nference Study Produces First Molecular Hypothesis Explaining COVID-19-Induced Myocarditis

An analysis at the intersection of human genetic variation and SARS-CoV-2 evolution found identical peptide suggesting a potential for autoimmunity and molecular mimicry
Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 12:46 PM CST

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- nference, the AI-driven health technology company, today announced publication of a preprint study in bioRxiv that found the genetic alteration of some linear peptides expressed specifically in the human heart are mimicked by the SARS-CoV-2 polyprotein (replicase). The study has been submitted for peer-review.

Authors of "Genetic alteration of human MYH6 is mimicked by SARS-CoV-2 polyprotein: mapping viral variants of cardiac interest" compared genetic variations encoded by the exomes from 141,456 individuals across the globe against SARS-CoV-2 genomes. By comparing peptides of human cardiac proteins and SARS-CoV-2 proteins, researchers found 21 identical 8-mer peptides between the virus and humans. In addition, a specific genetic variant of myosin heavy chain (MYH6) that is observed in rare instances in African American, Eastern Asian and South Asian populations was identical to a peptide of the SARS-CoV-2 replicase protein. The study's authors suggest that SARS-CoV-2 variants harboring peptides identical to human cardiac proteins should be investigated as "viral variants of cardiac interest."

bioRxiv is an open access preprint repository for the biological sciences hosted by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

"There is something fundamental about this striking instance of molecular mimicry that we believe sets the stage for focussed experimental evaluation," said Venky Soundararajan, PhD, co-founder and chief scientific officer of nference. "Cardiac injury is a complication that is associated with severe COVID-19 complications. Our unexpected molecular findings offer a potential mechanistic pathway for guiding the medical community towards better understanding of the nexus between autoimmunity, genomics, viral infections, and myocarditis that affects severe COVID-19 patients."

In the process of conducting this study, nference employed its augmented intelligence software platform, which combines deep biological and molecular insights with powerful clinical knowledge synthesis at unprecedented resolution.

The innovative and real-time AI technology implemented by nference during the COVID-19 pandemic has enabled multiple scientific discoveries that are advancing patient care and helping inform public health policy across nations.

About nference
Through its powerful augmented intelligence software nferX®, nference is transforming health care by making biomedical knowledge computable. The nference platform partnership with Mayo Clinic has given an opportunity to synthesize more than 100 years of institutional knowledge, producing real-world evidence in real time by converting large amounts of data into deep insights to advance discovery and development of diagnostics and therapeutics. nference is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Follow nference on LinkedIn and  Twitter. Visit us at

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