We aimed at investigating host-virus co-metabolism during SARS-CoV-2 infection. Therefore, we extended comprehensive sex-specific, whole-body organ resolved models of human metabolism with the necessary reactions to replicate SARS-CoV-2 in the lung as well as selected peripheral organs. Using this comprehensive host-virus model, we obtained the following key results: 1. The predicted maximal possible virus shedding rate was limited by isoleucine availability. 2. The supported initial viral load depended on the increase in CD4+ T-cells, consistent with the literature. 3. During viral infection, the whole-body metabolism changed including the blood metabolome, which agreed well with metabolomic studies from COVID-19 patients and healthy controls. 4. The virus shedding rate could be reduced by either inhibition of the guanylate kinase 1 or availability of amino acids, e.g., in the diet. 5. The virus variants achieved differed in their maximal possible virus shedding rates, which could be inversely linked to isoleucine occurrences in the sequences. Taken together, this study presents the metabolic crosstalk between host and virus and emphasis the role of amino acid metabolism during SARS-CoV-2 infection, in particular of isoleucine. As such, it provides an example of how computational modelling can complement more canonical approaches to gain insight into host-virus crosstalk and to identify potential therapeutic strategies.

Fuente: Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal
Available online 20 July 2022