Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is a key enzyme in the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). RAS regulates blood volume and arterial tone, as such, ACE2 is a common target for the treatment of hypertension. ACE2 is highly expressed in several human tissues including the gastrointestinal tract, liver, gallbladder, kidney, urinary bladder, testes, placenta and fallopian tube, with lower expression levels in the lungs and pancreas. It also serves as the primary receptor for cell entry for the SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 viruses. Binding of the coronavirus spike (S) protein to ACE2 initiates fusion of the cell and viral membranes for cell entry. ACE2-S protein binding is the critical initial step for coronavirus infection and is being investigated as a potential coronavirus drug target.
This hACE2 knockin mouse model was generated by integrating a codon optimized human ACE2 cDNA expression cassette into the mouse Ace2 gene through CRISPR-based technology. As a result, the mouse Ace2 gene promoter and other regulatory elements drive expression of the human ACE2 protein while terminating mouse Ace2 gene expression.
The hACE2 knockin mouse model was created at the Envigo, St Louis, MO, model creation facility in 2020 and is maintained and distributed by Envigo, then Envigo was acquired by Inotiv in 2021.