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1.
ACS Synth Biol ; 11(7): 2229-2237, 2022 07 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1921556

ABSTRACT

Rapid and flexible plasmid construct generation at scale is one of the most limiting first steps in drug discovery projects. These hurdles can partly be overcome by adopting modular DNA design principles, automated sequence fragmentation, and plasmid assembly. To this end we have designed a robust, multimodule golden gate based cloning platform for construct generation with a wide range of applications. The assembly efficiency of the system was validated by splitting sfGFP and sfCherry3C cassettes and expressing them in E. coli followed by fluorometric assessment. To minimize timelines and cost for complex constructs, we developed a software tool named FRAGLER (FRAGment recycLER) that performs codon optimization, multiple sequence alignment, and automated generation of fragments for recycling. To highlight the flexibility and robustness of the platform, we (i) generated plasmids for SarsCoV2 protein reagents, (ii) automated and parallelized assemblies, and (iii) built modular libraries of chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) variants. Applying the new assembly framework, we have greatly streamlined plasmid construction and increased our capacity for rapid generation of complex plasmids.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Escherichia coli , Cloning, Molecular , DNA/genetics , Escherichia coli/genetics , Genetic Vectors , Humans , Plasmids/genetics , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Synthetic Biology
2.
Biomater Sci ; 10(11): 2940-2952, 2022 May 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1815640

ABSTRACT

Ionizable cationic lipids play a critical role in developing new gene therapies for various biomedical applications, including COVID-19 vaccines. However, it remains unclear whether the formulation of lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) using DLin-MC3-DMA, an optimized ionizable lipid clinically used for small interfering RNA (siRNA) therapy, also facilitates high liver-selective transfection of other gene therapies such as plasmid DNA (pDNA). Here we report the first investigation into pDNA transfection efficiency in different mouse organs after intramuscular and intravenous administration of lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) where DLin-MC3-DMA, DLin-KC2-DMA or DODAP are used as the ionizable cationic lipid component of the LNP. We discovered that these three benchmark lipids previously developed for siRNA delivery followed an unexpected characteristic rank order in gene expression efficiency when utilized for pDNA. In particular, DLin-KC2-DMA facilitated higher in vivo pDNA transfection than DLin-MC3-DMA and DODAP, possibly due to its head group pKa and lipid tail structure. Interestingly, LNPs formulated with either DLin-KC2-DMA or DLin-MC3-DMA exhibited significantly higher in vivo protein production in the spleen than in the liver. This work sheds light on the importance of the choice of ionizable cationic lipid and nucleic acid cargo for organ-selective gene expression. The study also provides a new design principle towards the formulation of more effective LNPs for biomedical applications of pDNA, such as gene editing, vaccines and immunotherapies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nanoparticles , Animals , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cations/chemistry , DNA/genetics , Gene Expression , Humans , Lipids/chemistry , Liposomes , Mice , Nanoparticles/chemistry , Plasmids/genetics , RNA, Small Interfering/chemistry
3.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis ; 16(3): e0010285, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1793646

ABSTRACT

CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats), an ancient defense mechanism used by prokaryotes to cleave nucleic acids from invading viruses and plasmids, is currently being harnessed by researchers worldwide to develop new point-of-need diagnostics. In CRISPR diagnostics, a CRISPR RNA (crRNA) containing a "spacer" sequence that specifically complements with the target nucleic acid sequence guides the activation of a CRISPR effector protein (Cas13a, Cas12a or Cas12b), leading to collateral cleavage of RNA or DNA reporters and enormous signal amplification. CRISPR function can be disrupted by some types of sequence mismatches between the spacer and target, according to previous studies. This poses a potential challenge in the detection of variable targets such as RNA viruses with a high degree of sequence diversity, since mismatches can result from target variations. To cover viral diversity, we propose in this study that during crRNA synthesis mixed nucleotide types (degenerate sequences) can be introduced into the spacer sequence positions corresponding to viral sequence variations. We test this crRNA design strategy in the context of the Cas13a-based SHERLOCK (specific high-sensitivity enzymatic reporter unlocking) technology for detection of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV), a biosafety level 4 pathogen with wide geographic distribution and broad sequence variability. The degenerate-sequence CRISPR diagnostic proves functional, sensitive, specific and rapid. It detects within 30-40 minutes 1 copy/µl of viral RNA from CCHFV strains representing all clades, and from more recently identified strains with new mutations in the CRISPR target region. Also importantly, it shows no cross-reactivity with a variety of CCHFV-related viruses. This proof-of-concept study demonstrates that the degenerate sequence-based CRISPR diagnostic is a promising tool of choice for effective detection of highly variable viral pathogens.


Subject(s)
Hemorrhagic Fever Virus, Crimean-Congo , Hemorrhagic Fever, Crimean , Hemorrhagic Fever Virus, Crimean-Congo/genetics , Humans , Plasmids , RNA, Viral/genetics
4.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(6)2022 Mar 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742489

ABSTRACT

The pandemic emergency determined by the spreading worldwide of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has focused the scientific and economic efforts of the pharmaceutical industry and governments on the possibility to fight the virus by genetic immunization. The genetic material must be delivered inside the cells by means of vectors. Due to the risk of adverse or immunogenic reaction or replication connected with the more efficient viral vectors, non-viral vectors are in many cases considered as a preferred strategy for gene delivery into eukaryotic cells. This paper is devoted to the evaluation of the gene delivery ability of new synthesized gemini bis-pyridinium surfactants with six methylene spacers, both hydrogenated and fluorinated, in comparison with compounds with spacers of different lengths, previously studied. Results from MTT proliferation assay, electrophoresis mobility shift assay (EMSA), transient transfection assay tests and atomic force microscopy (AFM) imaging confirm that pyridinium gemini surfactants could be a valuable tool for gene delivery purposes, but their performance is highly dependent on the spacer length and strictly related to their structure in solution. All the fluorinated compounds are unable to transfect RD-4 cells, if used alone, but they are all able to deliver a plasmid carrying an enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) expression cassette, when co-formulated with 1,2-dioleyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DOPE) in a 1:2 ratio. The fluorinated compounds with spacers formed by six (FGP6) and eight carbon atoms (FGP8) give rise to a very interesting gene delivery activity, greater to that of the commercial reagent, when formulated with DOPE. The hydrogenated compound GP16_6 is unable to sufficiently compact the DNA, as shown by AFM images.


Subject(s)
DNA/genetics , Gene Transfer Techniques , Methane/chemistry , Pyridinium Compounds/chemistry , Surface-Active Agents/chemistry , Transfection/methods , A549 Cells , Cell Survival , DNA/chemistry , DNA/metabolism , Genetic Therapy/methods , Halogenation , Humans , Hydrogenation , Methane/metabolism , Microscopy, Atomic Force , Molecular Structure , Plasmids/chemistry , Plasmids/genetics , Plasmids/metabolism , Pyridinium Compounds/metabolism , Reproducibility of Results , Surface-Active Agents/metabolism
5.
Front Immunol ; 12: 824728, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686477

ABSTRACT

We generated an optimized COVID-19 vaccine candidate based on the modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) vector expressing a full-length prefusion-stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein, termed MVA-CoV2-S(3P). The S(3P) protein was expressed at higher levels (2-fold) than the non-stabilized S in cells infected with the corresponding recombinant MVA viruses. One single dose of MVA-CoV2-S(3P) induced higher IgG and neutralizing antibody titers against parental SARS-CoV-2 and variants of concern than MVA-CoV2-S in wild-type C57BL/6 and in transgenic K18-hACE2 mice. In immunized C57BL/6 mice, two doses of MVA-CoV2-S or MVA-CoV2-S(3P) induced similar levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific B- and T-cell immune responses. Remarkably, a single administration of MVA-CoV2-S(3P) protected all K18-hACE2 mice from morbidity and mortality caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection, reducing SARS-CoV-2 viral loads, histopathological lesions, and levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the lungs. These results demonstrated that expression of a novel full-length prefusion-stabilized SARS-CoV-2 S protein by the MVA poxvirus vector enhanced immunogenicity and efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 in animal models, further supporting MVA-CoV2-S(3P) as an optimized vaccine candidate for clinical trials.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccines, DNA/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Aged , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Cell Line, Tumor , Chick Embryo , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cytokines/analysis , Female , HeLa Cells , Humans , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Plasmids/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Vaccinia virus/immunology , Vero Cells , Viral Vaccines/genetics
6.
Biomolecules ; 12(2)2022 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674481

ABSTRACT

Ribonuclease inhibitors (RIs) are an indispensable biotechnological tool for the detection and manipulation of RNA. Nowadays, due to the outbreak of COVID-19, highly sensitive detection of RNA has become more important than ever. Although the recombinant expression of RNase inhibitors is possible in E. coli, the robust expression is complicated by maintaining the redox potential and solubility by various expression tags. In the present paper we describe the expression of RI in baculovirus-infected High Five cells in large scale utilizing a modified transfer vector combining the beneficial properties of Profinity Exact Tag and pONE system. The recombinant RI is expressed at a high level in a fusion form, which is readily cleaved during on-column chromatography. A subsequent anion exchange chromatography was used as a polishing step to yield 12 mg native RI per liter of culture. RI expressed in insect cells shows higher thermal stability than the commercially available RI products (mainly produced in E. coli) based on temperature-dependent RNase inhibition studies. The endotoxin-free RI variant may also be applied in future therapeutics as a safe additive to increase mRNA stability in mRNA-based vaccines.


Subject(s)
Insecta/genetics , Insecta/metabolism , Placental Hormones/biosynthesis , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/biosynthesis , Animals , Enzyme Stability , Humans , Placental Hormones/isolation & purification , Placental Hormones/metabolism , Plasmids , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/isolation & purification , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/metabolism , Temperature
7.
Front Immunol ; 12: 788235, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1650090

ABSTRACT

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in global effects on human health, economic stability, and social norms. The emergence of viral variants raises concerns about the efficacy of existing vaccines and highlights the continued need for the development of efficient, fast-acting, and cost-effective vaccines. Here, we demonstrate the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of two vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-based vaccines encoding the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein either alone (VSV-SARS2) or in combination with the Ebola virus glycoprotein (VSV-SARS2-EBOV). Intranasally vaccinated hamsters showed an early CD8+ T cell response in the lungs and a greater antigen-specific IgG response, while intramuscularly vaccinated hamsters had an early CD4+ T cell and NK cell response. Intranasal vaccination resulted in protection within 10 days with hamsters not showing clinical signs of pneumonia when challenged with three different SARS-CoV-2 variants. This data demonstrates that VSV-based vaccines are viable single-dose, fast-acting vaccine candidates that are protective from COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Ebolavirus/immunology , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vaccination/methods , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetinae , Disease Models, Animal , Ebolavirus/genetics , Female , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Plasmids , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Treatment Outcome , Vero Cells , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics
8.
Microbiol Spectr ; 10(1): e0201521, 2022 02 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622005

ABSTRACT

Emergency department areas were repurposed as intensive care units (ICUs) for patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome during the initial months of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We describe an outbreak of New Delhi metallo-ß-lactamase 1 (NDM-1)-producing Escherichia coli infections in critically ill COVID-19 patients admitted to one of the repurposed units. Seven patients developed infections (6 ventilator-associated pneumonia [VAP] and 1 urinary tract infection [UTI]) due to carbapenem-resistant E. coli, and only two survived. Five of the affected patients and four additional patients had rectal carriage of carbapenem-resistant E. coli. The E. coli strain from the affected patients corresponded to a single sequence type. Rectal screening identified isolates of two other sequence types bearing blaNDM-1. Isolates of all three sequence types harbored an IncFII plasmid. The plasmid was confirmed to carry blaNDM-1 through conjugation. An outbreak of clonal NDM-1-producing E. coli isolates and subsequent dissemination of NDM-1 through mobile elements to other E. coli strains occurred after hospital conversion during the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. This emphasizes the need for infection control practices in surge scenarios. IMPORTANCE The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has resulted in a surge of critically ill patients. Hospitals have had to adapt to the demand by repurposing areas as intensive care units. This has resulted in high workload and disruption of usual hospital workflows. Surge capacity guidelines and pandemic response plans do not contemplate how to limit collateral damage from issues like hospital-acquired infections. It is vital to ensure quality of care in surge scenarios.


Subject(s)
Cross Infection/microbiology , Escherichia coli Infections/microbiology , Escherichia coli/enzymology , Escherichia coli/isolation & purification , beta-Lactamases/metabolism , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Conjugation, Genetic , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Escherichia coli/classification , Escherichia coli/genetics , Escherichia coli Infections/epidemiology , Escherichia coli Infections/mortality , Female , Humans , Intensive Care Units/statistics & numerical data , Male , Mexico/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Plasmids/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Tertiary Care Centers/statistics & numerical data , beta-Lactamases/genetics
9.
Biologicals ; 75: 12-15, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616379

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The successful development of messenger RNA vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 opened up venues for clinical nucleotide-based vaccinations. For development of DNA vaccines, we tested whether the EGF domain peptide of Developmentally regulated endothelial locus1 (E3 peptide) enhances uptake of extracellularly applied plasmid DNA. METHODS: DNA plasmid encoding lacZ or GFP was applied with a conditioned culture medium containing E3 peptide to cell lines in vitro or mouse soleus muscles in vivo, respectively. After 48 h incubation, gene expression was examined by ß-galactosidase (ß-gal) assay and fluorescent microscope, respectively. RESULTS: Application of E3 peptide-containing medium to cultured cell lines induced intense ß-gal activity in a dose-dependent manner. Intra-gastrocnemius injection of E3 peptide-containing medium to mouse soleus muscle succeeded in the induction of GFP fluorescence in many cells around the injection site. CONCLUSIONS: The administration of E3 peptide facilitates transmembrane uptake of extracellular DNA plasmid which induces sufficient extrinsic gene expression.


Subject(s)
DNA/genetics , Epidermal Growth Factor/chemistry , Gene Expression , Peptides , Plasmids/genetics , Plasmids/metabolism , Protein Domains , Animals , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cell Membrane/metabolism , DNA/metabolism , Genes, Reporter , Green Fluorescent Proteins/genetics , Mice , Muscle, Skeletal , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Vaccines, DNA/metabolism
10.
J Virol ; 96(3): e0156121, 2022 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1529876

ABSTRACT

Historically part of the coronavirus (CoV) family, torovirus (ToV) was recently classified in the new family Tobaniviridae. While reverse genetics systems have been established for various CoVs, none exist for ToVs. Here, we developed a reverse genetics system using an infectious full-length cDNA clone of bovine ToV (BToV) in a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC). Recombinant BToV harboring genetic markers had the same phenotype as wild-type (wt) BToV. To generate two types of recombinant virus, the hemagglutinin-esterase (HE) gene was edited, as cell-adapted wtBToV generally loses full-length HE (HEf), resulting in soluble HE (HEs). First, recombinant viruses with HEf and hemagglutinin (HA)-tagged HEf or HEs genes were rescued. These exhibited no significant differences in their effect on virus growth in HRT18 cells, suggesting that HE is not essential for viral replication in these cells. Thereafter, we generated a recombinant virus (rEGFP) wherein HE was replaced by the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) gene. rEGFP expressed EGFP in infected cells but showed significantly lower levels of viral growth than wtBToV. Moreover, rEGFP readily deleted the EGFP gene after one passage. Interestingly, rEGFP variants with two mutations (C1442F and I3562T) in nonstructural proteins (NSPs) that emerged during passage exhibited improved EGFP expression, EGFP gene retention, and viral replication. An rEGFP into which both mutations were introduced displayed a phenotype similar to that of these variants, suggesting that the mutations contributed to EGFP gene acceptance. The current findings provide new insights into BToV, and reverse genetics will help advance the current understanding of this neglected pathogen. IMPORTANCE ToVs are diarrhea-causing pathogens detected in various species, including humans. Through the development of a BAC-based BToV, we introduced the first reverse genetics system for Tobaniviridae. Utilizing this system, recombinant BToVs with a full-length HE gene were generated. Remarkably, although clinical BToVs generally lose the HE gene after a few passages, some recombinant viruses generated in the current study retained the HE gene for up to 20 passages while accumulating mutations in NSPs, which suggested that these mutations may be involved in HE gene retention. The EGFP gene of recombinant viruses was unstable, but rEGFP into which two NSP mutations were introduced exhibited improved EGFP expression, gene retention, and viral replication. These data suggested the existence of an NSP-based acceptance or retention mechanism for exogenous RNA or HE genes. Recombinant BToVs and reverse genetics are powerful tools for understanding fundamental viral processes, pathogenesis, and BToV vaccine development.


Subject(s)
DNA, Complementary , Genome, Viral , Reverse Genetics , Torovirus/genetics , Animals , Cattle , Cattle Diseases/virology , Cell Line , Cells, Cultured , Chromosomes, Artificial, Bacterial , Cloning, Molecular , Genes, Reporter , Hemagglutinins, Viral/genetics , Hemagglutinins, Viral/metabolism , Mutation , Plasmids/genetics , Torovirus/isolation & purification , Torovirus Infections , Transfection
11.
Science ; 374(6575): 1626-1632, 2021 Dec 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501519

ABSTRACT

Efforts to determine why new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants demonstrate improved fitness have been limited to analyzing mutations in the spike (S) protein with the use of S-pseudotyped particles. In this study, we show that SARS-CoV-2 virus-like particles (SC2-VLPs) can package and deliver exogenous transcripts, enabling analysis of mutations within all structural proteins and at multiple steps in the viral life cycle. In SC2-VLPs, four nucleocapsid (N) mutations found universally in more-transmissible variants independently increased messenger RNA delivery and expression ~10-fold, and in a reverse genetics model, the serine-202→arginine (S202R) and arginine-203→methionine (R203M) mutations each produced >50 times as much virus. SC2-VLPs provide a platform for rapid testing of viral variants outside of a biosafety level 3 setting and demonstrate N mutations and particle assembly to be mechanisms that could explain the increased spread of variants, including B.1.617.2 (Delta, which contains the R203M mutation).


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Animals , Cell Line , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/metabolism , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Evolution, Molecular , Genome, Viral , Humans , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , Plasmids , RNA, Messenger/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Viral Genome Packaging , Viral Matrix Proteins/genetics , Viral Matrix Proteins/metabolism , Virus Internalization
12.
Science ; 374(6571): 1099-1106, 2021 Nov 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467657

ABSTRACT

Molecular virology tools are critical for basic studies of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and for developing new therapeutics. Experimental systems that do not rely on viruses capable of spread are needed for potential use in lower-containment settings. In this work, we use a yeast-based reverse genetics system to develop spike-deleted SARS-CoV-2 self-replicating RNAs. These noninfectious self-replicating RNAs, or replicons, can be trans-complemented with viral glycoproteins to generate replicon delivery particles for single-cycle delivery into a range of cell types. This SARS-CoV-2 replicon system represents a convenient and versatile platform for antiviral drug screening, neutralization assays, host factor validation, and viral variant characterization.


Subject(s)
RNA, Viral/genetics , Replicon/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Cell Line , Humans , Interferons/pharmacology , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Mutation , Plasmids , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Replicon/genetics , Reverse Genetics , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Saccharomyces cerevisiae/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Virion/genetics , Virion/physiology , Virus Replication
13.
J Antimicrob Chemother ; 76(10): 2538-2545, 2021 09 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1447597

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To assess the spread of New Delhi metallo-ß-lactamase-1 (NDM-1)-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae ST147 organisms in Poland since an introduction from Tunisia in March 2015, including their phylogenetic position in the global population of the high-risk clone. METHODS: Out of 8925 unique NDM-positive K. pneumoniae isolates identified in Poland from April 2015 till December 2019, 126 isolates, including the Tunisian imports, were related by PFGE and blaNDM gene-carrying Tn125 transposon derivatives. Forty-seven representative isolates were sequenced by Illumina MiSeq. The phylogeny, resistome, virulome and plasmid replicons were analysed and compared with the international ST147 strains. Plasmids of six isolates were studied by the MinION sequencing. RESULTS: A high homogeneity of the 47 isolates was observed, with minor variations in their resistomes and plasmid replicon profiles. However, the detailed SNP comparison discerned a strict outbreak cluster of 40 isolates. All of the organisms were grouped within the ST147 phylogenetic international lineage, and four NDM-1 producers from Tunisia, Egypt and France were the closest relatives of the Polish isolates. Yersiniabactin genes (YbST280 type) were located within the ICEKpn12-like element in most of the outbreak isolates, characterized by O2v1 and KL64 antigen loci. The blaNDM-1 genes were located in double-replicon IncFIIK2+IncFIBK plasmids. CONCLUSIONS: The continuous spread of K. pneumoniae ST147 NDM-1 in Poland since 2015, largely in the Warsaw area, is demonstrated by this genomic analysis. The isolates showed a high degree of homogeneity, and close relatedness to organisms spreading in the Mediterranean region.


Subject(s)
Klebsiella Infections , Klebsiella pneumoniae , Anti-Bacterial Agents , Humans , Klebsiella Infections/epidemiology , Klebsiella pneumoniae/genetics , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Phylogeny , Plasmids/genetics , Poland/epidemiology , beta-Lactamases/genetics
14.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(19)2021 Sep 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438627

ABSTRACT

The ongoing pandemic coronavirus (CoV) disease 2019 (COVID-19) by severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has already caused substantial morbidity, mortality, and economic devastation. Reverse genetic approaches to generate recombinant viruses are a powerful tool to characterize and understand newly emerging viruses. To contribute to the global efforts for countermeasures to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2, we developed a passage-free SARS-CoV-2 clone based on a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC). Moreover, using a Lambda-based Red recombination, we successfully generated different reporter and marker viruses, which replicated similar to a clinical isolate in a cell culture. Moreover, we designed a full-length reporter virus encoding an additional artificial open reading frame with wild-type-like replication features. The virus-encoded reporters were successfully applied to ease antiviral testing in cell culture models. Furthermore, we designed a new marker virus encoding 3xFLAG-tagged nucleocapsid that allows the detection of incoming viral particles and, in combination with bio-orthogonal labeling for the visualization of viral RNA synthesis via click chemistry, the spatiotemporal tracking of viral replication on the single-cell level. In summary, by applying BAC-based Red recombination, we developed a powerful, reliable, and convenient platform that will facilitate studies answering numerous questions concerning the biology of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Cloning, Molecular/methods , Genome, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mutagenesis , Plasmids/genetics , Recombination, Genetic , Vero Cells
15.
Toxicol Pathol ; 49(7): 1255-1268, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1398800

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is a rapidly spreading disease, posing a huge hazard to global health. The plasmid vaccine pTK1A-TPA-SpikeA (named COVID-eVax) encodes the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 S protein receptor-binding domain, developed for intramuscular injection followed by electroporation (EP). The aim of this study was to assess the systemic toxicity and local tolerance of COVID-eVax delivered intramuscularly followed by EP in Sprague Dawley (SD) rats. The animals were killed 2 days and 4 weeks after the last injection (30-day and 57-day, respectively). No mortality was observed, and no signs of toxicity were evident, including injection site reactions. A lasting and specific immune response was observed in all treated animals, confirming the relevance of the rat as a toxicological model for this vaccine. Histopathological evaluation revealed muscle fiber necrosis associated with subchronic inflammation at the injection sites (at the 30-day time point), with a clear trend for recovery at the 57-day time point, which is expected following EP, and considered a desirable effect to mount the immune response against the target antigen. In conclusion, the intramuscular EP-assisted DNA vaccine, COVID-eVax showed an excellent safety profile in SD rats under these experimental conditions and supports its further development for use in humans.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines, DNA , Animals , Antibodies, Viral , COVID-19 Vaccines , Electroporation , Humans , Plasmids , Rats , Rats, Sprague-Dawley , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccines, DNA/toxicity
16.
PLoS One ; 16(6): e0252507, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388918

ABSTRACT

We recently developed 'cellular' reagents-lyophilized bacteria overexpressing proteins of interest-that can replace commercial pure enzymes in typical diagnostic and molecular biology reactions. To make cellular reagent technology widely accessible and amenable to local production with minimal instrumentation, we now report a significantly simplified method for preparing cellular reagents that requires only a common bacterial incubator to grow and subsequently dry enzyme-expressing bacteria at 37°C with the aid of inexpensive chemical desiccants. We demonstrate application of such dried cellular reagents in common molecular and synthetic biology processes, such as PCR, qPCR, reverse transcription, isothermal amplification, and Golden Gate DNA assembly, in building easy-to-use testing kits, and in rapid reagent production for meeting extraordinary diagnostic demands such as those being faced in the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Furthermore, we demonstrate feasibility of local production by successfully implementing this minimized procedure and preparing cellular reagents in several countries, including the United Kingdom, Cameroon, and Ghana. Our results demonstrate possibilities for readily scalable local and distributed reagent production, and further instantiate the opportunities available via synthetic biology in general.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/standards , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Diagnostic Tests, Routine/standards , Indicators and Reagents/standards , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/standards , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Testing/methods , Cameroon/epidemiology , Escherichia coli/genetics , Escherichia coli/metabolism , Gene Expression , Geobacillus stearothermophilus/genetics , Geobacillus stearothermophilus/metabolism , Ghana/epidemiology , Humans , Indicators and Reagents/chemistry , Indicators and Reagents/metabolism , Indicators and Reagents/supply & distribution , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques , Plasmids/chemistry , Plasmids/metabolism , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Recombinant Proteins/biosynthesis , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Synthetic Biology/methods , Transformation, Bacterial , United Kingdom/epidemiology
17.
Bioengineered ; 12(1): 4407-4419, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1373615

ABSTRACT

Widespread infection due to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) has led to a global pandemic. Currently, various approaches are being taken up to develop vaccines and therapeutics to treat SARS-CoV2 infection. Consequently, the S protein has become an important target protein for developing vaccines and therapeutics against SARS-CoV2. However, the highly infective nature of SARS-CoV2 restricts experimentation with the virus to highly secure BSL3 facilities. The availability of fusion-enabled, nonreplicating, and nonbiohazardous mimics of SARS-CoV2 virus fusion, containing the viral S or S and M protein in their native conformation on mammalian cells, can serve as a useful substitute for studying viral fusion for testing various inhibitors of viral fusion. This would avoid the use of the BSL3 facility for fusion studies required to develop therapeutics. In the present study, we have developed SARS-CoV2 virus fusion mimics (SCFMs) using mammalian cells transfected with constructs coding for S or S and M protein. The fusogenic property of the mimic(s) and their interaction with the functional human ACE2 receptors was confirmed experimentally. We have also shown that such mimics can easily be used in an inhibition assay. These mimic(s) can be easily prepared on a large scale, and such SCFMs can serve as an invaluable resource for viral fusion inhibition assays and in vitro screening of antiviral agents, which can be shared/handled between labs/facilities without worrying about any biohazard while working under routine laboratory conditions, avoiding the use of BSL3 laboratory.Abbreviations :SCFM: SARS-CoV2 Virus Fusion Mimic; ACE2: Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2; hACE2: Human Angiotensin-Converting enzyme 2; MEF: Mouse Embryonic Fibroblasts; HBSS: Hanks Balanced Salt Solution; FBS: Fetal Bovine Serum.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Containment of Biohazards/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors , Viral Matrix Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Embryo, Mammalian , Fibroblasts/drug effects , Fibroblasts/virology , Gene Expression , Genes, Reporter , Green Fluorescent Proteins/genetics , Green Fluorescent Proteins/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Luminescent Proteins/genetics , Luminescent Proteins/metabolism , MCF-7 Cells , Mice , Molecular Mimicry , Plasmids/chemistry , Plasmids/metabolism , Primary Cell Culture , Protein Binding , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Transfection , Vero Cells , Viral Matrix Proteins/genetics , Viral Matrix Proteins/metabolism
18.
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
19.
Curr Opin Allergy Clin Immunol ; 21(6): 569-575, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1356717

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Molecular forms of allergen-specific immunotherapy (AIT) are continuously emerging to improve the efficacy of the treatment, to shorten the duration of protocols and to prevent any side effects. The present review covers the recent progress in the development of AIT based on nucleic acid encoding allergens or CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG-ODN). RECENT FINDINGS: Therapeutic vaccinations with plasmid deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) encoding major shrimp Met e 1 or insect For t 2 allergen were effective for the treatment of food or insect bite allergy in respective animal models. DNA expressing hypoallergenic shrimp tropomyosin activated Foxp3+ T regulatory (Treg) cells whereas DNA encoding For t 2 down-regulated the expression of pruritus-inducing IL-31. Co-administrations of major cat allergen Fel d 1 with high doses of CpG-ODN reduced Th2 airway inflammation through tolerance induction mediated by GATA3+ Foxp3hi Treg cells as well as early anti-inflammatory TNF/TNFR2 signaling cascade. Non-canonical CpG-ODN derived from Cryptococcus neoformans as well as methylated CpG sites present in the genomic DNA from Bifidobacterium infantis mediated Th1 or Treg cell differentiation respectively. SUMMARY: Recent studies on plasmid DNA encoding allergens evidenced their therapeutic potential for the treatment of food allergy and atopic dermatitis. Unmethylated or methylated CpG-ODNs were shown to activate dose-dependent Treg/Th1 responses. Large clinical trials need to be conducted to confirm these promising preclinical data. Moreover, tremendous success of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 must encourage as well the re-exploration of mRNA vaccine platform for innovative AIT.


Subject(s)
Desensitization, Immunologic/methods , Hypersensitivity, Immediate/therapy , Oligodeoxyribonucleotides/administration & dosage , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Allergens/administration & dosage , Allergens/genetics , Allergens/immunology , Animals , Clinical Trials as Topic , Desensitization, Immunologic/trends , Disease Models, Animal , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Humans , Hypersensitivity, Immediate/immunology , Oligodeoxyribonucleotides/genetics , Oligodeoxyribonucleotides/immunology , Plasmids/administration & dosage , Plasmids/genetics , Plasmids/immunology , Treatment Outcome , Vaccines, DNA/genetics , Vaccines, DNA/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology
20.
Methods Mol Biol ; 2305: 129-140, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1355903

ABSTRACT

The expression of mammalian recombinant proteins in insect cell lines using transient-plasmid-based gene expression enables the production of high-quality protein samples. Here, the procedure for virus-free transient gene expression (TGE) in High Five insect cells is described in detail. The parameters that determine the efficiency and reproducibility of the method are presented in a robust protocol for easy implementation and set-up of the method. The applicability of the TGE method in High Five cells for proteomic, structural, and functional analysis of the expressed proteins is shown.


Subject(s)
Biotechnology/methods , Cloning, Molecular , Insecta/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/biosynthesis , Transfection/methods , Animals , Bioreactors , Cell Culture Techniques/methods , Cell Line , Gene Expression , Glycosylation , Humans , Insecta/cytology , Mammals/genetics , Mammals/metabolism , Plasmids , Proteomics , Recombinant Proteins/biosynthesis , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
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