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Paper   IPM / Biological Sciences / 16597
School of Biological Sciences
  Title:   DisCoVering potential candidates of RNAi-based therapy for COVID-19 using computational methods
1.  Narjes Rohani
2.  Fatemeh Ahmadi Moughari
3.  Changiz Eslahchi
  Status:   Published
  Journal: PeerJ
  No.:  e10505
  Vol.:  10.7717/peerj.10505
  Year:  2021
  Supported by:  IPM
The ongoing pandemic of a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) leads to international concern; thus, emergency interventions need to be taken. Due to the time-consuming experimental methods for proposing useful treatments, computational approaches facilitate investigating thousands of alternatives simultaneously and narrow down the cases for experimental validation. Herein, we conducted four independent analyses for RNA interference (RNAi)-based therapy with computational and bioinformatic methods. The aim is to target the evolutionarily conserved regions in the SARS-CoV-2 genome in order to down-regulate or silence its RNA. miRNAs are denoted to play an important role in the resistance of some species to viral infections. A comprehensive analysis of the miRNAs available in the body of humans, as well as the miRNAs in bats and many other species, were done to find efficient candidates with low side effects in the human body. Moreover, the evolutionarily conserved regions in the SARS-CoV-2 genome were considered for designing novel significant siRNA that are target-specific. A small set of miRNAs and five siRNAs were suggested as the possible efficient candidates with a high affinity to the SARS-CoV-2 genome and low side effects. The suggested candidates are promising therapeutics for the experimental evaluations and may speed up the procedure of treatment design. Materials and implementations are available at: https://github.com/nrohani/SARS-CoV-2.

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