Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Molecular Mimicry between SARS-CoV-2 and Human Endocrinocytes: A Prerequisite of Post-COVID Endocrine Autoimmunity

Version 1 : Received: 22 July 2022 / Approved: 26 July 2022 / Online: 26 July 2022 (03:42:01 CEST)

How to cite: Churilov, L.P.; Normatov, M.G.; Utekhin, V.J. Molecular Mimicry between SARS-CoV-2 and Human Endocrinocytes: A Prerequisite of Post-COVID Endocrine Autoimmunity. Preprints 2022, 2022070380 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202207.0380.v1). Churilov, L.P.; Normatov, M.G.; Utekhin, V.J. Molecular Mimicry between SARS-CoV-2 and Human Endocrinocytes: A Prerequisite of Post-COVID Endocrine Autoimmunity. Preprints 2022, 2022070380 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202207.0380.v1).

Abstract

Molecular mimicry between human and microbial/viral/parasite peptides is common and for a long time is associated with the etiology of autoimmune disorders provoked by exogenous pathogens. Increasing evidence accumulated from the past years suggests a strong correlation between the SARS-CoV-2 infection and autoimmunity. The article analyzes the immunogenic potential of the peptides shared between SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein (S-protein and antigens of human endocrinocytes involved in most common autoimmune endocrinopathies. Totally the study revealed 14 pentapeptides shared by S-protein of SARS-CoV-2 and autoantigens of thyroid, pituitary, adrenal cortex and Langerhans’ islets beta-cells, 12 of them belong to immunoreactive epitopes of SARS-CoV-2. The discussion of the data links the results with clinical correlates of COVID-associated autoimmune endocrinopathies. Most common of them is an autoimmune thyroid disease, so the majority of shared pentapeptides belong to marker autoantigens of this disease. Most important in pathogenesis of severe COVID-19, according authors’ opinion, can be autoimmunity against adrenals, because their adequate response prevents from excessive systemic action of inflammatory mediators which cause cytokine storm and hemodynamic shock. The criticism of antigen mimicry concept is given with a statement that peptide sharing is not a guarantee, but just a prerequisite of autoimmunity excess provocation. The last event occurs in carriers of certain HLA haplotypes and in case when shared peptide is used in antigen processing only [1 figure, 5 tables, bibliography 38 references].

Keywords

SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; autoantibodies; autoimmune endocrinopathies; long-COVID syndrome; molecular mimicry; thyroid gland; adrenals; pituitary; Langerhans’ islets

Subject

MEDICINE & PHARMACOLOGY, Pathology & Pathobiology

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