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1.
Biophys J ; 120(14): 2890-2901, 2021 07 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1604873

ABSTRACT

The nucleocapsid phosphoprotein N plays critical roles in multiple processes of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection cycle: it protects and packages viral RNA in N assembly, interacts with the inner domain of spike protein, binds to structural membrane (M) protein during virion packaging and maturation, and to proteases causing replication of infective virus particle. Even with its importance, very limited biophysical studies are available on the N protein because of its high level of disorder, high propensity for aggregation, and high susceptibility for autoproteolysis. Here, we successfully prepare the N protein and a 1000-nucleotide fragment of viral RNA in large quantities and purity suitable for biophysical studies. A combination of biophysical and biochemical techniques demonstrates that the N protein is partially disordered and consists of an independently folded RNA-binding domain and a dimerization domain, flanked by disordered linkers. The protein assembles as a tight dimer with a dimerization constant of sub-micromolar but can also form transient interactions with other N proteins, facilitating larger oligomers. NMR studies on the ∼100-kDa dimeric protein identify a specific domain that binds 1-1000-nt RNA and show that the N-RNA complex remains highly disordered. Analytical ultracentrifugation, isothermal titration calorimetry, multiangle light scattering, and cross-linking experiments identify a heterogeneous mixture of complexes with a core corresponding to at least 70 dimers of N bound to 1-1000 RNA. In contrast, very weak binding is detected with a smaller construct corresponding to the RNA-binding domain using similar experiments. A model that explains the importance of the bivalent structure of N to its binding on multivalent sites of the viral RNA is presented.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins , Humans , Nucleocapsid/metabolism , Phosphoproteins , Protein Binding , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/metabolism
2.
Biomol NMR Assign ; 15(1): 219-227, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1384623

ABSTRACT

The nucleocapsid protein N from SARS-CoV-2 is one of the most highly expressed proteins by the virus and plays a number of important roles in the transcription and assembly of the virion within the infected host cell. It is expected to be characterized by a highly dynamic and heterogeneous structure as can be inferred by bioinformatics analyses as well as from the data available for the homologous protein from SARS-CoV. The two globular domains of the protein (NTD and CTD) have been investigated while no high-resolution information is available yet for the flexible regions of the protein. We focus here on the 1-248 construct which comprises two disordered fragments (IDR1 and IDR2) in addition to the N-terminal globular domain (NTD) and report the sequence-specific assignment of the two disordered regions, a step forward towards the complete characterization of the whole protein.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Carbon Isotopes , Computational Biology , Hydrogen , Nitrogen Isotopes , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Protein Structure, Secondary
3.
BMC Res Notes ; 14(1): 10, 2021 Jan 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388820

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: This study describes the occurrence of a silent mutation in the RNA binding domain of nucleocapsid phosphoprotein (N protein) coding gene from SARS-CoV-2 that may consequence to a missense mutation by onset of another single nucleotide mutation. RESULTS: In the DNA sequence isolated from severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV-2) in Iran, a coding sequence for the RNA binding domain of N protein was detected. The comparison of Chinese and Iranian DNA sequences displayed that a thymine (T) was mutated to cytosine (C), so "TTG" from China was changed to "CTG" in Iran. Both DNA sequences from Iran and China have been encoded for leucine. In addition, the second T in "CTG" in the DNA or uracil (U) in "CUG" in the RNA sequences from Iran can be mutated to another C by a missense mutation resulting from thymine DNA glycosylase (TDG) of human and base excision repair mechanism to produce "CCG" encoding for proline, which consequently may increase the affinity of the RNA binding domain of N protein to viral RNA and improve the transcription rate, pathogenicity, evasion from human immunity system, spreading in the human body, and risk of human-to-human transmission rate of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA-Binding Motifs/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , China , Databases, Genetic , Humans , Iran , Mutation, Missense , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Sequence Analysis, DNA , Silent Mutation
4.
Virol J ; 18(1): 109, 2021 06 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388777

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has spread rapidly worldwide and disease prevention is more important than ever. In the absence of a vaccine, knowledge of the transmission routes and risk areas of infection remain the most important existing tools to prevent further spread. METHODS: Here we investigated the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the hospital environment at the Uppsala University Hospital Infectious Disease ward by RT-qPCR and determined the infectivity of the detected virus in vitro on Vero E6 cells. RESULTS: SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in several areas, although attempts to infect Vero E6 cells with positive samples were unsuccessful. However, RNase A treatment of positive samples prior to RNA extraction did not degrade viral RNA, indicating the presence of SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsids or complete virus particles protecting the RNA as opposed to free viral RNA. CONCLUSION: Our results show that even in places where a moderate concentration (Ct values between 30 and 38) of SARS-CoV-2 RNA was found; no infectious virus could be detected. This suggests that the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the hospital environment subsides in two states; as infectious and as non-infectious. Future work should investigate the reasons for the non-infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 virions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Disease Transmission, Infectious/statistics & numerical data , Environmental Monitoring/methods , Animals , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Confined Spaces , Cross Infection/virology , Hospitals , Humans , Risk , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Ventilation/methods , Vero Cells
5.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 502, 2021 01 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387327

ABSTRACT

The multifunctional nucleocapsid (N) protein in SARS-CoV-2 binds the ~30 kb viral RNA genome to aid its packaging into the 80-90 nm membrane-enveloped virion. The N protein is composed of N-terminal RNA-binding and C-terminal dimerization domains that are flanked by three intrinsically disordered regions. Here we demonstrate that the N protein's central disordered domain drives phase separation with RNA, and that phosphorylation of an adjacent serine/arginine rich region modulates the physical properties of the resulting condensates. In cells, N forms condensates that recruit the stress granule protein G3BP1, highlighting a potential role for N in G3BP1 sequestration and stress granule inhibition. The SARS-CoV-2 membrane (M) protein independently induces N protein phase separation, and three-component mixtures of N + M + RNA form condensates with mutually exclusive compartments containing N + M or N + RNA, including annular structures in which the M protein coats the outside of an N + RNA condensate. These findings support a model in which phase separation of the SARS-CoV-2 N protein contributes both to suppression of the G3BP1-dependent host immune response and to packaging genomic RNA during virion assembly.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Viral Matrix Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , Cell Membrane/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , DNA Helicases/genetics , DNA Helicases/metabolism , Humans , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , Poly-ADP-Ribose Binding Proteins/genetics , Poly-ADP-Ribose Binding Proteins/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , RNA Helicases/genetics , RNA Helicases/metabolism , RNA Recognition Motif Proteins/genetics , RNA Recognition Motif Proteins/metabolism , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Matrix Proteins/chemistry , Viral Matrix Proteins/genetics
6.
J Biomol Struct Dyn ; 39(12): 4433-4448, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317842

ABSTRACT

The emergence of the coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic has led to an outbreak in the world. The SARS-CoV-2 is seventh and latest in coronavirus family with unique exonucleases for repairing any mismatches in newly transcribed genetic material. Therefore, drugs with novel additional mechanisms are required to simultaneously target and eliminate the virus. Thus, a newly deciphered N protein is taken as a target that belongs to SARS-CoV-2. They play a vital role in RNA transcription, viral replication and new virion formation. This study used virtual screening, molecular modeling and docking of the 8987 ligands from Asinex and PubChem databases against this novel target protein. Three hotspot sites having DScore ≥1 (Site 1, Site 2 and Site 3) for ligand binding were selected. Subsequently, high throughput screening, standard precision and extra precision docking process and molecular dynamics concluded three best drugs from two libraries. Two antiviral moieties from Asinex databases (5817 and 6799) have docking scores of -10.29 and -10.156; along with their respective free binding energies (ΔG bind) of -51.96 and -64.36 on Site 3. The third drug, Zidovudine, is from PubChem database with docking scores of -9.75 with its binding free energies (ΔG bind) of -59.43 on Site 3. The RMSD and RMSF were calculated for all the three drugs through molecular dynamics simulation studies for 50 ns. Zidovudine shows a very stable interaction with fluctuation starting at 2.4 Å on 2 ns and remained stable at 3 Å from 13 to 50 ns. Thus, paving the way for further biological validation as a potential treatment.Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Nucleocapsid , Phosphoproteins , RNA-Binding Motifs , Virion
7.
J Biomol Struct Dyn ; 39(12): 4243-4255, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317834

ABSTRACT

Recent outbreak of novel Coronavirus disease () pandemic around the world is associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome. The death toll associated with the pandemic is increasing day by day. SARS-CoV-2 is an enveloped virus and its N terminal domain (NTD) of Nucleocapsid protein (N protein) binds to the viral (+) sense RNA and results in virus ribonucleoprotien complex, essential for the virus replication. The N protein is composed of a serine-rich linker region sandwiched between NTD and C terminal (CTD). These terminals play a role in viral entry and its processing post entry. The NTD of SARS-CoV-2 N protein forms orthorhombic crystals and binds to the viral genome. Therefore, there is always a quest to target RNA binding domain of nucleocapsid phosphoprotein (NTD-N-protein which in turn may help in controlling diseases caused by SARS-CoV-2 in humans. The role of Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine as potential treatments for is still under debate globally because of some side effects associated with it. This study involves the In silico interactions of Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine with the NTD-N-protein of SARS-CoV-2. With the help of various computational methods, we have explored the potential role of both of these antiviral drugs for the treatment of patients by comparing the efficacy of both of the drugs to bind to NTD-N-protein. In our research Hydroxychloroquine exhibited potential inhibitory effects of NTD-N-protein with binding energy -7.28 kcal/mol than Chloroquine (-6.30 kcal/mol) at SARS-CoV-2 receptor recognition of susceptible cells. The outcomes of this research strongly appeal for in vivo trials of Hydroxychloroquine for the patients infected with . Furthermore, the recommended doses of Hydroxychloroquine may reduce the chances of catching to the healthcare workers and staff who are in contact with or delivering direct care to coronavirus patients as long as they have not been diagnosed with . We further hypothesize that the comparative NTD-N-protein -drug docking interactions may help to understand the comparative efficacy of other candidate repurposing drugs until discovery of a proper vaccine.Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hydroxychloroquine , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Chloroquine/pharmacology , Computer Simulation , Drug Repositioning , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/pharmacology , Nucleocapsid , Nucleocapsid Proteins , RNA-Binding Motifs , SARS-CoV-2
8.
J Occup Environ Med ; 63(3): 191-198, 2021 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1307590

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Define the seroprevalence and risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in Arapahoe County, Colorado first responders (eg, law enforcement, human services, fire departments). METHODS: Two hundred sixty four first responders were enrolled June to July 2020. SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity was defined as detection of immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to both spike receptor binding domain and nucleocapsid in venous blood by validated enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. We compared risk factors for being seropositive versus seronegative. RESULTS: 4% (11/264) were SARS-CoV-2 seropositive. Seropositive participants were significantly more likely to have lung disease (% seropositive, % seronegative; P-value) (36%, 8%; P = 0.01), prior SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 testing (36%, 8%; P ≤ 0.01), a prior positive result (18%, less than 1%), and to believe they previously had COVID-19 (64%, 15%; P < 0.01). Only 15% of those believing they had COVID-19 had anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. CONCLUSIONS: Human services employees and individuals with lung disease are at SARS-CoV-2 exposure risk. Few individuals believed they had COVID-19 had prior exposure.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergency Responders/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19 Serological Testing , Colorado/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Seroepidemiologic Studies
9.
Virulence ; 12(1): 1597-1609, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1268053

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is continuing to spread globally. SARS-CoV-2 infections of feline and canine species have also been reported. However, it is not entirely clear to what extent natural SARS-CoV-2 infection of pet dogs and cats is in households. We have developed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) using recombinant SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (N) protein and the receptor-binding-domain (RBD) of the spike protein, and the SARS-CoV-2 spike-pseudotyped vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-based neutralization assay to screen serum samples of 239 pet cats and 510 pet dogs in Minnesota in the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic from mid-April to early June 2020 for evidence of SARS-CoV-2 exposures. A cutoff value was used to identify the seropositive samples in each experiment. The average seroprevalence of N- and RBD-specific antibodies in pet cats were 8% and 3%, respectively. Among nineteen (19) N-seropositive cat sera, fifteen (15) exhibited neutralizing activity and seven (7) were also RBD-seropositive. The N-based ELISA is also specific and does not cross react with antigens of common feline coronaviruses. In contrast, SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were detected at a very low percentage in pet dogs (~ 1%) and were limited to IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 N protein with no neutralizing activities. Our results demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 seropositive rates are higher in pet cats than in pet dogs in MN early in the pandemic and that SARS-CoV-2 N-specific IgG antibodies can detect SARS-CoV-2 infections in companion animals with higher levels of specificity and sensitivity than RBD-specific IgG antibodies in ELISA-based assays.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Serological Testing/veterinary , COVID-19/veterinary , Pets/virology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cats , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Coronavirus, Feline/immunology , Coronavirus, Feline/isolation & purification , Dogs , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/veterinary , Minnesota/epidemiology , Phosphoproteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
10.
Netw Model Anal Health Inform Bioinform ; 10(1): 44, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1265590

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by a Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is a positive-strand RNA virus. The SARS-CoV-2 genome and its association to SAR-CoV-1 vary from ca. 66 to 96% depending on the type of betacoronavirideae family members. With several drugs, viz. chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, artemisinin, remdesivir, azithromycin considered for clinical trials, there has been an inherent need to find distinctive antiviral mechanisms of these drugs. Curcumin, a natural bioactive molecule has been shown to have therapeutic potential for various diseases, and its effect on COVID-19 is also currently being explored. In this study, we show the binding potential of curcumin targeted to a variety of SARS-CoV-2 proteins, viz. spike glycoproteins (PDB ID: 6VYB), nucleocapsid phosphoprotein (PDB ID: 6VYO), spike protein-ACE2 (PDB ID: 6M17) along with nsp10 (PDB ID: 6W4H) and RNA dependent RNA polymerase (PDB ID: 6M71) structures. Furthermore, representative docking complexes were validated using molecular dynamics simulations and mechanistic studies at 100 ns was carried on nucleocapsid and nsp10 proteins with curcumin complexes which resulted in stable and efficient binding energies and correlated with that of docked binding energies of the complexes. Both the docking and simulation studies indicate that curcumin has the potential as an antiviral against COVID-19.

11.
Front Mol Biosci ; 8: 671923, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1264345

ABSTRACT

Since early 2020, the world suffers from a new beta-coronavirus, called SARS-CoV-2, that has devastating effects globally due to its associated disease, Covid-19. Until today, Covid-19, which not only causes life-threatening lung infections but also impairs various other organs and tissues, has killed hundreds of thousands of people and caused irreparable damage to many others. Since the very onset of the pandemic, huge efforts were made worldwide to fully understand this virus and numerous studies were, and still are, published. Many of these deal with structural analyses of the viral spike glycoprotein and with vaccine development, antibodies and antiviral molecules or immunomodulators that are assumed to become essential tools in the struggle against the virus. This paper summarizes knowledge on the properties of the four structural proteins (spike protein S, membrane protein M, envelope protein E and nucleocapsid protein N) of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its relatives, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, that emerged few years earlier. Moreover, attention is paid to ways to analyze such proteins using freely available bioinformatic tools and, more importantly, to bring these proteins alive by looking at them on a computer/laptop screen with the easy-to-use but highly performant and interactive molecular graphics program DeepView. It is hoped that this paper will stimulate non-bioinformaticians and non-specialists in structural biology to scrutinize these and other macromolecules and as such will contribute to establishing procedures to fight these and maybe other forthcoming viruses.

12.
Open Forum Infect Dis ; 8(6): ofab189, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1263681

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The advent of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) provoked researchers to propose multiple antiviral strategies to improve patients' outcomes. Studies provide evidence that cyclosporine A (CsA) decreases SARS-CoV-2 replication in vitro and decreases mortality rates of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. CsA binds cyclophilins, which isomerize prolines, affecting viral protein activity. METHODS: We investigated the proline composition from various coronavirus proteomes to identify proteins that may critically rely on cyclophilin's peptidyl-proline isomerase activity and found that the nucleocapsid (N) protein significantly depends on cyclophilin A (CyPA). We modeled CyPA and N protein interactions to demonstrate the N protein as a potential indirect therapeutic target of CsA, which we propose may impede coronavirus replication by obstructing nucleocapsid folding. RESULTS: Finally, we analyzed the literature and protein-protein interactions, finding evidence that, by inhibiting CyPA, CsA may impact coagulation proteins and hemostasis. CONCLUSIONS: Despite CsA's promising antiviral characteristics, the interactions between cyclophilins and coagulation factors emphasize risk stratification for COVID patients with thrombosis dispositions.

13.
Environ Res ; 200: 111374, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1245947

ABSTRACT

Targeted wastewater surveillance of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been proposed by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Wastewater Surveillance System as a complementary approach to clinical surveillance to detect the presence of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) at high-density facilities and institutions such as university campuses, nursing homes, and correctional facilities. In this study we evaluated the efficacy of targeted wastewater surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 RNA together with individual-level testing for outbreak mitigation on a university campus during Fall 2020 semester. Wastewater samples (n = 117) were collected weekly from manholes or sewer cleanouts that receive wastewater inputs from dormitories, community-use buildings, and a COVID-19 isolation dormitory. Quantitative RT-PCR N1 and N2 assays were used to measure SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid genes in wastewater. Due to varying human waste input in different buildings, pepper mild mottle virus (PMMV) RNA was also measured in all samples and used to normalize SARS-CoV-2 N1 and N2 RNA wastewater concentrations. In this study, temporal trends of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater samples mirrored trends in COVID-19 cases detected on campus. Normalizing SARS-CoV-2 RNA concentrations using human fecal indicator, PMMV enhanced the correlation between N1 and N2 gene abundances in wastewater with COVID-19 cases. N1 and N2 genes were significant predictors of COVID-19 cases in dormitories, and the N2 gene was significantly correlated with the number of detected COVID-19 cases in dormitories. By implementing several public health surveillance programs include targeted wastewater surveillance, individual-level testing, contact tracing, and quarantine/isolation facilities, university health administrators could act decisively during an outbreak on campus, resulting in rapid decline of newly detected COVID-19 cases. Wastewater surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 is a proactive outbreak monitoring tool for university campuses seeking to continue higher education practices in person during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Pandemics , RNA, Viral , Universities , Waste Water
14.
Anal Bioanal Chem ; 413(18): 4645-4654, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1245612

ABSTRACT

Nucleic acid detection technology based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and antibody detection based on immunochromatography still have many problems such as false negatives for the diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Therefore, it is of great importance to develop new techniques to improve the diagnostic accuracy of COVID-19. We herein developed an ultrasensitive, rapid, and duplex digital enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (dELISA) for simultaneous detection of spike (S-RBD) and nucleocapsid (N) proteins of SARS-CoV-2 based on a single molecule array. This assay effectively combines magnetic bead encoding technology and the ultrasensitive detection capability of a single molecule array. The detection strategies of S-RBD protein and N-protein exhibited wide response ranges of 0.34-1065 pg/mL and 0.183-338 pg/mL with detection limits of 20.6 fg/mL and 69.8 fg/mL, respectively. It is a highly specific method for the simultaneous detection of S-RBD protein and N-protein and has minimal interference from other blood proteins. Moreover, the spike assay showed a satisfactory and reproducible recovery rate for the detection of S-RBD protein and N-protein in serum samples. Overall, this work provides a highly sensitive method for the simultaneous detection of S-RBD protein and N-protein, which shows ultrasensitivity and high signal-to-noise ratio and contributes to improve the diagnosis accuracy of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Single Molecule Imaging/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Viral/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/standards , Humans , Immunoassay/methods , Magnetics , Microspheres , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
15.
JAMA Oncol ; 7(8): 1141-1148, 2021 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1245334

ABSTRACT

Importance: Patients with cancer and health care workers (HCWs) are at high risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Assessing the antibody status of patients with cancer and HCWs can help understand the spread of COVID-19 in cancer care. Objective: To evaluate serum SARS-CoV-2 antibody status in patients with cancer and HCWs during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan. Design, Setting, and Participants: Participants were enrolled for this prospective cross-sectional study between August 3 and October 30, 2020, from 2 comprehensive cancer centers in the epidemic area around Tokyo, Japan. Patients with cancer aged 16 years or older and employees were enrolled. Participants with suspected COVID-19 infection at the time of enrollment were excluded. Exposures: Cancer of any type and cancer treatment, including chemotherapy, surgery, immune checkpoint inhibitors, radiotherapy, and targeted molecular therapy. Main Outcomes and Measures: Seroprevalence and antibody levels in patients with cancer and HCWs. Seropositivity was defined as positivity to nucleocapsid IgG (N-IgG) and/or spike IgG (S-IgG). Serum levels of SARS-CoV-2 IgM and IgG antibodies against the nucleocapsid and spike proteins were measured by chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassay. Results: A total of 500 patients with cancer (median age, 62.5 years [range, 21-88 years]; 265 men [55.4%]) and 1190 HCWs (median age, 40 years [range, 20-70 years]; 382 men [25.4%]) were enrolled. In patients with cancer, 489 (97.8%) had solid tumors, and 355 (71.0%) had received anticancer treatment within 1 month. Among HCWs, 385 (32.3%) were nurses or assistant nurses, 266 (22.4%) were administrative officers, 197 (16.6%) were researchers, 179 (15.0%) were physicians, 113 (9.5%) were technicians, and 50 (4.2%) were pharmacists. The seroprevalence was 1.0% (95% CI, 0.33%-2.32%) in patients and 0.67% (95% CI, 0.29%-1.32%) in HCWs (P = .48). However, the N-IgG and S-IgG antibody levels were significantly lower in patients than in HCWs (N-IgG: ß, -0.38; 95% CI, -0.55 to -0.21; P < .001; and S-IgG: ß, -0.39; 95% CI, -0.54 to -0.23; P < .001). Additionally, among patients, N-IgG levels were significantly lower in those who received chemotherapy than in those who did not (median N-IgG levels, 0.1 [interquartile range (IQR), 0-0.3] vs 0.1 [IQR, 0-0.4], P = .04). In contrast, N-IgG and S-IgG levels were significantly higher in patients who received immune checkpoint inhibitors than in those who did not (median N-IgG levels: 0.2 [IQR, 0.1-0.5] vs 0.1 [IQR, 0-0.3], P = .02; S-IgG levels: 0.15 [IQR, 0-0.3] vs 0.1[IQR, 0-0.2], P = .02). Conclusions and Relevance: In this cross-sectional study of Japanese patients with cancer and HCWs, the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies did not differ between the 2 groups; however, findings suggest that comorbid cancer and treatment with systemic therapy, including chemotherapy and immune checkpoint inhibitors, may influence the immune response to SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Neoplasms/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/blood , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin M/blood , Immunoglobulin M/immunology , Japan , Male , Middle Aged , Neoplasms/blood , Pandemics/prevention & control , Prospective Studies , Young Adult
16.
J Biol Chem ; 297(1): 100821, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1240418

ABSTRACT

Viral proteins are known to be methylated by host protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) necessary for the viral life cycle, but it remains unknown whether severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) proteins are methylated. Herein, we show that PRMT1 methylates SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (N) protein at residues R95 and R177 within RGG/RG motifs, preferred PRMT target sequences. We confirmed arginine methylation of N protein by immunoblotting viral proteins extracted from SARS-CoV-2 virions isolated from cell culture. Type I PRMT inhibitor (MS023) or substitution of R95 or R177 with lysine inhibited interaction of N protein with the 5'-UTR of SARS-CoV-2 genomic RNA, a property required for viral packaging. We also defined the N protein interactome in HEK293 cells, which identified PRMT1 and many of its RGG/RG substrates, including the known interacting protein G3BP1 as well as other components of stress granules (SGs), which are part of the host antiviral response. Methylation of R95 regulated the ability of N protein to suppress the formation of SGs, as R95K substitution or MS023 treatment blocked N-mediated suppression of SGs. Also, the coexpression of methylarginine reader Tudor domain-containing protein 3 quenched N protein-mediated suppression of SGs in a dose-dependent manner. Finally, pretreatment of VeroE6 cells with MS023 significantly reduced SARS-CoV-2 replication. Because type I PRMT inhibitors are already undergoing clinical trials for cancer treatment, inhibiting arginine methylation to target the later stages of the viral life cycle such as viral genome packaging and assembly of virions may represent an additional therapeutic application of these drugs.


Subject(s)
Arginine/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Amino Acid Motifs , COVID-19/genetics , Cytoplasmic Granules/genetics , Cytoplasmic Granules/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Methylation , Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , RNA Stability , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Virus Replication
17.
BMC Genomics ; 22(1): 371, 2021 May 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1238703

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Brazil is the third country most affected by Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), but viral evolution in municipality resolution is still poorly understood in Brazil and it is crucial to understand the epidemiology of viral spread. We aimed to track molecular evolution and spread of Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Esteio (Southern Brazil) using phylogenetics and phylodynamics inferences from 21 new genomes in global and regional context. Importantly, the case fatality rate (CFR) in Esteio (3.26%) is slightly higher compared to the Rio Grande do Sul (RS) state (2.56%) and the entire Brazil (2.74%). RESULTS: We provided a comprehensive view of mutations from a representative sampling from May to October 2020, highlighting two frequent mutations in spike glycoprotein (D614G and V1176F), an emergent mutation (E484K) in spike Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) characteristic of the B.1.351 and P.1 lineages, and the adjacent replacement of 2 amino acids in Nucleocapsid phosphoprotein (R203K and G204R). E484K was found in two genomes from mid-October, which is the earliest description of this mutation in Southern Brazil. Lineages containing this substitution must be subject of intense surveillance due to its association with immune evasion. We also found two epidemiologically-related clusters, including one from patients of the same neighborhood. Phylogenetics and phylodynamics analysis demonstrates multiple introductions of the Brazilian most prevalent lineages (B.1.1.33 and B.1.1.248) and the establishment of Brazilian lineages ignited from the Southeast to other Brazilian regions. CONCLUSIONS: Our data show the value of correlating clinical, epidemiological and genomic information for the understanding of viral evolution and its spatial distribution over time. This is of paramount importance to better inform policy making strategies to fight COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Brazil/epidemiology , Genome, Viral , Genomics , Humans
18.
Pathology ; 53(5): 645-651, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1233564

ABSTRACT

During New Zealand's first outbreak in early 2020 the Southern Region had the highest per capita SARS-CoV-2 infection rate. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing was initially limited by a narrow case definition and limited laboratory capacity, and cases may have been missed. Our objectives were to evaluate the Abbott SARS-CoV-2 IgG nucleocapsid assay, alongside spike-based assays, and to determine the frequency of antibodies among PCR-confirmed and probable cases, and higher risk individuals in the Southern Region of New Zealand. Pre-pandemic sera (n=300) were used to establish assay specificity and sera from PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 patients (n=78) to establish sensitivity. For prevalence analysis, all samples (n=1214) were tested on the Abbott assay, and all PCR-confirmed cases (n=78), probable cases (n=9), and higher risk individuals with 'grey-zone' (n=14) or positive results (n=11) were tested on four additional SARS-CoV-2 serological assays. The median time from infection onset to serum collection for PCR-confirmed cases was 14 weeks (range 11-17 weeks). The Abbott assay demonstrated a specificity of 99.7% (95% CI 98.2-99.99%) and a sensitivity of 76.9% (95% CI 66.0-85.7%). Spike-based assays demonstrated superior sensitivity ranging 89.7-94.9%. Nine previously undiagnosed sero-positive individuals were identified, and all had epidemiological risk factors. Spike-based assays demonstrated higher sensitivity than the Abbott IgG assay, likely due to temporal differences in antibody persistence. No unexpected SARS-CoV-2 infections were found in the Southern Region of New Zealand, supporting the elimination status of the country at the time this study was conducted.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Serologic Tests/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Child , Child, Preschool , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Male , Middle Aged , New Zealand , Phosphoproteins/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Young Adult
19.
Comput Biol Med ; 134: 104495, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1230418

ABSTRACT

The advent of SARS-CoV-2 has become a universal health issue with no appropriate cure available to date. The coronavirus nucleocapsid (N) protein combines viral genomic RNA into a ribonucleoprotein and protects the viral genome from the host's nucleases. Structurally, the N protein comprises two independent domains: the N-terminal domain (NTD) for RNA-binding and C-terminal domain (CTD) involved in RNA-binding, protein dimerization, and nucleocapsid stabilization. The present study explains the structural aspects associated with the involvement of nucleocapsid C-terminal domain in the subunit assembly that helps the RNA binding and further stabilizing the virus assembly by protecting RNA from the hosts exonucleases degradation. The molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of the N-CTD and RNA complex suggests two active sites (site I: a monomer) and (site II: a dimer) with structural stability (RMSD: ~2 Å), Cα fluctuations (RMSF: ~3 Å) and strong protein-ligand interactions were estimated through the SiteMap module of Schrodinger. Virtual screening of 2456 FDA-approved drugs using structure-based docking identified top two leads distinctively against Site-I (monomer): Ceftaroline fosamil (MM-GBSA = -47.12 kcal/mol) and Cefoperazone (-45.84 kcal/mol); and against Site-II (dimer): Boceprevir, (an antiviral protease inhibitor, -106.78 kcal/mol) and Ceftaroline fosamil (-99.55 kcal/mol). The DCCM and PCA of drugs Ceftaroline fosamil (PC1+PC2 = 71.9%) and Boceprevir (PC1 +PC2 = 61.6%) show significant correlated residue motions which suggests highly induced conformational changes in the N-CTD dimer. Therefore, we propose N-CTD as a druggable target with two active binding sites (monomer and dimer) involved in specific RNA binding and stability. The RNA binding site with Ceftaroline fosamil binding can prevent viral assembly and can act as an antiviral for coronavirus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pharmaceutical Preparations , Catalytic Domain , Humans , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
20.
J Med Virol ; 93(4): 2406-2419, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1227754

ABSTRACT

The analyses of 2325 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) genomes revealed 107, 162, and 65 nucleotide substitutions in the coding region of SARS-CoV-2 from the three continents America, Europe, and Asia, respectively. Of these nucleotide substitutions 58, 94, and 37 were nonsynonymous types mostly present in the Nsp2, Nsp3, Spike, and ORF9. A continent-specific phylogram analyses clustered the SARS-CoV-2 in the different group based on the frequency of nucleotide substitutions. Detailed analyses about the continent-specific amino acid changes and their effectiveness by SNAP2 software was investigated. We found 11 common nonsynonymous mutations; among them, two novel effective mutations were identified in ORF9 (S194L and S202N). Intriguingly, ORF9 encodes nucleocapsid phosphoprotein possessing many effective mutations across continents and could be a potential candidate after the spike protein for studying the role of mutation in viral assembly and pathogenesis. Among the two forms of certain frequent mutation, one form is more prevalent in Europe continents (Nsp12:L314, Nsp13:P504, Nsp13:Y541, Spike:G614, and ORF8:L84) while other forms are more prevalent in American (Nsp12:P314, Nsp13:L504, Nsp13:C541, Spike:D614, and ORF8:L84) and Asian continents (Spike:D614), indicating the spatial and temporal dynamics of SARS-CoV-2. We identified highly conserved 38 regions and among these regions, 11 siRNAs were predicted on stringent criteria that can be used to suppress the expression of viral genes and the corresponding reduction of human viral infections. The present investigation provides information on different mutations and will pave the way for differentiating strains based on virulence and their use in the development of better antiviral therapy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Asia/epidemiology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/genetics , Europe/epidemiology , Gene Silencing , Genes, Viral , Genome, Viral , Humans , Open Reading Frames , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phylogeny , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics
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