We investigated the expression and subcellular localization of the SARS-CoV-2 receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), within the upper (nasal) and lower (pulmonary) respiratory tracts of healthy human donors. We detected ACE2 protein expression within the cilia organelle of ciliated airway epithelial cells, which likely represents the initial or early subcellular site of SARS-CoV-2 viral entry during respiratory transmission. We further determined whether ACE2 expression in the cilia of upper respiratory cells was influenced by patient demographics, clinical characteristics, co-morbidities, or medication use, and found no evidence that the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEI) or angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) increases ACE2 protein expression.
View details for DOI 10.1101/2020.05.08.20092866
View details for PubMedID 32511516
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7273284