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1.
J Tradit Complement Med ; 12(1): 6-15, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1814841

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIM: The year 2020 begins with the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that cause the disease COVID-19, and continue till today. As of March 23, 2021, the outbreak has infected 124,313,054 worldwide with a total death of 2,735,707. The use of traditional medicines as an adjuvant therapy with western drugs can lower the fatality rate due to the COVID-19. Therefore, in silico molecular docking study was performed to search potential phytochemicals and drugs that can block the entry of SARS-CoV-2 into host cells by inhibiting the proteolytic cleavage activity of furin and TMPRSS2. EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE: The protein-protein docking of the host proteases furin and TMPRSS2 was carried out with the virus spike (S) protein to examine the conformational details and residues involved in the complex formation. Subsequently, a library of 163 ligands containing phytochemicals and drugs was virtually screened to propose potential hits that can inhibit the proteolytic cleavage activity of furin and TMPRSS2. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: The phytochemicals like limonin, gedunin, eribulin, pedunculagin, limonin glycoside and betunilic acid bind at the active site of both furin and TMPRSS2. Limonin and gedunin found mainly in the citrus fruits and neem showed the highest binding energy at the active site of furin and TMPRSS2, respectively. The polyphenols found in green tea can also be useful in suppressing the furin activity. Among the drugs, the drug nafamostat may be more beneficial than the camostat in suppressing the activity of TMPRSS2.

2.
Med Clin (Engl Ed) ; 155(6): 249-253, 2020 Sep 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1796343

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Influenza virus infection is associated with a high disease burden. COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 has become a pandemic outbreak since January 2020. Taiwan has effectively contained COVID-19 community transmission. We aimed to validate whether fighting COVID-19 could help to control other respiratory infections in Taiwan. METHOD: We collected week-case data of severe influenza, invasive Streptococcus pneumoniae disease and death toll from pneumonia among 25 calendar weeks of the influenza season for four years (2016-2020), which were reported to Taiwan CDC. Trend and slope differences between years were compared. RESULT: A downturn trend of severe influenza, invasive S. pneumoniae disease and the death toll from pneumonia per week in 2019/2020 season and significant trend difference in comparison to previous seasons were noted, especially after initiation of several disease prevention measures to fight potential COVID-19 outbreak in Taiwan. CONCLUSIONS: Fighting COVID-19 achieved collateral benefits on significant reductions of severe influenza burden, invasive S. pneumoniae disease activity, and the death toll from pneumonia reported to CDC in Taiwan.


PROPÓSITOS: La COVID-19, causada por SARS-CoV-2, se ha convertido en un brote de pandemia desde enero de 2020. Taiwán ha contenido efectivamente la transmisión comunitaria de la COVID-19. Por otra parte, la influenza también es una enfermedad que se asocia con una alta carga de morbilidades. El objetivo del estudio es validar si combatir la COVID-19 podría ayudar a controlar otras infecciones respiratorias en Taiwán. MÉTODOS: Recopilamos datos semanales de casos de influenza grave, infecciones invasivas por Streptococcus pneumoniae y número de muertes por neumonía, que se informaron a los CDC de Taiwán en las 25 semanas de la temporada de influenza durante 4 años (2016-2020). Comparamos las diferencias de tendencia y de pendiente entre los años. RESULTADOS: Se observó una tendencia a la baja de la influenza grave, de las infecciones invasivas por Streptococcus pneumoniae y del número de muertes por neumonía por semana en la temporada de influenza de 2019-2020. Se observaron diferencias significativas en la tendencia en comparación con las temporadas anteriores, especialmente después del inicio de varias medidas de prevención de enfermedades para combatir el posible brote de COVID-19 en Taiwán. CONCLUSIONES: Por el número de casos reportados a los CDC de Taiwán, encontramos que la lucha contra la COVID-19 logró beneficios colaterales en cuanto a reducción significativa de la carga de la influenza grave, a las infecciones invasivas por Streptococcus pneumoniae y al número de muertes por neumonía.

3.
Viruses ; 12(5)2020 04 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1726007

ABSTRACT

In January 2020, Chinese health agencies reported an outbreak of a novel coronavirus-2 (CoV-2) which can lead to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The virus, which belongs to the coronavirus family (SARS-CoV-2), was named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). Full-length genome sequences of SARS-CoV-2 showed 79.6% sequence identity to SARS-CoV, with 96% identity to a bat coronavirus at the whole-genome level. COVID-19 has caused over 133,000 deaths and there are over 2 million total confirmed cases as of April 15th, 2020. Current treatment plans are still under investigation due to a lack of understanding of COVID-19. One potential mechanism to slow disease progression is the use of antiviral drugs to either block the entry of the virus or interfere with viral replication and maturation. Currently, antiviral drugs, including chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir, and lopinavir/ritonavir, have shown effective inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. Due to the high dose needed and narrow therapeutic window, many patients are experiencing severe side effects with the above drugs. Hence, repurposing these drugs with a proper formulation is needed to improve the safety and efficacy for COVID-19 treatment. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are a family of natural carriers in the human body. They play a critical role in cell-to-cell communications. EVs can be used as unique drug carriers to deliver protease inhibitors to treat COVID-19. EVs may provide targeted delivery of protease inhibitors, with fewer systemic side effects. More importantly, EVs are eligible for major aseptic processing and can be upscaled for mass production. Currently, the FDA is facilitating applications to treat COVID-19, which provides a very good chance to use EVs to contribute in this combat.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Drug Repositioning , Extracellular Vesicles/chemistry , HIV Protease Inhibitors/administration & dosage , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Drug Approval , Drug Delivery Systems , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
4.
Chin Med J (Engl) ; 133(9): 1051-1056, 2020 May 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1722622

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Medicines for the treatment of 2019-novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infections are urgently needed. However, drug screening using live 2019-nCoV requires high-level biosafety facilities, which imposes an obstacle for those institutions without such facilities or 2019-nCoV. This study aims to repurpose the clinically approved drugs for the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in a 2019-nCoV-related coronavirus model. METHODS: A 2019-nCoV-related pangolin coronavirus GX_P2V/pangolin/2017/Guangxi was described. Whether GX_P2V uses angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as the cell receptor was investigated by using small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated silencing of ACE2. The pangolin coronavirus model was used to identify drug candidates for treating 2019-nCoV infection. Two libraries of 2406 clinically approved drugs were screened for their ability to inhibit cytopathic effects on Vero E6 cells by GX_P2V infection. The anti-viral activities and anti-viral mechanisms of potential drugs were further investigated. Viral yields of RNAs and infectious particles were quantified by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and plaque assay, respectively. RESULTS: The spike protein of coronavirus GX_P2V shares 92.2% amino acid identity with that of 2019-nCoV isolate Wuhan-hu-1, and uses ACE2 as the receptor for infection just like 2019-nCoV. Three drugs, including cepharanthine (CEP), selamectin, and mefloquine hydrochloride, exhibited complete inhibition of cytopathic effects in cell culture at 10 µmol/L. CEP demonstrated the most potent inhibition of GX_P2V infection, with a concentration for 50% of maximal effect [EC50] of 0.98 µmol/L. The viral RNA yield in cells treated with 10 µmol/L CEP was 15,393-fold lower than in cells without CEP treatment ([6.48 ±â€Š0.02] × 10vs. 1.00 ±â€Š0.12, t = 150.38, P < 0.001) at 72 h post-infection (p.i.). Plaque assays found no production of live viruses in media containing 10 µmol/L CEP at 48 h p.i. Furthermore, we found CEP had potent anti-viral activities against both viral entry (0.46 ±â€Š0.12, vs.1.00 ±â€Š0.37, t = 2.42, P < 0.05) and viral replication ([6.18 ±â€Š0.95] × 10vs. 1.00 ±â€Š0.43, t = 3.98, P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Our pangolin coronavirus GX_P2V is a workable model for 2019-nCoV research. CEP, selamectin, and mefloquine hydrochloride are potential drugs for treating 2019-nCoV infection. Our results strongly suggest that CEP is a wide-spectrum inhibitor of pan-betacoronavirus, and further study of CEP for treatment of 2019-nCoV infection is warranted.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Betacoronavirus/genetics , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Cell Line , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Drug Approval , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Load
5.
Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Pharmacother ; 8(2): 157-164, 2022 02 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1692232

ABSTRACT

AIM: Assessing the effect of statin therapy (ST) at hospital admission for COVID-19 on in-hospital mortality. METHODS AND RESULTS: Retrospective observational study. Patients taking statins were 11 years older and had significantly more comorbidities than patients who were not taking statins. A genetic matching (GM) procedure was performed prior to analysis of the mortality risk. A Cox proportional hazards model was used for the cause-specific hazard (CSH) function, and a competing-risks Fine and Gray (FG) model was also used to study the direct effects of statins on risk. Data from reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction-confirmed 2157 SARS-CoV-2-infected patients [1234 men, 923 women; age: 67 y/o (IQR 54-78)] admitted to the hospital were retrieved from the clinical records in anonymized manner. Three hundred and fifty-three deaths occurred. Five hundred and eighty-one patients were taking statins. Univariate test after GM showed a significantly lower mortality rate in patients on ST than the matched non-statin group (19.8% vs. 25.4%, χ2 with Yates continuity correction: P = 0.027). The mortality rate was even lower in patients (n = 336) who maintained their statin treatments during hospitalization compared with the GM non-statin group (17.4%; P = 0.045). The Cox model applied to the CSH function [HR = 0.58(CI: 0.39-0.89); P = 0.01] and the competing-risks FG model [HR = 0.60 (CI: 0.39-0.92); P = 0.02] suggest that statins are associated with reduced COVID-19-related mortality. CONCLUSIONS: A lower SARS-CoV-2 infection-related mortality was observed in patients treated with ST prior to hospitalization. Statin therapy should not be discontinued due to the global concern of the pandemic or in patients hospitalized for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors , Aged , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors/adverse effects , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
6.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(2): 199-209, 2022 01 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662119

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to threaten public health globally. Patients with severe COVID-19 disease progress to acute respiratory distress syndrome, with respiratory and multiple organ failure. It is believed that dysregulated production of proinflammatory cytokines and endothelial dysfunction contribute to the pathogenesis of severe diseases. However, the mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and the role of endothelial cells are poorly understood. METHODS: Well-differentiated human airway epithelial cells were used to explore cytokine and chemokine production after SARS-CoV-2 infection. We measured the susceptibility to infection, immune response, and expression of adhesion molecules in human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (HPMVECs) exposed to conditioned medium from infected epithelial cells. The effect of imatinib on HPMVECs exposed to conditioned medium was evaluated. RESULTS: We demonstrated the production of interleukin-6, interferon gamma-induced protein-10, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 from the infected human airway cells after infection with SARS-CoV-2. Although HPMVECs did not support productive replication of SARS-CoV-2, treatment of HPMVECs with conditioned medium collected from infected airway cells induced an upregulation of proinflammatory cytokines, chemokines, and vascular adhesion molecules. Imatinib inhibited the upregulation of these cytokines, chemokines, and adhesion molecules in HPMVECs treated with conditioned medium. CONCLUSIONS: We evaluated the role of endothelial cells in the development of clinical disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 and the importance of endothelial cell-epithelial cell interaction in the pathogenesis of human COVID-19 diseases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Cell Communication , Endothelial Cells , Epithelial Cells , Humans
7.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(1): 59-65, 2022 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621577

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several vaccines are now available under emergency use authorization in the United States and have demonstrated efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19. Vaccine impact on asymptomatic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is largely unknown. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of consecutive, asymptomatic adult patients (n = 39 156) within a large US healthcare system who underwent 48 333 preprocedural SARS-CoV-2 molecular screening tests between 17 December 2020 and 8 February 2021. The primary exposure of interest was vaccination with ≥1 dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. The primary outcome was relative risk (RR) of a positive SARS-CoV-2 molecular test among those asymptomatic persons who had received ≥1 dose of vaccine compared with persons who had not received vaccine during the same time period. RR was adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, patient residence relative to the hospital (local vs nonlocal), healthcare system regions, and repeated screenings among patients using mixed-effects log-binomial regression. RESULTS: Positive molecular tests in asymptomatic individuals were reported in 42 (1.4%) of 3006 tests and 1436 (3.2%) of 45 327 tests performed on vaccinated and unvaccinated patients, respectively (RR, .44; 95% CI, .33-.60; P < .0001). Compared with unvaccinated patients, risk of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection was lower among those >10 days after the first dose (RR, .21; 95% CI, .12-.37; P < .0001) and >0 days after the second dose (RR, .20; 95% CI, .09-.44; P < .0001) in the adjusted analysis. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 vaccination with an mRNA-based vaccine showed a significant association with reduced risk of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection as measured during preprocedural molecular screening. Results of this study demonstrate the impact of the vaccines on reduction in asymptomatic infections supplementing the randomized trial results on symptomatic patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
8.
Nutrients ; 13(2)2021 Jan 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575478

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is a newly emerging virus that currently lacks curative treatments. Lactoferrin (LF) is a naturally occurring non-toxic glycoprotein with broad-spectrum antiviral, immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects. In this study, we assessed the potential of LF in the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro. Antiviral immune response gene expression was analyzed by qRT-PCR in uninfected Caco-2 intestinal epithelial cells treated with LF. An infection assay for SARS-CoV-2 was performed in Caco-2 cells treated or not with LF. SARS-CoV-2 titer was determined by qRT-PCR, plaque assay and immunostaining. Inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokine production was determined by qRT-PCR. LF significantly induced the expression of IFNA1, IFNB1, TLR3, TLR7, IRF3, IRF7 and MAVS genes. Furthermore, LF partially inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infection and replication in Caco-2 intestinal epithelial cells. Our in vitro data support LF as an immune modulator of the antiviral immune response with moderate effects against SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19 , Gene Expression Regulation , Immunity, Innate/drug effects , Lactoferrin/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Caco-2 Cells , Chlorocebus aethiops , Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects , Gene Expression Regulation/immunology , Humans , Vero Cells
9.
Curr Neuropharmacol ; 19(12): 2250-2275, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575288

ABSTRACT

The edible cyanobacterium Spirulina platensis and its chief biliprotein C-Phycocyanin have shown protective activity in animal models of diverse human health diseases, often reflecting antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. The beneficial effects of C-Phycocyanin seem likely to be primarily attributable to its covalently attached chromophore Phycocyanobilin (PCB). Within cells, biliverdin is generated from free heme and it is subsequently reduced to bilirubin. Although bilirubin can function as an oxidant scavenger, its potent antioxidant activity reflects its ability to inactivate some isoforms of NADPH oxidase. Free bilirubin can also function as an agonist for the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR); this may explain its ability to promote protective Treg activity in cellular and rodent models of inflammatory disease. AhR agonists also promote transcription of the gene coding for Nrf-2, and hence can up-regulate phase 2 induction of antioxidant enzymes, such as HO-1. Hence, it is proposed that C-Phycocyanin/PCB chiefly exert their protective effects via inhibition of NADPH oxidase activity, as well as by AhR agonism that both induces Treg activity and up-regulates phase 2 induction. This simple model may explain their potent antioxidant/antiinflammatory effects. Additionally, PCB might mimic biliverdin in activating anti-inflammatory signaling mediated by biliverdin reductase. This essay reviews recent research in which CPhycocyanin and/or PCB, administered orally, parenterally, or intranasally, have achieved marked protective effects in rodent and cell culture models of Ischemic Stroke and Multiple Sclerosis, and suggests that these agents may likewise be protective for Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and in COVID-19 and its neurological complications.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neurodegenerative Diseases , Animals , Dietary Supplements , Humans , Neurodegenerative Diseases/drug therapy , Phycobilins , Phycocyanin/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Clin Transl Sci ; 14(6): 2146-2151, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526353

ABSTRACT

Tocilizumab is an IL-6 receptor antagonist with the ability to suppress the cytokine storm in critically ill patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We evaluated patients treated with tocilizumab for a SARS-CoV-2 infection who were admitted between March 13, 2020, and April 16, 2020. This was a multicenter study with data collected by chart review both retrospectively and concurrently. Parameters evaluated included age, sex, race, use of mechanical ventilation (MV), usage of steroids and vasopressors, inflammatory markers, and comorbidities. Early dosing was defined as a tocilizumab dose administered prior to or within 1 day of intubation. Late dosing was defined as a dose administered > 1 day after intubation. In the absence of MV, the timing of the dose was related to the patient's date of admission only. We evaluated 145 patients. The average age was 58.1 years, 64% were men, 68.3% had comorbidities, and 60% received steroid therapy. Disposition of patients was 48.3% discharged and 29.3% died, of which 43.9% were African American. MV was required in 55.9%, of which 34.5% died. Avoidance of MV (P = 0.002) and increased survival (P < 0.001) was statistically associated with early dosing. Tocilizumab therapy was effective at decreasing mortality and should be instituted early in the management of critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019) COVID-19).


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/therapy , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/virology , Critical Illness/mortality , Critical Illness/therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/mortality , Cytokine Release Syndrome/virology , Female , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , Time Factors , Time-to-Treatment , Treatment Outcome
11.
Jpn J Infect Dis ; 74(5): 421-423, 2021 Sep 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1436359

ABSTRACT

Green tea extracts effectively inactivated severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in vitro in a dose-dependent manner. Ten-fold serially diluted solutions of catechin mixture reagent from green tea were mixed with the viral culture fluid at a volume ratio of 9:1, respectively, and incubated at room temperature for 5 min. The solution of 10 mg/mL catechin reagent reduced the viral titer by 4.2 log and 1.0 mg/mL solution by one log. Pre-infection treatment of cells with the reagent alone did not affect viral growth. In addition, cells treated with only the reagent were assayed for host cell viability using the WST-8 system, and almost no host cell damage by the treatment was observed. These findings suggested that the direct treatment of virus with the reagent before inoculation decreased the viral activity and that catechins might have the potential to suppress SARSCoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Catechin/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Tea/chemistry , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Cell Survival/drug effects , Chlorocebus aethiops , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Humans , Vero Cells , Viral Load/drug effects
12.
Acta Pharm Sin B ; 11(9): 2850-2858, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1415197

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection severely threatens global health and economic development. No effective antiviral drug is currently available to treat COVID-19 and any other human coronavirus infections. We report herein that a macrolide antibiotic, carrimycin, potently inhibited the cytopathic effects (CPE) and reduced the levels of viral protein and RNA in multiple cell types infected by human coronavirus 229E, OC43, and SARS-CoV-2. Time-of-addition and pseudotype virus infection studies indicated that carrimycin inhibited one or multiple post-entry replication events of human coronavirus infection. In support of this notion, metabolic labelling studies showed that carrimycin significantly inhibited the synthesis of viral RNA. Our studies thus strongly suggest that carrimycin is an antiviral agent against a broad-spectrum of human coronaviruses and its therapeutic efficacy to COVID-19 is currently under clinical investigation.

16.
Sci Bull (Beijing) ; 66(9): 925-936, 2021 May 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1386590

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 infection is spreading rapidly worldwide. Efficacious antiviral therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2 is urgently needed. Here, we discovered that protoporphyrin IX (PpIX) and verteporfin, two Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs, completely inhibited the cytopathic effect produced by SARS-CoV-2 infection at 1.25 µmol/L and 0.31 µmol/L, respectively, and their EC50 values of reduction of viral RNA were at nanomolar concentrations. The selectivity indices of PpIX and verteporfin were 952.74 and 368.93, respectively, suggesting a broad margin of safety. Importantly, PpIX and verteporfin prevented SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice adenovirally transduced with human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). The compounds, sharing a porphyrin ring structure, were shown to bind viral receptor ACE2 and interfere with the interaction between ACE2 and the receptor-binding domain of viral S protein. Our study suggests that PpIX and verteporfin are potent antiviral agents against SARS-CoV-2 infection and sheds new light on developing novel chemoprophylaxis and chemotherapy against SARS-CoV-2.

17.
mBio ; 11(6)2020 12 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388458

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 uses human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as the primary receptor to enter host cells and initiate the infection. The critical binding region of ACE2 is an ∼30-amino-acid (aa)-long helix. Here, we report the design of four stapled peptides based on the ACE2 helix, which is expected to bind to SARS-CoV-2 and prevent the binding of the virus to the ACE2 receptor and disrupt the infection. All stapled peptides showed high helical contents (50 to 94% helicity). In contrast, the linear control peptide NYBSP-C showed no helicity (19%). We have evaluated the peptides in a pseudovirus-based single-cycle assay in HT1080/ACE2 cells and human lung cell line A549/ACE2, overexpressing ACE2. Three of the four stapled peptides showed potent antiviral activity in HT1080/ACE2 (50% inhibitory concentration [IC50]: 1.9 to 4.1 µM) and A549/ACE2 (IC50: 2.2 to 2.8 µM) cells. The linear peptide NYBSP-C and the double-stapled peptide StRIP16, used as controls, showed no antiviral activity. Most significantly, none of the stapled peptides show any cytotoxicity at the highest dose tested. We also evaluated the antiviral activity of the peptides by infecting Vero E6 cells with the replication-competent authentic SARS-CoV-2 (US_WA-1/2020). NYBSP-1 was the most efficient, preventing the complete formation of cytopathic effects (CPEs) at an IC100 of 17.2 µM. NYBSP-2 and NYBSP-4 also prevented the formation of the virus-induced CPE with an IC100 of about 33 µM. We determined the proteolytic stability of one of the most active stapled peptides, NYBSP-4, in human plasma, which showed a half-life (T 1/2) of >289 min.IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2 is a novel virus with many unknowns. No vaccine or specific therapy is available yet to prevent and treat this deadly virus. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop novel therapeutics. Structural studies revealed critical interactions between the binding site helix of the ACE2 receptor and SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD). Therefore, targeting the entry pathway of SARS-CoV-2 is ideal for both prevention and treatment as it blocks the first step of the viral life cycle. We report the design of four double-stapled peptides, three of which showed potent antiviral activity in HT1080/ACE2 cells and human lung carcinoma cells, A549/ACE2. Most significantly, the active stapled peptides with antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 showed high α-helicity (60 to 94%). The most active stapled peptide, NYBSP-4, showed substantial resistance to degradation by proteolytic enzymes in human plasma. The lead stapled peptides are expected to pave the way for further optimization of a clinical candidate.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Peptides/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Attachment/drug effects , A549 Cells , Animals , Binding Sites , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Peptides/chemical synthesis , Protein Binding , Vero Cells
18.
J Med Virol ; 93(9): 5376-5389, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1363676

ABSTRACT

The suppression of types I and III interferon (IFN) responses by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) contributes to the pathogenesis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The strategy used by SARS-CoV-2 to evade antiviral immunity needs further investigation. Here, we reported that SARS-CoV-2 ORF9b inhibited types I and III IFN production by targeting multiple molecules of innate antiviral signaling pathways. SARS-CoV-2 ORF9b impaired the induction of types I and III IFNs by Sendai virus and poly (I:C). SARS-CoV-2 ORF9b inhibited the activation of types I and III IFNs induced by the components of cytosolic dsRNA-sensing pathways of RIG-I/MDA5-MAVS signaling, including RIG-I, MDA-5, MAVS, TBK1, and IKKε, rather than IRF3-5D, which is the active form of IRF3. SARS-CoV-2 ORF9b also suppressed the induction of types I and III IFNs by TRIF and STING, which are the adaptor protein of the endosome RNA-sensing pathway of TLR3-TRIF signaling and the adaptor protein of the cytosolic DNA-sensing pathway of cGAS-STING signaling, respectively. A mechanistic analysis revealed that the SARS-CoV-2 ORF9b protein interacted with RIG-I, MDA-5, MAVS, TRIF, STING, and TBK1 and impeded the phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of IRF3. In addition, SARS-CoV-2 ORF9b facilitated the replication of the vesicular stomatitis virus. Therefore, the results showed that SARS-CoV-2 ORF9b negatively regulates antiviral immunity and thus facilitates viral replication. This study contributes to our understanding of the molecular mechanism through which SARS-CoV-2 impairs antiviral immunity and provides an essential clue to the pathogenesis of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
DEAD Box Protein 58/immunology , Immune Evasion/genetics , Interferons/immunology , Nucleotidyltransferases/immunology , Receptors, Immunologic/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Toll-Like Receptor 3/immunology , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/genetics , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/immunology , Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport/genetics , Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport/immunology , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , DEAD Box Protein 58/genetics , Gene Expression Regulation , HEK293 Cells , HeLa Cells , Humans , I-kappa B Kinase/genetics , I-kappa B Kinase/immunology , Immunity, Innate , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/genetics , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/immunology , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1/genetics , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1/immunology , Interferons/genetics , Membrane Proteins/genetics , Membrane Proteins/immunology , Nucleotidyltransferases/genetics , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Plasmids/chemistry , Plasmids/metabolism , /immunology , Receptors, Immunologic/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Signal Transduction/genetics , Signal Transduction/immunology , Toll-Like Receptor 3/genetics , Transfection , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/immunology
19.
J Virol ; 95(17): e0074721, 2021 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1356909

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is bringing an unprecedented health crisis to the world. To date, our understanding of the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and host innate immunity is still limited. Previous studies reported that SARS-CoV-2 nonstructural protein 12 (NSP12) was able to suppress interferon-ß (IFN-ß) activation in IFN-ß promoter luciferase reporter assays, which provided insights into the pathogenesis of COVID-19. In this study, we demonstrated that IFN-ß promoter-mediated luciferase activity was reduced during coexpression of NSP12. However, we could show NSP12 did not affect IRF3 or NF-κB activation. Moreover, IFN-ß production induced by Sendai virus (SeV) infection or other stimulus was not affected by NSP12 at mRNA or protein level. Additionally, the type I IFN signaling pathway was not affected by NSP12, as demonstrated by the expression of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs). Further experiments revealed that different experiment systems, including protein tags and plasmid backbones, could affect the readouts of IFN-ß promoter luciferase assays. In conclusion, unlike as previously reported, our study showed SARS-CoV-2 NSP12 protein is not an IFN-ß antagonist. It also rings the alarm on the general usage of luciferase reporter assays in studying SARS-CoV-2. IMPORTANCE Previous studies investigated the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins and interferon signaling and proposed that several SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins, including NSP12, could suppress IFN-ß activation. However, most of these results were generated from IFN-ß promoter luciferase reporter assay and have not been validated functionally. In our study, we found that, although NSP12 could suppress IFN-ß promoter luciferase activity, it showed no inhibitory effect on IFN-ß production or its downstream signaling. Further study revealed that contradictory results could be generated from different experiment systems. On one hand, we demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 NSP12 could not suppress IFN-ß signaling. On the other hand, our study suggests that caution needs to be taken with the interpretation of SARS-CoV-2-related luciferase assays.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase , Interferon-beta , Promoter Regions, Genetic , SARS-CoV-2 , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/genetics , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/metabolism , Interferon-beta/antagonists & inhibitors , Interferon-beta/biosynthesis , Interferon-beta/genetics , NF-kappa B/genetics , NF-kappa B/metabolism , RNA, Messenger/biosynthesis , RNA, Messenger/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
20.
J Virol ; 95(17): e0074721, 2021 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1350002

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is bringing an unprecedented health crisis to the world. To date, our understanding of the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and host innate immunity is still limited. Previous studies reported that SARS-CoV-2 nonstructural protein 12 (NSP12) was able to suppress interferon-ß (IFN-ß) activation in IFN-ß promoter luciferase reporter assays, which provided insights into the pathogenesis of COVID-19. In this study, we demonstrated that IFN-ß promoter-mediated luciferase activity was reduced during coexpression of NSP12. However, we could show NSP12 did not affect IRF3 or NF-κB activation. Moreover, IFN-ß production induced by Sendai virus (SeV) infection or other stimulus was not affected by NSP12 at mRNA or protein level. Additionally, the type I IFN signaling pathway was not affected by NSP12, as demonstrated by the expression of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs). Further experiments revealed that different experiment systems, including protein tags and plasmid backbones, could affect the readouts of IFN-ß promoter luciferase assays. In conclusion, unlike as previously reported, our study showed SARS-CoV-2 NSP12 protein is not an IFN-ß antagonist. It also rings the alarm on the general usage of luciferase reporter assays in studying SARS-CoV-2. IMPORTANCE Previous studies investigated the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins and interferon signaling and proposed that several SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins, including NSP12, could suppress IFN-ß activation. However, most of these results were generated from IFN-ß promoter luciferase reporter assay and have not been validated functionally. In our study, we found that, although NSP12 could suppress IFN-ß promoter luciferase activity, it showed no inhibitory effect on IFN-ß production or its downstream signaling. Further study revealed that contradictory results could be generated from different experiment systems. On one hand, we demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 NSP12 could not suppress IFN-ß signaling. On the other hand, our study suggests that caution needs to be taken with the interpretation of SARS-CoV-2-related luciferase assays.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase , Interferon-beta , Promoter Regions, Genetic , SARS-CoV-2 , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/genetics , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/metabolism , Interferon-beta/antagonists & inhibitors , Interferon-beta/biosynthesis , Interferon-beta/genetics , NF-kappa B/genetics , NF-kappa B/metabolism , RNA, Messenger/biosynthesis , RNA, Messenger/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
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