Abstract or Additional Information
World over, people are looking for solutions to tackle the pandemic coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2/nCoV-19. Notable contributions in biomedical field have been characterizing viral genomes, altered expression of genes and proteins in humans, and identifying repurposable drugs and vaccines. In one such study, 332 human proteins targeted by nCoV19 were identified. Proteins are molecules that carry out most of the functions in the cells in our bodies. We expanded this set of host proteins by constructing their protein interactome, including in it not only the known protein-protein interactions (PPIs) but also novel, hitherto undiscovered PPIs predicted with our High-precision Protein-Protein Interaction Prediction (HiPPIP) model that was shown to be highly accurate. In fact, one of the earliest discoveries made possible by HiPPIP is related to activation of immunity upon viral infection. We found that: several interactors of the host proteins are differentially expressed upon viral infection, or are related to highly relevant pathways and functions, and that the novel interaction of NUP98 with CHMP5 may activate an antiviral mechanism leading to disruption of viral budding (hypothesis, to be tested). We made the novel interactions of each of the 332 proteins available on a web-server that allows not only keyword search but also queries such as “PPIs where one protein is associated with ‘virus’ and the interactors with 'pulmonary'”. Next, we studied the drugs that target the proteins in this interactome to identify whether any of them may potentially be repurposable against SARS-CoV-2. This analysis resulted in 24 drugs that would be candidates for further investigation.