The secret life of ACE2 as a receptor for the SARS virus

Cell. 2003 Dec 12;115(6):652-3. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(03)00976-0.


The membrane-associated carboxypeptidase angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is an essential regulator of heart function. Now, Li at al. identify and characterize an unexpected second function of ACE2 as a partner of the SARS-CoV spike glycoprotein in mediating virus entry and cell fusion.

MeSH terms

  • Binding Sites / physiology
  • Carboxypeptidases / metabolism*
  • Membrane Fusion / physiology
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A
  • Protein Conformation
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism*
  • SARS Virus / metabolism*
  • Viral Fusion Proteins / metabolism*


  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Viral Fusion Proteins
  • Carboxypeptidases
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A
  • angiotensin converting enzyme 2