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1.
Virulence ; 13(1): 1697-1712, 2022 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20244441

ABSTRACT

Autophagy plays an important role in defending against invading microbes. However, numerous viruses can subvert autophagy to benefit their replication. Porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDV) is an aetiological agent that causes severe porcine epidemic diarrhoea. How PEDV infection regulates autophagy and its role in PEDV replication are inadequately understood. Herein, we report that PEDV induced complete autophagy in Vero and IPEC-DQ cells, as evidenced by increased LC3 lipidation, p62 degradation, and the formation of autolysosomes. The lysosomal protease inhibitors chloroquine (CQ) or bafilomycin A and Beclin-1 or ATG5 knockdown blocked autophagic flux and inhibited PEDV replication. PEDV infection activated AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and c-Jun terminal kinase (JNK) by activating TGF-beta-activated kinase 1 (TAK1). Compound C (CC), an AMPK inhibitor, and SP600125, a JNK inhibitor, inhibited PEDV-induced autophagy and virus replication. AMPK activation led to increased ULK1S777 phosphorylation and activation. Inhibition of ULK1 activity by SBI-0206965 (SBI) and TAK1 activity by 5Z-7-Oxozeaenol (5Z) or by TAK1 siRNA led to the suppression of autophagy and virus replication. Our study provides mechanistic insights into PEDV-induced autophagy and how PEDV infection leads to JNK and AMPK activation.


Subject(s)
Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus , AMP-Activated Protein Kinases/genetics , AMP-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism , Animals , Autophagy , Beclin-1 , Chloroquine , MAP Kinase Kinase Kinases , Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus/physiology , Protease Inhibitors , RNA, Small Interfering , Swine , Virus Replication
2.
RNA Biol ; 20(1): 272-280, 2023 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20236945

ABSTRACT

RNA interference (RNAi) offers an efficient way to repress genes of interest, and it is widely used in research settings. Clinical applications emerged more recently, with 5 approved siRNAs (the RNA guides of the RNAi effector complex) against human diseases. The development of siRNAs against the SARS-CoV-2 virus could therefore provide the basis of novel COVID-19 treatments, while being easily adaptable to future variants or to other, unrelated viruses. Because the biochemistry of RNAi is very precisely described, it is now possible to design siRNAs with high predicted activity and specificity using only computational tools. While previous siRNA design algorithms tended to rely on simplistic strategies (raising fully complementary siRNAs against targets of interest), our approach uses the most up-to-date mechanistic description of RNAi to allow mismatches at tolerable positions and to force them at beneficial positions, while optimizing siRNA duplex asymmetry. Our pipeline proposes 8 siRNAs against SARS-CoV-2, and ex vivo assessment confirms the high antiviral activity of 6 out of 8 siRNAs, also achieving excellent variant coverage (with several 3-siRNA combinations recognizing each correctly-sequenced variant as of September2022). Our approach is easily generalizable to other viruses as long as avariant genome database is available. With siRNA delivery procedures being currently improved, RNAi could therefore become an efficient and versatile antiviral therapeutic strategy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Viruses , Humans , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , RNA Interference , Viruses/genetics , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use
3.
Adv Healthc Mater ; 12(13): e2203033, 2023 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20242663

ABSTRACT

The recent development of RNA-based therapeutics in delivering nucleic acids for gene editing and regulating protein translation has led to the effective treatment of various diseases including cancer, inflammatory and genetic disorder, as well as infectious diseases. Among these, lipid nanoparticles (LNP) have emerged as a promising platform for RNA delivery and have shed light by resolving the inherent instability issues of naked RNA and thereby enhancing the therapeutic potency. These LNP consisting of ionizable lipid, helper lipid, cholesterol, and poly(ethylene glycol)-anchored lipid can stably enclose RNA and help them release into the cells' cytosol. Herein, the significant progress made in LNP research starting from the LNP constituents, formulation, and their diverse applications is summarized first. Moreover, the microfluidic methodologies which allow precise assembly of these newly developed constituents to achieve LNP with controllable composition and size, high encapsulation efficiency as well as scalable production are highlighted. Furthermore, a short discussion on current challenges as well as an outlook will be given on emerging approaches to resolving these issues.


Subject(s)
Lipids , Nanoparticles , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , Liposomes
5.
J Am Chem Soc ; 145(20): 11375-11386, 2023 05 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2316797

ABSTRACT

Hypoxia is a common hallmark of human disease that is characterized by abnormally low oxygen levels in the body. While the effects of hypoxia on many small molecule-based drugs are known, its effects on several classes of next-generation medications including messenger RNA therapies warrant further study. Here, we provide an efficacy- and mechanism-driven study that details how hypoxia impacts the cellular response to mRNA therapies delivered using 4 different chemistries of lipid nanoparticles (LNPs, the frontrunner class of drug delivery vehicles for translational mRNA therapy utilized in the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines). Specifically, our work provides a comparative analysis as to how various states of oxygenation impact LNP-delivered mRNA expression, cellular association, endosomal escape, and intracellular ATP concentrations following treatment with 4 different LNPs across 3 different cell lines. In brief, we first identify that hypoxic cells express less LNP-delivered mRNA into protein than normoxic cells. Next, we identify generalizable cellular reoxygenation protocols that can reverse the negative effects that hypoxia imparts on LNP-delivered mRNA expression. Finally, mechanistic studies that utilize fluorescence-activated cell sorting, confocal microscopy, and enzyme inhibition reveal that decreases in mRNA expression correlate with decreases in intracellular ATP (rather than with differences in mRNA LNP uptake pathways). In presenting this data, we hope that our work provides a comprehensive efficacy and mechanism-driven study that explores the impact of differential oxygenation on LNP-delivered mRNA expression while simultaneously establishing fundamental criteria that may one day be useful for the development of mRNA drugs to treat hypoxia-associated disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nanoparticles , Humans , Lipids , RNA, Messenger/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines , Liposomes , Hypoxia , Adenosine Triphosphate , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics
6.
Viruses ; 15(1)2022 Dec 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2309502

ABSTRACT

COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2, created a devastating outbreak worldwide and consequently became a global health concern. However, no verifiable, specifically targeted treatment has been devised for COVID-19. Several emerging vaccines have been used, but protection has not been satisfactory. The complex genetic composition and high mutation frequency of SARS-CoV-2 have caused an uncertain vaccine response. Small interfering RNA (siRNA)-based therapy is an efficient strategy to control various infectious diseases employing post-transcriptional gene silencing through the silencing of target complementary mRNA. Here, we designed two highly effective shRNAs targeting the conserved region of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP) and spike proteins capable of significant SARS-CoV-2 replication suppression. The efficacy of this approach suggested that the rapid development of an shRNA-based therapeutic strategy might prove to be highly effective in treating COVID-19. However, it needs further clinical trials.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , RNA Interference , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , COVID-19/therapy , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
7.
Adv Drug Deliv Rev ; 197: 114861, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2309262

ABSTRACT

Lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) have revolutionized the field of drug delivery through their applications in siRNA delivery to the liver (Onpattro) and their use in the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. While LNPs have been extensively studied for the delivery of RNA drugs to muscle and liver targets, their potential to deliver drugs to challenging tissue targets such as the brain remains underexplored. Multiple brain disorders currently lack safe and effective therapies and therefore repurposing LNPs could potentially be a game changer for improving drug delivery to cellular targets both at and across the blood-brain barrier (BBB). In this review, we will discuss (1) the rationale and factors involved in optimizing LNPs for brain delivery, (2) ionic liquid-coated LNPs as a potential approach for increasing LNP accumulation in the brain tissue and (3) considerations, open questions and potential opportunities in the development of LNPs for delivery to the brain.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nanoparticles , Humans , Lipids , Liposomes , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , Brain
8.
Life Sci Alliance ; 6(7)2023 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2294209

ABSTRACT

Viruses with an RNA genome are often the cause of zoonotic infections. In order to identify novel pro-viral host cell factors, we screened a haploid insertion-mutagenized mouse embryonic cell library for clones that are resistant to Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV). This screen returned the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1) as a top hit, a plasma membrane protein involved in a wide variety of cell activities. Inactivation of LRP1 in human cells reduced RVFV RNA levels already at the attachment and entry stages of infection. Moreover, the role of LRP1 in promoting RVFV infection was dependent on physiological levels of cholesterol and on endocytosis. In the human cell line HuH-7, LRP1 also promoted early infection stages of sandfly fever Sicilian virus and La Crosse virus, but had a minor effect on late infection by vesicular stomatitis virus, whereas encephalomyocarditis virus was entirely LRP1-independent. Moreover, siRNA experiments in human Calu-3 cells demonstrated that also SARS-CoV-2 infection benefitted from LRP1. Thus, we identified LRP1 as a host factor that supports infection by a spectrum of RNA viruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Rift Valley fever virus , Animals , Humans , Mice , Low Density Lipoprotein Receptor-Related Protein-1/genetics , Low Density Lipoprotein Receptor-Related Protein-1/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Rift Valley fever virus/genetics , Rift Valley fever virus/metabolism , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , RNA, Small Interfering/metabolism , Lipoproteins, LDL/metabolism
9.
Hum Gene Ther ; 33(17-18): 893-912, 2022 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2271618

ABSTRACT

The prospect of gene therapy for inherited and acquired respiratory disease has energized the research community since the 1980s, with cystic fibrosis, as a monogenic disorder, driving early efforts to develop effective strategies. The fact that there are still no approved gene therapy products for the lung, despite many early phase clinical trials, illustrates the scale of the challenge: In the 1990s, first-generation non-viral and viral vector systems demonstrated proof-of-concept but low efficacy. Since then, there has been steady progress toward improved vectors with the capacity to overcome at least some of the formidable barriers presented by the lung. In addition, the inclusion of features such as codon optimization and promoters providing long-term expression have improved the expression characteristics of therapeutic transgenes. Early approaches were based on gene addition, where a new DNA copy of a gene is introduced to complement a genetic mutation: however, the advent of RNA-based products that can directly express a therapeutic protein or manipulate gene expression, together with the expanding range of tools for gene editing, has stimulated the development of alternative approaches. This review discusses the range of vector systems being evaluated for lung delivery; the variety of cargoes they deliver, including DNA, antisense oligonucleotides, messenger RNA (mRNA), small interfering RNA (siRNA), and peptide nucleic acids; and exemplifies progress in selected respiratory disease indications.


Subject(s)
Peptide Nucleic Acids , DNA , Gene Transfer Techniques , Genetic Therapy/methods , Genetic Vectors/genetics , Oligonucleotides, Antisense , RNA, Messenger , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics
10.
Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol ; 15(11): 1327-1341, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2247914

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Small interfering RNA (siRNA) has emerged as a powerful tool for post-transcriptional downregulation of multiple genes for various therapies. Naked siRNA molecules are surrounded by several barriers that tackle their optimum delivery to target tissues such as limited cellular uptake, short circulation time, degradation by endonucleases, glomerular filtration, and capturing by the reticuloendothelial system (RES). AREAS COVERED: This review provides insights into studies that investigate various siRNA-based therapies, focusing on the mechanism, delivery strategies, bioavailability, pharmacokinetic, and pharmacodynamics of naked and modified siRNA molecules. The clinical pharmacology of currently approved siRNA products is also discussed. EXPERT OPINION: Few siRNA-based products have been approved recently by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory agencies after approximately 20 years following its discovery due to the associated limitations. The absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of siRNA therapeutics are highly restricted by several obstacles, resulting in rapid clearance of siRNA-based therapeutic products from systemic circulation before reaching the cytosol of targeted cells. The siRNA therapeutics however are very promising in many diseases, including gene therapy and SARS-COV-2 viral infection. The design of suitable delivery vehicles and developing strategies toward better pharmacokinetic parameters may solve the challenges of siRNA therapies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , RNA, Small Interfering/pharmacology , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Genetic Therapy
11.
Int J Mol Sci ; 24(4)2023 Feb 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2284306

ABSTRACT

Gene therapy has attracted much attention because of its unique mechanism of action, non-toxicity, and good tolerance, which can kill cancer cells without damaging healthy tissues. siRNA-based gene therapy can downregulate, enhance, or correct gene expression by introducing some nucleic acid into patient tissues. Routine treatment of hemophilia requires frequent intravenous injections of missing clotting protein. The high cost of combined therapy causes most patients to lack the best treatment resources. siRNA therapy has the potential of lasting treatment and even curing diseases. Compared with traditional surgery and chemotherapy, siRNA has fewer side effects and less damage to normal cells. The available therapies for degenerative diseases can only alleviate the symptoms of patients, while siRNA therapy drugs can upregulate gene expression, modify epigenetic changes, and stop the disease. In addition, siRNA also plays an important role in cardiovascular diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, and hepatitis B. However, free siRNA is easily degraded by nuclease and has a short half-life in the blood. Research has found that siRNA can be delivered to specific cells through appropriate vector selection and design to improve the therapeutic effect. The application of viral vectors is limited because of their high immunogenicity and low capacity, while non-viral vectors are widely used because of their low immunogenicity, low production cost, and high safety. This paper reviews the common non-viral vectors in recent years and introduces their advantages and disadvantages, as well as the latest application examples.


Subject(s)
Hepatitis B , Nucleic Acids , Humans , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , Genetic Therapy/methods , Hepatitis B/drug therapy , Half-Life , Genetic Vectors
12.
J Microbiol Immunol Infect ; 56(3): 516-525, 2023 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2283040

ABSTRACT

RNA interference (RNAi) is an emerging and promising therapy for a wide range of respiratory viral infections. This highly specific suppression can be achieved by the introduction of short-interfering RNA (siRNA) into mammalian systems, resulting in the effective reduction of viral load. Unfortunately, this has been hindered by the lack of a good delivery system, especially via the intranasal (IN) route. Here, we have developed an IN siRNA encapsulated lipid nanoparticle (LNP) in vivo delivery system that is highly efficient at targeting severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) lung infection in vivo. Importantly, IN siRNA delivery without the aid of LNPs abolishes anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity in vivo. Our approach using LNPs as the delivery vehicle overcomes the significant barriers seen with IN delivery of siRNA therapeutics and is a significant advancement in our ability to delivery siRNAs. The study presented here demonstrates an attractive alternate delivery strategy for the prophylactic treatment of both future and emerging respiratory viral diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nanoparticles , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections , Viruses , Animals , Humans , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Administration, Intranasal , COVID-19/prevention & control , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/prevention & control , Viruses/genetics , Lung , Mammals/genetics
13.
Commun Biol ; 6(1): 277, 2023 03 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2287903

ABSTRACT

Expanding the arsenal of prophylactic approaches against SARS-CoV-2 is of utmost importance, specifically those strategies that are resistant to antigenic drift in Spike. Here, we conducted a screen of over 16,000 RNAi triggers against the SARS-CoV-2 genome, using a massively parallel assay to identify hyper-potent siRNAs. We selected Ten candidates for in vitro validation and found five siRNAs that exhibited hyper-potent activity (IC50 < 20 pM) and strong blockade of infectivity in live-virus experiments. We further enhanced this activity by combinatorial pairing of the siRNA candidates and identified cocktails that were active against multiple types of variants of concern (VOC). We then examined over 2,000 possible mutations in the siRNA target sites by using saturation mutagenesis and confirmed broad protection of the leading cocktail against future variants. Finally, we demonstrated that intranasal administration of this siRNA cocktail effectively attenuates clinical signs and viral measures of disease in the gold-standard Syrian hamster model. Our results pave the way for the development of an additional layer of antiviral prophylaxis that is orthogonal to vaccines and monoclonal antibodies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , RNA, Small Interfering , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Cricetinae , Administration, Intranasal , COVID-19/prevention & control , Mesocricetus , RNA Interference , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , RNA, Small Interfering/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
14.
Int J Mol Sci ; 24(4)2023 Feb 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2287228

ABSTRACT

Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) is an acute and severe atrophic enteritis caused by porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) that infects pigs and makes huge economic losses to the global swine industry. Previously, researchers have believed that porcine aminopeptidase-N (pAPN) was the primary receptor for PEDV, but it has been found that PEDV can infect pAPN knockout pigs. Currently, the functional receptor for PEDV remains unspecified. In the present study, we performed virus overlay protein binding assay (VOPBA), found that ATP1A1 was the highest scoring protein in the mass spectrometry results, and confirmed that the CT structural domain of ATP1A1 interacts with PEDV S1. First, we investigated the effect of ATP1A1 on PEDV replication. Inhibition of hosts ATP1A1 protein expression using small interfering RNA (siRNAs) significantly reduced the cells susceptibility to PEDV. The ATP1A1-specific inhibitors Ouabain (a cardiac steroid) and PST2238 (a digitalis toxin derivative), which specifically bind ATP1A1, could block the ATP1A1 protein internalization and degradation, and consequently reduce the infection rate of host cells by PEDV significantly. Additionally, as expected, overexpression of ATP1A1 notably enhanced PEDV infection. Next, we observed that PEDV infection of target cells resulted in upregulation of ATP1A1 at the mRNA and protein levels. Furthermore, we found that the host protein ATP1A1 was involved in PEDV attachment and co-localized with PEDV S1 protein in the early stage of infection. In addition, pretreatment of IPEC-J2 and Vero-E6 cells with ATP1A1 mAb significantly reduced PEDV attachment. Our observations provided a perspective on identifying key factors in PEDV infection, and may provide valuable targets for PEDV infection, PEDV functional receptor, related pathogenesis, and the development of new antiviral drugs.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus , Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase , Swine Diseases , Animals , CD13 Antigens/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus/physiology , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , RNA, Double-Stranded , RNA, Small Interfering , Swine , Swine Diseases/metabolism , Vero Cells , Virus Attachment , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase/metabolism
15.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 120(11): e2219523120, 2023 03 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2262238

ABSTRACT

The continuous evolution of SARS-CoV-2 variants complicates efforts to combat the ongoing pandemic, underscoring the need for a dynamic platform for the rapid development of pan-viral variant therapeutics. Oligonucleotide therapeutics are enhancing the treatment of numerous diseases with unprecedented potency, duration of effect, and safety. Through the systematic screening of hundreds of oligonucleotide sequences, we identified fully chemically stabilized siRNAs and ASOs that target regions of the SARS-CoV-2 genome conserved in all variants of concern, including delta and omicron. We successively evaluated candidates in cellular reporter assays, followed by viral inhibition in cell culture, with eventual testing of leads for in vivo antiviral activity in the lung. Previous attempts to deliver therapeutic oligonucleotides to the lung have met with only modest success. Here, we report the development of a platform for identifying and generating potent, chemically modified multimeric siRNAs bioavailable in the lung after local intranasal and intratracheal delivery. The optimized divalent siRNAs showed robust antiviral activity in human cells and mouse models of SARS-CoV-2 infection and represent a new paradigm for antiviral therapeutic development for current and future pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Animals , Mice , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , COVID-19/therapy , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Oligonucleotides , Lung
16.
J Pharm Sci ; 112(5): 1401-1410, 2023 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2242056

ABSTRACT

Delivery of messenger RNA (mRNA) using lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) is expected to be applied to various diseases following the successful clinical use of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of the cholesterol molar percentage of mRNA-LNPs on protein expression in hepatocellular carcinoma-derived cells and in the liver after intramuscular or subcutaneous administration of mRNA-LNPs in mice. For mRNA-LNPs with cholesterol molar percentages reduced to 10 mol% and 20 mol%, we formulated neutral charge particles with a diameter of approximately 100 nm and polydispersity index (PDI) <0.25. After the intramuscular or subcutaneous administration of mRNA-LNPs with different cholesterol molar percentages in mice, protein expression in the liver decreased as the cholesterol molar percentage in mRNA-LNPs decreased from 40 mol% to 20 mol% and 10 mol%, suggesting that reducing the cholesterol molar percentage in mRNA-LNPs decreases protein expression in the liver. Furthermore, in HepG2 cells, protein expression decreased as cholesterol in mRNA-LNPs was reduced by 40 mol%, 20 mol%, and 10 mol%. These results suggest that the downregulated expression of mRNA-LNPs with low cholesterol content in the liver involves degradation in systemic circulating blood and decreased protein expression after hepatocyte distribution.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nanoparticles , Mice , Humans , Animals , COVID-19 Vaccines , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , Liposomes/metabolism , Liver/metabolism , Cholesterol/metabolism , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics
17.
J Virol ; 97(2): e0003523, 2023 02 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2228038

ABSTRACT

Asp-Glu-Ala-Asp (DEAD) box helicase 3 X-linked (DDX3X) plays important regulatory roles in the replication of many viruses. However, the role of DDX3X in rhabdovirus replication has seldomly been investigated. In this study, snakehead vesiculovirus (SHVV), a kind of fish rhabdovirus, was used to study the role of DDX3X in rhabdovirus replication. DDX3X was identified as an interacting partner of SHVV phosphoprotein (P). The expression level of DDX3X was increased at an early stage of SHVV infection and then decreased to a normal level at a later infection stage. Overexpression of DDX3X promoted, while knockdown of DDX3X using specific small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) suppressed, SHVV replication, indicating that DDX3X was a proviral factor for SHVV replication. The N-terminal and core domains of DDX3X (DDX3X-N and DDX3X-Core) were determined to be the regions responsible for its interaction with SHVV P. Overexpression of DDX3X-Core suppressed SHVV replication by competitively disrupting the interaction between full-length DDX3X and SHVV P, suggesting that full-length DDX3X-P interaction was required for SHVV replication. Mechanistically, DDX3X-mediated promotion of SHVV replication was due not to inhibition of interferon expression but to maintenance of the stability of SHVV P to avoid autophagy-lysosome-dependent degradation. Collectively, our data suggest that DDX3X is hijacked by SHVV P to ensure effective replication of SHVV, which suggests an important anti-SHVV target. This study will help elucidate the role of DDX3X in regulating the replication of rhabdoviruses. IMPORTANCE Growing evidence has suggested that DDX3X plays important roles in virus replication. In one respect, DDX3X inhibits the replication of viruses, including hepatitis B virus, influenza A virus, Newcastle disease virus, duck Tembusu virus, and red-spotted grouper nervous necrosis virus. In another respect, DDX3X is required for the replication of viruses, including hepatitis C virus, Japanese encephalitis virus, West Nile virus, murine norovirus, herpes simplex virus, and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Because DDX3X has rarely been investigated in rhabdovirus replication, this study aimed at investigating the role of DDX3X in rhabdovirus replication by using the fish rhabdovirus SHVV as a model. We found that DDX3X was required for SHVV replication, with the mechanism that DDX3X interacts with and maintains the stability of SHVV phosphoprotein. Our data provide novel insights into the role of DDX3X in virus replication and will facilitate the design of antiviral drugs against rhabdovirus infection.


Subject(s)
DEAD-box RNA Helicases , Perciformes , Phosphoproteins , Vesiculovirus , Virus Replication , Animals , DEAD-box RNA Helicases/genetics , Fishes , Perciformes/virology , RNA, Small Interfering , Vesiculovirus/pathogenicity , Vesiculovirus/physiology , Viral Proteins
18.
J Vis Exp ; (191)2023 01 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2229708

ABSTRACT

Lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) have attracted widespread attention recently with the successful development of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines by Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech. These vaccines have demonstrated the efficacy of mRNA-LNP therapeutics and opened the door for future clinical applications. In mRNA-LNP systems, the LNPs serve as delivery platforms that protect the mRNA cargo from degradation by nucleases and mediate their intracellular delivery. The LNPs are typically composed of four components: an ionizable lipid, a phospholipid, cholesterol, and a lipid-anchored polyethylene glycol (PEG) conjugate (lipid-PEG). Here, LNPs encapsulating mRNA encoding firefly luciferase are formulated by microfluidic mixing of the organic phase containing LNP lipid components and the aqueous phase containing mRNA. These mRNA-LNPs are then tested in vitro to evaluate their transfection efficiency in HepG2 cells using a bioluminescent plate-based assay. Additionally, mRNA-LNPs are evaluated in vivo in C57BL/6 mice following an intravenous injection via the lateral tail vein. Whole-body bioluminescence imaging is performed by using an in vivo imaging system. Representative results are shown for the mRNA-LNP characteristics, their transfection efficiency in HepG2 cells, and the total luminescent flux in C57BL/6 mice.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nanoparticles , Animals , Mice , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , Microfluidics , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Phospholipids , RNA, Small Interfering
19.
J Am Chem Soc ; 145(4): 2294-2304, 2023 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2236300

ABSTRACT

Lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) are the most clinically advanced delivery vehicles for RNA and have enabled the development of RNA-based drugs such as the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines. Functional delivery of mRNA by an LNP greatly depends on the inclusion of an ionizable lipid, and small changes to these lipid structures can significantly improve delivery. However, the structure-function relationships between ionizable lipids and mRNA delivery are poorly understood, especially for LNPs administered intramuscularly. Here, we show that the iterative design of a novel series of ionizable lipids generates key structure-activity relationships and enables the optimization of chemically distinct lipids with efficacy that is on-par with the current state of the art. We find that the combination of ionizable lipids comprising an ethanolamine core and LNPs with an apparent pKa between 6.6 and 6.9 maximizes intramuscular mRNA delivery. Furthermore, we report a nonlinear relationship between the lipid-to-mRNA mass ratio and protein expression, suggesting that a critical mass ratio exists for LNPs and may depend on ionizable lipid structure. Our findings add to the mechanistic understanding of ionizable lipids and demonstrate that hydrogen bonding, ionization behavior, and lipid-to-mRNA mass ratio are key design parameters affecting intramuscular mRNA delivery. We validate these insights by applying them to the rational design of new ionizable lipids. Overall, our iterative design strategy efficiently generates potent ionizable lipids. This hypothesis-driven method reveals structure-activity relationships that lay the foundation for the optimization of ionizable lipids in future LNP-RNA drugs. We foresee that this design strategy can be extended to other optimization parameters beyond intramuscular expression.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nanoparticles , Humans , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , COVID-19 Vaccines , Lipids/chemistry , Nanoparticles/chemistry , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics
20.
Allergy ; 78(6): 1639-1653, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2223224

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) infection frequently causes severe and prolonged disease but only few specific treatments are available. We aimed to investigate safety and efficacy of a SARS-CoV-2-specific siRNA-peptide dendrimer formulation MIR 19® (siR-7-EM/KK-46) targeting a conserved sequence in known SARS-CoV-2 variants for treatment of COVID-19. METHODS: We conducted an open-label, randomized, controlled multicenter phase II trial (NCT05184127) evaluating safety and efficacy of inhaled siR-7-EM/KK-46 (3.7 mg and 11.1 mg/day: low and high dose, respectively) in comparison with standard etiotropic drug treatment (control group) in patients hospitalized with moderate COVID-19 (N = 52 for each group). The primary endpoint was the time to clinical improvement according to predefined criteria within 14 days of randomization. RESULTS: Patients from the low-dose group achieved the primary endpoint defined by simultaneous achievement of relief of fever, normalization of respiratory rate, reduction of coughing, and oxygen saturation of >95% for 48 h significantly earlier (median 6 days; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 5-7, HR 1.75, p = .0005) than patients from the control group (8 days; 95% CI: 7-10). No significant clinical efficacy was observed for the high-dose group. Adverse events were reported in 26 (50.00%), 25 (48.08%), and 28 (53.85%) patients from the low-, high-dose and control group, respectively. None of them were associated with siR-7-EM/KK-46. CONCLUSIONS: siR-7-EM/KK-46, a SARS-CoV-2-specific siRNA-peptide dendrimer formulation is safe, well tolerated and significantly reduces time to clinical improvement in patients hospitalized with moderate COVID-19 compared to standard therapy in a randomized controlled trial.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Dendrimers , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , RNA, Small Interfering , Treatment Outcome , Peptides/therapeutic use
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