Investigation of Expression Levels of Genes Involved in RNA Methylation in Individuals Infected with Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus

Özbilüm Şahin N. (Executive), Tüzemen Bayyurt E. B. , Bakır M.

Project Supported by Other Official Institutions, 2021 - 2022

  • Project Type: Project Supported by Other Official Institutions
  • Begin Date: December 2021
  • End Date: November 2022

Project Abstract

Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a disease caused by the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV), an arbovirus carried on a tick. This virus belongs to the genus Orthonairovirus in the order Bunyavirales of the Nairoviridae family. This disease is sporadic in most parts of Africa, Asia and Europe, with a mortality rate of approximately 30%. CCHF disease is an important health problem for our country, especially for Central Anatolia, in the spring months.

Epitranscriptome is all chemical modifications of RNA in a cell. Epitranscriptomics are modifications that do not involve a change in the ribonucleotide sequence but include all functional changes in the transcriptome. The most common among these modifications is N6-methyladenosine (m6A) methylation. Because this methylation occurs at the sixth position of RNA adenylate, it is called 'N6-methyladenosine' or 'm6A'. Viral infections produce potent changes in the cell transcriptome. Some RNA methylation genes expressed in infected cells are used to regulate the expression of viral and host genes. Expression of RNA methylation genes may alter the antiviral response. Some of these genes have been shown to aid virus replication and cause decreased antiviral immunity.

In our study, for the first time in the world, the expression profiles of some N6 methyladenosine genes will be investigated by using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) method in CCHF patients. The expressions of the N6 methyladenosine genes, METTL3, WTAP, ALKBH5, FTO and YTHDF2, which we think that they have important roles in viral infections, will be studied. The patient population consists of individuals with a definite diagnosis of CCHF disease. All CCHF patients will be divided into two groups in terms of their clinical course as non-severe and severe. In addition, the patient population will be examined in terms of surviving and fatal cases. In addition, These RNA methylation gene expression differences between acute and convalescent periods of CCHF patients will be determined. The results obtained from this study will contribute to our understanding of the role of RNA methylation genes in CCHF pathogenesis. In addition, it is possible that the results from this study will be a data source for the development of RNA methylation-based therapy against CCHF infection in the future with the use of RNA methylation genes.