Geographic distribution of the LZTFL1 SNP markers associated with severe COVID-19 in Russia and worldwide

About authors

1 Research Centre for Medical Genetics, Moscow, Russia

2 Autonomous non-profit organization “Biobank of North Eurasia”, Moscow, Russia

3 Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia

4 Russian Medical Academy of Continuous Professional Education, Ministry of Healthcare of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia

Correspondence should be addressed: Elena V. Balanovska
Moskvorechye, 1, 115522, Moscow, Russia; ur.liam@aksvonalab

About paper

Funding: the study was supported by the Russian Science Foundation grant № 21-14-00363 (bioinformatics analysis, cartographic analysis) and performed within the State Assignment of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation for the Research Centre for Medical Genetics (statistical analysis, data interpretation, manuscript writing).

Acknowledgements: the authors express their gratitude to all members of the expedition survey of the North Eurasian indigenous population (sample donors) and the autonomous non-profit organization “Biobank of North Eurasia” for access to DNA collections, and Olkova MV, for her participation in gathering information on the gene variants associated with the COVID-19 severity.

Author contribution: Balanovska EV — data analysis, manuscript writing, research management; Gorin IO, Petrushenko VS — bioinformatics analysis; Agdzhoyan AT, Chernevsky DK, Pylev VYu — statistical analysis; Temirbulatov II — explanation of pharmacogenetic approaches; Koshel SM — cartographic analysis.

Compliance with ethical standards: the study was approved by the Ethics Commitee of the Research Centre for Medical Genetics (protocol № 1 of 29 June 2020); all subjects submitted the informed consent to study participation.

Received: 2022-09-13 Accepted: 2022-09-28 Published online: 2022-10-23

The correlation between the risk of death from COVID-19 and the patient's ethnogeographic origin has been previously detected. LZTFL1 gene was identified as a potential marker of a two times higher risk of severe COVID-19. The study was aimed to assess spatial variation in the LZTFL1 SNP markers in indigenous populations of Russia and the world. Spatial variation in the LZTFL1 polymorphic markers was analyzed in 28 metapopulations (97 ethnic groups) of North Eurasia (n = 1980) and 34 world's metapopulations (n = 3637) by bioinformatics, statistical and cartographic methods. In North Eurasia, the major geographic variation vectors, North–South and West–East, are generally in line with the Caucasoid–Mongoloid anthropological vector. Global variation also corresponds to anthropological features: each cluster of indigenous populations includes only those from the place where it originates: Africa, Asia, or America. Indo-European cluster integrates Caucasoid populations of Europe and Asia. All four clusters of the world's indigenous population are separated from each other. The huge genetic diversity of Russia peoples and neighboring countries forms a bridge between three continents: Europe, Asia and America. Cartographic atlas for spatial variation in 11 LZTFL1 markers in the populations has been created. The following major patterns have been revealed: а) the world's extrema fall on the indigenous populations of Africa and America; 2) Eurasia constitutes a transition zone between these two extrema, but has its own patterns and shows enormous scale of variation shows enormous variation on a global scale; 3) the genetic landscape of Russia tends to be seamlessly integrated into the Eurasian landscape.