Physiological and pathological regulation of ACE2, the SARS-CoV-2 receptor.Pharmacol Res. 2020 07; 157:104833.PR
The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is crucial for the physiology and pathology of all the organs. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) maintains the homeostasis of RAS as a negative regulator. Recently, ACE2 was identified as the receptor of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the coronavirus that is causing the pandemic of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Since SARS-CoV-2 must bind with ACE2 before entering the host cells in humans, the distribution and expression of ACE2 may be critical for the target organ of the SARS-CoV-2 infection. Moreover, accumulating evidence has demonstrated the implication of ACE2 in the pathological progression in tissue injury and several chronic diseases, ACE2 may also be essential in the progression and clinical outcomes of COVID-19. Therefore, we summarized the expression and activity of ACE2 in various physiological and pathological conditions, and discussed its potential implication in the susceptibility of SARS-CoV-2 infection and the progression and prognosis of COVID-19 patients in the current review.