Natural Science

The SARS-CoV-2 RNA interactome

Apr 29, 2021

SARS-CoV-2 is an RNA virus whose success as a pathogen relies on its abilities to repurpose host RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and to evade antiviral RBPs. To uncover the SARS-CoV-2 RNA interactome, we here develop a robust ribonucleoprotein (RNP) capture protocol and identify 109 host factors that directly bind to SARS-CoV-2 RNAs. Applying RNP capture on another coronavirus HCoV-OC43 revealed evolutionarily conserved interactions between coronaviral RNAs and host proteins. Transcriptome analyses and knockdown experiments delineated 17 antiviral RBPs including ZC3HAV1, TRIM25, PARP12, and SHFL and 8 proviral RBPs such as EIF3D and CSDE1 which are responsible for co-opting multiple steps of the mRNA life cycle. This also led to the identification of LARP1, a downstream target of the mTOR signaling pathway, as an antiviral host factor that interacts with the SARS-CoV-2 RNAs. Overall, this study provides a comprehensive list of RBPs regulating coronaviral replication and opens new avenues for therapeutic interventions.