Role of Epigenetics in Developing Therapeutic Strategies against COVID-19
Mr. Rahul Saxena,
SRHU, HIHT, Jolly Grant, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India.
Epigenetics showcases an interconnection between genes and the environment. The expression or repression of genes can result from epigenetic regulatory mechanisms like Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) methylation, histone modifications and chromatin remodelling. The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) regulates host epigenetic machineries to mutate itself, improve its replication and increase its persistence by alienating the host’s antigen-presenting molecules and modulating interferons expressing genes. The previous outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) reveals that DNA methylation by the virus plays a crucial role in the loss of antigen-presenting molecules in the host. Since these coronaviruses share an ancestorial link, it is believed that the new coronavirus acts similarly. Recent reports of increasing morbidity, mortality and persistence of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) points to the rapid mutation and evading of immunity of the host. Vaccines, although they have helped to prevent the pandemic but their action remains questionable with new developing variants. We explore the possibility of developing epigenetic-based drugs and vaccines and other immune modulators that are being investigated to end the present COVID-19 pandemic and open new avenues for any such pandemics in the future. Comprehensive review regarding COVID-19 was obtained from PubMed and other search engines. Insights about the COVID-19 vaccines were reported from scientific sources. Epigenetics is a crucial subject to explore for the development of therapeutic strategies against the COVID-19 virus. Epigenetic modulators that can be re-programmed to counter the replication and infection efficiency of this virus and medications, including transcription suppressors, nucleoside inhibitors, can be one of the new strategies which may have a better outcome.