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      Emerging importance of ACE2 in external stratified epithelial tissues

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          Abstract

          Angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), a component of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), has been identified as the receptor for the SARS-CoV-2. Several RAS components including ACE2 and its substrate Ang II are present in both eye and skin, two stratified squamous epithelial tissues that isolate organisms from external environment. Our recent findings in cornea and others in both skin and eye suggest contribution of this system, and specifically of ACE2 in variety of physiological and pathological responses of these organ systems. This review will focus on the role RAS system plays in both skin and cornea, and will specifically discuss our recent findings on ACE2 in corneal epithelial inflammation, as well as potential implications of ACE2 in patients with COVID-19.

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          A pneumonia outbreak associated with a new coronavirus of probable bat origin

          Since the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) 18 years ago, a large number of SARS-related coronaviruses (SARSr-CoVs) have been discovered in their natural reservoir host, bats 1–4 . Previous studies have shown that some bat SARSr-CoVs have the potential to infect humans 5–7 . Here we report the identification and characterization of a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which caused an epidemic of acute respiratory syndrome in humans in Wuhan, China. The epidemic, which started on 12 December 2019, had caused 2,794 laboratory-confirmed infections including 80 deaths by 26 January 2020. Full-length genome sequences were obtained from five patients at an early stage of the outbreak. The sequences are almost identical and share 79.6% sequence identity to SARS-CoV. Furthermore, we show that 2019-nCoV is 96% identical at the whole-genome level to a bat coronavirus. Pairwise protein sequence analysis of seven conserved non-structural proteins domains show that this virus belongs to the species of SARSr-CoV. In addition, 2019-nCoV virus isolated from the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of a critically ill patient could be neutralized by sera from several patients. Notably, we confirmed that 2019-nCoV uses the same cell entry receptor—angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2)—as SARS-CoV.
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            SARS-CoV-2 Cell Entry Depends on ACE2 and TMPRSS2 and Is Blocked by a Clinically Proven Protease Inhibitor

            Summary The recent emergence of the novel, pathogenic SARS-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in China and its rapid national and international spread pose a global health emergency. Cell entry of coronaviruses depends on binding of the viral spike (S) proteins to cellular receptors and on S protein priming by host cell proteases. Unravelling which cellular factors are used by SARS-CoV-2 for entry might provide insights into viral transmission and reveal therapeutic targets. Here, we demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 uses the SARS-CoV receptor ACE2 for entry and the serine protease TMPRSS2 for S protein priming. A TMPRSS2 inhibitor approved for clinical use blocked entry and might constitute a treatment option. Finally, we show that the sera from convalescent SARS patients cross-neutralized SARS-2-S-driven entry. Our results reveal important commonalities between SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV infection and identify a potential target for antiviral intervention.
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              Genomic characterisation and epidemiology of 2019 novel coronavirus: implications for virus origins and receptor binding

              Summary Background In late December, 2019, patients presenting with viral pneumonia due to an unidentified microbial agent were reported in Wuhan, China. A novel coronavirus was subsequently identified as the causative pathogen, provisionally named 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). As of Jan 26, 2020, more than 2000 cases of 2019-nCoV infection have been confirmed, most of which involved people living in or visiting Wuhan, and human-to-human transmission has been confirmed. Methods We did next-generation sequencing of samples from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and cultured isolates from nine inpatients, eight of whom had visited the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan. Complete and partial 2019-nCoV genome sequences were obtained from these individuals. Viral contigs were connected using Sanger sequencing to obtain the full-length genomes, with the terminal regions determined by rapid amplification of cDNA ends. Phylogenetic analysis of these 2019-nCoV genomes and those of other coronaviruses was used to determine the evolutionary history of the virus and help infer its likely origin. Homology modelling was done to explore the likely receptor-binding properties of the virus. Findings The ten genome sequences of 2019-nCoV obtained from the nine patients were extremely similar, exhibiting more than 99·98% sequence identity. Notably, 2019-nCoV was closely related (with 88% identity) to two bat-derived severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-like coronaviruses, bat-SL-CoVZC45 and bat-SL-CoVZXC21, collected in 2018 in Zhoushan, eastern China, but were more distant from SARS-CoV (about 79%) and MERS-CoV (about 50%). Phylogenetic analysis revealed that 2019-nCoV fell within the subgenus Sarbecovirus of the genus Betacoronavirus, with a relatively long branch length to its closest relatives bat-SL-CoVZC45 and bat-SL-CoVZXC21, and was genetically distinct from SARS-CoV. Notably, homology modelling revealed that 2019-nCoV had a similar receptor-binding domain structure to that of SARS-CoV, despite amino acid variation at some key residues. Interpretation 2019-nCoV is sufficiently divergent from SARS-CoV to be considered a new human-infecting betacoronavirus. Although our phylogenetic analysis suggests that bats might be the original host of this virus, an animal sold at the seafood market in Wuhan might represent an intermediate host facilitating the emergence of the virus in humans. Importantly, structural analysis suggests that 2019-nCoV might be able to bind to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 receptor in humans. The future evolution, adaptation, and spread of this virus warrant urgent investigation. Funding National Key Research and Development Program of China, National Major Project for Control and Prevention of Infectious Disease in China, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shandong First Medical University.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Mol Cell Endocrinol
                Mol Cell Endocrinol
                Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology
                Elsevier B.V.
                0303-7207
                1872-8057
                27 March 2021
                27 March 2021
                : 111260
                Affiliations
                [a ]Department of Dermatology, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA
                [b ]Department of Medicine (Nephrology and Hypertension), Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, USA
                Author notes
                []Corresponding author. Department of Dermatology, Northwestern University, 303 East Chicago Avenue, Ward 9-124, Chicago, IL, 60611, USA.
                [∗∗ ]Corresponding author. Department of Medicine (Nephrology and Hypertension), Northwestern University, 320 E. Superior Street, Searle 10-511, Chicago, IL, 60611, USA.
                [∗∗∗ ]Corresponding author. Department of Dermatology, Northwestern University, 303 East Chicago Avenue, Ward 9-120, Chicago, IL, 60611, USA.
                [1]

                authors contributed equally.

                Article
                S0303-7207(21)00104-0 111260
                10.1016/j.mce.2021.111260
                7997854
                33781838
                5cb6a30e-c6d8-45e9-9f30-9979267b4764
                © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

                Since January 2020 Elsevier has created a COVID-19 resource centre with free information in English and Mandarin on the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The COVID-19 resource centre is hosted on Elsevier Connect, the company's public news and information website. Elsevier hereby grants permission to make all its COVID-19-related research that is available on the COVID-19 resource centre - including this research content - immediately available in PubMed Central and other publicly funded repositories, such as the WHO COVID database with rights for unrestricted research re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for free by Elsevier for as long as the COVID-19 resource centre remains active.

                History
                : 2 November 2020
                : 25 November 2020
                : 20 March 2021
                Categories
                Article

                Endocrinology & Diabetes
                corneal epithelium,epidermis,renin-angiotensin system (ras)
                Endocrinology & Diabetes
                corneal epithelium, epidermis, renin-angiotensin system (ras)

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