Endocytosis and Transcytosis of SARS-CoV-2 Across the Intestinal Epithelium and Other Tissue Barriers
Since 2003, the world has been confronted with three new betacoronaviruses that cause human respiratory infections: SARS-CoV, which causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), MERS-CoV, which causes Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and SARS-CoV-2, which causes Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The mechanisms of coronavirus transmission and dissemination in the human body determine the diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. An important problem is the possibility that viral particles overcome tissue barriers such as the intestine, respiratory tract, blood-brain barrier, and placenta. In this work, we will 1) consider the issue of endocytosis and the possibility of transcytosis and paracellular trafficking of coronaviruses across tissue barriers with an emphasis on the intestinal epithelium; 2) discuss the possibility of antibody-mediated transcytosis of opsonized viruses due to complexes of immunoglobulins with their receptors; 3) assess the possibility of the virus transfer into extracellular vesicles during intracellular transport; and 4) describe the clinical significance of these processes. Models of the intestinal epithelium and other barrier tissues for in vitro transcytosis studies will also be briefly characterized.