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World J Gastroenterol. Nov 7, 2020; 26(41): 6335-6345
Published online Nov 7, 2020. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v26.i41.6335
Origin and genomic characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 and its interaction with angiotensin converting enzyme type 2 receptors, focusing on the gastrointestinal tract
Michail Galanopoulos, Aris Doukatas, Maria Gazouli
Michail Galanopoulos, Department of Gastroenterology, 401 General Military Hospital of Athens, Athens 11525, Attiki, Greece
Aris Doukatas, Medical Office of Hellenic Army General Staff, 401 General Military Hospital of Athens, Athens 11525, Attiki, Greece
Maria Gazouli, Laboratory of Biology, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens 11527, Attiki, Greece
Author contributions: Galanopoulos M designed the review; Galanopoulos M, Doukatas A analyzed and interpreted the data; Galanopoulos M drafted the manuscript; Gazouli M critically revised the paper. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.
Conflict-of-interest statement: There is no conflict of interest associated with the senior author or other coauthors in relation to their efforts in this manuscript.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Corresponding author: Michail Galanopoulos, FEBG, MD, PhD, Doctor, Department of Gastroenterology, 401 General Military Hospital of Athens, 138 Mesogeion Avenue and Katechaki Street, Athens 11525, Attiki, Greece. galanopoulosdr@gmail.com
Received: July 22, 2020
Peer-review started: July 22, 2020
First decision: August 8, 2020
Revised: August 10, 2020
Accepted: September 25, 2020
Article in press: September 25, 2020
Published online: November 7, 2020
Core Tip

Core Tip: Although the main route of spread and symptomatology of coronavirus disease 2019 is closely related to the respiratory tract, the gastrointestinal tract could be an alternative and potential route of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission and manifestation, most probably as a result of the overexpression of angiotensin converting enzyme type 2 (ACE2) receptors in the digestive system. Thus, this review primarily focuses on the analysis of some critical elements regarding the SARS-CoV-2 genome and its general characteristics, but most importantly, intends to highlight the role of ACE2 receptors in both SARS-CoV-2 replication and pathogenesis, especially in the gastrointestinal tract.