Apr 2, 2020

SARS-CoV-2 receptor and entry genes are expressed by sustentacular cells in the human olfactory neuroepithelium

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
L. FodoulianIvan Rodriguez


The recent emergence of the pathogenic SARS-CoV-2 initiated a worldwide health crisis. The entry of the virus into cells is mediated by the binding of the viral Spike protein to the angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2), followed by its priming by the TMPRSS2 serine protease, both present on the cellular membrane of the target cells. In the respiratory tract, these targets are ciliated cells. Interestingly, various reports indicate an association between SARS-CoV-2 infection and anosmia, suggesting an alteration not restricted to the respiratory tissue, but that might also include the olfactory sensory epithelium. We explored this possibility by generating RNA-seq libraries from human neuroepithelium, in which we found significant expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2. To determine whether specific cell types of this chemosensory tissue may coexpress both of the virus entry genes, we analyzed a scRNA-seq dataset. We determined that sustentacular cells, which are in direct contact with the external world and maintain the integrity of olfactory sensory neurons, represents a prime candidate for SARS-CoV-2 infection via the nose, and possibly for SARS-CoV-2-induced anosmia.

  • References
  • Citations


  • We're still populating references for this paper, please check back later.
  • References
  • Citations


  • This paper may not have been cited yet.

Mentioned in this Paper

Macaca radiata
Diagnostic Physical Therapy Procedure
Cell Division
Cell Differentiation Process

Related Feeds

BioRxiv & MedRxiv Preprints

BioRxiv and MedRxiv are the preprint servers for biology and health sciences respectively, operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Here are the latest preprint articles (which are not peer-reviewed) from BioRxiv and MedRxiv.

Related Papers

The New England Journal of Medicine
Xiaoxia LuChinese Pediatric Novel Coronavirus Study Team
American Journal of Clinical Pathology
Ahmed BabikerJeannette Guarner
© 2020 Meta ULC. All rights reserved