Sk. Sarif Hassan, Department of Mathematics, Pingla Thana Mahavidyalaya, Maligram, India
Vaishnavi Kodakandla, University of Mumbai
Elrashdy M. Redwan, King Abdulaziz University
Kenneth Lundstrom, PanTherapeutics, Lutry, Switzerland
Pabitra Pal Choudhury, Indian Statistical Institute
Tarek Mohamed El-Aziz, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Kazuo Takayama, Kyoto University
Ramesh Kandimalla, CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology
Amos Lal, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Mayo Clinic Rochester, Rochester, NY, United States
Ángel Serrano-Aroca, Biomaterials and Bioengineering Lab, Centro de Investigacion Traslacional San Alberto Magno, Universidad Catolica de Valencia San Vicente Martir, Valencia, Spain
Gajendra Kumar Azad, Patna University
Alaa A.A. Aljabali, Yarmouk University
Giorgio Palù, University of Padova
Gaurav Chauhan, School of Engineering and Sciences, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico
Parise Adadi, University of Otago
Murtaza Tambuwala, Ulster University
Adam M. Brufsky, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Wagner Baetas-da-Cruz, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Debmalya Barh, Institute of Integrative Omics and 46 Applied Biotechnology (IIOAB)
Vasco Azevedo, Departamento de Genetica, Ecologia e Evolucao, Instituto de Ciencias Biologicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Nikolas G. Bazan, Neuroscience Center of Excellence, School of Medicine, LSU Health New Orleans, New Orleans, LA, United States
Bruno Silva Andrade, Laboratório de Bioinformática e Química Computacional, Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Estadual do Sudoeste da Bahia, Jequié, Brazil
Raner José Silva, Departamento de Ciencias Biologicas (DCB), Programa de Pos-Graduacao em Genetica e Biologia Molecular (PPGGBM), Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz (UESC), Ilheus, Brazil
Vladimir N. Uversky, University of South FloridaFollow

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ORF8, SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, Truncated, Intrinsically disordered region, Truncation mutation, Continent distribution

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Open reading frame 8 (ORF8) shows one of the highest levels of variability among accessory proteins in Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). It was previously reported that the ORF8 protein inhibits the presentation of viral antigens by the major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I), which interacts with host factors involved in pulmonary inflammation. The ORF8 protein assists SARS-CoV-2 in evading immunity and plays a role in SARS-CoV-2 replication. Among many contributing mutations, Q27STOP, a mutation in the ORF8 protein, defines the B.1.1.7 lineage of SARS-CoV-2, engendering the second wave of COVID-19. In the present study, 47 unique truncated ORF8 proteins (T-ORF8) with the Q27STOP mutations were identified among 49,055 available B.1.1.7 SARS-CoV-2 sequences. The results show that only one of the 47 T-ORF8 variants spread to over 57 geo-locations in North America, and other continents, which include Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. Based on various quantitative features, such as amino acid homology, polar/non-polar sequence homology, Shannon entropy conservation, and other physicochemical properties of all specific 47 T-ORF8 protein variants, nine possible T-ORF8 unique variants were defined. The question as to whether T-ORF8 variants function similarly to the wild type ORF8 is yet to be investigated. A positive response to the question could exacerbate future COVID-19 waves, necessitating severe containment measures.

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PeerJ, v. 10, art. e13136