Molecular mechanisms of the non-structural protein 1 (NS1) in influenza A-induced pathological changes remain ambiguous. This study explored the pathogenesis of human infection by influenza A viruses (IAVs) through identifying human genes with codon usage bias (CUB) similar to NS1 gene of these viruses based on the relative synonymous codon usage (RSCU). CUB of the IAV subtypes H1N1, H3N2, H3N8, H5N1, H5N2, H5N8, H7N9 and H9N2 was analyzed and the correlation of RSCU values of NS1 sequences with those of the human genes was calculated. The CUB of NS1 was uneven and codons ending with A/U were preferred. The ENC-GC3 and neutrality plots suggested natural selection as the main determinant for CUB. The RCDI, CAI and SiD values showed that the viruses had a high degree of adaptability to human. A total of 2155 human genes showed significant RSCU-based correlation (p  0.5) with NS1 coding sequences and was considered as human genes with CUB similar to NS1 gene of IAV subtypes. Differences and similarities in the subtype-specific human protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks and their functions were recorded among IAVs subtypes, indicating that NS1 of each IAV subtype has a specific pathogenic mechanism. Processes and pathways involved in influenza, transcription, immune response and cell cycle were enriched in human gene sets retrieved based on the CUB of NS1 gene of IAV subtypes. The present work may advance our understanding on the mechanism of NS1 in human infections of IAV subtypes and shed light on the therapeutic options.
© 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.