Mutational signatures in countries affected by SARS-CoV-2: Implications in host-pathogen interactome

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We are in the midst of the third severe coronavirus outbreak caused by SARS-CoV-2 with unprecedented health and socio-economic consequences due to the COVID-19. Globally, the major thrust of scientific efforts has shifted to the design of potent vaccine and anti-viral candidates. Earlier genome analyses have shown global dominance of some mutations purportedly indicative of similar infectivity and transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 worldwide. Using high-quality large dataset of 25k whole-genome sequences, we show emergence of new cluster of mutations as result of geographic evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in local population (≥10%) of different nations. Using statistical analysis, we observe that these mutations have either significantly co-occurred in globally dominant strains or have shown mutual exclusivity in other cases. These mutations potentially modulate structural stability of proteins, some of which forms part of SARS-CoV-2-human interactome. The high confidence druggable host proteins are also up-regulated during SARS-CoV-2 infection. Mutations occurring in potential hot-spot regions within likely T-cell and B-cell epitopes or in proteins as part of host-viral interactome, could hamper vaccine or drug efficacy in local population. Overall, our study provides comprehensive view of emerging geo-clonal mutations which would aid researchers to understand and develop effective countermeasures in the current crisis. Significance Our comparative analysis of globally dominant mutations and region-specific mutations in 25k SARS-CoV-2 genomes elucidates its geo-clonal evolution. We observe locally dominant mutations (co-occurring or mutually exclusive) in nations with contrasting COVID-19 mortalities per million of population) besides globally dominant ones namely, P314L (ORF1b) and D164G (S) type. We also see exclusive dominant mutations such as in Brazil (I33T in ORF6 and I292T in N protein), England (G251V in ORF3a), India (T2016K and L3606F in ORF1a) and in Spain (L84S in ORF8). The emergence of these local mutations in ORFs within SARS-CoV-2 genome could have interventional implications and also points towards their potential in modulating infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 in regional population.

Covid 1 Project
Mutational Hotspots
Mutational Hotspots 1 Project
Antigenic Drift
Antigenic Drift 1 Project
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