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1.
J Virol ; 95(12)2021 05 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501541

ABSTRACT

Long disregarded as junk DNA or genomic dark matter, endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) have turned out to represent important components of the antiviral immune response. These remnants of once-infectious retroviruses not only regulate cellular immune activation, but may even directly target invading viral pathogens. In this Gem, we summarize mechanisms by which retroviral fossils protect us from viral infections. One focus will be on recent advances in the role of ERVs as regulators of antiviral gene expression.


Subject(s)
Endogenous Retroviruses/physiology , Retroelements , Virus Diseases/immunology , Animals , Endogenous Retroviruses/genetics , Enhancer Elements, Genetic , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Immunity, Cellular , Promoter Regions, Genetic , RNA, Double-Stranded/genetics , RNA, Double-Stranded/metabolism , RNA, Long Noncoding/genetics , RNA, Long Noncoding/metabolism , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Receptors, Pattern Recognition/metabolism , Receptors, Virus/antagonists & inhibitors , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Virion/metabolism , Virus Diseases/genetics , Virus Diseases/virology
2.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 13464, 2021 06 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500743

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that emerged in human populations recently. Severely ill COVID-19 patients exhibit the elevation of proinflammatory cytokines, and such an unbalanced production of proinflammatory cytokines is linked to acute respiratory distress syndrome with high mortality in COVID-19 patients. Our study provides evidence that the ORF3a, M, ORF7a, and N proteins of SARS-CoV-2 were NF-κB activators. The viral sequence from infected zoo lions belonged to clade V, and a single mutation of G251V is found for ORF3a gene compared to all other clades. No significant functional difference was found for clade V ORF3a, indicating the NF-κB activation is conserved among COVID-19 variants. Of the four viral proteins, the ORF7a protein induced the NF-κB dictated proinflammatory cytokines including IL-1α, IL-1ß, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, TNF-α, and IFNß. The ORF7a protein also induced IL-3, IL-4, IL-7, IL-23. Of 15 different chemokines examined in the study, CCL11, CCL17, CCL19, CCL20, CCL21, CCL22, CCL25, CCL26, CCL27, and CXCL9 were significantly upregulated by ORF7. These cytokines and chemokines were frequently elevated in severely ill COVID-19 patients. Our data provide an insight into how SARS-CoV-2 modulates NF-κB signaling and inflammatory cytokine expressions. The ORF7a protein may be a desirable target for strategic developments to minimize uncontrolled inflammation in COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Cytokines/metabolism , NF-kappa B/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Amino Acid Sequence , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Chemokines/genetics , Chemokines/metabolism , Cytokines/genetics , HeLa Cells , Humans , Point Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sequence Alignment , Severity of Illness Index , Up-Regulation , Viral Matrix Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viroporin Proteins/chemistry , Viroporin Proteins/genetics , Viroporin Proteins/metabolism
3.
Front Biosci (Landmark Ed) ; 26(10): 789-798, 2021 10 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1498508

ABSTRACT

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has infected more than 210 million individuals globally and resulted in over 4 million deaths since the first report in December 2019. The early use of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for light and ordinary patients, can rapidly improve symptoms, shorten hospitalization days and reduce severe cases transformed from light and normal. Many TCM formulas and products have a wide application in treating infectious and non-infectious diseases. Polygonum cuspidatum Sieb. et Zucc. (P. cuspidatum), is an important Traditional Chinese Medicine with actions of clearing away heat and eliminating dampness, draining the gallbladder to relieve jaundice, removing blood stasis to alleviate pain, resolving phlegm and arrest cough. In the search for anti-SARS-CoV-2, P. cuspidatum was recommended as as a therapeutic drug of COVID-19 pneumonia.In this study, we aimed to identifies P. cuspidatum is the potential broad-spectrum inhibitor for the treatment of coronaviruses infections. Methods: In the present study , we infected human malignant embryonal rhabdomyoma (RD) cells with the OC43 strain of the coronavirus, which represent an alternative model for SARS-CoV-2 and then employed the cell viability assay kit for the antiviral activity. We combined computer aided virtual screening to predicte the binding site and employed Surface plasmon resonance analysis (SPR) to comfirm the interaction between drugs and coronavirus. We employed fluorescence resonance energy transfer technology to identify drug's inhibition in the proteolytic activity of 3CLpro and Plpro. Results: Based on our results, polydatin and resveratrol derived from P. cuspidatum significantly suppressed HCoV-OC43 replication. 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) values of polydatin inhibited SARS-CoV-2 Mpro and Plpro, MERS Mpro and Plpro were 18.66, 125, 14.6 and 25.42 µm, respectively. IC50 values of resveratrol inhibited SARS-CoV-2 Mpro and Plpro, MERS Mpro and Plpro were 29.81 ,60.86, 16.35 and19.04 µM, respectively. Finally, SPR assay confirmed that polydatin and resveratrol had high affinity to SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV 3Clpro, MERS-CoV 3Clpro and PLpro protein. Conclusions: we identified the antiviral activity of flavonoids polydatin and resveratrol on RD cells. Polydatin and resveratrol were found to be specific and selective inhibitors for SARS-CoV-2, 3CLpro and PLpro, viral cysteine proteases. In summary, this study identifies P. cuspidatum as the potential broad-spectrum inhibitor for the treatment of coronaviruses infections.


Subject(s)
Drugs, Chinese Herbal/chemistry , Fallopia japonica/chemistry , Glucosides/pharmacology , Resveratrol/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Stilbenes/pharmacology , Virus Replication/drug effects , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line, Tumor , Cell Survival/drug effects , Glucosides/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Host-Pathogen Interactions/drug effects , Humans , Medicine, Chinese Traditional/methods , Pandemics , Protein Binding , Resveratrol/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Stilbenes/metabolism , Surface Plasmon Resonance/methods , Viral Proteins/metabolism
4.
Elife ; 102021 10 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1485451

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV-2 infection leads to severe disease associated with cytokine storm, vascular dysfunction, coagulation, and progressive lung damage. It affects several vital organs, seemingly through a pathological effect on endothelial cells. The SARS-CoV-2 genome encodes 29 proteins, whose contribution to the disease manifestations, and especially endothelial complications, is unknown. We cloned and expressed 26 of these proteins in human cells and characterized the endothelial response to overexpression of each, individually. Whereas most proteins induced significant changes in endothelial permeability, nsp2, nsp5_c145a (catalytic dead mutant of nsp5), and nsp7 also reduced CD31, and increased von Willebrand factor expression and IL-6, suggesting endothelial dysfunction. Using propagation-based analysis of a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network, we predicted the endothelial proteins affected by the viral proteins that potentially mediate these effects. We further applied our PPI model to identify the role of each SARS-CoV-2 protein in other tissues affected by coronavirus disease (COVID-19). While validating the PPI network model, we found that the tight junction (TJ) proteins cadherin-5, ZO-1, and ß-catenin are affected by nsp2, nsp5_c145a, and nsp7 consistent with the model prediction. Overall, this work identifies the SARS-CoV-2 proteins that might be most detrimental in terms of endothelial dysfunction, thereby shedding light on vascular aspects of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Capillary Permeability , Endothelium, Vascular/metabolism , Host-Pathogen Interactions , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells , Humans , Protein Interaction Maps , Tight Junction Proteins/metabolism
5.
J Med Chem ; 64(19): 14332-14343, 2021 10 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1483078

ABSTRACT

In addition to a variety of viral-glycoprotein receptors (e.g., heparan sulfate, Niemann-Pick C1, etc.), dendritic cell-specific intercellular adhesion molecule-3-grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN), from the C-type lectin receptor family, plays one of the most important pathogenic functions for a wide range of viruses (e.g., Ebola, human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), HIV-1, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, etc.) that invade host cells before replication; thus, its inhibition represents a relevant extracellular antiviral therapy. We report two novel p-tBu-calixarene glycoclusters 1 and 2, bearing tetrahydroxamic acid groups, which exhibit micromolar inhibition of soluble DC-SIGN binding and provide nanomolar IC50 inhibition of both DC-SIGN-dependent Jurkat cis-cell infection by viral particle pseudotyped with Ebola virus glycoprotein and the HCMV-gB-recombinant glycoprotein interaction with monocyte-derived dendritic cells expressing DC-SIGN. A unique cooperative involvement of sugar, linker, and calixarene core is likely behind the strong avidity of DC-SIGN for these low-valent systems. We claim herein new promising candidates for the rational development of a large spectrum of antiviral therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Calixarenes/chemistry , Cell Adhesion Molecules/antagonists & inhibitors , Glycoconjugates/metabolism , Glycoproteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Hydroxamic Acids/chemistry , Lectins, C-Type/antagonists & inhibitors , Phenols/chemistry , Receptors, Cell Surface/antagonists & inhibitors , Viral Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Cell Adhesion Molecules/metabolism , Cell Line , Cytomegalovirus/metabolism , Dendritic Cells/cytology , Dendritic Cells/metabolism , Ebolavirus/physiology , Glycoconjugates/chemistry , Glycoconjugates/pharmacology , Glycoproteins/genetics , Glycoproteins/metabolism , Humans , Jurkat Cells , Lectins, C-Type/metabolism , Models, Biological , Protein Binding , Receptors, Cell Surface/metabolism , Recombinant Proteins/biosynthesis , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/isolation & purification , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/metabolism
6.
Viruses ; 13(10)2021 10 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1471002

ABSTRACT

West Java Health Laboratory (WJHL) is one of the many institutions in Indonesia that have sequenced SARS-CoV-2 genome. Although having submitted a large number of sequences since September 2020, however, these submitted data lack advanced analyses. Therefore, in this study, we analyze the variant distribution, hotspot mutation, and its impact on protein structure and function of SARS-CoV-2 from the collected samples from WJHL. As many as one hundred sixty-three SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences submitted by West Java Health Laboratory (WJHL), with collection dates between September 2020 and June 2021, were retrieved from GISAID. Subsequently, the frequency and distribution of non-synonymous mutations across different cities and regencies from these samples were analyzed. The effect of the most prevalent mutations from dominant variants on the stability of their corresponding proteins was examined. The samples mostly consisted of people of working-age, and were distributed between female and male equally. All of the sample sequences showed varying levels of diversity, especially samples from West Bandung which carried the highest diversity. Dominant variants are the VOC B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant, B.1.466.2 variant, and B.1.470 variant. The genomic regions with the highest number of mutations are the spike, NSP3, nucleocapsid, NSP12, and ORF3a protein. Mutation analysis showed that mutations in structural protein might increase the stability of the protein. Oppositely, mutations in non-structural protein might lead to a decrease in protein stability. However, further research to study the impact of mutations on the function of SARS-CoV-2 proteins are required.


Subject(s)
Genome, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/genetics , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Disease Hotspot , Female , Humans , Indonesia , Male , Molecular Docking Simulation , Mutation/genetics , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Protein Stability , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Viroporin Proteins/genetics , Whole Genome Sequencing
7.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(20)2021 Oct 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470891

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, or severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, represents a new pathogen from the family of Coronaviridae that caused a global pandemic of COVID-19 disease. In the absence of effective antiviral drugs, research of novel therapeutic targets such as SARS-CoV-2 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) becomes essential. This viral protein is without a human counterpart and thus represents a unique prospective drug target. However, in vitro biological evaluation testing on RdRp remains difficult and is not widely available. Therefore, we prepared a database of commercial small-molecule compounds and performed an in silico high-throughput virtual screening on the active site of the SARS-CoV-2 RdRp using ensemble docking. We identified a novel thioether-amide or guanidine-linker class of potential RdRp inhibitors and calculated favorable binding free energies of representative hits by molecular dynamics simulations coupled with Linear Interaction Energy calculations. This innovative procedure maximized the respective phase-space sampling and yielded non-covalent inhibitors representing small optimizable molecules that are synthetically readily accessible, commercially available as well as suitable for further biological evaluation and mode of action studies.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Enzyme Inhibitors/chemistry , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/antagonists & inhibitors , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Viral Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Amides/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Binding Sites , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Catalytic Domain , Databases, Chemical , Drug Design , Enzyme Inhibitors/metabolism , Enzyme Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Guanidine/chemistry , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Structure-Activity Relationship , Sulfides/chemistry , Thermodynamics , Viral Proteins/metabolism
8.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(10): e1009412, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1448584

ABSTRACT

Viral proteins localize within subcellular compartments to subvert host machinery and promote pathogenesis. To study SARS-CoV-2 biology, we generated an atlas of 2422 human proteins vicinal to 17 SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins using proximity proteomics. This identified viral proteins at specific intracellular locations, such as association of accessary proteins with intracellular membranes, and projected SARS-CoV-2 impacts on innate immune signaling, ER-Golgi transport, and protein translation. It identified viral protein adjacency to specific host proteins whose regulatory variants are linked to COVID-19 severity, including the TRIM4 interferon signaling regulator which was found proximal to the SARS-CoV-2 M protein. Viral NSP1 protein adjacency to the EIF3 complex was associated with inhibited host protein translation whereas ORF6 localization with MAVS was associated with inhibited RIG-I 2CARD-mediated IFNB1 promoter activation. Quantitative proteomics identified candidate host targets for the NSP5 protease, with specific functional cleavage sequences in host proteins CWC22 and FANCD2. This data resource identifies host factors proximal to viral proteins in living human cells and nominates pathogenic mechanisms employed by SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Host-Parasite Interactions/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Humans , Protein Biosynthesis/physiology , Proteome/metabolism
9.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 19426, 2021 09 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1447322

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic poses a huge problem of public health that requires the implementation of all available means to contrast it, and drugs are one of them. In this context, we observed an unmet need of depicting the continuously evolving scenario of the ongoing drug clinical trials through an easy-to-use, freely accessible online tool. Starting from this consideration, we developed COVIDrugNet ( http://compmedchem.unibo.it/covidrugnet ), a web application that allows users to capture a holistic view and keep up to date on how the clinical drug research is responding to the SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here, we describe the web app and show through some examples how one can explore the whole landscape of medicines in clinical trial for the treatment of COVID-19 and try to probe the consistency of the current approaches with the available biological and pharmacological evidence. We conclude that careful analyses of the COVID-19 drug-target system based on COVIDrugNet can help to understand the biological implications of the proposed drug options, and eventually improve the search for more effective therapies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Computational Biology/methods , Clinical Trials as Topic , Computational Biology/instrumentation , Databases, Pharmaceutical , Drug Repositioning , Humans , Internet , Viral Proteins/metabolism
10.
Dis Markers ; 2021: 6803510, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443673

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is currently the most significant public health threat worldwide. Patients with severe COVID-19 usually have pneumonia concomitant with local inflammation and sometimes a cytokine storm. Specific components of the SARS-CoV-2 virus trigger lung inflammation, and recruitment of immune cells to the lungs exacerbates this process, although much remains unknown about the pathogenesis of COVID-19. Our study of lung type II pneumocyte cells (A549) demonstrated that ORF7, an open reading frame (ORF) in the genome of SARS-CoV-2, induced the production of CCL2, a chemokine that promotes the chemotaxis of monocytes, and decreased the expression of IL-8, a chemokine that recruits neutrophils. A549 cells also had an increased level of IL-6. The results of our chemotaxis Transwell assay suggested that ORF7 augmented monocyte infiltration and reduced the number of neutrophils. We conclude that the ORF7 of SARS-CoV-2 may have specific effects on the immunological changes in tissues after infection. These results suggest that the functions of other ORFs of SARS-CoV-2 should also be comprehensively examined.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Chemotaxis , Monocytes/pathology , Neutrophils/pathology , Open Reading Frames/physiology , Pneumonia/pathology , Viral Proteins/metabolism , A549 Cells , Chemokine CCL2/metabolism , Humans , In Vitro Techniques , Monocytes/immunology , Monocytes/metabolism , Neutrophils/immunology , Neutrophils/metabolism , Pneumonia/immunology , Pneumonia/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Viral Proteins/genetics
11.
J Virol ; 95(20): e0059221, 2021 09 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440799

ABSTRACT

The current pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has led to dramatic economic and health burdens. Although the worldwide SARS-CoV-2 vaccination campaign has begun, exploration of other vaccine candidates is needed due to uncertainties with the current approved vaccines, such as durability of protection, cross-protection against variant strains, and costs of long-term production and storage. In this study, we developed a methyltransferase-defective recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (mtdVSV)-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidate. We generated mtdVSVs expressing SARS-CoV-2 full-length spike (S) protein, S1, or its receptor-binding domain (RBD). All of these recombinant viruses grew to high titers in mammalian cells despite high attenuation in cell culture. The SARS-CoV-2 S protein and its truncations were highly expressed by the mtdVSV vector. These mtdVSV-based vaccine candidates were completely attenuated in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised mice. Among these constructs, mtdVSV-S induced high levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) and Th1-biased T-cell immune responses in mice. In Syrian golden hamsters, the serum levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific NAbs triggered by mtdVSV-S were higher than the levels of NAbs in convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients. In addition, hamsters immunized with mtdVSV-S were completely protected against SARS-CoV-2 replication in lung and nasal turbinate tissues, cytokine storm, and lung pathology. Collectively, our data demonstrate that mtdVSV expressing SARS-CoV-2 S protein is a safe and highly efficacious vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2 infection. IMPORTANCE Viral mRNA cap methyltransferase (MTase) is essential for mRNA stability, protein translation, and innate immune evasion. Thus, viral mRNA cap MTase activity is an excellent target for development of live attenuated or live vectored vaccine candidates. Here, we developed a panel of MTase-defective recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (mtdVSV)-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates expressing full-length S, S1, or several versions of the RBD. These mtdVSV-based vaccine candidates grew to high titers in cell culture and were completely attenuated in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised mice. Among these vaccine candidates, mtdVSV-S induces high levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific neutralizing antibodies (Nabs) and Th1-biased immune responses in mice. Syrian golden hamsters immunized with mtdVSV-S triggered SARS-CoV-2-specific NAbs at higher levels than those in convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients. Furthermore, hamsters immunized with mtdVSV-S were completely protected against SARS-CoV-2 challenge. Thus, mtdVSV is a safe and highly effective vector to deliver SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Brain/virology , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Line , Cytokine Release Syndrome/prevention & control , DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases/genetics , DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases/metabolism , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Lung/immunology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mesocricetus , Methyltransferases/genetics , Methyltransferases/metabolism , Mice , Protein Domains , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Th1 Cells/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/enzymology , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/physiology , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication
12.
Molecules ; 26(19)2021 Sep 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438674

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic needs no introduction at present. Only a few treatments are available for this disease, including remdesivir and favipiravir. Accordingly, the pharmaceutical industry is striving to develop new treatments for COVID-19. Molnupiravir, an orally active RdRp inhibitor, is in a phase 3 clinical trial against COVID-19. The objective of this review article is to enlighten the researchers working on COVID-19 about the discovery, recent developments, and patents related to molnupiravir. Molnupiravir was originally developed for the treatment of influenza at Emory University, USA. However, this drug has also demonstrated activity against a variety of viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. Now it is being jointly developed by Emory University, Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, and Merck to treat COVID-19. The published clinical data indicate a good safety profile, tolerability, and oral bioavailability of molnupiravir in humans. The patient-compliant oral dosage form of molnupiravir may hit the market in the first or second quarter of 2022. The patent data of molnupiravir revealed its granted compound patent and process-related patent applications. We also anticipate patent filing related to oral dosage forms, inhalers, and a combination of molnupiravir with marketed drugs like remdesivir, favipiravir, and baricitinib. The current pandemic demands a patient compliant, safe, tolerable, and orally effective COVID-19 treatment. The authors believe that molnupiravir meets these requirements and is a breakthrough COVID-19 treatment.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cytidine/analogs & derivatives , Drug Discovery , Hydroxylamines/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Administration, Oral , Animals , Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Clinical Trials as Topic , Cytidine/administration & dosage , Cytidine/chemistry , Cytidine/therapeutic use , Humans , Hydroxylamines/administration & dosage , Hydroxylamines/chemistry , Patents as Topic , RNA-Directed DNA Polymerase/metabolism , Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors/administration & dosage , Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors/chemistry , Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Viral Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Viral Proteins/metabolism
13.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(8): e1009800, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1435629

ABSTRACT

Type I Interferons (IFN-Is) are a family of cytokines which play a major role in inhibiting viral infection. Resultantly, many viruses have evolved mechanisms in which to evade the IFN-I response. Here we tested the impact of expression of 27 different SARS-CoV-2 genes in relation to their effect on IFN production and activity using three independent experimental methods. We identified six gene products; NSP6, ORF6, ORF7b, NSP1, NSP5 and NSP15, which strongly (>10-fold) blocked MAVS-induced (but not TRIF-induced) IFNß production. Expression of the first three of these SARS-CoV-2 genes specifically blocked MAVS-induced IFNß-promoter activity, whereas all six genes induced a collapse in IFNß mRNA levels, corresponding with suppressed IFNß protein secretion. Five of these six genes furthermore suppressed MAVS-induced activation of IFNλs, however with no effect on IFNα or IFNγ production. In sharp contrast, SARS-CoV-2 infected cells remained extremely sensitive to anti-viral activity exerted by added IFN-Is. None of the SARS-CoV-2 genes were able to block IFN-I signaling, as demonstrated by robust activation of Interferon Stimulated Genes (ISGs) by added interferon. This, despite the reduced levels of STAT1 and phospho-STAT1, was likely caused by broad translation inhibition mediated by NSP1. Finally, we found that a truncated ORF7b variant that has arisen from a mutant SARS-CoV-2 strain harboring a 382-nucleotide deletion associating with mild disease (Δ382 strain identified in Singapore & Taiwan in 2020) lost its ability to suppress type I and type III IFN production. In summary, our findings support a multi-gene process in which SARS-CoV-2 blocks IFN-production, with ORF7b as a major player, presumably facilitating evasion of host detection during early infection. However, SARS-CoV-2 fails to suppress IFN-I signaling thus providing an opportunity to exploit IFN-Is as potential therapeutic antiviral drugs.


Subject(s)
Interferon-beta/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/metabolism , Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport/metabolism , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-2/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Interferon-beta/genetics , Interferon-beta/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , STAT1 Transcription Factor/metabolism , Vero Cells , Viral Proteins/genetics
14.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 5553, 2021 09 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1434104

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is the causative agent behind the COVID-19 pandemic, responsible for over 170 million infections, and over 3.7 million deaths worldwide. Efforts to test, treat and vaccinate against this pathogen all benefit from an improved understanding of the basic biology of SARS-CoV-2. Both viral and cellular proteases play a crucial role in SARS-CoV-2 replication. Here, we study proteolytic cleavage of viral and cellular proteins in two cell line models of SARS-CoV-2 replication using mass spectrometry to identify protein neo-N-termini generated through protease activity. We identify previously unknown cleavage sites in multiple viral proteins, including major antigens S and N: the main targets for vaccine and antibody testing efforts. We discover significant increases in cellular cleavage events consistent with cleavage by SARS-CoV-2 main protease, and identify 14 potential high-confidence substrates of the main and papain-like proteases. We show that siRNA depletion of these cellular proteins inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication, and that drugs targeting two of these proteins: the tyrosine kinase SRC and Ser/Thr kinase MYLK, show a dose-dependent reduction in SARS-CoV-2 titres. Overall, our study provides a powerful resource to understand proteolysis in the context of viral infection, and to inform the development of targeted strategies to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 and treat COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cell Line , Dipeptides/pharmacology , Humans , Mutation , Myosin-Light-Chain Kinase/antagonists & inhibitors , Myosin-Light-Chain Kinase/genetics , Myosin-Light-Chain Kinase/metabolism , Proteolysis , Proteomics , RNA, Small Interfering/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Proteases/metabolism , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , src-Family Kinases/antagonists & inhibitors , src-Family Kinases/genetics , src-Family Kinases/metabolism
15.
Cell Rep ; 36(13): 109754, 2021 09 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401298

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 papain-like protease (PLpro) is a target for antiviral drug development. It is essential for processing viral polyproteins for replication and functions in host immune evasion by cleaving ubiquitin (Ub) and ubiquitin-like protein (Ubl) conjugates. While highly conserved, SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV PLpro have contrasting Ub/Ubl substrate preferences. Using a combination of structural analyses and functional assays, we identify a molecular sensor within the S1 Ub-binding site of PLpro that serves as a key determinant of substrate specificity. Variations within the S1 sensor specifically alter cleavage of Ub substrates but not of the Ubl interferon-stimulated gene 15 protein (ISG15). Significantly, a variant of concern associated with immune evasion carries a mutation in the S1 sensor that enhances PLpro activity on Ub substrates. Collectively, our data identify the S1 sensor region as a potential hotspot of variability that could alter host antiviral immune responses to newly emerging SARS-CoV-2 lineages.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/metabolism , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/ultrastructure , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Amino Acid Sequence/genetics , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/genetics , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Papain/chemistry , Papain/metabolism , Peptide Hydrolases/chemistry , Peptide Hydrolases/metabolism , Protein Binding/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Substrate Specificity/genetics , Ubiquitin/metabolism , Ubiquitins/metabolism , Viral Proteins/metabolism
16.
Nat Microbiol ; 6(10): 1219-1232, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1392860

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has claimed millions of lives and caused a global economic crisis. No effective antiviral drugs are currently available to treat infections of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The medical need imposed by the pandemic has spurred unprecedented research efforts to study coronavirus biology. Every virus depends on cellular host factors and pathways for successful replication. These proviral host factors represent attractive targets for antiviral therapy as they are genetically more stable than viral targets and may be shared among related viruses. The application of various 'omics' technologies has led to the rapid discovery of proviral host factors that are required for the completion of the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle. In this Review, we summarize insights into the proviral host factors that are required for SARS-CoV-2 infection that were mainly obtained using functional genetic and interactome screens. We discuss cellular processes that are important for the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle, as well as parallels with non-coronaviruses. Finally, we highlight host factors that could be targeted by clinically approved molecules and molecules in clinical trials as potential antiviral therapies for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/drug effects , Humans , Peptide Hydrolases/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects
17.
J Mol Model ; 27(10): 276, 2021 Sep 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1391881

ABSTRACT

Rimegepant is a new medicine developed for the management of chronic headache due to migraine. This manuscript is an attempt to study the various structural, physical, and chemical properties of the molecules. The molecule was optimized using B3LYP functional with 6-311G + (2d,p) basis set. Excited state properties of the compound were studied using CAM-B3LYP functional with same basis sets using IEFPCM model in methanol for the implicit solvent atmosphere. The various electronic descriptors helped to identify the reactivity behavior and stability. The compound is found to possess good nonlinear optical properties in the gas phase. The various intramolecular electronic delocalizations and non-covalent interactions were analyzed and explained. As the compound contain several heterocyclic nitrogen atoms, they have potential proton abstraction features, which was analyzed energetically. The most important result from this study is from the molecular docking analysis which indicates that rimegepant binds irreversibly with three established SARS-CoV-2 proteins with ID 6LU7, 6M03, and 6W63 with docking scores - 9.2988, - 8.3629, and - 9.5421 kcal/mol respectively. Further assessment of docked complexes with molecular dynamics simulations revealed that hydrophobic interactions, water bridges, and π-π interactions play a significant role in stabilizing the ligand within the binding region of respective proteins. MMGBSA-free energies further demonstrated that rimegepant is more stable when complexed with 6LU7 among the selected PDB models. As the pharmacology and pharmacokinetics of this molecule are already established, rimegepant can be considered as an ideal candidate with potential for use in the treatment of COVID patients after clinical studies.


Subject(s)
Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Piperidines/chemistry , Protons , Pyridines/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Viral Proteins/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Viral Proteins/metabolism
18.
Viruses ; 13(7)2021 06 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389549

ABSTRACT

The product of the interferon-stimulated gene C19orf66, Shiftless (SHFL), restricts human immunodeficiency virus replication through downregulation of the efficiency of the viral gag/pol frameshifting signal. In this study, we demonstrate that bacterially expressed, purified SHFL can decrease the efficiency of programmed ribosomal frameshifting in vitro at a variety of sites, including the RNA pseudoknot-dependent signals of the coronaviruses IBV, SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, and the protein-dependent stimulators of the cardioviruses EMCV and TMEV. SHFL also reduced the efficiency of stop-codon readthrough at the murine leukemia virus gag/pol signal. Using size-exclusion chromatography, we confirm the binding of the purified protein to mammalian ribosomes in vitro. Finally, through electrophoretic mobility shift assays and mutational analysis, we show that expressed SHFL has strong RNA binding activity that is necessary for full activity in the inhibition of frameshifting, but shows no clear specificity for stimulatory RNA structures.


Subject(s)
Codon, Terminator/genetics , Coronavirus/genetics , Frameshifting, Ribosomal/genetics , RNA-Binding Proteins/genetics , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Base Sequence , Escherichia coli/genetics , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral , Humans , Leukemia Virus, Murine/genetics , RNA Recognition Motif Proteins , RNA, Viral/genetics , Virus Replication
19.
BMC Bioinformatics ; 21(Suppl 17): 484, 2020 Dec 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388725

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We previously introduced PCPS (Proteasome Cleavage Prediction Server), a web-based tool to predict proteasome cleavage sites using n-grams. Here, we evaluated the ability of PCPS immunoproteasome cleavage model to discriminate CD8+ T cell epitopes. RESULTS: We first assembled an epitope dataset consisting of 844 unique virus-specific CD8+ T cell epitopes and their source proteins. We then analyzed cleavage predictions by PCPS immunoproteasome cleavage model on this dataset and compared them with those provided by a related method implemented by NetChop web server. PCPS was clearly superior to NetChop in term of sensitivity (0.89 vs. 0.79) but somewhat inferior with regard to specificity (0.55 vs. 0.60). Judging by the Mathew's Correlation Coefficient, PCPS predictions were overall superior to those provided by NetChop (0.46 vs. 0.39). We next analyzed the power of C-terminal cleavage predictions provided by the same PCPS model to discriminate CD8+ T cell epitopes, finding that they could be discriminated from random peptides with an accuracy of 0.74. Following these results, we tuned the PCPS web server to predict CD8+ T cell epitopes and predicted the entire SARS-CoV-2 epitope space. CONCLUSIONS: We report an improved version of PCPS named iPCPS for predicting proteasome cleavage sites and peptides with CD8+ T cell epitope features. iPCPS is available for free public use at https://imed.med.ucm.es/Tools/pcps/ .


Subject(s)
Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte , Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex/metabolism , Proteomics/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Proteins , COVID-19/virology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/metabolism , Humans , Peptides/chemistry , Peptides/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Software , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/metabolism
20.
ACS Chem Biol ; 16(8): 1469-1481, 2021 08 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387143

ABSTRACT

The programmed -1 ribosomal frameshifting element (PFSE) of SARS-CoV-2 is a well conserved structured RNA found in all coronaviruses' genomes. By adopting a pseudoknot structure in the presence of the ribosome, the PFSE promotes a ribosomal frameshifting event near the stop codon of the first open reading frame Orf1a during translation of the polyprotein pp1a. Frameshifting results in continuation of pp1a via a new open reading frame, Orf1b, that produces the longer pp1ab polyprotein. Polyproteins pp1a and pp1ab produce nonstructural proteins NSPs 1-10 and NSPs 1-16, respectively, which contribute vital functions during the viral life cycle and must be present in the proper stoichiometry. Both drugs and sequence alterations that affect the stability of the -1 programmed ribosomal frameshifting element disrupt the stoichiometry of the NSPs produced, which compromise viral replication. For this reason, the -1 programmed frameshifting element is considered a promising drug target. Using chaperone assisted RNA crystallography, we successfully crystallized and solved the three-dimensional structure of the PFSE. We observe a three-stem H-type pseudoknot structure with the three stems stacked in a vertical orientation stabilized by two triple base pairs at the stem 1/stem 2 and stem 1/stem 3 junctions. This structure provides a new conformation of PFSE distinct from the bent conformations inferred from midresolution cryo-EM models and provides a high-resolution framework for mechanistic investigations and structure-based drug design.


Subject(s)
Crystallography/methods , Frameshifting, Ribosomal/physiology , Molecular Chaperones , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Humans , Models, Molecular , Nucleic Acid Conformation , RNA, Viral/genetics , Ribosomes/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication/physiology
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