Research Article

Comparative host-coronavirus protein interaction networks reveal pan-viral disease mechanisms

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Science  15 Oct 2020:
DOI: 10.1126/science.abe9403


The COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease-2019) pandemic, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, is a significant threat to public health and the global economy. SARS-CoV-2 is closely related to the more lethal but less transmissible coronaviruses SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV. Here, we have carried out comparative viral-human protein-protein interaction and viral protein localization analysis for all three viruses. Subsequent functional genetic screening identified host factors that functionally impinge on coronavirus proliferation, including Tom70, a mitochondrial chaperone protein that interacts with both SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 Orf9b, an interaction we structurally characterized using cryo-EM. Combining genetically-validated host factors with both COVID-19 patient genetic data and medical billing records identified important molecular mechanisms and potential drug treatments that merit further molecular and clinical study.

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