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Front Immunol ; 13: 834988, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1817941


Patients with COVID-19 present with a wide variety of clinical manifestations. Thromboembolic events constitute a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. Severe COVID-19 has been associated with hyperinflammation and pre-existing cardiovascular disease. Platelets are important mediators and sensors of inflammation and are directly affected by cardiovascular stressors. In this report, we found that platelets from severely ill, hospitalized COVID-19 patients exhibited higher basal levels of activation measured by P-selectin surface expression and had poor functional reserve upon in vitro stimulation. To investigate this question in more detail, we developed an assay to assess the capacity of plasma from COVID-19 patients to activate platelets from healthy donors. Platelet activation was a common feature of plasma from COVID-19 patients and correlated with key measures of clinical outcome including kidney and liver injury, and APACHEIII scores. Further, we identified ferritin as a pivotal clinical marker associated with platelet hyperactivation. The COVID-19 plasma-mediated effect on control platelets was highest for patients that subsequently developed inpatient thrombotic events. Proteomic analysis of plasma from COVID-19 patients identified key mediators of inflammation and cardiovascular disease that positively correlated with in vitro platelet activation. Mechanistically, blocking the signaling of the FcγRIIa-Syk and C5a-C5aR pathways on platelets, using antibody-mediated neutralization, IgG depletion or the Syk inhibitor fostamatinib, reversed this hyperactivity driven by COVID-19 plasma and prevented platelet aggregation in endothelial microfluidic chamber conditions. These data identified these potentially actionable pathways as central for platelet activation and/or vascular complications and clinical outcomes in COVID-19 patients. In conclusion, we reveal a key role of platelet-mediated immunothrombosis in COVID-19 and identify distinct, clinically relevant, targetable signaling pathways that mediate this effect.

Blood Platelets/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Complement C5a/metabolism , Receptor, Anaphylatoxin C5a/metabolism , Receptors, IgG/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Thromboembolism/immunology , Adult , Aminopyridines/pharmacology , Cells, Cultured , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Morpholines/pharmacology , Platelet Activation , Pyrimidines/pharmacology , Severity of Illness Index , Signal Transduction , Syk Kinase/antagonists & inhibitors
Mol Cell ; 81(22): 4605-4621.e11, 2021 11 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440263


G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), also known as seven transmembrane receptors (7TMRs), typically interact with two distinct signal-transducers, i.e., G proteins and ß-arrestins (ßarrs). Interestingly, there are some non-canonical 7TMRs that lack G protein coupling but interact with ßarrs, although an understanding of their transducer coupling preference, downstream signaling, and structural mechanism remains elusive. Here, we characterize two such non-canonical 7TMRs, namely, the decoy D6 receptor (D6R) and the complement C5a receptor subtype 2 (C5aR2), in parallel with their canonical GPCR counterparts. We discover that D6R and C5aR2 efficiently couple to ßarrs, exhibit distinct engagement of GPCR kinases (GRKs), and activate non-canonical downstream signaling pathways. We also observe that ßarrs adopt distinct conformations for D6R and C5aR2, compared to their canonical GPCR counterparts, in response to common natural agonists. Our study establishes D6R and C5aR2 as ßarr-coupled 7TMRs and provides key insights into their regulation and signaling with direct implication for biased agonism.

Cell Membrane/metabolism , Protein Conformation , Signal Transduction , beta-Arrestins/chemistry , Animals , GTP-Binding Proteins/chemistry , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Knockout , Phosphorylation , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Protein Structure, Secondary , Protein Transport , Receptor, Anaphylatoxin C5a/metabolism
Trends Immunol ; 41(11): 965-967, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-834446


The current pandemic of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2 is a significant global health challenge. A recent study by Carvelli and colleagues now demonstrates the involvement of complement C5a and its receptor C5aR1 in disease progression and suggests that blockade of the C5a-C5aR1 axis may represent a potential therapeutic strategy against COVID-19.

Betacoronavirus/immunology , Complement C5a/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Receptor, Anaphylatoxin C5a/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Complement C5a/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Receptor, Anaphylatoxin C5a/metabolism , Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled/immunology , Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Signal Transduction/immunology