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1.
BMC Complement Med Ther ; 21(1): 141, 2021 May 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388756

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Herbal remedies of Echinacea purpurea tinctures are widely used today to reduce common cold respiratory tract infections. METHODS: Transcriptome, epigenome and kinome profiling allowed a systems biology level characterisation of genomewide immunomodulatory effects of a standardized Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench extract in THP1 monocytes. RESULTS: Gene expression and DNA methylation analysis revealed that Echinaforce® treatment triggers antiviral innate immunity pathways, involving tonic IFN signaling, activation of pattern recognition receptors, chemotaxis and immunometabolism. Furthermore, phosphopeptide based kinome activity profiling and pharmacological inhibitor experiments with filgotinib confirm a key role for Janus Kinase (JAK)-1 dependent gene expression changes in innate immune signaling. Finally, Echinaforce® treatment induces DNA hypermethylation at intergenic CpG, long/short interspersed nuclear DNA repeat elements (LINE, SINE) or long termininal DNA repeats (LTR). This changes transcription of flanking endogenous retroviral sequences (HERVs), involved in an evolutionary conserved (epi) genomic protective response against viral infections. CONCLUSIONS: Altogether, our results suggest that Echinaforce® phytochemicals strengthen antiviral innate immunity through tonic IFN regulation of pattern recognition and chemokine gene expression and DNA repeat hypermethylated silencing of HERVs in monocytes. These results suggest that immunomodulation by Echinaforce® treatment holds promise to reduce symptoms and duration of infection episodes of common cold corona viruses (CoV), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)-CoV, and new occurring strains such as SARS-CoV-2, with strongly impaired interferon (IFN) response and weak innate antiviral defense.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Echinacea , Immunologic Factors/pharmacology , Monocytes/drug effects , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Gene Expression , Humans , Immunity, Innate/drug effects , Immunologic Factors/therapeutic use , Interferons/drug effects , Phytotherapy , Plant Extracts/therapeutic use
2.
Front Immunol ; 12: 654587, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1348485

ABSTRACT

Background: SARS-CoV-2 occurs in the majority of children as COVID-19, without symptoms or with a paucisymptomatic respiratory syndrome, but a small proportion of children develop the systemic Multi Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C), characterized by persistent fever and systemic hyperinflammation, with some clinical features resembling Kawasaki Disease (KD). Objective: With this study we aimed to shed new light on the pathogenesis of these two SARS-CoV-2-related clinical manifestations. Methods: We investigated lymphocyte and dendritic cells subsets, chemokine/cytokine profiles and evaluated the neutrophil activity mediators, myeloperoxidase (MPO), and reactive oxygen species (ROS), in 10 children with COVID-19 and 9 with MIS-C at the time of hospital admission. Results: Patients with MIS-C showed higher plasma levels of C reactive protein (CRP), MPO, IL-6, and of the pro-inflammatory chemokines CXCL8 and CCL2 than COVID-19 children. In addition, they displayed higher levels of the chemokines CXCL9 and CXCL10, mainly induced by IFN-γ. By contrast, we detected IFN-α in plasma of children with COVID-19, but not in patients with MIS-C. This observation was consistent with the increase of ISG15 and IFIT1 mRNAs in cells of COVID-19 patients, while ISG15 and IFIT1 mRNA were detected in MIS-C at levels comparable to healthy controls. Moreover, quantification of the number of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs), which constitute the main source of IFN-α, showed profound depletion of this subset in MIS-C, but not in COVID-19. Conclusions: Our results show a pattern of immune response which is suggestive of type I interferon activation in COVID-19 children, probably related to a recent interaction with the virus, while in MIS-C the immune response is characterized by elevation of the inflammatory cytokines/chemokines IL-6, CCL2, and CXCL8 and of the chemokines CXCL9 and CXL10, which are markers of an active Th1 type immune response. We believe that these immunological events, together with neutrophil activation, might be crucial in inducing the multisystem and cardiovascular damage observed in MIS-C.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Chemokine CXCL10/immunology , Chemokine CXCL9/immunology , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Plasma Cells/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/immunology , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Humans , Infant , Male , Retrospective Studies
3.
J Immunol ; 206(12): 3000-3009, 2021 06 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1256753

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that has caused the COVID-19 pandemic, robustly activates the host immune system in critically ill patients. Understanding how the virus engages the immune system will facilitate the development of needed therapeutic strategies. In this study, we demonstrate both in vitro and in vivo that the SARS-CoV-2 surface proteins spike (S) and envelope (E) activate the key immune signaling IFN pathway in both human and mouse immune and epithelial cells independent of viral infection and replication. These proteins induce reactive oxidative species generation and increases in human- and murine-specific, IFN-responsive cytokines and chemokines, similar to their upregulation in critically ill COVID-19 patients. Induction of IFN signaling is dependent on canonical but discrepant inflammatory signaling mediators, as the activation induced by S is dependent on IRF3, TBK1, and MyD88, whereas that of E is largely MyD88 independent. Furthermore, these viral surface proteins, specifically E, induced peribronchial inflammation and pulmonary vasculitis in a mouse model. Finally, we show that the organized inflammatory infiltrates are dependent on type I IFN signaling, specifically in lung epithelial cells. These findings underscore the role of SARS-CoV-2 surface proteins, particularly the understudied E protein, in driving cell specific inflammation and their potential for therapeutic intervention.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Envelope Proteins/immunology , Epithelial Cells/immunology , Inflammation/immunology , Interferon Type I/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Animals , Cell Line, Tumor , Epithelial Cells/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Mice
4.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 189, 2021 05 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1226420

ABSTRACT

Since the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), it has become a global pandemic. The spike (S) protein of etiologic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) specifically recognizes human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) as its receptor, which is recently identified as an interferon (IFN)-stimulated gene. Here, we find that hACE2 exists on the surface of exosomes released by different cell types, and the expression of exosomal hACE2 is increased by IFNα/ß treatment. In particular, exosomal hACE2 can specifically block the cell entry of SARS-CoV-2, subsequently inhibit the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro and ex vivo. Our findings have indicated that IFN is able to upregulate a viral receptor on the exosomes which competitively block the virus entry, exhibiting a potential antiviral strategy.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Exosomes/metabolism , Interferon-alpha/pharmacology , Interferon-beta/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Exosomes/genetics , Exosomes/virology , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Vero Cells
5.
Mol Immunol ; 135: 268-275, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1211073

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections have triggered global pandemic that continue to impact adversely human health. New understanding has emerged about the innate and adaptive immune responses elicited in SARS-CoV-2 infection. The understanding of innate immune responses generated in hosts early in SARS-CoV-2 infection is vital for treatment efforts. Antiviral cytokines are released by innate immune cells in response to viral infections that play a pivotal role in limiting viral replication, pathology and generating optimal adaptive immune responses alongside the long-term memory responses against reinfections. One aspect of innate immune response generated against SARS-CoV-2 in vivo and which has received much attention has been high proinflammatory cytokine release in COVID-19 patients. Another vital discovery has been that the antiviral cytokine type I Interferon (IFN) family IFN-α mediates upregulation of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) membrane protein in airway epithelial cells. ACE2 is a receptor that SARS-CoV-2 binds to infect host cells. New understanding has emerged about the mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 induced exaggerated proinflammatory cytokine release as well as transcriptional regulation of ACE2. This review discusses various mechanisms underlying SARS-CoV-2 induced exaggerated proinflammatory cytokine response as well as transcriptional regulation of ACE2 receptor. We further elaborate on adaptive and memory responses generated against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/immunology , Immunity, Innate , Immunologic Memory , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Humans , Transcriptional Activation/immunology
6.
iScience ; 24(5): 102477, 2021 May 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1201540

ABSTRACT

Type I interferons (IFNs) are our first line of defense against virus infection. Recent studies have suggested the ability of SARS-CoV-2 proteins to inhibit IFN responses. Emerging data also suggest that timing and extent of IFN production is associated with manifestation of COVID-19 severity. In spite of progress in understanding how SARS-CoV-2 activates antiviral responses, mechanistic studies into wild-type SARS-CoV-2-mediated induction and inhibition of human type I IFN responses are scarce. Here we demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 infection induces a type I IFN response in vitro and in moderate cases of COVID-19. In vitro stimulation of type I IFN expression and signaling in human airway epithelial cells is associated with activation of canonical transcriptions factors, and SARS-CoV-2 is unable to inhibit exogenous induction of these responses. Furthermore, we show that physiological levels of IFNα detected in patients with moderate COVID-19 is sufficient to suppress SARS-CoV-2 replication in human airway cells.

7.
J Inflamm Res ; 14: 1257-1270, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1194523

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Interferon lambdas (IFN-λs) are antiviral cytokines that restrict pathogen infection and dissemination at barrier surfaces. Controlled expression of IFN-λs efficiently eliminates acute infections by activating a suite of interferon stimulated genes that inhibit viral propagation and activate local immune cells. Excessive or prolonged production of IFN-λs can however mediate tissue inflammation and disrupt epithelial barriers in both viral and non-viral disease. The mechanism by which IFN-λs drive this disease pathogenesis is poorly understood but may be caused by IFN-λ-mediated amplification of other innate immune signaling pathways. METHODS: Monocyte-derived macrophages were differentiated ± IFN-λ3 and treated with KDO-lipid A, poly I:C or zymosan, representing bacterial, viral or fungal ligands, respectively. Transcriptome and protein expression were quantified by RNA sequencing/PCR and ELISA/bead array, respectively. Bioinformatic analysis was used to define transcription factor profiles and signaling pathways amplified by IFN-λ3. Finally, the SARS-CoV-2 dataset GSE152075 was queried to compare the effects of IFNL versus IFNA expression in relation to viral load and nasopharyngeal transcriptomes. RESULTS: IFN-λ3 exacerbated inflammatory and chemotactic responses unique to each microbial ligand, as measured by RNA sequencing and by ELISA/bead array. Functional annotation identified pathways amplified by IFN-λ3, including inflammasome activation. Inflammasome amplification was confirmed in vitro, as measured by caspase 1 activity and IL-1ß cleavage. Lastly, SARS-CoV-2 infected nasopharyngeal transcriptomes expressing IFN-λs but not IFN-αs were implicated in myeloid cell-driven pathogenesis including neutrophil degranulation, complement and coagulation cascades. DISCUSSION: These data suggest that IFN-λs contribute to disease pathology by exacerbating innate immune responses during chronic or severe disease states. IFN-λs may contribute to SARS-CoV-2 disease severity, however further study is required to confirm true causation.

8.
Pathogens ; 9(12)2020 Nov 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1006615

ABSTRACT

Interferons (IFN) are crucial for the innate immune response. Slightly more than two decades ago, a new type of IFN was discovered: the lambda IFN (type III IFN). Like other IFN, the type III IFN display antiviral activity against a wide variety of infections, they induce expression of antiviral, interferon-stimulated genes (MX1, OAS, IFITM1), and they have immuno-modulatory activities that shape adaptive immune responses. Unlike other IFN, the type III IFN signal through distinct receptors is limited to a few cell types, primarily mucosal epithelial cells. As a consequence of their greater and more durable production in nasal and respiratory tissues, they can determine the outcome of respiratory infections. This review is focused on the role of IFN-λ in the pathogenesis of respiratory viral infections, with influenza as a prime example. The influenza virus is a major public health problem, causing up to half a million lethal infections annually. Moreover, the virus has been the cause of four pandemics over the last century. Although IFN-λ are increasingly being tested in antiviral therapy, they can have a negative influence on epithelial tissue recovery and increase the risk of secondary bacterial infections. Therefore, IFN-λ expression deserves increased scrutiny as a key factor in the host immune response to infection.

9.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(16)2021 04 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1165017

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses are adept at evading host antiviral pathways induced by viral double-stranded RNA, including interferon (IFN) signaling, oligoadenylate synthetase-ribonuclease L (OAS-RNase L), and protein kinase R (PKR). While dysregulated or inadequate IFN responses have been associated with severe coronavirus infection, the extent to which the recently emerged SARS-CoV-2 activates or antagonizes these pathways is relatively unknown. We found that SARS-CoV-2 infects patient-derived nasal epithelial cells, present at the initial site of infection; induced pluripotent stem cell-derived alveolar type 2 cells (iAT2), the major cell type infected in the lung; and cardiomyocytes (iCM), consistent with cardiovascular consequences of COVID-19 disease. Robust activation of IFN or OAS-RNase L is not observed in these cell types, whereas PKR activation is evident in iAT2 and iCM. In SARS-CoV-2-infected Calu-3 and A549ACE2 lung-derived cell lines, IFN induction remains relatively weak; however, activation of OAS-RNase L and PKR is observed. This is in contrast to Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-CoV, which effectively inhibits IFN signaling and OAS-RNase L and PKR pathways, but is similar to mutant MERS-CoV lacking innate immune antagonists. Remarkably, OAS-RNase L and PKR are activated in MAVS knockout A549ACE2 cells, demonstrating that SARS-CoV-2 can induce these host antiviral pathways despite minimal IFN production. Moreover, increased replication and cytopathic effect in RNASEL knockout A549ACE2 cells implicates OAS-RNase L in restricting SARS-CoV-2. Finally, while SARS-CoV-2 fails to antagonize these host defense pathways, which contrasts with other coronaviruses, the IFN signaling response is generally weak. These host-virus interactions may contribute to the unique pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Epithelial Cells/immunology , Epithelial Cells/virology , Immunity, Innate , Lung/pathology , Myocytes, Cardiac/immunology , Myocytes, Cardiac/virology , RNA, Double-Stranded/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , A549 Cells , Endoribonucleases/metabolism , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/physiology , Nose/virology , Virus Replication , eIF-2 Kinase
10.
Aging (Albany NY) ; 13(7): 9265-9276, 2021 03 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1156226

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Dysregulated immune responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are thought to underlie the progression of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We sought to further characterize host antiviral and cytokine gene expression in COVID-19 patients based on illness severity. METHODS: In this case-control study, we retrospectively analyzed 46 recovered COVID-19 patients and 24 healthy subjects (no history of COVID-19) recruited from the Second People's Hospital of Fuyang City. Blood samples were collected from each study participant for RNA extraction and PCR. We assessed changes in antiviral gene expression between healthy controls and patients with mild/moderate (MM) and severe/critical (SC) disease. RESULTS: We found that type I interferon signaling (IFNA2, TLR8, IFNA1, IFNAR1, TLR9, IRF7, ISG15, APOBEC3G, and MX1) and genes encoding proinflammatory cytokines (IL12B, IL15, IL6, IL12A and IL1B) and chemokines (CXCL9, CXCL11 and CXCL10) were upregulated in patients with MM and SC disease. Moreover, we found that IFNA1, apolipoprotein B mRNA editing enzyme, catalytic polypeptide-like 3G (APOBEC3G), and Fas-associated protein with death domain (FADD) were significantly downregulated (P < 0.05) in the SC group compared to the MM group. We also observed that microRNA (miR)-155 and miR-130a levels were markedly higher in the MM group compared to the SC group. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 is associated with the activation of host antiviral genes. Induction of the IFN system appears to be particularly important in controlling SARS-CoV-2 infection, as decreased expression of IFNA1, APOBEC3G and FADD genes in SC patients, relative to MM patients, may be associated with disease progression.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Innate , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , APOBEC-3G Deaminase/genetics , APOBEC-3G Deaminase/immunology , Adult , Aged , Case-Control Studies , Cytokines/genetics , Cytokines/immunology , Female , Humans , Interferon Type I/genetics , Interferon Type I/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Severity of Illness Index , Transcriptome , Up-Regulation
11.
J Immunol ; 205(6): 1564-1579, 2020 09 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-694818

ABSTRACT

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a highly pathogenic human coronavirus causing severe disease and mortality. MERS-CoV infection failed to elicit robust IFN response, suggesting that the virus might have evolved strategies to evade host innate immune surveillance. In this study, we identified and characterized type I IFN antagonism of MERS-CoV open reading frame (ORF) 8b accessory protein. ORF8b was abundantly expressed in MERS-CoV-infected Huh-7 cells. When ectopically expressed, ORF8b inhibited IRF3-mediated IFN-ß expression induced by Sendai virus and poly(I:C). ORF8b was found to act at a step upstream of IRF3 to impede the interaction between IRF3 kinase IKKε and chaperone protein HSP70, which is required for the activation of IKKε and IRF3. An infection study using recombinant wild-type and ORF8b-deficient MERS-CoV further confirmed the suppressive role of ORF8b in type I IFN induction and its disruption of the colocalization of HSP70 with IKKε. Ectopic expression of HSP70 relieved suppression of IFN-ß expression by ORF8b in an IKKε-dependent manner. Enhancement of IFN-ß induction in cells infected with ORF8b-deficient virus was erased when HSP70 was depleted. Taken together, HSP70 chaperone is important for IKKε activation, and MERS-CoV ORF8b suppresses type I IFN expression by competing with IKKε for interaction with HSP70.


Subject(s)
Enzyme Activation/immunology , I-kappa B Kinase/immunology , Interferon Type I/immunology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/immunology , Viral Proteins/immunology , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Coronavirus Infections , HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins/immunology , HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins/metabolism , Humans , I-kappa B Kinase/metabolism , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/metabolism , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Proteins/metabolism
12.
Science ; 371(6528): 521-526, 2021 01 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1093836

ABSTRACT

Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are innate sensors of viruses and can augment early immune responses and contribute to protection. We hypothesized that MAIT cells may have inherent adjuvant activity in vaccine platforms that use replication-incompetent adenovirus vectors. In mice and humans, ChAdOx1 (chimpanzee adenovirus Ox1) immunization robustly activated MAIT cells. Activation required plasmacytoid dendritic cell (pDC)-derived interferon (IFN)-α and monocyte-derived interleukin-18. IFN-α-induced, monocyte-derived tumor necrosis factor was also identified as a key secondary signal. All three cytokines were required in vitro and in vivo. Activation of MAIT cells positively correlated with vaccine-induced T cell responses in human volunteers and MAIT cell-deficient mice displayed impaired CD8+ T cell responses to multiple vaccine-encoded antigens. Thus, MAIT cells contribute to the immunogenicity of adenovirus vectors, with implications for vaccine design.


Subject(s)
Adenoviridae/immunology , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Mucosal-Associated Invariant T Cells/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Animals , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Genetic Vectors/immunology , Humans , Interferon-alpha/metabolism , Interleukin-18/metabolism , Lymphocyte Activation , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism
13.
Int J Mol Med ; 47(3)2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1067805

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID­19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS­CoV­2), was identified in December, 2019 in Wuhan, China. Since then, it has continued to spread rapidly in numerous countries, while the search for effective therapeutic options persists. Coronaviruses, including SARS­CoV­2, are known to suppress and evade the antiviral responses of the host organism mediated by interferon (IFN), a family of cytokines that plays an important role in antiviral defenses associated with innate immunity, and has been used therapeutically for chronic viral diseases and cancer. On the other hand, OncoTherad, a safe and effective immunotherapeutic agent in the treatment of non­muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC), increases IFN signaling and has been shown to be a promising therapeutic approach for COVID­19 in a case report that described the rapid recovery of a 78­year­old patient with NMIBC with comorbidities. The present review discusses the possible synergistic action of OncoTherad with vitamin D, zinc and glutamine, nutrients that have been shown to facilitate immune responses mediated by IFN signaling, as well as the potential of this combination as a therapeutic option for COVID­19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Glutamine/pharmacology , Glycoproteins/pharmacology , Immunologic Factors/therapeutic use , Interferons/metabolism , Phosphates/pharmacology , Vitamin D/pharmacology , Zinc/pharmacology , Aged , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/metabolism , Comorbidity , Drug Synergism , Glycoproteins/therapeutic use , Humans , Immunity, Innate/drug effects , Immunologic Factors/pharmacology , Male , Nanostructures , Phosphates/therapeutic use , Urinary Bladder Calculi/drug therapy , Urinary Bladder Calculi/epidemiology
14.
Cell ; 184(1): 149-168.e17, 2021 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064910

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is characterized by excessive production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and acute lung damage associated with patient mortality. While multiple inflammatory cytokines are produced by innate immune cells during SARS-CoV-2 infection, we found that only the combination of TNF-α and IFN-γ induced inflammatory cell death characterized by inflammatory cell death, PANoptosis. Mechanistically, TNF-α and IFN-γ co-treatment activated the JAK/STAT1/IRF1 axis, inducing nitric oxide production and driving caspase-8/FADD-mediated PANoptosis. TNF-α and IFN-γ caused a lethal cytokine shock in mice that mirrors the tissue damage and inflammation of COVID-19, and inhibiting PANoptosis protected mice from this pathology and death. Furthermore, treating with neutralizing antibodies against TNF-α and IFN-γ protected mice from mortality during SARS-CoV-2 infection, sepsis, hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, and cytokine shock. Collectively, our findings suggest that blocking the cytokine-mediated inflammatory cell death signaling pathway identified here may benefit patients with COVID-19 or other infectious and autoinflammatory diseases by limiting tissue damage/inflammation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/immunology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/pathology , Interferon-gamma/immunology , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/immunology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/administration & dosage , Cell Death , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells , Humans , Inflammation/immunology , Inflammation/pathology , Lymphohistiocytosis, Hemophagocytic/chemically induced , Male , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , THP-1 Cells
15.
Microorganisms ; 8(12)2020 Dec 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1024610

ABSTRACT

An increasing amount of evidence indicates a relatively high prevalence of superinfections associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), including invasive aspergillosis, but the underlying mechanisms remain to be characterized. In the present study, to better understand the biological impact of superinfection, we determine and compare the host transcriptional response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) versus Aspergillus superinfection, using a model of reconstituted human airway epithelium. Our analyses reveal that both simple infection and superinfection induce strong deregulation of core components of innate immune and inflammatory responses, with a stronger response to superinfection in the bronchial epithelial model compared to its nasal counterpart. Our results also highlight unique transcriptional footprints of SARS-CoV-2 Aspergillus superinfection, such as an imbalanced type I/type III IFN, and an induction of several monocyte and neutrophil associated chemokines, that could be useful for the understanding of Aspergillus-associated COVID-19 and also the management of severe forms of aspergillosis in this specific context.

16.
PLoS Pathog ; 17(1): e1009111, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1015956

ABSTRACT

Antiviral innate immune response to RNA virus infection is supported by Pattern-Recognition Receptors (PRR) including RIG-I-Like Receptors (RLR), which lead to type I interferons (IFNs) and IFN-stimulated genes (ISG) production. Upon sensing of viral RNA, the E3 ubiquitin ligase TNF Receptor-Associated Factor-3 (TRAF3) is recruited along with its substrate TANK-Binding Kinase (TBK1), to MAVS-containing subcellular compartments, including mitochondria, peroxisomes, and the mitochondria-associated endoplasmic reticulum membrane (MAM). However, the regulation of such events remains largely unresolved. Here, we identify TRK-Fused Gene (TFG), a protein involved in the transport of newly synthesized proteins to the endomembrane system via the Coat Protein complex II (COPII) transport vesicles, as a new TRAF3-interacting protein allowing the efficient recruitment of TRAF3 to MAVS and TBK1 following Sendai virus (SeV) infection. Using siRNA and shRNA approaches, we show that TFG is required for virus-induced TBK1 activation resulting in C-terminal IRF3 phosphorylation and dimerization. We further show that the ability of the TRAF3-TFG complex to engage mTOR following SeV infection allows TBK1 to phosphorylate mTOR on serine 2159, a post-translational modification shown to promote mTORC1 signaling. We demonstrate that the activation of mTORC1 signaling during SeV infection plays a positive role in the expression of Viperin, IRF7 and IFN-induced proteins with tetratricopeptide repeats (IFITs) proteins, and that depleting TFG resulted in a compromised antiviral state. Our study, therefore, identifies TFG as an essential component of the RLR-dependent type I IFN antiviral response.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Proteins/metabolism , Rhabdoviridae Infections/immunology , Secretory Pathway , Vesiculovirus/immunology , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/genetics , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/metabolism , HeLa Cells , Humans , /metabolism , Proteins/genetics , Rhabdoviridae Infections/metabolism , Rhabdoviridae Infections/virology , Signal Transduction , TNF Receptor-Associated Factor 3/genetics , TNF Receptor-Associated Factor 3/metabolism , Vesiculovirus/physiology
17.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 5(1): 299, 2020 12 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-997814

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has quickly spread worldwide and has affected more than 10 million individuals. A typical feature of COVID-19 is the suppression of type I and III interferon (IFN)-mediated antiviral immunity. However, the molecular mechanism by which SARS-CoV-2 evades antiviral immunity remains elusive. Here, we reported that the SARS-CoV-2 membrane (M) protein inhibits the production of type I and III IFNs induced by the cytosolic dsRNA-sensing pathway mediated by RIG-I/MDA-5-MAVS signaling. In addition, the SARS-CoV-2 M protein suppresses type I and III IFN induction stimulated by SeV infection or poly (I:C) transfection. Mechanistically, the SARS-CoV-2 M protein interacts with RIG-I, MAVS, and TBK1, thus preventing the formation of the multiprotein complex containing RIG-I, MAVS, TRAF3, and TBK1 and subsequently impeding the phosphorylation, nuclear translocation, and activation of IRF3. Consequently, ectopic expression of the SARS-CoV-2 M protein facilitates the replication of vesicular stomatitis virus. Taken together, these results indicate that the SARS-CoV-2 M protein antagonizes type I and III IFN production by targeting RIG-I/MDA-5 signaling, which subsequently attenuates antiviral immunity and enhances viral replication. This study provides insight into the interpretation of SARS-CoV-2-induced antiviral immune suppression and illuminates the pathogenic mechanism of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , DEAD Box Protein 58/metabolism , Interferon Type I/biosynthesis , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1/metabolism , Interferons/biosynthesis , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Signal Transduction , Viral Matrix Proteins/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , Chlorocebus aethiops , DEAD Box Protein 58/genetics , HEK293 Cells , HeLa Cells , Humans , Interferon Type I/genetics , Interferon-Induced Helicase, IFIH1/genetics , Interferons/genetics , Receptors, Immunologic , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells , Viral Matrix Proteins/genetics
18.
Pediatr Investig ; 4(4): 275-280, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-996285

ABSTRACT

Effective prophylactic and therapeutic interventions are urgently needed to address the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Various antiviral drugs have recently been tested. Type I interferon (IFN) is a regulatory protein involved in the innate immune response, with broad-spectrum antiviral activities and the ability to directly block viral replication and support the immune response to eliminate virus infection. Insufficient virus-induced type I IFN production is characteristic of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, because SARS-CoV-2 suppresses the IFN response by interacting with essential IFN signaling pathways. Exogenous type I IFN is recommended for treating COVID-19. Unexpectedly however, angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) receptor, which acts as a SARS-CoV-2 receptor, was shown to be stimulated by IFN, raising doubts about the suitability of IFN use. However, further studies have excluded concerns regarding IFN administration. Type I IFNs, including IFN-α1b, have been used clinically as antiviral drugs for many years and have shown strong antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. Preliminary clinical studies of type I IFNs, especially when delivered via aerosol inhalation, have demonstrated efficacy for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19. Randomized controlled trials of IFN for COVID-19 treatment are ongoing.

19.
bioRxiv ; 2020 Nov 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-915984

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant morbidity and mortality. Currently, there is a critical shortage of proven treatment options and an urgent need to understand the pathogenesis of multi-organ failure and lung damage. Cytokine storm is associated with severe inflammation and organ damage during COVID-19. However, a detailed molecular pathway defining this cytokine storm is lacking, and gaining mechanistic understanding of how SARS-CoV-2 elicits a hyperactive inflammatory response is critical to develop effective therapeutics. Of the multiple inflammatory cytokines produced by innate immune cells during SARS-CoV-2 infection, we found that the combined production of TNF-α and IFN-γ specifically induced inflammatory cell death, PANoptosis, characterized by gasdermin-mediated pyroptosis, caspase-8-mediated apoptosis, and MLKL-mediated necroptosis. Deletion of pyroptosis, apoptosis, or necroptosis mediators individually was not sufficient to protect against cell death. However, cells deficient in both RIPK3 and caspase-8 or RIPK3 and FADD were resistant to this cell death. Mechanistically, the JAK/STAT1/IRF1 axis activated by TNF-α and IFN-γ co-treatment induced iNOS for the production of nitric oxide. Pharmacological and genetic deletion of this pathway inhibited pyroptosis, apoptosis, and necroptosis in macrophages. Moreover, inhibition of PANoptosis protected mice from TNF-α and IFN-γ-induced lethal cytokine shock that mirrors the pathological symptoms of COVID-19. In vivo neutralization of both TNF-α and IFN-γ in multiple disease models associated with cytokine storm showed that this treatment provided substantial protection against not only SARS-CoV-2 infection, but also sepsis, hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, and cytokine shock models, demonstrating the broad physiological relevance of this mechanism. Collectively, our findings suggest that blocking the cytokine-mediated inflammatory cell death signaling pathway identified here may benefit patients with COVID-19 or other cytokine storm-driven syndromes by limiting inflammation and tissue damage. The findings also provide a molecular and mechanistic description for the term cytokine storm. Additionally, these results open new avenues for the treatment of other infectious and autoinflammatory diseases and cancers where TNF-α and IFN-γ synergism play key pathological roles.

20.
Front Immunol ; 11: 580987, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-914428

ABSTRACT

Covid-19 features a delayed onset of critical illness occurring approximately one week from the beginning of symptoms, which corresponds to the bridging of innate and adaptive immunity. We reasoned that the immune events occurring at the turning point of disease might mark the direction toward pathogenic versus protective inflammatory responses. Subjects with either severe (s; PaO2/FiO2 ratio <200) or mild (m; PaO2/FiO2 ratio>300) Covid-19 were enrolled. A range of chemokines and cytokines as well as reactive oxygen species (ROS) were measured in plasma. Dendritic and NK cell frequency, monocyte and B-/T-cell phenotype and SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell responses were assessed in PBMC. Twenty mCovid-19 and 20 sCovid-19 individuals were studied. sCovid-19 patients displayed higher non-classical monocytes, plasma chemokines (CXCL8, CXCL9, CXCL10), cytokines (IL-6, IL-10), and ROS versus mCovid-19. sCovid-19 also showed significantly increased activated CD38+HLA-DR+ T-lymphocyte, and granzyme-B+/perforin+ pro-cytolytic T-cells. All Covid-19 patients showed SARS-CoV-2 specific-T-cell response with a predominance of Th1 bi- or trifunctional IFN-γ/IL-2/TNF-α-expressing CD4+, while no difference according to disease severity was observed. Severe Covid-19 features heightened circulating IFN-inducible chemokines and activated pro-cytolytic Th1 cell phenotype in the second week of illness, yet SARS-CoV-2-specific responses are similar to that of mild illness. Altogether, our observations suggest Th1 polarization coupled to higher cytolytic profile in sCovid-19 as correlate of disease pathogenesis and as potential targets to be investigated in the roadmap to therapy and vaccine development.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , Chemokines/blood , Interferons/blood , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Th1 Cells/immunology , Aged , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Phenotype , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
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