Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) has been identified as the primary entry receptor for SARS-CoV-2; however, the possible involvement of other cellular components in the viral entry has not yet been fully elucidated. Here the researchers describe the identification of vimentin (VIM), an intermediate filament protein widely expressed in cells of mesenchymal origin, as an important attachment factor for SARS-CoV-2 on human endothelial cells. The study reveals that extracellular VIM binds to SARS-CoV-2 S-protein and facilitates SARS-CoV-2 infection. This work provides insight into the pathogenesis of COVID-19 linked to the vascular system, with implications for the development of therapeutics and vaccines.
Extracellular vimentin is an attachment factor that facilitates SARS-CoV-2 entry into human endothelial cells
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