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Article

MicroRNAs for Virus Pathogenicity and Host Responses, Identified in SARS-CoV-2 Genomes, May Play Roles in Viral-Host Co-Evolution in Putative Zoonotic Host Species

1
Tissue Architecture and Regeneration Research Group, School of Life Sciences, University of Westminster, London W1W 6UW, UK
2
Institute of Biotechnology, Gebze Technical University, Gebze, 41400 Kocaeli, Turkey
3
School of Life Sciences, University of Bedfordshire, Park Square, Luton LU1 3JU, UK
4
Cancer Research Group, School of Life Sciences, University of Westminster, London W1W 6UW, UK
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andrew Davidson
Viruses 2021, 13(1), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13010117
Received: 30 November 2020 / Revised: 7 January 2021 / Accepted: 13 January 2021 / Published: 16 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis of Human and Animal Coronaviruses)
Our recent study identified seven key microRNAs (miR-8066, 5197, 3611, 3934-3p, 1307-3p, 3691-3p, 1468-5p) similar between SARS-CoV-2 and the human genome, pointing at miR-related mechanisms in viral entry and the regulatory effects on host immunity. To identify the putative roles of these miRs in zoonosis, we assessed their conservation, compared with humans, in some key wild and domestic animal carriers of zoonotic viruses, including bat, pangolin, pig, cow, rat, and chicken. Out of the seven miRs under study, miR-3611 was the most strongly conserved across all species; miR-5197 was the most conserved in pangolin, pig, cow, bat, and rat; miR-1307 was most strongly conserved in pangolin, pig, cow, bat, and human; miR-3691-3p in pangolin, cow, and human; miR-3934-3p in pig and cow, followed by pangolin and bat; miR-1468 was most conserved in pangolin, pig, and bat; while miR-8066 was most conserved in pangolin and pig. In humans, miR-3611 and miR-1307 were most conserved, while miR-8066, miR-5197, miR-3334-3p and miR-1468 were least conserved, compared with pangolin, pig, cow, and bat. Furthermore, we identified that changes in the miR-5197 nucleotides between pangolin and human can generate three new miRs, with differing tissue distribution in the brain, lung, intestines, lymph nodes, and muscle, and with different downstream regulatory effects on KEGG pathways. This may be of considerable importance as miR-5197 is localized in the spike protein transcript area of the SARS-CoV-2 genome. Our findings may indicate roles for these miRs in viral–host co-evolution in zoonotic hosts, particularly highlighting pangolin, bat, cow, and pig as putative zoonotic carriers, while highlighting the miRs’ roles in KEGG pathways linked to viral pathogenicity and host responses in humans. This in silico study paves the way for investigations into the roles of miRs in zoonotic disease. View Full-Text
Keywords: microRNA; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; zoonosis; co-evolution; viral pathogenesis microRNA; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; zoonosis; co-evolution; viral pathogenesis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lange, S.; Arisan, E.D.; Grant, G.H.; Uysal-Onganer, P. MicroRNAs for Virus Pathogenicity and Host Responses, Identified in SARS-CoV-2 Genomes, May Play Roles in Viral-Host Co-Evolution in Putative Zoonotic Host Species. Viruses 2021, 13, 117. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13010117

AMA Style

Lange S, Arisan ED, Grant GH, Uysal-Onganer P. MicroRNAs for Virus Pathogenicity and Host Responses, Identified in SARS-CoV-2 Genomes, May Play Roles in Viral-Host Co-Evolution in Putative Zoonotic Host Species. Viruses. 2021; 13(1):117. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13010117

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lange, Sigrun; Arisan, Elif D.; Grant, Guy H.; Uysal-Onganer, Pinar. 2021. "MicroRNAs for Virus Pathogenicity and Host Responses, Identified in SARS-CoV-2 Genomes, May Play Roles in Viral-Host Co-Evolution in Putative Zoonotic Host Species" Viruses 13, no. 1: 117. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13010117

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