Histone deacetylase inhibitors suppress ACE2 and ABO simultaneously, suggesting a preventive potential against COVID-19

Yoichiro Takahashi, Akira Hayakawa, Rie Sano, Haruki Fukuda, Megumi Harada, Rieko Kubo, Takafumi Okawa, Yoshihiko Kominato

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Received date: 18th September 2020

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread worldwide as a pandemic throughout 2020. Since the virus uses angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a receptor for cellular entry, increment of ACE2 would lead to an increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection. At the same time, an association of the ABO blood group system with COVID-19 has also been highlighted: there is increasing evidence to suggest that non-O individuals are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 than O individuals. These findings imply that simultaneous suppression of ACE2 and ABO would be a promising approach for prevention or treatment of COVID-19. Notably, we have previously clarified that histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs) are able to suppress ABO expression in vitro. Against this background, we further evaluated the effect of HDACIs on cultured epithelial cell lines, and found that HDACIs suppress both ACE2 and ABO expression simultaneously. Furthermore, the amount of ACE2 protein was shown to be decreased by one of the clinically-used HDACIs, panobinostat, which has been reported to reduce B-antigens on cell surfaces. On the basis of these findings, we conclude that panobinostat could have the potential to serve as a preventive drug against COVID-19.

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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.

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