SARS-CoV-2 produces a microRNA CoV2-miR-O8 in patients with COVID-19 infection

Elise J. Tucker, Soon Wei Wong, Shashikanth Marri, Saira Ali, Anthony O. Fedele, Michael Z. Michael, Darling Rojas-Canales, Jordan Y. Li, Chuan Kok Lim, Jonathan M. Gleadle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Many viruses produce microRNAs (miRNAs), termed viral miRNAs (v-miRNAs), with the capacity to target host gene expression. Bioinformatic and cell culture studies suggest that SARS-CoV-2 can also generate v-miRNAs. This patient-based study defines the SARS-CoV-2 encoded small RNAs present in nasopharyngeal swabs of patients with COVID-19 infection using small RNA-seq. A specific conserved sequence (CoV2-miR-O8) is defined that is not expressed in other coronaviruses but is preserved in all SARS-CoV-2 variants. CoV2-miR-O8 is highly represented in nasopharyngeal samples from patients with COVID-19 infection, is detected by RT-PCR assays in patients, has features consistent with Dicer and Drosha generation as well as interaction with Argonaute and targets specific human microRNAs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108719
Number of pages13
Issue number1
Early online date13 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2024


  • Health sciences
  • Immunology
  • Medical specialty
  • Medicine
  • Virology


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