Image_1_Network Analysis and Transcriptome Profiling Identify Autophagic and Mitochondrial Dysfunctions in SARS-CoV-2 Infection.JPEG (606.63 kB)
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posted on 16.03.2021, 05:31 by Komudi Singh, Yun-Ching Chen, Shahin Hassanzadeh, Kim Han, Jennifer T. Judy, Fayaz Seifuddin, Ilker Tunc, Michael N. Sack, Mehdi Pirooznia

Analyzing host cells' transcriptional response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection will help delineate biological processes underlying viral pathogenesis. First, analysis of expression profiles of lung cell lines A549 and Calu3 revealed upregulation of antiviral interferon signaling genes in response to all three SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV, or influenza A virus (IAV) infections. However, perturbations in expression of genes involved in inflammatory, mitochondrial, and autophagy processes were specifically observed in SARS-CoV-2-infected cells. Next, a validation study in infected human nasopharyngeal samples also revealed perturbations in autophagy and mitochondrial processes. Specifically, mTOR expression, mitochondrial ribosomal, mitochondrial complex I, lysosome acidification, and mitochondrial fission promoting genes were concurrently downregulated in both infected cell lines and human samples. SARS-CoV-2 infection impeded autophagic flux either by upregulating GSK3B in lung cell lines or by downregulating autophagy genes, SNAP29, and lysosome acidification genes in human samples, contributing to increased viral replication. Therefore, drugs targeting lysosome acidification or autophagic flux could be tested as intervention strategies. Finally, age-stratified SARS-CoV-2-positive human data revealed impaired upregulation of chemokines, interferon-stimulated genes, and tripartite motif genes that are critical for antiviral signaling. Together, this analysis has revealed specific aspects of autophagic and mitochondrial function that are uniquely perturbed in SARS-CoV-2-infected host cells.

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