Comprehensive Comparison of RNA-Seq Data of SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV Infections: Alternative Entry Routes and Innate Immune Responses.Front Immunol. 2021; 12:656433.FI
The pathogenesis of COVID-19 emerges as complex, with multiple factors leading to injury of different organs. Some of the studies on aspects of SARS-CoV-2 cell entry and innate immunity have produced seemingly contradictory claims. In this situation, a comprehensive comparative analysis of a large number of related datasets from several studies could bring more clarity, which is imperative for therapy development.
We therefore performed a comprehensive comparative study, analyzing RNA-Seq data of infections with SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, including data from different types of cells as well as COVID-19 patients. Using these data, we investigated viral entry routes and innate immune responses.
Results and Conclusion
First, our analyses support the existence of cell entry mechanisms for SARS and SARS-CoV-2 other than the ACE2 route with evidence of inefficient infection of cells without expression of ACE2; expression of TMPRSS2/TPMRSS4 is unnecessary for efficient SARS-CoV-2 infection with evidence of efficient infection of A549 cells transduced with a vector expressing human ACE2. Second, we find that innate immune responses in terms of interferons and interferon simulated genes are strong in relevant cells, for example Calu3 cells, but vary markedly with cell type, virus dose, and virus type.