Human coronaviruses (HCoVs) cause mild to severe respiratory infection MESHD
. Most of the common cold illnesses are caused by one of four HCoVs, namely HCoV-229E, HCoV-NL63, HCoV-HKU1 and HCoV-OC43 MESHD
. Several studies have applied global transcriptomic methods to understand host responses to HCoV infection MESHD
, with most studies focusing on the pandemic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East respiratory syndrome CoV (MERS-CoV) MESHD
and the newly emerging SARS-CoV-2. In this study, Next Generation Sequencing was used to gain new insights into cellular transcriptomic changes elicited by alphacoronavirus HCoV-229E. HCoV-229E-infected MRC5 cells showed marked downregulation of superpathway of cholesterol biosynthesis and eIF2 HGNC
signaling pathways. Moreover, upregulation of cyclins, cell cycle control of chromosomal replication, and the role of BRCA1 in DNA damage response, alongside downregulation of the cell cycle G1/S checkpoint, suggest that HCoV-229E favors S phase for viral infection MESHD
. Intriguingly, a significant portion of key factors of cell innate immunity, interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs) and other transcripts of early antiviral response genes were downregulated early in HCoV-229E infection MESHD
. On the other hand, early upregulation of the antiviral response factor Apolipoprotein B HGNC
mRNA editing enzyme catalytic subunit 3B ( APOBEC3B HGNC
) was observed. APOBEC3B cytidine deaminase signature (C-to-T) was previously observed in genomic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 but not HCoV-229E. Higher levels of C-to-T mutations were found in countries with high mortality rates caused by SARS-CoV-2. APOBEC activity could be a marker for new emerging CoVs. This study will enhance our understanding of commonly circulating HCoVs and hopefully provide critical information about still-emerging coronaviruses.
Author summaryHuman coronaviruses (HCoVs) generate respiratory tract infections. HCoV-229E is one of four known HCoV strains that circulate annually in the population for several decades. Beside these, three pandemic CoV emerged since year 2002, the Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and SARS-CoV-2. These three strains attracted most attention for extensive research and less consideration has been given to the commonly infecting HCoVs. In this study we use Next generation sequencing analysis to understand global transcriptomic changes in human host cells following HCoV-229E infection. We found several cellular pathways that change during infection that involve cholesterol biosynthesis, cell cycle control, DNA replication, DNA repair, innate immune response and an interesting RNA editing enzyme which could be involve in CoVs pathogenesis.