PerspectiveViewpoint: COVID-19

How does SARS-CoV-2 cause COVID-19?

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Science  31 Jul 2020:
Vol. 369, Issue 6503, pp. 510-511
DOI: 10.1126/science.abc6156

Summary

Viruses enter cells and initiate infection by binding to their cognate cell surface receptors. The expression and distribution of viral entry receptors therefore regulates their tropism, determining the tissues that are infected and thus disease pathogenesis. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the third human coronavirus known to co-opt the peptidase angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) for cell entry (1). The interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and ACE2 is critical to determining both tissue tropism and progression from early SARS-CoV-2 infection to severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Understanding the cellular basis of SARS-CoV-2 infection could reveal treatments that prevent the development of severe disease, and thus reduce mortality.

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