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      The Synergistic Interaction of Interferon Types I and II Leads to Marked Reduction in Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Associated Coronavirus Replication and Increase in the Expression of mRNAs for Interferon-Induced Proteins

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          Interferon (IFN)-α, -β and -γ have been shown to be only marginally effective against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) replication in Vero cell lines. We investigated the combination of type I IFNs (IFN-α or -β) and IFN-γ for antiviral activity and found that such combinations synergistically inhibited SARS-CoV replication in Vero cells, using yield reduction assay and the isobologram and combination index methods of Chou and Talalay for evaluation. The highly synergistic anti-SARS-CoV action of type I IFNs and IFN-γ parallels the marked increase in 2′-5′-oligoadenylate synthetase and p56 mRNAs following exposure in Vero cells to either IFN-α or -β and IFN-γ compared with the transcriptional levels obtained after stimulation with either IFN alone. These results demonstrate that SARS-CoV, although only moderately sensitive to the antiviral action of the individual types of IFN, is highly sensitive to a combination of type I and II IFNs, which suggests that such combinations may have potential in the treatment of SARS-CoV infections.

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          Most cited references 17

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          Quantitative analysis of dose-effect relationships: the combined effects of multiple drugs or enzyme inhibitors.

           P Talalay,  T C Chou (1984)
          A generalized method for analyzing the effects of multiple drugs and for determining summation, synergism and antagonism has been proposed. The derived, generalized equations are based on kinetic principles. The method is relatively simple and is not limited by whether the dose-effect relationships are hyperbolic or sigmoidal, whether the effects of the drugs are mutually exclusive or nonexclusive, whether the ligand interactions are competitive, noncompetitive or uncompetitive, whether the drugs are agonists or antagonists, or the number of drugs involved. The equations for the two most widely used methods for analyzing synergism, antagonism and summation of effects of multiple drugs, the isobologram and fractional product concepts, have been derived and been shown to have limitations in their applications. These two methods cannot be used indiscriminately. The equations underlying these two methods can be derived from a more generalized equation previously developed by us (59). It can be shown that the isobologram is valid only for drugs whose effects are mutually exclusive, whereas the fractional product method is valid only for mutually nonexclusive drugs which have hyperbolic dose-effect curves. Furthermore, in the isobol method, it is laborious to find proper combinations of drugs that would produce an iso-effective curve, and the fractional product method tends to give indication of synergism, since it underestimates the summation of the effect of mutually nonexclusive drugs that have sigmoidal dose-effect curves. The method described herein is devoid of these deficiencies and limitations. The simplified experimental design proposed for multiple drug-effect analysis has the following advantages: It provides a simple diagnostic plot (i.e., the median-effect plot) for evaluating the applicability of the data, and provides parameters that can be directly used to obtain a general equation for the dose-effect relation; the analysis which involves logarithmic conversion and linear regression can be readily carried out with a simple programmable electronic calculator and does not require special graph paper or tables; and the simplicity of the equation allows flexibility of application and the use of a minimum number of data points. This method has been used to analyze experimental data obtained from enzymatic, cellular and animal systems.
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            Comparative host gene transcription by microarray analysis early after infection of the Huh7 cell line by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus and human coronavirus 229E.

            The pathogenesis of severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) at the cellular level is unclear. No human cell line was previously known to be susceptible to both SARS-CoV and other human coronaviruses. Huh7 cells were found to be susceptible to both SARS-CoV, associated with SARS, and human coronavirus 229E (HCoV-229E), usually associated with the common cold. Highly lytic and productive rates of infections within 48 h of inoculation were reproducible with both viruses. The early transcriptional profiles of host cell response to both types of infection at 2 and 4 h postinoculation were determined by using the Affymetrix HG-U133A microarray (about 22,000 genes). Much more perturbation of cellular gene transcription was observed after infection by SARS-CoV than after infection by HCoV-229E. Besides the upregulation of genes associated with apoptosis, which was exactly opposite to the previously reported effect of SARS-CoV in a colonic carcinoma cell line, genes related to inflammation, stress response, and procoagulation were also upregulated. These findings were confirmed by semiquantitative reverse transcription-PCR, reverse transcription-quantitative PCR for mRNA of genes, and immunoassays for some encoded proteins. These transcriptomal changes are compatible with the histological changes of pulmonary vasculitis and microvascular thrombosis in addition to the diffuse alveolar damage involving the pneumocytes.
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              The human 2',5'-oligoadenylate synthetase family: interferon-induced proteins with unique enzymatic properties.

              2',5'-Oligoadenylate synthetase (2',5'-OAS) was discovered and characterized as an interferon (IFN)-induced enzyme that in the presence of double-stranded (ds) RNA converts ATP into 2',5'-linked oligomers of adenosine with the general formula pppA(2'p'A)n, n > or = 1. The product is pppG2'p5'G when GTP is used as a substrate. Now, 20 years later, this activity is attributed to several well-characterized, homologous, and IFN-induced proteins in human cells. Three distinct forms of 2',5'-OAS exist, small, medium, and large, which contain 1, 2, and 3 OAS units, respectively, and are encoded by distinct genes clustered on the 2',5'-OAS locus on human chromosome 12. Recently, other IFN-induced proteins homologous to the OAS unit but devoid of the typical 2',5'-OAS catalytic activity have been described. These OAS-related proteins are encoded by a gene located at the proximity of the 2',5'-OAS locus. These findings illustrate the apparent structural and functional complexity of the human 2',5'-OAS family.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG (Allschwilerstrasse 10, P.O. Box · Postfach · Case postale, CH–4009, Basel, Switzerland · Schweiz · Suisse, Phone: +41 61 306 11 11, Fax: +41 61 306 12 34, )
                February 2007
                22 December 2006
                : 50
                : 2
                : 156-160
                aDepartment of Experimental Medicine, Virology Section, University La Sapienza
                bS. Pertini Hospital, Rome
                cUniversity Campus Biomedico, Rome
                dDepartment of Pharmacology, Menarini Ricerche S.p.A., Pomezia
                eMicrobiology and Virology Laboratory, San Raffaele Scientific Institute and School of Medicine, Vita-Salute University, Milan, Italy
                Author notes
                * Guido Antonelli, Department of Experimental Medicine-Virology Section, University La Sapienza, Viale di Porta Tiburtina 28, IT-00185 Rome (Italy), Tel. +39 06 4474 122, Fax +39 06 4474 1236, E-Mail guido.antonelli@
                Copyright © 2007 by S. Karger AG, Basel

                This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic or until permissions are revoked in writing. Upon expiration of these permissions, PMC is granted a perpetual license to make this article available via PMC and Europe PMC, consistent with existing copyright protections.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 1, References: 23, Pages: 5
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