Published on Mon Jun 21 2021

Next generation plasma proteome profiling of COVID-19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms

Uhlen, M., Zhong, W., Altay, O., Arif, M., Edfors, F., Mardinoglu, A., Fagerberg, L.

The cellular mechanisms underlying the various effects of the disease remain poorly understood. The study identified more than 200 proteins that are significantly elevated at infection. Many of these are related to cytokine response and other immune-related functions.

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Abstract

COVID-19 has caused millions of deaths globally, yet the cellular mechanisms underlying the various effects of the disease remain poorly understood. Recently, a new analytical platform for comprehensive analysis of plasma protein profiles using proximity extension assays combined with next generation sequencing has been developed. Here, we describe the analysis of the plasma profiles of COVID-19 patients with mild and moderate symptoms by comparing the protein levels in newly diagnosed patients with the plasma profiles in the same individuals after recovery 14 days later. The study has identified more than 200 proteins that are significantly elevated at infection and many of these are related to cytokine response and other immune-related functions. In addition, several other proteins are shown to be elevated, including SCARB2, a host cell receptor protein involved in virus entry. A comparison with the plasma protein response in patients with severe symptoms shows a highly similar pattern, but with some interesting differences. In conclusion, the results will facilitate further studies to understand the molecular mechanism of the immune-related response of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.