Warning: This is a preliminary report that has not been peer-reviewed. It should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or be reported in news media as established information.

RNA-protein interaction analysis of SARS-CoV-2 5'- and 3'-untranslated regions identifies an antiviral role of lysosome-associated membrane protein-2 (Preliminary Report)

Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a positive-strand RNA virus. Viral genome is capped at the 5-end, followed by an untranslated region (UTR). There is poly-A tail at 3-end, preceded by an UTR. Self-interaction between the RNA regulatory elements present within 5- and 3-UTRs as well as their interaction with ...
host/virus-encoded proteins mediate the function of 5- and 3-UTRs. Using RNA-protein interaction detection (RaPID) assay coupled to liquid chromatography with tandem mass-spectrometry, we identified host interaction partners of SARS-CoV-2 5- and 3-UTRs and generated an RNA-protein interaction network. By combining these data with the previously known protein-protein interaction data proposed to be involved in virus replication, we generated the RNA-protein-protein interaction (RPPI) network, likely to be essential for controlling SARS-CoV-2 replication. Notably, bioinformatics analysis of the RPPI network revealed the enrichment of factors involved in translation initiation and RNA metabolism. Lysosome-associated membrane protein-2a (Lamp2a) was one of the host proteins that interact with the 5-UTR. Further studies showed that Lamp2 level is upregulated in SARS-CoV-2 infected cells and overexpression of Lamp2a and Lamp2b variants reduced viral RNA level in infected cells and vice versa. In summary, our study provides an useful resource of SARS-CoV-2 5- and 3-UTR binding proteins and reveal the antiviral function of host Lamp2 protein.ImportanceReplication of a positive-strand RNA virus involves an RNA-protein complex consisting of viral genomic RNA, host RNA(s), virus-encoded proteins and host proteins. Dissecting out individual components of the replication complex will help decode the mechanism of viral replication. 5- and 3-UTRs in positive-strand RNA viruses play essential regulatory roles in virus replication. Here, we identified the host proteins that associate with the UTRs of SARS-CoV-2, combined those data with the previously known protein-protein interaction data (expected to be involved in virus replication) and generated the RNA-protein-protein interaction (RPPI) network. Analysis of the RPPI network revealed the enrichment of factors involved in translation initiation and RNA metabolism, which are important for virus replication. Analysis of one of the interaction partners of the 5-UTR (Lamp2a) demonstrated its antiviral role in SARS-CoV-2 infected cells. Collectively, our study provides a resource of SARS-CoV-2 UTR-binding proteins and identifies an antiviral role of host Lamp2a protein.
Date: Jan. 06, 2021
Status: Preliminary Report