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1.
Microbiol Spectr ; 9(1): e0001021, 2021 09 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1262384

ABSTRACT

The ongoing global pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), first described in Wuhan, China. A subset of COVID-19 patients has been reported to have acquired secondary infections by microbial pathogens, such as opportunistic fungal pathogens from the genus Aspergillus. To gain insight into COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA), we analyzed the genomes and characterized the phenotypic profiles of four CAPA isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus obtained from patients treated in the area of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. By examining the mutational spectrum of single nucleotide polymorphisms, insertion-deletion polymorphisms, and copy number variants among 206 genes known to modulate A. fumigatus virulence, we found that CAPA isolate genomes do not exhibit significant differences from the genome of the Af293 reference strain. By examining a number of factors, including virulence in an invertebrate moth model, growth in the presence of osmotic, cell wall, and oxidative stressors, secondary metabolite biosynthesis, and the MIC of antifungal drugs, we found that CAPA isolates were generally, but not always, similar to A. fumigatus reference strains Af293 and CEA17. Notably, CAPA isolate D had more putative loss-of-function mutations in genes known to increase virulence when deleted. Moreover, CAPA isolate D was significantly more virulent than the other three CAPA isolates and the A. fumigatus reference strains Af293 and CEA17, but similarly virulent to two other clinical strains of A. fumigatus. These findings expand our understanding of the genomic and phenotypic characteristics of isolates that cause CAPA. IMPORTANCE The global pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiological agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has already killed millions of people. COVID-19 patient outcome can be further complicated by secondary infections, such as COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis (CAPA). CAPA is caused by Aspergillus fungal pathogens, but there is little information about the genomic and phenotypic characteristics of CAPA isolates. We conducted genome sequencing and extensive phenotyping of four CAPA isolates of Aspergillus fumigatus from Germany. We found that CAPA isolates were often, but not always, similar to other reference strains of A. fumigatus across 206 genetic determinants of infection-relevant phenotypes, including virulence. For example, CAPA isolate D was more virulent than other CAPA isolates and reference strains in an invertebrate model of fungal disease, but similarly virulent to two other clinical strains. These results expand our understanding of COVID-19-associated pulmonary aspergillosis.


Subject(s)
Aspergillus fumigatus/genetics , COVID-19/complications , Genomics , Phenotype , Pulmonary Aspergillosis/complications , Aged , Antifungal Agents , Aspergillus , Aspergillus fumigatus/classification , Aspergillus fumigatus/drug effects , Aspergillus fumigatus/isolation & purification , Female , Humans , Male , Metabolomics , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Middle Aged , Mutation , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , SARS-CoV-2 , Secondary Metabolism/genetics , Virulence/genetics
2.
Chem Biol Interact ; 341: 109449, 2021 May 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1157165

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19, a severe global pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has emerged as one of the most threatening transmissible disease. As a great threat to global public health, the development of treatment options has become vital, and a rush to find a cure has mobilized researchers globally from all areas. SCOPE AND APPROACH: This review focuses on deciphering the potential of different secondary metabolites from medicinal plants as therapeutic options either as inhibitors of therapeutic targets of SARS-CoV-2 or as blockers of viral particles entry through host cell receptors. The use of medicinal plants containing specific phytomoieties could be seen in providing a safer and long-term solution for the population with lesser side effects. Key Findings and Conclusions: Considering the high cost and time-consuming drug discovery process, therapeutic repositioning of existing drugs was explored as treatment option in COVID-19, however several molecules have been retracted as therapeutics either due to no positive outcomes or the severe side effects. These effects call for exploring the alternate treatment options which are therapeutically effective as well as safe. Keeping this in mind, phytopharmaceuticals derived from medicinal plants could be explored as important resources in the development of COVID-19 treatment, as their role in the past for treatment of viral diseases like HIV, MERS-CoV, and influenza has been well reported. Considering this fact, different phytoconstituents such as flavonoids, alkaloids, tannins and glycosides etc. Possessing antiviral properties against coronaviruses and possessing potential against SARS-CoV-2 have been reviewed in the present work.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Phytochemicals/pharmacology , Alkaloids/chemistry , Alkaloids/pharmacology , Anthraquinones/chemistry , Anthraquinones/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Flavonoids/chemistry , Flavonoids/pharmacology , Humans , Oils, Volatile/chemistry , Oils, Volatile/pharmacology , Phytochemicals/chemistry , Plants, Medicinal/chemistry , Plants, Medicinal/metabolism , Saponins/chemistry , Saponins/pharmacology , Secondary Metabolism
3.
Molecules ; 26(6)2021 Mar 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1143540

ABSTRACT

Since the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome caused by coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) first reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019, COVID-19 has spread to all the continents at an unprecedented pace. This pandemic has caused not only hundreds of thousands of mortalities but also a huge economic setback throughout the world. Therefore, the scientific communities around the world have focused on finding antiviral therapeutic agents to either fight or halt the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Since certain medicinal plants and herbal formulae have proved to be effective in treatment of similar viral infections such as those caused by SARS and Ebola, scientists have paid more attention to natural products for effective treatment of this devastating pandemic. This review summarizes studies and ethnobotanical information on plants and their constituents used for treatment of infections caused by viruses related to the coronavirus family. Herein, we provide a critical analysis of previous reports and how to exploit published data for the discovery of novel therapeutic leads to fight against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Biological Products/chemistry , Biological Products/pharmacology , Plants, Medicinal/chemistry , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/drug therapy , Animals , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Biological Products/therapeutic use , Humans , SARS Virus/drug effects , SARS Virus/metabolism , Secondary Metabolism
4.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(5)2021 Mar 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1129730

ABSTRACT

According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of death worldwide. They may be caused by various factors or combinations of factors. Frequently, endothelial dysfunction is involved in either development of the disorder or results from it. On the other hand, the endothelium may be disordered for other reasons, e.g., due to infection, such as COVID-19. The understanding of the role and significance of the endothelium in the body has changed significantly over time-from a simple physical barrier to a complex system encompassing local and systemic regulation of numerous processes in the body. Endothelium disorders may arise from impairment of one or more signaling pathways affecting dilator or constrictor activity, including nitric oxide-cyclic guanosine monophosphate activation, prostacyclin-cyclic adenosine monophosphate activation, phosphodiesterase inhibition, and potassium channel activation or intracellular calcium level inhibition. In this review, plants are summarized as sources of biologically active substances affecting the endothelium. This paper compares individual substances and mechanisms that are known to affect the endothelium, and which subsequently may cause the development of cardiovascular disorders.


Subject(s)
Endothelium, Vascular/drug effects , Endothelium, Vascular/physiology , Plants/chemistry , Secondary Metabolism , Endothelium, Vascular/cytology , Humans , Plant Extracts/chemistry , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , Plants/metabolism , Vasodilation/drug effects , Vasodilation/physiology , Vasodilator Agents/chemistry , Vasodilator Agents/pharmacology
5.
Mar Drugs ; 18(12)2020 Dec 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-977761

ABSTRACT

The mucus layer of the nasopharynx and bronchial epithelium has a barrier function against inhaled pathogens such as the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. We recently found that inorganic polyphosphate (polyP), a physiological, metabolic energy (ATP)-providing polymer released from blood platelets, blocks the binding of the receptor binding domain (RBD) to the cellular ACE2 receptor in vitro. PolyP is a marine natural product and is abundantly present in marine bacteria. Now, we have approached the in vivo situation by studying the effect of polyP on the human alveolar basal epithelial A549 cells in a mucus-like mucin environment. These cells express mucins as well as the ectoenzymes alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and adenylate kinase (ADK), which are involved in the extracellular production of ATP from polyP. Mucin, integrated into a collagen-based hydrogel, stimulated cell growth and attachment. The addition of polyP to the hydrogel significantly increased cell attachment and also the expression of the membrane-tethered mucin MUC1 and the secreted mucin MUC5AC. The increased synthesis of MUC1 was also confirmed by immunostaining. This morphogenetic effect of polyP was associated with a rise in extracellular ATP level. We conclude that the nontoxic and non-immunogenic polymer polyP could possibly also exert a protective effect against SARS-CoV-2-cell attachment; first, by stimulating the innate antiviral response by strengthening the mucin barrier with its antimicrobial proteins, and second, by inhibiting virus attachment to the cells, as deduced from the reduction in the strength of binding between the viral RBD and the cellular ACE2 receptor.


Subject(s)
Aquatic Organisms/metabolism , Biological Products/pharmacology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Polyphosphates/pharmacology , Respiratory Mucosa/drug effects , A549 Cells , Bacteria/metabolism , Biological Products/therapeutic use , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Immunity, Innate/drug effects , Mucin 5AC/metabolism , Mucin-1/metabolism , Polyphosphates/metabolism , Polyphosphates/therapeutic use , Respiratory Mucosa/immunology , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Secondary Metabolism , Virus Attachment/drug effects
6.
Sci Rep ; 10(1): 20584, 2020 11 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-947551

ABSTRACT

Plants are endowed with a large pool of structurally diverse small molecules known as secondary metabolites. The present study aims to virtually screen these plant secondary metabolites (PSM) for their possible anti-SARS-CoV-2 properties targeting four proteins/ enzymes which govern viral pathogenesis. Results of molecular docking with 4,704 ligands against four target proteins, and data analysis revealed a unique pattern of structurally similar PSM interacting with the target proteins. Among the top-ranked PSM which recorded lower binding energy (BE), > 50% were triterpenoids which interacted strongly with viral spike protein-receptor binding domain, > 32% molecules which showed better interaction with the active site of human transmembrane serine protease were belongs to flavonoids and their glycosides, > 16% of flavonol glycosides and > 16% anthocyanidins recorded lower BE against active site of viral main protease and > 13% flavonol glycoside strongly interacted with active site of viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. The primary concern about these PSM is their bioavailability. However, several PSM recorded higher bioavailability score and found fulfilling most of the drug-likeness characters as per Lipinski's rule (Coagulin K, Kamalachalcone C, Ginkgetin, Isoginkgetin, 3,3'-Biplumbagin, Chrysophanein, Aromoline, etc.). Natural occurrence, bio-transformation, bioavailability of selected PSM and their interaction with the target site of selected proteins were discussed in detail. Present study provides a platform for researchers to explore the possible use of selected PSM to prevent/ cure the COVID-19 by subjecting them for thorough in vitro and in vivo evaluation for the capabilities to interfering with the process of viral host cell recognition, entry and replication.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/virology , Computer Simulation , Plant Extracts/chemistry , Plants/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Secondary Metabolism , Catalytic Domain , Coronavirus M Proteins/chemistry , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical/methods , Flavonoids/chemistry , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , Plants/chemistry , Protein Binding , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Serine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
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