Targeting the Ubiquitylation and ISGylation Machinery for the Treatment of COVID-19
Vere G., Alam MR., Farrar S., Kealy R., Kessler BM., O’Brien DP., Pinto-Fernández A.
Ubiquitylation and ISGylation are protein post-translational modifications (PTMs) and two of the main events involved in the activation of pattern recognition receptor (PRRs) signals allowing the host defense response to viruses. As with similar viruses, SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, hijacks these pathways by removing ubiquitin and/or ISG15 from proteins using a protease called PLpro, but also by interacting with enzymes involved in ubiquitin/ISG15 machinery. These enable viral replication and avoidance of the host immune system. In this review, we highlight potential points of therapeutic intervention in ubiquitin/ISG15 pathways involved in key host–pathogen interactions, such as PLpro, USP18, TRIM25, CYLD, A20, and others that could be targeted for the treatment of COVID-19, and which may prove effective in combatting current and future vaccine-resistant variants of the disease.