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1.
Life Sci Alliance ; 5(5)2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1675573

ABSTRACT

Acute kidney injury is associated with mortality in COVID-19 patients. However, host cell changes underlying infection of renal cells with SARS-CoV-2 remain unknown and prevent understanding of the molecular mechanisms that may contribute to renal pathology. Here, we carried out quantitative translatome and whole-cell proteomics analyses of primary renal proximal and distal tubular epithelial cells derived from human donors infected with SARS-CoV-2 or MERS-CoV to disseminate virus and cell type-specific changes over time. Our findings revealed shared pathways modified upon infection with both viruses, as well as SARS-CoV-2-specific host cell modulation driving key changes in innate immune activation and cellular protein quality control. Notably, MERS-CoV infection-induced specific changes in mitochondrial biology that were not observed in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Furthermore, we identified extensive modulation in pathways associated with kidney failure that changed in a virus- and cell type-specific manner. In summary, we provide an overview of the effects of SARS-CoV-2 or MERS-CoV infection on primary renal epithelial cells revealing key pathways that may be essential for viral replication.


Subject(s)
Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/virology , Kidney , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , Proteome , Proteomics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Biomarkers , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cell Nucleus/genetics , Cell Nucleus/metabolism , Cells, Cultured , Computational Biology/methods , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Gene Expression Regulation , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Kidney Tubules, Distal , Kidney Tubules, Proximal , Mitochondria/genetics , Mitochondria/metabolism , Primary Cell Culture , Proteomics/methods , Virus Replication
2.
Commun Biol ; 5(1): 70, 2022 01 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1639260

ABSTRACT

Pulmonary sequelae following COVID-19 pneumonia have been emerging as a challenge; however, suitable cell sources for studying COVID-19 mechanisms and therapeutics are currently lacking. In this paper, we present a standardized primary alveolar cell culture method for establishing a human alveolar epithelium model that can recapitulate viral infection and cellular plasticity. The alveolar model is infected with a SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus, and the clinically relevant features of the viral entry into the alveolar type-I/II cells, cytokine production activation, and pulmonary surfactant destruction are reproduced. For this damaged alveolar model, we find that the inhibition of Wnt signaling via XAV939 substantially improves alveolar repair function and prevents subsequent pulmonary fibrosis. Thus, the proposed alveolar cell culture strategy exhibits potential for the identification of pathogenesis and therapeutics in basic and translational research.


Subject(s)
Alveolar Epithelial Cells/virology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Cell Plasticity , Primary Cell Culture/methods , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Humans , Virus Internalization
3.
Pharm Res ; 39(1): 57-73, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1615473

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are effective against respiratory viruses in vitro. However, they lack antiviral efficacy upon oral administration. Translation of in vitro to in vivo exposure is necessary for understanding the disconnect between the two to develop effective therapeutic strategies. METHODS: We employed an in vitro ion-trapping kinetic model to predict the changes in the cytosolic and lysosomal concentrations of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in cell lines and primary human airway cultures. A physiologically based pharmacokinetic model with detailed respiratory physiology was used to predict regional airway exposure and optimize dosing regimens. RESULTS: At their reported in vitro effective concentrations in cell lines, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine cause a significant increase in their cytosolic and lysosomal concentrations by altering the lysosomal pH. Higher concentrations of the compounds are required to achieve similar levels of cytosolic and lysosomal changes in primary human airway cells in vitro. The predicted cellular and lysosomal concentrations in the respiratory tract for in vivo oral doses are lower than the in vitro effective levels. Pulmonary administration of aerosolized chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine is predicted to achieve high bound in vitro-effective concentrations in the respiratory tract, with low systemic exposure. Achieving effective cytosolic concentrations for activating immunomodulatory effects and adequate lysosomal levels for inhibiting viral replication could be key drivers for treating viral respiratory infections. CONCLUSION: Our analysis provides a framework for extrapolating in vitro effective concentrations of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to in vivo dosing regimens for treating viral respiratory infections.


Subject(s)
Chloroquine/administration & dosage , Chloroquine/pharmacokinetics , Hydroxychloroquine/administration & dosage , Hydroxychloroquine/pharmacokinetics , Respiratory Tract Infections/drug therapy , Virus Diseases/drug therapy , Administration, Inhalation , Aerosols , Algorithms , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Cytosol/metabolism , Humans , Hydrogen-Ion Concentration , Lysosomes/metabolism , Primary Cell Culture
4.
Clin Sci (Lond) ; 135(24): 2667-2689, 2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585742

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes a broad range of clinical responses including prominent microvascular damage. The capacity of SARS-CoV-2 to infect vascular cells is still debated. Additionally, the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) protein may act as a ligand to induce non-infective cellular stress. We tested this hypothesis in pericytes (PCs), which are reportedly reduced in the heart of patients with severe coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). Here we newly show that the in vitro exposure of primary human cardiac PCs to the SARS-CoV-2 wildtype strain or the α and δ variants caused rare infection events. Exposure to the recombinant S protein alone elicited signalling and functional alterations, including: (1) increased migration, (2) reduced ability to support endothelial cell (EC) network formation on Matrigel, (3) secretion of pro-inflammatory molecules typically involved in the cytokine storm, and (4) production of pro-apoptotic factors causing EC death. Next, adopting a blocking strategy against the S protein receptors angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and CD147, we discovered that the S protein stimulates the phosphorylation/activation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) through the CD147 receptor, but not ACE2, in PCs. The neutralisation of CD147, either using a blocking antibody or mRNA silencing, reduced ERK1/2 activation, and rescued PC function in the presence of the S protein. Immunoreactive S protein was detected in the peripheral blood of infected patients. In conclusion, our findings suggest that the S protein may prompt PC dysfunction, potentially contributing to microvascular injury. This mechanism may have clinical and therapeutic implications.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Basigin/metabolism , Myocardium/enzymology , Pericytes/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/blood , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/blood , Caco-2 Cells , Cell Death , Child , Child, Preschool , Cytokines/metabolism , Female , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Myocardium/cytology , Pericytes/virology , Primary Cell Culture , Young Adult
5.
AAPS J ; 24(1): 8, 2021 12 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555615

ABSTRACT

Lipidoid nanoparticles (LNPs) are the delivery platform in Onpattro, the first FDA-approved siRNA drug. LNPs are also the carriers in the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. While these applications have demonstrated that LNPs effectively deliver nucleic acids to hepatic and muscle cells, it is unclear if LNPs could be used for delivery of siRNA to neural cells, which are notoriously challenging delivery targets. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine if LNPs could efficiently deliver siRNA to neurons. Because of their potential delivery utility in either applications for the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system, we used both cortical neurons and sensory neurons. We prepared siRNA-LNPs using C12-200, a benchmark ionizable cationic lipidoid along with helper lipids. We demonstrated using dynamic light scattering that the inclusion of both siRNA and PEG-lipid provided a stabilizing effect to the LNP particle diameters and polydispersity indices by minimizing aggregation. We found that siRNA-LNPs were safely tolerated by primary dorsal root ganglion neurons. Flow cytometry analysis revealed that Cy5 siRNA delivered via LNPs into rat primary cortical neurons showed uptake levels similar to Lipofectamine RNAiMAX-the gold standard commercial transfection agent. However, LNPs demonstrated a superior safety profile, whereas the Lipofectamine-mediated uptake was concomitant with significant toxicity. Fluorescence microscopy demonstrated a time-dependent increase in the uptake of LNP-delivered Cy5 siRNA in a human cortical neuron cell line. Overall, our results suggest that LNPs are a viable platform that can be optimized for delivery of therapeutic siRNAs to neural cells.


Subject(s)
Ganglia, Spinal/metabolism , Lipids/chemistry , Nanoparticles , Neurons/metabolism , RNA, Small Interfering/administration & dosage , RNAi Therapeutics , Transfection , Animals , Carbocyanines/metabolism , Fluorescent Dyes/metabolism , Ganglia, Spinal/cytology , Humans , MCF-7 Cells , Microscopy, Fluorescence , Nanotechnology , Primary Cell Culture , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , RNA, Small Interfering/metabolism , Rats , Time Factors
6.
J Cell Mol Med ; 26(1): 228-234, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1532813

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of COVID-19 has become a serious public health emergency. The virus targets cells by binding the ACE2 receptor. After infection, the virus triggers in some humans an immune storm containing the release of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines followed by multiple organ failure. Several vaccines are enrolled, but an effective treatment is still missing. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have shown to secrete immunomodulatory factors that suppress this cytokine storm. Therefore, MSCs have been suggested as a potential treatment option for COVID-19. We report here that the ACE2 expression is minimal or nonexistent in MSC derived from three different human tissue sources (adipose tissue, umbilical cord Wharton`s jelly and bone marrow). In contrast, TMPRSS2 that is implicated in SARS-CoV-2 entry has been detected in all MSC samples. These results are of particular importance for future MSC-based cell therapies to treat severe cases after COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/therapy , Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy/methods , Cytokine Release Syndrome/therapy , Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation/methods , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Adipose Tissue/cytology , Adipose Tissue/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Bone Marrow Cells/cytology , Bone Marrow Cells/metabolism , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/genetics , Cytokine Release Syndrome/pathology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/virology , Gene Expression Profiling , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/cytology , Mesenchymal Stem Cells/metabolism , Primary Cell Culture , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Umbilical Cord/cytology , Umbilical Cord/metabolism
7.
Clin Sci (Lond) ; 135(24): 2667-2689, 2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1528037

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes a broad range of clinical responses including prominent microvascular damage. The capacity of SARS-CoV-2 to infect vascular cells is still debated. Additionally, the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) protein may act as a ligand to induce non-infective cellular stress. We tested this hypothesis in pericytes (PCs), which are reportedly reduced in the heart of patients with severe coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). Here we newly show that the in vitro exposure of primary human cardiac PCs to the SARS-CoV-2 wildtype strain or the α and δ variants caused rare infection events. Exposure to the recombinant S protein alone elicited signalling and functional alterations, including: (1) increased migration, (2) reduced ability to support endothelial cell (EC) network formation on Matrigel, (3) secretion of pro-inflammatory molecules typically involved in the cytokine storm, and (4) production of pro-apoptotic factors causing EC death. Next, adopting a blocking strategy against the S protein receptors angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and CD147, we discovered that the S protein stimulates the phosphorylation/activation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) through the CD147 receptor, but not ACE2, in PCs. The neutralisation of CD147, either using a blocking antibody or mRNA silencing, reduced ERK1/2 activation, and rescued PC function in the presence of the S protein. Immunoreactive S protein was detected in the peripheral blood of infected patients. In conclusion, our findings suggest that the S protein may prompt PC dysfunction, potentially contributing to microvascular injury. This mechanism may have clinical and therapeutic implications.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Basigin/metabolism , Myocardium/enzymology , Pericytes/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/blood , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/blood , Caco-2 Cells , Cell Death , Child , Child, Preschool , Cytokines/metabolism , Female , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Male , Middle Aged , Myocardium/cytology , Pericytes/virology , Primary Cell Culture , Young Adult
8.
Molecules ; 26(21)2021 Nov 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1502470

ABSTRACT

The normal function of the airway epithelium is vital for the host's well-being. Conditions that might compromise the structure and functionality of the airway epithelium include congenital tracheal anomalies, infection, trauma and post-intubation injuries. Recently, the onset of COVID-19 and its complications in managing respiratory failure further intensified the need for tracheal tissue replacement. Thus far, plenty of naturally derived, synthetic or allogeneic materials have been studied for their applicability in tracheal tissue replacement. However, a reliable tracheal replacement material is missing. Therefore, this study used a tissue engineering approach for constructing tracheal tissue. Human respiratory epithelial cells (RECs) were isolated from nasal turbinate, and the cells were incorporated into a calcium chloride-polymerized human blood plasma to form a human tissue respiratory epithelial construct (HTREC). The quality of HTREC in vitro, focusing on the cellular proliferation, differentiation and distribution of the RECs, was examined using histological, gene expression and immunocytochemical analysis. Histological analysis showed a homogenous distribution of RECs within the HTREC, with increased proliferation of the residing RECs within 4 days of investigation. Gene expression analysis revealed a significant increase (p < 0.05) in gene expression level of proliferative and respiratory epithelial-specific markers Ki67 and MUC5B, respectively, within 4 days of investigation. Immunohistochemical analysis also confirmed the expression of Ki67 and MUC5AC markers in residing RECs within the HTREC. The findings show that calcium chloride-polymerized human blood plasma is a suitable material, which supports viability, proliferation and mucin secreting phenotype of RECs, and this suggests that HTREC can be a potential candidate for respiratory epithelial tissue reconstruction.


Subject(s)
Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Tissue Engineering/methods , Trachea/transplantation , Cell Differentiation , Cell Proliferation , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelium/metabolism , Feasibility Studies , Humans , Ki-67 Antigen/analysis , Ki-67 Antigen/genetics , Mucin 5AC/analysis , Mucin 5AC/genetics , Mucous Membrane/metabolism , Primary Cell Culture/methods , Respiratory Mucosa/physiology , Trachea/metabolism , Trachea/physiology
9.
J Infect Dis ; 224(8): 1357-1361, 2021 10 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493824

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2 ) initiates entry into airway epithelia by binding its receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). METHODS: To explore whether interindividual variation in ACE2 abundance contributes to variability in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outcomes, we measured ACE2 protein abundance in primary airway epithelial cultures derived from 58 human donor lungs. RESULTS: We found no evidence for sex- or age-dependent differences in ACE2 protein expression. Furthermore, we found that variations in ACE2 abundance had minimal effects on viral replication and induction of the interferon response in airway epithelia infected with SARS-CoV-2. CONCLUSIONS: Our results highlight the relative importance of additional host factors, beyond viral receptor expression, in determining COVID-19 lung disease outcomes.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Receptors, Coronavirus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/analysis , Biological Variation, Population , Bronchi/cytology , Bronchi/pathology , Bronchi/virology , COVID-19/virology , Epithelial Cells , Female , Humans , Male , Primary Cell Culture , Receptors, Coronavirus/analysis , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/pathology , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , Sex Factors , Virus Internalization
10.
Immunology ; 164(3): 541-554, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488214

ABSTRACT

IL-33 and ATP are alarmins, which are released upon damage of cellular barriers or are actively secreted upon cell stress. Due to high-density expression of the IL-33 receptor T1/ST2 (IL-33R), and the ATP receptor P2X7, mast cells (MCs) are one of the first highly sensitive sentinels recognizing released IL-33 or ATP in damaged peripheral tissues. Whereas IL-33 induces the MyD88-dependent activation of the TAK1-IKK2-NF-κB signalling, ATP induces the Ca2+ -dependent activation of NFAT. Thereby, each signal alone only induces a moderate production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and lipid mediators (LMs). However, MCs, which simultaneously sense (co-sensing) IL-33 and ATP, display an enhanced and prolonged activation of the TAK1-IKK2-NF-κB signalling pathway. This resulted in a massive production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-2, IL-4, IL-6 and GM-CSF as well as of arachidonic acid-derived cyclooxygenase (COX)-mediated pro-inflammatory prostaglandins (PGs) and thromboxanes (TXs), hallmarks of strong MC activation. Collectively, these data show that co-sensing of ATP and IL-33 results in hyperactivation of MCs, which resembles to MC activation induced by IgE-mediated crosslinking of the FcεRI. Therefore, the IL-33/IL-33R and/or the ATP/P2X7 signalling axis are attractive targets for therapeutical intervention of diseases associated with the loss of integrity of cellular barriers such as allergic and infectious respiratory reactions.


Subject(s)
Adenosine Triphosphate/metabolism , Hypersensitivity/immunology , Interleukin-33/metabolism , Mast Cells/immunology , Animals , Anti-Allergic Agents/pharmacology , Anti-Allergic Agents/therapeutic use , Cell Degranulation/drug effects , Cytokines/metabolism , Disease Models, Animal , Eicosanoids/metabolism , Humans , Hypersensitivity/drug therapy , Interleukin-1 Receptor-Like 1 Protein/antagonists & inhibitors , Interleukin-1 Receptor-Like 1 Protein/metabolism , Interleukin-33/antagonists & inhibitors , Lipidomics , Mast Cells/drug effects , Mast Cells/metabolism , Mice , Mice, Knockout , NFATC Transcription Factors/genetics , Primary Cell Culture , Receptors, Purinergic P2X7/metabolism , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Signal Transduction/immunology
11.
Molecules ; 26(20)2021 Oct 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480881

ABSTRACT

We performed an in silico, in vitro, and in vivo assessment of a potassium 2-[2-(2-oxo-4-phenylpyrrolidin-1-yl) acetamido]ethanesulfonate (compound 1) as a potential prodrug for cognitive function improvement in ischemic brain injury. Using in silico methods, we predicted the pharmacological efficacy and possible safety in rat models. In addition, in silico data showed neuroprotective features of compound 1, which were further supported by in vitro experiments in a glutamate excitotoxicity-induced model in newborn rat cortical neuron cultures. Next, we checked whether compound 1 is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier in intact and ischemic animals. Compound 1 improved animal behavior both in intact and ischemic rats and, even though the concentration in intact brains was low, we still observed a significant anxiety reduction and activity escalation. We used molecular docking and molecular dynamics to support our hypothesis that compound 1 could affect the AMPA receptor function. In a rat model of acute focal cerebral ischemia, we studied the effects of compound 1 on the behavior and neurological deficit. An in vivo experiment demonstrated that compound 1 significantly reduced the neurological deficit and improved neurological symptom regression, exploratory behavior, and anxiety. Thus, here, for the first time, we show that compound 1 can be considered as an agent for restoring cognitive functions.


Subject(s)
Ischemic Stroke/drug therapy , Pyrrolidines/chemistry , Pyrrolidines/pharmacology , Animals , Behavior, Animal/drug effects , Brain Ischemia , Cognition/drug effects , Cognition/physiology , Disease Models, Animal , Glutamic Acid/pharmacology , Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery , Ischemic Stroke/physiopathology , Male , Molecular Docking Simulation , Neurons/drug effects , Neuroprotective Agents/pharmacology , Primary Cell Culture , Pyrrolidines/chemical synthesis , Rats , Rats, Wistar , Stroke
12.
Cell Rep ; 37(2): 109806, 2021 10 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1466094

ABSTRACT

Tactical disruption of protein synthesis is an attractive therapeutic strategy, with the first-in-class eIF4A-targeting compound zotatifin in clinical evaluation for cancer and COVID-19. The full cellular impact and mechanisms of these potent molecules are undefined at a proteomic level. Here, we report mass spectrometry analysis of translational reprogramming by rocaglates, cap-dependent initiation disruptors that include zotatifin. We find effects to be far more complex than simple "translational inhibition" as currently defined. Translatome analysis by TMT-pSILAC (tandem mass tag-pulse stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture mass spectrometry) reveals myriad upregulated proteins that drive hitherto unrecognized cytotoxic mechanisms, including GEF-H1-mediated anti-survival RHOA/JNK activation. Surprisingly, these responses are not replicated by eIF4A silencing, indicating a broader translational adaptation than currently understood. Translation machinery analysis by MATRIX (mass spectrometry analysis of active translation factors using ribosome density fractionation and isotopic labeling experiments) identifies rocaglate-specific dependence on specific translation factors including eEF1ε1 that drive translatome remodeling. Our proteome-level interrogation reveals that the complete cellular response to these historical "translation inhibitors" is mediated by comprehensive translational landscape remodeling.


Subject(s)
Protein Biosynthesis/drug effects , Protein Synthesis Inhibitors/pharmacology , Animals , Benzofurans/pharmacology , Cell Line, Tumor , Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-4A/drug effects , Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-4A/metabolism , Humans , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred NOD , Primary Cell Culture , Protein Biosynthesis/physiology , Proteomics/methods , Ribosomes/metabolism , Transcriptome/drug effects , Transcriptome/genetics , Triterpenes/pharmacology
13.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(18)2021 Sep 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430892

ABSTRACT

Previous studies reported on the broad-spectrum antiviral function of heparin. Here we investigated the antiviral function of magnesium-modified heparin and found that modified heparin displayed a significantly enhanced antiviral function against human adenovirus (HAdV) in immortalized and primary cells. Nuclear magnetic resonance analyses revealed a conformational change of heparin when complexed with magnesium. To broadly explore this discovery, we tested the antiviral function of modified heparin against herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and found that the replication of HSV-1 was even further decreased compared to aciclovir. Moreover, we investigated the antiviral effect against the new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and measured a 55-fold decreased viral load in the supernatant of infected cells associated with a 38-fold decrease in virus growth. The advantage of our modified heparin is an increased antiviral effect compared to regular heparin.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Heparin/pharmacology , Magnesium Chloride/pharmacology , Acyclovir/pharmacology , Adenoviruses, Human/drug effects , Adenoviruses, Human/physiology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , CHO Cells , Cell Line, Tumor , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetulus , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Fibroblasts , Heparin/chemistry , Herpesvirus 1, Human/drug effects , Herpesvirus 1, Human/physiology , Humans , Magnesium Chloride/chemistry , Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Molecular Structure , Primary Cell Culture , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Structure-Activity Relationship , Vero Cells , Viral Load/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects
14.
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
15.
Front Immunol ; 12: 655122, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1365539

ABSTRACT

FOXP3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) are central for maintaining peripheral tolerance and immune homeostasis. Because of their immunosuppressive characteristics, Tregs are a potential therapeutic target in various diseases such as autoimmunity, transplantation and infectious diseases like COVID-19. Numerous studies are currently exploring the potential of adoptive Treg therapy in different disease settings and novel genome editing techniques like CRISPR/Cas will likely widen possibilities to strengthen its efficacy. However, robust and expeditious protocols for genome editing of human Tregs are limited. Here, we describe a rapid and effective protocol for reaching high genome editing efficiencies in human Tregs without compromising cell integrity, suitable for potential therapeutic applications. By deletion of IL2RA encoding for IL-2 receptor α-chain (CD25) in Tregs, we demonstrated the applicability of the method for downstream functional assays and highlighted the importance for CD25 for in vitro suppressive function of human Tregs. Moreover, deletion of IL6RA (CD126) in human Tregs elicits cytokine unresponsiveness and thus may prevent IL-6-mediated instability of Tregs, making it an attractive target to potentially boost functionality in settings of adoptive Treg therapies to contain overreaching inflammation or autoimmunity. Thus, our rapid and efficient protocol for genome editing in human Tregs may advance possibilities for Treg-based cellular therapies.


Subject(s)
Gene Editing/methods , Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit/genetics , Receptors, Interleukin-6/genetics , T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory/metabolism , Blood Buffy Coat/cytology , CRISPR-Cas Systems/genetics , Forkhead Transcription Factors/metabolism , Gene Knockdown Techniques , HEK293 Cells , Healthy Volunteers , Humans , Immunotherapy, Adoptive/methods , Primary Cell Culture , RNA, Guide/genetics , Time Factors
16.
J Biol Chem ; 296: 100630, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1333548

ABSTRACT

Unchecked inflammation can result in severe diseases with high mortality, such as macrophage activation syndrome (MAS). MAS and associated cytokine storms have been observed in COVID-19 patients exhibiting systemic hyperinflammation. Interleukin-18 (IL-18), a proinflammatory cytokine belonging to the IL-1 family, is elevated in both MAS and COVID-19 patients, and its level is known to correlate with the severity of COVID-19 symptoms. IL-18 binds its specific receptor IL-1 receptor 5 (IL-1R5, also known as IL-18 receptor alpha chain), leading to the recruitment of the coreceptor, IL-1 receptor 7 (IL-1R7, also known as IL-18 receptor beta chain). This heterotrimeric complex then initiates downstream signaling, resulting in systemic and local inflammation. Here, we developed a novel humanized monoclonal anti-IL-1R7 antibody to specifically block the activity of IL-18 and its inflammatory signaling. We characterized the function of this antibody in human cell lines, in freshly obtained peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and in human whole blood cultures. We found that the anti-IL-1R7 antibody significantly suppressed IL-18-mediated NFκB activation, reduced IL-18-stimulated IFNγ and IL-6 production in human cell lines, and reduced IL-18-induced IFNγ, IL-6, and TNFα production in PBMCs. Moreover, the anti-IL-1R7 antibody significantly inhibited LPS- and Candida albicans-induced IFNγ production in PBMCs, as well as LPS-induced IFNγ production in whole blood cultures. Our data suggest that blocking IL-1R7 could represent a potential therapeutic strategy to specifically modulate IL-18 signaling and may warrant further investigation into its clinical potential for treating IL-18-mediated diseases, including MAS and COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/pharmacology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Immunologic Factors/pharmacology , Interleukin-18/genetics , Receptors, Interleukin-18/genetics , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/metabolism , Antibodies, Monoclonal/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , COVID-19/drug therapy , Candida albicans/growth & development , Candida albicans/pathogenicity , Gene Expression Regulation , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunologic Factors/biosynthesis , Inflammation , Interferon-gamma/genetics , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Interleukin-18/immunology , Interleukin-6/genetics , Interleukin-6/immunology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/drug effects , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/immunology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/microbiology , Lipopolysaccharides/antagonists & inhibitors , Lipopolysaccharides/pharmacology , Macrophage Activation Syndrome/drug therapy , NF-kappa B/genetics , NF-kappa B/immunology , Primary Cell Culture , Receptors, Interleukin-18/antagonists & inhibitors , Receptors, Interleukin-18/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/genetics , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/immunology
17.
J Neuroinflammation ; 18(1): 167, 2021 Jul 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1331945

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Neurological complications are common in patients affected by COVID-19 due to the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to infect brains. While the mechanisms of this process are not fully understood, it has been proposed that SARS-CoV-2 can infect the cells of the neurovascular unit (NVU), which form the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The aim of the current study was to analyze the expression pattern of the main SARS-CoV-2 receptors in naïve and HIV-1-infected cells of the NVU in order to elucidate a possible pathway of the virus entry into the brain and a potential modulatory impact of HIV-1 in this process. METHODS: The gene and protein expression profile of ACE2, TMPRSS2, ADAM17, BSG, DPP4, AGTR2, ANPEP, cathepsin B, and cathepsin L was assessed by qPCR, immunoblotting, and immunostaining, respectively. In addition, we investigated if brain endothelial cells can be affected by the exposure to the S1 subunit of the S protein, the domain responsible for the direct binding of SARS-CoV-2 to the ACE2 receptors. RESULTS: The receptors involved in SARS-CoV-2 infection are co-expressed in the cells of the NVU, especially in astrocytes and microglial cells. These receptors are functionally active as exposure of endothelial cells to the SARS CoV-2 S1 protein subunit altered the expression pattern of tight junction proteins, such as claudin-5 and ZO-1. Additionally, HIV-1 infection upregulated ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expression in brain astrocytes and microglia cells. CONCLUSIONS: These findings provide key insight into SARS-CoV-2 recognition by cells of the NVU and may help to develop possible treatment of CNS complications of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Blood Vessels/metabolism , COVID-19/complications , HIV Infections/metabolism , HIV-1 , Neurons/metabolism , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Astrocytes/metabolism , Brain Diseases/etiology , Cells, Cultured , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Humans , Microglia/metabolism , Nervous System Diseases/etiology , Primary Cell Culture , Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 2 , Virus Replication
18.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(14)2021 Jul 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1323266

ABSTRACT

Smoking is a major risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and causes remodeling of the small airways. However, the exact smoke-induced effects on the different types of small airway epithelial cells (SAECs) are poorly understood. Here, using air-liquid interface (ALI) cultures, single-cell RNA-sequencing reveals previously unrecognized transcriptional heterogeneity within the small airway epithelium and cell type-specific effects upon acute and chronic cigarette smoke exposure. Smoke triggers detoxification and inflammatory responses and aberrantly activates and alters basal cell differentiation. This results in an increase of inflammatory basal-to-secretory cell intermediates and, particularly after chronic smoke exposure, a massive expansion of a rare inflammatory and squamous metaplasia associated KRT6A+ basal cell state and an altered secretory cell landscape. ALI cultures originating from healthy non-smokers and COPD smokers show similar responses to cigarette smoke exposure, although an increased pro-inflammatory profile is conserved in the latter. Taken together, the in vitro models provide high-resolution insights into the smoke-induced remodeling of the small airways resembling the pathological processes in COPD airways. The data may also help to better understand other lung diseases including COVID-19, as the data reflect the smoke-dependent variable induction of SARS-CoV-2 entry factors across SAEC populations.


Subject(s)
Airway Remodeling/drug effects , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Cigarette Smoking/adverse effects , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/pathology , Cell Differentiation/drug effects , Cells, Cultured , Cigarette Smoking/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Humans , Neoplasms, Basal Cell/metabolism , Primary Cell Culture , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/etiology , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/metabolism , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/pathology , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/pathology , Smoke , Smoking/adverse effects , Smoking/metabolism
19.
Eur J Pharmacol ; 908: 174374, 2021 Oct 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322083

ABSTRACT

The efficacy of corticosteroids and its use for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infections is controversial. In this study, using data sets of SARS-CoV-2 infected lung tissues and nasopharyngeal swabs, as well as in vitro experiments, we show that SARS-CoV-2 infection significantly downregulates DUSP1 expression. This downregulation of DUSP1 could be the mechanism regulating the enhanced activation of MAPK pathway as well as the reported steroid resistance in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Moreover, chloroquine, an off labeled COVID-19 drug is able to induce DUSP1 and attenuate MAPK pathway; and is expected to improve sensitivity to steroid treatment. However, further mechanistic studies are required to confirm this effect.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Chloroquine/pharmacology , Dual Specificity Phosphatase 1/genetics , Glucocorticoids/pharmacology , p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Cells, Cultured , Chloroquine/therapeutic use , Datasets as Topic , Down-Regulation/drug effects , Drug Resistance/drug effects , Drug Resistance/genetics , Drug Synergism , Dual Specificity Phosphatase 1/metabolism , Fibroblasts , Glucocorticoids/therapeutic use , Healthy Volunteers , Humans , Lung/cytology , Lung/pathology , MAP Kinase Signaling System/drug effects , MAP Kinase Signaling System/genetics , Middle Aged , Nasopharynx/virology , Off-Label Use , Primary Cell Culture , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
20.
Mol Pharm ; 18(6): 2233-2241, 2021 06 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1233685

ABSTRACT

Eliciting a robust immune response at mucosal sites is critical in preventing the entry of mucosal pathogens such as influenza and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This task is challenging to achieve without the inclusion of a strong and safe mucosal adjuvant. Previously, inulin acetate (InAc), a plant-based polymer, is shown to activate toll-like receptor-4 (TLR4) and elicit a robust systemic immune response as a vaccine adjuvant. This study investigates the potential of nanoparticles prepared with InAc (InAc-NPs) as an intranasal vaccine delivery system to generate both mucosal and systemic immune responses. InAc-NPs (∼250 nm in diameter) activated wild-type (WT) macrophages but failed to activate macrophages from TLR4 knockout mice or WT macrophages when pretreated with a TLR4 antagonist (lipopolysaccharide-RS (LPS-RS)), which indicates the selective nature of a InAc-based nanodelivery system as a TLR4 agonist. Intranasal immunization using antigen-loaded InAc-NPs generated ∼65-fold and 19-fold higher serum IgG1 and IgG2a titers against the antigen, respectively, as compared to PLGA-NPs as a delivery system. InAc-NPs have also stimulated the secretion of sIgA at various mucosal sites, including nasal-associated lymphoid tissues (NALTs), lungs, and intestine, and produced a strong memory response indicative of both humoral and cellular immune activation. Overall, by stimulating both systemic and mucosal immunity, InAc-NPs laid a basis for a potential intranasal delivery system for mucosal vaccination.


Subject(s)
Adjuvants, Immunologic/pharmacology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Drug Carriers/pharmacology , Inulin/pharmacology , Adjuvants, Immunologic/chemistry , Administration, Intranasal , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cells, Cultured , Drug Carriers/chemistry , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Humans , Immunity, Mucosal/drug effects , Immunity, Mucosal/immunology , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Inulin/chemistry , Inulin/immunology , Macrophages/drug effects , Macrophages/immunology , Male , Mice , Mice, Knockout , Nanoparticles/chemistry , Primary Cell Culture , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Toll-Like Receptor 4/agonists , Toll-Like Receptor 4/genetics
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