BACKGROUND: COVID-19 patients experience several features of dysregulated immune system observed in sepsis. We previously showed a dysregulation of several proline-selective peptidases such as dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4), fibroblast activation protein alpha (FAP), prolyl oligopeptidase (PREP) and prolylcarboxypeptidase (PRCP) in sepsis. In this study, we investigated whether these peptidases are similarly dysregulated in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
METHODS: Fifty-six hospitalized COVID-19 patients and 32 healthy controls were included. Enzymatic activities of DPP4, FAP, PREP and PRCP were measured in samples collected shortly after hospital admission and in longitudinal follow-up samples.
RESULTS: Compared to healthy controls, both DPP4 and FAP activities were significantly lower in COVID-19 patients at hospital admission and FAP activity further decreased significantly in the first week of hospitalization. While PRCP activity remained unchanged, PREP activity was significantly increased in COVID-19 patients at hospitalization and further increased during hospital stay and stayed elevated until the day of discharge.
CONCLUSION: The changes in activities of proline-selective peptidases in plasma are very similar in COVID-19 and septic shock patients. The pronounced decrease in FAP activity deserves further investigation, both from a pathophysiological viewpoint and as its utility as a part of a biomarker panel.
- Dipeptidyl Peptidase 4
- Membrane Proteins
- Peptide Hydrolases
- Serine Endopeptidases
- Shock, Septic