Androgen regulates SARS-CoV-2 receptor levels and is associated with severe COVID-19 symptoms in men
Seyedeh Maryam Zekavat,
Posted 12 May 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.05.12.091082
Posted 12 May 2020
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection has led to a global health crisis, and yet our understanding of the disease pathophysiology and potential treatment options remains limited. SARS-CoV-2 infection occurs through binding and internalization of the viral spike protein to angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) on the host cell membrane. Lethal complications are caused by damage and failure of vital organs that express high levels of ACE2, including the lungs, the heart and the kidneys. Here, we established a high-throughput drug screening strategy to identify therapeutic candidates that reduce ACE2 levels in human embryonic stem cell (hESC) derived cardiac cells. Drug target analysis of validated hit compounds, including 5 alpha reductase inhibitors, revealed androgen signaling as a key modulator of ACE2 levels. Treatment with the 5 alpha reductase inhibitor dutasteride reduced ACE2 levels and internalization of recombinant spike receptor binding domain (Spike-RBD) in hESC-derived cardiac cells and human alveolar epithelial cells. Finally, clinical data on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients demonstrated that abnormal androgen states are significantly associated with severe disease complications and cardiac injury as measured by blood troponin T levels. These findings provide important insights on the mechanism of increased disease susceptibility in male COVID-19 patients and identify androgen receptor inhibition as a potential therapeutic strategy. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
- Downloaded 5,345 times
- Download rankings, all-time:
- Site-wide: 2,582
- In cell biology: 37
- Year to date:
- Site-wide: 6,035
- Since beginning of last month:
- Site-wide: 11,270
Downloads over time
Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide
- 27 Nov 2020: The website and API now include results pulled from medRxiv as well as bioRxiv.
- 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
- 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
- 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
- 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
- 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
- 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
- 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
- 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!