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Article

From Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Immune Response to the Cytokine Storm via Molecular Mimicry

Department of Biosciences, Biotechnologies, and Biopharmaceutics, University of Bari, 70125 Bari, Italy
Academic Editors: Luis Martinez-Sobrido and James J. Kobie
Received: 19 June 2021 / Revised: 20 August 2021 / Accepted: 8 September 2021 / Published: 24 September 2021
The aim of this study was to investigate the role of molecular mimicry in the cytokine storms associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Human proteins endowed with anti-inflammatory activity were assembled and analyzed for peptide sharing with the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein (gp) using public databases. It was found that the SARS-CoV-2 spike gp shares numerous pentapeptides with anti-inflammatory proteins that, when altered, can lead to cytokine storms characterized by diverse disorders such as systemic multiorgan hyperinflammation, macrophage activation syndrome, ferritinemia, endothelial dysfunction, and acute respiratory syndrome. Immunologically, many shared peptides are part of experimentally validated epitopes and are also present in pathogens to which individuals may have been exposed following infections or vaccinal routes and of which the immune system has stored memory. Such an immunologic imprint might trigger powerful anamnestic secondary cross-reactive responses, thus explaining the raging of the cytokine storm that can occur following exposure to SARS-CoV-2. In conclusion, the results support molecular mimicry and the consequent cross-reactivity as a potential mechanism in SARS-CoV-2-induced cytokine storms, and highlight the role of immunological imprinting in determining high-affinity, high-avidity, autoimmune cross-reactions as a pathogenic sequela associated with anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. View Full-Text
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2 spike gp; cytokine storm; anti-inflammatory proteins; molecular mimicry; cross-reactivity; hyperinflammation; ferritinemia; macrophage activation syndrome; innate immunity; immunologic imprinting SARS-CoV-2 spike gp; cytokine storm; anti-inflammatory proteins; molecular mimicry; cross-reactivity; hyperinflammation; ferritinemia; macrophage activation syndrome; innate immunity; immunologic imprinting
MDPI and ACS Style

Kanduc, D. From Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Immune Response to the Cytokine Storm via Molecular Mimicry. Antibodies 2021, 10, 36. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antib10040036

AMA Style

Kanduc D. From Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Immune Response to the Cytokine Storm via Molecular Mimicry. Antibodies. 2021; 10(4):36. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antib10040036

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kanduc, Darja. 2021. "From Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Immune Response to the Cytokine Storm via Molecular Mimicry" Antibodies 10, no. 4: 36. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/antib10040036

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