Proteomic Analysis of Salivary Extracellular Vesicles from COVID-19 Patients Reveals a Specific Anti-COVID-19 Response Protein Signature

Laura Weber*, Alfredo Torres*, Ornella Realini*, María José Bendek*, María Luisa Mizgier*, Claudia Brizuela*, David Herrera*, Fermín E. González*, Alejandra Chaparro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite the understanding of the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19), the role of salivary extracellular vesicles (sEVs) in COVID-19 remains unclear. Exploring the proteomic cargo of sEVs could prove valuable for diagnostic and prognostic purposes in assessing COVID-19. The proteomic cargo of sEVs from COVID-19(+) subjects and their healthy close contacts (HCC) was explored. sEVs were isolated by ultracentrifugation from unstimulated saliva samples, and subsequently characterized through nanoparticle tracking, transmission electron microscopy, and Western blot analyses. The proteomic cargo of sEVs was processed by LC-MS/MS. sEVs were morphologically compatible with EVs, with the presence of Syntenin-1 and CD81 EV markers. The sEV pellet showed 1417 proteins: 1288 in COVID-19(+) cases and 1382 in HCC. In total, 124 proteins were differentially expressed in sEVs from COVID-19(+) subjects. “Coronavirus-disease response”, “complement and coagulation cascades”, and “PMN extracellular trap formation” were the most enriched KEGG pathways in COVID-19(+) cases. The most represented biological processes were “Hemoglobin and haptoglobin binding” and “oxygen carrier activity”, and the best-denoted molecular functions were “regulated exocytosis and secretion” and “leucocyte and PMN mediated immunity”. sEV proteomic cargo in COVID-19(+) suggests activity related to immune response processes, oxygen transport, and antioxidant mechanisms. In contrast, in HCC, sEV signature profiles are mainly associated with epithelial homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3704
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume25
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 by the authors.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • extracellular vesicles
  • proteomics
  • saliva

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