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Special Issue "Molecular Interactions and Mechanisms of COVID-19 Inhibition"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Biochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Francesco Caruso
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY 12604, USA
Interests: antioxidants; natural products; docking; structure-activity relationship; antitumor metal compounds
Prof. Dr. Miriam Rossi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY 12604, USA
Interests: natural products; single crystal X-ray diffraction structure elucidation; metal complexes of natural products; anti-tumor compounds

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Covid-19 pandemic is taking a large toll on the health systems of all countries. Although vaccines are now becoming available, many unclarified items have yet to be answered. For instance, how long will the vaccine-acquired immunity last? How effective will the vaccines be for current UK, South African, and Brazilian variants, and, perhaps more importantly, for future variants? The scientific community is active in pursuing studies aimed at, at least, alleviating the suffering of Covid-19 patients. It is clear that better drugs are needed and the medical community is disclosing encouraging results. However, as chemists and biologists, we are also called to participate in solving this problem. This Special Issue of IJMS will contribute to the knowledge and clarification of processes that can address potential solutions towards Covid-19. More specifically, we focus on addressing the molecular mechanisms that can assist in finding useful treatments. Targets of Covid-19 include Spike and ACE2 proteins, main 3Cl protease, papain protease; RdRp; Helicase; Nsp13; TMPRSS-2, etc.

Prof. Dr. Francesco Caruso
Prof. Dr. Miriam Rossi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • SARS
  • Covid-19
  • main protease 3CLpro
  • papain protease PLpro
  • Spike
  • ACE2
  • RdRp
  • cytokine
  • Helicase
  • Nsp13
  • TMPRSS-2

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Previous COVID-19 and Mastitis Infections on the Secretion of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor and Nerve Growth Factor in Human Milk
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(8), 3846; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22083846 - 08 Apr 2021
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Abstract
Background: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF) play a critical role in neurodevelopment, where breast milk is a significant dietary source. The impact of previous COVID-19 infection and mastitis on the concentration of BDNF and NGF in human milk was [...] Read more.
Background: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF) play a critical role in neurodevelopment, where breast milk is a significant dietary source. The impact of previous COVID-19 infection and mastitis on the concentration of BDNF and NGF in human milk was investigated. Methods: Concentrations of BDNF and NGF were measured via ELISA in human milk samples collected from 12 mothers with a confirmed COVID-19 PCR, 13 mothers with viral symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, and 22 unexposed mothers (pre-pandemic Ctl-2018). These neurotrophins were also determined in 12 mothers with previous mastitis and 18 mothers without mastitis. Results: The NGF concentration in human milk was lower in the COVID-19 PCR and viral symptoms groups than in the unexposed group, but BDNF did not differ significantly. Within the COVID-19 group, BDNF was higher in mothers who reported headaches or loss of smell/taste when compared with mothers without the respective symptom. BDNF was lower in mothers with mastitis than in mothers without mastitis. Conclusions: Previous COVID-19 and mastitis infections changed differently the secretion of NGF and BDNF in human milk. Whether the changes in NGF and BDNF levels in milk from mothers with infection influence their infant’s development remains to be investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Interactions and Mechanisms of COVID-19 Inhibition)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Effects of SARS-CoV-2 on Cardiovascular System: The Dual Role of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) as the Virus Receptor and Homeostasis Regulator-Review
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(9), 4526; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22094526 - 26 Apr 2021
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Abstract
Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is the entry receptor for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the cause of Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) in humans. ACE-2 is a type I transmembrane metallocarboxypeptidase expressed in vascular endothelial cells, alveolar type 2 lung epithelial cells, renal tubular [...] Read more.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is the entry receptor for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the cause of Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) in humans. ACE-2 is a type I transmembrane metallocarboxypeptidase expressed in vascular endothelial cells, alveolar type 2 lung epithelial cells, renal tubular epithelium, Leydig cells in testes and gastrointestinal tract. ACE2 mediates the interaction between host cells and SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein. However, ACE2 is not only a SARS-CoV-2 receptor, but it has also an important homeostatic function regulating renin-angiotensin system (RAS), which is pivotal for both the cardiovascular and immune systems. Therefore, ACE2 is the key link between SARS-CoV-2 infection, cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and immune response. Susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 seems to be tightly associated with ACE2 availability, which in turn is determined by genetics, age, gender and comorbidities. Severe COVID-19 is due to an uncontrolled and excessive immune response, which leads to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multi-organ failure. In spite of a lower ACE2 expression on cells surface, patients with CVDs have a higher COVID-19 mortality rate, which is likely driven by the imbalance between ADAM metallopeptidase domain 17 (ADAM17) protein (which is required for cleavage of ACE-2 ectodomain resulting in increased ACE2 shedding), and TMPRSS2 (which is required for spike glycoprotein priming). To date, ACE inhibitors and Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers (ARBs) treatment interruption in patients with chronic comorbidities appears unjustified. The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines provides opportunities to study the effects of different COVID-19 vaccines on ACE2 in patients on treatment with ACEi/ARB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Interactions and Mechanisms of COVID-19 Inhibition)
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