High-throughput analysis of the interactions between viral proteins and host cell RNAs.
Lanjanian Hossein,Nematzadeh Sajjad,Hosseini Shadi,Torkamanian-Afshar Mahsa,Kiani Farzad,Moazzam-Jazi Maryam,Aydin Nizamettin,Masoudi-Nejad Ali
Computers in biology and medicine
RNA-protein interactions of a virus play a major role in the replication of RNA viruses. The replication and transcription of these viruses take place in the cytoplasm of the host cell; hence, there is a probability for the host RNA-viral protein and viral RNA-host protein interactions. The current study applies a high-throughput computational approach, including feature extraction and machine learning methods, to predict the affinity of protein sequences of ten viruses to three categories of RNA sequences. These categories include RNAs involved in the protein-RNA complexes stored in the RCSB database, the human miRNAs deposited at the mirBase database, and the lncRNA deposited in the LNCipedia database. The results show that evolution not only tries to conserve key viral proteins involved in the replication and transcription but also prunes their interaction capability. These proteins with specific interactions do not perturb the host cell through undesired interactions. On the other hand, the hypermutation rate of NSP3 is related to its affinity to host cell RNAs. The Gene Ontology (GO) analysis of the miRNA with affiliation to NSP3 suggests that these miRNAs show strongly significantly enriched GO terms related to the known symptoms of COVID-19. Docking and MD simulation study of the obtained miRNA through high-throughput analysis suggest a non-coding RNA (an RNA antitoxin, ToxI) as a natural aptamer drug candidate for NSP5 inhibition. Finally, a significant interplay of the host RNA-viral protein in the host cell can disrupt the host cell's system by influencing the RNA-dependent processes of the host cells, such as a differential expression in RNA. Furthermore, our results are useful to identify the side effects of mRNA-based vaccines, many of which are caused by the off-label interactions with the human lncRNAs.
Identification and characterization of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus replicase proteins.
Prentice Erik,McAuliffe Josephine,Lu Xiaotao,Subbarao Kanta,Denison Mark R
Journal of virology
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) encodes proteins required for RNA transcription and genome replication as large polyproteins that are proteolytically processed by virus-encoded proteinases to produce mature replicase proteins. In this report, we generated antibodies against SARS-CoV predicted replicase protein and used the antibodies to identify and characterize 12 of the 16 predicted mature replicase proteins (nsp1, nsp2, nsp3, nsp4, nsp5, nsp8, nsp9, nsp12, nsp13, nsp14, nsp15, and nsp16) in SARS-CoV-infected Vero cells. Immunoblot analysis of infected-cell lysates identified proteins of the predicted sizes. Immunofluorescence microscopy detected similar patterns of punctate perinuclear and distributed cytoplasmic foci with all replicase antibodies and as early as 6 h postinfection. Dual-labeling studies demonstrated colocalization of replicase protein nsp8 with nsp2 and nsp3 in cytoplasmic complexes and also with LC3, a protein marker for autophagic vacuoles. Antibodies directed against mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) virions and against the putative RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (Pol) detected SARS-CoV nucleocapsid and nsp12 (Pol), respectively, in SARS-CoV-infected Vero cells. These results confirm the predicted protein processing pattern for mature SARS-CoV replicase proteins, demonstrate localization of replicase proteins to cytoplasmic complexes containing markers for autophagosome membranes, and suggest conservation of protein epitopes in the replicase and nucleocapsid of SARS-CoV and the group II coronavirus, MHV. Further, the results demonstrate the ability of replicase antibodies to detect SARS-CoV-infected cells as early as 6 h postinfection and thus represent important tools for studies of SARS-CoV replication, inhibition, and diagnosis.
Design and study of the novel coumarin derivatives against SARS-CoV-2 main enzymes.
Journal of biomolecular structure & dynamics
The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) causes severe acute respiratory syndrome and can be fatal. In particular, antiviral drugs that are currently available to treat infection in the respiratory tract have been experienced, but there is a need for new antiviral drugs that are targeted and inhibit coronavirus. The antiviral properties of organic compounds found in nature, especially coumarins, are known and widely studied. Coumarins, which are also metabolites in many medicinal drugs, should be investigated as inhibitors against coronavirus due to their pharmacophore properties (low toxicity and high pharmacokinetic properties). The easy addition of substituents to the chemical structures of coumarins makes these structures unique for the drug design. This study focuses on factors that increase the molecular binding and antiviral properties of coumarins. Molecular docking studies have been carried out to five different proteins (Spike S1-subunit, NSP5, NSP12, NSP15, and NSP16) of the SARS-CoV-2 and two proteins (ACE2 and VKORC1) of human. The best binding scores for 17 coumarins were determined for NSP12 (NonStructural Protein-12). The highest score (-10.01 kcal/mol) in the coumarin group is 2-morpholinoethan-1-amine substituted coumarin. Molecular mechanics Poisson-Boltzmann surface area (MM-PBSA) analyses of selected ligand-protein complexes were performed. The binding energies in each 5 ns were calculated and it was found that the interaction between ligand and target protein were stable.Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma.
Proteolytic processing of polyproteins 1a and 1ab between non-structural proteins 10 and 11/12 of Coronavirus infectious bronchitis virus is dispensable for viral replication in cultured cells.
Fang Shou Guo,Shen Hongyuan,Wang Jibin,Tay Felicia P L,Liu Ding Xiang
Coronavirus 3C-like proteinase (3CLpro) plays important roles in viral life cycle through extensive processing of the polyproteins 1a and 1ab into 12 mature, non-structural proteins (nsp5-nsp16). Structural and biochemical studies have revealed that all confirmed 3CLpro cleavage sites have a conserved Gln residue at the P1 position, which is thought to be absolutely required for efficient cleavage. Recent studies on murine hepatitis virus (MHV) showed that processing of the 1a polyprotein at the position between nsp10-nsp11 is essential for viral replication. In this report, we investigated the requirement of processing at the equivalent position for replication of avian coronavirus infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), using an infectious cloning system. The results showed that mutation of the P1 Gln to Pro or deletion of the Gln residue in the nsp10-nsp11/12 site completely abolished the 3CLpro-mediated processing, but allowed production of infectious recombinant viruses with variable degrees of growth defect, suggesting that cleavage at the nsp10-nsp11/12 site of IBV is dispensable for viral replication in cultured cells. This study would pave a way for potential vaccine development by generation of attenuated IBV from field isolates through manipulation of the nsp10-nsp11/12 cleavage site. Similar approaches would be also applicable to other human and animal coronaviruses.
Functional and genetic studies of the substrate specificity of coronavirus infectious bronchitis virus 3C-like proteinase.
Fang Shouguo,Shen Hongyuan,Wang Jibin,Tay Felicia P L,Liu Ding Xiang
Journal of virology
Coronavirus (CoV) 3C-like proteinase (3CLpro), located in nonstructural protein 5 (nsp5), processes the replicase polyproteins 1a and 1ab (pp1a and pp1ab) at 11 specific sites to produce 12 mature nonstructural proteins (nsp5 to nsp16). Structural and biochemical studies suggest that a conserved Gln residue at the P1 position is absolutely required for efficient cleavage. Here, we investigate the effects of amino acid substitution at the P1 position of 3CLpro cleavage sites of infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) on the cleavage efficiency and viral replication by in vitro cleavage assays and reverse genetic approaches. Our results demonstrated that a P1-Asn substitution at the nsp4-5/Q2779, nsp5-6/Q3086, nsp7-8/Q3462, nsp8-9/Q3672, and nsp9-10/Q3783 sites, a P1-Glu substitution at the nsp8-9/Q3672 site, and a P1-His substitution at the nsp15-16/Q6327 site were tolerated and allowed recovery of infectious mutant viruses, albeit with variable degrees of growth defects. In contrast, a P1-Asn substitution at the nsp6-7/Q3379, nsp12-13/Q4868, nsp13-14/Q5468, and nsp14-15/Q5989 sites, as well as a P1-Pro substitution at the nsp15-16/Q6327 site, abolished 3CLpro-mediated cleavage at the corresponding position and blocked the recovery of infectious viruses. Analysis of the effects of these lethal mutations on RNA synthesis suggested that processing intermediates, such as the nsp6-7, nsp12-13, nsp13-14, nsp14-15, and nsp15-16 precursors, may function in negative-stranded genomic RNA replication, whereas mature proteins may be required for subgenomic RNA (sgRNA) transcription. More interestingly, a mutant 3CLpro with either a P166S or P166L mutation was selected when an IBV infectious cDNA clone carrying the Q6327N mutation at the nsp15-16 site was introduced into cells. Either of the two mutations was proved to enhance significantly the 3CLpro-mediated cleavage efficiency at the nsp15-16 site with a P1-Asn substitution and compensate for the detrimental effects on recovery of infectious virus.
Coronavirus nsp6 proteins generate autophagosomes from the endoplasmic reticulum via an omegasome intermediate.
Cottam Eleanor M,Maier Helena J,Manifava Maria,Vaux Laura C,Chandra-Schoenfelder Priya,Gerner Wilhelm,Britton Paul,Ktistakis Nick T,Wileman Tom
Autophagy is a cellular response to starvation which generates autophagosomes to carry cellular organelles and long-lived proteins to lysosomes for degradation. Degradation through autophagy can provide an innate defence against virus infection, or conversely autophagosomes can promote infection by facilitating assembly of replicase proteins. We demonstrate that the avian coronavirus, Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV) activates autophagy. A screen of individual IBV non-structural proteins (nsps) showed that autophagy was activated by IBV nsp6. This property was shared with nsp6 of mammalian coronaviruses Mouse Hepatitis Virus, and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Virus, and the equivalent nsp5-7 of the arterivirus Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus. These multiple-spanning transmembrane proteins located to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) where they generated Atg5 and LC3II-positive vesicles, and vesicle formation was dependent on Atg5 and class III PI3 kinase. The vesicles recruited double FYVE-domain containing protein (DFCP) indicating localised concentration of phosphatidylinositol 3 phosphate, and therefore shared many features with omegasomes formed from the ER in response to starvation. Omegasomes induced by viral nsp6 matured into autophagosomes that delivered LC3 to lysosomes and therefore recruited and recycled the proteins needed for autophagosome nucleation, expansion, cellular trafficking and delivery of cargo to lysosomes. The coronavirus nsp6 proteins activated omegasome and autophagosome formation independently of starvation, but activation did not involve direct inhibition of mTOR signalling, activation of sirtuin1 or induction of ER stress.
screening of plant-derived antivirals against main protease, 3CL and endoribonuclease, NSP15 proteins of SARS-CoV-2.
Journal of biomolecular structure & dynamics
Novel Coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2 outbreak has developed a pandemic condition all over the world. The virus is highly infectious and spreads by human to human local transmission mode. Till date, there is no vaccination or drugs been approved for the treatment by the World Health Organisation. Henceforth, the discovery of the potential drugs is an urgent and utmost requirement for the medical fraternity. Since, the side effects of plant-derived compounds will be lower compared to synthetic/chemical drugs. The Main protease (3CL or NSP5) and endoribonuclease (NSP15) proteins are necessity for viral replication and its survival in the host cell. In the present study, approach of drug development was used to search for potential antiviral plant-derived compounds as inhibitors against SARS-CoV-2 replication proteins. Eight plant-derived compounds of which the antiviral activity was known and available, and two reported drugs against SARS-CoV-2 selected for the molecular docking analysis. The docking results suggested that bisdemethoxycurcumin, demethoxycurcumin, scutellarin, quercetin and myricetin showed least binding energy, greater than -6.5 Kcal/mol against 3CL and endoribonuclease of SARS-CoV-2. Further studies of ADME-Tox and bioavailability of drugs were also performed that exhibited efficient parameters of drug likeness. Molecular dynamics simulation calculations were performed for the most negative binding affinity of the compound to evaluate the dynamic behavior,and stability of protein-ligand complex. Our findings suggest that these compounds could be potential inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 main protease and endoribonuclease. However, further and pre-clinical experiments would validate the potential inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 proteins.
Reprofiling of approved drugs against SARS-CoV-2 main protease: an in-silico study.
Kumar Prateek,Bhardwaj Taniya,Kumar Ankur,Gehi Bhuvaneshwari R,Kapuganti Shivani K,Garg Neha,Nath Gopal,Giri Rajanish
Journal of biomolecular structure & dynamics
Given the COVID-19 pandemic, currently, there are many drugs in clinical trials against this virus. Among the excellent drug targets of SARS-CoV-2 are its proteases (Nsp3 and Nsp5) that plays vital role in polyprotein processing giving rise to functional nonstructural proteins, essential for viral replication and survival. Nsp5 (also known as M) hydrolyzes replicase polyprotein (1ab) at eleven different sites. For targeting M, we have employed drug repurposing approach to identify potential inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 in a shorter time span. Screening of approved drugs through docking reveals Hyaluronic acid and Acarbose among the top hits which are showing strong interactions with catalytic site residues of M. We have also performed docking of drugs Lopinavir, Ribavirin, and Azithromycin on SARS-CoV-2 M. Further, binding of these compounds (Hyaluronic acid, Acarbose, and Lopinavir) is validated by extensive molecular dynamics simulation of 500 ns where these drugs show stable binding with M. We believe that the high-affinity binding of these compounds will help in designing novel strategies for structure-based drug discovery against SARS-CoV-2.Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma.
An overview of potential inhibitors targeting non-structural proteins 3 (PL and Mac1) and 5 (3CL/M) of SARS-CoV-2.
Yan Fangfang,Gao Feng
Computational and structural biotechnology journal
There is an urgent need to develop effective treatments for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 has resulted in a global pandemic that has not only affected the daily lives of individuals but also had a significant impact on the global economy and public health. Although extensive research has been conducted to identify inhibitors targeting SARS-CoV-2, there are still no effective treatment strategies to combat COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 comprises two important proteolytic enzymes, namely, the papain-like proteinase, located within non-structural protein 3 (nsp3), and nsp5, both of which cleave large replicase polypeptides into multiple fragments that are required for viral replication. Moreover, a domain within nsp3, known as the macrodomain (Mac1), also plays an important role in viral replication. Inhibition of their functions should be able to significantly interfere with the replication cycle of the virus, and therefore these key proteins may serve as potential therapeutic targets. The functions of the above viral targets and their corresponding inhibitors have been summarized in the current review. This review provides comprehensive updates of nsp3 and nsp5 inhibitor development and would help advance the discovery of novel anti-viral therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2.
Effect of SARS-CoV-2 proteins on vascular permeability.
Rauti Rossana,Shahoha Meishar,Leichtmann-Bardoogo Yael,Nasser Rami,Paz Eyal,Tamir Rina,Miller Victoria,Babich Tal,Shaked Kfir,Ehrlich Avner,Ioannidis Konstantinos,Nahmias Yaakov,Sharan Roded,Ashery Uri,Maoz Ben Meir
Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV-2 infection leads to severe disease associated with cytokine storm, vascular dysfunction, coagulation, and progressive lung damage. It affects several vital organs, seemingly through a pathological effect on endothelial cells. The SARS-CoV-2 genome encodes 29 proteins, whose contribution to the disease manifestations, and especially endothelial complications, is unknown. We cloned and expressed 26 of these proteins in human cells and characterized the endothelial response to overexpression of each, individually. Whereas most proteins induced significant changes in endothelial permeability, nsp2, nsp5_c145a (catalytic dead mutant of nsp5), and nsp7 also reduced CD31, and increased von Willebrand factor expression and IL-6, suggesting endothelial dysfunction. Using propagation-based analysis of a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network, we predicted the endothelial proteins affected by the viral proteins that potentially mediate these effects. We further applied our PPI model to identify the role of each SARS-CoV-2 protein in other tissues affected by coronavirus disease (COVID-19). While validating the PPI network model, we found that the tight junction (TJ) proteins cadherin-5, ZO-1, and β-catenin are affected by nsp2, nsp5_c145a, and nsp7 consistent with the model prediction. Overall, this work identifies the SARS-CoV-2 proteins that might be most detrimental in terms of endothelial dysfunction, thereby shedding light on vascular aspects of COVID-19.
Computational Analysis Reveals Monomethylated Triazolopyrimidine as a Novel Inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2 RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase (RdRp).
Karthic Anandakrishnan,Kesarwani Veerbhan,Singh Rahul Kunwar,Yadav Pavan Kumar,Chaturvedi Navaneet,Chauhan Pallavi,Yadav Brijesh Singh,Kushwaha Sandeep Kumar
Molecules (Basel, Switzerland)
The human population is still facing appalling conditions due to several outbreaks of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus. The absence of specific drugs, appropriate vaccines for mutants, and knowledge of potential therapeutic agents makes this situation more difficult. Several 1, 2, 4-triazolo [1, 5-a] pyrimidine (TP)-derivative compounds were comprehensively studied for antiviral activities against RNA polymerase of HIV, HCV, and influenza viruses, and showed immense pharmacological interest. Therefore, TP-derivative compounds can be repurposed against the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) protein of SARS-CoV-2. In this study, a meta-analysis was performed to ensure the genomic variability and stability of the SARS-CoV-2 RdRp protein. The molecular docking of natural and synthetic TP compounds to RdRp and molecular dynamic (MD) simulations were performed to analyse the dynamic behaviour of TP compounds at the active site of the RdRp protein. TP compounds were also docked against other non-structural proteins (NSP1, NSP2, NSP3, NSP5, NSP8, NSP13, and NSP15) of SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, the inhibition potential of TP compounds was compared with Remdesivir and Favipiravir drugs as a positive control. Additionally, TP compounds were analysed for inhibitory activity against SARS-CoV RdRp protein. This study demonstrates that TP analogues (monomethylated triazolopyrimidine and essramycin) represent potential lead molecules for designing an effective inhibitor to control viral replication. Furthermore, in vitro and in vivo studies will strengthen the use of these inhibitors as suitable drug candidates against SARS-CoV-2.
Inhibition of the IFN-α JAK/STAT Pathway by MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-1 Proteins in Human Epithelial Cells.
Coronaviruses (CoVs) have caused several global outbreaks with relatively high mortality rates, including Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS)-CoV, which emerged in 2012, and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)-CoV-1, which appeared in 2002. The recent emergence of SARS-CoV-2 highlights the need for immediate and greater understanding of the immune evasion mechanisms used by CoVs. Interferon (IFN)-α is the body's natural antiviral agent, but its Janus kinase/signal transducer and activators of transcription (JAK/STAT) signalling pathway is often antagonized by viruses, thereby preventing the upregulation of essential IFN stimulated genes (ISGs). Therapeutic IFN-α has disappointingly weak clinical responses in MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-1 infected patients, indicating that these CoVs inhibit the IFN-α JAK/STAT pathway. Here we show that in lung alveolar A549 epithelial cells expression of MERS-CoV-nsp2 and SARS-CoV-1-nsp14, but not MERS-CoV-nsp5, increased basal levels of total and phosphorylated STAT1 & STAT2 protein, but reduced IFN-α-mediated phosphorylation of STAT1-3 and induction of MxA. While MERS-CoV-nsp2 and SARS-CoV-1-nsp14 similarly increased basal levels of STAT1 and STAT2 in bronchial BEAS-2B epithelial cells, unlike in A549 cells, they did not enhance basal pSTAT1 nor pSTAT2. However, both viral proteins reduced IFN-α-mediated induction of pSTAT1-3 and ISGs (MxA, ISG15 and PKR) in BEAS-2B cells. Furthermore, even though IFN-α-mediated induction of pSTAT1-3 was not affected by MERS-CoV-nsp5 expression in BEAS-2B cells, downstream ISG induction was reduced, revealing that MERS-CoV-nsp5 may use an alternative mechanism to reduce antiviral ISG induction in this cell line. Indeed, we subsequently discovered that all three viral proteins inhibited STAT1 nuclear translocation in BEAS-2B cells, unveiling another layer of inhibition by which these viral proteins suppress responses to Type 1 IFNs. While these observations highlight cell line-specific differences in the immune evasion effects of MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-1 proteins, they also demonstrate the broad spectrum of immune evasion strategies these deadly coronaviruses use to stunt antiviral responses to Type IFN.
Antiviral Drug Discovery for the Treatment of COVID-19 Infections.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a recently emerged human coronavirus. COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be successful in protecting the vaccinated from infection, reducing the severity of disease, and deterring the transmission of infection. However, COVID-19 vaccination faces many challenges, such as the decline in vaccine-induced immunity over time, and the decrease in potency against some SARS-CoV-2 variants including the recently emerged Omicron variant, resulting in breakthrough infections. The challenges that COVID-19 vaccination is facing highlight the importance of the discovery of antivirals to serve as another means to tackle the pandemic. To date, neutralizing antibodies that block viral entry by targeting the viral spike protein make up the largest class of antivirals that has received US FDA emergency use authorization (EUA) for COVID-19 treatment. In addition to the spike protein, other key targets for the discovery of direct-acting antivirals include viral enzymes that are essential for SARS-CoV-2 replication, such as RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and proteases, as judged by US FDA approval for remdesivir, and EUA for Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir + ritonavir) for treating COVID-19 infections. This review presents an overview of the current status and future direction of antiviral drug discovery for treating SARS-CoV-2 infections, covering important antiviral targets such as the viral spike protein, non-structural protein (nsp) 3 papain-like protease, nsp5 main protease, and the nsp12/nsp7/nsp8 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase complex.
Sequence analysis and structural prediction of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus nsp5.
Lu Jia-Hai,Zhang Ding-Mei,Wang Guo-Ling,Guo Zhong-Min,Li Juan,Tan Bing-Yan,Ou-Yang Li-Ping,Ling Wen-Hua,Yu Xin-Bing,Zhong Nan-Shan
Acta biochimica et biophysica Sinica
The non-structural proteins (nsp or replicase proteins) of coronaviruses are relatively conserved and can be effective targets for drugs. Few studies have been conducted into the function of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) nsp5. In this study, bioinformatics methods were employed to predict the secondary structure and construct 3-D models of the SARS-CoV GD strain nsp5. Sequencing and sequential comparison was performed to analyze the mutation trend of the polymerase nsp5 gene during the epidemic process using a nucleotide-nucleotide basic local alignment search tool (BLASTN) and a protein-protein basic local alignment search tool (BLASTP). The results indicated that the nsp5 gene was steady during the epidemic process and the protein was homologous with other coronavirus nsp5 proteins. The protein encoded by the nsp5 gene was expressed in COS-7 cells and analyzed by sodium dodecylsulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). This study provided the foundation for further exploration of the protein's biological function, and contributed to the search for anti-SARS-CoV drugs.
Association of rotavirus viroplasms with microtubules through NSP2 and NSP5.
Cabral-Romero Claudio,Padilla-Noriega Luis
Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Rotavirus replication and virus assembly take place in electrodense spherical structures known as viroplasms whose main components are the viral proteins NSP2 and NSP5. The viroplasms are produced since early times after infection and seem to grow by stepwise addition of viral proteins and by fusion, however, the mechanism of viropIasms formation is unknown. In this study we found that the viroplasms surface colocalized with microtubules, and seem to be caged by a microtubule network. Moreover inhibition of microtubule assembly with nocodazole interfered with viroplasms growth in rotavirus infected cells. We searched for a physical link between viroplasms and microtubules by co-immunoprecipitation assays, and we found that the proteins NSP2 and NSP5 were co-immunoprecipitated with anti-tubulin in rotavirus infected cells and also when they were transiently co-expressed or individually expressed. These results indicate that a functional microtubule network is needed for viroplasm growth presumably due to the association of viroplasms with microtubules via NSP2 and NSP5.
Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 mutations in the main viral protease (NSP5) and its implications on the vaccine designing strategies.
SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), an etiolating agent of novel COVID-19 (coronavirus 2019) pandemic, rapidly spread worldwide, creating an unprecedented public health crisis globally. NSP5, the main viral protease, is a highly conserved protein, encoded by the genome of SARS-CoV-2 and plays an important role in the viral replication cycle. In the present study, we detected a total of 33 mutations from 675 sequences submitted from India in the month of March 2020 to April 2021. Out of 33 mutations, we selected 8 frequent mutations (K236R, N142L, K90R, A7V, L75F, C22N, H246Y and I43V) for further analysis. Subsequently, protein models were constructed, revealing significant alterations in the 3-D structure of NSP5 protein when compared to the wild type protein sequence which also altered the secondary structure of NSP5 protein. Further, we identified 9 B-cell, 10 T-cell and 6 MHC-I promising epitopes using predictive tools of immunoinformatics, out of these epitopes some were non-allergenic as well as highly immunogenic. Results of our study, however, revealed that 10 B-cell epitopes reside in the mutated region of NSP5. Additionally, hydrophobicity, physiochemical properties, toxicity and stability of NSP5 protein were estimated to demonstrate the specificity of the multiepitope candidates. Taken together, variations arising as a consequence of multiple mutations may cause alterations in the structure and function of NSP5 which generate crucial insights to better understand structural aspects of SARS-CoV-2. Our study also revealed, NSP5, a main protease, can be a potentially good target for the design and development of vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2.
SARS-CoV-2 main protease suppresses type I interferon production by preventing nuclear translocation of phosphorylated IRF3.
Fung Sin-Yee,Siu Kam-Leung,Lin Huayue,Yeung Man Lung,Jin Dong-Yan
International journal of biological sciences
Suppression of type I interferon (IFN) response is one pathological outcome of the infection of highly pathogenic human coronaviruses. To effect this, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and SARS-CoV-2 encode multiple IFN antagonists. In this study, we reported on the IFN antagonism of SARS-CoV-2 main protease NSP5. NSP5 proteins of both SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 counteracted Sendai virus-induced IFN production. NSP5 variants G15S and K90R commonly seen in circulating strains of SARS-CoV-2 retained the IFN-antagonizing property. The suppressive effect of NSP5 on IFN-β gene transcription induced by RIG-I, MAVS, TBK1 and IKKϵ suggested that NSP5 likely acts at a step downstream of IRF3 phosphorylation in the cytoplasm. NSP5 did not influence steady-state expression or phosphorylation of IRF3, suggesting that IRF3, regardless of its phosphorylation state, might not be the substrate of NSP5 protease. However, nuclear translocation of phosphorylated IRF3 was severely compromised in NSP5-expressing cells. Taken together, our work revealed a new mechanism by which NSP5 proteins encoded by SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 antagonize IFN production by retaining phosphorylated IRF3 in the cytoplasm. Our findings have implications in rational design and development of antiviral agents against SARS-CoV-2.
SARS-CoV-2 proteases PLpro and 3CLpro cleave IRF3 and critical modulators of inflammatory pathways (NLRP12 and TAB1): implications for disease presentation across species.
Moustaqil Mehdi,Ollivier Emma,Chiu Hsin-Ping,Van Tol Sarah,Rudolffi-Soto Paulina,Stevens Christian,Bhumkar Akshay,Hunter Dominic J B,Freiberg Alexander N,Jacques David,Lee Benhur,Sierecki Emma,Gambin Yann
Emerging microbes & infections
The genome of SARS-CoV-2 encodes two viral proteases (NSP3/papain-like protease and NSP5/3C-like protease) that are responsible for cleaving viral polyproteins during replication. Here, we discovered new functions of the NSP3 and NSP5 proteases of SARS-CoV-2, demonstrating that they could directly cleave proteins involved in the host innate immune response. We identified 3 proteins that were specifically and selectively cleaved by NSP3 or NSP5: IRF-3, and NLRP12 and TAB1, respectively. Direct cleavage of IRF3 by NSP3 could explain the blunted Type-I IFN response seen during SARS-CoV-2 infections while NSP5 mediated cleavage of NLRP12 and TAB1 point to a molecular mechanism for enhanced production of cytokines and inflammatory responThe genome of SARS-CoV-2 encodes two viral proteases (NSP3/papain-like protease and NSP5/3C-like protease) that are responsible for cleaving viral polyproteins during replication. Here, we discovered new functions of the NSP3 and NSP5 proteases of SARS-CoV-2, demonstrating that they could directly cleave proteins involved in the host innate immune response. We identified 3 proteins that were specifically and selectively cleaved by NSP3 or NSP5: IRF-3, and NLRP12 and TAB1, respectively. Direct cleavage of IRF3 by NSP3 could explain the blunted Type-I IFN response seen during SARS-CoV-2 infections while NSP5 mediated cleavage of NLRP12 and TAB1 point to a molecular mechanism for enhanced production of cytokines and inflammatory response observed in COVID-19 patients. We demonstrate that in the mouse NLRP12 protein, one of the recognition site is not cleaved in our assay. We pushed this comparative alignment of IRF-3 and NLRP12 homologs and show that the lack or presence of cognate cleavage motifs in IRF-3 and NLRP12 could contribute to the presentation of disease in cats and tigers, for example. Our findings provide an explanatory framework for indepth studies into the pathophysiology of COVID-19.
A novel mutation in murine hepatitis virus nsp5, the viral 3C-like proteinase, causes temperature-sensitive defects in viral growth and protein processing.
Sparks Jennifer S,Donaldson Eric F,Lu Xiaotao,Baric Ralph S,Denison Mark R
Journal of virology
Sequencing and reversion analysis of murine hepatitis virus (MHV) temperature-sensitive (ts) viruses has identified putative ts mutations in the replicase nonstructural proteins (nsp's) of these coronaviruses. In this study, reverse transcriptase PCR sequencing of the RNA genome of an isolate of the MHV ts virus Alb ts6, referred to as Alb/ts/nsp5/V148A, identified a putative ts mutation in nsp5 (T10651C, Val148Ala), the viral 3C-like proteinase (3CLpro). The introduction of the T10651C mutation into the infectious MHV clone resulted in the recovery of a mutant virus, the nsp5/V148A virus, that demonstrated reduced growth and nsp5 proteinase activity identical to that of Alb/ts/nsp5/V148A at the nonpermissive temperature. Sequence analysis of 40 degrees C revertants of Alb/ts/nsp5/V148A identified primary reversion to Ala148Val in nsp5, as well as two independent second-site mutations resulting in Ser133Asn and His134Tyr substitutions in nsp5. The introduction of the Ser133Asn or His134Tyr substitution into the cloned nsp5/V148A mutant virus background resulted in the recovery of viruses with increased growth fitness and the partial restoration of nsp5 activity at the nonpermissive temperature. Modeling of the nsp5 structure of Alb/ts/nsp5/V148A predicted that the Val148Ala mutation alters residue 148 interactions with residues of the substrate binding S1 subsite of the nsp5 active-site cavity. This study identifies novel residues in nsp5 that may be important for regulating substrate specificity and nsp5 proteinase activity.
Feline Infectious Peritonitis Virus Nsp5 Inhibits Type I Interferon Production by Cleaving NEMO at Multiple Sites.
Chen Si,Tian Jin,Li Zhijie,Kang Hongtao,Zhang Jikai,Huang Jiapei,Yin Hang,Hu Xiaoliang,Qu Liandong
Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), caused by virulent feline coronavirus, is the leading infectious cause of death in cats. The type I interferon (type I IFN)-mediated immune responses provide host protection from infectious diseases. Several coronaviruses have been reported to evolve diverse strategies to evade host IFN response. However, whether feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV) antagonizes the type I IFN signaling remains unclear. In this study, we demonstrated that FIPV strain DF2 infection not only failed to induce interferon-β (IFN-β) and interferon-stimulated gene (ISG) production, but also inhibited Sendai virus (SEV) or polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (poly(I:C))-induced IFN-β production. Subsequently, we found that one of the non-structural proteins encoded by the FIPV genome, nsp5, interrupted type I IFN signaling in a protease-dependent manner by cleaving the nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) essential modulator (NEMO) at three sites-glutamine132 (Q132), Q205, and Q231. Further investigation revealed that the cleavage products of NEMO lost the ability to activate the IFN-β promoter. Mechanistically, the nsp5-mediated NEMO cleavage disrupted the recruitment of the TRAF family member-associated NF-κB activator (TANK) to NEMO, which reduced the phosphorylation of interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3), leading to the inhibition of type I IFN production. Our research provides new insights into the mechanism for FIPV to counteract host innate immune response.
MicroRNA-7 Inhibits Rotavirus Replication by Targeting Viral NSP5 In Vivo and In Vitro.
Zhou Yan,Chen Linlin,Du Jing,Hu Xiaoqing,Xie Yuping,Wu Jinyuan,Lin Xiaochen,Yin Na,Sun Maosheng,Li Hongjun
Rotavirus (RV) is the major causes of severe diarrhea in infants and young children under five years of age. There are no effective drugs for the treatment of rotavirus in addition to preventive live attenuated vaccine. Recent evidence demonstrates that microRNAs (miRNAs) can affect RNA virus replication. However, the antiviral effect of miRNAs during rotavirus replication are largely unknown. Here, we determined that miR-7 is upregulated during RV replication and that it targets the RV NSP5 (Nonstructural protein 5). Results suggested that miR-7 affected viroplasm formation and inhibited RV replication by down-regulating RV NSP5 expression. Up-regulation of miR-7 expression is a common regulation method of different G-type RV-infected host cells. Then, we further revealed the antiviral effect of miR-7 in diarrhea suckling mice model. MiR-7 is able to inhibit rotavirus replication in vitro and in vivo. These data provide that understanding the role of cellular miR-7 during rotaviral replication may help in the identification of novel therapeutic small RNA molecule drug for anti-rotavirus.
Exostosin glycosyltransferase 1 reduces porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus infection through proteasomal degradation of nsp3 and nsp5.
The Journal of biological chemistry
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) continues to be a serious threat to the swine industry worldwide. Exostosin glycosyltransferase 1 (EXT1), an enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of heparin sulfate, has also been reported to be a host factor essential for a wide variety of pathogens. However, the role of EXT1 in PRRSV infection remains uncharted. Here, we identified that PRRSV infection caused an increase of EXT1 expression. EXT1 knockdown promoted virus infection, whereas its overexpression inhibited virus infection, suggesting an inhibitory function of EXT1 to PRRSV infection. We found that EXT1 had no effects on the attachment, internalization, or release of PRRSV but did restrict viral RNA replication. EXT1 was determined to interact with viral nonstructural protein 3 (nsp3) and nsp5 via its N-terminal cytoplasmic tail and to enhance K48-linked polyubiquitination of these two nsps to promote their degradation. Furthermore, the C-terminal glycosyltransferase activity domain of EXT1 was necessary for nsp3 and nsp5 degradation. We also found that EXT2, a EXT1 homolog, interacted with EXT1 and inhibited PRRSV infection. Similarly, EXT1 effectively restricted porcine epidemic diarrhea virus and porcine enteric alphacoronavirus infection in Vero cells. Taken together, this study reveals that EXT1 may serve as a broad-spectrum host restriction factor and suggests a molecular basis for the potential development of therapeutics against PRRSV infection.
A VSV-based assay quantifies coronavirus Mpro/3CLpro/Nsp5 main protease activity and chemical inhibition.
Protease inhibitors are among the most powerful antiviral drugs. However, for SARS-CoV-2 only a small number of protease inhibitors have been identified thus far and there is still a great need for assays that efficiently report protease activity and inhibition in living cells. Here, we engineer a safe VSV-based system to report both gain- and loss-of-function of coronavirus main protease (M/3CLpro/Nsp5) activity in living cells. We use SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro in this system to confirm susceptibility to known inhibitors (boceprevir, GC376, PF-00835231, and PF-07321332/nirmatrelvir) and reevaluate other reported inhibitors (baicalein, ebselen, carmofur, ethacridine, ivermectin, masitinib, darunavir, and atazanavir). Moreover, we show that the system can be adapted to report both the function and the chemical inhibition of proteases from different coronavirus species as well as from distantly related viruses. Together with the fact that live cell assays also reflect compound permeability and toxicity, we anticipate that this system will be useful for both identification and optimization of additional coronavirus protease inhibitors.
Porcine deltacoronavirus nsp5 inhibits interferon-β production through the cleavage of NEMO.
Zhu Xinyu,Fang Liurong,Wang Dang,Yang Yuting,Chen Jiyao,Ye Xu,Foda Mohamed Frahat,Xiao Shaobo
Porcine deltacoronavirus (PDCoV) causes acute enteric disease and mortality in seronegative neonatal piglets. Previously we have demonstrated that PDCoV infection suppresses the production of interferon-beta (IFN-β), while the detailed mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that nonstructural protein 5 (nsp5) of PDCoV, the 3C-like protease, significantly inhibits Sendai virus (SEV)-induced IFN-β production by targeting the NF-κB essential modulator (NEMO), confirmed by the diminished function of NEMO cleaved by PDCoV. The PDCoV nsp5 cleavage site in the NEMO protein was identified as glutamine 231, and was identical to the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus nsp5 cleavage site, revealing the likelihood of a common target in NEMO for coronaviruses. Furthermore, this cleavage impaired the ability of NEMO to activate the IFN response and downstream signaling. Taken together, our findings reveal PDCoV nsp5 to be a newly identified IFN antagonist and enhance the understanding of immune evasion by deltacoronaviruses.
Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus Antagonizes JAK/STAT3 Signaling via nsp5, Which Induces STAT3 Degradation.
Yang Liping,Wang Rong,Ma Zexu,Xiao Yueqiang,Nan Yuchen,Wang Yu,Lin Shaoli,Zhang Yan-Jin
Journal of virology
Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is a pleiotropic signaling mediator of many cytokines, including interleukin-6 (IL-6) and IL-10. STAT3 is known to play critical roles in cell growth, proliferation, differentiation, immunity and inflammatory responses. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) infection on the STAT3 signaling since PRRSV induces a weak protective immune response in host animals. We report here that PRRSV infection of MARC-145 cells and primary porcine pulmonary alveolar macrophages led to significant reduction of STAT3 protein level. Several strains of both PRRSV type 1 and type 2 led to a similar reduction of STAT3 protein level but had a minimal effect on its transcripts. The PRRSV-mediated STAT3 reduction was in a dose-dependent manner as the STAT3 level decreased, along with incremental amounts of PRRSV inocula. Further study showed that nonstructural protein 5 (nsp5) of PRRSV induced the STAT3 degradation by increasing its polyubiquitination level and shortening its half-life from 24 h to ∼3.5 h. The C-terminal domain of nsp5 was shown to be required for the STAT3 degradation. Moreover, the STAT3 signaling in the cells transfected with nsp5 plasmid was significantly inhibited. These results indicate that PRRSV antagonizes the STAT3 signaling by accelerating STAT3 degradation via the ubiquitin-proteasomal pathway. This study provides insight into the PRRSV interference with the JAK/STAT3 signaling, leading to perturbation of the host innate and adaptive immune responses. IMPORTANCE:The typical features of immune responses in PRRSV-infected pigs are delayed onset and low levels of virus neutralizing antibodies, as well as weak cell-mediated immunity. Lymphocyte development and differentiation rely on cytokines, many of which signal through the JAK/STAT signaling pathway to exert their biological effects. Here, we discovered that PRRSV antagonizes the JAK/STAT3 signaling by inducing degradation of STAT3, a master transcription activator involved in multiple cellular processes and the host immune responses. The nsp5 protein of PRRSV is responsible for the accelerated STAT3 degradation. The PRRSV-mediated antagonizing STAT3 could lead to suppression of a broad spectrum of cytokines and growth factors to allow virus replication and spread in host animals. This may be one of the reasons for the PRRSV interference with the innate immunity and its poor elicitation of protective immunity. This finding provides insight into PRRSV pathogenesis and its interference with the host immune responses.
Development and application of nsp5-ELISA for the detection of antibody to infectious bronchitis virus.
Lei Jing,Shi Tingting,Sun Dongnan,Mo Kaikun,Yan Yan,Jin Yulan,Liao Min,Zhou Jiyong
Journal of virological methods
Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) continues to be one of the most important poultry pathogens worldwide. The current commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits for IBV specific antibody detection are mostly based on the whole virion, and few serological tests based on nonstructural proteins of IBV have been developed. Herein, an alternative indirect ELISA for detection of IBV antibody was developed with IBV nonstructural protein 5 (nsp5) produced by Escherichia coli. Using an indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and a commercial ELISA kit as reference, we optimized the nsp5-ELISA and determined its cut-off as 0.12. The diagnostic sensitivity (DSN), specificity (DSP) and accuracy of the nsp5-ELISA were 93.11%, 95.38% and 93.33%, respectively, compared with IFA in 660 field serum samples, and were 98.11%, 95.00% and 97.62%, respectively, compared with the commercial IBV ELISA kit (IDEXX) in 126 field sera samples. Furthermore, a time course of IBV specific antibody level detected by nsp5-ELISA following IBV infection and vaccination is consistent with that of IBV antibody detected by the commercial ELISA kit. The results presented in this study indicate that nsp5-ELISA has the potential to serve as a rapid, reliable and cost-effective method for IBV antibody detection. This study is the first to report the development of an nsp-based ELISA to detect an antibody to IBV.
Porcine Deltacoronavirus nsp5 Antagonizes Type I Interferon Signaling by Cleaving STAT2.
Zhu Xinyu,Wang Dang,Zhou Junwei,Pan Ting,Chen Jiyao,Yang Yuting,Lv Mengting,Ye Xu,Peng Guiqing,Fang Liurong,Xiao Shaobo
Journal of virology
Porcine deltacoronavirus (PDCoV) is an emerging swine enteropathogenic coronavirus. The first outbreak of PDCoV was announced from the United States in 2014, followed by reports in Asia. The nonstructural protein nsp5 is a 3C-like protease of coronavirus, and our previous study showed that PDCoV nsp5 inhibits type I interferon (IFN) production. In this study, we found that PDCoV nsp5 significantly inhibited IFN-stimulated response element (ISRE) promoter activity and transcription of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs), suggesting that PDCoV nsp5 also suppresses IFN signaling. Detailed analysis showed that nsp5 cleaved signal transducer and activator of transcription 2 (STAT2) but not Janus kinase 1 (JAK1), tyrosine kinase 2 (TYK2), STAT1, and interferon regulatory factor 9 (IRF9), key molecules of the JAK-STAT pathway. STAT2 cleavage was dependent on the protease activity of nsp5. Interestingly, nsp5 cleaved STAT2 at two sites, glutamine 685 (Q685) and Q758, and similar cleavage was observed in PDCoV-infected cells. As expected, cleaved STAT2 impaired the ability to induce ISGs, demonstrating that STAT2 cleavage is an important mechanism utilized by PDCoV nsp5 to antagonize IFN signaling. We also discussed the substrate selection and binding mode of PDCoV nsp5 by homologous modeling of PDCoV nsp5 with the two cleaved peptide substrates. The results of our study demonstrate that PDCoV nsp5 antagonizes type I IFN signaling by cleaving STAT2 and provides structural insights for comprehending the cleavage mechanism of PDCoV nsp5, revealing a potential new function for PDCoV nsp5 in type I IFN signaling. The 3C-like protease encoded by nsp5 is a major protease of coronaviruses; thus, it is an attractive target for development of anticoronavirus drugs. Previous studies have revealed that the 3C-like protease of coronaviruses, including PDCoV and porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), antagonizes type I IFN production by targeting the NF-κB essential modulator (NEMO). Here, for the first time, we demonstrate that overexpression of PDCoV nsp5 also antagonizes IFN signaling by cleaving STAT2, an essential component of transcription factor complex ISGF3, and that PDCoV infection reduces the levels of STAT2, which may affect the innate immune response.
Involvement of PRRSV NSP3 and NSP5 in the autophagy process.
Zhang Wei,Chen Keren,Guo Yang,Chen Yaosheng,Liu Xiaohong
BACKGROUND:Autophagy is an essential process in eukaryotic cells in which autophagosomes form to deliver cellular organelles and long-lived proteins to lysosomes for degradation. Many studies have recently identified the regulatory mechanisms involved in the interaction between viral infection and autophagy. METHODS:LC3 turnover and the proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress pathway were investigated using western blot analysis. The formation and degradation of autophagosomes were detected using immunofluorescence staining. RESULTS:Autophagy was activated by porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) NSP3, NSP5 and NSP9, which are two transmembrane proteins and an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, respectively. The formation of autophagosomes was induced by NSP3 and NSP5 and developed from the ER; the fusion of these autophagosomes with lysosomes was limited. Although NSP3 and NSP5 are ER transmembrane proteins, these proteins did not activate the ER stress signaling pathways. In addition, the cytoplasmic domain of NSP3 plays a pivotal role in activating autophagy. CONCLUSIONS:The data presented in this study reveal an important relationship between PRRSV NSPs and autophagy and provide new insights that improve our understanding of the involvement of PRRSV NSPs in the autophagy process.
Porcine Deltacoronavirus nsp5 Cleaves DCP1A To Decrease Its Antiviral Activity.
Zhu Xinyu,Chen Jiyao,Tian Liyuan,Zhou Yanrong,Xu Shangen,Long Siwen,Wang Dang,Fang Liurong,Xiao Shaobo
Journal of virology
Porcine deltacoronavirus (PDCoV) is an emerging swine enteropathogenic coronavirus. The nonstructural protein nsp5, also called 3C-like protease, is responsible for processing viral polyprotein precursors in coronavirus (CoV) replication. Previous studies have shown that PDCoV nsp5 cleaves the NF-κB essential modulator and the signal transducer and activator of transcription 2 to disrupt interferon (IFN) production and signaling, respectively. Whether PDCoV nsp5 also cleaves IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs), IFN-induced antiviral effector molecules, remains unclear. In this study, we screened 14 classical ISGs and found that PDCoV nsp5 cleaved the porcine mRNA-decapping enzyme 1a (pDCP1A) through its protease activity. Similar cleavage of endogenous pDCP1A was also observed in PDCoV-infected cells. PDCoV nsp5 cleaved pDCP1A at glutamine 343 (Q343), and the cleaved pDCP1A fragments, pDCP1A and pDCP1A, were unable to inhibit PDCoV infection. Mutant pDCP1A-Q343A, which resists nsp5-mediated cleavage, exhibited a stronger ability to inhibit PDCoV infection than wild-type pDCP1A. Interestingly, the Q343 cleavage site is highly conserved in DCP1A homologs from other mammalian species. Further analyses demonstrated that nsp5 encoded by seven tested CoVs that can infect human or pig also cleaved pDCP1A and human DCP1A, suggesting that DCP1A may be the common target for cleavage by nsp5 of mammalian CoVs. Interferon (IFN)-stimulated gene (ISG) induction through IFN signaling is important to create an antiviral state and usually directly inhibits virus infection. The present study first demonstrated that PDCoV nsp5 can cleave mRNA-decapping enzyme 1a (DCP1A) to attenuate its antiviral activity. Furthermore, cleaving DCP1A is a common characteristic of nsp5 proteins from different coronaviruses (CoVs), which represents a common immune evasion mechanism of CoVs. Previous evidence showed that CoV nsp5 cleaves the NF-κB essential modulator and signal transducer and activator of transcription 2. Taken together, CoV nsp5 is a potent IFN antagonist because it can simultaneously target different aspects of the host IFN system, including IFN production and signaling and effector molecules.
Targeting novel structural and functional features of coronavirus protease nsp5 (3CL, M) in the age of COVID-19.
Roe Molly K,Junod Nathan A,Young Audrey R,Beachboard Dia C,Stobart Christopher C
The Journal of general virology
Coronavirus protease nsp5 (M, 3CL) remains a primary target for coronavirus therapeutics due to its indispensable and conserved role in the proteolytic processing of the viral replicase polyproteins. In this review, we discuss the diversity of known coronaviruses, the role of nsp5 in coronavirus biology, and the structure and function of this protease across the diversity of known coronaviruses, and evaluate past and present efforts to develop inhibitors to the nsp5 protease with a particular emphasis on new and mostly unexplored potential targets of inhibition. With the recent emergence of pandemic SARS-CoV-2, this review provides novel and potentially innovative strategies and directions to develop effective therapeutics against the coronavirus protease nsp5.
Identifying SARS-CoV-2 antiviral compounds by screening for small molecule inhibitors of Nsp5 main protease.
Milligan Jennifer C,Zeisner Theresa U,Papageorgiou George,Joshi Dhira,Soudy Christelle,Ulferts Rachel,Wu Mary,Lim Chew Theng,Tan Kang Wei,Weissmann Florian,Canal Berta,Fujisawa Ryo,Deegan Tom,Nagaraj Hema,Bineva-Todd Ganka,Basier Clovis,Curran Joseph F,Howell Michael,Beale Rupert,Labib Karim,O'Reilly Nicola,Diffley John F X
The Biochemical journal
The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), spread around the world with unprecedented health and socio-economic effects for the global population. While different vaccines are now being made available, very few antiviral drugs have been approved. The main viral protease (nsp5) of SARS-CoV-2 provides an excellent target for antivirals, due to its essential and conserved function in the viral replication cycle. We have expressed, purified and developed assays for nsp5 protease activity. We screened the nsp5 protease against a custom chemical library of over 5000 characterised pharmaceuticals. We identified calpain inhibitor I and three different peptidyl fluoromethylketones (FMK) as inhibitors of nsp5 activity in vitro, with IC50 values in the low micromolar range. By altering the sequence of our peptidomimetic FMK inhibitors to better mimic the substrate sequence of nsp5, we generated an inhibitor with a subnanomolar IC50. Calpain inhibitor I inhibited viral infection in monkey-derived Vero E6 cells, with an EC50 in the low micromolar range. The most potent and commercially available peptidyl-FMK compound inhibited viral growth in Vero E6 cells to some extent, while our custom peptidyl FMK inhibitor offered a marked antiviral improvement.
SARS-CoV-2 Nsp5 Demonstrates Two Distinct Mechanisms Targeting RIG-I and MAVS To Evade the Innate Immune Response.
Liu Yongzhen,Qin Chao,Rao Youliang,Ngo Chau,Feng Joshua J,Zhao Jun,Zhang Shu,Wang Ting-Yu,Carriere Jessica,Savas Ali Can,Zarinfar Mehrnaz,Rice Stephanie,Yang Hanging,Yuan Weiming,Camarero Julio A,Yu Jianhua,Chen Xiaojiang S,Zhang Chao,Feng Pinghui
Newly emerged severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) caused a global pandemic with astonishing mortality and morbidity. The high replication and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 are remarkably distinct from those of previous closely related coronaviruses, and the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. The innate immune defense is a physical barrier that restricts viral replication. We report here that the SARS-CoV-2 Nsp5 main protease targets RIG-I and mitochondrial antiviral signaling (MAVS) protein via two distinct mechanisms for inhibition. Specifically, Nsp5 cleaves off the 10 most-N-terminal amino acids from RIG-I and deprives it of the ability to activate MAVS, whereas Nsp5 promotes the ubiquitination and proteosome-mediated degradation of MAVS. As such, Nsp5 potently inhibits interferon (IFN) induction by double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) in an enzyme-dependent manner. A synthetic small-molecule inhibitor blunts the Nsp5-mediated destruction of cellular RIG-I and MAVS and processing of SARS-CoV-2 nonstructural proteins, thus restoring the innate immune response and impeding SARS-CoV-2 replication. This work offers new insight into the immune evasion strategy of SARS-CoV-2 and provides a potential antiviral agent to treat CoV disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is caused by SARS-CoV-2, which is rapidly evolving with better transmissibility. Understanding the molecular basis of the SARS-CoV-2 interaction with host cells is of paramount significance, and development of antiviral agents provides new avenues to prevent and treat COVID-19 diseases. This study describes a molecular characterization of innate immune evasion mediated by the SARS-CoV-2 Nsp5 main protease and subsequent development of a small-molecule inhibitor.
A highly sensitive cell-based luciferase assay for high-throughput automated screening of SARS-CoV-2 nsp5/3CLpro inhibitors.
Chen K Y,Krischuns T,Ortega Varga L,Harigua-Souiai E,Paisant S,Zettor A,Chiaravalli J,Courtney D,O'Brien A,Baker S C,Isel C,Agou F,Jacob Y,Blondel A,Naffakh N
bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology
Effective drugs against SARS-CoV-2 are urgently needed to treat severe cases of infection and for prophylactic use. The main viral protease (nsp5 or 3CLpro) represents an attractive and possibly broad-spectrum target for drug development as it is essential to the virus life cycle and highly conserved among betacoronaviruses. Sensitive and efficient high-throughput screening methods are key for drug discovery. Here we report the development of a gain-of-signal, highly sensitive cell-based luciferase assay to monitor SARS-CoV-2 nsp5 activity and show that it is suitable for high-throughput screening of compounds in a 384-well format. A benefit of miniaturisation and automation is that screening can be performed in parallel on a wild-type and a catalytically inactive nsp5, which improves the selectivity of the assay. We performed molecular docking-based screening on a set of 14,468 compounds from an in-house chemical database, selected 359 candidate nsp5 inhibitors and tested them experimentally. We identified four molecules, including the broad-spectrum antiviral merimepodib/VX-497, which show anti-nsp5 activity and inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication in A549-ACE2 cells with IC values in the 4-21 µM range. The here described assay will allow the screening of large-scale compound libraries for SARS-CoV-2 nsp5 inhibitors. Moreover, we provide evidence that this assay can be adapted to other coronaviruses and viruses which rely on a viral protease.
SARS-CoV-2 Nsp5 Activates NF-κB Pathway by Upregulating SUMOylation of MAVS.
Li Weiling,Qiao Jialu,You Qiang,Zong Shan,Peng Qian,Liu Yuchen,Hu Song,Liu Wei,Li Shufen,Shu Xiji,Sun Binlian
Frontiers in immunology
The COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection. A large number of clinical studies found high-level expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, which fuels the rapid development of the disease. However, the specific molecular mechanism is still unclear. In this study, we found that SARS-CoV-2 Nsp5 can induce the expression of cytokines IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, and IL-2 in Calu-3 and THP1 cells. Further research found that Nsp5 enhances cytokine expression through activating the NF-κB signaling pathway. Subsequently, we investigated the upstream effectors of the NF-κB signal pathway on Nsp5 overexpression and discovered that Nsp5 increases the protein level of MAVS. Moreover, Nsp5 can promote the SUMOylation of MAVS to increase its stability and lead to increasing levels of MAVS protein, finally triggering activation of NF-κB signaling. The knockdown of MAVS and the inhibitor of SUMOylation treatment can attenuate Nsp5-mediated NF-κB activation and cytokine induction. We identified a novel role of SARS-CoV-2 Nsp5 to enhance cytokine production by activating the NF-κB signaling pathway.
Coronaviruses Nsp5 Antagonizes Porcine Gasdermin D-Mediated Pyroptosis by Cleaving Pore-Forming p30 Fragment.
Shi Fushan,Lv Qian,Wang Tingjun,Xu Jidong,Xu Wei,Shi Yuhua,Fu Xinyu,Yang Tianming,Yang Yang,Zhuang Lenan,Fang Weihuan,Gu Jinyan,Li Xiaoliang
Coronaviruses (CoVs) are a family of RNA viruses that typically cause respiratory, enteric, and hepatic diseases in animals and humans. Here, we use porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) as a model of CoVs to illustrate the reciprocal regulation between CoV infection and pyroptosis. For the first time, we elucidate the molecular mechanism of porcine gasdermin D (pGSDMD)-mediated pyroptosis and demonstrate that amino acids R238, T239, and F240 within pGSDMD-p30 are critical for pyroptosis. Furthermore, 3C-like protease Nsp5 from SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV, PDCoV, and PEDV can cleave pGSDMD at the Q193-G194 junction to produce two fragments unable to trigger pyroptosis. The two cleaved fragments could not inhibit PEDV replication. In addition, Nsp5 from SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV also cleave human GSDMD (hGSDMD). Therefore, we provide clear evidence that PEDV may utilize the Nsp5-GSDMD pathway to inhibit pyroptosis and, thus, facilitate viral replication during the initial period, suggesting an important strategy for the coronaviruses to sustain their infection. Recently, GSDMD has been reported as a key executioner for pyroptosis. This study first demonstrates the molecular mechanism of pGSDMD-mediated pyroptosis and that the pGSDMD-mediated pyroptosis protects host cells against PEDV infection. Notably, PEDV employs its Nsp5 to directly cleave pGSDMD in favor of its replication. We found that Nsp5 proteins from other coronaviruses, such as porcine deltacoronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, also had the protease activity to cleave human and porcine GSDMD. Thus, we provide clear evidence that the coronaviruses might utilize Nsp5 to inhibit the host pyroptotic cell death and facilitate their replication during the initial period, an important strategy for their sustaining infection. We suppose that GSDMD is an appealing target for the design of anticoronavirus therapies.
SARS-CoV-2 NSP5 and N protein counteract the RIG-I signaling pathway by suppressing the formation of stress granules.
Zheng Yi,Deng Jian,Han Lulu,Zhuang Meng-Wei,Xu Yanwen,Zhang Jing,Nan Mei-Ling,Xiao Yang,Zhan Peng,Liu Xinyong,Gao Chengjiang,Wang Pei-Hui
Signal transduction and targeted therapy
As a highly pathogenic human coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 has to counteract an intricate network of antiviral host responses to establish infection and spread. The nucleic acid-induced stress response is an essential component of antiviral defense and is closely related to antiviral innate immunity. However, whether SARS-CoV-2 regulates the stress response pathway to achieve immune evasion remains elusive. In this study, SARS-CoV-2 NSP5 and N protein were found to attenuate antiviral stress granule (avSG) formation. Moreover, NSP5 and N suppressed IFN expression induced by infection of Sendai virus or transfection of a synthetic mimic of dsRNA, poly (I:C), inhibiting TBK1 and IRF3 phosphorylation, and restraining the nuclear translocalization of IRF3. Furthermore, HEK293T cells with ectopic expression of NSP5 or N protein were less resistant to vesicular stomatitis virus infection. Mechanistically, NSP5 suppressed avSG formation and disrupted RIG-I-MAVS complex to attenuate the RIG-I-mediated antiviral immunity. In contrast to the multiple targets of NSP5, the N protein specifically targeted cofactors upstream of RIG-I. The N protein interacted with G3BP1 to prevent avSG formation and to keep the cofactors G3BP1 and PACT from activating RIG-I. Additionally, the N protein also affected the recognition of dsRNA by RIG-I. This study revealed the intimate correlation between SARS-CoV-2, the stress response, and innate antiviral immunity, shedding light on the pathogenic mechanism of COVID-19.
A highly sensitive cell-based luciferase assay for high-throughput automated screening of SARS-CoV-2 nsp5/3CLpro inhibitors.
Effective drugs against SARS-CoV-2 are urgently needed to treat severe cases of infection and for prophylactic use. The main viral protease (nsp5 or 3CLpro) represents an attractive and possibly broad-spectrum target for drug development as it is essential to the virus life cycle and highly conserved among betacoronaviruses. Sensitive and efficient high-throughput screening methods are key for drug discovery. Here we report the development of a gain-of-signal, highly sensitive cell-based luciferase assay to monitor SARS-CoV-2 nsp5 activity and show that it is suitable for the screening of compounds in a 384-well format. A benefit of miniaturisation and automation is that screening can be performed in parallel on a wild-type and a catalytically inactive nsp5, which improves the selectivity of the assay. We performed molecular docking-based screening on a set of 14,468 compounds from an in-house chemical database, selected 359 candidate nsp5 inhibitors and tested them experimentally. We identified two molecules which show anti-nsp5 activity, both in our cell-based assay and in vitro on purified nsp5 protein, and inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication in A549-ACE2 cells with EC values in the 4-8 μM range. The here described high-throughput-compatible assay will allow the screening of large-scale compound libraries for SARS-CoV-2 nsp5 inhibitors. Moreover, we provide evidence that this assay can be adapted to other coronaviruses and viruses which rely on a viral protease.
Predicted coronavirus Nsp5 protease cleavage sites in the human proteome.
BMC genomic data
BACKGROUND:The coronavirus nonstructural protein 5 (Nsp5) is a cysteine protease required for processing the viral polyprotein and is therefore crucial for viral replication. Nsp5 from several coronaviruses have also been found to cleave host proteins, disrupting molecular pathways involved in innate immunity. Nsp5 from the recently emerged SARS-CoV-2 virus interacts with and can cleave human proteins, which may be relevant to the pathogenesis of COVID-19. Based on the continuing global pandemic, and emerging understanding of coronavirus Nsp5-human protein interactions, we set out to predict what human proteins are cleaved by the coronavirus Nsp5 protease using a bioinformatics approach. RESULTS:Using a previously developed neural network trained on coronavirus Nsp5 cleavage sites (NetCorona), we made predictions of Nsp5 cleavage sites in all human proteins. Structures of human proteins in the Protein Data Bank containing a predicted Nsp5 cleavage site were then examined, generating a list of 92 human proteins with a highly predicted and accessible cleavage site. Of those, 48 are expected to be found in the same cellular compartment as Nsp5. Analysis of this targeted list of proteins revealed molecular pathways susceptible to Nsp5 cleavage and therefore relevant to coronavirus infection, including pathways involved in mRNA processing, cytokine response, cytoskeleton organization, and apoptosis. CONCLUSIONS:This study combines predictions of Nsp5 cleavage sites in human proteins with protein structure information and protein network analysis. We predicted cleavage sites in proteins recently shown to be cleaved in vitro by SARS-CoV-2 Nsp5, and we discuss how other potentially cleaved proteins may be relevant to coronavirus mediated immune dysregulation. The data presented here will assist in the design of more targeted experiments, to determine the role of coronavirus Nsp5 cleavage of host proteins, which is relevant to understanding the molecular pathology of coronavirus infection.
SARS-CoV-2 nsp5 Exhibits Stronger Catalytic Activity and Interferon Antagonism than Its SARS-CoV Ortholog.
Journal of virology
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to pose an enormous threat to economic activity and public health worldwide. Previous studies have shown that the nonstructural protein 5 (nsp5, also called 3C-like protease) of alpha- and deltacoronaviruses cleaves Q231 of the NF-κB essential modulator (NEMO), a key kinase in the RIG-I-like receptor pathway, to inhibit type I interferon (IFN) production. In this study, we found that both SARS-CoV-2 nsp5 and SARS-CoV nsp5 cleaved NEMO at multiple sites (E152, Q205, and Q231). Notably, SARS-CoV-2 nsp5 exhibited a stronger ability to cleave NEMO than SARS-CoV nsp5. Sequence and structural alignments suggested that an S/A polymorphism at position 46 of nsp5 in SARS-CoV versus SARS-CoV-2 may be responsible for this difference. Mutagenesis experiments showed that SARS-CoV-2 nsp5 (S46A) exhibited poorer cleavage of NEMO than SARS-CoV-2 nsp5 wild type (WT), while SARS-CoV nsp5 (A46S) showed enhanced NEMO cleavage compared with the WT protein. Purified recombinant SARS-CoV-2 nsp5 WT and SARS-CoV nsp5 (A46S) proteins exhibited higher hydrolysis efficiencies than SARS-CoV-2 nsp5 (S46A) and SARS-CoV nsp5 WT proteins . Furthermore, SARS-CoV-2 nsp5 exhibited stronger inhibition of Sendai virus (SEV)-induced interferon beta (IFN-β) production than SARS-CoV-2 nsp5 (S46A), while introduction of the A46S substitution in SARS-CoV nsp5 enhanced suppression of SEV-induced IFN-β production. Taken together, these data show that S46 is associated with the catalytic activity and IFN antagonism by SARS-CoV-2 nsp5. The nsp5-encoded 3C-like protease is the main coronavirus protease, playing a vital role in viral replication and immune evasion by cleaving viral polyproteins and host immune-related molecules. We showed that both SARS-CoV-2 nsp5 and SARS-CoV nsp5 cleave the NEMO at multiple sites (E152, Q205, and Q231). This specificity differs from NEMO cleavage by alpha- and deltacoronaviruses, demonstrating the distinct substrate recognition of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV nsp5. Compared with SARS-CoV nsp5, SARS-CoV-2 nsp5 encodes S instead of A at position 46. This substitution is associated with stronger catalytic activity, enhanced cleavage of NEMO, and increased interferon antagonism of SARS-CoV-2 nsp5. These data provide new insights into the pathogenesis and transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
Signaling Pathway Reporter Screen with SARS-CoV-2 Proteins Identifies nsp5 as a Repressor of p53 Activity.
The dysregulation of host signaling pathways plays a critical role in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and viral pathogenesis. While a number of viral proteins that can block type I IFN signaling have been identified, a comprehensive analysis of SARS-CoV-2 proteins in the regulation of other signaling pathways that can be critical for viral infection and its pathophysiology is still lacking. Here, we screened the effect of 21 SARS-CoV-2 proteins on 10 different host signaling pathways, namely, Wnt, p53, TGFβ, c-Myc, Hypoxia, Hippo, AP-1, Notch, Oct4/Sox2, and NF-κB, using a luciferase reporter assay. As a result, we identified several SARS-CoV-2 proteins that could act as activators or inhibitors for distinct signaling pathways in the context of overexpression in HEK293T cells. We also provided evidence for p53 being an intrinsic host restriction factor of SARS-CoV-2. We found that the overexpression of p53 is capable of reducing virus production, while the main viral protease nsp5 can repress the transcriptional activity of p53, which depends on the protease function of nsp5. Taken together, our results provide a foundation for future studies, which can explore how the dysregulation of specific signaling pathways by SARS-CoV-2 proteins can control viral infection and pathogenesis.