Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). SARS-CoV-2 enters host cells by binding with the receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). While ACE2 is expressed in multiple cell types, it has been implicated in the clinical progression of COVID-19 as an entry point for SARS-CoV-2 into respiratory cells. Human respiratory cells, such as airway and alveolar epithelial type II (ATII) cells, are considered essential for COVID-19 research; however, primary human respiratory cells are difficult to obtain. In the present study, we generated ATII and club cells from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) for SARS-CoV-2 infection and drug testing. The differentiated cells expressed ATII markers (SFTPB, SFTPC, ABCA3, SLC34A2) or club cell markers (SCGB1A1 and SCGB3A2). Differentiated cells, which express ACE2 and TMPRSS2, were infected with SARS-CoV-2. Remdesivir treatment decreased intracellular SARS-CoV-2 viral replication and, furthermore, treatment with bleomycin showed cytotoxicity in a concentration-dependent manner. These data suggest that hiPSC-derived AT2 and club cells provide a useful in vitro model for drug development.
Development of alveolar and airway cells from human iPS cells: toward SARS-CoV-2 research and drug toxicity testing￼
Glycan Nanostructures of Human Coronaviruses￼