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1.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260850, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613341

ABSTRACT

Novel strains of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) harboring nucleotide changes (mutations) in the spike gene have emerged and are spreading rapidly. These mutations are associated with SARS-CoV-2 transmissibility, virulence, or resistance to some neutralizing antibodies. Thus, the accurate detection of spike mutants is crucial for controlling SARS-CoV-2 transmission and identifying neutralizing antibody-resistance caused by amino acid changes in the receptor-binding domain. Here, we developed five SARS-CoV-2 spike gene primer pairs (5-SSG primer assay; 69S, 144S, 417S, 484S, and 570S) and verified their ability to detect nine key spike mutations (ΔH69/V70, T95I, G142D, ΔY144, K417T/N, L452R, E484K/Q, N501Y, and H655Y) using a Sanger sequencing-based assay. The 5-SSG primer assay showed 100% specificity and a conservative limit of detection with a median tissue culture infective dose (TCID50) values of 1.4 × 102 TCID50/mL. The accuracy of the 5-SSG primer assay was confirmed by next generation sequencing. The results of these two approaches showed 100% consistency. Taken together, the ability of the 5-SSG primer assay to accurately detect key SARS-CoV-2 spike mutants is reliable. Thus, it is a useful tool for detecting SARS-CoV-2 spike gene mutants in a clinical setting, thereby helping to improve the management of patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sequence Analysis, RNA/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , DNA Primers/genetics , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Limit of Detection , Protein Domains , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
2.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 7(1): 7, 2022 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1606287

ABSTRACT

Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) initiates class-switch recombination and somatic hypermutation (SHM) in antibody genes. Protein expression and activity are tightly controlled by various mechanisms. However, it remains unknown whether a signal from the extracellular environment directly affects the AID activity in the nucleus where it works. Here, we demonstrated that a deubiquitinase USP10, which specifically stabilizes nuclear AID protein, can translocate into the nucleus after AKT-mediated phosphorylation at its T674 within the NLS domain. Interestingly, the signals from BCR and TLR1/2 synergistically promoted this phosphorylation. The deficiency of USP10 in B cells significantly decreased AID protein levels, subsequently reducing neutralizing antibody production after immunization with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) or human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) nanoparticle vaccines. Collectively, we demonstrated that USP10 functions as an integrator for both BCR and TLR signals and directly regulates nuclear AID activity. Its manipulation could be used for the development of vaccines and adjuvants.


Subject(s)
AIDS Vaccines/immunology , B-Cell Activating Factor/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cytidine Deaminase/immunology , HIV-1/immunology , Nanoparticles , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Signal Transduction/immunology , Ubiquitin Thiolesterase/immunology , Ubiquitination/immunology , AIDS Vaccines/genetics , Animals , B-Cell Activating Factor/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Cytidine Deaminase/genetics , HEK293 Cells , HIV-1/genetics , Humans , Mice , Mice, Knockout , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Signal Transduction/genetics , Ubiquitin Thiolesterase/genetics
3.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 25(24): 8019-8022, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1605687

ABSTRACT

Recently a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 was reported from South Africa. World Health Organization (WHO) named this mutant as a variant of concern - Omicron (B.1.1.529) on 26th November 2021. This variant exhibited more than thirty amino acid mutations in the spike protein. This mutation rate is exceeding the other variants by approximately 5-11 times in the receptor-binding motif of the spike protein. Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant might have enhanced transmissibility and immune evasion. This new variant can reinfect individuals previously infected with other SARS-CoV-2 variants. Scientists expressed their concern about the efficacy of already existing COVID-19 vaccines against Omicron (B.1.1.529) infections. Some of the crucial mutations that are detected in the receptor-binding domain of the Omicron variant have been shared by previously evolved SARS-CoV-2 variants. Based on the Omicron mutation profile in the receptor-binding domain and motif, it might have collectively enhanced or intermediary infectivity relative to its previous variants. Due to extensive mutations in the spike protein, the Omicron variant might evade the immunity in the vaccinated individuals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Reinfection/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Humans , Immune Evasion/genetics , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Mutation , Reinfection/immunology , Reinfection/transmission , Reinfection/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Vaccine Potency
6.
Nucleic Acids Res ; 50(D1): D1-D10, 2022 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1607482

ABSTRACT

The 2022 Nucleic Acids Research Database Issue contains 185 papers, including 87 papers reporting on new databases and 85 updates from resources previously published in the Issue. Thirteen additional manuscripts provide updates on databases most recently published elsewhere. Seven new databases focus specifically on COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2, including SCoV2-MD, the first of the Issue's Breakthrough Articles. Major nucleic acid databases reporting updates include MODOMICS, JASPAR and miRTarBase. The AlphaFold Protein Structure Database, described in the second Breakthrough Article, is the stand-out in the protein section, where the Human Proteoform Atlas and GproteinDb are other notable new arrivals. Updates from DisProt, FuzDB and ELM comprehensively cover disordered proteins. Under the metabolism and signalling section Reactome, ConsensusPathDB, HMDB and CAZy are major returning resources. In microbial and viral genomes taxonomy and systematics are well covered by LPSN, TYGS and GTDB. Genomics resources include Ensembl, Ensembl Genomes and UCSC Genome Browser. Major returning pharmacology resource names include the IUPHAR/BPS guide and the Therapeutic Target Database. New plant databases include PlantGSAD for gene lists and qPTMplants for post-translational modifications. The entire Database Issue is freely available online on the Nucleic Acids Research website (https://academic.oup.com/nar). Our latest update to the NAR online Molecular Biology Database Collection brings the total number of entries to 1645. Following last year's major cleanup, we have updated 317 entries, listing 89 new resources and trimming 80 discontinued URLs. The current release is available at http://www.oxfordjournals.org/nar/database/c/.


Subject(s)
Databases, Factual , Molecular Biology , Animals , COVID-19 , Databases, Nucleic Acid , Databases, Protein , Genome, Microbial , Genome, Viral , Humans , Mice , Plants/genetics , Protein Processing, Post-Translational , Proteome , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Signal Transduction
8.
Biochemistry (Mosc) ; 86(7): 800-817, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1594970

ABSTRACT

COVID-19, a new human respiratory disease that has killed nearly 3 million people in a year since the start of the pandemic, is a global public health challenge. Its infectious agent, SARS-CoV-2, differs from other coronaviruses in a number of structural features that make this virus more pathogenic and transmissible. In this review, we discuss some important characteristics of the main SARS-CoV-2 surface antigen, the spike (S) protein, such as (i) ability of the receptor-binding domain (RBD) to switch between the "standing-up" position (open pre-fusion conformation) for receptor binding and the "lying-down" position (closed pre-fusion conformation) for immune system evasion; (ii) advantage of a high binding affinity of the RBD open conformation to the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor for efficient cell entry; and (iii) S protein preliminary activation by the intracellular furin-like proteases for facilitation of the virus spreading across different cell types. We describe interactions between the S protein and cellular receptors, co-receptors, and antagonists, as well as a hypothetical mechanism of the homotrimeric spike structure destabilization that triggers the fusion of the viral envelope with the cell membrane at physiological pH and mediates the viral nucleocapsid entry into the cytoplasm. The transition of the S protein pre-fusion conformation to the post-fusion one on the surface of virions after their treatment with some reagents, such as ß-propiolactone, is essential, especially in relation to the vaccine production. We also compare the COVID-19 pathogenesis with that of severe outbreaks of "avian" influenza caused by the A/H5 and A/H7 highly pathogenic viruses and discuss the structural similarities between the SARS-CoV-2 S protein and hemagglutinins of those highly pathogenic strains. Finally, we touch on the prospective and currently used COVID-19 antiviral and anti-pathogenetic therapeutics, as well as recently approved conventional and innovative COVID-19 vaccines and their molecular and immunological features.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , Humans , Influenza A virus/chemistry , Influenza A virus/genetics , Influenza A virus/metabolism , Influenza, Human/epidemiology , Influenza, Human/genetics , Influenza, Human/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
11.
Microbiol Spectr ; 9(3): e0165921, 2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1598527

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 vaccines are currently being administered worldwide and playing a critical role in controlling the pandemic. They have been designed to elicit neutralizing antibodies against Spike protein of the original SARS-CoV-2, and hence they are less effective against SARS-CoV-2 variants with mutated Spike than the original virus. It is possible that novel variants with abilities of enhanced transmissibility and/or immunoevasion will appear in the near future and perfectly escape from vaccine-elicited immunity. Therefore, the current vaccines may need to be improved to compensate for the viral evolution. For this purpose, it may be beneficial to take advantage of CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). Several lines of evidence suggest the contribution of CTLs on the viral control in COVID-19, and CTLs target a wide range of proteins involving comparatively conserved nonstructural proteins. Here, we identified 22 HLA-A*24:02-restricted CTL candidate epitopes derived from the nonstructural polyprotein 1a (pp1a) of SARS-CoV-2 using computational algorithms, HLA-A*24:02 transgenic mice and the peptide-encapsulated liposomes. We focused on pp1a and HLA-A*24:02 because pp1a is relatively conserved and HLA-A*24:02 is predominant in East Asians such as Japanese. The conservation analysis revealed that the amino acid sequences of 7 out of the 22 epitopes were hardly affected by a number of mutations in the Sequence Read Archive database of SARS-CoV-2 variants. The information of such conserved epitopes might be useful for designing the next-generation COVID-19 vaccine that is universally effective against any SARS-CoV-2 variants by the induction of both anti-Spike neutralizing antibodies and CTLs specific for conserved epitopes. IMPORTANCE COVID-19 vaccines have been designed to elicit neutralizing antibodies against the Spike protein of the original SARS-CoV-2, and hence they are less effective against variants. It is possible that novel variants will appear and escape from vaccine-elicited immunity. Therefore, the current vaccines may need to be improved to compensate for the viral evolution. For this purpose, it may be beneficial to take advantage of CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). Here, we identified 22 HLA-A*24:02-restricted CTL candidate epitopes derived from the nonstructural polyprotein 1a (pp1a) of SARS-CoV-2. We focused on pp1a and HLA-A*24:02 because pp1a is conserved and HLA-A*24:02 is predominant in East Asians. The conservation analysis revealed that the amino acid sequences of 7 out of the 22 epitopes were hardly affected by mutations in the database of SARS-CoV-2 variants. The information might be useful for designing the next-generation COVID-19 vaccine that is universally effective against any variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes/immunology , HLA-A24 Antigen/genetics , HLA-A24 Antigen/immunology , Mutation , Polyproteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Epitopes/genetics , HLA-A24 Antigen/isolation & purification , Humans , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
12.
Nat Microbiol ; 7(1): 97-107, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1596437

ABSTRACT

Global and national surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 epidemiology is mostly based on targeted schemes focused on testing individuals with symptoms. These tested groups are often unrepresentative of the wider population and exhibit test positivity rates that are biased upwards compared with the true population prevalence. Such data are routinely used to infer infection prevalence and the effective reproduction number, Rt, which affects public health policy. Here, we describe a causal framework that provides debiased fine-scale spatiotemporal estimates by combining targeted test counts with data from a randomized surveillance study in the United Kingdom called REACT. Our probabilistic model includes a bias parameter that captures the increased probability of an infected individual being tested, relative to a non-infected individual, and transforms observed test counts to debiased estimates of the true underlying local prevalence and Rt. We validated our approach on held-out REACT data over a 7-month period. Furthermore, our local estimates of Rt are indicative of 1-week- and 2-week-ahead changes in SARS-CoV-2-positive case numbers. We also observed increases in estimated local prevalence and Rt that reflect the spread of the Alpha and Delta variants. Our results illustrate how randomized surveys can augment targeted testing to improve statistical accuracy in monitoring the spread of emerging and ongoing infectious disease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Models, Statistical , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Basic Reproduction Number , Bias , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Testing/statistics & numerical data , Forecasting , Humans , Prevalence , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spatio-Temporal Analysis , United Kingdom/epidemiology
13.
STAR Protoc ; 3(1): 101067, 2022 03 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1595326

ABSTRACT

N 6 -methylation of adenosine (m6A) is the most abundant internal mRNA modification and is an important post-transcriptional regulator of gene expression. Here, we describe a protocol for methylated RNA immunoprecipitation sequencing (MeRIP-Seq) to detect and quantify m6A modifications in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA. The protocol is optimized for low viral RNA levels and is readily adaptable for other applications. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Li et al. (2021).


Subject(s)
Adenosine/analogs & derivatives , Immunoprecipitation/methods , Sequence Analysis, RNA/methods , Adenosine/analysis , Adenosine/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , Caco-2 Cells , Chlorocebus aethiops , Gene Expression/genetics , Gene Expression Regulation/genetics , Genetic Techniques , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Methylation , RNA/chemistry , RNA/genetics , RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Vero Cells
14.
PLoS Biol ; 19(12): e3001490, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1595018

ABSTRACT

Over the past 20 years, 3 highly pathogenic human coronaviruses (HCoVs) have emerged-Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and, most recently, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-demonstrating that coronaviruses (CoVs) pose a serious threat to human health and highlighting the importance of developing effective therapies against them. Similar to other viruses, CoVs are dependent on host factors for their survival and replication. We hypothesized that evolutionarily distinct CoVs may exploit similar host factors and pathways to support their replication cycles. Herein, we conducted 2 independent genome-wide CRISPR/Cas-9 knockout (KO) screens to identify MERS-CoV and HCoV-229E host dependency factors (HDFs) required for HCoV replication in the human Huh7 cell line. Top scoring genes were further validated and assessed in the context of MERS-CoV and HCoV-229E infection as well as SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 infection. Strikingly, we found that several autophagy-related genes, including TMEM41B, MINAR1, and the immunophilin FKBP8, were common host factors required for pan-CoV replication. Importantly, inhibition of the immunophilin protein family with the compounds cyclosporine A, and the nonimmunosuppressive derivative alisporivir, resulted in dose-dependent inhibition of CoV replication in primary human nasal epithelial cell cultures, which recapitulate the natural site of virus replication. Overall, we identified host factors that are crucial for CoV replication and demonstrated that these factors constitute potential targets for therapeutic intervention by clinically approved drugs.


Subject(s)
Autophagy/genetics , CRISPR-Cas Systems , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Gene Knockdown Techniques , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/drug effects , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Replication
15.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep ; 70(5152): 1782-1784, 2021 Dec 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1594423

ABSTRACT

The B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variant of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) was first detected in specimens collected on November 11, 2021, in Botswana and on November 14 in South Africa;* the first confirmed case of Omicron in the United States was identified in California on December 1, 2021 (1). On November 29, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services was notified of six probable cases† of COVID-19 in one household, including one case in a man aged 48 years (the index patient) who had recently returned from Nigeria. Given the patient's travel history, Omicron infection was suspected. Specimens from all six persons in the household tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing on December 1, and the following day genomic sequencing by the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory identified an identical Omicron genotype from each specimen (Figure). Phylogenetic analysis was conducted to determine if this cluster represented an independent introduction of Omicron into the United States, and a detailed epidemiologic investigation was conducted. This activity was reviewed by CDC and was conducted consistent with applicable federal law and CDC policy.§.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Cluster Analysis , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nebraska/epidemiology , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Travel-Related Illness
16.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0259165, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1581791

ABSTRACT

The rapid, sensitive and specific detection of SARS-CoV-2 is critical in responding to the current COVID-19 outbreak. In this proof-of-concept study, we explored the potential of targeted mass spectrometry (MS) based proteomics for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 proteins in both research samples and clinical specimens. First, we assessed the limit of detection for several SARS-CoV-2 proteins by parallel reaction monitoring (PRM) MS in infected Vero E6 cells. For tryptic peptides of Nucleocapsid protein, the limit of detection was estimated to be in the mid-attomole range (9E-13 g). Next, this PRM methodology was applied to the detection of viral proteins in various COVID-19 patient clinical specimens, such as sputum and nasopharyngeal swabs. SARS-CoV-2 proteins were detected in these samples with high sensitivity in all specimens with PCR Ct values <24 and in several samples with higher CT values. A clear relationship was observed between summed MS peak intensities for SARS-CoV-2 proteins and Ct values reflecting the abundance of viral RNA. Taken together, these results suggest that targeted MS based proteomics may have the potential to be used as an additional tool in COVID-19 diagnostics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Proteomics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Proteins/isolation & purification , Animals , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Mass Spectrometry , Nucleocapsid/genetics , Nucleocapsid/isolation & purification , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/isolation & purification , Proteome/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Sputum/virology , Vero Cells , Viral Proteins/genetics
17.
AIDS Rev ; 23(3): 153-163, 2021 06 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1579385

ABSTRACT

The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a highly infectious RNA coronavirus responsible for the pandemic of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Recent advances in virology, epidemiology, diagnosis, and clinical management of COVID-19 have contributed to the control and prevention of this disease, but re-positivity of SARS-CoV-2 in recovered COVID-19 patients has brought a new challenge for this worldwide anti-viral battle. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests of the SARS-CoV-2 pathogen is widely used in clinical diagnosis, but a positive RT-PCR result may be multifactorial, including false positive, SARS-CoV-2 RNA fragment shedding, reinfection of SARS-CoV-2, or re-activation of COVID-19. Re-infection of SARS-CoV-2 or re-activation of COVID-19 is an indicator of live viral carriers and isolation/treatment is needed, but SARS-CoV-2 RNA fragment shedding is not. SARS-CoV-2 RNA is recently reported to integrate into the host genome, but the far-reaching outcome is currently unclear. Therefore, it is critical for appropriate manipulation and prevention of COVID-19 to distinguish these causal factors of SARS-CoV-2 re-positivity. In this review article, we updated the current knowledge of SARS-CoV-2 re-positivity in discharged COVID-19 patients with a focus on re-infection and re-activation. We proposed a hypothetical flowchart for handling of the SARS-CoV-2 re-positive cases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , RNA, Viral/analysis , Reinfection/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Virus Activation/genetics , Adaptive Immunity/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Child , Child, Preschool , False Positive Reactions , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Middle Aged , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , Young Adult
19.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 420, 2021 12 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585885

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is identified as a zoonotic disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, which also can cross-transmit to many animals but not mice. Genetic modifications of SARS-CoV-2 or mice enable the mice susceptible to viral infection. Although neither is the natural situation, they are currently utilized to establish mouse infection models. Here we report a direct contact transmission of SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.351 in wild-type mice. The SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.351) replicated efficiently and induced significant pathological changes in lungs and tracheas, accompanied by elevated proinflammatory cytokines in the lungs and sera. Mechanistically, the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.351) spike protein turned to a high binding affinity to mouse angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (mACE2), allowing the mice highly susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.351) infection. Our work suggests that SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.351) expands the host range and therefore increases its transmission route without adapted mutation. As the wild house mice live with human populations quite closely, this possible transmission route could be potentially risky. In addition, because SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.351) is one of the major epidemic strains and the mACE2 in laboratory-used mice is naturally expressed and regulated, the SARS-CoV-2 (B.1.351)/mice could be a much convenient animal model system to study COVID-19 pathogenesis and evaluate antiviral inhibitors and vaccines.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/transmission , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Receptors, Virus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/immunology , Disease Models, Animal , Gene Expression , HEK293 Cells , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Receptors, Virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Virus Replication
20.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 428, 2021 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585884

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection-induced hyper-inflammation links to the acute lung injury and COVID-19 severity. Identifying the primary mediators that initiate the uncontrolled hypercytokinemia is essential for treatments. Mast cells (MCs) are strategically located at the mucosa and beneficially or detrimentally regulate immune inflammations. In this study, we showed that SARS-CoV-2-triggered MC degranulation initiated alveolar epithelial inflammation and lung injury. SARS-CoV-2 challenge induced MC degranulation in ACE-2 humanized mice and rhesus macaques, and a rapid MC degranulation could be recapitulated with Spike-RBD binding to ACE2 in cells; MC degranulation altered various signaling pathways in alveolar epithelial cells, particularly, the induction of pro-inflammatory factors and consequential disruption of tight junctions. Importantly, the administration of clinical MC stabilizers for blocking degranulation dampened SARS-CoV-2-induced production of pro-inflammatory factors and prevented lung injury. These findings uncover a novel mechanism for SARS-CoV-2 initiating lung inflammation, and suggest an off-label use of MC stabilizer as immunomodulators for COVID-19 treatments.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Cell Degranulation , Lung Injury/metabolism , Mast Cells/metabolism , Pulmonary Alveoli/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , Cell Line, Tumor , Female , Humans , Lung Injury/genetics , Lung Injury/virology , Macaca mulatta , Male , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Mice, Transgenic , Pulmonary Alveoli/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
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