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Research Publications

Welcome to Leibel Lab's research publications page. Here, you can find our latest research papers and publications. Click on the links below to learn more about our work.

SARS-CoV-2 Infection Depends on Cellular Heparan Sulfate and ACE2

We show that SARS-CoV-2 spike protein interacts with both cellular heparan sulfate and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) through its receptor-binding domain (RBD). Docking studies suggest a heparin/heparan sulfate-binding site adjacent to the ACE2-binding site. Both ACE2 and heparin can bind independently to spike protein in vitro, and a ternary complex can be generated using heparin as a scaffold. Electron micrographs of spike protein suggests that heparin enhances the open conformation of the RBD that binds ACE2. On cells, spike protein binding depends on both heparan sulfate and ACE2. Unfractionated heparin, non-anticoagulant heparin, heparin lyases, and lung heparan sulfate potently block spike protein binding and/or infection by pseudotyped virus and authentic SARS-CoV-2 virus. We suggest a model in which viral attachment and infection involves heparan sulfate-dependent enhancement of binding to ACE2. Manipulation of heparan sulfate or inhibition of viral adhesion by exogenous heparin presents new therapeutic opportunities.

Generation of 3D Whole Lung Organoids from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells for Modeling Lung Developmental Biology and Disease​

The article describes step-wise directed differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells to three-dimensional whole lung organoids containing both proximal and distal epithelial lung cells along with mesenchyme.

The impact of maternal asthma on the preterm infants' gut metabolome and microbiome (MAP study)​

Preterm infants are at a greater risk for the development of asthma and atopic disease, which can lead to lifelong negative health consequences. This may be due, in part, to alterations that occur in the gut microbiome and metabolome during their stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). To explore the differential roles of family history (i.e., predisposition due to maternal asthma diagnosis) and hospital-related environmental and clinical factors that alter microbial exposures early in life, we considered a unique cohort of preterm infants born ≤ 34 weeks gestational age from two local level III NICUs, as part of the MAP (Microbiome, Atopic disease, and Prematurity) Study.​

Metabolomic profiling of human pluripotent stem cell differentiation into lung progenitors​

Metabolism is vital to cellular function and tissue homeostasis during human lung development. In utero, embryonic pluripotent stem cells undergo endodermal differentiation toward a lung progenitor cell fate that can be mimicked in vitro using induced human pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) to study genetic mutations. To identify differences between wild-type and surfactant protein B (SFTPB)-deficient cell lines during endoderm specification toward lung, we used an untargeted metabolomics approach to evaluate the developmental changes in metabolites.​

and More!

See more of our lab's work on Pubmed

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