University of Oulu

Urbiola-Salvador V, Lima de Souza S, Grešner P, Qureshi T, Chen Z. Plasma Proteomics Unveil Novel Immune Signatures and Biomarkers upon SARS-CoV-2 Infection. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2023; 24(7):6276.

Plasma proteomics unveil novel immune signatures and biomarkers upon SARS-CoV-2 infection

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Author: Urbiola-Salvador, Víctor1; Lima de Souza, Suiane2; Grešner, Peter3;
Organizations: 1Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology of University of Gdańsk and Medical University of Gdańsk, University of Gdańsk, 80-307 Gdańsk, Pomerania, Poland
2Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of Oulu, 90220 Oulu, North Ostrobothnia, Finland
3Department of Translational Oncology, Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology of University of Gdańsk and Medical University of Gdańsk, Medical University of Gdańsk, 80-211 Gdańsk, Pomerania, Poland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-09-18


Several elements have an impact on COVID-19, including comorbidities, age and sex. To determine the protein profile changes in peripheral blood caused by a SARS-CoV-2 infection, a proximity extension assay was used to quantify 1387 proteins in plasma samples among 28 Finnish patients with COVID-19 with and without comorbidities and their controls. Key immune signatures, including CD4 and CD28, were changed in patients with comorbidities. Importantly, several unreported elevated proteins in patients with COVID-19, such as RBP2 and BST2, which show anti-microbial activity, along with proteins involved in extracellular matrix remodeling, including MATN2 and COL6A3, were identified. RNF41 was downregulated in patients compared to healthy controls. Our study demonstrates that SARS-CoV-2 infection causes distinct plasma protein changes in the presence of comorbidities despite the interpatient heterogeneity, and several novel potential biomarkers associated with a SARS-CoV-2 infection alone and in the presence of comorbidities were identified. Protein changes linked to the generation of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies, long-term effects and potential association with post-COVID-19 condition were revealed. Further study to characterize the identified plasma protein changes from larger cohorts with more diverse ethnicities of patients with COVID-19 combined with functional studies will facilitate the identification of novel diagnostic, prognostic biomarkers and potential therapeutic targets for patients with COVID-19.

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Series: International journal of molecular sciences
ISSN: 1661-6596
ISSN-E: 1422-0067
ISSN-L: 1661-6596
Volume: 24
Issue: 7
Article number: 6276
DOI: 10.3390/ijms24076276
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1182 Biochemistry, cell and molecular biology
3111 Biomedicine
Funding: This research was funded by the Academy of Finland [decision numbers 325965, 335579].
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 325965
Detailed Information: 325965 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
335579 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (