Role of miR-2392 in driving SARS-CoV-2 infection


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs involved in post-transcriptional gene regulation that have a major impact on many diseases and provides an exciting avenue towards antiviral therapeutics. From patient transcriptomic data, we have discovered a circulating miRNA, miR-2392, that is directly involved with SARS-CoV-2 machinery during host infection. Specifically, we found that miR-2392 was key in driving downstream suppression of mitochondrial gene expression, increasing inflammation, glycolysis, and hypoxia as well as promoting many symptoms associated with COVID-19 infection. We demonstrate miR-2392 is present in the blood and urine of COVID-19 patients tested, but not detected in COVID-19 negative patients. These findings indicate the potential for developing a novel, minimally invasive, COVID-19 detection method. Lastly, using both in vitro human and in vivo hamster models, we have developed a novel miRNA-based antiviral therapeutic targeting miR-2392 that significantly reduces SARS-CoV-2 viability and may potentially inhibit a COVID-19 disease state in the host.

Cell reports 37, no. 3 (2021): 109839. [DOI:10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109839, bioRxiv:10.1101/2021.04.23.441024]