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Host genes critical for viral infection are effective antiviral drug targets with tremendous potential due to their universal characteristics against different subtypes of viruses and minimization of drug resistance. Accordingly, we execute a genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 screen with multiple rounds of survival selection. Enriched in this screen are several genes critical for host sialic acid biosynthesis and transportation, including the cytohesin 2 (CYTH2), tetratricopeptide repeat protein 24 (TTC24), and N-acetylneuraminate synthase (NANS), which we confirm are responsible for efficient influenza viral infection. Moreover, we reveal that CYTH2 is required for the early stage of influenza virus infection by mediating endosomal trafficking. Furthermore, CYTH2 antagonist SecinH3 blunts influenza virus infection in vivo. In summary, these data suggest that CYTH2 is an attractive target for developing host-directed antiviral drugs and therapeutics against influenza virus infection. Copyright © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Chenyang Yi, Cong Cai, Ze Cheng, Yifan Zhao, Xu Yang, Yue Wu, Xiaoping Wang, Zehua Jin, Yaozu Xiang, Meilin Jin, Li Han, Anding Zhang. Genome-wide CRISPR-Cas9 screening identifies the CYTH2 host gene as a potential therapeutic target of influenza viral infection. Cell reports. 2022 Mar 29;38(13):110559

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PMID: 35354039

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