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1.
Molecules ; 27(6)2022 Mar 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1763046

ABSTRACT

Lipid-based nanoparticles (LBNPs) are biocompatible and biodegradable vesicles that are considered to be one of the most efficient drug delivery platforms. Due to the prominent advantages, such as long circulation time, slow drug release, reduced toxicity, high transfection efficiency, and endosomal escape capacity, such synthetic nanoparticles have been widely used for carrying genetic therapeutics, particularly nucleic acids that can be applied in the treatment for various diseases, including congenital diseases, cancers, virus infections, and chronic inflammations. Despite great merits and multiple successful applications, many extracellular and intracellular barriers remain and greatly impair delivery efficacy and therapeutic outcomes. As such, the current state of knowledge and pitfalls regarding the gene delivery and construction of LBNPs will be initially summarized. In order to develop a new generation of LBNPs for improved delivery profiles and therapeutic effects, the modification strategies of LBNPs will be reviewed. On the basis of these developed modifications, the performance of LBNPs as therapeutic nanoplatforms have been greatly improved and extensively applied in immunotherapies, including infectious diseases and cancers. However, the therapeutic applications of LBNPs systems are still limited due to the undesirable endosomal escape, potential aggregation, and the inefficient encapsulation of therapeutics. Herein, we will review and discuss recent advances and remaining challenges in the development of LBNPs for nucleic acid-based immunotherapy.


Subject(s)
Nanoparticles , Nucleic Acids , Immunotherapy , Lipids , Nanoparticles/adverse effects , Nucleic Acids/therapeutic use , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics
2.
EMBO Mol Med ; 14(4): e15811, 2022 Apr 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1743028

ABSTRACT

There is an urgent need to bring new antivirals to SARS-CoV-2 to the market. Indeed, in the last 3 months, we have seen at least two new antivirals approved, molnupiravir and paxlovid. Both are older established antivirals that show some efficacy against SARS-CoV-2. The work by Chang et al (2022) in the current issue of EMBO Molecular Medicine explores the use of short interfering RNAs to directly target SARS-CoV-2 and shows that RNAi is an effective approach to reducing, or even eliminating viral replication, depending on the experimental setting. This antiviral effect results in significant prevention of infection-related pathology in animals. The key feature of this approach, besides its simplicity as naked siRNAs, is that all current variants are covered by this treatment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/therapy , RNA Interference , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , RNA, Small Interfering/pharmacology , RNA, Small Interfering/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Virus Replication
3.
Future Microbiol ; 17: 449-463, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742149

ABSTRACT

Aim: To predict siRNAs as a therapeutic intervention for highly infectious new variants of SARS-CoV-2. Methods: Conserved coding sequence regions of 11 SARS-CoV-2 proteins were used to construct siRNAs through sampling of metadata comprising 214,256 sequences. Results: Predicted siRNAs S1: 5'-UCAUUGAGAAAUGUUUACGCA-3' and S2: 5'-AAAGACAUCAGCAUACUCCUG-3' against RdRp of SARS-CoV-2 satisfied all the stringent filtering processes and showed good binding characteristics. The designed siRNAs are expected to inhibit viral replication and transcription of various coronavirus strains encompassing variants of concern and interest. Conclusion: The predicted siRNAs are expected to be potent against SARS-CoV-2, and following in vitro and in vivo validations may be considered as potential therapeutic measures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Virus Replication
4.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(5)2022 Mar 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1736948

ABSTRACT

Following the discovery of nucleic acids by Friedrich Miescher in 1868, DNA and RNA were recognized as the genetic code containing the necessary information for proper cell functioning. In the years following these discoveries, vast knowledge of the seemingly endless roles of RNA have become better understood. Additionally, many new types of RNAs were discovered that seemed to have no coding properties (non-coding RNAs), such as microRNAs (miRNAs). The discovery of these new RNAs created a new avenue for treating various human diseases. However, RNA is relatively unstable and is degraded fairly rapidly once administered; this has led to the development of novel delivery mechanisms, such as nanoparticles to increase stability as well as to prevent off-target effects of these molecules. Current advances in RNA-based therapies have substantial promise in treating and preventing many human diseases and disorders through fixing the pathology instead of merely treating the symptomology similarly to traditional therapeutics. Although many RNA therapeutics have made it to clinical trials, only a few have been FDA approved thus far. Additionally, the results of clinical trials for RNA therapeutics have been ambivalent to date, with some studies demonstrating potent efficacy, whereas others have limited effectiveness and/or toxicity. Momentum is building in the clinic for RNA therapeutics; future clinical care of human diseases will likely comprise promising RNA therapeutics. This review focuses on the current advances of RNA therapeutics and addresses current challenges with their development.


Subject(s)
MicroRNAs , Nanoparticles , Nucleic Acids , Humans , MicroRNAs/genetics , Nanoparticles/therapeutic use , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , RNA, Untranslated/genetics
5.
Chin Med J (Engl) ; 133(9): 1051-1056, 2020 May 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1722622

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Medicines for the treatment of 2019-novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infections are urgently needed. However, drug screening using live 2019-nCoV requires high-level biosafety facilities, which imposes an obstacle for those institutions without such facilities or 2019-nCoV. This study aims to repurpose the clinically approved drugs for the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a 2019-nCoV-related coronavirus model. METHODS: A 2019-nCoV-related pangolin coronavirus GX_P2V/pangolin/2017/Guangxi was described. Whether GX_P2V uses angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as the cell receptor was investigated by using small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated silencing of ACE2. The pangolin coronavirus model was used to identify drug candidates for treating 2019-nCoV infection. Two libraries of 2406 clinically approved drugs were screened for their ability to inhibit cytopathic effects on Vero E6 cells by GX_P2V infection. The anti-viral activities and anti-viral mechanisms of potential drugs were further investigated. Viral yields of RNAs and infectious particles were quantified by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and plaque assay, respectively. RESULTS: The spike protein of coronavirus GX_P2V shares 92.2% amino acid identity with that of 2019-nCoV isolate Wuhan-hu-1, and uses ACE2 as the receptor for infection just like 2019-nCoV. Three drugs, including cepharanthine (CEP), selamectin, and mefloquine hydrochloride, exhibited complete inhibition of cytopathic effects in cell culture at 10 µmol/L. CEP demonstrated the most potent inhibition of GX_P2V infection, with a concentration for 50% of maximal effect [EC50] of 0.98 µmol/L. The viral RNA yield in cells treated with 10 µmol/L CEP was 15,393-fold lower than in cells without CEP treatment ([6.48 ±â€Š0.02] × 10vs. 1.00 ±â€Š0.12, t = 150.38, P < 0.001) at 72 h post-infection (p.i.). Plaque assays found no production of live viruses in media containing 10 µmol/L CEP at 48 h p.i. Furthermore, we found CEP had potent anti-viral activities against both viral entry (0.46 ±â€Š0.12, vs.1.00 ±â€Š0.37, t = 2.42, P < 0.05) and viral replication ([6.18 ±â€Š0.95] × 10vs. 1.00 ±â€Š0.43, t = 3.98, P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Our pangolin coronavirus GX_P2V is a workable model for 2019-nCoV research. CEP, selamectin, and mefloquine hydrochloride are potential drugs for treating 2019-nCoV infection. Our results strongly suggest that CEP is a wide-spectrum inhibitor of pan-betacoronavirus, and further study of CEP for treatment of 2019-nCoV infection is warranted.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Cell Line , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Drug Approval , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Load
6.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(5)2022 Feb 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1699203

ABSTRACT

Since December 2019, a pandemic of COVID-19 disease, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has rapidly spread across the globe. At present, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued emergency approval for the use of some antiviral drugs. However, these drugs still have limitations in the specific treatment of COVID-19, and as such, new treatment strategies urgently need to be developed. RNA-interference-based gene therapy provides a tractable target for antiviral treatment. Ensuring cell-specific targeted delivery is important to the success of gene therapy. The use of nanoparticles (NPs) as carriers for the delivery of small interfering RNA (siRNAs) to specific tissues or organs of the human body could play a crucial role in the specific therapy of severe respiratory infections, such as COVID-19. In this review, we describe a variety of novel nanocarriers, such as lipid NPs, star polymer NPs, and glycogen NPs, and summarize the pre-clinical/clinical progress of these nanoparticle platforms in siRNA delivery. We also discuss the application of various NP-capsulated siRNA as therapeutics for SARS-CoV-2 infection, the challenges with targeting these therapeutics to local delivery in the lung, and various inhalation devices used for therapeutic administration. We also discuss currently available animal models that are used for preclinical assessment of RNA-interference-based gene therapy. Advances in this field have the potential for antiviral treatments of COVID-19 disease and could be adapted to treat a range of respiratory diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Drug Delivery Systems/methods , Nanoparticles/administration & dosage , RNA, Small Interfering/administration & dosage , RNAi Therapeutics/methods , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Models, Genetic , Nanoparticles/chemistry , Pandemics/prevention & control , RNA, Small Interfering/chemistry , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
7.
J Control Release ; 344: 80-96, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1693301

ABSTRACT

In 2021, mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 were approved by the Food and Drug Administration. mRNA vaccines are important for preventing severe COVID-19 and returning to normal life. The development of RNA-delivery technology, including mRNA vaccines, has been investigated worldwide for ~30 years. Lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) are a breakthrough technology that stably delivers RNA to target organs, and RNA-loaded LNP-based nanomedicines have been studied for the development of vaccines and nanomedicines for RNA-, gene-, and cell-based therapies. Recently, microfluidic devices and technologies have attracted attention for the production of LNPs, particularly RNA-loaded LNPs. Microfluidics provides many advantages for RNA-loaded LNP production, including precise LNP size controllability, high reproducibility, high-throughput optimization of LNP formulation, and continuous LNP-production processes. In this review, we summarize microfluidic-based RNA-loaded LNP production and its applications in RNA-based therapy and genome editing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nanoparticles , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Lipids , Liposomes , Microfluidics , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , Reproducibility of Results
8.
Curr Mol Pharmacol ; 15(1): 143-158, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1679980

ABSTRACT

There are no available antivirals for many viruses or strains, while current antivirals are limited by toxicity and drug resistance. Therefore, alternative strategies, such as RNA interference (RNAi) are required. RNAi suppresses gene expression of any mRNA, making it an attractive candidate for antiviral therapeutics. Studies have evaluated siRNAs in a range of viruses, with some showing promising results. However, issues with stability and delivery of siRNAs remain. These issues may be minimized by modifying the siRNA structure, using an efficient delivery vector and targeting multiple regions of a virus's genome in a single dose. Finding these solutions could accelerate the progress of RNAi-based antivirals. This review highlights selected examples of antiviral siRNAs, limitations of RNAi and strategies to overcome these limitations.


Subject(s)
Viruses , Antiviral Agents , RNA Interference , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , RNA, Small Interfering/metabolism , Viruses/genetics , Viruses/metabolism
9.
EMBO Mol Med ; 14(4): e15298, 2022 Apr 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1675333

ABSTRACT

The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants has altered the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic and raised some uncertainty on the long-term efficiency of vaccine strategy. The development of new therapeutics against a wide range of SARS-CoV-2 variants is imperative. We, here, have designed an inhalable siRNA, C6G25S, which covers 99.8% of current SARS-CoV-2 variants and is capable of inhibiting dominant strains, including Alpha, Delta, Gamma, and Epsilon, at picomolar ranges of IC50 in vitro. Moreover, C6G25S could completely inhibit the production of infectious virions in lungs by prophylactic treatment, and decrease 96.2% of virions by cotreatment in K18-hACE2-transgenic mice, accompanied by a significant prevention of virus-associated extensive pulmonary alveolar damage, vascular thrombi, and immune cell infiltrations. Our data suggest that C6G25S provides an alternative and effective approach to combating the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Animals , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Pandemics , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
10.
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
11.
Acc Chem Res ; 55(1): 2-12, 2022 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1545570

ABSTRACT

Lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) are a type of lipid vesicles that possess a homogeneous lipid core. These vesicles are widely used in small-molecule drug and nucleic acid delivery and recently gained much attention because of their remarkable success as a delivery platform for COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. Nonetheless, the utility of transient protein expression induced by mRNA extends far beyond vaccines against infectious diseases─they also hold promise as cancer vaccines, protein replacement therapies, and gene editing components for rare genetic diseases. However, naked mRNA is inherently unstable and prone to rapid degradation by nucleases and self-hydrolysis. Encapsulation of mRNA within LNPs protects mRNA from extracellular ribonucleases and assists with intracellular mRNA delivery.In this Account, we discuss the core features of LNPs for RNA delivery. We focus our attention on LNPs designed to deliver mRNA; however, we also include examples of siRNA-LNP delivery where appropriate to highlight the commonalities and the dissimilarities due to the nucleic acid structure. First, we introduce the concept of LNPs, the advantages and disadvantages of utilizing nucleic acids as therapeutic agents, and the general reasoning behind the molecular makeup of LNPs. We also briefly highlight the most recent clinical successes of LNP-based nucleic acid therapies. Second, we describe the theory and methods of LNP self-assembly. The common idea behind all of the preparation methods is inducing electrostatic interactions between the nucleic acid and charged lipids and promoting nanoparticle growth via hydrophobic interactions. Third, we break down the LNP composition with special attention to the fundamental properties and purposes of each component. This includes the identified molecular design criteria, commercial sourcing, impact on intracellular trafficking, and contribution to the properties of LNPs. One of the key components of LNPs is ionizable lipids, which initiate electrostatic binding with endosomal membranes and facilitate cytosolic release; however, the roles of other lipid components should not be disregarded, as they are associated with stability, clearance, and distribution of LNPs. Fourth, we review the attributes of LNP constructs as a whole that can heavily influence RNA delivery. These attributes are LNP size, charge, internal structure, lipid packing, lipid membrane hydration, stability, and affinity toward biomacromolecules. We also discuss the specific techniques used to examine these attributes and how they can be adjusted. Finally, we offer our perspective on the future of RNA therapies and some questions that remain in the realm of LNP formulation and optimization.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nanoparticles , Humans , Liposomes , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Cells ; 10(11)2021 10 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488496

ABSTRACT

Human coronavirus (HCoV) similar to other viruses rely on host cell machinery for both replication and to spread. The p97/VCP ATPase is associated with diverse pathways that may favor HCoV replication. In this study, we assessed the role of p97 and associated host responses in human lung cell line H1299 after HCoV-229E or HCoV-OC43 infection. Inhibition of p97 function by small molecule inhibitors shows antiviral activity, particularly at early stages of the virus life cycle, during virus uncoating and viral RNA replication. Importantly, p97 activity inhibition protects human cells against HCoV-induced cytopathic effects. The p97 knockdown also inhibits viral production in infected cells. Unbiased quantitative proteomics analyses reveal that HCoV-OC43 infection resulted in proteome changes enriched in cellular senescence and DNA repair during virus replication. Further analysis of protein changes between infected cells with control and p97 shRNA identifies cell cycle pathways for both HCoV-229E and HCoV-OC43 infection. Together, our data indicate a role for the essential host protein p97 in supporting HCoV replication, suggesting that p97 is a therapeutic target to treat HCoV infection.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 229E, Human/physiology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/physiology , Valosin Containing Protein/metabolism , Virus Replication/physiology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Cell Cycle/drug effects , Cell Line , Coronavirus 229E, Human/drug effects , Coronavirus OC43, Human/drug effects , Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral/drug effects , Humans , Proteome/drug effects , Proteome/metabolism , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , RNA, Viral/biosynthesis , Valosin Containing Protein/antagonists & inhibitors , Valosin Containing Protein/genetics , Virus Replication/drug effects , Virus Uncoating/drug effects
13.
Viruses ; 13(10)2021 10 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463841

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected almost 200 million people worldwide and led to approximately 4 million deaths as of August 2021. Despite successful vaccine development, treatment options are limited. A promising strategy to specifically target viral infections is to suppress viral replication through RNA interference (RNAi). Hence, we designed eight small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) targeting the highly conserved 5'-untranslated region (5'-UTR) of SARS-CoV-2. The most promising candidate identified in initial reporter assays, termed siCoV6, targets the leader sequence of the virus, which is present in the genomic as well as in all subgenomic RNAs. In assays with infectious SARS-CoV-2, it reduced replication by two orders of magnitude and prevented the development of a cytopathic effect. Moreover, it retained its activity against the SARS-CoV-2 alpha variant and has perfect homology against all sequences of the delta variant that were analyzed by bioinformatic means. Interestingly, the siRNA was even highly active in virus replication assays with the SARS-CoV-1 family member. This work thus identified a very potent siRNA with a broad activity against various SARS-CoV viruses that represents a promising candidate for the development of new treatment options.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/therapy , RNA Interference , RNA, Small Interfering/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Virus Replication/drug effects , 5' Untranslated Regions/genetics , Animals , Cell Line, Tumor , Chlorocebus aethiops , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , HeLa Cells , Humans , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/genetics
14.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 19161, 2021 09 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440480

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is associated with fatal pulmonary fibrosis. Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) can be developed to induce RNA interference against SARS-CoV-2, and their susceptible target sites can be inferred by Argonaute crosslinking immunoprecipitation sequencing (AGO CLIP). Here, by reanalysing AGO CLIP data in RNA viruses, we delineated putative AGO binding in the conserved non-structural protein 12 (nsp12) region encoding RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP) in SARS-CoV-2. We utilised the inferred AGO binding to optimise the local RNA folding parameter to calculate target accessibility and predict all potent siRNA target sites in the SARS-CoV-2 genome, avoiding sequence variants. siRNAs loaded onto AGO also repressed seed (positions 2-8)-matched transcripts by acting as microRNAs (miRNAs). To utilise this, we further screened 13 potential siRNAs whose seed sequences were matched to known antifibrotic miRNAs and confirmed their miRNA-like activity. A miR-27-mimicking siRNA designed to target the nsp12 region (27/RdRP) was validated to silence a synthesised nsp12 RNA mimic in lung cell lines and function as an antifibrotic miR-27 in regulating target transcriptomes related to TGF-ß signalling. siRNA sequences with an antifibrotic miRNA-like activity that could synergistically treat COVID-19 are available online ( http://clip.korea.ac.kr/covid19 ).


Subject(s)
Argonaute Proteins/genetics , COVID-19/prevention & control , MicroRNAs/genetics , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , A549 Cells , Argonaute Proteins/metabolism , Base Sequence , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Gene Expression Profiling/methods , HeLa Cells , Humans , Pulmonary Fibrosis/genetics , Pulmonary Fibrosis/metabolism , RNA Interference , RNA-Seq/methods , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
15.
Cell Host Microbe ; 29(9): 1333-1335, 2021 09 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401314

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has mutually illuminated our collective knowledge and knowledge gaps, particularly in antiviral defense and therapeutic strategies. A recent study in Science (Poirier et al., 2021) uncovers an ancient antiviral mechanism that mammals utilize to suppress viruses, including SARS-CoV-2 and Zika virus, that could have broad implications for therapeutic strategies.


Subject(s)
Argonaute Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/prevention & control , Interferons/immunology , RNA Interference/physiology , Ribonuclease III/metabolism , Zika Virus Infection/prevention & control , Animals , Cell Line , HEK293 Cells , Humans , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Virus Replication , Zika Virus/genetics , Zika Virus/immunology
16.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4584, 2021 07 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387354

ABSTRACT

Interferon-induced transmembrane proteins (IFITMs 1, 2 and 3) can restrict viral pathogens, but pro- and anti-viral activities have been reported for coronaviruses. Here, we show that artificial overexpression of IFITMs blocks SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, endogenous IFITM expression supports efficient infection of SARS-CoV-2 in human lung cells. Our results indicate that the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein interacts with IFITMs and hijacks them for efficient viral infection. IFITM proteins were expressed and further induced by interferons in human lung, gut, heart and brain cells. IFITM-derived peptides and targeting antibodies inhibit SARS-CoV-2 entry and replication in human lung cells, cardiomyocytes and gut organoids. Our results show that IFITM proteins are cofactors for efficient SARS-CoV-2 infection of human cell types representing in vivo targets for viral transmission, dissemination and pathogenesis and are potential targets for therapeutic approaches.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Antigens, Differentiation/genetics , Membrane Proteins/genetics , RNA-Binding Proteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Amino Acid Sequence , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/antagonists & inhibitors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antigens, Differentiation/metabolism , Binding Sites , COVID-19/virology , Gene Expression Regulation , Host-Pathogen Interactions/drug effects , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , Interferon-beta/pharmacology , Membrane Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Membrane Proteins/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , RNA, Small Interfering/metabolism , RNA-Binding Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Sequence Alignment , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Attachment/drug effects
18.
Mol Aspects Med ; 81: 101003, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1329970

ABSTRACT

The functional and structural versatility of Ribonucleic acids (RNAs) makes them ideal candidates for overcoming the limitations imposed by small molecule-based drugs. Hence, RNA-based biopharmaceuticals such as messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines, antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs), small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), microRNA mimics, anti-miRNA oligonucleotides (AMOs), aptamers, riboswitches, and CRISPR-Cas9 are emerging as vital tools for the treatment and prophylaxis of many infectious diseases. Some of the major challenges to overcome in the area of RNA-based therapeutics have been the instability of single-stranded RNAs, delivery to the diseased cell, and immunogenicity. However, recent advancements in the delivery systems of in vitro transcribed mRNA and chemical modifications for protection against nucleases and reducing the toxicity of RNA have facilitated the entry of several exogenous RNAs into clinical trials. In this review, we provide an overview of RNA-based vaccines and therapeutics, their production, delivery, current advancements, and future translational potential in treating infectious diseases.


Subject(s)
Communicable Diseases , Oligonucleotides, Antisense , Communicable Diseases/therapy , Humans , Oligonucleotides , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , Vaccines, Synthetic
19.
Blood ; 138(4): 344-349, 2021 07 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1255893

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is associated with the hypercoagulable state. Tissue factor (TF) is the primary cellular initiator of coagulation. Most of the TF expressed on cell surfaces remains cryptic. Sphingomyelin (SM) is responsible for maintaining TF in the encrypted state, and hydrolysis of SM by acid sphingomyelinase (ASMase) increases TF activity. ASMase was shown to play a role in virus infection biology. In the present study, we investigated the role of ASMase in SARS-CoV-2 infection-induced TF procoagulant activity. Infection of human monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) with SARS-CoV-2 spike protein pseudovirus (SARS-CoV-2-SP-PV) markedly increased TF procoagulant activity at the cell surface and released TF+ extracellular vesicles. The pseudovirus infection did not increase either TF protein expression or phosphatidylserine externalization. SARS-CoV-2-SP-PV infection induced the translocation of ASMase to the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane, which led to the hydrolysis of SM in the membrane. Pharmacologic inhibitors or genetic silencing of ASMase attenuated SARS-CoV-2-SP-PV-induced increased TF activity. Inhibition of the SARS-CoV-2 receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme-2, attenuated SARS-CoV-2-SP-PV-induced increased TF activity. Overall, our data suggest that SARS-CoV-2 infection activates the coagulation by decrypting TF through activation of ASMase. Our data suggest that the US Food and Drug Administration-approved functional inhibitors of ASMase may help treat hypercoagulability in patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Macrophages/virology , Membrane Proteins/physiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sphingomyelin Phosphodiesterase/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/physiology , Thrombophilia/etiology , Thromboplastin/physiology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/physiology , COVID-19/complications , Cell-Derived Microparticles , Enzyme Activation , Humans , Hydrolysis , Macrophages/enzymology , Molecular Targeted Therapy , Plasmids , Protein Transport , RNA Interference , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , Receptors, Virus/physiology , Sphingomyelin Phosphodiesterase/antagonists & inhibitors , Sphingomyelins/physiology , Thrombophilia/blood , Thrombophilia/drug therapy , Thrombophilia/enzymology
20.
Infect Genet Evol ; 93: 104951, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1253387

ABSTRACT

The devastating outbreak of COVID-19 has spread all over the world and has become a global health concern. There is no specific therapeutics to encounter the COVID-19. Small interfering RNA (siRNA)-based therapy is an efficient strategy to control human viral infections employing post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) through neutralizing target complementary mRNA. RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) encoded by the viral RdRp gene as a part of the replication-transcription complex can be adopted as an acceptable target for controlling SARS-CoV-2 mediated infection. Therefore, in the current study, accessible siRNA designing tools, including significant algorithms and parameters, were rationally used to design the candidate siRNAs against SARS-COV-2 encoded RdRp. The designed siRNA molecules possessed adequate nucleotide-based and other features for potent gene silencing. The targets of the designed siRNAs revealed no significant matches within the whole human genome, ruling out any possibilities for off-target silencing by the siRNAs. Characterization with different potential parameters of efficacy allowed selecting the finest siRNA among all the designed siRNA molecules. Further, validation assessment and target site accessibility prediction also rationalized the suitability of this siRNA molecule. Molecular docking study between the selected siRNA molecule and component of RNA interference (RNAi) pathway gave an excellent outcome. Molecular dynamics of two complexes: siRNA and argonaute complex, guide RNA, and target protein complex, have shown structural stability of these proteins. Therefore, the designed siRNA molecule might act as an effective therapeutic agent against the SARS-CoV-2 at the genome level and can prevent further outbreaks of COVID-19 in humans.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Argonaute Proteins/chemistry , Argonaute Proteins/genetics , Argonaute Proteins/metabolism , Base Composition , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Gene Silencing , Genome, Human , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , RNA, Small Interfering/chemistry , Sequence Alignment
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