Genetic analysis of the novel SARS-CoV-2 host receptor TMPRSS2 in different populations.

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
R. RussoMario Capasso


The infection coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by a virus classified as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). At cellular level, virus infection initiates with binding of viral particles to the host surface cellular receptor angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). SARS-CoV-2 engages ACE2 as the entry receptor and employs the cellular serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2) for S protein priming. TMPRSS2 activity is essential for viral spread and pathogenesis in the infected host. Understanding how TMPRSS2 protein expression in the lung varies in the population could reveal important insights into differential susceptibility to influenza and coronavirus infections. Here, we systematically analyzed coding-region variants in TMPRSS2 and the eQTL variants, which may affect the gene expression, to compare the genomic characteristics of TMPRSS2 among different populations. Our findings suggest that the lung-specific eQTL variants may confer different susceptibility or response to SARS-CoV-2 infection from different populations under the similar conditions. In particular, we found that the eQTL variant rs35074065 is associated with high expression of TMPRSS2 but with a low expression of the interferon (IFN)-/{...Continue Reading

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