Abnormal global alternative RNA splicing in COVID-19 patients

Changli Wang, Lijun Chen, Yaobin Chen, Wenwen Jia, Xunhui Cai, Yufeng Liu, Fenghu Ji, Peng Xiong, Anyi Liang, Ren Liu, Yuanlin Guan, Zhongyi Cheng, Yejing Weng, Weixin Wang, Yaqi Duan, Dong Kuang, Sanpeng Xu, Hanghang Cai, Qin Xia, Dehua YangMing Wei Wang, Xiangping Yang, Jianjun Zhang, Chao Cheng, Liang Liu, Zhongmin Liu, Ren Liang, Guopin Wang, Zhendong Li, Han Xia, Tian Xia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Viral infections can alter host transcriptomes by manipulating host splicing machinery. Despite intensive transcriptomic studies on SARS-CoV-2, a systematic analysis of alternative splicing (AS) in severe COVID-19 patients remains largely elusive. Here we integrated proteomic and transcriptomic sequencing data to study AS changes in COVID-19 patients. We discovered that RNA splicing is among the major down-regulated proteomic signatures in COVID-19 patients. The transcriptome analysis showed that SARS-CoV-2 infection induces widespread dysregulation of transcript usage and expression, affecting blood coagulation, neutrophil activation, and cytokine production. Notably, CD74 and LRRFIP1 had increased skipping of an exon in COVID-19 patients that disrupts a functional domain, which correlated with reduced antiviral immunity. Furthermore, the dysregulation of transcripts was strongly correlated with clinical severity of COVID-19, and splice-variants may contribute to unexpected therapeutic activity. In summary, our data highlight that a better understanding of the AS landscape may aid in COVID-19 diagnosis and therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1010137
JournalPLoS genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 14 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Cancer Research


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