Genome-wide CRISPR screen reveals host genes that regulate SARS-CoV-2 infection

bioRxiv. 2020 Jun 17;2020.06.16.155101. doi: 10.1101/2020.06.16.155101. Preprint

Abstract

Identification of host genes essential for SARS-CoV-2 infection may reveal novel therapeutic targets and inform our understanding of COVID-19 pathogenesis. Here we performed a genome-wide CRISPR screen with SARS-CoV-2 and identified known SARS-CoV-2 host factors including the receptor ACE2 and protease Cathepsin L. We additionally discovered novel pro-viral genes and pathways including the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex and key components of the TGF-β signaling pathway. Small molecule inhibitors of these pathways prevented SARS-CoV-2-induced cell death. We also revealed that the alarmin HMGB1 is critical for SARS-CoV-2 replication. In contrast, loss of the histone H3.3 chaperone complex sensitized cells to virus-induced death. Together this study reveals potential therapeutic targets for SARS-CoV-2 and highlights host genes that may regulate COVID-19 pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Preprint