p53/NF-kB Balance in SARS-CoV-2 Infection: From OMICs, Genomics and Pharmacogenomics Insights to Tailored Therapeutic Perspectives (COVIDomics)

Abstract

SARS-CoV-2 infection affects different organs and tissues, including the upper and lower airways, the lung, the gut, the olfactory system and the eye, which may represent one of the gates to the central nervous system. Key transcriptional factors, such as p53 and NF-kB and their reciprocal balance, are altered upon SARS-CoV-2 infection, as well as other key molecules such as the virus host cell entry mediator ACE2, member of the RAS-pathway. These changes are thought to play a central role in the impaired immune response, as well as in the massive cytokine release, the so-called cytokine storm that represents a hallmark of the most severe form of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Host genetics susceptibility is an additional key side to consider in a complex disease as COVID-19 characterized by such a wide range of clinical phenotypes. In this review, we underline some molecular mechanisms by which SARS-CoV-2 modulates p53 and NF-kB expression and activity in order to maximize viral replication into the host cells. We also face the RAS-pathway unbalance triggered by virus-ACE2 interaction to discuss potential pharmacological and pharmacogenomics approaches aimed at restoring p53/NF-kB and ACE1/ACE2 balance to counteract the most severe forms of SARS-CoV-2 infection

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