We have previously described polyglutamine-binding protein 1 (PQBP1) as an adapter required for the cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS)-mediated innate response to the human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) and other lentiviruses. Cytoplasmic HIV-1 DNA is a transient and low-abundance pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP), and the mechanism for its detection and verification is not fully understood. Here, we show a two-factor authentication strategy by the innate surveillance machinery to selectively respond to the low concentration of HIV-1 DNA, while distinguishing these species from extranuclear DNA molecules. We find that, upon HIV-1 infection, PQBP1 decorates the intact viral capsid, and this serves as a primary verification step for the viral nucleic acid cargo. As reverse transcription and capsid disassembly initiate, cGAS is recruited to the capsid in a PQBP1-dependent manner. This positions cGAS at the site of PAMP generation and sanctions its response to a low-abundance DNA PAMP.
A critical component in the interpretation of systems-level studies is the inference of enriched biological pathways and protein complexes contained within OMICs datasets. Successful analysis requires the integration of a broad set of current biological databases and the application of a robust analytical pipeline to produce readily interpretable results. Metascape is a web-based portal designed to provide a comprehensive gene list annotation and analysis resource for experimental biologists. In terms of design features, Metascape combines functional enrichment, interactome analysis, gene annotation, and membership search to leverage over 40 independent knowledgebases within one integrated portal. Additionally, it facilitates comparative
The COVID-19 pandemic is the third outbreak this century of a zoonotic disease caused by a coronavirus, following the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 20031 and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in 20122. Treatment options for coronaviruses are limited. Here we show that clofazimine-an anti-leprosy drug with a favorable safety profile3-possesses inhibitory activity against several coronaviruses, and can antagonize the replication of SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV in a range of in vitro systems. We found that this molecule, which has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, inhibits cell fusion mediated by the viral spike glycoprotein, as well as activity of the viral helicase. Prophylactic or therapeutic administration of clofazimine in a hamster model of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis led to reduced viral loads in the lung and viral shedding in feces, and also alleviated the inflammation associated with viral infection. Combinations of clofazimine and remdesivir exhibited antiviral synergy in vitro and in vivo, and restricted viral shedding from the upper respiratory tract. Clofazimine, which is orally bioavailable and comparatively cheap to manufacture, is an attractive clinical candidate for the treatment of outpatients and-when combined with remdesivir-in therapy for hospitalized patients with COVID-19, particularly in contexts in which costs are an important factor or specialized medical facilities are limited. Our data provide evidence that clofazimine may have a role in the control of the current pandemic of COVID-19 and-possibly more importantly-in dealing with coronavirus diseases that may emerge in the future.
Recent studies have profiled the innate immune signatures in patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and suggest that cellular responses to viral challenge may affect disease severity. Yet the molecular events that underlie cellular recognition and response to SARS-CoV-2 infection remain to be elucidated. Here, we find that SARS-CoV-2 replication induces a delayed interferon (IFN) response in lung epithelial cells. By screening 16 putative sensors involved in sensing of RNA virus infection, we found that MDA5 and LGP2 primarily regulate IFN induction in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Further analyses revealed that viral intermediates specifically activate the IFN response through MDA5-mediated sensing. Additionally, we find that IRF3, IRF5, and NF-κB/p65 are the key transcription factors regulating the IFN response during SARS-CoV-2 infection. In summary, these findings provide critical insights into the molecular basis of the innate immune recognition and signaling response to SARS-CoV-2.
The fate of influenza A virus (IAV) infection in the host cell depends on the balance between cellular defense mechanisms and viral evasion strategies. To illuminate the landscape of IAV cellular restriction, we generated and integrated global genetic loss-of-function screens with transcriptomics and proteomics data. Our multi-omics analysis revealed a subset of both IFN-dependent and independent cellular. Our defense mechanisms that multi-omics analysis revealed a subset of both IFN-dependent and independent cellular defence mechanisms that inhibit IAV replication. Amongst these, the autophagy regulator TBC1 domain family member 5 (TBC1D5), which binds Rab7 to enable fusion of autophagosomes and lysosomes, was found to control IAV replication in vitro and in vivo and to promote lysosomal targeting of IAV M2 protein. Notably, IAV M2 was observed to abrogate TBC1D5-Rab7 binding through a physical interaction with TBC1D5 via its cytoplasmic tail. Our results provide evidence for the molecular mechanism utilized by IAV M2 protein to escape lysosomal degradation and traffic to the cell membrane, where it supports IAV budding and growth.