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1.
EuropePMC; 2020.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-324770

ABSTRACT

Given the existing COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, it is critical to systematically study the interactions between hosts and coronaviruses including SARS-Cov, MERS-Cov, and SARS-CoV-2 (cause of COVID-19). We first created four host-pathogen interaction (HPI)-Outcome postulates, and generated a HPI-Outcome model as the basis for understanding host-coronavirus interactions (HCI) and their relations with the disease outcomes. We hypothesized that ontology can be used as an integrative platform to classify and analyze HCI and disease outcomes. Accordingly, we annotated and categorized different coronaviruses, hosts, and phenotypes using ontologies and identified their relations. Various COVID-19 phenotypes are hypothesized to be caused by the backend HCI mechanisms. To further identify the causal HCI-outcome relations, we collected 35 experimentally-verified HCI protein-protein interactions (PPIs), and applied literature mining to identify additional host PPIs in response to coronavirus infections. The results were formulated in a logical ontology representation for integrative HCI-outcome understanding. Using known PPIs as baits, we also developed and applied a domain-inferred prediction method to predict new PPIs and identified their pathological targets on multiple organs. Overall, our proposed ontology-based integrative framework combined with computational predictions can be used to support fundamental understanding of the intricate interactions between human patients and coronaviruses (including SARS-CoV-2) and their association with various disease outcomes.

2.
Cell Discov ; 7(1): 44, 2021 Jun 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1269383

ABSTRACT

The presence of SARS-CoV-2 mutants, including the emerging variant B.1.1.7, has raised great concerns in terms of pathogenesis, transmission, and immune escape. Characterizing SARS-CoV-2 mutations, evolution, and effects on infectivity and pathogenicity is crucial to the design of antibody therapies and surveillance strategies. Here, we analyzed 454,443 SARS-CoV-2 spike genes/proteins and 14,427 whole-genome sequences. We demonstrated that the early variant B.1.1.7 may not have evolved spontaneously in the United Kingdom or within human populations. Our extensive analyses suggested that Canidae, Mustelidae or Felidae, especially the Canidae family (for example, dog) could be a possible host of the direct progenitor of variant B.1.1.7. An alternative hypothesis is that the variant was simply yet to be sampled. Notably, the SARS-CoV-2 whole-genome represents a large number of potential co-mutations. In addition, we used an experimental SARS-CoV-2 reporter replicon system to introduce the dominant co-mutations NSP12_c14408t, 5'UTR_c241t, and NSP3_c3037t into the viral genome, and to monitor the effect of the mutations on viral replication. Our experimental results demonstrated that the co-mutations significantly attenuated the viral replication. The study provides valuable clues for discovering the transmission chains of variant B.1.1.7 and understanding the evolutionary process of SARS-CoV-2.

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