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1.
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
2.
Nat Immunol ; 23(1): 62-74, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1514418

ABSTRACT

The molecular mechanisms governing orderly shutdown and retraction of CD4+ type 1 helper T (TH1) cell responses remain poorly understood. Here we show that complement triggers contraction of TH1 responses by inducing intrinsic expression of the vitamin D (VitD) receptor and the VitD-activating enzyme CYP27B1, permitting T cells to both activate and respond to VitD. VitD then initiated the transition from pro-inflammatory interferon-γ+ TH1 cells to suppressive interleukin-10+ cells. This process was primed by dynamic changes in the epigenetic landscape of CD4+ T cells, generating super-enhancers and recruiting several transcription factors, notably c-JUN, STAT3 and BACH2, which together with VitD receptor shaped the transcriptional response to VitD. Accordingly, VitD did not induce interleukin-10 expression in cells with dysfunctional BACH2 or STAT3. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid CD4+ T cells of patients with COVID-19 were TH1-skewed and showed de-repression of genes downregulated by VitD, from either lack of substrate (VitD deficiency) and/or abnormal regulation of this system.


Subject(s)
Interferon-gamma/immunology , Interleukin-10/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Th1 Cells/immunology , Vitamin D/metabolism , 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 1-alpha-Hydroxylase/metabolism , Basic-Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors/metabolism , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/cytology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Complement C3a/immunology , Complement C3b/immunology , Humans , JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases/metabolism , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , Receptors, Calcitriol/metabolism , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/pathology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , STAT3 Transcription Factor/metabolism , Signal Transduction/immunology , Transcription, Genetic/genetics
3.
Nucleic Acids Res ; 49(D1): D916-D923, 2021 01 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387963

ABSTRACT

The GENCODE project annotates human and mouse genes and transcripts supported by experimental data with high accuracy, providing a foundational resource that supports genome biology and clinical genomics. GENCODE annotation processes make use of primary data and bioinformatic tools and analysis generated both within the consortium and externally to support the creation of transcript structures and the determination of their function. Here, we present improvements to our annotation infrastructure, bioinformatics tools, and analysis, and the advances they support in the annotation of the human and mouse genomes including: the completion of first pass manual annotation for the mouse reference genome; targeted improvements to the annotation of genes associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection; collaborative projects to achieve convergence across reference annotation databases for the annotation of human and mouse protein-coding genes; and the first GENCODE manually supervised automated annotation of lncRNAs. Our annotation is accessible via Ensembl, the UCSC Genome Browser and https://www.gencodegenes.org.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Computational Biology/methods , Databases, Genetic , Genomics/methods , Molecular Sequence Annotation/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Epidemics , Humans , Internet , Mice , Pseudogenes/genetics , RNA, Long Noncoding/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Transcription, Genetic/genetics
4.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(6): e1009596, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1249581

ABSTRACT

The rapid evolution of RNA viruses has been long considered to result from a combination of high copying error frequencies during RNA replication, short generation times and the consequent extensive fixation of neutral or adaptive changes over short periods. While both the identities and sites of mutations are typically modelled as being random, recent investigations of sequence diversity of SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have identified a preponderance of C->U transitions, proposed to be driven by an APOBEC-like RNA editing process. The current study investigated whether this phenomenon could be observed in datasets of other RNA viruses. Using a 5% divergence filter to infer directionality, 18 from 36 datasets of aligned coding region sequences from a diverse range of mammalian RNA viruses (including Picornaviridae, Flaviviridae, Matonaviridae, Caliciviridae and Coronaviridae) showed a >2-fold base composition normalised excess of C->U transitions compared to U->C (range 2.1x-7.5x), with a consistently observed favoured 5' U upstream context. The presence of genome scale RNA secondary structure (GORS) was the only other genomic or structural parameter significantly associated with C->U/U->C transition asymmetries by multivariable analysis (ANOVA), potentially reflecting RNA structure dependence of sites targeted for C->U mutations. Using the association index metric, C->U changes were specifically over-represented at phylogenetically uninformative sites, potentially paralleling extensive homoplasy of this transition reported in SARS-CoV-2. Although mechanisms remain to be functionally characterised, excess C->U substitutions accounted for 11-14% of standing sequence variability of structured viruses and may therefore represent a potent driver of their sequence diversification and longer-term evolution.


Subject(s)
Mammals/virology , Mutation , RNA Viruses/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , APOBEC Deaminases/metabolism , Animals , Base Sequence , COVID-19/virology , Cytidine/genetics , DNA Damage/physiology , Evolution, Molecular , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral , Genome, Viral , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , Nucleic Acid Conformation , Phylogeny , RNA Editing/physiology , RNA Viruses/classification , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Sequence Analysis, RNA , Transcription, Genetic/genetics , Uridine/genetics
5.
Cell ; 184(13): 3474-3485.e11, 2021 06 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1240208

ABSTRACT

The capping of mRNA and the proofreading play essential roles in SARS-CoV-2 replication and transcription. Here, we present the cryo-EM structure of the SARS-CoV-2 replication-transcription complex (RTC) in a form identified as Cap(0)-RTC, which couples a co-transcriptional capping complex (CCC) composed of nsp12 NiRAN, nsp9, the bifunctional nsp14 possessing an N-terminal exoribonuclease (ExoN) and a C-terminal N7-methyltransferase (N7-MTase), and nsp10 as a cofactor of nsp14. Nsp9 and nsp12 NiRAN recruit nsp10/nsp14 into the Cap(0)-RTC, forming the N7-CCC to yield cap(0) (7MeGpppA) at 5' end of pre-mRNA. A dimeric form of Cap(0)-RTC observed by cryo-EM suggests an in trans backtracking mechanism for nsp14 ExoN to facilitate proofreading of the RNA in concert with polymerase nsp12. These results not only provide a structural basis for understanding co-transcriptional modification of SARS-CoV-2 mRNA but also shed light on how replication fidelity in SARS-CoV-2 is maintained.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Exoribonucleases/genetics , Methyltransferases/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Amino Acid Sequence , COVID-19/virology , Humans , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , Sequence Alignment , Transcription, Genetic/genetics , Virus Replication/genetics
6.
Cell Rep ; 35(6): 109108, 2021 05 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1202346

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) uses subgenomic RNA (sgRNA) to produce viral proteins for replication and immune evasion. We apply long-read RNA and cDNA sequencing to in vitro human and primate infection models to study transcriptional dynamics. Transcription-regulating sequence (TRS)-dependent sgRNA upregulates earlier in infection than TRS-independent sgRNA. An abundant class of TRS-independent sgRNA consisting of a portion of open reading frame 1ab (ORF1ab) containing nsp1 joins to ORF10, and the 3' untranslated region (UTR) upregulates at 48 h post-infection in human cell lines. We identify double-junction sgRNA containing both TRS-dependent and -independent junctions. We find multiple sites at which the SARS-CoV-2 genome is consistently more modified than sgRNA and that sgRNA modifications are stable across transcript clusters, host cells, and time since infection. Our work highlights the dynamic nature of the SARS-CoV-2 transcriptome during its replication cycle.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Transcription, Genetic/genetics , Animals , Caco-2 Cells , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Epigenesis, Genetic , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Immune Evasion , Open Reading Frames , RNA, Viral/genetics , Transcriptome , Vero Cells , Viral Proteins/genetics
7.
Nature ; 593(7859): 418-423, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1137788

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is the third outbreak this century of a zoonotic disease caused by a coronavirus, following the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 20031 and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in 20122. Treatment options for coronaviruses are limited. Here we show that clofazimine-an anti-leprosy drug with a favourable safety profile3-possesses inhibitory activity against several coronaviruses, and can antagonize the replication of SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV in a range of in vitro systems. We found that this molecule, which has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, inhibits cell fusion mediated by the viral spike glycoprotein, as well as activity of the viral helicase. Prophylactic or therapeutic administration of clofazimine in a hamster model of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis led to reduced viral loads in the lung and viral shedding in faeces, and also alleviated the inflammation associated with viral infection. Combinations of clofazimine and remdesivir exhibited antiviral synergy in vitro and in vivo, and restricted viral shedding from the upper respiratory tract. Clofazimine, which is orally bioavailable and comparatively cheap to manufacture, is an attractive clinical candidate for the treatment of outpatients and-when combined with remdesivir-in therapy for hospitalized patients with COVID-19, particularly in contexts in which costs are an important factor or specialized medical facilities are limited. Our data provide evidence that clofazimine may have a role in the control of the current pandemic of COVID-19 and-possibly more importantly-in dealing with coronavirus diseases that may emerge in the future.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Clofazimine/pharmacology , Coronavirus/classification , Coronavirus/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Alanine/therapeutic use , Animals , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacokinetics , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacology , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/pharmacokinetics , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Biological Availability , Cell Fusion , Cell Line , Clofazimine/pharmacokinetics , Clofazimine/therapeutic use , Coronavirus/growth & development , Coronavirus/pathogenicity , Cricetinae , DNA Helicases/antagonists & inhibitors , Drug Synergism , Female , Humans , Life Cycle Stages/drug effects , Male , Mesocricetus , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Species Specificity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors , Transcription, Genetic/drug effects , Transcription, Genetic/genetics
8.
Cells ; 9(10)2020 10 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-962878

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses are able to establish persistence. However, how coronaviruses react to persistence and whether the selected viruses have altered their characteristics remain unclear. In this study, we found that the persistent infection of bovine coronavirus (BCoV), which is in the same genus as SARS-COV-2, led to alterations of genome structure, attenuation of gene expression, and the synthesis of subgenomic mRNA (sgmRNA) with a previously unidentified pattern. Subsequent analyses revealed that the altered genome structures were associated with the attenuation of gene expression. In addition, the genome structure at the 5' terminus and the cellular environment during the persistence were responsible for the sgmRNA synthesis, solving the previously unanswered question regarding the selection of transcription regulatory sequence for synthesis of BCoV sgmRNA 12.7. Although the BCoV variants (BCoV-p95) selected under the persistence replicated efficiently in cells without persistent infection, its pathogenicity was still lower than that of wild-type (wt) BCoV. Furthermore, in comparison with wt BCoV, the variant BCoV-p95 was not able to efficiently adapt to the challenges of alternative environments, suggesting wt BCoV is genetically robust. We anticipate that the findings derived from this fundamental research can contribute to the disease control and treatments against coronavirus infection including SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus, Bovine/genetics , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral/genetics , Genome, Viral/genetics , Regulatory Sequences, Ribonucleic Acid/genetics , Animals , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Cattle , Cell Line , Computational Biology , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Transcription, Genetic/genetics
9.
Nucleic Acids Res ; 49(D1): D916-D923, 2021 01 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-955778

ABSTRACT

The GENCODE project annotates human and mouse genes and transcripts supported by experimental data with high accuracy, providing a foundational resource that supports genome biology and clinical genomics. GENCODE annotation processes make use of primary data and bioinformatic tools and analysis generated both within the consortium and externally to support the creation of transcript structures and the determination of their function. Here, we present improvements to our annotation infrastructure, bioinformatics tools, and analysis, and the advances they support in the annotation of the human and mouse genomes including: the completion of first pass manual annotation for the mouse reference genome; targeted improvements to the annotation of genes associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection; collaborative projects to achieve convergence across reference annotation databases for the annotation of human and mouse protein-coding genes; and the first GENCODE manually supervised automated annotation of lncRNAs. Our annotation is accessible via Ensembl, the UCSC Genome Browser and https://www.gencodegenes.org.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Computational Biology/methods , Databases, Genetic , Genomics/methods , Molecular Sequence Annotation/methods , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Epidemics , Humans , Internet , Mice , Pseudogenes/genetics , RNA, Long Noncoding/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Transcription, Genetic/genetics
10.
Epigenomics ; 12(22): 1969-1981, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-948022

ABSTRACT

Aim: To elucidate the transcriptional characteristics of COVID-19. Materials & methods: We utilized an integrative approach to comprehensively analyze the transcriptional features of both COVID-19 patients and SARS-CoV-2 infected cells. Results: Widespread infiltration of immune cells was observed. We identified 233 genes that were codifferentially expressed in both bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and lung samples of COVID-19 patients. Functional analysis suggested upregulated genes were related to immune response such as neutrophil activation and antivirus response, while downregulated genes were associated with cell adhesion. Finally, we identified LCN2, STAT1 and UBE2L6 as core genes during SARS-CoV-2 infection. Conclusion: The identification of core genes involved in COVID-19 can provide us with more insights into the molecular features of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Lipocalin-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , STAT1 Transcription Factor/genetics , Ubiquitin-Conjugating Enzymes/genetics , A549 Cells , Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid/cytology , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Adhesion/genetics , Cell Adhesion/physiology , Cell Line, Tumor , Cytokines/blood , Humans , Lung/immunology , Neutrophil Activation/genetics , Neutrophil Activation/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Transcription, Genetic/genetics
11.
Nat Biomed Eng ; 4(12): 1168-1179, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-780008

ABSTRACT

The control of viral outbreaks requires nucleic acid diagnostic tests that are sensitive, simple and fast. Here, we report a highly sensitive and specific one-pot assay for the fluorescence-based detection of RNA from pathogens. The assay, which can be performed within 30-50 min of incubation time and can reach a limit of detection of 0.1-attomolar RNA concentration, relies on a sustained isothermal reaction cascade producing an RNA aptamer that binds to a fluorogenic dye. The RNA aptamer is transcribed by the T7 RNA polymerase from the ligation product of a promoter DNA probe and a reporter DNA probe that hybridize with the target single-stranded RNA sequence via the SplintR ligase (a Chlorella virus DNA ligase). In 40 nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 samples, the assay reached positive and negative predictive values of 95 and 100%, respectively. We also show that the assay can rapidly detect a range of viral and bacterial RNAs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques/methods , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Transcription, Genetic/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Chlorella/metabolism , DNA/genetics , DNA Ligases/metabolism , DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases/metabolism , Diagnostic Tests, Routine/methods , Fluorescence , Humans , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques , Pandemics/prevention & control , Sensitivity and Specificity , Viral Proteins/metabolism
12.
J Gen Virol ; 101(10): 1103-1118, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-688886

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus sub-genomic mRNA (sgmRNA) synthesis occurs via a process of discontinuous transcription involving complementary transcription regulatory sequences (TRSs), one (TRS-L) encompassing the leader sequence of the 5' untranslated region (UTR), and the other upstream of each structural and accessory gene (TRS-B). Several coronaviruses have an ORF located between the N gene and the 3'-UTR, an area previously thought to be non-coding in the Gammacoronavirus infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) due to a lack of a canonical TRS-B. Here, we identify a non-canonical TRS-B allowing for a novel sgmRNA relating to this ORF to be produced in several strains of IBV: Beaudette, CR88, H120, D1466, Italy-02 and QX. Interestingly, the potential protein produced by this ORF is prematurely truncated in the Beaudette strain. A single nucleotide deletion was made in the Beaudette strain allowing for the generation of a recombinant IBV (rIBV) that had the potential to express a full-length protein. Assessment of this rIBV in vitro demonstrated that restoration of the full-length potential protein had no effect on viral replication. Further assessment of the Beaudette-derived RNA identified a second non-canonically transcribed sgmRNA located within gene 2. Deep sequencing analysis of allantoic fluid from Beaudette-infected embryonated eggs confirmed the presence of both the newly identified non-canonically transcribed sgmRNAs and highlighted the potential for further yet unidentified sgmRNAs. This HiSeq data, alongside the confirmation of non-canonically transcribed sgmRNAs, indicates the potential of the coronavirus genome to encode a larger repertoire of genes than has currently been identified.


Subject(s)
Infectious bronchitis virus/genetics , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid/genetics , Transcription, Genetic/genetics , 5' Untranslated Regions/genetics , Animals , Base Sequence , Cell Line , Chickens , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Open Reading Frames/genetics , Poultry Diseases/virology , Vero Cells , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication/genetics
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