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1.
Nature ; 602(7896): 268-273, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1671587

ABSTRACT

Genetic risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is associated with hundreds of genes spanning a wide range of biological functions1-6. The alterations in the human brain resulting from mutations in these genes remain unclear. Furthermore, their phenotypic manifestation varies across individuals7,8. Here we used organoid models of the human cerebral cortex to identify cell-type-specific developmental abnormalities that result from haploinsufficiency in three ASD risk genes-SUV420H1 (also known as KMT5B), ARID1B and CHD8-in multiple cell lines from different donors, using single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) analysis of more than 745,000 cells and proteomic analysis of individual organoids, to identify phenotypic convergence. Each of the three mutations confers asynchronous development of two main cortical neuronal lineages-γ-aminobutyric-acid-releasing (GABAergic) neurons and deep-layer excitatory projection neurons-but acts through largely distinct molecular pathways. Although these phenotypes are consistent across cell lines, their expressivity is influenced by the individual genomic context, in a manner that is dependent on both the risk gene and the developmental defect. Calcium imaging in intact organoids shows that these early-stage developmental changes are followed by abnormal circuit activity. This research uncovers cell-type-specific neurodevelopmental abnormalities that are shared across ASD risk genes and are finely modulated by human genomic context, finding convergence in the neurobiological basis of how different risk genes contribute to ASD pathology.


Subject(s)
Autism Spectrum Disorder , Autistic Disorder , Autism Spectrum Disorder/genetics , Autism Spectrum Disorder/metabolism , Autistic Disorder/genetics , Autistic Disorder/metabolism , Humans , Neurons/metabolism , Proteomics , Transcription Factors/metabolism
2.
Nat Cell Biol ; 24(1): 24-34, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1625709

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection of human cells is initiated by the binding of the viral Spike protein to its cell-surface receptor ACE2. We conducted a targeted CRISPRi screen to uncover druggable pathways controlling Spike protein binding to human cells. Here we show that the protein BRD2 is required for ACE2 transcription in human lung epithelial cells and cardiomyocytes, and BRD2 inhibitors currently evaluated in clinical trials potently block endogenous ACE2 expression and SARS-CoV-2 infection of human cells, including those of human nasal epithelia. Moreover, pharmacological BRD2 inhibition with the drug ABBV-744 inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication in Syrian hamsters. We also found that BRD2 controls transcription of several other genes induced upon SARS-CoV-2 infection, including the interferon response, which in turn regulates the antiviral response. Together, our results pinpoint BRD2 as a potent and essential regulator of the host response to SARS-CoV-2 infection and highlight the potential of BRD2 as a therapeutic target for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Epithelial Cells/virology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Transcription Factors/drug effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/drug effects , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , Membrane Glycoproteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Transcription Factors/metabolism
3.
EBioMedicine ; 75: 103806, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1611694

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To identify host genetic variants (SNPs) associated with COVID-19 disease severity, a number of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been conducted. Since most of the identified variants are located at non-coding regions, such variants are presumed to affect the expression of neighbouring genes, thereby influencing COVID-19 disease severity. However, it remains largely unknown which genes are influenced by such COVID-19 GWAS loci. METHODS: CRISPRi (interference)-mediated gene expression analysis was performed to identify genes functionally regulated by COVID-19 GWAS loci by targeting regions near the loci (SNPs) in lung epithelial cell lines. The expression of CRISPRi-identified genes was investigated using COVID-19-contracted human and monkey lung single-nucleus/cell (sn/sc) RNA-seq datasets. FINDINGS: CRISPRi analysis indicated that a region near rs11385942 at chromosome 3p21.31 (locus of highest significance with COVID-19 disease severity at intron 5 of LZTFL1) significantly affected the expression of LZTFL1 (P<0.05), an airway cilia regulator. A region near rs74956615 at chromosome 19p13.2 (locus located at the 3' untranslated exonic region of RAVER1), which is associated with critical illness in COVID-19, affected the expression of RAVER1 (P<0.05), a coactivator of MDA5 (IFIH1), which induces antiviral response genes, including ICAM1. The sn/scRNA-seq datasets indicated that the MDA5/RAVER1-ICAM1 pathway was activated in lung epithelial cells of COVID-19-resistant monkeys but not those of COVID-19-succumbed humans. INTERPRETATION: Patients with risk alleles of rs11385942 and rs74956615 may be susceptible to critical illness in COVID-19 in part through weakened airway viral clearance via LZTFL1-mediated ciliogenesis and diminished antiviral immune response via the MDA5/RAVER1 pathway, respectively. FUNDING: NIH.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , CRISPR-Cas Systems , Genetic Loci , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , Ribonucleoproteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Transcription Factors/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , Chromosomes, Human, Pair 19/genetics , Chromosomes, Human, Pair 19/metabolism , Chromosomes, Human, Pair 3/genetics , Chromosomes, Human, Pair 3/metabolism , Databases, Nucleic Acid , Genome-Wide Association Study , Haplorhini , Humans , RNA-Seq , Ribonucleoproteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Transcription Factors/metabolism
4.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4502, 2021 07 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1550282

ABSTRACT

Cells in many tissues, such as bone, muscle, and placenta, fuse into syncytia to acquire new functions and transcriptional programs. While it is known that fused cells are specialized, it is unclear whether cell-fusion itself contributes to programmatic-changes that generate the new cellular state. Here, we address this by employing a fusogen-mediated, cell-fusion system to create syncytia from undifferentiated cells. RNA-Seq analysis reveals VSV-G-induced cell fusion precedes transcriptional changes. To gain mechanistic insights, we measure the plasma membrane surface area after cell-fusion and observe it diminishes through increases in endocytosis. Consequently, glucose transporters internalize, and cytoplasmic glucose and ATP transiently decrease. This reduced energetic state activates AMPK, which inhibits YAP1, causing transcriptional-reprogramming and cell-cycle arrest. Impairing either endocytosis or AMPK activity prevents YAP1 inhibition and cell-cycle arrest after fusion. Together, these data demonstrate plasma membrane diminishment upon cell-fusion causes transient nutrient stress that may promote transcriptional-reprogramming independent from extrinsic cues.


Subject(s)
Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/metabolism , Cell Membrane/metabolism , Cell Nucleus/metabolism , Membrane Glycoproteins/metabolism , Transcription Factors/metabolism , Transcription, Genetic/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/metabolism , AMP-Activated Protein Kinases/genetics , AMP-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/genetics , Animals , Biological Transport , Cell Fusion , Cell Line , Cell Line, Tumor , Cells, Cultured , Giant Cells/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Membrane Glycoproteins/genetics , Mice , RNA-Seq/methods , Signal Transduction/genetics , Transcription Factors/genetics , Viral Envelope Proteins/genetics
5.
Essays Biochem ; 65(6): 847-856, 2021 12 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1537347

ABSTRACT

Nuclear receptors are classically defined as ligand-activated transcription factors that regulate key functions in reproduction, development, and physiology. Humans have 48 nuclear receptors, which when dysregulated are often linked to diseases. Because most nuclear receptors can be selectively activated or inactivated by small molecules, they are prominent therapeutic targets. The basic understanding of this family of transcription factors was accelerated in the 1980s upon the cloning of the first hormone receptors. During the next 20 years, a deep understanding of hormone signaling was achieved that has translated to numerous clinical applications, such as the development of standard-of-care endocrine therapies for hormonally driven breast and prostate cancers. A 2004 issue of this journal reviewed progress on elucidating the structures of nuclear receptors and their mechanisms of action. In the current issue, we focus on the broad application of new knowledge in this field for therapy across diverse disease states including cancer, cardiovascular disease, various inflammatory diseases, the aging brain, and COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear/pharmacology , Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear/therapeutic use , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cardiovascular Diseases/drug therapy , Female , Humans , Inflammation/drug therapy , Male , Neoplasms/drug therapy , Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Signal Transduction , Transcription Factors/metabolism
6.
Nat Genet ; 53(11): 1606-1615, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1503871

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS­CoV­2) disease (COVID-19) pandemic has caused millions of deaths worldwide. Genome-wide association studies identified the 3p21.31 region as conferring a twofold increased risk of respiratory failure. Here, using a combined multiomics and machine learning approach, we identify the gain-of-function risk A allele of an SNP, rs17713054G>A, as a probable causative variant. We show with chromosome conformation capture and gene-expression analysis that the rs17713054-affected enhancer upregulates the interacting gene, leucine zipper transcription factor like 1 (LZTFL1). Selective spatial transcriptomic analysis of lung biopsies from patients with COVID-19 shows the presence of signals associated with epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a viral response pathway that is regulated by LZTFL1. We conclude that pulmonary epithelial cells undergoing EMT, rather than immune cells, are likely responsible for the 3p21.31-associated risk. Since the 3p21.31 effect is conferred by a gain-of-function, LZTFL1 may represent a therapeutic target.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Chromosomes, Human, Pair 3/genetics , Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition , Lung/virology , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Transcription Factors/genetics , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Case-Control Studies , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Female , Genome-Wide Association Study , Humans , Lung/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Male , Transcription Factors/metabolism
7.
J Virol ; 95(23): e0125721, 2021 11 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1410202

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, the etiological agent of COVID-19, is characterized by a delay in type I interferon (IFN-I)-mediated antiviral defenses alongside robust cytokine production. Here, we investigate the underlying molecular basis for this imbalance and implicate virus-mediated activation of NF-κB in the absence of other canonical IFN-I-related transcription factors. Epigenetic and single-cell transcriptomic analyses show a selective NF-κB signature that was most prominent in infected cells. Disruption of NF-κB signaling through the silencing of the NF-κB transcription factor p65 or p50 resulted in loss of virus replication that was rescued upon reconstitution. These findings could be further corroborated with the use of NF-κB inhibitors, which reduced SARS-CoV-2 replication in vitro. These data suggest that the robust cytokine production in response to SARS-CoV-2, despite a diminished IFN-I response, is the product of a dependency on NF-κB for viral replication. IMPORTANCE The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant mortality and morbidity around the world. Although effective vaccines have been developed, large parts of the world remain unvaccinated while new SARS-CoV-2 variants keep emerging. Furthermore, despite extensive efforts and large-scale drug screenings, no fully effective antiviral treatment options have been discovered yet. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to gain a better understanding of essential factors driving SARS-CoV-2 replication to be able to develop novel approaches to target SARS-CoV-2 biology.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Cytokines/metabolism , Interferon Type I/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Transcription Factor RelA/metabolism , Transcriptome , Virus Replication , A549 Cells , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Epigenomics , Gene Expression Regulation , HEK293 Cells , HeLa Cells , Host Microbial Interactions , Humans , Signal Transduction , Single-Cell Analysis , Transcription Factor RelA/antagonists & inhibitors , Transcription Factor RelA/genetics , Transcription Factors/metabolism , Vero Cells
9.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(37)2021 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1373495

ABSTRACT

The hallmark of severe COVID-19 is an uncontrolled inflammatory response, resulting from poorly understood immunological dysfunction. We hypothesized that perturbations in FoxP3+ T regulatory cells (Treg), key enforcers of immune homeostasis, contribute to COVID-19 pathology. Cytometric and transcriptomic profiling revealed a distinct Treg phenotype in severe COVID-19 patients, with an increase in Treg proportions and intracellular levels of the lineage-defining transcription factor FoxP3, correlating with poor outcomes. These Tregs showed a distinct transcriptional signature, with overexpression of several suppressive effectors, but also proinflammatory molecules like interleukin (IL)-32, and a striking similarity to tumor-infiltrating Tregs that suppress antitumor responses. Most marked during acute severe disease, these traits persisted somewhat in convalescent patients. A screen for candidate agents revealed that IL-6 and IL-18 may individually contribute different facets of these COVID-19-linked perturbations. These results suggest that Tregs may play nefarious roles in COVID-19, by suppressing antiviral T cell responses during the severe phase of the disease, and by a direct proinflammatory role.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/etiology , T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory/physiology , Adult , Aged , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , Female , Forkhead Transcription Factors/genetics , Forkhead Transcription Factors/metabolism , Gene Expression Profiling , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Inflammation/metabolism , Inflammation/virology , Interleukin-18/genetics , Interleukin-18/metabolism , Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit/genetics , Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit/metabolism , Interleukin-6/genetics , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Lymphocytes, Tumor-Infiltrating/physiology , Male , Middle Aged , Severity of Illness Index , T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory/virology , Transcription Factors/genetics , Transcription Factors/metabolism
10.
Brief Bioinform ; 22(2): 1451-1465, 2021 03 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1352119

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to identify significant gene expression profiles of the human lung epithelial cells caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections. We performed a comparative genomic analysis to show genomic observations between SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. A phylogenetic tree has been carried for genomic analysis that confirmed the genomic variance between SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. Transcriptomic analyses have been performed for SARS-CoV-2 infection responses and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) patients' lungs as a number of patients have been identified who faced PAH after being diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Gene expression profiling showed significant expression levels for SARS-CoV-2 infection responses to human lung epithelial cells and PAH lungs as well. Differentially expressed genes identification and integration showed concordant genes (SAA2, S100A9, S100A8, SAA1, S100A12 and EDN1) for both SARS-CoV-2 and PAH samples, including S100A9 and S100A8 genes that showed significant interaction in the protein-protein interactions network. Extensive analyses of gene ontology and signaling pathways identification provided evidence of inflammatory responses regarding SARS-CoV-2 infections. The altered signaling and ontology pathways that have emerged from this research may influence the development of effective drugs, especially for the people with preexisting conditions. Identification of regulatory biomolecules revealed the presence of active promoter gene of SARS-CoV-2 in Transferrin-micro Ribonucleic acid (TF-miRNA) co-regulatory network. Predictive drug analyses provided concordant drug compounds that are associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection responses and PAH lung samples, and these compounds showed significant immune response against the RNA viruses like SARS-CoV-2, which is beneficial in therapeutic development in the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Hypertension, Pulmonary/complications , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Algorithms , Biomarkers/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Gene Ontology , Humans , Hypertension, Pulmonary/metabolism , Information Storage and Retrieval , MicroRNAs/metabolism , Phylogeny , Protein Interaction Maps , Transcription Factors/metabolism
11.
J Virol ; 95(17): e0079421, 2021 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1350003

ABSTRACT

Increased mortality in COVID-19 cases is often associated with microvascular complications. We have recently shown that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein promotes an inflammatory cytokine interleukin 6 (IL-6)/IL-6R-induced trans signaling response and alarmin secretion. Virus-infected or spike-transfected human epithelial cells exhibited an increase in senescence, with a release of senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP)-related inflammatory molecules. Introduction of the bromodomain-containing protein 4 (BRD4) inhibitor AZD5153 to senescent epithelial cells reversed this effect and reduced SASP-related inflammatory molecule release in TMNK-1 or EAhy926 (representative human endothelial cell lines), when cells were exposed to cell culture medium (CM) derived from A549 cells expressing SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Cells also exhibited a senescence phenotype with enhanced p16, p21, and senescence-associated ß-galactosidase (SA-ß-Gal) expression and triggered SASP pathways. Inhibition of IL-6 trans signaling by tocilizumab and inhibition of inflammatory receptor signaling by the Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor zanubrutinib, prior to exposure of CM to endothelial cells, inhibited p21 and p16 induction. We also observed an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) in A549 spike-transfected and endothelial cells exposed to spike-transfected CM. ROS generation in endothelial cell lines was reduced after treatment with tocilizumab and zanubrutinib. Cellular senescence was associated with an increased level of the endothelial adhesion molecules vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1) and intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1), which have in vitro leukocyte attachment potential. Inhibition of senescence or SASP function prevented VCAM-1/ICAM-1 expression and leukocyte attachment. Taken together, we identified that human endothelial cells exposed to cell culture supernatant derived from SARS-CoV-2 spike protein expression displayed cellular senescence markers, leading to enhanced leukocyte adhesion. IMPORTANCE The present study was aimed at examining the underlying mechanism of extrapulmonary manifestations of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein-associated pathogenesis, with the notion that infection of the pulmonary epithelium can lead to mediators that drive endothelial dysfunction. We utilized SARS-CoV-2 spike protein expression in cultured human hepatocytes (Huh7.5) and pneumocytes (A549) to generate conditioned culture medium (CM). Endothelial cell lines (TMNK-1 or EAhy926) treated with CM exhibited an increase in cellular senescence markers by a paracrine mode and led to leukocyte adhesion. Overall, the link between these responses in endothelial cell senescence and a potential contribution to microvascular complication in productively SARS-CoV-2-infected humans is implicated. Furthermore, the use of inhibitors (BTK, IL-6, and BRD4) showed a reverse effect in the senescent cells. These results may support the selection of potential adjunct therapeutic modalities to impede SARS-CoV-2-associated pathogenesis.


Subject(s)
Cellular Senescence , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Leukocytes/metabolism , Paracrine Communication , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , A549 Cells , Cell Adhesion , Cell Cycle Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Cell Cycle Proteins/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/pathology , Endothelial Cells/virology , Heterocyclic Compounds, 2-Ring/pharmacology , Humans , Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1/metabolism , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Leukocytes/pathology , Leukocytes/virology , Piperazines/pharmacology , Pyrazoles , Pyridazines , Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism , Receptors, Interleukin-6/metabolism , Signal Transduction , Transcription Factors/antagonists & inhibitors , Transcription Factors/metabolism , Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1/metabolism
12.
Brief Bioinform ; 22(2): 1175-1196, 2021 03 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1343624

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has recently emerged, causing COVID-19 outbreaks and significant societal/global disruption. Importantly, COVID-19 infection resembles SARS-like complications. However, the lack of knowledge about the underlying genetic mechanisms of COVID-19 warrants the development of prospective control measures. In this study, we employed whole-genome alignment and digital DNA-DNA hybridization analyses to assess genomic linkage between 2019-nCoV and other coronaviruses. To understand the pathogenetic behavior of 2019-nCoV, we compared gene expression datasets of viral infections closest to 2019-nCoV with four COVID-19 clinical presentations followed by functional enrichment of shared dysregulated genes. Potential chemical antagonists were also identified using protein-chemical interaction analysis. Based on phylogram analysis, the 2019-nCoV was found genetically closest to SARS-CoVs. In addition, we identified 562 upregulated and 738 downregulated genes (adj. P ≤ 0.05) with SARS-CoV infection. Among the dysregulated genes, SARS-CoV shared ≤19 upregulated and ≤22 downregulated genes with each of different COVID-19 complications. Notably, upregulation of BCL6 and PFKFB3 genes was common to SARS-CoV, pneumonia and severe acute respiratory syndrome, while they shared CRIP2, NSG1 and TNFRSF21 genes in downregulation. Besides, 14 genes were common to different SARS-CoV comorbidities that might influence COVID-19 disease. We also observed similarities in pathways that can lead to COVID-19 and SARS-CoV diseases. Finally, protein-chemical interactions suggest cyclosporine, resveratrol and quercetin as promising drug candidates against COVID-19 as well as other SARS-like viral infections. The pathogenetic analyses, along with identified biomarkers, signaling pathways and chemical antagonists, could prove useful for novel drug development in the fight against the current global 2019-nCoV pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS Virus/pathogenicity , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/drug therapy , Case-Control Studies , Comorbidity , Genome, Viral , Humans , MicroRNAs/metabolism , SARS Virus/genetics , Transcription Factors/metabolism
13.
Biomolecules ; 11(8)2021 07 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1334993

ABSTRACT

The recent pandemic we are experiencing caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has put the world's population on the rack, with more than 191 million cases and more than 4.1 million deaths confirmed to date. This disease is caused by a new type of coronavirus, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). A massive proteomic analysis has revealed that one of the structural proteins of the virus, the E protein, interacts with BRD2 and BRD4 proteins of the Bromodomain and Extra Terminal domain (BET) family of proteins. BETs are essential to cell cycle progression, inflammation and immune response and have also been strongly associated with infection by different types of viruses. The fundamental role BET proteins play in transcription makes them appropriate targets for the propagation strategies of some viruses. Recognition of histone acetylation by BET bromodomains is essential for transcription control. The development of drugs mimicking acetyl groups, and thereby able to displace BET proteins from chromatin, has boosted interest on BETs as attractive targets for therapeutic intervention. The success of these drugs against a variety of diseases in cellular and animal models has been recently enlarged with promising results from SARS-CoV-2 infection studies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Cell Cycle Proteins/metabolism , Transcription Factors/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/metabolism , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Protein Binding
14.
Int J Mol Sci ; 21(18)2020 Sep 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1215392

ABSTRACT

The transcription factor T cell factor 1 (TCF1), a pioneer transcription factor as well as a downstream effector of WNT/ß-catenin signaling, is indispensable for T cell development in the thymus. Recent studies have highlighted the additional critical role of TCF1 in peripheral T cell responses to acute and chronic infections as well as cancer. Here, we review the regulatory functions of TCF1 in the differentiation of T follicular helper cells, memory T cells and recently described stem-like exhausted T cells, where TCF1 promotes less differentiated stem-like cell states by controlling common gene-regulatory networks. These studies also provide insights into the mechanisms of defective T cell responses in older individuals. We discuss alterations in TCF1 expression and related regulatory networks with age and their consequences for T cell responses to infections and vaccination. The increasing understanding of the pathways regulating TCF1 expression and function in aged T cells holds the promise of enabling the design of therapeutic interventions aiming at improving T cell responses in older individuals.


Subject(s)
Cell Differentiation/physiology , T Cell Transcription Factor 1/metabolism , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , Aging/genetics , Aging/physiology , Animals , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Cellular Senescence/genetics , Cellular Senescence/physiology , Gene Expression Regulation/genetics , Hematopoiesis/physiology , Humans , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , T Cell Transcription Factor 1/physiology , Transcription Factors/genetics , Transcription Factors/metabolism , Wnt Signaling Pathway/physiology
15.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(7)2021 Mar 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154425

ABSTRACT

The global COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 has resulted in over 2.2 million deaths. Disease outcomes range from asymptomatic to severe with, so far, minimal genotypic change to the virus so understanding the host response is paramount. Transcriptomics has become incredibly important in understanding host-pathogen interactions; however, post-transcriptional regulation plays an important role in infection and immunity through translation and mRNA stability, allowing tight control over potent host responses by both the host and the invading virus. Here, we apply ribosome profiling to assess post-transcriptional regulation of host genes during SARS-CoV-2 infection of a human lung epithelial cell line (Calu-3). We have identified numerous transcription factors (JUN, ZBTB20, ATF3, HIVEP2 and EGR1) as well as select antiviral cytokine genes, namely IFNB1, IFNL1,2 and 3, IL-6 and CCL5, that are restricted at the post-transcriptional level by SARS-CoV-2 infection and discuss the impact this would have on the host response to infection. This early phase restriction of antiviral transcripts in the lungs may allow high viral load and consequent immune dysregulation typically seen in SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Cytokines/genetics , RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional , Ribosomes/metabolism , Ribosomes/virology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Transcription Factors/genetics , Animals , Antiviral Agents/antagonists & inhibitors , Cell Line, Tumor , Chlorocebus aethiops , Computational Biology , Cytokines/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/immunology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Gene Expression Profiling , Host Microbial Interactions , Humans , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Lung/immunology , Lung/virology , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , RNA-Seq , Ribosomes/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Transcription Factors/metabolism , Transcriptome , Vero Cells
16.
Cell ; 184(8): 2167-2182.e22, 2021 04 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1135274

ABSTRACT

Cardiac injury and dysfunction occur in COVID-19 patients and increase the risk of mortality. Causes are ill defined but could be through direct cardiac infection and/or inflammation-induced dysfunction. To identify mechanisms and cardio-protective drugs, we use a state-of-the-art pipeline combining human cardiac organoids with phosphoproteomics and single nuclei RNA sequencing. We identify an inflammatory "cytokine-storm", a cocktail of interferon gamma, interleukin 1ß, and poly(I:C), induced diastolic dysfunction. Bromodomain-containing protein 4 is activated along with a viral response that is consistent in both human cardiac organoids (hCOs) and hearts of SARS-CoV-2-infected K18-hACE2 mice. Bromodomain and extraterminal family inhibitors (BETi) recover dysfunction in hCOs and completely prevent cardiac dysfunction and death in a mouse cytokine-storm model. Additionally, BETi decreases transcription of genes in the viral response, decreases ACE2 expression, and reduces SARS-CoV-2 infection of cardiomyocytes. Together, BETi, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) breakthrough designated drug, apabetalone, are promising candidates to prevent COVID-19 mediated cardiac damage.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Cardiotonic Agents/therapeutic use , Cell Cycle Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Heart Diseases/drug therapy , Quinazolinones/therapeutic use , Transcription Factors/antagonists & inhibitors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cell Cycle Proteins/metabolism , Cell Line , Cytokines/metabolism , Female , Heart Diseases/etiology , Human Embryonic Stem Cells , Humans , Inflammation/complications , Inflammation/drug therapy , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Transcription Factors/metabolism
17.
FASEB J ; 35(4): e21384, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1132575

ABSTRACT

Novel coronary pneumonia (COVID-19) is a respiratory distress syndrome caused by a new type of coronavirus. Understanding the genetic basis of susceptibility and prognosis to COVID-19 is of great significance to disease prevention, molecular typing, prognosis, and treatment. However, so far, there have been only two genome-wide association studies (GWASs) on the susceptibility of COVID-19. Starting with these reported DNA variants, we found the genes regulated by these variants through cis-eQTL and cis-meQTL acting. We further did a series of bioinformatics analysis on these potential risk genes. The analysis shows that the genetic variants on EHF regulate the expression of its neighbor CAT gene via cis-eQTL. There was significant evidence that CAT and the SARS-CoV-2-related S protein binding protein ACE2 interact with each other. Intracellular localization results showed that CAT and ACE2 proteins both exists in the cell membrane and extracellular area and their interaction could have an impact on the cell invasion ability of S protein. In addition, the expression of these three genes showed a significant positive correlation in the lungs. Based on these results, we propose that CAT plays a crucial intermediary role in binding effectiveness of ACE2, thereby affecting the susceptibility to COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Catalase , Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Polymorphism, Genetic , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , Catalase/biosynthesis , Catalase/genetics , Female , Genome-Wide Association Study , Humans , Male , Retrospective Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Transcription Factors/genetics , Transcription Factors/metabolism
18.
Cells ; 10(3)2021 03 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1125490

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that has resulted in the current pandemic. The lack of highly efficacious antiviral drugs that can manage this ongoing global emergency gives urgency to establishing a comprehensive understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2. We characterized the role of the nucleocapsid protein (N) of SARS-CoV-2 in modulating antiviral immunity. Overexpression of SARS-CoV-2 N resulted in the attenuation of retinoic acid inducible gene-I (RIG-I)-like receptor-mediated interferon (IFN) production and IFN-induced gene expression. Similar to the SARS-CoV-1 N protein, SARS-CoV-2 N suppressed the interaction between tripartate motif protein 25 (TRIM25) and RIG-I. Furthermore, SARS-CoV-2 N inhibited polyinosinic: polycytidylic acid [poly(I:C)]-mediated IFN signaling at the level of Tank-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) and interfered with the association between TBK1 and interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3), subsequently preventing the nuclear translocation of IRF3. We further found that both type I and III IFN production induced by either the influenza virus lacking the nonstructural protein 1 or the Zika virus were suppressed by the SARS-CoV-2 N protein. Our findings provide insights into the molecular function of the SARS-CoV-2 N protein with respect to counteracting the host antiviral immune response.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , DEAD Box Protein 58/metabolism , Interferons/metabolism , Receptors, Immunologic/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , DEAD Box Protein 58/genetics , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/genetics , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/metabolism , Interferon Type I/genetics , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Interferon-gamma/genetics , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Interferons/genetics , Orthomyxoviridae/genetics , Orthomyxoviridae/metabolism , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , Poly C/pharmacology , Poly I/pharmacology , Promoter Regions, Genetic , /metabolism , Receptors, Immunologic/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Signal Transduction/genetics , Transcription Factors/metabolism , Tripartite Motif Proteins/metabolism , Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases/metabolism , Up-Regulation , Zika Virus/genetics , Zika Virus/metabolism
19.
BMC Complement Med Ther ; 21(1): 41, 2021 Jan 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1041078

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The latest coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, discovered in China and rapidly spread Worldwide. COVID-19 affected millions of people and killed hundreds of thousands worldwide. There are many ongoing studies investigating drug(s) suitable for preventing and/or treating this pandemic; however, there are no specific drugs or vaccines available to treat or prevent SARS-CoV-2 as of today. METHODS: Fifty-eight fragrance materials, which are classified as allergen fragrance molecules, were selected and used in this study. Docking simulations were carried out using four functional proteins; the Covid19 Main Protase (MPro), Receptor binding domain (RBD) of spike protein, Nucleocapsid, and host Bromodomain protein (BRD2), as target macromolecules. Three different software, AutoDock, AutoDock Vina (Vina), and Molegro Virtual Docker (MVD), running a total of four different docking protocol with optimized energy functions were used. Results were compared with the five molecules reported in the literature as potential drugs against COVID-19. Virtual screening was carried out using Vina, molecules satisfying our cut-off (- 6.5 kcal/mol) binding affinity was confirmed by MVD. Selected molecules were analyzed using the flexible docking protocol of Vina and AutoDock default settings. RESULTS: Ten out of 58 allergen fragrance molecules were selected for further docking studies. MPro and BRD2 are potential targets for the tested allergen fragrance molecules, while RBD and Nucleocapsid showed weak binding energies. According to AutoDock results, three molecules, Benzyl Cinnamate, Dihydroambrettolide, and Galaxolide, had good binding affinities to BRD2. While Dihydroambrettolide and Galaxolide showed the potential to bind to MPro, Sclareol and Vertofix had the best calculated binding affinities to this target. When the flexible docking results analyzed, all the molecules tested had better calculated binding affinities as expected. Benzyl Benzoate and Benzyl Salicylate showed good binding affinities to BRD2. In the case of MPro, Sclareol had the lowest binding affinity among all the tested allergen fragrance molecules. CONCLUSION: Allergen fragrance molecules are readily available, cost-efficient, and shown to be safe for human use. Results showed that several of these molecules had comparable binding affinities as the potential drug molecules reported in the literature to target proteins. Thus, these allergen molecules at correct doses could have significant health benefits.


Subject(s)
Allergens/chemistry , Allergens/immunology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , Odorants , Perfume/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/chemistry , Adenosine Monophosphate/metabolism , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/chemistry , Alanine/metabolism , Allergens/administration & dosage , Allergens/therapeutic use , Benzopyrans/chemistry , Benzopyrans/metabolism , Benzyl Compounds/chemistry , Benzyl Compounds/metabolism , Cinnamates/chemistry , Cinnamates/metabolism , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Diterpenes/chemistry , Diterpenes/metabolism , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Humans , Ligands , Molecular Docking Simulation , Perfume/administration & dosage , Perfume/therapeutic use , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Transcription Factors/chemistry , Transcription Factors/metabolism
20.
J Proteomics ; 234: 104083, 2021 03 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-988504

ABSTRACT

Using high-throughput BioPlex assays, we determined that six fractions from the venom of Conus nux inhibit the adhesion of various recombinant PfEMP-1 protein domains (PF08_0106 CIDR1α3.1, PF11_0521 DBL2ß3, and PFL0030c DBL3X and DBL5e) to their corresponding receptors (CD36, ICAM-1, and CSA, respectively). The protein domain-receptor interactions permit P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes (IE) to evade elimination in the spleen by adhering to the microvasculature in various organs including the placenta. The sequences for the main components of the fractions, determined by tandem mass spectrometry, yielded four T-superfamily conotoxins, one (CC-Loop-CC) with I-IV, II-III connectivity and three (CC-Loop-CXaaC) with a I-III, II-IV connectivity. The 3D structure for one of the latter, NuxVA = GCCPAPLTCHCVIY, revealed a novel scaffold defined by double turns forming a hairpin-like structure stabilized by the two disulfide bonds. Two other main fraction components were a miniM conotoxin, and a O2-superfamily conotoxin with cysteine framework VI/VII. This study is the first one of its kind suggesting the use of conotoxins for developing pharmacological tools for anti-adhesion adjunct therapy against malaria. Similarly, mitigation of emerging diseases like AIDS and COVID-19, can also benefit from conotoxins as inhibitors of protein-protein interactions as treatment. BIOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Among the 850+ species of cone snail species there are hundreds of thousands of diverse venom exopeptides that have been selected throughout several million years of evolution to capture prey and deter predators. They do so by targeting several surface proteins present in target excitable cells. This immense biomolecular library of conopeptides can be explored for potential use as therapeutic leads against persistent and emerging diseases affecting non-excitable systems. We aim to expand the pharmacological reach of conotoxins/conopeptides by revealing their in vitro capacity to disrupt protein-protein and protein-polysaccharide interactions that directly contribute to pathology of Plasmodium falciparum malaria. This is significant for severe forms of malaria, which might be deadly even after treated with current parasite-killing drugs because of persistent cytoadhesion of P. falciparum infected erythrocytes even when parasites within red blood cells are dead. Anti-adhesion adjunct drugs would de-sequester or prevent additional sequestration of infected erythrocytes and may significantly improve survival of malaria patients. These results provide a lead for further investigations into conotoxins and other venom peptides as potential candidates for anti-adhesion or blockade-therapies. This study is the first of its kind and it suggests that conotoxins can be developed as pharmacological tools for anti-adhesion adjunct therapy against malaria. Similarly, mitigation of emerging diseases like AIDS and COVID-19, can also benefit from conotoxins as potential inhibitors of protein-protein interactions as treatment.


Subject(s)
CD36 Antigens , DNA Repair Enzymes , Erythrocytes , Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 , Mollusk Venoms , Plasmodium falciparum , Transcription Factors , Animals , CD36 Antigens/chemistry , CD36 Antigens/metabolism , COVID-19 , Conus Snail , DNA Repair Enzymes/chemistry , DNA Repair Enzymes/metabolism , Erythrocytes/chemistry , Erythrocytes/metabolism , Erythrocytes/parasitology , Humans , Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1/chemistry , Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1/metabolism , Mollusk Venoms/chemistry , Mollusk Venoms/pharmacology , Plasmodium falciparum/chemistry , Plasmodium falciparum/metabolism , Protein Domains , Protozoan Proteins , SARS-CoV-2 , Transcription Factors/chemistry , Transcription Factors/metabolism
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