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1.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(8)2022 Apr 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1792661

ABSTRACT

The recent development of mRNA vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 infection has turned the spotlight on the potential of nucleic acids as innovative prophylactic agents and as diagnostic and therapeutic tools. Until now, their use has been severely limited by their reduced half-life in the biological environment and the difficulties related to their transport to target cells. These limiting aspects can now be overcome by resorting to chemical modifications in the drug and using appropriate nanocarriers, respectively. Oligonucleotides can interact with complementary sequences of nucleic acid targets, forming stable complexes and determining their loss of function. An alternative strategy uses nucleic acid aptamers that, like the antibodies, bind to specific proteins to modulate their activity. In this review, the authors will examine the recent literature on nucleic acids-based strategies in the COVID-19 era, focusing the attention on their applications for the prophylaxis of COVID-19, but also on antisense- and aptamer-based strategies directed to the diagnosis and therapy of the coronavirus pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nucleic Acids , Humans , Nanomedicine , Nucleic Acids/therapeutic use , Oligonucleotides/chemistry , Oligonucleotides/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Molecules ; 26(22)2021 Nov 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1534202

ABSTRACT

The 5',8-cyclo-2'-deoxypurines (cdPus) affect the DNA structure. When these bulky structures are a part of clustered DNA lesions (CDL), they affect the repair of the other lesions within the cluster. Mitochondria are crucial for cell survival and have their own genome, hence, are highly interesting in the context of CDL repair. However, no studies are exploring this topic. Here, the initial stages of mitochondrial base excision repair (mtBER) were considered-the strand incision and elongation. The repair of a single lesion (apurinic site (AP site)) accompanying the cdPu within the double-stranded CDL has been investigated for the first time. The type of cdPu, its diastereomeric form, and the interlesion distance were taken into consideration. For these studies, the established experimental model of short oligonucleotides (containing AP sites located ≤7 base pairs to the cdPu in both directions) and mitochondrial extracts of the xrs5 cells were used. The obtained results have shown that the presence of cdPus influenced the processing of an AP site within the CDL. Levels of strand incision and elongation were higher for oligos containing RcdA and ScdG than for those with ScdA and RcdG. Investigated stages of mtBER were more efficient for DNA containing AP sites located on 5'-end side of cdPu than on its 3'-end side. In conclusion, the presence of cdPus in mtDNA structure may affect mtBER (processing the second mutagenic lesion within the CDL). As impaired repair processes may lead to serious biological consequences, further studies concerning the mitochondrial repair of CDL are highly demanded.


Subject(s)
DNA Damage , DNA Repair , DNA, Mitochondrial/metabolism , Oligonucleotides , Purine Nucleosides , Animals , CHO Cells , Cricetulus , Oligonucleotides/chemistry , Oligonucleotides/pharmacology , Purine Nucleosides/chemistry , Purine Nucleosides/pharmacology
3.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0260087, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528723

ABSTRACT

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an unprecedented need for RT-qPCR-based molecular diagnostic testing, placing a strain on the supply chain and the availability of commercially available PCR testing kits and reagents. The effect of limited molecular diagnostics-related supplies has been felt across the globe, disproportionally impacting molecular diagnostic testing in developing countries where acquisition of supplies is limited due to availability. The increasing global demand for commercial molecular diagnostic testing kits and reagents has made standard PCR assays cost prohibitive, resulting in the development of alternative approaches to detect SARS-CoV-2 in clinical specimens, circumventing the need for commercial diagnostic testing kits while mitigating the high-demand for molecular diagnostics testing. The timely availability of the complete SARS-CoV-2 genome in the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic facilitated the rapid development and deployment of specific primers and standardized laboratory protocols for the molecular diagnosis of COVID-19. An alternative method offering a highly specific manner of detecting and genotyping pathogens within clinical specimens is based on the melting temperature differences of PCR products. This method is based on the melting temperature differences between purine and pyrimidine bases. Here, RT-qPCR assays coupled with a High Resolution Melting analysis (HRM-RTqPCR) were developed to target different regions of the SARS-CoV-2 genome (RdRp, E and N) and an internal control (human RNAse P gene). The assays were validated using synthetic sequences from the viral genome and clinical specimens (nasopharyngeal swabs, serum and saliva) of sixty-five patients with severe or moderate COVID-19 from different states within Brazil; a larger validation group than that used in the development to the commercially available TaqMan RT-qPCR assay which is considered the gold standard for COVID-19 testing. The sensitivity of the HRM-RTqPCR assays targeting the viral N, RdRp and E genes were 94.12, 98.04 and 92.16%, with 100% specificity to the 3 SARS-CoV-2 genome targets, and a diagnostic accuracy of 95.38, 98.46 and 93.85%, respectively. Thus, HRM-RTqPCR emerges as an attractive alternative and low-cost methodology for the molecular diagnosis of COVID-19 in restricted-budget laboratories.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Adult , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/standards , Female , Humans , Male , Nucleic Acid Denaturation , Oligonucleotides/chemistry , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/standards , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Saliva/virology , Sensitivity and Specificity
4.
Adv Sci (Weinh) ; 8(23): e2101166, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1473797

ABSTRACT

Lipid-based nanoparticles have been applied extensively in drug delivery and vaccine strategies and are finding diverse applications in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic-from vaccine-component encapsulation to modeling the virus, itself. High-throughput, highly flexible methods for characterization are of great benefit to the development of liposomes featuring surface proteins. DNA-directed patterning is one such method that offers versatility in immobilizing and segregating lipid-based nanoparticles for subsequent analysis. Here, oligonucleotides are selectively conjugated onto a glass substrate and then hybridized to complementary oligonucleotides tagged to liposomes, patterning them with great control and precision. The power of DNA-directed patterning is demonstrated by characterizing a novel recapitulative lipid-based nanoparticle model of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-S-liposomes-that presents the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein on its surface. Patterning a mixture of S-liposomes and liposomes that display the tetraspanin CD63 to discrete regions of a substrate shows that angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) specifically binds to S-liposomes. Subsequent introduction of S-liposomes to ACE2-expressing cells tests the biological function of S-liposomes and shows agreement with DNA-directed patterning-based assays. Finally, multiplexed patterning of S-liposomes verifies the performance of commercially available neutralizing antibodies against the two S variants. Overall, DNA-directed patterning enables a wide variety of custom assays for the characterization of any lipid-based nanoparticle.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/diagnosis , Liposomes/chemistry , Nanoparticles/chemistry , Oligonucleotides/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Fluorescent Dyes/chemistry , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Liposomes/metabolism , Microscopy, Confocal , Oligonucleotides/metabolism , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Tetraspanins/chemistry , Tetraspanins/metabolism
5.
Biomol NMR Assign ; 15(1): 85-89, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1384621

ABSTRACT

Among the proteins encoded by the SARS-CoV-2 RNA, nsP3 (non-structural Protein3) is the largest multi-domain protein. Its role is multifaceted and important for the viral life cycle. Nonetheless, regarding the specific role of each domain there are many aspects of their function that have to be investigated. SARS Unique Domains (SUDs), constitute the nsP3c region of the nsP3, and were observed for the first time in SARS-CoV. Two of them, namely SUD-N (the first SUD) and the SUD-M (sequential to SUD-N), exhibit structural homology with nsP3b ("X" or macro domain); indeed all of them are folded in a three-layer α/ß/α sandwich. On the contrary, they do not exhibit functional similarities, like ADP-ribose binding properties and ADP-ribose hydrolase activity. There are reports that suggest that these two SUDs may exhibit a binding selectivity towards G-oligonucleotides, a feature which may contribute to the characterization of their role in the formation of the replication/transcription viral complex (RTC) and of the interaction of various viral "components" with the host cell. While the structures of these domains of SARS-CoV-2 have not been determined yet, SUDs interaction with oligonucleotides and/or RNA molecules may provide a platform for drug discovery. Here, we report the almost complete NMR backbone and side-chain resonance assignment (1H,13C,15N) of SARS-CoV-2 SUD-N protein, and the NMR chemical shift-based prediction of the secondary structure elements. These data may be exploited for its 3D structure determination and the screening of chemical compounds libraries, which may alter SUD-N function.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/chemistry , Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Carbon Isotopes , Drug Design , Hydrogen , Nitrogen Isotopes , Oligonucleotides/chemistry , Protein Domains , Protein Structure, Secondary , Virus Replication
6.
Biomol NMR Assign ; 15(1): 85-89, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-938616

ABSTRACT

Among the proteins encoded by the SARS-CoV-2 RNA, nsP3 (non-structural Protein3) is the largest multi-domain protein. Its role is multifaceted and important for the viral life cycle. Nonetheless, regarding the specific role of each domain there are many aspects of their function that have to be investigated. SARS Unique Domains (SUDs), constitute the nsP3c region of the nsP3, and were observed for the first time in SARS-CoV. Two of them, namely SUD-N (the first SUD) and the SUD-M (sequential to SUD-N), exhibit structural homology with nsP3b ("X" or macro domain); indeed all of them are folded in a three-layer α/ß/α sandwich. On the contrary, they do not exhibit functional similarities, like ADP-ribose binding properties and ADP-ribose hydrolase activity. There are reports that suggest that these two SUDs may exhibit a binding selectivity towards G-oligonucleotides, a feature which may contribute to the characterization of their role in the formation of the replication/transcription viral complex (RTC) and of the interaction of various viral "components" with the host cell. While the structures of these domains of SARS-CoV-2 have not been determined yet, SUDs interaction with oligonucleotides and/or RNA molecules may provide a platform for drug discovery. Here, we report the almost complete NMR backbone and side-chain resonance assignment (1H,13C,15N) of SARS-CoV-2 SUD-N protein, and the NMR chemical shift-based prediction of the secondary structure elements. These data may be exploited for its 3D structure determination and the screening of chemical compounds libraries, which may alter SUD-N function.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/chemistry , Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Carbon Isotopes , Drug Design , Hydrogen , Nitrogen Isotopes , Oligonucleotides/chemistry , Protein Domains , Protein Structure, Secondary , Virus Replication
7.
Nucleic Acid Ther ; 30(3): 129-132, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-73985

ABSTRACT

The present global health emergency involving the emergence and rapid spread of a novel coronavirus has prompted the world scientific community to consider how it can help to fight this growing viral pandemic. With few safe and effective drugs available to combat this threat to humanity and the normal functioning of our society, the oligonucleotide research community is uniquely positioned to apply its technology and expertise to help alleviate the crisis, thanks to its capacity for rational drug design, swift development cycles, and pursuing targets undruggable by conventional treatment strategies.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Oligonucleotides/therapeutic use , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , Drug Delivery Systems , Humans , Oligonucleotides/chemistry , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Protein Sci ; 29(7): 1596-1605, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-71902

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is rapidly spreading around the world. There is no existing vaccine or proven drug to prevent infections and stop virus proliferation. Although this virus is similar to human and animal SARS-CoVs and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoVs), the detailed information about SARS-CoV-2 proteins structures and functions is urgently needed to rapidly develop effective vaccines, antibodies, and antivirals. We applied high-throughput protein production and structure determination pipeline at the Center for Structural Genomics of Infectious Diseases to produce SARS-CoV-2 proteins and structures. Here we report two high-resolution crystal structures of endoribonuclease Nsp15/NendoU. We compare these structures with previously reported homologs from SARS and MERS coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Endoribonucleases/chemistry , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/chemistry , Oligonucleotides/chemistry , SARS Virus/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Amino Acid Sequence , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Catalytic Domain , Cloning, Molecular , Crystallography, X-Ray , Endoribonucleases/genetics , Endoribonucleases/metabolism , Escherichia coli/genetics , Escherichia coli/metabolism , Gene Expression , Genetic Vectors/chemistry , Genetic Vectors/metabolism , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/metabolism , Models, Molecular , Oligonucleotides/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Conformation, beta-Strand , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , SARS Virus/genetics , SARS Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Alignment , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Substrate Specificity , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
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