We are identifying the host dependencies of SARS-CoV-2 to find new targets for COVID-19 therapies.
The emergence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has led to a worldwide pandemic with currently no specific and effective treatments available. Focusing on host proteins vastly expands the repertoire of possible targets for therapeutic intervention, arguably decreases the threat of mutational resistance, and thus presents the possibility to develop durable, broad-spectrum treatment modalities.
Our goal is to identify host-dependency factors among the top SARS-CoV-2-interacting host proteins using CRISPR technology in combination with SARS-CoV-2 infection. We will carry out our studies in a relevant cell line and in 3D-human-airway organoids to more closely simulate the infected cells in patients. Systematically identifying the host dependencies of SARS-CoV-2 will validate critical nodes of infection that may serve as potential drug targets for the development of effective therapeutic countermeasures to combat the current COVID-19 pandemic.
This work is funded by the Laboratory for Genomics Research (LGR), a collaboration between UC Berkeley/UCSF (IGI) and GlaxoSmithKline.
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