Integrated network analysis reveals new genes suggesting COVID-19 chronic effects and treatment

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Abstract

The COVID-19 disease led to an unprecedented health emergency, still ongoing worldwide. Given the lack of a vaccine or a clear therapeutic strategy to counteract the infection as well as its secondary effects, there is currently a pressing need to generate new insights into the SARS-CoV-2 induced host response. Biomedical data can help to investigate new aspects of the COVID-19 pathogenesis, but source heterogeneity represents a major drawback and limitation. In this work, we applied data integration methods to develop a Unified Knowledge Space (UKS) and used it to identify a new set of genes associated with SARS-CoV-2 host response, both in vitro and in vivo. Functional analysis of these genes reveals possible long-term systemic effects of the infection, such as vascular remodelling and fibrosis. Finally, we identified a set of potentially relevant drugs targeting proteins involved in multiple steps of the host response to the virus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1430-1441
Number of pages12
JournalBriefings in Bioinformatics
Volume22
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • data integration
  • drug repositioning
  • drug targeting
  • multi-layer network analysis
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • unified knowledge space
  • virus–host interaction

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Molecular Biology

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