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2.
Nat Microbiol ; 8(4): 569-580, 2023 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2270213

ABSTRACT

Emerging severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants with antigenic changes in the spike protein are neutralized less efficiently by serum antibodies elicited by legacy vaccines against the ancestral Wuhan-1 virus. Nonetheless, these vaccines, including mRNA-1273 and BNT162b2, retained their ability to protect against severe disease and death, suggesting that other aspects of immunity control infection in the lung. Vaccine-elicited antibodies can bind Fc gamma receptors (FcγRs) and mediate effector functions against SARS-CoV-2 variants, and this property correlates with improved clinical coronavirus disease 2019 outcome. However, a causal relationship between Fc effector functions and vaccine-mediated protection against infection has not been established. Here, using passive and active immunization approaches in wild-type and FcγR-knockout mice, we determined the requirement for Fc effector functions to control SARS-CoV-2 infection. The antiviral activity of passively transferred immune serum was lost against multiple SARS-CoV-2 strains in mice lacking expression of activating FcγRs, especially murine FcγR III (CD16), or depleted of alveolar macrophages. After immunization with the pre-clinical mRNA-1273 vaccine, control of Omicron BA.5 infection in the respiratory tract also was lost in mice lacking FcγR III. Our passive and active immunization studies in mice suggest that Fc-FcγR engagement and alveolar macrophages are required for vaccine-induced antibody-mediated protection against infection by antigenically changed SARS-CoV-2 variants, including Omicron strains.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Animals , Humans , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , 2019-nCoV Vaccine mRNA-1273 , Receptors, IgG/genetics , BNT162 Vaccine , COVID-19/prevention & control , Antibodies, Viral , Mice, Knockout
3.
EMBO Rep ; 24(4): e56660, 2023 04 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2265979

ABSTRACT

Interferon-induced transmembrane protein 3 (IFITM3) is an antiviral protein that alters cell membranes to block fusion of viruses. Conflicting reports identified opposing effects of IFITM3 on SARS-CoV-2 infection of cells, and its impact on viral pathogenesis in vivo remains unclear. Here, we show that IFITM3 knockout (KO) mice infected with SARS-CoV-2 experience extreme weight loss and lethality compared to mild infection in wild-type (WT) mice. KO mice have higher lung viral titers and increases in inflammatory cytokine levels, immune cell infiltration, and histopathology. Mechanistically, we observe disseminated viral antigen staining throughout the lung and pulmonary vasculature in KO mice, as well as increased heart infection, indicating that IFITM3 constrains dissemination of SARS-CoV-2. Global transcriptomic analysis of infected lungs shows upregulation of gene signatures associated with interferons, inflammation, and angiogenesis in KO versus WT animals, highlighting changes in lung gene expression programs that precede severe lung pathology and fatality. Our results establish IFITM3 KO mice as a new animal model for studying severe SARS-CoV-2 infection and overall demonstrate that IFITM3 is protective in SARS-CoV-2 infections in vivo.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Mice , COVID-19/genetics , Interferons/genetics , Lung , Mice, Knockout
4.
Lab Invest ; 103(4): 100051, 2023 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2279377

ABSTRACT

Olfactory disorders, which are closely related to cognitive deterioration, can be caused by several factors, including infections, such as COVID-19; aging; and environmental chemicals. Injured olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) regenerate after birth, but it is unclear which receptors and sensors are involved in ORN regeneration. Recently, there has been great focus on the involvement of transient receptor potential vanilloid (TRPV) channels, which are nociceptors expressed on sensory nerves during the healing of damaged tissues. The localization of TRPV in the olfactory nervous system has been reported in the past, but its function there are unclear. Here, we investigated how TRPV1 and TRPV4 channels are involved in ORN regeneration. TRPV1 knockout (KO), TRPV4 KO, and wild-type (WT) mice were used to model methimazole-induced olfactory dysfunction. The regeneration of ORNs was evaluated using olfactory behavior, histologic examination, and measurement of growth factors. Both TRPV1 and TRPV4 were found to be expressed in the olfactory epithelium (OE). TRPV1, in particular, existed near ORN axons. TRPV4 was marginally expressed in the basal layer of the OE. The proliferation of ORN progenitor cells was reduced in TRPV1 KO mice, which delayed ORN regeneration and the improvement of olfactory behavior. Postinjury OE thickness improved faster in TRPV4 KO mice than WT mice but without acceleration of ORN maturation. The nerve growth factor and transforming growth factor ß levels in TRPV1 KO mice were similar to those in WT mice, and the transforming growth factor ß level was higher than TRPV4 KO mice. TRPV1 was involved in stimulating the proliferation of progenitor cells. TRPV4 modulated their proliferation and maturation. ORN regeneration was regulated by the interaction between TRPV1 and TRPV4. However, in this study, TRPV4 involvement was limited compared with TRPV1. To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate the involvement of TRPV1 and TRPV4 in OE regeneration.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Transient Receptor Potential Channels , Animals , Mice , TRPV Cation Channels/genetics , TRPV Cation Channels/metabolism , Mice, Knockout
5.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 12(1): 2178238, 2023 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2236789

ABSTRACT

5-Methylcytosine (m5C) is a widespread post-transcriptional RNA modification and is reported to be involved in manifold cellular responses and biological processes through regulating RNA metabolism. However, its regulatory role in antiviral innate immunity has not yet been elucidated. Here, we report that NSUN2, a typical m5C methyltransferase, negatively regulates type I interferon responses during various viral infections, including SARS-CoV-2. NSUN2 specifically mediates m5C methylation of IRF3 mRNA and accelerates its degradation, resulting in low levels of IRF3 and downstream IFN-ß production. Knockout or knockdown of NSUN2 enhanced type I interferon and downstream ISGs during various viral infection in vitro. And in vivo, the antiviral innate response is more dramatically enhanced in Nsun2+/- mice than in Nsun2+/+ mice. The highly m5C methylated cytosines in IRF3 mRNA were identified, and their mutation enhanced cellular IRF3 mRNA levels. Moreover, infection with Sendai virus (SeV), vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), or Zika virus (ZIKV) resulted in a reduction of endogenous NSUN2 levels. Especially, SARS-CoV-2 infection (WT strain and BA.1 omicron variant) also decreased endogenous levels of NSUN2 in COVID-19 patients and K18-hACE2 KI mice, further increasing type I interferon and downstream ISGs. Together, our findings reveal that NSUN2 serves as a negative regulator of interferon response by accelerating the fast turnover of IRF3 mRNA, while endogenous NSUN2 levels decrease during SARS-CoV-2 and various viral infections to boost antiviral responses for effective elimination of viruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interferon Type I , Virus Diseases , Zika Virus Infection , Zika Virus , Animals , Mice , Interferon Type I/genetics , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Interferon-beta/genetics , Interferon-beta/metabolism , Methylation , Zika Virus/metabolism , Mice, Knockout , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Antiviral Agents , Immunity, Innate , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/genetics , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/metabolism
6.
Viruses ; 15(2)2023 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2236018

ABSTRACT

Females often exhibit superior immune responses compared to males toward vaccines and pathogens such as influenza viruses and SARS-CoV-2. To help explain these differences, we first studied serum immunoglobulin isotype patterns in C57BL/6 male and female mice. We focused on IgG2b, an isotype that lends to virus control and that has been previously shown to be elevated in murine females compared to males. Improvements in IgG2b serum levels, and/or IgG2b ratios with other non-IgM isotypes, were observed when: (i) wildtype (WT) female mice were compared to estrogen receptor knockout mice (IgG2b, IgG2b/IgG3, IgG2b/IgG1, and IgG2b/IgA were all higher in WT mice), (ii) unmanipulated female mice were compared to ovariectomized mice (IgG2b/IgA was higher in unmanipulated animals), (iii) female mice were supplemented with estrogen in the context of an inflammatory insult (IgG2b and IgG2b/IgG3 were improved by estrogen supplementation), and (iv) male mice were supplemented with testosterone, a hormone that can convert to estrogen in vivo (IgG2b, IgG2b/IgG3, IgG2b/IgG1, and IgG2b/IgA were all improved by supplementation). We next examined data from three sets of previously described male and female human blood samples. In each case, there were higher IgG2 levels, and/or ratios of IgG2 with non-IgM isotypes, in human females compared to males. The effects of sex and sex hormones in the mouse and human studies were subtle, but frequent, suggesting that sex hormones represent only a fraction of the factors that influence isotype patterns. Examination of the gene loci suggested that upregulation of murine IgG2b or human IgG2 could be mediated by estrogen receptor binding to estrogen response elements and cytosine-adenine (CA) repeats upstream of respective Cγ genes. Given that murine IgG2b and human IgG2 lend to virus control, the isotype biases in females may be sufficient to improve outcomes following vaccination or infection. Future attention to sex hormone levels, and consequent immunoglobulin isotype patterns, in clinical trials are encouraged to support the optimization of vaccine and drug products for male and female hosts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Testosterone , Humans , Female , Male , Animals , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Receptors, Estrogen , Sex Characteristics , SARS-CoV-2 , Immunoglobulin G , Estrogens , Mice, Knockout , Immunoglobulin A
7.
PLoS Pathog ; 18(1): e1010219, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2197167

ABSTRACT

Excessive inflammation is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in many viral infections including influenza. Therefore, there is a need for therapeutic interventions that dampen and redirect inflammatory responses and, ideally, exert antiviral effects. Itaconate is an immunomodulatory metabolite which also reprograms cell metabolism and inflammatory responses when applied exogenously. We evaluated effects of endogenous itaconate and exogenous application of itaconate and its variants dimethyl- and 4-octyl-itaconate (DI, 4OI) on host responses to influenza A virus (IAV). Infection induced expression of ACOD1, the enzyme catalyzing itaconate synthesis, in monocytes and macrophages, which correlated with viral replication and was abrogated by DI and 4OI treatment. In IAV-infected mice, pulmonary inflammation and weight loss were greater in Acod1-/- than in wild-type mice, and DI treatment reduced pulmonary inflammation and mortality. The compounds reversed infection-triggered interferon responses and modulated inflammation in human cells supporting non-productive and productive infection, in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and in human lung tissue. All three itaconates reduced ROS levels and STAT1 phosphorylation, whereas AKT phosphorylation was reduced by 4OI and DI but increased by itaconate. Single-cell RNA sequencing identified monocytes as the main target of infection and the exclusive source of ACOD1 mRNA in peripheral blood. DI treatment silenced IFN-responses predominantly in monocytes, but also in lymphocytes and natural killer cells. Ectopic synthesis of itaconate in A549 cells, which do not physiologically express ACOD1, reduced infection-driven inflammation, and DI reduced IAV- and IFNγ-induced CXCL10 expression in murine macrophages independent of the presence of endogenous ACOD1. The compounds differed greatly in their effects on cellular gene homeostasis and released cytokines/chemokines, but all three markedly reduced release of the pro-inflammatory chemokines CXCL10 (IP-10) and CCL2 (MCP-1). Viral replication did not increase under treatment despite the dramatically repressed IFN responses. In fact, 4OI strongly inhibited viral transcription in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and the compounds reduced viral titers (4OI>Ita>DI) in A549 cells whereas viral transcription was unaffected. Taken together, these results reveal itaconates as immunomodulatory and antiviral interventions for influenza virus infection.


Subject(s)
Influenza A virus/immunology , Macrophages/immunology , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/drug therapy , Succinates/pharmacology , A549 Cells , Animals , Carboxy-Lyases/deficiency , Carboxy-Lyases/immunology , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/immunology , Humans , Macrophages/virology , Mice , Mice, Knockout , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/genetics , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/immunology , THP-1 Cells
8.
J Am Soc Nephrol ; 33(4): 786-808, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2141050

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The cell-matrix adhesion between podocytes and the glomerular basement membrane is essential for the integrity of the kidney's filtration barrier. Despite increasing knowledge about the complexity of integrin adhesion complexes, an understanding of the regulation of these protein complexes in glomerular disease remains elusive. METHODS: We mapped the in vivo composition of the podocyte integrin adhesome. In addition, we analyzed conditional knockout mice targeting a gene (Parva) that encodes an actin-binding protein (α-parvin), and murine disease models. To evaluate podocytes in vivo, we used super-resolution microscopy, electron microscopy, multiplex immunofluorescence microscopy, and RNA sequencing. We performed functional analysis of CRISPR/Cas9-generated PARVA single knockout podocytes and PARVA and PARVB double knockout podocytes in three- and two-dimensional cultures using specific extracellular matrix ligands and micropatterns. RESULTS: We found that PARVA is essential to prevent podocyte foot process effacement, detachment from the glomerular basement membrane, and the development of FSGS. Through the use of in vitro and in vivo models, we identified an inherent PARVB-dependent compensatory module at podocyte integrin adhesion complexes, sustaining efficient mechanical linkage at the filtration barrier. Sequential genetic deletion of PARVA and PARVB induces a switch in structure and composition of integrin adhesion complexes. This redistribution of these complexes translates into a loss of the ventral actin cytoskeleton, decreased adhesion capacity, impaired mechanical resistance, and dysfunctional extracellular matrix assembly. CONCLUSIONS: The findings reveal adaptive mechanisms of podocyte integrin adhesion complexes, providing a conceptual framework for therapeutic strategies to prevent podocyte detachment in glomerular disease.


Subject(s)
Glomerular Filtration Barrier , Microfilament Proteins , Podocytes , Animals , Glomerular Filtration Barrier/metabolism , Integrins/metabolism , Mice , Mice, Knockout , Microfilament Proteins/metabolism , Podocytes/metabolism
9.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 6100, 2022 Oct 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2077054

ABSTRACT

In cultured cells, SARS-CoV-2 infects cells via multiple pathways using different host proteases. Recent studies have shown that the furin and TMPRSS2 (furin/TMPRSS2)-dependent pathway plays a minor role in infection of the Omicron variant. Here, we confirm that Omicron uses the furin/TMPRSS2-dependent pathway inefficiently and enters cells mainly using the cathepsin-dependent endocytosis pathway in TMPRSS2-expressing VeroE6/TMPRSS2 and Calu-3 cells. This is the case despite efficient cleavage of the spike protein of Omicron. However, in the airways of TMPRSS2-knockout mice, Omicron infection is significantly reduced. We furthermore show that propagation of the mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 QHmusX strain and human clinical isolates of Beta and Gamma is reduced in TMPRSS2-knockout mice. Therefore, the Omicron variant isn't an exception in using TMPRSS2 in vivo, and analysis with TMPRSS2-knockout mice is important when evaluating SARS-CoV-2 variants. In conclusion, this study shows that TMPRSS2 is critically important for SARS-CoV-2 infection of murine airways, including the Omicron variant.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Humans , Mice , Cathepsins , Furin/genetics , Furin/metabolism , Mice, Knockout , Peptide Hydrolases , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Internalization
10.
Science ; 378(6615): eabn5648, 2022 10 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2019693

ABSTRACT

Lysosomes are key degradative compartments of the cell. Transport to lysosomes relies on GlcNAc-1-phosphotransferase-mediated tagging of soluble enzymes with mannose 6-phosphate (M6P). GlcNAc-1-phosphotransferase deficiency leads to the severe lysosomal storage disorder mucolipidosis II (MLII). Several viruses require lysosomal cathepsins to cleave structural proteins and thus depend on functional GlcNAc-1-phosphotransferase. We used genome-scale CRISPR screens to identify lysosomal enzyme trafficking factor (LYSET, also named TMEM251) as essential for infection by cathepsin-dependent viruses including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). LYSET deficiency resulted in global loss of M6P tagging and mislocalization of GlcNAc-1-phosphotransferase from the Golgi complex to lysosomes. Lyset knockout mice exhibited MLII-like phenotypes, and human pathogenic LYSET alleles failed to restore lysosomal sorting defects. Thus, LYSET is required for correct functioning of the M6P trafficking machinery and mutations in LYSET can explain the phenotype of the associated disorder.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Lysosomes , Mucolipidoses , Proteins , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , Cathepsins/metabolism , Humans , Lysosomes/metabolism , Mannose/metabolism , Mice , Mice, Knockout , Mucolipidoses/genetics , Mucolipidoses/metabolism , Proteins/genetics , Transferases (Other Substituted Phosphate Groups)
11.
J Virol ; 96(17): e0077422, 2022 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1992940

ABSTRACT

XIAP-associated factor 1 (XAF1) is an interferon (IFN)-stimulated gene (ISG) that enhances IFN-induced apoptosis. However, it is unexplored whether XAF1 is essential for the host fighting against invaded viruses. Here, we find that XAF1 is significantly upregulated in the host cells infected with emerging RNA viruses, including influenza, Zika virus (ZIKV), and SARS-CoV-2. IFN regulatory factor 1 (IRF1), a key transcription factor in immune cells, determines the induction of XAF1 during antiviral immunity. Ectopic expression of XAF1 protects host cells against various RNA viruses independent of apoptosis. Knockout of XAF1 attenuates host antiviral innate immunity in vitro and in vivo, which leads to more severe lung injuries and higher mortality in the influenza infection mouse model. XAF1 stabilizes IRF1 protein by antagonizing the CHIP-mediated degradation of IRF1, thus inducing more antiviral IRF1 target genes, including DDX58, DDX60, MX1, and OAS2. Our study has described a protective role of XAF1 in the host antiviral innate immunity against RNA viruses. We have also elucidated the molecular mechanism that IRF1 and XAF1 form a positive feedback loop to induce rapid and robust antiviral immunity. IMPORTANCE Rapid and robust induction of antiviral genes is essential for the host to clear the invaded viruses. In addition to the IRF3/7-IFN-I-STAT1 signaling axis, the XAF1-IRF1 positive feedback loop synergistically or independently drives the transcription of antiviral genes. Moreover, XAF1 is a sensitive and reliable gene that positively correlates with the viral infection, suggesting that XAF1 is a potential diagnostic marker for viral infectious diseases. In addition to the antitumor role, our study has shown that XAF1 is essential for antiviral immunity. XAF1 is not only a proapoptotic ISG, but it also stabilizes the master transcription factor IRF1 to induce antiviral genes. IRF1 directly binds to the IRF-Es of its target gene promoters and drives their transcriptions, which suggests a unique role of the XAF1-IRF1 loop in antiviral innate immunity, particularly in the host defect of IFN-I signaling such as invertebrates.


Subject(s)
Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing , Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins , Interferon Regulatory Factor-1 , RNA Virus Infections , RNA Viruses , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/immunology , Animals , Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Interferon Regulatory Factor-1/immunology , Mice , Mice, Knockout , RNA Virus Infections/immunology , Virus Replication
12.
Dis Model Mech ; 14(10)2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1962950

ABSTRACT

The 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Ardem Patapoutian and David Julius for their research on receptor channels responsible for the perception of touch and temperature. Somatosensation, an overarching sense that enables us to safely interface with the physical forces around and within us, is the fourth sensory modality to be recognized by the Nobel Committee. The story of the discovery of TRP and PIEZO channels, and subsequent investigations into their myriad roles in the perception of noxious and mild temperature, touch, pain, pressure and body position, is an archetype for how translational research into human and animal health is built on a foundation of excellence in basic science.


Subject(s)
Medicine , Nobel Prize , Physiology , Touch/physiology , Animals , Mechanoreceptors/metabolism , Mice, Knockout , Temperature
13.
Int J Mol Sci ; 21(9)2020 Apr 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1934078

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) initiates the cytokine/chemokine storm-mediated lung injury. The SARS-CoV unique domain (SUD) with three macrodomains (N, M, and C), showing the G-quadruplex binding activity, was examined the possible role in SARS pathogenesis in this study. The chemokine profile analysis indicated that SARS-CoV SUD significantly up-regulated the expression of CXCL10, CCL5 and interleukin (IL)-1ß in human lung epithelial cells and in the lung tissues of the mice intratracheally instilled with the recombinant plasmids. Among the SUD subdomains, SUD-MC substantially activated AP-1-mediated CXCL10 expression in vitro. In the wild type mice, SARS-CoV SUD-MC triggered the pulmonary infiltration of macrophages and monocytes, inducing CXCL10-mediated inflammatory responses and severe diffuse alveolar damage symptoms. Moreover, SUD-MC actuated NOD-, LRR- and pyrin domain-containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome-dependent pulmonary inflammation, as confirmed by the NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitor and the NLRP3-/- mouse model. This study demonstrated that SARS-CoV SUD modulated NLRP3 inflammasome-dependent CXCL10-mediated pulmonary inflammation, providing the potential therapeutic targets for developing the antiviral agents.


Subject(s)
Chemokine CXCL10/metabolism , Inflammasomes/metabolism , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/metabolism , Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus/metabolism , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Animals , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/chemistry , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/immunology , Cell Line , Chemokine CXCL10/genetics , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Lung/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , Monocytes/immunology , Monocytes/metabolism , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/deficiency , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/genetics , Pneumonia/pathology , Pneumonia/virology , Promoter Regions, Genetic , Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus/isolation & purification , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/pathology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology , Up-Regulation , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/genetics
14.
PLoS One ; 17(6): e0270418, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1910682

ABSTRACT

Thymidine kinase 2 (TK2) deficiency in humans leads to a myopathic form of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) deficiency. Here we present a skeletal and cardiac muscle specific TK2 knockout mouse (mTk2 KO). The mice showed dilated hearts and markedly reduced adipose tissue during week 12 to 16. A severe decrease of mtDNA was found only in skeletal muscle and heart tissue in mTk2 KO mice. Expression analysis of key metabolic genes of 16 weeks knockout mice showed significant changes of genes involved in lipid metabolism, with different patterns in heart and skeletal muscle. Our study further suggests that lipoprotein lipase (LPL) from liver supports the metabolism when heart and skeletal muscle were impaired due to mitochondrial dysfunction. The angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), which is involved in glucose homeostasis, was also affected by mtDNA deficiency in our study. Interestingly, both the gene and protein expression of ACE2 were increased in cardiac tissue of mTk2 KO mice. Since ACE2 is a receptor for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, its regulation in relation to mitochondrial function may have important clinical implications.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 , Lipid Metabolism Disorders , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , DNA, Mitochondrial/genetics , DNA, Mitochondrial/metabolism , Lipid Metabolism , Lipid Metabolism Disorders/genetics , Lipid Metabolism Disorders/metabolism , Lipid Metabolism Disorders/virology , Mice , Mice, Knockout , Mitochondria/genetics , Mitochondria/metabolism , Muscle, Skeletal/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Up-Regulation
16.
J Am Soc Nephrol ; 33(3): 565-582, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1883777

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Endothelial cell injury is a common nidus of renal injury in patients and consistent with the high prevalence of AKI reported during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. This cell type expresses integrin α5 (ITGA5), which is essential to the Tie2 signaling pathway. The microRNA miR-218-5p is upregulated in endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) after hypoxia, but microRNA regulation of Tie2 in the EPC lineage is unclear. METHODS: We isolated human kidney-derived EPCs (hkEPCs) and surveyed microRNA target transcripts. A preclinical model of ischemic kidney injury was used to evaluate the effect of hkEPCs on capillary repair. We used a genetic knockout model to evaluate the effect of deleting endogenous expression of miR-218 specifically in angioblasts. RESULTS: After ischemic in vitro preconditioning, miR-218-5p was elevated in hkEPCs. We found miR-218-5p bound to ITGA5 mRNA transcript and decreased ITGA5 protein expression. Phosphorylation of 42/44 MAPK decreased by 73.6% in hkEPCs treated with miR-218-5p. Cells supplemented with miR-218-5p downregulated ITGA5 synthesis and decreased 42/44 MAPK phosphorylation. In a CD309-Cre/miR-218-2-LoxP mammalian model (a conditional knockout mouse model designed to delete pre-miR-218-2 exclusively in CD309+ cells), homozygotes at e18.5 contained avascular glomeruli, whereas heterozygote adults showed susceptibility to kidney injury. Isolated EPCs from the mouse kidney contained high amounts of ITGA5 and showed decreased migratory capacity in three-dimensional cell culture. CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate the critical regulatory role of miR-218-5p in kidney EPC migration, a finding that may inform efforts to treat microvascular kidney injury via therapeutic cell delivery.


Subject(s)
Acute Kidney Injury/etiology , Acute Kidney Injury/metabolism , Endothelial Progenitor Cells/metabolism , Endothelial Progenitor Cells/pathology , Integrin alpha5/metabolism , MicroRNAs/physiology , Acute Kidney Injury/pathology , Animals , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , Receptor, TIE-2/physiology , Signal Transduction/physiology
17.
BMC Immunol ; 23(1): 25, 2022 05 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1857991

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 (STAT6) is an intracelluar transcriotion factor and NLRP3 (Nod-like receptor containing a pyrin domain 3) is a component of NLRP3 inflammasome in pyroptotic cells. There was increased activation of STAT6 and expression of NLRP3 in mice with murine acute lung injury (ALI). However, it is unknown their roles in the development of murine ALI. We in this study, investigated the effects of STAT6 signaling on murine ALI and pyroptosis in STAT6 knock-out (KO) mice and macrophages. RESULTS: STAT6 was activated in the lung tissues of mice 2 days after intratracheal treatmemt with 5 mg/kg LPS. Lack of STAT6 expression in KO mice induced more severe lung inflammation, associated with elevated neutrophil influx and expression of TNF-alpha, IL-6 and IL-1beta in the inflamed lung tissues. In addition, the expression of NLRP3, ASC (apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD), p-p38 MAPK (p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase) and ratio of LC3-II/I (microtubule-associated protein-1 light chain-3) was increased, accompanied with the increased polarization of Siglec-F(-) subtype macrophages in KO mice with ALI. Further studies in bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) revealed that lack of STAT6 increased the expression of NLRP3 and p-p38 MAPK, in association with elevated expression of TNF-alpha, IL-1beta and Calreticulin in LPS-treated KO BMDMs. CONCLUSIONS: Lack of STAT6 exacerbated murine ALI through improving the expression of NLRP3 and activation of p38 MAPK in macrophages. STAT6 has an immune suppressive role in the development of ALI and would be a promising therapeutic target in the treatment of ALI and possibly among patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).


Subject(s)
Acute Lung Injury , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein , Acute Lung Injury/drug therapy , Acute Lung Injury/metabolism , Animals , Humans , Inflammasomes/metabolism , Lipopolysaccharides/pharmacology , Macrophages , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/genetics , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/metabolism , STAT6 Transcription Factor/genetics , STAT6 Transcription Factor/metabolism , STAT6 Transcription Factor/pharmacology , Signal Transduction , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism , p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism
18.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(21): e2202012119, 2022 05 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1852638

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS­CoV-2) is a worldwide health concern, and new treatment strategies are needed. Targeting inflammatory innate immunity pathways holds therapeutic promise, but effective molecular targets remain elusive. Here, we show that human caspase-4 (CASP4) and its mouse homolog, caspase-11 (CASP11), are up-regulated in SARS­CoV-2 infections and that CASP4 expression correlates with severity of SARS­CoV-2 infection in humans. SARS­CoV-2­infected Casp11−/− mice were protected from severe weight loss and lung pathology, including blood vessel damage, compared to wild-type (WT) mice and mice lacking the caspase downstream effector gasdermin-D (Gsdmd−/−). Notably, viral titers were similar regardless of CASP11 knockout. Global transcriptomics of SARS­CoV-2­infected WT, Casp11−/−, and Gsdmd−/− lungs identified restrained expression of inflammatory molecules and altered neutrophil gene signatures in Casp11−/− mice. We confirmed that protein levels of inflammatory mediators interleukin (IL)-1ß, IL-6, and CXCL1, as well as neutrophil functions, were reduced in Casp11−/− lungs. Additionally, Casp11−/− lungs accumulated less von Willebrand factor, a marker for endothelial damage, but expressed more Kruppel-Like Factor 2, a transcription factor that maintains vascular integrity. Overall, our results demonstrate that CASP4/11 promotes detrimental SARS­CoV-2­induced inflammation and coagulopathy, largely independently of GSDMD, identifying CASP4/11 as a promising drug target for treatment and prevention of severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Caspases, Initiator/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Thromboinflammation , Animals , COVID-19/enzymology , COVID-19/pathology , Caspases, Initiator/genetics , Disease Progression , Humans , Lung/pathology , Mice , Mice, Knockout , Severity of Illness Index , Thromboinflammation/enzymology , Thromboinflammation/genetics
19.
Viruses ; 14(5)2022 05 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1820422

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 variants, including B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta), P.1 (Gamma), and B.1.617.2 (Delta) variants, have displayed increased transmissibility and, therefore, have been categorized as variants of concern (VOCs). The pervasiveness of VOCs suggests a high probability of future mutations that may lead to increased virulence. Prior reports have shown that VOC infection without expression of human angiotensin converting enzyme-2 receptor (hACE2) in mice is possible. We sought to understand if the increased transmissibility of VOCs can infect C57BL/6 mice without expression of hACE2 receptor required for entry of SARS-CoV-2 normally. We examined the ability of infection with Beta and Gamma variants to infect and cause both pathological and clinical changes consistent with severe COVID-19, including body weight changes, survival, subgenomic viral titer, lung histology on Hematoxylin and Eosin (H&E) staining, and viral protein expression as measured by immunohistochemistry staining of viral antigen (IHC). These methods were used to examine three groups of mice: C57BL6, Rag2-/-, and Ccr2-/- mice. We observed that these mice, infected with Beta and Gamma variants of SARS-CoV-2, did not show pathological changes as indicated by weight loss, altered survival, or significant lung pathology on H&E staining. Subgenomic qPCR and IHC staining for viral protein indicated that there was some evidence of infection but far below ACE2 transgenic mice, which showed clinical disease and pathologic changes consistent with ARDS. These data suggest that these variants replicate poorly even in the setting of profound immune deficiency.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disease Models, Animal , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Proteins
20.
Kidney360 ; 2(7): 1095-1106, 2021 07 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1776832

ABSTRACT

Background: The actions of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) oppose those of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. ACE2 may be a cytoprotectant in some tissues. This study examined ACE2 expression in models of AKI. Methods: ACE2 mRNA and protein expression and ACE2 activity were assessed in murine ischemic AKI. Renal ACE2 mRNA expression was evaluated in LPS-induced AKI in wild-type (C57BL/6J) mice, in heme oxygenase-1+/+ and heme oxygenase-1-/- mice, and after unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) in wild-type mice. The effect of sex and age on renal ACE2 protein expression was also assessed. Results: In ischemic AKI, ACE2 mRNA and protein expression and ACE2 activity were reduced as compared with such indices in the intact kidney. In ischemic AKI, ACE2, which, in health, is prominently expressed in the tubular epithelium, especially proximal tubules, is decreased in expression in these segments. Decreased ACE2 expression in AKI did not reflect reduced GFR, because ACE2 mRNA expression was unaltered after UUO. LPS induced renal ACE2 mRNA expression in wild-type mice, but this effect did not occur in heme oxygenase-1-deficient mice. In ischemic and LPS-induced AKI, renal expression of the Mas receptor was increased. In the intact kidney, renal ACE2 protein expression decreased in female mice as compared with male mice, but was unaltered with age. Conclusion: We conclude that renal ACE2 expression is decreased in ischemic AKI, characterized by decreased GFR and abundant cell death, but is upregulated in LPS-induced AKI, an effect requiring heme oxygenase-1. Determining the significance of ACE2 expression in experimental AKI merits further study. We suggest that understanding the mechanism underlying ACE2 downregulation in AKI may offer insights relevant to COVID-19: ACE2 expression is downregulated after ACE2 mediates SARS-CoV-2 cellular entry; such downregulation is proinflammatory; and AKI commonly occurs and determines outcomes in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Acute Kidney Injury , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Acute Kidney Injury/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Female , Kidney , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout
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