COVID-19 alters human genes, explaining mystery behind coronavirus ‘long haulers’ – Study Finds

These tiny spikes cover the surface of coronavirus cells. When the spike cuts into a patients cells, the infection launches its own hereditary material into the cell so it can duplicate.
The team notes culturing human air passage cells requires time and specific conditions which assist the cells mature. After culturing, researchers exposed the cells to low and high concentrations of purified spike protein.

LUBBOCK, Texas– For some COVID-19 clients, getting over their infection is just the beginning of the recovery. A new research study discovers coronavirus actually causes long-lasting changes to a contaminated clients genes.
These tiny spikes cover the surface of coronavirus cells. Once the spike cuts into a clients cells, the virus launches its own hereditary product into the cell so it can replicate.
” We discovered that direct exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein alone was enough to alter standard gene expression in airway cells,” states Nicholas Evans, a masters student at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, in a media release. “This recommends that symptoms seen in patients may initially result from the spike protein connecting with the cells directly.”
Spikes make long-lasting changes to human lung cells
Researchers examined how exposure to spike protein impacts cultured human airway cells in laboratory experiments. They also compared the results to research studies utilizing cell samples from actual COVID-19 clients.
The team notes culturing human airway cells requires time and specific conditions which assist the cells grow. This enables the laboratory cells to establish into the various cells residing in a real human airway. To do this, study authors refined a culturing method called air-liquid user interface so they could more carefully simulate the conditions in a real clients lungs.
After culturing, researchers exposed the cells to high and low concentrations of cleansed spike protein. The results reveal distinctions in gene expression which stayed in the cells even after the infection passed. The most affected genes include ones managing the bodys inflammatory response.
“Our work assists to elucidate modifications taking place in clients on the hereditary level, which could eventually provide insight into which treatments would work best for particular patients,” Evans explains.
Research study authors now prepare to utilize this method to analyze the length of time these hereditary changes last. They also hope to expose what other long-lasting repercussions a COVID infection will have on a patients health.
The group exists their findings at Experimental Biology (EB) 2021, a virtual conference of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.