Primate Monocytes - CD14, CD16 - Ziegler-Heitbrock


DOCK2 is involved in the host genetics and biology of severe COVID-19.


Identifying the factors underlying severe COVID-19 in the host genetics is an emerging issue1-5. We conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) involving 2,393 Japanese COVID-19 cases collected in initial pandemic waves with 3,289 controls, which identified a variant on 5q35 (rs60200309-A) near DOCK2 associated with severe COVID-19 in younger (<65 ages) patients (nCase=440, odds ratio=2.01, P=1.2x10-8). This risk allele was prevalent in East Asians but rare in Europeans, showing a value of non-European GWAS. RNA-seq of 473 bulk peripheral blood identified decreasing effect of the risk allele on DOCK2 expression in younger patients. DOCK2 expression was suppressed in severe forms of COVID-19. Single cell RNA-seq analysis (n=61) identified cell type-specific downregulation of DOCK2 and COVID-19-specific decreasing effects of the risk allele on DOCK2 in non-classical monocytes. Immunohistochemistry of lung specimens from severe COVID-19 pneumonia showed suppressed DOCK2. Moreover, inhibition of DOCK2 function using CPYPP induced much more severe pneumonia in a Syrian hamster model of SARS-CoV-2 infection characterized as weight loss, lung edema, enhanced viral loads, impaired macrophage recruitment and dysregulated type I interferon responses. We conclude that DOCK2 plays an important role in the host immune response to SARS-CoV-2 infection and development of severe COVID-19, and could be further explored as a potential biomarker and/or therapeutic target.

Authors: Namkoong H, Edahiro R, Takano T, Nishihara H, Shirai Y, Sonehara K, Tanaka H, Azekawa S, Mikami Y, Lee H, Hasegawa T, Okudela K, Okuzaki D, Motooka D, Kanai M, Naito T, Yamamoto K, Wang QS, Saiki R, Ishihara R, Matsubara Y, Hamamoto J, Hayashi H, Yoshimur
Journal: Nature; 2022 Sep;609(7928):754-760. doi:10.1038/s41586-022-05163-5
Year: 2022
PubMed: PMID: 35940203 (Go to PubMed)