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Variability of Accessory Proteins Rules the SARS-CoV-2 Pathogen

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ORF3a, ORF6, ORF7a, ORF7b, ORF8, ORF10, Pathogenicity, and SARS-CoV-2



The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) which is pandemic with an estimated fatality rate less than 1% is ongoing. SARS-CoV-2 accessory proteins ORF3a, ORF6, ORF7a, ORF7b, ORF8, and ORF10 with putative functions to manipulate host immune mechanisms such as interferons, immune signaling receptor NLRP3 (NOD-, LRR-, and pyrin domain-containing 3) inflammasome, inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin 1β (IL-1β) are critical in COVID-19 pathology. Outspread variations of each of the six accessory proteins of all complete proteomes (available as of October 26, 2020, in the National Center for Biotechnology Information depository) of SARS-CoV-2, were observed across six continents. Across all continents, the decreasing order of percentage of unique variations in the accessory proteins was found to be ORF3a>ORF8>ORF7a>ORF6>ORF10>ORF7b. The highest and lowest unique variations of ORF3a were observed in South America and Oceania, respectively. This finding suggests that the wide variations of accessory proteins seem to govern the pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2, and consequently, certain propositions and recommendations can be made in the public interest.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

bioRxiv, November 8, 2020, art. 372227