Genome-wide analysis provides genetic evidence that ACE2 influences COVID-19 risk and yields risk scores associated with severe disease

Regeneron Genetics Center

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) enters human host cells via angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Here, through a genome-wide association study, we identify a variant (rs190509934, minor allele frequency 0.2-2%) that downregulates ACE2 expression by 37% (P = 2.7 × 10-8) and reduces the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection by 40% (odds ratio = 0.60, P = 4.5 × 10-13), providing human genetic evidence that ACE2 expression levels influence COVID-19 risk. We also replicate the associations of six previously reported risk variants, of which four were further associated with worse outcomes in individuals infected with the virus (in/near LZTFL1, MHC, DPP9 and IFNAR2). Lastly, we show that common variants define a risk score that is strongly associated with severe disease among cases and modestly improves the prediction of disease severity relative to demographic and clinical factors alone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)382-392
Number of pages11
JournalNature Genetics
Volume54
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Genome-wide analysis provides genetic evidence that ACE2 influences COVID-19 risk and yields risk scores associated with severe disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this