Soudabeh Kavousipour, Shiva Mohammadi, Ebrahim Eftekhar, Sajad Jalili, Elham Arabizadeh, Pooneh Mokaram, Mahdi Barazesh* and Seyed Hamid Moosavy* Pages 364 - 380 ( 17 )
Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a contagious disease originating from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Previous experimental studies indicated that during viral infections, viral miRNAs (vmiRNAs) played key roles in pathogen-host interaction, immune escape, host cell death, and tumorigenesis. MiRNAs are small, single-stranded RNAs that exist in viruses as well as in animals. Thus, these molecules can play a pivotal role in viral disease pathogenesis.
Objective: Since no approved drugs or vaccines currently exist for SARS-CoV-2 and its pathogenic mechanism is unknown, the present study aimed to explore and propose vmiRNA platforms as potential antiviral therapeutic agents against SARS-CoV-2. The development of antiviral drugs to target vmiRNAs may result in the down-regulation of viral virulence genes expression and suppression of viral proliferation.
Methods: In this study, to attain insight into the potential role of SARS-CoV-2-derived miRNAs in viral infections, a set of computational methods was used to scan the SARS-CoV-2 genome, eventually predicting 13 potential candidate vmiRNAs. Furthermore, the potential genes were predicted in the human hosts that were the target of these candidate vmiRNAs by applying the mirPath software.
Results: This study proposed a theory indicating that the predicted vmiRNAs might have a plausible role in altering human target gene expression, mainly contributing to a viral infectious state, inflammation, and immune system escape. These vmiRNAs might have therapeutic trends as antiviral agents against COVID-19 infection.
Conclusion: The findings offered a reference idea for a supplementary study on miRNA identification as a drug target and revealed the necessity to increase the understanding of SARS-CoV-2 genome structure for a better combat against the virus.
SARS-CoV-2, microRNA precursor, In silico screening, target prediction, VMir software, drug target.
Molecular Medicine Research Center, Hormozgan Health Institute, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar Abbas, Department of Medical Biotechnology, School of Medicine, Lorestan University of Medical Sciences, Khorramabad, Molecular Medicine Research Center, Hormozgan Health Institute, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar Abbas, Department of Orthopedics, School of Medicine, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Department of Biochemistry, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, School of Paramedical, Gerash University of Medical Sciences, Gerash, Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar Abbas