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Preprint Dans Anglais | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-468228

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In addition to its essential role in viral polyprotein processing, the SARS-CoV-2 3C-like (3CLpro) protease can cleave human immune signaling proteins, like NF-{kappa}B Essential Modulator (NEMO) and deregulate the host immune response. Here, in vitro assays show that SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro cleaves NEMO with fine-tuned efficiency. Analysis of the 2.14 [A] resolution crystal structure of 3CLpro C145S bound to NEMO226-235 reveals subsites that tolerate a range of viral and host substrates through main chain hydrogen bonds while also enforcing specificity using side chain hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic contacts. Machine learning- and physics-based computational methods predict that variation in key binding residues of 3CLpro- NEMO helps explain the high fitness of SARS-CoV-2 in humans. We posit that cleavage of NEMO is an important piece of information to be accounted for in the pathology of COVID-19.

2.
Preprint Dans Anglais | bioRxiv | ID: ppbiorxiv-028712

Résumé

Using a Systems Biology approach, we integrated genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and molecular structure information to provide a holistic understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic. The expression data analysis of the Renin Angiotensin System indicates mild nasal, oral or throat infections are likely and that the gastrointestinal tissues are a common primary target of SARS-CoV-2. Extreme symptoms in the lower respiratory system likely result from a secondary-infection possibly by a comorbidity-driven upregulation of ACE2 in the lung. The remarkable differences in expression of other RAS elements, the elimination of macrophages and the activation of cytokines in COVID-19 bronchoalveolar samples suggest that a functional immune deficiency is a critical outcome of COVID-19. We posit that using a non-respiratory system as a major pathway of infection is likely determining the unprecedented global spread of this coronavirus. One Sentence SummaryA Systems Approach Indicates Non-respiratory Pathways of Infection as Key for the COVID-19 Pandemic

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