In silico analysis of the impact of toxic metals on COVID-19 complications: molecular insights

  • Jovana Živanović University of Belgrade - Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Toxicology “Akademik Danilo Soldatović”
  • Katarina Baralić University of Belgrade - Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Toxicology “Akademik Danilo Soldatović”, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Katarina Živančević University of Belgrade - Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Toxicology “Akademik Danilo Soldatović”, Belgrade, Serbia; University of Belgrade - Faculty of Biology, Institute for Physiology and Biochemistry “Ivan Djaja”, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Dragica Božić University of Belgrade - Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Toxicology “Akademik Danilo Soldatović”, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Đurđica Marić University of Belgrade - Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Toxicology “Akademik Danilo Soldatović”, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Evica Antonijević Miljaković University of Belgrade - Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Toxicology “Akademik Danilo Soldatović”, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Aleksandra Buha Đorđević University of Belgrade - Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Toxicology “Akademik Danilo Soldatović”, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Marijana Ćurčić University of Belgrade - Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Toxicology “Akademik Danilo Soldatović”, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Zorica Bulat University of Belgrade - Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Toxicology “Akademik Danilo Soldatović”, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Biljana Antonijević University of Belgrade - Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Toxicology “Akademik Danilo Soldatović”, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Danijela Đukić-Ćosić University of Belgrade - Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Toxicology “Akademik Danilo Soldatović”, Belgrade, Serbia
Keywords: Comparative Toxicogenomic Database, cytokines, genes, physical interactions, SARS-CoV-2

Abstract

COVID-19 can cause a range of complications, including cardiovascular, renal, and/or respiratory insufficiencies, yet little is known of its potential effects in persons exposed to toxic metals. The aim of this study was to answer this question with in silico toxicogenomic methods that can provide molecular insights into COVID-19 complications owed to exposure to arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, nickel, and chromium. For this purpose we relied on the Comparative Toxicogenomic Database (CTD), GeneMANIA, and ToppGene Suite portal and identified a set of five common genes (IL1B, CXCL8, IL6, IL10, TNF) for the six metals and COVID-19, all of which code for pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines. The list was expanded with additional 20 related genes. Physical interactions are the most common between the genes affected by the six metals (77.64 %), while the dominant interaction between the genes affected by each metal separately is co-expression (As 56.35 %, Cd 64.07 %, Pb 71.5 %, Hg 81.91 %, Ni 64.28 %, Cr 88.51 %). Biological processes, molecular functions, and pathways in which these 25 genes participate are closely related to cytokines and cytokine storm implicated in the development of COVID-19 complications. In other words, our findings confirm that exposure to toxic metals, alone or in combinations, might escalate COVID-19 severity.

Published
2024-06-07
How to Cite
1.
Živanović J, Baralić K, Živančević K, Božić D, Marić Đurđica, Antonijević Miljaković E, Buha Đorđević A, Ćurčić M, Bulat Z, Antonijević B, Đukić-Ćosić D. In silico analysis of the impact of toxic metals on COVID-19 complications: molecular insights. Arh Hig Rada Toksikol [Internet]. 2024Jun.7 [cited 2024Jul.14];75(2). Available from: https://arhiv.imi.hr/index.php/arhiv/article/view/1684
Section
Original article