The World Health Organization recently announced that pandemic status has been achieved for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Exponential increases in patient numbers have been reported around the world, along with proportional increases in the number of COVID-19-related deaths. The SARS-CoV-2 infection rate in a population is expected to be influenced by social practices, availability of vaccines or prophylactics, and the prevalence of susceptibility genes in the population. Previous work revealed that cellular uptake of SARS-CoV-2 requires Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE-2) and a cellular protease. The spike (S) protein on SARS-CoV-2 binds ACE-2, which functions as an entry receptor. Following receptor binding, transmembrane protease serine 2 (encoded by TMPRSS2) primes the S protein to allow cellular uptake. Therefore, individual expression of TMPRSS2 may be a crucial determinant of SARS-CoV-2 infection susceptibility. Here, we utilized multiple large genome databases, including the GTEx portal, SNP nexus, and Ensembl genome project, to identify gene expression profiles for TMPRSS2 and its important expression quantitative trait loci. Our results show that four variants (rs464397, rs469390, rs2070788 and rs383510) affect expression of TMPRSS2 in lung tissue. The allele frequency of each variant was then assessed in regional populations, including African, American, European, and three Asian cohorts (China, Japan and Taiwan). Interestingly, our data shows that TMPRSS2-upregulating variants are at higher frequencies in European and American populations than in the Asian populations, which implies that these populations might be relatively susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 20 2020|
- Variant gene
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology