SARS-CoV-2 infection has been recently shown to induce cellular senescence in vivo. A senescence-like phenotype has been reported in cystic fibrosis (CF) cellular models. Since the previously published data highlighted a low impact of SARS-CoV-2 on CFTR-defective cells, here we aimed to investigate the senescence hallmarks in SARS-CoV-2 infection in the context of a loss of CFTR expression/function. We infected WT and CFTR KO 16HBE14o-cells with SARS-CoV-2 and analyzed both the p21 and Ki67 expression using immunohistochemistry and viral and p21 gene expression using real-time PCR. Prior to SARS-CoV-2 infection, CFTR KO cells displayed a higher p21 and lower Ki67 expression than WT cells. We detected lipid accumulation in CFTR KO cells, identified as lipolysosomes and residual bodies at the subcellular/ultrastructure level. After SARS-CoV-2 infection, the situation reversed, with low p21 and high Ki67 expression, as well as reduced viral gene expression in CFTR KO cells. Thus, the activation of cellular senescence pathways in CFTR-defective cells was reversed by SARS-CoV-2 infection while they were activated in CFTR WT cells. These data uncover a different response of CF and non-CF bronchial epithelial cell models to SARS-CoV-2 infection and contribute to uncovering the molecular mechanisms behind the reduced clinical impact of COVID-19 in CF patients.

Loss of CFTR reverses senescence hallmarks in SARS-CoV-2 infected bronchial epithelial cells

Merigo, Flavia;Lagni, Anna;Boschi, Federico;Bernardi, Paolo;Conti, Anita;Sorio, Claudio;Lotti, Virginia
;
Sbarbati, Andrea
2024-01-01

Abstract

SARS-CoV-2 infection has been recently shown to induce cellular senescence in vivo. A senescence-like phenotype has been reported in cystic fibrosis (CF) cellular models. Since the previously published data highlighted a low impact of SARS-CoV-2 on CFTR-defective cells, here we aimed to investigate the senescence hallmarks in SARS-CoV-2 infection in the context of a loss of CFTR expression/function. We infected WT and CFTR KO 16HBE14o-cells with SARS-CoV-2 and analyzed both the p21 and Ki67 expression using immunohistochemistry and viral and p21 gene expression using real-time PCR. Prior to SARS-CoV-2 infection, CFTR KO cells displayed a higher p21 and lower Ki67 expression than WT cells. We detected lipid accumulation in CFTR KO cells, identified as lipolysosomes and residual bodies at the subcellular/ultrastructure level. After SARS-CoV-2 infection, the situation reversed, with low p21 and high Ki67 expression, as well as reduced viral gene expression in CFTR KO cells. Thus, the activation of cellular senescence pathways in CFTR-defective cells was reversed by SARS-CoV-2 infection while they were activated in CFTR WT cells. These data uncover a different response of CF and non-CF bronchial epithelial cell models to SARS-CoV-2 infection and contribute to uncovering the molecular mechanisms behind the reduced clinical impact of COVID-19 in CF patients.
2024
CFTR
SARS-CoV-2
autophagy
cystic fibrosis
lipid
lipolysosome
senescence
ultrastructure
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1129486
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