Shared mechanisms and crosstalk of COVID-19 and osteoporosis via vitamin D
AbstractRecently accumulated evidence implicates a close association of vitamin D (VitD) insufficiency to the incidence and clinical manifestations of the COVID-19 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-COV-2). Populations with insufficient VitD including patients with osteoporosis are more susceptible to SARS-COV-2 infection and patients with COVID-19 worsened or developed osteoporosis. It is currently unknown, however, whether osteoporosis and COVID-19 are linked by VitD insufficiency. In this study, 42 common targets for VitD on both COVID-19 and osteoporosis were identified among a total of 243 VitD targets. Further bioinformatic analysis revealed 8 core targets (EGFR, AR, ESR1, MAPK8, MDM2, EZH2, ERBB2 and MAPT) in the VitD-COVID-19-osteoporosis network. These targets are involved in the ErbB and MAPK signaling pathways critical for lung fibrosis, bone structural integrity, and cytokines through a crosstalk between COVID-19 and osteoporosis via the VitD-mediated conventional immune and osteoimmune mechanisms. Molecular docking confirmed that VitD binds tightly to the predicted targets. These findings support that VitD may target common signaling pathways in the integrated network of lung fibrosis and bone structural integrity as well as the immune systems. Therefore, VitD may serve as a preventive and therapeutic agent for both COVID-19 and osteoporosis.