- Within the last 2 decades, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses 1 and 2 (SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2) have caused two major outbreaks; yet, for reasons not fully understood, the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 has been significantly more widespread than the 2003 SARS epidemic caused by SARS-CoV-1, despite striking similarities between these two viruses. The SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins, both of which bind to host cell angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, have been implied to be a potential source of their differential transmissibility.
- The seasonal nature of outbreaks of respiratory viral infections with increased transmission during low temperatures has been well established. Accordingly, temperature has been suggested to play a role on the viability and transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. The receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the Spike glycoprotein is known to bind to its host receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) to initiate viral fusion. Using biochemical, biophysical, and functional assays to dissect the effect of temperature on the receptor–Spike interaction, we observed a significant and stepwise increase in RBD-ACE2 affinity at low temperatures, resulting in slower dissociation kinetics.
- The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 envelope protein (S2-E) is a conserved membrane protein that is important for coronavirus (CoV) assembly and budding. Here, we describe the recombinant expression and purification of S2-E in amphipol-class amphipathic polymer solutions, which solubilize and stabilize membrane proteins, but do not disrupt membranes. We found that amphipol delivery of S2-E to preformed planar bilayers results in spontaneous membrane integration and formation of viroporin cation channels.
- The RNA-dependent RNA polymerase of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is an important target in current drug development efforts for the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019. Molnupiravir is a broad-spectrum antiviral that is an orally bioavailable prodrug of the nucleoside analogue β-D-N4-hydroxycytidine (NHC). Molnupiravir or NHC can increase G to A and C to U transition mutations in replicating coronaviruses. These increases in mutation frequencies can be linked to increases in antiviral effects; however, biochemical data of molnupiravir-induced mutagenesis have not been reported.
- Severe coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is characterized by inflammation of the lungs with increasing respiratory impairment. In fatal Covid-19, lungs at autopsy have been filled with a clear liquid jelly. However, the nature of this finding has not yet been determined. The aim of the study was to demonstrate whether the lungs of fatal Covid-19 contain hyaluronan, as it is associated with inflammation and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and may have the appearance of liquid jelly. Lung tissue obtained at autopsy from three deceased Covid-19 patients was processed for hyaluronan histochemistry using a direct staining method and compared with staining in normal lung tissue.
- Approximately 17 years after the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) epidemic, the world is currently facing the COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). According to the most optimistic projections, it will take more than a year to develop a vaccine, so the best short-term strategy may lie in identifying virus-specific targets for small molecule–based interventions. All coronaviruses utilize a molecular mechanism called programmed −1 ribosomal frameshift (−1 PRF) to control the relative expression of their proteins.
- Antiviral drugs for managing infections with human coronaviruses are not yet approved, posing a serious challenge to current global efforts aimed at containing the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome–coronavirus 2 (CoV-2). Remdesivir (RDV) is an investigational compound with a broad spectrum of antiviral activities against RNA viruses, including severe acute respiratory syndrome–CoV and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS–CoV). RDV is a nucleotide analog inhibitor of RNA-dependent RNA polymerases (RdRps).