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1.
J Am Chem Soc ; 143(23): 8543-8546, 2021 06 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387162

ABSTRACT

The S protein of SARS-CoV-2 is a type I membrane protein that mediates membrane fusion and viral entry. A vast amount of structural information is available for the ectodomain of S, a primary target by the host immune system, but much less is known regarding its transmembrane domain (TMD) and its membrane-proximal regions. Here, we determined the NMR structure of the S protein TMD in bicelles that closely mimic a lipid bilayer. The TMD structure is a transmembrane α-helix (TMH) trimer that assembles spontaneously in a membrane. The trimer structure shows an extensive hydrophobic core along the 3-fold axis that resembles that of a trimeric leucine/isoleucine zipper, but with tetrad, not heptad, repeats. The trimeric core is strong in bicelles, resisting hydrogen-deuterium exchange for weeks. Although highly stable, structural guided mutagenesis identified single mutations that can completely dissociate the TMD trimer. Multiple studies have shown that the membrane anchors of viral fusion proteins can form highly specific oligomers, but the exact function of these oligomers remains unclear. Our findings should guide future experiments to address the above question for SARS coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Cell Membrane/metabolism , Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions , Protein Multimerization , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Models, Molecular , Protein Structure, Quaternary , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
2.
J Phys Chem Lett ; 12(16): 4059-4066, 2021 Apr 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387120

ABSTRACT

The spike glycoprotein (S-protein) mediates SARS-CoV-2 entry via intermolecular interaction with human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2. The receptor binding domain (RBD) of the S-protein has been considered critical for this interaction and acts as the target of numerous neutralizing antibodies and antiviral peptides. This study used the fragment molecular orbital method to analyze the interactions between the RBD and antibodies/peptides and extracted crucial residues that can be used as epitopes. The interactions evaluated as interfragment interaction energy values between the RBD and 12 antibodies/peptides showed a fairly good correlation with the experimental activity pIC50 (R2 = 0.540). Nine residues (T415, K417, Y421, F456, A475, F486, N487, N501, and Y505) were confirmed as being crucial. Pair interaction energy decomposition analyses showed that hydrogen bonds, electrostatic interactions, and π-orbital interactions are important. Our results provide essential information for understanding SARS-CoV-2-antibody/peptide binding and may play roles in future antibody/antiviral drug design.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Peptides/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Binding Sites/immunology , Epitopes/immunology , Epitopes/metabolism , Humans , Hydrogen Bonding , Models, Chemical , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Quantum Theory , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Static Electricity
3.
Front Microbiol ; 11: 2020, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389203

ABSTRACT

Emerging highly pathogenic human coronaviruses (CoVs) represent a serious ongoing threat to the public health worldwide. The spike (S) proteins of CoVs are surface glycoproteins that facilitate viral entry into host cells via attachment to their respective cellular receptors. The S protein is believed to be a major immunogenic component of CoVs and a target for neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) and most candidate vaccines. Development of a safe and convenient assay is thus urgently needed to determine the prevalence of CoVs nAbs in the population, to study immune response in infected individuals, and to aid in vaccines and viral entry inhibitor evaluation. While live virus-based neutralization assays are used as gold standard serological methods to detect and measure nAbs, handling of highly pathogenic live CoVs requires strict bio-containment conditions in biosafety level-3 (BSL-3) laboratories. On the other hand, use of replication-incompetent pseudoviruses bearing CoVs S proteins could represent a safe and useful method to detect nAbs in serum samples under biosafety level-2 (BSL-2) conditions. Here, we describe a detailed protocol of a safe and convenient assay to generate vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-based pseudoviruses to evaluate and measure nAbs against highly pathogenic CoVs. The protocol covers methods to produce VSV pseudovirus bearing the S protein of the Middle East respiratory syndrome-CoV (MERS-CoV) and the severe acute respiratory syndrome-CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-2), pseudovirus titration, and pseudovirus neutralization assay. Such assay could be adapted by different laboratories and researchers working on highly pathogenic CoVs without the need to handle live viruses in the BSL-3 environment.

4.
J Nat Med ; 75(4): 1080-1085, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1375679

ABSTRACT

The spike (S) protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) contains a cleavage motif R-X-X-R for furin-like enzymes at the boundary of the S1/S2 subunits. The cleavage of the site by cellular proteases is essential for S protein activation and virus entry. We screened the inhibitory effects of crude drugs on in vitro furin-like enzymatic activities using a fluorogenic substrate with whole-cell lysates. Of the 124 crude drugs listed in the Japanese Pharmacopeia, aqueous ethanolic extract of Cnidii Monnieris Fructus, which is the dried fruit of Cnidium monnieri Cussion, significantly inhibited the furin-like enzymatic activities. We further fractionated the plant extract and isolated the two active compounds with the inhibitory activity, namely, imperatorin and osthole, whose IC50 values were 1.45 mM and 9.45 µM, respectively. Our results indicated that Cnidii Monnieris Fructus might exert inhibitory effects on furin-like enzymatic activities, and that imperatorin and osthole of the crude drug could be potential inhibitors of the motif cleavage.


Subject(s)
Cnidium/chemistry , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Enzyme Assays , Furin/antagonists & inhibitors , Furin/metabolism , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , A549 Cells , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
5.
Pharmacol Res ; 157: 104859, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1318929

ABSTRACT

Outbreak and pandemic of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in 2019/2020 will challenge global health for the future. Because a vaccine against the virus will not be available in the near future, we herein try to offer a pharmacological strategy to combat the virus. There exists a number of candidate drugs that may inhibit infection with and replication of SARS-CoV-2. Such drugs comprise inhibitors of TMPRSS2 serine protease and inhibitors of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Blockade of ACE2, the host cell receptor for the S protein of SARS-CoV-2 and inhibition of TMPRSS2, which is required for S protein priming may prevent cell entry of SARS-CoV-2. Further, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, and off-label antiviral drugs, such as the nucleotide analogue remdesivir, HIV protease inhibitors lopinavir and ritonavir, broad-spectrum antiviral drugs arbidol and favipiravir as well as antiviral phytochemicals available to date may limit spread of SARS-CoV-2 and morbidity and mortality of COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/drug effects , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Serine Endopeptidases/drug effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , SARS-CoV-2 , Serine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology
6.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(27)2021 07 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1276013

ABSTRACT

The spike (S) protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) plays a key role in viral infectivity. It is also the major antigen stimulating the host's protective immune response, specifically, the production of neutralizing antibodies. Recently, a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 possessing multiple mutations in the S protein, designated P.1, emerged in Brazil. Here, we characterized a P.1 variant isolated in Japan by using Syrian hamsters, a well-established small animal model for the study of SARS-CoV-2 disease (COVID-19). In hamsters, the variant showed replicative abilities and pathogenicity similar to those of early and contemporary strains (i.e., SARS-CoV-2 bearing aspartic acid [D] or glycine [G] at position 614 of the S protein). Sera and/or plasma from convalescent patients and BNT162b2 messenger RNA vaccinees showed comparable neutralization titers across the P.1 variant, S-614D, and S-614G strains. In contrast, the S-614D and S-614G strains were less well recognized than the P.1 variant by serum from a P.1-infected patient. Prior infection with S-614D or S-614G strains efficiently prevented the replication of the P.1 variant in the lower respiratory tract of hamsters upon reinfection. In addition, passive transfer of neutralizing antibodies to hamsters infected with the P.1 variant or the S-614G strain led to reduced virus replication in the lower respiratory tract. However, the effect was less pronounced against the P.1 variant than the S-614G strain. These findings suggest that the P.1 variant may be somewhat antigenically different from the early and contemporary strains of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Virus Replication , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/pathology , Cricetinae , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Lung/pathology , Mesocricetus , Mice , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , X-Ray Microtomography
7.
Vaccine ; 39(30): 4108-4116, 2021 07 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1267950

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), initially originated in China in year 2019 and spread rapidly across the globe within 5 months, causing over 96 million cases of infection and over 2 million deaths. Huge efforts were undertaken to bring the COVID-19 vaccines in clinical development, so that it can be made available at the earliest, if found to be efficacious in the trials. We developed a candidate vaccine ZyCoV-D comprising of a DNA plasmid vector carrying the gene encoding the spike protein (S) of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The S protein of the virus includes the receptor binding domain (RBD), responsible for binding to the human angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE-2) receptor. The DNA plasmid construct was transformed into E. coli cells for large scale production. The immunogenicity potential of the plasmid DNA has been evaluated in mice, guinea pig, and rabbit models by intradermal route at 25, 100 and 500 µg dose. Based on the animal studies proof-of-concept has been established and preclinical toxicology (PCT) studies were conducted in rat and rabbit model. Preliminary animal study demonstrates that the candidate DNA vaccine induces antibody response including neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 and also elicited Th-1 response as evidenced by elevated IFN-γ levels.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vaccines, DNA , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , Antibodies, Viral , Antibody Formation , COVID-19 Vaccines , China , Escherichia coli , Guinea Pigs , Humans , Mice , Models, Animal , Rabbits , Rats , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
8.
J Infect Dev Ctries ; 15(5): 653-656, 2021 05 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1262632

ABSTRACT

Understanding the efficacy and durability of heterologous immunization schedules against SARS-CoV-2 is critical, as supply demands and vaccine choices become significant issues in the global vaccination strategy. Here we characterize the neutralizing antibodies produced in two subjects who received combination immunizations against SARS-CoV-2, first with Covishield (Oxford-AstraZeneca) vaccine, followed 33 days later with a second dose (booster) shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Serum samples were collected 25 days following the primary vaccination and 13 days after the secondary Pfizer vaccination. Both subjects exhibited increased levels of isotype IgG and IgM antibodies directed against the entire spike protein following immunizations. These antibodies also exhibited increased reactivity with the receptor binding domain (RBD) in the spike protein and neutralized the infectivity of replicating vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) that contains the COVID-19 coronavirus S protein gene in place of its normal G glycoprotein. This VSV pseudovirus also contains the reporter gene for enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP). Antibody titers against the spike protein and serum neutralization titers against the reporter virus are reported for the 2 heterologous vaccinated individuals and compared to a positive control derived from a convalescent patient and a negative control from an unexposed individual. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine increased antibody binding to the spike protein and RBD, and approached levels found in the convalescent positive control. Neutralizing antibodies against the VSV-S pseudovirus in the 2 subjects also approached levels in the convalescent sera. These results firmly validate the value of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in boosting immunity following initial Covishield inoculation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Immunity, Humoral/drug effects , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Case-Control Studies , Female , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Biologics ; 15: 143-152, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1262565

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is severely challenging the healthcare systems and economies of the world, which urgently demand vaccine and therapy development to combat severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Hence, advancing our understanding of the comprehensive entry mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2, especially the host factors that facilitate viral infection, is crucial for the discovery of effective vaccines and antiviral drugs. SARS-CoV-2 has previously been documented to reach cells by binding with ACE2 and CD147 receptors in host cells that interact with the spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2. A novel entry factor, called neuropilin 1(NRP1), has recently been discovered as a co-receptor facilitating the entry of SARS-CoV-2. NRP1 is a single-pass transmembrane glycoprotein widely distributed throughout the tissues of the body and acts as a multifunctional co-receptor to bind with different ligand proteins and play diverse physiological roles as well as pathological and therapeutic roles in different clinical conditions/diseases, including COVID-19. The current review, therefore, briefly provides the overview of SARS-CoV-2 entry mechanisms, the structure of NRP1, and their roles in health and various diseases, as well as extensively discusses the current understanding of the potential implication of NRP1 in SARS-CoV-2 entry and COVID-19 treatment.

10.
Int J Biol Macromol ; 183: 2248-2261, 2021 Jul 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1260750

ABSTRACT

The recent emergence of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has resulted in a devastating pandemic with global concern. However, to date, there are no regimens to prevent and treat SARS-CoV-2 virus. There is an urgent need to identify novel leads with anti-viral properties that impede viral pathogenesis in the host system. Esculentoside A (EsA), a saponin isolated from the root of Phytolacca esculenta, is known to exhibit diverse pharmacological properties, especially anti-inflammatory activity. To our knowledge, SARS-CoV-2 uses angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) to enter host cells. This is mediated through the proteins of SARS-CoV-2, especially the spike glycoprotein receptor binding domain. Thus, our primary goal is to prevent virus replication and binding to the host, which allows us to explore the efficiency of EsA on key surface drug target proteins using the computational biology paradigm approach. Here, the anti-coronavirus activity of EsA in vitro and its potential mode of inhibitory action on the S-protein of SARS-CoV-2 were investigated. We found that EsA inhibited the HCoV-OC43 coronavirus during the attachment and penetration stage. Molecular docking results showed that EsA had a strong binding affinity with the spike glycoprotein from SARS-CoV-2. The results of the molecular dynamics simulation revealed that EsA had higher stable binding with the spike protein. These results demonstrated that Esculentoside A can act as a spike protein blocker to inhibit SARS-CoV-2. Considering the poor bioavailability and low toxicity of EsA, it is suitable as novel lead for the inhibitor against binding interactions of SARS-CoV-2 of S-protein and ACE2.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Antiviral Agents , COVID-19/drug therapy , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Oleanolic Acid/analogs & derivatives , SARS-CoV-2 , Saponins , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Cell Line, Tumor , Coronavirus OC43, Human/chemistry , Coronavirus OC43, Human/metabolism , Humans , Oleanolic Acid/chemistry , Oleanolic Acid/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Saponins/chemistry , Saponins/pharmacology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
11.
J Am Chem Soc ; 143(23): 8543-8546, 2021 06 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1258540

ABSTRACT

The S protein of SARS-CoV-2 is a type I membrane protein that mediates membrane fusion and viral entry. A vast amount of structural information is available for the ectodomain of S, a primary target by the host immune system, but much less is known regarding its transmembrane domain (TMD) and its membrane-proximal regions. Here, we determined the NMR structure of the S protein TMD in bicelles that closely mimic a lipid bilayer. The TMD structure is a transmembrane α-helix (TMH) trimer that assembles spontaneously in a membrane. The trimer structure shows an extensive hydrophobic core along the 3-fold axis that resembles that of a trimeric leucine/isoleucine zipper, but with tetrad, not heptad, repeats. The trimeric core is strong in bicelles, resisting hydrogen-deuterium exchange for weeks. Although highly stable, structural guided mutagenesis identified single mutations that can completely dissociate the TMD trimer. Multiple studies have shown that the membrane anchors of viral fusion proteins can form highly specific oligomers, but the exact function of these oligomers remains unclear. Our findings should guide future experiments to address the above question for SARS coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Cell Membrane/metabolism , Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions , Protein Multimerization , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Models, Molecular , Protein Structure, Quaternary , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
12.
J Clin Invest ; 131(10)2021 05 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1255762

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUNDRecent studies have reported T cell immunity to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in unexposed donors, possibly due to crossrecognition by T cells specific for common cold coronaviruses (CCCs). True T cell crossreactivity, defined as the recognition by a single TCR of more than one distinct peptide-MHC ligand, has never been shown in the context of SARS-CoV-2.METHODSWe used the viral functional expansion of specific T cells (ViraFEST) platform to identify T cell responses crossreactive for the spike (S) glycoproteins of SARS-CoV-2 and CCCs at the T cell receptor (TCR) clonotype level in convalescent COVID-19 patients (CCPs) and SARS-CoV-2-unexposed donors. Confirmation of SARS-CoV-2/CCC crossreactivity and assessments of functional avidity were performed using a TCR cloning and transfection system.RESULTSMemory CD4+ T cell clonotypes that crossrecognized the S proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and at least one other CCC were detected in 65% of CCPs and unexposed donors. Several of these TCRs were shared among multiple donors. Crossreactive T cells demonstrated significantly impaired SARS-CoV-2-specific proliferation in vitro relative to monospecific CD4+ T cells, which was consistent with lower functional avidity of their TCRs for SARS-CoV-2 relative to CCC.CONCLUSIONSOur data confirm, for what we believe is the first time, the existence of unique memory CD4+ T cell clonotypes crossrecognizing SARS-CoV-2 and CCCs. The lower avidity of crossreactive TCRs for SARS-CoV-2 may be the result of antigenic imprinting, such that preexisting CCC-specific memory T cells have reduced expansive capacity upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. Further studies are needed to determine how these crossreactive T cell responses affect clinical outcomes in COVID-19 patients.FUNDINGNIH funding (U54CA260492, P30CA006973, P41EB028239, R01AI153349, R01AI145435-A1, R21AI149760, and U19A1088791) was provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. The Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, The Johns Hopkins University Provost, and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided funding for this study.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Immunologic Memory , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Cross Reactions , Female , Humans , Jurkat Cells , Male , Middle Aged
13.
Mol Neurobiol ; 58(9): 4535-4563, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1252224

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a devastating viral infection caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The incidence and mortality of COVID-19 patients have been increasing at an alarming rate. The mortality is much higher in older individuals, especially the ones suffering from respiratory distress, cardiac abnormalities, renal diseases, diabetes, and hypertension. Existing evidence demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 makes its entry into human cells through angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) followed by the uptake of virions through cathepsin L or transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2). SARS-CoV-2-mediated abnormalities in particular cardiovascular and neurological ones and the damaged coagulation systems require extensive research to develop better therapeutic modalities. As SARS-CoV-2 uses its S-protein to enter into the host cells of several organs, the S-protein of the virus is considered as the ideal target to develop a potential vaccine. In this review, we have attempted to highlight the landmark discoveries that lead to the development of various vaccines that are currently under different stages of clinical progression. Besides, a brief account of various drug candidates that are being tested to mitigate the burden of COVID-19 was also covered. Further, in a dedicated section, the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on neuronal inflammation and neuronal disorders was discussed. In summary, it is expected that the content covered in this article help to understand the pathophysiology of COVID-19 and the impact on neuronal complications induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection while providing an update on the vaccine development.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19/complications , Inflammation/etiology , Neurodevelopmental Disorders/etiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/physiology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/physiopathology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Cell Line , Comorbidity , Cytokine Release Syndrome/etiology , Female , Hormesis , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical , Mice , Models, Neurological , Murine hepatitis virus/pathogenicity , Nervous System/virology , Nervous System Diseases/epidemiology , Nervous System Diseases/etiology , Organ Specificity , Organoids , Pregnancy , Pregnancy Complications, Infectious/virology , Receptors, Virus/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Serine Endopeptidases/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/physiology
14.
Front Cardiovasc Med ; 8: 670659, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1247851

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 virus has taken more than 2 million lives on a global scale. Over 10 million people were confirmed with COVID-19 infection. The well-known spot of primary infection includes the lungs and the respiratory system. Recently it has been reported that the cardiovascular system and coagulation mechanisms were the second major targets of biological system affected due to the viral replication. The replication mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 involves the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2- (ACE2) surface receptors of endothelial cells belonging to various organs which act as the binding site for the viral spike (S) protein of SARS-CoV-2. The COVID-19 virus has been recently listed as a primary risk factor for the following cardiovascular conditions such as pericarditis, myocarditis, arrhythmias, myocardial injury, cardiac arrest, heart failure and coagulation abnormalities in the patients confirmed with COVID-19 viral infection. Direct and indirect type of tissue damage were the two major categories detected with cardiovascular abnormalities. Direct myocardial cell injury and indirect damage to the myocardial cell due to inflammation were clinically reported. Few drugs were clinically administered to regulate the vital biological mechanism along with symptomatic treatment and supportive therapy.

15.
Sci Immunol ; 6(59)2021 05 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1243688

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants harboring mutations in the spike (S) protein has raised concern about potential immune escape. Here, we studied humoral and cellular immune responses to wild type SARS-CoV-2 and the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants of concern in a cohort of 121 BNT162b2 mRNA-vaccinated health care workers (HCW). Twenty-three HCW recovered from mild COVID-19 disease and exhibited a recall response with high levels of SARS-CoV-2-specific functional antibodies and virus-specific T cells after a single vaccination. Specific immune responses were also detected in seronegative HCW after one vaccination, but a second dose was required to reach high levels of functional antibodies and cellular immune responses in all individuals. Vaccination-induced antibodies cross-neutralized the variants B.1.1.7 and B.1.351, but the neutralizing capacity and Fc-mediated functionality against B.1.351 was consistently 2- to 4-fold lower than to the homologous virus. In addition, peripheral blood mononuclear cells were stimulated with peptide pools spanning the mutated S regions of B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 to detect cross-reactivity of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells with variants. Importantly, we observed no differences in CD4+ T-cell activation in response to variant antigens, indicating that the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 S proteins do not escape T-cell-mediated immunity elicited by the wild type S protein. In conclusion, this study shows that some variants can partially escape humoral immunity induced by SARS-CoV-2 infection or BNT162b2 vaccination, but S-specific CD4+ T-cell activation is not affected by the mutations in the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cell Line , Cross Reactions/immunology , Humans , Immunologic Memory/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Vaccination
16.
J Clin Invest ; 131(10)2021 05 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1238630

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUNDRecent studies have reported T cell immunity to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in unexposed donors, possibly due to crossrecognition by T cells specific for common cold coronaviruses (CCCs). True T cell crossreactivity, defined as the recognition by a single TCR of more than one distinct peptide-MHC ligand, has never been shown in the context of SARS-CoV-2.METHODSWe used the viral functional expansion of specific T cells (ViraFEST) platform to identify T cell responses crossreactive for the spike (S) glycoproteins of SARS-CoV-2 and CCCs at the T cell receptor (TCR) clonotype level in convalescent COVID-19 patients (CCPs) and SARS-CoV-2-unexposed donors. Confirmation of SARS-CoV-2/CCC crossreactivity and assessments of functional avidity were performed using a TCR cloning and transfection system.RESULTSMemory CD4+ T cell clonotypes that crossrecognized the S proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and at least one other CCC were detected in 65% of CCPs and unexposed donors. Several of these TCRs were shared among multiple donors. Crossreactive T cells demonstrated significantly impaired SARS-CoV-2-specific proliferation in vitro relative to monospecific CD4+ T cells, which was consistent with lower functional avidity of their TCRs for SARS-CoV-2 relative to CCC.CONCLUSIONSOur data confirm, for what we believe is the first time, the existence of unique memory CD4+ T cell clonotypes crossrecognizing SARS-CoV-2 and CCCs. The lower avidity of crossreactive TCRs for SARS-CoV-2 may be the result of antigenic imprinting, such that preexisting CCC-specific memory T cells have reduced expansive capacity upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. Further studies are needed to determine how these crossreactive T cell responses affect clinical outcomes in COVID-19 patients.FUNDINGNIH funding (U54CA260492, P30CA006973, P41EB028239, R01AI153349, R01AI145435-A1, R21AI149760, and U19A1088791) was provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. The Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, The Johns Hopkins University Provost, and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided funding for this study.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Immunologic Memory , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Cross Reactions , Female , Humans , Jurkat Cells , Male , Middle Aged
17.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 10716, 2021 05 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1238014

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes the disease called COVID-19, which has caused the worst pandemic of the century. Both, to know the immunological status of general population and to evaluate the efficacy of the vaccination process that is taking place around the world, serological tests represent a key tool. Classic serological tests, based on colorimetric techniques, such as ELISA or CLIA, continue to be the most widely used option. However, a real improvement in results is still needed. We developed a highly sensitive and specific FCM assay that allows the detection of IgG and IgA antibodies, directed against the native and functional S-protein of SARS-CoV-2 exposed on the membrane of a transfected cell line, up to 8 months after infection.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Flow Cytometry , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Jurkat Cells , Male , Middle Aged
18.
J Mol Med (Berl) ; 99(8): 1023-1031, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1237475

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 causes the respiratory syndrome COVID-19 and is responsible for the current pandemic. The S protein of SARS-CoV-2-mediating virus binding to target cells and subsequent viral uptake is extensively glycosylated. Here we focus on how glycosylation of both SARS-CoV-2 and target cells crucially impacts SARS-CoV-2 infection at different levels: (1) virus binding and entry to host cells, with glycosaminoglycans of host cells acting as a necessary co-factor for SARS-CoV-2 infection by interacting with the receptor-binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein, (2) innate and adaptive immune response where glycosylation plays both a protective role and contributes to immune evasion by masking of viral polypeptide epitopes and may add to the cytokine cascade via non-fucosylated IgG, and (3) therapy and vaccination where a monoclonal antibody-neutralizing SARS-CoV-2 was shown to interact also with a distinct glycan epitope on the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. These evidences highlight the importance of ensuring that glycans are considered when tackling this disease, particularly in the development of vaccines, therapeutic strategies and serological testing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Host-Pathogen Interactions , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adaptive Immunity , Animals , Blood Group Antigens/immunology , Blood Group Antigens/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Exocytosis , Glycosylation , Humans , Immunity, Innate , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Internalization , Virus Replication
19.
J Virol ; 2021 Mar 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1232341

ABSTRACT

Within a year after its emergence, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has infected over 100 million people worldwide with a death toll over 2 million. Vaccination remains the best hope to ultimately put this pandemic to an end. Here, using Trimer-Tag technology, we produced both wild-type (WT) and furin site mutant (MT) S-Trimers for COVID-19 vaccine studies. Cryo-EM structures of the WT and MT S-Trimers, determined at 3.2 Å and 2.6 Å respectively, revealed that both antigens adopt a tightly closed conformation and their structures are essentially identical to that of the previously solved full-length WT S protein in detergent. The tightly closed conformation is stabilized by fatty acid and polysorbate 80 binding at the receptor binding domains (RBDs) and the N terminal domains (NTDs) respectively. Additionally, we identified an important pH switch in the WT S-Trimer that shows dramatic conformational change and accounts for its increased stability at lower pH. These results validate Trimer-Tag as a platform technology in production of metastable WT S-Trimer as a candidate for COVID-19 subunit vaccine.IMPORTANCEEffective vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 is critical to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, using Trimer-Tag technology, we are able to produce stable and large quantities of WT S-Trimer, a subunit vaccine candidate for COVID-19 with high safety and efficacy from animal and Phase 1 clinical trial studies. Cryo-EM structures of the S-Trimer subunit vaccine candidate show that it predominately adopts tightly closed pre-fusion state, and resembles that of the native and full-length spike in detergent, confirming its structural integrity. WT S-Trimer is currently being evaluated in global Phase 2/3 clinical trial. Combining with published structures of the S protein, we also propose a model to dissect the conformation change of the spike protein before receptor binding.

20.
Curr Med Chem ; 2021 May 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1229117

ABSTRACT

Outbreaks due to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) initiated in Wuhan city, China, in December 2019 which continued to spread internationally, posing a pandemic threat as declared by WHO and as of March 10, 2021, confirmed cases reached 118 million along with 2.6 million deaths worldwide. In the absence of specific antiviral medication, symptomatic treatment and physical isolation remain the options to control the contagion. The recent clinical trials on antiviral drugs highlighted some promising compounds such as umifenovir (haemagglutinin-mediated fusion inhibitor), remdesivir (RdRp nucleoside inhibitor), and favipiravir (RdRp Inhibitor). WHO launched a multinational clinical trial on several promising analogs as a potential treatment to combat SARS infection. This situation urges a holistic approach to invent safe and specific drugs as a prophylactic and therapeutic cure for SARS-related-viral diseases, including COVID-19. It is significant to note that researchers worldwide have been doing their best to handle the crisis and have produced an extensive and promising literature body. It opens a scope and allows understanding the viral entry at the molecular level. A structure-based approach can reveal the molecular-level understanding of viral entry interaction. The ligand profiling and non-covalent interactions among participating amino-acid residues are critical information to delineate a structural interpretation. The structural investigation of SARS virus entry into host cells will reveal the possible strategy for designing drugs like entry inhibitors. The structure-based approach demonstrates details at the 3D molecular level. It shows specificity about SARS-CoV-2 spike interaction, which uses human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a receptor for entry, and the human protease completes the process of viral fusion and infection. The 3D structural studies reveal the existence of two units, namely S1 and S2. S1 is called a receptor-binding domain (RBD) and responsible for interacting with the host (ACE2), and the S2 unit participates in the fusion of viral and cellular membranes. TMPRSS2 mediates the cleavage at S1/S2 subunit interface in S-protein of SARS CoV-2, leading to viral fusion. Conformational difference associated with S1 binding alters ACE2 interaction and inhibits viral fusion. Overall, the detailed 3D structural studies help understand the 3D structural basis of interaction between viruses with host factors and available scope for the new drug discovery process targeting SARS-related virus entry into the host cell.

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