Conditions regulating ACE2 expression

30 Apr 2020

Conditions regulating ACE2

Under the hypothesis that the expression level of the ACE2 receptor correlates with the degree of infection by the virus, we screened over 10,000 experimental conditions to identify those causing a strong up- or down-regulation of ACE2. As an example, the top up-regulating condition from the Affymetrix Human 133 Plus 2 compendium (5,738 conditions tested) is the exposure of bronchial epithelial cells to polyinosinic-polycytdidylic acid (see experimental details provided). This compound, which is structurally similar to double-stranded RNA, is a known immunostimulant used to simulate viral infections (especially RNA viruses such as SARS-CoV-2) by interacting with TLR3. This raises the question as to whether the SARS-CoV-2 virus is able to trigger the up-regulation of the ACE2 receptor, thereby increasing its own ability to infect human cells .

post thumb post thumb

Figure: GENEVESTIGATOR® Perturbations plot showing a subset of conditions in which ACE2 is strongly up-regulated, with a detailed view on study HS-01166 showing its reponse to poly(I:C) in bronchial epithelial cells.