Angiotensin converting enzyme 2 is a novel target of the γ-secretase complex

Alberto Bartolomé, Jiani Liang, Pengfei Wang, David Ho, Utpal Pajvani

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Received date: 25th September 2020

Angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is a key regulator of the renin-angiotensin system, but also the functional receptor of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Based on structural similarity with other γ-secretase (γS) targets, we hypothesized that ACE2 may be affected by γS proteolytic activity. We found that after ectodomain shedding, ACE2 is targeted for intramembrane proteolysis by γS, releasing a soluble ACE2 C-terminal fragment. Consistently, chemical or genetic inhibition of γS results in the accumulation of a membrane-bound fragment of ectodomain-deficient ACE2. Although chemical inhibition of γS does not alter SARS-CoV-2 cell entry, these data point to a novel pathway for cellular ACE2 trafficking.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on a preprint server, which is currently undergoing peer review at Scientific Reports. The findings have yet to be thoroughly evaluated, nor has a decision on ultimate publication been made. Therefore, the results reported should not be considered conclusive, and these findings should not be used to inform clinical practice, or public health policy, or be promoted as verified information.

Scientific Reports

Nature Research, Springer Nature