Proteomic Evolution from Acute to Post-COVID-19 Conditions

J Proteome Res. 2024 Jan 5;23(1):52-70. doi: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.3c00324. Epub 2023 Dec 4.


Many COVID-19 survivors have post-COVID-19 conditions, and females are at a higher risk. We sought to determine (1) how protein levels change from acute to post-COVID-19 conditions, (2) whether females have a plasma protein signature different from that of males, and (3) which biological pathways are associated with COVID-19 when compared to restrictive lung disease. We measured protein levels in 74 patients on the day of admission and at 3 and 6 months after diagnosis. We determined protein concentrations by multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) using a panel of 269 heavy-labeled peptides. The predicted forced vital capacity (FVC) and diffusing capacity of the lungs for carbon monoxide (DLCO) were measured by routine pulmonary function testing. Proteins associated with six key lipid-related pathways increased from admission to 3 and 6 months; conversely, proteins related to innate immune responses and vasoconstriction-related proteins decreased. Multiple biological functions were regulated differentially between females and males. Concentrations of eight proteins were associated with FVC, %, and they together had c-statistics of 0.751 (CI:0.732-0.779); similarly, concentrations of five proteins had c-statistics of 0.707 (CI:0.676-0.737) for DLCO, %. Lipid biology may drive evolution from acute to post-COVID-19 conditions, while activation of innate immunity and vascular regulation pathways decreased over that period. (ProteomeXchange identifiers: PXD041762, PXD029437).

Keywords: COVID-19; post-COVID-19 conditions; restrictive lung disease; targeted quantitative proteomics.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipids
  • Lung
  • Male
  • Proteomics*
  • Vital Capacity


  • Lipids