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SARS-CoV-2 entry factors are highly expressed in nasal epithelial cells together with innate immune genes


We investigated SARS-CoV-2 potential tropism by surveying expression of viral entry-associated genes in single-cell RNA-sequencing data from multiple tissues from healthy human donors. We co-detected these transcripts in specific respiratory, corneal and intestinal epithelial cells, potentially explaining the high efficiency of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. These genes are co-expressed in nasal epithelial cells with genes involved in innate immunity, highlighting the cells' potential role in initial viral infection, spread and clearance. The study offers a useful resource for further lines of inquiry with valuable clinical samples from COVID-19 patients and we provide our data in a comprehensive, open and user-friendly fashion at

Type Journal
ISBN 1546-170X (Electronic) 1078-8956 (Linking)
Authors Sungnak, W.; Huang, N.; Becavin, C.; Berg, M.; Queen, R.; Litvinukova, M.; Talavera-Lopez, C.; Maatz, H.; Reichart, D.; Sampaziotis, F.; Worlock, K. B.; Yoshida, M.; Barnes, J. L.; Network, H. C. A. Lung Biological Network
Responsible Garvan Author Prof Joseph Powell
Published Date 2020-05-31
Published Volume 26
Published Issue 5
Published Pages 681-687
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.1038/s41591-020-0868-6
URL link to publisher's version