Islam MR, Fischer A
Preprints 2020, 2020040399.
The recent outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a major threat to human health and the global economy. In addition to the development of vaccines there is an urgent need for preventive and therapeutic strategies towards severe COVID-19. Key to this would be a better understanding of the molecular mechanismsoiuuuu affected by SARS-COV-2. To address this, we performed a systems biology approach by integrating available RNA-seq datasets from post-mortem lung tissue of COVID-19 patients and cell culture models infected with SARS-COV-2, Respiratory Syncytial virus or influenza virus. We identified two gene-expression modules that are commonly regulated by the three viral diseases and one that is specific to COVID-19. All 3 gene-expression modules represent key inflammatory processes. We identified several proteins within these networks that can be targeted by FDA approved drugs. Key examples are TNF, NFkB, INTERLEUKIN-1 and ALOX5 signaling pathways. Our data also suggest that Vitamin D supplementation and a ketogenic diet should be further analyzed as preventive strategies. In conclusion, our data highlights the potential of transcriptomics to unravel the pathological processes related to COVID-19 and guide the initiation of clinical trials.