Microbiology Discovery

Microbiology Discovery

ISSN 2052-6180

Can RNAi be used as a weapon against COVID-19/SARSCoV-2?

Kawalpreet K Aneja1*, Niketa Dixit2 and Arun Kumar3

*Correspondence: kaneja@hotmail.com

1. Independent Scholar, Previous Research Fellow UPENN, Biology Educator at Randolph Career and Technical Institute, Philadelphia 19104, USA.

Author Affiliations

2. Research Assistant, Bioprosthetics Inc, Newark DE 19703, USA.

3. Chief scientist, Bioprosthetics Inc, Newark DE 19703, USA.


Can RNA interference be used as a diagnostic and therapeutic for COVID-19? Can host or viral encoded miRNA or siRNA be used as a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2? RNAi has been used as a platform to make attenuated viral vaccines where the viral genome is engineered and modified to contain miRNA or siRNA binding sites [50]. One of these examples was the creation of self-attenuating Influenza A virus strain that expressed an siRNA from the NS segment (for wild type nonstructural protein NS1) that targets the ORF of the nucleoprotein [NP] segment just at a single site [51]. Intranasal administration of five chemically modified miRNA mimics corresponding to highly expressed miRNAs in respiratory epithelial cells synergistically suppressed H1N1 replication in mice. MicroRNA 122 is another most common example in RNAi literature, antimiR against mir-122 is effective to lower the hepatitis C virus and miR-122 inhibition by anti-miR122 also reduces serum cholesterol levels [40,52]. RNAi patents and clinical trials for liver cancer, breast cancer, lymphoma, melanoma, IAV, are just a few examples and there are hopes for COVID-19 soon. How about the plant-based diet and plant microRNAs, can we use them against COVID-19 like infections? This mini-review discusses different types of non-coding small RNA molecules, their biogenesis, the role of innate immune response and the competition of proviral and antiviral proteins, and how RNAi can be alone or as a combination of COVID-19 intervention drugs and vaccines used as a therapeutic along with a little emphasis on plant-based miRNAs to prevent future pandemics like COVID-19?

Keywords: RNAi, Non-Coding Small RNAs, miRNA, siRNA, Drosha, Dicer, Argonaute Complex, COVID-19, Pattern Recognition Receptors, Interferon, IFN-regulatory factors, IFN-stimulatory genes, Cytokine storm, Vaccine, Plant miRNA

ISSN 2052-6180
Volume 8
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