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      Individual variation of the SARS‐CoV‐2 receptor ACE2 gene expression and regulation

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          The COVID‐19 coronavirus is now spreading worldwide. Its pathogen, SARS‐CoV‐2, has been shown to use angiotensin‐converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as its host cell receptor, same as the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS‐CoV) in 2003. Epidemiology studies found males although only slightly more likely to be infected than females account for the majority of the severely ill and fatality, which also bias for people older than 60 years or with metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. Here by analyzing GTEx and other public data in 30 tissues across thousands of individuals, we found a significantly higher level in Asian females, an age‐dependent decrease in all ethnic groups, and a highly significant decrease in type II diabetic patients of ACE2 expression. Consistently, the most significant expression quantitative loci (eQTLs) contributing to high ACE2 expression are close to 100% in East Asians, >30% higher than other ethnic groups. A shockingly common enrichment of viral infection pathways was found among ACE2 anti‐expressed genes, and multiple binding sites of virus infection related transcription factors and sex hormone receptors locate at ACE2 regulatory regions. Human and mice data analysis further revealed ACE2 expression is reduced in T2D patients and with inflammatory cytokine treatment and upregulated by estrogen and androgen (both decrease with age). Our findings revealed a negative correlation between ACE2 expression and COVID‐19 fatality at both population and molecular levels. These results will be instrumental when designing potential prevention and treatment strategies for ACE2 binding coronaviruses in general.


          This study revealed the negative correlation of high basal ACE2 level with CoVID‐19 severity/fatality at the population level and its anticorrelation with virus infection pathway expression levels, upregulation by sex hormones and suppression by inflammatory cytokine at the molecular level.

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          Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China

          Summary Background A recent cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China, was caused by a novel betacoronavirus, the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). We report the epidemiological, clinical, laboratory, and radiological characteristics and treatment and clinical outcomes of these patients. Methods All patients with suspected 2019-nCoV were admitted to a designated hospital in Wuhan. We prospectively collected and analysed data on patients with laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection by real-time RT-PCR and next-generation sequencing. Data were obtained with standardised data collection forms shared by WHO and the International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium from electronic medical records. Researchers also directly communicated with patients or their families to ascertain epidemiological and symptom data. Outcomes were also compared between patients who had been admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and those who had not. Findings By Jan 2, 2020, 41 admitted hospital patients had been identified as having laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV infection. Most of the infected patients were men (30 [73%] of 41); less than half had underlying diseases (13 [32%]), including diabetes (eight [20%]), hypertension (six [15%]), and cardiovascular disease (six [15%]). Median age was 49·0 years (IQR 41·0–58·0). 27 (66%) of 41 patients had been exposed to Huanan seafood market. One family cluster was found. Common symptoms at onset of illness were fever (40 [98%] of 41 patients), cough (31 [76%]), and myalgia or fatigue (18 [44%]); less common symptoms were sputum production (11 [28%] of 39), headache (three [8%] of 38), haemoptysis (two [5%] of 39), and diarrhoea (one [3%] of 38). Dyspnoea developed in 22 (55%) of 40 patients (median time from illness onset to dyspnoea 8·0 days [IQR 5·0–13·0]). 26 (63%) of 41 patients had lymphopenia. All 41 patients had pneumonia with abnormal findings on chest CT. Complications included acute respiratory distress syndrome (12 [29%]), RNAaemia (six [15%]), acute cardiac injury (five [12%]) and secondary infection (four [10%]). 13 (32%) patients were admitted to an ICU and six (15%) died. Compared with non-ICU patients, ICU patients had higher plasma levels of IL2, IL7, IL10, GSCF, IP10, MCP1, MIP1A, and TNFα. Interpretation The 2019-nCoV infection caused clusters of severe respiratory illness similar to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus and was associated with ICU admission and high mortality. Major gaps in our knowledge of the origin, epidemiology, duration of human transmission, and clinical spectrum of disease need fulfilment by future studies. Funding Ministry of Science and Technology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, National Natural Science Foundation of China, and Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission.
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            Clinical Characteristics of Coronavirus Disease 2019 in China

            Abstract Background Since December 2019, when coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) emerged in Wuhan city and rapidly spread throughout China, data have been needed on the clinical characteristics of the affected patients. Methods We extracted data regarding 1099 patients with laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 from 552 hospitals in 30 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities in mainland China through January 29, 2020. The primary composite end point was admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), the use of mechanical ventilation, or death. Results The median age of the patients was 47 years; 41.9% of the patients were female. The primary composite end point occurred in 67 patients (6.1%), including 5.0% who were admitted to the ICU, 2.3% who underwent invasive mechanical ventilation, and 1.4% who died. Only 1.9% of the patients had a history of direct contact with wildlife. Among nonresidents of Wuhan, 72.3% had contact with residents of Wuhan, including 31.3% who had visited the city. The most common symptoms were fever (43.8% on admission and 88.7% during hospitalization) and cough (67.8%). Diarrhea was uncommon (3.8%). The median incubation period was 4 days (interquartile range, 2 to 7). On admission, ground-glass opacity was the most common radiologic finding on chest computed tomography (CT) (56.4%). No radiographic or CT abnormality was found in 157 of 877 patients (17.9%) with nonsevere disease and in 5 of 173 patients (2.9%) with severe disease. Lymphocytopenia was present in 83.2% of the patients on admission. Conclusions During the first 2 months of the current outbreak, Covid-19 spread rapidly throughout China and caused varying degrees of illness. Patients often presented without fever, and many did not have abnormal radiologic findings. (Funded by the National Health Commission of China and others.)
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              Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 cases of 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a descriptive study

              Summary Background In December, 2019, a pneumonia associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) emerged in Wuhan, China. We aimed to further clarify the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 2019-nCoV pneumonia. Methods In this retrospective, single-centre study, we included all confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV in Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital from Jan 1 to Jan 20, 2020. Cases were confirmed by real-time RT-PCR and were analysed for epidemiological, demographic, clinical, and radiological features and laboratory data. Outcomes were followed up until Jan 25, 2020. Findings Of the 99 patients with 2019-nCoV pneumonia, 49 (49%) had a history of exposure to the Huanan seafood market. The average age of the patients was 55·5 years (SD 13·1), including 67 men and 32 women. 2019-nCoV was detected in all patients by real-time RT-PCR. 50 (51%) patients had chronic diseases. Patients had clinical manifestations of fever (82 [83%] patients), cough (81 [82%] patients), shortness of breath (31 [31%] patients), muscle ache (11 [11%] patients), confusion (nine [9%] patients), headache (eight [8%] patients), sore throat (five [5%] patients), rhinorrhoea (four [4%] patients), chest pain (two [2%] patients), diarrhoea (two [2%] patients), and nausea and vomiting (one [1%] patient). According to imaging examination, 74 (75%) patients showed bilateral pneumonia, 14 (14%) patients showed multiple mottling and ground-glass opacity, and one (1%) patient had pneumothorax. 17 (17%) patients developed acute respiratory distress syndrome and, among them, 11 (11%) patients worsened in a short period of time and died of multiple organ failure. Interpretation The 2019-nCoV infection was of clustering onset, is more likely to affect older males with comorbidities, and can result in severe and even fatal respiratory diseases such as acute respiratory distress syndrome. In general, characteristics of patients who died were in line with the MuLBSTA score, an early warning model for predicting mortality in viral pneumonia. Further investigation is needed to explore the applicability of the MuLBSTA score in predicting the risk of mortality in 2019-nCoV infection. Funding National Key R&D Program of China.

                Author and article information

                Aging Cell
                Aging Cell
                Aging Cell
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                19 June 2020
                [ 1 ] Peking‐Tsinghua Center for Life Sciences Academy for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies Center for Quantitative Biology (CQB) Peking University Beijing China
                [ 2 ] CAS Key Laboratory of Computational Biology CAS‐MPG Partner Institute for Computational Biology Shanghai Institute of Nutrition and Health Chinese Academy of Sciences Center for Excellence in Molecular Cell Science Collaborative Innovation Center for Genetics and Developmental Biology Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences Chinese Academy of Sciences Shanghai China
                Author notes
                [* ] Correspondence

                Jing‐Dong J. Han, Peking‐Tsinghua Center for Life Sciences, Academy for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies, Center for Quantitative Biology (CQB), Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.

                Email: jackie.han@

                © 2020 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

                This is an open access article under the terms of the License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 1, Pages: 12, Words: 16793
                Funded by: National Natural Science Foundation of China , open-funder-registry 10.13039/501100001809;
                Award ID: 91749205
                Funded by: China Ministry of Science and Technology
                Award ID: 2016YFE0108700
                Original Article
                Original Articles
                Custom metadata
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_JATSPMC version:5.8.4 mode:remove_FC converted:29.06.2020

                Cell biology

                covid‐19, ace2, sars‐cov2


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