Non-Coding RNAs in COVID-19: Emerging Insights and Current Questions


non-coding RNA

Contributing to research themes:

The highly infectious severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged as the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in late 2019, igniting an unprecedented pandemic. A mechanistic picture characterising the acute immunopathological disease in severe COVID-19 is developing. Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) constitute the transcribed but un-translated portion of the genome and, until recent decades, have been undiscovered or overlooked. A growing body of research continues to demonstrate their interconnected involvement in the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 development by regulating several of its pathological hallmarks: cytokine storm syndrome, haemostatic alterations, immune cell recruitment, and vascular dysregulation. There is also keen interest in exploring the possibility of host–virus RNA–RNA and RNA–RBP interactions. Here, we discuss and evaluate evidence demonstrating the involvement of short and long ncRNAs in COVID-19 and use this information to propose hypotheses for future mechanistic and clinical studies.

Author list:


York Biomedical Research Institute, University of York, Wentworth Way, York YO10 5DD, UK

Hull York Medical School, University of York, Wentworth Way, York YO10 5DD, UK



Tobias Plowman1,2 and Dimitris Lagos1,2