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Authors: Asif Shajahan, Stephanie Archer-Hartmann, Nitin T. Supekar, Anne S. Gleinich, Christian Heiss, and Parastoo Azadi*

Link to paper:

Journal/ Pre-Print: bioRvix

Tags: Proteomics, Structural Biology, Therapeutics

Research Highlights

1. Quantitative glycosylation mapping on hACE2

2. Glycan occupancy at all seven possible N-glycosylation sites

3. Glycan occupancy at three O-glycosylation sites


Glycoproteomics and glycomics were performed on the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2), entry receptor for SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2, expressed in human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cells. The authors identified, that all seven possible N-glycosylation sites were occupied with complex glycans (N53, N90, N103, N322, N432, N564, N690) characterising them in full. Furthermore, three additional O-glycosylation sites were identified at sites O155, O494 and O773.

Impact for SARS-CoV2/COVID19 research efforts

Understand the virology and/or cell biology of SARS-CoV2/COVID19

Inhibit of SARS-CoV2/COVID19 transmission

Study Type

· In vitro study

Strengths and limitations of the paper

Novelty: Identifying O-glycosylation sites of hACE2.

Standing in the field: Several publications show that all seven possible N-glycosylation sites are occupied in hACE2 (e.g. Tipnis et al. 2000; Li et al. 2003, Sun, Z. et al 2020).

Appropriate statistics: Yes

Viral model used: Human recombinant hACE2(Gln18 to Ser740) was expressed in HEK293 cells.

Translatability: Very limited may help us understand the hACE2 interaction with SARS-CoV-2 RBD and look to exploit this therapeutically.

Main limitations: The hACE2 analysed is expressed in kidney cells it may be interesting to compare the glycosylation to for example to lung epithelial hACE2