Feedback

Targeting COVID-19 Coronavirus RNA for Degradation by a Nasal Spray of Superior siRNAs

Institution: Michigan Technological University
Funders (16)
Views (3,486)

Why This Project Is Important 

In just a few months, a deadly virus spreads worldwide and into the United States! COVID-19, a novel type of Coronavirus, is a recent and newly occurred Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)-like RNA Coronavirus that shares more than 70% homology with SARS-CoV genome-wide. COVID-19 has a longer latent viral infection time (~14 days) and humans are thus more unnoticeably susceptible to COVID-19 than SARS-CoV that has half of the latent viral infection time (7 days). The extent by a monthly spreading of COVID-19 without control was estimated to be ten more times severe than that of SARS-CoV. The estimated casualty is about 4%, lower than that of SARS infection, but overwhelmingly higher than that of flu virus infection. Development of vaccine against SARS-Cov is important but was not effectively in practice due to a transient-epidemics of SARS in a few months and the neglect of humans. Thus, new approaches must be developed for a fast control of COVID-19 at the current urgent situation.

References:

  1. Rational designing asymmetrical siRNAs to target Novel Acute Respiratory Syndrome RNA Coronavirus (COVID-19) for Silencing (2020, IP Disclosure) Peixuan Guo (Ohio State University), Guiliang Tang (Michigan Tech University), and Jianjun Zhao (Cleveland Clinic)
  2. Methods and compositions for controlling efficacy of RNA silencing. (2019) Phillip D Zamore, Guiliang Tang US Patent 10,364,429

Project Description 

The Novel Acute Respiratory Syndrome RNA Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a recent and newly occurred Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)-like RNA Coronavirus that shares more than 70% homology with SARS-CoV genome-wide. 2019-nCoV has a longer latent viral infection time (~14 days) and humans are thus more unnoticeably susceptible to 2019-nCoV than SARS-CoV that has half of the latent viral infection time (7 days). The extent by a monthly spreading of 2019-nCoV without control was estimated to be ten more times severe than that of SARS-CoV. The estimated casualty is about 4%, lower than that of SARS infection, but overwhelmingly higher than that of flu virus infection. Development of vaccine against SARS-Cov is important but was not effectively in practice due to a transient-epidemics of SARS in a few months and the neglect of humans. Thus, new approaches must be developed for a fast control of COVID-19 at the current urgent situation. RNA interference (RNAi) was a Nobel winning discovery in 2006 and is powerful in silencing all kinds of endougenous and exogenous RNAs including viral RNAs. Tiny amount of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) can cleave target RNAs for silencing in a multiple turnover manner by siRNA-induced silencing complex (siRISC). The objective of this project is to employ the well-established RNAi technology developed and patented by the PIs to design and screen for highly effective and asymmetrical siRNAs to target the 5’ and 3’ UTRs and 10 viral ORFs of the ~29kb COVID-19 RNA genome for viral silencing. Altogether, different master siRNA mixes containing 24 rationally designed non-off-target COVID-19 -specific siRNAs will be chemically synthesized, purified, and applied to synthetic viral RNA segments of COVID-19 for cleavage to screen for their effectiveness. For safety, we will use only fragments of the chemically synthesized viral RNA (not virus itself or viral full-length RNA genome) to test the effectiveness of siRNAs. Finally, the superior siRNA mixes will be provided for researchers for further investigations and applications. "Potential application can be a nasal spray of the COVID-19-specific siRNA mixes for a fast treatment of the infected patients"

Meet the Researcher

Guiliang Tang

Dr. Tang conducted his graduate research on the catabolic pathway of the essential amino acid lysine in the laboratory of Dr. Gad Galili at the Weizmann Institute of Sciences, Israel. He then moved to the laboratory of Dr. Phillip D. Zamore at the University of Massachusetts Medical School for his post-doctoral research on plant RNA interference (RNAi) and microRNA (miRNA) pathways. He established his independent Gene Suppression Laboratory at the University of Kentucky (UK) and became a tenured Associate Professor there. In October 2011, he moved from UK to Michigan Technological University (MTU) at the Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (U. P.) for a family reunion and enjoyed the first winter time with much outdoor activities with his wife and kids. In May 2016, he became a full professor.



Questions for the Researcher

MarkGKoski's picture
Mark Koski  March 20, 2020 - 4:36pm
This needs a wider distribution!
Rowshandel's picture
Sean Rowshandel  March 25, 2020 - 11:43am
Advertise on Facebook. Use a nonviral vector such as ormosil. Vir Biotechnology and OliX Pharmaceuticals are already doing siRNA silencing for covid-19 but not in nasal spray format. Maybe someone should suggest the nasal spray option to them, since it's been proven to work for siRNA's. What they definitely wont do is accept the suggestion from you, because you would be able to sue them if you could afford a lawyer.
gtang2016's picture
Guiliang Tang (Researcher)  March 28, 2020 - 9:05am
Thanks for comments. I just want to say: RNA virus will become a tool in the breakthrough for the study of the origin and evolution of life. COVID-19 made an excellent demonstration of how life is originated and the evolutionary relationship between human and virus in biological science.

Ask a Question or Leave a Comment

Please log in or register to post questions or comments.

$2,626
of $6,000 fund goal
The average donation for this project is $164
26
days left
44%
funded
$1,106
last

What Your Donation Can Help Us Do: 

  • 1. Chemically synthesize Coronavirus siRNAs;
  • 2. Screen for superior siRNAs that effectively silencing the viral RNA fragments (not virus or viral full RNA for safety) in test tubes;
  • 3. Provide master mixes of the screened siRNAs for further researches or applications.
Although there are no rewards for this project, all donors will receive an email receipt with tax-deduction information.

Recent Donors


Some donors may be hidden.
gtang2016's picture
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous's picture
MarkGKoski's picture
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous's picture

Gifts to projects listed on SUPERIORIDEAS.ORG are received and processed by Michigan Tech Fund. Michigan Tech Fund is a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code acting on behalf of Michigan Technological University. It is the policy of Michigan Tech Fund that a portion of the gifts and/or income therefrom may be used to defray the costs of raising and administering the funds.