MiR-98 regulates tmprss2 expression in human endothelial cells: Key implications for covid-19

Alessandro Matarese, Jessica Gambardella, Celestino Sardu, Gaetano Santulli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


The two main co-factors needed by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) to enter human cells are angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2). Here, we focused on the study of microRNAs that specifically target TMPRSS2. Through a bioinformatic approach, we identified miR-98-5p as a suitable candidate. Since we and others have shown that endothelial cells play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), we mechanistically validated miR-98-5p as a regulator of TMPRSS2 transcription in two different human endothelial cell types, derived from the lung and from the umbilical vein. Taken together, our findings indicate that TMPRSS2 represents a valid target in COVID-19 treatment, which may be achieved by specific non-coding-RNA approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number462
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • ACE2
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus
  • Endothelium
  • Epigenetics
  • Lung
  • MiR-98-5p
  • MicroRNA
  • Non-coding RNA
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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