Transmembrane serine protease 2 Polymorphisms and Susceptibility to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Type 2 Infection: A German Case-Control Study.
ABSTRACT: The transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2) is the major host protease that enables entry of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) into host cells by spike (S) protein priming. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the gene TMPRSS2 have been associated with susceptibility to and severity of H1N1 or H1N9 influenza A virus infections. Functional variants may influence SARS-CoV-2 infection risk and severity of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as well. Therefore, we analyzed the role of SNPs in the gene TMPRSS2 in a German case-control study. We performed genotyping of the SNPs rs2070788, rs383510, and rs12329760 in the gene TMPRSS2 in 239 SARS-CoV-2-positive and 253 SARS-CoV-2-negative patients. We analyzed the association of the SNPs with susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection and severity of COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2-positive and SARS-CoV-2-negative patients did not differ regarding their demographics. The CC genotype of TMPRSS2 rs383510 was associated with a 1.73-fold increased SARS-CoV-2 infection risk, but was not correlated to severity of COVID-19. Neither TMPRSS2 rs2070788 nor rs12329760 polymorphisms were related to SARS-CoV-2 infection risk or severity of COVID-19. In a multivariable analysis (MVA), the rs383510 CC genotype remained an independent predictor for a 2-fold increased SARS-CoV-2 infection risk. In summary, our report appears to be the first showing that the intron variant rs383510 in the gene TMPRSS2 is associated with an increased risk to SARS-CoV-2 infection in a German cohort.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The human protein transmembrane protease serine type 2 (TMPRSS2) plays a key role in SARS-CoV-2 infection, as it is required to activate the virus' spike protein, facilitating entry into target cells. We hypothesized that naturally-occurring TMPRSS2 human genetic variants affecting the structure and function of the TMPRSS2 protein may modulate the severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection.<h4>Methods</h4>We focused on the only common TMPRSS2 non-synonymous variant predicted to be damaging (rs12329760 C>T, p.V160M), which has a minor allele frequency ranging from 0.14 in Ashkenazi Jewish to 0.38 in East Asians. We analysed the association between the rs12329760 and COVID-19 severity in 2,244 critically ill patients with COVID-19 from 208 UK intensive care units recruited as part of the GenOMICC (Genetics Of Mortality In Critical Care) study. Logistic regression analyses were adjusted for sex, age and deprivation index. For in vitro studies, HEK293 cells were co-transfected with ACE2 and either TMPRSS2 wild type or mutant (TMPRSS2<sub>V160M</sub>). A SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus entry assay was used to investigate the ability of TMPRSS2<sub>V160M</sub> to promote viral entry.<h4>Results</h4>We show that the T allele of rs12329760 is associated with a reduced likelihood of developing severe COVID-19 (OR 0.87, 95%CI:0.79-0.97, p = 0.01). This association was stronger in homozygous individuals when compared to the general population (OR 0.65, 95%CI:0.50-0.84, p = 1.3 × 10<sup>-3</sup>). We demonstrate in vitro that this variant, which causes the amino acid substitution valine to methionine, affects the catalytic activity of TMPRSS2 and is less able to support SARS-CoV-2 spike-mediated entry into cells.<h4>Conclusion</h4>TMPRSS2 rs12329760 is a common variant associated with a significantly decreased risk of severe COVID-19. Further studies are needed to assess the expression of TMPRSS2 across different age groups. Moreover, our results identify TMPRSS2 as a promising drug target, with a potential role for camostat mesilate, a drug approved for the treatment of chronic pancreatitis and postoperative reflux esophagitis, in the treatment of COVID-19. Clinical trials are needed to confirm this.
Project description:SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent for COVID-19, an ongoing pandemic, engages the ACE2 receptor to enter the host cell through S protein priming by a serine protease, TMPRSS2. Variation in the TMPRSS2 gene may account for the disparity in disease susceptibility between populations. Therefore, in the present study, we have used next-generation sequencing (NGS) data of world populations from 393 individuals and analyzed the TMPRSS2 gene using a haplotype-based approach with a major focus on South Asia to study its phylogenetic structure and their haplotype sharing among various populations worldwide. Our analysis of phylogenetic relatedness showed a closer affinity of South Asians with the West Eurasian populations therefore, host disease susceptibility and severity particularly in the context of TMPRSS2 will be more akin to West Eurasian instead of East Eurasian. This is in contrast to our prior study on the ACE2 gene which shows South Asian haplotypes have a strong affinity towards West Eurasians. Thus ACE2 and TMPRSS2 have an antagonistic genetic relatedness among South Asians. Considering the significance of the TMPRSS2 gene in the SARS-CoV-2 pathogenicity, COVID-19 infection and intensity trends could be directly associated with increased expression therefore, we have also tested the SNPs frequencies of this gene among various Indian state populations with respect to the case fatality rate (CFR). Interestingly, we found a significant positive association between the rs2070788 SNP (G Allele) and the CFR among Indian populations. Further our cis eQTL analysis of rs2070788 shows that the GG genotype of the rs2070788 tends to have a significantly higher expression of TMPRSS2 gene in the lung compared to the AG and AA genotypes thus validating the previous observation and therefore it might play a vital part in determining differential disease vulnerability. We trust that this information will be useful in understanding the role of the TMPRSS2 variant in COVID-19 susceptibility and using it as a biomarker may help to predict populations at risk.
Project description:SARS‐CoV‐2 is a highly infectious virus that is responsible for the COVID‐19 global pandemic that swept the world in 2020. Disease outcomes range from asymptomatic to fatal. The virus initiates entry into host cells by the binding of its spike protein to the ACE2 receptor. Entry is finalized by the activation of spike glycoprotein by proteases including transmembrane protease, serine 2 (TMPRSS2) and FURIN which cleave the spike protein of the virus. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in TMPRSS2 may lead to functional changes which could underlie differences in disease severity. TMPRSS2 is also known to activate different respiratory illnesses including coronaviruses and influenza A (Shen et al., 2020). Previous studies have shown that knockout TMPRSS2 mice appeared healthy, experienced a decrease in viral spread within the respiratory system, and had a less severe immune response when infected with SARS‐CoV and MERS‐CoV (Baughn et al., 2020). Thus, we asked whether genetic variations in TMPRSS2 in humans lead to differences in infection rates or severity of disease symptoms of SARS‐CoV‐2. We examined the NCBI dbSNP database to identify SNPs in the TMPRSS2 gene. As of 10 December 2020, we found there were 11,023 intron variants, 393 missense variants, 186 synonymous variants, 3 in‐frame insertion variants, 2 in‐frame deletion variants, and 1 initiator codon variant reported. To narrow these down to 23 SNPs of interest, we first searched the ClinVar database to identify SNPs with general clinical significance, followed by searching the literature to determine SNPs specifically related to SARS‐CoV‐2 severity. One missense variant, rs12329760, results in an amino acid substitution, V160M, which has been predicted to alter TMPRSS2 function. A subset of these SNPs show differences in frequency in world populations, and we wondered if these SNPs had structural and functional consequences for the protein. A crystal structure of TMPRSS2 is not currently available. To visualize the structural consequences of amino acid substitutions, we performed homology modeling on TMPRSS2 (UniProt O15393) using the structure prediction software HHPred, RaptorX, and SwissModel based on the ~30% similarity to hepsin. The predicted structures of TMPRSS2 with various amino acid substitutions were then docked to the SARS‐CoV‐2 spike protein using I‐TASSER and Haddock 2.4 to observe differences in binding interactions and therefore determine which sequence changes are predicted to alter binding interactions, potentially contributing to the wide variation of symptoms caused by COVID‐19. Baughn, L. B., Sharma, N., Elhaik, E., Sekulic, A., Bryce, A. H., & Fonseca, R. (2020). Targeting TMPRSS2 in SARS‐CoV‐2 Infection. Mayo Clinic proceedings, 95(9), 1989–1999. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mayocp.2020.06.018 Shen, L.W.; Mao, H.J.;, Wu, Y.L.; Tanaka,Y.; Zhang,W. (2017) TMPRSS2: A potential target for treatment of influenza virus and coronavirus infections, Biochimie, 142, 1‐10. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biochi.2017.07.016
Project description:At present, more than 200 countries and territories are directly affected by the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic. Incidence and case fatality rate are significantly higher among elderly individuals (age>60 years), type 2 diabetes and hypertension patients. Cellular receptor ACE2, serine protease TMPRSS2 and exopeptidase CD26 (also known as DPP4) are the three membrane bound proteins potentially implicated in SARS-CoV-2 infection. We hypothesised that common variants from TMPRSS2 and CD26 may play critical role in infection susceptibility of predisposed population or group of individuals. Coding (missense) and regulatory variants from TMPRSS2 and CD26 were studied across 26 global populations. Two missense and five regulatory SNPs were identified to have differential allelic frequency. Significant linkage disequilibrium (LD) signature was observed in different populations. Modelled protein-protein interaction (PPI) predicted strong molecular interaction between these two receptors and SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (S1 domain). However, two missense SNPs, rs12329760 (TMPRSS2) and rs1129599 (CD26), were not found to be involved physically in the said interaction. Four regulatory variants (rs112657409, rs11910678, rs77675406 and rs713400) from TMPRSS2 were found to influence the expression of TMPRSS2 and pathologically relevant MX1. rs13015258 a 50 UTR variant from CD26 have significant role in regulation of expression of key regulatory genes that could be involved in SARS-CoV-2 internalization. Overexpression of CD26 through epigenetic modification at rs13015258-C allele was found critical and could explain the higher SARS-CoV-2 infected fatality rate among type 2 diabetes.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Mortality due to COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection varies among populations. Functional relevance of genetic variations in Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (<i>ACE2</i>) and Transmembrane serine protease 2 (<i>TMPRSS2</i>), two crucial host factors for viral entry, might explain some of this variation.<h4>Methods</h4>In this comparative study in Indian subjects, we recruited 510 COVID-19 patients and retrieved DNA from 520 controls from a repository. Associations between variants in <i>ACE2</i> and <i>TMPRSS2</i> with disease severity were identified by whole exome sequencing (WES, <i>n</i> = 20) and targeted genotyping (<i>n</i> = 1010). Molecular dynamic simulations (MDS) were performed to explore functional relevance of the variants. Cleavage of spike glycoprotein by wild and variant TMPRSS2 was determined in HEK293T cells. Potential effects of confounders on the association between genotype and disease severity were tested (Mantel-Haenszel test).<h4>Results</h4>WES identified deleterious variant in <i>TMPRSS2</i> (rs12329760, G > A, p. V160M). The minor allele frequency (MAF) was 0·27 in controls, 0·31 in asymptomatic, 0·21 in mild-to-moderately affected and 0·19 in severely affected COVID-19 patients. Risk of severity increased with decreasing MAF: Asymptomatic: Odds ratio-0·69 (95% CI-0·52-0·93; <i>p</i> = 0·01); mild-to-moderate: Odds ratio-1·89 (95% CI-1·22-2.92;p = 0·004) and severe: Odds ratio-1·79 (95% CI-1·11-2.88;p = 0·01). No confounding effect of diabetes and hypertension were observed on the risk of developing severe COVID-19 disease with respect to genotype. MDS revealed decreased stability of TMPRSS2 with 160 M variant. Spike glycoprotein cleavage by TMPRSS2 reduced ~2·4-fold in cells expressing 160 M variant.<h4>Conclusion</h4>We demonstrate association of <i>TMPRSS2</i> variant rs12329760 with decreased disease severity in COVID-19 patients from India.
Project description: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.
Project description:Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a severe disease caused by a new variant of beta-coronavirus that first appeared in China. Human genetic factors, including polymorphisms, serve pivotal roles in the high transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and the stubbornly progressing sickness seen in a small but significant percentage of infected people; however, but these factors remain ill-defined. A total of 288 COVID-19 patients and 288 controls were genotyped for TMPRSS2 polymorphisms using both restriction fragment length polymorphism polymerase chain reaction (RFLP-PCR) and amplification refractory mutation system (ARMS)-PCR techniques. Different genotypes of TMPRSS2 polymorphisms were compared in terms of disease susceptibility and mortality. The statistical analysis showed that minor alleles of all studied variants statistically increased the risk of COVID-19, except for the rs75603675 C > A variant. The T allele of rs12329760 conferred an increased risk of COVID-19. Moreover, the AG/AC/TT/AG combination of genotypes significantly enhanced the risk of COVID-19 in our population. Different haplotypes of rs17854725/rs75603675/rs12329760/rs4303795 polymorphisms, including GACA, GACG, GATG, GATA, AATA, ACCG, ACTG, ACTA, GCCA, and GCTG, were found to be associated with increased risk of the disease (odds ratio > 1). Regarding the clinical and paraclinical characteristics, a statistically significant difference was found between non-severe and severe forms except for gender, platelet, C-reactive protein (CRP), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and underlying diseases. In addition, case genotypes of TMPRSS2 rs17854725 A > G, rs12329760 C > T, and rs4303795 A > G were significantly different regarding severe and non-severe forms of the disease (P-value < 0.001). Specifically, death was more frequent in carriers of the AG genotype of rs17854725 A > G (P-value = 0.022). Patients who carry the minor alleles of the four studied TMPRSS2 variants were rather vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. Our findings indicated that rs17854725 A > G (AA vs. AG and AA vs. GG), rs12329760 C > T (CC vs. CT and CC vs. TT), and rs4303795 A > G (AA vs. AG) genotypes of TMPRSS2 variations are associated with a more invasive disorder pattern. More studies on larger populations are needed to confirm our results.
Project description:The identification of high-risk factors for the infection by SARS-CoV-2 and the negative outcome of COVID-19 is crucial. The genetic background of the host might account for individual responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection besides age and comorbidities. A list of candidate polymorphisms is needed to drive targeted screens, given the existence of frequent polymorphisms in the general population. We carried out text mining in the scientific literature to draw up a list of genes referable to the term "SARS-CoV*". We looked for frequent mutations that are likely to affect protein function in these genes. Ten genes, mostly involved in innate immunity, and thirteen common variants were identified, for some of these the involvement in COVID-19 is supported by publicly available epidemiological data. We looked for available data on the population distribution of these variants and we demonstrated that the prevalence of five of them, Arg52Cys (rs5030737), Gly54Asp (rs1800450) and Gly57Glu (rs1800451) in MBL2, Ala59Thr (rs25680) in CD27, and Val197Met (rs12329760) in TMPRSS2, correlates with the number of cases and/or deaths of COVID-19 observed in different countries. The association of the TMPRSS2 variant provides epidemiological evidence of the usefulness of transmembrane protease serine 2 inhibitors for the cure of COVID-19. The identified genetic variants represent a basis for the design of a cost-effective assay for population screening of genetic risk factors in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Project description:Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has rapidly caused a global pandemic associated with a novel respiratory infection: coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19). Angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) is necessary to facilitate SARS-CoV-2 infection, but-owing to its essential metabolic roles-it may be difficult to target it in therapies. Transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2), which interacts with ACE2, may be a better candidate for targeted therapies. Using publicly available expression data, we show that both ACE2 and TMPRSS2 are expressed in many host tissues, including lung. The highest expression of ACE2 is found in the testes, whereas the prostate displays the highest expression of TMPRSS2. Given the increased severity of disease among older men with SARS-CoV-2 infection, we address the potential roles of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 in their contribution to the sex differences in severity of disease. We show that expression levels of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 are overall comparable between men and women in multiple tissues, suggesting that differences in the expression levels of TMPRSS2 and ACE2 in the lung and other non-sex-specific tissues may not explain the gender disparities in severity of SARS CoV-2. However, given their instrumental roles for SARS-CoV-2 infection and their pleiotropic expression, targeting the activity and expression levels of TMPRSS2 is a rational approach to treat COVID-19.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has now been confirmed worldwide. Yet, COVID-19 is strangely and tragically selective. Morbidity and mortality due to COVID19 rise dramatically with age and co-existing health conditions, including cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Human genetic factors may contribute to the extremely high transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 and to the relentlessly progressive disease observed in a small but significant proportion of infected individuals, but these factors are largely unknown.<h4>Main body</h4>In this study, we investigated genetic susceptibility to COVID-19 by examining DNA polymorphisms in ACE2 and TMPRSS2 (two key host factors of SARS-CoV-2) from ~ 81,000 human genomes. We found unique genetic susceptibility across different populations in ACE2 and TMPRSS2. Specifically, ACE2 polymorphisms were found to be associated with cardiovascular and pulmonary conditions by altering the angiotensinogen-ACE2 interactions, such as p.Arg514Gly in the African/African-American population. Unique but prevalent polymorphisms (including p.Val160Met (rs12329760), an expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL)) in TMPRSS2, offer potential explanations for differential genetic susceptibility to COVID-19 as well as for risk factors, including those with cancer and the high-risk group of male patients. We further discussed that polymorphisms in ACE2 or TMPRSS2 could guide effective treatments (i.e., hydroxychloroquine and camostat) for COVID-19.<h4>Conclusion</h4>This study suggested that ACE2 or TMPRSS2 DNA polymorphisms were likely associated with genetic susceptibility of COVID-19, which calls for a human genetics initiative for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.