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Gene expression pattern differences in primary human pulmonary epithelial cells infected with MERS-CoV or SARS-CoV-2.

Authors
  • Jang, Yunyueng1, 2
  • Seo, Sang Heui3, 4
  • 1 Laboratory of Influenza Research, College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungnam National University, 99 Dae-Hak Ro, Yuseong Gu, Daejeon, 34134, Republic of Korea. , (North Korea)
  • 2 Institute of Influenza Virus, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, 34134, Republic of Korea. , (North Korea)
  • 3 Laboratory of Influenza Research, College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungnam National University, 99 Dae-Hak Ro, Yuseong Gu, Daejeon, 34134, Republic of Korea. [email protected] , (North Korea)
  • 4 Institute of Influenza Virus, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, 34134, Republic of Korea. [email protected] , (North Korea)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Archives of Virology
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2020
Volume
165
Issue
10
Pages
2205–2211
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s00705-020-04730-3
PMID: 32651741
Source
Medline
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Coronaviruses such as MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 infect the human respiratory tract and can cause severe pneumonia. Disease severity and outcomes are different for these two infections: the human mortality rate for MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 is over 30% and less than 10%, respectively. Here, using microarray assay, we analyzed the global alterations in gene expression induced by MERS-CoV or SARS-CoV-2 infections in primary human pulmonary epithelial cells. Overall, the number of differentially expressed genes was higher in human lung cells infected with MERS-CoV than in cells with SARS-CoV-2. Out of 44,556 genes analyzed, 127 and 50 were differentially expressed in cells infected with MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2, respectively (> 2-fold increase, compared to uninfected cells). Of these, only eight genes, including the one coding for CXCL8, were similarly modulated (upregulated or downregulated) by the two coronaviruses. Importantly, these results were virus-specific and not conditioned by differences in viral load, and viral growth curves were similar in human lung cells infected with both viruses. Our results suggest that these distinct gene expression profiles, detected early after infection by these two coronaviruses, may help us understand the differences in clinical outcomes of MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 infections.

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