SARS-CoV-2 has spread rapidly across the world and is negatively impacting the global human population. COVID-19 patients display a wide variety of symptoms and clinical outcomes, including those attributed to genetic ancestry. Alu retrotransposons have played an important role in human evolution, and their variants influence host response to viral infection. Intronic Alus regulate gene expression through several mechanisms, including both genetic and epigenetic pathways. With respect to SARS-CoV-2, an intronic Alu within the ACE gene is hypothesized to be associated with COVID-19 susceptibility and morbidity. Here, we review specific Alu polymorphisms that are of particular interest when considering host response to SARS-CoV-2 infection, especially polymorphic Alu insertions in genes associated with immune response and coagulation/fibrinolysis cascade. We posit that additional research focused on Alu-related pathways could yield novel biomarkers capable of predicting clinical outcomes as well as patient-specific treatment strategies for COVID-19 and related infectious diseases.
An insertion/deletion polymorphism in the angiotensin I-converting enzyme gene accounting for half the variance of serum enzyme levels
Angiotensin I converting enzyme and the changes in our concepts through the years. Lewis K. Dahl memorial lecture
Localization of the coagulation factor XIII B subunit gene (F13B) to chromosome bands 1q31-32.1 and restriction fragment length polymorphism at the locus
Apolipoprotein multigene family: tandem organization of human apolipoprotein AI, CIII, and AIV genes
Angiotensin induction of PAI-1 expression in endothelial cells is mediated by the hexapeptide angiotensin IV
Dispersion and insertion polymorphism in two small subfamilies of recently amplified human Alu repeats
Angiotensin converting enzyme insertion/deletion polymorphism is associated with susceptibility and outcome in acute respiratory distress syndrome
Angiotensin II stimulates the release of interleukin-6 and interleukin-8 from cultured human adipocytes by activation of NF-kappaB
Tissue distribution of ACE2 protein, the functional receptor for SARS coronavirus. A first step in understanding SARS pathogenesis
Arterial compliance changes in diabetic normotensive patients after angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition therapy
Polymorphic Alu insertions within the Major Histocompatibility Complex class I genomic region: a brief review
Does the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE)/ACE2 balance contribute to the fate of angiotensin peptides in programmed hypertension?
Epistatic effects of polymorphisms in genes from the renin-angiotensin, bradykinin, and fibrinolytic systems on plasma t-PA and PAI-1 levels
Homogeneous assay of rs4343, an ACE I/D proxy, and an analysis in the British Women's Heart and Health Study (BWHHS)
Progesterone receptor gene polymorphisms are not associated with preterm birth in a Hispanic population
Distinct C-terminus of the B subunit of factor XIII in a population-associated major phenotype: the first case of complete allele-specific alternative splicing products in the coagulation and fibrinolytic systems
Angiotensin II mediates angiotensin converting enzyme type 2 internalization and degradation through an angiotensin II type I receptor-dependent mechanism.
Influence of ACE I/D Polymorphism on Circulating Levels of Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor 1, D-Dimer, Ultrasensitive C-Reactive Protein and Transforming Growth Factor β1 in Patients Undergoing Hemodialysis
Regulation of plasma factor XIII levels in healthy individuals; a major impact by subunit B intron K c.1952+144 C>G polymorphism
Cardiac biomarkers, cardiac injury, and comorbidities associated with severe illness and mortality in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): A systematic review and meta-analysis.
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