Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2: A new component of renin-angiotensin system (RAS) and a receptor for SARS-coronavirus-2
The classical renin–angiotensin system (RAS) regulates the physiological hemostasis and diseases of cardiovascular system. Recently, with the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) causing the disease COVID-19, scientists are struggling to understand how SARS-CoV-2 resembles and differs from SARS-CoV in the genomic and transcriptional levels. In short period, a growing body of research has been released and reported about new factors in RAS, such as angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and angiotensin (1-7) [Ang (1-7)]. The ACE2 has been shown to be protective factor in cardiovascular diseases through different mechanisms and also an important tool for entry and pathogenesis of SARS-CoVs. This review summarizes the current knowledge about ACE2 as a new factor that broadened the activity of the RAS and at the same time as a receptor for SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 facilitating cell entry.
Conclusion: Grasping the cellular activity of ACE2 and Ang (1-7) is required for better therapies for cardiovascular diseases. In addition, strategies targeting ACE2 may offer beside vaccines a novel approach in the search for prevention and management of COVID 19.
Keywords: Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Coronavirus-2 (COV-2), Angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE 2), Renin angiotensin system (RAS), Angiotensin (1-7) [Ang (1-7)].