The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn attention to the human host genes associated with SARS-CoV-2 entry and to the elements that regulate expression of these genes. At NCBI, we have prioritized curation of experimentally validated regulatory elements for these genes in the RefSeq Functional Elements project. Our annotations include several enhancers, promoters, cis-regulatory elements and protein binding sites, among other feature types. We have annotated 236 regulatory features for 27 distinct biological regions in the latest human Annotation Release (109.20200522) including regulatory elements for the ABO, ACE2, ANPEP, CD209, CLEC4G, CLEC4M, CTSL, DPP4,and TMPRSS2 genes.
You can view our regulatory element to target gene linkages in the regulatory interactions track using our new track hub that we recently announced. You can also see the biological regions and features tracks. These have functional and descriptive metadata, including biological region summaries, experimental evidence types, publication support and more.
The example in Figure 1 shows RefSeq Functional Element feature annotation in NCBI’s Genome Data Viewer (GDV) for the ABO gene region (GRCh38, NW_009646201.1: 73,864-103,789) the determiner of the human ABO blood group. A genome-wide association study recently identified non-coding ABO variants associated with COVID-19 disease severity (PMID:32558485), which map to some of the RefSeq Functional Elements in this region.Figure 1. The human ABO gene region in the NCBI GDV displaying the RefSeq Functional Element features. The biological regions aggregate track shows underlying feature annotation for an ABO upstream enhancer (LOC112637023), promoter region (LOC112679202), +5.8 intron 1 enhancer (LOC112679198), a 3′ regulatory region (LOC112639999), and a +36.0 downstream enhancer (LOC112637025). Functional Element features include numerous enhancers, promoters, cis-regulatory elements and protein / transcription factor binding sites.
We have more information about RefSeq Functional Elements on our website, including data download and extraction options. Stay tuned to NCBI Insights and other NCBI social media for future announcements about RefSeq Functional Elements!