Appelberg S, Gupta S, Svensson Akusjärvi S, Ambikan AT, Mikaeloff F, Saccon E, Végvári Á, Benfeitas R, Sperk M, Ståhlberg M, Krishnan S, Singh K, Penninger JM, Mirazimi A, Neogi U
Emerg Microbes Infect 9 (1) 1748-1760 [2020-12-00; online 2020-07-22]
How severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections engage cellular host pathways and innate immunity in infected cells remains largely elusive. We performed an integrative proteo-transcriptomics analysis in SARS-CoV-2 infected Huh7 cells to map the cellular response to the invading virus over time. We identified four pathways, ErbB, HIF-1, mTOR and TNF signaling, among others that were markedly modulated during the course of the SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro. Western blot validation of the downstream effector molecules of these pathways revealed a dose-dependent activation of Akt, mTOR, S6K1 and 4E-BP1 at 24 hours post infection (hpi). However, we found a significant inhibition of HIF-1α through 24hpi and 48hpi of the infection, suggesting a crosstalk between the SARS-CoV-2 and the Akt/mTOR/HIF-1 signaling pathways. Inhibition of the mTOR signaling pathway using Akt inhibitor MK-2206 showed a significant reduction in virus production. Further investigations are required to better understand the molecular sequelae in order to guide potential therapy in the management of severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients.