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1.
Viruses ; 12(5)2020 05 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389513

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 enters cells using its Spike protein, which is also the main target of neutralizing antibodies. Therefore, assays to measure how antibodies and sera affect Spike-mediated viral infection are important for studying immunity. Because SARS-CoV-2 is a biosafety-level-3 virus, one way to simplify such assays is to pseudotype biosafety-level-2 viral particles with Spike. Such pseudotyping has now been described for single-cycle lentiviral, retroviral, and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) particles, but the reagents and protocols are not widely available. Here, we detailed how to effectively pseudotype lentiviral particles with SARS-CoV-2 Spike and infect 293T cells engineered to express the SARS-CoV-2 receptor, ACE2. We also made all the key experimental reagents available in the BEI Resources repository of ATCC and the NIH. Furthermore, we demonstrated how these pseudotyped lentiviral particles could be used to measure the neutralizing activity of human sera or plasma against SARS-CoV-2 in convenient luciferase-based assays, thereby providing a valuable complement to ELISA-based methods that measure antibody binding rather than neutralization.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Neutralization Tests/methods , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/analysis , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Containment of Biohazards , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Lentivirus , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Plasma/immunology
2.
J Virol ; 95(17): e0074721, 2021 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1356909

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is bringing an unprecedented health crisis to the world. To date, our understanding of the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and host innate immunity is still limited. Previous studies reported that SARS-CoV-2 nonstructural protein 12 (NSP12) was able to suppress interferon-ß (IFN-ß) activation in IFN-ß promoter luciferase reporter assays, which provided insights into the pathogenesis of COVID-19. In this study, we demonstrated that IFN-ß promoter-mediated luciferase activity was reduced during coexpression of NSP12. However, we could show NSP12 did not affect IRF3 or NF-κB activation. Moreover, IFN-ß production induced by Sendai virus (SeV) infection or other stimulus was not affected by NSP12 at mRNA or protein level. Additionally, the type I IFN signaling pathway was not affected by NSP12, as demonstrated by the expression of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs). Further experiments revealed that different experiment systems, including protein tags and plasmid backbones, could affect the readouts of IFN-ß promoter luciferase assays. In conclusion, unlike as previously reported, our study showed SARS-CoV-2 NSP12 protein is not an IFN-ß antagonist. It also rings the alarm on the general usage of luciferase reporter assays in studying SARS-CoV-2. IMPORTANCE Previous studies investigated the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins and interferon signaling and proposed that several SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins, including NSP12, could suppress IFN-ß activation. However, most of these results were generated from IFN-ß promoter luciferase reporter assay and have not been validated functionally. In our study, we found that, although NSP12 could suppress IFN-ß promoter luciferase activity, it showed no inhibitory effect on IFN-ß production or its downstream signaling. Further study revealed that contradictory results could be generated from different experiment systems. On one hand, we demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 NSP12 could not suppress IFN-ß signaling. On the other hand, our study suggests that caution needs to be taken with the interpretation of SARS-CoV-2-related luciferase assays.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase , Interferon-beta , Promoter Regions, Genetic , SARS-CoV-2 , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/genetics , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/metabolism , Interferon-beta/antagonists & inhibitors , Interferon-beta/biosynthesis , Interferon-beta/genetics , NF-kappa B/genetics , NF-kappa B/metabolism , RNA, Messenger/biosynthesis , RNA, Messenger/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
3.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun ; 553: 25-29, 2021 05 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1147359

ABSTRACT

The current COVID-19 pandemic is caused by infections with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). A sex-bias has been observed, with increased susceptibility and mortality in male compared to female patients. The gene for the SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 is located on the X chromosome. We previously generated TP53 mutant pigs that exhibit a sex-specific patho-phenotype due to altered regulation of numerous X chromosome genes. In this study, we explored the effect of p53 deficiency on ACE2 expression in pigs. First, we identified the p53 binding site in the ACE2 promoter and could show its regulatory effect on ACE2 expression by luciferase assay in porcine primary kidney fibroblast cells. Later, quantitative PCR and western blot showed tissue- and gender-specific expression changes of ACE2 and its truncated isoform in p53-deficient pigs. We believe these findings will broaden the knowledge on ACE2 regulation and COVID-19 susceptibility.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Gene Expression Regulation , Organ Specificity , Sex Characteristics , Sus scrofa/metabolism , Tumor Suppressor Protein p53/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Base Sequence , Binding Sites , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Fibroblasts , Gene Deletion , Male , Promoter Regions, Genetic/genetics , Tumor Suppressor Protein p53/deficiency , Tumor Suppressor Protein p53/genetics , X Chromosome/genetics
4.
J Virol Methods ; 292: 114141, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1142107

ABSTRACT

In this study, we developed and evaluated a luciferase immunosorbent assay (LISA) for quantitative detection of IgG antibody against SARS-CoV-2 nucleoprotein (NP). Anti-SARS-CoV-2 NP antibody in serum or plasma samples was captured by protein G-coated microtiter plate and detected using the crude cell lysates expressing Nanoluc luciferase (Nluc) enzyme fused with SARS-CoV-2 NP. After the addition of furimazine substrate, the levels of anti-SARS-CoV-2 NP IgG antibody were quantitatively measured as luciferase light units. As expected, SARS-CoV-2 NP showed cross-reactivity with the monoclonal antibodies against SARS-CoV NP, but not MERS-CoV NP-specific monoclonal antibodies or the monoclonal antibodies against SARS-CoV Spike protein. LISA for detecting murine monoclonal antibody against SARS-CoV NP showed a low limit of detection of 0.4 pg/µl and linear detection range from 0.4 pg/µl to 75 pg/µl. Furthermore, LISA had a sensitivity of 71 % when testing COVID-19 patients at the second week post onset and a specificity of 100 % when testing healthy blood donors.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , COVID-19/diagnosis , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Cross Reactions , Humans , Luciferases
5.
J Inflamm Res ; 14: 869-884, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1138640

ABSTRACT

Purpose: Coronil is a tri-herbal formulation containing extracts from Withania somnifera, Tinospora cordifolia, and Ocimum sanctum. Recently, it was shown that Coronil rescued humanized zebrafish from SARS-CoV-2 induced pathologies. Based on reported computational studies on the phytochemicals present in Coronil, it could be a potential inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2 entry into the host cell and associated cytokines' production. Methods: Through an ELISA-based biochemical assay, effects of Coronil on interaction between ACE-2 and different mutants of viral spike (S) protein, crucial for viral invasion of host cell, were evaluated. Additionally, using recombinant pseudoviruses having SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein in their envelopes and firefly luciferase reporter in their genomes, effects of Coronil on virus entry into human alveolar epithelial cells were evaluated through luciferase assay. UHPLC profiled Coronil also modulated S-protein mediated production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in A549 cells, like interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-1ß (IL-1ß), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), as evaluated through RT-qPCR and ELISA. Results: Coronil effectively inhibited the interaction of ACE-2 not only with the wild-type S protein (SWT) but also with its currently prevalent and more infectious variant (SD614G) and another mutant (SW436R) with significantly higher affinity toward ACE-2. Treatment with Coronil significantly reduced the increased levels of IL-6, IL-1ß, and TNF-α in A549 cells incubated with different S-protein variants in a dose-dependent manner. Likewise, it also prevented the SARS-CoV-2 S-protein pseudotyped vesicular stomatitis virus (VSVppSARS-2S) mediated cytokine response in these cells by reducing entry of pseudoviruses into host cells. Conclusion: Coronil prevented SARS-CoV-2 S-protein mediated viral entry into A549 cells by inhibiting spike protein-ACE-2 interactions. SARS-CoV-2 S protein induced inflammatory cytokine response in these cells was also moderated by Coronil.

6.
Virol J ; 18(1): 16, 2021 01 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1059645

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus that emerged in 2019 and is now classified in the genus Coronavirus with closely related SARS-CoV. SARS-CoV-2 is highly pathogenic in humans and is classified as a biosafety level (BSL)-3 pathogen, which makes manipulating it relatively difficult due to its infectious nature. METHODS: To circumvent the need for BSL-3 laboratories, an alternative assay was developed that avoids live virus and instead uses a recombinant VSV expressing luciferase and possesses the full length or truncated spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, to measure SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies under BSL2 conditions, a chemiluminescence reduction neutralization test (CRNT) for SARS-CoV-2 was developed. The neutralization values of the serum samples collected from hospitalized patients with COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 PCR-negative donors against the pseudotyped virus infection evaluated by the CRNT were compared with antibody titers determined from an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or an immunofluorescence assay (IFA). RESULTS: The CRNT, which used whole blood collected from hospitalized patients with COVID-19, was also examined. As a result, the inhibition of pseudotyped virus infection was specifically observed in both serum and whole blood and was also correlated with the results of the IFA. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, the CRNT for COVID-19 is a convenient assay system that can be performed in a BSL-2 laboratory with high specificity and sensitivity for evaluating the occurrence of neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/blood , Neutralization Tests/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus/genetics , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cell Line , Convalescence , Humans , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Luminescence , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
7.
J Transl Med ; 18(1): 452, 2020 11 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-948411

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Dysregulation of transcription and cytokine expression has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a variety inflammatory diseases. The resulting imbalance between inflammatory and resolving transcriptional programs can cause an overabundance of pro-inflammatory, classically activated macrophage type 1 (M1) and/or helper T cell type 1 (Th1) products, such as IFNγ, TNFα, IL1-ß, and IL12, that prevent immune switching to resolution and healing. The low molecular weight fraction of human serum albumin (LMWF5A) is a novel biologic drug that is currently under clinical investigation for the treatment of osteoarthritis and the hyper-inflammatory response associated with COVID-19. This study aims to elucidate transcriptional mechanisms of action involved with the ability of LMWF5A to reduce pro-inflammatory cytokine release. METHODS: ELISA arrays were used to identify cytokines and chemokines influenced by LMWF5A treatment of LPS-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). The resulting profiles were analyzed by gene enrichment to gain mechanistic insight into the biologic processes and transcription factors (TFs) underlying the identified differentially expressed cytokines. DNA-binding ELISAs, luciferase reporter assays, and TNFα or IL-1ß relative potency were then employed to confirm the involvement of enriched pathways and TFs. RESULTS: LMWF5A was found to significantly inhibit a distinct set of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNFα, IL-1ß, IL-12, CXCL9, CXCL10, and CXCL11) associated with pro-inflammatory M1/Th1 immune profiles. Gene enrichment analysis also suggests these cytokines are, in part, regulated by NF-κB and STAT transcription factors. Data from DNA-binding and reporter assays support this with LMWF5A inhibition of STAT1α DNA-binding activity as well as a reduction in overall NF-κB-driven luciferase expression. Experiments using antagonists specific for the immunomodulatory and NF-κB/STAT-repressing transcription factors, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)γ and aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), indicate these pathways are involved in the LMWF5A mechanisms of action by reducing LMWF5A drug potency as measured by TNFα and IL-1ß release. CONCLUSION: In this report, we provide evidence that LMWF5A reduces pro-inflammatory cytokine release by activating the immunoregulatory transcription factors PPARγ and AhR. In addition, our data indicate that LMWF5A suppresses NF-κB and STAT1α pro-inflammatory pathways. This suggests that LMWF5A acts through these mechanisms to decrease pro-inflammatory transcription factor activity and subsequent inflammatory cytokine production.


Subject(s)
Cytokines/metabolism , Inflammation/prevention & control , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/drug effects , Serum Albumin, Human/pharmacology , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Cells, Cultured , Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Inflammation/genetics , Inflammation/metabolism , Inflammation Mediators/metabolism , Interferon-Stimulated Gene Factor 3/metabolism , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/metabolism , Lipopolysaccharides , Lymphocyte Activation/drug effects , Molecular Weight , NF-kappa B/metabolism , Serum Albumin, Human/chemistry , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Signal Transduction/genetics , Signal Transduction/immunology , Transcription Factors/metabolism
8.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun ; 533(1): 195-200, 2020 11 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-753910

ABSTRACT

The pandemic of COVID-19 is spreading unchecked due to the lack of effective antiviral measures. Silver nanoparticles (AgNP) have been studied to possess antiviral properties and are presumed to inhibit SARS-CoV-2. Due to the need for an effective agent against SARS-CoV-2, we evaluated the antiviral effect of AgNPs. We evaluated a plethora of AgNPs of different sizes and concentration and observed that particles of diameter around 10 nm were effective in inhibiting extracellular SARS-CoV-2 at concentrations ranging between 1 and 10 ppm while cytotoxic effect was observed at concentrations of 20 ppm and above. Luciferase-based pseudovirus entry assay revealed that AgNPs potently inhibited viral entry step via disrupting viral integrity. These results indicate that AgNPs are highly potent microbicides against SARS-CoV-2 but should be used with caution due to their cytotoxic effects and their potential to derange environmental ecosystems when improperly disposed.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Metal Nanoparticles/administration & dosage , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Silver/administration & dosage , Animals , Antiviral Agents/toxicity , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Cell Survival/drug effects , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Humans , Metal Nanoparticles/toxicity , Metal Nanoparticles/ultrastructure , Pandemics , Particle Size , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Silver/toxicity , Vero Cells , Virus Internalization/drug effects
9.
Sci Transl Med ; 12(559)2020 09 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-724557

ABSTRACT

It is of paramount importance to evaluate the prevalence of both asymptomatic and symptomatic cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection and their differing antibody response profiles. Here, we performed a pilot study of four serological assays to assess the amounts of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in serum samples obtained from 491 healthy individuals before the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, 51 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19, 209 suspected cases of COVID-19 with mild symptoms, and 200 healthy blood donors. We used two ELISA assays that recognized the full-length nucleoprotein (N) or trimeric spike (S) protein ectodomain of SARS-CoV-2. In addition, we developed the S-Flow assay that recognized the S protein expressed at the cell surface using flow cytometry, and the luciferase immunoprecipitation system (LIPS) assay that recognized diverse SARS-CoV-2 antigens including the S1 domain and the carboxyl-terminal domain of N by immunoprecipitation. We obtained similar results with the four serological assays. Differences in sensitivity were attributed to the technique and the antigen used. High anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers were associated with neutralization activity, which was assessed using infectious SARS-CoV-2 or lentiviral-S pseudotype virus. In hospitalized patients with COVID-19, seroconversion and virus neutralization occurred between 5 and 14 days after symptom onset, confirming previous studies. Seropositivity was detected in 32% of mildly symptomatic individuals within 15 days of symptom onset and in 3% of healthy blood donors. The four antibody assays that we used enabled a broad evaluation of SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence and antibody profiling in different subpopulations within one region.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Serologic Tests/methods , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/methods , Female , Flow Cytometry/methods , France/epidemiology , Healthy Volunteers , Humans , Immunoprecipitation/methods , Luciferases , Male , Middle Aged , Neutralization Tests , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Translational Medical Research , Young Adult
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