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1.
J Biol Chem ; 295(36): 12686-12696, 2020 09 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387615

ABSTRACT

Type II transmembrane serine proteases (TTSPs) are a group of enzymes participating in diverse biological processes. Some members of the TTSP family are implicated in viral infection. TMPRSS11A is a TTSP expressed on the surface of airway epithelial cells, which has been shown to cleave and activate spike proteins of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronaviruses (CoVs). In this study, we examined the mechanism underlying the activation cleavage of TMPRSS11A that converts the one-chain zymogen to a two-chain enzyme. By expression in human embryonic kidney 293, esophageal EC9706, and lung epithelial A549 and 16HBE cells, Western blotting, and site-directed mutagenesis, we found that the activation cleavage of human TMPRSS11A was mediated by autocatalysis. Moreover, we found that TMPRSS11A activation cleavage occurred before the protein reached the cell surface, as indicated by studies with trypsin digestion to remove cell surface proteins, treatment with cell organelle-disturbing agents to block intracellular protein trafficking, and analysis of a soluble form of TMPRSS11A without the transmembrane domain. We also showed that TMPRSS11A was able to cleave the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. These results reveal an intracellular autocleavage mechanism in TMPRSS11A zymogen activation, which differs from the extracellular zymogen activation reported in other TTSPs. These findings provide new insights into the diverse mechanisms in regulating TTSP activation.


Subject(s)
Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Membrane Proteins/metabolism , Proteolysis , Serine Proteases/metabolism , A549 Cells , Cells, Cultured , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Membrane Proteins/chemistry , Membrane Proteins/genetics , Mutation , Protein Domains , Protein Transport , Respiratory Mucosa/cytology , Serine Proteases/chemistry , Serine Proteases/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Trypsin/metabolism
2.
Vaccines (Basel) ; 9(4)2021 Apr 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1344400

ABSTRACT

Intramuscular injection of DNA vectors expressing the extracellular vesicle (EV)-anchoring protein Nefmut fused at its C-terminus to viral and tumor antigens elicit a potent, effective, and anti-tolerogenic CD8+ T cell immunity against the heterologous antigen. The immune response is induced through the production of EVs incorporating Nefmut-derivatives released by muscle cells. In the perspective of a possible translation into the clinic of the Nefmut-based vaccine platform, we aimed at increasing its safety profile by identifying the minimal part of Nefmut retaining the EV-anchoring protein property. We found that a C-terminal deletion of 29-amino acids did not affect the ability of Nefmut to associate with EVs. The EV-anchoring function was also preserved when antigens from both HPV16 (i.e., E6 and E7) and SARS-CoV-2 (i.e., S1 and S2) were fused to its C-terminus. Most important, the Nefmut C-terminal deletion did not affect levels, quality, and diffusion at distal sites of the antigen-specific CD8+ T immunity. We concluded that the C-terminal Nefmut truncation does not influence stability, EV-anchoring, and CD8+ T cell immunogenicity of the fused antigen. Hence, the C-terminal deleted Nefmut may represent a safer alternative to the full-length isoform for vaccines in humans.

3.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun ; 565: 64-71, 2021 08 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1251023

ABSTRACT

Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) are extracellular webs of DNA, histones and granular contents that are released by neutrophils to control infections. However, NETs that is not properly regulated can propagate inflammation and thrombosis. It was recognized that viruses can induce NETs. As a synthetic analog of viral double-stranded (ds) RNA, polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid [poly(I:C)] is known to induce inflammation and thrombosis. However, whether and how poly(I:C) modulates NETs remains unclear. Here, we have demonstrated that poly(I:C) induced extracellular DNA traps in human neutrophils in a dose-dependent manner. Further, poly(I:C) or dsRNA virus elevated the levels of myeloperoxidase-DNA complexes and citrullinated histone H3, which are specific markers of NETs, in both neutrophil supernatants and mouse plasma. Interestingly, a potent peptidylarginine deiminase 4 (PAD4) inhibitor, BB-CL-Amidine (BB-CLA) or PAD4 knockdown effectively prevented poly(I:C)-induced NETs formation and release. In addition, BB-CLA abrogated poly(I:C)-triggered neutrophil activation and infiltration, and vascular permeability in lungs. BB-CLA also attenuated poly(I:C)-induced thrombocytopenia in circulation, fibrin deposition and thrombus formation in tissues. Taken together, these results suggest that viral mimetic poly(I:C) may induce NETs-dependent inflammation and thrombosis through PAD4, and that inhibiting PAD4 may become a good strategy to protect against viral infection-caused inflammation/thrombosis-related pathological conditions of diseases.


Subject(s)
Extracellular Traps/drug effects , Inflammation/metabolism , Neutrophils/drug effects , Poly I-C/pharmacology , Protein-Arginine Deiminase Type 4/metabolism , Thrombosis/metabolism , Amidines/pharmacology , Animals , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Inflammation/pathology , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Neutrophil Activation/drug effects , Neutrophils/metabolism , Protein-Arginine Deiminase Type 4/antagonists & inhibitors , Thrombosis/pathology
4.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(8)2021 Apr 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1299441

ABSTRACT

Pneumonia due to respiratory infection with most prominently bacteria, but also viruses, fungi, or parasites is the leading cause of death worldwide among all infectious disease in both adults and infants. The introduction of modern antibiotic treatment regimens and vaccine strategies has helped to lower the burden of bacterial pneumonia, yet due to the unavailability or refusal of vaccines and antimicrobials in parts of the global population, the rise of multidrug resistant pathogens, and high fatality rates even in patients treated with appropriate antibiotics pneumonia remains a global threat. As such, a better understanding of pathogen virulence on the one, and the development of innovative vaccine strategies on the other hand are once again in dire need in the perennial fight of men against microbes. Recent data show that the secretome of bacteria consists not only of soluble mediators of virulence but also to a significant proportion of extracellular vesicles-lipid bilayer-delimited particles that form integral mediators of intercellular communication. Extracellular vesicles are released from cells of all kinds of organisms, including both Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria in which case they are commonly termed outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) and membrane vesicles (MVs), respectively. (O)MVs can trigger inflammatory responses to specific pathogens including S. pneumonia, P. aeruginosa, and L. pneumophila and as such, mediate bacterial virulence in pneumonia by challenging the host respiratory epithelium and cellular and humoral immunity. In parallel, however, (O)MVs have recently emerged as auspicious vaccine candidates due to their natural antigenicity and favorable biochemical properties. First studies highlight the efficacy of such vaccines in animal models exposed to (O)MVs from B. pertussis, S. pneumoniae, A. baumannii, and K. pneumoniae. An advanced and balanced recognition of both the detrimental effects of (O)MVs and their immunogenic potential could pave the way to novel treatment strategies in pneumonia and effective preventive approaches.


Subject(s)
Bacteria/metabolism , Bacterial Outer Membrane/metabolism , Extracellular Vesicles/metabolism , Pneumonia, Bacterial/microbiology , Adaptive Immunity , Animals , Antigens, Bacterial/immunology , Bacteria/immunology , Bacterial Outer Membrane/immunology , Bacterial Vaccines/immunology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Pneumonia, Bacterial/immunology , Pneumonia, Bacterial/prevention & control , Respiratory Mucosa/immunology , Respiratory Mucosa/microbiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/immunology , Respiratory Tract Infections/microbiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/prevention & control , Virulence
5.
Chem Rec ; 2021 Jun 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1272237

ABSTRACT

Heparan sulfate (HS) is a complex, polyanionic polysaccharide ubiquitously expressed on cell surfaces and in the extracellular matrix. HS interacts with numerous proteins to mediate a vast array of biological and pathological processes. Inhibition of HS-protein interactions is thus an attractive approach for new therapeutic development for cancer and infectious diseases, including COVID-19; however, synthesis of well-defined native HS oligosaccharides remains challenging. This has aroused significant interest in the development of HS mimetics which are more synthetically tractable and have fewer side effects, such as undesired anticoagulant activity. This account provides a perspective on the design and synthesis of different classes of HS mimetics with useful properties, and the development of various assays and molecular modelling tools to progress our understanding of their interactions with HS-binding proteins.

6.
J Extracell Vesicles ; 10(8): e12092, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1261767

ABSTRACT

The clinical manifestations of COVID-19 vary broadly, ranging from asymptomatic infection to acute respiratory failure and death. But the predictive biomarkers for characterizing the variability are still lacking. Since emerging evidence indicates that extracellular vesicles (EVs) and extracellular RNAs (exRNAs) are functionally involved in a number of pathological processes, we hypothesize that these extracellular components may be key determinants and/or predictors of COVID-19 severity. To test our hypothesis, we collected serum samples from 31 patients with mild COVID-19 symptoms at the time of their admission for discovery cohort. After symptomatic treatment without corticosteroids, 9 of the 31 patients developed severe/critical COVID-19 symptoms. We analyzed EV protein and exRNA profiles to look for correlations between these profiles and COVID-19 severity. Strikingly, we identified three distinct groups of markers (antiviral response-related EV proteins, coagulation-related markers, and liver damage-related exRNAs) with the potential to serve as early predictive biomarkers for COVID-19 severity. As the best predictive marker, EV COPB2 protein, a subunit of the Golgi coatomer complex, exhibited significantly higher abundance in patients remained mild than developed severe/critical COVID-19 and healthy controls in discovery cohort (AUC 1.00 (95% CI: 1.00-1.00)). The validation set included 40 COVID-19 patients and 39 healthy controls, and showed exactly the same trend between the three groups with excellent predictive value (AUC 0.85 (95% CI: 0.73-0.97)). These findings highlight the potential of EV COPB2 expression for patient stratification and for making early clinical decisions about strategies for COVID-19 therapy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/physiopathology , Cell-Free Nucleic Acids/blood , Coatomer Protein/blood , Extracellular Vesicles/chemistry , Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Humans , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Severity of Illness Index
7.
J Extracell Vesicles ; 10(8): e12110, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1258076

ABSTRACT

Circulating nucleic acids, encapsulated within small extracellular vesicles (EVs), provide a remote cellular snapshot of biomarkers derived from diseased tissues, however selective isolation is critical. Current laboratory-based purification techniques rely on the physical properties of small-EVs rather than their inherited cellular fingerprints. We established a highly-selective purification assay, termed EV-CATCHER, initially designed for high-throughput analysis of low-abundance small-RNA cargos by next-generation sequencing. We demonstrated its selectivity by specifically isolating and sequencing small-RNAs from mouse small-EVs spiked into human plasma. Western blotting, nanoparticle tracking, and transmission electron microscopy were used to validate and quantify the capture and release of intact small-EVs. As proof-of-principle for sensitive detection of circulating miRNAs, we compared small-RNA sequencing data from a subset of small-EVs serum-purified with EV-CATCHER to data from whole serum, using samples from a small cohort of recently hospitalized Covid-19 patients. We identified and validated, only in small-EVs, hsa-miR-146a and hsa-miR-126-3p to be significantly downregulated with disease severity. Separately, using convalescent sera from recovered Covid-19 patients with high anti-spike IgG titers, we confirmed the neutralizing properties, against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro, of a subset of small-EVs serum-purified by EV-CATCHER, as initially observed with ultracentrifuged small-EVs. Altogether our data highlight the sensitivity and versatility of EV-CATCHER.


Subject(s)
Extracellular Vesicles/chemistry , Immunologic Techniques/methods , Animals , Bodily Secretions/chemistry , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/physiopathology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Circulating MicroRNA , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , MCF-7 Cells , Mice , RAW 264.7 Cells , Severity of Illness Index , Vero Cells
10.
Cell Death Dis ; 12(6): 541, 2021 05 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1243286

ABSTRACT

More and more patients suffered from Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have got recovery gradually due to suitable intervention. Increasing data mainly studies the clinical characteristics of recovered COVID-19 patients, and their molecular changes especially proteome changes also play the same important role in understanding of biological characteristics of recovered COVID-19 patients as clinical characteristics do. In our study, we reported the whole lung-ground glass-CT value-average of mild/severe recovered patients 3 months after discharge without underlying diseases was significantly lower than that of healthy subjects. Then we isolated the extracellular vesicles (EVs) of plasma from 19 healthy subjects and 67 recovered COVID-19 patients. Mass Spectrometry was used to catalogue the proteins of these EVs compared to a defined group of controls. Identified 174 proteins were differentially expressed in the EVs of COVID-19 patients compared with healthy subjects, which involved in lipid metabolic process, response to cellular, and response to stress oxygen-containing compound. Besides, we identified several protein of plasma EVs in recovered patients associated with coagulation activity, inflammatory reaction, immune response, and low organ function. In addition, proteins correlating with clinical index such as alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) were also detected. Moreover, we also identified many unique or characteristic associations found in the recovered COVID-19 patients, which especially involved the kidney, serum electrolyte levels, and inflammation functions. This finding suggests that monitoring the situation of recovered patients might be useful, especially the indexes of coagulation, inflammation, immunity, and organ function, which can prevent bleeding, reinfection and organ dysfunction.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Convalescence , Extracellular Vesicles/metabolism , Adult , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/physiopathology , Extracellular Vesicles/pathology , Female , Humans , Lipids/blood , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Proteins/metabolism , Proteomics , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
11.
Antibiotics (Basel) ; 10(5)2021 May 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1241238

ABSTRACT

Resistance of Candida species to conventional therapies has motivated the development of antifungal nanocarriers based on iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) coated with chitosan (CS). This study evaluates the effects of IONPs-CS as carriers of miconazole (MCZ) or fluconazole (FLZ) on microcosm biofilms. Pooled saliva from two healthy volunteers supplemented with C. albicans and C. glabrata was the inoculum for biofilm formation. Biofilms were formed for 96 h on coverslips using the Amsterdam Active Attachment model, followed by 24 h treatment with nanocarriers containing different concentrations of each antifungal (78 and 156 µg/mL). MCZ or FLZ (156 µg/mL), and untreated biofilms were considered as controls. Anti-biofilm effects were evaluated by enumeration of colony-forming units (CFUs), composition of the extracellular matrix, lactic acid production, and structure and live/dead biofilm cells (confocal laser scanning microscopy-CLSM). Data were analyzed by one-way ANOVA and Fisher LSD's test (α = 0.05). IONPs-CS carrying MCZ or FLZ were the most effective treatments in reducing CFUs compared to either an antifungal agent alone for C. albicans and MCZ for C. glabrata. Significant reductions in mutans streptococci and Lactobacillus spp. were shown, though mainly for the MCZ nanocarrier. Antifungals and their nanocarriers also showed significantly higher proportions of dead cells compared to untreated biofilm by CLSM (p < 0.001), and promoted significant reductions in lactic acid, while simultaneously showing increases in some components of the extracellular matrix. These findings reinforce the use of nanocarriers as effective alternatives to fight oral fungal infections.

12.
Res Pract Thromb Haemost ; 5(4): e12525, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1233232

ABSTRACT

Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is associated with activation of coagulation that mainly presents as thrombosis. Sepsis is also associated with activation of coagulation that mainly presents as disseminated intravascular coagulation. Many studies have reported increased levels of plasma d-dimer in patients with COVID-19 that is associated with severity, thrombosis, and mortality. Objectives: The aim of this study was to compare levels of circulating extracellular vesicle tissue factor (EVTF) activity and active plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) in plasma from patients with COVID-19 or sepsis. Methods: We measured levels of d-dimer, EVTF activity, and active PAI-1 in plasma samples from patients with COVID-19 (intensive care unit [ICU], N = 15; and non-ICU, N = 20) and patients with sepsis (N = 35). Results: Patients with COVID-19 had significantly higher levels of d-dimer, EVTF activity, and active PAI-1 compared with healthy controls. Patients with sepsis had significantly higher levels of d-dimer and EVTF activity compared with healthy controls. Levels of d-dimer were significantly lower in patients with COVID-19 compared with patients with sepsis. Levels of EVTF activity were significantly higher in ICU patients with COVID-19 compared with patients with sepsis. Levels of active PAI-1 were significantly higher in patients with COVID-19 compared with patients with sepsis. Conclusions: High levels of both EVTF activity and active PAI-1 may promote thrombosis in patients with COVID-19 due to simultaneous activation of coagulation and inhibition of fibrinolysis. The high levels of active PAI-1 in patients with COVID-19 may limit plasmin degradation of crosslinked fibrin and the release of d-dimer. This may explain the lower levels of D-dimer in patients with COVID-19 compared with patients with sepsis.

13.
Biomolecules ; 11(5)2021 05 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1234665

ABSTRACT

Cm-p5 is a snail-derived antimicrobial peptide, which demonstrated antifungal activity against the pathogenic strains of Candida albicans. Previously we synthetized a cyclic monomer as well as a parallel and an antiparallel dimer of Cm-p5 with improved antifungal activity. Considering the alarming increase of microbial resistance to conventional antibiotics, here we evaluated the antimicrobial activity of these derivatives against multiresistant and problematic bacteria and against important viral agents. The three peptides showed a moderate activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae Extended Spectrum ß-Lactamase (ESBL), and Streptococcus agalactiae, with MIC values > 100 µg/mL. They exerted a considerable activity with MIC values between 25-50 µg/mL against Acinetobacter baumanii and Enterococcus faecium. In addition, the two dimers showed a moderate activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA14. The three Cm-p5 derivatives inhibited a virulent extracellular strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, they inhibited Herpes Simplex Virus 2 (HSV-2) infection in a concentration-dependent manner, but had no effect on infection by the Zika Virus (ZIKV) or pseudoparticles of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). At concentrations of >100 µg/mL, the three new Cm-p5 derivatives showed toxicity on different eukaryotic cells tested. Considering a certain cell toxicity but a potential interesting activity against the multiresistant strains of bacteria and HSV-2, our compounds require future structural optimization.


Subject(s)
Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial/drug effects , Herpesvirus 2, Human/drug effects , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Anti-Bacterial Agents/chemistry , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Candida albicans/drug effects , Cell Line , Cell Survival/drug effects , Dimerization , Gram-Negative Bacteria/drug effects , Gram-Positive Bacteria/drug effects , Humans , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects
14.
Immune Netw ; 21(2): e16, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1231554

ABSTRACT

Patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) demonstrate dysregulated immune responses including exacerbated neutrophil functions. Massive neutrophil infiltrations accompanying neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formations are also observed in patients with severe COVID-19. However, the mechanism underlying severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-induced NET formation has not yet been elucidated. Here we show that 2 viral proteins encoded by SARS-CoV-2, the nucleocapsid protein and the whole spike protein, induce NET formation from neutrophils. NET formation was ROS-independent and was completely inhibited by the spleen tyrosine kinase inhibition. The inhibition of p38 MAPK, protein kinase C, and JNK signaling pathways also inhibited viral protein-induced NET formation. Our findings demonstrate one method by which SARS-CoV-2 evades innate immunity and provide a potential target for therapeutics to treat patients with severe COVID-19.

15.
Biomolecules ; 11(5)2021 05 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1223942

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is a member of the family of coronaviruses associated with severe outbreaks of respiratory diseases in recent decades and is the causative agent of the COVID-19 pandemic. The recognition by and activation of the innate immune response recruits neutrophils, which, through their different mechanisms of action, form extracellular neutrophil traps, playing a role in infection control and trapping viral, bacterial, and fungal etiological agents. However, in patients with COVID-19, activation at the vascular level, combined with other cells and inflammatory mediators, leads to thrombotic events and disseminated intravascular coagulation, thus leading to a series of clinical manifestations in cerebrovascular, cardiac, pulmonary, and kidney disease while promoting severe disease and mortality. Previous studies of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 have shown that elevated levels of markers specific for NETs, such as free DNA, MPO, and H3Cit, are strongly associated with the total neutrophil count; with acute phase reactants that include CRP, D-dimer, lactate dehydrogenase, and interleukin secretion; and with an increased risk of severe COVID-19. This study analyzed the interactions between NETs and the activation pathways involved in immunothrombotic processes in patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Extracellular Traps/metabolism , Thrombosis/immunology , Thrombosis/pathology , Biomarkers/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Complement System Proteins/metabolism , Cytokine Release Syndrome/etiology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/pathology , Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation/etiology , Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation/pathology , Humans , Neutrophils/cytology , Neutrophils/immunology , Neutrophils/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Thrombosis/metabolism
16.
Front Mol Biosci ; 8: 600881, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1170100

ABSTRACT

The severity of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) varies significantly with cases spanning from asymptomatic to lethal with a subset of individuals developing Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and death from respiratory failure. To determine whether global nucleosome and citrullinated nucleosome levels were elevated in COVID-19 patients, we tested two independent cohorts of COVID-19 positive patients with quantitative nucleosome immunoassays and found that nucleosomes were highly elevated in plasma of COVID-19 patients with a severe course of the disease relative to healthy controls and that both histone 3.1 variant and citrullinated nucleosomes increase with disease severity. Elevated citrullination of circulating nucleosomes is indicative of neutrophil extracellular trap formation, neutrophil activation and NETosis in severely affected individuals. Importantly, using hospital setting (outpatient, inpatient or ICU) as a proxy for disease severity, nucleosome levels increased with disease severity and may serve as a guiding biomarker for treatment. Owing to the limited availability of mechanical ventilators and extracorporal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) equipment, there is an urgent need for effective tools to rapidly assess disease severity and guide treatment selection. Based on our studies of two independent cohorts of COVID-19 patients from Belgium and Germany, we suggest further investigation of circulating nucleosomes and citrullination as biomarkers for clinical triage, treatment allocation and clinical drug discovery.

17.
J Exp Pathol (Wilmington) ; 2(1): 47-52, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1160223

ABSTRACT

This is a Commentary of a review about extracellular vesicles of immune cells published two years ago in Clinical and Experimental Immunology, a prestigious journal of the field. The aim is to establish whether, and to what extent, results in scientific area of the review have been extended and strengthened by innovative findings of considerable interest. The analysis of the recently published results has revealed that in various areas of the review developments have occurred. However, innovative findings have been only about the extracellular vesicles secreted by mesenchymal stem cells, usually indicated as MSC-EVs. Based on these findings, the Commentary has been focused on recent MSC-EVs findings presented in three Sections dealing with 1. recently appeared, relevant functions of the latter vesicles; 2. therapeutic processes developed according well known criteria, however innovative in many respects; and 3. protection of COVID-19 disease patients from organ lesions induced by the specific virus, SARS-CoV-2, during the disease. As everybody knows, the COVID-19 pandemic started at the end of 2019, thus after the publication of the aforementioned review. Data of Section 3 are therefore innovative, of great potential interest also at the clinical level, applied by translational medicine to various organs, from lung to brain, heart, kidney, immune and other cells. In view of its relevance, the author expects that research and medical use of MSC-EV, active at present, will be further developed, acquiring additional relevance in the near future.

18.
Pharmacol Ther ; 225: 107839, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1152612

ABSTRACT

Structural changes involving tissue remodelling and fibrosis are major features of many pulmonary diseases, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Abnormal deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins is a key factor in the development of tissue remodelling that results in symptoms and impaired lung function in these diseases. Tissue remodelling in the lungs is complex and differs between compartments. Some pathways are common but tissue remodelling around the airways and in the parenchyma have different morphologies. Hence it is critical to evaluate both common fibrotic pathways and those that are specific to different compartments; thereby expanding the understanding of the pathogenesis of fibrosis and remodelling in the airways and parenchyma in asthma, COPD and IPF with a view to developing therapeutic strategies for each. Here we review the current understanding of remodelling features and underlying mechanisms in these major respiratory diseases. The differences and similarities of remodelling are used to highlight potential common therapeutic targets and strategies. One central pathway in remodelling processes involves transforming growth factor (TGF)-ß induced fibroblast activation and myofibroblast differentiation that increases ECM production. The current treatments and clinical trials targeting remodelling are described, as well as potential future directions. These endeavours are indicative of the renewed effort and optimism for drug discovery targeting tissue remodelling and fibrosis.


Subject(s)
Lung Diseases/drug therapy , Lung Diseases/physiopathology , Airway Remodeling/physiology , Asthma/drug therapy , Asthma/physiopathology , Calcium-Binding Proteins/metabolism , Extracellular Matrix/metabolism , Fibroblasts , Fibrosis/physiopathology , Glycoproteins/metabolism , Humans , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/drug therapy , Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/physiopathology , Matrix Metalloproteinases/metabolism , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/drug therapy , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/physiopathology , Transforming Growth Factor beta
19.
FASEB J ; 35(4): e21384, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1132575

ABSTRACT

Novel coronary pneumonia (COVID-19) is a respiratory distress syndrome caused by a new type of coronavirus. Understanding the genetic basis of susceptibility and prognosis to COVID-19 is of great significance to disease prevention, molecular typing, prognosis, and treatment. However, so far, there have been only two genome-wide association studies (GWASs) on the susceptibility of COVID-19. Starting with these reported DNA variants, we found the genes regulated by these variants through cis-eQTL and cis-meQTL acting. We further did a series of bioinformatics analysis on these potential risk genes. The analysis shows that the genetic variants on EHF regulate the expression of its neighbor CAT gene via cis-eQTL. There was significant evidence that CAT and the SARS-CoV-2-related S protein binding protein ACE2 interact with each other. Intracellular localization results showed that CAT and ACE2 proteins both exists in the cell membrane and extracellular area and their interaction could have an impact on the cell invasion ability of S protein. In addition, the expression of these three genes showed a significant positive correlation in the lungs. Based on these results, we propose that CAT plays a crucial intermediary role in binding effectiveness of ACE2, thereby affecting the susceptibility to COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Catalase , Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic , Genetic Predisposition to Disease , Polymorphism, Genetic , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , Catalase/biosynthesis , Catalase/genetics , Female , Genome-Wide Association Study , Humans , Male , Retrospective Studies , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Transcription Factors/genetics , Transcription Factors/metabolism
20.
Lancet Microbe ; 1(7): e290-e299, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1087376

ABSTRACT

Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) targets multiple organs and causes severe coagulopathy. Histopathological organ changes might not only be attributable to a direct virus-induced effect, but also the immune response. The aims of this study were to assess the duration of viral presence, identify the extent of inflammatory response, and investigate the underlying cause of coagulopathy. Methods: This prospective autopsy cohort study was done at Amsterdam University Medical Centers (UMC), the Netherlands. With informed consent from relatives, full body autopsy was done on 21 patients with COVID-19 for whom autopsy was requested between March 9 and May 18, 2020. In addition to histopathological evaluation of organ damage, the presence of SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein and the composition of the immune infiltrate and thrombi were assessed, and all were linked to disease course. Findings: Our cohort (n=21) included 16 (76%) men, and median age was 68 years (range 41-78). Median disease course (time from onset of symptoms to death) was 22 days (range 5-44 days). In 11 patients tested for SARS-CoV-2 tropism, SARS-CoV-2 infected cells were present in multiple organs, most abundantly in the lungs, but presence in the lungs became sporadic with increased disease course. Other SARS-CoV-2-positive organs included the upper respiratory tract, heart, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract. In histological analyses of organs (sampled from nine to 21 patients per organ), an extensive inflammatory response was present in the lungs, heart, liver, kidneys, and brain. In the brain, extensive inflammation was seen in the olfactory bulbs and medulla oblongata. Thrombi and neutrophilic plugs were present in the lungs, heart, kidneys, liver, spleen, and brain and were most frequently observed late in the disease course (15 patients with thrombi, median disease course 22 days [5-44]; ten patients with neutrophilic plugs, 21 days [5-44]). Neutrophilic plugs were observed in two forms: solely composed of neutrophils with neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), or as aggregates of NETs and platelets.. Interpretation: In patients with lethal COVID-19, an extensive systemic inflammatory response was present, with a continued presence of neutrophils and NETs. However, SARS-CoV-2-infected cells were only sporadically present at late stages of COVID-19. This suggests a maladaptive immune response and substantiates the evidence for immunomodulation as a target in the treatment of severe COVID-19. Funding: Amsterdam UMC Corona Research Fund.

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