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1.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 21308, 2021 10 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493219

ABSTRACT

The aim of this study was to present and evaluate novel oral vaccines, based on self-amplifying RNA lipid nanparticles (saRNA LNPs), saRNA transfected Lactobacillus plantarum LNPs, and saRNA transfected Lactobacillus plantarum, to neutralize severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2) variants alpha and delta. After invitro evaluation of the oral vaccines on HEK293T/17 cells, we found that saRNA LNPs, saRNA transfected Lactobacillus plantarum LNPs, and saRNA transfected Lactobacillus plantarum could express S-protein at both mRNA and protein levels. In the next step, BALB/c mice were orally vaccinated with saRNA LNPs, saRNA transfected Lactobacillus plantarum LNPs, and saRNA transfected Lactobacillus plantarum at weeks 1 and 3. Importantly, a high titer of IgG and IgA was observed by all of them, sharply in week 6 (P < 0.05). In all study groups, their ratio of IgG2a/IgG1 was upper 1, indicating Th1-biased responses. Wild-type viral neutralization assay showed that the secreted antibodies in vaccinated mice and recovered COVID-19 patients could neutralize SARS-COV-2 variants alpha and delta. After oral administration of oral vaccines, biodistribution assay was done. It was found that all of them had the same biodistribution pattern. The highest concentration of S-protein was seen in the small intestine, followed by the large intestine and liver.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Lactobacillus plantarum/genetics , Lipids/chemistry , Nanoparticles/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Transfection/methods , Vaccination/methods , Vaccines, Synthetic/administration & dosage , Administration, Oral , Adult , Animals , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacokinetics , Female , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/blood , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Intestine, Small/metabolism , Lactobacillus plantarum/metabolism , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Middle Aged , Models, Animal , Neutralization Tests , RNA, Messenger/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Tissue Distribution
2.
Methods Mol Biol ; 2305: 129-140, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1355903

ABSTRACT

The expression of mammalian recombinant proteins in insect cell lines using transient-plasmid-based gene expression enables the production of high-quality protein samples. Here, the procedure for virus-free transient gene expression (TGE) in High Five insect cells is described in detail. The parameters that determine the efficiency and reproducibility of the method are presented in a robust protocol for easy implementation and set-up of the method. The applicability of the TGE method in High Five cells for proteomic, structural, and functional analysis of the expressed proteins is shown.


Subject(s)
Biotechnology/methods , Cloning, Molecular , Insecta/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/biosynthesis , Transfection/methods , Animals , Bioreactors , Cell Culture Techniques/methods , Cell Line , Gene Expression , Glycosylation , Humans , Insecta/cytology , Mammals/genetics , Mammals/metabolism , Plasmids , Proteomics , Recombinant Proteins/biosynthesis , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
3.
Mol Ther ; 29(10): 3042-3058, 2021 10 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1331299

ABSTRACT

Reprogramming non-cardiomyocytes (non-CMs) into cardiomyocyte (CM)-like cells is a promising strategy for cardiac regeneration in conditions such as ischemic heart disease. Here, we used a modified mRNA (modRNA) gene delivery platform to deliver a cocktail, termed 7G-modRNA, of four cardiac-reprogramming genes-Gata4 (G), Mef2c (M), Tbx5 (T), and Hand2 (H)-together with three reprogramming-helper genes-dominant-negative (DN)-TGFß, DN-Wnt8a, and acid ceramidase (AC)-to induce CM-like cells. We showed that 7G-modRNA reprogrammed 57% of CM-like cells in vitro. Through a lineage-tracing model, we determined that delivering the 7G-modRNA cocktail at the time of myocardial infarction reprogrammed ∼25% of CM-like cells in the scar area and significantly improved cardiac function, scar size, long-term survival, and capillary density. Mechanistically, we determined that while 7G-modRNA cannot create de novo beating CMs in vitro or in vivo, it can significantly upregulate pro-angiogenic mesenchymal stromal cells markers and transcription factors. We also demonstrated that our 7G-modRNA cocktail leads to neovascularization in ischemic-limb injury, indicating CM-like cells importance in other organs besides the heart. modRNA is currently being used around the globe for vaccination against COVID-19, and this study proves this is a safe, highly efficient gene delivery approach with therapeutic potential to treat ischemic diseases.


Subject(s)
Cellular Reprogramming/genetics , Genetic Therapy/methods , Ischemia/therapy , Muscle, Skeletal/blood supply , Myocardial Infarction/therapy , Neovascularization, Physiologic/genetics , Regeneration/genetics , Transfection/methods , Animals , Animals, Newborn , Cells, Cultured , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Fibroblasts/metabolism , Humans , Male , Mice , Mice, Knockout, ApoE , Myocytes, Cardiac/metabolism , RNA, Messenger/genetics
4.
Mol Ther ; 29(11): 3293-3304, 2021 11 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1253754

ABSTRACT

Nucleoside-modified messenger RNA (mRNA)-lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) are the basis for the first two EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) COVID-19 vaccines. The use of nucleoside-modified mRNA as a pharmacological agent opens immense opportunities for therapeutic, prophylactic and diagnostic molecular interventions. In particular, mRNA-based drugs may specifically modulate immune cells, such as T lymphocytes, for immunotherapy of oncologic, infectious and other conditions. The key challenge, however, is that T cells are notoriously resistant to transfection by exogenous mRNA. Here, we report that conjugating CD4 antibody to LNPs enables specific targeting and mRNA interventions to CD4+ cells, including T cells. After systemic injection in mice, CD4-targeted radiolabeled mRNA-LNPs accumulated in spleen, providing ∼30-fold higher signal of reporter mRNA in T cells isolated from spleen as compared with non-targeted mRNA-LNPs. Intravenous injection of CD4-targeted LNPs loaded with Cre recombinase-encoding mRNA provided specific dose-dependent loxP-mediated genetic recombination, resulting in reporter gene expression in about 60% and 40% of CD4+ T cells in spleen and lymph nodes, respectively. T cell phenotyping showed uniform transfection of T cell subpopulations, with no variability in uptake of CD4-targeted mRNA-LNPs in naive, central memory, and effector cells. The specific and efficient targeting and transfection of mRNA to T cells established in this study provides a platform technology for immunotherapy of devastating conditions and HIV cure.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Lipids/genetics , Lipids/immunology , Nanoparticles/administration & dosage , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Messenger/immunology , Recombination, Genetic/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Humans , Immunotherapy/methods , Lymph Nodes/immunology , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Recombination, Genetic/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spleen/immunology , Transfection/methods
5.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 371, 2021 01 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1242035

ABSTRACT

Vaccines and therapeutics using in vitro transcribed mRNA hold enormous potential for human and veterinary medicine. Transfection agents are widely considered to be necessary to protect mRNA and enhance transfection, but they add expense and raise concerns regarding quality control and safety. We found that such complex mRNA delivery systems can be avoided when transfecting epithelial cells by aerosolizing the mRNA into micron-sized droplets. In an equine in vivo model, we demonstrated that the translation of mRNA into a functional protein did not depend on the addition of a polyethylenimine (PEI)-derived transfection agent. We were able to safely and effectively transfect the bronchial epithelium of foals using naked mRNA (i.e., mRNA formulated in a sodium citrate buffer without a delivery vehicle). Endoscopic examination of the bronchial tree and histology of mucosal biopsies indicated no gross or microscopic adverse effects of the transfection. Our data suggest that mRNA administered by an atomization device eliminates the need for chemical transfection agents, which can reduce the cost and the safety risks of delivering mRNA to the respiratory tract of animals and humans.


Subject(s)
Horses , Nasal Sprays , RNA, Messenger/administration & dosage , Respiratory Mucosa , Animals , Animals, Newborn , Cells, Cultured , Drug Carriers/administration & dosage , Drug Carriers/adverse effects , Drug Carriers/pharmacokinetics , Drug Delivery Systems/adverse effects , Drug Delivery Systems/methods , Drug Delivery Systems/veterinary , Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Female , Lung/drug effects , Lung/metabolism , Nebulizers and Vaporizers/veterinary , Polyethyleneimine/administration & dosage , Polyethyleneimine/chemistry , RNA, Messenger/adverse effects , RNA, Messenger/pharmacokinetics , Respiratory Mucosa/drug effects , Respiratory Mucosa/metabolism , Transcription, Genetic , Transfection/methods , Transfection/veterinary , Vaccines, DNA/administration & dosage , Vaccines, DNA/adverse effects , Vaccines, DNA/pharmacokinetics
6.
PLoS One ; 16(2): e0242890, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1060515

ABSTRACT

The spike (S) protein is one of the three proteins forming the coronaviruses' viral envelope. The S protein of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has a spatial structure similar to the S proteins of other mammalian coronaviruses, except for a unique receptor-binding domain (RBD), which is a significant inducer of host immune response. Recombinant SARS-CoV-2 RBD is widely used as a highly specific minimal antigen for serological tests. Correct exposure of antigenic determinants has a significant impact on the accuracy of such tests-the antigen has to be correctly folded, contain no potentially antigenic non-vertebrate glycans, and, preferably, should have a glycosylation pattern similar to the native S protein. Based on the previously developed p1.1 vector, containing the regulatory sequences of the Eukaryotic translation elongation factor 1 alpha gene (EEF1A1) from Chinese hamster, we created two expression constructs encoding SARS-CoV-2 RBD with C-terminal c-myc and polyhistidine tags. RBDv1 contained a native viral signal peptide, RBDv2 -human tPA signal peptide. We transfected a CHO DG44 cell line, selected stably transfected cells, and performed a few rounds of methotrexate-driven amplification of the genetic cassette in the genome. For the RBDv2 variant, a high-yield clonal producer cell line was obtained. We developed a simple purification scheme that consistently yielded up to 30 mg of RBD protein per liter of the simple shake flask cell culture. Purified proteins were analyzed by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in reducing and non-reducing conditions and gel filtration; for RBDv2 protein, the monomeric form content exceeded 90% for several series. Deglycosylation with PNGase F and mass spectrometry confirmed the presence of N-glycosylation. The antigen produced by the described technique is suitable for serological tests and subunit vaccine studies.


Subject(s)
Gene Expression , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Transfection/methods , Animals , CHO Cells , Cricetulus , Genetic Vectors , Humans , Peptide Elongation Factor 1/genetics , Plasmids , Protein Domains , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification
8.
Cells ; 9(9)2020 09 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-750713

ABSTRACT

Hybrid nanoparticles from lipidic and polymeric components were assembled to serve as vehicles for the transfection of messenger RNA (mRNA) using different portions of the cationic lipid DOTAP (1,2-Dioleoyl-3-trimethylammonium-propane) and the cationic biopolymer protamine as model systems. Two different sequential assembly approaches in comparison with a direct single-step protocol were applied, and molecular organization in correlation with biological activity of the resulting nanoparticle systems was investigated. Differences in the structure of the nanoparticles were revealed by thorough physicochemical characterization including small angle neutron scattering (SANS), small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), and cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (cryo-TEM). All hybrid systems, combining lipid and polymer, displayed significantly increased transfection in comparison to lipid/mRNA and polymer/mRNA particles alone. For the hybrid nanoparticles, characteristic differences regarding the internal organization, release characteristics, and activity were determined depending on the assembly route. The systems with the highest transfection efficacy were characterized by a heterogenous internal organization, accompanied by facilitated release. Such a system could be best obtained by the single step protocol, starting with a lipid and polymer mixture for nanoparticle formation.


Subject(s)
Biopolymers/chemistry , Lipids/chemistry , Nanoparticles/chemistry , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , Transfection/methods , Animals , Cell Line , Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated/chemistry , Female , Heparin/chemistry , Humans , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Optical Imaging , Particle Size , Quaternary Ammonium Compounds/chemistry , RNA, Messenger/chemistry
9.
Virus Res ; 286: 198074, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-611212

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a novel human coronavirus causing the pandemic of severe pneumonia (Coronavirus Disease 2019, COVID-19). SARS-CoV-2 is highly pathogenic in human, having posed immeasurable public health challenges to the world. Innate immune response is critical for the host defense against viral infection and the dysregulation of the host innate immune responses probably aggravates SARS-CoV-2 infection, contributing to the high morbidity and lethality of COVID-19. It has been reported that some coronavirus proteins play an important role in modulating innate immunity of the host, but few studies have been conducted on SARS-CoV-2. In this study, we screened the viral proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and found that the viral ORF6, ORF8 and nucleocapsid proteins were potential inhibitors of type I interferon signaling pathway, a key component for antiviral response of host innate immune. All the three proteins showed strong inhibition on type I interferon (IFN-ß) and NF-κB-responsive promoter, further examination revealed that these proteins were able to inhibit the interferon-stimulated response element (ISRE) after infection with Sendai virus, while only ORF6 and ORF8 proteins were able to inhibit the ISRE after treatment with interferon beta. These findings would be helpful for the further study of the detailed signaling pathway and unveil the key molecular player that may be targeted.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Interferon-beta/genetics , NF-kappa B/genetics , Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins , Gene Expression Regulation , Genes, Reporter , HEK293 Cells , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/genetics , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/immunology , Interferon-beta/immunology , Luciferases/genetics , Luciferases/metabolism , NF-kappa B/immunology , Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Phosphoproteins , Plasmids/chemistry , Plasmids/metabolism , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , Response Elements , SARS-CoV-2 , Sendai virus/genetics , Sendai virus/immunology , Signal Transduction , Transfection/methods , Viral Proteins/immunology
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