To infect human cells, the SARS-CoV-2 receptor requires the presence of at least the ACE2 receptor (angiotensin-converting enzyme 2) and of the priming protease TMPRSS2 (transmembrane serine protease 2). Cell types in which both exhibit high expression are expected to be more strongly infected. The below figures, generated with GENEVESTIGATOR® were based on two large compendia of deeply curated RNA-Seq and microarray datasets. Only samples from healthy, untreated individuals were selected to visualize baseline tissue and cell type specific expression.
Figure: GENEVESTIGATOR® 2-Gene scatterplot showing the expression levels of ACE2 versus TMPRSS2 in 8397 samples from 310 different tissue and cell types (Affymetrix Human 133 Plus2 compendium). The two genes show highest expression in the small intestine, the kidney, the eye, the large intestine, followed by respiratory tract tissues. Similar results were observed based on the RNA-sequencing data compendium.