Potential role of cellular miRNAs in coronavirus-host interplay
Host miRNAs are known as important regulators of virus replication and pathogenesis. They can interact with various viruses through several possible mechanisms including direct binding of viral RNA. Identification of human miRNAs involved in coronavirus-host interplay becomes important due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In this article we performed computational prediction of high-confidence direct interactions between miRNAs and seven human coronavirus RNAs. As a result, we identified six miRNAs (miR-21-3p, miR-195-5p, miR-16-5p, miR-3065-5p, miR-424-5p and miR-421) with high binding probability across all analyzed viruses. Further bioinformatic analysis of binding sites revealed high conservativity of miRNA binding regions within RNAs of human coronaviruses and their strains. In order to discover the entire miRNA-virus interplay we further analyzed lungs miRNome of SARS-CoV infected mice using publicly available miRNA sequencing data. We found that miRNA miR-21-3p has the largest probability of binding the human coronavirus RNAs and being dramatically up-regulated in mouse lungs during infection induced by SARS-CoV.