ACE2, angiotensin 1-7 and skeletal muscle: review in the era of COVID-19.
Clinical science (London, England : 1979). 2020;(22):3047-3062
Angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) is a multifunctional transmembrane protein recently recognised as the entry receptor of the virus causing COVID-19. In the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), ACE2 cleaves angiotensin II (Ang II) into angiotensin 1-7 (Ang 1-7), which is considered to exert cellular responses to counteract the activation of the RAS primarily through a receptor, Mas, in multiple organs including skeletal muscle. Previous studies have provided abundant evidence suggesting that Ang 1-7 modulates multiple signalling pathways leading to protection from pathological muscle remodelling and muscle insulin resistance. In contrast, there is relatively little evidence to support the protective role of ACE2 in skeletal muscle. The potential contribution of endogenous ACE2 to the regulation of Ang 1-7-mediated protection of these muscle pathologies is discussed in this review. Recent studies have suggested that ACE2 protects against ageing-associated muscle wasting (sarcopenia) through its function to modulate molecules outside of the RAS. Thus, the potential association of sarcopenia with ACE2 and the associated molecules outside of RAS is also presented herein. Further, we introduce the transcriptional regulation of muscle ACE2 by drugs or exercise, and briefly discuss the potential role of ACE2 in the development of COVID-19.