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Rxivist combines preprints from bioRxiv with data from Twitter to help you find the papers being discussed in your field. Currently indexing 77,613 bioRxiv papers from 336,379 authors.

Most downloaded bioRxiv papers, since beginning of last month

75,946 results found. For more information, click each entry to expand.

1: Uncanny similarity of unique inserts in the 2019-nCoV spike protein to HIV-1 gp120 and Gag
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Posted to bioRxiv 31 Jan 2020

Uncanny similarity of unique inserts in the 2019-nCoV spike protein to HIV-1 gp120 and Gag
102,514 downloads evolutionary biology

Prashant Pradhan, Ashutosh Kumar Pandey, Akhilesh Mishra, Parul Gupta, Praveen Kumar Tripathi, Manoj Balakrishnan Menon, James Gomes, Perumal Vivekanandan, Bishwajit Kundu

This paper has been withdrawn by its authors. They intend to revise it in response to comments received from the research community on their technical approach and their interpretation of the results. If you have any questions, please contact the corresponding author.

2: A human monoclonal 1 antibody blocking SARS-CoV-2 infection
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Posted to bioRxiv 12 Mar 2020

A human monoclonal 1 antibody blocking SARS-CoV-2 infection
76,888 downloads microbiology

Chunyan Wang, Wentao Li, Dubravka Drabek, Nisreen M.A. Okba, Rien van Haperen, Albert D.M.E. Osterhaus, Frank J.M. van Kuppeveld, Bart L. Haagmans, Frank Grosveld, Berend-Jan Bosch

The emergence of the novel human coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan, China has caused a worldwide epidemic of respiratory disease (COVID-19). Vaccines and targeted therapeutics for treatment of this disease are currently lacking. Here we report a human monoclonal antibody that neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 (and SARS-CoV). This cross-neutralizing antibody targets a communal epitope on these viruses and offers potential for prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

3: A SARS-CoV-2-Human Protein-Protein Interaction Map Reveals Drug Targets and Potential Drug-Repurposing
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Posted to bioRxiv 22 Mar 2020

A SARS-CoV-2-Human Protein-Protein Interaction Map Reveals Drug Targets and Potential Drug-Repurposing
73,522 downloads systems biology

David E Gordon, Gwendolyn M. Jang, Mehdi Bouhaddou, Jiewei Xu, Kirsten Obernier, Matthew J O'Meara, Jeffrey Z. Guo, Danielle L. Swaney, Tia A. Tummino, Ruth Huttenhain, Robyn M. Kaake, Alicia L. Richards, Beril Tutuncuoglu, Helene Foussard, Jyoti Batra, Kelsey Haas, Maya Modak, Minkyu Kim, Paige Haas, Benjamin J. Polacco, Hannes Braberg, Jacqueline M. Fabius, Manon Eckhardt, Margaret Soucheray, Melanie J. Bennett, Merve Cakir, Michael J. McGregor, Qiongyu Li, Zun Zar Chi Naing, Yuan Zhou, Shiming Peng, Ilsa T. Kirby, James E. Melnyk, John S. Chorba, Kevin Lou, Shizhong A. Dai, Wenqi Shen, Ying Shi, Ziyang Zhang, Inigo Barrio-Hernandez, Danish Memon, Claudia Hernandez-Armenta, Christopher J. P. Mathy, Tina Perica, Kala B. Pilla, Sai J. Ganesan, Daniel J. Saltzberg, Rakesh Ramachandran, Xi Liu, Sara B. Rosenthal, Lorenzo Calviello, Srivats Venkataramanan, Jose Liboy-Lugo, Yizhu Lin, Stephanie A. Wankowicz, Markus Bohn, Phillip P. Sharp, Raphael Trenker, Janet M. Young, Devin A. Cavero, Joseph Hiatt, Theodore L. Roth, Ujjwal Rathore, Advait Subramanian, Julia Noack, Mathieu Hubert, Ferdinand Roesch, Thomas Vallet, Björn Meyer, Kris M. White, Lisa Miorin, Oren S. Rosenberg, Kliment A Verba, David A. Agard, Melanie Ott, Michael Emerman, Davide Ruggero, Adolfo Garc&iacute-Sastre, Natalia Jura, Mark von Zastrow, Jack Taunton, Alan Ashworth, Olivier Schwartz, Marco Vignuzzi, Christophe d'Enfert, Shaeri Mukherjee, Matt Jacobson, Harmit S. Malik, Danica Galonić Fujimori, Trey Ideker, Charles S. Craik, Stephen N. Floor, James S. Fraser, John D Gross, Andrej Sali, Tanja Kortemme, Pedro Beltrao, Kevan M. Shokat, Brian K. Shoichet, Nevan J Krogan

An outbreak of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19 respiratory disease, has infected over 290,000 people since the end of 2019, killed over 12,000, and caused worldwide social and economic disruption. There are currently no antiviral drugs with proven efficacy nor are there vaccines for its prevention. Unfortunately, the scientific community has little knowledge of the molecular details of SARS-CoV-2 infection. To illuminate this, we cloned, tagged and expressed 26 of the 29 viral proteins in human cells and identified the human proteins physically associated with each using affinity-purification mass spectrometry (AP-MS), which identified 332 high confidence SARS-CoV-2-human protein-protein interactions (PPIs). Among these, we identify 67 druggable human proteins or host factors targeted by 69 existing FDA-approved drugs, drugs in clinical trials and/or preclinical compounds, that we are currently evaluating for efficacy in live SARS-CoV-2 infection assays. The identification of host dependency factors mediating virus infection may provide key insights into effective molecular targets for developing broadly acting antiviral therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2 and other deadly coronavirus strains.

4: Discovery of a 382-nt deletion during the early evolution of SARS-CoV-2
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Posted to bioRxiv 12 Mar 2020

Discovery of a 382-nt deletion during the early evolution of SARS-CoV-2
30,562 downloads microbiology

Yvonne CF Su, Danielle E. Anderson, Barnaby E Young, Feng Zhu, Martin Linster, Shirin Kalimuddin, Jenny GH Low, Zhuang Yan, Jayanthi Jayakumar, Louisa Sun, Gabriel Z Yan, Ian H Mendenhall, Yee-Sin Leo, David Chien Lye, Lin-Fa Wang, Gavin JD Smith

To date, the SARS-CoV-2 genome has been considered genetically more stable than SARS-CoV or MERS-CoV. Here we report a 382-nt deletion covering almost the entire open reading frame 8 (ORF8) of SARS-CoV-2 obtained from eight hospitalized patients in Singapore. The deletion also removes the ORF8 transcription-regulatory sequence (TRS), which in turn enhances the downstream transcription of the N gene. We also found that viruses with the deletion have been circulating for at least four weeks. During the SARS-CoV outbreak in 2003, a number of genetic variants were observed in the human population, and similar variation has since been observed across SARS-related CoVs in humans and bats. Overwhelmingly these viruses had mutations or deletions in ORF8, that have been associated with reduced replicative fitness of the virus. This is also consistent with the observation that towards the end of the outbreak sequences obtained from human SARS cases possessed an ORF8 deletion that may be associated with host adaptation. We therefore hypothesise that the major deletion revealed in this study may lead to an attenuated phenotype of SARS-CoV-2.

5: Reinfection could not occur in SARS-CoV-2 infected rhesus macaques
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Posted to bioRxiv 14 Mar 2020

Reinfection could not occur in SARS-CoV-2 infected rhesus macaques
30,274 downloads microbiology

Linlin Bao, Wei Deng, Hong Gao, Chong Xiao, Jiayi Liu, Jing Xue, Qi Lv, Jiangning Liu, Pin Yu, Yanfeng Xu, Feifei Qi, Yajin Qu, Fengdi Li, Zhiguang Xiang, Haisheng Yu, Shuran Gong, Mingya Liu, Guanpeng Wang, Shunyi Wang, Zhiqi Song, Wenjie Zhao, Yunlin Han, Linna Zhao, Xing Liu, Qiang Wei, Chuan Qin

An outbreak of the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-2), began in Wuhan and spread globally. Recently, it has been reported that discharged patients in China and elsewhere were testing positive after recovering. However, it remains unclear whether the convalescing patients have a risk of "relapse" or "reinfection". The longitudinal tracking of re-exposure after the disappeared symptoms of the SARS-CoV-2-infected monkeys was performed in this study. We found that weight loss in some monkeys, viral replication mainly in nose, pharynx, lung and gut, as well as moderate interstitial pneumonia at 7 days post-infection (dpi) were clearly observed in rhesus monkeys after the primary infection. After the symptoms were alleviated and the specific antibody tested positively, the half of infected monkeys were rechallenged with the same dose of SARS-CoV-2 strain. Notably, neither viral loads in nasopharyngeal and anal swabs along timeline nor viral replication in all primary tissue compartments at 5 days post-reinfection (dpr) was found in re-exposed monkeys. Combined with the follow-up virologic, radiological and pathological findings, the monkeys with re-exposure showed no recurrence of COVID-19, similarly to the infected monkey without rechallenge. Taken together, our results indicated that the primary SARS-CoV-2 infection could protect from subsequent exposures, which have the reference of prognosis of the disease and vital implications for vaccine design.

6: Discovery of a novel coronavirus associated with the recent pneumonia outbreak in humans and its potential bat origin
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Posted to bioRxiv 23 Jan 2020

Discovery of a novel coronavirus associated with the recent pneumonia outbreak in humans and its potential bat origin
24,559 downloads microbiology

Peng Zhou, Xing-Lou Yang, Xian-Guang Wang, Ben Hu, Lei Zhang, Wei Zhang, Hao-Rui Si, Yan Zhu, Bei Li, Chao-Lin Huang, Hui-Dong Chen, Jing Chen, Yun Luo, Hua Guo, Ren-Di Jiang, Mei-Qin Liu, Ying Chen, Xu-Rui Shen, Xi Wang, Xiao-Shuang Zheng, Kai Zhao, Quan-Jiao Chen, Fei Deng, Lin-Lin Liu, Bing Yan, Fa-Xian Zhan, Yan-Yi Wang, Gengfu Xiao, Zheng-Li Shi

Since the SARS outbreak 18 years ago, a large number of severe acute respiratory syndrome related coronaviruses (SARSr-CoV) have been discovered in their natural reservoir host, bats. Previous studies indicated that some of those bat SARSr-CoVs have the potential to infect humans. Here we report the identification and characterization of a novel coronavirus (nCoV-2019) which caused an epidemic of acute respiratory syndrome in humans, in Wuhan, China. The epidemic, started from December 12th, 2019, has caused 198 laboratory confirmed infections with three fatal cases by January 20th, 2020. Full-length genome sequences were obtained from five patients at the early stage of the outbreak. They are almost identical to each other and share 79.5% sequence identify to SARS-CoV. Furthermore, it was found that nCoV-2019 is 96% identical at the whole genome level to a bat coronavirus. The pairwise protein sequence analysis of seven conserved non-structural proteins show that this virus belongs to the species of SARSr-CoV. The nCoV-2019 virus was then isolated from the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of a critically ill patient, which can be neutralized by sera from several patients. Importantly, we have confirmed that this novel CoV uses the same cell entry receptor, ACE2, as SARS-CoV.

7: Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus – The species and its viruses, a statement of the Coronavirus Study Group
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Posted to bioRxiv 11 Feb 2020

Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus – The species and its viruses, a statement of the Coronavirus Study Group
21,507 downloads microbiology

Alexander E. Gorbalenya, Susan C. Baker, Ralph S. Baric, Raoul J. de Groot, Christian Drosten, Anastasia A. Gulyaeva, Bart L. Haagmans, Chris Lauber, Andrey M Leontovich, Benjamin W Neuman, Dmitry Penzar, Stanley Perlman, Leo L.M. Poon, Dmitry Samborskiy, Igor A. Sidorov, Isabel Sola, John Ziebuhr

The present outbreak of lower respiratory tract infections, including respiratory distress syndrome, is the third spillover, in only two decades, of an animal coronavirus to humans resulting in a major epidemic. Here, the Coronavirus Study Group (CSG) of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, which is responsible for developing the official classification of viruses and taxa naming (taxonomy) of the Coronaviridae family, assessed the novelty of the human pathogen tentatively named 2019-nCoV. Based on phylogeny, taxonomy and established practice, the CSG formally recognizes this virus as a sister to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses (SARS-CoVs) of the species Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus and designates it as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). To facilitate communication, the CSG further proposes to use the following naming convention for individual isolates: SARS-CoV-2/Isolate/Host/Date/Location. The spectrum of clinical manifestations associated with SARS-CoV-2 infections in humans remains to be determined. The independent zoonotic transmission of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 highlights the need for studying the entire (virus) species to complement research focused on individual pathogenic viruses of immediate significance. This research will improve our understanding of virus-host interactions in an ever-changing environment and enhance our preparedness for future outbreaks.

8: Potent human neutralizing antibodies elicited by SARS-CoV-2 infection
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Posted to bioRxiv 25 Mar 2020

Potent human neutralizing antibodies elicited by SARS-CoV-2 infection
18,392 downloads immunology

Bin Ju, Chi Zhang, Xiangyang Ge, Ruoke Wang, Jiazhen Yu, Sisi Shan, Bing Zhou, Shuo Song, Xian Tang, Jinfang Yu, Jiwan Ge, Jun Lan, Jing Yuan, Haiyan Wang, Juanjuan Zhao, Shuye Zhang, Youchun Wang, Xuanling Shi, Lei Liu, Xinquan Wang, Zheng Zhang, Linqi Zhang

The pandemic caused by emerging coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 presents a serious global public health emergency in urgent need of prophylactic and therapeutic interventions. SARS CoV-2 cellular entry depends on binding between the viral Spike protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) and the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) target cell receptor. Here, we report on the isolation and characterization of 206 RBD-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) derived from single B cells of eight SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals. These mAbs come from diverse families of antibody heavy and light chains without apparent enrichment for particular families in the repertoire. In samples from one patient selected for further analyses, we found coexistence of germline and germline divergent clones. Both clone types demonstrated impressive binding and neutralizing activity against pseudovirus and live SARS-CoV-2. However, the antibody neutralizing potency is determined by competition with ACE2 receptor for RBD binding. Surprisingly, none of the SARS CoV 2 antibodies nor the infected plasma cross-reacted with RBDs from either SARS CoV or MERS CoV although substantial plasma cross reactivity to the trimeric Spike proteins from SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV was found. These results suggest that antibody response to RBDs is viral species-specific while that cross-recognition target regions outside the RBD. The specificity and neutralizing characteristics of this plasma cross-reactivity requires further investigation. Nevertheless, the diverse and potent neutralizing antibodies identified here are promising candidates for prophylactic and therapeutic SARS-CoV-2 interventions.

9: The novel coronavirus 2019 (2019-nCoV) uses the SARS-coronavirus receptor ACE2 and the cellular protease TMPRSS2 for entry into target cells
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Posted to bioRxiv 31 Jan 2020

The novel coronavirus 2019 (2019-nCoV) uses the SARS-coronavirus receptor ACE2 and the cellular protease TMPRSS2 for entry into target cells
11,968 downloads molecular biology

Markus Hoffmann, Hannah Kleine-Weber, Nadine Krüger, Marcel Müller, Christian Drosten, Stefan Pöhlmann

The emergence of a novel, highly pathogenic coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, in China, and its rapid national and international spread pose a global health emergency. Coronaviruses use their spike proteins to select and enter target cells and insights into nCoV-2019 spike (S)-driven entry might facilitate assessment of pandemic potential and reveal therapeutic targets. Here, we demonstrate that 2019-nCoV-S uses the SARS-coronavirus receptor, ACE2, for entry and the cellular protease TMPRSS2 for 2019-nCoV-S priming. A TMPRSS2 inhibitor blocked entry and might constitute a treatment option. Finally, we show that the serum from a convalescent SARS patient neutralized 2019-nCoV-S-driven entry. Our results reveal important commonalities between 2019-nCoV and SARS-coronavirus infection, which might translate into similar transmissibility and disease pathogenesis. Moreover, they identify a target for antiviral intervention.

10: Single-cell RNA expression profiling of ACE2, the putative receptor of Wuhan 2019-nCov
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Posted to bioRxiv 26 Jan 2020

Single-cell RNA expression profiling of ACE2, the putative receptor of Wuhan 2019-nCov
11,959 downloads bioinformatics

Yu Zhao, Zixian Zhao, Yujia Wang, Yueqing Zhou, Yu Ma, Wei Zuo

A novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) was identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December of 2019. This new coronavirus has resulted in thousands of cases of lethal disease in China, with additional patients being identified in a rapidly growing number internationally. 2019-nCov was reported to share the same receptor, Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), with SARS-Cov. Here based on the public database and the state-of-the-art single-cell RNA-Seq technique, we analyzed the ACE2 RNA expression profile in the normal human lungs. The result indicates that the ACE2 virus receptor expression is concentrated in a small population of type II alveolar cells (AT2). Surprisingly, we found that this population of ACE2-expressing AT2 also highly expressed many other genes that positively regulating viral reproduction and transmission. A comparison between eight individual samples demonstrated that the Asian male one has an extremely large number of ACE2-expressing cells in the lung. This study provides a biological background for the epidemic investigation of the 2019-nCov infection disease, and could be informative for future anti-ACE2 therapeutic strategy development.

11: Identification of antiviral drug candidates against SARS-CoV-2 from FDA-approved drugs
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Posted to bioRxiv 20 Mar 2020

Identification of antiviral drug candidates against SARS-CoV-2 from FDA-approved drugs
11,609 downloads microbiology

Sangeun Jeon, Meehyun Ko, Jihye Lee, Inhee Choi, Soo Young Byun, Soonju Park, David Shum, Seungtaek Kim

COVID-19 is an emerging infectious disease and was recently declared as a pandemic by WHO. Currently, there is no vaccine or therapeutic available for this disease. Drug repositioning represents the only feasible option to address this global challenge and a panel of 48 FDA-approved drugs that have been pre-selected by an assay of SARS-CoV was screened to identify potential antiviral drug candidates against SARS-CoV-2 infection. We found a total of 24 drugs which exhibited antiviral efficacy (0.1 μM < IC50 < 10 μM) against SARS-CoV-2. In particular, two FDA-approved drugs – niclosamide and ciclesonide – were notable in some respects. These drugs will be tested in an appropriate animal model for their antiviral activities. In near future, these already FDA-approved drugs could be further developed following clinical trials in order to provide additional therapeutic options for patients with COVID-19.

12: Predicting commercially available antiviral drugs that may act on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), Wuhan, China through a drug-target interaction deep learning model
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Posted to bioRxiv 02 Feb 2020

Predicting commercially available antiviral drugs that may act on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), Wuhan, China through a drug-target interaction deep learning model
11,517 downloads microbiology

Bo Ram Beck, Bonggun Shin, Yoonjung Choi, Sungsoo Park, Keunsoo Kang

The infection of a novel coronavirus found in Wuhan of China (2019-nCoV) is rapidly spreading, and the incidence rate is increasing worldwide. Due to the lack of effective treatment options for 2019-nCoV, various strategies are being tested in China, including drug repurposing. In this study, we used our pre-trained deep learning-based drug-target interaction model called Molecule Transformer-Drug Target Interaction (MT-DTI) to identify commercially available drugs that could act on viral proteins of 2019-nCoV. The result showed that atazanavir, an antiretroviral medication used to treat and prevent the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is the best chemical compound, showing a inhibitory potency with Kd of 94.94 nM against the 2019-nCoV 3C-like proteinase, followed by efavirenz (199.17 nM), ritonavir (204.05 nM), and dolutegravir (336.91 nM). Interestingly, lopinavir, ritonavir, and darunavir are all designed to target viral proteinases. However, in our prediction, they may also bind to the replication complex components of 2019-nCoV with an inhibitory potency with Kd < 1000 nM. In addition, we also found that several antiviral agents, such as Kaletra, could be used for the treatment of 2019-nCoV, although there is no real-world evidence supporting the prediction. Overall, we suggest that the list of antiviral drugs identified by the MT-DTI model should be considered, when establishing effective treatment strategies for 2019-nCoV.

13: Aerodynamic Characteristics and RNA Concentration of SARS-CoV-2 Aerosol in Wuhan Hospitals during COVID-19 Outbreak
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Posted to bioRxiv 10 Mar 2020

Aerodynamic Characteristics and RNA Concentration of SARS-CoV-2 Aerosol in Wuhan Hospitals during COVID-19 Outbreak
9,811 downloads microbiology

Yuan Liu, Zhi Ning, Yu Chen, Ming Guo, Yingle Liu, Nirmal Kumar Gali, Li Sun, Yusen Duan, Jing Cai, Dane Westerdahl, Xinjin Liu, Kin-fai Ho, Haidong Kan, Qingyan Fu, Ke Lan

Background: The ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 has spread rapidly and sparked global concern. While the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through human respiratory droplets and contact with infected persons is clear, the aerosol transmission of SARS-CoV-2 has been little studied. Methods: Thirty-five aerosol samples of three different types (total suspended particle, size segregated and deposition aerosol) were collected in Patient Areas (PAA) and Medical Staff Areas (MSA) of Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University (Renmin) and Wuchang Fangcang Field Hospital (Fangcang), and Public Areas (PUA) in Wuhan, China during COVID-19 outbreak. A robust droplet digital polymerase chain reaction (ddPCR) method was employed to quantitate the viral SARS-CoV-2 RNA genome and determine aerosol RNA concentration. Results: The ICU, CCU and general patient rooms inside Renmin, patient hall inside Fangcang had undetectable or low airborne SARS-CoV-2 concentration but deposition samples inside ICU and air sample in Fangcang patient toilet tested positive. The airborne SARS-CoV-2 in Fangcang MSA had bimodal distribution with higher concentration than those in Renmin during the outbreak but turned negative after patients number reduced and rigorous sanitization implemented. PUA had undetectable airborne SARS-CoV-2 concentration but obviously increased with accumulating crowd flow. Conclusions: Room ventilation, open space, proper use and disinfection of toilet can effectively limit aerosol transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Gathering of crowds with asymptomatic carriers is a potential source of airborne SARS-CoV-2. The virus aerosol deposition on protective apparel or floor surface and their subsequent resuspension is a potential transmission pathway and effective sanitization is critical in minimizing aerosol transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

14: SARS-CoV-2 invades host cells via a novel route: CD147-spike protein
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Posted to bioRxiv 14 Mar 2020

SARS-CoV-2 invades host cells via a novel route: CD147-spike protein
9,519 downloads microbiology

Ke Wang, Wei Chen, Yu-Sen Zhou, Jian-Qi Lian, Zheng Zhang, Peng Du, Li Gong, Yang Zhang, Hong-Yong Cui, Jie-Jie Geng, Bin Wang, Xiu-Xuan Sun, Chun-Fu Wang, Xu Yang, Peng Lin, Yong-Qiang Deng, Ding Wei, Xiang-Min Yang, Yu-Meng Zhu, Kui Zhang, Zhao-Hui Zheng, Jin-Lin Miao, Ting Guo, Ying Shi, Jun Zhang, Ling Fu, Qing-Yi Wang, Huijie Bian, Ping Zhu, Zhi-Nan Chen

Currently, COVID-19 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been widely spread around the world; nevertheless, so far there exist no specific antiviral drugs for treatment of the disease, which poses great challenge to control and contain the virus. Here, we reported a research finding that SARS-CoV-2 invaded host cells via a novel route of CD147-spike protein (SP). SP bound to CD147, a receptor on the host cells, thereby mediating the viral invasion. Our further research confirmed this finding. First, in vitro antiviral tests indicated Meplazumab, an anti-CD147 humanized antibody, significantly inhibited the viruses from invading host cells, with an EC50 of 24.86 μg/mL and IC50 of 15.16 μg/mL. Second, we validated the interaction between CD147 and SP, with an affinity constant of 1.85E-07M. Co-Immunoprecipitation and ELISA also confirmed the binding of the two proteins. Finally, the localization of CD147 and SP was observed in SARS-CoV-2 infected Vero E6 cells by immuno-electron microscope. Therefore, the discovery of the new route CD147-SP for SARS-CoV-2 invading host cells provides a critical target for development of specific antiviral drugs.

15: An orally bioavailable broad-spectrum antiviral inhibits SARS-CoV-2 and multiple endemic, epidemic and bat coronavirus
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Posted to bioRxiv 20 Mar 2020

An orally bioavailable broad-spectrum antiviral inhibits SARS-CoV-2 and multiple endemic, epidemic and bat coronavirus
9,121 downloads microbiology

Timothy P. Sheahan, Amy C. Sims, Shuntai Zhou, Rachel L. Graham, Collin S. Hill, Sarah R Leist, Alexandra Schäfer, Kenneth H. Dinnon, Stephanie A. Montgomery, Maria L Agostini, Andrea J. Pruijssers, James D. Chapell, Ariane J Brown, Gregory R. Bluemling, Michael G. Natchus, Manohar Saindane, Alexander A. Kolykhalov, George Painter, Jennifer Harcourt, Azaibi Tamin, Natalie J. Thornburg, Ronald Swanstrom, Mark R. Denison, Ralph S. Baric

Coronaviruses (CoVs) traffic frequently between species resulting in novel disease outbreaks, most recently exemplified by the newly emerged SARS-CoV-2. Herein, we show that the ribonucleoside analog Beta-D-N4-hydroxycytidine (NHC, EIDD-1931) has broad spectrum antiviral activity against SARS-CoV 2, MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and related zoonotic group 2b or 2c Bat-CoVs, as well as increased potency against a coronavirus bearing resistance mutations to another nucleoside analog inhibitor. In mice infected with SARS-CoV or MERS-CoV, both prophylactic and therapeutic administration of EIDD-2801, an orally bioavailable NHC-prodrug (Beta-D-N4-hydroxycytidine-5[']-isopropyl ester), improved pulmonary function, and reduced virus titer and body weight loss. Decreased MERS-CoV yields in vitro and in vivo were associated with increased transition mutation frequency in viral but not host cell RNA, supporting a mechanism of lethal mutagenesis. The potency of NHC/EIDD-2801 against multiple coronaviruses, its therapeutic efficacy, and oral bioavailability in vivo, all highlight its potential utility as an effective antiviral against SARS-CoV-2 and other future zoonotic coronaviruses.

16: Structure of Mpro from COVID-19 virus and discovery of its inhibitors
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Posted to bioRxiv 27 Feb 2020

Structure of Mpro from COVID-19 virus and discovery of its inhibitors
7,397 downloads biochemistry

Zhenming Jin, Xiaoyu Du, Yechun Xu, Yongqiang Deng, Meiqin Liu, Yao Zhao, Bing Zhang, Xiaofeng Li, Leike Zhang, Chao Peng, Yinkai Duan, Jing Yu, Lin Wang, Kailin Yang, Fengjiang Liu, Rendi Jiang, Xinglou Yang, Tian You, Xiaoce Liu, Xiuna Yang, Fang Bai, Hong Liu, Xiang Liu, Luke W. Guddat, Wenqing Xu, Gengfu Xiao, Chengfeng Qin, Zhengli Shi, Hualiang Jiang, Zihe Rao, Haitao Yang

A new coronavirus (CoV) identified as COVID-19 virus is the etiological agent responsible for the 2019-2020 viral pneumonia outbreak that commenced in Wuhan. Currently there is no targeted therapeutics and effective treatment options remain very limited. In order to rapidly discover lead compounds for clinical use, we initiated a program of combined structure-assisted drug design, virtual drug screening and high-throughput screening to identify new drug leads that target the COVID-19 virus main protease (Mpro). Mpro is a key CoV enzyme, which plays a pivotal role in mediating viral replication and transcription, making it an attractive drug target for this virus. Here, we identified a mechanism-based inhibitor, N3, by computer-aided drug design and subsequently determined the crystal structure of COVID-19 virus Mpro in complex with this compound. Next, through a combination of structure-based virtual and high-throughput screening, we assayed over 10,000 compounds including approved drugs, drug candidates in clinical trials, and other pharmacologically active compounds as inhibitors of Mpro. Six of these inhibit Mpro with IC50 values ranging from 0.67 to 21.4 μM. Ebselen also exhibited promising antiviral activity in cell-based assays. Our results demonstrate the efficacy of this screening strategy, which can lead to the rapid discovery of drug leads with clinical potential in response to new infectious diseases where no specific drugs or vaccines are available.

17: Structure, function and antigenicity of the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein
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Posted to bioRxiv 20 Feb 2020

Structure, function and antigenicity of the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein
6,730 downloads biochemistry

Alexandra C Walls, Young-Jun Park, M. Alexandra Tortorici, Abigail Wall, Andrew T McGuire, David Veesler

The recent emergence of a novel coronavirus associated with an ongoing outbreak of pneumonia (Covid-2019) resulted in infections of more than 72,000 people and claimed over 1,800 lives. Coronavirus spike (S) glycoprotein trimers promote entry into cells and are the main target of the humoral immune response. We show here that SARS-CoV-2 S mediates entry in VeroE6 cells and in BHK cells transiently transfected with human ACE2, establishing ACE2 as a functional receptor for this novel coronavirus. We further demonstrate that the receptor-binding domains of SARS-CoV-2 S and SARS-CoV S bind with similar affinities to human ACE2, which correlates with the efficient spread of SARS-CoV-2 among humans. We found that the SARS-CoV-2 S glycoprotein harbors a furin cleavage site at the boundary between the S1/S2 subunits, which is processed during biogenesis and sets this virus apart from SARS-CoV and other SARS-related CoVs. We determined a cryo-electron microscopy structure of the SARS-CoV-2 S ectodomain trimer, demonstrating spontaneous opening of the receptor-binding domain, and providing a blueprint for the design of vaccines and inhibitors of viral entry. Finally, we demonstrate that SARS-CoV S murine polyclonal sera potently inhibited SARS-CoV-2 S-mediated entry into target cells, thereby indicating that cross-neutralizing antibodies targeting conserved S epitopes can be elicited upon vaccination.

18: The first-in-class peptide binder to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein
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Posted to bioRxiv 20 Mar 2020

The first-in-class peptide binder to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein
6,258 downloads bioengineering

G. Zhang, S. Pomplun, A. R. Loftis, A. Loas, B. L. Pentelute

Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is an emerging global health crisis. With over 200,000 confirmed cases to date, this pandemic continues to expand, spurring research to discover vaccines and therapies. SARS-CoV-2 is the novel coronavirus responsible for this disease. It initiates entry into human cells by binding to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) via the receptor binding domain (RBD) of its spike protein (S). Disrupting the SARS-CoV-2-RBD binding to ACE2 with designer drugs has the potential to inhibit the virus from entering human cells, presenting a new modality for therapeutic intervention. Peptide-based binders are an attractive solution to inhibit the RBD-ACE2 interaction by adequately covering the extended protein contact interface. Using molecular dynamics simulations based on the recently solved ACE2 and SARS-CoV-2-RBD co-crystal structure, we observed that the ACE2 peptidase domain (PD) α1 helix is important for binding SARS-CoV-2-RBD. Using automated fast-flow peptide synthesis, we chemically synthesized a 23-mer peptide fragment of the ACE2 PD α1 helix composed entirely of proteinogenic amino acids. Chemical synthesis of this human derived sequence was complete in 1.5 hours and after work up and isolation >20 milligrams of pure material was obtained. Bio-layer interferometry revealed that this peptide specifically associates with the SARS-CoV-2-RBD with low nanomolar affinity. This peptide binder to SARS-CoV-2-RBD provides new avenues for COVID-19 treatment and diagnostic modalities by blocking the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein interaction with ACE2 and thus precluding virus entry into human cells.

19: Efficient inactivation of SARS-CoV-2 by WHO-recommended hand rub formulations and alcohols
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Posted to bioRxiv 17 Mar 2020

Efficient inactivation of SARS-CoV-2 by WHO-recommended hand rub formulations and alcohols
5,946 downloads microbiology

Annika Kratzel, Daniel Todt, Philip V’kovski, Silvio Steiner, Mitra L Gultom, Tran Thi Nhu Thao, Nadine Ebert, Melle Holwerda, Jörg Steinmann, Daniela Niemeyer, Ronald Dijkman, Günter Kampf, Christian Drosten, Eike Steinmann, Volker Thiel, Stephanie Pfaender

The recent emergence of Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causing COVID-19 is a major burden for health care systems worldwide. It is important to address if the current infection control instructions based on active ingredients are sufficient. We therefore determined the virucidal activity of two alcohol-based hand rub solutions for hand disinfection recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as commercially available alcohols. Efficient SARS-CoV-2 inactivation was demonstrated for all tested alcohol-based disinfectants. These findings show the successful inactivation of SARS-CoV-2 for the first time and provide confidence in its use for the control of COVID-19.

20: Substrate specificity profiling of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro protease provides basis for anti-COVID-19 drug design
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Posted to bioRxiv 08 Mar 2020

Substrate specificity profiling of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro protease provides basis for anti-COVID-19 drug design
5,761 downloads biochemistry

Wioletta Rut, Katarzyna Groborz, Linlin Zhang, Xinyuanyuan Sun, Mikolaj Zmudzinski, Rolf Hilgenfeld, Marcin Drag

In December 2019, the first cases of a novel coronavirus infection were diagnosed in Wuhan, China. Due to international travel and human-to-human transmission, the virus spread rapidly inside and outside of China. Currently, there is no effective antiviral treatment for COVID-19, therefore research efforts are focused on the rapid development of vaccines and antiviral drugs. The SARS-CoV-2 Mpro protease constitutes one of the most attractive antiviral drug targets. To address this emerging problem, we have synthesized a combinatorial library of fluorogenic substrates with glutamine in the P1 position. We used it to determine the substrate preferences of the SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 proteases, using natural and a large panel of unnatural amino acids. The results of our work provide a structural framework for the design of inhibitors as antiviral agents or diagnostic tests.

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