Insights into the molecular mechanism of anticancer drug ruxolitinib repurposable in COVID-19 therapy

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Author Name

Manisha Mandal

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Due to non-availability of specific therapeutics against COVID-19, repurposing of approved drugs is a reasonable option. Cytokines imbalance in COVID-19 resembles cancer; exploration of anti-inflammatory agents, might reduce COVID-19 mortality. The current study investigates the effect of ruxolitinib treatment in SARS-CoV-2 infected alveolar cells compared to the uninfected one from the GSE5147507 dataset. The protein-protein interaction network, biological process and functional enrichment of differentially expressed genes were studied using STRING App of the Cytoscape software and R programming tools. The present study indicated that ruxolitinib treatment elicited similar response equivalent to that of SARS-CoV-2 uninfected situation by inducing defense response in host against virus infection by RLR and NOD like receptor pathways. Further, the effect of ruxolitinib in SARS-CoV-2 infection was mainly caused by significant suppression of IFIH1, IRF7 and MX1 genes as well as inhibition of DDX58/IFIH1-mediated induction of interferon-I and -II signalling.

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