Novel gene-specific translation mechanism of dysregulated, chronic inflammation reveals promising, multifaceted COVID-19 therapeutics.

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Li WangXian Chen


Hyperinflammation and lymphopenia provoked by SARS-CoV-2-activated macrophages contribute to the high mortality of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. Thus, defining host pathways aberrantly activated in patient macrophages is critical for developing effective therapeutics. We discovered that G9a, a histone methyltransferase that is overexpressed in COVID-19 patients with high viral load, activates translation of specific genes that induce hyperinflammation and impairment of T cell function or lymphopenia. This noncanonical, pro-translation activity of G9a contrasts with its canonical epigenetic function. In endotoxin-tolerant (ET) macrophages that mimic conditions which render patients with pre-existing chronic inflammatory diseases vulnerable to severe symptoms, our chemoproteomic approach with a biotinylated inhibitor of G9a identified multiple G9a-associated translation regulatory pathways that were upregulated by SARS-CoV-2 infection. Further, quantitative translatome analysis of ET macrophages treated progressively with the G9a inhibitor profiled G9a-translated proteins that unite the networks associated with viral replication and the SARS-CoV-2-induced host response in severe patients. Accordingly, inhibition o...Continue Reading

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genetic knock-out
flow cytometry

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