Non-uniform Aspects of the SARS-CoV-2 Intraspecies Evolution Reopen Question of Its Origin


Sk. Sarif Hassan, Department of Mathematics, Pingla Thana Mahavidyalaya, Maligram, Paschim Medinipur, 721140, West Bengal, India
Vaishnavi Kodakandla, University of Mumbai
Elrashdy M. Redwan, King Abdulaziz University
Kenneth Lundstrom, PanTherapeutics, Rte de Lavaux 49, CH1095 Lutry, Switzerland
Pabitra Pal Choudhury, Indian Statistical Institute
Ángel Serrano-Aroca, Biomaterials and Bioengineering Lab, Centro de Investigacion Traslacional San Alberto Magno, Universidad Cat'olica de Valencia San Vicente Martir, c/Guillem de Castro, 94, 46001 Valencia, Valencia, Spain
Gajendra Kumar Azad, Patna University
Alaa A.A. Aljabali, Yarmouk University
Giorgio Palu, University of Padova
Tarek Mohamed Abd El-Aziz, Minia University
Debmalya Barh, Institute of Integrative Omics and Applied Biotechnology (IIOAB)
Bruce D. Uhal, Michigan State University
Parise Adadi, University of Otago
Kazuo Takayama, Kyoto University
Nicolas G. Bazan, Neuroscience Center of Excellence, School of Medicine, LSU Health New Orleans, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
Murtaza Tambuwala, Ulster University
Samendra P. Sherchan, University of Lincoln
Amos Lal, Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA
Gaurav Chauhan, School of Engineering and Sciences, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Av. Eugenio Garza Sada 2501 Sur, 64849 Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico
Wagner Baetas-da-Cruz, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)
Vladimir N. Uversky, University of South FloridaFollow

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SARS-CoV-2, Mutations, Furin cleavage site (FCS), Evenly-uneven, Invariant regions

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Several hypotheses have been presented on the origin of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) from its identification as the agent causing the current coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic. So far, no solid evidence has been found to support any hypothesis on the origin of this virus, and the issue continue to resurface over and over again. Here we have unfolded a pattern of distribution of several mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 proteins in 24 geo-locations across different continents. The results showed an evenly uneven distribution of the unique protein variants, distinct mutations, unique frequency of common conserved residues, and mutational residues across these 24 geo-locations. Furthermore, ample mutations were identified in the evolutionarily conserved invariant regions in the SARS-CoV-2 proteins across almost all geo-locations studied. This pattern of mutations potentially breaches the law of evolutionary conserved functional units of the beta-coronavirus genus. These mutations may lead to several novel SARS-CoV-2 variants with a high degree of transmissibility and virulence. A thorough investigation on the origin and characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 needs to be conducted in the interest of science and for the preparation of meeting the challenges of potential future pandemics.

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International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, v. 222, p. 972-993