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Microbiol Spectr . A disintegrin and metalloproteinase domain 9 facilitates SARS-CoV-2 entry into cells with low ACE2 expression

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  • Microbiol Spectr . A disintegrin and metalloproteinase domain 9 facilitates SARS-CoV-2 entry into cells with low ACE2 expression

    Microbiol Spectr


    . 2023 Sep 15;e0385422.
    doi: 10.1128/spectrum.03854-22. Online ahead of print. A disintegrin and metalloproteinase domain 9 facilitates SARS-CoV-2 entry into cells with low ACE2 expression

    Ivonne Melano 1 , Wei-Chung Cheng 2 3 , Li-Lan Kuo 1 , Yuag-Meng Liu 4 5 , Yu Chi Chou 6 , Mien-Chie **** 1 3 7 8 9 , Michael M C Lai 1 10 , Yuh-Pyng Sher 1 2 3 7 8 11 , Wen-Chi Su 1 11 12 13



    AffiliationsAbstract

    Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiological agent of the Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic, utilizes angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a receptor for virus infection. However, the expression pattern of ACE2 does not coincide with the tissue tropism of SARS-CoV-2, hinting that other host proteins might be involved in facilitating SARS-CoV-2 entry. To explore potential host factors for SARS-CoV-2 entry, we performed an arrayed shRNA screen in H1650 and HEK293T cells. Here, we identified a disintegrin and a metalloproteinase domain 9 (ADAM9) protein as an important host factor for SARS-CoV-2 entry. Our data showed that silencing ADAM9 reduced virus entry, while its overexpression promoted infection. The knockdown of ADAM9 decreased the infectivity of the variants of concern tested-B.1.1.7 (alpha), B.1.617.2 (delta), and B.1.1.529 (omicron). Furthermore, mechanistic studies indicated that ADAM9 is involved in the binding and endocytosis stages of SARS-CoV-2 entry. Through immunoprecipitation experiments, we demonstrated that ADAM9 binds to the S1 subunit of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike. Additionally, ADAM9 can interact with ACE2, and co-expression of both proteins markedly enhances virus infection. Moreover, the enzymatic activity of ADAM9 facilitates virus entry. Our study reveals an insight into the mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 virus entry and elucidates the role of ADAM9 in virus infection. IMPORTANCE COVID-19, an infectious respiratory disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, has greatly impacted global public health and the economy. Extensive vaccination efforts have been launched worldwide over the last couple of years. However, several variants of concern that reduce the efficacy of vaccines have kept emerging. Thereby, further understanding of the mechanism of SARS-CoV-2 entry is indispensable, which will allow the development of an effective antiviral strategy. Here, we identify a disintegrin and metalloproteinase domain 9 (ADAM9) protein as a co-factor of ACE2 important for SARS-CoV-2 entry, even for the variants of concern, and show that ADAM9 interacts with Spike to aid virus entry. This virus-host interaction could be exploited to develop novel therapeutics against COVID-19.

    Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus; infectious disease; virus entry; virus-host interactions.

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