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1.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0263563, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1793526

ABSTRACT

Deletions frequently occur in the six accessory genes of SARS-CoV-2, but most genomes with deletions are sporadic and have limited spreading capability. Here, we analyze deletions in the ORF7a of the N.7 lineage, a unique Uruguayan clade from the Brazilian B.1.1.33 lineage. Thirteen samples collected during the early SARS-CoV-2 wave in Uruguay had deletions in the ORF7a. Complete genomes were obtained by Illumina next-generation sequencing, and deletions were confirmed by Sanger sequencing and capillary electrophoresis. The N.7 lineage includes several individuals with a 12-nucleotide deletion that removes four amino acids of the ORF7a. Notably, four individuals underwent an additional 68-nucleotide novel deletion that locates 44 nucleotides downstream in the terminal region of the same ORF7a. The simultaneous occurrence of the 12 and 68-nucleotide deletions fuses the ORF7a and ORF7b, two contiguous accessory genes that encode transmembrane proteins with immune-modulation activity. The fused ORF retains the signal peptide and the complete Ig-like fold of the 7a protein and the transmembrane domain of the 7b protein, suggesting that the fused protein plays similar functions to original proteins in a single format. Our findings evidence the remarkable dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 and the possibility that single and consecutive deletions occur in accessory genes and promote changes in the genomic organization that help the virus explore genetic variations and select for new, higher fit changes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Cell Lineage , Gene Deletion , Genome, Viral , Open Reading Frames/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/genetics , Child , Female , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Uruguay/epidemiology
2.
Sensors (Basel) ; 22(6)2022 Mar 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1753670

ABSTRACT

To satisfy the need to develop highly sensitive methods for detecting the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and further enhance detection efficiency and capability, a new method was created for detecting SARS-CoV-2 of the open reading frames 1ab (ORF1ab) target gene by a electrochemiluminescence (ECL) biosensor based on dual-probe hybridization through the use of a detection model of "magnetic capture probes-targeted nucleic acids-Ru(bpy)32+ labeled signal probes". The detection model used magnetic particles coupled with a biotin-labeled complementary nucleic acid sequence of the SARS-CoV-2 ORF1ab target gene as the magnetic capture probes and Ru(bpy)32+ labeled amino modified another complementary nucleic acid sequence as the signal probes, which combined the advantages of the highly specific dual-probe hybridization and highly sensitive ECL biosensor technology. In the range of 0.1 fM~10 µM, the method made possible rapid and sensitive detection of the ORF1ab gene of the SARS-CoV-2 within 30 min, and the limit of detection (LOD) was 0.1 fM. The method can also meet the analytical requirements for simulated samples such as saliva and urine with the definite advantages of a simple operation without nucleic acid amplification, high sensitivity, reasonable reproducibility, and anti-interference solid abilities, expounding a new way for efficient and sensitive detection of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Biosensing Techniques , COVID-19 , Biosensing Techniques/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Humans , Open Reading Frames/genetics , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
3.
J Virol ; 94(12)2020 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1723543

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that recently emerged in China is thought to have a bat origin, as its closest known relative (BatCoV RaTG13) was described previously in horseshoe bats. We analyzed the selective events that accompanied the divergence of SARS-CoV-2 from BatCoV RaTG13. To this end, we applied a population genetics-phylogenetics approach, which leverages within-population variation and divergence from an outgroup. Results indicated that most sites in the viral open reading frames (ORFs) evolved under conditions of strong to moderate purifying selection. The most highly constrained sequences corresponded to some nonstructural proteins (nsps) and to the M protein. Conversely, nsp1 and accessory ORFs, particularly ORF8, had a nonnegligible proportion of codons evolving under conditions of very weak purifying selection or close to selective neutrality. Overall, limited evidence of positive selection was detected. The 6 bona fide positively selected sites were located in the N protein, in ORF8, and in nsp1. A signal of positive selection was also detected in the receptor-binding motif (RBM) of the spike protein but most likely resulted from a recombination event that involved the BatCoV RaTG13 sequence. In line with previous data, we suggest that the common ancestor of SARS-CoV-2 and BatCoV RaTG13 encoded/encodes an RBM similar to that observed in SARS-CoV-2 itself and in some pangolin viruses. It is presently unknown whether the common ancestor still exists and, if so, which animals it infects. Our data, however, indicate that divergence of SARS-CoV-2 from BatCoV RaTG13 was accompanied by limited episodes of positive selection, suggesting that the common ancestor of the two viruses was poised for human infection.IMPORTANCE Coronaviruses are dangerous zoonotic pathogens; in the last 2 decades, three coronaviruses have crossed the species barrier and caused human epidemics. One of these is the recently emerged SARS-CoV-2. We investigated how, since its divergence from a closely related bat virus, natural selection shaped the genome of SARS-CoV-2. We found that distinct coding regions in the SARS-CoV-2 genome evolved under conditions of different degrees of constraint and are consequently more or less prone to tolerate amino acid substitutions. In practical terms, the level of constraint provides indications about which proteins/protein regions are better suited as possible targets for the development of antivirals or vaccines. We also detected limited signals of positive selection in three viral ORFs. However, we warn that, in the absence of knowledge about the chain of events that determined the human spillover, these signals should not be necessarily interpreted as evidence of an adaptation to our species.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/genetics , Evolution, Molecular , Selection, Genetic , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Betacoronavirus/classification , COVID-19 , Chiroptera/virology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Genome, Viral/genetics , Humans , Models, Molecular , Open Reading Frames/genetics , Pandemics , Phylogeny , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/genetics
4.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 02 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674822

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 belongs to the Coronavirinae family. Like other coronaviruses, SARS-CoV-2 is enveloped and possesses a positive-sense, single-stranded RNA genome of ~30 kb. Genomic RNA is used as the template for replication and transcription. During these processes, positive-sense genomic RNA (gRNA) and subgenomic RNAs (sgRNAs) are created. Several studies presented the importance of the genomic RNA secondary structure in SARS-CoV-2 replication. However, the structure of sgRNAs has remained largely unsolved so far. In this study, we probed the sgRNA M model of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. The presented model molecule includes 5'UTR and a coding sequence of gene M. This is the first experimentally informed secondary structure model of sgRNA M, which presents features likely to be important in sgRNA M function. The knowledge of sgRNA M structure provides insights to better understand virus biology and could be used for designing new therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Genome, Viral , RNA, Viral/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , 5' Untranslated Regions , COVID-19/virology , Genomics , Humans , Open Reading Frames , RNA, Viral/genetics , Transcription, Genetic
5.
Virology ; 568: 56-71, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1665518

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2, the seventh coronavirus known to infect humans, can cause severe life-threatening respiratory pathologies. To better understand SARS-CoV-2 evolution, genome-wide analyses have been made, including the general characterization of its codons usage profile. Here we present a bioinformatic analysis of the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 codon usage over time using complete genomes collected since December 2019. Our results show that SARS-CoV-2 codon usage pattern is antagonistic to, and it is getting farther away from that of the human host. Further, a selection of deoptimized codons over time, which was accompanied by a decrease in both the codon adaptation index and the effective number of codons, was observed. All together, these findings suggest that SARS-CoV-2 could be evolving, at least from the perspective of the synonymous codon usage, to become less pathogenic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Codon Usage , Codon , Evolution, Molecular , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Betacoronavirus/classification , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral , Genome, Viral , Genomics/methods , Humans , Open Reading Frames , Organ Specificity , Phylogeny
6.
Virology ; 568: 13-22, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1639193

ABSTRACT

Heightened inflammatory response is a prominent feature of severe COVID-19 disease. We report that the SARS-CoV-2 ORF3a viroporin activates the NLRP3 inflammasome, the most promiscuous of known inflammasomes. Ectopically expressed ORF3a triggers IL-1ß expression via NFκB, thus priming the inflammasome. ORF3a also activates the NLRP3 inflammasome but not NLRP1 or NLRC4, resulting in maturation of IL-1ß and cleavage/activation of Gasdermin. Notably, ORF3a activates the NLRP3 inflammasome via both ASC-dependent and -independent modes. This inflammasome activation requires efflux of potassium ions and oligomerization between the kinase NEK7 and NLRP3. Importantly, infection of epithelial cells with SARS-CoV-2 similarly activates the NLRP3 inflammasome. With the NLRP3 inhibitor MCC950 and select FDA-approved oral drugs able to block ORF3a-mediated inflammasome activation, as well as key ORF3a amino acid residues needed for virus release and inflammasome activation conserved in the new variants of SARS-CoV-2 isolates across continents, ORF3a and NLRP3 present prime targets for intervention.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Inflammasomes/metabolism , NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Signal Transduction , Viroporin Proteins/genetics , Amino Acid Sequence , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Cell Death , Cell Line , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Models, Biological , Open Reading Frames , Potassium/metabolism , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Viroporin Proteins/chemistry , Viroporin Proteins/metabolism
7.
Mol Biol Evol ; 39(1)2022 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1635982

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses (CoVs) have very large RNA viral genomes with a distinct genomic architecture of core and accessory open reading frames (ORFs). It is of utmost importance to understand their patterns and limits of homologous and nonhomologous recombination, because such events may affect the emergence of novel CoV strains, alter their host range, infection rate, tissue tropism pathogenicity, and their ability to escape vaccination programs. Intratypic recombination among closely related CoVs of the same subgenus has often been reported; however, the patterns and limits of genomic exchange between more distantly related CoV lineages (intertypic recombination) need further investigation. Here, we report computational/evolutionary analyses that clearly demonstrate a substantial ability for CoVs of different subgenera to recombine. Furthermore, we show that CoVs can obtain-through nonhomologous recombination-accessory ORFs from core ORFs, exchange accessory ORFs with different CoV genera, with other viruses (i.e., toroviruses, influenza C/D, reoviruses, rotaviruses, astroviruses) and even with hosts. Intriguingly, most of these radical events result from double crossovers surrounding the Spike ORF, thus highlighting both the instability and mobile nature of this genomic region. Although many such events have often occurred during the evolution of various CoVs, the genomic architecture of the relatively young SARS-CoV/SARS-CoV-2 lineage so far appears to be stable.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus/genetics , Genome, Viral , Recombination, Genetic , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Open Reading Frames , Phylogeny
8.
Biosens Bioelectron ; 200: 113924, 2022 Mar 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1599524

ABSTRACT

In a published review entitled "COVID-19 diagnosis -A review of current methods", the authors considered hemagglutinin esterase as one of the structural proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and also they did not represent ORF3b, ORF9b, and ORF9c in SARS-CoV-2 genome structure. However, according to the scientific evidence, among coronaviruses only some betacoronaviruses (Embecovirus subgenera) contain HE, and the genome of most of the coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV lack the HE gene. In addition, the genome of SARS-CoV-2 contains several accessory proteins ORFs including ORF3a, ORF3b, ORF6, ORF7a, ORF7b, ORF8, ORF9b, ORF9c, and ORF10.


Subject(s)
Biosensing Techniques , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , Open Reading Frames , SARS-CoV-2
9.
RNA ; 28(3): 277-289, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1592848

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus RNA-dependent RNA polymerases produce subgenomic RNAs (sgRNAs) that encode viral structural and accessory proteins. User-friendly bioinformatic tools to detect and quantify sgRNA production are urgently needed to study the growing number of next-generation sequencing (NGS) data of SARS-CoV-2. We introduced sgDI-tector to identify and quantify sgRNA in SARS-CoV-2 NGS data. sgDI-tector allowed detection of sgRNA without initial knowledge of the transcription-regulatory sequences. We produced NGS data and successfully detected the nested set of sgRNAs with the ranking M > ORF3a > N>ORF6 > ORF7a > ORF8 > S > E>ORF7b. We also compared the level of sgRNA production with other types of viral RNA products such as defective interfering viral genomes.


Subject(s)
Computational Biology/methods , Genome, Viral , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Open Reading Frames
10.
Nucleic Acids Res ; 50(1): 333-349, 2022 01 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1591186

ABSTRACT

A promising approach to tackle the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) could be small interfering (si)RNAs. So far it is unclear, which viral replication steps can be efficiently inhibited with siRNAs. Here, we report that siRNAs can target genomic RNA (gRNA) of SARS-CoV-2 after cell entry, and thereby terminate replication before start of transcription and prevent virus-induced cell death. Coronaviruses replicate via negative sense RNA intermediates using a unique discontinuous transcription process. As a result, each viral RNA contains identical sequences at the 5' and 3' end. Surprisingly, siRNAs were not active against intermediate negative sense transcripts. Targeting common sequences shared by all viral transcripts allowed simultaneous suppression of gRNA and subgenomic (sg)RNAs by a single siRNA. The most effective suppression of viral replication and spread, however, was achieved by siRNAs that targeted open reading frame 1 (ORF1) which only exists in gRNA. In contrast, siRNAs that targeted the common regions of transcripts were outcompeted by the highly abundant sgRNAs leading to an impaired antiviral efficacy. Verifying the translational relevance of these findings, we show that a chemically modified siRNA that targets a highly conserved region of ORF1, inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication ex vivo in explants of the human lung. Our work encourages the development of siRNA-based therapies for COVID-19 and suggests that early therapy start, or prophylactic application, together with specifically targeting gRNA, might be key for high antiviral efficacy.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Lung/virology , RNA, Small Interfering , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Virus Replication , 3' Untranslated Regions , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cell Survival , Databases, Genetic , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Nucleic Acid Conformation , Oligonucleotides , Open Reading Frames , RNA, Small Interfering/metabolism
11.
Infect Genet Evol ; 97: 105175, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555685

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spreads all over the world and brings great harm to humans in many countries. Many new SARS-CoV-2 variants appeared during its transmission. In the present study, the Delta variants (B.1.617.2) of SARS-CoV-2, which have appeared in many countries, were considered for analysis. In order to evaluate the evolutionary divergence of the Delta variants(B.1.617.2), the codon usage divergence in Delta variants (B.1.617.2) of SARS-CoV-2 was compared to that of the SARS-CoV-2 genomes emerged before June 2020. All Delta variants (B.1.617.2) and 350 early genomes of SARS-CoV-2 in the NCBI database were downloaded. Codon usage pattern including the basic composition, the GC ratio of the third position (GC3) and the first two positions (GC12) in codons, overall GC contents, the effective number of codons (ENC), the codon bias index (CBI), the relative synonymous codon usage (RSCU) values, etc., of all concerned important gene sequences were all calculated. Codon usage divergence of them was calculated via summing their standard deviations. The results suggested that base compositions in both Delta variants (B.1.617.2) of SARS-CoV-2 and the early SARS-CoV-2 genomes were similar to each other. However, the internal codon usage divergence for most genes in Delta variants (B.1.617.2) was significantly wider than that of SARS-CoV-2. The RSCU values were further used to explore the synonymous and non-synonymous mutations in the sequences of the Delta variants (B.1.617.2), and the results showed the synonymous mutations are more obvious than the non-synonymous in the concerned sequences. The related codon usage divergence analysis is helpful for further study on the adaptability and disease prognosis of the SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Codon/chemistry , Genome, Viral , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics , Base Composition , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Databases, Genetic , Epidemiological Monitoring , Evolution, Molecular , Gene Expression , Humans , Open Reading Frames , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Viral Proteins/metabolism
12.
Microb Genom ; 7(12)2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555049

ABSTRACT

In this study, we performed genome-wide association analyses on SARS-CoV-2 genomes to identify genetic mutations associated with pre-symptomatic/asymptomatic COVID-19 cases. Various potential covariates and confounding factors of COVID-19 severity, including patient age, gender and country, as well as virus phylogenetic relatedness were adjusted for. In total, 3021 full-length genomes of SARS-CoV-2 generated from original clinical samples and whose patient status could be determined conclusively as either 'pre-symptomatic/asymptomatic' or 'symptomatic' were retrieved from the GISAID database. We found that the mutation 11 083G>T, located in the coding region of non-structural protein 6, is significantly associated with asymptomatic COVID-19. Patient age is positively correlated with symptomatic infection, while gender is not significantly correlated with the development of the disease. We also found that the effects of the mutation, patient age and gender do not vary significantly among countries, although each country appears to have varying baseline chances of COVID-19 symptom development.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Genetic Variation/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Databases, Genetic , Female , Humans , Male , Odds Ratio , Open Reading Frames/genetics , Phylogeny , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/classification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Severity of Illness Index
13.
Int J Biol Macromol ; 194: 128-143, 2022 Jan 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1549823

ABSTRACT

The devastating impact of the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on public health, caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has made targeting the COVID-19 pandemic a top priority in medical research and pharmaceutical development. Surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 mutations is essential for the comprehension of SARS-CoV-2 variant diversity and their impact on virulence and pathogenicity. The SARS-CoV-2 open reading frame 10 (ORF10) protein interacts with multiple human proteins CUL2, ELOB, ELOC, MAP7D1, PPT1, RBX1, THTPA, TIMM8B, and ZYG11B expressed in lung tissue. Mutations and co-occurring mutations in the emerging SARS-CoV-2 ORF10 variants are expected to impact the severity of the virus and its associated consequences. In this article, we highlight 128 single mutations and 35 co-occurring mutations in the unique SARS-CoV-2 ORF10 variants. The possible predicted effects of these mutations and co-occurring mutations on the secondary structure of ORF10 variants and host protein interactomes are presented. The findings highlight the possible effects of mutations and co-occurring mutations on the emerging 140 ORF10 unique variants from secondary structure and intrinsic protein disorder perspectives.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Host Microbial Interactions/immunology , Open Reading Frames , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Proteins , Humans , Mutation , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/immunology
14.
Nucleic Acids Res ; 50(D1): D460-D470, 2022 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546004

ABSTRACT

The last 18 months, or more, have seen a profound shift in our global experience, with many of us navigating a once-in-100-year pandemic. To date, COVID-19 remains a life-threatening pandemic with little to no targeted therapeutic recourse. The discovery of novel antiviral agents, such as vaccines and drugs, can provide therapeutic solutions to save human beings from severe infections; however, there is no specifically effective antiviral treatment confirmed for now. Thus, great attention has been paid to the use of natural or artificial antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) as these compounds are widely regarded as promising solutions for the treatment of harmful microorganisms. Given the biological significance of AMPs, it was obvious that there was a significant need for a single platform for identifying and engaging with AMP data. This led to the creation of the dbAMP platform that provides comprehensive information about AMPs and facilitates their investigation and analysis. To date, the dbAMP has accumulated 26 447 AMPs and 2262 antimicrobial proteins from 3044 organisms using both database integration and manual curation of >4579 articles. In addition, dbAMP facilitates the evaluation of AMP structures using I-TASSER for automated protein structure prediction and structure-based functional annotation, providing predictive structure information for clinical drug development. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) and third-generation sequencing have been applied to generate large-scale sequencing reads from various environments, enabling greatly improved analysis of genome structure. In this update, we launch an efficient online tool that can effectively identify AMPs from genome/metagenome and proteome data of all species in a short period. In conclusion, these improvements promote the dbAMP as one of the most abundant and comprehensively annotated resources for AMPs. The updated dbAMP is now freely accessible at http://awi.cuhk.edu.cn/dbAMP.


Subject(s)
Databases, Factual , Software , /chemistry , Genomics , Open Reading Frames , Protein Conformation , Proteomics
15.
Cell Mol Immunol ; 19(1): 67-78, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1541184

ABSTRACT

The global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused severe morbidity and mortality in humans. It is urgent to understand the function of viral genes. However, the function of open reading frame 10 (ORF10), which is uniquely expressed by SARS-CoV-2, remains unclear. In this study, we showed that overexpression of ORF10 markedly suppressed the expression of type I interferon (IFN-I) genes and IFN-stimulated genes. Then, mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein (MAVS) was identified as the target via which ORF10 suppresses the IFN-I signaling pathway, and MAVS was found to be degraded through the ORF10-induced autophagy pathway. Furthermore, overexpression of ORF10 promoted the accumulation of LC3 in mitochondria and induced mitophagy. Mechanistically, ORF10 was translocated to mitochondria by interacting with the mitophagy receptor Nip3-like protein X (NIX) and induced mitophagy through its interaction with both NIX and LC3B. Moreover, knockdown of NIX expression blocked mitophagy activation, MAVS degradation, and IFN-I signaling pathway inhibition by ORF10. Consistent with our observations, in the context of SARS-CoV-2 infection, ORF10 inhibited MAVS expression and facilitated viral replication. In brief, our results reveal a novel mechanism by which SARS-CoV-2 inhibits the innate immune response; that is, ORF10 induces mitophagy-mediated MAVS degradation by binding to NIX.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Open Reading Frames , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Signal Transduction , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Autophagy/immunology , Gene Silencing , HEK293 Cells , HeLa Cells , Humans , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Mitochondria/metabolism , Mitophagy , Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex/metabolism , Ubiquitination , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication
16.
Curr Opin Virol ; 52: 1-8, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525751

ABSTRACT

Viruses may evolve to increase the amount of encoded genetic information by means of overlapping genes, which utilize several reading frames. Such overlapping genes may be especially impactful for genomes of small size, often serving a source of novel accessory proteins, some of which play a crucial role in viral pathogenicity or in promoting the systemic spread of virus. Diverse genome-based metrics were proposed to facilitate recognition of overlapping genes that otherwise may be overlooked during genome annotation. They can detect the atypical codon bias associated with the overlap (e.g. a statistically significant reduction in variability at synonymous sites) or other sequence-composition features peculiar to overlapping genes. In this review, I compare nine computational methods, discuss their strengths and limitations, and survey how they were applied to detect candidate overlapping genes in the genome of SARS-CoV-2, the etiological agent of COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Computational Biology , Evolution, Molecular , Genes, Overlapping , Genome, Viral , Humans , Open Reading Frames , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Comput Biol Med ; 139: 104964, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525749

ABSTRACT

The open reading frame 8 (ORF8) protein of SARS-CoV-2 has been implicated in the onset of cytokine storms, which are responsible for the pathophysiology of COVID-19 infection. The present study investigated the potential of isolated compounds from Clerodendrum volubile leaves to stall oxidative bursts in vitro and interact with ORF8 mRNA segments of the SARS-CoV-2 whole genome using computational tools. Five compounds, namely, harpagide, 1-(3-methyl-2-butenoxy)-4-(1-propenyl)benzene, ajugoside, iridoid glycoside and erucic acid, were isolated from C. volubile leaves, and their structures were elucidated using conventional spectroscopy tools. Iridoid glycoside is being reported for the first time and is thus regarded as a new compound. The ORF8 mRNA sequences of the translation initiation sites (TIS) and translation termination sites (TTSs) encoding ORF8 amino acids were retrieved from the full genome of SARS-CoV-2. Molecular docking studies revealed strong molecular interactions of the isolated compounds with the TIS and TTS of ORF8 mRNA. Harpagide showed the strongest binding affinity for TIS, while erucic acid was the strongest for TTS. The immunomodulatory potentials of the isolated compounds were investigated on neutrophil phagocytic respiratory bursts using luminol-amplified chemiluminescence technique. The compounds significantly inhibited oxidative burst, with 1-(3-methyl-2-butenoxy)-4-(1-propenyl)benzene having the best activity. Ajugoside and erucic acid showed significant inhibitory activity on T-cell proliferation. These results indicate the potential of C. volubile compounds as immunomodulators and can be utilized to curb cytokine storms implicated in COVID-19 infection. These potentials are further corroborated by the strong interactions of the compounds with the TIS and TTS of ORF8 mRNA from the SARS-CoV-2 whole genome.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Clerodendrum , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Open Reading Frames , Plant Leaves , RNA, Messenger/genetics , SARS-CoV-2
18.
Comput Biol Chem ; 95: 107594, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1482516

ABSTRACT

India, with around 15 million COVID-19 cases, recently became the second worst-hit nation by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. In this study, we analyzed the mutation and selection landscape of 516 unique and complete genomes of SARS-CoV-2 isolates from India in a 12-month span (from Jan to Dec 2020) to understand how the virus is evolving in this geographical region. We identified 953 genome-wide loci displaying single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and the Principal Component Analysis and mutation plots of the datasets indicate an increase in genetic variance with time. The 42% of the polymorphic sites display substitutions in the third nucleotide position of codons indicating that non-synonymous substitutions are more prevalent. These isolates displayed strong evidence of purifying selection in ORF1ab, spike, nucleocapsid, and membrane glycoprotein. We also find some evidence of localized positive selections ORF1ab, spike glycoprotein, and nucleocapsid. The CDSs for ORF3a, ORF8, nucleocapsid phosphoprotein, and spike glycoprotein were found to evolve at rapid rate. This study will be helpful in understanding the dynamics of rapidly evolving SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Evolution, Molecular , Genome, Viral , Open Reading Frames , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Codon , Humans , India , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
19.
Viruses ; 13(11)2021 10 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1481015

ABSTRACT

The causative agent of COVID-19 pandemic, SARS-CoV-2, has a 29,903 bases positive-sense single-stranded RNA genome. RNAs exhibit about 150 modified bases that are essential for proper function. Among internal modified bases, the N6-methyladenosine, or m6A, is the most frequent, and is implicated in SARS-CoV-2 immune response evasion. Although the SARS-CoV-2 genome is RNA, almost all genomes sequenced thus far are, in fact, reverse transcribed complementary DNAs. This process reduces the true complexity of these viral genomes because the incorporation of dNTPs hides RNA base modifications. Here, we present an initial exploration of Nanopore direct RNA sequencing to assess the m6A residues in the SARS-CoV-2 sequences of ORF3a, E, M, ORF6, ORF7a, ORF7b, ORF8, N, ORF10 and the 3'-untranslated region. We identified fifteen m6A methylated positions, of which, six are in ORF N. Additionally, because m6A is associated with the DRACH motif, we compared its distribution in major SARS-CoV-2 variants. Although DRACH is highly conserved among variants, we show that variants Beta and Eta have a fourth position C > U change in DRACH at 28,884b that could affect methylation. This is the first report of direct RNA sequencing of a Brazilian SARS-CoV-2 sample coupled with the identification of modified bases.


Subject(s)
Adenosine/analogs & derivatives , COVID-19/virology , Immune Evasion/genetics , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , 3' Untranslated Regions , Adenosine/metabolism , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Genome, Viral , Humans , Methylation , Nanopore Sequencing/methods , Open Reading Frames , Sequence Analysis, RNA/methods , Vero Cells
20.
Commun Biol ; 4(1): 1215, 2021 10 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1479821

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 replication requires the synthesis of a set of structural proteins expressed through discontinuous transcription of ten subgenomic mRNAs (sgmRNAs). Here, we have fine-tuned droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) assays to accurately detect and quantify SARS-CoV-2 genomic ORF1ab and sgmRNAs for the nucleocapsid (N) and spike (S) proteins. We analyzed 166 RNA samples from anonymized SARS-CoV-2 positive subjects and we observed a recurrent and characteristic pattern of sgmRNAs expression in relation to the total viral RNA content. Additionally, expression profiles of sgmRNAs, as determined by meta-transcriptomics sequencing of a subset of 110 RNA samples, were highly correlated with those obtained by ddPCR. By providing a comprehensive and dynamic snapshot of the levels of SARS-CoV-2 sgmRNAs in infected individuals, our results may contribute a better understanding of the dynamics of transcription and expression of the genome of SARS-CoV-2 and facilitate the development of more accurate molecular diagnostic tools for the stratification of COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins , Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Transcriptome , Computational Biology , Humans , Limit of Detection , Open Reading Frames , Phosphoproteins , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , Reproducibility of Results
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