Computational Analysis of Targeting SARS-CoV-2, Viral Entry Proteins ACE2 and TMPRSS2, and Interferon Genes by Host MicroRNAs.
Rapid spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus responsible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has led to a global pandemic, failures of local health care systems, and global economic recession. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have recently emerged as important regulators of viral pathogenesis, particularly among RNA viruses, but the impact of host miRNAs on SARS-CoV-2 infectivity remains unknown. In this study, we utilize the combination of powerful bioinformatic prediction algorithms and miRNA profiling to predict endogenous host miRNAs that may play important roles in regulating SARS-CoV-2 infectivity. We provide a collection of high-probability miRNA binding sites within the SARS-CoV-2 genome as well as within mRNA transcripts of critical viral entry proteins ACE2 and TMPRSS2 and their upstream modulators, the interferons (IFN). By utilizing miRNA profiling datasets of SARS-CoV-2-resistant and -susceptible cell lines, we verify the biological plausibility of the predicted miRNA-target RNA interactions. Finally, we utilize miRNA profiling of SARS-CoV-2-infected cells to identify predicted miRNAs that are differentially regulated in infected cells. In particular, we identify predicted miRNA binders to SARS-CoV-2 ORFs (miR-23a (1ab), miR-29a, -29c (1ab, N), miR-151a, -151b (S), miR-4707-3p (S), miR-298 (5'-UTR), miR-7851-3p (5'-UTR), miR-8075 (5'-UTR)), ACE2 3'-UTR (miR-9-5p, miR-218-5p), TMPRSS2 3'-UTR (let-7d-5p, -7e-5p, miR-494-3p, miR-382-3p, miR-181c-5p), and IFN-α 3'-UTR (miR-361-5p, miR-410-3p). Overall, this study provides insight into potential novel regulatory mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 by host miRNAs and lays the foundation for future investigation of these miRNAs as potential therapeutic targets or biomarkers.
Pierce, JB; Simion, V; Icli, B; Pérez-Cremades, D; Cheng, HS; Feinberg, MW
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