Multifunctional angiotensin converting enzyme 2, the SARS-CoV-2 entry receptor, and critical appraisal of its role in acute lung injury.

Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy = Biomédecine & Pharmacothérapie
Murat Oz, Dietrich Ernst Lorke


The recent emergence of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) as a pandemic affecting millions of individuals has raised great concern throughout the world, and the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) was identified as the causative agent for COVID-19. The multifunctional protein angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is accepted as its primary target for entry into host cells. In its enzymatic function, ACE2, like its homologue ACE, regulates the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) critical for cardiovascular and renal homeostasis in mammals. Unlike ACE, however, ACE2 drives an alternative RAS pathway by degrading Ang-II and thus operates to balance RAS homeostasis in the context of hypertension, heart failure, and cardiovascular as well as renal complications of diabetes. Outside the RAS, ACE2 hydrolyzes key peptides, such as amyloid-β, apelin, and [des-Arg9]-bradykinin. In addition to its enzymatic functions, ACE2 is found to regulate intestinal amino acid homeostasis and the gut microbiome. Although the non-enzymatic function of ACE2 as the entry receptor for SARS-CoV-2 has been well established, the contribution of enzymatic functions of ACE2 to the pathogenesis of COVID-19-related lung injury has been a ...Continue Reading


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