Preliminary findings: Apparently, the Coronavirus also takes a second door

Receptor seems to facilitate cell entry and provides a possible pathway into the central nervous system

Munich/Helsinki, June 17, 2020. Researchers at the DZNE in Munich and colleagues – including experts from Helsinki –, have found evidence that the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 uses a further access to infiltrate cells of the human body in addition to the already known gateway.

According to these findings, a protein named “Neuropilin-1” could serve as a previously unnoticed entry hatch. Furthermore, Neuropilin-1 could potentially enable the virus to spread from the nasal mucosa to the brain. These findings have been published as a preprint and have not yet been reviewed.

The study is a collaborative effort by experts from several research institutions, including the DZNE, Technische Universität München, University Medical Center Göttingen and University of Helsinki.



On the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE)

The DZNE investigates all aspects of neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) in order to develop novel approaches of prevention, treatment, and health care. The DZNE is comprised of ten sites across Germany and cooperates closely with universities, university hospitals, and other institutions on a national and international level. The DZNE is a member of the Helmholtz Association.

Media relations

Dr. Marcus Neitzert
+49 228 43302-267


Neuropilin-1 facilitates SARS-CoV-2 cell entry and provides a possible pathway into the central nervous system.
Ludovico Cantuti-Castelvetri, et al.
bioRXiv, June 10, 2020.
DOI: 10.1101/2020.06.07.137802
Full Preprint

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