BREAKING! COVID-19 Treatments: Amino-Acids Cysteine and Theanine Could Have Efficacy Against SARS-CoV-2 According To Japanese Study
: The oral administration of the amino-acids Cysteine
could attenuate SARS-CoV-2 viral infection, replication and associated symptoms of COVID-19 such as cytokine storm according to Japanese researchers from the Research Institute for Bioscience Products & Fine Chemicals, Ajinomoto Co., Inc.
The preprint study that is yet to be peer-reviewed is published on the preprint server: BioRvix. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.25.149427v1
The study findings however follows on the studies of other previous published research that shows the same two amino acids conferred resistance to the influenza virus in mice and also in human studies, where both Cysteine and Theanine prevented colds in healthy subjects and enhanced antibody production after influenza vaccination in elderly individuals with a poor nutritional status. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jaa/2010/307475/
According to the researchers, the mechanism of action of Cysteine and Theanine is thought to be glutathione (GSH)-mediated regulation of intracellular redox, which might affect innate immune systems such as macrophages to exert physiological effects. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jvms/72/2/72_09-0067/_article
Cysteine, the oxidized dimer of the sulfur-containing amino acid cysteine, is a precursor of glutathione (GSH), which is responsible for the antioxidant response. Theanine is an amino acid abundant in green tea that is metabolized to glutamic acid and ethylamine. oral administration of cysteine and theanine (CT) in mice promotes GSH synthesis and confers resistance to various viruses including the influenza virus.
Clinical studies involving athletes showed that cysteine and theanine suppressed excessive inflammatory reactions induced by severe stress, such as those due to intense exercise training, and prevented a decline in immune functions. https://springerplus.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/2193-1801-2-635
The mechanism of Cysteine and Theanine has been described previously: GSH-mediated regulation of intracellular redox acts on innate immune systems such as macrophages to exert physiological effects. The effect of Cysteine and Theanine on influenza is independent of viral type, and this treatment has been shown to increase antibody titers following hepatitis B vaccination (unpublished data), suggesting that Cysteine and Theanine has a broad range of antiviral effects. https://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/Fulltext/2010/03000/Cystine_and_Theanine_Supplementation_Restores.34.aspx
In the study lead by Dr Akira Mitsui and Dr Kenji Nagao along with their team compromising of Dr Ryosei Sakai, Dr Kiyoshi Miwa, Dr Susumu Shibahara, and Dr Shigekazu Kurihara, they identified unique gene signatures in response to Cysteine and Theanine in the influenza A virus (IAV)-infected mice.
It was observed that genes upregulated by Cysteine and Theanine included redox-regulated genes such as GCLC/GCLM (subunits of glutamate cysteine ligase, a ratelimiting enzyme of GSH biosynthesis), TXN1, TXN2, TXNRD2, and SOD1, suggesting that the intracellular redox environment is substantially altered by CT.
However, genes downregulated in response to Cysteine and Theanine included chemokine/chemokine receptor genes (CCL5, CCL19, CXCL9, CXCL12, CXCR3, CXCR4, and ACKR3), some of which are related to cytokine storm.
A detailed comparison with public COVID-19-related gene set data showed that the upregulated gene signature was highly similar to the downregulated gene sets of SARSCoV/SARS-CoV-2-infected cells and the upregulated gene set of attenuated SARS-CoV infected cells.
The unique gene signatures observed in response to orally administered CT in IAV-infected mouse spleen tissues suggested that Cysteine and Theanine may attenuate SARS-CoV-2 viral infection, replication and associated symptoms such as cytokine storm.
The researchers admitted that their study has some limitations. For instance, they compared IAV and IAV- Cysteine and Theanine samples and therefore did not observe transcriptome changes in response to Cysteine and Theanine alone. Although they showed the downregulation of chemokine genes and virus-responsive genes, these changes could be due to the reduction of IAV infection and/or replication.
They suggest that further work is needed to clarify the detailed mechanisms of the antiviral effects of Cysteine and Theanine.
They concluded that the present study demonstrated the unique gene signatures in response to orally administered Cysteine and Theanine in IAV-infected mouse spleen tissues. Upregulated signatures included redox-related genes, and downregulated genes included chemokines.
Based on a comparison with COVID-19-related public gene set data, Cysteine and Theanine may attenuate SARS-CoV-2 viral infection, replication and the cytokine.
The researchers are starting a human trial of Cysteine and Theanine in COVID-19 patients starting in July.
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