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1.
BMC Genom Data ; 23(1): 27, 2022 04 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1840943

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The factors driving the late phase of COVID-19 are still poorly understood. However, autoimmunity is an evolving theme in COVID-19's pathogenesis. Additionally, deregulation of human retroelements (RE) is found in many viral infections, and has also been reported in COVID-19. RESULTS: Unexpectedly, coronaviruses (CoV) - including SARS-CoV-2 - harbour many RE-identical sequences (up to 35 base pairs), and some of these sequences are part of SARS-CoV-2 epitopes associated to COVID-19 severity. Furthermore, RE are expressed in healthy controls and human cells and become deregulated after SARS-CoV-2 infection, showing mainly changes in long interspersed nuclear element (LINE1) expression, but also in endogenous retroviruses. CONCLUSION: CoV and human RE share coding sequences, which are targeted by antibodies in COVID-19 and thus could induce an autoimmune loop by molecular mimicry.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Epitopes , Humans , Molecular Mimicry , Retroelements/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
2.
JCI Insight ; 6(24)2021 12 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501860

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 promotes an imbalanced host response that underlies the development and severity of COVID-19. Infections with viruses are known to modulate transposable elements (TEs), which can exert downstream effects by modulating host gene expression, innate immune sensing, or activities encoded by their protein products. We investigated the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on TE expression using RNA-Seq data from cell lines and from primary patient samples. Using a bioinformatics tool, Telescope, we showed that SARS-CoV-2 infection led to upregulation or downregulation of TE transcripts, a subset of which differed from cells infected with SARS, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV or MERS), influenza A virus (IAV), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and human parainfluenza virus type 3 (HPIV3). Differential expression of key retroelements specifically identified distinct virus families, such as Coronaviridae, with unique retroelement expression subdividing viral species. Analysis of ChIP-Seq data showed that TEs differentially expressed in SARS-CoV-2 infection were enriched for binding sites for transcription factors involved in immune responses and for pioneer transcription factors. In samples from patients with COVID-19, there was significant TE overexpression in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and downregulation in PBMCs. Thus, although the host gene transcriptome is altered by infection with SARS-CoV-2, the retrotranscriptome may contain the most distinctive features of the cellular response to SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , Endogenous Retroviruses/genetics , Long Interspersed Nucleotide Elements/genetics , A549 Cells , Cell Line , Chromatin Immunoprecipitation Sequencing , Computational Biology , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , DNA Transposable Elements/genetics , Down-Regulation , Host Microbial Interactions/genetics , Humans , In Vitro Techniques , Influenza A virus , Influenza, Human/genetics , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Parainfluenza Virus 3, Human , RNA-Seq , Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections/genetics , Respiratory Syncytial Viruses , Respirovirus Infections/genetics , Retroelements/genetics , SARS Virus , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/genetics , Transcriptome , Up-Regulation
3.
Front Cell Infect Microbiol ; 11: 609160, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1140637

ABSTRACT

There is an increased global outbreak of diseases caused by coronaviruses affecting respiratory tracts of birds and mammals. Recent dangerous coronaviruses are MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2, causing respiratory illness and even failure of several organs. However, profound impact of coronavirus on host cells remains elusive. In this study, we analyzed transcriptome of MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2 infected human lung-derived cells, and observed that infection of these coronaviruses all induced increase of retrotransposon expression with upregulation of TET genes. Upregulation of retrotransposon was also observed in SARS-CoV-2 infected human intestinal organoids. Retrotransposon upregulation may lead to increased genome instability and enhanced expression of genes with readthrough from retrotransposons. Therefore, people with higher basal level of retrotransposon such as cancer patients and aged people may have increased risk of symptomatic infection. Additionally, we show evidence supporting long-term epigenetic inheritance of retrotransposon upregulation. We also observed chimeric transcripts of retrotransposon and SARS-CoV-2 RNA for potential human genome invasion of viral fragments, with the front and the rear part of SARS-CoV-2 genome being easier to form chimeric RNA. Thus, we suggest that primers and probes for nucleic acid detection should be designed in the middle of virus genome to identify live virus with higher probability. In summary, we propose our hypothesis that coronavirus invades human cells and interacts with retrotransposon, eliciting more severe symptoms in patients with underlying diseases. In the treatment of patients with coronavirus infection, it may be necessary to pay more attention to the potential harm contributed by retrotransposon dysregulation.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/virology , Coronavirus/genetics , Genome, Viral/genetics , Retroelements/genetics , Transcriptome , Cell Line, Tumor , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , SARS Virus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
4.
Nat Genet ; 52(12): 1294-1302, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-880696

ABSTRACT

Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is an entry receptor for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and a regulator of several physiological processes. ACE2 has recently been proposed to be interferon (IFN) inducible, suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 may exploit this phenomenon to enhance viral spread and questioning the efficacy of IFN treatment in coronavirus disease 2019. Using a recent de novo transcript assembly that captured previously unannotated transcripts, we describe a new isoform of ACE2, generated by co-option of intronic retroelements as promoter and alternative exon. The new transcript, termed MIRb-ACE2, exhibits specific expression patterns across the aerodigestive and gastrointestinal tracts and is highly responsive to IFN stimulation. In contrast, canonical ACE2 expression is unresponsive to IFN stimulation. Moreover, the MIRb-ACE2 translation product is a truncated, unstable ACE2 form, lacking domains required for SARS-CoV-2 binding and is therefore unlikely to contribute to or enhance viral infection.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/biosynthesis , Interferons/metabolism , Retroelements/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Enzyme Induction , Gene Expression Profiling , Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Isoenzymes/biosynthesis , Isoenzymes/genetics , Protein Stability , RNA-Seq , Receptors, Coronavirus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Tissue Distribution , Vero Cells
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