Apr 9, 2020

Gene expression and in situ protein profiling of candidate SARS-CoV-2 receptors in human airway epithelial cells and lung tissue

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
J. A. AguiarJeremy A Hirota


In December 2019, SARS-CoV-2 emerged causing the COVID-19 pandemic. SARS-CoV, the agent responsible for the 2003 SARS outbreak, utilizes ACE2 and TMPRSS2 host molecules for viral entry. ACE2 and TMPRSS2 have recently been implicated in SARS-CoV-2 viral infection. Additional host molecules including ADAM17, cathepsin L, CD147, and GRP78 may also function as receptors for SARS-CoV-2. To determine the expression and in situ localization of candidate SARS-CoV-2 receptors in the respiratory mucosa, we analyzed gene expression datasets from airway epithelial cells of 515 healthy subjects, gene promoter activity analysis using the FANTOM5 dataset containing 120 distinct sample types, single cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq) of 10 healthy subjects, immunoblots on multiple airway epithelial cell types, and immunohistochemistry on 98 human lung samples. We demonstrate absent to low ACE2 promoter activity in a variety of lung epithelial cell samples and low ACE2 gene expression in both microarray and scRNAseq datasets of epithelial cell populations. Consistent with gene expression, rare ACE2 protein expression was observed in the airway epithelium and alveoli of human lung. We present confirmatory evidence for the presence of TMPRSS2, CD147,...Continue Reading

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Medical Research Activity
Complex (molecular entity)
Medical Devices
Device, Sensing, Optical Contour
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