COVID-19 is a new complex multisystem disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. In slightly over 2 years, it infected nearly 500 million and killed 6 million human beings worldwide, causing an unprecedented coronavirus pandemic. Currently, the international scientific community is engaged in elucidating the molecular mechanisms of the pathophysiology of SARS-CoV-2 infection as a basis of scientific developments for the future control of COVID-19. Global exome and genome analysis efforts work to define the human genetics of protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Here, we review the current knowledge regarding the SARS-CoV-2 infection, the implications of COVID-19 to Public Health and discuss genotype to phenotype association approaches that could be exploited through the selection of candidate genes to identify the genetic determinants of severe COVID-19.
The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) plays a key role in immune defense, and the Mhc genes of cynomolgus macaque display a high degree of polymorphism. Based on their geographic distribution, different populations of cynomolgus macaques are recognized. Here we present the characterization of the Mhc class I and II repertoire of a large pedigreed group of cynomolgus macaques originating from the mainland north of the isthmus of Kra (N = 42). Segregation analyses resulted in the definition of 81 unreported Mafa-A/B/DRB/DQ/DP haplotypes, which include 32 previously unknown DRB regions. In addition, we report 13 newly defined Mafa-A/B/DRB/DQ/DP haplotypes in a group of cynomolgus macaques originating from the mainland south of the isthmus of Kra/Maritime Southeast Asia (N = 16). A relatively high level of sharing of Mafa-A (51%) and Mafa-B (40%) lineage groups is observed between the populations native to the north and the south of isthmus of Kra. At the allelic level, however, the Mafa-A/B haplotypes seem to be characteristic of a population. An overall comparison of all currently known data revealed that each geographic population has its own specific combinations of Mhc class I and II haplotypes. This illustrates the dynamic evolution of the cynomolgus macaque Mhc region, which was most likely generated by recombination and maintained by selection due to the differential pathogenic pressures encountered in different geographic areas.
Habitat fragmentation and infectious diseases threaten wildlife globally, but the interactions of these threats are poorly understood. For instance, while habitat fragmentation can impact genetic diversity at neutral loci, the impacts on disease-relevant loci are less well-studied. We examined the effects of habitat fragmentation in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest on amphibian genetic diversity at an immune locus related to antigen presentation and detection (MHC IIB Exon 2). We used a custom high-throughput assay to sequence a fragment of MHC IIB and quantified Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) infections in six frog species in two Atlantic Forest regions. Habitat fragmentation was associated with genetic erosion at MHC IIB Exon 2. This erosion was most severe in forest specialists. Significant Bd infections were detected only in one Atlantic Forest region, potentially due to relatively higher elevation. In this region, forest specialists showed an increase in both Bd prevalence and infection loads in fragmented habitats. Reduced population-level MHC IIB diversity was associated with increased Bd infection risk. On the individual level, MHC IIB heterozygotes exhibited a trend toward reduced Bd infection risk, although this was marginally non-significant. Our results suggest that habitat fragmentation increases Bd infection susceptibility in amphibians, mediated at least in part through erosion of immunogenetic diversity. Our findings have implications for management of fragmented populations in the face of emerging infectious diseases.
Killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) regulate the function of natural killer cells through interactions with various ligands on the surface of cells, thereby determining whether natural killer (NK) cells are to be activated or inhibited from killing the cell being interrogated. The genes encoding these proteins display extensive variation through variable gene content, copy number and allele polymorphism. The combination of KIR genes and their ligands is implicated in various clinical settings including haematopoietic stem cell and solid organ transplant and infectious disease progression. The determination of KIR genes has been used as a factor in the selection of optimal stem cell donors with haplotype variations in recipient and donor giving differential clinical outcomes. Methods to determine KIR genes have primarily involved ascertaining the presence or absence of genes in an individual. With the more recent introduction of massively parallel clonal next-generation sequencing and single molecule very long read length third-generation sequencing, high-resolution determination of KIR alleles has become feasible. Determining the extent and functional impact of allele variation has the potential to lead to further optimisation of clinical outcomes as well as a deeper understanding of the functional properties of the receptors and their interactions with ligands. This review summarizes recently published high-resolution KIR genotyping methods and considers the various advantages and disadvantages of the approaches taken. In addition the application of allele level genotyping in the setting of transplantation and infectious disease control is discussed.
Heritable polymorphisms within the human IgG locus, collectively termed allotypes, have often been linked by statistical associations, but rarely mechanistically, to a wide range of disease states. One potential explanation for these associations is that IgG allotype alters host cell receptors’ affinity for IgG, dampening or enhancing an immune response depending on the nature of the change and the receptors. In this work, a panel of allotypic antibody variants were evaluated using multiplexed, label-free biophysical methods and cell-based functional assays to determine what effect, if any, human IgG polymorphisms have on antibody function. While we observed several differences in FcγR affinity among allotypes, there was little evidence of dramatically altered FcγR-based effector function or antigen recognition activity associated with this aspect of genetic variability.
The Notch pathway is a highly conserved signaling pathway involved in the regulation of cell proliferation and differentiation. However, the relationships between Notch pathway-related genes (NPRGs), immunosuppression, and immunotherapy resistance of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remain unclear. Gene expression data and clinical information were extracted from GSE14520, GSE36376, GSE76427, LIRI-JP, TCGA-LIHC, GSE20140, GSE27150, and IMvigor210 datasets. A consensus clustering analysis based on 10 NPRGs was performed to determine the molecular subtypes, and then a notchScore was constructed based on differentially expressed and prognostic genes between molecular subtypes. Two molecular subgroups with significantly distinct survival and immune cell infiltration were identified. Then, a notchScore was constructed to quantify the Notch index of each patient with HCC. Next, we investigated the correlations between the clinical characteristics and the notchScore using logistic regression. Furthermore, multivariate Cox analysis showed that a high notchScore was an independent predictor of poor overall survival (OS) in the TCGA and LIRI-JP datasets and was associated with higher pathological stages. Additionally, a high notchScore was associated with higher immune cells, higher ESTIMATE score, higher immune score, higher stromal score, higher immune checkpoint, and lower tumor purity, which was consistent with the “immunity tidal model theory.” Importantly, a high notchScore was sensitive to immunotherapy. Additionally, GSEA indicated that several GO and KEGG items associated with apoptosis, immune-related pathways, and cell cycle signal pathways were significantly enriched in the high notchScore phenotype pathway. Our findings propose that a high notchScore is a prognostic biomarker and correlates with immune infiltration and sensitivity to immunotherapy in HCC.
Multiple novel immunoglobulin-like transcripts (NILTs) have been identified from salmon, trout, and carp. NILTs typically encode activating or inhibitory transmembrane receptors with extracellular immunoglobulin (Ig) domains. Although predicted to provide immune recognition in ray-finned fish, we currently lack a definitive framework of NILT diversity, thereby limiting our predictions for their evolutionary origin and function. In order to better understand the diversity of NILTs and their possible roles in immune function, we identified five NILT loci in the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) genome, defined 86 NILT Ig domains within a 3-Mbp region of zebrafish (Danio rerio) chromosome 1, and described 41 NILT Ig domains as part of an alternative haplotype for this same genomic region. We then identified transcripts encoded by 43 different NILT genes which reflect an unprecedented diversity of Ig domain sequences and combinations for a family of non-recombining receptors within a single species. Zebrafish NILTs include a sole putative activating receptor but extensive inhibitory and secreted forms as well as membrane-bound forms with no known signaling motifs. These results reveal a higher level of genetic complexity, interindividual variation, and sequence diversity for NILTs than previously described, suggesting that this gene family likely plays multiple roles in host immunity.
Crohn’s disease (CD), a subtype of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), has increasing prevalence in the world. Due to the lack of cure strategy, most patients with CD develop progressive disease companying with a series of serious complications. Therefore, exploring molecular mechanism differences between active and inactive CD will help in the screening of predict markers and therapeutic targets. In this study, we analyzed differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and molecular pathways through between active and inactive CD patients. In addition, the abundance of 22 immune cell types were assessed by using the CIBERSORT. The hub DEGs were screened out by the CytoHubba in Cytoscape, followed by the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) regression. Finally, the clinical predictive model was constructed by binary logistic regression model. The diagnostic efficacy was tested by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve and verified in independent datasets. The results showed that there were 137 DEGs between the active and inactive CD. Most of them were involved in regulating the immunity process. In addition, the decreased abundance of CD8 T cells and the increased abundance of M0, M1 macrophages, and neutrophils were closely related to CD activation. CXCL9, C3AR1, IL1B, and TLR4 were the hub gene and can be applied to the prediction of CD activation. Our results provided important targets for the prediction of CD activation and the selection of therapeutic targets.
The genetics of allorecognition has been studied extensively in inbred lines of Hydractinia symbiolongicarpus, in which genetic control is attributed mainly to the highly polymorphic loci allorecognition 1 (Alr1) and allorecognition 2 (Alr2), located within the Allorecognition Complex (ARC). While allelic variation at Alr1 and Alr2 can predict the phenotypes in inbred lines, these two loci do not entirely predict the allorecognition phenotypes in wild-type colonies and their progeny, suggesting the presence of additional uncharacterized genes that are involved in the regulation of allorecognition in this species. Comparative genomics analyses were used to identify coding sequence differences from assembled chromosomal intervals of the ARC and from genomic scaffold sequences between two incompatible H. symbiolongicarpus siblings from a backcross population. New immunoglobulin superfamily (Igsf) genes are reported for the ARC, where five of these genes are closely related to the Alr1 and Alr2 genes, suggesting the presence of multiple Alr-like genes within this complex. Complementary DNA sequence evidence revealed that the allelic polymorphism of eight Igsf genes is associated with allorecognition phenotypes in a backcross population of H. symbiolongicarpus, yet that association was not found between parental colonies and their offspring. Alternative splicing was found as a mechanism that contributes to the variability of these genes by changing putative activating receptors to inhibitory receptors or generating secreted isoforms of allorecognition proteins. Our findings demonstrate that allorecognition in H. symbiolongicarpus is a multigenic phenomenon controlled by genetic variation in at least eight genes in the ARC complex.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune, inflammatory neurological disease that is widely associated withGrey and white matter degradation due to the demyelination of axons. Thus exposing the underlying causes of thiscondition can lead to a novel treatment approach for Multiple Sclerosis. The total RNA microarray processed datafrom GEO for Multiple Sclerotic (MS) patients was comprehensively analyzed to find out underlying differencesbetween Grey Matter Lesions (GML), Normal Appearing Grey Matter (NAGM), and Control Grey matter at thetranscriptomics level. Thus, in the current study, we performed various bioinformatics analyses on transcriptionalprofiles of 184 samples including 105 NAGM, 37 GML, and 42 Controls obtained from the NCBI-Bio project(PRJNA543111). First, exploratory data analysis based on gene expression data using Principal Component Analysis(PCA) depicted distinct patterns between GML and CG samples. Subsequently, the Welch’s T-test differential geneexpression analysis identified 1525 significantly differentially expressed genes (p. adj value <0.05, Fold change (>=+/-1.5) between these conditions. This study reveals the genes like CREB3L2, KIF5B, WIPI1, EP300, NDUFA1, ATG101,and TAF4 as the key features that may substantially contribute to loss of cognitive functions in Multiple Sclerosisand several other neurodegenerative disorders. Further, this study also proposes genes associated with Huntington’sdisease in multiple sclerotic patients. Eventually, the results presented here reveal new insights into MS and how itaffects the development of male primary sexual characteristics.
(17) (PDF) In Silico Analysis of Transcriptomic Profiling and Affected Biological Pathways in Multiple Sclerosis. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/362222451_In_Silico_Analysis_of_Transcriptomic_Profiling_and_Affected_Biological_Pathways_in_Multiple_Sclerosis [accessed Jul 26 2022].
Immature dendritic cells (imDCs) are activated and mature to initiate an adaptive immune response, resulting in allograft rejection and transplantation failure. Myeloid differentiation factor 88 (Myd88) is a key factor in the Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling pathway. Here, we investigated the effect of Myd88 silencing on DC function and immune response. CD34 + cells were isolated from the bone marrow of rhesus monkeys by the immunomagnetic bead method and then infected with an adenovirus expressing Myd88-specific short hairpin RNA (sh-Myd88). sh-NC (nontargeting negative control)- or sh-Myd88-infected DCs were treated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) for another 48 h to induce DCS maturation. The maturation of DCs was identified by immunofluorescence staining for MHCII, CD80, and CD86. DC apoptosis was examined using Annexin V/PI staining. DC-related cytokine levels (IFN-γ and IL-12) were assessed by ELISA. A mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) was performed to test the effect of Myd88-silenced DCs on T lymphocytes in vitro. The results showed that compared with control or sh-NC-infected DCs, Myd88-silenced DCs had lower MHCII, CD80, CD86, and DC-related cytokine (IFN-γ and IL-12) levels. Myd88 did not affect the apoptosis of DCs. MLR demonstrated that Myd88 silencing could effectively block LPS-activated T cell proliferation in vitro. These data were consistent with the characteristics of tolerogenic DCs. In conclusion, our data indicated that Myd88 silencing could inhibit the maturation of imDCs and alleviate immune rejection, which provides a reference for immune tolerance in clinical liver transplantation.
The role of natural killer (NK) cells is tightly modulated by interactions of killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) with their ligands of the MHC class I family. Several characteristics of the KIR gene products are conserved in primate evolution, like the receptor structures and the variegated expression pattern. At the genomic level, however, the clusters encoding the KIR family display species-specific diversity, reflected by differential gene expansions and haplotype architecture. The human KIR cluster is extensively studied in large cohorts from various populations, which revealed two KIR haplotype groups, A and B, that represent more inhibitory and more activating functional profiles, respectively. So far, genomic KIR analyses in large outbred populations of non-human primate species are lacking. In this study, we roughly quadrupled the number of rhesus macaques studied for their KIR transcriptome (n = 298). Using segregation analysis, we defined 112 unique KIR region configurations, half of which display a more inhibitory profile, whereas the other half has a more activating potential. The frequencies and functional potential of these profiles might mirror the human KIR haplotype groups. However, whereas the human group A and B KIR haplotypes are confined to largely fixed organizations, the haplotypes in macaques feature highly variable gene content. Moreover, KIR homozygosity was hardly encountered in this panel of macaques. This study exhibits highly diverse haplotype architectures in humans and macaques, which nevertheless might have an equivalent effect on the modulation of NK cell activity.
Duplicates of genes for major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules can be subjected to selection independently and vary markedly in their evolutionary rates, sequence polymorphism, and functional roles. Therefore, without a thorough understanding of their copy number variation (CNV) in the genome, the MHC-dependent fitness consequences within a species could be misinterpreted. Studying the intra-specific CNV of this highly polymorphic gene, however, has long been hindered by the difficulties in assigning alleles to loci and the lack of high-quality genomic data. Here, using the high-quality genome of the Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens), a model for mate choice studies, and the whole-genome sequencing (WGS) data of 17 Betta species, we achieved locus-specific amplification of their three classical MHC class II genes — DAB1, DAB2, and DAB3. By performing quantitative PCR and depth-of-coverage analysis using the WGS data, we revealed intra-specific CNV at the DAB3 locus. We identified individuals that had two allelic copies (i.e., heterozygous or homozygous) or one allele (i.e., hemizygous) and individuals without this gene. The CNV was due to the deletion of a 20-kb-long genomic region harboring both the DAA3 and DAB3 genes. We further showed that the three DAB genes were under different modes of selection, which also applies to their corresponding DAA genes that share similar pattern of polymorphism. Our study demonstrates a combined approach to study CNV within a species, which is crucial for the understanding of multigene family evolution and the fitness consequences of CNV.
S100A7, a member of the S100A family of Ca²⁺-binding proteins, is considered a key effector in immune response. In particular, S100A7 dysregulation has been associated with several diseases, including autoimmune disorders. At the nuclear level, S100A7 interacts with several protein-binding partners which are involved in transcriptional regulation and DNA repair. By using the BioGRID and GAAD databases, S100A7 nuclear interactors with a putative involvement in autoimmune diseases were retrieved. We selected fatty acid–binding protein 5 (FABP5), autoimmune regulator (AIRE), cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), chromodomain helicase DNA-binding protein 4 (CHD4), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1), histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2), v-myc avian myelocytomatosis viral oncogene homolog (MYC), protection of telomeres protein 1 (POT1), telomeric repeat–binding factor (NIMA-interacting) 1 (TERF1), telomeric repeat–binding factor 2 (TERF2), and Zic family member 1 (ZIC1). Linear correlation coefficients between interprotein distances were calculated with MirrorTree. Coevolution clusters were also identified with the use of a recent version of the Blocks in Sequences (BIS2) algorithm implemented in the BIS2Analyzer web server. Analysis of pair positions identified interprotein coevolving clusters between S100A7 and the binding partners CFTR and TERF1. Such findings could guide further analysis to better elucidate the function of S100A7 and its binding partners and to design drugs targeting for these molecules in autoimmune diseases.
Workshop cluster 1 (WC1) molecules are part of the scavenger receptor cysteine-rich (SRCR) superfamily and act as hybrid co-receptors for the γδ T cell receptor and as pattern recognition receptors for binding pathogens. These members of the CD163 gene family are expressed on γδ T cells in the blood of ruminants. While the presence of WC1⁺ γδ T cells in the blood of goats has been demonstrated using monoclonal antibodies, there was no information available about the goat WC1 gene family. The caprine WC1 multigenic array was characterized here for number, structure and expression of genes, and similarity to WC1 genes of cattle and among goat breeds. We found sequence for 17 complete WC1 genes and evidence for up to 30 SRCR a1 or d1 domains which represent distinct signature domains for individual genes. This suggests substantially more WC1 genes than in cattle. Moreover, goats had seven different WC1 gene structures of which 4 are unique to goats. Caprine WC1 genes also had multiple transcript splice variants of their intracytoplasmic domains that eliminated tyrosines shown previously to be important for signal transduction. The most distal WC1 SRCR a1 domains were highly conserved among goat breeds, but fewer were conserved between goats and cattle. Since goats have a greater number of WC1 genes and unique WC1 gene structures relative to cattle, goat WC1 molecules may have expanded functions. This finding may impact research on next-generation vaccines designed to stimulate γδ T cells.
Costimulatory molecules were considered to be promising and important targets in immunotherapy for various cancers. The present study was intended for generating a costimulatory molecule signature in kidney renal clear cell carcinoma (KIRC), to investigate prognostic implication, elucidate immune atlas, and predict immunotherapy response. All the KIRC samples from the TCGA were randomly divided into the training dataset and the testing dataset in the ratio of 7:3. The Cox and least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LASSO) regression analysis were used to identify 7 key costimulatory molecules which were associated with prognosis and construct a costimulatory molecule prognostic index (CMsPI), which was validated by internal and external datasets and an independent cohort. Patients in the high-CMsPI group had high mortality. Mutation analysis showed the most common mutational genes and variant types. Immune analysis demonstrated CD8⁺ T cells were infiltrated at a high level in the high-CMsPI group. In combination of analysis of the immune relevant gene signature and the biomarkers of immunotherapy, we may infer there were more dysfunctional CD8⁺ T cells in the high-CMsPI group, and the patients of this group were less sensitive to immunotherapy. A nomogram was constructed, and the concordance index was 0.77 (95% CI: 0.74–0.79). Three key signaling pathways were identified to facilitate tumor progression. The CMsPI can be regarded as a promising biomarker for predicting individual prognosis and assessing immunotherapy response in KIRC patients.
Immunoglobulin G (IgG) is an essential antibody in adaptive immunity; a differential expansion of the gene encoding the Fc region (IGHG) of this antibody has been observed in mammals. Like humans, animal biomedical models, such as mice and macaques, have four functional genes encoding 4 IgG subclasses; however, the data for New World monkeys (NWM) seems contentious. Some publications argue for the existence of a single-copy gene for IgG Fc; however, a recent paper has suggested the presence of IgG subclasses in some NWM species. Here, we evaluated the genetic distances and phylogenetic relationships in NWM to assess the presence of IgG subclasses using the sequences of IGHG genes from 13 NWM species recovered from genomic data and lab PCR and cloning-based procedures available in GenBank. The results show that several sequences do not cluster into the expected taxon, probably due to cross-contamination during laboratory procedures, and consequently, they appear to be wrongly assigned. Additionally, several sequences reported as subclasses were shown to be 100% identical in the CH domains. The data presented here suggests that there is not enough evidence to establish the presence of IgG subclasses in NWM.
Leukocyte immunoglobulin-like receptor B1 (LILRB1) is widely expressed on various immune cells and the engagement of LILRB1 to HLA class I and pathogen-derived proteins can modulate the immune response. In the current study, 108 LILRB1 alleles were identified by screening the LILRB1 locus from the 1000 Genomes Phase 3 database. Forty-six alleles that occurred in three or more individuals encode 28 LILRB1 allotypes, and the inferred LILRB1 allotypes were then grouped into 9 LILRB1 D1-D2 variants for further analysis. We found that variants 1, 2, and 3 represent the three most frequent LILRB1 D1-D2 variants and the nine variants show frequency differences in populations. The binding assay demonstrated that variant 1 bound to HLA class I with the highest avidity, and all tested LILRB1 D1-D2 variants bound to HLA-C with lower avidity than to HLA-A and -B. Locus-specific polymorphisms at positions 183, 189, and 268 in HLA class I and dimorphisms in HLA-A (positions 207 and 253) and in HLA-B (position 194) affect their binding to LILRB1. Notably, the electrostatic interaction plays a critical role in the binding of LILRB1 to HLA class I as revealed by electrostatic analysis and by comparison of different binding avidities caused by polymorphisms at positions 72 and 103 of LILRB1. In this paper, we present a comprehensive study of the population genetics and binding abilities of LILRB1. The data will help us better understand the LILRB1-related diversity of the immune system and lay a foundation for functional studies.
We herein analyzed all available protein–protein interfaces of the immune complexes from the Protein Data Bank whose antigens belong to pathogens or cancers that are modulated by fever in mammalian hosts. We also included, for comparison, protein interfaces from immune complexes that are not significantly modulated by the fever response. We highlight the distribution of amino acids at these viral, bacterial, protozoan and cancer epitopes, and at their corresponding paratopes that belong strictly to monoclonal antibodies. We identify the “hotspots”, i.e. residues that are highly connected at such interfaces, and assess the structural, kinetic and thermodynamic parameters responsible for complex formation. We argue for an evolutionary pressure for the types of residues at these protein interfaces that may explain the role of fever as a selective force for optimizing antibody binding to antigens.
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are one of the most ancient and widely studied innate immune receptors responsible for host defense against invading pathogens. Among the known TLRs, TLR7 and TLR8 sense and recognize single-stranded (ss) RNAs with a dynamic evolutionary history. While TLR8 was lost in birds and duplicated in turtles and crocodiles, TLR7 is duplicated in some birds, but in other tetrapods, there is only one copy. In mammals, with the exception of lagomorphs, TLR7 and TLR8 are highly conserved. Here, we aim to study the evolution of TLR7 and TLR8 in mammals, with a special focus in the order Lagomorpha. By searching public sequence databases, conducting evolutionary analysis, and evaluating gene expression, we were able to confirm that TLR8 is absent in hares but widely expressed in the European rabbit. In contrast, TLR7 is absent in the European rabbit and quite divergent in hares. Our results suggest that, in lagomorphs, more in particular in leporids, TLR7 and TLR8 genes have evolved faster than in any other mammalian group. The long history of interaction with viruses and their location in highly dynamic telomeric regions might explain the pattern observed.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is a common complication after organ transplantation. Despite the immunosuppressed state, natural killer (NK) cells remain the major immune defense cells against viral infections in transplanted patients. The present study aimed at elucidating the correlation between the number of inhibitory and activating genes and the incidence of CMV infection in kidney transplanted recipients. Kidney transplanted recipients including 51 CMV⁺ and 50 CMV⁻ were genotyped for the presence or absence of 4 activating (KIR2DS1, KIR2DS4, KIR2DS5, KIR3DS1) and 2 inhibitory (KIR3DL1, KIR2DL5a) genes using polymerase chain reaction sequence-specific primers (PCR-SSP) assay. Our results showed that CMV infection occurred in 50.49% of kidney allograft recipients. In addition, there was a significant correlation between the presence of the KIR2DS1 activating gene in the CMV⁻ group compared to the CMV⁺ group (p = 0.033). The other three activating KIR receptors did not show a correlation with CMV infection. Our results suggest that the prevalence of the KIR activating KIR2DS1 gene may reduce the rate of CMV infection after kidney transplantation in our population.
Cross-reactivity between different human coronaviruses (HCoVs) might contribute to COVID-19 outcomes. Here, we aimed to predict conserved peptides among different HCoVs that could elicit cross-reacting B cell and T cell responses. Three hundred fifty-one full-genome sequences of HCoVs, including SARS-CoV-2 (51), SARS-CoV-1 (50), MERS-CoV (50), and common cold species OC43 (50), NL63 (50), 229E (50), and HKU1 (50) were downloaded aligned using Geneious Prime 20.20. Identification of epitopes in the conserved regions of HCoVs was carried out using the Immune Epitope Database (IEDB) to predict B- and T-cell epitopes. Further, we identified sequences that bind multiple common MHC and modeled the three-dimensional structures of the protein regions. The search yielded 73 linear and 35 discontinuous epitopes. A total of 16 B-cell and 19 T-cell epitopes were predicted through a comprehensive bioinformatic screening of conserved regions derived from HCoVs. The 16 potentially cross-reactive B-cell epitopes included 12 human proteins and four viral proteins among the linear epitopes. Likewise, we identified 19 potentially cross-reactive T-cell epitopes covering viral proteins. Interestingly, two conserved regions: LSFVSLAICFVIEQF (NSP2) and VVHSVNSLVSSMEVQSL (spike), contained several matches that were described epitopes for SARS-CoV. Most of the predicted B cells were buried within the SARS-CoV-2 protein regions’ functional domains, whereas T-cell stretched close to the functional domains. Additionally, most SARS-CoV-2 predicted peptides (80%) bound to different HLA types associated with autoimmune diseases. We identified a set of potential B cell and T cell epitopes derived from the HCoVs that could contribute to different diseases manifestation, including autoimmune disorders.
Effector T cells, which are abundant but are short-lived after reinfusion into the body, are generally used for T-cell therapy, and antitumor immunity is typically not maintained over the long term. Genetic modification by early differentiated T cells and reinfusion has been shown to enhance antitumor immunity in vivo. This study overexpressed the characteristic transcription factors of differentiated early T cells by transfecting effector T cells with transcription factor recombinant lentivirus (S6 group: BCL6, EOMES, FOXP1, LEF1, TCF7, KLF7; S1 group: BCL6, EOMES, FOXP1, KLF7; S3 group: BCL6, EOMES, FOXP1, LEF1) to induce a sufficient number of effector T cells to dedifferentiate and optimize the transcription factor system. The results revealed that overexpression of early characteristic transcription factors in effector T cells upregulated the expression of early T cell differentiation markers (CCR7 and CD62L), with the S1 group having the highest expression level, while the rising trend of late differentiation marker (CD45RO) expression was suppressed. Moreover, the expression of early differentiation-related genes (ACTN1, CERS6, BCL2) was significantly increased, while the expression of late differentiation-related genes (KLRG-1) and effector function-related genes (GNLY, GZMB, PRF1) was significantly decreased; this difference in expression was more significant in the S1 group than in the other two experimental groups. The antiapoptotic ability of each experimental group was significantly enhanced, while the secretion ability of TNF-α and IFN-γ was weakened, with the effector cytokine secretion ability of the S1 group being the weakest. Transcriptomic analysis showed that the gene expression profile of each experimental group was significantly different from that of the control group, with differences in the gene expression pattern and number of differentially expressed genes in the S1 group compared with the other two experimental groups. The differentially expressed gene enrichment pathways were basically related to the cell cycle, cell division, and immune function. In conclusion, overexpression of early characteristic transcription factors in effector T cells induces their dedifferentiation, and induction of dedifferentiation by the S1 group may be more effective.
The dog leukocyte antigen (DLA) class I genomic region is located on chromosome 12, and the class I genomic region is composed of at least two distinct haplotypic gene structures, DLA-88–DLA-12 and DLA-88–DLA-88L. However, detailed information of the genomic differences among DLA-88, DLA-12, and DLA-88L are still lacking at the full-length gene level, and therefore, DLA allelic sequences classified for each of these loci are limited in number so far. In this study, we determined the DNA sequence of a 95-kb DLA class I genomic region including DLA-88, DLA-12/88L, and DLA-64 with three DLA homozygous dogs and of 37 full-length allelic gene sequences for DLA-88 and DLA-12/88L loci in 26 DLA class I homozygous dogs. Nucleotide diversity profiles of the 95-kb regions and sequence identity scores of the allelic sequences suggested that DLA-88L is a hybrid gene generated by interlocus and/or intralocus gene conversion between DLA-88 and DLA-12. The putative minimum conversion tract was estimated to be at least an 850-bp segment in length located from the 5´flanking untranslated region to the end of intron 2. In addition, at least one DLA-12 allele (DLA-12*004:01) was newly generated by interlocus gene conversion. In conclusion, the analysis for the occurrence of gene conversion within the dog DLA class I region revealed intralocus gene conversion tracts in 17 of 27 DLA-88 alleles and two of 10 DLA-12 alleles, suggesting that intralocus gene conversion has played an important role in expanding DLA allelic variations.
NOD-like receptors (NLRs) are sensors of pathogen-associated molecular patterns with critical roles in the control of immune responses and programmed cell death. Recent studies have revealed inter-species differences in mammalian innate immune genes and a particular degeneration of nucleic acid sensing pathways in pangolins, which are currently investigated as potential hosts for zoonotic pathogens. Here, we used comparative genomics to determine which NLR genes are conserved or lost in pangolins and related mammals. We show that NOD2 , which is implicated in sensing bacterial muramyl dipeptide and viral RNA, is a pseudogene in pangolins, but not in any other mammalian species investigated. NLRC4 and NAIP are absent in pangolins and canine carnivorans, suggesting convergent loss of cytoplasmic sensing of bacterial flagellin in these taxa. Among NLR family pyrin domain containing proteins (NLRPs), skin barrier-related NLRP10 has been lost in pangolins after the evolutionary divergence from Carnivora. Strikingly, pangolins lack all NLRPs associated with reproduction (germ cells and embryonic development) in other mammals, i.e., NLRP2 , 4 , 5 , 7 , 8 , 9 , 11 , 13 , and 14 . Taken together, our study shows a massive degeneration of NLR genes in pangolins and suggests that these endangered mammals may have unique adaptations of innate immunity and reproductive cell biology.
The catastrophic phase of Covid-19 turns the table over with the spread of its disastrous transmission network throughout the world. Covid-19 associated with mucormycosis fungal infection accompanied by opportunistic comorbidities have emerged the myriad of complications and manifestations. We searched the electronic databases of Google Scholar, PubMed, Springer, and Elsevier until June 05, 2021, using keywords. We retrieved the details of confirmed and suspected mucormycosis patients associated with Covid-19. We analyzed the case reports, treatment given for Covid-19, steroids used, associated comorbidities, mucormycosis site involved, and patients survived or dead. Overall, 102 patients of mucormycosis associated with Covid-19 have been reported from India. Mucormycosis was predominant in males (69.6%) rather than females (19.6%), and most of the patients were active Covid-19 cases (70.5%). Steroids were mostly used (68.6%) for the treatment of Covid-19 followed by remdesivir (10.7%). Patients were suffering from diabetes mellitus (88.2%) and severe diabetic ketoacidosis (11.7%). Mucormycosis affects the sino-nasal (72.5%), orbit (24.5%), central nervous system (18.6%), and maxillary necrosis (13.7%) of the patients. The Mortality rate was recorded as 23.5%, and recovery rate was 2.9%. Diabetes mellitus cases are highest in India as compared to other countries, and prevalent use of steroids with the background of Covid-19 becomes an opportunistic environment for mucormycosis fungal infection to survive.
G-quadruplex structure or Putative Quadruplex Sequences (PQSs) are abundant in human, microbial, DNA, or RNA viral genomes. These sequences in RNA viral genome play critical roles in integration into human genome as LTR (Long Terminal Repeat), genome replication, chromatin rearrangements, gene regulation, antigen variation (Av), and virulence. Here, we investigated whether the genome of SARS-CoV2, an RNA virus, contained such potential G-quadruplex structures. Using bioinformatic tools, we searched for such sequences and found thirty-seven (forward strand (twenty-five) + reverse strand (Twelve)) QGRSs (Quadruplex forming G-Rich Sequences)/PQSs in SARS-CoV2 genome. These sequences are dispersed mainly in the upstream of SARS-CoV2 genes. We discuss whether existing PQS/QGRS ligands could inhibit the SARS-CoV2 replication and gene transcription as has been observed in other RNA viruses. Further experimental validation would determine the role of these G-quadruplex sequences in SARS-CoV2 genome function to survive in the host cells and identify therapeutic agents to destabilize these PQSs/QGRSs.
Cancer is a terrible disease, recent studies reported that tumor T cell antigens (TTCAs) may play a promising role in cancer treatment. Since experimental methods are still expensive and time-consuming, it is highly desirable to develop automatic computational methods to identify tumor T cell antigens from the huge amount of natural and synthetic peptides. Hence, in this study, a novel computational model called iTTCA-MFF was proposed to identify TTCAs. In order to describe the sequence effectively, the physicochemical (PC) properties of amino acid and residue pairwise energy content matrix (RECM) were firstly employed to encode peptide sequences. Then, two different approaches including covariance and Pearson’s correlation coefficient (PCC) were used to collect discriminative information from PC and RECM matrixes. Next, an effective feature selection approach called the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (LAASO) was adopted to select the optimal features. These selected optimal features were fed into support vector machine (SVM) for identifying TTCAs. We performed experiments on two different datasets, experimental results indicated that the proposed method is promising and may play a complementary role to the existing methods for identifying TTCAs. The datasets and codes can be available at https://figshare.com/articles/online_resource/iTTCA-MFF/17636120.
Insects occupy a central position in the biosphere. They are able to resist infections even though they lack an adaptive immune system. Drosophila melanogaster has been used as a potent genetic model to understand innate immunity both in invertebrates and vertebrates. Its immune system includes both humoral and cellular arms. Here, we review how the distinct immune responses are triggered upon sensing infections, with an emphasis on the mechanisms that lead to systemic humoral immune responses. As in plants, the components of the cell wall of microorganisms are detected by dedicated receptors. There is also an induction of the systemic immune response upon sensing the proteolytic activities of microbial virulence factors. The antiviral response mostly relies on sensing double-stranded RNAs generated during the viral infection cycle. This event subsequently triggers either the viral short interfering RNA pathway or a cGAS-like/STING/NF-κB signaling pathway.
Birds are important hosts for many RNA viruses, including influenza A virus, Newcastle disease virus, West Nile virus and coronaviruses. Innate defense against RNA viruses in birds involves detection of viral RNA by pattern recognition receptors. Several receptors of different classes are involved, such as endosomal toll-like receptors and cytoplasmic retinoic acid–inducible gene I-like receptors, and their downstream adaptor proteins. The function of these receptors and their antagonism by viruses is well established in mammals; however, this has received less attention in birds. These receptors have been characterized in a few bird species, and the completion of avian genomes will permit study of their evolution. For each receptor, functional work has established ligand specificity and activation by viral infection. Engagement of adaptors, regulation by modulators and the supramolecular organization of proteins required for activation are incompletely understood in both mammals and birds. These receptors bind conserved nucleic acid agonists such as single- or double-stranded RNA and generally show purifying selection, particularly the ligand binding regions. However, in birds, these receptors and adaptors differ between species, and between individuals, suggesting that they are under selection for diversification over time. Avian receptors and signalling pathways, like their mammalian counterparts, are targets for antagonism by a variety of viruses, intent on escape from innate immune responses.
Host immunity is classically divided into “innate” and “adaptive.” While the former has always been regarded as the first, rapid, and antigen-nonspecific reaction to invading pathogens, the latter represents the more sophisticated and antigen-specific response that has the potential to persist and generate memory. Recent work however has challenged this dogma, where murine studies have successfully demonstrated the ability of innate immune cells (monocytes and macrophages) to acquire antigen-specific memory to allogeneic major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules. The immunoreceptors so far identified that mediate innate immune memory are the paired immunoglobulin-like receptors (PIRs) in mice, which are orthologous to human leukocyte immunoglobulin-like receptors (LILRs). These receptor families are mainly expressed by the myelomonocytic cell lineage, suggesting an important role in the innate immune response. In this review, we will discuss the role of immunoglobulin-like receptors in the development of innate immune memory across species.
The origins of a “pass-through” gut in early bilaterians facilitated the exploration of new habitats, motivated the innovation of feeding styles and behaviors, and helped drive the evolution of more complex organisms. The gastrointestinal tract has evolved to consist of a series of interwoven exchanges between nutrients, host immunity, and an often microbe-rich environmental interface. Not surprisingly, animals have expanded their immune repertoires to include soluble effectors that can be secreted into luminal spaces, e.g., in the gut, facilitating interactions with microbes in ways that influence their settlement dynamics, virulence, and their interaction with other microbes. The immunoglobulin (Ig) domain, which is also found in some non-immune molecules, is recognized as one of the most versatile recognition domains lying at the interface of innate and adaptive immunity; among vertebrates, secreted Igs are known to play crucial roles in the management of gut microbial communities. In this mini-review, we will focus on secreted immune effectors possessing Ig-like domains in invertebrates, such as the fibrinogen-related effector proteins first described in the gastropod Biomphalaria glabrata, the Down syndrome cellular adhesion molecule first described in the arthropod, Drosophila melanogaster, and the variable region-containing chitin-binding proteins of the protochordates. We will highlight our current understanding of their function and their potential role, if not yet recognized, in the establishment and maintenance of host-microbial interfaces and argue that these Igs are likely also essential to microbiome management.
Animals and plants have NLRs (nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat receptors) that recognize the presence of pathogens and initiate innate immune responses. In plants, there are three types of NLRs distinguished by their N-terminal domain: the CC (coiled-coil) domain NLRs, the TIR (Toll/interleukin-1 receptor) domain NLRs and the RPW8 (resistance to powdery mildew 8)-like coiled-coil domain NLRs. CC-NLRs (CNLs) and TIR-NLRs (TNLs) generally act as sensors of effectors secreted by pathogens, while RPW8-NLRs (RNLs) signal downstream of many sensor NLRs and are called helper NLRs. Recent studies have revealed three dimensional structures of a CNL (ZAR1) including its inactive, intermediate and active oligomeric state, as well as TNLs (RPP1 and ROQ1) in their active oligomeric states. Furthermore, accumulating evidence suggests that members of the family of lipase-like EDS1 (enhanced disease susceptibility 1) proteins, which are uniquely found in seed plants, play a key role in providing a link between sensor NLRs and helper NLRs during innate immune responses. Here, we summarize the implications of the plant NLR structures that provide insights into distinct mechanisms of action by the different sensor NLRs and discuss plant NLR-mediated innate immune signalling pathways involving the EDS1 family proteins and RNLs.
For over half a century, deciphering the origins of the genomic loci that form the jawed vertebrate adaptive immune response has been a major topic in comparative immunogenetics. Vertebrate adaptive immunity relies on an extensive and highly diverse repertoire of tandem arrays of variable (V), diversity (D), and joining (J) gene segments that recombine to produce different immunoglobulin (Ig) and T cell receptor (TCR) genes. The current consensus is that a recombination-activating gene (RAG)-like transposon invaded an exon of an ancient innate immune VJ-bearing receptor, giving rise to the extant diversity of Ig and TCR loci across jawed vertebrates. However, a model for the evolutionary relationships between extant non-recombining innate immune receptors and the V(D)J receptors of the jawed vertebrate adaptive immune system has only recently begun to come into focus. In this review, we provide an overview of non-recombining VJ genes, including CD8β, CD79b, natural cytotoxicity receptor 3 (NCR3/NKp30), putative remnants of an antigen receptor precursor (PRARPs), and the multigene family of signal-regulatory proteins (SIRPs), that play a wide range of roles in immune function. We then focus in detail on the VJ-containing novel immune-type receptors (NITRs) from ray-finned fishes, as recent work has indicated that these genes are at least 50 million years older than originally thought. We conclude by providing a conceptual model of the evolutionary origins and phylogenetic distribution of known VJ-containing innate immune receptors, highlighting opportunities for future comparative research that are empowered by this emerging evolutionary perspective.
The immune cells of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata are classified into hyalinocyte and granulocyte subtypes. Both subtypes are essential for the proper functioning of the snail immune response, which we understand best within the context of how it responds to challenge with the human parasite Schistosoma mansoni. Granulocytes are adherent phagocytic cells that possess conspicuous granules within the cell cytoplasm. Hyalinocytes, on the other hand, are predominantly non-adherent and are known to produce a handful of anti-S. mansoni immune effectors. While our understanding of these cells has progressed, an in-depth comparison of the functional capabilities of each type of immune cell has yet to be undertaken. Here, we present the results of a single-cell RNA-seq study in which single granulocytes and hyalinocytes from S. mansoni-susceptible M-line B. glabrata and S. mansoni-resistant BS-90 B. glabrata are compared without immune stimulation. This transcriptomic analysis supports a role for the hyalinocytes as producers of immune effectors such as biomphalysin and thioester-containing proteins. It suggests that granulocytes are primarily responsible for producing fibrinogen-related proteins and are armed with various pattern-recognition receptors such as toll-like receptors with a confirmed role in the anti-S. mansoni immune response. This analysis also confirms that the granulocytes and hyalinocytes of BS-90 snails are generally more immunologically prepared than their M-line counterparts. As the first single-cell analysis of the transcriptional profiles of B. glabrata immune cells, this study provides crucial context for understanding the B. glabrata immune response. It sets the stage for future investigations into how each immune cell subtype differs in its response to various immunological threats.
B30.2 domains, also known as PRY/SPRY, are key components of specific subsets of two large families of proteins involved in innate immunity: the tripartite motif proteins (TRIMs) and the Nod-like receptors (NLRs). TRIM proteins are important, often inducible factors of antiviral innate immunity, targeting multiple steps of viral cycles through a variety of mechanisms. NLRs prime and regulate systemic innate defenses, especially against bacteria, and control inflammation. Large TRIM and NLR subsets characterized by the presence of a B30.2 domain have been reported from a few fish species including zebrafish and seem to be strongly prone to gene duplication/expansion. Here, we performed a large-scale survey of these receptors across about 150 fish genomes, focusing on ray-finned fishes. We assessed the number and genomic distribution of domains and domain combinations associated with TRIMs, NLRs, and other genes containing B30.2 domains and looked for gene expansion patterns across fish groups. We then used a model to test the impact of taxonomy, genome size, and environmental variables on the copy numbers of these genes. Our findings reveal novel domain structures, clade-specific gains and losses. They also assist with the timing of the gene expansions, reveal patterns associated with the MHC, and lay the groundwork for further studies delving deeper into the forces that drive the copy number variation of immune genes on a species level.
Hydractinia symbiolongicarpus is a colonial hydroid and a long-standing model system for the study of invertebrate allorecognition. The Hydractinia allorecognition system allows colonies to discriminate between their own tissues and those of unrelated conspecifics that co-occur with them on the same substrate. This recognition mediates spatial competition and mitigates the risk of stem cell parasitism. Here, I review how we have come to our current understanding of the molecular basis of allorecognition in Hydractinia. To date, two allodeterminants have been identified, called Allorecognition 1 (Alr1) and Allorecognition 2 (Alr2), which occupy a genomic region called the allorecognition complex (ARC). Both genes encode highly polymorphic cell surface proteins that are capable of homophilic binding, which is thought to be the mechanism of self/non-self discrimination. Here, I review how we have come to our current understanding of Alr1 and Alr2. Although both are members of the immunoglobulin superfamily, their evolutionary origins remain unknown. Moreover, existing data suggest that the ARC may be home to a family of Alr-like genes, and I speculate on their potential functions.
The natural environment of the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is rich in pathogenic microbes. There is now ample evidence to indicate that these pathogens exert a strong selection pressure on C. elegans, and have shaped its genome, physiology, and behaviour. In this short review, we concentrate on how C. elegans stands out from other animals in terms of its immune repertoire and innate immune signalling pathways. We discuss how C. elegans often detects pathogens because of their effects on essential cellular processes, or organelle integrity, in addition to direct microbial recognition. We illustrate the extensive molecular plasticity that is characteristic of immune defences in C. elegans and highlight some remarkable instances of lineage-specific innovation in innate immune mechanisms.
Compared to the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) of typical mammals, the chicken BF/BL region is small and simple, with most of the genes playing central roles in the adaptive immune response. However, some genes of the chicken MHC are almost certainly involved in innate immunity, such as the complement component C4 and the lectin-like receptor/ligand gene pair BNK and Blec. The poorly expressed classical class I molecule BF1 is known to be recognised by natural killer (NK) cells and, analogous to mammalian immune responses, the classical class I molecules BF1 and BF2, the CD1 homologs and the butyrophilin homologs called BG may be recognised by adaptive immune lymphocytes with semi-invariant receptors in a so-called adaptate manner. Moreover, the TRIM and BG regions next to the chicken MHC, along with the genetically unlinked Y and olfactory/scavenger receptor regions on the same chromosome, have multigene families almost certainly involved in innate and adaptate responses. On this chicken microchromosome, the simplicity of the adaptive immune gene systems contrasts with the complexity of the gene systems potentially involved in innate immunity.
Males and females often exhibit differences in behaviour, life histories and ecology, many of which typically are reflecting in their brains. Neuronal protection and maintenance include complex processes led by the microglia, which also interacts with metabolites such as hormones or immune components. Despite increasing interest in sex-specific brain function in laboratory animals, the significance of sex-specific immune activation in the brain of wild animals along with the variables that could affect it, are widely lacking. Here, we use the Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) to study sex differences in expression of immune genes in the brain of adult males and females, in two wild populations breeding in contrasting habitats: a coastal sea-level population and a high-altitude inland population in China. Our analysis yielded 379 genes associated with immune function. We show a significant male-biased immune gene upregulation. Immune gene expression in the brain did not differ in upregulation between the coastal and inland populations. We discuss the role of dosage compensation in our findings and their evolutionary significance mediated by sex-specific survival and neuronal deterioration. Similar expression profiles in the coastal and inland populations suggest comparable genetic control by the microglia and possible similarities in pathogen pressures between habitats. We call for further studies on gene expressions of males and females in wild population to understand the implications of immune function for life-histories and demography in natural systems.
Polymorphism of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), DAB1 gene was characterized for the first time in the European bitterling ( Rhodeus amarus ), a freshwater fish employed in studies of host-parasite coevolution and mate choice, taking advantage of newly designed primers coupled with high-throughput amplicon sequencing. Across 221 genotyped individuals, we detected 1–4 variants per fish, with 28% individuals possessing 3–4 variants. We identified 36 DAB1 variants, and they showed high sequence diversity mostly located within predicted antigen-binding sites, and both global and codon-specific excess of non-synonymous mutations. Despite deep divergence between two major allelic lineages, functional diversity was surprisingly low (3 supertypes). Overall, these findings suggest the role of positive and balancing selection in promotion and long-time maintenance of DAB1 polymorphism. Further investigations will clarify the role of pathogen-mediated selection to drive the evolution of DAB1 variation.
Since 2019, the world was involved with SARS-CoV-2 and consequently, with the announcement by the World Health Organization that COVID-19 was a pandemic, scientific were an effort to obtain the best approach to combat this global dilemma. The best way to prevent the pandemic from spreading further is to use a vaccine against COVID-19. Here, we report the design of a recombinant multi-epitope vaccine against the four proteins spike or crown (S), membrane (M), nucleocapsid (N), and envelope (E) of SARS-CoV-2 using immunoinformatics tools. We evaluated the most antigenic epitopes that bind to HLA class 1 subtypes, along with HLA class 2, as well as B cell epitopes. Beta-defensin 3 and PADRE sequence were used as adjuvants in the structure of the vaccine. KK, GPGPG, and AAY linkers were used to fuse the selected epitopes. The nucleotide sequence was cloned into pET26b(+) vector using restriction enzymes XhoI and NdeI, and HisTag sequence was considered in the C-terminal of the construct. The results showed that the proposed candidate vaccine is a 70.87 kDa protein with high antigenicity and immunogenicity as well as non-allergenic and non-toxic. A total of 95% of the selected epitopes have conservancy with similar sequences. Molecular docking showed a strong binding between the vaccine structure and tool-like receptor (TLR) 7/8. The docking, molecular dynamics, and MM/PBSA analysis showed that the vaccine established a stable interaction with both structures of TLR7 and TLR8. Simulation of immune stimulation by this vaccine showed that it evokes immune responses related to humoral and cellular immunity.
Associations between inherited Killer Immunoglobulin-like Receptor (KIR) genotypes and the severity of multiple RNA virus infections have been reported. This prospective study was initiated to investigate if such an association exists for COVID-19. In this cohort study performed at Ankara University, 132 COVID-19 patients (56 asymptomatic, 51 mild-intermediate, and 25 patients with severe disease) were genotyped for KIR and ligands. Ankara University Donor Registry (n:449) KIR data was used for comparison. Clinical parameters (age, gender, comorbidities, blood group antigens, inflammation biomarkers) and KIR genotypes across cohorts of asymptomatic, mild-intermediate, or severe disease were compared to construct a risk prediction model based on multivariate binary logistic regression analysis with backward elimination method. Age, blood group, number of comorbidities, CRP, D-dimer, and telomeric and centromeric KIR genotypes (tAA, tAB1, and cAB1) along with their cognate ligands were found to differ between cohorts. Two prediction models were constructed; both included age, number of comorbidities, and blood group. Inclusion of the KIR genotypes in the second prediction model exp (-3.52 + 1.56 age group - 2.74 blood group (type A vs others) + 1.26 number of comorbidities - 2.46 tAB1 with ligand + 3.17 tAA with ligand) increased the predictive performance with a 92.9% correct classification for asymptomatic and 76% for severe cases (AUC: 0.93; P < 0.0001, 95% CI 0.88, 0.99). This novel risk model, consisting of KIR genotypes with their cognate ligands, and clinical parameters but excluding earlier published inflammation-related biomarkers allow for the prediction of the severity of COVID-19 infection prior to the onset of infection. This study is listed in the National COVID-19 clinical research studies database.