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


  • W. Sungnak
  • N. Huang
  • C. Bécavin
  • M. Berg
  • R. Queen
  • M. Litvinukova
  • C. Talavera-López
  • H. Maatz
  • D. Reichart
  • F. Sampaziotis
  • K.B. Worlock
  • M. Yoshida
  • J.L. Barnes


  • Nature Medicine


  • Nat Med 26 (5): 681-687


  • 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