Upregulation of Human Endogenous Retroviruses in Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid of COVID-19 Patients

Kitsou, Konstantina and Kotanidou, Anastasia and Paraskevis, Dimitrios and Karamitros, Timokratis and Katzourakis, Aris and Tedder, Richard and Hurst, Tara and Sapounas, Spyros and Kotsinas, Athanassios and Gorgoulis, Vassilis and Spoulou, Vana and Tsiodras, Sotirios and Lagiou, Pagona and Magiorkinis, Gkikas (2021) Upregulation of Human Endogenous Retroviruses in Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid of COVID-19 Patients. Microbiology Spectrum, 9 (2). ISSN 2165-0497

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Abstract

Severe COVID-19 pneumonia has been associated with the development of intense inflammatory responses during the course of infections with SARS-CoV-2. Given that human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) are known to be activated during and participate in inflammatory processes, we examined whether HERV dysregulation signatures are present in COVID-19 patients. By comparing transcriptomes of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of COVID-19 patients and healthy controls, and peripheral blood monocytes (PBMCs) from patients and controls, we have shown that HERVs are intensely dysregulated in BALF of COVID-19 patients compared to those in BALF of healthy control patients but not in PBMCs. In particular, upregulation in the expression of specific HERV families was detected in BALF samples of COVID-19 patients, with HERV-FRD being the most highly upregulated family among the families analyzed. In addition, we compared the expression of HERVs in human bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs) without and after senescence induction in an oncogene-induced senescence model in order to quantitatively measure changes in the expression of HERVs in bronchial cells during the process of cellular senescence. This apparent difference of HERV dysregulation between PBMCs and BALF warrants further studies in the involvement of HERVs in inflammatory pathogenetic mechanisms as well as exploration of HERVs as potential biomarkers for disease progression. Furthermore, the increase in the expression of HERVs in senescent HBECs in comparison to that in noninduced HBECs provides a potential link for increased COVID-19 severity and mortality in aged populations.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** Article version: VoR ** From Crossref journal articles via Jisc Publications Router ** History: ppub 31-10-2021; issued 31-10-2021. ** Licence for VoR version of this article starting on 31-10-2021: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1128/spectrum.01260-21
Dates:
DateEvent
31 August 2021Accepted
6 October 2021Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Infectious Diseases, Cell Biology, Microbiology (medical), Genetics, General Immunology and Microbiology, Ecology, Physiology
Subjects: CAH01 - medicine and dentistry > CAH01-01 - medicine and dentistry > CAH01-01-02 - medicine (non-specific)
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > School of Health Sciences
SWORD Depositor: JISC PubRouter
Depositing User: JISC PubRouter
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2021 10:15
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2021 10:15
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12403

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