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J Infect Dis ; 222(4): 556-563, 2020 07 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-593365


Patients who died from COVID-19 often had comorbidities, such as hypertension, diabetes, and chronic obstructive lung disease. Although angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is crucial for SARS-CoV-2 to bind and enter host cells, no study has systematically assessed the ACE2 expression in the lungs of patients with these diseases. Here, we analyzed over 700 lung transcriptome samples from patients with comorbidities associated with severe COVID-19 and found that ACE2 was highly expressed in these patients compared to control individuals. This finding suggests that patients with such comorbidities may have higher chances of developing severe COVID-19. Correlation and network analyses revealed many potential regulators of ACE2 in the human lung, including genes related to histone modifications, such as HAT1, HDAC2, and KDM5B. Our systems biology approach offers a possible explanation for increased COVID-19 severity in patients with certain comorbidities.

Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Lung/enzymology , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Case-Control Studies , Cerebrovascular Disorders/epidemiology , Cerebrovascular Disorders/genetics , Comorbidity , Coronary Disease/epidemiology , Coronary Disease/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/enzymology , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Diabetes Complications/epidemiology , Diabetes Complications/genetics , Epigenomics , Female , Humans , Hypertension/epidemiology , Hypertension/genetics , Male , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/enzymology , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/epidemiology , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/genetics , Severity of Illness Index , Systems Biology , Transcriptome
Obesity (Silver Spring) ; 28(9): 1586-1589, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-306140


OBJECTIVE: Mortality from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is increased in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Furthermore, higher BMI is related to severe disease. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 utilizes angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) to gain cellular entry. METHODS: Whether ACE2 bronchial epithelial expression is increased in COPD patients who have overweight compared with those who do not was investigated by RNA sequencing. RESULTS: Increased ACE2 expression was observed in patients with COPD with overweight (mean BMI, 29 kg/m2 ) compared with those without overweight (mean BMI, 21 kg/m2 ) (P = 0.004). CONCLUSIONS: Increased ACE2 expression may cause increased severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection of the respiratory tract. Overweight COPD patients may be at greater risk for developing severe COVID-19.

Bronchi , Epithelium/metabolism , Overweight/complications , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/genetics , Aged , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections , Female , Gene Expression Regulation , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/complications