Variants in ACE2; potential influences on virus infection and COVID-19 severity.

Infection, Genetics and Evolution : Journal of Molecular Epidemiology and Evolutionary Genetics in Infectious Diseases
Behnaz BakhshandehZohreh Jahanafrooz


The third pandemic of coronavirus infection, called COVID-19 disease, was first detected in November 2019th. Various determinants of disease progression such as age, sex, virus mutations, comorbidity, lifestyle, host immune response, and genetic background variation have caused clinical variability of COVID-19. The causative agent of COVID-19 is an enveloped coronavirus named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) that invades host cells using an endocytic pathway. The SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is the main viral protein that contributes to the fusion of the virus particle to the host cell through angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). The highly conserved expression of ACE2 is found in various animals, which indicates its pivotal physiological function. The ACE2 has a crucial role in vascular, renal, and myocardial physiology. Genetic factors contributing to the outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infection are unknown; however, variants in the specific sites of ACE2 gene could be regarded as a main genetic risk factor for COVID-19. Given that ACE2 is the main site for virus landing on host cells, the effect of amino acid sequences of ACE2 on host susceptibility to COVID-19 seems reasonable. It would likely have a subst...Continue Reading


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