Genome-wide CRISPR screen reveals host genes that regulate SARS-CoV-2 infection
Mia Madel Alfajaro,
Ruth E Hanna,
Peter C DeWeirdt,
Madison S. Strine,
William J. Lu-Culligan,
Vincent R. Graziano,
Cameron O. Schmitz,
Jennifer S. Chen,
Madeleine C. Mankowski,
Renata B. Filler,
Fernando de Miguel,
Yulia V Surovtseva,
Robert C. Orchard,
David van Dijk,
Matthew D Simon,
John G Doench,
Craig B. Wilen
Posted 17 Jun 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.06.16.155101
Posted 17 Jun 2020
Identification of host genes essential for SARS-CoV-2 infection may reveal novel therapeutic targets and inform our understanding of COVID-19 pathogenesis. Here we performed a genome-wide CRISPR screen with SARS-CoV-2 and identified known SARS-CoV-2 host factors including the receptor ACE2 and protease Cathepsin L. We additionally discovered novel pro-viral genes and pathways including the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex and key components of the TGF-β signaling pathway. Small molecule inhibitors of these pathways prevented SARS-CoV-2-induced cell death. We also revealed that the alarmin HMGB1 is critical for SARS-CoV-2 replication. In contrast, loss of the histone H3.3 chaperone complex sensitized cells to virus-induced death. Together this study reveals potential therapeutic targets for SARS-CoV-2 and highlights host genes that may regulate COVID-19 pathogenesis. ### Competing Interest Statement Yale University (CBW) has a patent pending related to this work entitled: 'Compounds and Compositions for Treating, Ameliorating, and/or Preventing SARS-CoV-2 Infection and/or Complications Thereof.' Yale University has committed to rapidly executable non-exclusive royalty-free licenses to intellectual property rights for the purpose of making and distributing products to prevent, diagnose and treat COVID-19 infection during the pandemic and for a short period thereafter. JGD consults for Foghorn Therapeutics, Maze Therapeutics, Merck, Agios, and Pfizer; JGD consults for and has equity in Tango Therapeutics.
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