Single-cell RNA sequencing analysis of human kidney reveals the presence of ACE2 receptor: A potential pathway of COVID-19 infection.

Single-cell RNA sequencing analysis of human kidney reveals the presence of ACE2 receptor: A potential pathway of COVID-19 infection.

Publication date: Aug 03, 2020

A novel coronavirus called SARS-Cov-2, which shared 82% similarity of genome sequence with SARS-CoV, was found in Wuhan in late December of 2019, causing an epidemic outbreak of novel coronavirus-induced pneumonia with dramatically increasing number of cases. Several organs are vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. Acute kidney injury (AKI) was reported in parts of case-studies reporting characteristics of COVID-19 patients. This study aimed at analyzing the potential route of SARS-Cov-2 entry and mechanism at cellular level.

Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) technology was used to obtain evidence of potential route and ACE2 expressing cell in renal system for underlying pathogenesis of kidney injury caused by COVID-19. The whole process was performed under R with Seurat packages. Canonical marker genes were used to annotate different types of cells.

Ten different clusters were identified and ACE2 was mainly expressed in proximal tubule and glomerular parietal epithelial cells. From Gene Ontology (GO) & KEGG enrichment analysis, imbalance of ACE2 expression, renin-angiotensin system (RAS) activation, and neutrophil-related processes were the main issue of COVID-19 leading kidney injury.

Our study provided the cellular evidence that SARS-Cov-2 invaded human kidney tissue via proximal convoluted tubule, proximal tubule, proximal straight tubule cells, and glomerular parietal cells by means of ACE2-related pathway and used their cellular protease TMPRSS2 for priming.

Concepts Keywords
Acute Kidney Injury Infection
Coronavirus Epidemic outbreak coronavirus
Epidemic SARS
Epithelial Cells Pathogenesis kidney injury
Genome Pneumonia
Glomerular Zoonoses
Infection Sarbecovirus
KEGG Animal diseases
Kidney Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2
Neutrophil Veterinary medicine
Ontology Animals
Parietal Coronavirus disease
Pathogenesis Proximal tubule
Pneumonia TMPRSS2
Priming
Protease
Proximal
Proximal Convoluted Tubule
Proximal Tubule
RAS
Receptor
Renal System
Renin Angiotensin System
SARS
Seurat
Tubule
Wuhan

Semantics

Type Source Name
disease MESH infection
disease MESH pneumonia
disease MESH Acute kidney injury
drug DRUGBANK Pentaerythritol tetranitrate
pathway KEGG Renin-angiotensin system
drug DRUGBANK Rasagiline

Original Article