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1.
Brain Behav Immun ; 87: 34-39, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1719335

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic is a significant psychological stressor in addition to its tremendous impact on every facet of individuals' lives and organizations in virtually all social and economic sectors worldwide. Fear of illness and uncertainty about the future precipitate anxiety- and stress-related disorders, and several groups have rightfully called for the creation and dissemination of robust mental health screening and treatment programs for the general public and front-line healthcare workers. However, in addition to pandemic-associated psychological distress, the direct effects of the virus itself (several acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus; SARS-CoV-2), and the subsequent host immunologic response, on the human central nervous system (CNS) and related outcomes are unknown. We discuss currently available evidence of COVID-19 related neuropsychiatric sequelae while drawing parallels to past viral pandemic-related outcomes. Past pandemics have demonstrated that diverse types of neuropsychiatric symptoms, such as encephalopathy, mood changes, psychosis, neuromuscular dysfunction, or demyelinating processes, may accompany acute viral infection, or may follow infection by weeks, months, or longer in recovered patients. The potential mechanisms are also discussed, including viral and immunological underpinnings. Therefore, prospective neuropsychiatric monitoring of individuals exposed to SARS-CoV-2 at various points in the life course, as well as their neuroimmune status, are needed to fully understand the long-term impact of COVID-19, and to establish a framework for integrating psychoneuroimmunology into epidemiologic studies of pandemics.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/psychology , Mental Disorders/psychology , Nervous System Diseases/psychology , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Acute Disease , Anxiety/etiology , Anxiety/immunology , Anxiety/psychology , Bacterial Translocation , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Chronic Disease , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/therapy , Demyelinating Diseases/etiology , Demyelinating Diseases/immunology , Demyelinating Diseases/physiopathology , Demyelinating Diseases/psychology , Depression/etiology , Depression/immunology , Depression/psychology , Humans , Immunologic Factors/adverse effects , Mental Disorders/etiology , Mental Disorders/immunology , Mental Health , Nervous System Diseases/etiology , Nervous System Diseases/immunology , Nervous System Diseases/physiopathology , Neurodegenerative Diseases/etiology , Neurodegenerative Diseases/immunology , Neurodegenerative Diseases/physiopathology , Neurodegenerative Diseases/psychology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Psychoneuroimmunology , Psychotic Disorders/etiology , Psychotic Disorders/immunology , Psychotic Disorders/psychology , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/etiology , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/immunology , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/psychology
2.
J Infect Dis ; 2021 Mar 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1704375

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: While secondary pneumococcal pneumonia occurs less commonly after COVID-19 than after other viral infections, it remains unclear whether other interactions occur between SARS-CoV-2 and Streptococcus pneumoniae. METHODS: We probed potential interactions between these pathogens among adults aged ≥65y by measuring associations of COVID-19 outcomes with pneumococcal vaccination (13-valent conjugate and 23-valent polysaccharide; PCV13, PPSV23). We estimated adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) using Cox proportional hazards models with doubly-robust inverse-propensity weighting. We assessed effect modification by antibiotic exposure to further test the biologic plausibility of a causal role for pneumococci. RESULTS: Among 531,033 adults, there were 3,677 COVID-19 diagnoses, leading to 1,075 hospitalizations and 334 fatalities, between 1 March-22 July, 2020. Estimated aHRs for COVID-19 diagnosis, hospitalization, and mortality associated with prior PCV13 receipt were 0.65 (95% confidence interval: 0.59-0.72), 0.68 (0.57-0.83), and 0.68 (0.49-0.95), respectively. Prior PPSV23 receipt was not associated with protection against the three outcomes. COVID-19 diagnosis was not associated with prior PCV13 within 90 days following antibiotic receipt, whereas aHR estimates were 0.65 (0.50-0.84) and 0.62 (0.56-0.70) during risk periods 91-365d and >365d following antibiotic receipt, respectively. DISCUSSION: Reduced risk of COVID-19 among PCV13 recipients, transiently attenuated by antibiotic exposure, suggests pneumococci may interact with SARS-CoV-2.

3.
J Infect Dis ; 2021 Apr 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1635671

ABSTRACT

Non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) have "flattened the curve" of the COVID-19 pandemic, however the effect of these interventions on other respiratory viruses is unknown. We used aggregate level case count data for eight respiratory viruses and compared the institutional and statewide case counts before and during the period that NPIs were active. We observed a 61% (IRR 0.39, 95% CI 0.37 to 0.41, P < 0.0001) decrease in non-SARS-CoV-2 respiratory viral infections when NPIs were implemented. This finding, if further verified, should guide future public health initiatives to mitigate viral epidemics.

4.
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
5.
Mayo Clin Proc ; 95(7): 1354-1368, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500136

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To explore the transcriptomic differences between patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and controls. PATIENTS AND METHODS: RNA was extracted from cardiac tissue flash frozen at therapeutic surgical septal myectomy for 106 patients with HCM and 39 healthy donor hearts. Expression profiling of 37,846 genes was performed using the Illumina Human HT-12v3 Expression BeadChip. All patients with HCM were genotyped for pathogenic variants causing HCM. Technical validation was performed using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and Western blot. This study was started on January 1, 1999, and final analysis was completed on April 20, 2020. RESULTS: Overall, 22% of the transcriptome (8443 of 37,846 genes) was expressed differentially between HCM and control tissues. Analysis by genotype revealed that gene expression changes were similar among genotypic subgroups of HCM, with only 4% (1502 of 37,846) to 6% (2336 of 37,846) of the transcriptome exhibiting differential expression between genotypic subgroups. The qRT-PCR confirmed differential expression in 92% (11 of 12 genes) of tested transcripts. Notably, in the context of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the transcript for angiotensin I converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), a negative regulator of the angiotensin system, was the single most up-regulated gene in HCM (fold-change, 3.53; q-value =1.30×10-23), which was confirmed by qRT-PCR in triplicate (fold change, 3.78; P=5.22×10-4), and Western blot confirmed greater than 5-fold overexpression of ACE2 protein (fold change, 5.34; P=1.66×10-6). CONCLUSION: More than 20% of the transcriptome is expressed differentially between HCM and control tissues. Importantly, ACE2 was the most up-regulated gene in HCM, indicating perhaps the heart's compensatory effort to mount an antihypertrophic, antifibrotic response. However, given that the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) uses ACE2 for viral entry, this 5-fold increase in ACE2 protein may confer increased risk for COVID-19 manifestations and outcomes in patients with increased ACE2 transcript expression and protein levels in the heart.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic/genetics , Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic/virology , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , COVID-19 , Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic/metabolism , Case-Control Studies , Child , Genotype , Humans , Middle Aged , Myocardium/metabolism , Pandemics , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
6.
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol ; 212: 105939, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1492339

ABSTRACT

7-Ketocholesterol, which is one of the earliest cholesterol oxidization products identified, is essentially formed by the auto-oxidation of cholesterol. In the body, 7-ketocholesterol is both provided by food and produced endogenously. This pro-oxidant and pro-inflammatory molecule, which can activate apoptosis and autophagy at high concentrations, is an abundant component of oxidized Low Density Lipoproteins. 7-Ketocholesterol appears to significantly contribute to the development of age-related diseases (cardiovascular diseases, age-related macular degeneration, and Alzheimer's disease), chronic inflammatory bowel diseases and to certain cancers. Recent studies have also shown that 7-ketocholesterol has anti-viral activities, including on SARS-CoV-2, which are, however, lower than those of oxysterols resulting from the oxidation of cholesterol on the side chain. Furthermore, 7-ketocholesterol is increased in the serum of moderately and severely affected COVID-19 patients. In the case of COVID-19, it can be assumed that the antiviral activity of 7-ketocholesterol could be counterbalanced by its toxic effects, including pro-oxidant, pro-inflammatory and pro-coagulant activities that might promote the induction of cell death in alveolar cells. It is therefore suggested that this oxysterol might be involved in the pathophysiology of COVID-19 by contributing to the acute respiratory distress syndrome and promoting a deleterious, even fatal outcome. Thus, 7-ketocholesterol could possibly constitute a lipid biomarker of COVID-19 outcome and counteracting its toxic effects with adjuvant therapies might have beneficial effects in COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/etiology , Ketocholesterols/blood , Animals , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Ketocholesterols/metabolism
7.
J Virol ; 95(16): e0061721, 2021 07 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1486509

ABSTRACT

The current pandemic of COVID-19 is caused by a novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) is the critical determinant of viral tropism and infectivity. To investigate whether naturally occurring RBD mutations during the early transmission phase have altered the receptor binding affinity and infectivity, we first analyzed in silico the binding dynamics between SARS-CoV-2 RBD mutants and the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. Among 32,123 genomes of SARS-CoV-2 isolates (December 2019 through March 2020), 302 nonsynonymous RBD mutants were identified and clustered into 96 mutant types. The six dominant mutations were analyzed applying molecular dynamics simulations (MDS). The mutant type V367F continuously circulating worldwide displayed higher binding affinity to human ACE2 due to the enhanced structural stabilization of the RBD beta-sheet scaffold. The MDS also indicated that it would be difficult for bat SARS-like CoV to infect humans. However, the pangolin CoV is potentially infectious to humans. The increased infectivity of V367 mutants was further validated by performing receptor-ligand binding enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), surface plasmon resonance, and pseudotyped virus assays. Phylogenetic analysis of the genomes of V367F mutants showed that during the early transmission phase, most V367F mutants clustered more closely with the SARS-CoV-2 prototype strain than the dual-mutation variants (V367F+D614G), which may derivate from recombination. The analysis of critical RBD mutations provides further insights into the evolutionary trajectory of early SARS-CoV-2 variants of zoonotic origin under negative selection pressure and supports the continuing surveillance of spike mutations to aid in the development of new COVID-19 drugs and vaccines. IMPORTANCE A novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has caused the pandemic of COVID-19. The origin of SARS-CoV-2 was associated with zoonotic infections. The spike protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) is identified as the critical determinant of viral tropism and infectivity. Thus, whether mutations in the RBD of the circulating SARS-CoV-2 isolates have altered the receptor binding affinity and made them more infectious has been the research hot spot. Given that SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus, the significance of our research is in identifying and validating the RBD mutant types emerging during the early transmission phase and increasing human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor binding affinity and infectivity. Our study provides insights into the evolutionary trajectory of early SARS-CoV-2 variants of zoonotic origin. The continuing surveillance of RBD mutations with increased human ACE2 affinity in human or other animals is critical to the development of new COVID-19 drugs and vaccines against these variants during the sustained COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Amino Acid Substitution , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , COVID-19/transmission , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Binding Sites , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Gene Expression , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , Kinetics , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Phenylalanine/chemistry , Phenylalanine/metabolism , Phylogeny , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Conformation, beta-Strand , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Thermodynamics , Valine/chemistry , Valine/metabolism , Virulence , Virus Attachment
8.
J Infect Dis ; 224(6): 956-966, 2021 09 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1429243

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to be a major public health challenge globally. The identification of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-derived T-cell epitopes is of critical importance for peptide vaccines or diagnostic tools of COVID-19. METHODS: In this study, several SARS-CoV-2-derived human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-I binding peptides were predicted by NetMHCpan-4.1 and selected by Popcover to achieve pancoverage of the Chinese population. The top 5 ranked peptides derived from each protein of SARS-CoV-2 were then evaluated using peripheral blood mononuclear cells from unexposed individuals (negative for SARS-CoV-2 immunoglobulin G). RESULTS: Seven epitopes derived from 4 SARS-CoV-2 proteins were identified. It is interesting to note that most (5 of 7) of the SARS-CoV-2-derived peptides with predicted affinities for HLA-I molecules were identified as HLA-II-restricted epitopes and induced CD4+ T cell-dependent responses. These results complete missing pieces of pre-existing SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells and suggest that pre-existing T cells targeting all SARS-CoV-2-encoded proteins can be discovered in unexposed populations. CONCLUSIONS: In summary, in the current study, we present an alternative and effective strategy for the identification of T-cell epitopes of SARS-CoV-2 in healthy subjects, which may indicate an important role in the development of peptide vaccines for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Vaccines, Subunit/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Cell Line , Humans , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/immunology , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Infect Dis Rep ; 13(1): 102-125, 2021 Feb 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403576

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a novel coronavirus that emerged from Wuhan, China in late 2019 causing coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19). SARS-CoV-2 infection begins by attaching to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor (ACE2) via the spike glycoprotein, followed by cleavage by TMPRSS2, revealing the viral fusion domain. Other presumptive receptors for SARS-CoV-2 attachment include CD147, neuropilin-1 (NRP1), and Myeloid C-lectin like receptor (CLR), each of which might play a role in the systemic viral spread. The pathology of SARS-CoV-2 infection ranges from asymptomatic to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome, often displaying a cytokine storm syndrome, which can be life-threatening. Despite progress made, the detailed mechanisms underlying SARS-CoV-2 interaction with the host immune system remain unclear and are an area of very active research. The process's key players include viral non-structural proteins and open reading frame products, which have been implicated in immune antagonism. The dysregulation of the innate immune system results in reduced adaptive immune responses characterized by rapidly diminishing antibody titers. Several treatment options for COVID-19 are emerging, with immunotherapies, peptide therapies, and nucleic acid vaccines showing promise. This review discusses the advances in the immunopathology of SARS-CoV-2, vaccines and therapies under investigation to counter the effects of this virus, as well as viral variants.

10.
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med ; 2020: 4932572, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1394264

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is a disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Presently, there is no effective treatment for COVID-19. As part of the worldwide efforts to find efficient therapies and preventions, it has been reported the crystalline structure of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease Mpro (also called 3CLpro) bound to a synthetic inhibitor, which represents a major druggable target. The druggability of Mpro could be used for discovering drugs to treat COVID-19. A multilevel computational study was carried out to evaluate the potential antiviral properties of the components of the medicinal herb Uncaria tomentosa (Cat's claw), focusing on the inhibition of Mpro. The in silico approach starts with protein-ligand docking of 26 Cat's claw key components, followed by ligand pathway calculations, molecular dynamics simulations, and MM-GBSA calculation of the free energy of binding for the best docked candidates. The structural bioinformatics approaches led to identification of three bioactive compounds of Uncaria tomentosa (speciophylline, cadambine, and proanthocyanidin B2) with potential therapeutic effects by strong interaction with 3CLpro. Additionally, in silico drug-likeness indices for these components were calculated and showed good predicted therapeutic profiles of these phytochemicals. Our findings suggest the potential effectiveness of Cat's claw as complementary and/or alternative medicine for COVID-19 treatment.

11.
Curr Pharm Biotechnol ; 22(12): 1574-1583, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1365491

ABSTRACT

Since its origin in the Wuhan province of China in December 2019, Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) has spread to most parts of the world and has infected millions of people. However, the significant variability in the mortality rate across the world indicates some underlying factors, especially the immunity factors that may have a potential role in this variability. One such factor that is being discussed and tested is the Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine. The available evidence suggests that BCG vaccination provides broad protection against respiratory infections as well as other infections. Therefore, BCG may prove to be a barrier for COVID-19 infection and may offer a ray of hope. In this review, we contrasted BCG vaccination program with COVID-19 mortality and analyzed trained immunity and cross protection against unrelated pathogens due to BCG vaccination. On analyzing the available data, we observed that countries without universal BCG vaccination policy are severely affected, while countries having universal BCG policies are less affected. Based on these data, we propose that the SARS-CoV-2 related qualified immunity, cross protection against unrelated pathogens and COVID-19 impact variations could be partly explained by the different national policies regarding BCG childhood vaccination. The combination of reduced morbidity and mortality may make BCG vaccination a potential new tool in the fight against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
BCG Vaccine , COVID-19 , China , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
12.
J Med Virol ; 93(9): 5446-5451, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1363689

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has become a global health issue and develops into a broad range of illnesses from asymptomatic to fatal respiratory diseases. SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with oxidative stress that triggers cytokine production, inflammation, and other pathophysiological processes. Glutathione-S-transferase (GST) is an important enzyme that catalyzes the conjugation of glutathione (GSH) with electrophiles to protect the cell from oxidative damage and participates in the antioxidant defense mechanism in the lungs. Thus, in this study, we investigated the role of GSTM1 and GSTT1 gene polymorphism with COVID-19 susceptibility, as well as its outcome. The study included 269 RT-PCR confirmed COVID-19 patients with mild (n = 149) and severe (n = 120) conditions. All subjects were genotyped for GSTM1 and GSTT1 by multiplex polymerase chain reaction (mPCR) followed by statistical analysis. The frequency of GSTM1-/- , GSTT1-/- and GSTM1-/- /GSTT1-/- was higher in severe COVID-19 patients as compared to mild patients but we did not observe a significant association. In the Cox hazard model, death was significantly 2.28-fold higher in patients with the GSTT1-/- genotype (p = 0.047). In combination, patients having GSTM1+/+ and GSTT1-/- genotypes showed a poor survival rate (p = 0.02). Our results suggested that COVID-19 patients with the GSTT1-/- genotype showed higher mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Glutathione Transferase/genetics , Polymorphism, Genetic , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Adult , Aged , Alleles , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Female , Follow-Up Studies , Gene Expression , Gene Frequency , Glutathione/metabolism , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Oxidative Stress , Proportional Hazards Models , Severity of Illness Index
13.
J Med Virol ; 93(9): 5260-5276, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1363669

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection, which has emerged as a global pandemic causing serious concerns. Lack of specific and effective therapeutics for the treatment of COVID-19 is a major concern and the development of vaccines is another important aspect in managing the infection effectively. The first step in the SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis is the viral entry and it is mediated by its densely glycosylated spike protein (S-protein). Similar to the SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2 also engages angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as the host cell entry receptor. In addition to ACE2, several recent studies have implicated the crucial role of cell surface heparan sulfate (HS) as a necessary assisting cofactor for ACE2-mediated SARS-CoV-2 entry. Furthermore, SARS-CoV-2 was also identified to use both endosomal cysteine proteases cathepsin B and L (CatB/L) and the transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2) for the pivotal role of S-protein priming mediating viral entry. As the entry of SARS-CoV-2 into host cells is mandatory for viral infection, it becomes an extremely attractive therapeutic intervention point. In this regard, this review will focus on the therapeutic targeting of the crucial steps of SARS-CoV-2 viral entry like S-protein/ACE2 interaction and S-protein priming by host cell proteases. In addition, this review will also give insights to the readers on several therapeutic opportunities, pharmacological targeting of the viral-entry facilitators like S-Protein, ACE2, cell surface HS, TMPRSS2, and CatB/L and evidence for those drugs currently ongoing clinical studies.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Internalization/drug effects , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Protein Binding , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
14.
Brief Bioinform ; 22(2): 1476-1498, 2021 03 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1352121

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), an infectious disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, and the situation worsens daily, associated with acute increases in case fatality rates. The main protease (Mpro) enzyme produced by SARS-CoV-2 was recently demonstrated to be responsible for not only viral reproduction but also impeding host immune responses. The element selenium (Se) plays a vital role in immune functions, both directly and indirectly. Thus, we hypothesised that Se-containing heterocyclic compounds might curb the activity of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro. We performed a molecular docking analysis and found that several of the selected selenocompounds showed potential binding affinities for SARS-CoV-2 Mpro, especially ethaselen (49), which exhibited a docking score of -6.7 kcal/mol compared with the -6.5 kcal/mol score for GC376 (positive control). Drug-likeness calculations suggested that these compounds are biologically active and possess the characteristics of ideal drug candidates. Based on the binding affinity and drug-likeness results, we selected the 16 most effective selenocompounds as potential anti-COVID-19 drug candidates. We also validated the structural integrity and stability of the drug candidate through molecular dynamics simulation. Using further in vitro and in vivo experiments, we believe that the targeted compound identified in this study (ethaselen) could pave the way for the development of prospective drugs to combat SARS-CoV-2 infections and trigger specific host immune responses.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Heterocyclic Compounds/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Selenium/analysis , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Computational Biology , Computer Simulation , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Heterocyclic Compounds/chemistry , Humans , Ligands , Models, Molecular , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protein Structure, Tertiary , Pyrrolidines/chemistry , Pyrrolidines/pharmacology , Reproducibility of Results , Sulfonic Acids
15.
Mol Inform ; 40(8): e2100028, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1345038

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 has mobilized scientific attention in search of a treatment. The cysteine-proteases, main protease (Mpro) and papain-like protease (PLpro) are important targets for antiviral drugs. In this work, we simulate the interactions between the Mpro and PLpro with Ebselen, its metabolites and derivatives with the aim of finding molecules that can potentially inhibit these enzymes. The docking data demonstrate that there are two main interactions between the thiol (-SH) group of Cys (from the protease active sites) and the electrophilic centers of the organoselenium molecules, i. e. the interaction with the carbonyl group (O=C… SH) and the interaction with the Se moiety (Se… SH). Both interactions may lead to an adduct formation and enzyme inhibition. Density Functional Theory (DFT) calculations with Ebselen indicate that the energetics of the thiol nucleophilic attack is more favorable on Se than on the carbonyl group, which is in accordance with experimental data (Jin et al. Nature, 2020, 582, 289-293). Therefore, organoselenium molecules should be further explored as inhibitors of the SARS-CoV-2 proteases. Furthermore, we suggest that some metabolites of Ebselen (e. g. Ebselen diselenide and methylebselenoxide) and derivatives ethaselen and ebsulfur should be tested in vitro as inhibitors of virus replication and its proteases.


Subject(s)
Azoles/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/metabolism , Organoselenium Compounds/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Viral Matrix Proteins/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Azoles/chemistry , Azoles/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Catalytic Domain/drug effects , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Drug Discovery , Humans , Isoindoles , Molecular Docking Simulation , Organoselenium Compounds/chemistry , Organoselenium Compounds/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Viral Matrix Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors
16.
Cell Metab ; 33(8): 1565-1576.e5, 2021 08 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1343160

ABSTRACT

Emerging evidence points toward an intricate relationship between the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and diabetes. While preexisting diabetes is associated with severe COVID-19, it is unclear whether COVID-19 severity is a cause or consequence of diabetes. To mechanistically link COVID-19 to diabetes, we tested whether insulin-producing pancreatic ß cells can be infected by SARS-CoV-2 and cause ß cell depletion. We found that the SARS-CoV-2 receptor, ACE2, and related entry factors (TMPRSS2, NRP1, and TRFC) are expressed in ß cells, with selectively high expression of NRP1. We discovered that SARS-CoV-2 infects human pancreatic ß cells in patients who succumbed to COVID-19 and selectively infects human islet ß cells in vitro. We demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 infection attenuates pancreatic insulin levels and secretion and induces ß cell apoptosis, each rescued by NRP1 inhibition. Phosphoproteomic pathway analysis of infected islets indicates apoptotic ß cell signaling, similar to that observed in type 1 diabetes (T1D). In summary, our study shows SARS-CoV-2 can directly induce ß cell killing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Diabetes Mellitus/virology , Insulin-Secreting Cells/virology , Neuropilin-1/metabolism , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Virus Internalization , A549 Cells , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antigens, CD/metabolism , Apoptosis , Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/diagnosis , Case-Control Studies , Diabetes Mellitus/diagnosis , Diabetes Mellitus/metabolism , Female , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Insulin/metabolism , Insulin-Secreting Cells/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Receptors, Transferrin/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
17.
J Infect Dis ; 224(3): 395-406, 2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1338702

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) clinical expression is pleiomorphic, severity is related to age and comorbidities such as diabetes and hypertension, and pathophysiology involves aberrant immune activation and lymphopenia. We wondered if the myeloid compartment was affected during COVID-19 and if monocytes and macrophages could be infected by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). METHODS: Monocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) from COVID-19 patients and controls were infected with SARS-CoV-2 and extensively investigated with immunofluorescence, viral RNA extraction and quantification, and total RNA extraction followed by reverse-transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction using specific primers, supernatant cytokines (interleukins 6, 10, and 1ß; interferon-ß; transforming growth factor-ß1, and tumor necrosis factor-α), and flow cytometry. The effect of M1- vs M2-type or no polarization prior to infection was assessed. RESULTS: SARS-CoV-2 efficiently infected monocytes and MDMs, but their infection is abortive. Infection was associated with immunoregulatory cytokines secretion and the induction of a macrophagic specific transcriptional program characterized by the upregulation of M2-type molecules. In vitro polarization did not account for permissivity to SARS-CoV-2, since M1- and M2-type MDMs were similarly infected. In COVID-19 patients, monocytes exhibited lower counts affecting all subsets, decreased expression of HLA-DR, and increased expression of CD163, irrespective of severity. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 drives monocytes and macrophages to induce host immunoparalysis for the benefit of COVID-19 progression.SARS-CoV-2 infection of macrophages induces a specific M2 transcriptional program. In Covid-19 patients, monocyte subsets were decreased associated with up-expression of the immunoregulatory molecule CD163 suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 drives immune system for the benefit of Covid-19 disease progression.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Macrophages/virology , Monocytes/virology , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cytokines/metabolism , Female , Flow Cytometry , Fluorescent Antibody Technique , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Respiratory Distress Syndrome/immunology , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , Young Adult
18.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(Suppl 2): S146-S163, 2021 07 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1334197

ABSTRACT

Evidence regarding the important role of adolescents and young adults (AYA) in accelerating and sustaining coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreaks is growing. Furthermore, data suggest that 2 known factors that contribute to high severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmissibility-presymptomatic transmission and asymptomatic case presentations-may be amplified in AYA. However, AYA have not been prioritized as a key population in the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Policy decisions that limit public health attention to AYA and are driven by the assumption of insignificant forward transmission from AYA pose a risk of inadvertent reinvigoration of local transmission dynamics. In this viewpoint, we highlight evidence regarding the increased potential of AYA to transmit SARS-CoV-2 that, to date, has received little attention, discuss adolescent and young adult-specific considerations for future COVID-19 control measures, and provide applied programmatic suggestions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adolescent , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Pandemics , Public Health , Young Adult
19.
J Biomol Struct Dyn ; 39(12): 4510-4521, 2021 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317843

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has ravaged the world and is the greatest of pandemics in modern human history, in the absence of treatment or vaccine, the mortality and morbidity rates are very high. The present investigation identifies potential leads from the plant Withania somnifera (Indian ginseng), a well-known antiviral, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory and a potent antioxidant plant, using molecular docking and dynamics studies. Two different protein targets of SARS-CoV-2 namely NSP15 endoribonuclease and receptor binding domain of prefusion spike protein from SARS-CoV-2 were targeted. Molecular docking studies suggested Withanoside X and Quercetin glucoside from W. somnifera have favorable interactions at the binding site of selected proteins, that is, 6W01 and 6M0J. The top-ranked phytochemicals from docking studies, subjected to 100 ns molecular dynamics (MD) suggested Withanoside X with the highest binding free energy (ΔGbind = -89.42 kcal/mol) as the most promising inhibitor. During MD studies, the molecule optimizes its conformation for better fitting with the receptor active site justifying the high binding affinity. Based on proven therapeutic, that is, immunomodulatory, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory roles and plausible potential against n-CoV-2 proteins, Indian ginseng could be one of the alternatives as an antiviral agent in the treatment of COVID 19. Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Panax , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , SARS-CoV-2
20.
J Biol Regul Homeost Agents ; 35(2): 423-427, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1298274

ABSTRACT

Acute severe respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection causes coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) which is associated with inflammation, thrombosis edema, hemorrhage, intra-alveolar fibrin deposition, and vascular and pulmonary damage. In COVID-19, the coronavirus activates macrophages by inducing the generation of pro-inflammatory cytokines [interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, IL-18 and TNF] that can damage endothelial cells, activate platelets and neutrophils to produce thromboxane A2 (TxA2), and mediate thrombus generation. In severe cases, all these phenomena can lead to patient death. The binding of SARS-CoV-2 to the Toll Like Receptor (TLR) results in the release of pro-IL-1ß that is cleaved by caspase-1, followed by the production of active mature IL-1ß which is the most important cytokine in causing fever and inflammation. Its activation in COVID-19 can cause a "cytokine storm" with serious biological and clinical consequences. Blockade of IL-1 with inhibitory and anti-inflammatory cytokines represents a new therapeutic strategy also for COVID-19. Recently, very rare allergic reactions to vaccines have been reported, with phenomena of pulmonary thrombosis. These side effects have raised substantial concern in the population. Highly allergic subjects should therefore be vaccinated under strict medical supervision. COVID-19 has accelerated vaccine therapy but also the use of drugs and monoclonal antibodies (mABs) which have been used in COVID-19 therapy. They are primarily adopted to treat high-risk mild-to-moderate non-hospitalized patients, and it has been noted that the administration of two mABs gave better results. mABs, other than polyclonal plasma antibodies from infected subjects with SARS-CoV-2, are produced in the laboratory and are intended to fight SARS-CoV-2. They bind specifically to the antigenic determinant of the spike protein, inhibiting the pathogenicity of the virus. The most suitable individuals for mAB therapy are people at particular risk, such as the elderly and those with serious chronic diseases including diabetics, hypertension and obesity, including subjects suffering from cardiovascular diseases. These antibodies have a well-predetermined target, they bind mainly to the protein S (formed by the S1A, B, C and D subtypes), located on the viral surface, and to the S2 protein that acts as a fuser between the virus and the cell membrane. Since mABs are derived from a single splenic immune cell, they are identical and form a cell clone which can neutralize SARS-CoV-2 by binding to the epitope of the virus. However, this COVID-19 therapy may cause several side effects such as mild pain, bleeding, bruising of the skin, soreness, swelling, thrombotic-type episodes, arterial hypertension, changes in heart activity, slowed bone marrow activity, impaired renal function, diarrhea, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, allergic reaction, fever, and possible subsequent infection may occur at the site of injection. In conclusion, the studies promoting mAB therapy in COVID-19 are very promising but the results are not yet definitive and more investigations are needed to certify both their good neutralizing effects of SARS-CoV-2, and to eliminate, or at least mitigate, the harmful side effects.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Aged , Antibodies, Monoclonal , Cytokine Release Syndrome , Endothelial Cells , Humans
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