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1.
J Biol Chem ; 298(2): 101584, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1699145

ABSTRACT

With the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), coronaviruses have begun to attract great attention across the world. Of the known human coronaviruses, however, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is the most lethal. Coronavirus proteins can be divided into three groups: nonstructural proteins, structural proteins, and accessory proteins. While the number of each of these proteins varies greatly among different coronaviruses, accessory proteins are most closely related to the pathogenicity of the virus. We found for the first time that the ORF3 accessory protein of MERS-CoV, which closely resembles the ORF3a proteins of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus and SARS-CoV-2, has the ability to induce apoptosis in cells in a dose-dependent manner. Through bioinformatics analysis and validation, we revealed that ORF3 is an unstable protein and has a shorter half-life in cells compared to that of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus and SARS-CoV-2 ORF3a proteins. After screening, we identified a host E3 ligase, HUWE1, that specifically induces MERS-CoV ORF3 protein ubiquitination and degradation through the ubiquitin-proteasome system. This results in the diminished ability of ORF3 to induce apoptosis, which might partially explain the lower spread of MERS-CoV compared to other coronaviruses. In summary, this study reveals a pathological function of MERS-CoV ORF3 protein and identifies a potential host antiviral protein, HUWE1, with an ability to antagonize MERS-CoV pathogenesis by inducing ORF3 degradation, thus enriching our knowledge of the pathogenesis of MERS-CoV and suggesting new targets and strategies for clinical development of drugs for MERS-CoV treatment.


Subject(s)
Apoptosis , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/metabolism , Tumor Suppressor Proteins/metabolism , Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases/metabolism , Ubiquitination , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , A549 Cells , Cell Line , Computational Biology , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Epithelial Cells/physiology , Epithelial Cells/virology , HEK293 Cells , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans
2.
Antiviral Res ; 192: 105115, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1275131

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for the recent global pandemic. The nuclear export protein (XPO1) has a direct role in the export of SARS-CoV proteins including ORF3b, ORF9b, and nucleocapsid. Inhibition of XPO1 induces anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and antioxidant pathways. Selinexor is an FDA-approved XPO1 inhibitor. Through bioinformatics analysis, we predicted nuclear export sequences in the ACE-2 protein and confirmed by in vitro testing that inhibition of XPO1 with selinexor induces nuclear localization of ACE-2. Administration of selinexor inhibited viral infection prophylactically as well as therapeutically in vitro. In a ferret model of COVID-19, selinexor treatment reduced viral load in the lungs and protected against tissue damage in the nasal turbinates and lungs in vivo. Our studies demonstrated that selinexor downregulated the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1ß, IL-6, IL-10, IFN-γ, TNF-α, and GMCSF, commonly associated with the cytokine storm observed in COVID-19 patients. Our findings indicate that nuclear export is critical for SARS-CoV-2 infection and for COVID-19 pathology and suggest that inhibition of XPO1 by selinexor could be a viable anti-viral treatment option.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Hydrazines/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Triazoles/pharmacology , Active Transport, Cell Nucleus/drug effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cytokines , Ferrets , Humans , Karyopherins/antagonists & inhibitors , Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear/antagonists & inhibitors , Respiratory System/drug effects , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Tumor Suppressor Proteins/metabolism , Vero Cells , Virus Replication
3.
Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol ; 65(4): 403-412, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1237350

ABSTRACT

Mechanical ventilation is a known risk factor for delirium, a cognitive impairment characterized by dysfunction of the frontal cortex and hippocampus. Although IL-6 is upregulated in mechanical ventilation-induced lung injury (VILI) and may contribute to delirium, it is not known whether the inhibition of systemic IL-6 mitigates delirium-relevant neuropathology. To histologically define neuropathological effects of IL-6 inhibition in an experimental VILI model, VILI was simulated in anesthetized adult mice using a 35 cc/kg tidal volume mechanical ventilation model. There were two control groups, as follow: 1) spontaneously breathing or 2) anesthetized and mechanically ventilated with 10 cc/kg tidal volume to distinguish effects of anesthesia from VILI. Two hours before inducing VILI, mice were treated with either anti-IL-6 antibody, anti-IL-6 receptor antibody, or saline. Neuronal injury, stress, and inflammation were assessed using immunohistochemistry. CC3 (cleaved caspase-3), a neuronal apoptosis marker, was significantly increased in the frontal (P < 0.001) and hippocampal (P < 0.0001) brain regions and accompanied by significant increases in c-Fos and heat shock protein-90 in the frontal cortices of VILI mice compared with control mice (P < 0.001). These findings were not related to cerebral hypoxia, and there was no evidence of irreversible neuronal death. Frontal and hippocampal neuronal CC3 were significantly reduced with anti-IL-6 antibody (P < 0.01 and P < 0.0001, respectively) and anti-IL-6 receptor antibody (P < 0.05 and P < 0.0001, respectively) compared with saline VILI mice. In summary, VILI induces potentially reversible neuronal injury and inflammation in the frontal cortex and hippocampus, which is mitigated with systemic IL-6 inhibition. These data suggest a potentially novel neuroprotective role of systemic IL-6 inhibition that justifies further investigation.


Subject(s)
Antibodies/pharmacology , Apoptosis/drug effects , Delirium/metabolism , Interleukin-6/antagonists & inhibitors , Neurons/metabolism , Ventilator-Induced Lung Injury/metabolism , Animals , Delirium/drug therapy , Delirium/pathology , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Frontal Lobe/injuries , Frontal Lobe/metabolism , Frontal Lobe/pathology , HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins/metabolism , Hippocampus/injuries , Hippocampus/metabolism , Hippocampus/pathology , Inflammation/drug therapy , Inflammation/metabolism , Inflammation/pathology , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Mice , Neurons/pathology , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos/metabolism , Repressor Proteins/metabolism , Tumor Suppressor Proteins/metabolism , Ventilator-Induced Lung Injury/drug therapy , Ventilator-Induced Lung Injury/pathology
4.
Cell Death Dis ; 11(6): 429, 2020 06 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-591592

ABSTRACT

Although most patients with COVID-19 pneumonia have a good prognosis, some patients develop to severe or critical illness, and the mortality of critical cases is up to 61.5%. However, specific molecular information about immune response in critical patients with COVID-19 is poorly understood. A total of 54 patients were enrolled and divided into three groups, among which 34 were common, 14 were severe, and 6 were critical. The constitution of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in patients was analyzed by CyTOF. The profile of cytokines was examined in plasma of patients using luminex. The IL-2 signaling pathway was investigated in the PBMC of patients by qRT-PCR. The count and percentage of lymphocytes were significantly decreased in critical patients compared to common and severe patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. The count of T cells, B cells, and NK cells was remarkably decreased in critical patients compared to normal controls. The percentage of CD8+ T cells was significantly lower in critical patients than that in common and severe patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. The expression of IL-2R, JAK1, and STAT5 decreased in PBMC of common, severe, and critical patients, but IL-2 level was elevated in severe patients and decreased in critical patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. The decrease of CD8+ T cells in critical patients with COVID-19 pneumonia may be related to the IL-2 signaling pathway. The inhibition of IL-2/IL-2R gives rise to CD8+ T cell and lymphocyte decrease through JAK1-STAT5 in critical patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/blood , Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit/metabolism , Interleukin-2/blood , Janus Kinase 1/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/blood , STAT5 Transcription Factor/metabolism , Tumor Suppressor Proteins/metabolism , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Critical Illness , Female , Humans , Lymphocyte Count , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
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