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Cell Metab ; 34(3): 424-440.e7, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1676683


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) represents a systemic disease that may cause severe metabolic complications in multiple tissues including liver, kidney, and cardiovascular system. However, the underlying mechanisms and optimal treatment remain elusive. Our study shows that impairment of ACE2 pathway is a key factor linking virus infection to its secondary metabolic sequelae. By using structure-based high-throughput virtual screening and connectivity map database, followed with experimental validations, we identify imatinib, methazolamide, and harpagoside as direct enzymatic activators of ACE2. Imatinib and methazolamide remarkably improve metabolic perturbations in vivo in an ACE2-dependent manner under the insulin-resistant state and SARS-CoV-2-infected state. Moreover, viral entry is directly inhibited by these three compounds due to allosteric inhibition of ACE2 binding to spike protein on SARS-CoV-2. Taken together, our study shows that enzymatic activation of ACE2 via imatinib, methazolamide, or harpagoside may be a conceptually new strategy to treat metabolic sequelae of COVID-19.

COVID-19/drug therapy , Imatinib Mesylate/therapeutic use , Metabolic Diseases/drug therapy , Methazolamide/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/drug effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Chlorocebus aethiops , Down-Regulation/drug effects , HEK293 Cells , Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells , Humans , Imatinib Mesylate/pharmacology , Male , Metabolic Diseases/metabolism , Metabolic Diseases/virology , Methazolamide/pharmacology , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Obese , Mice, Transgenic , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Vero Cells , Virus Internalization/drug effects
Clin Sci (Lond) ; 135(3): 535-554, 2021 02 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1060922


The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) has currently attracted increasing attention due to its potential function in regulating energy homeostasis, other than the actions on cellular growth, blood pressure, fluid, and electrolyte balance. The existence of RAS is well established in metabolic organs, including pancreas, liver, skeletal muscle, and adipose tissue, where activation of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) - angiotensin II pathway contributes to the impairment of insulin secretion, glucose transport, fat distribution, and adipokines production. However, the activation of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) - angiotensin (1-7) pathway, a novel branch of the RAS, plays an opposite role in the ACE pathway, which could reverse these consequences by improving local microcirculation, inflammation, stress state, structure remolding, and insulin signaling pathway. In addition, new studies indicate the protective RAS arm possesses extraordinary ability to enhance brown adipose tissue (BAT) activity and induces browning of white adipose tissue, and consequently, it leads to increased energy expenditure in the form of heat instead of ATP synthesis. Interestingly, ACE2 is the receptor of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is threating public health worldwide. The main complications of SARS-CoV-2 infected death patients include many energy metabolism-related chronic diseases, such as diabetes. The specific mechanism leading to this phenomenon is largely unknown. Here, we summarize the latest pharmacological and genetic tools on regulating ACE/ACE2 balance and highlight the beneficial effects of the ACE2 pathway axis hyperactivity on glycolipid metabolism, as well as the thermogenic modulation.

Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/enzymology , Metabolic Diseases/enzymology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Energy Metabolism , Humans , Metabolic Diseases/genetics , Metabolic Diseases/metabolism , Metabolic Diseases/virology , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/genetics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Renin-Angiotensin System , SARS-CoV-2/physiology