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Entry, egress and vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2
Hui Zhang1 , Hong Zhang1,2,*
1National Laboratory of Biomacromolecules, CAS Center for Excellence in Biomacromolecules, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
2College of Life Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
*Correspondence to:Hong Zhang , Email:hongzhang@ibp.ac.cn
J Mol Cell Biol, Volume 13, Issue 3, March 2021, Pages 168-174  https://doi.org/10.1093/jmcb/mjab013
Keyword: SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, ACE2, TMPRSS2, placental transmission

The high infectivity and pathogenicity of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) have caused the COVID-19 outbreak, one of the most devastating pandemics in more than a century. This pandemic has already left a trail of destruction, including enormous loss of life, a global economic slump, and widespread psychological damage. Despite assiduous world-wide endeavors, an effective cure for COVID-19 is still lacking. Surprisingly, infected neonates and children have relatively mild clinical manifestations and a much lower fatality rate than elderly adults. Recent studies have unambiguously demonstrated the vertical transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from infected pregnant women to fetuses, which creates yet another challenge for disease prevention. In this review, we will summarize the molecular mechanism for entry of SARS-CoV-2 into host cells, the basis for the failure of the lungs and other organs in severe acute cases, and the evidence for congenital transmission.