Increased TRIM31 gene expression is positively correlated with SARS-CoV-2 associated genes TMPRSS2 and TMPRSS4 in gastrointestinal cancers

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Temena M. A., ACAR A.

SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, vol.12, no.1, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1038/s41598-022-15911-2
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Besides typical respiratory symptoms, COVID-19 patients also have gastrointestinal symptoms. Studies focusing on the gastrointestinal tumors derived from gastrointestinal tissues have raised a question whether these tumors might express higher levels of SARS-CoV-2 associated genes and therefore patients diagnosed with GI cancers may be more susceptible to the infection. In this study, we have analyzed the expression of SARS-CoV-2 associated genes and their co-expressions in gastrointestinal solid tumors, cancer cell lines and patient-derived organoids relative to their normal counterparts. Moreover, we have found increased co-expression of TMPRSS2-TMPRSS4 in gastrointestinal cancers suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 viral infection known to be mediated by this protease pair might facilitate the effects of viral infection in GI cancer patients. Further, our findings also demonstrate that TRIM31 expression is upregulated in gastrointestinal tumors, while the inhibition of TRIM31 significantly altered viral replication and viral processes associated with cellular pathways in gastrointestinal cancer samples. Taken together, these findings indicate that in addition to the co-expression of TMPRSS2-TMPRSS4 protease pair in GI cancers, TRIM31 expression is positively correlated with this pair and TRIM31 may play a role in providing an increased susceptibility in GI cancer patients to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus.