The possible role of molecular mimicry in SARS-CoV-2-mediated autoimmunity: an immunobiochemical basis


  • Dženan Kovačić Department of Genetics and Bioengineering, Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, International Burch University, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Jovana Jotanović Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Jasmina Laković Department of Genetics and Bioengineering, Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, International Burch University, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina



autoimmunity and COVID19, molecular mimicry and COVID19, SARS-CoV-2 autoimmunity, molecular mimicry


Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the novel Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), persists as a threat to global health and continues to be a rapidly evolving condition. Although COVID19 is negatively correlated with the existing comorbidities in terms of the clinical outcome, the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to mediate the novel, or to exacerbate the existing autoimmune conditions, has generated considerable interest, due to its potential implications both with regard to patients suffering from autoimmune conditions, as well as to the long-term consequences of the disease. However, although molecular mimicry has been postulated as a potential causative factor in post-COVID19 autoimmunity and multi-organ damage, a substantial body of research needs to emerge in order to achieve a more definitive conclusion. We investigated the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 peptide sequences behaving as molecular mimics with a potential to trigger an autoimmune response. Thus, on the basis of analysis in silico, we were able to develop a plausible case for the molecular mimicry as a potential aetiological mechanism of SARS-CoV-2-mediated autoimmunity, both in a multi-organ damage context or outside of the viral phase of infection. Interestingly, this is the first time that the peptide sequence of MACROD1 has been implicated in the COVID-19 autoimmunity. Additionally, we also confirm that PARP9 and PARP14 may be involved in the process.


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Author Biographies

Dženan Kovačić, Department of Genetics and Bioengineering, Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, International Burch University, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Teaching Assistant at the Department of Genetics and Bioengineering

Jasmina Laković, Department of Genetics and Bioengineering, Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, International Burch University, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Department of Genetics and Bioengineering


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How to Cite

Kovačić D, Jotanović J, Laković J. The possible role of molecular mimicry in SARS-CoV-2-mediated autoimmunity: an immunobiochemical basis. JMS [Internet]. 2021 Oct. 15 [cited 2024 Jun. 18];90(3):e560. Available from:



Original Papers
Received 2021-08-20
Accepted 2021-09-30
Published 2021-10-15