interacting with negatively charged residues in the MERS-CoV FP region. This information can guide therapeutic solutions to block this calcium interaction and also repurpose already approved drugs for this use for a fast response to MERS-CoV outbreaks.


Subject(s)
Calcium/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Ions/metabolism , Membrane Fusion , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , Virus Internalization , Amino Acid Sequence , Amino Acid Substitution , Animals , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/pathogenicity , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Protein Binding , Proteolysis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Structure-Activity Relationship , Vero Cells , Virulence , Virus Assembly
12.
Nature ; 602(7896): 300-306, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1532072

ABSTRACT

During the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a variety of mutations have accumulated in the viral genome of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and, at the time of writing, four variants of concern are considered to be potentially hazardous to human society1. The recently emerged B.1.617.2/Delta variant of concern is closely associated with the COVID-19 surge that occurred in India in the spring of 2021 (ref. 2). However, the virological properties of B.1.617.2/Delta remain unclear. Here we show that the B.1.617.2/Delta variant is highly fusogenic and notably more pathogenic than prototypic SARS-CoV-2 in infected hamsters. The P681R mutation in the spike protein, which is highly conserved in this lineage, facilitates cleavage of the spike protein and enhances viral fusogenicity. Moreover, we demonstrate that the P681R-bearing virus exhibits higher pathogenicity compared with its parental virus. Our data suggest that the P681R mutation is a hallmark of the virological phenotype of the B.1.617.2/Delta variant and is associated with enhanced pathogenicity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Membrane Fusion , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Amino Acid Substitution , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cricetinae , Giant Cells/metabolism , Giant Cells/virology , Male , Mesocricetus , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Virulence/genetics , Virus Replication
13.
J Med Chem ; 64(23): 17486-17495, 2021 12 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1531976

ABSTRACT

The pandemic of acute respiratory disease in 2019 caused by highly pathogenic and infectious SARS-CoV-2 has seriously endangered human public safety. The 6-HB (HR1-HR2 complex) formation occurring in the process of spike protein-mediated membrane fusion could serve as a conserved and potential target for the design of fusion inhibitors. Based on the HR2 domain of 6-HB, we designed and synthesized 32 stapled peptides using an all-hydrocarbon peptide stapling strategy. Owing to the improved proteolytic stability and higher helical contents, the optimized stapled peptides termed SCH2-1-20 and SCH2-1-27 showed better inhibitory activities against pseudo and authentic SARS-CoV-2 compared to the linear counterpart. Of note, SCH2-1-20 and SCH2-1-27 were proved to interfere with S protein-mediated membrane fusion. Structural modeling indicated similar binding modes between SCH2-1-20 and the linear peptide. These optimized stapled peptides could serve as potent fusion inhibitors in treating and preventing SARS-CoV-2, and the corresponding SAR could facilitate further optimization.


Subject(s)
Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Membrane Fusion , Pandemics , Protein Binding
14.
Cells ; 10(11)2021 11 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526805

ABSTRACT

The advancement of precision medicine critically depends on the robustness and specificity of the carriers used for the targeted delivery of effector molecules in the human body. Numerous nanocarriers have been explored in vivo, to ensure the precise delivery of molecular cargos via tissue-specific targeting, including the endocrine part of the pancreas, thyroid, and adrenal glands. However, even after reaching the target organ, the cargo-carrying vehicle needs to enter the cell and then escape lysosomal destruction. Most artificial nanocarriers suffer from intrinsic limitations that prevent them from completing the specific delivery of the cargo. In this respect, extracellular vesicles (EVs) seem to be the natural tool for payload delivery due to their versatility and low toxicity. However, EV-mediated delivery is not selective and is usually short-ranged. By inserting the viral membrane fusion proteins into exosomes, it is possible to increase the efficiency of membrane recognition and also ease the process of membrane fusion. This review describes the molecular details of the viral-assisted interaction between the target cell and EVs. We also discuss the question of the usability of viral fusion proteins in developing extracellular vesicle-based nanocarriers with a higher efficacy of payload delivery. Finally, this review specifically highlights the role of Gag and RNA binding proteins in RNA sorting into EVs.


Subject(s)
Exosomes/metabolism , RNA Transport , Viral Fusion Proteins/metabolism , Viral Matrix Proteins/metabolism , Animals , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Membrane Fusion
15.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 22288, 2021 11 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1517638

ABSTRACT

Numerous repositioned drugs have been sought to decrease the severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection. It is known that among its physicochemical properties, Ursodeoxycholic Acid (UDCA) has a reduction in surface tension and cholesterol solubilization, it has also been used to treat cholesterol gallstones and viral hepatitis. In this study, molecular docking was performed with the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein and UDCA. In order to confirm this interaction, we used Molecular Dynamics (MD) in "SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein-UDCA". Using another system, we also simulated MD with six UDCA residues around the Spike protein at random, naming this "SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein-6UDCA". Finally, we evaluated the possible interaction between UDCA and different types of membranes, considering the possible membrane conformation of SARS-CoV-2, this was named "SARS-CoV-2 membrane-UDCA". In the "SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein-UDCA", we found that UDCA exhibits affinity towards the central region of the Spike protein structure of - 386.35 kcal/mol, in a region with 3 alpha helices, which comprises residues from K986 to C1032 of each monomer. MD confirmed that UDCA remains attached and occasionally forms hydrogen bonds with residues R995 and T998. In the presence of UDCA, we observed that the distances between residues atoms OG1 and CG2 of T998 in the monomers A, B, and C in the prefusion state do not change and remain at 5.93 ± 0.62 and 7.78 ± 0.51 Å, respectively, compared to the post-fusion state. Next, in "SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein-6UDCA", the three UDCA showed affinity towards different regions of the Spike protein, but only one of them remained bound to the region between the region's heptad repeat 1 and heptad repeat 2 (HR1 and HR2) for 375 ps of the trajectory. The RMSD of monomer C was the smallest of the three monomers with a value of 2.89 ± 0.32, likewise, the smallest RMSF was also of the monomer C (2.25 ± 056). In addition, in the simulation of "SARS-CoV-2 membrane-UDCA", UDCA had a higher affinity toward the virion-like membrane; where three of the four residues remained attached once they were close (5 Å, to the centre of mass) to the membrane by 30 ns. However, only one of them remained attached to the plasma-like membrane and this was in a cluster of cholesterol molecules. We have shown that UDCA interacts in two distinct regions of Spike protein sequences. In addition, UDCA tends to stay bound to the membrane, which could potentially reduce the internalization of SARS-CoV-2 in the host cell.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Drug Repositioning/methods , Lipid Bilayers/metabolism , Molecular Docking Simulation/methods , Phospholipids/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Ursodeoxycholic Acid/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Hydrogen Bonding , Membrane Fusion , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Ursodeoxycholic Acid/chemistry , Virion/metabolism
16.
Cell ; 184(24): 5950-5969.e22, 2021 11 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1499701

ABSTRACT

The biogenesis of mammalian autophagosomes remains to be fully defined. Here, we used cellular and in vitro membrane fusion analyses to show that autophagosomes are formed from a hitherto unappreciated hybrid membrane compartment. The autophagic precursors emerge through fusion of FIP200 vesicles, derived from the cis-Golgi, with endosomally derived ATG16L1 membranes to generate a hybrid pre-autophagosomal structure, HyPAS. A previously unrecognized apparatus defined here controls HyPAS biogenesis and mammalian autophagosomal precursor membranes. HyPAS can be modulated by pharmacological agents whereas its formation is inhibited upon severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection or by expression of SARS-CoV-2 nsp6. These findings reveal the origin of mammalian autophagosomal membranes, which emerge via convergence of secretory and endosomal pathways, and show that this process is targeted by microbial factors such as coronaviral membrane-modulating proteins.


Subject(s)
Autophagosomes/virology , COVID-19/virology , Autophagy , COVID-19/metabolism , CRISPR-Cas Systems , Cell Line, Tumor , Endoplasmic Reticulum/metabolism , Endosomes/physiology , Endosomes/virology , Golgi Apparatus/physiology , HEK293 Cells , HeLa Cells , Humans , Membrane Fusion , Microscopy, Confocal , Phagosomes/metabolism , Phagosomes/virology , Qa-SNARE Proteins/biosynthesis , Receptors, sigma/biosynthesis , SARS-CoV-2 , Sarcoplasmic Reticulum Calcium-Transporting ATPases/biosynthesis , Synaptotagmins/biosynthesis
17.
Science ; 374(6573): 1353-1360, 2021 Dec 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1483980

ABSTRACT

The Delta variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has outcompeted previously prevalent variants and become a dominant strain worldwide. We report the structure, function, and antigenicity of its full-length spike (S) trimer as well as those of the Gamma and Kappa variants, and compare their characteristics with the G614, Alpha, and Beta variants. Delta S can fuse membranes more efficiently at low levels of cellular receptor angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), and its pseudotyped viruses infect target cells substantially faster than the other five variants, possibly accounting for its heightened transmissibility. Each variant shows different rearrangement of the antigenic surface of the amino-terminal domain of the S protein but only makes produces changes in the receptor binding domain (RBD), making the RBD a better target for therapeutic antibodies.


Subject(s)
Immune Evasion , Membrane Fusion , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Affinity , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Cell Line , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Protein Conformation , Protein Domains , Protein Multimerization , Receptors, Coronavirus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/physiology
18.
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
19.
Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol ; 23(1): 3-20, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1454780

ABSTRACT

The unprecedented public health and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic caused by infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been met with an equally unprecedented scientific response. Much of this response has focused, appropriately, on the mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 entry into host cells, and in particular the binding of the spike (S) protein to its receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), and subsequent membrane fusion. This Review provides the structural and cellular foundations for understanding the multistep SARS-CoV-2 entry process, including S protein synthesis, S protein structure, conformational transitions necessary for association of the S protein with ACE2, engagement of the receptor-binding domain of the S protein with ACE2, proteolytic activation of the S protein, endocytosis and membrane fusion. We define the roles of furin-like proteases, transmembrane protease, serine 2 (TMPRSS2) and cathepsin L in these processes, and delineate the features of ACE2 orthologues in reservoir animal species and S protein adaptations that facilitate efficient human transmission. We also examine the utility of vaccines, antibodies and other potential therapeutics targeting SARS-CoV-2 entry mechanisms. Finally, we present key outstanding questions associated with this critical process.


Subject(s)
SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Internalization , Animals , Evolution, Molecular , Humans , Membrane Fusion , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/metabolism
20.
Adv Virus Res ; 111: 1-29, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1370123

ABSTRACT

Parainfluenza viruses, members of the enveloped, negative-sense, single stranded RNA Paramyxoviridae family, impact global child health as the cause of significant lower respiratory tract infections. Parainfluenza viruses enter cells by fusing directly at the cell surface membrane. How this fusion occurs via the coordinated efforts of the two molecules that comprise the viral surface fusion complex, and how these efforts may be blocked, are the subjects of this chapter. The receptor binding protein of parainfluenza forms a complex with the fusion protein of the virus, remaining stably associated until a receptor is reached. At that point, the receptor binding protein actively triggers the fusion protein to undergo a series of transitions that ultimately lead to membrane fusion and viral entry. In recent years it has become possible to examine this remarkable process on the surface of viral particles and to begin to understand the steps in the transition of this molecular machine, using a structural biology approach. Understanding the steps in entry leads to several possible strategies to prevent fusion and inhibit infection.


Subject(s)
Paramyxoviridae Infections , Virus Internalization , Humans , Membrane Fusion , Parainfluenza Virus 3, Human , Viral Fusion Proteins/genetics
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