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The scRNA-seq Expression Profiling of the Receptor ACE2 and the Cellular Protease TMPRSS2 Reveals Human Organs Susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 Infection

School of Mathematics, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to the work.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(1), 284; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010284
Received: 29 October 2020 / Revised: 21 December 2020 / Accepted: 22 December 2020 / Published: 2 January 2021
COVID-19 patients always develop multiple organ dysfunction syndromes other than lungs, suggesting the novel virus SARS-CoV-2 also invades other organs. Therefore, studying the viral susceptibility of other organs is important for a deeper understanding of viral pathogenesis. Angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE2) is the receptor protein of SARS-CoV-2, and TMPRSS2 promotes virus proliferation and transmission. We investigated the ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expression levels of cell types from 31 organs to evaluate the risk of viral infection using single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) data. For the first time, we found that the gall bladder and fallopian tube are vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Besides, the nose, heart, small intestine, large intestine, esophagus, brain, testis, and kidney are also identified to be high-risk organs with high expression levels of ACE2 and TMPRSS2. Moreover, the susceptible organs are grouped into three risk levels based on the ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expression. As a result, the respiratory system, digestive system, and urinary system are at the top-risk level for SARS-CoV-2 infection. This study provides evidence for SARS-CoV-2 infection in the human nervous system, digestive system, reproductive system, respiratory system, circulatory system, and urinary system using scRNA-seq data, which helps in the clinical diagnosis and treatment of patients. View Full-Text
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; scRNA-seq; susceptible organs; ACE2; TMPRSS2 SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; scRNA-seq; susceptible organs; ACE2; TMPRSS2
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MDPI and ACS Style

Qi, J.; Zhou, Y.; Hua, J.; Zhang, L.; Bian, J.; Liu, B.; Zhao, Z.; Jin, S. The scRNA-seq Expression Profiling of the Receptor ACE2 and the Cellular Protease TMPRSS2 Reveals Human Organs Susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 Infection. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 284. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010284

AMA Style

Qi J, Zhou Y, Hua J, Zhang L, Bian J, Liu B, Zhao Z, Jin S. The scRNA-seq Expression Profiling of the Receptor ACE2 and the Cellular Protease TMPRSS2 Reveals Human Organs Susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 Infection. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(1):284. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010284

Chicago/Turabian Style

Qi, Jing, Yang Zhou, Jiao Hua, Liying Zhang, Jialin Bian, Beibei Liu, Zicen Zhao, and Shuilin Jin. 2021. "The scRNA-seq Expression Profiling of the Receptor ACE2 and the Cellular Protease TMPRSS2 Reveals Human Organs Susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 Infection" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 1: 284. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010284

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