LZTFL1, expressed in lung epithelial cells, regulates epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a viral infection response pathway. EMT is frequently seen in the lungs of COVID-19 patients. Genome-wide association studies have shown that the 3p21.32 region is associated with a higher risk of respiratory failure. Recently, Downes et al., showed a strong association between the gain-of-function risk A allele of a SNP rs17713054G>A and enhanced LZTFL1 expression. The authors conclude that higher LZTFL1 levels might be responsible for the EMT seen in COVID-19 patients and the 3p21.31-associated risk. In addition, the authors propose that LZTFL1 as a potential therapeutic target for COVID191.
Tools for analyzing LZTFL1
- 1 .Downes, D.J., Cross, A.R., Hua, P. et al. Identification of LZTFL1 as a candidate effector gene at a COVID-19 risk locus. Nat Genet 53, 1606–1615 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41588-021-00955-3