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1.
NPJ Genom Med ; 7, 2022.
Article in English | PMC | ID: covidwho-2008285

ABSTRACT

Recent efforts have identified genetic loci that are associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection rates and disease outcome severity. Translating these genetic findings into druggable genes that reduce COVID-19 host susceptibility is a critical next step. Using a translational genomics approach that integrates COVID-19 genetic susceptibility variants, multi-tissue genetically regulated gene expression (GReX), and perturbagen signatures, we identified IL10RB as the top candidate gene target for COVID-19 host susceptibility. In a series of validation steps, we show that predicted GReX upregulation of IL10RB and higher IL10RB expression in COVID-19 patient blood is associated with worse COVID-19 outcomes and that in vitro IL10RB overexpression is associated with increased viral load and activation of disease-relevant molecular pathways.

2.
PubMed; 2021.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-333809

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Recent efforts have identified genetic loci that are associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection rates and disease outcome severity. Translating these genetic findings into druggable genes and readily available compounds that reduce COVID-19 host susceptibility is a critical next step. METHODS: We integrate COVID-19 genetic susceptibility variants, multi-tissue genetically regulated gene expression (GReX) and perturbargen signatures to identify candidate genes and compounds that reverse the predicted gene expression dysregulation associated with COVID-19 susceptibility. The top candidate gene is validated by testing both its GReX and observed blood transcriptome association with COVID-19 severity, as well as by in vitro perturbation to quantify effects on viral load and molecular pathway dysregulation. We validate the in silico drug repositioning analysis by examining whether the top candidate compounds decrease COVID-19 incidence based on epidemiological evidence. RESULTS: We identify IL10RB as the top key regulator of COVID-19 host susceptibility. Predicted GReX up-regulation of IL10RB and higher IL10RB expression in COVID-19 patient blood is associated with worse COVID-19 outcomes. In vitro IL10RB overexpression is associated with increased viral load and activation of immune-related molecular pathways. Azathioprine and retinol are prioritized as candidate compounds to reduce the likelihood of testing positive for COVID-19. CONCLUSIONS: We establish an integrative data-driven approach for gene target prioritization. We identify and validate IL10RB as a suitable molecular target for modulation of COVID-19 host susceptibility. Finally, we provide evidence for a few readily available medications that would warrant further investigation as drug repositioning candidates.

3.
PubMed; 2021.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-296897

ABSTRACT

The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus has infected over 115 million people and caused over 2.5 million deaths worldwide. Yet, the molecular mechanisms underlying the clinical manifestations of COVID-19, as well as what distinguishes them from common seasonal influenza virus and other lung injury states such as Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), remains poorly understood. To address these challenges, we combined transcriptional profiling of 646 clinical nasopharyngeal swabs and 39 patient autopsy tissues, matched with spatial protein and expression profiling (GeoMx) across 357 tissue sections. These results define both body-wide and tissue-specific (heart, liver, lung, kidney, and lymph nodes) damage wrought by the SARS-CoV-2 infection, evident as a function of varying viral load (high vs. low) during the course of infection and specific, transcriptional dysregulation in splicing isoforms, T cell receptor expression, and cellular expression states. In particular, cardiac and lung tissues revealed the largest degree of splicing isoform switching and cell expression state loss. Overall, these findings reveal a systemic disruption of cellular and transcriptional pathways from COVID-19 across all tissues, which can inform subsequent studies to combat the mortality of COVID-19, as well to better understand the molecular dynamics of lethal SARS-CoV-2 infection and other viruses.

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