# SARS-CoV-2 - "Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2", previously known as "2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCOV)" is the name of the virus that causes the "coronavirus disease 2019"(COVID-19).
Source: World Health Organization
# COVID-19 - "coronavirus disease 2019" is the name of the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
# ACE2 - "Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2" is an enzyme attached to the outer surface (cell membranes) of cells in the lungs, arteries, heart, kidney, and intestines. Among the functions of ACE2 there are blood pressure control, specifically lowering blood pressure, and the main entry point into cells for some coronaviruses (including SARS-CoV (virus that causes SARS), and SARS-CoV-2 (virus that causes COVID-2019).
Source: The Protective Arm of the Renin Angiotensin System (RAS): Functional Aspects and Therapeutic Implications, 2015, Pages 185-189.
# Interferons - a family of related and naturally occurring signal proteins grouped in three major species (alpha, beta and gamma) according to their cellular origin and inducing agents. Historically, they have been described for their antiviral activity. Upon binding to specific receptors they lead to the activation of a signal transduction pathway that activates a broad range of genes, that are now known involved not only in antiviral but also in immunomodulatory and antiproliferative activities.
Source: The interferon system: an overview.
# QT-interval prolongation - is a measure of delayed ventricular repolarisation, which means the heart muscle takes longer than normal to recharge between beats. It is an electrical disturbance which can be seen on an electrocardiogram (ECG). Excessive QT prolongation can trigger tachycardias such as Torsades de Pointes (TdP).
Source: Drug-induced QT prolongation.
# Cytokine Storm - Cytokines are a diverse group of small proteins that are secreted by cells for the purpose of intercellular signaling and communication. Among the many functions of cytokines are the control of cell proliferation and differentiation and the regulation of angiogenesis and immune and inflammatory responses. Sometimes, the immune system goes into overdrive which leads to hyperinflammation of tissues, resulting in a so-called "cytokine storm". This condition can be fatal.
Source: Into the Eye of the Cytokine Storm.
# ANG2 - "Angiopoietin-2" was initially identified as a vascular disruptive agent with antagonistic activity through the same receptor. Recent data demonstrates that Ang2 has context-dependent agonist activities. Ang2 plays important roles in physiological processes and the deregulation of its expression is characteristic of several diseases.
Source: Role of Angiopoietin-2 in Vascular Physiology and Pathophysiology.
# NSAIDs - Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are members of a drug class that reduces pain, decreases fever, prevents blood clots, and in higher doses, decreases inflammation. Side effects depend on the specific drug but largely include an increased risk of gastrointestinal ulcers and bleeds, heart attack, and kidney disease.
Source: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
# CRISPR-Cas9 - CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) and CRISPR-associated protein(Cas) 9 is an approach to genome editing. The CRISPR-Cas9 system was adapted from a naturally occurring genome editing system in bacteria. The bacteria capture snippets of DNA from invading viruses and use them to create DNA segments known as CRISPR arrays. The CRISPR arrays allow the bacteria to "remember" the viruses (or closely related ones). If the viruses attack again, the bacteria produce RNA segments from the CRISPR arrays to target the viruses' DNA. The bacteria then use Cas9 or a similar enzyme (like Cas12) to cut the DNA apart, which disables the virus.
Source: What are genome editing and CRISPR-Cas9?
# Spike protein - A glycoprotein (proteins that have sugar chains attached to the amino acid side-chains) on the external viral envelope of the coronavirus. The spike protein mediates the virus' entry to the host's cells by binding to ACE2.
Source: Structure, Function, and Evolution of Coronavirus Spike Proteins:Annu Rev Virol. 2016 Sep 29;3(1):237-261.
# RT-PCR - "Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction" is a laboratory technique that uses reverse transcription* of RNA into DNA and amplification of specific DNA targets (in this case specific DNA targets that only SARS-CoV-2 would have) using polymerase chain reaction.
* Since our genome is encoded in DNA, our cells normally transcribe the DNA into RNA (which can then be translated into proteins or have other functions as RNA). We have enzymes responsible for this action. The coronavirus encodes its genome in RNA, which means we need to use a special viral enzyme "reverse transcriptase" that can go from RNA to DNA (this is necessary for viruses since they need to be recognized by their host "cell's machinery").
Source: Quantitative RT-PCR: Pitfalls and Potential
# Interleukins (ILs) - A group of cytokines (secreted proteins and signal molecules) that were first seen to be expressed by white blood cells (leukocytes). Today it's known that other types of cells are able to express interleukins. The function of the immune system depends in a large part on them, as they act as a means of communication (signaling) to the immune system. There are different families of ILs: IL-1 – IL-17 based on their source, function and target cells.
Source: Evolutionary divergence and functions of the human interleukin (IL) gene family.
# Interleukin-6 (IL-6) - IL-6 is an IL that acts both as a pro-inflammatory cytokine and anti-inflammatory myokine (cytokines that are produced and released by muscle cells – myocytes). Elevated levels of IL-6 have been detected in severe cases of COVID-19 and IL-6 has been show to play a major role in patients developing viral pneumonia.
Source: Evidence for the importance of a positive charge and an α-helical structure of the C-terminus for biological activity of human IL-6
# Monoclonal antibodies - Monoclonal cells are a group of cells produced from a single ancestral cell by repeated cellular replication. Monoclonal antibodies are antibodies that are made by identical immune cells that are all clones of a unique parent cell. Monoclonal antibodies can have monovalent affinity, meaning they bind to the same specific epitope (the part of the antigen recognized by the antibody). Given almost any substance, it is possible to produce monoclonal antibodies that specifically bind to that substance. They can be used in therapy to induce a specific immune response, or by binding and inhibiting specific targets (anti-inflammatory, anti-viral). In the context of COVID-19 monoclonal antibodies targeting and inhibiting IL-6 receptor (the protein responsible on binding the IL-6 and inducing a response) are being tested.
Source: Monoclonal antibodies
# Immunoglobulin - An antibody (Ab), also known as an immunoglobulin (Ig), is a large, Y-shaped protein produced mainly by plasma cells that is used by the immune system to neutralize pathogens such as pathogenic bacteria and viruses.
# FDA - United States Food and Drug Administration - a federal agency in charge of approving new vaccines/drugs/medical devices.
# EC50 - The molar concentration of an agonist, which produces 50% of the maximum possible response for that agonist.
# CC50 - This value is defined as the cytotoxicity concentration 50% (CC50), or the concentration of a drug that will kill half the cells in an uninfected cell culture.
# ISS Governance QualityScore - assigns each company in the S&P 500 and Russell 3000 (as well as companies in several foreign indices) a numeric, decile-based score indicating its corporate governance risk relative to other companies in the applicable index or region. Scores range from 1 to 10, with 1 indicating the highest level of governance quality and lowest level of governance risk. ISS analyzes a company’s corporate governance risk based on specified factors across four topical categories: Board Structure, Compensation, Shareholder Rights and Audit & Risk Oversight.
Source: ISS Releases Governance QualityScore Updates and Opens Annual Data Verification Period; ISS Peer Group Submission Window to Open November 19