Evolutionary analysis of SARS-CoV-2: how mutation of Non-Structural Protein 6 (NSP6) could affect viral autophagy

Domenico Benvenuto, Silvia Angeletti, Marta Giovanetti, Martina Bianchi, Stefano Pascarella, Roberto Cauda, Massimo Ciccozzi, Antonio Cassone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: SARS-CoV-2 is a new coronavirus that has spread globally, infecting more than 150000 people, and being declared pandemic by the WHO. We provide here bio-informatic, evolutionary analysis of 351 available sequences of its genome with the aim of mapping genome structural variations and the patterns of selection. Methods: A Maximum likelihood tree has been built and selective pressure has been investigated in order to find any mutation developed during the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic that could potentially affect clinical evolution of the infection. Finding: We have found in more recent isolates the presence of two mutations affecting the Non-Structural Protein 6 (NSP6) and the Open Reding Frame10 (ORF 10) adjacent regions. Amino acidic change stability analysis suggests both mutations could confer lower stability of the protein structures. Interpretation: One of the two mutations, likely developed within the genome during virus spread, could affect virus intracellular survival. Genome follow-up of SARS-CoV-2 spread is urgently needed in order to identify mutations that could significantly modify virus pathogenicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e24-e27
JournalJournal of Infection
Volume81
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Autophagy
  • Bio-informatic
  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Molecular evolution
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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