The research findings, printed in Human Molecular Genetics, counsel a possible new diagnostic strategy that’s based mostly on variation within the host cells relatively than the continuously evolving virus itself.
“COVID-19 is a master of frequency in changing the sequences of its genes, but that only tells half of the story. Our findings suggest that the virus’s interaction with proteins encoded by the human genome may also be a contributor to a person’s disease outcome,” says Lingxin Zhang, Ph.D., the lead creator of the research and a researcher within the Pharmacogenomics Program of the Middle for Individualized Drugs.
“These results can now be applied to DNA sequence data for patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 to potentially determine the degree of susceptibility to the disease,” Dr. Zhang provides. “I hope this methodology can be expanded for other genes involved in COVID-19, and that scientists and clinicians across the world can use this information to help their patients.”
For the research, Dr. Zhang and her group delved deep into the DNA sequencing knowledge of almost 71,000 folks worldwide, together with almost 30,000 racial and ethnic minorities, to determine sequence variants within the ACE2 and TMPRESS2 genes. The group then analyzed a whole lot of protein variants encoded by these genes and recognized variant genes that generated excessive and low expression ranges. To try this, Dr. Zhang engineered cells able to expressing the protein variants, after which, utilizing color-coding, she and her group analyzed the variants to see which have been kind of steady.
The research used almost one million generated cells and produced billions of knowledge factors, which the group analyzed utilizing a collection of applied sciences, together with cell sorting, fashionable genomics, excessive throughput DNA sequencing and a pc algorithm.
“To our knowledge, it’s the first time anyone has applied this approach to COVID-19,” says Richard Weinshilboum, M.D., co-author of the research and a pharmacologist within the Middle for Individualized Drugs, and Division of Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. “This work would not have been possible without the dramatic advances that have occurred in DNA sequencing, joined together with parallel advances in our ability to test the functional and medical implications of individual variations in DNA sequence and, as a result of individual variation in the proteins encoded by our genes.”
Dr. Weinshilboum says the research additionally was made doable by the massive amount of human DNA sequence data that’s now publically out there with the proviso that these knowledge have to be rigorously protected and should have their use reviewed and accredited to keep away from any doable violation of privateness.