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SARS-CoV-2, Cardiovascular Diseases, and Noncoding RNAs: A Connected Triad.

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Nov 12;22(22):12243. doi: 10.3390/ijms222212243. PMID: 34830125; PMCID: PMC8620514.

Authors/Editors: Natarelli L, Virgili F, Weber C.
Publication Date: 2021

Abstract

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is characterized by important respiratory impairments frequently associated with severe cardiovascular damages. Moreover, patients with pre-existing comorbidity for cardiovascular diseases (CVD) often present a dramatic increase in inflammatory cytokines release, which increases the severity and adverse outcomes of the infection and, finally, mortality risk. Despite this evident association at the clinical level, the mechanisms linking CVD and COVID-19 are still blurry and unresolved. Noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) are functional RNA molecules transcribed from DNA but usually not translated into proteins. They play an important role in the regulation of gene expression, either in relatively stable conditions or as a response to different stimuli, including viral infection, and are therefore considered a possible important target in the design of specific drugs. In this review, we introduce known associations and interactions between COVID-19 and CVD, discussing the role of ncRNAs within SARS-CoV-2 infection from the perspective of the development of efficient pharmacological tools to treat COVID-19 patients and taking into account the equally dramatic associated consequences, such as those affecting the cardiovascular system.

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