Copyright ©The Author(s) 2021. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Oct 21, 2021; 27(39): 6590-6600
Published online Oct 21, 2021. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v27.i39.6590
Cathepsin L, transmembrane peptidase/serine subfamily member 2/4, and other host proteases in COVID-19 pathogenesis – with impact on gastrointestinal tract
Izabela Berdowska, Malgorzata Matusiewicz
Izabela Berdowska, Malgorzata Matusiewicz, Department of Biochemistry and Immunochemistry, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw 50-368, Lower Silesia, Poland
Author contributions: Berdowska I performed the literature research and wrote the manuscript; Matusiewicz M performed the literature research, created the graphs and revised the manuscript; both authors discussed, designed the general concept of the work, read and approve the final manuscript.
Conflict-of-interest statement: Dr. Matusiewicz has nothing to disclose.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (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:
Corresponding author: Malgorzata Matusiewicz, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Department of Biochemistry and Immunochemistry, Wroclaw Medical University, Chalubinskiego 10, Wroclaw 50-368, Lower Silesia, Poland.
Received: March 29, 2021
Peer-review started: March 29, 2021
First decision: June 14, 2021
Revised: June 28, 2021
Accepted: September 19, 2021
Article in press: September 19, 2021
Published online: October 21, 2021
Core Tip

Core Tip: Gastrointestinal tract (GIT) is believed to participate in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) dissemination. The current research shows the abundance and co-localization of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and transmembrane peptidase/serine subfamily member 2 receptors in the lower GIT. Furthermore, about half of coronavirus disease 2019 patients present with GIT symptoms, such as diarrhea, and exhibit viral-shedding in feces. Additionally, in vitro studies have demonstrated the virions capability of infection and replication in the human epithelial cells lining GIT. This paper reviews the possible routes of the virus infection with respect to the host-enzymatic systems responsible for the proteolytic priming of SARS-CoV-2.