The human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2) proteins play key roles in the cellular internalization of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the coronavirus responsible for the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We set out to functionally characterize the ACE2 and TMPRSS2 protein abundance for variant alleles encoding these proteins that contained non-synonymous single-nucleotide polymorphisms (nsSNPs) in their open reading frames (ORFs). Specifically, a high-throughput assay, deep mutational scanning (DMS), was employed to test the functional implications of nsSNPs, which are variants of uncertain significance in these two genes. Specifically, we used a 'landing pad' system designed to quantify the protein expression for 433 nsSNPs that have been observed in the ACE2 and TMPRSS2 ORFs and found that 8 of 127 ACE2, 19 of 157 TMPRSS2 isoform 1 and 13 of 149 TMPRSS2 isoform 2 variant proteins displayed less than ~25% of the wild-type protein expression, whereas 4 ACE2 variants displayed 25% or greater increases in protein expression. As a result, we concluded that nsSNPs in genes encoding ACE2 and TMPRSS2 might potentially influence SARS-CoV-2 infectivity. These results can now be applied to DNA sequence data for patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 to determine the possible impact of patient-based DNA sequence variation on the clinical course of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology