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1.
J Biol Chem ; 298(3): 101695, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1851422

ABSTRACT

Vascular endothelial cells (ECs) form a critical interface between blood and tissues that maintains whole-body homeostasis. In COVID-19, disruption of the EC barrier results in edema, vascular inflammation, and coagulation, hallmarks of this severe disease. However, the mechanisms by which ECs are dysregulated in COVID-19 are unclear. Here, we show that the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 alone activates the EC inflammatory phenotype in a manner dependent on integrin ⍺5ß1 signaling. Incubation of human umbilical vein ECs with whole spike protein, its receptor-binding domain, or the integrin-binding tripeptide RGD induced the nuclear translocation of NF-κB and subsequent expression of leukocyte adhesion molecules (VCAM1 and ICAM1), coagulation factors (TF and FVIII), proinflammatory cytokines (TNFα, IL-1ß, and IL-6), and ACE2, as well as the adhesion of peripheral blood leukocytes and hyperpermeability of the EC monolayer. In addition, inhibitors of integrin ⍺5ß1 activation prevented these effects. Furthermore, these vascular effects occur in vivo, as revealed by the intravenous administration of spike, which increased expression of ICAM1, VCAM1, CD45, TNFα, IL-1ß, and IL-6 in the lung, liver, kidney, and eye, and the intravitreal injection of spike, which disrupted the barrier function of retinal capillaries. We suggest that the spike protein, through its RGD motif in the receptor-binding domain, binds to integrin ⍺5ß1 in ECs to activate the NF-κB target gene expression programs responsible for vascular leakage and leukocyte adhesion. These findings uncover a new direct action of SARS-CoV-2 on EC dysfunction and introduce integrin ⍺5ß1 as a promising target for treating vascular inflammation in COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Inflammation , Integrin alpha5beta1 , NF-kappa B , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells , Humans , Inflammation/metabolism , Inflammation/pathology , Inflammation/virology , Integrin alpha5beta1/metabolism , Interleukin-6/metabolism , NF-kappa B/metabolism , Oligopeptides , SARS-CoV-2 , Signal Transduction , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism
2.
Viruses ; 14(4)2022 03 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1798881

ABSTRACT

Integrins represent a gateway of entry for many viruses and the Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) motif is the smallest sequence necessary for proteins to bind integrins. All Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Virus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) lineages own an RGD motif (aa 403-405) in their receptor binding domain (RBD). We recently showed that SARS-CoV-2 gains access into primary human lung microvascular endothelial cells (HL-mECs) lacking Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) expression through this conserved RGD motif. Following its entry, SARS-CoV-2 remodels cell phenotype and promotes angiogenesis in the absence of productive viral replication. Here, we highlight the αvß3 integrin as the main molecule responsible for SARS-CoV-2 infection of HL-mECs via a clathrin-dependent endocytosis. Indeed, pretreatment of virus with αvß3 integrin or pretreatment of cells with a monoclonal antibody against αvß3 integrin was found to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 entry into HL-mECs. Surprisingly, the anti-Spike antibodies evoked by vaccination were neither able to impair Spike/integrin interaction nor to prevent SARS-CoV-2 entry into HL-mECs. Our data highlight the RGD motif in the Spike protein as a functional constraint aimed to maintain the interaction of the viral envelope with integrins. At the same time, our evidences call for the need of intervention strategies aimed to neutralize the SARS-CoV-2 integrin-mediated infection of ACE2-negative cells in the vaccine era.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19/prevention & control , Endocytosis , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , Integrin alphaV/metabolism , Integrin beta3/metabolism , Oligopeptides , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
3.
Mamm Genome ; 33(1): 66-80, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1756794

ABSTRACT

Model organism research is essential for discovering the mechanisms of human diseases by defining biologically meaningful gene to disease relationships. The Rat Genome Database (RGD, ( https://rgd.mcw.edu )) is a cross-species knowledgebase and the premier online resource for rat genetic and physiologic data. This rich resource is enhanced by the inclusion and integration of comparative data for human and mouse, as well as other human disease models including chinchilla, dog, bonobo, pig, 13-lined ground squirrel, green monkey, and naked mole-rat. Functional information has been added to records via the assignment of annotations based on sequence similarity to human, rat, and mouse genes. RGD has also imported well-supported cross-species data from external resources. To enable use of these data, RGD has developed a robust infrastructure of standardized ontologies, data formats, and disease- and species-centric portals, complemented with a suite of innovative tools for discovery and analysis. Using examples of single-gene and polygenic human diseases, we illustrate how data from multiple species can help to identify or confirm a gene as involved in a disease and to identify model organisms that can be studied to understand the pathophysiology of a gene or pathway. The ultimate aim of this report is to demonstrate the utility of RGD not only as the core resource for the rat research community but also as a source of bioinformatic tools to support a wider audience, empowering the search for appropriate models for human afflictions.


Subject(s)
Biomedical Research , Databases, Genetic , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Dogs , Genome/genetics , Genomics , Mice , Oligopeptides , Swine
4.
Cell Signal ; 92: 110253, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1634748

ABSTRACT

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide. The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system is one of the major regulators of cardiovascular homeostasis and the angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R) mediates the main deleterious effects resulting from the hyperactivation of this hormonal system. Beta-arrestins are multifunctional proteins that regulate the desensitization and internalization of G protein-coupled receptors. After the discovery of beta-arrestins, many efforts have been made towards characterizing and distinguishing this new signaling pathway for drug discovery. Here, we summarize recent advances that address the beta-arrestin signaling in the cardiovascular system, focusing on the activation of the AT1R.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers/therapeutic use , Cardiovascular Diseases/pathology , Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1/metabolism , Renin-Angiotensin System/physiology , beta-Arrestins/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Cell Line , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Oligopeptides/therapeutic use , Signal Transduction/physiology
5.
J Med Chem ; 64(8): 4991-5000, 2021 04 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574766

ABSTRACT

The main protease (3CL Mpro) from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19, is an essential enzyme for viral replication with no human counterpart, making it an attractive drug target. To date, no small-molecule clinical drugs are available that specifically inhibit SARS-CoV-2 Mpro. To aid rational drug design, we determined a neutron structure of Mpro in complex with the α-ketoamide inhibitor telaprevir at near-physiological (22 °C) temperature. We directly observed protonation states in the inhibitor complex and compared them with those in the ligand-free Mpro, revealing modulation of the active-site protonation states upon telaprevir binding. We suggest that binding of other α-ketoamide covalent inhibitors can lead to the same protonation state changes in the Mpro active site. Thus, by studying the protonation state changes induced by inhibitors, we provide crucial insights to help guide rational drug design, allowing precise tailoring of inhibitors to manipulate the electrostatic environment of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Oligopeptides/chemistry , Binding Sites , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Crystallography/methods , Crystallography, X-Ray , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/metabolism , Models, Molecular , Neutrons , Oligopeptides/metabolism , Protein Conformation , Protons
6.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 11: 765300, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555151

ABSTRACT

The RGD motif in the Severe Acute Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein has been predicted to bind RGD-recognizing integrins. Recent studies have shown that the spike protein does, indeed, interact with αVß3 and α5ß1 integrins, both of which bind to RGD-containing ligands. However, computational studies have suggested that binding between the spike RGD motif and integrins is not favourable, even when unfolding occurs after conformational changes induced by binding to the canonical host entry receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Furthermore, non-RGD-binding integrins, such as αx, have been suggested to interact with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Other viral pathogens, such as rotaviruses, have been recorded to bind integrins in an RGD-independent manner to initiate host cell entry. Thus, in order to consider the potential for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to bind integrins independent of the RGD sequence, we investigate several factors related to the involvement of integrins in SARS-CoV-2 infection. First, we review changes in integrin expression during SARS-CoV-2 infection to identify which integrins might be of interest. Then, all known non-RGD integrin-binding motifs are collected and mapped to the spike protein receptor-binding domain and analyzed for their 3D availability. Several integrin-binding motifs are shown to exhibit high sequence similarity with solvent accessible regions of the spike receptor-binding domain. Comparisons of these motifs with other betacoronavirus spike proteins, such as SARS-CoV and RaTG13, reveal that some have recently evolved while others are more conserved throughout phylogenetically similar betacoronaviruses. Interestingly, all of the potential integrin-binding motifs, including the RGD sequence, are conserved in one of the known pangolin coronavirus strains. Of note, the most recently recorded mutations in the spike protein receptor-binding domain were found outside of the putative integrin-binding sequences, although several mutations formed inside and close to one motif, in particular, may potentially enhance binding. These data suggest that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein may interact with integrins independent of the RGD sequence and may help further explain how SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses can evolve to bind to integrins.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Cell Line , Humans , Integrins , Membrane Glycoproteins , Oligopeptides , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins
7.
J Renin Angiotensin Aldosterone Syst ; 2021: 6824259, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546597

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can occur due to contracting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). COVID-19 has no confined treatment and, consequently, has high hospitalization and mortality rates. Moreover, people who contract COVID-19 present systemic inflammatory spillover. It is now known that COVID-19 pathogenesis is linked to the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). COVID-19 invades host cells via the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor-as such, an individual's susceptibility to COVID-19 increases alongside the upregulation of this receptor. COVID-19 has also been associated with interstitial pulmonary fibrosis, which leads to acute respiratory distress, cardiomyopathy, and shock. These outcomes are thought to result from imbalances in angiotensin (Ang) II and Ang-(1-7)/alamandine activity. ACE2, Ang-(1-7), and alamandine have potent anti-inflammatory properties, and some SARS-CoV-2 patients exhibit high levels of ACE2 and Ang-(1-7). This phenomenon could indicate a failing physiological response to prevent or reduce the severity of inflammation-mediated pulmonary injuries. Alamandine, which is another protective component of the RAS, has several health benefits owing to its antithrombogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antifibrotic characteristics. Alamandine alleviates pulmonary fibrosis via the Mas-related G protein-coupled receptor D (MrgD). Thus, a better understanding of this pathway could uncover novel pharmacological strategies for altering proinflammatory environments within the body. Following such strategies could inhibit fibrosis after SARS-CoV-2 infection and, consequently, prevent COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Oligopeptides/therapeutic use , Angiotensin I/metabolism , Angiotensin II/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , Humans , Peptide Fragments/metabolism , Renin-Angiotensin System/drug effects
8.
Trials ; 22(1): 831, 2021 Nov 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1529943

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Remdesivir is a novel broad-spectrum antiviral therapeutic with activity against several viruses that cause emerging infectious diseases. The purpose of this study is to explore how commonly utilized antiretroviral therapy (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate/lamivudine [TDF/3TC] and atazanavir/ritonavir [ATV/r]) influence plasma and intracellular concentrations of remdesivir. METHODS: This is an open-label, randomized, fixed sequence single intravenous dosing study to assess pharmacokinetic interactions between remdesivir and TDF/3TC (Study A, crossover design) or TDF/3TC plus ATV/r (Study B). Healthy volunteers satisfying study entry criteria will be enrolled in the study and randomized to either Study A; N=16 (Sequence 1 or Sequence 2) or Study B; N=8. Participants will receive standard adult doses of antiretroviral therapy for 7 days and a single 200mg remdesivir infusion administered over 60 min. Pharmacokinetic blood sampling will be performed relative to the start of remdesivir infusion; predose (before the start of remdesivir infusion) and 30 min after the start of remdesivir infusion. Additional blood samples will be taken at 2, 4, 6, 12, and 24 h after the end of remdesivir infusion. DISCUSSION: This study will characterize the pharmacokinetics of remdesivir from a typical African population in whom clinical use is anticipated. Furthermore, this study will deliver pharmacokinetic datasets for remdesivir drug concentrations and demographic characteristics which could support pharmacometric approaches for simulation of remdesivir treatment regimens in patients concurrently using tenofovir/lamivudine and/or atazanavir/ritonavir. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04385719 . Registered 13 May 2020.


Subject(s)
Anti-HIV Agents , Lamivudine , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adult , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Atazanavir Sulfate , Healthy Volunteers , Humans , Oligopeptides , Pyridines , Ritonavir , Tenofovir , Uganda
10.
Clin Nucl Med ; 46(12): 1016-1017, 2021 Dec 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504452

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT: A 70-year-old man with newly diagnosed prostate cancer underwent 18F-PSMA-1007 PET/CT for staging. PSMA-avid primary prostatic malignancy was identified. Incidental intense patchy peripheral lung uptake was also noted. The patient tested positive for COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Prostatic Neoplasms , Aged , Edetic Acid , Humans , Lung/pathology , Male , Neoplasm Staging , Niacinamide/analogs & derivatives , Oligopeptides , Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography , Prostatic Neoplasms/diagnostic imaging , Prostatic Neoplasms/pathology , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(43)2021 10 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493345

ABSTRACT

The host cell serine protease TMPRSS2 is an attractive therapeutic target for COVID-19 drug discovery. This protease activates the Spike protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and of other coronaviruses and is essential for viral spread in the lung. Utilizing rational structure-based drug design (SBDD) coupled to substrate specificity screening of TMPRSS2, we have discovered covalent small-molecule ketobenzothiazole (kbt) TMPRSS2 inhibitors which are structurally distinct from and have significantly improved activity over the existing known inhibitors Camostat and Nafamostat. Lead compound MM3122 (4) has an IC50 (half-maximal inhibitory concentration) of 340 pM against recombinant full-length TMPRSS2 protein, an EC50 (half-maximal effective concentration) of 430 pM in blocking host cell entry into Calu-3 human lung epithelial cells of a newly developed VSV-SARS-CoV-2 chimeric virus, and an EC50 of 74 nM in inhibiting cytopathic effects induced by SARS-CoV-2 virus in Calu-3 cells. Further, MM3122 blocks Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) cell entry with an EC50 of 870 pM. MM3122 has excellent metabolic stability, safety, and pharmacokinetics in mice, with a half-life of 8.6 h in plasma and 7.5 h in lung tissue, making it suitable for in vivo efficacy evaluation and a promising drug candidate for COVID-19 treatment.


Subject(s)
Benzothiazoles/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Oligopeptides/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Animals , Benzamidines/chemistry , Benzothiazoles/pharmacokinetics , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Drug Design , Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Epithelial Cells/virology , Esters/chemistry , Guanidines/chemistry , Humans , Lung/drug effects , Lung/virology , Mice , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/drug effects , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/pathogenicity , Oligopeptides/pharmacokinetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Serine Endopeptidases/drug effects , Serine Endopeptidases/ultrastructure , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacology , Substrate Specificity/drug effects , Virus Internalization/drug effects
12.
Expert Rev Hematol ; 14(12): 1049-1058, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1429102

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Despite the development of new therapeutic agents, relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM) is associated with poor survival outcomes. Furthermore, many patients develop resistance to immunomodulatory drugs (IMiD), creating a need for IMiD-free regimens. Areas covered: This review focuses on the combination of carfilzomib, dexamethasone, and daratumumab (KdD or DKd) which has shown promising results in patients with RRMM who have tried multiple lines of therapy, and has been approved in the U.S., EU, and Japan. The KdD triplet has two recommended dosage regimens, carfilzomib once-weekly (KdD70 QW) and carfilzomib twice-weekly (KdD56 BIW), with comparable efficacy and safety profiles. Expert opinion: These options provide flexibility to patients and healthcare providers, especially in the era of COVID-19. Carfilzomib-based regimens remain a standard of care based on multiple randomized phase 3 studies. Additional studies are currently underway investigating carfilzomib-based regimens such as KdD combined with novel agents. Nevertheless, KdD is one of the most efficacious options for patients with RRMM.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Multiple Myeloma , Adult , Antibodies, Monoclonal , Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols/adverse effects , COVID-19/drug therapy , Dexamethasone/therapeutic use , Humans , Multiple Myeloma/drug therapy , Oligopeptides , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Appl Microbiol Biotechnol ; 105(4): 1447-1460, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1396992

ABSTRACT

Due to their potent immune stimulation, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) variants with tumor-homing activity are attractive as novel antitumor drugs. The promising antitumor effect of NGR-TNFα in clinical trials triggered extensive interest in developing novel tumor-homing TNFα variants in recent years. Owing to its promising antitumor effect, NGR-TNFα is usually used as a control for newly developed tumor-homing TNFα variants. In our previous works, we produced a pericyte-targeting Z-TNFα at high levels using the Escherichia coli (E. coli) M15-pQE30 system. To further compare Z-TNFα and NGR-TNFα, we attempted to express NGR-TNFα using the same system. Surprisingly, native NGR-TNFα was expressed at a low (~ 0.2 mg/L) level in E. coli M15 containing the pQE30 plasmid. However, a single nucleotide mutation of C to G, resulting in a substitution of leucine (L) with valine (V) at the start of TNFα, increased the expression of NGR-TNFα by ~ 100 times through improving transcription. In addition, the amino acid substitution showed a little impact on the receptor binding, in vitro cytotoxicity, and in vivo antitumor effect of NGR-TNFα. As fusing NGR to the N-terminus of TNFα with a valine substitution did not reduce the protein yield, the TNFα gene with a C > G mutation might be used to prepare novel tumor-homing TNFα when the native TNFα-based variant is expressed at an extremely low level in E. coli. Notably, in addition to the mutated valine, the impact of N-terminal additional amino acids provided by pQE30 vector on the function of TNFα variant must be carefully evaluated. KEY POINTS : • A single nucleotide mutation increased the expression of NGR-TNFα by two orders. • Nucleotide mutation-induced amino acid substitution did not reduce NGR-TNFα activity.


Subject(s)
Escherichia coli , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha , Cell Line, Tumor , Escherichia coli/genetics , Galanin/analogs & derivatives , Mutation , Nucleotides , Oligopeptides/genetics , Substance P/analogs & derivatives , Transcription, Genetic , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/genetics
14.
JCI Insight ; 6(7)2021 04 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1383578

ABSTRACT

Proline-glycine-proline (PGP) and its acetylated form (Ac-PGP) are neutrophil chemoattractants generated by collagen degradation, and they have been shown to play a role in chronic inflammatory disease. However, the mechanism for matrikine regulation in acute inflammation has not been well established. Here, we show that these peptides are actively transported from the lung by the oligopeptide transporter, PEPT2. Following intratracheal instillation of Ac-PGP in a mouse model, there was a rapid decline in concentration of the labeled peptide in the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) over time and redistribution to extrapulmonary sites. In vitro knockdown of the PEPT2 transporter in airway epithelia or use of a competitive inhibitor of PEPT2, cefadroxil, significantly reduced uptake of Ac-PGP. Animals that received intratracheal Ac-PGP plus cefadroxil had higher levels of Ac-PGP in BAL and lung tissue. Utilizing an acute LPS-induced lung injury model, we demonstrate that PEPT2 blockade enhanced pulmonary Ac-PGP levels and lung inflammation. We further validated this effect using clinical samples from patients with acute lung injury in coculture with airway epithelia. This is the first study to our knowledge to determine the in vitro and in vivo significance of active matrikine transport as a mechanism of modulating acute inflammation and to demonstrate that it may serve as a potential therapeutic target.


Subject(s)
Acute Lung Injury/immunology , COVID-19 , Cefadroxil/pharmacology , Inflammation/metabolism , Oligopeptides , Proline/analogs & derivatives , Symporters , Animals , Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , Biological Transport, Active/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , Cells, Cultured , Chemotactic Factors/immunology , Chemotactic Factors/pharmacology , Chemotaxis, Leukocyte/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Extracellular Matrix , Extracellular Matrix Proteins/metabolism , Humans , Mice , Oligopeptides/immunology , Oligopeptides/pharmacology , Proline/immunology , Proline/pharmacology , Symporters/antagonists & inhibitors , Symporters/metabolism
16.
Clin Immunol ; 215: 108426, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1385285
17.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(17)2021 Aug 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1379977

ABSTRACT

A novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been identified as the pathogen responsible for the outbreak of a severe, rapidly developing pneumonia (Coronavirus disease 2019, COVID-19). The virus enzyme, called 3CLpro or main protease (Mpro), is essential for viral replication, making it a most promising target for antiviral drug development. Recently, we adopted the drug repurposing as appropriate strategy to give fast response to global COVID-19 epidemic, by demonstrating that the zonulin octapeptide inhibitor AT1001 (Larazotide acetate) binds Mpro catalytic domain. Thus, in the present study we tried to investigate the antiviral activity of AT1001, along with five derivatives, by cell-based assays. Our results provide with the identification of AT1001 peptide molecular framework for lead optimization step to develop new generations of antiviral agents of SARS-CoV-2 with an improved biological activity, expanding the chance for success in clinical trials.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Molecular Docking Simulation , Oligopeptides/chemistry , Peptides/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Binding Sites , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Catalytic Domain , Cell Line , Cytomegalovirus/drug effects , Drug Repositioning , Herpesvirus 3, Human/drug effects , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Peptides/chemical synthesis , Peptides/pharmacology , Peptides/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Viral Matrix Proteins/chemistry , Viral Matrix Proteins/metabolism
18.
Life Sci ; 284: 119881, 2021 Nov 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1347741

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an infectious disease that has spread worldwide. Current treatments are limited in both availability and efficacy, such that improving our understanding of the factors that facilitate infection is urgently needed to more effectively treat infected individuals and to curb the pandemic. We and others have previously demonstrated the significance of interactions between the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, integrin α5ß1, and human ACE2 to facilitate viral entry into host cells in vitro. We previously found that inhibition of integrin α5ß1 by the clinically validated small peptide ATN-161 inhibits these spike protein interactions and cell infection in vitro. In continuation with our previous findings, here we have further evaluated the therapeutic potential of ATN-161 on SARS-CoV-2 infection in k18-hACE2 transgenic (SARS-CoV-2 susceptible) mice in vivo. We discovered that treatment with single or repeated intravenous doses of ATN-161 (1 mg/kg) within 48 h after intranasal inoculation with SARS-CoV-2 lead to a reduction of lung viral load, viral immunofluorescence, and improved lung histology in a majority of mice 72 h post-infection. Furthermore, ATN-161 reduced SARS-CoV-2-induced increased expression of lung integrin α5 and αv (an α5-related integrin that has also been implicated in SARS-CoV-2 interactions) as well as the C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 10 (Cxcl10), further supporting the potential involvement of these integrins, and the anti-inflammatory potential of ATN-161, respectively, in SARS-CoV-2 infection. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating the potential therapeutic efficacy of targeting integrin α5ß1 in SARS-CoV-2 infection in vivo and supports the development of ATN-161 as a novel SARS-CoV-2 therapy.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/prevention & control , Oligopeptides/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Alanine Transaminase/metabolism , Animals , Aspartate Aminotransferases/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Genome, Viral , Humans , Integrins/metabolism , Liver/enzymology , Liver/pathology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Male , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Oligopeptides/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Staining and Labeling , Viral Load/genetics
19.
J Mol Graph Model ; 108: 107999, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1330984

ABSTRACT

Bioactive peptides derived from food proteins are becoming increasingly popular due to the growing awareness of their health-promoting properties. The structure and mechanism of anti-cancer action of pentapeptide Glu-Gln-Arg-Pro-Arg (EQRPR) derived from a rice bran protein are not known. Theoretical and experimental methods were employed to fill this gap. The conformation analysis of the EQRPR pentapeptide was performed first and the obtained lowest energy conformer was optimized. The experimental structural data obtained by FTIR and CD spectroscopies agree well with the theoretical results. d-isomer introduced one-by-one to each position and all D-isomers of the peptide were also examined for its possible anti-proteolytic and activity enhancement properties. The molecular docking revealed avid binding of the pentapeptide to the integrins α5ß1 and αIIbß3, with Kd values of 90 nM and 180 nM, respectively. Moreover, the EQRPR and its D-isomers showed strong binding affinities to apo- and holo-forms of Mpro, spike glycoprotein, ACE2, and dACE2. The predicted results indicate that the pentapeptide may significantly inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection. Thus, the peptide has the potential to be the leading molecule in the drug discovery process as having multifunctional with diverse biological activities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Oryza , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Oligopeptides , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Cells ; 10(8)2021 07 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1325606

ABSTRACT

Assessment of humoral immunity to SARS-CoV-2 and other infectious agents is typically restricted to detecting antigen-specific antibodies in the serum. Rarely does immune monitoring entail assessment of the memory B-cell compartment itself, although it is these cells that engage in secondary antibody responses capable of mediating immune protection when pre-existing antibodies fail to prevent re-infection. There are few techniques that are capable of detecting rare antigen-specific B cells while also providing information regarding their relative abundance, class/subclass usage and functional affinity. In theory, the ELISPOT/FluoroSpot (collectively ImmunoSpot) assay platform is ideally suited for antigen-specific B-cell assessments since it provides this information at single-cell resolution for individual antibody-secreting cells (ASC). Here, we tested the hypothesis that antigen-coating efficiency could be universally improved across a diverse set of viral antigens if the standard direct (non-specific, low affinity) antigen absorption to the membrane was substituted by high-affinity capture. Specifically, we report an enhancement in assay sensitivity and a reduction in required protein concentrations through the capture of recombinant proteins via their encoded hexahistidine (6XHis) affinity tag. Affinity tag antigen coating enabled detection of SARS-CoV-2 Spike receptor binding domain (RBD)-reactive ASC, and also significantly improved assay performance using additional control antigens. Collectively, establishment of a universal antigen-coating approach streamlines characterization of the memory B-cell compartment after SARS-CoV-2 infection or COVID-19 vaccinations, and facilitates high-throughput immune-monitoring efforts of large donor cohorts in general.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/analysis , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunospot Assay/methods , Immunologic Memory , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viral Proteins/immunology , Animals , COVID-19 , Histidine , Humans , Mice , Oligopeptides , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
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