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Papers of the Week

2020 Dec 10

Exp Biol Med (Maywood)

Protease-activated receptor 1 as a potential therapeutic target for COVID-19.


Rovai ES, Alves T, Holzhausen M
Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2020 Dec 10:1535370220978372.
PMID: 33302737.


Acute respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has spread all over the world, since its discovery in 2019, Wuhan, China. This disease is called COVID-19 and already killed over 1 million people worldwide. The clinical symptoms include fever, dry cough, dyspnea, headache, dizziness, generalized weakness, vomiting, and diarrhea. Unfortunately, so far, there is no validated vaccine, and its management consists mainly of supportive care. Venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism are highly prevalent in patients suffering from severe COVID-19. In fact, a prothrombotic state seems to be present in most fatal cases of the disease. SARS-CoV-2 leads to the production of proinflammatory cytokines, causing immune-mediated tissue damage, disruption of the endothelial barrier, and uncontrolled thrombogenesis. Thrombin is the key regulator of coagulation and fibrin formation. In severe COVID-19, a dysfunctional of physiological anticoagulant mechanisms leads to a progressive increase of thrombin activity, which is associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome development and a poor prognosis. Protease-activated receptor type 1 (PAR1) is the main thrombin receptor and may represent an essential link between coagulation and inflammation in the pathophysiology of COVID-19. In this review, we discuss the potential role of PAR1 inhibition and regulation in COVID-19 treatment.