A trimeric human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 as an anti-SARS-CoV-2 agent


Tianshu Xiao, Jianming Lu, Jun Zhang, Rebecca I. Johnson, Lindsay G. A. McKay, Nadia Storm, Christy L. Lavine, Hanqin Peng, Yongfei Cai, Sophia Rits-Volloch, Shen Lu, Brian D. Quinlan, Michael Farzan, Michael S. Seaman, Anthony Griffiths, and Bing Chen. 2021. “A trimeric human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 as an anti-SARS-CoV-2 agent.” Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. Publisher's Version


Effective intervention strategies are urgently needed to control the COVID-19 pandemic. Human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is a membrane-bound carboxypeptidase that forms a dimer and serves as the cellular receptor for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). ACE2 is also a key negative regulator of the renin–angiotensin system that modulates vascular functions. We report here the properties of a trimeric ACE2 ectodomain variant, engineered using a structure-based approach. The trimeric ACE2 variant has a binding affinity of \textasciitilde60þinspace}pM for the spike protein of SARS‑CoV‑2 (compared with 77þinspace}nM for monomeric ACE2 and 12–22þinspace}nM for dimeric ACE2 constructs), and its peptidase activity and the ability to block activation of angiotensin II receptor type 1 in the renin–angiotensin system are preserved. Moreover, the engineered ACE2 potently inhibits SARS‑CoV‑2 infection in cell culture. These results suggest that engineered, trimeric ACE2 may be a promising anti-SARS-CoV-2 agent for treating COVID-19.
Last updated on 01/25/2021