Effect of SARS-CoV-2 infection on host competing endogenous RNA and miRNA network.

Ari Yuka S., Yilmaz A.

PeerJ, vol.9, no.e12370, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 9 Issue: e12370
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.7717/peerj.12370
  • Journal Name: PeerJ
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: SARS-CoV-2 human miRNA interaction, Competitive endogenous RNA networks, C VIRUS-RNA, MICRORNAS, GENOMICS
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Competing endogenous RNAs (ceRNA) play a crucial role in cell functions. Computational methods that provide large-scale analysis of the interactions between miRNAs and their competitive targets can contribute to the understanding of ceRNA regulations and critical regulatory functions. Recent reports showed that viral RNAs can compete with host RNAs against host miRNAs. Regarding SARS-CoV-2 RNA, no comprehensive study had been reported about its competition with cellular ceRNAs. In this study, for the first time, we used the ceRNAnetsim package to assess ceRNA network effects per individual cell and competitive behavior of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the infected cells using single-cell sequencing data. Our computations identified 195 genes and 29 miRNAs which vary in competitive behavior specifically in presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA. We also investigated 18 genes that are affected by genes that lost perturbation ability in presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the human miRNA:ceRNA network. These transcripts have associations with COVID-19-related symptoms as well as many dysfunctions such as metabolic diseases, carcinomas, heart failure. Our results showed that the effects of the SARS-CoV-2 genome on host ceRNA interactions and consequent dysfunctions can be explained by competition among various miRNA targets. Our perturbation ability perspective has the potential to reveal yet to be discovered SARS-CoV-2 induced effects invisible to conventional approaches.