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bioRxiv Preprint

The World Health Organization (WHO) introduced "Coronavirus disease 19" or "COVID19" as a novel coronavirus in March 2020. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) requires the fast discovery of effective treatments to fight this worldwide crisis. Artificial intelligence and bioinformatics analysis pipelines can assist with finding biomarkers, explanations, and cures. Artificial intelligence and machine learning methods provide powerful infrastructures for interpreting and understanding the available data. On the other hand, pathway enrichment analysis, as a dominant tool, could help researchers discover potential key targets present in biological pathways of host cells that are targeted by SARS-CoV-2. In this work, we propose a two-stage machine learning approach for pathway analysis. During the first stage, four informative gene sets that can represent important COVID-19 related pathways are selected. These "representative genes" are associated with the COVID-19 pathology. Then, two distinctive networks were constructed for COVID-19 related signaling and disease pathways. In the second stage, the pathways of each network are ranked with respect to some unsupervised scorning method based on our defined informative features. Finally, we present a comprehensive analysis of the top important pathways in both networks.

Taheri, G.; Habibi, M.