SARS-CoV-2 ORF10 antagonizes STING-dependent interferon activation and autophagy.
Journal of medical virology
A characteristic feature of COVID-19, the disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, is the dysregulated immune response with impaired type I and III interferon (IFN) expression and an overwhelming inflammatory cytokine storm. RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs) and cGAS-STING signaling pathways are responsible for sensing viral infection and inducing IFN production to combat invading viruses. Multiple proteins of SARS-CoV-2 have been reported to modulate the RLR signaling pathways to achieve immune evasion. Although SARS-CoV-2 infection also activates the cGAS-STING signaling by stimulating micronuclei formation during the process of syncytia, whether SARS-CoV-2 modulates the cGAS-STING pathway requires further investigation. Here, we screened 29 SARS-CoV-2-encoded viral proteins to explore the viral proteins that affect the cGAS-STING signaling pathway and found that SARS-CoV-2 open reading frame 10 (ORF10) targets STING to antagonize IFN activation. Overexpression of ORF10 inhibits cGAS-STING-induced interferon regulatory factor 3 phosphorylation, translocation, and subsequent IFN induction. Mechanistically, ORF10 interacts with STING, attenuates the STING-TBK1 association, and impairs STING oligomerization and aggregation and STING-mediated autophagy; ORF10 also prevents the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-to-Golgi trafficking of STING by anchoring STING in the ER. Taken together, these findings suggest that SARS-CoV-2 ORF10 impairs the cGAS-STING signaling by blocking the translocation of STING and the interaction between STING and TBK1 to antagonize innate antiviral immunity.
PDGFR kinase inhibitor protects against septic death via regulation of BTLA.
Science China. Life sciences
Sepsis, defined as life-threatening organ failure caused by a dysregulated host response to severe infection, is a major cause of death among intensive care unit patients. Therapies targeting on immunomodulatory is a new research field in sepsis treatment. B- and T-lymphocyte attenuator (BTLA) is an inhibitory costimulatory factor molecule of B and T lymphocytes. Studies have shown that elevated expression of BTLA in lymphocytes can reduce mortality in sepsis, but its regulatory compounds and the underlying mechanism remains to be elucidated. Here, we show that treatment with CP-673451 significantly decreases mortality of septic mouse. CP-673451 is a PDGFR kinase inhibitor which can promote the expression of BTLA, inhibit the release of chemokines such as CXCL13, and reduce first the chemotaxis of B cells to the peripheral blood and vital organs. CP-673451 also inhibits both the release of cytokines and chemokines such as IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, TNF-α, CCL1, CCL2 and CCL7 and reduces both the chemotactic ability of T cells. This suggests that CP-673451 may prevent septic death by inhibiting lymphocyte chemotaxis and alleviating "cytokine storm". In conclusion, our study provides a new therapeutic target and an effective compound for sepsis treatment.
The role of cytokines and their antagonists in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
Reviews in medical virology
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has various presentations, of which immune dysregulation or the so-called cytokine storm syndrome (COVID-CSS) is prominent. Even though cytokines are vital regulators of body immunoinflammatory responses, their exaggerated release can be harmful. This hyperinflammatory response is more commonly observed during severe COVID-19 infections, caused by the excessive release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin-1 (IL-1), IL-6, IL-8, tumour necrosis factor, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, and interferon-gamma, making their blockers and antagonists of great interest as therapeutic options in this condition. Thus, the pathophysiology of excessive cytokine secretion is outlined, and their most important blockers and antagonists are discussed, mainly focussing on tocilizumab, an interleukin-6 receptor blocker approved to treat severe COVID-19 infections.
A novel platform for attenuating immune hyperactivity using EXO-CD24 in COVID-19 and beyond.
EMBO molecular medicine
A small but significant proportion of COVID-19 patients develop life-threatening cytokine storm. We have developed a new anti-inflammatory drug, EXO-CD24, a combination of an immune checkpoint (CD24) and a delivery platform (exosomes). CD24 inhibits the NF-kB pathway and the production of cytokines/chemokines. EXO-CD24 discriminates damage-from pathogen-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs and PAMPs) therefore does not interfere with viral clearance. EXO-CD24 was produced and purified from CD24-expressing 293-TREx™ cells. Exosomes displaying murine CD24 (mCD24) were also created. EXO-CD24/mCD24 were characterized and examined, for safety and efficacy, in vitro and in vivo. In a phase Ib/IIa study, 35 patients with moderate-high severity COVID-19 were recruited and given escalating doses, 10 -10 , of EXO-CD24 by inhalation, QD, for 5 days. No adverse events related to the drug were observed up to 443-575 days. EXO-CD24 effectively reduced inflammatory markers and cytokine/chemokine, although randomized studies are required. EXO-CD24 may be a treatment strategy to suppress the hyper-inflammatory response in the lungs of COVID-19 patients and further serve as a therapeutic platform for other pulmonary and systemic diseases characterized by cytokine storm.
A soluble DR5-Fc chimeric protein attenuates inflammatory responses induced by coronavirus MHV-A59 and SARS-CoV-2.
Journal of medical virology
Mortality in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients has been linked to the presence of a "cytokine storm" induced by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, which involves elevated levels of circulating cytokines and immune-cell hyperactivation. Targeting cytokines during the management of COVID-19 patients has the potential to improve survival rates and reduce mortality. Although cytokine blockers and immune-host modulators are currently being tested in severely ill COVID-19 patients to cope with the overwhelming systemic inflammation, there is not too many successful cases, thus finding new cytokine blockers to attenuate the cytokine storm syndrome is meaningful. In this paper, we significantly attenuated the inflammatory responses induced by mouse hepatitis viruses A59 and SARS-CoV-2 through a soluble DR5-Fc (sDR5-Fc) chimeric protein that blocked the TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand-death receptor 5 (TRAIL-DR5) interaction. Our findings indicates that blocking the TRAIL-DR5 pathway through the sDR5-Fc chimeric protein is a promising strategy to treat COVID-19 severe patients requiring intensive care unit admission or with chronic metabolic diseases.
Individual genetic variability mainly of Proinflammatory cytokines, cytokine receptors, and toll-like receptors dictates pathophysiology of COVID-19 disease.
Journal of medical virology
Innate and acquired immunity responses are crucial for viral infection elimination. However, genetic variations in coding genes may exacerbate the inflammation or initiate devastating cytokine storms which poses severe respiratory conditions in coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19). Host genetic variations in particular those related to the immune responses determine the patients' susceptibility and COVID-19 severity and pathophysiology. Gene polymorphisms such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of interferons, TNF, IL1, IL4, IL6, IL7, IL10, and IL17 predispose patients to the severe form of COVID-19 or severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-COV-2). These variations mainly alter the gene expression and cause a severe response by B cells, T cells, monocytes, neutrophils, and natural killer cells participating in a cytokine storm. Moreover, cytokines and chemokines SNPs are associated with the severity of COVID-19 and clinical outcomes depending on the corresponding effect. Additionally, genetic variations in genes encoding toll-like receptors (TLRs) mainly TLR3, TLR7, and TLR9 have been related to the COVID-19 severe respiratory symptoms. The specific relation of these mutations with the novel variants of concern (VOCs) infection remains to be elucidated. Genetic variations mainly within genes encoding proinflammatory cytokines, cytokine receptors, and TLRs predispose patients to COVID-19 disease severity. Understanding host immune gene variations associated with the SARS-COV-2 infection opens insights to control the pathophysiology of emerging viral infections.
APOE interacts with ACE2 inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 cellular entry and inflammation in COVID-19 patients.
Signal transduction and targeted therapy
Apolipoprotein E (APOE) plays a pivotal role in lipid including cholesterol metabolism. The APOE ε4 (APOE4) allele is a major genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's and cardiovascular diseases. Although APOE has recently been associated with increased susceptibility to infections of several viruses, whether and how APOE and its isoforms affect SARS-CoV-2 infection remains unclear. Here, we show that serum concentrations of APOE correlate inversely with levels of cytokine/chemokine in 73 COVID-19 patients. Utilizing multiple protein interaction assays, we demonstrate that APOE3 and APOE4 interact with the SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2; and APOE/ACE2 interactions require zinc metallopeptidase domain of ACE2, a key docking site for SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein. In addition, immuno-imaging assays using confocal, super-resolution, and transmission electron microscopies reveal that both APOE3 and APOE4 reduce ACE2/Spike-mediated viral entry into cells. Interestingly, while having a comparable binding affinity to ACE2, APOE4 inhibits viral entry to a lesser extent compared to APOE3, which is likely due to APOE4's more compact structure and smaller spatial obstacle to compete against Spike binding to ACE2. Furthermore, APOE ε4 carriers clinically correlate with increased SARS-CoV-2 infection and elevated serum inflammatory factors in 142 COVID-19 patients assessed. Our study suggests a regulatory mechanism underlying SARS-CoV-2 infection through APOE interactions with ACE2, which may explain in part increased COVID-19 infection and disease severity in APOE ε4 carriers.