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Regional TMPRSS2 V197M Allele Frequencies Are Correlated with COVID-19 Case Fatality Rates.

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Coronavirus disease, COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), caused by SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2), has a higher case fatality rate in European countries than in others, especially East Asian ones. One potential explanation for this regional difference is the diversity of the viral infection efficiency. Here, we analyzed the allele frequencies of a nonsynonymous variant rs12329760 (V197M) in the TMPRSS2 gene, a key enzyme essential for viral infection and found a significant association between the COVID-19 case fatality rate and the V197M allele frequencies, using over 200,000 present-day and ancient genomic samples. East Asian countries have higher V197M allele frequencies than other regions, including European countries which correlates to their lower case fatality rates. Structural and energy calculation analysis of the V197M amino acid change showed that it destabilizes the TMPRSS2 protein, possibly negatively affecting its ACE2 and viral spike protein processing.



COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, TMPRSS2, allele frequency, case fatality rate, Asian People, COVID-19, Gene Frequency, Humans, Models, Molecular, Mortality, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Republic of Korea, Serine Endopeptidases, White People

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Mol Cells

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Elsevier BV