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COVID-19

SARS-CoV-2 has a sweet tooth

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To help understand why uncontrolled diabetes is a risk factor for severe COVID-19, Campos Codo et al. looked at the relationship between glycolysis and SARS-CoV-2 replication in monocytes. Glucose enhanced SARS-CoV-2 viral load and mRNA expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and type I/III interferons in these cells in a dose-dependent manner. Pretreating human peripheral blood monocytes with metabolic inhibitors showed that these effects of glucose depend on mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mtROS) and HIF1α. The transition to aerobic glycolysis in SARS-CoV-2-infected monocytes facilitated viral replication and the production of soluble mediators that may contribute to lung damage. Additional studies are needed to investigate the potential for therapeutic targeting of mtROS, HIF1α and glycolysis signalling while maintaining antiviral type I/III interferons.

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  1. Campos Codo, A. et al. Elevated glucose levels favor Sars-Cov-2 infection and monocyte response through a Hif-1α/glycolysis dependent axis. Preprint at SSRN https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3606770 (2020)

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Correspondence to Athena Cavounidis or Elizabeth H. Mann.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Cavounidis, A., Mann, E.H. SARS-CoV-2 has a sweet tooth. Nat Rev Immunol 20, 460 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41577-020-0368-4

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