Cellular functions are largely performed by proteins. Defects in the production, folding, or removal of proteins from the cell lead to perturbations in cellular functions that can result in pathological conditions for the organism. In cells, molecular chaperones are part of a network of surveillance mechanisms that maintains a functional proteome. Chaperones are involved in the folding of newly synthesized polypeptides and assist in refolding misfolded proteins and guiding proteins for degradation. The present review focuses on the molecular co-chaperone prefoldin. Its canonical function in eukaryotes involves the transfer of newly synthesized polypeptides of cytoskeletal proteins to the tailless complex polypeptide 1 ring complex (TRiC/CCT) chaperonin which assists folding of the polypeptide chain in an energy-dependent manner. The canonical function of prefoldin is well established, but recent research suggests its broader function in the maintenance of protein homeostasis under physiological and pathological conditions. Interestingly, non-canonical functions were identified for the prefoldin complex and also for its individual subunits. We discuss the latest findings on the prefoldin complex and its subunits in the regulation of transcription and proteasome-dependent protein degradation and its role in neurological diseases, cancer, viral infections and rare anomalies.
AbstractThe use of cellular therapies to treat cancer, inherited immune deficiencies, hemoglobinopathies and viral infections is growing rapidly. The increased interest in cellular therapies has led to the development of reagents and closed-system automated instruments for the production of these therapies. For cellular therapy clinical trials involving multiple sites some people are advocating a decentralized model of manufacturing where patients are treated with cells produced using automated instruments at each participating center using a single, centrally held Investigational New Drug Application (IND). Many academic centers are purchasing these automated instruments for point-of-care manufacturing and participation in decentralized multiple center clinical trials. However, multiple site manufacturing requires harmonization of product testing and manufacturing in order to interpret the clinical trial results. Decentralized manufacturing is quite challenging since all centers should use the same manufacturing protocol, the same or comparable in-process and lot release assays and the quality programs from each center must work closely together. Consequently, manufacturing cellular therapies using a decentralized model is in many ways more difficult than manufacturing cells in a single centralized facility. Before an academic center decides to establish a point-of-care cell processing laboratory, they should consider all costs associated with such a program. For many academic cell processing centers, point-of-care manufacturing may not be a good investment.
Therapy regimens used in patients with inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) have been associated with enhanced risk of viral infections or viral reactivation. Moreover, it is uncertain whether IBD patients have increased risk of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection or infected patients may have an increased risk for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). Managing severe acute flare in ulcerative colitis during the Covid-19 pandemic is a challenge for clinicians and their patients. The results of the published studies mainly report on the role of the prior medication, but not how to treat severe acute flare of IBD patients with severe Covid-19 pneumonia.
We report the case of a 68-year-old patient with a long history of ulcerative colitis. He was initially admitted to an external hospital because of severe acute flare. The initiation of a high-dose oral cortisone therapy did not improve the clinical symptoms. During the inpatient treatment, he was tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. At admission to our hospital the patient showed severe flare of his ulcerative colitis and increased Covid-19 symptoms. A cortisone-refractory course was noticed. After detailed multidisciplinary risk–benefit assessment, we initiated an intravenous tacrolimus therapy and dose of prednisolone was tapered gradually. After clinical response, the therapy was adjusted to infliximab. Additionally, the Covid-19 pneumonia was kept under control despite immunosuppression and the patient could be discharged in clinical remission.
This case suggest the use of tacrolimus as a bridging therapeutic option for severe acute, cortisone refractory ulcerative colitis in Covid-19 patients. Nevertheless, the best treatment strategy for IBD patients presenting a flare during the outbreak has yet to be defined. Further data for IBD patients under calcineurin inhibitor therapy are urgently needed.
Bats are reservoirs of a large number of viruses of global public health significance, including the ancestral virus for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Although bats are natural carriers of multiple pathogenic viruses, they rarely display signs of disease. Recent insights suggest that bats have a more balanced host defense and tolerance system to viral infections that may be linked to the evolutionary adaptation to powered flight. Therefore, a deeper understanding of bat immune system may provide intervention strategies to prevent zoonotic disease transmission and to identify new therapeutic targets. Similar to other eutherian mammals, bats have both innate and adaptive immune systems that have evolved to detect and respond to invading pathogens. Bridging these two systems are innate lymphocytes, which are highly abundant within circulation and barrier tissues. These cells share the characteristics of both innate and adaptive immune cells and are poised to mount rapid effector responses. They are ideally suited as the first line of defense against early stages of viral infections. Here, we will focus on the current knowledge of innate lymphocytes in bats, their function, and their potential role in host–pathogen interactions. Moreover, given that studies into bat immune systems are often hindered by a lack of bat-specific research tools, we will discuss strategies that may aid future research in bat immunity, including the potential use of organoid models to delineate the interplay between innate lymphocytes, bat viruses, and host tolerance.
Every year, approximately 800,000 people die from liver diseases associated with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Complications outside the liver are common, such as fungal lung infections and viral infections. These complications may be associated with poor immune function, thus making clinical treatment difficult and increasing the risk of death. Therefore, HBV-infection-related liver diseases are worthy of clinical attention and further research.
We report a case of HBeAg-negative chronic hepatitis B in which the patient received entecavir as an anti-HBV treatment after liver dysfunction. During the treatment, the patient was diagnosed with measles and severe viral pneumonia. After comprehensive treatment, including active antiviral medications and mechanical ventilation, the patient recovered and was discharged.
HBV infection causes liver damage, affects immune function, and is likely to be associated with viral infections such as measles. Consequently, infections may lead to complications, such as severe viral pneumonia, that endanger patients’ lives. To decrease complications and mortality, better understanding of the disease is necessary to enable early diagnosis.
Viral infections represent a serious threat to the world population and are becoming more frequent. The search and identification of broad-spectrum antiviral molecules is necessary to ensure new therapeutic options, since there is a limited availability of effective antiviral drugs able to eradicate viral infections, and consequently due to the increase of strains that are resistant to the most used drugs. Recently, several studies on antimicrobial peptides identified them as promising antiviral agents. In detail, amphibian skin secretions serve as a rich source of natural antimicrobial peptides. Their antibacterial and antifungal activities have been widely reported, but their exploitation as potential antiviral agents have yet to be fully investigated. In the present study, the antiviral activity of the peptide derived from the secretion of Rana tagoi, named AR-23, was evaluated against both DNA and RNA viruses, with or without envelope. Different assays were performed to identify in which step of the infectious cycle the peptide could act. AR-23 exhibited a greater inhibitory activity in the early stages of infection against both DNA (HSV-1) and RNA (MeV, HPIV-2, HCoV-229E, and SARS-CoV-2) enveloped viruses and, on the contrary, it was inactive against naked viruses (PV-1). Altogether, the results indicated AR-23 as a peptide with potential therapeutic effects against a wide variety of human viruses.
In many previous studies, it has been found that liquorice plant (Glycyrrhiza glabra) extracts contain more than 300 natural compounds, most of which are triterpenoids and flavonoids, and had shown promising results in clinical studies for treating many microbial and viral infections. Triterpenoids like glycyrrhizic acid have shown anti-SARS-CoV activity in- vitro. Experimentally, certain glycyrrhizic acid derivatives have shown increased activity by many folds against SARS-associated viruses. These compounds can potentially inhibit the replication cycle of SARS-associated viruses by interfering with the viral gene expression or by inhibiting the spike protein expression, which in turn inhibits the adhesion and entry of the virus. Although the therapeutic has shown great antiviral activity in vitro, but in vivo its efficiency deteriorates till it reaches the liver for metabolism. In the current review, we analyze the unique replication strategy of SARS-CoV-2 and glycyrrhizic acid as a potential drug against SARS-CoV-2. We also discuss possible nano-formulations of glycyrrhizic acid for efficient drug delivery in humans, as a potent therapeutic strategy for COVID-19.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a growing demand for effective and safe disinfectants. A novel use of chlorine dioxide (ClO2) gas, which can satisfy such demand, has been reported. However, its efficacy and safety remain unclear. For the safe use of this gas, the stable release of specific concentrations is a must. A new type of ClO2 generator called Dr.CLOTM has recently been introduced. This study aimed to investigate: (1) the effects of Dr.CLOTM on inhibiting adenoviral amplification on human bronchial epithelial (HBE) cells; and (2) the acute inhalation safety of using Dr.CLOTM in animal models. After infecting HBE cells with a recombinant adenovirus, the inhibitory power of Dr.CLOTM on the virus was expressed as IFU/mL in comparison with the control group. The safety of ClO2 gas was indirectly predicted using mice by measuring single-dose inhalation toxicity in specially designed chambers. Dr.CLOTM was found to evaporate in a very constant concentration range at 0–0.011 ppm/m3 for 42 days. In addition, 36–100% of adenoviral amplification was suppressed by Dr.CLOTM, depending on the conditions. The LC50 of ClO2 gas to mice was approximately 68 ppm for males and 141 ppm for females. Histopathological evaluation showed that the lungs of female mice were more resistant to the toxicity from higher ClO2 gas concentrations than those of male mice. Taken together, these results indicate that Dr.CLOTM can be used to provide a safe indoor environment due to its technology that maintains the stable concentration and release of ClO2 gas, which could suppress viral amplification and may prevent viral infections.