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1.
J Virol ; 94(12)2020 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1723543

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that recently emerged in China is thought to have a bat origin, as its closest known relative (BatCoV RaTG13) was described previously in horseshoe bats. We analyzed the selective events that accompanied the divergence of SARS-CoV-2 from BatCoV RaTG13. To this end, we applied a population genetics-phylogenetics approach, which leverages within-population variation and divergence from an outgroup. Results indicated that most sites in the viral open reading frames (ORFs) evolved under conditions of strong to moderate purifying selection. The most highly constrained sequences corresponded to some nonstructural proteins (nsps) and to the M protein. Conversely, nsp1 and accessory ORFs, particularly ORF8, had a nonnegligible proportion of codons evolving under conditions of very weak purifying selection or close to selective neutrality. Overall, limited evidence of positive selection was detected. The 6 bona fide positively selected sites were located in the N protein, in ORF8, and in nsp1. A signal of positive selection was also detected in the receptor-binding motif (RBM) of the spike protein but most likely resulted from a recombination event that involved the BatCoV RaTG13 sequence. In line with previous data, we suggest that the common ancestor of SARS-CoV-2 and BatCoV RaTG13 encoded/encodes an RBM similar to that observed in SARS-CoV-2 itself and in some pangolin viruses. It is presently unknown whether the common ancestor still exists and, if so, which animals it infects. Our data, however, indicate that divergence of SARS-CoV-2 from BatCoV RaTG13 was accompanied by limited episodes of positive selection, suggesting that the common ancestor of the two viruses was poised for human infection.IMPORTANCE Coronaviruses are dangerous zoonotic pathogens; in the last 2 decades, three coronaviruses have crossed the species barrier and caused human epidemics. One of these is the recently emerged SARS-CoV-2. We investigated how, since its divergence from a closely related bat virus, natural selection shaped the genome of SARS-CoV-2. We found that distinct coding regions in the SARS-CoV-2 genome evolved under conditions of different degrees of constraint and are consequently more or less prone to tolerate amino acid substitutions. In practical terms, the level of constraint provides indications about which proteins/protein regions are better suited as possible targets for the development of antivirals or vaccines. We also detected limited signals of positive selection in three viral ORFs. However, we warn that, in the absence of knowledge about the chain of events that determined the human spillover, these signals should not be necessarily interpreted as evidence of an adaptation to our species.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Evolution, Molecular , Selection, Genetic , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Betacoronavirus/classification , COVID-19 , Chiroptera/virology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Models, Molecular , Open Reading Frames/genetics , Pandemics , Phylogeny , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/genetics
2.
Disaster Med Public Health Prep ; : 1-3, 2021 Apr 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1708187

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: This study investigates burnout and sources of stress related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic among a group of health care risk managers/patient safety practitioners. METHODS: An online survey was used, including the Oldenburg Burnout Inventory (OLBI) and 1 open-ended question: Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, what work or non-work-related issues have been causing you the most stress? RESULTS: A total of 31 participants completed the OLBI; 27 answered the open-ended question. Over 70% of participants qualified as burned out. A thematic analysis was used to analyze stressors. Key themes included impacts of social distancing, changing duties and workload, real and potential impacts of the virus (eg, fear of infection for self or others), and financial concerns (personal and organizational). Less common themes included untrustworthy and constantly changing guidance, feeling abused by persons in power, and positive comments about the experience of working during the pandemic. CONCLUSION: Burnout and pandemic-related stress may be very common in the health care risk management and patient safety workforce. Additional research is required to more robustly estimate the prevalence of burnout in this population. Meanwhile, the sources of stress identified here may aid health care organizations in taking immediate action to protect this vital workforce.

3.
Biophys J ; 120(14): 2828-2837, 2021 07 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1606137

ABSTRACT

The cell surface receptor Neuropilin-1 (Nrp1) was recently identified as a host factor for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) entry. The Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 is cleaved into two segments, the S1 (residues (res.) 1-685) and the S2 (res. 686-1273) domains by furin protease. Nrp1 predominantly binds to the C-terminal RRAR amino acid motif (res. 682-685) of the S1 domain. In this study, we firstly modeled the association of an Nrp1 protein (consisting of domains a2-b1-b2) with the Spike protein. Next, we studied the separation of S2 from the S1 domain, with and without Nrp1 bound, by utilizing molecular dynamics pulling simulations. During the separation, Nrp1 stabilizes the S1 C-terminal region (res. 640-685) and thereby assists the detachment of S2 N-terminal region (res. 686-700). Without Nrp1 bound, S1 tends to become stretched, whereas the bound Nrp1 stimulates an earlier separation of S2 from the S1 domain. The liberated S2 domain is known to mediate the fusion of virus and host membranes; thus, Nrp1 likely increases virus infectivity by facilitating the S1 and S2 separation. We further analyzed the possible topological structure of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein when bound with Nrp1 and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Understanding of such an Nrp1-assisted viral infection opens the gate for the generation of protein-protein inhibitors, such as antibodies, which could attenuate the infection mechanism and protect certain cells in a future Nrp1-ACE2 targeted combination therapy.

4.
J Biomol Struct Dyn ; 40(1): 348-360, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1597295

ABSTRACT

The novel SARS-CoV-2 is the etiological agent causing the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which continues to become an inevitable pandemic outbreak. Over a short span of time, the structures of therapeutic target proteins for SARS-CoV-2 were identified based on the homology modelled structure of similar virus, SARS-CoV that transmitted rapidly in 2003. Since the outset of the disease, the research community has been looking for a potential drug lead. Out of all the known resolved structures related to SARS-CoV-2; 3-chymotrypsin (3 C) like protease (3CLpro) is considered as an attractive anti-viral drug compound on the grounds of its role in viral replication and probable non-interactive competency to bind to any viral host protein. To the best of our knowledge, till date only one compound has been identified and tested in-vitro as a potent inhibitor of 3CLpro protein, addressed as N3 (PubChem Compound CID: 6323191) and is known to bind irreversibly to 3CLpro suppressing its activity. Using computational approach, we intend to identify a probable natural fungal metabolite to interact and inhibit 3CLpro. Here after performing docking and molecular dynamics of various small molecules derived as a secondary metabolite from fungi, we propose Flaviolin as potent inhibitor of 3CLpro of novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Fungi , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Naphthoquinones , Protease Inhibitors , SARS-CoV-2
5.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 167, 2021 04 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585891

ABSTRACT

The ongoing 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2 has posed a worldwide pandemic and a major global public health threat. The severity and mortality of COVID-19 are associated with virus-induced dysfunctional inflammatory responses and cytokine storms. However, the interplay between host inflammatory responses and SARS-CoV-2 infection remains largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (N) protein, the major structural protein of the virion, promotes the virus-triggered activation of NF-κB signaling. After binding to viral RNA, N protein robustly undergoes liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS), which recruits TAK1 and IKK complex, the key kinases of NF-κB signaling, to enhance NF-κB activation. Moreover, 1,6-hexanediol, the inhibitor of LLPS, can attenuate the phase separation of N protein and restrict its regulatory functions in NF-κB activation. These results suggest that LLPS of N protein provides a platform to induce NF-κB hyper-activation, which could be a potential therapeutic target against COVID-19 severe pneumonia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , NF-kappa B/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Signal Transduction , A549 Cells , Acrylates/pharmacology , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/pathology , Chlorocebus aethiops , HEK293 Cells , HeLa Cells , Humans , Inflammation/drug therapy , Inflammation/metabolism , Inflammation/pathology , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , Vero Cells
6.
Rev Med Virol ; 31(5): 1-9, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575633

ABSTRACT

Understanding the molecules that are essential for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) entry can provide insights into viral infection and dissemination. Recently, it has been identified from several studies that angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor and transmembrane serine protease 2 are the main entry molecules for the SARS-CoV-2, which produced the pandemic of Covid-19. However, additional evidence showed several other viral receptors and cellular proteases that are also important in facilitating viral entry and transmission in the target cells. In this review, we summarized the types of SARS-CoV-2 entry molecules and discussed their crucial roles for virus binding, protein priming and fusion to the cellular membrane important for SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Receptors, Virus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Virus Internalization
7.
Rev Med Virol ; 31(5): 1-12, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575376

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) enters the host cell by binding to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. Other important proteins involved in this process include disintegrin and metalloproteinase domain-containing protein 17 (ADAM17) also known as tumour necrosis factor-α-converting enzyme and transmembrane serine protease 2. ACE2 converts angiotensin II (Ang II) to angiotensin (1-7), to balance the renin angiotensin system. Membrane-bound ACE2 ectodomain shedding is mediated by ADAM17 upon viral spike binding, Ang II overproduction and in several diseases. The shed soluble ACE2 (sACE2) retains its catalytic activity, but its precise role in viral entry is still unclear. Therapeutic sACE2 is claimed to exert dual effects; reduction of excess Ang II and blocking viral entry by masking the spike protein. Nevertheless, the paradox is why SARS-CoV-2 comorbid patients struggle to attain such benefit in viral infection despite having a high amount of sACE2. In this review, we discuss the possible detrimental role of sACE2 and speculate on a series of events where protease primed or non-primed virus-sACE2 complex might enter the host cell. As extracellular virus can bind many sACE2 molecules, sACE2 level could be reduced drastically upon endocytosis by the host cell. A consequential rapid rise in Ang II level could potentially aggravate disease severity through Ang II-angiotensin II receptor type 1 (AT1R) axis in comorbid patients. Hence, monitoring sACE2 and Ang II level in coronavirus disease 2019 comorbid patients are crucial to ensure safe and efficient intervention using therapeutic sACE2 and vaccines.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/enzymology , ADAM17 Protein/genetics , ADAM17 Protein/metabolism , Angiotensin I/metabolism , Angiotensin II/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Comorbidity , Humans , Peptide Fragments/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
8.
J Oral Microbiol ; 13(1): 1848135, 2020 Nov 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574293

ABSTRACT

Background: The ability of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 to spread is one of the determinants of the COVID-19 pandemic status. Until June 2020, global COVID-19 cases surpassed 10 million. Asymptomatic patients, with no respiratory impairment, are believed to be responsible for more than 80% of the transmission. Other viruses have been consistently detected in periodontal tissues. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in periodontal tissue. Methods: We conducted video-endoscope minimally invasive post-mortem biopsy in seven fatal cases of COVID-19, using a regular endoscope video system associated with a smartphone to locate periodontal tissue. We analyzed the samples using RT-PCR, to identify the SARS-CoV-2 RNA and histopathological analysis. Results: The seven studied autopsies with positive laboratory tests for COVID-19 included 57.14% of female patients at the average age of 47.4 (range 8 to 74). In five cases, periodontal tissue was positive for SARS-CoV-2 (RT-PCR). Histopathologic analyses showed morphologic alterations in the keratinocytes of the junctional epithelium, a vacuolization of the cytoplasm and nucleus and nuclear pleomorphism. Conclusion: We presented a biomolecular analysis obtained from minimally invasive autopsies. This is the first study to demonstrate the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in periodontal tissue in COVID-19 positive patients.

9.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(11): 2045-2054, 2021 12 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1560351

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Immunity after dengue virus (DENV) infection has been suggested to cross-protect from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and mortality. METHODS: We tested whether serologically proven prior DENV infection diagnosed in September-October 2019, before the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, reduced the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection and clinically apparent COVID-19 over the next 13 months in a population-based cohort in Amazonian Brazil. Mixed-effects multiple logistic regression analysis was used to identify predictors of infection and disease, adjusting for potential individual and household-level confounders. Virus genomes from 14 local SARS-CoV-2 isolates were obtained using whole-genome sequencing. RESULTS: Anti-DENV immunoglobulin G (IgG) was found in 37.0% of 1285 cohort participants (95% confidence interval [CI]: 34.3% to 39.7%) in 2019, with 10.4 (95% CI: 6.7-15.5) seroconversion events per 100 person-years during the follow-up. In 2020, 35.2% of the participants (95% CI: 32.6% to 37.8%) had anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG and 57.1% of the 448 SARS-CoV-2 seropositives (95% CI: 52.4% to 61.8%) reported clinical manifestations at the time of infection. Participants aged >60 years were twice more likely to have symptomatic COVID-19 than children under 5 years. Locally circulating SARS-CoV-2 isolates were assigned to the B.1.1.33 lineage. Contrary to the cross-protection hypothesis, prior DENV infection was associated with twice the risk of clinically apparent COVID-19 upon SARS-CoV-2 infection, with P values between .025 and .039 after adjustment for identified confounders. CONCLUSIONS: Higher risk of clinically apparent COVID-19 among individuals with prior dengue has important public health implications for communities sequentially exposed to DENV and SARS-CoV-2 epidemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Dengue , Brazil/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , Dengue/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(11): e4082-e4089, 2021 12 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1559187

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Leronlimab, a monoclonal antibody blocker of C-C chemokine receptor type 5 originally developed to treat human immunodeficiency virus infection, was administered as an open-label compassionate-use therapeutic for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). METHODS: Twenty-three hospitalized severe/critical COVID-19 patients received 700 mg leronlimab subcutaneously, repeated after 7 days in 17 of 23 patients still hospitalized. Eighteen of 23 received other experimental treatments, including convalescent plasma, hydroxychloroquine, steroids, and/or tocilizumab. Five of 23 received leronlimab after blinded, placebo-controlled trials of remdesivir, sarilumab, selinexor, or tocilizumab. Outcomes and results were extracted from medical records. RESULTS: Mean age was 69.5 ±â€…14.9 years; 20 had significant comorbidities. At baseline, 22 were receiving supplemental oxygen (3 high flow, 7 mechanical ventilation). Blood showed markedly elevated inflammatory markers (ferritin, D-dimer, C-reactive protein) and an elevated neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio. By day 30 after initial dosing, 17 were recovered, 2 were still hospitalized, and 4 had died. Of the 7 intubated at baseline, 4 were fully recovered off oxygen, 2 were still hospitalized, and 1 had died. CONCLUSIONS: Leronlimab appeared safe and well tolerated. The high recovery rate suggested benefit, and those with lower inflammatory markers had better outcomes. Some, but not all, patients appeared to have dramatic clinical responses, indicating that unknown factors may determine responsiveness to leronlimab. Routine inflammatory and cell prognostic markers did not markedly change immediately after treatment, although interleukin-6 tended to fall. In some persons, C-reactive protein clearly dropped only after the second leronlimab dose, suggesting that a higher loading dose might be more effective. Future controlled trials will be informative.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized , COVID-19/therapy , HIV Antibodies , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
11.
Transbound Emerg Dis ; 68(6): 3126-3135, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1532919

ABSTRACT

The presence of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) of the O/ME-SA/Ind-2001e sublineage within Pakistan was initially detected in two samples collected during 2019. Analysis of further serotype O FMDVs responsible for disease outbreaks in 2019-2020 in the country has now identified the spread of this sublineage to 10 districts within two separate provinces in North-Eastern and North-Western Pakistan. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that these viruses are closely related to those circulating in Bhutan, Nepal and India. The VP1 coding sequences of these viruses from Pakistan belong to three distinct clusters, which may indicate multiple introductions of this virus sublineage, although the routes of introduction are unknown. Vaccine matching studies against O1 Manisa, O 3039 and O TUR/5/2009 support the suitability of existing vaccine strains to control current field outbreaks, but further studies are warranted to monitor the spread and evolution of the O/ME-SA/Ind-2001e sublineage in the region. (145 words).


Subject(s)
Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus , Foot-and-Mouth Disease , Animals , Disease Outbreaks/veterinary , Foot-and-Mouth Disease/epidemiology , Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus/genetics , Pakistan/epidemiology , Phylogeny , Serogroup
12.
J Clin Med ; 10(2)2021 Jan 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526818

ABSTRACT

Favipiravir (FPV) is a novel antiviral drug acting as a competitive inhibitor of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), preventing viral transcription and replication. FPV was approved in Japan in 2014 for therapy of influenza unresponsive to standard antiviral therapies. FPV was also used in the therapy of Ebola virus disease (EVD) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms of action, pharmacokinetic parameters, toxicity, and adverse effects of FPV, as well as clinical studies evaluating the use of FPV in the therapy of influenza virus (IV) infection, EVD, and SARS-CoV-2 infection, along with its effectiveness in treating other human RNA infections.

13.
Transbound Emerg Dis ; 68(6): 3443-3452, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526424

ABSTRACT

The recently emerged novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, is phylogenetically related to bat coronaviruses (CoVs), specifically SARS-related CoVs from the Eurasian bat family Rhinolophidae. As this human pandemic virus has spread across the world, the potential impacts of SARS-CoV-2 on native North American bat populations are unknown, as is the ability of North American bats to serve as reservoirs or intermediate hosts able to transmit the virus to humans or to other animal species. To help determine the impacts of the pandemic virus on North American bat populations, we experimentally challenged big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) with SARS-CoV-2 under BSL-3 conditions. We inoculated the bats both oropharyngeally and nasally, and over the ensuing three weeks, we measured infectivity, pathology, virus concentrations in tissues, oral and rectal virus excretion, virus transmission, and clinical signs of disease. We found no evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in any examined bat, including no viral excretion, no transmission, no detectable virus in tissues, and no signs of disease or pathology. Based on our findings, it appears that big brown bats are resistant to infection with the SARS-CoV-2. The potential susceptibility of other North American bat species to SARS-CoV-2 remains to be investigated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chiroptera , Coronaviridae , Animals , COVID-19/veterinary , Humans , North America/epidemiology , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Clin Transl Immunology ; 10(4): e1271, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525427

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Emerging evidence of dysregulation of the myeloid cell compartment urges investigations on neutrophil characteristics in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We isolated neutrophils from the blood of COVID-19 patients receiving general ward care and from patients hospitalised at intensive care units (ICUs) to explore the kinetics of circulating neutrophils and factors important for neutrophil migration and activation. METHODS: Multicolour flow cytometry was exploited for the analysis of neutrophil differentiation and activation markers. Multiplex and ELISA technologies were used for the quantification of protease, protease inhibitor, chemokine and cytokine concentrations in plasma. Neutrophil polarisation responses were evaluated microscopically. Gelatinolytic and metalloproteinase activity in plasma was determined using a fluorogenic substrate. Co-culturing healthy donor neutrophils with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) allowed us to investigate viral replication in neutrophils. RESULTS: Upon ICU admission, patients displayed high plasma concentrations of granulocyte-colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and the chemokine CXCL8, accompanied by emergency myelopoiesis as illustrated by high levels of circulating CD10-, immature neutrophils with reduced CXCR2 and C5aR expression. Neutrophil elastase and non-metalloproteinase-derived gelatinolytic activity were increased in plasma from ICU patients. Significantly higher levels of circulating tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 (TIMP-1) in patients at ICU admission yielded decreased total MMP proteolytic activity in blood. COVID-19 neutrophils were hyper-responsive to CXCL8 and CXCL12 in shape change assays. Finally, SARS-CoV-2 failed to replicate inside human neutrophils. CONCLUSION: Our study provides detailed insights into the kinetics of neutrophil phenotype and function in severe COVID-19 patients, and supports the concept of an increased neutrophil activation state in the circulation.

15.
mBio ; 12(2)2021 03 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1522913

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a recently emerged virus that causes coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19). SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, like SARS-CoV-1, uses the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a cellular receptor to initiate infection. Compounds that interfere with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor binding domain protein (RBD)-ACE2 receptor interaction may function as entry inhibitors. Here, we used a dual strategy of molecular docking and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) screening of compound libraries to identify those that bind to human ACE2 or the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor binding domain (RBD). Molecular modeling screening interrogated 57,641 compounds and focused on the region of ACE2 that is engaged by RBD of the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein and vice versa. SPR screening used immobilized human ACE2 and SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein to evaluate the binding of these proteins to a library of 3,141 compounds. These combined screens identified compounds from these libraries that bind at KD (equilibrium dissociation constant) <3 µM affinity to their respective targets, 17 for ACE2 and 6 for SARS-CoV-2 RBD. Twelve ACE2 binders and six of the RBD binders compete with the RBD-ACE2 interaction in an SPR-based competition assay. These compounds included registered drugs and dyes used in biomedical applications. A Vero-E6 cell-based SARS-CoV-2 infection assay was used to evaluate infection blockade by candidate entry inhibitors. Three compounds demonstrated dose-dependent antiviral in vitro potency-Evans blue, sodium lifitegrast, and lumacaftor. This study has identified potential drugs for repurposing as SARS-CoV-2 entry inhibitors or as chemical scaffolds for drug development.IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, has caused more than 60 million cases worldwide with almost 1.5 million deaths as of November 2020. Repurposing existing drugs is the most rapid path to clinical intervention for emerging diseases. Using an in silico screen of 57,641 compounds and a biophysical screen of 3,141 compounds, we identified 22 compounds that bound to either the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and/or the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor binding domain (SARS-CoV-2 spike protein RBD). Nine of these drugs were identified by both screening methods. Three of the identified compounds, Evans blue, sodium lifitegrast, and lumacaftor, were found to inhibit viral replication in a Vero-E6 cell-based SARS-CoV-2 infection assay and may have utility as repurposed therapeutics. All 22 identified compounds provide scaffolds for the development of new chemical entities for the treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Attachment/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , Aminopyridines/pharmacology , Animals , Benzodioxoles/pharmacology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Drug Repositioning , Evans Blue/pharmacology , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Phenylalanine/analogs & derivatives , Phenylalanine/pharmacology , Protein Binding/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sulfones/pharmacology , Surface Plasmon Resonance , Vero Cells
16.
Infect Disord Drug Targets ; 21(4): 541-552, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496791

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Since December 2019, a novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has caused global public health issues after being reported for the first time in Wuhan province of China. So far, there have been approximately 14.8 million confirmed cases and 0.614 million deaths due to the SARS-CoV-2 infection globally, and still, numbers are increasing. Although the virus has caused a global public health concern, no effective treatment has been developed. OBJECTIVE: One of the strategies to combat the COVID-19 disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 is the development of vaccines that can make humans immune to these infections. Considering this approach, in this study, an attempt has been made to design epitope-based vaccine for combatting COVID-19 disease by analyzing the complete proteome of the virus by using immuno-informatics tools. METHODS: The protein sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 was retrieved and the individual proteins were checked for their allergic potential. Then, from non-allergen proteins, antigenic epitopes were identified that could bind with MHCII molecules. The epitopes were modeled and docked to predict the interaction with MHCII molecules. The stability of the epitope-MHCII complex was further analyzed by performing a molecular dynamics simulation study. The selected vaccine candidates were also analyzed for their global population coverage and conservancy among SARS-related coronavirus species. RESULTS: The study has predicted 5 peptide molecules that can act as potential candidates for epitope- based vaccine development. Among the 5 selected epitopes, the peptide LRARSVSPK can be the most potent epitope because of its high geometric shape complementarity score, low ACE and very high response towards it by the world population (81.81% global population coverage). Further, molecular dynamic simulation analysis indicated the formation of a stable epitope-MHCII complex. The epitope LRARSVSPK was also found to be highly conserved among the SARS-CoV- -2 isolated from different countries. CONCLUSION: The study has predicted T-cell epitopes that can elicit a robust immune response in the global human population and act as potential vaccine candidates. However, the ability of these epitopes to act as vaccine candidate needs to be validated in wet lab studies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
17.
ACS Infect Dis ; 7(6): 1457-1468, 2021 06 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493012

ABSTRACT

Two proteases produced by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the main protease and papain-like protease, are essential for viral replication and have become the focus of drug development programs for treatment of COVID-19. We screened a highly focused library of compounds containing covalent warheads designed to target cysteine proteases to identify new lead scaffolds for both Mpro and PLpro proteases. These efforts identified a small number of hits for the Mpro protease and no viable hits for the PLpro protease. Of the Mpro hits identified as inhibitors of the purified recombinant protease, only two compounds inhibited viral infectivity in cellular infection assays. However, we observed a substantial drop in antiviral potency upon expression of TMPRSS2, a transmembrane serine protease that acts in an alternative viral entry pathway to the lysosomal cathepsins. This loss of potency is explained by the fact that our lead Mpro inhibitors are also potent inhibitors of host cell cysteine cathepsins. To determine if this is a general property of Mpro inhibitors, we evaluated several recently reported compounds and found that they are also effective inhibitors of purified human cathepsins L and B and showed similar loss in activity in cells expressing TMPRSS2. Our results highlight the challenges of targeting Mpro and PLpro proteases and demonstrate the need to carefully assess selectivity of SARS-CoV-2 protease inhibitors to prevent clinical advancement of compounds that function through inhibition of a redundant viral entry pathway.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Humans , Peptide Hydrolases , Protease Inhibitors
19.
Antimicrob Agents Chemother ; 65(7): e0009721, 2021 06 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1486469

ABSTRACT

Efforts to mitigate the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic include the screening of existing antiviral molecules that could be repurposed to treat severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections. Although SARS-CoV-2 replicates and propagates efficiently in African green monkey kidney (Vero) cells, antivirals such as nucleos(t)ide analogs (NUCs) often show decreased activity in these cells due to inefficient metabolization. SARS-CoV-2 exhibits low viability in human cells in culture. Here, serial passages of a SARS-CoV-2 isolate (original-SARS2) in the human hepatoma cell clone Huh7.5 led to the selection of a variant (adapted-SARS2) with significantly improved infectivity in human liver (Huh7 and Huh7.5) and lung cancer (unmodified Calu-1 and A549) cells. The adapted virus exhibited mutations in the spike protein, including a 9-amino-acid deletion and 3 amino acid changes (E484D, P812R, and Q954H). E484D also emerged in Vero E6-cultured viruses that became viable in A549 cells. Original and adapted viruses were susceptible to scavenger receptor class B type 1 (SR-B1) receptor blocking, and adapted-SARS2 exhibited significantly less dependence on ACE2. Both variants were similarly neutralized by COVID-19 convalescent-phase plasma, but adapted-SARS2 exhibited increased susceptibility to exogenous type I interferon. Remdesivir inhibited original- and adapted-SARS2 similarly, demonstrating the utility of the system for the screening of NUCs. Among the tested NUCs, only remdesivir, molnupiravir, and, to a limited extent, galidesivir showed antiviral effects across human cell lines, whereas sofosbuvir, ribavirin, and favipiravir had no apparent activity. Analogously to the emergence of spike mutations in vivo, the spike protein is under intense adaptive selection pressure in cell culture. Our results indicate that the emergence of spike mutations will most likely not affect the activity of remdesivir.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Pandemics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Virus Replication
20.
J Virol ; 95(16): e0018721, 2021 07 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1486048

ABSTRACT

Subversion of the host cell cycle to facilitate viral replication is a common feature of coronavirus infections. Coronavirus nucleocapsid (N) protein can modulate the host cell cycle, but the mechanistic details remain largely unknown. Here, we investigated the effects of manipulation of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) N protein on the cell cycle and the influence on viral replication. Results indicated that PEDV N induced Vero E6 cell cycle arrest at S-phase, which promoted viral replication (P < 0.05). S-phase arrest was dependent on the N protein nuclear localization signal S71NWHFYYLGTGPHADLRYRT90 and the interaction between N protein and p53. In the nucleus, the binding of N protein to p53 maintained consistently high-level expression of p53, which activated the p53-DREAM pathway. The key domain of the N protein interacting with p53 was revealed to be S171RGNSQNRGNNQGRGASQNRGGNN194 (NS171-N194), in which G183RG185 are core residues. NS171-N194 and G183RG185 were essential for N-induced S-phase arrest. Moreover, small molecular drugs targeting the NS171-N194 domain of the PEDV N protein were screened through molecular docking. Hyperoside could antagonize N protein-induced S-phase arrest by interfering with interaction between N protein and p53 and inhibit viral replication (P < 0.05). The above-described experiments were also validated in porcine intestinal cells, and data were in line with results in Vero E6 cells. Therefore, these results reveal the PEDV N protein interacts with p53 to activate the p53-DREAM pathway, and subsequently induces S-phase arrest to create a favorable environment for virus replication. These findings provide new insight into the PEDV-host interaction and the design of novel antiviral strategies against PEDV. IMPORTANCE Many viruses subvert the host cell cycle to create a cellular environment that promotes viral growth. PEDV, an emerging and reemerging coronavirus, has led to substantial economic loss in the global swine industry. Our study is the first to demonstrate that PEDV N-induced cell cycle arrest during the S-phase promotes viral replication. We identified a novel mechanism of PEDV N-induced S-phase arrest, where the binding of PEDV N protein to p53 maintains consistently high levels of p53 expression in the nucleus to mediate S-phase arrest by activating the p53-DREAM pathway. Furthermore, a small molecular compound, hyperoside, targeted the PEDV N protein, interfering with the interaction between the N protein and p53 and, importantly, inhibited PEDV replication by antagonizing cell cycle arrest. This study reveals a new mechanism of PEDV-host interaction and also provides a novel antiviral strategy for PEDV. These data provide a foundation for further research into coronavirus-host interactions.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/chemistry , Host-Pathogen Interactions/drug effects , Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus/drug effects , Quercetin/analogs & derivatives , Tumor Suppressor Protein p53/chemistry , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Binding Sites , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Epithelial Cells/virology , Gene Expression Regulation , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Molecular Docking Simulation , Nuclear Localization Signals , Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus/genetics , Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Quercetin/chemistry , Quercetin/pharmacology , S Phase Cell Cycle Checkpoints/drug effects , S Phase Cell Cycle Checkpoints/genetics , Signal Transduction , Swine , Swine Diseases/drug therapy , Swine Diseases/genetics , Swine Diseases/metabolism , Swine Diseases/virology , Tumor Suppressor Protein p53/antagonists & inhibitors , Tumor Suppressor Protein p53/genetics , Tumor Suppressor Protein p53/metabolism , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects
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