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Lipid Nanoparticle-Based Inhibitors for SARS-CoV-2 Host Cell Infection

Yathindranath et al., International Journal of Nanomedicine, doi:10.2147/IJN.S448005
Mar 2024  
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In Vitro study showing that lactoferrin, camostat mesylate, and carrageenan inhibit SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus infection in airway epithelial Calu-3 cells. All show dose-dependent inhibition. The study focuses on novel LNP formulations and the combination of carrageenan with the authors' LNP-PEP formulation containing ACE2 peptide showed significantly higher inhibition compared to carrageenan alone.
Study covers iota-carrageenan and lactoferrin.
Yathindranath et al., 28 Mar 2024, peer-reviewed, 5 authors. Contact:
In Vitro studies are an important part of preclinical research, however results may be very different in vivo.
This PaperLactoferrinAll
Lipid Nanoparticle-Based Inhibitors for SARS-CoV-2 Host Cell Infection
Vinith Yathindranath, Nura Safa, Mateusz Marek Tomczyk, Vernon Dolinsky, Donald W Miller
International Journal of Nanomedicine, doi:10.2147/ijn.s448005
Purpose: The global pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and the lingering threat to public health has fueled the search for effective therapeutics to treat SARS-CoV-2. This study aimed to develop lipid nanoparticle (LNP) inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 entry to reduce viral infection in the nose and upper airway. Methods: Two types of LNP formulations were prepared following a microfluidic mixing method. The LNP-Trap consisted of DOPC, DSPC, cholesterol, and DSPE-PEG-COOH modified with various spike protein binding ligands, including ACE2 peptide, recombinant human ACE2 (rhACE2) or monoclonal antibody to spike protein (mAb). The LNP-Trim consisted of ionizing cationic DLin-MC3-DMA, DSPC, cholesterol, and DMG-PEG lipids encapsulating siACE2 or siTMPRSS2. Both formulations were assayed for biocompatibility and cell uptake in airway epithelial cells (Calu-3). Functional assessment of activity was performed using SARS-CoV-2 spike protein binding assays (LNP-Trap), host receptor knockdown (LNP-Trim), and SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus neutralization assay (LNP-Trap and LNP-Trim). Localization and tissue distribution of fluorescently labeled LNP formulations were assessed in mice following intranasal administration. Results: Both LNP formulations were biocompatible based on cell impedance and MTT cytotoxicity studies in Calu-3 cells at concentrations as high as 1 mg/mL. LNP-Trap formulations were able to bind spike protein and inhibit pseudovirus infection by 90% in Calu-3 cells. LNP-Trim formulations reduced ACE2 and TMPRSS2 at the mRNA (70% reduction) and protein level (50% reduction). The suppression of host targets in Calu-3 cells treated with LNP-Trim resulted in over 90% inhibition of pseudovirus infection. In vivo studies demonstrated substantial retention of LNP-Trap and LNP-Trim in the nasal cavity following nasal administration with minimal systemic exposure. Conclusion: Both LNP-Trap and LNP-Trim formulations were able to safely and effectively inhibit SARS-CoV-2 pseudoviral infection in airway epithelial cells. These studies provide proof-of-principle for a localized treatment approach for SARS-CoV-2 in the upper airway.
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