Rxivist combines preprints from bioRxiv with data from Twitter to help you find the papers being discussed in your field. Currently indexing 84,588 bioRxiv papers from 364,027 authors.
Most downloaded bioRxiv papers, since beginning of last month
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14,273 downloads microbiology
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.
14,124 downloads bioinformatics
Christoph Muus, Malte D. Luecken, Gokcen Eraslan, Avinash Waghray, Graham Heimberg, Lisa Sikkema, Yoshihiko Kobayashi, Eeshit Dhaval Vaishnav, Ayshwarya Subramanian, Christopher Smilie, Karthik Jagadeesh, Elizabeth Thu Duong, Evgenij Fiskin, Elena Torlai Triglia, Meshal Ansari, Peiwen Cai, Brian Lin, Justin Buchanan, Sijia Chen, Jian Shu, Adam L. Haber, Hattie Chung, Daniel T Montoro, Taylor Adams, Hananeh Aliee, J. Samuel, Allon Zaneta Andrusivova, Ilias Angelidis, Orr Ashenberg, Kevin Bassler, Christophe Bécavin, Inbal Benhar, Joseph Bergenstråhle, Ludvig Bergenstråhle, Liam Bolt, Emelie Braun, Linh T Bui, Mark Chaffin, Evgeny Chichelnitskiy, Joshua Chiou, Thomas M Conlon, Michael S Cuoco, Marie Deprez, David S. Fischer, Astrid Gillich, Joshua Gould, Minzhe Guo, Austin J Gutierrez, Arun C Habermann, Tyler Harvey, Peng He, Xiaomeng Hou, Lijuan Hu, Alok Jaiswal, Peiyong Jiang, Theodoros Kapellos, Christin S Kuo, Ludvig Larsson, Michael A. Leney-Greene, Kyungtae Lim, Monika Litviňuková, Ji Lu, Leif S Ludwig, Wendy Luo, Henrike Maatz, Elo Madissoon, Lira Mamanova, Kasidet Manakongtreecheep, Charles-Hugo Marquette, Ian Mbano, Alexi Marie McAdams, Ross J Metzger, Ahmad N. Nabhan, Sarah K. Nyquist, Lolita Penland, Olivier B. Poirion, Sergio Poli, CanCan Qi, Rachel Queen, Daniel Reichart, Ivan Rosas, Jonas Schupp, Rahul Sinha, Rene V Sit, Kamil Slowikowski, Michal Slyper, Neal Smith, Alex Sountoulidis, Maximilian Strunz, Dawei Sun, Carlos Talavera-Lopez, Peng Tan, Jessica Tantivit, Kyle J. Travaglini, Nathan R. Tucker, Katherine Vernon, Marc H Wadsworth, Julia Waldman, Xiuting Wang, Wenjun Yan, William Zhao, Carly G. K. Ziegler, The NHLBI LungMAP Consortium, The Human Cell Atlas Lung Biological Network
The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, creates an urgent need for identifying molecular mechanisms that mediate viral entry, propagation, and tissue pathology. Cell membrane bound angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and associated proteases, transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) and Cathepsin L (CTSL), were previously identified as mediators of SARS-CoV2 cellular entry. Here, we assess the cell type-specific RNA expression of ACE2, TMPRSS2, and CTSL through an integrated analysis of 107 single-cell and single-nucleus RNA-Seq studies, including 22 lung and airways datasets (16 unpublished), and 85 datasets from other diverse organs. Joint expression of ACE2 and the accessory proteases identifies specific subsets of respiratory epithelial cells as putative targets of viral infection in the nasal passages, airways, and alveoli. Cells that co-express ACE2 and proteases are also identified in cells from other organs, some of which have been associated with COVID-19 transmission or pathology, including gut enterocytes, corneal epithelial cells, cardiomyocytes, heart pericytes, olfactory sustentacular cells, and renal epithelial cells. Performing the first meta-analyses of scRNA-seq studies, we analyzed 1,176,683 cells from 282 nasal, airway, and lung parenchyma samples from 164 donors spanning fetal, childhood, adult, and elderly age groups, associate increased levels of ACE2, TMPRSS2, and CTSL in specific cell types with increasing age, male gender, and smoking, all of which are epidemiologically linked to COVID-19 susceptibility and outcomes. Notably, there was a particularly low expression of ACE2 in the few young pediatric samples in the analysis. Further analysis reveals a gene expression program shared by ACE2+TMPRSS2+ cells in nasal, lung and gut tissues, including genes that may mediate viral entry, subtend key immune functions, and mediate epithelial-macrophage cross-talk. Amongst these are IL6, its receptor and co-receptor, IL1R, TNF response pathways, and complement genes. Cell type specificity in the lung and airways and smoking effects were conserved in mice. Our analyses suggest that differences in the cell type-specific expression of mediators of SARS-CoV-2 viral entry may be responsible for aspects of COVID-19 epidemiology and clinical course, and point to putative molecular pathways involved in disease susceptibility and pathogenesis. ### Competing Interest Statement N.K. was a consultant to Biogen Idec, Boehringer Ingelheim, Third Rock, Pliant, Samumed, NuMedii, Indaloo, Theravance, LifeMax, Three Lake Partners, Optikira and received non-financial support from MiRagen. All of these outside the work reported. J.L. is a scientific consultant for 10X Genomics Inc A.R. is a co-founder and equity holder of Celsius Therapeutics, an equity holder in Immunitas, and an SAB member of ThermoFisher Scientific, Syros Pharmaceuticals, Asimov, and Neogene Therapeutics O.R.R., is a co-inventor on patent applications filed by the Broad Institute to inventions relating to single cell genomics applications, such as in PCT/US2018/060860 and US Provisional Application No. 62/745,259. A.K.S. compensation for consulting and SAB membership from Honeycomb Biotechnologies, Cellarity, Cogen Therapeutics, Orche Bio, and Dahlia Biosciences. S.A.T. was a consultant at Genentech, Biogen and Roche in the last three years. F.J.T. reports receiving consulting fees from Roche Diagnostics GmbH, and ownership interest in Cellarity Inc. L.V. is funder of Definigen and Bilitech two biotech companies using hPSCs and organoid for disease modelling and cell based therapy.
13,364 downloads immunology
Davide F. Robbiani, Christian Gaebler, Frauke Muecksch, Julio Cetrulo Lorenzi, Zijun Wang, Alice Cho, Marianna Agudelo, Christopher Barnes, Shlomo Finkin, Thomas Hagglof, Thiago Oliveira, Charlotte Viant, Arlene Hurley, Katrina Millard, Rhonda Kost, Melissa Cipolla, Anna Gazumyan, Kristie Gordon, Filippo Bianchini, Spencer Chen, Victor Ramos, Roshni Patel, Juan Dizon, Irina Shimeliovich, Pilar Mendoza, Harald Hartweger, Lilian Nogueira, Maggi Pack, Jill Horowitz, Fabian Schmidt, Yiska Weisblum, Hans-Heinrich Hoffmann, Eleftherios Michailidis, Alison Ashbrook, Eric F. Waltari, John Pak, Kathryn Huey-Tubman, Nicholas Koranda, Pauline Hoffman, Anthony West, Charles Rice, Theodora Hatziioannou, Pamela Bjorkman, Paul Bieniasz, Marina Caskey, Michel Nussenzweig
During the COVID-19 pandemic, SARS-CoV-2 infected millions of people and claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. Virus entry into cells depends on the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (S). Although there is no vaccine, it is likely that antibodies will be essential for protection. However, little is known about the human antibody response to SARS-CoV-2. Here we report on 149 COVID-19 convalescent individuals. Plasmas collected an average of 39 days after the onset of symptoms had variable half-maximal neutralizing titers ranging from undetectable in 33% to below 1:1000 in 79%, while only 1% showed titers >1:5000. Antibody cloning revealed expanded clones of RBD-specific memory B cells expressing closely related antibodies in different individuals. Despite low plasma titers, antibodies to three distinct epitopes on RBD neutralized at half-maximal inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) as low as single digit ng/mL. Thus, most convalescent plasmas obtained from individuals who recover from COVID-19 do not contain high levels of neutralizing activity. Nevertheless, rare but recurring RBD-specific antibodies with potent antiviral activity were found in all individuals tested, suggesting that a vaccine designed to elicit such antibodies could be broadly effective. ### Competing Interest Statement In connection with this work The Rockefeller University has filed a provisional patent application on which D.F.R. and M.C.N are inventors.
12,286 downloads immunology
Bin Ju, Qi 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.
11,606 downloads bioinformatics
The ongoing pandemic of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2). We have performed an integrated sequence-based analysis of SARS-CoV2 genomes from different geographical locations in order to identify its unique features absent in SARS-CoV and other related coronavirus family genomes, conferring unique infection, facilitation of transmission, virulence and immunogenic features to the virus. The phylogeny of the genomes yields some interesting results. Systematic gene level mutational analysis of the genomes has enabled us to identify several unique features of the SARS-CoV2 genome, which includes a unique mutation in the spike surface glycoprotein (A930V (24351C>T)) in the Indian SARS-CoV2, absent in other strains studied here. We have also predicted the impact of the mutations in the spike glycoprotein function and stability, using computational approach. To gain further insights into host responses to viral infection, we predict that antiviral host-miRNAs may be controlling the viral pathogenesis. Our analysis reveals nine host miRNAs which can potentially target SARS-CoV2 genes. Interestingly, the nine miRNAs do not have targets in SARS and MERS genomes. Also, hsa-miR-27b is the only unique miRNA which has a target gene in the Indian SARS-CoV2 genome. We also predicted immune epitopes in the genomes.
11,512 downloads microbiology
One of the greatest threats to humanity is the emergence of a pandemic virus. Among those with the greatest potential for such an event include influenza viruses and coronaviruses. In the last century alone, we have observed four major influenza A virus pandemics as well as the emergence of three highly pathogenic coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As no effective antiviral treatments or vaccines are presently available against SARS-CoV-2, it is important to understand the host response to this virus as this may guide the efforts in development towards novel therapeutics. Here, we offer the first in-depth characterization of the host transcriptional response to SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory infections through in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo model systems. Our data demonstrate the each virus elicits both core antiviral components as well as unique transcriptional footprints. Compared to the response to influenza A virus and respiratory syncytial virus, SARS-CoV-2 elicits a muted response that lacks robust induction of a subset of cytokines including the Type I and Type III interferons as well as a numerous chemokines. Taken together, these data suggest that the unique transcriptional signature of this virus may be responsible for the development of COVID-19.
11,105 downloads microbiology
Cihan Tastan, Bulut Yurtsever, Gozde Sir, Derya Dilek Kancagi, Sevda Demir, Selen Abanuz, Utku Seyis, Mulazim Yildirim, Recai Kuzay, Omer Elibol, Serap Arbak, Merve Acikel Elmas, Selcuk Birdogan, Eray Sahin, Orhan Ozcan, Ugur Sezerman, Ercument Ovali
The novel coronavirus pneumonia, which was named later as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), is caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2, namely SARS-CoV-2. It is a positive-strand RNA virus that is the seventh coronavirus known to infect humans. The COVID-19 outbreak presents enormous challenges for global health behind the pandemic outbreak. The first diagnosed patient in Turkey has been reported by the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Health on March 11, 2020. Today, over eight thousand cases in Turkey, and two million cases around the world have been declared. Due to the urgent need for vaccine studies and drug discoveries, isolation of the virus is crucial. Here, we report one of the first isolation and characterization studies of SARS-CoV-2 from nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal specimens of diagnosed patients in Turkey. This study suggests replication methodology and cell culture tropism of the virus that will be available to the research communities. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
10,957 downloads microbiology
Laura Riva, Shuofeng Yuan, Xin Yin, Laura Martin-Sancho, Naoko Matsunaga, Sebastian Burgstaller-Muehlbacher, Lars Pache, Paul P. De Jesus, Mitchell V. Hull, Max Chang, Jasper Fuk-Woo Chan, Jianli Cao, Vincent Kwok-Man Poon, Kristina Herbert, Tu-Trinh Nguyen, Yuan Pu, Courtney Nguyen, Andrey Rubanov, Luis Martinez-Sobrido, Wen-Chun Liu, Lisa Miorin, Kris M. White, Jeffrey R Johnson, Christopher Benner, Ren Sun, Peter G. Schultz, Andrew I. Su, Adolfo Garcia-Sastre, Arnab K. Chatterjee, Kwok-Yung Yuen, Sumit K. Chanda
The emergence of novel SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in 2019 has triggered an ongoing global pandemic of severe pneumonia-like disease designated as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). To date, more than 2.1 million confirmed cases and 139,500 deaths have been reported worldwide, and there are currently no medical countermeasures available to prevent or treat the disease. As the development of a vaccine could require at least 12-18 months, and the typical timeline from hit finding to drug registration of an antiviral is >10 years, repositioning of known drugs can significantly accelerate the development and deployment of therapies for COVID-19. To identify therapeutics that can be repurposed as SARS-CoV-2 antivirals, we profiled a library of known drugs encompassing approximately 12,000 clinical-stage or FDAapproved small molecules. Here, we report the identification of 30 known drugs that inhibit viral replication. Of these, six were characterized for cellular dose-activity relationships, and showed effective concentrations likely to be commensurate with therapeutic doses in patients. These include the PIKfyve kinase inhibitor Apilimod, cysteine protease inhibitors MDL-28170, Z LVG CHN2, VBY-825, and ONO 5334, and the CCR1 antagonist MLN-3897. Since many of these molecules have advanced into the clinic, the known pharmacological and human safety profiles of these compounds will accelerate their preclinical and clinical evaluation for COVID-19 treatment. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
10,924 downloads evolutionary biology
There are outstanding evolutionary questions on the recent emergence of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2/hCoV-19 in Hubei province that caused the COVID-19 pandemic, including (1) the relationship of the new virus to the SARS-related coronaviruses, (2) the role of bats as a reservoir species, (3) the potential role of other mammals in the emergence event, and (4) the role of recombination in viral emergence. Here, we address these questions and find that the sarbecoviruses -- the viral subgenus responsible for the emergence of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 -- exhibit frequent recombination, but the SARS-CoV-2 lineage itself is not a recombinant of any viruses detected to date. In order to employ phylogenetic methods to date the divergence events between SARS-CoV-2 and the bat sarbecovirus reservoir, recombinant regions of a 68-genome sarbecovirus alignment were removed with three independent methods. Bayesian evolutionary rate and divergence date estimates were consistent for all three recombination-free alignments and robust to two different prior specifications based on HCoV-OC43 and MERS-CoV evolutionary rates. Divergence dates between SARS-CoV-2 and the bat sarbecovirus reservoir were estimated as 1948 (95% HPD: 1879-1999), 1969 (95% HPD: 1930-2000), and 1982 (95% HPD: 1948-2009). Despite intensified characterization of sarbecoviruses since SARS, the lineage giving rise to SARS-CoV-2 has been circulating unnoticed for decades in bats and been transmitted to other hosts such as pangolins. The occurrence of a third significant coronavirus emergence in 17 years together with the high prevalence and virus diversity in bats implies that these viruses are likely to cross species boundaries again.
10,837 downloads microbiology
Linlin Bao, Wei Deng, Baoying Huang, Hong Gao, Jiangning Liu, Lili Ren, Qiang Wei, Pin Yu, Yanfeng Xu, Feifei Qi, Yajin Qu, Fengdi Li, Qi Lv, Wenling Wang, Jing Xue, Shuran Gong, Mingya Liu, Guanpeng Wang, Shunyi Wang, Zhiqi Song, Linna Zhao, Peipei Liu, Li Zhao, Fei Ye, Huijuan Wang, Weimin Zhou, Na Zhu, Wei Zhen, Haisheng Yu, Xiaojuan Zhang, Li Guo, Lan Chen, Conghui Wang, Ying Wang, Xinming Wang, Yan Xiao, Qiangming Sun, Hongqi Liu, Fanli Zhu, Chunxia Ma, Lingmei Yan, Mengli Yang, Jun Han, Wenbo Xu, Wenjie Tan, Xiaozhong Peng, Qi Jin, Guizhen Wu, Chuan Qin
Severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-2) caused the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in China has become a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). Based on angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as cell entry receptor of SARS-CoV, we used the hACE2 transgenic mice infected with SARS-CoV-2 to study the pathogenicity of the virus. Weight loss and virus replication in lung were observed in hACE2 mice infected with SARS-CoV-2. The typical histopathology was interstitial pneumonia with infiltration of significant lymphocytes and monocytes in alveolar interstitium, and accumulation of macrophages in alveolar cavities. Viral antigens were observed in the bronchial epithelial cells, alveolar macrophages and alveolar epithelia. The phenomenon was not found in wild type mice with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 in hACE2 mice was clarified and the Koch’s postulates were fulfilled as well, and the mouse model may facilitate the development of therapeutics and vaccines against SARS-CoV-2.
10,669 downloads molecular biology
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has already caused devastating losses. Early evidence shows that the exponential spread of COVID-19 can be slowed by restrictive isolation measures, but these place a tremendous burden on society. Moreover, once these restrictions are lifted, the exponential spread is likely to re-emerge. It has been suggested that population-scale testing can help break the cycle of isolation and spread, but current detection methods are not capable of such large-scale processing. Here we propose LAMP-Seq, a barcoded Reverse-Transcription Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification (RT-LAMP) protocol that could dramatically reduce the cost and complexity of population-scale testing. In this approach, individual samples are processed in a single heat step, producing barcoded amplicons that can be shipped to a sequencing center, pooled, and analyzed en masse. Using unique barcode combinations per sample from a compressed barcode space enables extensive pooling, significantly reducing cost and organizational efforts. Given the low cost and scalability of next-generation sequencing, we believe that this method can be affordably scaled to analyze millions of samples per day using existing sequencing infrastructure.
10,602 downloads pathology
Purpose: Conjunctival signs and symptoms are observed in a subset of patients with COVID-19, and SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in tears, raising concerns regarding the eye both as a portal of entry and carrier of the virus. The purpose of this study was to determine whether ocular surface cells possess the key factors required for cellular susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 entry/infection. Methods: We analyzed human post-mortem eyes as well as surgical specimens for the expression of ACE2 (the receptor for SARS-CoV-2) and TMPRSS2, a cell surface-associated protease that facilitates viral entry following binding of the viral spike protein to ACE2. Results: Across all eye specimens, immunohistochemical analysis revealed expression of ACE2 in the conjunctiva, limbus, and cornea, with especially prominent staining in the superficial conjunctival and corneal epithelial surface. Surgical conjunctival specimens also showed expression of ACE2 in the conjunctival epithelium, especially prominent in the superficial epithelium, as well as the substantia propria. All eye and conjunctival specimens also expressed TMPRSS2. Finally, western blot analysis of protein lysates from human corneal epithelium obtained during refractive surgery confirmed expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2. Conclusions: Together, these results indicate that ocular surface cells including conjunctiva are susceptible to infection by SARS-CoV-2, and could therefore serve as a portal of entry as well as a reservoir for person-to-person transmission of this virus. This highlights the importance of safety practices including face masks and ocular contact precautions in preventing the spread of COVID-19 disease. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
10,528 downloads molecular biology
Daniel J Butler, Christopher Mozsary, Cem Meydan, David Danko, Jonathan Foox, Joel Rosiene, Alon Shaiber, Ebrahim Afshinnekoo, Matthew MacKay, Fritz J. Sedlazeck, Nikolay A Ivanov, Maria Sierra, Diana Pohle, Michael Zietz, Undina Gisladottir, Vijendra Ramlall, Craig D Westover, Krista Ryon, Benjamin Young, Chandrima Bhattacharya, Phyllis Ruggiero, Bradley W. Langhorst, Nathan Tanner, Justyna Gawrys, Dmitry Meleshko, Dong Xu, Peter A D Steel, Amos J Shemesh, Jenny Xiang, Jean Thierry-Mieg, Danielle Thierry-Mieg, Robert E. Schwartz, Angelika Iftner, Daniela Bezdan, John Sipley, Lin Cong, Arryn Craney, Priya Velu, Ari M. Melnick, Iman Hajirasouliha, Stacy M. Horner, Thomas Iftner, Mirella Salvatore, Massimo Loda, Lars F Westblade, Melissa Cushing, Shawn Levy, Shixiu Wu, Nicholas Tatonetti, Marcin Imielinski, Hanna Rennert, Christopher E. Mason
The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused thousands of deaths worldwide, including >18,000 in New York City (NYC) alone. The sudden emergence of this pandemic has highlighted a pressing clinical need for rapid, scalable diagnostics that can detect infection, interrogate strain evolution, and identify novel patient biomarkers. To address these challenges, we designed a fast (30-minute) colorimetric test (LAMP) for SARS-CoV-2 infection from naso/oropharyngeal swabs, plus a large-scale shotgun metatranscriptomics platform (total-RNA-seq) for host, bacterial, and viral profiling. We applied both technologies across 857 SARS-CoV-2 clinical specimens and 86 NYC subway samples, providing a broad molecular portrait of the COVID-19 NYC outbreak. Our results define new features of SARS-CoV-2 evolution, nominate a novel, NYC-enriched viral subclade, reveal specific host responses in ACE, interferon, hematological, and olfaction pathways, and examine risks associated with use of ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers. Together, these findings have immediate applications to SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics, public health monitoring, and new therapeutic targets. ### Competing Interest Statement N.T. and B.L. are employees at New England Biolabs.
10,303 downloads bioinformatics
A novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 was identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December of 2019. According to WHO report, this new coronavirus has resulted in 76,392 confirmed infections and 2,348 deaths in China by 22 February, 2020, with additional patients being identified in a rapidly growing number internationally. SARS-CoV-2 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 entry, reproduction and transmission. This study provides a biological background for the epidemic investigation of the COVID-19, and could be informative for future anti-ACE2 therapeutic strategy development. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
10,211 downloads genetics
Eric W Stawiski, Devan Diwanji, Kushal Suryamohan, Ravi Gupta, Frederic A Fellouse, J. Fah Sathirapongsasuti, Jiang Liu, Ying-Ping Jiang, Aakrosh Ratan, Monika Mis, Devi Santhosh, Sneha Somasekar, Sangeetha Mohan, Sameer Phalke, Boney Kuriakose, Aju Antony, Jagath R Junutula, Stephan C. Schuster, Natalia Jura, Somasekar Seshagiri
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the cause of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that has resulted in a global pandemic. It is a highly contagious positive strand RNA virus and its clinical presentation includes severe to critical respiratory disease that appears to be fatal in ~3-5% of the cases. The viral spike (S) coat protein engages the human angiotensin-converting enzyme2 (ACE2) cell surface protein to invade the host cell. The SARS-CoV-2 S-protein has acquired mutations that increase its affinity to human ACE2 by ~10-15-fold compared to SARS-CoV S-protein, making it highly infectious. In this study, we assessed if ACE2 polymorphisms might alter host susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 by affecting the ACE2 S-protein interaction. Our comprehensive analysis of several large genomic datasets that included over 290,000 samples representing >400 population groups identified multiple ACE2 protein-altering variants, some of which mapped to the S-protein-interacting ACE2 surface. Using recently reported structural data and a recent S-protein-interacting synthetic mutant map of ACE2, we have identified natural ACE2 variants that are predicted to alter the virus-host interaction and thereby potentially alter host susceptibility. In particular, human ACE2 variants S19P, I21V, E23K, K26R, T27A, N64K, T92I, Q102P and H378R are predicted to increase susceptibility. The T92I variant, part of a consensus NxS/T N-glycosylation motif, confirmed the role of N90 glycosylation in immunity from non-human CoVs. Other ACE2 variants K31R, N33I, H34R, E35K, E37K, D38V, Y50F, N51S, M62V, K68E, F72V, Y83H, G326E, G352V, D355N, Q388L and D509Y are putative protective variants predicted to show decreased binding to SARS-CoV-2 S-protein. Overall, ACE2 variants are rare, consistent with the lack of selection pressure given the recent history of SARS-CoV epidemics, however, are likely to play an important role in altering susceptibility to CoVs. ### Competing Interest Statement
9,735 downloads microbiology
SARS-COV-2 has recently emerged as a new public health threat. Herein, we report that the FDA-approved gold drug, auranofin, inhibits SARS-COV-2 replication in human cells at low micro molar concentration. Treatment of cells with auranofin resulted in a 95% reduction in the viral RNA at 48 hours after infection. Auranofin treatment dramatically reduced the expression of SARS-COV-2-induced cytokines in human cells. These data indicate that auranofin could be a useful drug to limit SARS-CoV-2 infection and associated lung injury due to its anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-ROS properties. Auranofin has a well-known toxicity profile and is considered safe for human use. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
9,672 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. : #ref-1 : #ref-4 : #ref-5 : #ref-6
9,615 downloads immunology
Kevin Ng, Nikhil Faulkner, Georgina Cornish, Annachiara Rosa, Christopher Earl, Antoni Wrobel, Donald Benton, Chloe Roustan, William Bolland, Rachael Thompson, Ana Agua-Doce, Philip Hobson, Judith Heaney, Hannah Rickman, Stavroula Paraskevopoulou, Catherine F Houlihan, Kirsty Thomson, Emilie Sanchez, Gee Yen Shin, Moira J Spyer, Philip A Walker, Svend Kjaer, Andrew Riddell, Rupert Beale, Charles Swanton, Sonia Gandhi, Brigitta Stockinger, Steve Gamblin, Laura E McCoy, Peter Cherepanov, Eleni Nastouli, George Kassiotis
Several related human coronaviruses (HCoVs) are endemic in the human population, causing mild respiratory infections. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiologic agent of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is a recent zoonotic infection that has quickly reached pandemic spread. Zoonotic introduction of novel coronaviruses is thought to occur in the absence of pre-existing immunity in the target human population. Using diverse assays for detection of antibodies reactive with the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) glycoprotein, we demonstrate the presence of pre-existing immunity in uninfected and unexposed humans to the new coronavirus. SARS-CoV-2 S-reactive antibodies, exclusively of the IgG class, were readily detectable by a sensitive flow cytometry-based method in SARS-CoV-2-uninfected individuals with recent HCoV infection and targeted the S2 subunit. In contrast, SARS-CoV-2 infection induced higher titres of SARS-CoV-2 S-reactive IgG antibodies, as well as concomitant IgM and IgA antibodies throughout the observation period of 6 weeks since symptoms onset. HCoV patient sera also variably reacted with SARS-CoV-2 S and nucleocapsid (N), but not with the S1 subunit or the receptor binding domain (RBD) of S on standard enzyme immunoassays. Notably, HCoV patient sera exhibited specific neutralising activity against SARS-CoV-2 S pseudotypes, according to levels of SARS-CoV-2 S-binding IgG and with efficiencies comparable to those of COVID-19 patient sera. Distinguishing pre-existing and de novo antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 will be critical for serology, seroprevalence and vaccine studies, as well as for our understanding of susceptibility to and natural course of SARS-CoV-2 infection. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
9,386 downloads pharmacology and toxicology
Guided by the principle of primum non nocere (first do no harm), we report a cautionary note on the potential fatal toxicity of chloroquine (CQ) or hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in combination with anti-diabetic drug metformin. We observed that the combination of CQ or HCQ and metformin, which were used in our studies as potential anti-cancer drugs, killed 30-40% of mice. While our observations in mice may not translate to toxicity in humans, the reports that CQ or HCQ has anti-COVID-19 activity, the use of CQ resulting in toxicity and at least one death, and the recent Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for CQ and HCQ by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prompted our report. Here we report the lethality of CQ or HCQ in combination with metformin as a warning of its potential serious clinical toxicity. We hope that our report will be helpful to stimulate pharmacovigilance and monitoring of adverse drug reactions with the use of CQ or HCQ, particularly in combination with metformin.
9,330 downloads microbiology
George Taiaroa, Daniel Rawlinson, Leo Featherstone, Miranda Pitt, Leon Caly, Julian Druce, Damian Purcell, Leigh Harty, Thomas Tran, Jason Roberts, Nichollas E. Scott, Mike Catton, Deborah Williamson, Lachlan Coin, Sebastian Duchene
Fundamental aspects of SARS-CoV-2 biology remain to be described, having the potential to provide insight to the response effort for this high-priority pathogen. Here we describe the first native RNA sequence of SARS-CoV-2, detailing the coronaviral transcriptome and epitranscriptome, and share these data publicly. A data-driven inference of viral genetic features and evolutionary rate is also made. The rapid sharing of sequence information throughout the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic represents an inflection point for public health and genomic epidemiology, providing early insights into the biology and evolution of this emerging pathogen.
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