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1.
Biophys J ; 120(14): 2880-2889, 2021 07 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1606842

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses have caused multiple epidemics in the past two decades, in addition to the current COVID-19 pandemic that is severely damaging global health and the economy. Coronaviruses employ between 20 and 30 proteins to carry out their viral replication cycle, including infection, immune evasion, and replication. Among these, nonstructural protein 16 (Nsp16), a 2'-O-methyltransferase, plays an essential role in immune evasion. Nsp16 achieves this by mimicking its human homolog, CMTr1, which methylates mRNA to enhance translation efficiency and distinguish self from other. Unlike human CMTr1, Nsp16 requires a binding partner, Nsp10, to activate its enzymatic activity. The requirement of this binding partner presents two questions that we investigate in this manuscript. First, how does Nsp10 activate Nsp16? Although experimentally derived structures of the active Nsp16/Nsp10 complex exist, structures of inactive, monomeric Nsp16 have yet to be solved. Therefore, it is unclear how Nsp10 activates Nsp16. Using over 1 ms of molecular dynamics simulations of both Nsp16 and its complex with Nsp10, we investigate how the presence of Nsp10 shifts Nsp16's conformational ensemble to activate it. Second, guided by this activation mechanism and Markov state models, we investigate whether Nsp16 adopts inactive structures with cryptic pockets that, if targeted with a small molecule, could inhibit Nsp16 by stabilizing its inactive state. After identifying such a pocket in SARS-CoV2 Nsp16, we show that this cryptic pocket also opens in SARS-CoV1 and MERS but not in human CMTr1. Therefore, it may be possible to develop pan-coronavirus antivirals that target this cryptic pocket.

2.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 167, 2021 04 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585891

ABSTRACT

The ongoing 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2 has posed a worldwide pandemic and a major global public health threat. The severity and mortality of COVID-19 are associated with virus-induced dysfunctional inflammatory responses and cytokine storms. However, the interplay between host inflammatory responses and SARS-CoV-2 infection remains largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (N) protein, the major structural protein of the virion, promotes the virus-triggered activation of NF-κB signaling. After binding to viral RNA, N protein robustly undergoes liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS), which recruits TAK1 and IKK complex, the key kinases of NF-κB signaling, to enhance NF-κB activation. Moreover, 1,6-hexanediol, the inhibitor of LLPS, can attenuate the phase separation of N protein and restrict its regulatory functions in NF-κB activation. These results suggest that LLPS of N protein provides a platform to induce NF-κB hyper-activation, which could be a potential therapeutic target against COVID-19 severe pneumonia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , NF-kappa B/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Signal Transduction , A549 Cells , Acrylates/pharmacology , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/pathology , Chlorocebus aethiops , HEK293 Cells , HeLa Cells , Humans , Inflammation/drug therapy , Inflammation/metabolism , Inflammation/pathology , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , Vero Cells
3.
Biomol NMR Assign ; 15(2): 287-295, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1442183

ABSTRACT

The current COVID-19 pandemic caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has become a worldwide health crisis, necessitating coordinated scientific research and urgent identification of new drug targets for treatment of COVID-19 lung disease. The covid19-nmr consortium seeks to support drug development by providing publicly accessible NMR data on the viral RNA elements and proteins. The SARS-CoV-2 genome comprises a single RNA of about 30 kb in length, in which 14 open reading frames (ORFs) have been annotated, and encodes approximately 30 proteins. The first two-thirds of the SARS-CoV-2 genome is made up of two large overlapping open-reading-frames (ORF1a and ORF1b) encoding a replicase polyprotein, which is subsequently cleaved to yield 16 so-called non-structural proteins. The non-structural protein 1 (Nsp1), which is considered to be a major virulence factor, suppresses host immune functions by associating with host ribosomal complexes at the very end of its C-terminus. Furthermore, Nsp1 facilitates initiation of viral RNA translation via an interaction of its N-terminal domain with the 5' untranslated region (UTR) of the viral RNA. Here, we report the near-complete backbone chemical-shift assignments of full-length SARS-CoV-2 Nsp1 (19.8 kDa), which reveal the domain organization, secondary structure and backbone dynamics of Nsp1, and which will be of value to further NMR-based investigations of both the biochemical and physiological functions of Nsp1.


Subject(s)
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Biomolecular , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Models, Molecular , Protein Domains
4.
BMC Res Notes ; 14(1): 10, 2021 Jan 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388820

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: This study describes the occurrence of a silent mutation in the RNA binding domain of nucleocapsid phosphoprotein (N protein) coding gene from SARS-CoV-2 that may consequence to a missense mutation by onset of another single nucleotide mutation. RESULTS: In the DNA sequence isolated from severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV-2) in Iran, a coding sequence for the RNA binding domain of N protein was detected. The comparison of Chinese and Iranian DNA sequences displayed that a thymine (T) was mutated to cytosine (C), so "TTG" from China was changed to "CTG" in Iran. Both DNA sequences from Iran and China have been encoded for leucine. In addition, the second T in "CTG" in the DNA or uracil (U) in "CUG" in the RNA sequences from Iran can be mutated to another C by a missense mutation resulting from thymine DNA glycosylase (TDG) of human and base excision repair mechanism to produce "CCG" encoding for proline, which consequently may increase the affinity of the RNA binding domain of N protein to viral RNA and improve the transcription rate, pathogenicity, evasion from human immunity system, spreading in the human body, and risk of human-to-human transmission rate of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA-Binding Motifs/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , China , Databases, Genetic , Humans , Iran , Mutation, Missense , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Sequence Analysis, DNA , Silent Mutation
5.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 11: 680728, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1268238

ABSTRACT

The pandemic of COVID-19 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has led to more than 117 million reported cases and 2.6 million deaths. Accurate diagnosis technologies are vital for controlling this pandemic. Reverse transcription (RT)-based nucleic acid detection assays have been developed, but the strict sample processing requirement of RT has posed obstacles on wider applications. This study established a ligation and recombinase polymerase amplification (L/RPA) combined assay for rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 on genes N and ORF1ab targeting the specific biomarkers recommended by the China CDC. Ligase-based strategies usually have a low-efficiency problem on RNA templates. This study has addressed this problem by using a high concentration of the T4 DNA ligase and exploiting the high sensitivity of RPA. Through selection of the ligation probes and optimization of the RPA primers, the assay achieved a satisfactory sensitivity of 101 viral RNA copies per reaction, which was comparable to RT-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and other nucleic acid detection assays for SARS-CoV-2. The assay could be finished in less than 30 min with a simple procedure, in which the requirement for sophisticated thermocycling equipment had been avoided. In addition, it avoided the RT procedure and could potentially ease the requirement for sample processing. Once validated with clinical samples, the L/RPA assay would increase the practical testing availability of SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, the principle of L/RPA has an application potential to the identification of concerned mutations of the virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Recombinases , China , Humans , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sensitivity and Specificity
6.
J Virol ; 95(18): e0060021, 2021 08 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1262381

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses are commonly characterized by a unique discontinuous RNA transcriptional synthesis strategy guided by transcription-regulating sequences (TRSs). However, the details of RNA synthesis in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have not been fully elucidated. Here, we present a time-scaled, gene-comparable transcriptome of SARS-CoV-2, demonstrating that ACGAAC functions as a core TRS guiding the discontinuous RNA synthesis of SARS-CoV-2 from a holistic perspective. During infection, viral transcription, rather than genome replication, dominates all viral RNA synthesis activities. The most highly expressed viral gene is the nucleocapsid gene, followed by ORF7 and ORF3 genes, while the envelope gene shows the lowest expression. Host transcription dysregulation keeps exacerbating after viral RNA synthesis reaches a maximum. The most enriched host pathways are metabolism related. Two of them (cholesterol and valine metabolism) affect viral replication in reverse. Furthermore, the activation of numerous cytokines emerges before large-scale viral RNA synthesis. IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2 is responsible for the current severe global health emergency that began at the end of 2019. Although the universal transcriptional strategies of coronaviruses are preliminarily understood, the details of RNA synthesis, especially the time-matched transcription level of each SARS-CoV-2 gene and the principles of subgenomic mRNA synthesis, are not clear. The coterminal subgenomic mRNAs of SARS-CoV-2 present obstacles in identifying the expression of most genes by PCR-based methods, which are exacerbated by the lack of related antibodies. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2-related metabolic imbalance and cytokine storm are receiving increasing attention from both clinical and mechanistic perspectives. Our transcriptomic research provides information on both viral RNA synthesis and host responses, in which the transcription-regulating sequences and transcription levels of viral genes are demonstrated, and the metabolic dysregulation and cytokine levels identified at the host cellular level support the development of novel medical treatment strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Lung/metabolism , RNA, Messenger/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Transcriptome , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , Epithelial Cells/virology , Humans , Lung/virology , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , Vero Cells , Virus Replication
7.
Chem Commun (Camb) ; 57(51): 6229-6232, 2021 Jun 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1246405

ABSTRACT

Tracking the viral progression of SARS-CoV-2 in COVID-19 infected body tissues is an emerging need of the current pandemic. Imaging at near infrared second biological window (NIR-II) offers striking benefits over the other technologies to explore deep-tissue information. Here we design, synthesise and characterise a molecular probe that selectively targets the N-gene of SARS-CoV-2. Highly specific antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) were conjugated to lead sulfide quantum dots using a UV-triggered thiol-ene click chemistry for the recognition of viral RNA. Our ex vivo imaging studies demonstrated that the probe exhibits aggregation induced NIR-II emission only in presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA which can be attributed to the efficient hybridisation of the ASOs with their target RNA strands.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Fluorescent Dyes/chemistry , Oligonucleotides, Antisense/chemistry , Quantum Dots/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared/methods , Animals , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/metabolism , Click Chemistry/methods , Fluorescent Dyes/chemical synthesis , Humans , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Lung/metabolism , Lung/virology , Metal Nanoparticles/chemistry , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Models, Animal , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
8.
Mol Cell ; 81(13): 2851-2867.e7, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1240514

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). SARS-CoV-2 relies on cellular RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) to replicate and spread, although which RBPs control its life cycle remains largely unknown. Here, we employ a multi-omic approach to identify systematically and comprehensively the cellular and viral RBPs that are involved in SARS-CoV-2 infection. We reveal that SARS-CoV-2 infection profoundly remodels the cellular RNA-bound proteome, which includes wide-ranging effects on RNA metabolic pathways, non-canonical RBPs, and antiviral factors. Moreover, we apply a new method to identify the proteins that directly interact with viral RNA, uncovering dozens of cellular RBPs and six viral proteins. Among them are several components of the tRNA ligase complex, which we show regulate SARS-CoV-2 infection. Furthermore, we discover that available drugs targeting host RBPs that interact with SARS-CoV-2 RNA inhibit infection. Collectively, our results uncover a new universe of host-virus interactions with potential for new antiviral therapies against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Proteome/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication/physiology , A549 Cells , COVID-19/genetics , Humans , Proteome/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA-Binding Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics
9.
J Med Virol ; 93(4): 2476-2486, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1217395

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has already resulted in a huge setback to mankind in terms of millions of deaths, while the unavailability of an appropriate therapeutic strategy has made the scenario much more severe. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are crucial mediators and regulators of host immunity and the role of human cell surface TLRs in SARS-CoV-2 induced inflammatory pathogenesis has been demonstrated recently. However, the functional significance of the human intracellular TLRs including TLR3, 7, 8, and 9 is yet unclear. Hitherto, the involvement of these intracellular TLRs in inducing pro-inflammatory responses in COVID-19 has been reported but the identity of the interacting viral RNA molecule(s) and the corresponding TLRs have not been explored. This study hopes to rationalize the comparative binding of the major SARS-CoV-2 mRNAs to the intracellular TLRs, considering the solvent-based force-fields operational in the cytosolic aqueous microenvironment that predominantly drives these interactions. Our in silico study on the binding of all mRNAs with the intracellular TLRs depicts that the mRNA of NSP10, S2, and E proteins of SARS-CoV-2 are possible virus-associated molecular patterns that bind to TLR3, TLR9, and TLR7, respectively, and trigger downstream cascade reactions. Intriguingly, binding of the viral mRNAs resulted in variable degrees of conformational changes in the ligand-binding domain of the TLRs ratifying the activation of the downstream inflammatory signaling cascade. Taken together, the current study is the maiden report to describe the role of TLR3, 7, and 9 in COVID-19 immunobiology and these could serve as useful targets for the conception of a therapeutic strategy against the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Toll-Like Receptors/metabolism , Binding Sites , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , Computer Simulation , Genome, Viral , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Protein Binding , RNA, Messenger/analysis , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Toll-Like Receptors/chemistry , Toll-Like Receptors/genetics
10.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 167, 2021 04 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1203416

ABSTRACT

The ongoing 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2 has posed a worldwide pandemic and a major global public health threat. The severity and mortality of COVID-19 are associated with virus-induced dysfunctional inflammatory responses and cytokine storms. However, the interplay between host inflammatory responses and SARS-CoV-2 infection remains largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid (N) protein, the major structural protein of the virion, promotes the virus-triggered activation of NF-κB signaling. After binding to viral RNA, N protein robustly undergoes liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS), which recruits TAK1 and IKK complex, the key kinases of NF-κB signaling, to enhance NF-κB activation. Moreover, 1,6-hexanediol, the inhibitor of LLPS, can attenuate the phase separation of N protein and restrict its regulatory functions in NF-κB activation. These results suggest that LLPS of N protein provides a platform to induce NF-κB hyper-activation, which could be a potential therapeutic target against COVID-19 severe pneumonia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , NF-kappa B/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Signal Transduction , A549 Cells , Acrylates/pharmacology , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/pathology , Chlorocebus aethiops , HEK293 Cells , HeLa Cells , Humans , Inflammation/drug therapy , Inflammation/metabolism , Inflammation/pathology , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , Vero Cells
11.
Bull Natl Res Cent ; 45(1): 79, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1199936

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The ongoing pandemic of COVID-19 viruses takes its sole origin from the Wuhan Huanan seafood market, China. The first case was recorded as viral pneumonia and later became a worldwide pandemic (officially declared by WHO on March 11, 2020). MAIN BODY: SARS-CoV-2 is an extremely infectious and transferrable virus that develops severe conditions like respiratory syndrome, high blood pressure and weakens the immune system. Coronavirus falls under the Coronaviridae family and Beta coronavirus genus. Affected individuals will encounter problems starting with fever followed by severe complications like SARS, ARDS, and many others. These SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV enter the host cells by the endosomal pathway, and about 16 non-structural proteins are involved in assembling the viral RNA synthesis complex. They possess a positive-sense single-stranded RNA, and about four major genes are mainly associated with the development of ASRD, SARS, and other respiratory problems. CONCLUSION: Susceptibility of these four major genes such as ACE2, IL-2, 7 and 10, TNF, and VEGF is associated with COVID-19. This highlights the identification of the above-mentioned genes that can be used as potential biomarkers for early diagnosis and targeted drug delivery for treating the SARS-CoV-2 neurological symptoms and reducing inflammation in the brain.

12.
J Med Virol ; 93(3): 1780-1785, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196484

ABSTRACT

In early 2020 the new respiratory syndrome COVID-19 (caused by the zoonotic SARS-CoV-2 virus) spread like a pandemic, starting from Wuhan, China, causing severe economic depression. Despite some advances in drug treatments of medical complications in the later stages of the disease, the pandemic's death toll is tragic, as no vaccine or specific antiviral treatment is currently available. By using a systems approach, we identify the host-encoded pathway, which provides ribonucleotides to viral RNA synthesis, as a possible target. We show that methotrexate, an FDA-approved inhibitor of purine biosynthesis, potently inhibits viral RNA replication, viral protein synthesis, and virus release. The effective antiviral methotrexate concentrations are similar to those used for established human therapies using the same drug. Methotrexate should be most effective in patients at the earliest appearance of symptoms to effectively prevent viral replication, diffusion of the infection, and possibly fatal complications.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/etiology , Methotrexate/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Pandemics/prevention & control , RNA, Viral/genetics , Vero Cells
13.
J Med Virol ; 93(3): 1428-1435, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196449

ABSTRACT

The pandemic COVID-19 outbreak has been caused due to SARS-CoV-2 pathogen, resulting in millions of infections and deaths worldwide, the United States being on top at the present moment. The long, complex orf1ab polyproteins of SARS-CoV-2 play an important role in viral RNA synthesis. To assess the impact of mutations in this important domain, we analyzed 1134 complete protein sequences of the orf1ab polyprotein from the NCBI virus database from affected patients across various states of the United States from December 2019 to 25 April 2020. Multiple sequence alignment using Clustal Omega followed by statistical significance was calculated. Four significant mutations T265I (nsp 2), P4715L (nsp 12), and P5828L and Y5865C (both at nsp 13) were identified in important nonstructural proteins, which function either as replicase or helicase. A comparative analysis shows 265 T→I, 5828 P→L, and 5865Y→C are unique to the United States and not reported from Europe or Asia; while one, 4715 P→L is predominant in both Europe and the United States. Mutational changes in amino acids are predicted to alter the structure and function of the corresponding proteins, thereby, it is imperative to consider the mutational spectra while designing new antiviral therapeutics targeting viral orf1ab.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics , Amino Acid Substitution , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Humans , Polyproteins/chemistry , Polyproteins/genetics , Protein Conformation , United States , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/chemistry
14.
Biophys J ; 120(14): 2880-2889, 2021 07 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1191269

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses have caused multiple epidemics in the past two decades, in addition to the current COVID-19 pandemic that is severely damaging global health and the economy. Coronaviruses employ between 20 and 30 proteins to carry out their viral replication cycle, including infection, immune evasion, and replication. Among these, nonstructural protein 16 (Nsp16), a 2'-O-methyltransferase, plays an essential role in immune evasion. Nsp16 achieves this by mimicking its human homolog, CMTr1, which methylates mRNA to enhance translation efficiency and distinguish self from other. Unlike human CMTr1, Nsp16 requires a binding partner, Nsp10, to activate its enzymatic activity. The requirement of this binding partner presents two questions that we investigate in this manuscript. First, how does Nsp10 activate Nsp16? Although experimentally derived structures of the active Nsp16/Nsp10 complex exist, structures of inactive, monomeric Nsp16 have yet to be solved. Therefore, it is unclear how Nsp10 activates Nsp16. Using over 1 ms of molecular dynamics simulations of both Nsp16 and its complex with Nsp10, we investigate how the presence of Nsp10 shifts Nsp16's conformational ensemble to activate it. Second, guided by this activation mechanism and Markov state models, we investigate whether Nsp16 adopts inactive structures with cryptic pockets that, if targeted with a small molecule, could inhibit Nsp16 by stabilizing its inactive state. After identifying such a pocket in SARS-CoV2 Nsp16, we show that this cryptic pocket also opens in SARS-CoV1 and MERS but not in human CMTr1. Therefore, it may be possible to develop pan-coronavirus antivirals that target this cryptic pocket.

15.
Mol Cell ; 81(12): 2656-2668.e8, 2021 06 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1179919

ABSTRACT

A deficient interferon (IFN) response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has been implicated as a determinant of severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). To identify the molecular effectors that govern IFN control of SARS-CoV-2 infection, we conducted a large-scale gain-of-function analysis that evaluated the impact of human IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) on viral replication. A limited subset of ISGs were found to control viral infection, including endosomal factors inhibiting viral entry, RNA binding proteins suppressing viral RNA synthesis, and a highly enriched cluster of endoplasmic reticulum (ER)/Golgi-resident ISGs inhibiting viral assembly/egress. These included broad-acting antiviral ISGs and eight ISGs that specifically inhibited SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-1 replication. Among the broad-acting ISGs was BST2/tetherin, which impeded viral release and is antagonized by SARS-CoV-2 Orf7a protein. Overall, these data illuminate a set of ISGs that underlie innate immune control of SARS-CoV-2/SARS-CoV-1 infection, which will facilitate the understanding of host determinants that impact disease severity and offer potential therapeutic strategies for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antigens, CD/genetics , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Interferon Regulatory Factors/genetics , Interferon Type I/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics , Animals , Antigens, CD/chemistry , Antigens, CD/immunology , Binding Sites , Cell Line, Tumor , Chlorocebus aethiops , Endoplasmic Reticulum/genetics , Endoplasmic Reticulum/immunology , Endoplasmic Reticulum/virology , GPI-Linked Proteins/chemistry , GPI-Linked Proteins/genetics , GPI-Linked Proteins/immunology , Gene Expression Regulation , Golgi Apparatus/genetics , Golgi Apparatus/immunology , Golgi Apparatus/virology , HEK293 Cells , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate , Interferon Regulatory Factors/classification , Interferon Regulatory Factors/immunology , Interferon Type I/immunology , Molecular Docking Simulation , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Conformation, beta-Strand , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Signal Transduction , Vero Cells , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/immunology , Virus Internalization , Virus Release/genetics , Virus Release/immunology , Virus Replication/genetics , Virus Replication/immunology
16.
Mediators Inflamm ; 2021: 6635925, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1175215

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was initially identified in China and currently worldwide dispersed, resulting in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Notably, COVID-19 is characterized by systemic inflammation. However, the potential mechanisms of the "cytokine storm" of COVID-19 are still limited. In this study, fourteen peripheral blood samples from COVID-19 patients (n = 10) and healthy donors (n = 4) were collected to perform the whole-transcriptome sequencing. Lung tissues of COVID-19 patients (70%) presenting with ground-glass opacity. Also, the leukocytes and lymphocytes were significantly decreased in COVID-19 compared with the control group (p < 0.05). In total, 25,482 differentially expressed messenger RNAs (DE mRNA), 23 differentially expressed microRNAs (DE miRNA), and 410 differentially expressed long noncoding RNAs (DE lncRNAs) were identified in the COVID-19 samples compared to the healthy controls. Gene Ontology (GO) analysis showed that the upregulated DE mRNAs were mainly involved in antigen processing and presentation of endogenous antigen, positive regulation of T cell mediated cytotoxicity, and positive regulation of gamma-delta T cell activation. The downregulated DE mRNAs were mainly concentrated in the glycogen biosynthetic process. We also established the protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks of up/downregulated DE mRNAs and identified 4 modules. Functional enrichment analyses indicated that these module targets were associated with positive regulation of cytokine production, cytokine-mediated signaling pathway, leukocyte differentiation, and migration. A total of 6 hub genes were selected in the PPI module networks including AKT1, TNFRSF1B, FCGR2A, CXCL8, STAT3, and TLR2. Moreover, a competing endogenous RNA network showed the interactions between lncRNAs, mRNAs, and miRNAs. Our results highlight the potential pathogenesis of excessive cytokine production such as MSTRG.119845.30/hsa-miR-20a-5p/TNFRSF1B, MSTRG.119845.30/hsa-miR-29b-2-5p/FCGR2A, and MSTRG.106112.2/hsa-miR-6501-5p/STAT3 axis, which may also play an important role in the development of ground-glass opacity in COVID-19 patients. This study gives new insights into inflammation regulatory mechanisms of coding and noncoding RNAs in COVID-19, which may provide novel diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic avenues for COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/genetics , RNA/blood , RNA/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/complications , Case-Control Studies , Cytokine Release Syndrome/blood , Cytokine Release Syndrome/etiology , Cytokine Release Syndrome/genetics , Cytokines/biosynthesis , Cytokines/genetics , Female , Gene Expression , Humans , Inflammation Mediators/blood , Male , MicroRNAs/blood , MicroRNAs/genetics , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Protein Interaction Maps/genetics , RNA, Long Noncoding/blood , RNA, Long Noncoding/genetics , RNA, Messenger/blood , RNA, Messenger/genetics , Sequence Analysis, RNA , Signal Transduction , Whole Exome Sequencing , Young Adult
17.
Allergy ; 76(9): 2840-2854, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1175022

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: First vaccines for prevention of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are becoming available but there is a huge and unmet need for specific forms of treatment. In this study we aimed to evaluate the anti-SARS-CoV-2 effect of siRNA both in vitro and in vivo. METHODS: To identify the most effective molecule out of a panel of 15 in silico designed siRNAs, an in vitro screening system based on vectors expressing SARS-CoV-2 genes fused with the firefly luciferase reporter gene and SARS-CoV-2-infected cells was used. The most potent siRNA, siR-7, was modified by Locked nucleic acids (LNAs) to obtain siR-7-EM with increased stability and was formulated with the peptide dendrimer KK-46 for enhancing cellular uptake to allow topical application by inhalation of the final formulation - siR-7-EM/KK-46. Using the Syrian Hamster model for SARS-CoV-2 infection the antiviral capacity of siR-7-EM/KK-46 complex was evaluated. RESULTS: We identified the siRNA, siR-7, targeting SARS-CoV-2 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) as the most efficient siRNA inhibiting viral replication in vitro. Moreover, we showed that LNA-modification and complexation with the designed peptide dendrimer enhanced the antiviral capacity of siR-7 in vitro. We demonstrated significant reduction of virus titer and lung inflammation in animals exposed to inhalation of siR-7-EM/KK-46 in vivo. CONCLUSIONS: Thus, we developed a therapeutic strategy for COVID-19 based on inhalation of a modified siRNA-peptide dendrimer formulation. The developed medication is intended for inhalation treatment of COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Dendrimers , Animals , Antiviral Agents , Humans , Peptides/genetics , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2
18.
Int J Pharm ; 601: 120586, 2021 May 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1174311

ABSTRACT

A drawback of the current mRNA-lipid nanoparticle (LNP) COVID-19 vaccines is that they have to be stored at (ultra)low temperatures. Understanding the root cause of the instability of these vaccines may help to rationally improve mRNA-LNP product stability and thereby ease the temperature conditions for storage. In this review we discuss proposed structures of mRNA-LNPs, factors that impact mRNA-LNP stability and strategies to optimize mRNA-LNP product stability. Analysis of mRNA-LNP structures reveals that mRNA, the ionizable cationic lipid and water are present in the LNP core. The neutral helper lipids are mainly positioned in the outer, encapsulating, wall. mRNA hydrolysis is the determining factor for mRNA-LNP instability. It is currently unclear how water in the LNP core interacts with the mRNA and to what extent the degradation prone sites of mRNA are protected through a coat of ionizable cationic lipids. To improve the stability of mRNA-LNP vaccines, optimization of the mRNA nucleotide composition should be prioritized. Secondly, a better understanding of the milieu the mRNA is exposed to in the core of LNPs may help to rationalize adjustments to the LNP structure to preserve mRNA integrity. Moreover, drying techniques, such as lyophilization, are promising options still to be explored.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Nanoparticles , COVID-19 Vaccines , Humans , Lipids , RNA, Messenger , RNA, Small Interfering , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Biomol NMR Assign ; 15(2): 287-295, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1155327

ABSTRACT

The current COVID-19 pandemic caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has become a worldwide health crisis, necessitating coordinated scientific research and urgent identification of new drug targets for treatment of COVID-19 lung disease. The covid19-nmr consortium seeks to support drug development by providing publicly accessible NMR data on the viral RNA elements and proteins. The SARS-CoV-2 genome comprises a single RNA of about 30 kb in length, in which 14 open reading frames (ORFs) have been annotated, and encodes approximately 30 proteins. The first two-thirds of the SARS-CoV-2 genome is made up of two large overlapping open-reading-frames (ORF1a and ORF1b) encoding a replicase polyprotein, which is subsequently cleaved to yield 16 so-called non-structural proteins. The non-structural protein 1 (Nsp1), which is considered to be a major virulence factor, suppresses host immune functions by associating with host ribosomal complexes at the very end of its C-terminus. Furthermore, Nsp1 facilitates initiation of viral RNA translation via an interaction of its N-terminal domain with the 5' untranslated region (UTR) of the viral RNA. Here, we report the near-complete backbone chemical-shift assignments of full-length SARS-CoV-2 Nsp1 (19.8 kDa), which reveal the domain organization, secondary structure and backbone dynamics of Nsp1, and which will be of value to further NMR-based investigations of both the biochemical and physiological functions of Nsp1.


Subject(s)
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Biomolecular , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Models, Molecular , Protein Domains
20.
J Integr Bioinform ; 18(1): 45-50, 2021 Mar 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1136312

ABSTRACT

Different types of noncoding RNAs like microRNAs (miRNAs) and circular RNAs (circRNAs) have been shown to take part in various cellular processes including post-transcriptional gene regulation during infection. MiRNAs are expressed by more than 200 organisms ranging from viruses to higher eukaryotes. Since miRNAs seem to be involved in host-pathogen interactions, many studies attempted to identify whether human miRNAs could target severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) mRNAs as an antiviral defence mechanism. In this work, a machine learning based miRNA analysis workflow was developed to predict differential expression patterns of human miRNAs during SARS-CoV-2 infection. In order to obtain the graphical representation of miRNA hairpins, 36 features were defined based on the secondary structures. Moreover, potential targeting interactions between human circRNAs and miRNAs as well as human miRNAs and viral mRNAs were investigated.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , MicroRNAs/genetics , RNA, Circular/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/genetics , Humans , RNA, Messenger/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
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