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Front Immunol ; 12: 767726, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1639598


Infection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), causing the rapid spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has generated a public health crisis worldwide. The molecular mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 infection and virus-host interactions are still unclear. In this study, we identified four unique microRNA-like small RNAs encoded by SARS-CoV-2. SCV2-miR-ORF1ab-1-3p and SCV2-miR-ORF1ab-2-5p play an important role in evasion of type I interferon response through targeting several genes in type I interferon signaling pathway. Particularly worth mentioning is that highly expressed SCV2-miR-ORF1ab-2-5p inhibits some key genes in the host innate immune response, such as IRF7, IRF9, STAT2, OAS1, and OAS2. SCV2-miR-ORF1ab-2-5p has also been found to mediate allelic differential expression of COVID-19-susceptible gene OAS1. In conclusion, these results suggest that SARS-CoV-2 uses its miRNAs to evade the type I interferon response and links the functional viral sequence to the susceptible genetic background of the host.

Genetic Predisposition to Disease/genetics , Immune Evasion/genetics , Interferon Type I/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , 2',5'-Oligoadenylate Synthetase/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , Cell Line , HEK293 Cells , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Interferon Regulatory Factor-7/genetics , Interferon-Stimulated Gene Factor 3, gamma Subunit/genetics , MicroRNAs/genetics , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , STAT2 Transcription Factor/genetics
J Clin Immunol ; 41(7): 1446-1456, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1453806


STAT2 is distinguished from other STAT family members by its exclusive involvement in type I and III interferon (IFN-I/III) signaling pathways, and its unique behavior as both positive and negative regulator of IFN-I signaling. The clinical relevance of these opposing STAT2 functions is exemplified by monogenic diseases of STAT2. Autosomal recessive STAT2 deficiency results in heightened susceptibility to severe and/or recurrent viral disease, whereas homozygous missense substitution of the STAT2-R148 residue is associated with severe type I interferonopathy due to loss of STAT2 negative regulation. Here we review the clinical presentation, pathogenesis, and management of these disorders of STAT2.

Genetic Diseases, Inborn/genetics , Immune System Diseases/genetics , Interferon Type I/immunology , STAT2 Transcription Factor/genetics , Virus Diseases/genetics , Animals , Gain of Function Mutation , Genetic Diseases, Inborn/immunology , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Humans , Immune System Diseases/immunology , Loss of Function Mutation , Phenotype , STAT2 Transcription Factor/chemistry , STAT2 Transcription Factor/immunology , Virus Diseases/immunology
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 5838, 2020 11 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-933686


Emergence of SARS-CoV-2 causing COVID-19 has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths. In search for key targets of effective therapeutics, robust animal models mimicking COVID-19 in humans are urgently needed. Here, we show that Syrian hamsters, in contrast to mice, are highly permissive to SARS-CoV-2 and develop bronchopneumonia and strong inflammatory responses in the lungs with neutrophil infiltration and edema, further confirmed as consolidations visualized by micro-CT alike in clinical practice. Moreover, we identify an exuberant innate immune response as key player in pathogenesis, in which STAT2 signaling plays a dual role, driving severe lung injury on the one hand, yet restricting systemic virus dissemination on the other. Our results reveal the importance of STAT2-dependent interferon responses in the pathogenesis and virus control during SARS-CoV-2 infection and may help rationalizing new strategies for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Betacoronavirus/physiology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , STAT2 Transcription Factor/metabolism , Signal Transduction , Animals , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Cricetinae , Immunity, Innate , Interferon Type I/genetics , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mice , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , STAT2 Transcription Factor/genetics , Virus Replication