Damaged telomeres in the elderly may increase susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2

2 December 2021 – A group of Italian and American researchers led by Fabrizio d’Adda di Fagagna now reports that the expression of the cell receptor for the virus, ACE2, which is essential for mediating cell entry of the virus, increases in the lungs of aging mice and humans. They further show that ACE2 expression increases upon telomere shortening or dysfunction – common hallmarks of aging – in cultured human cells and in mice. This increase depends on a DNA damage response elicited by dysfunctional telomeres. The findings published today by EMBO Reports provide one possible molecular explanation for the increased sensitivity of elderly people to SARS-CoV-2.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft