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SARS-Coronavirus 2, A Metabolic Reprogrammer: A Review in the Context of the Possible Therapeutic Strategies


Poornima Gopi, TR Anju*, Vinod Soman Pillai and Mohanan Veettil*   Pages 1 - 12 ( 12 )


Novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, is advancing at a staggering pace to devastate the health care system and foster concerns over public health. In contrast to the past outbreaks, coronaviruses are not clinging themselves as a strict respiratory virus. Rather, becoming a multifaceted virus, it affects multiple organs by interrupting a number of metabolic pathways leading to significant rates of morbidity and mortality. Following infection, they rigorously reprogram multiple metabolic pathways of glucose, lipid, protein, nucleic acid, and their metabolites to extract adequate energy and carbon skeletons required for their existence and further molecular constructions inside a host cell. Although the mechanism of these alterations is yet to be known, the impact of these reprogramming is reflected in the hyperinflammatory responses, so called cytokine storm and the hindrance of the host immune defence system. The metabolic reprogramming during SARSCoV- 2 infection needs to be considered while devising therapeutic strategies to combat the disease and its further complication. The inhibitors of cholesterol and phospholipids synthesis and cell membrane lipid raft of the host cell can, to a great extent, control the viral load and further infection. Depletion of energy sources by inhibiting the activation of glycolytic and hexosamine biosynthetic pathways can also augment antiviral therapy. The cross talk between these pathways also necessitates the inhibition of amino acid catabolism and tryptophan metabolism. A combinatorial strategy that can address the cross talks between the metabolic pathways might be more effective than a single approach, and the infection stage and timing of therapy will also influence the effectiveness of the antiviral approach. We herein focus on the different metabolic alterations during the course of virus infection that help exploit the cellular machinery and devise a therapeutic strategy that promotes resistance to viral infection and can augment body’s antivirulence mechanisms. This review may cast light on the possibilities of targeting altered metabolic pathways to defend against virus infection in a new perspective.


SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, metabolic reprogramming, therapeutic target, cytokine storm, post COVID disorders.


Department of Biotechnology, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Cochin 682022, Kerala, Department of Biotechnology, Newman College, Thodupuzha 685585, Kerala, Department of Biotechnology, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Cochin 682022, Kerala, Institute of Advanced Virology, Thonnakkal, Thiruvananthapuram 695317, Kerala

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