What is it about?

Small Extracellular Vesicles (sEVs) secreted by human nasal epithelial cells (mu-sEVs) are involved in extracellular priming of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein, rendering SARS-CoV-2 virions prone to enter into target cells using the ‘early’, TMPRSS2- dependent pathway instead of the ‘late’, cathepsin-dependent route.

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Why is it important?

Prefusion Spike priming by mu-sEVs produced in the nasal cavity plays a role in viral tropism. In addition, nasal mucus does not protect from SARS-CoV-2 infection, but instead facilitates it.

Perspectives

It is now necessary to investigate the role of mu-sEVs produced by human nasal epithelial cells on the priming of fusion proteins from other coronaviruses and respiratory enveloped viruses.

Patrice Bruscella
Institut Mondor de Recherche Biomédicale-INSERM U955

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This page is a summary of: Proviral role of human respiratory epithelial cell‐derived small extracellular vesicles in SARS‐CoV‐2 infection, Journal of Extracellular Vesicles, October 2022, Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/jev2.12269.
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