Determining crucial genes associated with COVID-19 based on COPD Findings✶,✶✶

Comput Biol Med. 2021 Jan;128:104126. doi: 10.1016/j.compbiomed.2020.104126. Epub 2020 Nov 21.


Genes act in groups known as gene modules, which accomplish different cellular functions in the body. The modular nature of gene networks was used in this study to detect functionally enriched modules in samples obtained from COPD patients. We analyzed modules extracted from COPD samples and identified crucial genes associated with the disease COVID-19. We also extracted modules from a COVID-19 dataset and analyzed a suspected set of genes that may be associated with this deadly disease. We used information available for two other viruses that cause SARS and MERS because their physiology is similar to that of the COVID-19 virus. We report several crucial genes associated with COVID-19: RPA2, POLD4, MAPK8, IRF7, JUN, NFKB1, NFKBIA, CD40LG, FASLG, ICAM1, LIFR, STAT2 and CCR1. Most of these genes are related to the immune system and respiratory organs, which emphasizes the fact that COPD weakens this system and makes patients more susceptible to developing severe COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19; GeneCard; MERS; Pathway; SARS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / genetics*
  • COVID-19 / immunology
  • Databases, Nucleic Acid*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Humans
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / genetics*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / immunology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / virology
  • SARS-CoV-2 / genetics*
  • SARS-CoV-2 / immunology
  • Severity of Illness Index