Genome-scale identification of SARS-CoV-2 and pan-coronavirus host factor networks. Schneider et al.
The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed the lives of more than one million people worldwide. The causative agent, SARS-CoV-2, is a member of the Coronaviridae family, which are viruses that cause respiratory infections of varying severity. The cellular host factors and pathways co-opted by SARS- CoV-2 and other coronaviruses in the execution of their life cycles remain ill-defined. To develop an extensive compendium of host factors required for infection by SARS-CoV-2 and three seasonal coronaviruses (HCoV-OC43, HCoV-NL63, and HCoV-229E), we performed parallel genome-scale CRISPR knockout screens. These screens uncovered multiple host factors and pathways with pan- coronavirus and virus-specific functional roles, including major dependency on glycosaminoglycan biosynthesis, SREBP signaling, BMP signaling, and glycosylphosphatidylinositol biosynthesis, as well as a requirement for several poorly characterized proteins. We identified an absolute requirement for the VTT-domain containing protein TMEM41B for infection by SARS-CoV-2 and three seasonal coronaviruses. This human Coronaviridae host factor compendium represents a rich resource to develop new therapeutic strategies for acute COVID-19 and potential future coronavirus spillover events.