interferon response
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Pathogens ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
pp. 94
Anthony K. L. Leung ◽  
Diane E. Griffin ◽  
Jürgen Bosch ◽  
Anthony R. Fehr

Emerging and re-emerging viral diseases pose continuous public health threats, and effective control requires a combination of non-pharmacologic interventions, treatment with antivirals, and prevention with vaccines. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that the world was least prepared to provide effective treatments. This lack of preparedness has been due, in large part, to a lack of investment in developing a diverse portfolio of antiviral agents, particularly those ready to combat viruses of pandemic potential. Here, we focus on a drug target called macrodomain that is critical for the replication and pathogenesis of alphaviruses and coronaviruses. Some mutations in alphavirus and coronaviral macrodomains are not tolerated for virus replication. In addition, the coronavirus macrodomain suppresses host interferon responses. Therefore, macrodomain inhibitors have the potential to block virus replication and restore the host’s protective interferon response. Viral macrodomains offer an attractive antiviral target for developing direct acting antivirals because they are highly conserved and have a structurally well-defined (druggable) binding pocket. Given that this target is distinct from the existing RNA polymerase and protease targets, a macrodomain inhibitor may complement current approaches, pre-empt the threat of resistance and offer opportunities to develop combination therapies for combating COVID-19 and future viral threats.

RNA ◽  
2022 ◽  
pp. rna.079016.121
Chi-Ping Chan ◽  
Dong-Yan Jin

Sensing of pathogen-associated molecular patterns including viral RNA by innate immunity represents the first line of defense against viral infection. In addition to RIG-I-like receptors and NOD-like receptors, several other RNA sensors are known to mediate innate antiviral response in the cytoplasm. Double-stranded RNA-binding protein PACT interacts with prototypic RNA sensor RIG-I to facilitate its recognition of viral RNA and induction of host interferon response, but variations of this theme are seen when the functions of RNA sensors are modulated by other RNA-binding proteins to impinge on antiviral defense, proinflammatory cytokine production and cell death programs. Their discrete and coordinated actions are crucial to protect the host from infection. In this review, we will focus on cytoplasmic RNA sensors with an emphasis on their interplay with RNA-binding partners. Classical sensors such as RIG-I will be briefly reviewed. More attention will be brought to the new insights on how RNA-binding partners of RNA sensors modulate innate RNA sensing and how viruses perturb the functions of RNA-binding partners.

2022 ◽  
sunnie M yoh ◽  
Joao Mamede ◽  
Derrick Lau ◽  
Narae Ahn ◽  
Maria T Sanchez ◽  

Cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) is a primary sensor of aberrant DNA that governs an innate immune signaling cascade, leading to the induction of the type-I interferon response. We have previously identified polyglutamine binding protein 1, PQBP1, as an adaptor molecule required for cGAS-mediated innate immune response of lentiviruses, including the human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1), but dispensable for the recognition of DNA viruses. HIV-1-encoded DNA is synthesized as a single copy from its RNA genome, and is subsequently integrated into the host chromatin. HIV-1 then produces progeny through amplification and packaging of its RNA genome, thus, in contrast to DNA viruses, HIV-1 DNA is both transient and of low abundance. However, the molecular basis for the detection and verification of this low abundance HIV-1 DNA pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) is not understood. Here, we elucidate a two-factor authentication strategy that is employed by the innate immune surveillance machinery to selectively respond to the low concentration of PAMP, while discerning these species from extranuclear DNA molecules. We find that, upon HIV-1 infection, PQBP1 decorates intact viral capsid, which serves as a primary verification step for the viral nucleic acid cargo. As the reverse transcription and capsid disassembly initiate, cGAS protein is then recruited to the capsid in a PQBP1-dependent manner, enabling cGAS molecules to be co-positioned at the site of PAMP generation. Thus, these data indicate that PQBP1 recognition of the HIV-1 capsid sanctions a robust cGAS-dependent response to a limited abundance and short-lived DNA PAMP. Critically, this illuminates a molecular strategy wherein the modular recruitment of co-factors to germline encoded pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) serves to enhance repertoire of pathogens that can be sensed by the innate immune surveillance machinery.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
Elisha D. O. Roberson ◽  
Rosana A. Mesa ◽  
Gabrielle A. Morgan ◽  
Li Cao ◽  
Wilfredo Marin ◽  

AbstractIn juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM), the most common pediatric inflammatory myopathy, weakness is accompanied by a characteristic rash that often becomes chronic and is associated with vascular damage. We hoped to understand the molecular underpinnings of JDM, particularly when untreated, which would facilitate the identification of novel mechanisms and clinical targets that might disrupt disease progression. We studied the RNA-Seq data from untreated JDM peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs; n = 11), PBMCs from a subset of the same patients when clinically inactive (n = 8/11), and separate samples of untreated JDM skin and muscle (n = 4 each). All JDM samples were compared to non-inflammatory control tissues. The untreated JDM PBMCs showed a strong signature for type1 interferon response, along with IL-1, IL-10, and NF-κB. Surprisingly, PBMCs from clinically inactive JDM individuals had persistent immune activation that was enriched for IL-1 signaling. JDM skin and muscle both showed evidence for type 1 interferon activation and genes related to antigen presentation and decreased expression of cellular respiration genes. Additionally, we found that PBMC gene expression correlates with disease activity scores (DAS; skin, muscle, and total domains) and with nailfold capillary end row loop number (an indicator of microvascular damage). This included otoferlin, which was significantly increased in untreated JDM PBMCs and correlated with all 3 DAS domains. Overall, these data demonstrate that PBMC transcriptomes are informative of molecular disruptions in JDM and provide transcriptional evidence of chronic inflammation despite clinical quiescence.

2022 ◽  
Denisa Bojkova ◽  
Marek Widera ◽  
Sandra Ciesek ◽  
Mark N Wass ◽  
Martin Michaelis ◽  

The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant is currently causing a large number of infections in many countries. A number of antiviral agents are approved or in clinical testing for the treatment of COVID-19. Despite the high number of mutations in the Omicron variant, we here show that Omicron isolates display similar sensitivity to eight of the most important anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs and drug candidates (including remdesivir, molnupiravir, and PF-07321332, the active compound in paxlovid), which is of timely relevance for the treatment of the increasing number of Omicron patients. Most importantly, we also found that the Omicron variant displays a reduced capability of antagonising the host cell interferon response. This provides a potential mechanistic explanation for the clinically observed reduced pathogenicity of Omicron variant viruses compared to Delta variant viruses.

Leila Rouhi ◽  
Siyang Fan ◽  
Sirisha M. Cheedipudi ◽  
Melis Olcum ◽  
Hyun-Hwan Jeong ◽  

The Cre-LoxP technology, including the tamoxifen (TAM) inducible MerCreMer (MCM), is increasingly used to delineate gene function, understand the disease mechanisms, and test therapeutic interventions. We set to determine the effects of TAM-MCM on cardiac myocyte transcriptome. Expression of the MCM was induced specifically in cardiac myocytes upon injection of TAM to myosin heavy chain 6-MCM (Myh6-Mcm) mice for 5 consecutive days. Cardiac function, myocardial histology, and gene expression (RNA-sequencing) were analyzed 2 weeks after TAM injection. A total of 346 protein coding genes (168 up- and 178 down-regulated) were differentially expressed. Transcript levels of 85 genes, analyzed by a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction in independent samples, correlated with changes in the RNA-sequencing data. The differentially expressed genes were modestly enriched for genes involved in the interferon response and the tumor protein 53 (TP53) pathways. The changes in gene expression were relatively small and mostly transient and had no discernible effects on cardiac function, myocardial fibrosis, and apoptosis or induction of double-stranded DNA breaks. Thus, TAM-inducible activation of MCM alters cardiac myocytes gene expression, provoking modest and transient interferon and DNA damage responses without exerting other discernible phenotypic effects. Thus, the effects of TAM-MCM on gene expression should be considered in discerning the bona fide changes that result from the targeting of the gene of interest.

Virology ◽  
2022 ◽  
Zhaoshan Chen ◽  
Yan Zeng ◽  
Yanli Wei ◽  
Qian Wang ◽  
Minxuan Liu ◽  

2021 ◽  
Hildur Arnardottir ◽  
Sven-Christian Pawelzik ◽  
Philip Sarajlic ◽  
Alessandro Quaranta ◽  
Johan Kolmert ◽  

AbstractSevere acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with respiratory distress and systemic hyperinflammation. The primary objective of this single-blind randomized controlled proof-of-concept clinical trial was to establish the effects of intravenous (i.v.) omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) treatment compared to placebo on inflammatory markers in COVID-19, represented by leukocytes as well as inflammatory protein and lipid mediators. Here we also present an exploratory analysis of the mechanisms of action to elucidate the potential to resolve the COVID-19 hyperinflammation through interfering with lipid mediators. Inclusion criteria were COVID-19 diagnosis and clinical status requiring hospitalization. Randomization was 1:1 to a once daily i.v. infusion (2 mL/kg) of either n-3 PUFA emulsion containing 10g of fish oil per 100 mL or placebo (NaCl) for 5 days. Results from 22 older subjects (mean age 81±6.1 years) were analyzed. The neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio was significantly decreased after n-3 PUFA administration. Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) -based lipid metabolite analysis established increased proresolving lipid mediator precursor levels and decreased formation of leukotoxin and isoleukotoxin diols by n-3 PUFA treatment. The mechanistic exploration revealed decreased immunothrombosis and preserved interferon-response. Finally, n-3 PUFA treatment may serve to limit cortisone-induced immunosuppression, including preserving leukocyte phagocytic capacity. In conclusion, i.v. n-3 PUFA administration was safe and feasible during hospitalization of multimorbid older subjects for COVID-19. The results identified n-3 PUFA treatment mediated lipid signature of increased proresolving precursor levels and decreased leukotoxin diols in parallel to beneficial immune responses. EudraCT: 2020-002293-28; NCT04647604.

Jonathan Turpin ◽  
Daed El Safadi ◽  
Grégorie Lebeau ◽  
Morgane Krejbich ◽  
Camille Chatelain ◽  

Cell death by apoptosis is a major cellular response, in the control of tissue homeostasis and as a defense mechanism in case of cellular aggression like an infection. Cell self-destruction is part of antiviral responses, aimed at limiting the spread of a virus. Although it may contribute to the deleterious effects in infectious pathology, apoptosis remains a key mechanism for viral clearance and resolution of infection. The control mechanisms of cell death processes by viruses have been extensively studied. Apoptosis can be triggered by different viral determinants, through different pathways, as a result of virally induced cell stresses and innate immune responses. Zika virus (ZIKV) induces Zika disease in humans which has caused severe neurological forms, birth defects and microcephaly in newborns during the last epidemics. ZIKV also surprised by revealing an ability to persist in the genital tract and in semen, thus being sexually transmitted. Mechanisms of diverting antiviral responses such as the interferon response, the role of cytopathic effects and apoptosis in the etiology of the disease have been widely studied and debated. In this review, we examined the interplay between ZIKV infection of different cell types and apoptosis and how the virus deals with this cellular response. We illustrate a duality in the effects of ZIKV-controlled apoptosis, depending on whether it occurs too early or too late, respectively in neuropathogenesis, or in long-term viral persistence. We further discuss a prospective role for apoptosis in ZIKV-related therapies, and the use of ZIKV as an oncolytic agent.

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