Transferrin identified as potential contributor to COVID-19 severity

August 03, 2020

The University of Kent's School of Biosciences and the Institute of Medical Virology at Goethe-University, Frankfurt am Main, have identified that a glycoprotein known as transferrin may critically contribute to severe forms of COVID-19.

SARS-CoV-2 is the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. It is currently not known why some individuals develop only mild or no symptoms when infected, whilst others experience severe, life-threatening forms of the disease. However, it is known that the risk of COVID-19 becoming severe increases with age and is higher in males than in females. Many severe COVID-19 cases are characterised by increased blood clotting and thrombosis formation.

The team combined existing data on gene expression in humans and infected cells to search for molecules involved in blood coagulation that differ between females and males, change with age, and are regulated in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Out of more than 200 candidate factors, researchers identified a glycoprotein called transferrin to be a procoagulant (a cause of blood clotting) that increases with age, is higher in males than in females, and is higher in SARS-CoV-2-infected cells. Hence, transferrin may have potential as a biomarker for the early identification of COVID-19 patients at high risk of severe disease.

Katie-May McLaughlin, the first author of the study said: 'It is very exciting to be involved in such an important study that may improve therapies for COVID-19 in its most severe form'.
-end-
The study 'COVID-19-related coagulopathy - Is transferrin a missing link?' was published in the scientific journal Diagnostics.

The papers' authors were:

University of Kent's School of Biosciences
Katie-May McLaughlin, Stuart Masterson, Dr Mark Wass, Professor Martin Michaelis.

Goethe University Frankfurt's Institute of Medical Virology
Marco Bechtel, Denisa Bojkova, Professor Sandra Ciesek, Professor Jindrich Cinatl.

For further information or interview requests, please contact Sam Wood at the University of Kent Press Office.

Tel: 01227 823581
Email: s.wood-700@kent.ac.uk

News releases can also be found at http://www.kent.ac.uk/news
University of Kent on Twitter: http://twitter.com/UniKent

Notes to Editors

The University of Kent is a leading UK university producing world-class research, rated internationally excellent and leading the way in many fields of study. Our 20,000 students are based at campuses and centres in Canterbury, Medway, Brussels, Paris, and Tonbridge.

With 97% of our research judged to be of international quality in the most recent Research Assessment Framework (REF2014), our students study with some of the most influential thinkers in the world. Universities UK recently named research from the University as one of the UK's 100 Best Breakthroughs of the last century for its significant impact on people's everyday lives.

We are renowned for our inspirational teaching. Awarded a gold rating, the highest, in the UK Government's Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), we were presented with the Outstanding Support for Students award at the 2018 Times Higher Education (THE) Awards for the second year running.

Our graduates are equipped for a successful future allowing them to compete effectively in the global job market. More than 95% of graduates find a job or study opportunity within six months.

Known as the 'UK's European university', our international outlook is a major focus and we believe in our students developing a global perspective. Many of our courses provide opportunities to study or work abroad; we have partnerships with more than 400 universities worldwide and are the only UK university to have postgraduate centres in Athens, Brussels, Paris and Rome.

The University is a truly international community with over 40% of our academics coming from outside the UK and our students representing over 150 nationalities.

We are a major economic force in south east England, supporting innovation and enterprise. We are worth £0.9 billion to the economy of the south east and support more than 9,400 jobs in the region.

In March 2018, the Government and Health Education England (HEE) announced that the joint bid by the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University for funded places to establish a medical school has been successful. The first intake of undergraduates to the Kent and Medway Medical School will be in September 2020.

We are proud to be part of Canterbury, Medway and the county of Kent and, through collaboration with partners, work to ensure our global ambitions have a positive impact on the region's academic, cultural, social and economic landscape.

University of Kent

Related Blood Clotting Articles from Brightsurf:

Pitt trauma experts aim to reduce deaths by providing blood-clotting agent
The study found the drug can help the most severely injured trauma patients.

Possible blood-clotting mechanism in COVID-19 found
Why so many COVID-19 patients get blood clots (thrombosis) remains uncertain.

COVID-19 causes 'hyperactivity' in blood-clotting cells
Changes in blood platelets triggered by COVID-19 could contribute to the onset of heart attacks, strokes, and other serious complications in some patients who have the disease, according to University of Utah Health scientists.

Blood clotting abnormalities reveal COVID-19 patients at risk for thrombotic events
When researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, used a combination of two specific blood-clotting tests, they found critically ill patients infected with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) who were at high risk for developing renal failure, venous blood clots, and other complications associated with blood clots, such as stroke.

Blood clotting a significant cause of death in patients with COVID-19
A study led by clinician scientists at RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences has found that Irish patients admitted to hospital with severe COVID-19 infection are experiencing abnormal blood clotting that contributes to death in some patients.

Muscle protein abundant in the heart plays key role in blood clotting during heart attack
A prevalent heart protein known as cardiac myosin, which is released into the body when a person suffers a heart attack, can cause blood to thicken or clot--worsening damage to heart tissue, a new study shows.

Clotting problem
New research into why some people's blood doesn't clot well identified defects in the platelet-making process, where mutant cells aren't behaving properly.

Study finds trend toward benefit in using blood-clotting agent for bleeding stroke
There are few treatment options for bleeding stroke. There was a trend towards reduced growth of brain bleeds in those treated with the antifibrinolytic agent tranexamic acid within 4.5 hours of stroke onset, compared to those treated with placebo.

Study: Blood-clotting protein and blood platelets promote immune evasion, cancer progression
A new study led by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - Arthur G.

Laying out directions for future of reliable blood clotting molecule models
Blood clots have long been implicated in heart attacks and strokes.

Read More: Blood Clotting News and Blood Clotting Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.