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Publications of the Week

Actionable Cytopathogenic Host Responses of Human Alveolar Type 2 Cells to SARS-CoV-2

By November 24, 2020No Comments

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This week we profile a recent publication in Molecular Cell from the laboratory of Dr. Andrew Emili at Boston University.

Can you provide a brief overview of your lab’s current research focus?

My lab, the Center for Network Systems Biology at Boston University, is focused on applying quantitative mass spectrometry to investigate the macromolecular pathways involved in human health and disease.

What are the next steps for this research?

This study, a close collaborative effort of the CNSB with the BU School of Medicine Center for Regenerative Medicine (CReM) and the National Merging Infectious Disease Laboratories (NEIDL), investigated the pathways hijacked by the SARS-CoV-2 cells in human alveolar cells during this respiratory infection. Unlike the transformed cell studies reported this year, our study highlights physiologically relevant pathways targeted by the virus that are uniquely important to lung pathogenesis, revealing fundamental mechanisms supporting viral replication in the distal lung, and unexpected clinically actionable therapeutic targets.

What is the significance of the findingsĀ inĀ this publication?

We are now moving extend our collaborative analysis with researchers at the NEIDL to examine SARS-CoV-2 viral-host cell crosstalk in human lung tissue using a mouse xenograft model system that allows for a time course study of progression from initial infection to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a devastating clinical outcome seen in severely affected patients in hospital ICUs.

This work was funded by:

This multi-center effort was supported by multiple agencies, including the NIH, BU and the MassCPR.

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