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1.
Nat Immunol ; 23(1): 23-32, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585822

ABSTRACT

Systemic immune cell dynamics during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are extensively documented, but these are less well studied in the (upper) respiratory tract, where severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) replicates1-6. Here, we characterized nasal and systemic immune cells in individuals with COVID-19 who were hospitalized or convalescent and compared the immune cells to those seen in healthy donors. We observed increased nasal granulocytes, monocytes, CD11c+ natural killer (NK) cells and CD4+ T effector cells during acute COVID-19. The mucosal proinflammatory populations positively associated with peripheral blood human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DRlow monocytes, CD38+PD1+CD4+ T effector (Teff) cells and plasmablasts. However, there was no general lymphopenia in nasal mucosa, unlike in peripheral blood. Moreover, nasal neutrophils negatively associated with oxygen saturation levels in blood. Following convalescence, nasal immune cells mostly normalized, except for CD127+ granulocytes and CD38+CD8+ tissue-resident memory T cells (TRM). SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T cells persisted at least 2 months after viral clearance in the nasal mucosa, indicating that COVID-19 has both transient and long-term effects on upper respiratory tract immune responses.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Nasopharynx/immunology , Nose/cytology , Respiratory Mucosa/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Granulocytes/immunology , HLA-DR Antigens/metabolism , Humans , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Monocytes/immunology , Nasopharynx/cytology , Nasopharynx/virology , Neutrophils/immunology , Nose/immunology , Nose/virology , Prospective Studies , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Respiratory Mucosa/virology
2.
J Infect Dis ; 224(8): 1357-1361, 2021 10 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493824

ABSTRACT

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


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Receptors, Coronavirus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/analysis , Biological Variation, Population , Bronchi/cytology , Bronchi/pathology , Bronchi/virology , COVID-19/virology , Epithelial Cells , Female , Humans , Male , Primary Cell Culture , Receptors, Coronavirus/analysis , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/pathology , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , Sex Factors , Virus Internalization
3.
Microbiol Spectr ; 9(2): e0126021, 2021 10 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455683

ABSTRACT

Severe COVID-19 pneumonia has been associated with the development of intense inflammatory responses during the course of infections with SARS-CoV-2. Given that human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) are known to be activated during and participate in inflammatory processes, we examined whether HERV dysregulation signatures are present in COVID-19 patients. By comparing transcriptomes of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of COVID-19 patients and healthy controls, and peripheral blood monocytes (PBMCs) from patients and controls, we have shown that HERVs are intensely dysregulated in BALF of COVID-19 patients compared to those in BALF of healthy control patients but not in PBMCs. In particular, upregulation in the expression of specific HERV families was detected in BALF samples of COVID-19 patients, with HERV-FRD being the most highly upregulated family among the families analyzed. In addition, we compared the expression of HERVs in human bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs) without and after senescence induction in an oncogene-induced senescence model in order to quantitatively measure changes in the expression of HERVs in bronchial cells during the process of cellular senescence. This apparent difference of HERV dysregulation between PBMCs and BALF warrants further studies in the involvement of HERVs in inflammatory pathogenetic mechanisms as well as exploration of HERVs as potential biomarkers for disease progression. Furthermore, the increase in the expression of HERVs in senescent HBECs in comparison to that in noninduced HBECs provides a potential link for increased COVID-19 severity and mortality in aged populations. IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2 emerged in late 2019 in China, causing a global pandemic. Severe COVID-19 is characterized by intensive inflammatory responses, and older age is an important risk factor for unfavorable outcomes. HERVs are remnants of ancient infections whose expression is upregulated in multiple conditions, including cancer and inflammation, and their expression is increased with increasing age. The significance of this work is that we were able to recognize dysregulated expression of endogenous retroviral elements in BALF samples but not in PBMCs of COVID-19 patients. At the same time, we were able to identify upregulated expression of multiple HERV families in senescence-induced HBECs in comparison to that in noninduced HBECs, a fact that could possibly explain the differences in disease severity among age groups. These results indicate that HERV expression might play a pathophysiological role in local inflammatory pathways in lungs afflicted by SARS-CoV-2 and their expression could be a potential therapeutic target.


Subject(s)
Bronchioles/virology , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/virology , COVID-19/pathology , Endogenous Retroviruses/growth & development , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , Bronchioles/cytology , Endogenous Retroviruses/isolation & purification , Epithelial Cells/virology , Humans , Inflammation/virology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/virology , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , SARS-CoV-2 , Transcriptome/genetics , Up-Regulation
4.
Int J Med Sci ; 18(12): 2561-2569, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389722

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection poses a global challenge to human health. Upon viral infection, host cells initiate the innate antiviral response, which primarily involves type I interferons (I-IFNs), to enable rapid elimination of the invading virus. Previous studies revealed that SARS-CoV-2 infection limits the expression of I-IFNs in vitro and in vivo, but the underlying mechanism remains incompletely elucidated. In the present study, we performed data mining and longitudinal data analysis using SARS-CoV-2-infected normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells and ferrets, and the results confirmed the strong inhibitory effect of SARS-CoV-2 on the induction of I-IFNs. Moreover, we identified genes that are negatively correlated with IFNB1 expression in vitro and in vivo based on Pearson correlation analysis. We found that SARS-CoV-2 activates numerous intrinsic pathways, such as the circadian rhythm, phosphatidylinositol signaling system, peroxisome, and TNF signaling pathways, to inhibit I-IFNs. These intrinsic inhibitory pathways jointly facilitate the successful immune evasion of SARS-CoV-2. Our study elucidates the underlying mechanism by which SARS-CoV-2 evades the host innate antiviral response in vitro and in vivo, providing theoretical evidence for targeting these immune evasion-associated pathways to combat SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , Bronchi/cytology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Datasets as Topic , Disease Models, Animal , Epithelial Cells , Ferrets , Gene Expression Regulation/immunology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Interferon-gamma/immunology , RNA-Seq , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Signal Transduction/genetics , Signal Transduction/immunology
5.
Cells ; 10(7)2021 06 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389304

ABSTRACT

The lungs are affected by illnesses including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and infections such as influenza and SARS-CoV-2. Physiologically relevant models for respiratory conditions will be essential for new drug development. The composition and structure of the lung extracellular matrix (ECM) plays a major role in the function of the lung tissue and cells. Lung-on-chip models have been developed to address some of the limitations of current two-dimensional in vitro models. In this review, we describe various ECM substitutes utilized for modeling the respiratory system. We explore the application of lung-on-chip models to the study of cigarette smoke and electronic cigarette vapor. We discuss the challenges and opportunities related to model characterization with an emphasis on in situ characterization methods, both established and emerging. We discuss how further advancements in the field, through the incorporation of interstitial cells and ECM, have the potential to provide an effective tool for interrogating lung biology and disease, especially the mechanisms that involve the interstitial elements.


Subject(s)
Lab-On-A-Chip Devices , Lung Diseases/pathology , Lung/physiology , Regeneration/physiology , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Extracellular Matrix/physiology , Humans , Lung/cytology , Lung/pathology , Lung Diseases/physiopathology , Lung Diseases/therapy , Models, Biological , Respiratory Mucosa/pathology , Respiratory Mucosa/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Tissue Culture Techniques/instrumentation , Tissue Culture Techniques/methods
6.
Front Immunol ; 12: 672523, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389182

ABSTRACT

Lower respiratory infections are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. These potentially deadly infections are further exacerbated due to the growing incidence of antimicrobial resistance. To combat these infections there is a need to better understand immune mechanisms that promote microbial clearance. This need in the context of lung infections has been further heightened with the emergence of SARS-CoV-2. Group 3 innate lymphoid cells (ILC3s) are a recently discovered tissue resident innate immune cell found at mucosal sites that respond rapidly in the event of an infection. ILC3s have clear roles in regulating mucosal immunity and tissue homeostasis in the intestine, though the immunological functions in lungs remain unclear. It has been demonstrated in both viral and bacterial pneumonia that stimulated ILC3s secrete the cytokines IL-17 and IL-22 to promote both microbial clearance as well as tissue repair. In this review, we will evaluate regulation of ILC3s during inflammation and discuss recent studies that examine ILC3 function in the context of both bacterial and viral pulmonary infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Mucosal/immunology , Lymphocytes/immunology , Pneumonia, Bacterial/immunology , Respiratory Mucosa/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Bacteria/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/pathology , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Inflammation/immunology , Interleukin-17/metabolism , Interleukins/metabolism , Lung/immunology , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology
7.
J Biol Chem ; 295(36): 12686-12696, 2020 09 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387615

ABSTRACT

Type II transmembrane serine proteases (TTSPs) are a group of enzymes participating in diverse biological processes. Some members of the TTSP family are implicated in viral infection. TMPRSS11A is a TTSP expressed on the surface of airway epithelial cells, which has been shown to cleave and activate spike proteins of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronaviruses (CoVs). In this study, we examined the mechanism underlying the activation cleavage of TMPRSS11A that converts the one-chain zymogen to a two-chain enzyme. By expression in human embryonic kidney 293, esophageal EC9706, and lung epithelial A549 and 16HBE cells, Western blotting, and site-directed mutagenesis, we found that the activation cleavage of human TMPRSS11A was mediated by autocatalysis. Moreover, we found that TMPRSS11A activation cleavage occurred before the protein reached the cell surface, as indicated by studies with trypsin digestion to remove cell surface proteins, treatment with cell organelle-disturbing agents to block intracellular protein trafficking, and analysis of a soluble form of TMPRSS11A without the transmembrane domain. We also showed that TMPRSS11A was able to cleave the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. These results reveal an intracellular autocleavage mechanism in TMPRSS11A zymogen activation, which differs from the extracellular zymogen activation reported in other TTSPs. These findings provide new insights into the diverse mechanisms in regulating TTSP activation.


Subject(s)
Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Membrane Proteins/metabolism , Proteolysis , Serine Proteases/metabolism , A549 Cells , Cells, Cultured , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Membrane Proteins/chemistry , Membrane Proteins/genetics , Mutation , Protein Domains , Protein Transport , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Serine Proteases/chemistry , Serine Proteases/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Trypsin/metabolism
8.
Virol Sin ; 35(3): 280-289, 2020 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1384632

ABSTRACT

Cancer cell lines have been used widely in cancer biology, and as biological or functional cell systems in many biomedical research fields. These cells are usually defective for many normal activities or functions due to significant genetic and epigenetic changes. Normal primary cell yields and viability from any original tissue specimens are usually relatively low or highly variable. These normal cells cease after a few passages or population doublings due to very limited proliferative capacity. Animal models (ferret, mouse, etc.) are often used to study virus-host interaction. However, viruses usually need to be adapted to the animals by several passages due to tropism restrictions including viral receptors and intracellular restrictions. Here we summarize applications of conditionally reprogrammed cells (CRCs), long-term cultures of normal airway epithelial cells from human nose to lung generated by conditional cell reprogramming (CR) technology, as an ex vivo model in studies of emerging viruses. CR allows to robustly propagate cells from non-invasive or minimally invasive specimens, for example, nasal or endobronchial brushing. This process is rapid (2 days) and conditional. The CRCs maintain their differentiation potential and lineage functions, and have been used for studies of adenovirus, rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus, influenza viruses, parvovirus, and SARS-CoV. The CRCs can be easily used for air-liquid interface (ALI) polarized 3D cultures, and these coupled CRC/ALI cultures mimic physiological conditions and are suitable for studies of viral entry including receptor binding and internalization, innate immune responses, viral replications, and drug discovery as an ex vivo model for emerging viruses.


Subject(s)
Cellular Reprogramming Techniques , Models, Biological , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Cell Differentiation , Cell Lineage , Cells, Cultured , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Epithelial Cells/cytology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Elife ; 102021 08 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1380072

ABSTRACT

Background: SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, causes widespread damage in the lungs in the setting of an overzealous immune response whose origin remains unclear. Methods: We present a scalable, propagable, personalized, cost-effective adult stem cell-derived human lung organoid model that is complete with both proximal and distal airway epithelia. Monolayers derived from adult lung organoids (ALOs), primary airway cells, or hiPSC-derived alveolar type II (AT2) pneumocytes were infected with SARS-CoV-2 to create in vitro lung models of COVID-19. Results: Infected ALO monolayers best recapitulated the transcriptomic signatures in diverse cohorts of COVID-19 patient-derived respiratory samples. The airway (proximal) cells were critical for sustained viral infection, whereas distal alveolar differentiation (AT2→AT1) was critical for mounting the overzealous host immune response in fatal disease; ALO monolayers with well-mixed proximodistal airway components recapitulated both. Conclusions: Findings validate a human lung model of COVID-19, which can be immediately utilized to investigate COVID-19 pathogenesis and vet new therapies and vaccines. Funding: This work was supported by the National Institutes for Health (NIH) grants 1R01DK107585-01A1, 3R01DK107585-05S1 (to SD); R01-AI141630, CA100768 and CA160911 (to PG) and R01-AI 155696 (to PG, DS and SD); R00-CA151673 and R01-GM138385 (to DS), R01- HL32225 (to PT), UCOP-R00RG2642 (to SD and PG), UCOP-R01RG3780 (to P.G. and D.S) and a pilot award from the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center at UC San Diego Health (P.G, S.D, D.S). GDK was supported through The American Association of Immunologists Intersect Fellowship Program for Computational Scientists and Immunologists. L.C.A's salary was supported in part by the VA San Diego Healthcare System. This manuscript includes data generated at the UC San Diego Institute of Genomic Medicine (IGC) using an Illumina NovaSeq 6000 that was purchased with funding from a National Institutes of Health SIG grant (#S10 OD026929).


Subject(s)
Adult Stem Cells , COVID-19 , Lung/pathology , Models, Biological , Organoids , Adult Stem Cells/virology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Lung/cytology , Lung/virology , Male , Middle Aged , Organoids/virology , Pulmonary Alveoli/cytology , Pulmonary Alveoli/virology , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Respiratory Mucosa/virology
10.
Viruses ; 13(8)2021 08 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1355052

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a global pandemic characterized by an exaggerated immune response and respiratory illness. Age (>60 years) is a significant risk factor for developing severe COVID-19. To better understand the host response of the aged airway epithelium to SARS-CoV-2 infection, we performed an in vitro study using primary human bronchial epithelial cells from donors >67 years of age differentiated on an air-liquid interface culture. We demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 infection leads to early induction of a proinflammatory response and a delayed interferon response. In addition, we observed changes in the genes and pathways associated with cell death and senescence throughout infection. In summary, our study provides new and important insights into the temporal kinetics of the airway epithelial innate immune response to SARS-CoV-2 in older individuals.


Subject(s)
Bronchi/immunology , Bronchi/virology , Immunity, Innate , Respiratory Mucosa/immunology , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Aged , Aging/immunology , Bronchi/cytology , Bronchi/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Death/genetics , Cells, Cultured , Cellular Senescence/genetics , Cytokines/biosynthesis , Cytokines/genetics , Epithelial Cells/immunology , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/virology , Female , Humans , Inflammation , Interferons/biosynthesis , Interferons/genetics , Male , RNA-Seq , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Signal Transduction/genetics
11.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 14961, 2021 07 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322501

ABSTRACT

Influenza and other respiratory viruses present a significant threat to public health, national security, and the world economy, and can lead to the emergence of global pandemics such as from COVID-19. A barrier to the development of effective therapeutics is the absence of a robust and predictive preclinical model, with most studies relying on a combination of in vitro screening with immortalized cell lines and low-throughput animal models. Here, we integrate human primary airway epithelial cells into a custom-engineered 96-device platform (PREDICT96-ALI) in which tissues are cultured in an array of microchannel-based culture chambers at an air-liquid interface, in a configuration compatible with high resolution in-situ imaging and real-time sensing. We apply this platform to influenza A virus and coronavirus infections, evaluating viral infection kinetics and antiviral agent dosing across multiple strains and donor populations of human primary cells. Human coronaviruses HCoV-NL63 and SARS-CoV-2 enter host cells via ACE2 and utilize the protease TMPRSS2 for spike protein priming, and we confirm their expression, demonstrate infection across a range of multiplicities of infection, and evaluate the efficacy of camostat mesylate, a known inhibitor of HCoV-NL63 infection. This new capability can be used to address a major gap in the rapid assessment of therapeutic efficacy of small molecules and antiviral agents against influenza and other respiratory viruses including coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Influenza, Human/virology , Microbial Sensitivity Tests/instrumentation , Microfluidic Analytical Techniques/instrumentation , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Bronchi/cytology , Bronchi/virology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Cell Culture Techniques/instrumentation , Cell Line , Coronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Equipment Design , High-Throughput Screening Assays/instrumentation , Humans , Influenza A virus/drug effects , Influenza, Human/drug therapy , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , Respiratory Tract Infections/drug therapy , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects
12.
EMBO J ; 40(15): e107826, 2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1261483

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection causes broad-spectrum immunopathological disease, exacerbated by inflammatory co-morbidities. A better understanding of mechanisms underpinning virus-associated inflammation is required to develop effective therapeutics. Here, we discover that SARS-CoV-2 replicates rapidly in lung epithelial cells despite triggering a robust innate immune response through the activation of cytoplasmic RNA sensors RIG-I and MDA5. The inflammatory mediators produced during epithelial cell infection can stimulate primary human macrophages to enhance cytokine production and drive cellular activation. Critically, this can be limited by abrogating RNA sensing or by inhibiting downstream signalling pathways. SARS-CoV-2 further exacerbates the local inflammatory environment when macrophages or epithelial cells are primed with exogenous inflammatory stimuli. We propose that RNA sensing of SARS-CoV-2 in lung epithelium is a key driver of inflammation, the extent of which is influenced by the inflammatory state of the local environment, and that specific inhibition of innate immune pathways may beneficially mitigate inflammation-associated COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , DEAD Box Protein 58/immunology , Epithelial Cells/immunology , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1/immunology , Macrophages/immunology , RNA, Viral/immunology , Receptors, Immunologic/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/immunology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Inflammation/genetics , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/virology , Janus Kinases/immunology , Lung/cytology , Lung/immunology , Lung/virology , Macrophage Activation , NF-kappa B/immunology , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Respiratory Mucosa/immunology , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , STAT Transcription Factors/immunology , Virus Replication
13.
Commun Biol ; 4(1): 654, 2021 06 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1253994

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection of human airway epithelium activates genetic programs leading to progressive hyperinflammation in COVID-19 patients. Here, we report on transcriptomes activated in primary airway cells by interferons and their suppression by Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors. Deciphering the regulation of the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the receptor for SARS-CoV-2, is paramount for understanding the cell tropism of SARS-CoV-2 infection. ChIP-seq for activating histone marks and Pol II loading identified candidate enhancer elements controlling the ACE2 locus, including the intronic dACE2 promoter. Employing RNA-seq, we demonstrate that interferons activate expression of dACE2 and, to a lesser extent, the genuine ACE2 gene. Interferon-induced gene expression was mitigated by the JAK inhibitors baricitinib and ruxolitinib, used therapeutically in COVID-19 patients. Through integrating RNA-seq and ChIP-seq data we provide an in-depth understanding of genetic programs activated by interferons, and our study highlights JAK inhibitors as suitable tools to suppress these in bronchial cells.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Interferons/pharmacology , Janus Kinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Transcriptional Activation/drug effects , COVID-19/genetics , Cell Line , Humans , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Respiratory Mucosa/drug effects , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Transcriptome/drug effects
14.
Cells ; 10(6)2021 05 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1243956

ABSTRACT

The recent SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has refocused attention to the betacoronaviruses, only eight years after the emergence of another zoonotic betacoronavirus, the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). While the wild source of SARS-CoV-2 may be disputed, for MERS-CoV, dromedaries are considered as source of zoonotic human infections. Testing 100 immune-response genes in 121 dromedaries from United Arab Emirates (UAE) for potential association with present MERS-CoV infection, we identified candidate genes with important functions in the adaptive, MHC-class I (HLA-A-24-like) and II (HLA-DPB1-like), and innate immune response (PTPN4, MAGOHB), and in cilia coating the respiratory tract (DNAH7). Some of these genes previously have been associated with viral replication in SARS-CoV-1/-2 in humans, others have an important role in the movement of bronchial cilia. These results suggest similar host genetic pathways associated with these betacoronaviruses, although further work is required to better understand the MERS-CoV disease dynamics in both dromedaries and humans.


Subject(s)
Adaptive Immunity/genetics , Camelus/virology , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Zoonoses/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Viral , Bronchi/cytology , Bronchi/physiology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Camelus/genetics , Camelus/immunology , Cilia/physiology , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/genetics , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/transmission , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/virology , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Reservoirs/virology , Female , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Host Microbial Interactions/genetics , Host Microbial Interactions/immunology , Humans , Male , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/pathogenicity , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Respiratory Mucosa/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , United Arab Emirates , Virus Replication/genetics , Virus Replication/immunology , Zoonoses/genetics , Zoonoses/transmission , Zoonoses/virology
15.
Theranostics ; 11(13): 6607-6615, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1231569

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection, which is responsible for the current COVID-19 pandemic, can cause life-threatening pneumonia, respiratory failure and even death. Characterizing SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis in primary human target cells and tissues is crucial for developing vaccines and therapeutics. However, given the limited access to clinical samples from COVID-19 patients, there is a pressing need for in vitro/in vivo models to investigate authentic SARS-CoV-2 infection in primary human lung cells or tissues with mature structures. The present study was designed to evaluate a humanized mouse model carrying human lung xenografts for SARS-CoV-2 infection in vivo. Methods: Human fetal lung tissue surgically grafted under the dorsal skin of SCID mice were assessed for growth and development after 8 weeks. Following SARS-CoV-2 inoculation into the differentiated lung xenografts, viral replication, cell-type tropism and histopathology of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and local cytokine/chemokine expression were determined over a 6-day period. The effect of IFN-α treatment against SARS-CoV-2 infection was tested in the lung xenografts. Results: Human lung xenografts expanded and developed mature structures closely resembling normal human lung. SARS-CoV-2 replicated and spread efficiently in the lung xenografts with the epithelial cells as the main target, caused severe lung damage, and induced a robust pro-inflammatory response. IFN-α treatment effectively inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication in the lung xenografts. Conclusions: These data support the human lung xenograft mouse model as a useful and biological relevant tool that should facilitate studies on the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 lung infection and the evaluation of potential antiviral therapies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Lung/pathology , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Aborted Fetus , Animals , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Epithelial Cells/virology , Heterografts , Humans , Lung/immunology , Lung/virology , Lung Transplantation , Male , Mice , Mice, SCID , Primary Cell Culture , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Virus Replication
16.
mBio ; 12(3)2021 05 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225698

ABSTRACT

The spike (S) polypeptide of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) consists of the S1 and S2 subunits and is processed by cellular proteases at the S1/S2 boundary that contains a furin cleavage site (FCS), 682RRAR↓S686 Various deletions surrounding the FCS have been identified in patients. When SARS-CoV-2 propagated in Vero cells, it acquired deletions surrounding the FCS. We studied the viral transcriptome in Vero cell-derived SARS-CoV-2-infected primary human airway epithelia (HAE) cultured at an air-liquid interface (ALI) with an emphasis on the viral genome stability of the FCS. While we found overall the viral transcriptome is similar to that generated from infected Vero cells, we identified a high percentage of mutated viral genome and transcripts in HAE-ALI. Two highly frequent deletions were found at the FCS region: a 12 amino acid deletion (678TNSPRRAR↓SVAS689) that contains the underlined FCS and a 5 amino acid deletion (675QTQTN679) that is two amino acids upstream of the FCS. Further studies on the dynamics of the FCS deletions in apically released virions from 11 infected HAE-ALI cultures of both healthy and lung disease donors revealed that the selective pressure for the FCS maintains the FCS stably in 9 HAE-ALI cultures but with 2 exceptions, in which the FCS deletions are retained at a high rate of >40% after infection of ≥13 days. Our study presents evidence for the role of unique properties of human airway epithelia in the dynamics of the FCS region during infection of human airways, which is likely donor dependent.IMPORTANCE Polarized human airway epithelia at an air-liquid interface (HAE-ALI) are an in vitro model that supports efficient infection of SARS-CoV-2. The spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 contains a furin cleavage site (FCS) at the boundary of the S1 and S2 domains which distinguishes it from SARS-CoV. However, FCS deletion mutants have been identified in patients and in vitro cell cultures, and how the airway epithelial cells maintain the unique FCS remains unknown. We found that HAE-ALI cultures were capable of suppressing two prevalent FCS deletion mutants (Δ678TNSPRRAR↓SVAS689 and Δ675QTQTN679) that were selected during propagation in Vero cells. While such suppression was observed in 9 out of 11 of the tested HAE-ALI cultures derived from independent donors, 2 exceptions that retained a high rate of FCS deletions were also found. Our results present evidence of the donor-dependent properties of human airway epithelia in the evolution of the FCS during infection.


Subject(s)
Bronchi/virology , Furin/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Transcriptome , Animals , Bronchi/cytology , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , Epithelial Cells/virology , Humans , RNA-Seq , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Sequence Deletion , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vero Cells
17.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(19)2021 05 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1214016

ABSTRACT

Here, we present a physiologically relevant model of the human pulmonary alveoli. This alveolar lung-on-a-chip platform is composed of a three-dimensional porous hydrogel made of gelatin methacryloyl with an inverse opal structure, bonded to a compartmentalized polydimethylsiloxane chip. The inverse opal hydrogel structure features well-defined, interconnected pores with high similarity to human alveolar sacs. By populating the sacs with primary human alveolar epithelial cells, functional epithelial monolayers are readily formed. Cyclic strain is integrated into the device to allow biomimetic breathing events of the alveolar lung, which, in addition, makes it possible to investigate pathological effects such as those incurred by cigarette smoking and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 pseudoviral infection. Our study demonstrates a unique method for reconstitution of the functional human pulmonary alveoli in vitro, which is anticipated to pave the way for investigating relevant physiological and pathological events in the human distal lung.


Subject(s)
Lab-On-A-Chip Devices , Models, Biological , Pulmonary Alveoli/physiology , Alveolar Epithelial Cells , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Cigarette Smoking/adverse effects , Dimethylpolysiloxanes/chemistry , Gelatin/chemistry , Humans , Hydrogels/chemistry , Methacrylates/chemistry , Porosity , Pulmonary Alveoli/cytology , Pulmonary Alveoli/pathology , Respiration , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Respiratory Mucosa/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
18.
Methods Mol Biol ; 2273: 131-138, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1092090

ABSTRACT

The current coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by "severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2" (SARS-CoV-2), underscores the threat posed by newly emerging viruses. The understanding of the mechanisms driving early infection events, that are crucial for the exponential spread of the disease, is mandatory and can be significantly implemented generating 3D in vitro models as experimental platforms to investigate the infection substrates and how the virus invades and ravages the tissues.We here describe a protocol for the creation of a synthetic hydrogel-based 3D culture system that mimics in vitro the complex architectures and mechanical cues distinctive of the upper airway epithelia. We then expose the in vitro generated 3D nasal and tracheal epithelia to gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) that display the typical shape and size distinctive of SARS-CoV-2 and of the majority of Coronaviridae presently known.The infection platform here described provides an efficient and highly physiological in vitro model that reproduces the host-pathogen early interactions, using virus-mimicking nanoparticles, and offers a flexible tool to study virus entry into the cell. At the same time, it reduces the risk of accidental infection/spillovers for researchers, which represents a crucial aspect when dealing with a virus that is highly contagious, virulent, and even deadly.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cell Culture Techniques/methods , Epithelial Cells/cytology , Nanoparticles/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Animals , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Epithelial Cells/virology , Gold , Humans , Metal Nanoparticles/chemistry , Molecular Mimicry/immunology , Nose/virology , Respiratory Mucosa/virology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Trachea/virology , Vero Cells , Virus Internalization
19.
Cell Res ; 31(2): 126-140, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1015005

ABSTRACT

The current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic presents a global public health challenge. The viral pathogen responsible, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), binds to the host receptor ACE2 through its spike (S) glycoprotein, which mediates membrane fusion and viral entry. Although the role of ACE2 as a receptor for SARS-CoV-2 is clear, studies have shown that ACE2 expression is extremely low in various human tissues, especially in the respiratory tract. Thus, other host receptors and/or co-receptors that promote the entry of SARS-CoV-2 into cells of the respiratory system may exist. In this study, we found that the tyrosine-protein kinase receptor UFO (AXL) specifically interacts with the N-terminal domain of SARS-CoV-2 S. Using both a SARS-CoV-2 virus pseudotype and authentic SARS-CoV-2, we found that overexpression of AXL in HEK293T cells promotes SARS-CoV-2 entry as efficiently as overexpression of ACE2, while knocking out AXL significantly reduces SARS-CoV-2 infection in H1299 pulmonary cells and in human primary lung epithelial cells. Soluble human recombinant AXL blocks SARS-CoV-2 infection in cells expressing high levels of AXL. The AXL expression level is well correlated with SARS-CoV-2 S level in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid cells from COVID-19 patients. Taken together, our findings suggest that AXL is a novel candidate receptor for SARS-CoV-2 which may play an important role in promoting viral infection of the human respiratory system and indicate that it is a potential target for future clinical intervention strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Proto-Oncogene Proteins/metabolism , Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases/metabolism , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Bronchi/cytology , Bronchi/metabolism , Cell Line , Humans , Lung/cytology , Lung/metabolism , Models, Molecular , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Proto-Oncogene Proteins/analysis , Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases/analysis , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/analysis , Virus Internalization
20.
PLoS One ; 15(12): e0242536, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-965821

ABSTRACT

Retinoic acid (RA) has been shown to improve epithelial and endothelial barrier function and development and even suppress damage inflicted by inflammation on these barriers through regulating immune cell activity. This paper thus sought to determine whether RA could improve baseline barrier function and attenuate TNF-α-induced barrier leak in the human bronchial epithelial cell culture model, 16HBE14o- (16HBE). We show for the first time that RA increases baseline barrier function of these cell layers indicated by an 89% increase in transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) and 22% decrease in 14C-mannitol flux. A simultaneous, RA-induced 70% increase in claudin-4 attests to RA affecting the tight junctional (TJ) complex itself. RA was also effective in alleviating TNF-α-induced 16HBE barrier leak, attenuating 60% of the TNF-α-induced leak to 14C-mannitol and 80% of the leak to 14C-inulin. Interleukin-6-induced barrier leak was also reduced by RA. Treatment of 16HBE cell layers with TNF-α resulted in dramatic decrease in immunostaining for occludin and claudin-4, as well as a downward "band-shift" in occludin Western immunoblots. The presence of RA partially reversed TNF-α's effects on these select TJ proteins. Lastly, RA completely abrogated the TNF-α-induced increase in ERK-1,2 phosphorylation without significantly decreasing the TNF-driven increase in total ERK-1,2. This study suggests RA could be effective as a prophylactic agent in minimizing airway barrier leak and as a therapeutic in preventing leak triggered by inflammatory cascades. Given the growing literature suggesting a "cytokine storm" may be related to COVID-19 morbidity, RA may be a useful adjuvant for use with anti-viral therapies.


Subject(s)
Bronchi/drug effects , Respiratory Mucosa/drug effects , Tretinoin/pharmacology , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacology , Bronchi/cytology , Bronchi/metabolism , Cell Line , Humans , Inflammation/drug therapy , Inflammation/metabolism , Permeability/drug effects , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Tight Junctions/drug effects , Tight Junctions/metabolism
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