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1.
Sci Signal ; 15(729): eabg8744, 2022 04 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1784765

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) caused the unprecedented coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Critical cases of COVID-19 are characterized by the production of excessive amounts of cytokines and extensive lung damage, which is partially caused by the fusion of SARS-CoV-2-infected pneumocytes. Here, we found that cell fusion caused by the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein induced a type I interferon (IFN) response. This function of the S protein required its cleavage by proteases at the S1/S2 and the S2' sites. We further showed that cell fusion damaged nuclei and resulted in the formation of micronuclei that were sensed by the cytosolic DNA sensor cGAS and led to the activation of its downstream effector STING. Phosphorylation of the transcriptional regulator IRF3 and the expression of IFNB, which encodes a type I IFN, were abrogated in cGAS-deficient fused cells. Moreover, infection with VSV-SARS-CoV-2 also induced cell fusion, DNA damage, and cGAS-STING-dependent expression of IFNB. Together, these results uncover a pathway underlying the IFN response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our data suggest a mechanism by which fused pneumocytes in the lungs of patients with COVID-19 may enhance the production of IFNs and other cytokines, thus exacerbating disease severity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interferon Type I , COVID-19/genetics , Cell Fusion , Cytokines , Humans , Interferon Type I/genetics , Membrane Proteins/metabolism , Nucleotidyltransferases/genetics , Nucleotidyltransferases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
2.
Cell Death Dis ; 13(3): 269, 2022 03 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1764162

ABSTRACT

Stimulator of interferon genes (STING) contributes to immune responses against tumors and may control viral infection including SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, activation of the STING pathway by airway silica or smoke exposure leads to cell death, self-dsDNA release, and STING/type I IFN dependent acute lung inflammation/ARDS. The inflammatory response induced by a synthetic non-nucleotide-based diABZI STING agonist, in comparison to the natural cyclic dinucleotide cGAMP, is unknown. A low dose of diABZI (1 µg by endotracheal route for 3 consecutive days) triggered an acute neutrophilic inflammation, disruption of the respiratory barrier, DNA release with NET formation, PANoptosis cell death, and inflammatory cytokines with type I IFN dependent acute lung inflammation. Downstream upregulation of DNA sensors including cGAS, DDX41, IFI204, as well as NLRP3 and AIM2 inflammasomes, suggested a secondary inflammatory response to dsDNA as a danger signal. DNase I treatment, inhibition of NET formation together with an investigation in gene-deficient mice highlighted extracellular DNA and TLR9, but not cGAS, as central to diABZI-induced neutrophilic response. Therefore, activation of acute cell death with DNA release may lead to ARDS which may be modeled by diABZI. These results show that airway targeting by STING activator as a therapeutic strategy for infection may enhance lung inflammation with severe ARDS. STING agonist diABZI induces neutrophilic lung inflammation and PANoptosis A, Airway STING priming induce a neutrophilic lung inflammation with epithelial barrier damage, double-stranded DNA release in the bronchoalvelolar space, cell death, NETosis and type I interferon release. B, 1. The diamidobenzimidazole (diABZI), a STING agonist is internalized into the cytoplasm through unknown receptor and induce the activation and dimerization of STING followed by TBK1/IRF3 phosporylation leading to type I IFN response. STING activation also leads to NF-kB activation and the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNFα and IL-6. 2. The activation of TNFR1 and IFNAR1 signaling pathway results in ZBP1 and RIPK3/ASC/CASP8 activation leading to MLKL phosphorylation and necroptosis induction. 3. This can also leads to Caspase-3 cleavage and apoptosis induction. 4. Self-dsDNA or mtDNA sensing by NLRP3 or AIM2 induces inflammsome formation leading to Gasdermin D cleavage enabling Gasdermin D pore formation and the release mature IL-1ß and pyroptosis. NLRP3 inflammasome formation can be enhanced by the ZBP1/RIPK3/CASP8 complex. 5. A second signal of STING activation with diABZI induces cell death and the release of self-DNA which is sensed by cGAS and form 2'3'-cGAMP leading to STING hyper activation, the amplification of TBK1/IRF3 and NF-kB pathway and the subsequent production of IFN-I and inflammatory TNFα and IL-6. This also leads to IFI204 and DDX41 upregulation thus, amplifying the inflammatory loop. The upregulation of apoptosis, pyroptosis and necroptosis is indicative of STING-dependent PANoptosis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , Animals , Cytokines/metabolism , DNA , Inflammasomes/metabolism , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Mice , NF-kappa B/metabolism , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/metabolism , Nucleotidyltransferases/genetics , Nucleotidyltransferases/metabolism , RNA-Binding Proteins , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism
3.
Aging Cell ; 21(4): e13594, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1752476

ABSTRACT

Disproportionately high incidence and mortality of respiratory infection such as influenza A virus (IAV) and SARS-CoV-2 have been evidenced in the elderly, but the role and the mechanism of age-associated immune deregulation in disease exacerbation are not well defined. Using a late generation of mice deficient in telomerase RNA (Terc-/- ), we herein demonstrated that aged mice were exquisitely susceptible to respiratory viral infection, with excessive inflammation and increased mortality. Furthermore, we identified the cGAS/STING pathway, which was essentially induced by the leaked mitochondrial DNA, as a biologically relevant mechanism contributing to exaggerated inflammation in Terc-/- mice following viral infection. Innate immune cells, mainly, macrophages with shortened telomeres, exhibited hallmarks of cellular senescence, mitochondrial distress, and aberrant activation of STING and NLRP3 inflammasome pathways, which predisposed mice to severe viral pneumonia during commonly mild infections. Application of STING inhibitor and, more importantly, senolytic agent, reduced the burden of stressed macrophages, improved mitochondrial integrity, and suppressed STING activation, thereby conferring the protection for Terc-/- mice against respiratory infection. Together, the findings expand our understanding of innate immune senescence and reveal the potential of the senolytics as a promising treatment to alleviate the symptom of viral pneumonia, particularly for the older population.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Immunity, Innate , Animals , Inflammation , Membrane Proteins/genetics , Membrane Proteins/metabolism , Mice , Nucleotidyltransferases/genetics , Nucleotidyltransferases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Signal Transduction , Telomere/metabolism
4.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 382, 2021 11 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500449

ABSTRACT

The global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a positive-sense RNA virus. How the host immune system senses and responds to SARS-CoV-2 infection remain largely unresolved. Here, we report that SARS-CoV-2 infection activates the innate immune response through the cytosolic DNA sensing cGAS-STING pathway. SARS-CoV-2 infection induces the cellular level of 2'3'-cGAMP associated with STING activation. cGAS recognizes chromatin DNA shuttled from the nucleus as a result of cell-to-cell fusion upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. We further demonstrate that the expression of spike protein from SARS-CoV-2 and ACE2 from host cells is sufficient to trigger cytoplasmic chromatin upon cell fusion. Furthermore, cytoplasmic chromatin-cGAS-STING pathway, but not MAVS-mediated viral RNA sensing pathway, contributes to interferon and pro-inflammatory gene expression upon cell fusion. Finally, we show that cGAS is required for host antiviral responses against SARS-CoV-2, and a STING-activating compound potently inhibits viral replication. Together, our study reported a previously unappreciated mechanism by which the host innate immune system responds to SARS-CoV-2 infection, mediated by cytoplasmic chromatin from the infected cells. Targeting the cytoplasmic chromatin-cGAS-STING pathway may offer novel therapeutic opportunities in treating COVID-19. In addition, these findings extend our knowledge in host defense against viral infection by showing that host cells' self-nucleic acids can be employed as a "danger signal" to alarm the immune system.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Chromatin/immunology , Cytoplasm/immunology , Immunity, Innate , Nucleotidyltransferases/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , Chromatin/genetics , Cytoplasm/genetics , Disease Models, Animal , HEK293 Cells , HeLa Cells , Humans , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Nucleotidyltransferases/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
5.
J Med Virol ; 93(9): 5376-5389, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1363676

ABSTRACT

The suppression of types I and III interferon (IFN) responses by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) contributes to the pathogenesis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The strategy used by SARS-CoV-2 to evade antiviral immunity needs further investigation. Here, we reported that SARS-CoV-2 ORF9b inhibited types I and III IFN production by targeting multiple molecules of innate antiviral signaling pathways. SARS-CoV-2 ORF9b impaired the induction of types I and III IFNs by Sendai virus and poly (I:C). SARS-CoV-2 ORF9b inhibited the activation of types I and III IFNs induced by the components of cytosolic dsRNA-sensing pathways of RIG-I/MDA5-MAVS signaling, including RIG-I, MDA-5, MAVS, TBK1, and IKKε, rather than IRF3-5D, which is the active form of IRF3. SARS-CoV-2 ORF9b also suppressed the induction of types I and III IFNs by TRIF and STING, which are the adaptor protein of the endosome RNA-sensing pathway of TLR3-TRIF signaling and the adaptor protein of the cytosolic DNA-sensing pathway of cGAS-STING signaling, respectively. A mechanistic analysis revealed that the SARS-CoV-2 ORF9b protein interacted with RIG-I, MDA-5, MAVS, TRIF, STING, and TBK1 and impeded the phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of IRF3. In addition, SARS-CoV-2 ORF9b facilitated the replication of the vesicular stomatitis virus. Therefore, the results showed that SARS-CoV-2 ORF9b negatively regulates antiviral immunity and thus facilitates viral replication. This study contributes to our understanding of the molecular mechanism through which SARS-CoV-2 impairs antiviral immunity and provides an essential clue to the pathogenesis of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
DEAD Box Protein 58/immunology , Immune Evasion/genetics , Interferons/immunology , Nucleotidyltransferases/immunology , Receptors, Immunologic/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Toll-Like Receptor 3/immunology , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/genetics , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/immunology , Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport/genetics , Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport/immunology , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , DEAD Box Protein 58/genetics , Gene Expression Regulation , HEK293 Cells , HeLa Cells , Humans , I-kappa B Kinase/genetics , I-kappa B Kinase/immunology , Immunity, Innate , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/genetics , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/immunology , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1/genetics , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1/immunology , Interferons/genetics , Membrane Proteins/genetics , Membrane Proteins/immunology , Nucleotidyltransferases/genetics , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Plasmids/chemistry , Plasmids/metabolism , /immunology , Receptors, Immunologic/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Signal Transduction/genetics , Signal Transduction/immunology , Toll-Like Receptor 3/genetics , Transfection , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/immunology
6.
J Med Virol ; 93(9): 5376-5389, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1206842

ABSTRACT

The suppression of types I and III interferon (IFN) responses by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) contributes to the pathogenesis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The strategy used by SARS-CoV-2 to evade antiviral immunity needs further investigation. Here, we reported that SARS-CoV-2 ORF9b inhibited types I and III IFN production by targeting multiple molecules of innate antiviral signaling pathways. SARS-CoV-2 ORF9b impaired the induction of types I and III IFNs by Sendai virus and poly (I:C). SARS-CoV-2 ORF9b inhibited the activation of types I and III IFNs induced by the components of cytosolic dsRNA-sensing pathways of RIG-I/MDA5-MAVS signaling, including RIG-I, MDA-5, MAVS, TBK1, and IKKε, rather than IRF3-5D, which is the active form of IRF3. SARS-CoV-2 ORF9b also suppressed the induction of types I and III IFNs by TRIF and STING, which are the adaptor protein of the endosome RNA-sensing pathway of TLR3-TRIF signaling and the adaptor protein of the cytosolic DNA-sensing pathway of cGAS-STING signaling, respectively. A mechanistic analysis revealed that the SARS-CoV-2 ORF9b protein interacted with RIG-I, MDA-5, MAVS, TRIF, STING, and TBK1 and impeded the phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of IRF3. In addition, SARS-CoV-2 ORF9b facilitated the replication of the vesicular stomatitis virus. Therefore, the results showed that SARS-CoV-2 ORF9b negatively regulates antiviral immunity and thus facilitates viral replication. This study contributes to our understanding of the molecular mechanism through which SARS-CoV-2 impairs antiviral immunity and provides an essential clue to the pathogenesis of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
DEAD Box Protein 58/immunology , Immune Evasion/genetics , Interferons/immunology , Nucleotidyltransferases/immunology , Receptors, Immunologic/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Toll-Like Receptor 3/immunology , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/genetics , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/immunology , Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport/genetics , Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport/immunology , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , DEAD Box Protein 58/genetics , Gene Expression Regulation , HEK293 Cells , HeLa Cells , Humans , I-kappa B Kinase/genetics , I-kappa B Kinase/immunology , Immunity, Innate , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/genetics , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/immunology , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1/genetics , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1/immunology , Interferons/genetics , Membrane Proteins/genetics , Membrane Proteins/immunology , Nucleotidyltransferases/genetics , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Plasmids/chemistry , Plasmids/metabolism , /immunology , Receptors, Immunologic/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Signal Transduction/genetics , Signal Transduction/immunology , Toll-Like Receptor 3/genetics , Transfection , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/immunology
7.
BMC Infect Dis ; 20(1): 500, 2020 Jul 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-640102

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The rapid spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was declared as an emerging public health threat by the World Health Organization. As various measures have been taken successfully to combat the epidemic caused by SARS-CoV-2, a growing number of fully recovered patients have been discharged from hospitals. However, some of them have relapsed. Little is known about the causes that triggered the relapse. CASE PRESENTATION: We report a case of a 40 years old man who suffered from recurrent pulmonary infection with progression of lesions on chest computed tomography (CT), elevated levels of ferritin and IL2R, reduced lymphocyte count and positive oropharyngeal swab test for SARS-CoV-2 again after 5 days discharge from hospital. The anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody level of this patient was very low at the time of relapse, suggesting a weak humoral immune response to the virus. Total exon sequencing revealed mutations in TRNT1 gene, which may be responsible for B cell immunodeficiency. Therefore, uncleared SARS-CoV-2 at his first discharge was likely to lead to his recurrence. However, viral superinfection and non-infectious organizing pneumonia could not be completely excluded. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 relapse may occur in a part of discharged patients with low titers of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. These patients should be maintained in isolation for longer time even after discharge. A more sensitive method to detect SARS-CoV-2 needs to be established and serological testing for specific antibodies may be used as a reference to determine the duration of isolation.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/etiology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Adult , Antibody Formation , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Hospitals , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Indoles/therapeutic use , Male , Nucleotidyltransferases/genetics , Pandemics , Patient Discharge , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Recurrence , SARS-CoV-2 , Ventilators, Mechanical
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