Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2 – at the Heart of the COVID-19 pandemic

ACE2 is the indispensable entry receptor for SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become one of the most therapeutically-targeted human molecules in biomedicine. ACE2 serves two fundamental physiological roles: as an enzyme, it alters peptide cascade balance, and as a chaperone, it controls intestinal amino acid uptake. ACE2’s tissue distribution, affected by comorbidities and sex, explains the broad tropism of coronaviruses and the clinical manifestations of SARS and COVID-19. ACE2-based therapeutics provide a universal strategy to prevent and treat SARS-CoV-2 infections, applicable to all SARS-CoV-2 variants and other emerging zoonotic coronaviruses exploiting ACE2 as their cellular receptor.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2023.01.039


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