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1.
Mikrochim Acta ; 189(3): 128, 2022 03 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1802751

ABSTRACT

This review focuses on critical scientific barriers that the field of point-of-care (POC) testing of SARS-CoV-2 is facing and possible solutions to overcome these barriers using functional nucleic acid (FNA)-based technology. Beyond the summary of recent advances in FNA-based sensors for COVID-19 diagnostics, our goal is to outline how FNA might serve to overcome the scientific barriers that currently available diagnostic approaches are suffering. The first introductory section on the operationalization of the COVID-19 pandemic in historical view and its clinical features contextualizes essential SARS-CoV-2-specific biomarkers. The second part highlights three major scientific barriers for POC COVID-19 diagnosis, that is, the lack of a general method for (1) designing receptors of SARS-CoV-2 variants; (2) improving sensitivity to overcome false negatives; and (3) signal readout in resource-limited settings. The subsequent part provides fundamental insights into FNA and technical tricks to successfully achieve effective COVID-19 diagnosis by using in vitro selection of FNA to overcome receptor design barriers, combining FNA with multiple DNA signal amplification strategies to improve sensitivity, and interfacing FNA with portable analyzers to overcome signal readout barriers. This review concludes with an overview of further opportunities and emerging applications for FNA-based sensors against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , Nucleic Acids/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antigens, Viral/analysis , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Point-of-Care Systems , RNA, Viral/analysis , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
2.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(14): e2119093119, 2022 04 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1751830

ABSTRACT

SignificanceUsing SARS-CoV-2 as a relevant case study for infectious disease, we investigate the structure-function relationships that dictate antiviral spherical nucleic acid (SNA) vaccine efficacy. We show that the SNA architecture can be rapidly employed to target COVID-19 through incorporation of the receptor-binding domain, and that the resulting vaccine potently activates human cells in vitro and mice in vivo. Furthermore, when challenged with a lethal viral infection, only mice treated with the SNA vaccine survived. Taken together, this work underscores the importance of rational vaccine design for infectious disease to yield vaccines that elicit more potent immune responses to effectively fight disease.


Subject(s)
Communicable Disease Control , Nucleic Acids/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/immunology , Animals , Biotechnology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Diseases/etiology , Communicable Diseases/immunology , Humans , Nucleic Acids/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Viral Vaccines/genetics , Viral Vaccines/immunology
3.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 14(3): 4714-4724, 2022 Jan 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1655444

ABSTRACT

Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS)-based biosensors are promising tools for virus nucleic acid detection. However, it remains challenging for SERS-based biosensors using a sandwiching strategy to detect long-chain nucleic acids such as nucleocapsid (N) gene of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) because the extension of the coupling distance (CD) between the two tethered metallic nanostructures weakens electric field and SERS signals. Herein, we report a magnetic-responsive substrate consisting of heteoronanostructures that controls the CD for ultrasensitive and highly selective detection of the N gene of SARS-CoV-2. Significantly, our findings show that this platform reversibly shortens the CD and enhances SERS signals with a 10-fold increase in the detection limit from 1 fM to 100 aM, compared to those without magnetic modulation. The optical simulation that emulates the CD shortening process confirms the CD-dependent electric field strength and further supports the experimental results. Our study provides new insights into designing a stimuli-responsive SERS-based platform with tunable hot spots for long-chain nucleic acid detection.


Subject(s)
Biosensing Techniques/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Nucleic Acids/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Gold/chemistry , Humans , Limit of Detection , Metal Nanoparticles/chemistry , Nucleic Acids/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Silver/chemistry , Spectrum Analysis, Raman/methods
4.
Int J Biol Macromol ; 203: 466-480, 2022 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1630871

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein (N) is a multifunctional promiscuous nucleic acid-binding protein, which plays a major role in nucleocapsid assembly and discontinuous RNA transcription, facilitating the template switch of transcriptional regulatory sequences (TRS). Here, we dissect the structural features of the N protein N-terminal domain (N-NTD) and N-NTD plus the SR-rich motif (N-NTD-SR) upon binding to single and double-stranded TRS DNA, as well as their activities for dsTRS melting and TRS-induced liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS). Our study gives insights on the specificity for N-NTD(-SR) interaction with TRS. We observed an approximation of the triple-thymidine (TTT) motif of the TRS to ß-sheet II, giving rise to an orientation difference of ~25° between dsTRS and non-specific sequence (dsNS). It led to a local unfavorable energetic contribution that might trigger the melting activity. The thermodynamic parameters of binding of ssTRSs and dsTRS suggested that the duplex dissociation of the dsTRS in the binding cleft is entropically favorable. We showed a preference for TRS in the formation of liquid condensates when compared to NS. Moreover, our results on DNA binding may serve as a starting point for the design of inhibitors, including aptamers, against N, a possible therapeutic target essential for the virus infectivity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Nucleic Acids/metabolism , Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Binding Sites , DNA/chemistry , DNA/metabolism , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Hydrogen Bonding , Models, Molecular , Nucleic Acids/chemistry , Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Protein Binding , RNA/chemistry , RNA/metabolism , Spectrum Analysis , Structure-Activity Relationship
5.
Adv Drug Deliv Rev ; 181: 114081, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1568454

ABSTRACT

With numerous recent advances, the field of therapeutic nucleic acid nanotechnology is now poised for clinical translation supported by several examples of FDA-approved nucleic acid nanoformulations including two recent mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines. Within this rapidly growing field, a new subclass of nucleic acid therapeutics called nucleic acid nanoparticles (NANPs) has emerged in recent years, which offers several unique properties distinguishing it from traditional therapeutic nucleic acids. Key unique aspects of NANPs include their well-defined 3D structure, their tunable multivalent architectures, and their ability to incorporate conditional activations of therapeutic targeting and release functions that enable diagnosis and therapy of cancer, regulation of blood coagulation disorders, as well as the development of novel vaccines, immunotherapies, and gene therapies. However, non-consolidated research developments of this highly interdisciplinary field create crucial barriers that must be overcome in order to impact a broader range of clinical indications. Forming a consortium framework for nucleic acid nanotechnology would prioritize and consolidate translational efforts, offer several unifying solutions to expedite their transition from bench-to-bedside, and potentially decrease the socio-economic burden on patients for a range of conditions. Herein, we review the unique properties of NANPs in the context of therapeutic applications and discuss their associated translational challenges.


Subject(s)
Nanoparticles/chemistry , Nanoparticles/therapeutic use , Nucleic Acids/chemistry , Nucleic Acids/therapeutic use , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Drug Delivery Systems/methods , Humans , Immunotherapy/methods , Nanotechnology/methods , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects
6.
Int J Biol Macromol ; 189: 869-878, 2021 Oct 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1370533

ABSTRACT

Electrophoresis is one of the major techniques to analyze macromolecular structure and interaction. Its capability depends on the sensitivity and specificity of the staining methods. We have here examined silver staining of proteins and nucleic acids separated by agarose native gel electrophoresis. By comparing five commercial kits, we identified Silver Stain Plus from Bio-Rad most adequate, as it provided little background staining and reasonable band staining. One of the disadvantages of the Silver Stain Plus kit is its variable staining of glycoproteins as tested with several model samples, including hen egg white proteins, α1-acid glycoprotein and SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein. One of the advantages of silver staining is its ability to stain nucleic acids as demonstrated here for a model nucleic acid with two kits. It was then used to monitor the removal of nucleic acids from the affinity-purified maltose binding protein and monoclonal antibody. It also worked well on staining proteins on agarose gels prepared in the vertical mode, although preparation of the vertical agarose gels required technological modifications described in this report. With the silver staining method optimized here, it should be possible in the future to analyze biological samples that may be available in limited quantity.


Subject(s)
Egg Proteins/chemistry , Nucleic Acids/chemistry , Orosomucoid/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Silver Staining , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Animals , Chickens , Electrophoresis, Agar Gel , Humans
7.
Int J Biol Macromol ; 188: 391-403, 2021 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1347646

ABSTRACT

One of the main structural proteins of Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the nucleocapsid protein (N). The basic function of this protein is to bind genomic RNA and to form a protective nucleocapsid in the mature virion. The intrinsic ability of the N protein to interact with nucleic acids makes its purification very challenging. Therefore, typically employed purification methods appear to be insufficient for removing nucleic acid contamination. In this study, we present a novel purification protocol that enables the N protein to be prepared without any bound nucleic acids. We also performed comparative structural analysis of the N protein contaminated with nucleic acids and free of contamination and showed significant differences in the structural and phase separation properties of the protein. These results indicate that nucleic-acid contamination may severely affect molecular properties of the purified N protein. In addition, the notable ability of the N protein to form condensates whose morphology and behaviour suggest more ordered forms resembling gel-like or solid structures is described.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/isolation & purification , Liquid-Liquid Extraction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Intrinsically Disordered Proteins/chemistry , Intrinsically Disordered Proteins/isolation & purification , Intrinsically Disordered Proteins/metabolism , Nucleic Acids/chemistry , Nucleic Acids/metabolism , Protein Aggregates , Protein Structure, Quaternary , Protein Structure, Secondary
8.
Molecules ; 25(7)2020 Mar 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-831217

ABSTRACT

For decades, nucleosides and nucleotides have formed the cornerstone of antiviral, antiparasitic and anticancer therapeutics and have been used as tools in exploring nucleic acid structure and function [...].


Subject(s)
Nucleic Acids/chemistry , Nucleosides/chemistry , Nucleotides/chemistry , Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , Antiprotozoal Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Computational Biology , Humans , Nucleosides/analogs & derivatives , Nucleosides/metabolism , Nucleosides/pharmacology , Nucleotides/metabolism
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