Dysregulation in Akt/mTOR/HIF-1 signaling identified by proteo-transcriptomics of SARS-CoV-2 infected cells.Emerg Microbes Infect. 2020 Dec; 9(1):1748-1760.EM
How severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections engage cellular host pathways and innate immunity in infected cells remains largely elusive. We performed an integrative proteo-transcriptomics analysis in SARS-CoV-2 infected Huh7 cells to map the cellular response to the invading virus over time. We identified four pathways, ErbB, HIF-1, mTOR and TNF signaling, among others that were markedly modulated during the course of the SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro. Western blot validation of the downstream effector molecules of these pathways revealed a dose-dependent activation of Akt, mTOR, S6K1 and 4E-BP1 at 24 hours post infection (hpi). However, we found a significant inhibition of HIF-1α through 24hpi and 48hpi of the infection, suggesting a crosstalk between the SARS-CoV-2 and the Akt/mTOR/HIF-1 signaling pathways. Inhibition of the mTOR signaling pathway using Akt inhibitor MK-2206 showed a significant reduction in virus production. Further investigations are required to better understand the molecular sequelae in order to guide potential therapy in the management of severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients.