IL6-mediated HCoV-host interactome regulatory network and GO/Pathway enrichment analysis

PLoS Comput Biol. 2020 Sep 30;16(9):e1008238. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1008238. eCollection 2020 Sep.


During these days of global emergency for the COVID-19 disease outbreak, there is an urgency to share reliable information able to help worldwide life scientists to get better insights and make sense of the large amount of data currently available. In this study we used the results presented in [1] to perform two different Systems Biology analyses on the HCoV-host interactome. In the first one, we reconstructed the interactome of the HCoV-host proteins, integrating it with highly reliable miRNA and drug interactions information. We then added the IL-6 gene, identified in recent publications [2] as heavily involved in the COVID-19 progression and, interestingly, we identified several interactions with the reconstructed interactome. In the second analysis, we performed a Gene Ontology and a Pathways enrichment analysis on the full set of the HCoV-host interactome proteins and on the ones belonging to a significantly dense cluster of interacting proteins identified in the first analysis. Results of the two analyses provide a compact but comprehensive glance on some of the current state-of-the-art regulations, GO, and pathways involved in the HCoV-host interactome, and that could support all scientists currently focusing on SARS-CoV-2 research.

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus / genetics
  • Betacoronavirus / physiology*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology*
  • Gene Ontology*
  • Genes, Viral
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / physiology*
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Viral Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Proteins / physiology


  • IL6 protein, human
  • Interleukin-6
  • Viral Proteins

Grant support

The authors received no specific funding for this work.