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1.
ACS Infect Dis ; 7(6): 1483-1502, 2021 06 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387146

ABSTRACT

Viral proteases are highly specific and recognize conserved cleavage site sequences of ∼6-8 amino acids. Short stretches of homologous host-pathogen sequences (SSHHPS) can be found spanning the viral protease cleavage sites. We hypothesized that these sequences corresponded to specific host protein targets since >40 host proteins have been shown to be cleaved by Group IV viral proteases and one Group VI viral protease. Using PHI-BLAST and the viral protease cleavage site sequences, we searched the human proteome for host targets and analyzed the hit results. Although the polyprotein and host proteins related to the suppression of the innate immune responses may be the primary targets of these viral proteases, we identified other cleavable host proteins. These proteins appear to be related to the virus-induced phenotype associated with Group IV viruses, suggesting that information about viral pathogenesis may be extractable directly from the viral genome sequence. Here we identify sequences cleaved by the SARS-CoV-2 papain-like protease (PLpro) in vitro within human MYH7 and MYH6 (two cardiac myosins linked to several cardiomyopathies), FOXP3 (an X-linked Treg cell transcription factor), ErbB4 (HER4), and vitamin-K-dependent plasma protein S (PROS1), an anticoagulation protein that prevents blood clots. Zinc inhibited the cleavage of these host sequences in vitro. Other patterns emerged from multispecies sequence alignments of the cleavage sites, which may have implications for the selection of animal models and zoonosis. SSHHPS/nsP is an example of a sequence-specific post-translational silencing mechanism.


Subject(s)
Papain , Peptide Hydrolases , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Viral Proteases/metabolism , Amino Acid Sequence , Cardiac Myosins/chemistry , Forkhead Transcription Factors/chemistry , Humans , Myosin Heavy Chains/chemistry , Papain/metabolism , Peptide Hydrolases/metabolism , Protein S/chemistry , Receptor, ErbB-4/chemistry
2.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(8)2021 Apr 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1186970

ABSTRACT

The family of coronaviruses (CoVs) uses the autophagy machinery of host cells to promote their growth and replication; thus, this process stands out as a potential target to combat COVID-19. Considering the different roles of autophagy during viral infection, including SARS-CoV-2 infection, in this review, we discuss several clinically used drugs that have effects at different stages of autophagy. Among them, we mention (1) lysosomotropic agents, which can prevent CoVs infection by alkalinizing the acid pH in the endolysosomal system, such as chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, artemisinins, two-pore channel modulators and imatinib; (2) protease inhibitors that can inhibit the proteolytic cleavage of the spike CoVs protein, which is necessary for viral entry into host cells, such as camostat mesylate, lopinavir, umifenovir and teicoplanin and (3) modulators of PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathways, such as rapamycin, heparin, glucocorticoids, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (IECAs) and cannabidiol. Thus, this review aims to highlight and discuss autophagy-related drugs for COVID-19, from in vitro to in vivo studies. We identified specific compounds that may modulate autophagy and exhibit antiviral properties. We hope that research initiatives and efforts will identify novel or "off-label" drugs that can be used to effectively treat patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, reducing the risk of mortality.


Subject(s)
Autophagy/drug effects , COVID-19/drug therapy , Molecular Targeted Therapy , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Signal Transduction , Virus Replication/drug effects , Virus Replication/physiology
3.
Infect Genet Evol ; 91: 104832, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1164210

ABSTRACT

MicroRNAs are gene expression regulators, associated with several human pathologies, including the ones caused by virus infections. Although their role in infection diseases is not completely known, they can exert double functions in the infected cell, by mediating the virus infection and/or regulating the immunity-related gene targets through complex networks of virus-host cell interactions. In this systematic review, the Pubmed, EMBASE, Scopus, Lilacs, Scielo, and EBSCO databases were searched for research articles published until October 22nd, 2020 that focused on describing the role, function, and/or association of miRNAs in SARS-CoV-2 human infection and COVID-19. Following the PRISMA 2009 protocol, 29 original research articles were selected. Most of the studies reported miRNA data based on the genome sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 isolates and computational prediction analysis. The latter predicted, by at least one independent study, 1266 host miRNAs to target the viral genome. Thirteen miRNAs were identified by four independent studies to target SARS-CoV-2 specific genes, suggested to act by interfering with their cleavage and/or translation process. The studies selected also reported on viral and host miRNAs that targeted host genes, on the expression levels of miRNAs in biological specimens of COVID-19 patients, and on the impact of viral genome mutations on miRNA function. Also, miRNAs that regulate the expression levels of the ACE2 and TMPRSS2 proteins, which are critical for the virus entrance in the host cells, were reported. In conclusion, despite the limited number of studies identified, based on the search terms and eligibility criteria applied, this systematic review provides evidence on the impact of miRNAs on SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19. Although most of the reported viral/host miRNAs interactions were based on in silico prediction analysis, they demonstrate the relevance of the viral/host miRNA interaction for viral activity and host responses. In addition, the identified studies highlight the potential use of miRNAs as therapeutic targets against COVID-19, and other viral human diseases (This review was registered at the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) database (#CRD42020199290).


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , Genome, Viral , MicroRNAs/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Gene Expression Regulation , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate , MicroRNAs/classification , MicroRNAs/immunology , Mutation , Protein Binding , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Serine Endopeptidases/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
4.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(1): e1009246, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1045566

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infects cells by binding to the host cell receptor ACE2 and undergoing virus-host membrane fusion. Fusion is triggered by the protease TMPRSS2, which processes the viral Spike (S) protein to reveal the fusion peptide. SARS-CoV-2 has evolved a multibasic site at the S1-S2 boundary, which is thought to be cleaved by furin in order to prime S protein for TMPRSS2 processing. Here we show that CRISPR-Cas9 knockout of furin reduces, but does not prevent, the production of infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus. Comparing S processing in furin knockout cells to multibasic site mutants reveals that while loss of furin substantially reduces S1-S2 cleavage it does not prevent it. SARS-CoV-2 S protein also mediates cell-cell fusion, potentially allowing virus to spread virion-independently. We show that loss of furin in either donor or acceptor cells reduces, but does not prevent, TMPRSS2-dependent cell-cell fusion, unlike mutation of the multibasic site that completely prevents syncytia formation. Our results show that while furin promotes both SARS-CoV-2 infectivity and cell-cell spread it is not essential, suggesting furin inhibitors may reduce but not abolish viral spread.


Subject(s)
Cell Fusion , Furin/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Virus Internalization , Animals , COVID-19 , CRISPR-Cas Systems , Chlorocebus aethiops , Gene Knockout Techniques , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Protein Structure, Tertiary , SARS-CoV-2 , Serine Endopeptidases , Vero Cells
5.
RNA ; 26(12): 1976-1999, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-973202

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus EndoU inhibits dsRNA-activated antiviral responses; however, the physiologic RNA substrates of EndoU are unknown. In this study, we used mouse hepatitis virus (MHV)-infected bone marrow-derived macrophage (BMM) and cyclic phosphate cDNA sequencing to identify the RNA targets of EndoU. EndoU targeted viral RNA, cleaving the 3' side of pyrimidines with a strong preference for U ↓ A and C ↓ A sequences (endoY ↓ A). EndoU-dependent cleavage was detected in every region of MHV RNA, from the 5' NTR to the 3' NTR, including transcriptional regulatory sequences (TRS). Cleavage at two CA dinucleotides immediately adjacent to the MHV poly(A) tail suggests a mechanism to suppress negative-strand RNA synthesis and the accumulation of viral dsRNA. MHV with EndoU (EndoUmut) or 2'-5' phosphodiesterase (PDEmut) mutations provoked the activation of RNase L in BMM, with corresponding cleavage of RNAs by RNase L. The physiologic targets of EndoU are viral RNA templates required for negative-strand RNA synthesis and dsRNA accumulation. Coronavirus EndoU cleaves U ↓ A and C ↓ A sequences (endoY ↓ A) within viral (+) strand RNA to evade dsRNA-activated host responses.


Subject(s)
Murine hepatitis virus/enzymology , RNA/chemistry , Uridylate-Specific Endoribonucleases/metabolism , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Animals , Cells, Cultured , Macrophages/virology , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mutation , Nucleotide Motifs , Protein Binding , RNA/metabolism , Uridylate-Specific Endoribonucleases/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics
6.
J Immunol Res ; 2020: 9465398, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-879699

ABSTRACT

This new decade has started with a global pandemic of COVID-19 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), precipitating a worldwide health crisis and economic downturn. Scientists and clinicians have been racing against time to find therapies for COVID-19. Repurposing approved drugs, developing vaccines and employing passive immunization are three major therapeutic approaches to fighting COVID-19. Chicken immunoglobulin Y (IgY) has the potential to be used as neutralizing antibody against respiratory infections, and its advantages include high avidity, low risk of adverse immune responses, and easy local delivery by intranasal administration. In this study, we raised antibody against the spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2 in chickens and extracted IgY (called IgY-S) from egg yolk. IgY-S exhibited high immunoreactivity against SARS-CoV-2 S, and by epitope mapping, we found five linear epitopes of IgY-S in SARS-CoV-2 S, two of which are cross-reactive with SARS-CoV S. Notably, epitope SIIAYTMSL, one of the identified epitopes, partially overlaps the S1/S2 cleavage region in SARS-CoV-2 S and is located on the surface of S trimer in 3D structure, close to the S1/S2 cleavage site. Thus, antibody binding at this location could physically block the access of proteolytic enzymes to S1/S2 cleavage site and thereby impede S1/S2 proteolytic cleavage, which is crucial to subsequent virus-cell membrane fusion and viral cell entry. Therefore, the feasibility of using IgY-S or epitope SIIAYTMS-specific IgY as neutralizing antibody for preventing or treating SARS-CoV-2 infection is worth exploring.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Epitope Mapping , Immunoglobulins/isolation & purification , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Administration, Intranasal , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Viral/administration & dosage , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Chickens , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cross Reactions , Feasibility Studies , Humans , Immunization, Passive/methods , Immunoglobulins/administration & dosage , Immunoglobulins/immunology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
7.
Nature ; 587(7835): 657-662, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-691112

ABSTRACT

The papain-like protease PLpro is an essential coronavirus enzyme that is required for processing viral polyproteins to generate a functional replicase complex and enable viral spread1,2. PLpro is also implicated in cleaving proteinaceous post-translational modifications on host proteins as an evasion mechanism against host antiviral immune responses3-5. Here we perform biochemical, structural and functional characterization of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) PLpro (SCoV2-PLpro) and outline differences with SARS-CoV PLpro (SCoV-PLpro) in regulation of host interferon and NF-κB pathways. SCoV2-PLpro and SCoV-PLpro share 83% sequence identity but exhibit different host substrate preferences; SCoV2-PLpro preferentially cleaves the ubiquitin-like interferon-stimulated gene 15 protein (ISG15), whereas SCoV-PLpro predominantly targets ubiquitin chains. The crystal structure of SCoV2-PLpro in complex with ISG15 reveals distinctive interactions with the amino-terminal ubiquitin-like domain of ISG15, highlighting the high affinity and specificity of these interactions. Furthermore, upon infection, SCoV2-PLpro contributes to the cleavage of ISG15 from interferon responsive factor 3 (IRF3) and attenuates type I interferon responses. Notably, inhibition of SCoV2-PLpro with GRL-0617 impairs the virus-induced cytopathogenic effect, maintains the antiviral interferon pathway and reduces viral replication in infected cells. These results highlight a potential dual therapeutic strategy in which targeting of SCoV2-PLpro can suppress SARS-CoV-2 infection and promote antiviral immunity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/metabolism , Immunity, Innate , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Cytokines/chemistry , Cytokines/metabolism , Deubiquitinating Enzymes/antagonists & inhibitors , Deubiquitinating Enzymes/chemistry , Deubiquitinating Enzymes/metabolism , Humans , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/metabolism , Interferons/immunology , Interferons/metabolism , Mice , Models, Molecular , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , NF-kappa B/immunology , NF-kappa B/metabolism , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Ubiquitination , Ubiquitins/chemistry , Ubiquitins/metabolism
8.
bioRxiv ; 2020 Jul 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-635950

ABSTRACT

A recently emerged betacoronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has led to a global health crisis that calls for the identification of effective therapeutics for COVID-19 disease. Coronavirus papain-like protease (PLpro) is an attractive drug target as it is essential for viral polyprotein cleavage and for deconjugation of ISG15, an antiviral ubiquitin-like protein. We show here that 6-Thioguanine (6-TG) inhibits SARS-CoV-2 PLpro-catalyzed viral polyprotein cleavage and ISG15 deconjugation in cells and inhibits replication of SARS-CoV-2 in Vero-E6 cells and Calu3 cells at submicromolar levels. As a well-characterized FDA-approved orally delivered drug, 6-TG represents a promising therapeutic for COVID-19 and other emerging coronaviruses. One Sentence Summary: A repurposed drug that targets an essential enzymatic activity of SARS-CoV-2 represents a promising COVID-19 therapeutic.

9.
J Virol ; 94(15)2020 07 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-382053

ABSTRACT

Porcine deltacoronavirus (PDCoV) is an emerging swine enteropathogenic coronavirus. The nonstructural protein nsp5, also called 3C-like protease, is responsible for processing viral polyprotein precursors in coronavirus (CoV) replication. Previous studies have shown that PDCoV nsp5 cleaves the NF-κB essential modulator and the signal transducer and activator of transcription 2 to disrupt interferon (IFN) production and signaling, respectively. Whether PDCoV nsp5 also cleaves IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs), IFN-induced antiviral effector molecules, remains unclear. In this study, we screened 14 classical ISGs and found that PDCoV nsp5 cleaved the porcine mRNA-decapping enzyme 1a (pDCP1A) through its protease activity. Similar cleavage of endogenous pDCP1A was also observed in PDCoV-infected cells. PDCoV nsp5 cleaved pDCP1A at glutamine 343 (Q343), and the cleaved pDCP1A fragments, pDCP1A1-343 and pDCP1A344-580, were unable to inhibit PDCoV infection. Mutant pDCP1A-Q343A, which resists nsp5-mediated cleavage, exhibited a stronger ability to inhibit PDCoV infection than wild-type pDCP1A. Interestingly, the Q343 cleavage site is highly conserved in DCP1A homologs from other mammalian species. Further analyses demonstrated that nsp5 encoded by seven tested CoVs that can infect human or pig also cleaved pDCP1A and human DCP1A, suggesting that DCP1A may be the common target for cleavage by nsp5 of mammalian CoVs.IMPORTANCE Interferon (IFN)-stimulated gene (ISG) induction through IFN signaling is important to create an antiviral state and usually directly inhibits virus infection. The present study first demonstrated that PDCoV nsp5 can cleave mRNA-decapping enzyme 1a (DCP1A) to attenuate its antiviral activity. Furthermore, cleaving DCP1A is a common characteristic of nsp5 proteins from different coronaviruses (CoVs), which represents a common immune evasion mechanism of CoVs. Previous evidence showed that CoV nsp5 cleaves the NF-κB essential modulator and signal transducer and activator of transcription 2. Taken together, CoV nsp5 is a potent IFN antagonist because it can simultaneously target different aspects of the host IFN system, including IFN production and signaling and effector molecules.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus/metabolism , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Endoribonucleases/metabolism , Trans-Activators/metabolism , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Animals , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Coronavirus Infections/veterinary , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cysteine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Exoribonucleases/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Immune Evasion , Interferons/metabolism , STAT2 Transcription Factor/metabolism , Signal Transduction , Swine , Swine Diseases/virology
10.
Circ Res ; 126(10): 1456-1474, 2020 05 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-217630

ABSTRACT

ACE2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2) has a multiplicity of physiological roles that revolve around its trivalent function: a negative regulator of the renin-angiotensin system, facilitator of amino acid transport, and the severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and SARS-CoV-2 receptor. ACE2 is widely expressed, including, in the lungs, cardiovascular system, gut, kidneys, central nervous system, and adipose tissue. ACE2 has recently been identified as the SARS-CoV-2 receptor, the infective agent responsible for coronavirus disease 2019, providing a critical link between immunity, inflammation, ACE2, and cardiovascular disease. Although sharing a close evolutionary relationship with SARS-CoV, the receptor-binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 differs in several key amino acid residues, allowing for stronger binding affinity with the human ACE2 receptor, which may account for the greater pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2. The loss of ACE2 function following binding by SARS-CoV-2 is driven by endocytosis and activation of proteolytic cleavage and processing. The ACE2 system is a critical protective pathway against heart failure with reduced and preserved ejection fraction including, myocardial infarction and hypertension, and against lung disease and diabetes mellitus. The control of gut dysbiosis and vascular permeability by ACE2 has emerged as an essential mechanism of pulmonary hypertension and diabetic cardiovascular complications. Recombinant ACE2, gene-delivery of Ace2, Ang 1-7 analogs, and Mas receptor agonists enhance ACE2 action and serve as potential therapies for disease conditions associated with an activated renin-angiotensin system. rhACE2 (recombinant human ACE2) has completed clinical trials and efficiently lowered or increased plasma angiotensin II and angiotensin 1-7 levels, respectively. Our review summarizes the progress over the past 20 years, highlighting the critical role of ACE2 as the novel SARS-CoV-2 receptor and as the negative regulator of the renin-angiotensin system, together with implications for the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and associated cardiovascular diseases.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/physiology , Cardiovascular Diseases , Coronavirus Infections , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/physiology , Pneumonia, Viral , Renin-Angiotensin System/physiology , ADAM17 Protein/physiology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , COVID-19 , Cardiovascular Diseases/etiology , Cardiovascular Diseases/physiopathology , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Diabetes Complications/metabolism , Diabetes Complications/physiopathology , Humans , Molecular Targeted Therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Receptors, Virus/physiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Attachment
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