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1.
BMC Complement Med Ther ; 21(1): 141, 2021 May 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388756

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Herbal remedies of Echinacea purpurea tinctures are widely used today to reduce common cold respiratory tract infections. METHODS: Transcriptome, epigenome and kinome profiling allowed a systems biology level characterisation of genomewide immunomodulatory effects of a standardized Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench extract in THP1 monocytes. RESULTS: Gene expression and DNA methylation analysis revealed that Echinaforce® treatment triggers antiviral innate immunity pathways, involving tonic IFN signaling, activation of pattern recognition receptors, chemotaxis and immunometabolism. Furthermore, phosphopeptide based kinome activity profiling and pharmacological inhibitor experiments with filgotinib confirm a key role for Janus Kinase (JAK)-1 dependent gene expression changes in innate immune signaling. Finally, Echinaforce® treatment induces DNA hypermethylation at intergenic CpG, long/short interspersed nuclear DNA repeat elements (LINE, SINE) or long termininal DNA repeats (LTR). This changes transcription of flanking endogenous retroviral sequences (HERVs), involved in an evolutionary conserved (epi) genomic protective response against viral infections. CONCLUSIONS: Altogether, our results suggest that Echinaforce® phytochemicals strengthen antiviral innate immunity through tonic IFN regulation of pattern recognition and chemokine gene expression and DNA repeat hypermethylated silencing of HERVs in monocytes. These results suggest that immunomodulation by Echinaforce® treatment holds promise to reduce symptoms and duration of infection episodes of common cold corona viruses (CoV), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)-CoV, and new occurring strains such as SARS-CoV-2, with strongly impaired interferon (IFN) response and weak innate antiviral defense.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Echinacea , Immunologic Factors/pharmacology , Monocytes/drug effects , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Gene Expression , Humans , Immunity, Innate/drug effects , Immunologic Factors/therapeutic use , Interferons/drug effects , Phytotherapy , Plant Extracts/therapeutic use
2.
NPJ Vaccines ; 6(1): 37, 2021 Mar 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1142441

ABSTRACT

Here we report a recombinant baculoviral vector-based DNA vaccine system against Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV2). A non-replicating recombinant baculovirus expressing the human endogenous retrovirus envelope gene (AcHERV) was constructed as a DNA vaccine vector for gene delivery into human cells. For MERS-CoV vaccine construction, DNA encoding MERS-CoV S-full, S1 subunit, or receptor-binding domain (RBD) was inserted into the genome of AcHERV. For COVID19 vaccine construction, DNA encoding SARS-CoV2 S-full or S1 or a MERS-CoV NTD domain-fused SARS-CoV2 RBD was inserted into the genome of AcHERV. AcHERV-DNA vaccines induce high humoral and cell-mediated immunity in animal models. In challenge tests, twice immunized AcHERV-MERS-S1 and AcHERV-COVID19-S showed complete protection against MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV2, respectively. Unlike AcHERV-MERS vaccines, AcHERV-COVID19-S provided the greatest protection against SARS-CoV2 challenge. These results support the feasibility of AcHERV-MERS or AcHERV-COVID19 vaccines in preventing pandemic spreads of viral infections.

3.
Nucleic Acids Res ; 48(19): 10890-10908, 2020 11 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-817440

ABSTRACT

Although endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) are known to harbor cis-regulatory elements, their role in modulating cellular immune responses remains poorly understood. Using an RNA-seq approach, we show that several members of the ERV9 lineage, particularly LTR12C elements, are activated upon HIV-1 infection of primary CD4+ T cells. Intriguingly, HIV-1-induced ERVs harboring transcription start sites are primarily found in the vicinity of immunity genes. For example, HIV-1 infection activates LTR12C elements upstream of the interferon-inducible genes GBP2 and GBP5 that encode for broad-spectrum antiviral factors. Reporter assays demonstrated that these LTR12C elements drive gene expression in primary CD4+ T cells. In line with this, HIV-1 infection triggered the expression of a unique GBP2 transcript variant by activating a cryptic transcription start site within LTR12C. Furthermore, stimulation with HIV-1-induced cytokines increased GBP2 and GBP5 expression in human cells, but not in macaque cells that naturally lack the GBP5 gene and the LTR12C element upstream of GBP2. Finally, our findings suggest that GBP2 and GBP5 have already been active against ancient viral pathogens as they suppress the maturation of the extinct retrovirus HERV-K (HML-2). In summary, our findings uncover how human cells can exploit remnants of once-infectious retroviruses to regulate antiviral gene expression.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Endogenous Retroviruses/genetics , Gene Expression Regulation/immunology , HIV Infections/genetics , Promoter Regions, Genetic , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/immunology , Animals , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/cytology , GTP-Binding Proteins/genetics , GTP-Binding Proteins/immunology , HEK293 Cells , HIV Infections/immunology , HIV-1 , Humans , Macaca mulatta , T-Lymphocyte Subsets/cytology
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