Potential microenvironment of SARS-CoV-2 infection in airway epithelial cells revealed by Human Protein Atlas database analysis

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
L. LengW. Zhong


The outbreak of COVID-19 has caused serious epidemic events in China and other countries. With the rapid spread of COVID-19, it is urgent to explore the pathogenesis of this novel coronavirus. However, the foundational research of COVID-19 is very weak. Although angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is the reported receptor of SARS-CoV-2, information about SARS-CoV-2 invading airway epithelial cells is very limited. Based on the analysis of the Human Protein Atlas database, we compared the virus-related receptors of epithelial-derived cells from different organs and found potential key molecules in the local microenvironment for SARS-CoV-2 entering airway epithelial cells. In addition, we found that these proteins were associated with virus reactive proteins in host airway epithelial cells, which may promote the activation of the immune system and the release of inflammatory factors. Our findings provide a new research direction for understanding the potential microenvironment required by SARS-CoV-2 infection in airway epithelial, which may assist in the discovery of potential drug targets against SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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