Publications ISA – related to COronaVIrus Disease 19 (COVID-19)



2020, Articolo in rivista, ENG

An investigation into the molecular basis of cancer comorbidities in coronavirus infection

Facchiano, Antonio; Facchiano, Francesco; Facchiano, Angelo

Comorbidities in COVID-19 patients often worsen clinical conditions and may represent death predictors. Here, the expression of five genes, known to encode coronavirus receptors/interactors (ACE2,TMPRSS2,CLEC4M,DPP4andTMPRSS11D), was investigated in normal and cancer tissues, and their molecular relationships with clinical comorbidities were investigated. Using expression data from GENT2 databases, we evaluated gene expression in all anatomical districts from 32 normal tissues in 3902 individuals. Functional relationships with body districts were analyzed bychilibot. We performed DisGeNet,genemaniaand DAVID analyses to identify human diseases associated with these genes. Transcriptomic expression levels were then analyzed in 31 cancer types and healthy controls from approximately 43 000 individuals, using GEPIA2 and GENT2 databases. By performing receiver operating characteristic analysis, the area under the curve (AUC) was used to discriminate healthy from cancer patients. Coronavirus receptors were found to be expressed in several body districts. Moreover, the five genes were found to associate with acute respiratory syndrome, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer (i.e. the most frequent COVID-19 comorbidities). Their expression levels were found to be significantly altered in cancer types, including colon, kidney, liver, testis, thyroid and skin cancers (P < 0.0001); AUC > 0.80 suggests that TMPRSS2, CLEC4M and DPP4 are relevant markers of kidney, liver, and thyroid cancer, respectively. The five coronavirus receptors are related to all main COVID-19 comorbidities and three show significantly different expression in cancer versus control tissues. Further investigation into their role may help in monitoring other comorbidities, as well as for follow-up of patients who have recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection.

FEBS openbio 10 (11), pp. 2363–2374

DOI: 10.1002/2211-5463.12984


2020, Articolo in rivista, ENG

A review on drug repurposing applicable to COVID-19.

Dotolo S, Marabotti A, Facchiano A, Tagliaferri R.

Drug repurposing involves the identification of new applications for existing drugs at a lower cost and in a shorter time. There are different computational drug-repurposing strategies and some of these approaches have been applied to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Computational drug-repositioning approaches applied to COVID-19 can be broadly categorized into (i) network-based models, (ii) structure-based approaches and (iii) artificial intelligence (AI) approaches. Network-based approaches are divided into two categories: network-based clustering approaches and network-based propagation approaches. Both of them allowed to annotate some important patterns, to identify proteins that are functionally associated with COVID-19 and to discover novel drug-disease or drug-target relationships useful for new therapies. Structure-based approaches allowed to identify small chemical compounds able to bind macromolecular targets to evaluate how a chemical compound can interact with the biological counterpart, trying to find new applications for existing drugs. AI-based networks appear, at the moment, less relevant since they need more data for their application.

Briefings in bioinformatics (Online)

DOI: 10.1093/bib/bbaa288


2020, Articolo in rivista, CPE

Reply to Jakovac: About COVID-19 and vitamin D

Facchiano, Angelo; Facchiano, Antonio; Bartoli, Manuela; Ricci, Alberto; Facchiano, Francesco

No abstract available

American journal of physiology: endocrinology and metabolism 318 (6), pp. E838–E838

DOI: 10.1152/ajpendo.00185.2020


2020, Articolo in rivista, ENG

Roles of flavonoids against coronavirus infection

Russo M.; Moccia S.; Spagnuolo C.; Tedesco I.; Russo G.L.

In terms of public health, the 21st century has been characterized by coronavirus pandemics: in 2002-03 the virus SARS-CoV caused SARS; in 2012 MERS-CoV emerged and in 2019 a new human betacoronavirus strain, called SARS-CoV-2, caused the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak. During the course of the current epidemic, medical challenges to save lives and scientific research aimed to reveal the genetic evolution and the biochemistry of the vital cycle of the new pathogen could lead to new preventive and therapeutic strategies against SARS-CoV-2. Up to now, there is no cure for COVID-19 and waiting for an efficacious vaccine, the development of “savage” protocols, based on “old” anti-inflammatory and anti-viral drugs represents a valid and alternative therapeutic approach. As an alternative or additional therapeutic/preventive option, different in silico and in vitro studies demonstrated that small natural molecules, belonging to polyphenol family, can interfere with various stages of coronavirus entry and replication cycle. Here, we reviewed the capacity of well-known (e.g. quercetin, baicalin, luteolin, hesperetin, gallocatechin gallate, epigallocatechin gallate) and uncommon (e.g. scutellarein, amentoflavone, papyriflavonol A) flavonoids, secondary metabolites widely present in plant tissues with antioxidant and anti-microbial functions, to inhibit key proteins involved in coronavirus infective cycle, such as PL, 3CL, NTPase/helicase. Due to their pleiotropic activities and lack of systemic toxicity, flavonoids and their derivative may represent target compounds to be tested in future clinical trials to enrich the drug arsenal against coronavirus infections.

Chemico-biological interactions (Print) 328

DOI: 10.1016/j.cbi.2020.109211