Human ACE2 Genetic Polymorphism Affecting SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 Entry into Cells

Takanari Hattori, Takeshi Saito, Kosuke Okuya, Yuji Takahashi, Hiroko Miyamoto, Masahiro Kajihara, Manabu Igarashi, Ayato Takada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and SARS-CoV-2 have a single envelope glycoprotein (S protein) that binds to human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) on the host cell membrane. Previous mutational scanning studies have suggested that some substitutions corresponding to single nucleotide variants (SNVs) in human ACE2 affect the binding affinity to the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 S protein. However, the importance of these substitutions in actual virus infection is still unclear. In this study, we investigated the effects of the reported ACE2 SNV substitutions on the entry of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 into cells, using vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus (VSIV) pseudotyped with S proteins of these coronaviruses (CoVs). HEK293T cells transfected with plasmids expressing ACE2 having each SNV substitution were infected with the pseudotyped VSIVs and relative infectivities were determined compared to the cells expressing wild-type ACE2. We found that some of the SNV substitutions positively or negatively affected the infectivities of the pseudotyped viruses. Particularly, the H505R substitution significantly enhanced the infection with the pseudotyped VSIVs, including those having the substitutions found in the S protein RBD of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Our findings suggest that human ACE2 SNVs may potentially affect cell susceptibilities to SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMicrobiology Spectrum
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • ACE2
  • SARS-CoV
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • SNPs
  • SNVs
  • polymorphism
  • spike protein
  • viral entry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Ecology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology
  • Infectious Diseases


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