The role of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 in the pathogenesis of
COVID-19: the villain or the hero?
Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE 2) is the entry receptor for the
novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the aetiological agent of COVID-19. At the
same time, ACE 2 expression decreases during COVID-19. Two seemingly
contradictory relationships between the expression of ACE 2 and COVID-19
have been reported. Increased level of expression of ACE 2 may be a risk
factor for the development of COVID-19 infection, while reduced ACE 2
expression during COVID-19 leads to acute respiratory distress syndrome.
This article provides a comprehensive overview of available scientific
knowledge about the role of ACE 2 in the pathogenesis of COVID-19, which
is available up to current day. Also, it discusses unknown factors that
we will have to reveal in order to understand the whole role of ACE 2 in
the pathogenesis of COVID-19.