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1.
J Virol ; 95(17): e0080721, 2021 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1486516

ABSTRACT

The membrane fusion between the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and host cells is essential for the initial step of infection; therefore, the host cell membrane components, including sphingolipids, influence the viral infection. We assessed several inhibitors of the enzymes pertaining to sphingolipid metabolism, against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (S)-mediated cell-cell fusion and viral infection. N-(4-Hydroxyphenyl) retinamide (4-HPR), an inhibitor of dihydroceramide Δ4-desaturase 1 (DES1), suppressed cell-cell fusion and viral infection. The analysis of sphingolipid levels revealed that the inhibition efficiencies of cell-cell fusion and viral infection in 4-HPR-treated cells were consistent with an increased ratio of saturated sphinganine-based lipids to total sphingolipids. We investigated the relationship of DES1 with the inhibition efficiencies of cell-cell fusion. The changes in the sphingolipid profile induced by 4-HPR were mitigated by the supplementation with exogenous cell-permeative ceramide; however, the reduced cell-cell fusion could not be reversed. The efficiency of cell-cell fusion in DES1 knockout (KO) cells was at a level comparable to that in wild-type (WT) cells; however, the ratio of saturated sphinganine-based lipids to the total sphingolipids was higher in DES1 KO cells than in WT cells. 4-HPR reduced cell membrane fluidity without any significant effects on the expression or localization of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, the SARS-CoV-2 receptor. Therefore, 4-HPR suppresses SARS-CoV-2 S-mediated membrane fusion through a DES1-independent mechanism, and this decrease in membrane fluidity induced by 4-HPR could be the major cause for the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 infection. IMPORTANCE Sphingolipids could play an important role in SARS-CoV-2 S-mediated membrane fusion with host cells. We studied the cell-cell fusion using SARS-CoV-2 S-expressing cells and sphingolipid-manipulated target cells, with an inhibitor of the sphingolipid metabolism. 4-HPR (also known as fenretinide) is an inhibitor of DES1, and it exhibits antitumor activity and suppresses cell-cell fusion and viral infection. 4-HPR suppresses membrane fusion through a decrease in membrane fluidity, which could possibly be the cause for the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 infection. There is accumulating clinical data on the safety of 4-HPR. Therefore, it could be a potential candidate drug against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Cell Membrane/metabolism , Fenretinide/pharmacology , Membrane Fluidity/drug effects , Oxidoreductases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Cell Fusion , Cell Membrane/genetics , Gene Knockout Techniques , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Membrane Fluidity/genetics , Oxidoreductases/deficiency , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
2.
Front Immunol ; 12: 673723, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389183

ABSTRACT

Reprogramming of primary virus-infected cells is the critical step that turns viral attacks harmful to humans by initiating super-spreading at cell, organism and population levels. To develop early anti-viral therapies and proactive administration, it is important to understand the very first steps of this process. Plant somatic embryogenesis (SE) is the earliest and most studied model for de novo programming upon severe stress that, in contrast to virus attacks, promotes individual cell and organism survival. We argued that transcript level profiles of target genes established from in vitro SE induction as reference compared to virus-induced profiles can identify differential virus traits that link to harmful reprogramming. To validate this hypothesis, we selected a standard set of genes named 'ReprogVirus'. This approach was recently applied and published. It resulted in identifying 'CoV-MAC-TED', a complex trait that is promising to support combating SARS-CoV-2-induced cell reprogramming in primary infected nose and mouth cells. In this perspective, we aim to explain the rationale of our scientific approach. We are highlighting relevant background knowledge on SE, emphasize the role of alternative oxidase in plant reprogramming and resilience as a learning tool for designing human virus-defense strategies and, present the list of selected genes. As an outlook, we announce wider data collection in a 'ReprogVirus Platform' to support anti-viral strategy design through common efforts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Cellular Reprogramming Techniques/methods , Plant Somatic Embryogenesis Techniques/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental/genetics , Gene Expression Regulation, Plant/genetics , Humans , Mitochondrial Proteins/metabolism , Oxidoreductases/metabolism , Plant Development/genetics , Plant Proteins/metabolism , Plants/embryology , Plants/genetics , Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism
3.
J Virol ; 95(17): e0080721, 2021 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1381151

ABSTRACT

The membrane fusion between the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and host cells is essential for the initial step of infection; therefore, the host cell membrane components, including sphingolipids, influence the viral infection. We assessed several inhibitors of the enzymes pertaining to sphingolipid metabolism, against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (S)-mediated cell-cell fusion and viral infection. N-(4-Hydroxyphenyl) retinamide (4-HPR), an inhibitor of dihydroceramide Δ4-desaturase 1 (DES1), suppressed cell-cell fusion and viral infection. The analysis of sphingolipid levels revealed that the inhibition efficiencies of cell-cell fusion and viral infection in 4-HPR-treated cells were consistent with an increased ratio of saturated sphinganine-based lipids to total sphingolipids. We investigated the relationship of DES1 with the inhibition efficiencies of cell-cell fusion. The changes in the sphingolipid profile induced by 4-HPR were mitigated by the supplementation with exogenous cell-permeative ceramide; however, the reduced cell-cell fusion could not be reversed. The efficiency of cell-cell fusion in DES1 knockout (KO) cells was at a level comparable to that in wild-type (WT) cells; however, the ratio of saturated sphinganine-based lipids to the total sphingolipids was higher in DES1 KO cells than in WT cells. 4-HPR reduced cell membrane fluidity without any significant effects on the expression or localization of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, the SARS-CoV-2 receptor. Therefore, 4-HPR suppresses SARS-CoV-2 S-mediated membrane fusion through a DES1-independent mechanism, and this decrease in membrane fluidity induced by 4-HPR could be the major cause for the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 infection. IMPORTANCE Sphingolipids could play an important role in SARS-CoV-2 S-mediated membrane fusion with host cells. We studied the cell-cell fusion using SARS-CoV-2 S-expressing cells and sphingolipid-manipulated target cells, with an inhibitor of the sphingolipid metabolism. 4-HPR (also known as fenretinide) is an inhibitor of DES1, and it exhibits antitumor activity and suppresses cell-cell fusion and viral infection. 4-HPR suppresses membrane fusion through a decrease in membrane fluidity, which could possibly be the cause for the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 infection. There is accumulating clinical data on the safety of 4-HPR. Therefore, it could be a potential candidate drug against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Cell Membrane/metabolism , Fenretinide/pharmacology , Membrane Fluidity/drug effects , Oxidoreductases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Cell Fusion , Cell Membrane/genetics , Gene Knockout Techniques , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Membrane Fluidity/genetics , Oxidoreductases/deficiency , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
4.
J Virol ; 95(17): e0080721, 2021 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1350004

ABSTRACT

The membrane fusion between the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and host cells is essential for the initial step of infection; therefore, the host cell membrane components, including sphingolipids, influence the viral infection. We assessed several inhibitors of the enzymes pertaining to sphingolipid metabolism, against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (S)-mediated cell-cell fusion and viral infection. N-(4-Hydroxyphenyl) retinamide (4-HPR), an inhibitor of dihydroceramide Δ4-desaturase 1 (DES1), suppressed cell-cell fusion and viral infection. The analysis of sphingolipid levels revealed that the inhibition efficiencies of cell-cell fusion and viral infection in 4-HPR-treated cells were consistent with an increased ratio of saturated sphinganine-based lipids to total sphingolipids. We investigated the relationship of DES1 with the inhibition efficiencies of cell-cell fusion. The changes in the sphingolipid profile induced by 4-HPR were mitigated by the supplementation with exogenous cell-permeative ceramide; however, the reduced cell-cell fusion could not be reversed. The efficiency of cell-cell fusion in DES1 knockout (KO) cells was at a level comparable to that in wild-type (WT) cells; however, the ratio of saturated sphinganine-based lipids to the total sphingolipids was higher in DES1 KO cells than in WT cells. 4-HPR reduced cell membrane fluidity without any significant effects on the expression or localization of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, the SARS-CoV-2 receptor. Therefore, 4-HPR suppresses SARS-CoV-2 S-mediated membrane fusion through a DES1-independent mechanism, and this decrease in membrane fluidity induced by 4-HPR could be the major cause for the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 infection. IMPORTANCE Sphingolipids could play an important role in SARS-CoV-2 S-mediated membrane fusion with host cells. We studied the cell-cell fusion using SARS-CoV-2 S-expressing cells and sphingolipid-manipulated target cells, with an inhibitor of the sphingolipid metabolism. 4-HPR (also known as fenretinide) is an inhibitor of DES1, and it exhibits antitumor activity and suppresses cell-cell fusion and viral infection. 4-HPR suppresses membrane fusion through a decrease in membrane fluidity, which could possibly be the cause for the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 infection. There is accumulating clinical data on the safety of 4-HPR. Therefore, it could be a potential candidate drug against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Cell Membrane/metabolism , Fenretinide/pharmacology , Membrane Fluidity/drug effects , Oxidoreductases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Cell Fusion , Cell Membrane/genetics , Gene Knockout Techniques , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Membrane Fluidity/genetics , Oxidoreductases/deficiency , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
5.
World J Microbiol Biotechnol ; 36(11): 164, 2020 Sep 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1343003

ABSTRACT

Laccases (EC 1.10.3.2) are multi-copper oxidases that can degrade several xenobiotics, including textile dyes. Present study investigated the nature of laccase isoforms induced by 2,6-dimethylaniline in Cyathus bulleri cultivated on basal salt medium. Two isoforms, LacI and LacII were identified and purified by a combination of ultrafiltration and ion-exchange chromatography. The MS spectrum of the two proteins displayed a number of non-identical and identical molecular peaks (m/z), and, the latter were mapped to protein originating from the previously reported Laccase (Lcc) 1 gene. The LacI isoform exhibited higher catalytic efficiency (Kcat/Km) towards 2,2'-azino-bis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid), 2,6-dimethoxyphenol, guaiacol and pyrogallol and was tolerant to high levels of chloride ions and resistant to EDTA. Higher decolorization of several dyes such as Direct Scarlet B (67%), Reactive Brilliant blue-R (96%), Direct Orange 34 (50%) and Reactive Red198 (95%) by the LacI isoform makes it a good candidate for degradation of synthetic dyes. The decolorization of Direct Orange 34 by laccases is being reported for the first time. Many of the properties exhibited by this isoform make it a good candidate for large scale production and applications for use in the dyeing industry.


Subject(s)
Coloring Agents/metabolism , Cyathus/metabolism , Laccase/metabolism , Textiles , Amino Acid Sequence , Aniline Compounds/metabolism , Culture Media/chemistry , Hydrogen-Ion Concentration , Oxidoreductases/metabolism , Protein Isoforms/metabolism , Substrate Specificity , Sulfonic Acids/metabolism
6.
Front Immunol ; 12: 673692, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1325525

ABSTRACT

In a perspective entitled 'From plant survival under severe stress to anti-viral human defense' we raised and justified the hypothesis that transcript level profiles of justified target genes established from in vitro somatic embryogenesis (SE) induction in plants as a reference compared to virus-induced profiles can identify differential virus signatures that link to harmful reprogramming. A standard profile of selected genes named 'ReprogVirus' was proposed for in vitro-scanning of early virus-induced reprogramming in critical primary infected cells/tissues as target trait. For data collection, the 'ReprogVirus platform' was initiated. This initiative aims to identify in a common effort across scientific boundaries critical virus footprints from diverse virus origins and variants as a basis for anti-viral strategy design. This approach is open for validation and extension. In the present study, we initiated validation by experimental transcriptome data available in public domain combined with advancing plant wet lab research. We compared plant-adapted transcriptomes according to 'RegroVirus' complemented by alternative oxidase (AOX) genes during de novo programming under SE-inducing conditions with in vitro corona virus-induced transcriptome profiles. This approach enabled identifying a major complex trait for early de novo programming during SARS-CoV-2 infection, called 'CoV-MAC-TED'. It consists of unbalanced ROS/RNS levels, which are connected to increased aerobic fermentation that links to alpha-tubulin-based cell restructuration and progression of cell cycle. We conclude that anti-viral/anti-SARS-CoV-2 strategies need to rigorously target 'CoV-MAC-TED' in primary infected nose and mouth cells through prophylactic and very early therapeutic strategies. We also discuss potential strategies in the view of the beneficial role of AOX for resilient behavior in plants. Furthermore, following the general observation that ROS/RNS equilibration/redox homeostasis is of utmost importance at the very beginning of viral infection, we highlight that 'de-stressing' disease and social handling should be seen as essential part of anti-viral/anti-SARS-CoV-2 strategies.


Subject(s)
Cellular Reprogramming/genetics , Multifactorial Inheritance/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Acetylserotonin O-Methyltransferase/genetics , Arabidopsis/genetics , Arabidopsis/growth & development , Cell Cycle/genetics , Databases, Genetic , Daucus carota/genetics , Daucus carota/growth & development , Fermentation , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Mitochondrial Proteins/genetics , Mitochondrial Proteins/metabolism , Oxidoreductases/genetics , Oxidoreductases/metabolism , Plant Proteins/genetics , Plant Proteins/metabolism , Reactive Nitrogen Species/metabolism , Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism , Tubulin/genetics , Viruses/pathogenicity
7.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 14748, 2021 07 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1319045

ABSTRACT

Candidemia caused by Candida spp. is a serious threat in hospital settings being a major cause of acquired infection and death and a possible contributor to Covid-19 mortality. Candidemia incidence has been rising worldwide following increases in fungicide-resistant pathogens highlighting the need for more effective antifungal agents with novel modes of action. The membrane-bound enzyme alternative oxidase (AOX) promotes fungicide resistance and is absent in humans making it a desirable therapeutic target. However, the lipophilic nature of the AOX substrate (ubiquinol-10) has hindered its kinetic characterisation in physiologically-relevant conditions. Here, we present the purification and expression of recombinant AOXs from C. albicans and C. auris in a self-assembled proteoliposome (PL) system. Kinetic parameters (Km and Vmax) with respect to ubiquinol-10 have been determined. The PL system has also been employed in dose-response assays with novel AOX inhibitors. Such information is critical for the future development of novel treatments for Candidemia.


Subject(s)
Candida albicans/enzymology , Drug Resistance, Fungal , Fungal Proteins/metabolism , Liposomes/metabolism , Mitochondrial Proteins/metabolism , Oxidoreductases/metabolism , Plant Proteins/metabolism , Antifungal Agents/pharmacology , Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology , Fungal Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Fungal Proteins/genetics , Kinetics , Mitochondrial Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Mitochondrial Proteins/genetics , Oxidoreductases/antagonists & inhibitors , Oxidoreductases/genetics , Plant Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Plant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism
8.
Clin Appl Thromb Hemost ; 27: 1076029621992128, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1063147

ABSTRACT

Hyperferritinemia is associated with poor outcomes in critically ill patients with sepsis, hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), macrophage activation syndromes (MAS) and coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19). Autopsies of hyperferritinemic patients that succumbed to either sepsis, HLH, MAS or COVID-19 have revealed disseminated microvascular thromboses with von Willebrand factor (VWF)-, platelets-, and/or fibrin-rich microthrombi. It is unknown whether high plasma ferritin concentration actively promotes microvascular thrombosis, or merely serves as a prognostic biomarker in these patients. Here, we show that secretion of VWF from human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) is significantly enhanced by 100,000 ng/ml of recombinant ferritin heavy chain protein (FHC). Ferritin fraction that was isolated by size exclusion chromatography from the plasma of critically ill HLH patients promoted VWF secretion from HUVEC, compared to similar fraction from non-critically ill control plasma. Furthermore, recombinant FHC moderately suppressed the activity of VWF cleaving metalloprotease ADAMTS-13. These observations suggest that a state of marked hyperferritinemia could promote thrombosis and organ injury by inducing endothelial VWF secretion and reducing the ADAMTS-13 activity.


Subject(s)
ADAMTS13 Protein/metabolism , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/complications , Ferritins/metabolism , Hyperferritinemia/blood , Hyperferritinemia/complications , von Willebrand Factor/metabolism , ADAMTS13 Protein/antagonists & inhibitors , COVID-19/immunology , Critical Illness , Ferritins/blood , Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells , Humans , Lymphohistiocytosis, Hemophagocytic/blood , Lymphohistiocytosis, Hemophagocytic/complications , Oxidoreductases/blood , Oxidoreductases/metabolism , Recombinant Proteins/blood , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Thrombosis/blood , Thrombosis/etiology
9.
Nature ; 585(7826): 614-619, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-744380

ABSTRACT

Tropane alkaloids from nightshade plants are neurotransmitter inhibitors that are used for treating neuromuscular disorders and are classified as essential medicines by the World Health Organization1,2. Challenges in global supplies have resulted in frequent shortages of these drugs3,4. Further vulnerabilities in supply chains have been revealed by events such as the Australian wildfires5 and the COVID-19 pandemic6. Rapidly deployable production strategies that are robust to environmental and socioeconomic upheaval7,8 are needed. Here we engineered baker's yeast to produce the medicinal alkaloids hyoscyamine and scopolamine, starting from simple sugars and amino acids. We combined functional genomics to identify a missing pathway enzyme, protein engineering to enable the functional expression of an acyltransferase via trafficking to the vacuole, heterologous transporters to facilitate intracellular routing, and strain optimization to improve titres. Our integrated system positions more than twenty proteins adapted from yeast, bacteria, plants and animals across six sub-cellular locations to recapitulate the spatial organization of tropane alkaloid biosynthesis in plants. Microbial biosynthesis platforms can facilitate the discovery of tropane alkaloid derivatives as new therapeutic agents for neurological disease and, once scaled, enable robust and agile supply of these essential medicines.


Subject(s)
Alkaloids/biosynthesis , Alkaloids/supply & distribution , Hyoscyamine/biosynthesis , Saccharomyces cerevisiae/metabolism , Scopolamine/metabolism , Acyltransferases/genetics , Acyltransferases/metabolism , Animals , Atropa belladonna/enzymology , Atropine Derivatives/metabolism , Biological Transport , Datura/enzymology , Glucosides/biosynthesis , Glucosides/metabolism , Hyoscyamine/supply & distribution , Lactates/metabolism , Ligases/genetics , Ligases/metabolism , Models, Molecular , Nervous System Diseases/drug therapy , Oxidoreductases/genetics , Oxidoreductases/metabolism , Protein Engineering , Saccharomyces cerevisiae/genetics , Scopolamine/supply & distribution , Vacuoles/metabolism
10.
Protein Cell ; 11(10): 723-739, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-697126

ABSTRACT

Emerging and re-emerging RNA viruses occasionally cause epidemics and pandemics worldwide, such as the on-going outbreak of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Herein, we identified two potent inhibitors of human DHODH, S312 and S416, with favorable drug-likeness and pharmacokinetic profiles, which all showed broad-spectrum antiviral effects against various RNA viruses, including influenza A virus, Zika virus, Ebola virus, and particularly against SARS-CoV-2. Notably, S416 is reported to be the most potent inhibitor so far with an EC50 of 17 nmol/L and an SI value of 10,505.88 in infected cells. Our results are the first to validate that DHODH is an attractive host target through high antiviral efficacy in vivo and low virus replication in DHODH knock-out cells. This work demonstrates that both S312/S416 and old drugs (Leflunomide/Teriflunomide) with dual actions of antiviral and immuno-regulation may have clinical potentials to cure SARS-CoV-2 or other RNA viruses circulating worldwide, no matter such viruses are mutated or not.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Oxidoreductases/antagonists & inhibitors , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , RNA Viruses/drug effects , Thiazoles/pharmacology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Betacoronavirus/physiology , Binding Sites/drug effects , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Crotonates/pharmacology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/drug therapy , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Gene Knockout Techniques , Humans , Hydroxybutyrates , Influenza A virus/drug effects , Leflunomide/pharmacology , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Nitriles , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/drug therapy , Oseltamivir/therapeutic use , Oxidoreductases/metabolism , Oxidoreductases Acting on CH-CH Group Donors , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protein Binding/drug effects , Pyrimidines/biosynthesis , RNA Viruses/physiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Structure-Activity Relationship , Thiazoles/therapeutic use , Toluidines/pharmacology , Ubiquinone/metabolism , Virus Replication/drug effects
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