Unbiased Screens Show CD8+ T Cells of COVID-19 Patients Recognize Shared Epitopes in SARS-CoV-2, Most of which Are Not Located in the Spike Protein

Scientists used an unbiased, genome-wide screening technology to determine the precise peptide sequences in SARS-CoV-2 that are recognized by the memory CD8+ T cells of COVID-19 patients.
[Immunity]
Ferretti, A. P., Kula, T., Wang, Y., Nguyen, D. M. V., Weinheimer, A., Dunlap, G. S., Xu, Q., Nabilsi, N., Perullo, C. R., Cristofaro, A. W., Whitton, H. J., Virbasius, A., Olivier, K. J., Buckner, L. R., Alistar, A. T., Whitman, E. D., Bertino, S. A., Chattopadhyay, S., & MacBeath, G. (2020). Unbiased screens show CD8+ T cells of COVID-19 patients recognize shared epitopes in SARS-CoV-2, most of which are not located in the Spike protein. Immunity, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2020.10.006 Cite
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Self-Amplifying RNA Vaccines for Infectious Diseases

Scientists explore how self-amplifying RNAs are emerging as important vaccine candidates for infectious diseases, the advantages of synthetic manufacturing approaches, and their potential for preventing and treating chronic infections.
[Gene Therapy]
Bloom, K., van den Berg, F., & Arbuthnot, P. (2020). Self-amplifying RNA vaccines for infectious diseases. Gene Therapy, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41434-020-00204-y Cite
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Three-Dimensional Human Alveolar Stem Cell Culture Models Reveal Infection Response to SARS-CoV-2

Scientists developed a feeder-free, long-term three-dimensional culture technique for human lung alveolar type 2 cells derived from primary human lung tissue, and investigate infection response to SARS-CoV-2.
[Cell Stem Cell]
Youk, J., Kim, T., Evans, K. V., Jeong, Y.-I., Hur, Y., Hong, S. P., Kim, J. H., Yi, K., Kim, S. Y., Na, K. J., Bleazard, T., Kim, H. M., Fellows, M., Mahbubani, K. T., Saeb-Parsy, K., Kim, S. Y., Kim, Y. T., Koh, G. Y., Choi, B.-S., … Lee, J.-H. (2020). Three-dimensional human alveolar stem cell culture models reveal infection response to SARS-CoV-2. Cell Stem Cell, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stem.2020.10.004 Cite
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Human Lung Stem Cell-Based Alveolospheres Provide Insights into SARS-CoV-2 Mediated Interferon Responses and Pneumocyte Dysfunction

The authors report a feeder-free, scalable, chemically-defined, and modular alveolosphere culture system for propagation and differentiation of human alveolar type 2 cells/pneumocytes derived from primary lung tissue.
[Cell Stem Cell]
Katsura, H., Sontake, V., Tata, A., Kobayashi, Y., Edwards, C. E., Heaton, B. E., Konkimalla, A., Asakura, T., Mikami, Y., Fritch, E. J., Lee, P. J., Heaton, N. S., Boucher, R. C., Randell, S. H., Baric, R. S., & Tata, P. R. (2020). Human lung stem cell-based alveolospheres provide insights into SARS-CoV-2 mediated interferon responses and pneumocyte dysfunction. Cell Stem Cell, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stem.2020.10.005 Cite
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Human Hematopoietic Stem, Progenitor, and Immune Cells Respond Ex Vivo to SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein

Scientists examined the expression of ACE2, to which SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein binds to facilitate viral entry, in cord blood derived hematopoietic stem cells/hematopoietic progenitor cells and in peripheral blood derived immune cell subtypes.
[Stem Cell Reviews and Reports]
Ropa, J., Cooper, S., Capitano, M. L., Van’t Hof, W., & Broxmeyer, H. E. (2020). Human Hematopoietic Stem, Progenitor, and Immune Cells Respond Ex Vivo to SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein. Stem Cell Reviews and Reports. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12015-020-10056-z Cite
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Bi-Paratopic and Multivalent VH Domains Block ACE2 Binding and Neutralize SARS-CoV-2

The authors constructed a VH-phage library and targeted the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 binding interface of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike receptor-binding domain.
[Nature Chemical Biology]
Bracken, C. J., Lim, S. A., Solomon, P., Rettko, N. J., Nguyen, D. P., Zha, B. S., Schaefer, K., Byrnes, J. R., Zhou, J., Lui, I., Liu, J., Pance, K., Zhou, X. X., Leung, K. K., & Wells, J. A. (2020). Bi-paratopic and multivalent VH domains block ACE2 binding and neutralize SARS-CoV-2. Nature Chemical Biology, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41589-020-00679-1 Cite
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Immunity, Endothelial Injury and Complement-Induced Coagulopathy in COVID-19

Insights into the pathogenic mechanisms underlying SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 progression are emerging and highlight the critical role of the immunological hyper-response – characterized by widespread endothelial damage, complement-induced blood clotting and systemic microangiopathy – in disease exacerbation.
[Nature Reviews Nephrology]
Immunity, endothelial injury and complement-induced coagulopathy in COVID-19 | Nature Reviews Nephrology. (n.d.). Retrieved October 19, 2020, from https://www.nature.com/articles/s41581-020-00357-4#Abs1 Cite
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Interferons and Viruses Induce a Novel Truncated ACE2 Isoform and Not the Full-Length SARS-CoV-2 Receptor

In vitro, dACE2, which lacked 356 amino-terminal amino acids, was non-functional in binding the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and as a carboxypeptidase.
[Nature Genetics]
Onabajo, O. O., Banday, A. R., Stanifer, M. L., Yan, W., Obajemu, A., Santer, D. M., Florez-Vargas, O., Piontkivska, H., Vargas, J. M., Ring, T. J., Kee, C., Doldan, P., Tyrrell, D. L., Mendoza, J. L., Boulant, S., & Prokunina-Olsson, L. (2020). Interferons and viruses induce a novel truncated ACE2 isoform and not the full-length SARS-CoV-2 receptor. Nature Genetics, 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41588-020-00731-9 Cite
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A Nanoluciferase SARS-CoV-2 for Rapid Neutralization Testing and Screening of Anti-Infective Drugs for COVID-19

Scientists present a high-throughput nanoluciferase severe respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 that was genetically stable and replicated similarly to the wild-type virus in cell culture.
[Nature Communications]
Xie, X., Muruato, A. E., Zhang, X., Lokugamage, K. G., Fontes-Garfias, C. R., Zou, J., Liu, J., Ren, P., Balakrishnan, M., Cihlar, T., Tseng, C.-T. K., Makino, S., Menachery, V. D., Bilello, J. P., & Shi, P.-Y. (2020). A nanoluciferase SARS-CoV-2 for rapid neutralization testing and screening of anti-infective drugs for COVID-19. Nature Communications, 11(1), 5214. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19055-7 Cite
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Expression of SARS-CoV-2 Entry Factors in Lung Epithelial Stem Cells and Its Potential Implications for COVID-19

Scientists analyzed published RNA-seq datasets and demonstrated that cells of four different lung epithelial stem cell types express SARS-CoV-2 entry factors, including Ace2.
[Scientific Reports]
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Potential Application of Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Their Exosomes in Lung Injury: An Emerging Therapeutic Option for COVID-19 Patients

The authors shed light on the mechanistic view of MSC therapeutic role based on preclinical and clinical studies on acute lung injury and ARDS; therefore, offering a unique correlation and applicability in COVID-19 patients. They further highlight the challenges and opportunities in the use of MSC-based therapy.
[Stem Cell Research & Therapy]
Al-Khawaga, S., & Abdelalim, E. M. (2020). Potential application of mesenchymal stem cells and their exosomes in lung injury: an emerging therapeutic option for COVID-19 patients. Stem Cell Research & Therapy, 11(1), 437. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13287-020-01963-6 Cite
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