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1.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(6)2022 Mar 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742485

ABSTRACT

The B and T lymphocytes of the adaptive immune system are important for the control of most viral infections, including COVID-19. Identification of epitopes recognized by these cells is fundamental for understanding how the immune system detects and removes pathogens, and for antiviral vaccine design. Intriguingly, several cross-reactive T lymphocyte epitopes from SARS-CoV-2 with other betacoronaviruses responsible for the common cold have been identified. In addition, antibodies that cross-recognize the spike protein, but not the nucleoprotein (N protein), from different betacoronavirus have also been reported. Using a consensus of eight bioinformatic methods for predicting B-cell epitopes and the collection of experimentally detected epitopes for SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, we identified four surface-exposed, conserved, and hypothetical antigenic regions that are exclusive of the N protein. These regions were analyzed using ELISA assays with two cohorts: SARS-CoV-2 infected patients and pre-COVID-19 samples. Here we describe four epitopes from SARS-CoV-2 N protein that are recognized by the humoral response from multiple individuals infected with COVID-19, and are conserved in other human coronaviruses. Three of these linear surface-exposed sequences and their peptide homologs in SARS-CoV-2 and HCoV-OC43 were also recognized by antibodies from pre-COVID-19 serum samples, indicating cross-reactivity of antibodies against coronavirus N proteins. Different conserved human coronaviruses (HCoVs) cross-reactive B epitopes against SARS-CoV-2 N protein are detected in a significant fraction of individuals not exposed to this pandemic virus. These results have potential clinical implications.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/immunology , Cross Reactions/immunology , Epitope Mapping/methods , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Amino Acid Sequence , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus OC43, Human/genetics , Coronavirus OC43, Human/physiology , Cross Reactions/genetics , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
2.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 2419, 2022 02 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1684100

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to develop the feasible and effective universal screening strategy of the notable SARS-CoV-2 variants by Sanger Sequencing Strategy and then practically applied it for mass screening in Hiroshima, Japan. A total of 734 samples from COVID-19 confirmed cases in Hiroshima were screened for the notable SARS-CoV-2 variants (B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1, B.1.617.2, B.1.617.1, C.37, B.1.1.529, etc.). The targeted spike region is amplified by nested RT-PCR using in-house designed primer set hCoV-Spike-A and standard amplification protocol. Additionally, randomly selected 96 samples were also amplified using primer sets hCoV-Spike-B and hCoV-Spike-C. The negative amplified samples were repeated for second attempt of amplification by volume-up protocol. Thereafter, the amplified products were assigned for Sanger sequencing using corresponding primers. The positive amplification rate of primer set hCoV-Spike-A, hCoV-Spike-B and hCoV-Spike-C were 87.3%, 83.3% and 93.8% respectively for standard protocol and increased to 99.6%, 95.8% and 96.9% after second attempt by volume-up protocol. The readiness of genome sequences was 96.9%, 100% and 100% respectively. Among 48 mutant isolates, 26 were B.1.1.7 (Alpha), 7 were E484K single mutation and the rest were other types of mutation. Moreover, 5 cluster cases with single mutation at N501S were firstly reported in Hiroshima. This study indicates the reliability and effectiveness of Sanger sequencing to screen large number of samples for the notable SARS-CoV-2 variants. Compared to the Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), our method introduces the feasible, universally applicable, and practically useful tool for identification of the emerging variants with less expensive and time consuming especially in those countries where the NGS is not practically available. Our method allows not only to identify the pre-existing variants but also to examine other rare type of mutation or newly emerged variants and is crucial for prevention and control of pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Mass Screening/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sequence Analysis, DNA/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Amino Acid Sequence , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Feasibility Studies , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing/methods , Humans , Japan/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
3.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 868, 2022 02 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1684025

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection is a major global public health concern with incompletely understood pathogenesis. The SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) glycoprotein comprises a highly conserved free fatty acid binding pocket (FABP) with unknown function and evolutionary selection advantage1,2. Deciphering FABP impact on COVID-19 progression is challenged by the heterogenous nature and large molecular variability of live virus. Here we create synthetic minimal virions (MiniVs) of wild-type and mutant SARS-CoV-2 with precise molecular composition and programmable complexity by bottom-up assembly. MiniV-based systematic assessment of S free fatty acid (FFA) binding reveals that FABP functions as an allosteric regulatory site enabling adaptation of SARS-CoV-2 immunogenicity to inflammation states via binding of pro-inflammatory FFAs. This is achieved by regulation of the S open-to-close equilibrium and the exposure of both, the receptor binding domain (RBD) and the SARS-CoV-2 RGD motif that is responsible for integrin co-receptor engagement. We find that the FDA-approved drugs vitamin K and dexamethasone modulate S-based cell binding in an FABP-like manner. In inflammatory FFA environments, neutralizing immunoglobulins from human convalescent COVID-19 donors lose neutralization activity. Empowered by our MiniV technology, we suggest a conserved mechanism by which SARS-CoV-2 dynamically couples its immunogenicity to the host immune response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Fatty Acids/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Virion/immunology , A549 Cells , Allosteric Site/genetics , Amino Acid Sequence , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Cryoelectron Microscopy/methods , Electron Microscope Tomography/methods , Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins/immunology , Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins/metabolism , Fatty Acids/metabolism , Humans , MCF-7 Cells , Microscopy, Confocal/methods , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virion/metabolism , Virion/ultrastructure
5.
Mol Immunol ; 141: 287-296, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1559780

ABSTRACT

As the second wave of COVID-19 launched, various variants of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have emerged with a dramatic global spread amongst millions of people causing unprecedented case fatalities and economic shut-downs. That initiated a necessity for developing specific diagnostics and therapeutics along with vaccines to control such a pandemic. This endeavor describes generation of murine derived recombinant single-chain fragment variable (scFv) as a monoclonal antibody (MAb) platform targeting the receptor binding domain (RBD) of Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. A specific synthesized RBD coding sequence was cloned and expressed in Baculovirus expression system. The recombinant RBD (rRBD) was ascertained to be at the proper encoding size of ∼ 600bp and expressed protein of the molecular weight of ∼ 21KDa. Purified rRBD was proved genuinely antigenic and immunogenic, exhibiting specific reactivity to anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody in an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and inducing strong seroconversion in immunized mice. The scFv phage display library against rRBD was successfully constructed, revealing ∼ 90 % recombination frequency, and great enriching factor reaching 88 % and 25 % in polyclonal Ab-based and MAb-based ELISAs, respectively. Typically, three unique scFvs were generated, selected, purified and molecularly identified. That was manifested by their: accurate structure, close relation to the mouse immunoglobulin (Ig) superfamily, right anchored six complementarily-determining regions (CDRs) as three within variable heavy (vH) and variable light (vL) regions each, and proper configuration of the three-dimensional (3D) structure. Besides, their expression downstream in a non-suppressive amber codon of E. coli strain SS32 created a distinct protein band at an apparent molecular weight of ∼ 27KDa. Moreover, the purified scFvs showed authentic immunoreactivity and specificity to both rRBD and SARS-CoV-2 in western blot and ELISA. Accordingly, these developed scFvs platform might be a functional candidate for research, inexpensive diagnostics and therapeutics, mitigating spread of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , Cell Surface Display Techniques , Epitopes/immunology , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Chain Antibodies/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibody Specificity , Baculoviridae , COVID-19/prevention & control , Escherichia coli , Female , Genetic Vectors , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Models, Molecular , Peptide Library , Protein Conformation , Protein Domains , Recombinant Proteins/biosynthesis , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Sequence Alignment , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Single-Chain Antibodies/biosynthesis , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
6.
J Comput Biol ; 28(12): 1228-1247, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1545879

ABSTRACT

The detrimental effect of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has manifested itself as a global crisis. Currently, no specific treatment options are available for COVID-19, so therapeutic interventions to tackle the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection must be urgently established. Therefore, cohesive and multidimensional efforts are required to identify new therapies or investigate the efficacy of small molecules and existing drugs against SARS-CoV-2. Since the RNA-dependent RNA Polymerase (RdRP) of SARS-CoV-2 is a promising therapeutic target, this study addresses the identification of antiviral molecules that can specifically target SARS-CoV-2 RdRP. The computational approach of drug development was used to screen the antiviral molecules from two antiviral libraries (Life Chemicals [LC] and ASINEX) against RdRP. Here, we report six antiviral molecules (F3407-4105, F6523-2250, F6559-0746 from LC and BDG 33693278, BDG 33693315, LAS 34156196 from ASINEX), which show substantial interactions with key amino acid residues of the active site of SARS-CoV-2 RdRP and exhibit higher binding affinity (>7.5 kcalmol-1) than Galidesivir, an Food and Drug Administration-approved inhibitor of the same. Further, molecular dynamics simulation and Molecular Mechanics Poisson-Boltzmann Surface Area results confirmed that identified molecules with RdRP formed higher stable RdRP-inhibitor(s) complex than RdRP-Galidesvir complex. Our findings suggest that these molecules could be potential inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 RdRP. However, further in vitro and preclinical experiments would be required to validate these potential inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 protein.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Computational Chemistry/methods , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/antagonists & inhibitors , Drug Discovery/methods , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical/methods , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Amino Acid Motifs , Amino Acid Sequence , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacokinetics , Catalytic Domain/drug effects , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , Databases, Chemical , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Molecular Structure , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Sequence Alignment , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Small Molecule Libraries
7.
Nat Immunol ; 22(12): 1503-1514, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493136

ABSTRACT

Prevention of viral escape and increased coverage against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern require therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) targeting multiple sites of vulnerability on the coronavirus spike glycoprotein. Here we identify several potent neutralizing antibodies directed against either the N-terminal domain (NTD) or the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein. Administered in combinations, these mAbs provided low-dose protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection in the K18-human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 mouse model, using both neutralization and Fc effector antibody functions. The RBD mAb WRAIR-2125, which targets residue F486 through a unique heavy-chain and light-chain pairing, demonstrated potent neutralizing activity against all major SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. In combination with NTD and other RBD mAbs, WRAIR-2125 also prevented viral escape. These data demonstrate that NTD/RBD mAb combinations confer potent protection, likely leveraging complementary mechanisms of viral inactivation and clearance.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Monoclonal/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/prevention & control , Disease Models, Animal , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Epitope Mapping , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/immunology , Epitopes/metabolism , Humans , Mice, Transgenic , Neutralization Tests , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Survival Analysis
8.
Biosci Rep ; 41(9)2021 09 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406416

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused the global pandemic of the Coronavirus disease in late 2019 (COVID-19). Vaccine development efforts have predominantly been aimed at 'Extra-viral' Spike (S) protein as vaccine vehicles, but there are concerns regarding 'viral immune escape' since multiple mutations may enable the mutated virus strains to escape from immunity against S protein. The 'Intra-viral' Nucleocapsid (N-protein) is relatively conserved among mutant strains of coronaviruses during spread and evolution. Herein, we demonstrate novel vaccine candidates against SARS-CoV-2 by using the whole conserved N-protein or its fragment/peptides. Using ELISA assay, we showed that high titers of specific anti-N antibodies (IgG, IgG1, IgG2a, IgM) were maintained for a reasonably long duration (> 5 months), suggesting that N-protein is an excellent immunogen to stimulate host immune system and robust B-cell activation. We synthesized three peptides located at the conserved regions of N-protein among CoVs. One peptide showed as a good immunogen for vaccination as well. Cytokine arrays on post-vaccination mouse sera showed progressive up-regulation of various cytokines such as IFN-γ and CCL5, suggesting that TH1 associated responses are also stimulated. Furthermore, vaccinated mice exhibited an elevated memory T cells population. Here, we propose an unconventional vaccine strategy targeting the conserved N-protein as an alternative vaccine target for coronaviruses. Moreover, we generated a mouse monoclonal antibody specifically against an epitope shared between SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, and we are currently developing the First-in-Class humanized anti-N-protein antibody to potentially treat patients infected by various CoVs in the future.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19 Vaccines/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Immune Evasion , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Mice , Models, Animal , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS Virus/genetics , SARS Virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Th1 Cells/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/administration & dosage , Vaccines, Subunit/genetics , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology
9.
Eur J Clin Invest ; 51(11): e13661, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1398398

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Unravelling autoimmune targets triggered by SARS-CoV-2 infection may provide crucial insights into the physiopathology of the disease and foster the development of potential therapeutic candidate targets and prognostic tools. We aimed at determining (a) the association between anti-SARS-CoV-2 and anti-apoA-1 humoral response and (b) the degree of linear homology between SARS-CoV-2, apoA-1 and Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) epitopes. DESIGN: Bioinformatics modelling coupled with mimic peptides engineering and competition experiments were used to assess epitopes sequence homologies. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 and anti-apoA-1 IgG as well as cytokines were assessed by immunoassays on a case-control (n = 101), an intensive care unit (ICU; n = 126) and a general population cohort (n = 663) with available samples in the pre and post-pandemic period. RESULTS: Using bioinformatics modelling, linear sequence homologies between apoA-1, TLR2 and Spike epitopes were identified but without experimental evidence of cross-reactivity. Overall, anti-apoA-1 IgG levels were higher in COVID-19 patients or anti-SARS-CoV-2 seropositive individuals than in healthy donors or anti-SARS-CoV-2 seronegative individuals (P < .0001). Significant and similar associations were noted between anti-apoA-1, anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG, cytokines and lipid profile. In ICU patients, anti-SARS-CoV-2 and anti-apoA-1 seroconversion rates displayed similar 7-day kinetics, reaching 82% for anti-apoA-1 seropositivity. In the general population, SARS-CoV-2-exposed individuals displayed higher anti-apoA-1 IgG seropositivity rates than nonexposed ones (34% vs 16.8%; P = .004). CONCLUSION: COVID-19 induces a marked humoral response against the major protein of high-density lipoproteins. As a correlate of poorer prognosis in other clinical settings, such autoimmunity signatures may relate to long-term COVID-19 prognosis assessment and warrant further scrutiny in the current COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Apolipoprotein A-I/immunology , Autoantibodies/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/immunology , Immunity, Humoral/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Apolipoprotein A-I/chemistry , Computational Biology , Epitopes/chemistry , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Peptide Fragments/chemistry , Peptide Fragments/immunology , Peptides , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Toll-Like Receptor 2/chemistry , Toll-Like Receptor 2/immunology , Young Adult
10.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0251951, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1394538

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to explore potential mechanisms of cytotoxicity towards HeLa and HT29 cells displayed by Pediocin PA-1. We did this by carrying out sequence alignments and 3D modelling of related bacteriocins which have been studied in greater detail: Microcin E492, Enterocin AB heterodimer and Divercin V41. Microcin E492 interacts with Toll-Like Receptor 4 in order to activate an apoptosis reaction, sequence alignment showed a high homology between Pediocin PA-1 and Microcin E492 whereas 3D modelling showed Pediocin PA-1 interacting with TLR-4 in a way reminiscent of Microcin E492. Furthermore, Pediocin PA-1 had the highest homology with the Enterocin heterodimer, particularly chain A; Enterocin has also shown to cause an apoptotic response in cancer cells. Based on this we are led to strongly believe Pediocin PA-1 interacts with TLRs in order to cause cell death. If this is the case, it would explain the difference in cytotoxicity towards HeLa over HT29 cells, due to difference in expression of particular TLRs. Overall, we believe Pediocin PA-1 exhibits a dual effect which is dose dependant, like that of Microcin. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were unable to carry out experiments in the lab, and the unavailability of important data meant we were unable to provide and validate out solid conclusions, but rather suggestions. However, bioinformatic analysis is still able to provide information regarding structure and sequence analysis to draw plausible and evidence based conclusions. We have been able to highlight interesting findings and how these could be translated into future research and therapeutics in order to improve the quality of treatment and life of cancer patients.


Subject(s)
Bacteriocins/chemistry , Bacteriocins/pharmacology , Pediocins/chemistry , Pediocins/pharmacology , Protein Conformation , Amino Acid Sequence , Anti-Bacterial Agents/chemistry , Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , Apoptosis/drug effects , Bacteriocins/genetics , Bridged-Ring Compounds/chemistry , Bridged-Ring Compounds/pharmacology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Cell Survival/drug effects , HT29 Cells , HeLa Cells , Humans , Models, Molecular , Pandemics , Pediocins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Toll-Like Receptor 4/metabolism
12.
Nucleic Acids Res ; 49(D1): D266-D273, 2021 01 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387962

ABSTRACT

CATH (https://www.cathdb.info) identifies domains in protein structures from wwPDB and classifies these into evolutionary superfamilies, thereby providing structural and functional annotations. There are two levels: CATH-B, a daily snapshot of the latest domain structures and superfamily assignments, and CATH+, with additional derived data, such as predicted sequence domains, and functionally coherent sequence subsets (Functional Families or FunFams). The latest CATH+ release, version 4.3, significantly increases coverage of structural and sequence data, with an addition of 65,351 fully-classified domains structures (+15%), providing 500 238 structural domains, and 151 million predicted sequence domains (+59%) assigned to 5481 superfamilies. The FunFam generation pipeline has been re-engineered to cope with the increased influx of data. Three times more sequences are captured in FunFams, with a concomitant increase in functional purity, information content and structural coverage. FunFam expansion increases the structural annotations provided for experimental GO terms (+59%). We also present CATH-FunVar web-pages displaying variations in protein sequences and their proximity to known or predicted functional sites. We present two case studies (1) putative cancer drivers and (2) SARS-CoV-2 proteins. Finally, we have improved links to and from CATH including SCOP, InterPro, Aquaria and 2DProt.


Subject(s)
Computational Biology/statistics & numerical data , Databases, Protein/statistics & numerical data , Protein Domains , Proteins/chemistry , Amino Acid Sequence , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Computational Biology/methods , Epidemics , Humans , Internet , Molecular Sequence Annotation , Proteins/genetics , Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sequence Analysis, Protein/methods , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/metabolism
13.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4584, 2021 07 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387354

ABSTRACT

Interferon-induced transmembrane proteins (IFITMs 1, 2 and 3) can restrict viral pathogens, but pro- and anti-viral activities have been reported for coronaviruses. Here, we show that artificial overexpression of IFITMs blocks SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, endogenous IFITM expression supports efficient infection of SARS-CoV-2 in human lung cells. Our results indicate that the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein interacts with IFITMs and hijacks them for efficient viral infection. IFITM proteins were expressed and further induced by interferons in human lung, gut, heart and brain cells. IFITM-derived peptides and targeting antibodies inhibit SARS-CoV-2 entry and replication in human lung cells, cardiomyocytes and gut organoids. Our results show that IFITM proteins are cofactors for efficient SARS-CoV-2 infection of human cell types representing in vivo targets for viral transmission, dissemination and pathogenesis and are potential targets for therapeutic approaches.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Antigens, Differentiation/genetics , Membrane Proteins/genetics , RNA-Binding Proteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Amino Acid Sequence , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/antagonists & inhibitors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antigens, Differentiation/metabolism , Binding Sites , COVID-19/virology , Gene Expression Regulation , Host-Pathogen Interactions/drug effects , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , Interferon-beta/pharmacology , Membrane Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Membrane Proteins/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , RNA, Small Interfering/metabolism , RNA-Binding Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Sequence Alignment , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Attachment/drug effects
14.
J Med Virol ; 93(9): 5350-5357, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1384240

ABSTRACT

PARP14 and PARP9 play a key role in macrophage immune regulation. SARS-CoV-2 is an emerging viral disease that triggers hyper-inflammation known as a cytokine storm. In this study, using in silico tools, we hypothesize about the immunological phenomena of molecular mimicry between SARS-CoV-2 Nsp3 and the human PARP14 and PARP9. The results showed an epitope of SARS-CoV-2 Nsp3 protein that contains consensus sequences for both human PARP14 and PARP9 that are antigens for MHC Classes 1 and 2, which can potentially induce an immune response against human PARP14 and PARP9; while its depletion causes a hyper-inflammatory state in SARS-CoV-2 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/chemistry , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Neoplasm Proteins/chemistry , Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence , Binding Sites , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Computer Simulation , Consensus Sequence , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/genetics , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/genetics , Cytokine Release Syndrome/pathology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/virology , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , Gene Expression , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/chemistry , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/genetics , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/immunology , Histocompatibility Antigens Class II/chemistry , Histocompatibility Antigens Class II/genetics , Histocompatibility Antigens Class II/immunology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Macrophages/immunology , Macrophages/virology , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Mimicry , Neoplasm Proteins/genetics , Neoplasm Proteins/immunology , Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases/genetics , Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerases/immunology , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Conformation, beta-Strand , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Sequence Alignment , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Thermodynamics
16.
Clin Immunol ; 215: 108426, 2020 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1385285
17.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 17199, 2021 08 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1373448

ABSTRACT

An extremely high contagiousness of SARS CoV-2 indicates that the virus developed the ability to deceive the innate immune system. The virus could have included in its outer protein domains some motifs that are structurally similar to those that the potential victim's immune system has learned to ignore. The similarity of the primary structures of the viral and human proteins can provoke an autoimmune process. Using an open-access protein database Uniprot, we have compared the SARS CoV-2 proteome with those of other organisms. In the SARS CoV-2 spike (S) protein molecule, we have localized more than two dozen hepta- and octamers homologous to human proteins. They are scattered along the entire length of the S protein molecule, while some of them fuse into sequences of considerable length. Except for one, all these n-mers project from the virus particle and therefore can be involved in providing mimicry and misleading the immune system. All hepta- and octamers of the envelope (E) protein, homologous to human proteins, are located in the viral transmembrane domain and form a 28-mer protein E14-41 VNSVLLFLAFVVFLLVTLAILTALRLCA. The involvement of the protein E in provoking an autoimmune response (after the destruction of the virus particle) seems to be highly likely. Some SARS CoV-2 nonstructural proteins may also be involved in this process, namely ORF3a, ORF7a, ORF7b, ORF8, and ORF9b. It is possible that ORF7b is involved in the dysfunction of olfactory receptors, and the S protein in the dysfunction of taste perception.


Subject(s)
Proteomics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Cell Line , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
18.
Brief Bioinform ; 22(2): 1499-1507, 2021 03 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1352122

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), causative agent of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, is thought to release its RNA genome at either the cell surface or within endosomes, the balance being dependent on spike protein stability, and the complement of receptors, co-receptors and proteases. To investigate possible mediators of pH-dependence, pKa calculations have been made on a set of structures for spike protein ectodomain and fragments from SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses. Dominating a heat map of the aggregated predictions, three histidine residues in S2 are consistently predicted as destabilizing in pre-fusion (all three) and post-fusion (two of the three) structures. Other predicted features include the more moderate energetics of surface salt-bridge interactions and sidechain-mainchain interactions. Two aspartic acid residues in partially buried salt-bridges (D290-R273 and R355-D398) have pKas that are calculated to be elevated and destabilizing in more open forms of the spike trimer. These aspartic acids are most stabilized in a tightly closed conformation that has been observed when linoleic acid is bound, and which also affects the interactions of D614. The D614G mutation is known to modulate the balance of closed to open trimer. It is suggested that D398 in particular contributes to a pH-dependence of the open/closed equilibrium, potentially coupled to the effects of linoleic acid binding and D614G mutation, and possibly also A570D mutation. These observations are discussed in the context of SARS-CoV-2 infection, mutagenesis studies, and other human coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Hydrogen-Ion Concentration , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Amino Acid Sequence , Humans , Protein Conformation , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Static Electricity
19.
Brief Bioinform ; 22(2): 1122-1136, 2021 03 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1352120

ABSTRACT

Temperature plays a significant role in the survival and transmission of SARS-CoV (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus) and SARS-CoV-2. To reveal the binding differences of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domains (RBDs) to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) at different temperatures at atomic level, 20 molecular dynamics simulations were carried out for SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 RBD-ACE2 complexes at five selected temperatures, i.e. 200, 250, 273, 300 and 350 K. The analyses on structural flexibility and conformational distribution indicated that the structure of the SARS-CoV-2 RBD was more stable than that of the SARS-CoV RBD at all investigated temperatures. Then, molecular mechanics Poisson-Boltzmann surface area and solvated interaction energy approaches were combined to estimate the differences in binding affinity of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 RBDs to ACE2; it is found that the binding ability of ACE2 to the SARS-CoV-2 RBD was stronger than that to the SARS-CoV RBD at five temperatures, and the main reason for promoting such binding differences is electrostatic and polar interactions between RBDs and ACE2. Finally, the hotspot residues facilitating the binding of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 RBDs to ACE2, the key differential residues contributing to the difference in binding and the interaction mechanism of differential residues that exist at all investigated temperatures were analyzed and compared in depth. The current work would provide a molecular basis for better understanding of the high infectiousness of SARS-CoV-2 and offer better theoretical guidance for the design of inhibitors targeting infectious diseases caused by SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Amino Acid Sequence , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Cluster Analysis , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Principal Component Analysis , Protein Binding , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Temperature
20.
Sci Signal ; 14(690)2021 07 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1299215

ABSTRACT

Inorganic polyphosphates (polyPs) are linear polymers composed of repeated phosphate (PO4 3-) units linked together by multiple high-energy phosphoanhydride bonds. In addition to being a source of energy, polyPs have cytoprotective and antiviral activities. Here, we investigated the antiviral activities of long-chain polyPs against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. In molecular docking analyses, polyPs interacted with several conserved amino acid residues in angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the host receptor that facilitates virus entry, and in viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). ELISA and limited proteolysis assays using nano- LC-MS/MS mapped polyP120 binding to ACE2, and site-directed mutagenesis confirmed interactions between ACE2 and SARS-CoV-2 RdRp and identified the specific amino acid residues involved. PolyP120 enhanced the proteasomal degradation of both ACE2 and RdRp, thus impairing replication of the British B.1.1.7 SARS-CoV-2 variant. We thus tested polyPs for functional interactions with the virus in SARS-CoV-2-infected Vero E6 and Caco2 cells and in primary human nasal epithelial cells. Delivery of a nebulized form of polyP120 reduced the amounts of viral positive-sense genomic and subgenomic RNAs, of RNA transcripts encoding proinflammatory cytokines, and of viral structural proteins, thereby presenting SARS-CoV-2 infection in cells in vitro.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Polyphosphates/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Administration, Inhalation , Amino Acid Sequence , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Caco-2 Cells , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Cytokines/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Host Microbial Interactions/drug effects , Host Microbial Interactions/genetics , Host Microbial Interactions/physiology , Humans , In Vitro Techniques , Models, Biological , Molecular Docking Simulation , Nebulizers and Vaporizers , Polyphosphates/administration & dosage , Polyphosphates/chemistry , Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex/metabolism , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Proteolysis/drug effects , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sequence Homology, Amino Acid , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects
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