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Life Sci 2022 Nov 01;308:120930. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2022.120930.
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SARS-CoV-2 infection and replication kinetics in different human cell types: The role of autophagy, cellular metabolism and ACE2 expression.

Bartolomeo CS , Lemes RMR , Morais RL , Pereria GC , Nunes TA , Costa AJ , de Barros Maciel RM , Braconi CT , Maricato JT , Janini LMR , Okuda LH , Lee KS , Prado CM , Ureshino RP , Stilhano RS .

AIMS: This study evaluated SARS-CoV-2 replication in human cell lines derived from various tissues and investigated molecular mechanisms related to viral infection susceptibility and replication. MAIN METHODS: SARS-CoV-2 replication in BEAS-2B and A549 (respiratory tract), HEK-293 T (kidney), HuH7 (liver), SH-SY5Y (brain), MCF7 (breast), Huvec (endothelial) and Caco-2 (intestine) was evaluated by RT-qPCR. Concomitantly, expression levels of ACE2 (Angiotensin Converting Enzyme) and TMPRSS2 were assessed through RT-qPCR and western blot. Proteins related to autophagy and mitochondrial metabolism were monitored in uninfected cells to characterize the cellular metabolism of each cell line. The effect of ACE2 overexpression on viral replication in pulmonary cells was also investigated. KEY FINDINGS: Our data show that HuH7, Caco-2 and MCF7 presented a higher viral load compared to the other cell lines. The increased susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection seems to be associated not only with the differential levels of proteins intrinsically related to energetic metabolism, such as ATP synthase, citrate synthase, COX and NDUFS2 but also with the considerably higher TMPRSS2 mRNA expression. The two least susceptible cell types, BEAS-2B and A549, showed drastically increased SARS-CoV-2 replication capacity when ACE2 was overexpressed. These modified cell lines are relevant for studying SARS-CoV-2 replication in vitro. SIGNIFICANCE: Our data not only reinforce that TMPRSS2 expression and cellular energy metabolism are important molecular mechanisms for SARS-CoV-2 infection and replication, but also indicate that HuH7, MCF7 and Caco-2 are suitable models for mechanistic studies of COVID-19. Moreover, pulmonary cells overexpressing ACE2 can be used to understand mechanisms associated with SARS-CoV-2 replication.

PubMed ID: 36075471
Article link: Life Sci

References [+] :
Aguiar, Gene expression and in situ protein profiling of candidate SARS-CoV-2 receptors in human airway epithelial cells and lung tissue. 2020, Pubmed