The impact of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (Ace2) expression on the incidence and severity of covid-19 infection

Ahmed O. Kaseb, Yehia I. Mohamed, Alexandre E. Malek, Issam I. Raad, Lina Altameemi, Dan Li, Omar A. Kaseb, Safa A. Kaseb, Abdelhafez Selim, Qing Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to an unprecedented threat to the international community and raised major concerns in terms of public health safety. Although our current understanding of the complexity of COVID-19 pathogenesis remains limited, the infection is largely mediated by the interaction of viral spike protein and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). The functional importance of ACE2 in different demographic and comorbid condi-tions may explain the significant variation in incidence and mortality of COVID-19 in vulnerable groups, and highlights its candidacy as a potential therapeutic target. We provide evidence supporting the idea that differences in incidence and severity of COVID-19 infection may be related to ACE2. Emerging data based on the prevalence and severity of COVID-19 among those with established high levels of ACE2 expression strongly support our hypothesis. Considering the burden of COVID-19 infection in these vulnerable groups and the impact of the potential therapeutic and preventive measures that would result from adopting ACE2-driven anti-viral strategies, our hypothesis may expedite global efforts to control the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number379
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • ACE2
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus
  • Pandemic
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Molecular Biology
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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