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1.
Frontiers in molecular biosciences ; 9, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1871893

ABSTRACT

Identifying human proteins that interact with SARS-CoV-2 genome is important to understand its replication and to identify therapeutic strategies. Recent studies have unveiled protein interactions of SARS-COV-2 in different cell lines and through a number of high-throughput approaches. Here, we carried out a comparative analysis of four experimental and one computational studies to characterize the interactions of SARS-CoV-2 genomic RNA. Although hundreds of interactors have been identified, only twenty-one appear in all the experiments and show a strong propensity to bind. This set of interactors includes stress granule forming proteins, pre-mRNA regulators and elements involved in the replication process. Our calculations indicate that DDX3X and several editases bind the 5′ end of SARS-CoV-2, a regulatory region previously reported to attract a large number of proteins. The small overlap among experimental datasets suggests that SARS-CoV-2 genome establishes stable interactions only with few interactors, while many proteins bind less tightly. In analogy to what has been previously reported for Xist non-coding RNA, we propose a mechanism of phase separation through which SARS-CoV-2 progressively sequesters human proteins hijacking the host immune response.

2.
Comput Struct Biotechnol J ; 19: 3006-3014, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1230424

ABSTRACT

Since the beginning of the Covid19 pandemic, many efforts have been devoted to identifying approaches to neutralize SARS-CoV-2 replication within the host cell. A promising strategy to block the infection consists of using a mutant of the human receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a decoy to compete with endogenous ACE2 for the binding to the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein, which decreases the ability of the virus to enter the host cell. Here, using a computational framework based on the 2D Zernike formalism we investigate details of the molecular binding and evaluate the changes in ACE2-Spike binding compatibility upon mutations occurring in the ACE2 side of the molecular interface. We demonstrate the efficacy of our method by comparing our results with experimental binding affinities changes upon ACE2 mutations, separating ones that increase or decrease binding affinity with an Area Under the ROC curve ranging from 0.66 to 0.93, depending on the magnitude of the effects analyzed. Importantly, the iteration of our approach leads to the identification of a set of ACE2 mutants characterized by an increased shape complementarity with Spike. We investigated the physico-chemical properties of these ACE2 mutants and propose them as bona fide candidates for Spike recognition.

3.
Nat Med ; 27(4): 668-676, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1174686

ABSTRACT

Drug repurposing provides a rapid approach to meet the urgent need for therapeutics to address COVID-19. To identify therapeutic targets relevant to COVID-19, we conducted Mendelian randomization analyses, deriving genetic instruments based on transcriptomic and proteomic data for 1,263 actionable proteins that are targeted by approved drugs or in clinical phase of drug development. Using summary statistics from the Host Genetics Initiative and the Million Veteran Program, we studied 7,554 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and >1 million controls. We found significant Mendelian randomization results for three proteins (ACE2, P = 1.6 × 10-6; IFNAR2, P = 9.8 × 10-11 and IL-10RB, P = 2.3 × 10-14) using cis-expression quantitative trait loci genetic instruments that also had strong evidence for colocalization with COVID-19 hospitalization. To disentangle the shared expression quantitative trait loci signal for IL10RB and IFNAR2, we conducted phenome-wide association scans and pathway enrichment analysis, which suggested that IFNAR2 is more likely to play a role in COVID-19 hospitalization. Our findings prioritize trials of drugs targeting IFNAR2 and ACE2 for early management of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Drug Repositioning , Mendelian Randomization Analysis/methods , SARS-CoV-2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/physiology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Genome-Wide Association Study , Humans , Interleukin-10 Receptor beta Subunit/genetics , Interleukin-10 Receptor beta Subunit/physiology , Quantitative Trait Loci , Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta/genetics , Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta/physiology
4.
Nucleic Acids Res ; 48(20): 11270-11283, 2020 11 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1060299

ABSTRACT

Specific elements of viral genomes regulate interactions within host cells. Here, we calculated the secondary structure content of >2000 coronaviruses and computed >100 000 human protein interactions with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The genomic regions display different degrees of conservation. SARS-CoV-2 domain encompassing nucleotides 22 500-23 000 is conserved both at the sequence and structural level. The regions upstream and downstream, however, vary significantly. This part of the viral sequence codes for the Spike S protein that interacts with the human receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Thus, variability of Spike S is connected to different levels of viral entry in human cells within the population. Our predictions indicate that the 5' end of SARS-CoV-2 is highly structured and interacts with several human proteins. The binding proteins are involved in viral RNA processing, include double-stranded RNA specific editases and ATP-dependent RNA-helicases and have strong propensity to form stress granules and phase-separated assemblies. We propose that these proteins, also implicated in viral infections such as HIV, are selectively recruited by SARS-CoV-2 genome to alter transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of host cells and to promote viral replication.


Subject(s)
Genome, Viral , Protein Interaction Maps , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virulence/genetics , Virus Internalization , Virus Replication
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