Age-determined expression of priming protease TMPRSS2 and localization of SARS-CoV-2 in lung epithelium Journal Article


Authors: Schuler, B. A.; Habermann, A. C.; Plosa, E. J.; Taylor, C. J.; Jetter, C.; Negretti, N. M.; Kapp, M. E.; Benjamin, J. T.; Gulleman, P.; Nichols, D. S.; Braunstein, L. Z.; Hackett, A.; Koval, M.; Guttentag, S. H.; Blackwell, T. S.; Webber, S. A.; Banovich, N. E.; Vanderbilt COVID-19 Consortium Cohort; Human Cell Atlas Biological Network; Kropski, J. A.; Sucre, J. M. S.
Contributor: Pe'er, D.
Article Title: Age-determined expression of priming protease TMPRSS2 and localization of SARS-CoV-2 in lung epithelium
Abstract: The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic has led to millions of cases and hundreds of thousands of deaths. While older adults appear at high risk for severe disease, hospitalizations and deaths due to SARS-CoV-2 among children have been relatively rare. Integrating single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) of developing mouse lung with temporally resolved immunofluorescence in mouse and human lung tissue, we found that expression of SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein primer TMPRSS2 was highest in ciliated cells and type I alveolar epithelial cells (AT1), and TMPRSS2 expression increased with aging in mice and humans. Analysis of autopsy tissue from fatal COVID-19 cases detected SARS-CoV-2 RNA most frequently in ciliated and secretory cells in airway epithelium and AT1 cells in peripheral lung. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was highly colocalized in cells expressing TMPRSS2. Together, these data demonstrate the cellular spectrum infected by SARS-CoV-2 in lung epithelium and suggest that developmental regulation of TMPRSS2 may underlie the relative protection of infants and children from severe respiratory illness. © 2021, American Society for Clinical Investigation.
Journal Title: Journal of Clinical Investigation
Volume: 131
Issue: 1
ISSN: 0021-9738
Publisher: American Society for Clinical Investigation  
Date Published: 2021-01-04
Start Page: e140766
Language: English
DOI: 10.1172/jci140766
PUBMED: 33180746
PROVIDER: scopus
PMCID: PMC7773394
DOI/URL:
Notes: Article -- Export Date: 1 February 2021 -- Source: Scopus
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  1. Dana Pe'er
    62 Pe'er