Wenfa Ng

Transcriptome analysis has emerged as the go-to tool in the post-genomic era to perform unbiased comprehensive analysis of gene expression of many cell types and organisms. To this end, the next-generation sequencing powered RNA-seq technology is dominant, and provides many researchers with a powerful tool to interrogate gene expression at the whole-genome level. In this work, the RNA-seq transcriptome of blood cells of a 43 year-old male COVID-19 positive patient was analyzed with an in-house MATLAB transcriptome analysis software. Results emanating from a partial 10000 reads analysis reveal the high expression of electron transport chain genes in blood cells of patient with COVID-19. Genes include different subunits of NADH dehydrogenase and cytochrome c oxidase. Given electron transport chain important role in generating ATP for cells, it may be possible that high expression of electron transport chain genes may prime the immune cells to synthesize proteins and produce cytokines to mount an initial response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Overall, RNA-seq transcriptome analysis of blood cells has illuminated that blood cells are primed for energy metabolism for possible powering of protein synthesis and cytokine production through activating expression of genes of the electron transport chain.

Keywords: Electron transport chain, SARS-CoV-2, RNA-seq, transcriptome analysis, blood cells.

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