The UGT2A1/UGT2A2 locus is associated with COVID-19-related loss of smell or taste

Nat Genet. 2022 Feb;54(2):121-124. doi: 10.1038/s41588-021-00986-w. Epub 2022 Jan 17.

Abstract

Using online surveys, we collected data regarding COVID-19-related loss of smell or taste from 69,841 individuals. We performed a multi-ancestry genome-wide association study and identified a genome-wide significant locus in the vicinity of the UGT2A1 and UGT2A2 genes. Both genes are expressed in the olfactory epithelium and play a role in metabolizing odorants. These findings provide a genetic link to the biological mechanisms underlying COVID-19-related loss of smell or taste.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ageusia / enzymology
  • Ageusia / genetics*
  • Anosmia / enzymology
  • Anosmia / genetics*
  • COVID-19 / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Loci*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study*
  • Glucuronosyltransferase / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics
  • Sample Size
  • UDP-Glucuronosyltransferase 1A9 / genetics*

Substances

  • UGT1A9 protein, human
  • Glucuronosyltransferase
  • UDP-Glucuronosyltransferase 1A9
  • UGT2A1 protein, human