Remarkably COVID19 has inspired the global scientific community to focus a significant portion of its aggregate research toward the impact of SARS-CoV2 (CoV2). For the first time in history global research is singularly focused because a large number of other protein's and gene's are affected by CoV2 binding Ace2. The Ace2 receptor is important in systems of vasoconstriction-dilation and has wide ranging impact.
CoV2 binding Ace2 reduces its availability to convert Angiotensin1 to Angiotensin 1-7 (Ang1-7) or Angiotensin 1-9 (Ang1-9), which primarily interact via MAS and Angiotensin2 Receptor (AT2R) respectively. These have been linked to signaling and stretch caused by vasoconstriction-dilation, mitochondrial dysfunction, mitochondrial fission as well as cardiac and vascular remodeling.
Ang1-7 and Ang1-9 interactions with MAS or AT2R cell surface receptors have been linked to signaling events that drive p53 binding DNA and transcription. Myocyte stretching activates p53 and p53-dependent genes, leading to the formation of Angiotensin II (Ang II) and apoptosis. AngII, stimulates phosphorylation of p53 (on serine 15) and CREB (on serine 133) and signaling converges on the p53-CRE enhancer to stimulate Bradykinin receptor 2 (BK2) gene transcription. BK2 is a key element in the p53 related kallikrein-kinin system (KKS) of vasodilation that counters the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone-System (RAAS) of vasoconstriction.
Aldosterone was shown to induce mitochondrial dysfunction and podocyte injury mediated by p53/Drp1-dependent mitochondrial fission. In neuronal cells p53 dependent declines in Drp1 and parkin contribute to altered mitochondrial morphology and cell death. Parkin, via Pink1 activity binds depolarized mitochondria to induce autophagy of mitochondria. Mutations in both Drp1 and Pink1 were fatal in Drosophila models. These events also implicate a direct functional link to chronic inflammation in ageing between p53 and expression levels of ICAM1 on endothelial and NK cells required to bind targets. The p53 mediated negative regulation of autophagy is Pink1 dependent and experiments have shown that mitochondrial antigens, recognized by NK cells presented on MHC's are Pink1 and parkin dependent.
Severe COVID-19 patients have highly elevated Bradykinin and AngII, perhaps an indication of elevated p53 trends that have been discovered in these patients. Under normal circumstances, on endothelial cells Bradykinin would act as a potent vasodilator via its BK2 receptor. However, since Ang (1-7) potentiates Bradykinin action on BK2 receptors its near absence may reduce KKS vasodilation. On the other hand RAAS, also via p53 and elevated AngII primarily interacts with AT1R to promote vasoconstriction.
NK cells through their Renin Angiotensin System may counter-regulate target cells in response. However, in COVID19 patients depletion of NK cells, invasion of Neutrophils and endothelial cell damage, in part through elevated p53 autophagy and apoptosis is the overwhelming nasty work of CoV2 against the backdrop of dysregulated blood pressure in tissue.