Tan HW, et al. Rev Med Virol 2020 - Review.
Coronavirus (CoV) disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an ongoing pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The highly contagious SARS-CoV-2 belongs to the genus Betacoronavirus, and it is phylogenetically closely related to SARS-CoV, a human CoV that caused an outbreak back in 2002 to 2003. Both SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV enter human cells via the interactions between viral crown-like spike protein and human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. Here, we aim to review the involvement of ACE2 in human CoV infections by discussing the roles of ACE2 in CoV evolution, cross-species transmissibility, and COVID-19 susceptibility. We also provide our perspectives on COVID-19 treatment and prevention.