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1.
Biomed Pharmacother ; 145: 112385, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1565522

ABSTRACT

Chemically modified mRNA represents a unique, efficient, and straightforward approach to produce a class of biopharmaceutical agents. It has been already approved as a vaccination-based method for targeting SARS-CoV-2 virus. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the prospect of synthetic modified mRNA to efficiently and safely combat various diseases. Recently, various optimization advances have been adopted to overcome the limitations associated with conventional gene therapeutics leading to wide-ranging applications in different disease conditions. This review sheds light on emerging directions of chemically modified mRNAs to prevent and treat widespread chronic diseases, including metabolic disorders, cancer vaccination and immunotherapy, musculoskeletal disorders, respiratory conditions, cardiovascular diseases, and liver diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Chronic Disease/prevention & control , Chronic Disease/therapy , Genetic Therapy/methods , Immunotherapy/methods , Pandemics/prevention & control , RNA, Messenger/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic , Biological Availability , Drug Carriers , Forecasting , Gene Transfer Techniques , Genetic Vectors/administration & dosage , Genetic Vectors/therapeutic use , Humans , Immunotherapy, Active , RNA Stability , RNA, Messenger/administration & dosage , RNA, Messenger/immunology , RNA, Messenger/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , /immunology
3.
Cell Rep ; 37(3): 109841, 2021 10 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1439922

ABSTRACT

Nonstructural protein 1 (nsp1) is a coronavirus (CoV) virulence factor that restricts cellular gene expression by inhibiting translation through blocking the mRNA entry channel of the 40S ribosomal subunit and by promoting mRNA degradation. We perform a detailed structure-guided mutational analysis of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV-2 nsp1, revealing insights into how it coordinates these activities against host but not viral mRNA. We find that residues in the N-terminal and central regions of nsp1 not involved in docking into the 40S mRNA entry channel nonetheless stabilize its association with the ribosome and mRNA, both enhancing its restriction of host gene expression and enabling mRNA containing the SARS-CoV-2 leader sequence to escape translational repression. These data support a model in which viral mRNA binding functionally alters the association of nsp1 with the ribosome, which has implications for drug targeting and understanding how engineered or emerging mutations in SARS-CoV-2 nsp1 could attenuate the virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Anisotropy , COVID-19/immunology , DNA Mutational Analysis , Female , Gene Expression Profiling , Green Fluorescent Proteins/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Kinetics , Mutation , Phenotype , Point Mutation , Protein Biosynthesis , Protein Domains , RNA Stability , Ribosome Subunits, Small, Eukaryotic/metabolism , Ribosomes/metabolism
5.
Sci Signal ; 14(689)2021 06 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406596

ABSTRACT

Capping of viral messenger RNAs is essential for efficient translation, for virus replication, and for preventing detection by the host cell innate response system. The SARS-CoV-2 genome encodes the 2'-O-methyltransferase nsp16, which, when bound to the coactivator nsp10, uses S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) as a donor to transfer a methyl group to the first ribonucleotide of the mRNA in the final step of viral mRNA capping. Here, we provide biochemical and structural evidence that this reaction requires divalent cations, preferably Mn2+, and a coronavirus-specific four-residue insert. We determined the x-ray structures of the SARS-CoV-2 2'-O-methyltransferase (the nsp16-nsp10 heterodimer) in complex with its reaction substrates, products, and divalent metal cations. These structural snapshots revealed that metal ions and the insert stabilize interactions between the capped RNA and nsp16, resulting in the precise alignment of the ribonucleotides in the active site. Comparison of available structures of 2'-O-methyltransferases with capped RNAs from different organisms revealed that the four-residue insert unique to coronavirus nsp16 alters the backbone conformation of the capped RNA in the binding groove, thereby promoting catalysis. This insert is highly conserved across coronaviruses, and its absence in mammalian methyltransferases makes this region a promising site for structure-guided drug design of selective coronavirus inhibitors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , RNA Caps/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Amino Acid Sequence , Catalytic Domain , Crystallography, X-Ray , Humans , Manganese/metabolism , Methylation , Methyltransferases/chemistry , Methyltransferases/genetics , Methyltransferases/metabolism , Models, Molecular , Nucleic Acid Conformation , RNA Caps/chemistry , RNA Caps/genetics , RNA Stability , RNA, Messenger/chemistry , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , S-Adenosylmethionine/chemistry , S-Adenosylmethionine/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Signal Transduction , Substrate Specificity , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics
6.
Nucleic Acids Res ; 49(18): 10604-10617, 2021 10 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406489

ABSTRACT

RNA hydrolysis presents problems in manufacturing, long-term storage, world-wide delivery and in vivo stability of messenger RNA (mRNA)-based vaccines and therapeutics. A largely unexplored strategy to reduce mRNA hydrolysis is to redesign RNAs to form double-stranded regions, which are protected from in-line cleavage and enzymatic degradation, while coding for the same proteins. The amount of stabilization that this strategy can deliver and the most effective algorithmic approach to achieve stabilization remain poorly understood. Here, we present simple calculations for estimating RNA stability against hydrolysis, and a model that links the average unpaired probability of an mRNA, or AUP, to its overall hydrolysis rate. To characterize the stabilization achievable through structure design, we compare AUP optimization by conventional mRNA design methods to results from more computationally sophisticated algorithms and crowdsourcing through the OpenVaccine challenge on the Eterna platform. We find that rational design on Eterna and the more sophisticated algorithms lead to constructs with low AUP, which we term 'superfolder' mRNAs. These designs exhibit a wide diversity of sequence and structure features that may be desirable for translation, biophysical size, and immunogenicity. Furthermore, their folding is robust to temperature, computer modeling method, choice of flanking untranslated regions, and changes in target protein sequence, as illustrated by rapid redesign of superfolder mRNAs for B.1.351, P.1 and B.1.1.7 variants of the prefusion-stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Increases in in vitro mRNA half-life by at least two-fold appear immediately achievable.


Subject(s)
Algorithms , RNA, Double-Stranded/chemistry , RNA, Messenger/chemistry , RNA, Viral/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Base Pairing , Base Sequence , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Hydrolysis , RNA Stability , RNA, Double-Stranded/genetics , RNA, Double-Stranded/immunology , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Messenger/immunology , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Thermodynamics
7.
RNA ; 27(11): 1318-1329, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1329126

ABSTRACT

The transcriptional induction of interferon (IFN) genes is a key feature of the mammalian antiviral response that limits viral replication and dissemination. A hallmark of severe COVID-19 disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 is the low presence of IFN proteins in patient serum despite elevated levels of IFN-encoding mRNAs, indicative of post-transcriptional inhibition of IFN protein production. Here, we performed single-molecule RNA visualization to examine the expression and localization of host mRNAs during SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our data show that the biogenesis of type I and type III IFN mRNAs is inhibited at multiple steps during SARS-CoV-2 infection. First, translocation of the interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) transcription factor to the nucleus is limited in response to SARS-CoV-2, indicating that SARS-CoV-2 inhibits RLR-MAVS signaling and thus weakens transcriptional induction of IFN genes. Second, we observed that IFN mRNAs primarily localize to the site of transcription in most SARS-CoV-2 infected cells, suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 either inhibits the release of IFN mRNAs from their sites of transcription and/or triggers decay of IFN mRNAs in the nucleus upon exiting the site of transcription. Lastly, nuclear-cytoplasmic transport of IFN mRNAs is inhibited during SARS-CoV-2 infection, which we propose is a consequence of widespread degradation of host cytoplasmic basal mRNAs in the early stages of SARS-CoV-2 replication by the SARS-CoV-2 Nsp1 protein, as well as the host antiviral endoribonuclease, RNase L. Importantly, IFN mRNAs can escape SARS-CoV-2-mediated degradation if they reach the cytoplasm, making rescue of mRNA export a viable means for promoting the immune response to SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Interferons/genetics , RNA Stability , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , A549 Cells , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Endoribonucleases/genetics , Endoribonucleases/metabolism , Humans , In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence/methods , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/genetics , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/metabolism , Interferons/metabolism , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , Single Molecule Imaging
9.
Cells ; 10(6)2021 06 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1273395

ABSTRACT

The current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic underscores the importance of understanding the evolution of RNA genomes. While RNA is subject to the formation of similar lesions as DNA, the evolutionary and physiological impacts RNA lesions have on viral genomes are yet to be characterized. Lesions that may drive the evolution of RNA genomes can induce breaks that are repaired by recombination or can cause base substitution mutagenesis, also known as base editing. Over the past decade or so, base editing mutagenesis of DNA genomes has been subject to many studies, revealing that exposure of ssDNA is subject to hypermutation that is involved in the etiology of cancer. However, base editing of RNA genomes has not been studied to the same extent. Recently hypermutation of single-stranded RNA viral genomes have also been documented though its role in evolution and population dynamics. Here, we will summarize the current knowledge of key mechanisms and causes of RNA genome instability covering areas from the RNA world theory to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic of today. We will also highlight the key questions that remain as it pertains to RNA genome instability, mutations accumulation, and experimental strategies for addressing these questions.


Subject(s)
Evolution, Molecular , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Mutation , Pandemics , RNA Editing/physiology , RNA Stability/physiology
10.
J Immunother Cancer ; 9(6)2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266401

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection and the resulting COVID-19 have afflicted millions of people in an ongoing worldwide pandemic. Safe and effective vaccination is needed urgently to protect not only the general population but also vulnerable subjects such as patients with cancer. Currently approved mRNA-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccines seem suitable for patients with cancer based on their mode of action, efficacy, and favorable safety profile reported in the general population. Here, we provide an overview of mRNA-based vaccines including their safety and efficacy. Extrapolating from insights gained from a different preventable viral infection, we review existing data on immunity against influenza A and B vaccines in patients with cancer. Finally, we discuss COVID-19 vaccination in light of the challenges specific to patients with cancer, such as factors that may hinder protective SARS-CoV-2 immune responses in the context of compromised immunity and the use of immune-suppressive or immune-modulating drugs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , Neoplasms/therapy , RNA, Messenger , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viral Vaccines , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Drug Stability , Humans , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/immunology , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Neoplasms/immunology , Pandemics , RNA Stability/physiology , RNA, Messenger/administration & dosage , RNA, Messenger/adverse effects , RNA, Messenger/chemistry , RNA, Messenger/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vaccination/methods , Viral Vaccines/adverse effects , Viral Vaccines/chemistry , Viral Vaccines/genetics
11.
Chem Rev ; 121(13): 7398-7467, 2021 07 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1243272

ABSTRACT

RNA nanotechnology is the bottom-up self-assembly of nanometer-scale architectures, resembling LEGOs, composed mainly of RNA. The ideal building material should be (1) versatile and controllable in shape and stoichiometry, (2) spontaneously self-assemble, and (3) thermodynamically, chemically, and enzymatically stable with a long shelf life. RNA building blocks exhibit each of the above. RNA is a polynucleic acid, making it a polymer, and its negative-charge prevents nonspecific binding to negatively charged cell membranes. The thermostability makes it suitable for logic gates, resistive memory, sensor set-ups, and NEM devices. RNA can be designed and manipulated with a level of simplicity of DNA while displaying versatile structure and enzyme activity of proteins. RNA can fold into single-stranded loops or bulges to serve as mounting dovetails for intermolecular or domain interactions without external linking dowels. RNA nanoparticles display rubber- and amoeba-like properties and are stretchable and shrinkable through multiple repeats, leading to enhanced tumor targeting and fast renal excretion to reduce toxicities. It was predicted in 2014 that RNA would be the third milestone in pharmaceutical drug development. The recent approval of several RNA drugs and COVID-19 mRNA vaccines by FDA suggests that this milestone is being realized. Here, we review the unique properties of RNA nanotechnology, summarize its recent advancements, describe its distinct attributes inside or outside the body and discuss potential applications in nanotechnology, medicine, and material science.


Subject(s)
Nanomedicine/methods , Neoplasms/drug therapy , RNA Stability , RNA/chemistry , Animals , Humans , Molecular Targeted Therapy , Thermodynamics
12.
J Biol Chem ; 297(1): 100821, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1240418

ABSTRACT

Viral proteins are known to be methylated by host protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) necessary for the viral life cycle, but it remains unknown whether severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) proteins are methylated. Herein, we show that PRMT1 methylates SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (N) protein at residues R95 and R177 within RGG/RG motifs, preferred PRMT target sequences. We confirmed arginine methylation of N protein by immunoblotting viral proteins extracted from SARS-CoV-2 virions isolated from cell culture. Type I PRMT inhibitor (MS023) or substitution of R95 or R177 with lysine inhibited interaction of N protein with the 5'-UTR of SARS-CoV-2 genomic RNA, a property required for viral packaging. We also defined the N protein interactome in HEK293 cells, which identified PRMT1 and many of its RGG/RG substrates, including the known interacting protein G3BP1 as well as other components of stress granules (SGs), which are part of the host antiviral response. Methylation of R95 regulated the ability of N protein to suppress the formation of SGs, as R95K substitution or MS023 treatment blocked N-mediated suppression of SGs. Also, the coexpression of methylarginine reader Tudor domain-containing protein 3 quenched N protein-mediated suppression of SGs in a dose-dependent manner. Finally, pretreatment of VeroE6 cells with MS023 significantly reduced SARS-CoV-2 replication. Because type I PRMT inhibitors are already undergoing clinical trials for cancer treatment, inhibiting arginine methylation to target the later stages of the viral life cycle such as viral genome packaging and assembly of virions may represent an additional therapeutic application of these drugs.


Subject(s)
Arginine/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Amino Acid Motifs , COVID-19/genetics , Cytoplasmic Granules/genetics , Cytoplasmic Granules/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Methylation , Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , RNA Stability , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Virus Replication
13.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 10696, 2021 05 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1238020

ABSTRACT

A new pandemic caused by the betacoronavirus SARS-CoV-2 originated in China in late 2019. Although often asymptomatic, a relevant percentage of affected people can develop severe pneumonia. Initial evidence suggests that dysregulation of the immune response could contribute to the pathogenesis, as previously demonstrated for SARS-CoV. The presence of genome composition features involved in delaying viral recognition is herein investigated for human coronaviruses (HCoVs), with a special emphasis on SARS-CoV-2. A broad collection of HCoVs polyprotein, envelope, matrix, nucleocapsid and spike coding sequences was downloaded and several statistics representative of genome composition and codon bias were investigated. A model able to evaluate and test the presence of a significant under- or over-representation of dinucleotide pairs while accounting for the underlying codon bias and protein sequence was also implemented. The study revealed the significant under-representation of CpG dinucleotide pair in all HcoV, but especially in SARS-CoV and even more in SARS-CoV-2. The presence of forces acting to minimize CpG content was confirmed by relative synonymous codon usage pattern. Codons containing the CpG pair were severely under-represented, primarily in the polyprotein and spike coding sequences of SARS-CoV-2. Additionally, a significant under-representation of the TpA pair was observed in the N and S region of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. Increasing experimental evidence has proven that CpG and TpA are targeted by innate antiviral host defences, contributing both to RNA degradation and RIG-1 mediated interferon production. The low content of these dinucleotides could contribute to a delayed interferon production, dysregulated immune response, higher viral replication and poor outcome. Significantly, the RIG-1 signalling pathway was proven to be defective in elderlies, suggesting a likely interaction between limited viral recognition and lower responsiveness in interferon production that could justify the higher disease severity and mortality in older patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , CpG Islands/immunology , Genome, Viral/immunology , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , RNA Stability/immunology , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
14.
Nature ; 594(7862): 240-245, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225510

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is the cause of the ongoing pandemic of COVID-191. Coronaviruses have developed a variety of mechanisms to repress host mRNA translation to allow the translation of viral mRNA, and concomitantly block the cellular innate immune response2,3. Although several different proteins of SARS-CoV-2 have previously been implicated in shutting off host expression4-7, a comprehensive picture of the effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection on cellular gene expression is lacking. Here we combine RNA sequencing, ribosome profiling and metabolic labelling of newly synthesized RNA to comprehensively define the mechanisms that are used by SARS-CoV-2 to shut off cellular protein synthesis. We show that infection leads to a global reduction in translation, but that viral transcripts are not preferentially translated. Instead, we find that infection leads to the accelerated degradation of cytosolic cellular mRNAs, which facilitates viral takeover of the mRNA pool in infected cells. We reveal that the translation of transcripts that are induced in response to infection (including innate immune genes) is impaired. We demonstrate this impairment is probably mediated by inhibition of nuclear mRNA export, which prevents newly transcribed cellular mRNA from accessing ribosomes. Overall, our results uncover a multipronged strategy that is used by SARS-CoV-2 to take over the translation machinery and to suppress host defences.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Protein Biosynthesis , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , 5' Untranslated Regions/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Line , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Protein Biosynthesis/genetics , RNA Stability , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Ribosomes/metabolism , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
15.
J Mol Diagn ; 23(6): 691-697, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1179822

ABSTRACT

Reliable transportation of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) patient samples from a swabbing station to a diagnostics facility is essential for accurate results. Therefore, cooling or freezing the samples is recommended in case of longer transportation times. In this study, SARS-CoV-2 detectability by RT-PCR was assessed after prolonged unfrozen storage or repetitive freeze-thawing of SARS-CoV-2 samples. SARS-CoV-2-positive patient swabs stored in viral transport medium were exposed to different temperatures (4°C, 25°C, and 35°C) and to repetitive freeze-thawing, to assess the effect of storage conditions on RT-PCR detection. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was still reliably detected by RT-PCR after 21 days of storage in viral transport medium, even when the samples had been stored at 35°C. The maximum observed change in cycle threshold value per day was 0.046 (±0.019) at 35°C, and the maximum observed change in cycle threshold value per freeze-thaw cycle per day was 0.197 (±0.06). Compared with storage at 4°C, viral RNA levels deviated little but significantly when stored at 25°C or 35°C, or after repeated freeze-thawing. The results of this study indicate that viral RNA levels are relatively stable at higher temperatures and repetitive freeze-thawing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/standards , COVID-19/diagnosis , RNA, Viral/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/standards , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Specimen Handling/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/instrumentation , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , Freezing , Humans , Nasopharynx/virology , RNA Stability , Switzerland/epidemiology , Temperature , Time Factors
16.
Braz J Microbiol ; 52(2): 531-539, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1159186

ABSTRACT

Accurate testing to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA is key to counteract the virus spread. Nonetheless, the number of diagnostic laboratories able to perform qPCR tests is limited, particularly in developing countries. We describe the use of a virus-inactivating, denaturing solution (DS) to decrease virus infectivity in clinical specimens without affecting RNA integrity. Swab samples were collected from infected patients and from laboratory personnel using a commercially available viral transport solution and the in-house DS. Samples were tested by RT-qPCR, and exposure to infective viruses was also accessed by ELISA. The DS used did not interfere with viral genome detection and was able to maintain RNA integrity for up to 16 days at room temperature. Furthermore, virus loaded onto DS were inactivated, as attested by attempts to grow SARS-CoV-2 in cell monolayers after DS desalt filtration to remove toxic residues. The DS described here provides a strategy to maintain diagnostic accuracy and protects diagnostic laboratory personnel from accidental infection, as it has helped to protect our lab crew.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , RNA Stability/drug effects , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Specimen Handling/methods , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Protein Denaturation/drug effects , RNA, Viral/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects
17.
J Mol Diagn ; 23(6): 691-697, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1155539

ABSTRACT

Reliable transportation of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) patient samples from a swabbing station to a diagnostics facility is essential for accurate results. Therefore, cooling or freezing the samples is recommended in case of longer transportation times. In this study, SARS-CoV-2 detectability by RT-PCR was assessed after prolonged unfrozen storage or repetitive freeze-thawing of SARS-CoV-2 samples. SARS-CoV-2-positive patient swabs stored in viral transport medium were exposed to different temperatures (4°C, 25°C, and 35°C) and to repetitive freeze-thawing, to assess the effect of storage conditions on RT-PCR detection. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was still reliably detected by RT-PCR after 21 days of storage in viral transport medium, even when the samples had been stored at 35°C. The maximum observed change in cycle threshold value per day was 0.046 (±0.019) at 35°C, and the maximum observed change in cycle threshold value per freeze-thaw cycle per day was 0.197 (±0.06). Compared with storage at 4°C, viral RNA levels deviated little but significantly when stored at 25°C or 35°C, or after repeated freeze-thawing. The results of this study indicate that viral RNA levels are relatively stable at higher temperatures and repetitive freeze-thawing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/standards , COVID-19/diagnosis , RNA, Viral/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction/standards , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Specimen Handling/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/instrumentation , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , Freezing , Humans , Nasopharynx/virology , RNA Stability , Switzerland/epidemiology , Temperature , Time Factors
18.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(4): 1146-1150, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1147295

ABSTRACT

The expense of saliva collection devices designed to stabilize severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 RNA is prohibitive to mass testing. However, virus RNA in nonsupplemented saliva is stable for extended periods and at elevated temperatures. Simple plastic tubes for saliva collection will make large-scale testing and continued surveillance easier.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19 , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Saliva/virology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Capacity Building/methods , Humans , RNA Stability , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , RNA, Viral/physiology , Reproducibility of Results , Resource Allocation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Specimen Handling/economics , Specimen Handling/instrumentation , Specimen Handling/methods
19.
Anal Bioanal Chem ; 413(13): 3411-3419, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1141403

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 in vitro transcribed RNA reference materials (RM), UME RM 2019 and UME RM 2020, were produced by Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK), National Metrology Institute (UME), to be used as a quality control material for SARS-CoV-2 measurements, in liquid-frozen and lyophilized forms, respectively. These RNA RMs include ten internationally recommended SARS-CoV-2 target gene fragments (Pasteur-RdRp-IP2, Pasteur-RdRp-IP4, Charite-E, Charite-RdRp, CDC-N1, CDC-N2, China CDC-ORF1ab, China CDC-N, Hong Kong-ORF1b, and Hong Kong-N) for virus detection and one human gene fragment (RNase P) as an internal control. Two different platforms, RT-qPCR and RT-ddPCR, were used to characterize UME RM 2019 (UME RM 2020 was only characterized with RT-qPCR). The homogeneity studies were evaluated by RT-qPCR. According to these results, it has been shown that both reference materials are homogeneous for intended use. Short-term studies were also conducted similarly for mimicking transport conditions and UME RM 2020, which is produced in lyophilized form, unlike other reference materials available in the market, provides convenience for users by ensuring that the reference material remains stable for 17 days even at 45 °C temperature. The lyophilized formulation of the reference material had greater stability which would allow it to be shipped without cooling items. The development of such RNA reference materials provides quality control for existing and newly designed RNA-based virus detection tests and it helps the prevention and control of epidemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Base Sequence , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/standards , Humans , RNA Stability , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/standards , Reference Standards , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry
20.
Mol Cancer ; 20(1): 52, 2021 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1136226

ABSTRACT

In vitro-transcribed messenger RNA-based therapeutics represent a relatively novel and highly efficient class of drugs. Several recently published studies emphasize the potential efficacy of mRNA vaccines in treating different types of malignant and infectious diseases where conventional vaccine strategies and platforms fail to elicit protective immune responses. mRNA vaccines have lately raised high interest as potent vaccines against SARS-CoV2. Direct application of mRNA or its electroporation into dendritic cells was shown to induce polyclonal CD4+ and CD8+ mediated antigen-specific T cell responses as well as the production of protective antibodies with the ability to eliminate transformed or infected cells. More importantly, the vaccine composition may include two or more mRNAs coding for different proteins or long peptides. This enables the induction of polyclonal immune responses against a broad variety of epitopes within the encoded antigens that are presented on various MHC complexes, thus avoiding the restriction to a certain HLA molecule or possible immune escape due to antigen-loss. The development and design of mRNA therapies was recently boosted by several critical innovations including the development of technologies for the production and delivery of high quality and stable mRNA. Several technical obstacles such as stability, delivery and immunogenicity were addressed in the past and gradually solved in the recent years.This review will summarize the most recent technological developments and application of mRNA vaccines in clinical trials and discusses the results, challenges and future directions with a special focus on the induced innate and adaptive immune responses.


Subject(s)
Cancer Vaccines/genetics , Cancer Vaccines/immunology , Neoplasms/etiology , Neoplasms/therapy , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Messenger/immunology , Animals , Antigens, Neoplasm/genetics , Antigens, Neoplasm/immunology , Cancer Vaccines/administration & dosage , Drug Delivery Systems , Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic , Gene Transfer Techniques , Humans , Immunity , Immunotherapy , Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating/immunology , Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating/metabolism , Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating/pathology , Neoplasms/pathology , RNA Stability , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Synthetic/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology
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