Warning: This is a preliminary report that has not been peer-reviewed. It should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or be reported in news media as established information.

SARS-CoV-2 spike protein interacts with and activates TLR4 (Preliminary Report)

The onset of sepsis is an important feature of COVID19 and a main cause of death. It is unknown how SARS-CoV-2 infection results in viral sepsis in human. We recently found that SARS-CoV-2 provoked an anti-bacterial like response and activation of TLR4 pathway at the very early stage of infection ...
in animal models. This abnormal immune response led to emergency granulopoiesis and sepsis. However, the original trigger of TLR4 signaling by SARS-CoV-2 is unknown. We here identified that the trimeric spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 could bind to TLR4 directly and robustly activate downstream signaling in monocytes and neutrophils. Moreover, specific TLR4 or NFKB inhibitor, or knockout of MyD88 could significantly block IL-1B induction by spike protein. We thus reveal that spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 functions as a potent stimulus causing TLR4 activation and sepsis related abnormal responses.
Date: Dec. 18, 2020
Status: Preliminary Report
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