Renz2020 - GEM of Human alveolar macrophage with SARS-CoV-2
ABSTRACT: Background: The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) currently spreads worldwide, causing the disease COVID-19. The number of infections increases daily, without any approved antiviral therapy. The recently released viral nucleotide sequence enables the identification of therapeutic targets, e.g., by analyzing integrated human-virus metabolic models. Investigations of changed metabolic processes after virus infections and the effect of knock-outs on the host and the virus can reveal new potential targets.
Results: We generated an integrated host-virus genome-scale metabolic model of human alveolar macrophages and SARS-CoV-2. Analyses of stoichiometric and metabolic changes between uninfected and infected host cells using flux balance analysis (FBA) highlighted the different requirements of host and virus.
Conclusion: Consequently, alterations in the metabolism can have different effects on host and virus, leading to potential antiviral targets. One of these potential targets is guanylate kinase (GK1). In FBA analyses, the knock-out of the guanylate kinase decreased the growth of the virus to zero, while not affecting the host. As GK1 inhibitors are described in the literature, its potential therapeutic effect for SARS-CoV-2 infections needs to be verified in in-vitro experiments.
Project description:To identify host factors relevant for severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus (SARS-CoV) replication, we performed a small interfering RNA (siRNA) library screen targeting the human kinome. Protein kinases are key regulators of many cellular functions, and the systematic knockdown of their expression should provide a broad perspective on factors and pathways promoting or antagonizing coronavirus replication. In addition to 40 proteins that promote SARS-CoV replication, our study identified 90 factors exhibiting an antiviral effect. Pathway analysis grouped subsets of these factors in specific cellular processes, including the innate immune response and the metabolism of complex lipids, which appear to play a role in SARS-CoV infection. Several factors were selected for in-depth validation in follow-up experiments. In cells depleted for the ?2 subunit of the coatomer protein complex (COPB2), the strongest proviral hit, we observed reduced SARS-CoV protein expression and a >2-log reduction in virus yield. Knockdown of the COPB2-related proteins COPB1 and Golgi-specific brefeldin A-resistant guanine nucleotide exchange factor 1 (GBF1) also suggested that COPI-coated vesicles and/or the early secretory pathway are important for SARS-CoV replication. Depletion of the antiviral double-stranded RNA-activated protein kinase (PKR) enhanced virus replication in the primary screen, and validation experiments confirmed increased SARS-CoV protein expression and virus production upon PKR depletion. In addition, cyclin-dependent kinase 6 (CDK6) was identified as a novel antiviral host factor in SARS-CoV replication. The inventory of pro- and antiviral host factors and pathways described here substantiates and expands our understanding of SARS-CoV replication and may contribute to the identification of novel targets for antiviral therapy.Replication of all viruses, including SARS-CoV, depends on and is influenced by cellular pathways. Although substantial progress has been made in dissecting the coronavirus replicative cycle, our understanding of the host factors that stimulate (proviral factors) or restrict (antiviral factors) infection remains far from complete. To study the role of host proteins in SARS-CoV infection, we set out to systematically identify kinase-regulated processes that influence virus replication. Protein kinases are key regulators in signal transduction, controlling a wide variety of cellular processes, and many of them are targets of approved drugs and other compounds. Our screen identified a variety of hits and will form the basis for more detailed follow-up studies that should contribute to a better understanding of SARS-CoV replication and coronavirus-host interactions in general. The identified factors could be interesting targets for the development of host-directed antiviral therapy to treat infections with SARS-CoV or other pathogenic coronaviruses.
Project description:The small molecule macrocyclic lactone ivermectin, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for parasitic infections, has received renewed attention in the last eight years due to its apparent exciting potential as an antiviral. It was identified in a high-throughput chemical screen as inhibiting recognition of the nuclear localizing Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV-1) integrase protein by the host heterodimeric importin (IMP) ?/?1 complex, and has since been shown to bind directly to IMP? to induce conformational changes that prevent its normal function in mediating nuclear import of key viral and host proteins. Excitingly, cell culture experiments show robust antiviral action towards HIV-1, dengue virus (DENV), Zika virus, West Nile virus, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Chikungunya virus, Pseudorabies virus, adenovirus, and SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). Phase III human clinical trials have been completed for DENV, with >50 trials currently in progress worldwide for SARS-CoV-2. This mini-review discusses the case for ivermectin as a host-directed broad-spectrum antiviral agent for a range of viruses, including SARS-CoV-2.
Project description:In less than 20 years, three deadly coronaviruses, SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, have emerged in human population causing hundreds to hundreds of thousands of deaths. Other coronaviruses are causing epizootic representing a significant threat for both domestic and wild animals. Members of this viral family have the longest genome of all RNA viruses, and express up to 29 proteins establishing complex interactions with the host proteome. Deciphering these interactions is essential to identify cellular pathways hijacked by these viruses to replicate and escape innate immunity. Virus-host interactions also provide key information to select targets for antiviral drug development. Here, we have manually curated the literature to assemble a unique dataset of 1311 coronavirus-host protein-protein interactions. Functional enrichment and network-based analyses showed coronavirus connections to RNA processing and translation, DNA damage and pathogen sensing, interferon production, and metabolic pathways. In particular, this global analysis pinpointed overlooked interactions with translation modulators (GIGYF2-EIF4E2), components of the nuclear pore, proteins involved in mitochondria homeostasis (PHB, PHB2, STOML2), and methylation pathways (MAT2A/B). Finally, interactome data provided a rational for the antiviral activity of some drugs inhibiting coronaviruses replication. Altogether, this work describing the current landscape of coronavirus-host interactions provides valuable hints for understanding the pathophysiology of coronavirus infections and developing effective antiviral therapies.
Project description:Similar to other RNA viruses, SARS-CoV-2 must (1) enter a target/host cell, (2) reprogram it to ensure its replication, (3) exit the host cell, and (4) repeat this cycle for exponential growth. During the exit step, the virus hijacks the sophisticated machineries that host cells employ to correctly fold, assemble, and transport proteins along the exocytic pathway. Therefore, secretory pathway-mediated assemblage and excretion of infective particles represent appealing targets to reduce the efficacy of virus biogenesis, if not to block it completely. Here, we analyze and discuss the contribution of the molecular machines operating in the early secretory pathway in the biogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 and their relevance for potential antiviral targeting. The fact that these molecular machines are conserved throughout evolution, together with the redundancy and tissue specificity of their components, provides opportunities in the search for unique proteins essential for SARS-CoV-2 biology that could also be targeted with therapeutic objectives. Finally, we provide an overview of recent evidence implicating proteins of the early secretory pathway as potential antiviral targets with effective therapeutic applications.
Project description:The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and its unprecedented global societal and economic disruptive impact has marked the third zoonotic introduction of a highly pathogenic coronavirus into the human population. Although the previous coronavirus SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV epidemics raised awareness of the need for clinically available therapeutic or preventive interventions, to date, no treatments with proven efficacy are available. The development of effective intervention strategies relies on the knowledge of molecular and cellular mechanisms of coronavirus infections, which highlights the significance of studying virus-host interactions at the molecular level to identify targets for antiviral intervention and to elucidate critical viral and host determinants that are decisive for the development of severe disease. In this Review, we summarize the first discoveries that shape our current understanding of SARS-CoV-2 infection throughout the intracellular viral life cycle and relate that to our knowledge of coronavirus biology. The elucidation of similarities and differences between SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses will support future preparedness and strategies to combat coronavirus infections.
Project description:The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has emerged as a severe threat against public health and global economies. COVID-19, the disease caused by this virus, is highly contagious and has led to an ongoing pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 affects, mainly, the respiratory system, with most severe cases primarily showcasing acute respiratory distress syndrome. Currently, no targeted therapy exists, and since the number of infections and death toll keeps rising, it has become a necessity to study possible therapeutic targets. Antiviral drugs can target various stages of the viral infection, and in the case of SARS-CoV-2, both structural and non-structural proteins have been proposed as potential drug targets. This review focuses on the most researched SARS-CoV-2 proteins, their structure, function, and possible therapeutic approaches.
Project description:For the assessment of host response dynamics to SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 infections in human airway epithelial cells at ambient temperature corresponding to the upper or lower respiratory tract. We performed a temporal transcriptome analysis on human airway epithelial cell (hAEC) cultures infected with SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, as well as uninfected hAEC cultures, incubated either at 33°C or 37°C. hAEC cultures were harvested at 24, 48 72, 96 hpi and processed for Bulk RNA Barcoding and sequencing (BRB-seq), which allows a rapid and sensitive genome-wide transcriptomic analysis in a highly multiplexed manner. Transcriptome data was obtained from a total of 7 biological donors for pairwise comparisons of SARS-CoV or SARS-CoV-2 virus-infected to unexposed hAEC cultures at respective time points and temperatures.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and its disease CO-VID-19 has strongly encouraged the search for antiviral compounds. Most of the evaluated drugs against SARS-CoV-2 derive from drug repurposing of Food and Drug Administration-approved molecules. These drugs have as target three major processes: (1) early stages of virus-cell interaction, (2) viral proteases, and (3) the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. SUMMARY:This review focused on the basic principles of virology and pharmacology to understand the importance of early stages of virus-cell interaction as therapeutic targets and other main processes vital for SARS-CoV-2 replication. Furthermore, we focused on describing the main targets associated with SARS-CoV-2 antiviral therapy and the rationale of drug combinations for efficiently suppressing viral replication. Key Messages: We hypothesized that blocking of both entry mechanisms could allow a more effective antiviral effect compared to the partial results obtained with chloroquine or its derivatives alone. This approach, already used to achieve an antiviral effect higher than that offered by every single drug administered separately, has been successfully applied in several viral infections such as HIV and HCV. This review will contribute to expanding the perception of the possible therapeutic targets in SARS-CoV-2 infection and highlight the benefits of using combination therapies.
Project description:Because of the uninterrupted spread of novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infectious disease (COVID-19) with substantial illness and mortality rates, there is an urgent requirement of suitable antiviral agent/therapy to control this pandemic, but not yet established. The primary cause of SARS-CoV-2 infection is the crosstalk between the SARS-CoV-2 and host surface receptor protein, human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2), prior to cellular entry. Hence, blocking at the initial stage of virus entry could be a promising strategy/therapy to combat the SARS-CoV-2 infection. Many drugs as SARS-CoV-2 blocker have been proposed. Among them, peptide-based antivirals are one. This Viewpoint discusses the potential antiviral role and feasibility of two classes of peptides for prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection, where (1) a designed peptide (replication of virus binding domain of hACE2), and (2) antimicrobial peptides (AMPs; natural and first line host defense peptide), both may reduce virus load into the host cell by blocking cellular surface receptors and/or disruption of virus cell membrane at the stage of virus entry. These finding may provide a novel antiviral therapy against COVID-19, which might control the current global health crisis.
Project description:Development of specific antiviral agents is an urgent unmet need for SARS-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. This study focuses on host proteases that proteolytically activate the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, critical for its fusion after binding to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), as antiviral targets. We first validate cleavage at a putative furin substrate motif at SARS-CoV-2 spikes by expressing it in VeroE6 cells and find prominent syncytium formation. Cleavage and the syncytium are abolished by treatment with the furin inhibitors decanoyl-RVKR-chloromethylketone (CMK) and naphthofluorescein, but not by the transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) inhibitor camostat. CMK and naphthofluorescein show antiviral effects on SARS-CoV-2-infected cells by decreasing virus production and cytopathic effects. Further analysis reveals that, similar to camostat, CMK blocks virus entry, but it further suppresses cleavage of spikes and the syncytium. Naphthofluorescein acts primarily by suppressing viral RNA transcription. Therefore, furin inhibitors may be promising antiviral agents for prevention and treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection.