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1.
Nat Genet ; 54(8): 1078-1089, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1960394

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes a range of symptoms in infected individuals, from mild respiratory illness to acute respiratory distress syndrome. A systematic understanding of host factors influencing viral infection is critical to elucidate SARS-CoV-2-host interactions and the progression of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Here, we conducted genome-wide CRISPR knockout and activation screens in human lung epithelial cells with endogenous expression of the SARS-CoV-2 entry factors ACE2 and TMPRSS2. We uncovered proviral and antiviral factors across highly interconnected host pathways, including clathrin transport, inflammatory signaling, cell-cycle regulation, and transcriptional and epigenetic regulation. We further identified mucins, a family of high molecular weight glycoproteins, as a prominent viral restriction network that inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro and in murine models. These mucins also inhibit infection of diverse respiratory viruses. This functional landscape of SARS-CoV-2 host factors provides a physiologically relevant starting point for new host-directed therapeutics and highlights airway mucins as a host defense mechanism.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats , Epigenesis, Genetic , Humans , Mice , Mucins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2
2.
JCI Insight ; 6(19)2021 10 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376547

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUNDSARS-CoV-2 infection induces mucin overexpression, further promoting disease. Given that mucins are critical components of innate immunity, unraveling their expression profiles that dictate the course of disease could greatly enhance our understanding and management of COVID-19.METHODSUsing validated RT-PCR assays, we assessed mucin mRNA expression in the blood of patients with symptomatic COVID-19 compared with symptomatic patients without COVID-19 and healthy controls and correlated the data with clinical outcome parameters. Additionally, we analyzed mucin expression in mucus and lung tissue from patients with COVID-19 and investigated the effect of drugs for COVID-19 treatment on SARS-CoV-2-induced mucin expression in pulmonary epithelial cells.RESULTSWe identified a dynamic blood mucin mRNA signature that clearly distinguished patients with symptomatic COVID-19 from patients without COVID-19 based on expression of MUC1, MUC2, MUC4, MUC6, MUC13, MUC16, and MUC20 (AUCROC of 91.8%; sensitivity and specificity of 90.6% and 93.3%, respectively) and that discriminated between mild and critical COVID-19 based on the expression of MUC16, MUC20, and MUC21 (AUCROC of 89.1%; sensitivity and specificity of 90.0% and 85.7%, respectively). Differences in the transcriptional landscape of mucins in critical cases compared with mild cases identified associations with COVID-19 symptoms, respiratory support, organ failure, secondary infections, and mortality. Furthermore, we identified different mucins in the mucus and lung tissue of critically ill COVID-19 patients and showed the ability of baricitinib, tocilizumab, favipiravir, and remdesivir to suppress expression of SARS-CoV-2-induced mucins.CONCLUSIONThis multifaceted blood mucin mRNA signature showed the potential role of mucin profiling in diagnosing, estimating severity, and guiding treatment options in patients with COVID-19.FUNDINGThe Antwerp University Research and the Research Foundation Flanders COVID-19 funds.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Mucins/genetics , RNA, Messenger/genetics , Adult , Aged , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/pathology , Female , Humans , Lung/drug effects , Lung/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Transcriptome/drug effects
3.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 6319, 2020 12 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-966313

ABSTRACT

The relationship of SARS-CoV-2 pulmonary infection and severity of disease is not fully understood. Here we show analysis of autopsy specimens from 24 patients who succumbed to SARS-CoV-2 infection using a combination of different RNA and protein analytical platforms to characterize inter-patient and intra-patient heterogeneity of pulmonary virus infection. There is a spectrum of high and low virus cases associated with duration of disease. High viral cases have high activation of interferon pathway genes and a predominant M1-like macrophage infiltrate. Low viral cases are more heterogeneous likely reflecting inherent patient differences in the evolution of host response, but there is consistent indication of pulmonary epithelial cell recovery based on napsin A immunohistochemistry and RNA expression of surfactant and mucin genes. Using a digital spatial profiling platform, we find the virus corresponds to distinct spatial expression of interferon response genes demonstrating the intra-pulmonary heterogeneity of SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Host Microbial Interactions , Interferons/metabolism , Lung , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Aspartic Acid Endopeptidases/metabolism , Autopsy , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Female , Humans , Immunity , Immunohistochemistry , In Situ Hybridization , Interferons/genetics , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Macrophages/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Mucins/genetics , Mucins/metabolism , Surface-Active Agents/metabolism , Transcriptome , Viral Load
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