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SARS-CoV-2 mutations altering regulatory properties: Deciphering host's and virus's perspectives

28, May 2021 |


Islam A. & Khan M. A.


Since the first recorded case of the SARS-CoV-2, it has acquired several mutations in its genome while spreading throughout the globe. In this study, we investigated the significance of these mutations by analyzing the host miRNA binding and virus's internal ribosome entry site (IRES). Strikingly, we observed that due to the acquired mutations, five host miRNAs lost their affinity for targeting the viral genome, and another five can target the mutated viral genome. Moreover, functional enrichment analysis suggests that targets of both of these miRNAs might be involved in various host immune signaling pathways. Remarkably, we detected that three particular mutations in the IRES can disrupt its secondary structure which can consequently make the virus less functional. These results could be valuable in exploring the functional importance of the mutations of SARS-CoV-2 and could provide novel insights into the differences observed different parts of the world.