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1.
Annu Rev Biochem ; 91: 1-32, 2022 Jun 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1759478

ABSTRACT

Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) continues its remarkable growth as a method for visualizing biological objects, which has been driven by advances across the entire pipeline. Developments in both single-particle analysis and in situ tomography have enabled more structures to be imaged and determined to better resolutions, at faster speeds, and with more scientists having improved access. This review highlights recent advances at each stageof the cryo-EM pipeline and provides examples of how these techniques have been used to investigate real-world problems, including antibody development against the SARS-CoV-2 spike during the recent COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Cryoelectron Microscopy/methods , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Single Molecule Imaging
2.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 988, 2022 02 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1713165

ABSTRACT

Translating ribosomes unwind mRNA secondary structures by three basepairs each elongation cycle. Despite the ribosome helicase, certain mRNA stem-loops stimulate programmed ribosomal frameshift by inhibiting translation elongation. Here, using mutagenesis, biochemical and single-molecule experiments, we examine whether high stability of three basepairs, which are unwound by the translating ribosome, is critical for inducing ribosome pauses. We find that encountering frameshift-inducing mRNA stem-loops from the E. coli dnaX mRNA and the gag-pol transcript of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) hinders A-site tRNA binding and slows down ribosome translocation by 15-20 folds. By contrast, unwinding of first three basepairs adjacent to the mRNA entry channel slows down the translating ribosome by only 2-3 folds. Rather than high thermodynamic stability, specific length and structure enable regulatory mRNA stem-loops to stall translation by forming inhibitory interactions with the ribosome. Our data provide the basis for rationalizing transcriptome-wide studies of translation and searching for novel regulatory mRNA stem-loops.


Subject(s)
Frameshifting, Ribosomal , RNA, Messenger/chemistry , Bacterial Proteins/genetics , DNA Polymerase III/genetics , Escherichia coli/genetics , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , HIV/genetics , Nucleic Acid Conformation , RNA, Bacterial/chemistry , RNA, Bacterial/metabolism , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , RNA, Transfer/metabolism , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Single Molecule Imaging , Thermodynamics
3.
Viruses ; 13(10)2021 09 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1688586

ABSTRACT

Recent advances in light and electron microscopy are uncovering viral lifecycle events with a level of detail never before seen [...].


Subject(s)
Host Microbial Interactions , Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted/methods , Single Molecule Imaging/methods , Humans , Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted/instrumentation , Microscopy, Electron/methods , Single Molecule Imaging/instrumentation , Virus Replication
4.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(3)2022 Jan 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686808

ABSTRACT

After solid-organ transplantation, reactivation of the cytomegalovirus (CMV) is often observed in seronegative patients and associated with a high risk of disease and mortality. CMV-specific T cells can prevent CMV reactivation. In a phase 1 trial, CMV-seronegative patients with end-stage renal disease listed for kidney transplantation were subjected to CMV phosphoprotein 65 (CMVpp65) peptide vaccination and further investigated for T-cell responses. To this end, CMV-specific CD8+ T cells were characterized by bulk T-cell-receptor (TCR) repertoire sequencing and combined single-cell RNA and TCR sequencing. In patients mounting an immune response to the vaccine, a common SYE(N)E TCR motif known to bind CMVpp65 was detected. CMV-peptide-vaccination-responder patients had TCR features distinct from those of non-responders. In a non-responder patient, a monoclonal inflammatory T-cell response was detected upon CMV reactivation. The identification of vaccine-induced CMV-reactive TCRs motifs might facilitate the development of cellular therapies for patients wait-listed for kidney transplantation.


Subject(s)
Cytomegalovirus Infections/prevention & control , Kidney Failure, Chronic/therapy , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , Viral Matrix Proteins/administration & dosage , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Clinical Trials, Phase I as Topic , Cytomegalovirus/immunology , Cytomegalovirus Infections/immunology , Cytomegalovirus Vaccines/administration & dosage , Cytomegalovirus Vaccines/immunology , Humans , Kidney Failure, Chronic/immunology , Kidney Transplantation , Sequence Analysis, RNA , Single Molecule Imaging , Viral Matrix Proteins/immunology
5.
Biochemistry ; 60(46): 3449-3451, 2021 11 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1590174

ABSTRACT

Single-particle cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM), whose full power was not realized until the advent of powerful detectors in 2012, has a unique position as a method of structure determination as it is capable of providing information about not only the structure but also the dynamical features of biomolecules. This information is of special importance in understanding virus-host interaction and explains the crucial role of cryo-EM in the efforts to find vaccinations and cures for pandemics the world has experienced in the past decade.


Subject(s)
Cryoelectron Microscopy , Host Microbial Interactions , Single Molecule Imaging , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Dengue/epidemiology , Dengue/prevention & control , Dengue/virology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/epidemiology , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/prevention & control , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/virology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Viral Vaccines/administration & dosage , Zika Virus Infection/epidemiology , Zika Virus Infection/prevention & control , Zika Virus Infection/virology
6.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 20323, 2021 10 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1467136

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to develop a highly sensitive SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antigen assay using the single molecule array (Simoa) technology and compare it with real time RT-PCR as used in routine clinical practice with the ambition to achieve a comparative technical and clinical sensitivity. Samples were available from 148 SARS-CoV-2 real time RT-PCR positive and 73 SARS-CoV-2 real time RT-PCR negative oropharyngeal swabs. For determination of technical sensitivity SARS-CoV-2 virus culture material was used. The samples were treated with lysis buffer and analyzed using both an in-house and a pre-commercial SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antigen assay on Simoa. Both nucleocapsid antigen assays have a technical sensitivity corresponding to around 100 SARS-CoV-2 RNA molecules/mL. Using a cut-off at 0.1 pg/mL the pre-commercial SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antigen assay had a sensitivity of 96% (95% CI 91.4-98.5%) and specificity of 100% (95% CI 95.1-100%). In comparison the in-house nucleocapsid antigen assay had sensitivity of 95% (95% CI 89.3-98.1%) and a specificity of 100% (95% CI 95.1-100%) using a cut-off at 0.01 pg/mL. The two SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antigen assays correlated with r = 0.91 (P < 0.0001). The in-house and the pre-commercial SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antigen assay demonstrated technical and clinical sensitivity comparable to real-time RT-PCR methods for identifying SARS-CoV-2 infected patients and thus can be used clinically as well as serve as a reference method for antigen Point of Care Testing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/analysis , Denmark , Diagnostic Tests, Routine , Humans , Immunoenzyme Techniques , Nasopharynx/virology , Nucleocapsid/analysis , Nucleocapsid/immunology , Phosphoproteins/analysis , Phosphoproteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Sensitivity and Specificity , Single Molecule Imaging/methods , Virion/chemistry
7.
Cell Rep ; 36(9): 109650, 2021 08 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1363915

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses have evolved elaborate multisubunit machines to replicate and transcribe their genomes. Central to these machines are the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase subunit (nsp12) and its intimately associated cofactors (nsp7 and nsp8). We use a high-throughput magnetic-tweezers approach to develop a mechanochemical description of this core polymerase. The core polymerase exists in at least three catalytically distinct conformations, one being kinetically consistent with incorporation of incorrect nucleotides. We provide evidence that the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) uses a thermal ratchet instead of a power stroke to transition from the pre- to post-translocated state. Ultra-stable magnetic tweezers enable the direct observation of coronavirus polymerase deep and long-lived backtracking that is strongly stimulated by secondary structures in the template. The framework we present here elucidates one of the most important structure-dynamics-function relationships in human health today and will form the grounds for understanding the regulation of this complex.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/physiology , Nucleotides/metabolism , RNA, Viral/biosynthesis , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Humans , Models, Molecular , Molecular Conformation , Nucleotides/chemistry , RNA, Viral/chemistry , Single Molecule Imaging , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/physiology
8.
RNA ; 27(11): 1318-1329, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1329126

ABSTRACT

The transcriptional induction of interferon (IFN) genes is a key feature of the mammalian antiviral response that limits viral replication and dissemination. A hallmark of severe COVID-19 disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 is the low presence of IFN proteins in patient serum despite elevated levels of IFN-encoding mRNAs, indicative of post-transcriptional inhibition of IFN protein production. Here, we performed single-molecule RNA visualization to examine the expression and localization of host mRNAs during SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our data show that the biogenesis of type I and type III IFN mRNAs is inhibited at multiple steps during SARS-CoV-2 infection. First, translocation of the interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) transcription factor to the nucleus is limited in response to SARS-CoV-2, indicating that SARS-CoV-2 inhibits RLR-MAVS signaling and thus weakens transcriptional induction of IFN genes. Second, we observed that IFN mRNAs primarily localize to the site of transcription in most SARS-CoV-2 infected cells, suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 either inhibits the release of IFN mRNAs from their sites of transcription and/or triggers decay of IFN mRNAs in the nucleus upon exiting the site of transcription. Lastly, nuclear-cytoplasmic transport of IFN mRNAs is inhibited during SARS-CoV-2 infection, which we propose is a consequence of widespread degradation of host cytoplasmic basal mRNAs in the early stages of SARS-CoV-2 replication by the SARS-CoV-2 Nsp1 protein, as well as the host antiviral endoribonuclease, RNase L. Importantly, IFN mRNAs can escape SARS-CoV-2-mediated degradation if they reach the cytoplasm, making rescue of mRNA export a viable means for promoting the immune response to SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Interferons/genetics , RNA Stability , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , A549 Cells , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Endoribonucleases/genetics , Endoribonucleases/metabolism , Humans , In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence/methods , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/genetics , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/metabolism , Interferons/metabolism , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , Single Molecule Imaging
9.
PLoS One ; 16(7): e0255096, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1325440

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic raises the need for diverse diagnostic approaches to rapidly detect different stages of viral infection. The flexible and quantitative nature of single-molecule imaging technology renders it optimal for development of new diagnostic tools. Here we present a proof-of-concept for a single-molecule based, enzyme-free assay for detection of SARS-CoV-2. The unified platform we developed allows direct detection of the viral genetic material from patients' samples, as well as their immune response consisting of IgG and IgM antibodies. Thus, it establishes a platform for diagnostics of COVID-19, which could also be adjusted to diagnose additional pathogens.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single Molecule Imaging/methods , Viral Proteins/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Base Sequence , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/standards , COVID-19 Serological Testing/standards , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Immune Sera/chemistry , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Nasopharynx/virology , Polyproteins/blood , Polyproteins/genetics , RNA, Viral/blood , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity , Single Molecule Imaging/instrumentation , Viral Proteins/blood
10.
Anal Bioanal Chem ; 413(18): 4645-4654, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1245612

ABSTRACT

Nucleic acid detection technology based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and antibody detection based on immunochromatography still have many problems such as false negatives for the diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Therefore, it is of great importance to develop new techniques to improve the diagnostic accuracy of COVID-19. We herein developed an ultrasensitive, rapid, and duplex digital enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (dELISA) for simultaneous detection of spike (S-RBD) and nucleocapsid (N) proteins of SARS-CoV-2 based on a single molecule array. This assay effectively combines magnetic bead encoding technology and the ultrasensitive detection capability of a single molecule array. The detection strategies of S-RBD protein and N-protein exhibited wide response ranges of 0.34-1065 pg/mL and 0.183-338 pg/mL with detection limits of 20.6 fg/mL and 69.8 fg/mL, respectively. It is a highly specific method for the simultaneous detection of S-RBD protein and N-protein and has minimal interference from other blood proteins. Moreover, the spike assay showed a satisfactory and reproducible recovery rate for the detection of S-RBD protein and N-protein in serum samples. Overall, this work provides a highly sensitive method for the simultaneous detection of S-RBD protein and N-protein, which shows ultrasensitivity and high signal-to-noise ratio and contributes to improve the diagnosis accuracy of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Single Molecule Imaging/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Viral/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/standards , Humans , Immunoassay/methods , Magnetics , Microspheres , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
12.
Structure ; 29(8): 834-845.e5, 2021 08 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1208677

ABSTRACT

Spike (S) glycoprotein of SARS-CoV2 exists chiefly in two conformations, open and closed. Most previous structural studies on S protein have been conducted at pH 8.0, but knowledge of the conformational propensities under both physiological and endosomal pH conditions is important to inform vaccine development. Our current study employed single-particle cryoelectron microscopy to visualize multiple states of open and closed conformations of S protein at physiological pH 7.4 and near-physiological pH 6.5 and pH 8.0. Propensities of open and closed conformations were found to differ with pH changes, whereby around 68% of S protein exists in open conformation at pH 7.4. Furthermore, we noticed a continuous movement in the N-terminal domain, receptor-binding domain (RBD), S2 domain, and stalk domain of S protein conformations at various pH values. Several key residues involving RBD-neutralizing epitopes are differentially exposed in each conformation. This study will assist in developing novel therapeutic measures against SARS-CoV2.


Subject(s)
SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Humans , Hydrogen-Ion Concentration , Models, Molecular , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Single Molecule Imaging
13.
Biophys J ; 120(6): 1011-1019, 2021 03 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1086808

ABSTRACT

The current COVID-19 pandemic has led to a devastating impact across the world. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (the virus causing COVID-19) is known to use the receptor-binding domain (RBD) at viral surface spike (S) protein to interact with the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor expressed on many human cell types. The RBD-ACE2 interaction is a crucial step to mediate the host cell entry of SARS-CoV-2. Recent studies indicate that the ACE2 interaction with the SARS-CoV-2 S protein has a higher affinity than its binding with the structurally identical S protein of SARS-CoV-1, the virus causing the 2002-2004 SARS outbreak. However, the biophysical mechanism behind such binding affinity difference is unclear. This study utilizes combined single-molecule force spectroscopy and steered molecular dynamics (SMD) simulation approaches to quantify the specific interactions between SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-CoV-1 RBD and ACE2. Depending on the loading rates, the unbinding forces between SARS-CoV-2 RBD and ACE2 range from 70 to 105 pN and are 30-40% higher than those of SARS-CoV-1 RBD and ACE2 under similar loading rates. SMD results indicate that SARS-CoV-2 RBD interacts with the N-linked glycan on Asn90 of ACE2. This interaction is mostly absent in the SARS-CoV-1 RBD-ACE2 complex. During the SMD simulations, the extra RBD-N-glycan interaction contributes to a greater force and prolonged interaction lifetime. The observation is confirmed by our experimental force spectroscopy study. After removing N-linked glycans on ACE2, its mechanical binding strength with SARS-CoV-2 RBD decreases to a similar level of the SARS-CoV-1 RBD-ACE2 interaction. Together, the study uncovers the mechanism behind the difference in ACE2 binding between SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-1 and could help develop new strategies to block SARS-CoV-2 entry.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Biomechanical Phenomena , Computer Simulation , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Models, Biological , Polysaccharides/chemistry , Polysaccharides/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Single Molecule Imaging
14.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(7)2021 02 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1060504

ABSTRACT

The RNA polymerase inhibitor favipiravir is currently in clinical trials as a treatment for infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), despite limited information about the molecular basis for its activity. Here we report the structure of favipiravir ribonucleoside triphosphate (favipiravir-RTP) in complex with the SARS-CoV-2 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) bound to a template:primer RNA duplex, determined by electron cryomicroscopy (cryoEM) to a resolution of 2.5 Å. The structure shows clear evidence for the inhibitor at the catalytic site of the enzyme, and resolves the conformation of key side chains and ions surrounding the binding pocket. Polymerase activity assays indicate that the inhibitor is weakly incorporated into the RNA primer strand, and suppresses RNA replication in the presence of natural nucleotides. The structure reveals an unusual, nonproductive binding mode of favipiravir-RTP at the catalytic site of SARS-CoV-2 RdRp, which explains its low rate of incorporation into the RNA primer strand. Together, these findings inform current and future efforts to develop polymerase inhibitors for SARS coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Amides/pharmacology , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology , Pyrazines/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/ultrastructure , Amides/chemistry , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , Cryoelectron Microscopy/methods , Enzyme Inhibitors/chemistry , Pyrazines/chemistry , Ribonucleotides/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Single Molecule Imaging/methods
15.
Nano Lett ; 21(6): 2675-2680, 2021 03 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1039625

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the current COVID-19 pandemic, displays a corona-shaped layer of spikes which play a fundamental role in the infection process. Recent structural data suggest that the spikes possess orientational freedom and the ribonucleoproteins segregate into basketlike structures. How these structural features regulate the dynamic and mechanical behavior of the native virion are yet unknown. By imaging and mechanically manipulating individual, native SARS-CoV-2 virions with atomic force microscopy, here, we show that their surface displays a dynamic brush owing to the flexibility and rapid motion of the spikes. The virions are highly compliant and able to recover from drastic mechanical perturbations. Their global structure is remarkably temperature resistant, but the virion surface becomes progressively denuded of spikes upon thermal exposure. The dynamics and the mechanics of SARS-CoV-2 are likely to affect its stability and interactions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/physiology , Virion/chemistry , Virion/physiology , Biomechanical Phenomena , Hot Temperature , Humans , Microscopy, Atomic Force , Models, Molecular , Nanostructures/chemistry , Nanostructures/ultrastructure , Nanotechnology , Pandemics , Protein Conformation , Protein Stability , SARS-CoV-2/ultrastructure , Single Molecule Imaging , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/ultrastructure , Thermodynamics , Virion/ultrastructure
16.
Sensors (Basel) ; 21(2)2021 Jan 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1016225

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has been declared an international public health crisis. It is essential to develop diagnostic tests that can quickly identify infected individuals to limit the spread of the virus and assign treatment options. Herein, we report a proof-of-concept label-free electrochemical immunoassay for the rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 virus via the spike surface protein. The assay consists of a graphene working electrode functionalized with anti-spike antibodies. The concept of the immunosensor is to detect the signal perturbation obtained from ferri/ferrocyanide measurements after binding of the antigen during 45 min of incubation with a sample. The absolute change in the [Fe(CN)6]3-/4- current upon increasing antigen concentrations on the immunosensor surface was used to determine the detection range of the spike protein. The sensor was able to detect a specific signal above 260 nM (20 µg/mL) of subunit 1 of recombinant spike protein. Additionally, it was able to detect SARS-CoV-2 at a concentration of 5.5 × 105 PFU/mL, which is within the physiologically relevant concentration range. The novel immunosensor has a significantly faster analysis time than the standard qPCR and is operated by a portable device which can enable on-site diagnosis of infection.


Subject(s)
Biosensing Techniques/instrumentation , COVID-19 Testing/instrumentation , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Point-of-Care Testing , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/analysis , Antigens, Viral/analysis , Biosensing Techniques/methods , COVID-19 Testing/methods , Dielectric Spectroscopy , Electrochemical Techniques/instrumentation , Electrochemical Techniques/methods , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/instrumentation , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Equipment Design , Graphite , Humans , Limit of Detection , Pandemics , Proof of Concept Study , Protein Subunits , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single Molecule Imaging/instrumentation , Single Molecule Imaging/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Time Factors
17.
Biophys J ; 120(6): 1020-1030, 2021 03 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-987186

ABSTRACT

The superfamily 1 helicase nonstructural protein 13 (nsp13) is required for SARS-CoV-2 replication. The mechanism and regulation of nsp13 has not been explored at the single-molecule level. Specifically, force-dependent unwinding experiments have yet to be performed for any coronavirus helicase. Here, using optical tweezers, we find that nsp13 unwinding frequency, processivity, and velocity increase substantially when a destabilizing force is applied to the RNA substrate. These results, along with bulk assays, depict nsp13 as an intrinsically weak helicase that can be activated >50-fold by piconewton forces. Such force-dependent behavior contrasts the known behavior of other viral monomeric helicases, such as hepatitis C virus NS3, and instead draws stronger parallels to ring-shaped helicases. Our findings suggest that mechanoregulation, which may be provided by a directly bound RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, enables on-demand helicase activity on the relevant polynucleotide substrate during viral replication.


Subject(s)
DNA, Viral/metabolism , Methyltransferases/metabolism , RNA Helicases/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Adenosine Triphosphate/pharmacology , Biomechanical Phenomena , Single Molecule Imaging
18.
Structure ; 29(2): 186-195.e6, 2021 02 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-939287

ABSTRACT

Recent advances in single-particle cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) have enabled the structural determination of numerous protein assemblies at high resolution, yielding unprecedented insights into their function. However, despite its extraordinary capabilities, cryo-EM remains time-consuming and resource-intensive. It is therefore beneficial to have a means for rapidly assessing and optimizing the quality of samples prior to lengthy cryo-EM analyses. To do this, we have developed a native mass spectrometry (nMS) platform that provides rapid feedback on sample quality and highly streamlined biochemical screening. Because nMS enables accurate mass analysis of protein complexes, it is well suited to routine evaluation of the composition, integrity, and homogeneity of samples prior to their plunge-freezing on EM grids. We demonstrate the utility of our nMS-based platform for facilitating cryo-EM studies using structural characterizations of exemplar bacterial transcription complexes as well as the replication-transcription assembly from the SARS-CoV-2 virus that is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Cryoelectron Microscopy/methods , Mass Spectrometry/methods , Single Molecule Imaging/methods , Escherichia coli , Escherichia coli Proteins/chemistry , Escherichia coli Proteins/metabolism , Methyltransferases/chemistry , Methyltransferases/metabolism , RNA Helicases/chemistry , RNA Helicases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/ultrastructure , Transcription Factors/chemistry , Transcription Factors/metabolism , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
19.
Cell ; 183(7): 1930-1945.e23, 2020 12 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-921845

ABSTRACT

RNA viruses are among the most prevalent pathogens and are a major burden on society. Although RNA viruses have been studied extensively, little is known about the processes that occur during the first several hours of infection because of a lack of sensitive assays. Here we develop a single-molecule imaging assay, virus infection real-time imaging (VIRIM), to study translation and replication of individual RNA viruses in live cells. VIRIM uncovered a striking heterogeneity in replication dynamics between cells and revealed extensive coordination between translation and replication of single viral RNAs. Furthermore, using VIRIM, we identify the replication step of the incoming viral RNA as a major bottleneck of successful infection and identify host genes that are responsible for inhibition of early virus replication. Single-molecule imaging of virus infection is a powerful tool to study virus replication and virus-host interactions that may be broadly applicable to RNA viruses.


Subject(s)
Protein Biosynthesis , RNA Viruses/physiology , Virus Replication/physiology , Cell Line, Tumor , Cell Survival , HEK293 Cells , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Interferons/metabolism , RNA Transport , RNA, Viral/genetics , Reproducibility of Results , Single Molecule Imaging , Time Factors
20.
J Phys Chem Lett ; 11(22): 9528-9534, 2020 Nov 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-894363

ABSTRACT

In the past months, the use of the drug hydroxychloroquine has considerably increased in many countries, associated with a proposed treatment for the COVID-19 disease. Although there is no conclusive evidence about the efficacy of the drug for this purpose, surprisingly there are no conclusive studies in the literature concerning its mechanism of action inside cells, which is related to its interaction with nucleic acids. Here, we performed a robust characterization of the interaction between hydroxychloroquine and double-stranded DNA using single-molecule force spectroscopy and gel electrophoresis. Two different binding modes were identified, namely, minor groove binding for low drug concentrations and intercalation for high drug concentrations, and the sets of binding parameters were determined for each of these modes. Such results have unraveled in detail the molecular mechanism of action of the drug as a DNA ligand.


Subject(s)
DNA/chemistry , Hydroxychloroquine/chemistry , Intercalating Agents/chemistry , Electrophoresis , Optical Tweezers , Single Molecule Imaging
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