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Expression of SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 and the protease TMPRSS2 suggests susceptibility of the human embryo in the first trimester

Weatherbee, Bailey A. T. and Glover, David M. and Zernicka-Goetz, Magdalena (2020) Expression of SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 and the protease TMPRSS2 suggests susceptibility of the human embryo in the first trimester. Open Biology, 10 (8). Art. No. 200162. ISSN 2046-2441. PMCID PMC7479935. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20200805-090719433

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Abstract

While initially recognized as causing respiratory disease, the SARS-CoV-2 virus also affects many other organs leading to other complications. It has emerged that advanced age and obesity are risk factors for complications but questions concerning the potential effects on fetal health and successful pregnancy for those infected with SARS-CoV-2 remain largely unanswered. Here, we examine human pre-gastrulation embryos to determine the expression patterns of the genes ACE2, encoding the SARS-CoV-2 receptor, and TMPRSS2, encoding a protease that cleaves both the viral spike protein and the ACE2 receptor to facilitate infection. We show expression and co-expression of these genes in the trophoblast of the blastocyst and syncytiotrophoblast and hypoblast of the implantation stages, which develop into tissues that interact with the maternal blood supply for nutrient exchange. Expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 in these tissues raises the possibility for vertical transmission and indicates that further work is required to understand potential risks to implantation, placental health and fetal health that require further study.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://doi.org/10.1098/rsob.200162DOIArticle
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7479935PubMed CentralArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Glover, David M.0000-0003-0956-0103
Zernicka-Goetz, Magdalena0000-0002-7004-2471
Additional Information:© 2020 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited. Received: 9 June 2020; Accepted: 30 June 2020; Published: 05 August 2020. Data accessibility: Single cell RNA-sequencing data are deposited in Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) under accession numbers GSE136447 and GSE109555. We declare we have no competing interests. D.M.G. and M.Z.-G. are grateful to Caltech for start-up funding. Work in the M.Z.-G. laboratory is also funded by grants from the Wellcome Trust (207415/Z/17/Z); Open Philanthropy; the Weston Havens Foundation; and the Curci Foundation. B.A.T.W. is supported by the Gates Cambridge Trust.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
CaltechUNSPECIFIED
Wellcome Trust207415/Z/17/Z
Open PhilanthropyUNSPECIFIED
Weston Havens FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Curci FoundationUNSPECIFIED
University of CambridgeUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:TMPRSS2, SARS-CoV-2, receptor ACE2
Issue or Number:8
PubMed Central ID:PMC7479935
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200805-090719433
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20200805-090719433
Official Citation:Weatherbee BAT, Glover DM, Zernicka-Goetz M. 2020, Expression of SARSCoV- 2 receptor ACE2 and the protease TMPRSS2 suggests susceptibility of the human embryo in the first trimester. Open Biol. 10: 200162. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsob.200162
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:104749
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:05 Aug 2020 16:16
Last Modified:10 Sep 2020 16:03

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