Even though COVID-19 is mostly well-known for affecting respiratory pathology, it can also result in several extrapulmonary manifestations, leading to multiorgan damage. A recent reported case of SARS-CoV-2 myocarditis with cardiogenic shock showed a signature of myocardial and kidney ferroptosis, a novel, iron-dependent programmed cell death. The term ferroptosis was coined in the last decade to describe the form of cell death induced by the small molecule erastin. As a specific inducer of ferroptosis, erastin inhibits cystine-glutamate antiporter system Xc-, blocking transportation into the cytoplasm of cystine, a precursor of glutathione (GSH) in exchange with glutamate and the consequent malfunction of GPX4. Ferroptosis is also promoted by intracellular iron overload and by the iron-dependent accumulation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA)- derived lipid peroxides. Since depletion of GSH, inactivation of GPX4, altered iron metabolism, and upregulation of PUFA peroxidation by reactive oxygen species are peculiar signs of COVID-19, there is the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 may trigger ferroptosis in the cells of multiple organs, thus contributing to multiorgan damage. Here, we review the molecular mechanisms of ferroptosis and its possible relationship with SARS-CoV-2 infection and multiorgan damage. Finally, we analyze the potential interventions that may combat ferroptosis and, therefore, reduce multiorgan damage.

Is Ferroptosis a Key Component of the Process Leading to Multiorgan Damage in COVID-19?

Anna Maria FRATTA PASINI
;
Chiara Stranieri;Domenico GIRELLI;Fabiana BUSTI;Luciano Cominacini
2021

Abstract

Even though COVID-19 is mostly well-known for affecting respiratory pathology, it can also result in several extrapulmonary manifestations, leading to multiorgan damage. A recent reported case of SARS-CoV-2 myocarditis with cardiogenic shock showed a signature of myocardial and kidney ferroptosis, a novel, iron-dependent programmed cell death. The term ferroptosis was coined in the last decade to describe the form of cell death induced by the small molecule erastin. As a specific inducer of ferroptosis, erastin inhibits cystine-glutamate antiporter system Xc-, blocking transportation into the cytoplasm of cystine, a precursor of glutathione (GSH) in exchange with glutamate and the consequent malfunction of GPX4. Ferroptosis is also promoted by intracellular iron overload and by the iron-dependent accumulation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA)- derived lipid peroxides. Since depletion of GSH, inactivation of GPX4, altered iron metabolism, and upregulation of PUFA peroxidation by reactive oxygen species are peculiar signs of COVID-19, there is the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 may trigger ferroptosis in the cells of multiple organs, thus contributing to multiorgan damage. Here, we review the molecular mechanisms of ferroptosis and its possible relationship with SARS-CoV-2 infection and multiorgan damage. Finally, we analyze the potential interventions that may combat ferroptosis and, therefore, reduce multiorgan damage.
COVID-19
GSH-GPX4 axis
ferroptosis
iron
multiorgan damage
oxidative stress
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1054275
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