Coronavirus and Cysteine

Author: Gianpiero Pescarmona
Date: 09/06/2020


either SARS and SARS-Cov2 have a Cysteine percentage much higher than ACE2, and therefore a decrease of the intracellular cysteine is expected during the infection, leading to a GSH decrease


109 Amino acids in intestinal growth and health. 2018

Amino acid (AA) nutrition is a rapidly expanding field in both medicine and animal production. Growing evidence shows that nutritionally non-essential AAs (NEAAs) play a pivotal role in improving intestinal growth and functions, including mucosal growth and integrity, nutrient digestion and absorption, redox signaling, immune response, and microbial balance in the gastrointestine of pigs. For example, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), an effective precursor of cysteine, can beneficially reduce inflammation, alleviate oxidative stress, improve mucosal barrier function, and ameliorate intestinal damage in piglets challenged with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), indomethacin, acetic acid, or porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV). The underlying mechanisms whereby NAC on intestinal functions may be mediated by TLR4/NF-κB, PI3K/Akt/mTOR, EGFR, AMPK, and type I IFN signaling pathways, as well as glutathione-activated protein synthesis. Another important NEAA is glutamine, which exerts beneficial effects on intestine health by regulating the expression of genes encoding IL-4, IL-1β, b0,+AT1, pBD-1, GSTO2, AQP8/10, IFN-α/β, and y+LAT2, and IFITs in the intestine. In vitro study indicated that glutamine enhances enterocyte growth via the activation of mTOR signaling pathway independently of AMPK. Alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG) can partially spare glutamate and glutamine as metabolic fuels in enterocytes, and dietary AKG supplementation improves intestinal morphology and function in healthy and LPS-challenged piglets. Recently, we found that dietary supplementation with 1% amino acid complex (glutamate: glutamine: glycine: arginine: NAC = 5: 2: 2: 1: 0.5) improved intestinal function and reduced diarrhoea incidence in piglets via enhancing antioxidative capacity, increasing the expressions of nutrient transporters, and modulating intestinal microbiota. Therefore, besides sparing the needs for nutritionally essential amino acids for protein synthesis, NEAAs fulfil many key roles in the intestine and, therefore, should be provided in diets to solve gut-associated nutritional problems in the pig industry.

Efficacy of glutathione therapy in relieving dyspnea associated with COVID-19 pneumonia: A report of 2 cases. 21 04 2020

Purpose: Infection with COVID-19 potentially can result in severe outcomes and death from “cytokine storm syndrome”, resulting in novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) with severe dyspnea, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), fulminant myocarditis and multiorgan dysfunction with or without disseminated intravascular coagulation. No published treatment to date has been shown to adequately control the inflammation and respiratory symptoms associated with COVID-19, apart from oxygen therapy and assisted ventilation. We evaluated the effects of using high dose oral and/or IV glutathione in the treatment of 2 patients with dyspnea secondary to COVID-19 pneumonia.
Methods: Two patients living in New York City (NYC) with a history of Lyme and tick-borne co-infections experienced a cough and dyspnea and demonstrated radiological findings consistent with novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP). A trial of 2 g of PO or IV glutathione was used in both patients and improved their dyspnea within 1 h of use. Repeated use of both 2000 mg of PO and IV glutathione was effective in further relieving respiratory symptoms.
Conclusion: Oral and IV glutathione, glutathione precursors (N-acetyl-cysteine) and alpha lipoic acid may represent a novel treatment approach for blocking NFKappaB and addressing “cytokine storm syndrome” and respiratory distress in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.

Endogenous Deficiency of Glutathione as the Most Likely Cause of Serious Manifestations and Death in COVID-19 Patients, 28 05 2020

Higher rates of serious illness and death from coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) infection among older people and those who have comorbidities suggest that age- and disease-related biological processes make such individuals more sensitive to environmental stress factors including infectious agents like coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Specifically, impaired redox homeostasis and associated oxidative stress appear to be important biological processes that may account for increased individual susceptibility to diverse environmental insults. The aim of this Viewpoint is to justify (1) the crucial roles of glutathione in determining individual responsiveness to COVID-19 infection and disease pathogenesis and (2) the feasibility of using glutathione as a means for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19 illness. The hypothesis that glutathione deficiency is the most plausible explanation for serious manifestation and death in COVID-19 patients was proposed on the basis of an exhaustive literature analysis and observations. The hypothesis unravels the mysteries of epidemiological data on the risk factors determining serious manifestations of COVID-19 infection and the high risk of death and opens real opportunities for effective treatment and prevention of the disease.

Inflammation mechanisms

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