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Brief Report

Detection of SARS-CoV-2 Derived Small RNAs and Changes in Circulating Small RNAs Associated with COVID-19

1
Institute of Computer Science, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, 06120 Halle, Germany
2
Department of Internal Medicine IV-Oncology/Hematology, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, 06120 Halle, Germany
3
Institute of Human Genetics, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, 06120 Halle, Germany
4
Department of Molecular Genetics, Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), Heterosis, OT Gatersleben, 06466 Stadt Seeland, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Karin Klingel and Bertram Flehmig
Viruses 2021, 13(8), 1593; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13081593
Received: 22 July 2021 / Revised: 6 August 2021 / Accepted: 9 August 2021 / Published: 11 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Markers and the Diagnosis of COVID-19)
Cleavage of double-stranded RNA is described as an evolutionary conserved host defense mechanism against viral infection. Small RNAs are the product and triggers of post transcriptional gene silencing events. Up until now, the relevance of this mechanism for SARS-CoV-2-directed immune responses remains elusive. Herein, we used high throughput sequencing to profile the plasma of active and convalescent COVID-19 patients for the presence of small circulating RNAs. The existence of SARS-CoV-2 derived small RNAs in plasma samples of mild and severe COVID-19 cases is described. Clusters of high siRNA abundance were discovered, homologous to the nsp2 3′-end and nsp4 virus sequence. Four virus-derived small RNA sequences have the size of human miRNAs, and a target search revealed candidate genes associated with ageusia and long COVID symptoms. These virus-derived small RNAs were detectable also after recovery from the disease. The additional analysis of circulating human miRNAs revealed differentially abundant miRNAs, discriminating mild from severe cases. A total of 29 miRNAs were reduced or absent in severe cases. Several of these are associated with JAK-STAT response and cytokine storm. View Full-Text
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; long COVID; small RNA; circulating-miRNA SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; long COVID; small RNA; circulating-miRNA
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  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: 10.5447/ipk/2021/17
    Link: https://doi.org/10.5447/ipk/2021/17
    Description: The original reads sequences are available for download at: https://doi.org/10.5447/ipk/2021/17. DOI of the dataset released in this manuscript were constructed using the e!DAL system [72].
MDPI and ACS Style

Grehl, C.; Schultheiß, C.; Hoffmann, K.; Binder, M.; Altmann, T.; Grosse, I.; Kuhlmann, M. Detection of SARS-CoV-2 Derived Small RNAs and Changes in Circulating Small RNAs Associated with COVID-19. Viruses 2021, 13, 1593. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13081593

AMA Style

Grehl C, Schultheiß C, Hoffmann K, Binder M, Altmann T, Grosse I, Kuhlmann M. Detection of SARS-CoV-2 Derived Small RNAs and Changes in Circulating Small RNAs Associated with COVID-19. Viruses. 2021; 13(8):1593. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13081593

Chicago/Turabian Style

Grehl, Claudius, Christoph Schultheiß, Katrin Hoffmann, Mascha Binder, Thomas Altmann, Ivo Grosse, and Markus Kuhlmann. 2021. "Detection of SARS-CoV-2 Derived Small RNAs and Changes in Circulating Small RNAs Associated with COVID-19" Viruses 13, no. 8: 1593. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13081593

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