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Rxivist combines preprints from bioRxiv with data from Twitter to help you find the papers being discussed in your field. Currently indexing 77,873 bioRxiv papers from 337,428 authors.

Most downloaded bioRxiv papers, since beginning of last month

76,080 results found. For more information, click each entry to expand.

81: Modelling the epidemic trend of the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak in China
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Posted to bioRxiv 25 Jan 2020

Modelling the epidemic trend of the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak in China
1,888 downloads microbiology

Mingwang Shen, Zhihang Peng, Yanni Xiao, Lei Zhang

We present a timely evaluation of the Chinese 2019-nCov epidemic in its initial phase, where 2019-nCov demonstrates comparable transmissibility but lower fatality rates than SARS and MERS. A quick diagnosis that leads to case isolation and integrated interventions will have a major impact on its future trend. Nevertheless, as China is facing its Spring Festival travel rush and the epidemic has spread beyond its borders, further investigation on its potential spatiotemporal transmission pattern and novel intervention strategies are warranted.

82: All-in-One Dual CRISPR-Cas12a (AIOD-CRISPR) Assay: A Case for Rapid, Ultrasensitive and Visual Detection of Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and HIV virus
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Posted to bioRxiv 21 Mar 2020

All-in-One Dual CRISPR-Cas12a (AIOD-CRISPR) Assay: A Case for Rapid, Ultrasensitive and Visual Detection of Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and HIV virus
1,881 downloads biochemistry

Xiong Ding, Kun Yin, Ziyue Li, Changchun Liu

A recent outbreak of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of COVID-19, has spread rapidly all over the world. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is another deadly virus and causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Rapid and early detection of these viruses will facilitate early intervention and reduce disease transmission risk. Here, we present an All-In-One Dual CRISPR-Cas12a (termed "AIOD-CRISPR") assay method for simple, rapid, ultrasensitive, one-pot, and visual detection of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and HIV virus. In our AIOD CRISPR assay, a pair of crRNAs was introduced to initiate dual CRISPR-Cas12a detection and improve detection sensitivity. The AIOD-CRISPR assay system was successfully utilized to detect nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) of SARS-CoV-2 and HIV with a sensitivity of few copies. Also, it was evaluated by detecting HIV-1 RNA extracted from human plasma samples, achieving a comparable sensitivity with real-time RT-PCR method. Thus, our method has a great potential for developing next-generation point-of-care molecular diagnostics.

83: ZeroCostDL4Mic: an open platform to simplify access and use of Deep-Learning in Microscopy
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Posted to bioRxiv 20 Mar 2020

ZeroCostDL4Mic: an open platform to simplify access and use of Deep-Learning in Microscopy
1,823 downloads bioinformatics

Lucas von Chamier, Johanna Jukkala, Christoph Spahn, Martina Lerche, Sara Hernández-Pérez, Pieta K. Mattila, Eleni Karinou, Seamus Holden, Ahmet Can Solak, Alexander Krull, Tim-Oliver Buchholz, Florian Jug, Loic Royer, Mike Heilemann, Romain F. Laine, Guillaume Jacquemet, Ricardo Henriques

Deep Learning (DL) methods are increasingly recognised as powerful analytical tools for microscopy. Their potential to outperform conventional image processing pipelines is now well established. Despite the enthusiasm and innovations fuelled by DL technology, the need to access powerful and compatible resources, install multiple computational tools and modify code instructions to train neural networks all lead to an accessibility barrier that novice users often find difficult to cross. Here, we present ZeroCostDL4Mic, an entry-level teaching and deployment DL platform which considerably simplifies access and use of DL for microscopy. It is based on Google Colab which provides the free, cloud-based computational resources needed. ZeroCostDL4Mic allows researchers with little or no coding expertise to quickly test, train and use popular DL networks. In parallel, it guides researchers to acquire more knowledge, to experiment with optimising DL parameters and network architectures. We also highlight the limitations and requirements to use Google Colab. Altogether, ZeroCostDL4Mic accelerates the uptake of DL for new users and promotes their capacity to use increasingly complex DL networks.

84: Sensitive spatial genome wide expression profiling at cellular resolution
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Posted to bioRxiv 14 Mar 2020

Sensitive spatial genome wide expression profiling at cellular resolution
1,819 downloads genomics

Robert R. Stickels, Evan Murray, Pawan Kumar, Jilong Li, Jamie L. Marshall, Daniela Di Bella, Paola Arlotta, Evan Z. Macosko, Fei Chen

The precise spatial localization of molecular signals within tissues richly informs the mechanisms of tissue formation and function. Previously, we developed Slide-seq, a technology which enables transcriptome-wide measurements with 10-micron spatial resolution. Here, we report new modifications to Slide-seq library generation, bead synthesis, and array indexing that markedly improve the mRNA capture sensitivity of the technology, approaching the efficiency of droplet-based single-cell RNAseq techniques. We demonstrate how this modified protocol, which we have termed Slide-seqV2, can be used effectively in biological contexts where high detection sensitivity is important. First, we deploy Slide-seqV2 to identify new dendritically localized mRNAs in the mouse hippocampus. Second, we integrate the spatial information of Slide-seq data with single-cell trajectory analysis tools to characterize the spatiotemporal development of the mouse neocortex. The combination of near-cellular resolution and high transcript detection will enable broad utility of Slide-seq across many experimental contexts.

85: SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 and TMPRSS2 are predominantly expressed in a transient secretory cell type in subsegmental bronchial branches
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Posted to bioRxiv 14 Mar 2020

SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 and TMPRSS2 are predominantly expressed in a transient secretory cell type in subsegmental bronchial branches
1,808 downloads genomics

Soeren Lukassen, Robert Lorenz Chua, Timo Trefzer, Nicolas C Kahn, Marc A. Schneider, Thomas Muley, Hauke Winter, Michael Meister, Carmen Veith, Agnes W Boots, Bianca P. Hennig, Michael Kreuter, Christian Conrad, Roland Eils

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic affecting the human respiratory system severely challenges public health and urgently demands for increasing our understanding of COVID-19 pathogenesis, especially host factors facilitating virus infection and replication. SARS-CoV-2 was reported to enter cells via binding to ACE2, followed by its priming by TMPRSS2. Here, we investigate ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expression levels and their distribution across cell types in lung tissue (twelve donors, 39,778 cells) and in cells derived from subsegmental bronchial branches (four donors, 17,521 cells) by single nuclei and single cell RNA sequencing, respectively. While TMPRSS2 is expressed in both tissues, in the subsegmental bronchial branches ACE2 is predominantly expressed in a transient secretory cell type. Interestingly, these transiently differentiating cells show an enrichment for pathways related to RHO GTPase function and viral processes suggesting increased vulnerability for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our data provide a rich resource for future investigations of COVID-19 infection and pathogenesis.

86: The 2019-new Coronavirus epidemic: evidence for virus evolution
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Posted to bioRxiv 24 Jan 2020

The 2019-new Coronavirus epidemic: evidence for virus evolution
1,761 downloads bioinformatics

Domenico Benvenuto, Marta Giovannetti, Alessandra Ciccozzi, Silvia Spoto, Silvia Angeletti, Massimo Ciccozzi

There is concern about a new coronavirus, the 2019-nCoV, as a global public health threat. In this article, we provide a preliminary evolutionary and molecular epidemiological analysis of this new virus. A phylogenetic tree has been built using the 15 available whole genome sequence of 2019-nCoV and 12 whole genome sequences highly similar sequences available in gene bank (5 from SARS, 2 from MERS and 5 from Bat SARS-like Coronavirus). FUBAR analysis shows that the Nucleocapsid and the Spike Glycoprotein has some sites under positive pressure while homology modelling helped to explain some molecular and structural differences between the viruses. The phylogenetic tree showed that 2019.nCoV significantly clustered with Bat SARS-like Coronavirus sequence isolated in 2015, whereas structural analysis revealed mutation in S and nucleocapsid proteins. From these results, 2019nCoV could be considered a coronavirus distinct from SARS virus, probably transmitted from bats or another host where mutations conferred upon it the ability to infect humans.

87: Novel and potent inhibitors targeting DHODH, a rate-limiting enzyme in de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis, are broad-spectrum antiviral against RNA viruses including newly emerged coronavirus SARS-CoV-2
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Posted to bioRxiv 12 Mar 2020

Novel and potent inhibitors targeting DHODH, a rate-limiting enzyme in de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis, are broad-spectrum antiviral against RNA viruses including newly emerged coronavirus SARS-CoV-2
1,757 downloads microbiology

Rui Xiong, Leike Zhang, Shiliang Li, Yuan Sun, Minyi Ding, Yong Wang, Yongliang Zhao, Yan Wu, Weijuan Shang, Xiaming Jiang, Jiwei Shan, Zihao Shen, Yi Tong, Liuxin Xu, Chen Yu, Yingle Liu, Gang Zou, Dimitri Lavillete, Zhenjiang Zhao, Rui Wang, Lili Zhu, Gengfu Xiao, Ke Lan, Honglin Li, Ke Xu

Emerging and re-emerging RNA viruses occasionally cause epidemics and pandemics worldwide, such as the on-going outbreak of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Existing direct-acting antiviral (DAA) drugs cannot be applied immediately to new viruses because of virus-specificity, and the development of new DAA drugs from the beginning is not timely for outbreaks. Thus, host-targeting antiviral (HTA) drugs have many advantages to fight against a broad spectrum of viruses, by blocking the viral replication and overcoming the potential viral mutagenesis simultaneously. Herein, we identified two potent inhibitors of DHODH, S312 and S416, with favorable drug-like and pharmacokinetic profiles, which all showed broad-spectrum antiviral effects against various RNA viruses, including influenza A virus (H1N1, H3N2, H9N2), Zika virus, Ebola virus, and particularly against the recent novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Our results are the first to validate that DHODH is an attractive host target through high antiviral efficacy in vivo and low virus replication in DHODH knocking-out cells. We also proposed the drug combination of DAA and HTA was a promising strategy for anti-virus treatment and proved that S312 showed more advantageous than Oseltamivir to treat advanced influenza diseases in severely infected animals. Notably, S416 is reported to be the most potent inhibitor with an EC50 of 17nM and SI value >5882 in SARS-CoV-2-infected cells so far. This work demonstrates that both our self-designed candidates and old drugs (Leflunomide/Teriflunomide) with dual actions of antiviral and immuno-repression may have clinical potentials not only to influenza but also to COVID-19 circulating worldwide, no matter such viruses mutate or not.

88: The SARS-CoV-2 exerts a distinctive strategy for interacting with the ACE2 human receptor
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Posted to bioRxiv 12 Mar 2020

The SARS-CoV-2 exerts a distinctive strategy for interacting with the ACE2 human receptor
1,754 downloads molecular biology

Esther S Brielle, Dina Schneidman-Duhovny, Nathan Linial

The COVID-19 disease has plagued over 110 countries and has resulted in over 4,000 deaths within 10 weeks. We compare the interaction between the human ACE2 receptor and the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein with that of other pathogenic coronaviruses using molecular dynamics simulations. SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2, and HCoV-NL63 recognize ACE2 as the natural receptor but present a distinct binding interface to ACE2 and a different network of residue-residue contacts. SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 have comparable binding affinities achieved by balancing energetics and dynamics. The SARS-CoV-2 - ACE2 complex contains a higher number of contacts, a larger interface area, and decreased interface residue fluctuations relative to SARS-CoV. These findings expose an exceptional evolutionary exploration exerted by coronaviruses toward host recognition. We postulate that the versatility of cell receptor binding strategies has immediate implications on therapeutic strategies.

89: High sensitivity detection of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 using multiplex PCR and a multiplex-PCR-based metagenomic method
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Posted to bioRxiv 14 Mar 2020

High sensitivity detection of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 using multiplex PCR and a multiplex-PCR-based metagenomic method
1,752 downloads genomics

Chenyu Li, David N. Debruyne, Julia Spencer, Vidushi Kapoor, Lily Y. Liu, Bo Zhou, Lucie Lee, Rounak Feigelman, Grayson Burdon, Jeffrey Liu, Alejandra Oliva, Adam Borcherding, Hongdong Tan, Alexander E. Urban, Guoying Liu, Zhitong Liu

Many detection methods have been used or reported for the diagnosis and/or surveillance of SARS-CoV-2. Among them, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is the most sensitive, claiming detection of about 5 copies of viruses. However, it has been reported that only 47-59% of the positive cases were identified by RT-PCR, probably due to loss or degradation of virus RNA in the sampling process, or even mutation of the virus genome. Therefore, developing highly sensitive methods is imperative to ensure robust detection capabilities. With the goal of improving sensitivity and accommodate various application settings, we developed a multiplex-PCR-based method comprised of 172 pairs of specific primers, and demonstrate its efficiency to detect SARS-CoV-2 at low copy numbers. The assay produces clean characteristic target peaks of defined sizes, which allows for direct identification of positives by electrophoresis. In addition, optional sequencing can provide further confirmation as well as phylogenetic information of the identified virus(es) for specific strain discrimination, which will be of paramount importance for surveillance purposes that represent a global health imperative. Finally, we also developed in parallel and tested a multiplex-PCR-based metagenomic method that is amenable to detect SARS-CoV-2, with the additional benefit of its potential for uncovering mutational diversity and novel pathogens at low sequencing depth.

90: Are pangolins the intermediate host of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) ?
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Posted to bioRxiv 20 Feb 2020

Are pangolins the intermediate host of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) ?
1,739 downloads pathology

Ping Liu, Jing-Zhe Jiang, Xiu-Feng Wan, Yan Hua, Xiaohu Wang, Fanghui Hou, Jing Chen, Jiejian Zou, Jinping Chen

The outbreak of 2019-nCoV pneumonia (COVID-19) in the city of Wuhan, China has resulted in more than 60,000 laboratory confirmed cases, and recent studies showed that 2019-nCoV (SARS-CoV-2) could be of bat origin but involve other potential intermediate hosts. In this study, we assembled the genomes of coronaviruses identified in sick pangolins. The molecular and phylogenetic analyses showed that pangolin Coronaviruses (pangolin-CoV) are genetically related to both the 2019-nCoV and bat Coronaviruses but do not support the 2019-nCoV arose directly from the pangolin-CoV. Our study also suggested that pangolin be natural host of Betacoronavirus, with a potential to infect humans. Large surveillance of coronaviruses in pangolins could improve our understanding of the spectrum of coronaviruses in pangolins. Conservation of wildlife and limits of the exposures of humans to wildlife will be important to minimize the spillover risks of coronaviruses from wild animals to humans.

91: An integrated transcriptomic and epigenomic atlas of mouse primary motor cortex cell types
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Posted to bioRxiv 02 Mar 2020

An integrated transcriptomic and epigenomic atlas of mouse primary motor cortex cell types
1,738 downloads neuroscience

Zizhen Yao, Hanqing Liu, Fangming Xie, Stephan Fischer, A. Sina Booeshaghi, Ricky S Adkins, Andrew Aldridge, Seth A. Ament, Antonio Pinto-Duarte, Anna Bartlett, M. Margarita Behrens, Koen Van den Berge, Darren Bertagnolli, Tommaso Biancalani, Hector Corrada Bravo, Tamara Casper, Carlo Colantuoni, Heather Creasy, Kirsten Crichton, Megan Crow, Nick Dee, Elizabeth L Dougherty, Wayne I. Doyle, Sandrine Dudoit, Rongxin Fang, Victor Felix, Olivia Fong, Michelle Giglio, Jeff Goldy, Michael Hawrylycz, Hector Roux de Bézieux, Brian R. Herb, Ronna Hertzano, Xiaomeng Hou, Qiwen Hu, Jonathan Crabtree, Jayaram Kancherla, Matthew Kroll, Kanan Lathia, Yang Eric Li, Jacinta D. Lucero, Chongyuan Luo, Anup Mahurkar, Delissa McMillen, Naeem Nadaf, Joseph Nery, Sheng-Yong Niu, Joshua Orvis, Julia K. Osteen, Thanh Pham, Olivier Poirion, Sebastian Preissl, Elizabeth Purdom, Christine Rimorin, Davide Risso, Angeline Rivkin, Kimberly Smith, Kelly Street, Josef Sulc, Thuc Nghi Nguyen, Michael Tieu, Amy Torkelson, Herman Tung, Eeshit Dhaval Vaishnav, Valentine Svensson, Charles R. Vanderburg, Vasilis Ntranos, Cindy van Velthoven, Xinxin Wang, Owen R. White, Z. Josh Huang, Peter V. Kharchenko, Lior Pachter, John Ngai, Aviv Regev, Bosiljka Tasic, Joshua D. Welch, Jesse Gillis, Evan Z. Macosko, Bing Ren, Joseph R. Ecker, Hongkui Zeng, Eran A. Mukamel

Single cell transcriptomics has transformed the characterization of brain cell identity by providing quantitative molecular signatures for large, unbiased samples of brain cell populations. With the proliferation of taxonomies based on individual datasets, a major challenge is to integrate and validate results toward defining biologically meaningful cell types. We used a battery of single-cell transcriptome and epigenome measurements generated by the BRAIN Initiative Cell Census Network (BICCN) to comprehensively assess the molecular signatures of cell types in the mouse primary motor cortex (MOp). We further developed computational and statistical methods to integrate these multimodal data and quantitatively validate the reproducibility of the cell types. The reference atlas, based on more than 600,000 high quality single-cell or -nucleus samples assayed by six molecular modalities, is a comprehensive molecular account of the diverse neuronal and non-neuronal cell types in MOp. Collectively, our study indicates that the mouse primary motor cortex contains over 55 neuronal cell types that are highly replicable across analysis methods, sequencing technologies, and modalities. We find many concordant multimodal markers for each cell type, as well as thousands of genes and gene regulatory elements with discrepant transcriptomic and epigenomic signatures. These data highlight the complex molecular regulation of brain cell types and will directly enable design of reagents to target specific MOp cell types for functional analysis.

92: Structural modeling of 2019-novel coronavirus (nCoV) spike protein reveals a proteolytically-sensitive activation loop as a distinguishing feature compared to SARS-CoV and related SARS-like coronaviruses
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Posted to bioRxiv 18 Feb 2020

Structural modeling of 2019-novel coronavirus (nCoV) spike protein reveals a proteolytically-sensitive activation loop as a distinguishing feature compared to SARS-CoV and related SARS-like coronaviruses
1,734 downloads microbiology

Javier A. Jaimes, Nicole M. André, Jean Kaoru Millet, Gary R. Whittaker

The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is currently causing a widespread outbreak centered on Hubei province, China and is a major public health concern. Taxonomically 2019-nCoV is closely related to SARS-CoV and SARS-related bat coronaviruses, and it appears to share a common receptor with SARS-CoV (ACE-2). Here, we perform structural modeling of the 2019-nCoV spike glycoprotein. Our data provide support for the similar receptor utilization between 2019-nCoV and SARS-CoV, despite a relatively low amino acid similarity in the receptor binding module. Compared to SARS-CoV, we identify an extended structural loop containing basic amino acids at the interface of the receptor binding (S1) and fusion (S2) domains, which we predict to be proteolytically-sensitive. We suggest this loop confers fusion activation and entry properties more in line with MERS-CoV and other coronaviruses, and that the presence of this structural loop in 2019-nCoV may affect virus stability and transmission.

93: Evidence of the Recombinant Origin and Ongoing Mutations in Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)
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Posted to bioRxiv 17 Mar 2020

Evidence of the Recombinant Origin and Ongoing Mutations in Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)
1,724 downloads microbiology

Jiao-Mei Huang, Syed Sajid Jan, Xiaobin Wei, Yi Wan, Songying Ouyang

The recent global outbreak of viral pneumonia designated as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) by coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has threatened global public health and urged to investigate its source. Whole genome analysis of SARS-CoV-2 revealed ~96% genomic similarity with bat CoV (RaTG13) and clustered together in phylogenetic tree. Furthermore, RaTG13 also showed 97.43% spike protein similarity with SARS-CoV-2 suggesting that RaTG13 is the closest strain. However, RBD and key amino acid residues supposed to be crucial for human-to-human and cross-species transmission are homologues between SARS-CoV-2 and pangolin CoVs. These results from our analysis suggest that SARS-CoV-2 is a recombinant virus of bat and pangolin CoVs. Moreover, this study also reports mutations in coding regions of 125 SARS-CoV-2 genomes suggesting the trajectory of the viral evolution. In short, our findings propose that homologous recombination has been occurred between bat and pangolin CoVs that triggered cross-species transmission and emergence of SARS-CoV-2, and, during the ongoing outbreak, SARS-CoV-2 is still evolving for its adaptability.

94: Aberrant pathogenic GM-CSF+ T cells and inflammatory CD14+CD16+ monocytes in severe pulmonary syndrome patients of a new coronavirus
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Posted to bioRxiv 20 Feb 2020

Aberrant pathogenic GM-CSF+ T cells and inflammatory CD14+CD16+ monocytes in severe pulmonary syndrome patients of a new coronavirus
1,721 downloads immunology

Yonggang Zhou, Binqing Fu, Xiaohu Zheng, Dongsheng Wang, Changcheng Zhao, Yingjie qi, Rui Sun, Zhigang Tian, Xiaoling Xu, Haiming Wei

Pathogenic human coronavirus infections, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome CoV (MERS-CoV), cause high morbidity and mortality. Recently, a severe pneumonia-associated respiratory syndrome caused by a new coronavirus was reported at December 2019 (2019-nCoV) in the city Wuhan, Hubei province, China, which was also named as pneumonia-associated respiratory syndrome (PARS). Up to 9th of February 2020, at least 37, 251 cases have been reported with 812 fatal cases according to the report from China CDC. However, the immune mechanism that potential orchestrated acute mortality from patients of 2019-nCoV is still unknown. Here we show that after the 2019-nCoV infection, CD4+, T lymphocytes are rapidly activated to become pathogenic T helper (Th) 1 cells and generate GM-CSF etc. The cytokines environment induces inflammatory CD14+CD16+ monocytes with high expression of IL-6 and accelerates the inflammation. These aberrant and excessive immune cells may enter the pulmonary circulation in huge numbers and play an immune damaging role to causing lung functional disability and quick mortality. Our results demonstrate that excessive non-effective host immune responses by pathogenic T cells and inflammatory monocytes may associate with severe lung pathology. Therefore, we suggest that monoclonal antibody that targets the GM-CSF or interleukin 6 receptor may potentially curb immunopathology caused by 2019-nCoV and consequently win more time for virus clearance.

95: Insights into Cross-species Evolution of Novel Human Coronavirus 2019-nCoV and Defining Immune Determinants for Vaccine Development
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Posted to bioRxiv 30 Jan 2020

Insights into Cross-species Evolution of Novel Human Coronavirus 2019-nCoV and Defining Immune Determinants for Vaccine Development
1,713 downloads microbiology

Arunachalam Ramaiah, Vaithilingaraja Arumugaswami

Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) outbreak in the city of Wuhan, China during December 2019, has now spread to various countries across the globe triggering a heightened containment effort. This human pathogen is a member of betacoronavirus genus carrying 30 kilobase of single positive-sense RNA genome. Understanding the evolution, zoonotic transmission, and source of this novel virus would help accelerating containment and prevention efforts. The present study reported detailed analysis of 2019-nCoV genome evolution and potential candidate peptides for vaccine development. This nCoV genotype might have been evolved from a bat-CoV by accumulating non-synonymous mutations, indels, and recombination events. Structural proteins Spike (S), and Membrane (M) had extensive mutational changes, whereas Envelope (E) and Nucleocapsid (N) proteins were very conserved suggesting differential selection pressures exerted on 2019-nCoV during evolution. Interestingly, 2019-nCoV Spike protein contains a 39 nucleotide sequence insertion relative to SARS-like bat-SL-CoVZC45/2017. Furthermore, we identified eight high binding affinity (HBA) CD4 T-cell epitopes in the S, E, M and N proteins, which can be commonly recognized by HLA-DR alleles of Asia and Asia-Pacific Region population. These immunodominant epitopes can be incorporated in universal subunit CoV vaccine. Diverse HLA types and variations in the epitope binding affinity may contribute to the wide range of immunopathological outcomes of circulating virus in humans. Our findings emphasize the requirement for continuous surveillance of CoV strains in live animal markets to better understand the viral adaptation to human host and to develop practical solutions to prevent the emergence of novel pathogenic CoV strains.

96: Strong evolutionary convergence of receptor-binding protein spike between COVID-19 and SARS-related coronaviruses
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Posted to bioRxiv 04 Mar 2020

Strong evolutionary convergence of receptor-binding protein spike between COVID-19 and SARS-related coronaviruses
1,684 downloads evolutionary biology

Yonghua Wu

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-related coronaviruses (e.g., 2019-nCoV and SARS-CoV) are phylogenetically distantly related, but both are capable of infecting human hosts via the same receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, and cause similar clinical and pathological features, suggesting their phenotypic convergence. Yet, the molecular basis that underlies their phenotypic convergence remains unknown. Here, we used a recently developed molecular phyloecological approach to examine the molecular basis leading to their phenotypic convergence. Our genome-level analyses show that the spike protein, which is responsible for receptor binding, has undergone significant Darwinian selection along the branches related to 2019-nCoV and SARS-CoV. Further examination shows an unusually high proportion of evolutionary convergent amino acid sites in the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein between COVID-19 and SARS-related CoV clades, leading to the phylogenetic uniting of their RBD protein sequences. In addition to the spike protein, we also find the evolutionary convergence of its partner protein, ORF3a, suggesting their possible co-evolutionary convergence. Our results demonstrate a strong adaptive evolutionary convergence between COVID-19 and SARS-related CoV, possibly facilitating their adaptation to similar or identical receptors. Finally, it should be noted that many observed bat SARS-like CoVs that have an evolutionary convergent RBD sequence with 2019-nCoV and SARS-CoV may be pre-adapted to human host receptor ACE2, and hence would be potential new coronavirus sources to infect humans in the future.

97: SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV Spike-RBD Structure and Receptor Binding Comparison and Potential Implications on Neutralizing Antibody and Vaccine Development
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Posted to bioRxiv 20 Feb 2020

SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV Spike-RBD Structure and Receptor Binding Comparison and Potential Implications on Neutralizing Antibody and Vaccine Development
1,673 downloads microbiology

Chunyun Sun, Long Chen, Ji Yang, Chunxia Luo, Yanjing Zhang, Jing Li, Jiahui Yang, Jie Zhang, Liangzhi Xie

SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV share a common human receptor ACE2. Protein-protein interaction structure modeling indicates that spike-RBD of the two viruses also has similar overall binding conformation and binding free energy to ACE2. In vitro assays using recombinant ACE2 proteins and ACE2 expressing cells confirmed the two coronaviruses' similar binding affinities to ACE2. The above studies provide experimental supporting evidences and possible explanation for the high transmissibility observed in the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak. Potent ACE2-blocking SARS-CoV neutralizing antibodies showed limited cross-binding and neutralizing activities to SARS-CoV-2. ACE2-non-blocking SARS-CoV RBD antibodies, though with weaker neutralizing activities against SARS-CoV, showed positive cross-neutralizing activities to SARS-CoV-2 with an unknown mechanism. These findings suggest a trade-off between the efficacy and spectrum for therapeutic antibodies to different coronaviruses, and hence highlight the possibilities and challenges in developing broadly protecting antibodies and vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and its future mutants.

98: Nelfinavir was predicted to be a potential inhibitor of 2019 nCov main protease by an integrative approach combining homology modelling, molecular docking and binding free energy calculation
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Posted to bioRxiv 28 Jan 2020

Nelfinavir was predicted to be a potential inhibitor of 2019 nCov main protease by an integrative approach combining homology modelling, molecular docking and binding free energy calculation
1,672 downloads pharmacology and toxicology

Zhijian Xu, Cheng Peng, Yulong Shi, Zhengdan Zhu, Kaijie Mu, Xiaoyu Wang, Weiliang Zhu

2019-nCov has caused more than 80 deaths as of 27 January 2020 in China, and infection cases have been reported in more than 10 countries. However, there is no approved drug to treat the disease. 2019-nCov Mpro is a potential drug target to combat the virus. We built homology models based on SARS Mpro structures, and docked 1903 small molecule drugs to the models. Based on the docking score and the 3D similarity of the binding mode to the known Mpro ligands, 4 drugs were selected for binding free energy calculations. Both MM/GBSA and SIE methods voted for nelfinavir, with the binding free energy of -24.69±0.52 kcal/mol and -9.42±0.04 kcal/mol, respectively. Therefore, we suggested that nelfinavir might be a potential inhibitor against 2019-nCov Mpro.

99: Evidence for RNA editing in the transcriptome of 2019 Novel Coronavirus
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Posted to bioRxiv 03 Mar 2020

Evidence for RNA editing in the transcriptome of 2019 Novel Coronavirus
1,671 downloads bioinformatics

Salvatore Di Giorgio, Filippo Martignano, Maria Gabriella Torcia, Giorgio Mattiuz, Silvestro G. Conticello

The 2019-nCoV outbreak has become a global health risk. Editing by host deaminases is an innate restriction process to counter viruses, and it is not yet known whether it operates against coronaviruses. Here we analyze RNA sequences from bronchoalveolar lavage fluids derived from two Wuhan patients. We identify nucleotide changes that may be signatures of RNA editing: Adenosine-to-Inosine changes from ADAR deaminases and Cytosine-to-Uracil changes from APOBEC ones. A mutational analysis of genomes from different strains of human-hosted Coronaviridae reveals patterns similar to the RNA editing pattern observed in the 2019-nCoV transcriptomes. Our results suggest that both APOBECs and ADARs are involved in Coronavirus genome editing, a process that may shape the fate of both virus and patient.

100: Emergence of SARS-CoV-2 through Recombination and Strong Purifying Selection
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Posted to bioRxiv 22 Mar 2020

Emergence of SARS-CoV-2 through Recombination and Strong Purifying Selection
1,661 downloads microbiology

Xiaojun Li, Elena E. Giorgi, Manukumar Honnayakanahalli Marichann, Brian Foley, Chuan Xiao, Xiang-peng Kong, Yue Chen, Bette Korber, Feng Gao

COVID-19 has become a global pandemic caused by a novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Understanding the origins of SARS-CoV-2 is critical for deterring future zoonosis and for drug discovery and vaccine development. We show evidence of strong purifying selection around the receptor binding motif (RBM) in the spike gene and in other genes among bat, pangolin and human coronaviruses, indicating similar strong evolutionary constraints in different host species. We also demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2's entire RBM was introduced through recombination with coronaviruses from pangolins, possibly a critical step in the evolution of SARS-CoV-2's ability to infect humans. Similar purifying selection in different host species and frequent recombination among coronaviruses suggest a common evolutionary mechanism that could lead to new emerging human coronaviruses.

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