Fusion of the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in human cells: the role of Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ECA2) and Transmembrane Serine Protease 2 (TMPRSS2)

  • Igor Gomes Araújo Universidade de Fortaleza
  • Arlandia Cristina Lima Nobre de Morais University of Fortaleza
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, new coronavirus, ECA2, TMPRSS2


There are several types of coronavirus, however it is known that three types are responsible for severe respiratory infection in humans: SARS-CoV (SARS), Mers-CoV (MERS) and the new SARS-CoV-2. Transmission occurs through contamination of salivary fluids, particles retained in the air by sneezing or coughing, close contact with contaminated people and surfaces. And the first symptoms occur between 2 to 14 days, called the viral incubation period. Because it is a new pathology, severe symptoms and abnormalities defy science. There are several pharmacological possibilities in testing phases. It is relevant to unveil studies on Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ECA2) and Transmembrane Protease, serine 2 (TMPRSS2) in SARS-CoV-2, enzymatic targets with pharmacological perspectives for the treatment of COVID-19. Based on this premise, pharmaceutical products targeting the inhibition of ECA2 and TMPRSS2 have promising expectations in the treatment of SARS-CoV-2. After all, the inhibition of ACE2, an enzyme located in the main organs where the disease proliferates, has the potential to decrease the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. While inhibition of TMPRSS2 would prevent the virus from entering human cells at the level of the upper respiratory tract.

COVID-19 in debate