The Effect of Host miRNAs on Prognosis in COVID-19: miRNA-155 May Promote Severity via Targeting Suppressor of Cytokine Signaling 1 (SOCS1) Gene

GEDİKBAŞI A. , Adas G., Isiksacan N., Yasar K. K. , Unlu E. C. , Yilmaz R., ...More

Genes, vol.13, no.7, 2022 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/genes13071146
  • Title of Journal : Genes
  • Keywords: COVID-19, miR-155-5p, prognosis, SOCS1, suppressor of cytokine signaling 1


© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.The epigenetic features contribute to variations in host susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and severity of symptoms. This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between the relative expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) and the severity of the disease in COVID-19 patients. The miRNA profiles were monitored during the different stages of the disease course using reverse transcription–quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). The expression levels of the se-lected 11 miRNAs were measured in the blood samples collected from 73 patients (moderate, n = 37; severe, n = 25; critically ill, n = 11, a total of 219 longitudinal samples) on hospitalization day and days 7 and 21. Expression changes were expressed as “fold change” compared to healthy controls (n = 10). Our study found that several miRNAs differed according to disease severity, with the miR-155-5p the most strongly upregulated (p = 0.0001). A statistically significant negative correlation was observed between the expression of miR-155-5p and its target gene, the suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 (SOCS1). The relative expression of miR-155-5p was significantly increased and SOCS1 was significantly decreased with the disease progression (r = −0.805 p = 0.0001, r = −0.940 p = 0.0001, r = −0.933 p = 0.0001 for admission, day 7, and day 21, respectively). The overexpression of miR-155-5p has significantly increased inflammatory cytokine production and promoted COVID-19 progres-sion. We speculated that microRNA-155 facilitates immune inflammation via targeting SOCS1, thus establishing its association with disease prognosis.