Multilevel proteomics reveals host perturbations by SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV

The global emergence of SARS-CoV-2 urgently requires an in-depth understanding of molecular functions of viral proteins and their interactions with the host proteome. Several individual omics studies have extended our knowledge of COVID-19 pathophysiology1–10. Integration of such datasets to obtain a holistic view of virus-host interactions and to define the pathogenic properties of SARS-CoV-2 is limited by the heterogeneity of the experimental systems. We therefore conducted a concurrent multi-omics study of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV. Using state-of-the-art proteomics, we profiled the interactome of both viruses, as well as their influence on transcriptome, proteome, ubiquitinome and phosphoproteome in a lung-derived human cell line. Projecting these data onto the global network of cellular interactions revealed cross talk between the perturbations taking place upon SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV infections at different layers and identified unique and common molecular mechanisms of these closely related coronaviruses. The TGF-β pathway, known for its involvement in tissue fibrosis, was specifically dysregulated by SARS-CoV-2 ORF8 and autophagy by SARS-CoV-2 ORF3.  The extensive dataset (available at)highlights many hots pots that can be targeted by existing drugs and it can guide rational design of virus- and host-directed therapies, which we exemplify by identifying kinase and MMPs inhibitors with potent antiviral effects against SARS-CoV-2.

Stukalov, A., Girault, V., Grass, V. et al. Multilevel proteomics reveals host perturbations by SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV. Nature (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03493-4

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