Advance in research of beta coronavirus receptors on ocular surface

Authors: Yin Xiaolei,  Zhang Jinping

DOI: 10.3760/cma.j.cn115989-20200223-00098
Published 2020-03-10
Cite as Chin J Exp Ophthalmol, 2020,38(03): 254-256.


2019-Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) caused an outbreak of corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) from December 2019 in China.2019-nCoV which was identified as a kind of beta coronavirus belongs to one of four coronavirus genera.Except 2019-nCoV, two other beta coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) are also quite harmful to human beings.2019-nCoV uses the same cell entry receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), as SARS-CoV.And dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) or CD26 is the cell receptor for MERS-CoV.The expression of ACE2 was found to have obvious positive expression in human corneal and conjunctival epithelium, and corneal endothelium.DPP4 activity was presented in normal animal conjunctival epithelium and fibroblasts of the subjacent connective tissue.It was also presented in the whole corneal epithelium and tear fluid of animal with severe injured corneas.The two receptors, ACE2 and DPP4, are involved in many cellular signaling pathways and pathophysiological processes.Their expression in the cells of ocular surface may be an access route of corona virus in eye, which provides clues to elucidating the pathogenesis of corona virus in the eyeballs.

Key words:

Coronavirus; Receptor; Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2; Dipeptidyl peptidase 4; Ocular surface

Contributor Information

Yin Xiaolei
Department of Ophthalmology, 305 Hospital of PLA, Beijing 100017, China
Zhang Jinping
Novel Coronavirus Research Group in 305 Hospital of PLA, Beijing 100017, China
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