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1.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(5)2022 Feb 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1700574

ABSTRACT

Influenza A virus (IAV) is a member of the single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) family of viruses. The most recent global pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus has shown the major threat that RNA viruses can pose to humanity. In comparison, influenza has an even higher pandemic potential as a result of its high rate of mutations within its relatively short (<13 kbp) genome, as well as its capability to undergo genetic reassortment. In light of this threat, and the fact that RNA structure is connected to a broad range of known biological functions, deeper investigation of viral RNA (vRNA) structures is of high interest. Here, for the first time, we propose a secondary structure for segment 8 vRNA (vRNA8) of A/California/04/2009 (H1N1) formed in the presence of cellular and viral components. This structure shows similarities with prior in vitro experiments. Additionally, we determined the location of several well-defined, conserved structural motifs of vRNA8 within IAV strains with possible functionality. These RNA motifs appear to fold independently of regional nucleoprotein (NP)-binding affinity, but a low or uneven distribution of NP in each motif region is noted. This research also highlights several accessible sites for oligonucleotide tools and small molecules in vRNA8 in a cellular environment that might be a target for influenza A virus inhibition on the RNA level.


Subject(s)
Gene Expression Regulation, Viral , Genome, Viral/genetics , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/genetics , Nucleic Acid Conformation , RNA, Viral/chemistry , Animals , Base Sequence , Dogs , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/metabolism , Influenza, Human/virology , Madin Darby Canine Kidney Cells , Models, Molecular , Nucleotide Motifs/genetics , RNA Folding , RNA, Viral/genetics , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/metabolism
2.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(52)2021 12 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1565770

ABSTRACT

The constant emergence of COVID-19 variants reduces the effectiveness of existing vaccines and test kits. Therefore, it is critical to identify conserved structures in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) genomes as potential targets for variant-proof diagnostics and therapeutics. However, the algorithms to predict these conserved structures, which simultaneously fold and align multiple RNA homologs, scale at best cubically with sequence length and are thus infeasible for coronaviruses, which possess the longest genomes (∼30,000 nt) among RNA viruses. As a result, existing efforts on modeling SARS-CoV-2 structures resort to single-sequence folding as well as local folding methods with short window sizes, which inevitably neglect long-range interactions that are crucial in RNA functions. Here we present LinearTurboFold, an efficient algorithm for folding RNA homologs that scales linearly with sequence length, enabling unprecedented global structural analysis on SARS-CoV-2. Surprisingly, on a group of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-related genomes, LinearTurboFold's purely in silico prediction not only is close to experimentally guided models for local structures, but also goes far beyond them by capturing the end-to-end pairs between 5' and 3' untranslated regions (UTRs) (∼29,800 nt apart) that match perfectly with a purely experimental work. Furthermore, LinearTurboFold identifies undiscovered conserved structures and conserved accessible regions as potential targets for designing efficient and mutation-insensitive small-molecule drugs, antisense oligonucleotides, small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), CRISPR-Cas13 guide RNAs, and RT-PCR primers. LinearTurboFold is a general technique that can also be applied to other RNA viruses and full-length genome studies and will be a useful tool in fighting the current and future pandemics.


Subject(s)
Algorithms , RNA, Viral/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Conserved Sequence , Genome, Viral , Mutation , Nucleic Acid Conformation , RNA Folding , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sequence Alignment
3.
Comput Biol Chem ; 94: 107570, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1385342

ABSTRACT

The base order-dependent component of folding energy has revealed a highly conserved region in HIV-1 genomes that associates with RNA structure. This corresponds to a packaging signal that is recognized by the nucleocapsid domain of the Gag polyprotein. Long viewed as a potential HIV-1 "Achilles heel," the signal can be targeted by a new antiviral compound. Although SARS-CoV-2 differs in many respects from HIV-1, the same technology displays regions with a high base order-dependent folding energy component, which are also highly conserved. This indicates structural invariance (SI) sustained by natural selection. While the regions are often also protein-encoding (e. g. NSP3, ORF3a), we suggest that their nucleic acid level functions can be considered potential "Achilles heels" for SARS-CoV-2, perhaps susceptible to therapies like those envisaged for AIDS. The ribosomal frameshifting element scored well, but higher SI scores were obtained in other regions, including those encoding NSP13 and the nucleocapsid (N) protein.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , RNA Folding , RNA, Viral/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Base Sequence , Genome, Viral , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/metabolism
4.
J Virol ; 95(14): e0066321, 2021 06 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1291038

ABSTRACT

RNA structural elements occur in numerous single-stranded positive-sense RNA viruses. The stem-loop 2 motif (s2m) is one such element with an unusually high degree of sequence conservation, being found in the 3' untranslated region (UTR) in the genomes of many astroviruses, some picornaviruses and noroviruses, and a variety of coronaviruses, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and SARS-CoV-2. The evolutionary conservation and its occurrence in all viral subgenomic transcripts imply a key role for s2m in the viral infection cycle. Our findings indicate that the element, while stably folded, can nonetheless be invaded and remodeled spontaneously by antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) that initiate pairing in exposed loops and trigger efficient sequence-specific RNA cleavage in reporter assays. ASOs also act to inhibit replication in an astrovirus replicon model system in a sequence-specific, dose-dependent manner and inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication in cell culture. Our results thus permit us to suggest that the s2m element is readily targeted by ASOs, which show promise as antiviral agents. IMPORTANCE The highly conserved stem-loop 2 motif (s2m) is found in the genomes of many RNA viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. Our findings indicate that the s2m element can be targeted by antisense oligonucleotides. The antiviral potential of this element represents a promising start for further research into targeting conserved elements in RNA viruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Genome, Viral , Nucleotide Motifs , RNA Folding , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Replication , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , HEK293 Cells , Humans , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Vero Cells
5.
Genomics ; 113(1 Pt 1): 331-343, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-972544

ABSTRACT

An outbreak, caused by an RNA virus, SARS-CoV-2 named COVID-19 has become pandemic with a magnitude which is daunting to all public health institutions in the absence of specific antiviral treatment. Surface glycoprotein and nucleocapsid phosphoprotein are two important proteins of this virus facilitating its entry into host cell and genome replication. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) is a prospective tool of the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway for the control of human viral infections by suppressing viral gene expression through hybridization and neutralization of target complementary mRNA. So, in this study, the power of RNA interference technology was harnessed to develop siRNA molecules against specific target genes namely, nucleocapsid phosphoprotein gene and surface glycoprotein gene. Conserved sequence from 139 SARS-CoV-2 strains from around the globe was collected to construct 78 siRNA that can inactivate nucleocapsid phosphoprotein and surface glycoprotein genes. Finally, based on GC content, free energy of folding, free energy of binding, melting temperature, efficacy prediction and molecular docking analysis, 8 siRNA molecules were selected which are proposed to exert the best action. These predicted siRNAs should effectively silence the genes of SARS-CoV-2 during siRNA mediated treatment assisting in the response against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Computational Chemistry , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Drug Design , Genetic Therapy/methods , Molecular Docking Simulation , RNA Interference , RNA, Messenger/antagonists & inhibitors , RNA, Small Interfering/chemistry , RNA, Viral/antagonists & inhibitors , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Argonaute Proteins/chemistry , Argonaute Proteins/genetics , Base Composition , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Evolution, Molecular , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral/drug effects , Humans , Pandemics , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phylogeny , RNA Folding , RNA, Guide/chemistry , RNA, Guide/genetics , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Small Interfering/pharmacology , RNA, Small Interfering/therapeutic use , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Sequence Alignment , Thermodynamics
6.
Biomolecules ; 10(7)2020 07 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-951579

ABSTRACT

Studies have shown that epigenetic abnormalities are involved in various diseases, including cancer. In particular, in order to realize precision medicine, the integrated analysis of genetics and epigenetics is considered to be important; detailed epigenetic analysis in the medical field has been becoming increasingly important. In the epigenetics analysis, DNA methylation and histone modification analyses have been actively studied for a long time, and many important findings were accumulated. On the other hand, recently, attention has also been focused on RNA modification in the field of epigenetics; now it is known that RNA modification is associated with various biological functions, such as regulation of gene expression. Among RNA modifications, functional analysis of N6-methyladenosine (m6A), the most abundant RNA modification found from humans to plants is actively progressing, and it has also been known that m6A abnormality is involved in cancer and other diseases. Importantly, recent studies have shown that m6A is related to viral infections. Considering the current world situation under threat of viral infections, it is important to deepen knowledge of RNA modification from the viewpoint of viral diseases. Hence, in this review, we have summarized the recent findings regarding the roles of RNA modifications in biological functions, cancer biology, and virus infection, particularly focusing on m6A in mRNA.


Subject(s)
Adenosine/analogs & derivatives , Epigenesis, Genetic , Neoplasms/genetics , RNA Processing, Post-Transcriptional , RNA/genetics , Virus Diseases/genetics , Adenosine/genetics , Adenosine/metabolism , Animals , Humans , Neoplasms/metabolism , RNA/metabolism , RNA Folding , RNA Stability , RNA Transport , Virus Diseases/metabolism
8.
Biophys J ; 119(7): 1270-1272, 2020 10 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-739783
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